Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham

Promises to Keep won a 2017 The Very Best! Book Award for Historical Fiction.

during the time of the Acadian expulsion in 1755 (“Le grand dérangement”) from what is now Nova Scotia. Promises to Keep (2017, Simon & Schuster) contains a stronger, deeper story than its romantic cover art might suggest. While there is a strong attraction between the Acadian girl Amélie Belliveau and the English army Corporal Connor MacDonnell, there is little time for any romance for the English army is determined to rid their newly acquired territory of the Acadians as soon as possible.… Continue reading

Deadly Care: A Claire Burke Mystery by Emma Pivato

Deadly Care (2016, Cozy Cat Press) is book #6 in the Claire Burke Mystery series, penned by Edmonton Alberta writer Emma Pivato. It finds Claire Burke and Tia, her best friend and partner in crime-solving, searching for a killer in the nursing home that Tia’s mother Marisa is residing in after her debilitating stroke.  Deadly Care is a “cozy mystery”, a genre that is growing in popularity as an alternative to novels that have become excessively graphic in their depictions of murder, sex, and the overuse of profanity.… Continue reading

New Children’s Picture Books – Spring 2017

It’s always fun getting children’s picture books sent to the Miramichi Reader for consideration. Recently, three colourful and whimsical picture books came across our desk and I’ll let them speak for themselves. The text below is taken from the publisher’s websites. The first two books are published by Creative Book Publishers, the third by Breakwater Books.

Prepare for adventure on the high seas! Elliot wants to catch the biggest fish that anyone has ever seen.… Continue reading

A Boy From Botwood by Pte. A.W. Manuel

“Generals, colonels, majors, and captains have all written books about the First World War, but in the years that have since come and gone, I have never read or even heard of one that was written by a sergeant, a corporal, or a private, the lowly common front-line foot soldier.”

are the words of Private Arthur.W. Manuel who served in the First World War (or the “Great War” as it was then known) with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment from 1914-1919.… Continue reading

Escape Hatch by Gerhard P. Bassler

, Newfoundland & Labrador has had a colourful history, from fishing to a strategic WWII port to today’s tourism business. However, a little-known slice of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) history (outside of the province, that is) is that of Premier Joey Smallwood’s attempt to diversify NL’s industrial base outside of fishing and logging by attracting post-WWII German industries and German immigrants to Canada’s newest province. Smallwood’s plan was an “escape hatch” for German industries fearing what Soviet Russia may have in store, by coming to Canada.… Continue reading

A Matter of Geography by Jasmine D’Costa

Matter of Geography, which was shortlisted in 2015 for the Tuscany Prize for unpublished manuscripts has now been published by Mosaic Press. The story is an impressive one dealing as it does with the religious divisions in India between Muslims and Hindus, the fallout of which affects peoples of other religions such as Christians and Jews. A Matter of Geography takes place in Bombay in 2008-2009 but flashes back in time as Peter, the storyteller here, recalls growing up in the large Billimoria Building with all sorts of families as well as religions.… Continue reading

The Bus by Adam Pottle

a six-hour window on April 21, 1941, The Bus (Quattro Books, 2016) features eight different narrators: six mental patients, the doctor who will kill them, and the man who will burn their corpses. Crammed into a bus with thirty-five others and unable to see out the painted windows, the patients are transferred from the Scheuern institution to the Nazi euthanasia clinic in Hadamar, Germany. (From Quattro Book’s website)

The Third Reich had a policy of mercy killing those deemed “incurables” such as the mental patients Nadja, Frederich, Sebastian, Leopold, Emmerich and Judith, all passengers unknowingly on their way to be gassed in a “shower room”, then cremated.… Continue reading