Category Archives: Uncategorized

Put This FREE Book on Your To Do List Before it’s too Late

Here’s author Tim Baker with another FREE download offer … this time for his novel “Unfinished Business”!

blindoggbooks

Don’t you hate it when you know about something really cool, but you can’t talk about it yet?

It’ll drive you crazy.

With that being said, check this out…

For the uninformed in the crowd – Unfinished Business was my 6th novel.

It was well-received, which is nice, but the overwhelming response was that it would make a perfect TV series.

I’ll be honest – when I was writing it, the thought never occurred to me, but in hind-sight I can’t deny it.

The story centers on mortician Meg Seabury.

Due to an unexplained phenomenon she becomes compelled to act on the final thoughts of every corpse she embalms.

Confused at first, she eventually accepts her new reality…until she embalms the body of a convicted murderer whose last thought was revenge on the man responsible for sending him to prison.

Meanwhile, Detective Dave Steere is investigating the murder of…

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🤘 Eternity Began Tomorrow is free all weekend! 🤘

Authors-Readers International author Kevin Brennan​ has a special offer on his latest book – it’s FREE to download this weekend!

WHAT THE HELL

Heads up! All weekend long, Eternity Began Tomorrow is FREE!

I hope you’ll forgive my constant marketing for the next three days, but I’m hoping to move a lot of copies and that those copies garner a lot of new reviews.

Still sittin’ on six reviews, gang.

Anyway. Tell your friends who have Kindles. And remind your friends who don’t have Kindles that they can still read Kindle books on phones and tablets using Amazon’s free app. And tell your friends who hate Amazon that they should lighten up just this once to help a guy out.

EBT. Free.

Weeeeeee!

(And check out this fab review by Berthold Gambrel at A Ruined Chapel By Moonlight.)

Blazes Bolan: Read all about ‘er.

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Keeping the Grass Green; making sure the sun shines on beautiful books

Thank you to Betty Jane Hegerat for her very generous and kind words!

Betty Jane Hegerat

In the process of culling a lot of other possessions to make for a less cluttered home, I eventually ended up at the bookcases. Some years back, it seemed like sacrilege—me, professing to be a disciple of words and story—to discard books. Pass along so others can enjoy them, donate to book sales, pack away in boxes to be reconsidered “at another time.”  Among my treasures, though, were lovely hard cover editions of the likes of Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, To the Lighthouse, The Prophet, The Velveteen Rabbit—you know the ones that are on a special shelf, and in my house, for the most part, gathering dust. Surely there were people to whom I could gift these treasures. When I opened them and turned the pages, they gave off the undeniable scent of “old”; musty dry pages, occasionally a crumbling flower pressed between them, cracked…

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Time for Another Free Book!

I promoted Tim Baker on Dec. 30th as part of my Authors-Readers International series. He’s now offering a free download of one of his novels. so you have a chance to read, for free, and see why I’ve been raving about this guy and his writing all these years!

blindoggbooks

 It’s been a while since I gave away a book – and because a reader left a very nice review of Eyewitness Blues on Amazon today let’s give that one away!

First things first…here is the review:

As any author (independent or otherwise) will tell you – getting a nice review is (in my best Rhode Island vernacular) wicked awesome! It’s arguably why we write…it’s at least one of the top reasons. I wish I could personally thank each and every person who leaves a review, but Amazon keeps the reviewer’s identity private. So this is my way of saying thank you!

About Eyewitness Blues…I remember the moment I came up with the “what if” for the story;

The owner of a local pizza parlor had been arrested for assault after attacking a customer who tried to return a calzone. Come to find out – said pizza parlor…

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this is not a review: this is a list of unexpected literary connections having to do with escape, rum, and well-intentioned budinskis

Thanks to Carin Makuz for this outstanding not-a-review of my novel, “One Woman’s Island”!

Matilda Magtree

Somewhere in the process of my December reading it occurs to me that three very different and unlikely books share a series of similar elements.

Don’t you just love it when that happens, when you think… rum, again?? And it all begins to feel like a kind of reading serendipity is happening.

It begins with The Book of Eve, by Constance Beresford-Howe. Written in 1973… it remains the classic, in my opinion, running away story. Woman fed up with boorish husband, chooses instead to live in a damp bare bones Montreal basement apartment, with a feral cat outside a window that’s impossible to open and a slightly mad, slightly inspiring Hungarian living upstairs. Hard to see as uplifting but of course it is. She is free, not of life’s yins and yangs, but free of those yins and yangs where the source is boorishness and which grate as intolerable…

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A slide show of promo photos …

Griz sitting within the magic circle of books; Zoom waiting for her turn to enter …

This is a test. Do not adjust your sets.

I created a Power Point Presentation in order to see whether:
A) I could still remember how to make one
B) It was a good way of promoting my books and those by other authors
C) I could sort out and put into order some of the ginormous number of photos I’ve taken and received from friends over the years

I could not post the file as-is to social media, so I figured I would post it first to my blog. This way I can also include information about each photo, as adding captions to each individual photo in the presentation itself is far beyond my capabilities!

So click on this link and have a look through the photos. Explanations are below.

Presentation1

(You may need to fiddle with this a bit to get it to run as a slide show …)

Island in the Clouds/One Woman’s Island

  1. at Malvern Collegiate Institute, Toronto – my high school!
  2. in a bookstore with Connie Flanagan
  3. with Darcie Hossack’s literate cat
  4. with Lori Hanel
  5. at When Words Collide, Calgary, with the Tropical Shirt Guys
  6. with Detlef Karthaus and his books
  7. on editor Rachel Small’s computer screen
  8. with Margaret Atwood
  9. Sharon Wilson enjoying an Island in the Clouds Alcoholic Beverage, recipe in One Woman’s Island
  10. with The Queen’s Bands (photo by Jeff Chan)
  11. with Ivona Bradley at Lower Bay, Bequia
  12. at The Lookout Villa, Bequia (owned and operated by Chris-Lou Smullen)
  13. with my Belgian cousin, Stefaan de Tavenier
  14. with my sister Betty at Christmas
  15. with a Klingon, introduced to me by Paul Carreau

 

..okay, published the autobiography… time to start the rest of my life!

I’m very much looking forward to reading this newly released autobiography by an extremely good online friend who also happens to be a GREAT writer, Mr. Seumas Gallacher! Seumas is also a terrific support and tireless promoter of all we other scribes. Thank you for writing, Seumas!

via ..okay, published the autobiography… time to start the rest of my life!

2018 … A Year of Reading – Part 2

This is a continuation of a blog post that began here

Non-Fiction

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling et al (Definitely one of the very best books I read this year.)

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams
Juliet’s Answer: One Man’s Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak by Glenn Dixon (I know the author)
The Unravelling: How Our Caregiving Safety Net Came Unstrung and We Were Left Grasping At Threads, Struggling to Plait a New One and Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness by Clem Martini (I know the author)
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffee

Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense by Marcello Di Cintio
(I know this author)

Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries by Gail Bowen (I know the author)
Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn
The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table With My Heroes by Rick Bass
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life by Richard Russo

Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries From A Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston
In Other Words: How I Fell in Love With Canada One Book At a Time by Anna Porter (I was a sales rep for Key Porter Books for many years so I know the author)
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott
Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Non-Fiction – Political

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Anderson

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein
Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey
Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff, David Corn (Reading this book led to a lot of others books that Dennis and I are either reading or have read.)

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (While technically this is a novel and should be listed in the fiction section, I read it because of it’s political connection to day. It was originally published in 1935, but the story is very contemporary.)
America: the Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges

The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity by Sally Kohn

Children’s Books

Everybody’s Different on Everybody Street by Sheree Fitch, Emma Fitzgerald (illustrator) (I know this author)

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Pete the Cat Series by Eric Litwin
The Alphabet Thief by Bill Richardson, Roxanna Bikadoroff (illus)
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan, Eric Fan

 

Anna at the Art Museum by Hazel Hutchins (I know this author, but have never been able to beat her at Scrabble!), Gail Herbert, Lil Crump (Illustrator)

 

Old Favourite Children’s Books

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Angus and the Cat by Marjorie Flack
The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

2018 … A Year of Reading – Part 1

I didn’t set out to do this, but 2018 turned out to be a perfect storm of reading for me! I read more books during this past year than I believe I have in any other year before. And I enjoyed my time reading, too. It never felt like work at all, because I didn’t set a target number of books to read. I just kept reading books as they came to me … either from my own shelves, or given to me by other readers, or won in giveaways, or – the way I received most of what I read – borrowed from the library!

I didn’t enjoy every book I began reading, and I didn’t keep track of those I abandoned, but I do know there were quite a few. Some were highly praised and award-winners, but I discovered they just weren’t for me.

I read a large number of non-fiction books this year, more that I normally would, primarily because I read a lot of political books, trying to keep up with what’s been going on in this crazy world. I also read several very good biographies of musicians and one extremely accomplished and inspiring woman. Books on travel, writing, and even several generally inspiring books rounded out the non-fiction titles.

I began collecting some of my old favourite children’s books with the idea of creating my own permanent library. These were the books I remembered borrowing most often from the local library branch where I grew up in Toronto.

Beaches Branch, Toronto Public Library
(archival photo)

Many of these books were originally published in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Children’s publishing didn’t become a big thing it seems until after I was finished with reading them. This is something I recommend that all readers do now, as you grow older. Go back and look for the books you read as a child. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful memories and pleasure this simple act will bring back to you.

Far and away the biggest number of books I read though were fiction – novels, short stories, novellas, graphic novels – and one book of poetry. That’s because this is what I enjoy reading most often, and I always have.

Rather than list my Favourite Books I Read in 2018, I decided to just list whatever I enjoyed reading in no particular order other than those divisions I listed above. These are all books, however, that I rated on Goodreads as being 5-star, in my estimation. There are a few books that were worthy of more than 5 stars though and I have marked them by including their covers. Full disclosure: I’ve also mentioned if I happen to know (in person or online) or have previously met the author. Just so you know, I had good reason to read these books of theirs and my interest was often personal.

(All links will take you to the Goodreads listing for each title.)

Fiction

Setting Free the Kites by Alex George (This is one of the top books I read this year,
and by a new-to-me American author)

The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson (I know the author)
And Then the Sky Exploded and Last Song Sung by David A. Poulsen (I know the author)
The Dry and Force of Nature by Jane Harper (I thought so highly of this new-to-me Australian author’s series that I already have a hold at the library for the soon-to-be-released third novel, The Lost Man)
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan
Deal of a Lifetime and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (I have and will continue to read everything by this author!)


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Return to Hiroshima and Heart Fever by Bob Van Laerhoven (I know the author online)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye
Mr. Flood’s Last Resort by Jess Kidd
Once Upon a Night by J.F. Kaufmann (I know the author.)
Summer Hours at the Robber’s Library by Sue Halpern
A Darkness of the Heart by Gail Bowen (I definitely know this author!)
Indian Horse and Starlight by Richard Wagamese (I met the author)

The Overstory by Richard Powers (One of the best books I read this year that led to me reading non-fiction books about trees and looking at trees in a completely different way.)

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
The Best We Could Do by Tui Bhi (This is a graphic novel.)
The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones (I know the author)
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Where’s Bob? by Ann Ireland (I knew this author who was one of my writing instructors and sadly died in Sept.)

Doomed to Repeat and 24 Minutes by Tim Baker
(I know the author online and helped with beta-reading and editing advice)

Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion
The Washington Decree by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Kerouac’s Ghost by Ken McGoogan (I know the author)
Redeeming Brother Murrihy: The River to Hiruharama by Antony Millan (I know the author online)

The Storm by Arif Anwar (This novel by a new-to-me author was outstanding in every way!
Thanks to fellow author Ranjini George for recommending to me.
I now know the author online.)

The Flame by Leonard Cohen (I have met the author)
Gone to Pot by Jennifer Craig
Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page

House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag
(An excellent novel involving books, readers, reading … and ghosts!)

(Blog Post Continued in Part 2)

Readers … resolve to read more in 2019!

HUGE THANKS to Allan Hudson for hosting me once again on his blog, South Branch Scribbler!
Following is much of that original post. Please visit Allan’s link to read in its entirety.

 

I am a reader and I read a lot of books! No matter how many I read however I never seem to catch up with my ginormous to-be-read stack/list of books. Even though I try to follow Dr. Seuss’s advice:

I never manage to come even close to catching up.

But then that’s part of the fun in reading, isn’t it? The search for new books to read, test-driving new authors’ writing, the joy in “discovering” a new-to-you book or even a genre that you’ve never read before. I’ve spent my entire life reading and working with books and authors and am an author now myself, yet I never tire of reading, thinking about, discussing, recommending and discovering new books!

I know there are many others out there just like me, too, so that’s why I say to you now – Make it your New Year’s resolution to read even more in 2019! You don’t need to count the books you do read, or compare numbers you’ve read with others. We are all different, we readers, not only in how fast we can read, but also in when and where we like to read, how we approach our reading, and even why or what we read in the first place. So no judgement calls here at all, folks! Just the suggestion that if you enjoy reading, you might want to make it a priority in your life to read even more.  I won’t go into the many ways that you can make more time to read. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.

To help other readers along a little bit with suggestions as to what they might consider reading, I recently created a Facebook Group Your next great read … suggestions for readers and authors that I hope will not only generate lists of books and authors for other readers to enjoy reading, but also some discussion about books and reading in general. It’s an open group and anyone may join – authors too, because authors are (or should be!!) readers themselves. Self-promotion is allowed, but authors are requested to contribute information on other books and authors, as well. I would love to see – eventually – a large membership of readers from all around the world (and we already have the beginnings of an international group) who benefit from the reading experience of everyone. I’m particularly interested in world literature (although only what is available in English, in my case) so I would love to hear about authors in other countries, especially non-English-speaking, who are publishing books that are available in English translation. I know other members already contributing to the site are also interested in particular genres or types of writing. Why not join us and see if you find something new-to-you that becomes Your Next Great Read!

So, Readers, are you ready to resolve to read more in 2019? I hope so, and that you will consider joining us. And, if you’re not on Facebook but are still looking for ways to encourage yourself to stick with this resolution of reading more, I suggest you consider following these blogs …

(This one, of course!) Allan Hudson’s South Branch Scribbler

Seumas Gallacher’s blog

And my own blog, Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing (I’m planning on writing a series, actually, about all the How, When, Why, Where, What, and Who on reading – subscribe to my blog and Stay Tuned!)

I mention these blogs primarily because we three authors make a habit of promoting other authors and their books. We also all write or have written about writing and publishing as self-published authors and we reblog interesting articles and blog posts written by other authors as well. As my personal interest has swayed from selling books to finding more readers for writing in general, I’ve written a number of posts aimed at readers (as well as addressing directly authors who continue to promote their own work too much!). You might find something interesting in one of these articles:

Why not read books simply because they’re well-written?

A challenge to all Readers …

HOW to get promotion for yourself and your book …