Halifax, Nova Scotia

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Halifax Central Library | 10am - 3pm

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    Since 1990, The Word On The Street has proudly hosted some of the finest talent in Canadian literature.   Plans for our 2018 Festival our now underway and our call for author submissions is now open!

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Joseph M.A. Ballard - Historic House Names of Nova Scotia

Mount Uniacke, Acacia Grove, Winckworth, Saint’s Rest, Spruce Tree Cottage. Ever wonder how Nova Scotia houses got their names? The better-known names are largely connected with prominent historical figures who resided in commodious homes with sprawling grounds, but the naming tradition was far more prevalent than that. In this book, the author explains that a “hurst” is a wooded eminence, a hillock, or a grove, and this suffix lends an air of nobility to a property—Springhurst in Maitland, Lindenhurst in Halifax, and the ubiquitous Elmhurst, which appears in various communities.

Named houses have a certain essence and vitality about them. Named or not, places do possess character—and putting a name to something that exhibits character makes sense on some level. Historic House Names of Nova Scotia provides a fascinating look at the house-naming tradition in Nova Scotia. What sorts of names did Bluenoses create, and what did the names mean? Author and historian Joe Ballard has amassed a wealth of historical information and photos on the subject.

Joseph M. A. Ballard is a senior preservation consultant with the cultural resource firm, Vineberg & Fulton Ltd. and VP market development with the MIRCS Institute. Joseph has associations with several heritage organizations including past-president of Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, member of the Town of Truro Heritage Advisory Committee, past-president of the Colchester Historical Society, director with the Friends of the Little White Schoolhouse Museum, steering committee member of the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Conference, and member of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. His articles on Nova Scotia’s cultural and architectural heritage have appeared in Saltscapes and Edifice. He is the recipient of the 2012 Town of Truro Heritage Award and 2016 Helen Creighton Folklore Society Research Grant. Joseph had two books published in 2018, Fairy Dells and Rustic Bowers (SSP Publishing) and Historic House Names of Nova Scotia (Nimbus Publishing).

Janet Barkhouse - Salt Fires

Salt Fires is a volume of poems that embrace and reflect our human consciousness: our awareness, our blindness, our Shadow, our mythologies. They invite us to look at ourselves in ways that often are disconcerting, sometimes startling. Love of land infuses Salt Fires. Intimately inhabited and passionately shared, Nova Scotia’s farms, woods, and shores reveal themselves to be our Earth in microcosm.

A suite of Sable Island poems closes the book and affirms this notion—Sable Island, a strip of sand in a vast ocean, impossible, yet somehow here, like our planet, rich in life and beauty. This is the work of a mature poet who examines moral blindness and human frailties by inhabiting the experiences of the poems’ speakers with vulnerability and honesty. Accessible, clear, and alive with music, the poems inform and incite.

JANET BARKHOUSE has retired from several fascinating worlds, including theatre, academe, education. Her most recent books are Sable Island — Imagine! and Pit Pony: The Picture Book. She lives in Clearland, Nova Scotia.

Wanda Baxter - If I Had an Old House on the East Coast

If I had an old house on the East Coast I would fall in love at first sight.
It would grab me by the heart, and not let go.

With introspection and deep appreciation for the East Coast, this inspirational gift book shares a dream, in words and images, of falling in love with an old house and breathing new life into it. Exploring, with lyrical prose, everything from an old house’s foundation to its layers of antique wallpaper to its decades-old gardens bursting with wildflowers, this lyrical book is a love letter to a vanishing way of life. Fully illustrated with gentle watercolours from celebrated local artist Kat Frick Miller, If I Had an Old House on the East Coast also includes practical tips for the old-home-owner, from how to clear your home of ghosts to instructions for making rosehip jelly and maple syrup

Wanda Baxter lives on an old farmstead in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, with her long-time partner, Randy, and two happy cats. When she bought an old farmhouse in 2005 her father asked, “Why in the world would you buy an old house?”; sometimes she wonders. Built in 1783, the old house is an endless project, but it is also magical. Wanda has Masters degrees in English (with Creative Writing) and Environmental Design, and works as an environmental consultant. She is a long-time member of the band Cut, Split and Delivered and she feels honoured to have had the chance to work with Kat Frick Miller on this book.

Paul Bennett - Turning Points: 15 Pivotal Moments in Nova Scotia's History

Paul Bennett tells the history of Nova Scotia through 15 key turning points. From Nova Scotia’s problems with Confederation to wartime Halifax, the Springhill Mining Disaster, Viola Desmond and Ray Ivany’s ‘Now or Never’ report, Bennett recounts these decisive moments that have shaped the province’s destiny.

With rarely seen photography, Bennett shows how these turning points helped define the Nova Scotia we live in today. Each episode helped forge the province’s identity, change its trajectory, and shape its collective sense of purpose.

Dr. Paul W. Bennett, Ed.D. is a Halifax author, education policy researcher, and well-known news commentator. He is director of Schoolhouse Institute, founding Chair of researchED Canada, and the author of nine books. His blog, Educhatter, was honoured in 2018 with the Gold Medal as Top Education Blog in Canada.

Kris Bertin - Use Your Imagination!

A woman becomes obsessed with a story about her family from 1890—when a naked, mute girl stumbled onto their property—and whether or not it really happened. A self-help guru and his chief strategist take their most affluent and unstable clients on a harrowing nature hike that destroys their company. A young convict in a prison creative writing class chronicles the rise and fall of his cellblock’s resident peacemaker. A rural neighbourhood becomes obsessed by the coming of a strange and powerful new homeowner who is in the middle of reinventing herself.

The stories of Use Your Imagination! are about stories, about the way we define and give shape to ourselves through all kinds of narratives, true or not. In seven long stories, Kris Bertin examines the complex labyrinth of lies, delusions, compromise, and fabrication that makes up our personal history and mythology. Sometimes funny, strange, or frightening, these stories represent Bertin’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed, award-winning debut, Bad Things Happen.

Kris Bertin is a writer of from Halifax, NS. His first book of short stories, BAD THINGS HAPPEN, won the Writers’ Union of Canada’s 2017 Danuta Gleed Award and the ReLit Award for short fiction. Kris’s graphic novel (illustrated by Alexander Forbes) THE CASE OF THE MISSING MEN, published in 2017 by Conundrum Press, was nominated for a Doug Wright Award.

Anne Bishop - Under the Bridge

When stress causes an old trauma to surface, Lucy, a longtime community organizer, teacher and anti-poverty activist, loses control of her life. On probation and living on the streets of Halifax’s North End, all she has left is friends. Faithful friends like Judith, her lawyer, who is helping her take back her life.

Lucy begins to regularly sneak into Judith’s basement to take refuge from the cold, but Lucy’s presence in the house betrays their friendship, and she uncovers mysteries from Judith’s past. As events draw their lives closer, Lucy and Judith are forced to face the toll taken by their secrets. Each of them must choose between confronting past pain or remaining broken.

Anne Bishop has been an activist for four decades in organizations dedicated to local, international, environmental, food, fibre and LGBT justice. Before she reached pension age, her living came from adult education, facilitation, research, writing and editing with a particular love for teaching equity and community leadership. Anne and her partner operate a small farm, raising sheep, chickens, vegetables, berries and tree fruit. She is addicted to spinning and knitting wool.

Stella Bowles - My River: Cleaning Up the LaHave River

Stella Bowles prompted action for the clean up of Nova Scotia’s LaHave River, which contains alarmingly high levels of fecal contamination. Because of her work, three levels of government have allocated $15.7 million dollars to address the problem of illegal straight pipes that still drain raw sewage from over 600 homes along the river.
Three years since her initial research, Stella continues to be an advocate for the elimination of illegal straight pipes province wide. She has teamed up with Coastal Action Foundation and together they will be starting a campaign to train other kids to become citizen scientists and test their own waterways, across the province.
Stella has won many awards including the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada and the Action for Nature International Young Hero’s Award from California.
Also, Stella’s story is now a book, My River: Cleaning up the LaHave River, written by Anne Laurel Carter. Stella hopes her story will inspire other youth to become advocates for issues they care about.

“I’ve learned that kids do have the power to make change,” says Stella. “And I’m just getting started.”

Linda Brooks - Orchestra in My Garden: Lessons Learned from Digging Deep

ORCHESTRA IN MY GARDEN: Lessons Learned From Digging Deep shares the author’s journey of gardening, motherhood and creativity in 17 essayed reflections on the garden as a metaphor for life. Brimming with warmth, insight and wit it beautifully brings together personal and relatable essays, gardening tips, stunning photos from Linda’s own 14 year garden, and 22 original and thematically linked songs included as a free download, all reflecting the life lessons learned from literally digging deep.

ORCHESTRA IN MY GARDEN: Lessons Learned From Digging Deep marks Linda’s first turn as an author. She grew up on a third generation farm in New Brunswich, is an ECMA nominated musician with five albums of original work to her credit and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Allison University and a law degree from Dalhousie Law School.
Linda was formally recognized by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 2012 for inspiring recording work and positivity as an artist.

Michelle Brown - Safe Words

From a student’s confrontation with a teenage streaker, to a company man’s complete undoing at his summer party, Michelle Brown’s Safe Words finds rich darkness in happy partnerships. A maiden name is “handed down / like a sweater”, a taxi ride “ends… at someone else’s life”. Played against a backdrop of pop culture, late-night swagger and vivid imaginary landscapes, Safe Words is the rare poetic debut that delivers passion and control, wielding humour and empathy in equal parts.

Michelle Brown’s poetry has been published in The Walrus, Malahat Review, Arc, CV2, Grain, Prism and The Puritan, amongst others. A runner-up for CV2’s Young Buck prize and the CBC poetry prize, Safe Words (Palimpsest Press, 2018) is her first full-length collection. She lives in Toronto with her husband and dog Bo, where she works as a copywriter and runs an online fabric store.

Ronald Caplan - A Stone for Andrew Dunphy

Award-winning interviewer Ronald Caplan has finally written his own book— a personal account of his search for song and obituary poetry and the tools for community survival in northern Cape Breton. Caplan shares his journey through northern Cape Breton as he learned about the in-home singing tradition and the community’s extraordinary devotion to the poet Andrew Dunphy—a person who might in other places have been an outcast. Dunphy roamed northern Cape Breton, sharing the news, nursing the sick, often caring for small children. He was loved everywhere. And he wrote magnificent poems that, with great respect, his neighbours turned into popular song.  One hundred years later, with obvious affection,. Told in the words of those who knew Andrew Dunphy, including singer Helen Curtis, esteemed fiddler Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald, historian and storyteller Bob Fitzgerald. and Dunphy’s close friend George Rambeau—in A Stone for Andrew Dunphy Caplan tells of the robust life that flourished in the Aspy Bay region as the 20th century dawned.

Editor of several collections, Caplan is the author of A Stone for Andrew Dunphy—Narrative Obituary Verse and Song in Northern Cape Breton.  Caplan created Cape Breton’s Magazine in 1972 and, since then, has devoted himself to photographing and interviewing people in all parts of the island. The magazine ran from 1972 until 1999 and is now available at www.capebretonsmagazine.com. In 1986, Caplan started publishing Breton Books, a company devoted to new and classic books mostly by Cape Breton writers and on Cape Breton subjects.For his contribution to Cape Breton culture, he has received several awards, including Nova Scotia’s Cultural Life Award and the Order of Canada.

Cate Carlyle - #NotReadyToDie

Ginny’s life suddenly comes to a screeching halt one fateful Monday when a shooter shows up at Southwestern High during first period. In lockdown with both the homeroom sub and her secret crush Owen badly wounded, Ginny finds herself teamed up with Kayla, one of the “Barbies.” Together, they must try to keep their classmates alive amid terror and pain…and there’s only one thing Ginny knows for sure: no one is making it out unchanged.

Cate began her career as a teacher and transitioned to work in school, academic and public libraries. Currently the curriculum resource coordinator at a Halifax university, Cate also reviews books for CM Magazine. Cate’s first book,
“Your Passport to International Librarianship” chronicled her international volunteer work and she has also had her fictional short stories published and shortlisted. Her first YA novel #NotReadyToDie will be released in 2019 by Common Deer Press.

Lesley Choyce - The Thing You're Good At

Jake’s friend Maria is the daughter of undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the country for a long time. But the new government has implemented a crackdown. Maria’s parents are detained and quickly sent out of the country. Maria, who was born here, decides to hide out in Jake’s basement rather than risk becoming a ward of the state. But when she returns to her old apartment to retrieve her hidden birth certificate, Maria is abducted by young men on the lookout for teenage girls who have lost their parents to deportation. Jake is determined to rescue Maria before she’s turned over to the authorities. Or worse.

Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of more than ninety books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He has won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal, the White Pine Award, the Hackmatack Award, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award and, most recently, the Governor General’s Award.

Briana Corr Scott - She Dreams of Sable Island

Nova Scotia–based paper-doll artist Briana Corr Scott’s first children’s picture book explores the wilds of the childhood imagination and of the shape-shifting Sable Island.

Written as a gentle, lyrical poem, She Dreams of Sable Island is a wonderful read-aloud for bedtime, and a fact-filled exploration for curious readers who dream of adventuring to one of Nova Scotia’s most remarkable—and untouched—landscapes. Includes an illustrated map of Sable Island, descriptions of flora and fauna found on the island, a paper doll and accessories—even a Sable Island horse!

BRIANA CORR SCOTT was born in Salem, MA, and grew up in New Hampshire. Her love of painting began early in life, and
continued during her studies at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in 2006, where she lives with her husband and three young children. She now works from a home studio, and her paintings and poems are inspired by the natural world, particularly the Nova Scotia coast. She Dreams of Sable Island is her first book.

John Cunningham - Where Duty Lies: a New Brunswick Soldier in the Trenches of World War I

Frank Grimmer did not set out to earn honours on the field of battle nor did he readily choose to go to war. World powers were shifting. The future of nations was deemed dependant on their armies. It was left to the young men to face the gunfire of other young men who could have been friends under the right circumstances and in times of peace. Where Duty Lies tells the story of how a 23-year-old St. Andrews, New Brunswick, man ended up in the quicksand-like mud of Passchendaele labouring under heavy artillery fire helping construct supply lines that supported the Canadian advance during the Third Battle of Ypres, often referred to as the most horrific in a war of horrific battles.

Frank’s call to the trenches came as the guns pounding Vimy Ridge could be heard on the coast of England. Eager to prove himself, he volunteered to join the battle force badly cut down during Canada’s warfare with the Germans in France. Here he found himself often deprived of the guns and ammunition to advance or defend himself. But with the other “pioneers” he stayed on the job amidst the blasts of high explosives.

In the hours leading up to the launch of the Canadian assault on Passchendaele Ridge, Frank, thrown several yards by an artillery blast, went on to do all in his power to “render aid” to the wounded and those who died. His bravery earned him the Military Medal—and a thousand nights of torment remembering the violence of the events.
John Cunningham,is a retired journalist and amateur military historian living in Bridgewater, N.S. A 1962 Acadia Science graduate, he began a wide-ranging 37-year media career with the Saint John Telegraph-Journal and The Evening Times-Globe. He also worked at Radio-TV Station, CHSJ, Saint John, and the Toronto bureau of The Canadian Press and The Bridgewater Bulletin. During the 1980s, his stories appeared in many regional magazines, including Atlantic Advocate, Halifax Magazine, Atlantic Insight and The NovaScotian. He also contributed items to Lookout Magazine, Life and Leisure on the Costa Del Sol, while living two years in Malaga,Spain. An amateur musician, Cunningham plays drums with the Mahone Bay Legion and Mersey Swing Bands and is a former member of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band. He and his wife Mary have a cottage near Saint Andrews, N.B.

Alison DeLory - Making it Home

Tinker Gordon doesn’t want anything to change. He thinks that if he holds on tightly enough, his family, his tiny Cape Breton Island community, his very world will stay exactly the way it has always been. But explosions large and small—a world away, in the Middle East, in the land of opportunity in western Canada, and in his own home in Falkirk Cove—threaten to turn everything Tinker has ever known upside down.

Set variously in the heart of rural Cape Breton, on the war-torn streets of Aleppo and in a Turkish refugee camp, in the new wild west frontier of the Alberta oil patch, and in a tiny apartment in downtown Toronto, Tinker’s family, friends, and neighbours new and old must find a way to make it home.

In her adult fiction debut, Alison DeLory ponders a question as relevant in Atlantic Canada as anywhere in the world: where and how do we belong, and what does it take to make it home?

Alison DeLory is a writer, editor, and teacher living in Halifax. She has been writing stories for newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms for 20 years. She’s also written two children’s chapter books and contributed to several anthologies. Making it Home is her first novel.

Devonna Edwards - Sawbones: Hospitals, Institutions, Medicine and Nursing

A fascinating non-fiction history in photography & prose by nurse/author Devonna Edwards of the evolution of hospitals and related institutions in HRM (oldest & most specialized hospitals in NS). 269 years from the founding of Halifax to 2018; parallels the story of disease & medicine and how medical doctors and nurses evolved as professions to cope with the ever-changing threats from ancient and modern diseases, catastrophe and war. Follow the evolution of societal attitudes towards less fortunate souls who were often victims of circumstance, tragedy, discrimination or disability. Contains 230 photographs/sketches of historical structures, many of which no longer exist; plus fascinating anecdotes: poems, ‘grave-robbing’; ‘saved by the bell’; ‘ghost’ stories at the Halifax Infirmary, the Nova Scotia Hospital & George’s Island tunnels … more.. Bonus chapters: temporary hospitals of the Halifax Explosion and WWI and WWII hospital ships. A most comprehensive book: accurate, sad, inspiring, shocking, and revealing.

Born in Halifax, N.S. as the eldest daughter (seven girls and three boys) of ten children to John and Mary O’Brien, Devonna was raised in the village of Fairview (then a suburb of Halifax) in an Irish and Acadian household.

Inspired by her pharmacist father, she chose nursing as her profession, going on to graduate from the Halifax Infirmary on Queen Street as a nurse (; she would work in her chosen field for over twenty-five years.

Today she lives in suburban Halifax with her husband of almost fifty years, Don, who calls Devonna a ‘history junkie’ and she suggests that she is likely guilty as charged, for there is nothing she enjoys more than scouring old newspapers, journals, maps and visiting old bookstores and libraries in her spare time. Her appetite to learn about the past became insatiable. It always amazed her to see how far society has progressed in the field of health and medicine … and how institutions and patient care have dramatically evolved over the years. It was on one of her many visits to the Provincial Archives (NSARM) that she first began to gather and collect old photographs and information on the many institutions within the Halifax-Dartmouth area (HRM). As the collection began to build, she soon realized that uncovering a wealth of information was, in a word, fascinating. That research led her to develop and hone her passion for writing historical publications.

Pitch the Publisher Presented By Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association





Blow the dust off that manuscript and sort through your USB sticks – it’s almost time for the APMA’s Pitch the Publisher and Blue Pencil Café events at Word on the Street! WOTS will take place on Saturday, September 15th at the Halifax Central Library.

This year’s Pitch the Publisher will take place from 10 am to Noon and participants will get 5 minutes to pitch their book idea to a panel of Atlantic Canadian publishers. Publishers will provide feedback and if one of them takes an interest, they will ask for you to send them more information.


Want to take part or need more info? Email Chantelle Rideout at admin@atlanticpublishers.ca or call 1 902 420 0711. We’ll ask your name, contact info and a short (no more than 100 words, please) blurb about your book idea.  You can only pitch completed manuscripts and if you pitched a book in 2017, you may pitch again this year, but not the same book.

Those selected will be notified by September 11.




Andre Fenton - Worthy of Love

Adrian Carter is a young mixed-race teen struggling with poor self-image, but he’s through with being bullied for his weight. Adrian decides to shed the pounds, no matter what it takes. When he meets and falls for Mel Woods, a confident and sensible girl with a passion for fitness, his motivation to change leads him to take dangerous measures. When Mel confronts Adrian about his methods of weight loss he is left trying to find a balance between the number on the scale and wondering if he’ll ever be worthy of love.

Andre Fenton is an author and award winning spoken word artist. He has represented Halifax at 7 national poetry festivals across Canada. He has won awards in both spoken word poetry, and filmmaking. His first young adult novel, Worthy of Love was published in 2018 with Formac Publishing. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Mayann Francis - Mayann Francis: an Honourable Life

When Mayann Francis was named Nova Scotia’s first Black lieutenant-governor, she wondered if the community would accept her. Francis was born just three months after businesswoman Viola Desmond was arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow. Had enough changed? In this candid memoir, Francis describes her journey from humble beginnings in Whitney Pier, the daughter of immigrants, to the vice-regal office. She explains how her religious faith and her family’s belief in education equipped her for life’s challenges, including the loss of much of her vision.

Before Francis was named lieutenant-governor, she had earned a masters degree in New York City and worked in a series of senior positions. But her time in the vice-regal office was not without challenges. Francis was unable to live in Government House for much of her term because the official residence was being renovated. As the renovations dragged on, there were rumours, she writes, that some politicians and bureaucrats did not want her to ever move in. Was it, she asks, because she was Black? Francis poses tough questions in this book, but also offers advice and encouragement to anyone faced with challenges.

Mayann Francis was the 31st lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia and the first Black person to hold that position. She was raised in Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia, and was educated in Canada and the United States. She was CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and held other senior positions in Ontario and her home province before her appointment. She lives in Halifax.

Karen Furneaux - Strong Beauty: Power Up the Champion Within

Karen Furneaux is a 3-Time Olympian and 2-Time World Champion and winner of 9 medals at the World Championships over her 20-year professional sprint kayaking career.  Karen is the founder of I Promise Performance, Inc. a corporate wellness company.  Through her business, she speaks with global audiences about the connection between health, mindset and performance.  Karen is a published author, her book, “Strong Beauty: Power Up the Champion Within” encourages young women to set goals and gives tools and best practices to achieve their dreams. Her formal training includes a Masters of Science Degree from Dalhousie University in Kinesiology, with specialization in Sport Psychology.  She holds multiple certifications, and has undergone Team and Leadership training through Cornell University and is a licensed HeartMath provider to help her clients build resilience and stress management skills in her consulting practice. Karen has most recently been inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and has been named as one of the top 15 most successful athletes in Nova Scotia sport history.  Karen is most passionate about engaging and empowering youth, donating her time with the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame – Education Program

Joann Hamilton-Barry - North Atlantic Right Whale: Past, Present, and Future

The North Atlantic right whale, also called the “urban” whale for its proximity to industrialized regions of North America’s east coast, is one of the largest whales in the world. Averaging 14 metres, and weighing about 40,000 kilograms, it is known for its graceful tail, callosities, lack of dorsal fins, and strong bond with its young. But historically, it was known as the “right” whale to kill, and has been commercially hunted for its abundant blubber and oil since the tenth century.

Considered nearly extinct by the 1950s, the population slowly began to recover due to conservation efforts in the late twentieth-century. But commercial fishing-related deaths in recent years, including the loss of at least seventeen right whales (2% of the population) in the summer of 2017, put the species at a level of critical endangerment. The next few decades will determine whether it survives.

Offering background on the whale’s history, unique biology and behaviour, information on what is killing them and how readers can help, The North Atlantic Right Whale is an important, accessible book that will spark action and increased awareness of the plight of this majestic creature.

Joann Hamilton-Barry is a librarian in Saint John, New Brunswick and the author of the Hackmatack Award-shortlisted Oak Island the Search for Buried Treasure, published in 2015. There be Pirates: Swashbucklers & Rogues of the Atlantic was published in 2018 and Resource Links gave it an ‘E’ indicating that it is ‘excellent’ and ‘enduring’, with the recommendation that ‘everyone should see it’. CM: Canadian Review of Materials said ‘This five star book is a must for public library shelves, teachers covering the topic in their classroom or school library, and for any child or child at heart with an interest in swashbucklers and rogues’. Her first book Boldly Canadian: the Story of the RCMP was published by Kids Can Press in 1999.
Her next book, North Atlantic Right Whale: Past, Present and Future will be released by Nimbus in May 2019.
Joann is a former teacher and was a children’s librarian for nearly twenty years. She has had a lifelong fascination with all things related to islands, beaches, boats, the ocean, and the creatures who live there. Joann gets very excited when she finds a little known and neat fact to share with readers young and old. She enjoys visiting schools to tell students about her books and to get them excited about reading, research, and libraries. In the last few years she has given more than 50 talks about her books to over 1800 kids.
Joann has lived in seven provinces and one territory and enjoys exploring all parts of Canada. She is the proud mother of two grown children, Alex and Hope. Her favourite activities include reading, cooking and walking her dog with her best friend and husband, Nick Barry.

Lisa Harrington - The Big Dig

Just as fourteen-year-old Lucy is starting to figure out life after her mom’s death, her dad ships her off to Cape John, her mom’s hometown, for the summer. Worse, she has to live with her nutty great-aunt Josie, who doesn’t cook edible food or suffer fools. Soon Lucy meets Colin, freshly moved from the West Coast, who’s digging an enormous hole in his new yard. He spends every day digging deeper in protest of his family’s unilateral decision to move to this tiny oceanside community. As Colin digs in the ground, Lucy digs through her family’s history, and eventually both of them uncover a shocking truth.The Big Dig asks big questions of its readers: Are secrets ever okay? What defines a family? And can we ever really know our parents? Lisa Harrington’s light and funny voice blends seamlessly with Lucy’s grief, creating an authentic and riveting emotional landscape.Lisa Harrington’s novels include 2018’s The Goodbye Girls, Twisted, shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association’s YA Book of the year, Live to Tell, winner of the White Pine, Ann Connor Brimer, and SYRCA Snow Willow Awards, and Rattled, published in 2010 to critical praise. Her work has also appeared in A Maritime Christmas. Lisa lives in Halifax with her family and puppy, Hermione. Visit Lisa online at lisaharrington.ca.

Kayla Hounsell - First Degree: From Med School to Murder

A murder, a missing body, and a sensational trial that shocked the community. Will Sandeson seemed like a model son. A member of the Dalhousie University track and field team, he was about to start classes at Dalhousie’s medical school. He had attended a medical school in the Caribbean; he worked at a group home for adults with disabilities. “There’s times for whatever reason that things don’t go quite as planned,” a Halifax police officer told Sandeson shortly after he was arrested for the first-degree murder of Taylor Samson, who also, on the surface, seemed like a model son.

Samson lived in a fraternity house near Dalhousie, and when the six-foot-five physics student disappeared without a trace, the focus eventually turned to Sandeson. Sandeson’s trial, blown open by a private investigator accused of switching sides, exposed a world of drugs, ambition, and misplaced loyalties. Through interviews with friends and relatives, as well as transcripts of the trial and Sandeson’s police interrogation, award-winning journalist Kayla Hounsell paints a complex portrait of both the victim and killer, two young men who seemed destined for bright futures. First Degree includes previously unpublished photos and details never made public until now.

Kayla Hounsell is an award-winning journalist who covered the murder trial of William Sandeson. She is now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s National Reporter for the Maritime provinces. Based in Halifax, and originally from Newfoundland, she has also worked in Ottawa, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Rwanda, South Sudan, Liberia and the United Kingdom. First Degree: From Med School to Murder is her first book.

Guyleigh Johnson - Afraid of the Dark

Through prose and poetry, Guyleigh Johnson tells the story of sixteen-year-old Kahlua Thomas. An absent father and an alcoholic mother leave Kahlua feeling neglected, but her real pain stems from being black. She finds it hard surviving in a poor neighbourhood and even tougher society. Trapped by her own insecurities, she cannot relate to the person in the mirror. She believes that if she doesn’t acknowledge her thick hair, big lips, and dark skin maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to blend in. Yet the lack of diversity, equality, and heritage in her world makes her more intrigued about the black roots she tries to stray away from. With a hard life at home, on the streets, and in school she finds an escape during her grade ten history class through writing poetry. Hiding in the back of the class, she writes, passionately expressing and releasing emotions about identity, home, community, culture, and forgiveness. All Kahlua wants is freedom, whatever that really means.

Guyleigh Johnson is a 25 year old spoken word artist/creative writer from North-end Dartmouth. Using writing as an outlet Johnson believes words play a huge role in the process of healing. One of her favourite quotes is “Hurt people Help people” showcasing the importance of storytelling. In October 2017 she released her first collection of poetry titled “Expect the Unexpected” based on inner city youth and the challenges they not only face but overcome. She is currently taking classes at Dalhousie University with the hopes of obtaining a degree in Journalism, Psychology or Social Work. A community advocate, volunteering/speaking at various community organizations,events and meetings Johnson wishes to encourage youth to see their true potential, and to step out of their comfort zone. Whether you see her on Youtube, Facebook or her own personal webpage she’s starting the conversation for change. Living in fast paced generation that is losing the gift of being thoughtful last year she started her own business “Guyleigh’s Greeting Cards” that specializes in “personalizing the moment while creating memories”. Her intent is simple, she always wants to be impactful understanding how important it is to not only give back but to reach back and help another person up.

Mona Knight - Second Chance

Second Chance is the second installment in The Fortune Saga series and picks up where the first book, Banjo Flats, leaves off. Fortune returns home to Banjo Flats, South Dakota, for it was here she earned her reputation as a shoot first, ask questions later kind of gunfighter and she has a score to settle. But life gets complicated when she rescues a pair of young brothers on the road to Deadwood. A dark memory from her past haunts her as she picks up the trail of a lost gold shipment, hoping to vindicate the man who saved her life, and she finally comes face to face with her nemesis, Mose Horn.

Mona Knight is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Her debut novel, Banjo Flats, was published by Boularderie Island Press in the fall of 2017. Second Chance, the next instalment in the Fortune Saga series, will be released in mid-August of 2019.
One of Knight’s short stories was a finalist in the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia’s annual writing competition and became the opening chapter for Banjo Flats, and was launched at the Cabot Trail Writer’s Festival in 2017.

Joseph Koot - Europe, One Step at a Time

In “Europe, One Step at a Time,” the reader joins me on a 6,000-kilometre hike from southwest Portugal to northeast Estonia. With my retirement came the opportunity to take six trips to Europe to fulfill the dream of walking each step of the way across that continent.
Unfortunately, a gang assaulted me in a park soon after I started on this adventure. I returned home to heal my wounds, gather my courage and return to the trail more determined to reach that faraway goal.
Morning sunshine could bring the twitter of birds, or a thunderstorm might doom me to being splashed by passing trucks. Finding a bed for the night proved challenging, but hiking vast distances was rewarding.
In the rhythm of placing one foot in front of the other, my brain reviewed old memories as I came to terms with the challenges of my early years. The reader can join me on the two journeys: one took me along a path across Europe; the other led through the recesses of my mind.

Joseph Koot retired from a nurse manager position in the federal prison system to become an author. During retirement Joseph hiked across Europe, which provided material and energy for the five books he has written.
His wife Joanne retired from a teaching career after they had raised five children in their home in the country overlooking Shepody Bay. Now Joseph and Joanne enjoy the youthfulness of their grandchildren.

John Langley - Canadian Confederate Cruiser

Canadian Confederate Cruiser tells the story of an elegant but unpretentious steamer that bore witness to the birth of a nation. In 1864, the Queen Victoria took the Fathers of Confederation from Quebec to Charlottetown and back. Long before she could be given the recognition she deserved, the Queen Victoria was lost in a hurricane off Cape Hatteras, the crew and passengers rescued by the American brig Ponvert. That incident and the events that followed it put the lost vessel into the international limelight and tweaked diplomatic relations between Canada and the United States.

John Langley, the author behind Steam Lion, the award-winning biography of Samuel Cunard, documents the life of this steamer and the unlikely cross-border tug-of-war that developed over her bell. In telling the Queen Victoria‘s story, Langley provides a better understanding of the social and political forces that led to Confederation, explaining the pivotal choices that were made.

Jane Ledwell - Return of the Wild Goose

Return of the Wild Goose explores the life of writer and activist Katherine Hughes. Set against the intimate relief of a PEI landscape, these poems are inspired by what is known—and unknown—about her contradictory life as a Catholic teacher in Mohawk territory; a journalist working alongside Canada’s first-wave feminists and suffragettes; the first public archivist of Alberta; and finally, as a zealous Irish nationalist. This (auto) biographical dialogue between Jane Ledwell and Katherine Hughes offers the reader a fierce remembrance of a PEI radical.

What made Hughes a trailblazer but not a feminist? An archivist who kept so few records of her own? What made her overthrow ideas of empire for Irish republican nationalism? Return of the Wild Goose remembers (and maybe fights a bit) with a fascinating historical Prince Edward Island woman so that she won’t be forgotten.

Jane Ledwell is a writer and editor in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. She has published two previous collections
of poetry, Last Tomato and Bird Calls: The Island Responds. She also co-authored Elaine Harrison: I Am an Island That Dreams
and co-edited two books of academic writing about L. M. Montgomery. Jane currently serves as executive director of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Garry Leech - Ghosts Within: Journeying Through PTSD

What are the long-term psychological costs of violence and war? Journalist Garry Leech draws from his experiences as a war correspondent, his ongoing personal struggle with PTSD and the latest research on this mental illness to provide a powerful and vivid answer to this question. For thirteen years, Leech worked in Colombia’s rural conflict zones where he experienced combat, witnessed massacre sites and was held captive by armed groups. This raw account of his journey from war on the battlefield to an internal, psychological war at home illustrates how those who work with traumatized populations can themselves be impacted by trauma.

Leech removes some of the stigmas, fears and ignorance related to PTSD in particular, and mental illness in general, by shedding light on a largely invisible illness that mostly manifests itself behind the closed doors of our homes. Ultimately, the book uses a journalist’s journey through PTSD to provide a message of hope for all those who suffer from this illness.

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and author who has worked in Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and the West Bank over the past two decades. He is the author of numerous books and his articles have been published in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Garry also teaches international politics at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Anne Lévesque

n 1960s Inverness, Cape Breton, the coal mines have closed and family farms stand abandoned as men and families must find other ways to survive. Curly MacLeod, the last of the old-time horse traders, must cultivate a new clientele to support his wife Annabel and their adopted son Blaise—the back-to-the-landers who are moving to the area. The religious Annabel is less open to change. When hippies Eric and Jenny Petcoff buy the farm next door, she worries about their influence on the now teenage Blaise. And Blaise is influenced—which sets in motion a chain of events that sends tremors of even greater change through his family. Central to the developing history of the MacLeod family is his daughter Lucy, a shy and altruistic girl who grows up in Ontario but spends summers in Cape Breton with her grandparents. Her roots there are strong, but Lucy’s life is full of the strange and the wonderful. With her mystic skill, where will her true calling take her?

Filled with engaging characters, with their unique and lively Cape Breton voices, Lucy Cloud follows the fortunes and heartaches of a family with secrets and the intense longing to live fully. Anne Lévesque delivers an authentic tale of a time and a place, where people must be strong and inventive to make a good life.

Anne Lévesque’s poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in Canadian and international journals and anthologies. Lucy Cloud is her first novel. She lives with her husband near Inverness, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Susan Lloy - Vita

Angst, seduction, escape and extinction control these many tales—a whisper in the ear convinces a lady to take the plunge, another to take up surfing, and a young man to jump in front of a moving train—and there is joy in settling a score with despised neighbours and a conspiracy under the California sun. Some sketches are laced with passion and loss—a son comes to know his mother from a series of letters following her death, while a face transplant changes a man’s life, but with it comes the unwanted pursuit of the donor’s wife—while others show murderous aspirations and an irrepressible desire for release. Always vital, Vita opens wide the windows into our many lives.

Susan E Lloy has consistently published internationally since 2012. Her first collection of offbeat tales, But When We Look Closer, was recently published by Now Or Never Publishing. Her forthcoming collection, Vita, will be released April 15, 2019. Susan lives in Montreal.

Justine MacDonald - Remembrance Road: a Canadian Photographer's Journey Through European Battlefields

Nova Scotian photographer Justine MacDonald’s poignant impressions from her 2001 and 2017 tours of western European battlefields are indelible reminders of the horror and utter futility of war. While they inform and memorialize, they do not take sides. One cannot read this book and not be profoundly moved.

Justine MacDonald is a travel photographer and blogger based in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. She loves exploring history, and the world in general, through the lens of her camera.

She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of photography with others – to inspire them to see the world in a new light – through introductory workshops, one-on-one tutorials, photo walks and travel presentations. She is the official photographer for Wolfville’s variety show Broken Leg Theatre and sells her work through online shops and subscriptions.

An award-winning photographer, she has participated in several group and solo exhibitions. You can find her online at www.justinemacdonald.photography.

Don MacLean - With These Hands: Traditional Arts, Crafts and Trades of Atlantic Canada

In the age of big box stores and mass production, there are still artists and crafts people who make beautiful things by hand. Colourful quilts, hooked rugs, and stained glass. Resilient dories and snowshoes. Whimsical whirligigs. In this book, Don MacLean explores the traditional crafts of Atlantic Canada, visiting dozens of creators in their workshops, galleries, and homes, giving insight into their process and inspiration.

MacLean interviews Dora Gloade about Mi’kmaw bead- and leatherwork. He talks to Yvette Muise about preserving the Cheticamp hooked rug tradition. He speaks to a luthier and a jeweller. There is an irresistible allure to items that are carefully, lovingly, made by hand, whether they are carved from wood or painted on canvas, and MacLean’s book explores that. This book contains over two dozen photos taken by the author.

Don MacLean writes about the outdoors, as well as traditional crafts, from wood carving to canoe building. His articles have appeared in Atlantic Salmon Journal, Saltscapes, Outdoor Canada, and others. MacLean is the author of two books on the outdoors and sport fishing: Discover Nova Scotia Sport Fishing and A Little Thing I Tied Myself: Stories of Atlantic Canadian Fly Tiers, many newspaper columns and magazine articles. He lives in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy - Never Speak of This Again

It is 1917 and Nellie, seventeen years old and pregnant, has just returned to Cape Breton from Boston to find her lover. Instead of a safe haven, she encounters rejection and humiliation and is told to clear out and never speak of this again. In her shame, she contemplates suicide at Victoria Park in Truro, but a passing stranger, headed to the WWI front, offers her some gifts that could help her survive, and allow him to run away from his own past. She returns to Boston, where she finds shelter and learns to live with dignity and purpose. The circle of life there, of struggle and kindness, of pain and beauty, for both the living and the dying convinces her to return to her family. However, her plan of a quiet life on Campbell’s Mountain does not pan out as she thought it would.

Nellie’s story reflects the lives of many Nova Scotia women who found their way to Boston. Her world becomes a matter of daily survival, while so many in the world, including the stranger from Truro, try to survive the catastrophic chaos of WWI and the Spanish Flu. Never Speak of This Again takes the reader from eastern Canada to western Canada, to Europe, and back again. In the messy existence of life, heroes can be victims and villains, and she hopes there is always a chance for redemption, but she wonders how far she can risk society’s scorn for her own personal happiness.

Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy is a born and bred Cape Bretoner, though she tends to roam the world occasionally in search of adventures with her husband, now that their four grown children are self-sufficient. She loves to delve into community stories through her four plays and now her first novel.

Leila Marshy - The Philistine

Nadia Eid doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to change her life. It’s the end of the ’80s and she hasn’t seen her Palestinian father since he left Montreal years ago to take a job in Egypt, promising to bring her with him. But now she’s twenty-five and he’s missing in action, so she takes matters into her own hands. Booking a short vacation from her boring job and Québecois boyfriend, she calls her father from the Nile Hilton in downtown Cairo. But nothing goes as planned and, stumbling around, Nadia wanders into an art gallery where she meets Manal, a young Egyptian artist who becomes first her guide and then her lover. Through this unexpected relationship, Nadia rediscovers her roots, her language, and her ambitions, as her father demonstrates the unavoidable destiny of becoming a Philistine – the Arabic word for Palestinian. With Manal’s career poised to take off and her father’s secret life revealed, the First Intifada erupts across the border. Nadia needs to decide what all this has to do with her.

Montrealer Leila Marshy is of Palestinian-Newfoundland heritage—she can tell a good joke, but it bombs. She has been a filmmaker, a baker, an app designer, a marketer, a farmer, and editor of online culture journal Rover Arts. She has published stories and poetry in Canadian and American journals and anthologies. The Philistine (LLP, 2018) is her first novel.

Theresa Meuse - The Gathering

Alex is attending her first Mi’kmaw spiritual gathering, or mawiomi. Though she is timid at first, older cousin Matthew takes her under his wing. Meeting Elders along the way, they learn about traditional Mi’kmaw culture: the sacred fire, drumming, tanning and moccasin decorating, basket- and canoe-making, and enjoy a Mi’kmaw feast. Most importantly, Alex finds her voice in the talking circle.

With contemporary illustrations by the bestselling illustrator Art Stevens, The Gathering is an inclusive story that will educate and entertain Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers alike.

Theresa Meuse is a Mi’kmaq author, born and raised in Nova Scotia. She has worked in many areas involving her culture and presently works as a Mi’kmaq Aboriginal Student Support Worker for the Halifax Regional Center of Education. She is married, a mother of three children and the grandmother of four.

Shandi Mitchell - The Waiting Hours

When tragedy erupts on a stifling summer night, three ordinary people, with the extraordinary jobs of rescuing strangers, are connected to one another in ways both explicit and invisible. Each is deeply devoted to what they do, but they are all beginning to crack under the immense pressures of their work.

Tough-as-nails Kate, when she’s not working with her beloved search-and-rescue dog, Zeus, is a trauma nurse who spends her off-duty hours trying to forget what she has seen. Estranged from her troubled family, she must confront the fact that resolution may elude her forever. Respected police officer Mike is on the edge of burnout and sets himself on a downward spiral that may be impossible to break, fraying the bonds of love that hold his family together. Tamara, an agoraphobic 911 dispatcher, who is trying her hardest to remain as calm and emotionless as an automated message, is propelled into the middle of a story that she can’t avoid and must enter the world to find out how it ends.

With a city prickling under a heat wave and a hurricane threatening to make landfall, these responders will be forced to make fateful choices that will alter lives. A storm is coming and nobody is prepared.

SHANDI MITCHELL is an author and filmmaker. Her debut novel, Under This Unbroken Sky, was simultaneously published by Penguin Canada, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK), and HarperCollins (US) in August 2009. It sold in nine countries, including translation rights for Chinese, Hebrew, Dutch, and Italian. Under This Unbroken Sky won the 2010 Commonwealth Regional Prize for First Book (Canada/Caribbean), the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and the 2012 Kobzar Literary Award. It was also longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Mitchell was born in New Brunswick, raised in Alberta, and now makes her home in Nova Scotia.

Andrea Miller - My First Book of Canadian Birds

Help your child identify birds like the Canada goose, American robin, and yellow warbler in their natural habitats with colourful and whimsical collage-style illustrations from breakout East Coast artist Angela Doak (Atlantic Animal ABC).

Simple, gentle text gives readers a peek into the habitats of Canadian birds and introduces child and parent to fun facts about everything from bird sounds to egg sizes! My First Book of Canadian Birds is the perfect way to introduce young readers to birds from across the country.

Andrea Miller has been an editor and staff writer at Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly called the Shambhala Sun) since 2006. She’s also the editor of three anthologies for Shambhala Publications: Right Here with You: Bringing Mindful Awareness into Our Relationships, Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West, and All the Rage: Buddhist Wisdom on Anger and Acceptance.

Miller is the author of two picture books: My First Book of Canadian Birds (Nimbus Publishing) and The Day the Buddha Woke Up (Wisdom Publications). In addition, her writing has appeared in a wide range of publications, including, Mindful magazine, the Best Buddhist Writing series, The Best Women’s Travel Writing series, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, The Chronicle Herald, The Globe and Mail, and Saltscapes. In the fall of 2019, Pottersfield Press will publish her book Awakening My Heart: Articles, Essays, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life.

Miller has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. In addition, she has completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program.

Miller was born, raised, and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but she’s also lived in Japan, Korea, Mexico, France, Spain, and England. Miller loves to travel and has visited almost thirty countries. Her other interests include cooking, hiking, birdwatching, and reading and snuggling with her two lovely children.

Kat Frick Miller - If I Had an Old House on the East Coast

If I had an old house on the East Coast I would fall in love at first sight.
It would grab me by the heart, and not let go.

With introspection and deep appreciation for the East Coast, this inspirational gift book shares a dream, in words and images, of falling in love with an old house and breathing new life into it. Exploring, with lyrical prose, everything from an old house’s foundation to its layers of antique wallpaper to its decades-old gardens bursting with wildflowers, this lyrical book is a love letter to a vanishing way of life. Fully illustrated with gentle watercolours from celebrated local artist Kat Frick Miller, If I Had an Old House on the East Coast also includes practical tips for the old-home-owner, from how to clear your home of ghosts to instructions for making rosehip jelly and maple syrup.

Kat Frick Miller is an artist and illustrator from Brampton, Ontario, and has a BFA in Visual Art from NSCAD Univeristy. Her work reveals a deep connection to place, exploring local architecture, hosical history and the objects, spaces, and practices that constitute rural life. She can be found on the beach, on the farm, or on the wharf soaking up the whimsy of her adopted home of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

Laurie Glenn Norris

Based on a true unsolved crime from 1877, Laurie Glenn Norris’s debut novel tells the story of two small towns linked by the disappearance of a teenage girl. Mary Harney is a dreamy teenager in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, whose ambitions are stifled by her tyrannical grandmother and alcoholic father. When Mary’s mother becomes ill, an already fragile domestic situation quickly begins to unravel until the October evening when the girl goes missing.

Across the water on Prince Edward Island we meet Gilbert Bell, whose son finds a body washed up on the beach below the family farm. As the community is visited first by the local coroner and then by investigators, Glenn Norris paints a fascinating and darkly comic picture of judicial and forensic procedures of the time. At once tightly plotted and pensive, the novel travels back to the circumstances that led to Mary’s disappearance and then back further to the circumstances of her parents’ marriage, all the while building toward a raucous courtroom finale.

Laurie Glenn Norris’ articles and book reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Quill & Quire and Atlantic Books Today.

Her non-fiction book, Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery, (Nimbus) was a finalist for the 2013 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and is currently optioned to become a feature film. Her first novel, Found Drowned, was published by Vagrant Press in Spring 2019.

Laurie’s passion is biography, historical fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in the lives of nineteenth-century women. She is currently transcribing a series of letters for publication and researching her second novel.

She holds a MA in Art History from the University of Victoria and is currently the Education and Outreach Manager at the Joggins Fossil Institute.

Laurie lives in River Hebert, Nova Scotia with her husband Barry, who is a freelance editor, lots of books, and Dinah the cat.

Vernon Oickle - More Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia

Are you still afraid of things that go bump in the night? Do you still think someone is watching you even though no one is there? Do doors and windows still open and close on their own? Do you still see people in your home even though you know you are alone? If you answer yes to even one of these questions, then More Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia will make you feel not alone.

Picking up where 2015’s Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia left off, veteran ghost story teller Vernon Oickle brings to life more of Nova Scotia’s intriguing tales of the paranormal, many of which have never been shared before.

Vernon Oickle is an international award-winning journalist, editor and writer. He is the author of 30 books, including Red Sky at Night, Nova Scotia Outrageous Outhouse Reader, Strange Nova Scotia and Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia. Maritime folklore, superstitions and traditions are his passion.

Shawna Romkey - Easterly

Shoes to die for. Shoes to kill for.

They call her the Wicked Witch of the East. They hate her for her magic, her power, her family. But Stazia wants no part of becoming the next Witch Queen of Oz. She’d rather go find a place with no magic where no one makes assumptions about who she is. Then someone drops a house on her and completely ruins her day. Not only do they kill her momentarily, but they take her ruby slippers and leave her for dead.

She hunts the murderer-thief back to Kanzuss to get her shoes back. Without them, her magical energy and her life energy are slowly draining away, not to mention she’s trapped in Kanzuss and can’t get home. Without the shoes, she’ll be stuck in a sepia-toned world forever until she fades away into nothing.

With the help of a hunky lumberjack and her striped hyena she has to battle Dorothy and the Gales and make a choice: become wicked and kill to get her shoes back, or be stuck in Kanzuss and die on the other side of the rainbow.

She’s not wicked. She just wants her freakin’ shoes back!

A retelling of The Wizard of Oz with a tornadic twist.

USA Today best-selling author, Shawna grew up around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, an Irish wolfhound and a rescue mutt she loves to death.

Tom Ryan - A Giant Man from a Tiny Town

When Angus MacAskill was still just a boy, he began to grow…and grow…and…grow! Known far and wide as the Cape Breton Giant, Angus was loved by his neighbours as much for his beautiful singing voice as for his renowned strength. But as much as Angus loved his little town of St. Ann’s, Cape Breton, he decided to leave and seek fortune and adventure.

With heartfelt text from critically acclaimed author Tom Ryan and meticulously researched and joyful illustrations from Christopher Hoyt (A is for Adventure), A Giant Man from a Tiny Town tells the story of a remarkable man who travelled the world performing for crowds, but never stopped longing to return to the place he loved the best: his Cape Breton home.

Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for several awards, and two of his young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. Tom, his husband, and their dog currently divide their time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.

Way to Go, Totally Unrelated, (several others as well.)

Sarah Sawler - Be Prepared!

Ever wonder where clouds come from? Or how meteorologists predict the weather? This brand new book, starring Nova Scotia’s favourite weather reporter, Frankie MacDonald, and written by author Sarah Sawler, shares stories from Frankie’s early years, along with facts about all things sunny, rainy, snowy, and stormy. Filled with pictures, graphics, and advice from Frankie himself, this book has everything you need to Be Prepared!

When she’s not writing books, she’s working as a publicist for graphic novel publisher Conundrum Press, reviewing children’s literature, and writing web content for tech companies. She lives in Saint Margaret’s Bay with her partner, two kids, one cat, one dog, and one bearded dragon.

Sarah Sawler is the award-winning author of three books: 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia, 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada – For Kids, and the Moonbeam Spirit Award-winning Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything (written with Frankie MacDonald).

R.C. Shaw - Louisbourg or Bust: a Surfer's Wild Ride Down Nova Scotia's Drowned Coast

A rickety surf rig on wheels. A guide named Don Quixote. No cellphone. Louisbourg or Bust is RC Shaw’s spandex-free pilgrimage up a haunted coastline. Fuelled by Hungry Man Stew and blind optimism, Shaw battles potholed hills and remote waves en route to the Fortress of Louisbourg.

With a Nova Scotia road map in one hand and a fat copy of Don Quixote in the other, Shaw hatches a plan. He builds The Rig, a Frankenstein-inspired bicycle-plus-trailer to haul his camping gear and surf stuff. Then he circles Louisbourg with a black Sharpie and vows to take the fortress back from its malevolent tourist occupiers. Finally, on a clear June morning, he kisses his family goodbye and creaks off down the road in search of adventure for adventure’s sake. No cellphone, no safety net. Just the restless pulse of the Atlantic Ocean as it rips and tears at the coastline of the Eastern Shore.

As the lark gets real, Shaw is forever changed by the gnarly soul of Nova Scotia’s fogbound, fading coastline.

RC Shaw is a writer, surfer, teacher and father living in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia. He has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College and his work has been published in The Surfer’s Journal, The Coast and The Chronicle Herald. His first book, Louisbourg or Bust, was published by Pottersfield Press in 2018. He is currently working on a children’s book about an otter who surfs.

Alan Syliboy - Wolverine and Little Thunder

From the bestselling creator of The Thundermaker comes another adventure featuring Little Thunder and Wolverine—a trickster, who is strong and fierce and loyal. The two are best of friends, even though Wolverine can sometimes get them into trouble. Their favourite pastime is eel fishing, whether it’s cutting through winter ice with a stone axe or catching eels in traditional stone weirs in the summer. But that all changes one night, when they encounter the giant river eel—the eel that is too big to catch. The eel that hunts people!At once a universal story of friendship and problem-solving, Wolverine and Little Thunder is a contemporary invocation of traditional Mi’kmaw knowledge, reinforcing the importance of the relationship between the Mi’kmaq and eel, a dependable year-round food source traditionally offered to Glooscap, the Creator, for a successful hunt.

Alan Syliboy grew up believing that native art was generic.  “As a youth, I found painting difficult and painful, because I was unsure of my identity.”  But his confidence grew in 1972 when he studied privately with Shirley Bear.  He then attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where 25 years later, he was invited to sit on the Board of Governors.  Syliboy looks to the indigenous Mi’kmaq petroglyph tradition for inspiration and develops his own artistic vocabulary out of those forms.  His popularization of these symbolic icons has conferred on them a mainstream legitimacy that restores community pride in its Mi’kmaq heritage. 

Vernon Theriault - Westray: My Journey from Darkness to Light

Vernon Theriault was off shift when the Westray mine exploded in 1992, killing twenty-six men in Plymouth, Nova Scotia. Theriault took part in the perilous rescue operation that followed, as the small community hoped against hope that survivors would be found. As the magnitude of Westray took hold, Theriault found himself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares. When he tried to re-educate himself for another line of work, he discovered that he was both illiterate and dyslexic. Theriault found new purpose when he became part of a labour movement that successfully lobbied the federal government to bring in a worker-safety law that became known as the Westray Bill.Theriault collaborated with his cousin Marjorie Coady to write this book, which contains colour photographs as well as excerpts from the report of a judicial inquiry that called Westray “an accident waiting to happen.” Theriault describes what it was like to work underground in the mine and takes readers through the harrowing rescue, which recovered fifteen of the twenty-six bodies. Theriault openly discusses his complicated journey in this straightforward, simply written memoir, which begins with the promise of a good job with good pay at Westray.

My story is about a coal mine in Plymouth, N.S., Canada. May 9/92 there was an explosion that rocked the community at 5:18 am killing twenty-six co-workers. I’ve just lift ten hours before the explosion happed, I was working an overtime shift (May 8/92 8:00 am to 8:00 pm). May 9/92 my regular shift started at 8:00 am, around 10:00 am that morning I was going underground as bare face rescuer. No sleep for five days, my last rescue shift at Westray followed me home. Issues that I deal with, Nightmares, Survivor’s Guilt and PTSD. Rehabilitation after all my appeals with WCB, I was appointed a counselor to visited my home March 1993. My gold was to try to Educate myself, but known it was going to be hard. Because I couldn’t read or write, illiteracy. 1994 receive the Medal of Bravery. 1995 learn that I had dyslexic. March 1997 seniority back at Trenton Car Works, hired June 1981, lay-off 1986. 1998 joined the local union (United Steelworkers). 1999 asked by our local union to go to Ottawa, for USW. National Policy Conference in Ottawa. 2000, 2002, and 2003 seeking Justice, lobbying the Lawmakers in Ottawa. 2003 big day came, Westray Bill, passed into Law. I started working on my book 2002, sixteen years later after putting words on tapes, paper. 2014 Marjorie Coady (my cousin) helped me write my book, Nimbus Published my book July 2018. This story everyone ought to know, told in the simple words of the man who lived it, me! (Vernon Theriault)

Brenda Thompson - A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia

Brenda Thompson’s poignant treatise on the treatment of the poor in Nova Scotia and the evolution of private and government-subsidized poor houses. None of these 32 buildings remain. This is a very important book that makes us pause and ask serious questions.

Brenda Thompson was raised in the Hippie era of peace, social justice and acceptance. Having grown up in that environment, Brenda became educated in social justice issues, earning an MA from Acadia University. Brenda worked for many years (both paid and volunteer) for non-profits in the area of human rights. Now (finally) mortgage free, she became self employed to concentrate on her passions of writing, social justice and history. Brenda is married to a very a patient man and has two amazing daughters. She lives in a geodesic dome in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia.

Allison Watson - Transplanted: My Cystic Fibrosis Double Lung Transplant Story

When Allison Watson awoke that day, she knew she was in a hospital bed. That’s all. She had no idea how much time had passed since she had seen her family. When she tried to focus, her vision was blurry, and when she tried to wave someone down, she became so exhausted she thought she was dying. Hours later, when Watson was able to communicate, she asked a nurse if the news was good or bad. “It’s good news,” the nurse replied. “You had your lung transplant four days ago.”

About 4,100 people in Canada have cystic fibrosis, and many are living longer today, thanks, in part, to transplants. CF mainly affects the digestive system and lungs, and there is no cure. In this candid memoir, Watson describes living with the disease and her life-altering surgery in 2014. Watson and her sister, Amy, both grew up with CF, and Allison had always believed that Amy would be the one to get a transplant first. The decision to undergo surgery was not easy. Nor was the road to full recovery. In this book, Watson, who cycled across Canada with her brother in 2008 to raise awareness of CF, describes her journey.

Allison Watson was born with cystic fibrosis. After undergoing a double lung transplant and subsequently getting post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, she hopes her days of medical turmoil are in her past. Allison has a BSc in biology and recreational therapy from Dalhousie University. She loves board games, reading, and hiking.