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FICTION

240 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-77187-120-4
List Price: $19.95

David Doucette

At 46, Miles Hann gives it all up for the little cottage he has built on the slopes of his native Ingonish, Cape Breton. Miles has five times circumnavigated the globe and in his years of wandering has grown weary of man’s work of mendacity and pursuit of pleasure. Mostly though, Miles is tired; even a trip around the harbour is a weighty prospect. He writes himself a letter to express better his commitment to stay away from all, to contemplate the animals of the slope and to try for even one day with no ill thought of others. He does not manage it. For, people climb the hill to his door. They know Miles is a quiet man, a polite man; that Miles has travelled everywhere there is to travel and that he alone must have the answers to the burning questions singeing their hearts. Also — who else is there free like this to drop in on any time you want? No one is who.

Miles listens to every word of how yet again the world has been maligning even these poor gentle folk. And, afterward, though he has told them nothing, each visitor agrees that: yes, Miles Hann is one wise man. On their way back down his hill they agree to it; they stop and turn to his lofty house and say aloud: “Yes! Wise if ever wise there was one. The man bothers with not a soul!” Miles waves his hand and he shakes his head too, turning for his trees: ‘Further proof of the pride,’ he says. ‘And that everyone is a wound.’ The next time that someone comes (and it is every day now), Miles runs for the cover of his trees, to crouch and hide from them. He spies at the same instant the little red fox that had been visiting him: ‘Charlie, the one who found my glasses! the one who now leads me haphazardly up the mountain proper and out onto the beautiful lonesome rockslide scree of a blackening evening. Here is one place I have not been up to in many, many years’, and as he remarks further at its utter forlornness, lurking in the black spruce fringe is a badly starved coyote pack, one grown desperate and bold, one that has killed.

Get the eBook at Kobo, Amazon Kindle, or your favourite eBookstore - See more at: http://tdp.onixedit.com/book?id=1181098&returnurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftdp.onixedit.com%2Fresults%3Ftextandkey%3DHard%2520Old%2520Love#sthash.zlTRbZYa.dpuf

At 46, Miles Hann gives it all up for the little cottage he has built on the slopes of his native Ingonish, Cape Breton. Miles has five times circumnavigated the globe and in his years of wandering has grown weary of man’s work of mendacity and pursuit of pleasure. Mostly though, Miles is tired; even a trip around the harbour is a weighty prospect. He writes himself a letter to express better his commitment to stay away from all, to contemplate the animals of the slope and to try for even one day with no ill thought of others. He does not manage it. For, people climb the hill to his door. They know Miles is a quiet man, a polite man; that Miles has travelled everywhere there is to travel and that he alone must have the answers to the burning questions singeing their hearts. Also — who else is there free like this to drop in on any time you want? No one is who.

Miles listens to every word of how yet again the world has been maligning even these poor gentle folk. And, afterward, though he has told them nothing, each visitor agrees that: yes, Miles Hann is one wise man. On their way back down his hill they agree to it; they stop and turn to his lofty house and say aloud: “Yes! Wise if ever wise there was one. The man bothers with not a soul!” Miles waves his hand and he shakes his head too, turning for his trees: ‘Further proof of the pride,’ he says. ‘And that everyone is a wound.’ The next time that someone comes (and it is every day now), Miles runs for the cover of his trees, to crouch and hide from them. He spies at the same instant the little red fox that had been visiting him: ‘Charlie, the one who found my glasses! the one who now leads me haphazardly up the mountain proper and out onto the beautiful lonesome rockslide scree of a blackening evening. Here is one place I have not been up to in many, many years’, and as he remarks further at its utter forlornness, lurking in the black spruce fringe is a badly starved coyote pack, one grown desperate and bold, one that has killed.

Get the eBook at Kobo, Amazon Kindle, or your favourite eBookstore - See more at: http://tdp.onixedit.com/book?id=1181098&returnurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftdp.onixedit.com%2Fresults%3Ftextandkey%3DHard%2520Old%2520Love#sthash.zlTRbZYa.dpuf

At 46, Miles MacPherson gives it all up for the little cottage he has built on the slopes of his native Ingonish, Cape Breton. Miles has five times circumnavigated the globe and in his years of wandering has grown weary of man’s work of mendacity and pursuit of pleasure. Mostly though, Miles is tired; even a trip around the harbour is a weighty prospect. He writes himself a letter to express better his commitment to stay away from all, to contemplate the animals of the slope and to try for even one day with no ill thought of others. He does not manage it. For, people climb the hill to his door. They know Miles is a quiet man, a polite man; that Miles has travelled everywhere there is to travel and that he alone must have the answers to the burning questions singeing their hearts. Also — who else is there free like this to drop in on any time you want? No one is who.

Miles listens to every word of how yet again the world has been maligning even these poor gentle folk. And, afterward, though he has told them nothing, each visitor agrees that: yes, Miles MacPherson is one wise man. On their way back down his hill they agree to it; they stop and turn to his lofty house and say aloud: “Yes! Wise if ever wise there was one. The man bothers with not a soul!” Miles waves his hand and he shakes his head too, turning for his trees: ‘Further proof of the pride,’ he says. ‘And that everyone is a wound.’ The next time that someone comes (and it is every day now), Miles runs for the cover of his trees, to crouch and hide from them. He spies at the same instant the little red fox that had been visiting him: ‘Charlie, the one who found my glasses! the one who now leads me haphazardly up the mountain proper and out onto the beautiful lonesome rockslide scree of a blackening evening. Here is one place I have not been up to in many, many years’, and as he remarks further at its utter forlornness, lurking in the black spruce fringe is a badly starved coyote pack, one grown desperate and bold, one that has killed.

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NOVEL

312 pages/trade paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-108-2
List Price: $19.95

Lenore Rowntree

Cluck is a darkly comic novel about Henry, an only child whose mother has bipolar disorder. As a teen, Henry becomes a radio junkie lost in the world of music. As a young man, he becomes obsessed with a female DJ whose evening show mysteriously beams out of Idaho and into his car while he’s driving over Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge. Henry has to live his life in the shadow cast by his mother, but he never completely gives up hope that he can find his place. In his thirties, his life slowly starts to open in positive directions, including sporadic success with chicken farming, outsider art (he calls himself a knit reactor), and romance. It’s not until Henry is in his fifties that he comes into his own and feels free to be himself, but not without one final struggle with his own quirkiness.

Cluck was a finalist in The Great BC Novel Contest (2013), and a version of a chapter was shortlisted for a story contest run by the American literary journal Glimmer Train.

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NOVEL

216 pages/trade paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-111-2
List Price: $19.95

Craig Russell

When avalanching glaciers thrust a massive Antarctic ice sheet into the open ocean, the captain of an atomic submarine must risk his vessel to rescue the survivors of a smashed polar research station; in Washington the President’s top advisor scrambles to spin the disaster to suit his master’s political aims; and meanwhile two intrepid newsmen sail south into the storm-lashed Drake Passage to discover the truth.

Onboard the submarine, as the colossal ice sheet begins its drift toward South America and the world begins to take notice, scientists uncover a secret that will threaten the future of America’s military power and change the fate of humanity.

And beneath the human chaos one brave Blue Whale fights for the survival of his species.
 

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NOVEL

384 pages/trade paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-114-3
List Price: $19.95

Bill Stenson

Hanne and Her Brother is a dynamic novel that plays with the distinctions between the light and dark sides of life, and though the subject matter is difficult at times, the tale never strays too far from the light. Stenson writes with whimsy, weaving rich, long sentences to capture the odyssey of Hanne Lemmons. Between her protective father, lack of siblings or friends, and isolated homeschooling, Hanne yearns for a companion to bring drama and excitement to her life. At sixteen, however, she is thrust into a journey of both hardships and personal discovery that takes her across Canada from the Cowichan Valley to Eastend, Saskatchewan.

The novel places Stenson firmly in the vibrant tradition of contemporary writers fascinated by the complexities of small town life. Though this tradition begins with George McKay Brown, Joyce Carey and Dylan Thomas in England, it is extended by our own western Canadian writers Ethel Wilson, Jack Hodgins, and Sandra Birdsell and painters like William Kureluk and E.J. Hughes. These artists create big, boisterous canvases that begin in realism but morph into something more mysterious and funny, a bold, ragged beauty full of character and country.

Stenson is enchanted by the landscapes of British Columbia and the prairies, and in the story, these landscapes are as magical as the characters who struggle to live in them. Hanne Lemmon’s story is a brawling tale of love and loss and strength, set in small towns and villages with a cast of characters as large with life and humour as the landscapes around them. There is a vast love beneath this novel that is contagious and irresistible and there is also a great subtlety to this tale that shudders in a renaissance clockwork beauty. Readers who like W.O. Mitchell, John Irving, Kent Haruf, or Per Petterson, will love Stenson’s new novel.

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short fiction

152 pages/trade paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-77187-117-4
List Price: $18.95

Rea Tarvydas

The short fictions in Rea Tarvydas’ debut collection collectively capture various versions of the expat life that share the feeling of being between two worlds, the experience of being neither here nor there and trying to find a way to fill that space.

The stories follow a kind of “life cycle” of expatriates in Hong Kong, a place often called the “most thrilling city on the planet”. From the hedonistic first days in “How To Pick Up A Maid in Statue Square”, as Fast Eddy instructs on how best to approach Filipina maids on their rest day, through the muted middle in “Rephrasing Kate”, as Kate encounters a charismatic bad boy and is forced to admit her infidelities, to the inevitable end in “The Dirty Duck”, as Bill realizes his inability to commit and resolves to return home to Australia — Hong Kong alters each of these characters with its frenetic mixture of capitalism and exoticism.

Characters exist between the worlds they once knew and this place which now holds them in its spell and shapes them to its ends. Their stories explore how they cope with this space where loneliness and alienation intersect, a place where insomniac young bankers forfeit their ambition by chasing deviant sexual encounters, or consume themselves with climbing the corporate ladder. It is a world where passive domestics live and work for the money they can send home, while their keepers assemble poolside to engage in conversations aroused by the expats’ desire to connect to others who share their fates.
 

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short fiction

204 pages/trade paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-105-1
List Price: $18.95

Judy McCrosky

The collective force of Judy McCrosky’s Lifting Weights is a raw adventure into the unknown. In “Death TV”, we meet a butterfly collector whose explorations into the violent mayhem of television programming draw out society’s preoccupation with watching people die as a source of entertainment. A journalist with a nose for a good story takes us inside the world of “thinking machines” as she tries to discern whether cybernetic horses conform to her dictum that living means being true to your identity. In the surreal tale “Sand Dove”, an unhappy woman leaves her husband and makes her way to a small beach community where she finds an injured bird that conjures for her a sort of baby to compensate for all the miscarriages she has had. In the title story, “Lifting Weights”, Jane and Sandra, future archeologists on an alien planet, have their lives tested in climbing to the surface of a dark underground cavern into which they have fallen. In their quest to survive one of them discovers a new inner strength that had always eluded her, while she solves an ancient mystery as to why the civilization on the planet became extinct.

McCrosky’s imagination knows few limits, though in her quest to entertain in these twelve stories she remains true to her themes of optimism and exploration, while maintaining her central vision that our greatest fears and threats are conquerable.
 

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NOVEL

216 pages/trade paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-123-5
List Price: $19.95

Stephen Henighan

In 1997, Guatemala is emerging from thirty-six years of civil war. Amparo Ajuix, a determined young woman who lives in a Mayan village with her husband, runs a savings club for the local women with the help of an American NGO. Eager to take advantage of Guatemala’s new democracy to strengthen the culture of the Mayan people, she campaigns to switch the language of instruction in the village’s primary school from Spanish to the local language of Cakchiquel.

But Amparo’s life is wracked with tensions. Dona María, an older woman who influences the market where Amparo sells her handicrafts, is jealous of Amparo’s savings club. Amparo’s best friend, Raquel, is a born-again Protestant who disdains Amparo’s devout Catholicism. Yolanda, Amparo’s pretty seventeen-year-old sister, flirts with foreign men in the nearby tourist town of Antigua. Most seriously of all, Amparo’s husband, Eusebio, suspects that he is not the father of her second child, with whom she is pregnant. The erosion of complicity between them poisons their marriage.

In 2003, Amparo works as a teacher in a language school for tourists in Antigua. She is tasked with the special case of a man, whom she calls Ricardo, who wishes to study her native Cakchiquel Mayan language. The experience of teaching this man confronts her with the in-between nature of her own culture. She does not speak Cakchiquel perfectly, as her parents do, yet as a Native person she cannot be completely accepted into Spanish-speaking Guatemalan society, and her Catholicism is mixed with beliefs in traditional Mayan gods. Her crisis about what to preserve and what to discard from her culture is accentuated when her son, Pablito, an enigmatic boy whom she struggles to understand, falls ill.

 

"I think it is extremely hard to write on Mayas by any non-Maya author, not only because of the language, but because of the cosmovision that informs their thinking. Stephen Henighan’s did however an excellent job of dealing with Kaqchikel, and a better job than all non-Maya Guatemalan novelists, with the possible exception of Mario Payeras, in crafting the Maya belief system."

— Dr. Arturo Arias, Prof. of Central American Latin & Mesoamerican Indigenous Cultural Studies, UC Merced

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SHORT FICTION

184 pages / paper

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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-097-9
List Price: $18.95

Daniel Perry

The stories in this collection represent the coming of age of a young writer. His earliest published work is here along with his later more sophisticated literary efforts. Perry’s fiction explores contemporary life mostly in urban centres like Toronto, though they are not bound by this parameter with stories also set in places such as Venice and Nicaragua. The pieces range from dark satirical perspectives to situational ironies and explore a wide variety of events like wedding receptions, poverty, family life, travel, urban fear, dating, and disenfranchisement. The stories fit well into the urban fiction motif and although they frequently carry images of struggle, fatigue, and loss, they move the people who populate them into decisions that offer tense moments of hope and beauty. Not always plot specific, the stories frequently set in motion a paradox or unresolved event with which the reader is left to grapple.


For example, in the story “The Locked Out”, a young man who has been out late must weigh a decision of whether or not to wake his shift-working girlfriend to get into their apartment. The story “I Think I’ll Tell Her Today”, finds a domestic in a complicated sexual relationship with her employer, but the question of who is using whom is not entirely clear. In “The Short Life Of Gary Q Stuffholder”, a young woman attends a wedding party without her boyfriend and wades through various forms of imagined pathos heaped on by the other guests. In the title story “Hamburger”, a man waits in the heat of a restaurant thinking about all the things wrong with his dating life, creating a pictures of distain and self-loathing while a young waitress hovers expectantly.

"The Toronto writer's stories are entertaining, provocative and original." — The Toronto Star

"Tastes in hamburger vary, but as far as this reviwer's palatte is concerned, Perry's shorter pieces are the most successful: narrow slices of contemporary life dealing with characters who seem to have just missed epiphanic moments, as though being late for a bus." — Quill & Quire

"Daniel Perry's stories are confident and nuanced." — The Winnipeg Review

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POETRY

96 pages / paper

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reviews


ISBN: 978-1-77187-104-4
List Price: $17.95

Kelly Shepherd

Kelly Shepherd’s poetry is filled with awe and celebration, sadness, and ironic humour as he explores themes of human relationships with the natural world, including connection, alienation, and the negative impacts of human activity on nature; interspecies kinship — ecological as well as animistic and shamanic; and, intersections of ecology and industry.


Shepherd uses numerous voices and perspectives, and such arrangements bring about a variety of moods. Whether his subjects are starlings or tamaracks, woodchucks or grizzly bears, the ever-present magic of nature guides not only the mode but directs each poem’s tone toward some unique perspective:
Some spiders know the correct use of magic
knots to tie a cluster of Oregon grape
into one single dusty purple berry. If a
black bear swallows it under the right moon
he or she will become a powerful shaman,
able to speak the languages of spiders.


But while there is a dominance of the natural world found in the poems, they also reflect the numerous meanings of the title: a shift of perspective or point of view, physically moving or shifting position, transforming or changing form or physical appearance, shifting gears while driving a vehicle, working the night shift. Living and working on the land and bodily experiences of specific places also have their place in Shepherd’s poems. These portraits ensure a kind of visceral connection or memory to the poems as they invite reader comparisons to their own work experiences.

"Shift is exhilarating, and I count it among the best books of poetry I’ve read in the last two or three years.

Shepherd writes with an unusual blend of understated verve and imaginative bravado, and has emerged as a poet more than ready to feel his way beyond what Northrop Frye once called 'the conquest of nature by an intelligence that does not love it.'” — Mark Dickinson, The Fiddlehead

"Accessible, quiet, reflective with the small particulars in place, SHIFT is a book to restore sanity." — Hannah Main - van der Kamp, Pacific Rim Review of Books

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POETRY

80 pages / paper

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World Rights Available

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ISBN: 978-1-77187-096-2
List Price: $17.95

Carla Braidek

Traditional poetry continues to hold its place in contemporary literature, in part because of the emergence of women whose writing is informed by tradition but whose subject matter crystalizes in the personal search for meaning. This work represents a search through life, querying events and ideas. Thoughts are offered and ideas considered, but no real conclusion is reached as life’s constant flux shifts the perspective and importance of every event. Everyday moments and seemingly inconsequential acts are allowed their due while peace and strength show through the loss and effort.


In the backdrop to the poems, the boreal forest comes alive, poems begin there:
I spent the entire day walking poplar brush and spruce groves
stretched out for a bit in waist-high grass in the meadow beyond the birches
worked my slow way beneath the willows where beaver wore a path
through stones that rim the slough next to Little Winter Lake
And poems end there:
young throats yip
coyote pups on the ridge
beckon the moon as feet slap boards
stretched to the drowning sun
leap into rippled silver


In these poems, the forest, the woman, and the poem share the work for meaning, and this is what creates their beauty as much as the carefully chosen words that convey it.

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POETRY

80 pages / paper

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World Rights Available

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ISBN: 978-1-77187-100-6
List Price: $17.95

Mary Maxwell

These poems in this collection are steeped in loss and lament as they concern the death of the poet’s family members, particularly her father, and the premature death of two brothers two years apart. The collection’s tone is often elegiac, but rarely maudlin, and the clipped narrative is frequently imbued with lyrical strains. The poems are emotional counterpoints to life’s implacable realities and in the resulting response the poet learns that self-recrimination, denial, or anger cannot change the course of events. She teaches us that grief is a singular and deeply emotional experience and the poems convey this intimacy and offer a clear and empathetic path to a very specific emotional wellness.


Excerpt from “House by the Sea”
If the brain is a house by the sea
dementia a storm rising
water rushing in, lifting tables, chairs
family, friends
        float away.
Mute, deaf and blind, the brain
employs the body as translator:
muteness into spoken word
deafness into birdsong
blindness into a vision of heaven.
 

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NOVEL

208 pages / paper / Ages: 13+

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ISBN: 978-1-77187-101-3
List Price: $15.95

K.J. Rankin

The title Stepping into Traffic is a play on words (and a metaphor) reflecting the protagonist’s actions. When we meet Sebastian (Seb) he is already taking risks and putting himself in harm’s way as he and a couple of his friends carry out a failed break and enter and are arrested. As we get to know Seb we discover his life has been a series of bad foster experiences that have left him numb to the memories of his dead parents, and poor in his judgement of how to fit in. Much of his foster care has been damaging to his self-esteem and moral codes. He is not strong and his fears begin to mount.


Awaiting his court appearance, Seb is placed in his eighth foster home in seven years in the company of Mrs. Ford, a foster home caregiver, whom Seb finds familiar and comforting. Memories of his early home life flood him and he begins to find a sense of well-being and trust. However, Seb’s troubles soon reappear in the form of wealthy, manipulative drug dealer Donny Malner. Lured by Donny’s social power and blind to Danny’s ruthlessness, Seb seeks his approval. Soon he is entwined in Danny’s drug-dealing world where violence and lies direct most actions. Though Mrs. Ford continues to stand by him, he knows he is betraying her trust. Soon Seb is caught up in a wave of violent circumstance that neither Mrs. Ford nor his unusual mentor the school janitor, Mr. Frogly, can help him out of.
In a final showdown with Donny and gangland members, Seb must decide what he will do. His dilemma is as great as the fear he faces: engage in the revenge he seeks and lose the closest thing he has had to a home, or stand up to his mistakes, reveal his lies, and accept the consequences. Though he is not ready, Sebastian steps out into the traffic.
 

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