Category Archives: IslandShorts

That Last Summer – now available to purchase online!

As the summer slips away, a great way to bring it back! ~ J. Michael Fay

My new novella, That Last Summer, is now available to order from Amazon for reading on Kindle, from Kobo, and from iTunes!

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Susan M. Toy captures the magic of the summer of ’65 in this tale of love and loss of innocence. The lake is alive with boys and girls, skiing and romancing. Rachel constantly spars with her younger sister, neither girl realizing the extent of life-changing problems that float below the surface for both a friend’s family and their own. Toy writes with confidence and elegance in That Last Summer and, as Juliet says in a famous scene performed around an August bonfire, “Parting is such sweet sorrow … ”

In the summer of 1965, Rachel Wainstaff is uprooted from her life in Toronto and her boyfriend to spend a reluctant summer with her family at their secluded cottage at Lone Pine Lake. In this story of self-discovery and young love, Rachel’s joys and disappointments are inextricably tied to making new friends and meeting a special boy, all while dealing with the irritation of her younger sister. Still, the true heart of this piece lies in the complicated relationship the teenaged Rachel has with her mother and father. That Last Summer is a poignant love letter to the lazy, sun-soaked days of an Ontario summer at the cottage.
~ Kim McCullough, author of Clearwater

Susan M. Toy spent all the summers of her youth at the family cottage near Minden, ON. During that time, she was a voracious reader and always dreamed of becoming a writer of her own stories. That Last Summer was originally written as an entry for the 3-Day Novel Contest, and it is the third eBook to be published by IslandShorts, an imprint of IslandCatEditions.

Help us launch IslandShorts – TODAY!!

island shorts

Invites YOU to join us for our

New Publications Launch

on Sept. 29th, 2-4 p.m., in Minden, Ontario, Canada

Featured readings by Michael Fay, Susan Toy and Bruce Hunter

Light refreshments will be served

Books and eBooks will be available to purchase

Original cover art on display by Karen Sloan and Judy Gibson

Looking forward to co-hosting and reading at this event today! It’s a beautiful day in Minden, and we have lots of refreshments for the full house we expect will attend. There’s no doubt that IslandShorts will be launched in style!

That Last Summer – a new IslandShorts ePublication!

IslandShorts is pleased to announce the release of a new ePublication in a series of short stories, novellas, poetry and short pieces of non-fiction.

That Last Summer by Susan M. Toy will be available shortly to download from all the usual sites.

IS_ThatLastSummer

Susan M. Toy captures the magic of the summer of ’65 in this tale of love and loss of innocence. The lake is alive with boys and girls, skiing and romancing. Rachel constantly spars with her younger sister, neither girl realizing the extent of life-changing problems that float below the surface for both a friend’s family and their own. Toy writes with confidence and elegance in That Last Summer and, as Juliet says in a famous scene performed around an August bonfire, “Parting is such sweet sorrow … ”

In the summer of 1965, Rachel Wainstaff is uprooted from her life in Toronto and her boyfriend to spend a reluctant summer with her family at their secluded cottage at Lone Pine Lake. In this story of self-discovery and young love, Rachel’s joys and disappointments are inextricably tied to making new friends and meeting a special boy, all while dealing with the irritation of her younger sister. Still, the true heart of this piece lies in the complicated relationship the teenaged Rachel has with her mother and father.
That Last Summer is a poignant love letter to the lazy, sun-soaked days of an Ontario summer at the cottage.
~ Kim McCullough, author of Clearwater

Susan M. Toy spent all the summers of her youth at the family cottage near Minden, ON. During that time, she was a voracious reader and always dreamed of becoming a writer of her own stories. That Last Summer was originally written as an entry for the 3-Day Novel Contest, and is the third eBook to be published by IslandShorts, an imprint of IslandCatEditions.

A sample FlipBook is available to read here.

And, coming soon, The Healer, another short story by J. Michael Fay!

That Last Summer – another new ePublication from IslandShorts!

Announcing a new novella from IslandShorts, soon to be available as an eBook!

THAT LAST SUMMER
by Susan M. Toy

That Last Summer - cover art - colour

Susan M. Toy captures the magic of the summer of ’65 in this tale of love and loss of innocence. The lake is alive with boys and girls, skiing and romancing. Rachel constantly spars with her younger sister, neither girl realizing the extent of life-changing problems that float below the surface for both a friend’s family and their own. Toy writes with confidence and elegance in That Last Summer and, as Juliet says in a famous scene performed around an August bonfire, “Parting is such sweet sorrow … ”

Susan M. Toy spent all the summers of her youth at the family cottage near Minden, ON. During that time, she was a voracious reader and always dreamed of becoming a writer of her own stories. That Last Summer was originally written as an entry for the 3-Day Novel Contest, and is the third eBook to be published by IslandShorts, an imprint of IslandCatEditions.

Advance praise for That Last Summer

In the summer of 1965, Rachel Wainstaff is uprooted from her life in Toronto and her boyfriend to spend a reluctant summer with her family at their secluded cottage at Lone Pine Lake. In this story of self-discovery and young love, Rachel’s joys and disappointments are inextricably tied to making new friends and meeting a special boy, all while dealing with the irritation of her younger sister. Still, the true heart of this piece lies in the complicated relationship the teenaged Rachel has with her mother and father. That Last Summer is a poignant love letter to the lazy, sun-soaked days of an Ontario summer at the cottage.
~ Kim McCullough, author of Clearwater

A sampler FlipBook is now available.

Complete eBooks will be available to purchase soon from the usual online retail sites.

On writing contests

I used to enter writing contests. I quite enjoyed them. In fact, I entered the 3-Day Novel Contest four times since 2008, and I managed to complete three manuscripts and send them in after each contest ended. I never did win at all, but then winning wasn’t the reason I entered – completing a manuscript in 3 days was why I put myself through such a gruelling test. I’m about to ePublish the first of those three, That Last Summer, a novella I’ve been editing and preparing over the 5 years since it was written. This will be the next IslandShorts edition.

I’m mainly writing this blog post today to advise all of my readers that this year’s 3-Day Novel Contest is fast approaching! It will be held over the Labour (minus-a-U if you are American) Day weekend. I’m not entering this year. I am busy, as I said, preparing a manuscript I already have completed. And there are two other novellas that need work and some other short stories, too, from the one year I did not complete my entry. You still have time to enter though! The experience is, shall we say … Exhilarating? And the bonus is you will have a completed first draft, after all is said and done.

I also created this contest, Coffee Shop Author, which is no longer operating, but it was fun while it lasted and I’m still in contact with a few of the entrants and winners. There has been talk lately of creating an entirely new contest based on the same principle of authors being seen writing in public. Stay tuned. You just never know what will happen.

And, finally, I wanted to post this article on entering contests – How not to get Scammed: Strategies for Entering Writing Contests for those of you who do enjoy the thrill of entering but are afraid you may be taken to the cleaners.

Good luck to Everyone with your writing, whether you enter contests or just write!

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Literary salons … a rebirth!

Many of my readers will remember that I was once an Author Impresario who ran a business called Alberta Books Canada. It was my mandate to find new readers for my clients. So, in an attempt to reach a new and different audience, I began hosting the Alberta Books Canada Literary Salon Series, and a number of good friends opened up their private homes to host these events. I wrote a recap of the series here, 2012 – A Year of Alberta Books Canada Literary Salons.

The idea behind this was to bring together authors and readers for the enjoyment of listening to an author read from their own work and to discuss various topics in an informal, comfortable setting. We had some great successes over the year and I do believe that everyone involved – authors, guests, and hosts – enjoyed themselves. I know I did!

So it is with great pleasure I now announce the Rebirth of our literary salons … but this time in Ontario, and eventually on the Internet. The first will be held on the afternoon of Sept. 29th in Minden and we will be sending out invitations soon. (Because these salons are held in private homes, we cannot announce the location publicly, but will send invitations to those who are interested in attending.) This particular salon is being held to launch IslandShorts. It is hoped by the end of September IslandShorts will have four eBooks available in this short fiction series. So Michael Fay and Susan M. Toy (me!) will read from their recently published stories, and they’ll be joined by Bruce Hunter, a poet and novelist who lives in the Toronto area, but who was born in Calgary. (The Calgary connections will be strong at this particular salon as all three readers have lived in that city at one time or another.) For the discussion following, how about if we talk about ePublishing and promoting eBooks?

We will not be Skyping-in anyone – this time, but there is the possibility of expanding this salon concept to eventually include authors from much further away. For instance, I like the idea of hosting a salon held back in Canada while I sit on my verandah in Bequia, sipping on a cold cocktail. Just imagine the possibilities of going global!

Poet, Alice Major, speaking with reader and bookseller, Judy Gardner at the final salon

Poet, Alice Major, speaking with reader and bookseller, Judy Gardner at the final salon

b: Peter Midgley, Kath Maclean, Susan Toy, Geo Takach F. Sue Hill, Alice Major, Cathie Crooks

b: Peter Midgley, Kath Maclean, Susan Toy, Geo Takach
F. Sue Hill, Alice Major, Cathie Crooks

IslandShorts … and we have liftoff!!

I am so very, very pleased to announce the new imprint, IslandShorts, that will be publishing short fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry!

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Seth Godin has written so eloquently – and concisely! – as he always does of what exactly I went through to get this idea off the ground: Proving the skeptics wrong (something I seem to have been doing for most of my life …) and The sweet smell of success (which is how I am feeling right now!)

But I didn’t do this alone, and I want to thank Michael Fay for believing in my idea of ePublishing “singles” in the first place, for all his suggestions and ideas along the way, and especially for being extremely patient as we worked at producing what I believe is a quality publication that many, many people will enjoy reading. After all, there’s no point in just throwing any old thing out there into the world; I wanted something that both I and the authors I plan to publish can be proud of – something to which we all wish to have our names attached.

I have also surrounded myself with experts during the production of these eBooks:

Gina McCreary at Human Powered Design of Calgary provided the formatting, cover and interior design, online sales listings, and general ePublishing expertise;

Rachel Small at Faultless Finish Editing, also located in Calgary, who provided editing and proofreading services;

Artist, Karen Sloan, of Haliburton, ON, a friend of Michael Fay’s who came on board to provide the beautiful cover art for each of Michael’s publications, and wrote about the experience on her blog, Wall Flower Studio Art – Judging a book by its cover …

And Micheal Fay of Minden, ON, has reminisced about his experience of writing this series of short stories and the background to the first publication, Tenderness, in this FlipBook, On Writing Tenderness.

Thanks, as well, to Bruce Hunter and Robert Hilles for reading advance copies and providing endorsements for the first two publications, Tenderness and The Whirlabout.

(I managed this entire project primarily from my home on Bequia in the Caribbean. You’ll notice that all people involved in this publishing endeavour live in diverse locations, and none of us ever found the need to meet as a group, proving that publishing can all be accomplished via the Internet!)

IS_TendernessTenderness is now available to purchase from the following online sales sites:

KINDLEAmazon.ca and Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
KOBO and all other eReaders – Kobo.com
and iTunes

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Watch for future publications from IslandShorts!

The Whirlabout will be available for purchase soon …
That will be followed by The Healer, written by J. Michael Fay and That Last Summer, written by Susan M. Toy.