It’s Mid-August! Still looking for a fun book to read this summer?

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Summer Reading!

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Paperbacks available at Juniper Books!

Pick up some summer reading! JuniperBooks1

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Slip Jig Summer Signing

We had a good day at Juniper Books. Thanks to all who came out!

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It’s Almost Slip Jig Summer Day!

This Tuesday, March 27 is the release day for Slip Jig Summer! Yay!

If you’re in Windsor, I will be having a meet and greet at Juniper Books on Sunday, April 8th from 1pm-4pm. I will have copies of Slip Jig Summer, She Dreamed of Dragons, and This Night Sucks for sale.

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Windsor Author: Brittni Brinn

Image result for the patch project brittniBrittni Brinn has been involved in many creative endeavours in Windsor. She has co-hosted the radio show Hardcover: A Literary Podcast and has wrote plays for Paper-Knife Theatre. Her newest project is her debut novel, The Patch Project.

The Patch Project is a post-apocalyptic story following a small group of survivors as they navigate their new world and discover their and mysterious powers. The book started off as a short story during Brinn’s undergraduate studies.

“I was getting into post-apocalyptic stories at the time, and wanted to write a piece in a domestic setting that would juxtapose something homey and comfortable, like Christmas, with the stark emptiness of a wasteland environment,” said Brinn. “I really enjoy writing in the speculative vein – exploring a concept or a character that isn’t quite of the everyday world.”

Brinn is thankful for her post-secondary experience, which pushed her to share her writing after years of keeping her poems and stories private. She also developed an interest for playwriting.

“The theatre fascinates me,” said Brinn, who has written four one act plays and a full length play, Runaways, that have been produced in the Windsor and Edmonton areas.

Brinn will be taking on a new role as an actor in the upcoming Paper-Knife Theatre production of A Lichen by Stephanie Yee. She will also be directing Yellow Vines, an original thriller by Linda Collard, in June.

“Having lived in Edmonton, I appreciate the space there is in Windsor for artists to try things,” said Brinn. “For the most part, artists have to make their own opportunities here, and I think it brings people together in a unique way.”

Brinn’s advice for writers is to make sure you actually enjoy what you’re writing and to tackle the projects you’re passionate about the most.

“I meet a lot of artists who have a story or a project they’ve been sitting on for years – they care very much about those projects and don’t want to “ruin” them,” said Brinn. “But if you have the idea, write it out!”

Brittni Brinn will be reading from The Patch Project at the Green Bean Café (2320 Wyandotte Street West) on Wednesday, March 28 from 5:30pm-9:00pm. For more information you can visit the Facebook event page.

You can find Brittni Brinn on Facebook (@brittniinink), Twitter (@brittni_in_ink) and Instagram (@brittni_in_ink).

[originally posted on Windsor Arts & Crafts]

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Juniper Books: Windsor’s House of Books

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For over a decade Juniper Books has been Windsor’s “house of books”. The shop holds at least 45,000 books spread out between various rooms in the house – from cooking books in the kitchen, to a main floor full of literature and history, and a garage packed with discount books.

The shop focuses on used and rare books and also has a selection of new books by local authors. Some of the rare finds currently in store are first editions of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy, and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler.

Juniper Books is located at 1990 Ottawa Street in Windsor, Ontario. For more information you can visit their webpage or Facebook.

[originally posted on Windsor Arts & Crafts]

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Mirror World Publishing Celebrates Anniversary

Mirror World Publishing recently celebrated their fourth year in business.

The local publisher was created by sisters Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred, who are both writers. Co-creator Justine Alley Dowsett had learned many necessary skills of running a press by previously self-publishing her first four novels and working as a producer/business and marketing director for a video game company.

“I decided to take what I had learned there and combine it with my publishing experience,” said Dowsett. “My sister, Murandy Damodred, urged me to take the risk and together we launched Mirror World Publishing with the first in our dark fantasy romance series, Mirror’s Hope as our inaugural novel.”  Mirror's Hope (Ebook)

The name Mirror World is inspired by that first book and the parallel worlds that exist within it. The press continues to publish books for children, young adults, and adults that let readers escape to other worlds: whether it is fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal or romance.

Bewitching Hannah - Ebook“Having a memorable name and brand really opens doors and allows you to gain traction which I found near to impossible as an individual in the industry,” said Dowsett. “Not to mention the fact that having a team of authors working with us has just been a blessing in getting our name out into the world.”

Dowsett believes Windsor is a great home base for Mirror World Publishing and many of the books are even by local authors. Other books in their catalogue include authors from Calgary, New York and London, England.

“We have an exceptional pool of writing and artistic talent in this city,” said Dowsett. “People are down to earth and easy to talk to and there is a great entrepreneurial spirit here.”She Dreamed of Dragons (E-Book)

Mirror World author Sharon Ledwith recently took part in the A Taste of Literature event to help raise funds for the Windsor International Writers Conference. In May, Dowsett and Damodred will be part of their own A Taste of Literature event to celebrate their upcoming book, Mirror’s Deceit. In July they’ll be at The Windsor International Writers’ Conference running a round table discussion, attending panels, and meeting with authors one-on-one to discuss their submissions in person. In September they will be returning to Word on the Street in Toronto and in November they will be travelling to London for the Southwest Book Expo.

At these upcoming events they will have the opportunity to showcase their previously published titles, as well as brand new books coming out in 2018.

“First up for 2018 we have Nate Friedman’s newest Canadian classic for kids, The Last Hockey Fight,” said Dowsett. “Then, in April we’ll be releasing the sequel to Sandra Unerman’s Spellhaven, entitled Ghosts and Exiles.”

The Time Traveller's Resort and Museum - EbookOther new 2018 titles include the third title in the Mirror World series, Mirror’s Deceit, a middle grade adventure novel, a fantasy novel, and a children’s picture book.

Dowsett’s best piece of advice for new writers is to try to write every day.

“Momentum is key when writing a novel, I really believe that,” said Dowsett. “However, if you get stuck, or if life gets busy, the other important thing to keep in mind is not to berate yourself or feel bad for not writing every day.”

Balancing her own writing career and running a small press is a big task, but Dowsett’s other words of wisdom include, “Make sure you love what you do.”

By doing what she loves, working with a team of people she can trust, and constantly evolving and learning new tasks, Dowsett and the Mirror World team has had a successful four years. Mirror World hopes to continue offering quality books where readers can escape reality and enjoy new and fascinating worlds.

[originally posted on Windsor Arts & Crafts]

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Windsor Author: Shay Lee Soleil

PictureWindsor writer Shay Lee Soleil didn’t put her stories to paper until she had to take a medical leave from work. Soleil had just completed her radiation treatment for breast cancer and needed something to keep her mind busy while she recovered.

“All these thoughts were running wild in my head and I had to rush to write them down before they were lost,” said Soleil. “I find writing makes me happy.”

Her husband and children could see the time and energy Soleil put into her writing and encouraged her to let others read her stories. In 2015 she published the first book in her erotic romance Unforgivable series: Lust & Fire. In 2016 the second book in the series, Lust & Restraint, was published. The books follow 22 year old Keera:

Keera was thrown into a life of independence at a young age after both her parents died in a tragic accident. Her childhood friends and grandparents helped her through the devastating loss. Living a lonely life, she dreams of having a passionate relationship like her parents had, but will she ever let a man into her life?

“I am now my own publisher and have sold my books worldwide,” said Soleil. “It is such a great feeling when your readers contact you saying they loved your books and they can’t wait for the next.”Picture

Soleil is currently at work on the third book in the series, and hopes to have it published by the end of 2018. Her advice for new writers is to take the plunge and write their book.

“There are so many people who tell me they started to write a book or they’ve always wanted to and I say, you should,” said Soleil. “You should definitely follow your dreams. Life is short.”

Soleil will be available to meet readers in-person at her upcoming signing at the Devonshire Mall Chapters. The event takes place on Saturday, February 10 from 1:00-4:00. Her books are available as paperbacks at Chapters, can be ordered from Coles, and can be purchased as eBooks from on-line book sellers (such as Amazon). For more information you can also visit her website.

[originally posted on Windsor Arts & Crafts]

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A Photo Book for a Good Cause

book cover outline It’s a Dog’s Life: Saving Lives Through the Lens is a full colour photo book following thirteen different furry canines, with a portion of its proceeds helping rescue dogs.

The project is the work of Sarnia based photographer Laura Lynn Mclean. She began her photography career shooting weddings and later transitioned to working in her home-based portrait studio. The studio eventually became a pet portrait studio and Mclean also volunteered at the Sarnia and District Humane Society, photographing adoptable pets. She has always been an animal lover and has fond memories of her first dog, a black-lab mix named Star. She currently has a 13 year old rescue dog named Maggie and a cat named Truffles.

In 2017, Mclean decided to pursue project based work with her photography, and it only seemed natural to continue photographing dogs.

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Photo by Laura Lynn Mclean

“This allows me to take my time to create art that means something to me, not just commissioned,” said Mclean.  “It’s a great mix of both worlds.”

Finding the right families with the right dogs was the first step of the project. The dogs needed to be comfortable around strangers, happy to be photographed, and the family had to be able to commit to at least two photo sessions and an interview about their pets. In the end, Mclean found thirteen wonderful participants who are now featured in the book. The dogs range from purebreds to rescued street dogs.

“Doing the book was a way to connect with pet owners and give them the opportunity to show off their dogs in a positive way,” said Mclean.  “Not all dogs are treated equally because of breed, size or adoption status.  I wanted the book to cross those boundaries.”

The focus of the book is to the show the life of the dog from the dog’s point of view.

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Photo by Laura Lynn Mclean

“The focus had to be on how the dog spent their days,” said Mclean. “Little to no people in the images unless necessary.”

Mclean thoroughly enjoyed the process of meeting the new dogs and spending time with them to capture the perfect images, which truly shows in the photos. The dogs are photographed exploring the great outdoors, playing with a favourite toy, or lounging in a favourite spot. The book includes 84 full colour photographs.

“I never rushed a session, and it was as much playtime as it was taking photos,” said Mclean. “Learning each of their personalities was a tremendous learning experience.”

A portion of the proceeds of each book purchased in 2018 will be donated to CK Animal Rescue. After 2018, the book will no longer be available, but Mclean is hoping to create volume two of It’s a Dog’s Life for 2020. CK Animal Rescue is a dog and cat rescue group that is based in Chatham. The rescue group accepts applications from potential adopters in Chatham Kent, Sarnia, Windsor, London and points in between. Their animals live in foster homes until their volunteers find their perfect forever home.

It’s a Dog Life can be purchased directly from Laura Lynn Mclean. She asks that you contact her at lauralynnmcleanphoto AT gmail DOT com. The cost of the book is $52.48 (additional charge for shipping).

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Photo by Laura Lynn Mclean

[originally published on Windsor Arts & Crafts]

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