First Things First: Early and Uncollected Stories by Diane Schoemperlen

Schoemperlen is the award-winning author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction. In 2016, she published is This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications regarding her relationship with a federal inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Diane has lived in Kingston, Ontario, since 1986.

While Ms Schoemperlen has been a published author and one of Canada’s best-known writers of fiction, it was not until I came across This is Not My Life that I was introduced to her work.… Continue reading

Once Upon A Time in West Toronto by Terri Favro

In 2012 Terri Favro’s novella The Proxy Bride (Quattro Books) won the Ken Klonsky Quattro Novella Award. Fellow Inanna author Lisa de Nikolits said of The Proxy Bride: “A beautiful snapshot of a time past and present: a vignette of small town Niagara, home to passionate Italians, their lives portrayed lovingly with sensual prose and operatic lyrical descriptions.”

Once Upon a Time in West Toronto (2017, Inanna Publications) is the sequel to The Proxy Bride, but it is not required reading in order to understand Once Upon a Time in West Toronto.Continue reading

Three Books by Angie Abdou Reviewed

(The following excerpt is reprinted by permission of Consumed by Ink)

I finally decided to pick up one of Angie Abdou’s books this summer. I’ve been meaning to for years now – I wish I could remember what it was that prompted me to do it – it was something I read about her last book, Between. So that’s the one I started with.

I loved it so much, I read The Bone Cage.… Continue reading

The Fiddlehead No.272 Summer 2017

The “all fiction” issue of The Fiddlehead literary journal is packed with an amazing amount of short stories and reviews by authors from all over Canada. I have been working my way through it and I have hit several standout stories: Mrs Flood was Here by Sam Shelstad about a woman trapped in her car by a wolf.  Another is Mandrill in Repose by Richard Cumyn, an established master of the short story and novella.… Continue reading

Homecoming: The Road Less Travelled by Wayne Curtis

Prolific Miramichi author Wayne Curtis, whose most recent collection of fictional short stories was In the Country (2016, Pottersfield Press), has just released a new collection entitled Homecoming: A Road Less Travelled (2017, Pottersfield Press). The book’s thirteen stories, many interrelated, contain the idea of returning to a place either one has escaped from or returning to in order to make amends with those from the past:

“it is like I have to return to that place to see how much of my past was real and how much was an illusion, and if either is still there.” (from “At Mount St.… Continue reading

Pretty Dead (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #7) by Gerry Boyle

Pretty Dead is #7 in the Jack McMorrow Mystery series by Maine author Gerry Boyle. It is a 2016 Islandport Press reissue of the original 2003 edition. Two of his latest books in the series, Once Burned (#10) and Straw Man (#11) was reviewed here in 2016. Of note, Straw Man was the winner of the 2017 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. You know you’re getting a good read with Mr Boyle’s books.… Continue reading

The Widow’s Fire by Paul Butler

The following guest review is by Naomi MacKinnon of the Consumed by Ink blog. She focuses on reading books from Atlantic Canada, but will also read books from other places as well. So you think Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth live happily ever after? Well, Paul Butler wasn’t so sure. He saw a side of Mrs. Smith that the rest of us missed. Is she really the caring, innocent widow that Anne adores, or is she just manipulating us all into thinking she is? … Continue reading