F.O.L.D. BOOK BASH was terrific – Check out the amazing and diverse authors, poets and publishers I met on Saturday.


Today at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, FOLD hosted the 2017 Book Bash. 


  • A one-day book market designed to give authors and book selling organizations a space to promote their books. 
  • A chance for the community to learn about books written by local authors
  • The ability for consumers to learn about and to purchase multicultural books that reflect the diversity of the city and  country in which they live
  • A chance to meet the authors of those books and to have them autographed 
  • As well as the chance to listen to authors read from, and talk about their books. 

    FOLD is the first and only literary festival in Canada to focus on diverse authors and stories.

    The first Festival of Literary Diversity was held in May 2016 and included more than 25 unique sessions held over three days with over thirty of Canada’s most exciting authors.

    Mark your calendars for May 3rd to May 5th, 2018 for the next Festival. There will be quite a few authors and publishers with many different sessions to choose from.





    Jael Richardson
     is one busy woman. Besides being the Founder and Creative Art Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity, she is also an author in her own right.

    Her book THE STONE THROWER: A DAUGHTER’S LESSON, A FATHER’S LIFE is a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. 

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:







    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash


    DEJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. She finds her inspiration for her poetry in family, friends and everyday experiences.  

    DĖJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of 16. You would never know that during those early writing days, her poetry was filled with incorrect grammar. Now, like Déja herself, her writing has matured and
     developed. Her work has blossomed to include a range of topics such as love, faith and everyday experiences.

    Déja finds her poetic inspiration in family, friends and her daily experiences.

    She is known for her silly moments, big laugh and even bigger heart. She has been said to have wisdom beyond her years and uncanny insight which adds depth to her writing. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:









    3, 4 and 5.

    I met these three very gracious and amazing women at the FOLD Brampton Book Bash. 

    About the multitalented Catherine Graham – Not only has she written the fiction novel QUARRY but she is also only days away from the launch off her new poetry collection THE CELERY FOREST which is being published by Wolsak and Wynn

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

    QUARRY is a fictional story set in Southern Ontario during the 1980s. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerge, Caitlin must confront the past and face her uncertain future. 


    Like Wonderland or Oz, Neverland or Narnia, The Celery Forest is an extraordinary world filled with strange creatures and disorienting sights. But the doorway to the Celery Forest is not a rabbit hole or an old wardrobe. The doorway is an MRI. For poet and novelist Catherine Graham, this is the topsy-turvy world she found herself in after learning she had breast cancer.

         More than a survivor’s tale, these poems are a map through unknowable terrain, infused with awareness and forgetting, written by a poet with the visionary ability to distill our sense of wonder into something we can hold.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:









    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

    CEO and Founder of Two Wolves Press, Alexandra Leggat is the author of the novel The Incomparables as well as several other published works. 

    Alexandra started Two Wolves  Press as a way to nurture talent without compromise  – to work closely with Two Wolves writers to follow and trust their intuition and publish “instinctual fiction”. 

    Two Wolves Press publishes Catherine Graham’s novel QUARRY and
    Aileen Santos’ SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

    To learn more about this Publisher and author, visit the following links:









    AMAZING Children’s Book ROW BOT by B.A. Knowles – A 5 Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Must Read

    Title: ROW BOT          

    Author: B.A. KNOWLES    


    Length: 27 PAGES  


    Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

    Received From: THE AUTHOR

    Release Date: APRIL 5, 2017 

    ISBN: 978-1-77276-040-8

    Price: $14.95 CAD

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    


    “It is not every day you meet a rowboat-rowing Row Bot (say that three times fast), but here he is.”

    This Canadian children’s book is pure entertainment for young and old.

    The word play that starts with the title: ROW BOT (as in Robot) continues throughout the book and will delight both parents and children alike.

    The target readership for this book is children aged 4 to 6 years old, but it is my belief that children of all ages will fall in love with ROW BOT, just like I have.

    Through imaginative rhymes and alliteration, author B.A. Knowles has created a fantastic story where the illustrations tell as much of the story as the words do.

    There is also an important lesson buried inside the fun of the story which is something everyone should learn. What is it? Well, you will need to purchase a copy of your own to find out.

    I rate this wonderfully written and impressively illustrated book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

    With the holiday season fast approaching, parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and even Santa’s elves will be out shopping for gifts. ROW BOT should be on everyone’s list. In fact, I think it would be the perfect gift not only for the children in your life, but also for their primary school  teachers.

    If all the details I have listed above are still not enough to make you want to run out and buy this book, let me give you about one last incentive. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will support the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation. 

    This Foundation is leading efforts to protect, enhance and restore our ecosystem through research, education and action on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. 


    After completing a science degree at Dalhousie University, B.A. Knowles‘ career path led her around the globe and back again.

    She lives along a dirt road overlooking the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and just a stone’s throw from where she first spied the Riverport Row Bot.

    She now draws (literally) inspiration and motivation from her husband and two young sons, their family exploits, and all the rhymes a tub full of dirty dishes can evoke.

    To learn more about this author / illustrator visit the following links:







    COMING EVENT – Attend the Toronto Book Launch of THE TORONTO BOOK OF THE DEAD on Friday, September 15th at 7.30pm – FREE ADMISSION 

    Friday, September 15, 2017 – 7:30 PM

    Book Launch: Toronto Lit Up

    Spacing Store

    401 Richmond Street West
    Toronto M5V 3A8

    Cost: FREE

    IFOA and Dundurn Press invite you to the release of The Toronto Book of The Dead by Adam Bunch as part of the Toronto Lit Up book launch series.


    “Toronto has witnessed countless lives lived and lost as it grew from a muddy little frontier town into a booming metropolis of concrete and glass. The Toronto Book of the Dead tells the tale of the ever-changing city through the lives and deaths of those who made it their final resting place.”




    Toronto Lit Up is a three year initiative, spearheaded by the Toronto Arts Council and IFOA, designed to spotlight Toronto’s writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities.

    toronto-lit-up-logo-magenta-2Toronto Arts CouncilPrint


    • Adam Bunch

      Adam Bunch

      Adam Bunch is the creator of The Toronto Dreams Project, and has written about the history of the city for Spacing Magazine, Torontoist and the Huffington Post. In 2012, he earned an honourable mention for a Governor General’s History Award. Adam lives in Toronto.

    COMPANY TOWN is one of Best DYSTOPIAN FICTION books published in the past few years. This is a MUST BUY. I give COMPANY TOWN 6 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


     Title: COMPANY TOWN   

    Author: MADELINE ASHBY     


    Length: 285 PAGES      

    Publisher: TOR BOOKS  

    ISBN: 978-0-7653-9887-1 

    Price: $14.99 USD / $20.99 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    CBC CANADA READS 2017      

    I purchased this book at Chapters from a display of books by Canadian authors. I was (and still am) thrilled to find a Canadian author writing Dystopian Science Fiction.

     I read A LOT of books and there are a ton of dystopian titles on the market. Some are just okay, most are pretty good and then there are the exceptional few that are so well written the author’s world comes to life and you never want the story to end. COMPANY TOWN is one such book.

    Not only is it easy to envision the setting – an entire city filled with people just trying to survive on what was once an oil rig and was never meant for long-term habitation, but MADELINE ASHBY has created an entirely new world history.

    In my opinion she is a literary genius. I realize that is a HUGE claim, but once you read COMPANY TOWN, I am fairly certain you will agree.

    I do not want to give away any parts of the plot or the setting, but I do want to get across to anyone reading this review that YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK and YOU WILL BE HAPPY THAT YOU DID.

    With a carefully constructed plot, characters you can’t help but feel for, and incredible world-building, author Madeline Ashby has written a tale that is a warning to us all about caring for our environment and all those who live in it.

    The most terrifying aspect of COMPANY TOWN is that it might become  a reality if no changes are made to how we are all currently living. This book should be required reading for every man, woman and child (over the age of 16.) It is quite simply a MUST READ. I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    Photo Credit: Kayleigh McCollum Photography

    Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA.       

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.      

    To learn more about this amazing Canadian author, visit the following links:






    LINKED IN       





    5 Stars for THE GOLD EATERS by Ronald Wright – BOOK REVIEW



    Author: Ronald Wright

    Type of Book: Softcover Advanced Uncorrected and Unpublished Proof

    Length: 384 pages

    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Canadian Release Date: September 22, 2015

    U.S. Release Date: November 3, 2015

    Hardcover Price: $28.95

    Publisher: A Hamish Hamilton hardcover from Penguin Canada Books Inc.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    * I was the lucky winner of an advance uncorrected and unpublished proof from the Goodreads Giveaway program. This program is a wonderful way to discover new authors and soon to be released books. Winning books is a great way to expand your library and to read titles that intrigue you, but that you may have overlooked if not for the giveaway.

    The word “epic” is consistently overused in the world of fiction. Many books which claim to be “epic tales” are not worthy of that claim. THE GOLD EATERS by Ronald Wright is truly an epic historical novel. It outlines true events from sixteenth century Peru and weaves them together with fictitious characters. This achieves the effect of bringing personalization to the long ago timeline and draws the reader into the tale.

    The story begins with a Peruvian boy named Waman who is on the cusp of manhood. He lives what seems to me, an idyllic existence in a tiny fishing village in Northern Peru.

    Waman is like every other teenager throughout history. He seeks independence and adventure, as well as the ability to prove that he is old enough to make his own life choices.

    When he decides to leave home to seek his future upon the sea, he visualizes a life filled with adventure, much like the life in the stories he has heard all his life from his grandfather. Little does Waman know that the adventure he seeks will be found and will be much more difficult to endure than he ever could have imagined. In fact, it quite possibly might be than he can handle.

    On his very first sea voyage, Waman ends up captured by a Spanish sea captain who is seeking the fabled land of Peru. He plans to use Waman as a forced interpreter.

    Chained and kept in the bowels of the Spanish ship, Waman immediately regrets following his rash impulse to run away from his boring, but safe life in Little River village.

    The story may begin with a simple Peruvian villager, but that young man soon finds his fate tied not only to the Spaniards, but also to the Inca (King) of Peru as well as his descendants.

    Ronald Wright’s descriptions of the sixteen century Peruvian landscape and their amazing social structure are simply stunning. It is impossible to read this book and not have vivid pictures appear in the reader’s mind.

    I was utterly fascinated by the details of how the Peruvians were able to rule over such a vast geographic area and yet ensure that everyone had enough to eat and poverty simply did not exist. One has to wonder what this amazing civilization might have accomplished had the Spanish never invaded and brought with them the plague of smallpox.

    This book is a MUST READ and is destined to be a bestseller.

    I am ashamed to admit that before reading THE GOLD EATERS, I had not read any of Ronald Wright’s previous books. After discovering his amazing ability to weave fact and fiction into a compelling and fascinating tale, I plan to read any and all of his books as soon as possible.

    I rate THE GOLD EATERS as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



    Historian, novelist, and essayist Ronald Wright is the award-winning author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction published in 16 languages and more than 40 countries.

    Much of his work explores the relationships between past and present, peoples and power, other cultures and our own.

    A Short History of Progress, in which he examines humankind’s increasingly precarious “experiment” with civilization, was the best-selling book in the 50-year history of the prestigious CBC Massey Lecture Series, winning the Libris Award for Nonfiction Book of the Year. Martin Scorsese’s Surviving Progress, a documentary film based on the book and produced by Cinémaginaire, Mark Achbar, and other members of The Corporation team, premiered in fall 2011 (see News).
    Wright’s first novel, A Scientific Romance, a nightmare future of our making, won Britain’s David Higham Prize for Fiction and was chosen a book of the year by the New York Times, the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, and the Globe & Mail. His other bestsellers include Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents, a history of the Americas since Columbus which won the Gordon Montador Award and was chosen a book of the year by the Independent and the Sunday Times.
    Wright contributes criticism to the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. He has also written and presented documentaries for radio and television on both sides of the Atlantic. His 2008 history, What Is America?, was a No.1 bestseller and finalist for the B.C. Book Prize.
    Born in England to Canadian and British parents, Wright read archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University and has been awarded two honorary doctorates. He spent many years in Mexico and South America, Africa, and the South Seas, travelling for his books, taking part in anthropological research, and recording indigenous music. While in Peru he also wrote Lonely Planet’s first Quechua (Inca) phrasebook.
    Wright lives on Canada’s West Coast. His latest novel, The Gold Eaters, is published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Canada and Riverhead/Penguin USA in fall 2015. Three of his earlier works are also newly available in Penguin Modern Classics.

    To learn more about this author visit http://www.ronaldwright.com

    Purchase Links:



    5 Stars for THE PRISON BOOK CLUB by Ann Walmsley

    Cover image obtained from www.annwalmsley.com

    Cover image obtained from http://www.annwalmsley.com


    Author: Ann Walmsley

    Type of Book: Hardcover

    Genre: Non-Fiction

    Length: 279 pages

    Release Date: September 22, 2015

    Publisher: Viking – A Division of Penguin/Random House Publishing

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    * I received a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) in hardcover of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review is not a requirement of receiving the book, but it is appreciated.

    There are several factors that drew me to this book. Firstly, the author, Ann Walmsley, is Canadian and I love to read books written by my fellow Canadians. Secondly, this book is non-fiction and the subject matter intrigued me.

    There is something about prison life that fascinates people. In the past few years a number of new prison-based television series (both fictitious and factual) have been created. Netflix has created a series called “Orange is the New Black” which takes place in a fictional U.S. woman’s prison. New Zealand’s “Wentworth” is similar to “OITNB.” There are also several new documentary/reality shows aired on channels such as A&E including “Behind Bars – Rookie Year” which chronicles the challenges new prison guards face when first beginning their jobs.

    Before reading “The Prison Book Club” I was guilty of thinking of book clubs as the milieu of the middle or upper classes. I had never given a thought to the fact that people in prison would want to take part in such a club. Of course I am aware that reading takes place in prison since it is a way for inmates to pass the time. However, I had a hard time picturing inmates of different religions and different races putting aside their prejudices to get together to discuss literature. To me, this idea seemed to be fraught with pitfalls that would ultimately lead to it’s failure.

    As I read this book I was surprised to read the responses of the inmates to the various books they read. Some of the reactions were insightful and intelligent.

    I understand the goal of the prison book clubs is to foster empathy in the inmates through the reading of literary fiction. I was surprised to find that many of the books that were chosen were books that I had also read and enjoyed. Before reading “The Prison Book Club” I had a hard time picturing hardened criminals sitting together to discuss books in an intelligent and meaningful way. Now that I have finished reading the book, I am able to admit that it was my preconceptions that had skewed my view of what a prison book club would be like. This book has shattered those preconceptions and opened my eyes to the possibility that something as simple as reading and discussing a book can have a profound effect on those who are incarcerated.

    I admit that throughout the book I was waiting for something violent to happen to the author, either during the book club meetings or during her one-on-one interviews with the participants. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case.

    I think anyone who loves a good read will enjoy and be able to relate to this book. It is also interesting to compare my own experiences while reading with those of the prisoners.

    This book will open your eyes to the fact that while there are some people in jail who are probably irredeemable, that is not the case for every inmate. No matter what crime a person has committed or why they did so, these men are still people with valid opinions and who deserve a chance to enrich their lives through reading.

    There is one other thing that readers will take from this gripping book: the desire to either join or start a book club of their own.

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    To find out more about this book or to preorder it before it’s release on September 22, 2015 go to:


    Author photo obtained from www.annwalmsley.com

    Author photo obtained from http://www.annwalmsley.com

    Ann Walmsley is a magazine journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s.

    She is the recipient of four National Magazine Awards, a Canadian Business Journalism Award and two International Regional Magazine Awards.

    Ann founded her first book club at age nine. She lives in Toronto with her family.

    “The Prison Book Club” is her first book.

    To learn more about her visit http://www.annwalmsley.com or follow her on Twitter @annpwalmsley

    AIN’T NO GRAVE by S.A. Softley – 5 Star BOOK REVIEW

    Cover Image obtained from www.softley books.com

    Cover Image obtained from http://www.softley books.com

    The Penance of Leather: Book One

    Author: S.A. Softley

    Type of Book: eBook

    Length: 260 pages

    Genre: Fiction – Suspense

    Release Date: August 1, 2015

    Publisher: Book Baby

    ISBN: 9781483557144

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    * I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

    ** Advisory: This book contains mature themed, occasional violence, sexuality and language that may offend some readers. It is intended for audiences ages 16+

    You can see the trailer for AIN’T NO GRAVE here:

    While on what should have been a short and uneventful flight, a man becomes violently ill. When he stops breathing, CPR is administered but the attempt at resuscitation proves to be futile.

    The pilot announces that the plane will be making an emergency landing. It is at this point that everything seems to go wrong; REALLY wrong.

    “… only comes in flashes; images; feelings. I remember a piercing scream… I remember the searing heat that spread slowly… After that, everything went dark.”

    When consciousness returns to the main character in the story, he realizes he is no longer on the plane. His clean shaven face has mysteriously grown a full beard and hunger gnaws at him. He also realizes he is in a hospital and he seems to be all alone.

    Exiting the hospital he discovers that he is in a small Canadian town. Despite its normal outward appearance, the town is completely silent and seems to have been abandoned in the middle of a regular day. “Looking up and down the road, I couldn’t see movement anywhere.”

    He needs to figure out what happened and exactly what he is going to do about it.

    He quickly realizes that something is really wrong. He seems to be the only person left alive.

    S.A. Softley has created a page-turner that is a distinctly unique take on the post-apocalyptic/zombie genre. When I first started reading and the main character woke up in a hospital, I had visions of a complete rip-off of “The Walking Dead.” This, thankfully, could not be farther from the truth.

    The main character is unique. As readers learn more about him they begin to empathize with his situation. When he meets up with the old man the story takes an interesting and unexpected twist. In fact, I was taken completely by surprise; which does not happen very often.

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    AIN’T NO GRAVE is the first book in The Penance of Leather Series and is such a great story that I was surprised to discover that it was the author’s first novel. I am very much looking forward to the next book.

    Lovers of post-apocalyptic and zombie novels will fall in love with S.A. Softley’s terrific new series.

    Buy a copy of AIN’T NO GRAVE today. You will not be disappointed.

    I highly recommend this book and feel that it deserves a 5 Star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


    “As in so many horror movies, the implication of the monster is always more frightening.”

    “I silently cursed my family for my stunted emotions. My father had never expressed a feeling other than displeasure in his life as far as I could tell and my mother had wandered through life with blinders on, forcefully unaware that she’d married an asshole.”

    “I’d had longer relationships with disposable razors than with most people.”

    “My gaze fell in horror to the grotesque and peeling shape that hung between his legs. Few things could bring as much sympathetic dread to a man as the sight of damage to that most valued of organs.”


    Author image obtained from www.softleybooks.com

    Author image obtained from http://www.softleybooks.com

    S. A. Softley lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada with his wonderful wife. He is a teacher and musician with a number of album and writing credits to his name. When he is not teaching, playing music, reading or writing; he enjoys travelling and seeking out new experiences and adventures. Softley is a perpetual learner and graduate of the University of Calgary. To learn more, visit http://www.SoftleyBooks.com


    Just a quick note to let you know that Circumcised at Seventeen: A Previously Uncut Comedy will be on sale for $0.99 from August 11th to August 13th.


    This is what some

    of you are saying

    A great book; will

    appeal to a

    large audience – Amie

    I laughed very often

    and even out loud –


    Left me giggling long

    after I finished – Ruth

    This is a very cute and

    funny book – Alysia

    A fun book for teens

    and adults – Nancy

    This is hilarious and

    fun reading – Jane

    Tell your friends

    Get your copy now at…

    Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play

    Copyright © 2015 Brian Robert Smith. All rights reserved.


    Cover image obtained from www.milastman.com

    Cover image obtained from http://www.milastman.com


    Author: M.I. Lastman

    Type of Book: Autographed Paperback

    Length: 322 pages

    Genre: Fiction, Apocalyptic, Environmental

    Publisher: Friesen Press

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    * I received a free autographed copy of this book from the author through one of my Goodreads groups.

    ** This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Not only is the story riveting and the characters believable, but it is also terrifyingly plausible, and maybe even inevitable. This is a MUST READ for every adult whether or not they are fans of the post-apocalyptic genre or not.


    This book is written as a memoir that Jim Easom is writing and plans to leave for future generations to find so that they will know what happened to their ancestors.

    When seventy-two year old Jim Easom awakens in his bedroom feeling sore and desperately thirsty, he is surprised to find that he is alone.

    As he slowly regains his strength over the span of several days, Jim realizes that it is not just his wife and grown sons that are nowhere to be found … its his entire neighborhood, and maybe more, much more.

    Realization dawns that he may be the sole survivor of the horrible pandemic that has swept through all of North America.

    Jim spends some time roaming around his native province before setting out to cross the country. His journey begins in Southern Ontario, Canada and his ultimate destination is the Northwest Territories. He hoped that by traveling as far north as the land will allow, that he will find other survivors and ultimately build a new home.

    He does not find much in the way of other people, but he does end up finding and adopting a sheltie puppy. He also, strangely enough, ends up befriending a thirteen year old girl.

    Both the dog and the girl have experienced suffering and unfortunately they have not left that suffering behind.

    The unlikely group travel together as they try to come to terms with their new reality.

    Wow! Right? This book sounds terrific! And, it is a riveting read. But, it is also much more than just a story. It is a warning.

    Why do I say that? In what way is this book a warning? Well, that is actually an easily answered question.

    This book is so terrifyingly believable and oh so plausible that it will raise goosebumps on the arms of it’s readers.

    The post-apocalyptic genre is full of books with doomsday scenarios and stories of “apocalypse by zombie” infestations which no one actually takes seriously. Those books are popular due to shock value and due to the fact that no one believes that those scenarios will ever actually happen. They are “safe” post-apocalyptic fiction, meant for pure entertainment.

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOCUST (Opus 1) is far from the same thing. This book is a clear warning to us all. This COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN. And, it could happen any day now.

    Lest potential readers think this book is too serious, let me reassure you. This book is chock full of wit and is interspersed with bits of humor. Even the author’s choice of pseudonym “M.I. Lastman” is a play on words meaning “Am I the last man?” Humor also presents itself in the name of the stores that Jim visits in the book. The expensive menswear store is called , “Gottbucks” and the superstore that has popped up all over suburbia in the province of Ontario which everyone knows the name of, is called “Plundermart” in the book. There are many more examples in the book of the author’s sarcastic sense of humor, but you will need to read it in order to discover them for yourself.

    This book needs to be read by as many people as possible. Not only is it extremely entertaining, but the message/warning it contains is important.

    The author has a gift for description. For example: “… I drove through a world that, as I’ve said, looked not at all like the Hollywood imaginings of the post-apocalyptic world. There was nothing particularly threatening out there, and the deep calm was eerie.”

    Some may wonder why the author chose to call his book “Rocky Mountain Locust”, but that is explained in the following quote from the book: “… the world was in sorry shape, awaiting something sinister. So Nature simply said ‘Enough,’ as it had in the past with other plagues, and shut us down. Think of the … Rocky Mountain locust. At the height of its infestation, that species must have numbered tens of trillions of individuals… The infestation of locusts mysteriously suddenly collapsed …”

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOCUST would be a great choice for a Book Club read. There are so many different topics that come up when reading this book that a book club could easily spend multiple meetings imagediscussing this one book.

    This book should be added to the MUST READ list of every intelligent adult. I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



    “Nature must have resented our attempts to take over its role in evolution. A new bug with 100% lethality and 100% transmissibility among humans was her solution to the problem…”

    “But I don’t regret the loss of measured time. I find the reckoning of days, nights, and seasons more than sufficient.”

    “… the economy has always come first among humans, way ahead of ethics, way ahead of god, maybe even ahead of sex.”

    “Next I went looking for a gun – a shotgun if possible… The selection would be nothing like as satisfying as you could find at a walk-in weapons fair south of the [Canadian] border – no switchblades, no assault rifles, no submachine guns. In suitably enlightened states such as Texas, the lunatic fringe (more a blanket than a fringe) of American citizenry argued that we had a universal, inalienable right to own guns. Why? – so we could protect ourselves from everybody else’s guns, and from those hordes of marauding animals, which along with miscellaneous ‘Slant-Eyes and Muslims,’ seemed about to break into the sanctity of our homes the moment we left the front door open.”

    “Even as it had become increasingly obvious over the last few years that the United States was, in all but name, at civil war, the National Rifle Association, generously funded by the lucrative American arms industry, continued to devote it’s considerable lobbying and advertising power to safeguarding the right to own guns – bring on the Columbines, the Virginia Techs, and the Newtowns – bring on those black American boys with an average life expectancy of eighteen. Yeehaw, you shoot’em, cowboy!”

    After raiding a high-end menswear store and helping himself to ridiculously expensive clothing, Jim plans to wear the designer clothes and burn them after they are no longer useful.
    “Next morning, I got from the Honda a pair of colourful and expensive Armani shorts and some Birkenstock sandals looted from Gottbuck’s. Before ‘the Death’ if you purchased designer clothes, or designer anything at a high-end shop, you might have the satisfaction of paying one hundred times what the same product would have cost from the big box of the world’s most nonexclusive, most destructive, and ugly merchandiser, Plundermart.”

    “Soon after the weather changed; snow began to melt and icicles dripped steadily. Then came … perfect hoar frost weather. Jenny … had never seen a real hoar frost… These events are extravagantly beautiful. On the golf course there was a light dusting of snow that sparkled in the sun like ten trillion fleeting diamonds. Each solitary tree, according to the intricate drapery of its species, became an infinitely detailed, unique snow-and-ice sculpture. The loght etched improbable gray shadows over pristine and featureless, lauzuline white fairways, framed by a cloudless, sapphire blue sky… This is such a thing unto itself that it beggars description.”

    (From the author’s website)

    “M.I. Lastman is a retired music professor and professional musician who includes enjoying the natural world, travel, and rhetoric among his hobbies. He has published many articles in the academic press and released a number of commercially available CDs. He continues to compose music and perform. Living with his wife in southern Ontario, he is working on the first book of a planned non-fiction trilogy that is a call to action on environmental degradation. You hold in your hand opus one from another project, his first novel. He expects that there will be no need for opus three with his initials reversed. After all, who would read the work of I. M. Lastman?”

    To learn more visit http://www.milastman.com


    I had the distinct pleasure of meeting this author and his wife and enjoyed a lively discussion with them about a variety of topics. It is unfortunate that they live so far from me. It is becoming increasingly difficult to meet people with whom an intelligent conversation can be had. Despite our age difference I felt a kindred meeting of minds with these two wonderful people immediately upon meeting them.


    You can order a hardcover or paperback (or eBook) version of this book online at http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000015123433/M.-I.-Lastman-Rocky-Mountain-Locust

    Buy at Amazon.ca at http://www.amazon.ca/Rocky-Mountain-Locust-M-Lastman/dp/1460247981

    Check it out on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23902394-rocky-mountain-locust

    Buy on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00PBJVTFA?ie=UTF8&redirectFromSS=1&pc_redir=T1&noEncodingTag=1&fp=1

    On Google https://books.google.ca/books?id=r0otBQAAQBAJ&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=rocky+mountain+locust+lastman&source=bl&ots=H_jA5gXQVY&sig=BLq2Gb_md91W8a8RbuE1QkrDvnI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEUQ6AEwC2oVChMIrYSh6dOAxwIVjAOSCh0tRgjh#v=onepage&q=rocky%20mountain%20locust%20lastman&f=false

    MiNRS by Kevin Sylvester – ARC BOOK REVIEW – Release Date September 2015

    MiNRS Cover Art


    Author: Kevin Sylvester

    Type of Book: ARC Paperback

    Length: 338 pages

    Genre: Middle Grade Fiction – Ages 8-12, Grades 3-7

    Release Date: September 22, 2015

    Publisher: Simon and Schuster

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    * I received a free ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

    This book may be targeted at kids ages 8-12 but adults and young adults will enjoy the story as well.

    Earth was on the brink of destruction. Perses, a small planetoid was on a collision course with Earth. People thought that they were all going to die. But, Hans Melming came up with an idea that saved Earth from annihilation.

    Once disaster was averted, it turned out that Perses could sustain life and also had an abundance of minerals, nutrients and precious metals that Earth needed. So, Melming Mining was born.

    Christopher Nichols, Elena Rosales, and their families were among the first to sign up to live, work, and colonize the planet of Perses.

    A small number of people lived and worked on Perses and life there was pretty good. Christopher was both proud and excited to be part of what was being called the “Great Mission.”

    For the first time ever the planet was set to experience a two month long communications blackout between the colony and Earth. The colonists were ready for it and even planned a party for all the colonists at the onset of the blackout.

    They had thought of everything, or so they thought. On the night of the blackout, everyone is attending the party when suddenly bombs start to fall all around them. They are under attack.

    There are only a handful of people who survive the attack and they are all kids. They hide in the maze of mining tunnels located deep under the planet’s surface. But, can they survive the two month blackout? and can they find a way to contact Earth once the blackout ends?

    This book is an action-packed thrill ride suitable for everyone ages 9 and over.

    There are several things I like about MiNRS.

    1. I love the title. “MiNRS” can stand for both “miners” for the job of mining the necessary materials, and for “minors” since all of the survivors are under the age of 16.

    2. The cover of this book is terrific. It gives off the exact vibe of this story. It draws the eye and makes you want to pick up this book to see what it is about. The cover was designed by Sonia Chaghatzbanian.

    3. I like that this book is not all sunshine and roses. People die. People get injured. The kids sometimes fight amongst themselves. Best of all, the kids (even Christopher, their leader) make mistakes. Too many books seem unrealistic because the kids act perfectly, band together seamlessly and make all the right decisions. MiNRS is much more realistic. The kids are scared and they are all traumatized (to varying degrees) by the attack on the colony and the death of their parents.

    4. I love that this book has a moral to the story. In fact, there are several morals that can be learned by reading MiNRS.

    5. I also like the fact that this book addresses the problem of Earth’s finite resources. If the Earth had not depleted it’s own resources, they would never have had to turn to another planet to find the materials that Earth so desperately needs.

    8. I like the fact that this book is over 300 pages in length. When buying a book I like to know I am getting value for more money.

    7. I also enjoyed the ending. It neatly wraps up the storyline and just when you think everything is resolved the author throws a curveball and sets up the next book in the series.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I will definitely be on the lookout for the second book in the MiNRS series.

    REMINDER: Mark your calendars for the release of MiNRS on September 22, 2015.


    MINRS Author Pic Kevin Sylvester

    Kevin Sylvester is a writer and illustrator who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    His books: Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders won the 2011 Silver Birch award for Fiction. Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction was runner-up in 2012. Neil Flambe and the Crusader’s Curse was up for the 2013 Silver Birch. His picture book Splinters was nominated for the 2012 Blue Spruce! Cathy Rondina and Kevin Sylvester won the Silver Birch for Non-Fiction in 2012 for Don’t Touch that Toad. His book Gold Medal for Weird won the 2009 Silver Birch for Non-Fiction.

    He has also been a broadcaster with CBC Radio in Canada for many years.

    To find out more about him visit http://kevinsylvesterbooks.com