Mid-Year Review of Éric’s 2022 New Year’s Resolutions

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

It’s been an exciting six months and by that, I mean blarg. I still find it disturbing how much of the world is convinced the pandemic is over. Hopefully soon, we’ll see a vaccine for infants approved in Canada. Then I will feel much better, but I still am going to continue to be careful. It will be a while before I give up my mask.

Anyway, let’s see how I’m doing with my resolutions!

Writing

1. Write a monthly serial story (Succeeding)

The hardest part about this year’s serial story is not writing ahead. Currently, as of this writing, dealing with carpal tunnel, that might not be a problem. Read from the beginning of the Aetherverse.

2. Write Guise and Dolls Faymous with Jen (Success)

This went famously (haha). I loved writing this story and I’m glad that it’s now vacated that part of my brain that it’s been occupying for the past decade. Unfortunately, a spin-off series has decided to move in.

3. Finish Copper Tarnish (Pending)

Pending health, I have no idea how this is going to go. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it, but if not, I’m not going to risk injuring myself worse over it.

4. Write book 3 of The Gates of Westmeath with Jen (Pending)

Unlike Copper Tarnish, this book starts from scratch/random jot notes, and won’t need heavy line-editing before I start, so I should be able to do this one with dictation software. I hope.

5. Keep Working on FADDS (Succeeding)

I created an entire ridiculously complex module for mixing components that was just way too much. So, I remade it in a simpler way and it seems to be working really well. I’m continuing to tweak and add more monsters as I go. Mostly, I’m just having fun with the system and my players.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

6. Ensure 5+ days of updates (Succeeding)

You may be sensing a theme, but depending on health issues, we may be dropping to four days a week, but not yet, and I don’t know. So we’ll see.

7. Write a movie review each week (Succeeding)

So far, so good. I might need to create a template to copy-paste to make my life easier.

8. Design and release a new flavour and redesign Green Apple (Pending)

Ottawa ComicCon is happening in September. This one will depend on how my health is. It’s not the highest priority; that will be roasting and packing ComicCon levels of coffee.

Personal

9. Read 5 Books (Pending)

Other than books that I’ve written or that Jen wrote, I’m a little behind on this. As in, halfway through the first book. But for some reason, I forsee having more chances to read (if Jen will let me).

10. Be More Patient (shrug)

Honestly, I have no idea how I’m doing on this one. I do know that I’m a terrible injured/sick person. Feeling like I’m letting people down makes me grumpy.

11. Don’t over stress (Failing)

I have developed tools to help me de-stress. Playing ukulele, reading, writing, playing video games, and cooking. The only one of those that I can currently do without hurting myself is reading. Let’s hope this dictation software works and doesn’t add to the stress.

My work is also irrationally pushing a return to the office and that’s still causing lots of stress with an unvaccinated toddler. HURRY THE F UP, HEALTH CANADA!

12. Practice bass or ukulele 2-3 times a week (Failing)

I was doing well with this. I even memorized the Spider-man theme on the bass and wrote a song for the ukulele. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do this for a while.


The good news, I haven’t utterly failed at anything yet and I have a few Successes.

I’m going to take that as a positive and just do what I can for the rest of the year.

How are your resolutions going?

Éric

10+ Books for $10 (Aurora Awards Voter Package)

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve talked about the Aurora Awards before.

Now all the nominating is over and it’s time for people to read the nominees and vote for their favourite.

Here’s a list of the nominated works

If you sign up for the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association and pay $10, you’ll have access to most of the nominated works. That’s 10+ novels, collections, short stories, and more. The voters package will be available until voting closes on July 23rd.

What are the Aurora Awards?

aurora

The Aurora Awards are awards “for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy works and activities.” They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

It’s a fan-voted award in the vein of the Hugo’s, but with way more awesome people.

In Conclusion

Sign up, get ebooks, read, and then vote for your favourites. It’s a great deal and you’ll love the books.

So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Renaissance is looking for readers!

Hello Book Readers,

My publisher is looking for people to read submissions. I would love to do it, but I’m not eligible since I keep submitting books to them.

Read below, and if you’re interested in helping choose what awesome books get published, go ahead and apply.

Thank you,

Éric


There are so many amazing stories out there, and every time we open ourselves to submissions, we become inundated with them, and it’s become evident that we need help! Please read below to see if this is something that might interest you, and please share this call with your network!

What will I be reading?

Renaissance is interested in stories that live in liminal spaces; between genres, between identities, between states. We love to publish stories of joy, triumph, hope, and optimism; but the optimism which takes work and commitment, the joys which come from radical hope and love. These are the stories we hope to receive, and we hope those will be the ones you will read.

What is the time commitment?

You get to choose your level of commitment, whether that is a manuscript once every few years, or one a month, you are only obligated to read and evaluate the manuscripts you’ve committed to, at the frequency of your choice.

How will I rate the books?

We have a comprehensive form for you to fill out which will guide you through the process of commenting by asking you questions about the plot, characters, style, and our specific editorial concerns. We strongly encourage you to read the questions before you read the manuscript so that you are familiar with what you are looking for, and we will send you those questions on a word document along with the manuscript, and most of the questions are answered on a scale of one to ten, with requests for you to comment on why you chose that number (the final submission for your comments is done via Google Forms.)

Who makes the final decision?

We take your comments under serious advisement! However, you do not bear the burden of the final decision. We make sure that a minimum of three readers read each submission; after that, we look at the results of your evaluation, and based on these cumulative results, we determine whether or not the final acquisitions committee will read the manuscript. When the committee does, they will come to a final decision on the manuscript; your role in the selection process is to filter what ends up on their plate.

What’s in it for me?

References

Even though this reading work is done on a volunteer basis, this still counts as work experience, which allows us to act as professional references for you in future employment endeavours!

Industry contacts

Renaissance is a member of the Association of English Language Publishers of Quebec, the Association of Canadian Pubilshers, and the Literary Press Group of Canada. One of our co-founders, Nathan, also sits on the board of directors of LitDistCo. We get all their newsletters, and we keep very informed of what is going on at other independent presses, which means we can easily pass on job opportunities and other industry news to you, as well as invite you to meetings you might be interested to sit in on, which often provide trainings and/or insights in the current Canadian publishing landscape.

Fun books to read

We have received SO MANY amazing stories every time we have opened for submissions in the past, it was sometimes physically painful to say no to some of them. One of (in our opinion) the best perks of reading our incoming manuscripts.

Please apply now if you are interested, and share widely with your network!

Conditions and conflicts of interests

Confidentiality

Authors who submit to us trust us with their precious book babies, and we owe it to them to exercise the utmost discretion with it. Be respectful of their creative labour and do not disclose anything you read about the manuscript outside of filling the forms and speaking to Renaissance staff, whether positive or negative; authors deserve to know their ideas, characters, and worlds are safe with us.

3 years after having published a book with us

If you have published a book with Renaissance before, please know you cannot be a reader for us until three years have passed since original publication.

2 years before publishing a book with us

If you choose to be a reader for Renaissance, please know that you cannot also submit a manuscript for our consideration. You must wait at least two years after your resignation from reading for us before you may submit a manuscript.

Other conflicts of interest

You may not be a reader for Renaissance the same calendar year as a member of your immediate family, such as a spouse, parent, or child, submits a work for publication.

You may not be a reader for a work of which you are friends, ex-friends, ex-partners, or family with the author (this includes cousins, niblings, in-laws, grandparents, etc.), or any other person you have an existing relationship with (neighbour, co-worker, dogsitter, cat’s ex-lover’s sister-in-law, etc.) This rule is true whether the feelings you have towards this person are positive, negative, or neutral.

You may not evaluate a work you are also evaluating for another publishing company.

Please make use of judgement when evaluating whether a conflict of interest exists. You are required to disclose any conflict of interest immediately as they arise.

Apply to be a reader!

Semi-Coherent Ramblings

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last night, between Pegasus waking up several times (it’s been a while since he’s done that), insomnia, stress dream, and a couple of days of really bad allergies; I didn’t sleep well.

I’m a little grumpy today. Mumble mumble mumble. So I apologize for today’s disjointed post and possible incoherence.

Jen and I’s newest work in progess is going well. I love being able to plan and geek out about stuff with her as we write. Even if it means we don’t get to bed at anything related to a reasonable hour. I’m planning on writing a song for it and I’m terrified I’ll screw it up.

I read up on the plot, deaths, and story of the new Doctor Strange movie and I have to say it sounds pretty tedious. I loved WandaVision and from what I’ve read, it undoes a lot of the character progression of Wanda and falls into the “hysterical woman” trope that Marvel comics love so much. It’s a good thing Marvel releases so many movies because there are more and more of them that I don’t like.

I’m just waiting for a large bag of dirt that comes in on Friday and I’ll be able to plant my garden. Every year I say I won’t garden, and every year I do. I love the idea of growing my own food. Unfortunately, I only have a green thumb with the help of a marker.

Shamelessly cute photo of the kids.

Jen and I are prepping two manuscripts for submission and it’s a little stressful, but fun. Both are related to Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers (Pre-orders now open at your local bookstores for September 15th) and that makes it awkward for our publisher. They have to judge the quality, but also have to decide if it’s financially worth publishing a sequel and story collection without having any sales data. You could make their decision easier by pre-ordering it. 🙂

I’m not good at this whole publicity thing. I need to improve my ability to get people interested about my books. They are awesome, but if you don’t read them, how do you know you want to read them? Jen has all sorts of exciting ideas that are great.

I think I’ve rambled enough for today.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

A Whole lot of Books Coming out

Hello Readers,

Jen and I have been busy and we have 3 books between the two of us coming out in the next 12 months. They are being published by Renaissance Press and will be available at any place you buy books.

I hope you’re excited, because we sure are!

Éric


Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers

Release: September 15th, 2022

Authors: Jen and Éric Desmarais

When Kennedy Fairfield, a recent graduate (Class of 2002) trying to find her purpose in life, or at least a job in her field, saves Jason Johnson, the leader of a secret Community of supernatural people called Aetherborn, from an attempted assassination, they embark on a whirlwind epic romance and adventure.

For Kennedy to help Jason discover why people are disappearing in time to save her friends, they”ll have to navigate teleporting assassins, grumpy wizards, gossiping hags, mafia robots, and secret military groups, all in the city of Westmeath, Ontario, which has more secrets than residents.

Pre-orders for this books are available at all bookstores and ebook vendors.

Crushing It

Release: Spring 2023

Author: Jen Desmarais

When Tommy Fairfield, an ordinary science geek, meets Carter Batudev at the Door Tech March Break camp, chemistry isn’t only in the classroom.

After an epic grounding for some bad decisions with even worse friends, Tommy is lucky to even go to the camp. Thankfully, his mother still drops him off in Westmeath, leaving his sister Kennedy and her fiancé Jason in charge. With love and a renewed interest in STEM, Tommy returns home to Parry Sound.

Despite his parents’ worries, Tommy makes better friends and joins the STEM club, which goes to the province-wide competition in Toronto. Carter’s team is there, too. Romance, STEM, singing, and hijinks ensue.

Includes a novelette from Carter’s POV at the dinner theatre show Knights of Everdome.

The Mystery of the Dancing Lights (A Baker City Mystery Elizabeth Investigates Book 4)

Release: Spring 2023

Author: Éric Desmarais

Mysteries are Elizabeth Coderre’s life, and after wizards, hags, artificers, vampires, kobolds, genies, and killer kittens, she thinks she’s seen everything.
She’s wrong!

And when she goes to Riding Thorpe summer camp, which is build on an old government experimental facility, she discovers that there’s a lot she doesn’t know.

Can she solve the mystery of the dancing lights, save her friends, and escape a time loop? Or is she cursed to relive her friends’ deaths forever?

Includes a brand-new murder mystery novella by Jen Desmarais starring Kennedy Fairfield (from Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers) about her 1995 summer vacation in Baker.

Those Other Books I Make

Hello My imaginary Friends,

For the past 5 years, I’ve been creating books that you can’t read.

Don’t worry, they’re not fiction or that semi-autobiographical Dinosaur Road Trip. (I should work on that again… maybe.)

Every year I make photobooks of the Dragon and now of Pegasus.

It feels extra, but we take roughly 2500 photos of the kids a year and we rarely go look at the digital albums. It’s nice to go pull out the books. It’s like the old photo albums, but without the fading.

So every year I make a copy of the pictures and sort through them and eliminate them until I have 200-250 for each kid and I create a photobook through Costco. It takes a long time. Actually, every year I swear I’ll start earlier or maybe just let a software do it for me, but I can’t do that.

So I’m proud to say that my first two books of the year are printed and published. Yay!

It’s a good thing they’re cute.

Now to write a story that has been percolating for over 13 years. It started as a dream that Jen had and I came up with a basic plot. Over the years it’s changed a lot, but now it’s time to get it written, and since it was Jen’s dream, she’s going to help me.

We’ve planned and plotted and now I’m going to go write.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Éric’s 2022 New Year’s Resolutions

Hello 2022! (Glances around nervously)

2021 was a surreal year, both because I finished writing 4 books and because it started to sink in that this whole pandemic is going to last longer than I expected.

Here’s to hoping 2022 is better.

My resolutions are not breakable promises, but goals that I hope to achieve.

Changing the Outlook Heart and Brain Comics The Awkward Yeti

Writing

1. Write a monthly serial story

It’s going to be my 9th year in a row doing this and I’m really excited for this year’s story. Get ready to see the beginning of the Aetherverse.

2. Write Guise and Dolls with Jen

After over a decade of waiting, I’m finally going to write this one. Jen’s going to help me and I can’t wait. This will be a more complicated book for us than those we’ve written before because we don’t have an outline in advance.

3. Finish Copper Tarnish

I started this book in November 2016. It’s time to finish it and get the darned story out of my head.

4. Write book 3 of The Gates of Westmeath with Jen

This is super ambitious, but we managed it last year so I’m hoping.

5. Keep Working on FADDS

I’m loving this system and I think it’s a few years (at the rate I’m going) before it’s ready to submit. I’d like to do a cleanup of the monster rules and maybe a reread of the spelling and grammar, but as long as I’m adding stuff, I’m good.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

6. Ensure 5+ days of updates

I’m going to do my best to keep our 5 day a week schedule. We’re in a nice little groove, so I think it’ll go okay. If things change, I’ll let you know.

7. Write a movie review each week

I’ve managed it two years now and I think it’s feasible to do it again. People have told me they like the reviews, so I’ll continue.

8. Design and release a new flavour and redesign Green Apple

In theory, Ottawa ComicCon is supposed to happen in September. I’m not sure what this or future variants will mean for events, but I need to get ready. I’d like to get these done and roast appropriately.

Personal

9. Read 5 Books

I failed miserably at this last year. I’ve lost my dedicated reading time and I need to find another. I love reading and I miss it.

10. Be More Patient

Every year I get a little better and I’m trying really hard not to yell as much. Hopefully I can keep getting calmer and move more towards gentle parenting.

11. Don’t over stress

This will probably be a fail but I need to learn how to destress. I have minor depression and when I spiral I get very stressed, defensive, and insecure. It’s not fun and I need to learn when it happens and treat it like a health issue instead of noticing after I get snippy with my wife.

Beyond that, I also don’t react well physically when I get stressed and I need to learn how to destress for my health.

12. Practice bass or ukulele 2-3 times a week

I got a beautiful Kala U-bass for Christmas and need to use it. I’m hoping for daily, but that won’t happen. I love making pretty noises and I know it helps me destress.


So after 4 years of slowly getting worse at my resolutions, I have made this ambitious list. Let’s hope I can do it and no matter what, I know I’ll have something to show at the end.

I wish for you all you need to complete your resolutions.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Making that left turn at New Albion

This story takes place twelve years after the events in Parasomnia, seven years after Everdome, and six years after the event in Night of the Sisters and Stuck in a Cabin for the Holidays.

Both Parasomnia and Everdome are now available at your local book store and our store.


“MERLIN!” screamed all three little girls at once. They were small and graceful and loud. They were obviously sisters, despite their difference in colouring; one being metallic gold, another being black as ebony, and the last being the pale copper of the woman who was watching me with a raised eyebrow.

When I nodded at the woman, the three girls threw themselves at me. We hugged and I desperately tried to remember anything that would give me a hint of what was going on.

At the age of fifteen, I discovered I was destined to be the all-powerful and all-knowing Guardian of Reality known as Merlin. Or Emrys or the prophet Merlinus Ambrosius or Myrdin of Earth and Aether. No pressure right? The frustrating thing was that I’d met my older self and had even looked up to him, which had made the whole thing weird.

“What are we learning today?” asked the golden little girl.

“Well…” I trailed off.

She finished for me, “Ugh, not a review day.”

The woman, who was in her mid- to late-thirties, spoke with a slight accent I didn’t recognize and said, “Jamie, what’s a review day?”

The little girl with ebony skin replied, “It’s a day where he pretends he’s forgotten what he taught us and we have to teach it to him.”

Here’s the thing about being Merlin, it doesn’t happen in order. I haven’t been at it long, it’s hard being a Guardian and having a life. They obviously knew me well, but I had never met them. 

The one thing I’d told myself last time I saw me, yeah, my life is interesting, was that I had to try and fake it as much as possible or we’d lose our mysterious wizard vibes.

“That’s right,” I said. “What was the last thing I taught you?”

The three girls pouted and their mother smirked, “Jamie, Adelaide, and Ajay, please humour him. He’s told me multiple times that teaching someone something is a great way to remember.”

That sounded more like something my father would say, but it was right.

The third little girl said, “You taught us about the importance of the Day of the Sisters and how it wasn’t just our birthday or a reason to party, it was a way for the world to celebrate the light overcoming the dark.”

I had come to this festively decorated castle looking for my sister. She’d taught me a spell that would let me jump between realms, realities connected through magic. I’d expected to arrive where she was, but magic doesn’t care about what I expect.

I’d been studying the realms with my thesis supervisor Mr. Batudev, who was an actual knight of Everdome. This wasn’t Everdome. Though the sky was clear of floating islands, there was a heavy snowfall and lots of clouds.

“Anything else?” I asked.

“You told us that we needed to know the realms and be able to name them,” Jamie said, looking proud of herself.

The woman smiled at me and looked away from the girls as she laughed.

“Right. So go ahead,” I said.

The three girls screamed the answer in perfect, unsettling, unison. “The new realms are Earth, the Fay, Everdome, Make-Believe, and here.”

“It’s important to say the name,” the woman said, winking at me.

“New Albion,” the girls replied. It was a strange realm; the youngest technically, only being a full realm for ten years, but it had its own history that dated back several thousand. It had been created by a group of people with more magical know-how than ethics and was now ruled by a High Queen that was said to be a great ruler and a massive nerd.

I was about to thank Queen Ashley of Cambria, High Queen of New Albion, when the girls continued, “The ancient realms are Asgal, Seidrheim, Mulciber, and the Great Forest.” I’d only heard of one of those outside Norse mythology.

“Alright, girls. I think Merlin has had enough for one day. Why don’t you eat some of that candy from your birthday?”

That reminded me. “Speaking of which, I have something for you girls. It’s not much, but happy birthday.” I reached into the pocket dimension that was built into my jeans and pulled out three chocolate bars. My fiancée loved salted caramel and I always had some on hand for her.

The girls took their chocolates and ran off. After a deep breath, Ashley said, “So you just always have those on you?”

“Yes,” I said, not wanting to say too much.

“Did you know that’s their favourite?”

“I do now,” I replied, which got me a chuckle.

She patted my shoulder and said, “I’m always amazed at how they don’t notice your change of age. Especially now, you’re what? Eighteen?”

“Twenty-two, actually,” I said sheepishly.

Nodding, she said, “You’re not supposed to be here yet. You don’t go off travelling until your nineties.”

I desperately wanted to ask why, but decided it was best not to know my own future. When you know you’re going to live a few thousand years, it’s best not to dwell on what will happen because it’ll inevitably be sad.

“I was looking for—” A portal opened with a loud TARDIS sound next to us and my sister walked through.

“There you are,” she said, almost scolding. “I left you a message to find me.”

Feeling like an idiot, I replied, “I tried.”

“I forget how young you are,” my sister replied. She was my sister, no doubt about it, but she wasn’t the sister from my time. My little sister was just over ten right now and this version of her looked eighteen. I’d never seen a version of her that looked older and that worried me.

“Right, I’m young and naive and you’re the ancient one.” I paused and looked at her eyes. They were tired and I realized she was ancient. “How long do you have?”

Ashley looked awkward and said, “Um. Sorry. Nice to meet you. You must be Morgana.”

“I am and it’s nice to see you again,” my sister said and shook the queen’s hand. Turning back to me, she said, “I need to show you the birth of time in our universes.”

“Why?” both Ashley and I asked.

“Like you guessed, I’m dying and you need to teach my successor.” She was the Guardian of Time.

I didn’t like the idea of my sister dying, but I asked, “Who’s your successor?”

“Me,” she replied and opened a portal.

The TARDIS noise reminded me I had a SD card in my pocket. Giving it to Ashley, I said, “This has seasons ten to thirteen of Doctor Who on it.” 

Ashley squeed and hugged me, saying thank you.

As I left, I added, “Blessed Yule and may your hearts always be warmed by the fires of love and hope.”

As I walked through the gate with Morgana, I wondered what was ahead of me and if I was up to the challenge of teaching her younger self.

“It’s okay, big brother. You’ll do fine.” I hoped she was right; even though she’d lived it, time could always change. 

Vaguely from all around me, I heard the girls’ voices say, “Myrdin, as you walk the paths of time, don’t forget to bring us to life.”

I guess it really was the Day of the Sisters for me. May the Goddess light my way.


Read More holiday stories featuring Merlin:

PARTY! Digital and Festive!!!

Hello Readers and lovers of books,

Come join me tomorrow from 4-6 for some awesome books and great people. Renaissance Press is hosting a Holiday PARTY!!!

Put on your ugliest holiday sweater and join us for a celebration of the holidays and our latest releases!

There will be readings, heartwarming tales, and multiple treats and prizes to win!

You can register, for free of course, here!

I’ll be reading from the Holiday portion of my newest book Coffee Shop Between the ‘Verses.

Coffee Shop Between The ‘Verses by Éric Desmarais (YA)

Jackie sometimes likes to have conversations with the characters, and as he reads five novellas in the small Ontario town of Baker…

In The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicitous, the grumpy Felix is thrown into an adventure through time, despite his protestations.

In Only Human, Rachel has accidentally signed up for the University of Monsters.

In Wargrave Island, Inspector Riko Dulac has to find out who’s killing all her former high school classmates before there’s no one left.

In Database of the Ageless Kings, Sophia rebuilds an alien ship, only to find the galactic prince still inside.

In Devices of Desire, follow Artemis, Diana, and Ezekiel as they navigate secret identities, demons, and love in the kingdom of Cillian.

Are the characters Jackie is talking with real? Is he just talking to himself? Or is something else going on?

There will be plenty of other awesome authors and generally great people.

Hope to see you there!

Éric

Deck the Halls with Books!

Join me and some other fantastic authors for a few hours of awesomeness.

Put on your ugliest holiday sweater and join us for a celebration of the holidays and our latest releases!

There will be readings, heartwarming tales, and multiple treats and prizes to win!

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION

Automatically generated live closed captioning will be available for this event. All visual material will be described.

For any additional accessibility inquiries, please contact Renaissance at pressesrenaissancepress@gmail.com

Register now!

About the books

Samantha’s Sandwich Stand by Sonia Saikaley and illustrated by Nathan Caro Frechette (children’s picture book)

Samantha is bored. It is summer and her friends are on vacation. When she sees a lemonade stand, she wants to open one but her father convinces her to sell something different: her mother’s homemade Lebanese cream cheese and cucumber pita sandwiches. But can she convince others that her sandwich treat is just as refreshing and delicious as lemonade? When her friends return from their holidays and offer to help her, along with a very hungry eagle, will customers finally come and buy her sandwiches? Samantha’s Sandwich Stand is an inspiring story about believing in yourself, accepting help from others when something doesn’t succeed at first, and celebrating each other’s differences.

Coffee Shop Between The ‘Verses by Éric Desmarais (YA)

Jackie sometimes likes to have conversations with the characters, and as he reads five novellas in the small Ontario town of Baker…

In The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicitous, the grumpy Felix is thrown into an adventure through time, despite his protestations.

In Only Human, Rachel has accidentally signed up for the University of Monsters.

In Wargrave Island, Inspector Riko Dulac has to find out who’s killing all her former high school classmates before there’s no one left.

In Database of the Ageless Kings, Sophia rebuilds an alien ship, only to find the galactic prince still inside.

In Devices of Desire, follow Artemis, Diana, and Ezekiel as they navigate secret identities, demons, and love in the kingdom of Cillian.

Are the characters Jackie is talking with real? Is he just talking to himself? Or is something else going on?

Beyond the Stone by Jamieson Wolf (queer paranormal romance)

After a schism renders the world unrecognizable, Magic comes out into the open.

Bane is a Supernatural who works for the Clocktower, the organization that is supposed to protect mortals from themselves. Jackson is able to teleport long distances and is also a clairvoyant, something that no mortal should be able to do. That’s the least of their troubles, however. Sparks fly when they meet, even if relationships between mortals and Supernaturals are frowned upon.

When they learn that the Clocktower is keeping mortals and Supernaturals prisoner, Bane knows that they will have to go against the Clocktower in order to break them free… but will they break themselves in the process?

Dissatisfied Me: A Love Story by Bruce D. Gordon (humour)

Rick “Dickie” Duncan is turning fifty. Meh.

On the eve of this mid-century milestone, he finds himself alone in his mother’s Ottawa basement, surrounded by gaudy decor and a carpet that hasn’t been raked in years. Grabbing some brews and frozen hotdogs, Rick rummages through the clutter that’s made up his dissatisfied life.

From the death of Santa to the last days of Scottish Rot, Rick meanders through the decades, mapping his existence amid the pop culture of the ’70s to the present day.

Marking key moments of his unsated misadventures and real-life dating disasters, Rick reminds himself that his journey is a love story. Sort of.

Artificial Divide, edited by Robert Kingett and Randy Lacey

Step into a world of rogue screen readers, Braille in fantasy worlds, a friend meeting an acquaintance after several years, and more.

This #OwnVoices anthology features fiction by Blind and visually impaired authors showing readers how they thrive, hurt, get revenge, outsmart bullies, or go on epic adventures. Artificial Divide is an own-voices story collection that captures the many layers of Blindness and, for once, puts visually impaired protagonists in the driver’s seat, letting us glimpse their lives.

When we think about it, we’re not really divided.

With stories by: Eunice Cooper-Matchett – Anita Haas – Rebecca Blaevoet – Tessa Soderberg – Laurie Alice Eakes – Melissa Yuan-Innes – Jamieson Wolf – Ben Fulton – Felix Imonti – Niki White – M. Leona Godin – Ann Chiappetta – Lawrence Gunther – Heather Meares – Fabiyas M V – Jameyanne Fuller

Shifting Trust by Madona Skaff-Koren

Tyler Demir left the RCMP after an undercover operation he was in charge of turned deadly. Refusing to make life and death decisions anymore, he now works as assistant head of security for a military funded Canadian nano-tech company. But when one of their scientists is kidnapped, the military send Tyler to England to retrieve him.

Not sure who to trust, Tyler uses contacts from his undercover days to get the scientist to safety. At every step, he sees the rescue crumble around him and again he has blood on his hands.

How the hell did he manage to go from a stress-free job, where lives didn’t depend on his split-second decisions, to this?