March 2017

Some of the 7,000 Canadians wounded in the battle for Vimy Ridge couldn’t believe their eyes when they were taken from the battlefield following their victory in April 1917. Suddenly, after weeks or months in the front lines knowing no one but their comrades-in-arms, some members of the Canadian Corps awoke to the strangest looking stretcher bearers. Instead of male medics and physicians, they came face-to-face with ambulance personnel such as Grace MacPherson.

Every crime novel begins with a disquieting event, whether in the news or observed, that ferments in the author’s imagination, sometimes, for years before appearing on the pages. The germ of the idea for Shallow End, fourth in the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series, came from my earlier years working as a special education teacher.

For some time now, I’ve been learning to juggle. I’ve pretty much mastered the principle of throwing objects up in the air at different times; it’s just catching them on the way down I’m still having trouble with. Regardless of how high I throw things, they always seem to come back to me at the same time. The same is true of writing a series. I have written one Birder Murder Mystery per year for the last four years and sent them out into the public arena. This is the equivalent of throwing them in the air.

The last thing Gavin McDonald expected when he joined up in 1915 was participating in a massive covert operation in the Great War. Nor did he enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force anticipating that he would serve his country as far underground as he did.

In fact, McDonald, a twenty-five-year-old farmer from Saskatchewan, volunteered as if it were just another chore on his prairie homestead to-do list:

Lately, I have been reading a number of articles by industry experts and journalists espousing the virtues of the sixty-equity, forty-bond allocation. Their reasoning is that There Is No Alternative (TINA) to earn a good return on your hard-earned capital. I know enough to know this advice is more in line with their interests than yours. In 2017, it will only have been ten years since the beginning of the last financial crisis. For someone who is retired, or soon to be, the 60-40 allocation may be very dangerous advice. Here’s why!

We’ve all heard it. The sound of one team sucking. Our team. The Leafs. It usually starts this time of year. And while everything seems rosy for Leafs fans, just wait. The panic will soon set in.

Building in intensity with each defeat until, sometime after the All-Star break, the sound explodes — an internalized shriek like the noise a star might make if you ripped its heart out.

It’s a ritual for us.

A group of women wrapped in furs and warm winter cloaks stands on the quay at Boulogne. Around them surges a blue, red, and khaki sea of French, British, and Belgian soldiers. White-veiled nurses run alongside patients being carried on stretchers onto waiting ships. There are shouts, marching orders, and whistles as the women stand silently watching, absorbing the details of what they are seeing, overcome by the reality that they are on the doorstep of the Great War.

They are the first party of female Canadian journalists allowed into France to visit the lines of communication.

The Best Reads for Commonwealth Day 2017

Posted on March 12 by Kyle in News
As multicultural as Canada is, you have to appreciate the range of new international writers you'll discover from either one of these fantastic reads.As difficult as it was, we pick a few of our favourite stories from each book to entice you further.  For an award-winning collection of short stories

 

I have been quietly sitting here by the phone waiting to be interviewed about my new book, You Can Have a Dog When I’m Dead.

It’s already been three days and the only calls I’ve received are from people asking me to put out used clothing and a man trying to sell me a roof that lasts for one hundred years. Maybe I should have called the book, “I Won’t Need a Roof When I’m Dead”.

Dundurn Publicity Takes on Calgary

Posted on March 8 by Kyle in Events, News

Jaclyn and Kendra headed to Calgary at the end of February for the Alberta Regional Book Fair. While our Ampersand sales team was busy presenting titles to Alberta booksellers, Jaclyn and Kendra were visiting local bookstores, libraries, Chapters stores, and festival contacts!

We kicked off the visit with our Dundurn Breakfast event attended by Calgary authors David Poulsen, Hilliard Macbeth, Shirlee Smith-Matheson, Frank O'Keeffe, and Dennis McConaghy. It was great to meet them in person for the first time and get the low-down on the local book scene.

Women's History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women around the world.

Merna Forster is the author of 100 Canadian Heroines and 100 More Canadian Heroines, the source for all the trivia about to follow. Test what you know of the almost encyclopedic knowledge of Canada's HERstory found in these two books!

Recent articles on the lack of affordable, detached houses in Toronto — and there are many such articles — fail to show proper respect for the elephant in the room: unfettered population growth.

Article after article blames low interest rates, land transfer taxes, red tape, the provincial government’s efforts to protect our greenbelt and all sorts of other “villains” for what is essentially a matter of simple math.

Dundurn in Montreal

Posted on March 6 by Kyle in News

Dundurn hit the road in February to visit booksellers in Montreal for the Montreal Book Fair. Enclosed in their rental Fiat, sales manager Synora Van Drine and publicist Michelle Melski battled snowbanks and cold weather to find what they love most: books and booksellers.

The first stop for Synora and Michelle was Bibliophile, an English-language bookstore that has been in business for over thirty years. Inside those cozy walls is a curated collection that is both intimate and wide-reaching. Be sure to sign up to their newsletter for book reviews!

Modernist Nudes

Posted on March 2 by Evelyn Walters in News

You might want to have a look at the nudes in The Beaver Hall Group and Its Legacy.

Today it is difficult to imagine that at the time they caused such a stir. It was not only their Modernist style, but also their “unbridled sexuality.” Several Beaver Hall artists dared to break academic tradition, which required that the nude be idealized and set in a landscape to counter any sensuality or eroticism.