Sunday, February 24, 2019

Book Review: The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson (literary fiction)

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shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

In The Saturday Night Ghost Club, protagonist Jake Baker looks back on his boyhood relationship with his uncle Calvin.
My uncle owned a shop, the Occultorium, at the top of Clifton Hill.The name was spelled out in Gothic lettering on the marquee, while below, in elegant script, the slogan--Investigating the dark cubbyholes of otherworldly experience... (p. 32) 
In the 1980s, the year Jake turned twelve years old, he spent the summer chasing ghosts with his uncle. Was his uncle teaching him to deal with his fears or was something else going on? (Adult Jake--with the perspective time has bought him--believes that his uncle was trying to deal with his own nightmares.)

Jake grows during the course of the summer. He learns to confront his fear and stand-up for himself.

Published by Knopf Canada
Published in 2018

Under the pen names Patrick Lestewka and Nick Cutter, Craig Davidson writes horror. The Saturday Night Ghost Club--literary fiction--includes some tantalizing scary scenes and in this way serves as an introduction to his other work.

 Freedom to Read

Celebrate the 35th anniversary of Freedom to Read from February 24 to March 2
Freedom to Read week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom...

Click this link to find out more.

photo by ldyck

March on this blog...

In like a lamb
and out like a loin
In like a loin
and out like a lamb

Whatever the weather we'll have fun. We'll start the month with a list of Canadian picture book publishers. The ink is still wet on the short story and poem I wrote for you. And I've reviewed two prize-winning books:  Washington Black by Esi Edugyan and A Wake for the Dreamland by Laurel Deedrick-Mayne. I'm looking forward to spending March with you.

photo by ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

This month a writing group invited me to talk about my author journey. My goal was to provide information drawn from

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Answering Machine (short story) by Leanne Dyck

A romantic relationship fizzles away--when you finally let go and move on.

photo by ldyck

Answering Machine

He said, "I don't love you anymore." and walked away.

Leaving me in this hollow, soulless void. Leaving me.

No more warm embraces... No more passionate kisses... No more.

When the longing becomes unbearable I dial the familiar numbers. All I need is his voice.

"This is Micheal Richmond. Wait for the tone and then give me your name, number, and message."

I never wait. And I don't phone every night--maybe every second. Two sentences and I no longer feel alone.

But tonight I hear, "Heather, I know it's you."

I freeze. I can't breathe. I have no voice.

"Stop phoning me. You need to get a life."

And I know he's right.

Next Post...

Sunday, February 24 at approximately 5 PM PT

Book Review:  
The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

about a boy's relationship with his uncle

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Book Review: The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles: a love story by Laura Fahrenthold (memoir)

Laura Fahrenthold and her husband Mark Pittman were soulmates.
Mark Pittman the award-winning reporter whose flight to make the Federal Reserve more accountable to taxpayers led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died November 25, 2009 in Yonkers, New York. He was 52.
(p. 49)
How do you carry on when the glue that held your life together is gone? 

Mark's death leaves Laura directionless and overwhelmed. Then she meets the "Deli man" who tells her...
"A change of scenery is good for people, you know... It can make you remember who you are and help decide a new direction in life." (p. 92)
Laura puts her husband's ashes in a box, buys Harvey the RV and together with her teenage daughters, travels to parts of the United States and eastern Canada. To pay tribute to Mark's memory, they sprinkling Mark's ashes. But some of the places Laura chooses to sprinkle are unsettling, for example, on food she serves at a party.
This is what happens when you take your husband's ashes on the road. You meet the kindest of strangers, people who will forever hold an incredibly important place in your heart and family's history and who will never be forgotten.
They are the teachers. (p. 129 - 130) 

Grief is a long process and this book spans four years but Laura eventually is able to let Mark go.
[L]ove guides us even when we sometimes feel hopeless and lost. (p. 281)

Laura writes honestly and openly about the many varied shades of grief. She has the gift of being able to add humour to heart crunching scenes. 

I received my copy of this book from Penguin Random House Canada. 

Published by 
 Penguin Random House/Hatherleigh Press

Follow Author Laura Fahrenthold on Facebook

Next Post...

Sunday, February 17 at approximately 5 PM PT

Answering Machine (short story) by Leanne Dyck

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Literary retreats--a world full (list) by Leanne Dyck

A list of literary retreats--just you and your writing in North America or Europe or Australia.

And writers flew away with their pens to...

photo by ldyck


Vancouver Island
application deadline:  February 20

Dawson City, Yukon
a variety of dates

Pelee Island, Ontario
spring application deadline:  April 15
fall application deadline:  August 15

Toronto, Ontario
application deadline:  June 7

United States









Next Post

Sunday, February 10 (at approximately 5 PM PT)

The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles by Laura Fahrenthold

a memoir -- a tribute to enduring love.