Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Life and Times of Joe Casey: From Fish to Politics

Nonfiction: Biography, The Maritimes, Politics, World War II

192 pages, $19.95, 6"x9" Paperback (Includes photographs)

ISBN-13: 978-1-897426-02-9

ISBN-10: 1-897426-02-X

Available in September 2008

Amazon || Chapters

Joe Casey's life story mirrors the history of Nova Scotia in the twentieth century. It shows how that history shaped the man and how the man shaped that history - as harbour pilot, fisherman, fish plant owner, lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy, hotel owner, and Member and Deputy Speaker of the Nova Scotia Legislature.

His quick wit and indomitable spirit let him take risks in every job he ever undertook. Born in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, in 1918 and still going strong, he will make you laugh your way through the many dramatic events of his active life. As a boy, he delivered his mother's loaves
of bread up and down the Victoria Beach Road and later in life he would break bread with the rich and famous. As a third generation harbour pilot, he faced many dangers piloting munitions-laden ships through Digby Gap during World War II and piloting ships of all kinds in the most severe weather.

Joe has pitted his storytelling skills against some of the best, including the American actor James Cagney. On a sailing trip down the East Coast, Joe's spirit of competition led him to
trade tales with Robert Ripley of Believe It or Not fame. In this volume, his rich stories bring the past alive.

The author, elected six times as a Liberal candidate, explains how his verbal skills, humour and dogged determination helped get things done in the stodgy Provincial Legislature. Premiers
Gerald Regan and John Buchanan both praised Joe for his ability to make friends on both sides of the aisle and they have written forewords for this book. Your excursion through Joe's life will make you laugh out loud at times and, at others, will make you reflect on some of the fundamental issues of our times.

Peggy's Cove: The Amazing History of a Coastal Village

Nonfiction: Nova Scotia History, The Maritimes

146 pages, $15.95, 6"x9" Paperback (Includes photographs)

ISBN-13: 978-1-897426-00-5

ISBN-10: 1-897426-00-3

Available in July 2008

Amazon || Chapters

Here is the complete history of the famous cove and the unique village that hosts thousands of visitors each year. The story begins with the formation of the rocks along these shores and the impact of the glaciers. The Mi'kmaq were the first to live here in the summers, harvesting the
riches of the sea. A land grant in 1811 brought the first hardy settlers, who built homes and wharves and discovered that the sea could provide bounty but was also a source of great danger.

The story includes the origin of the name, Peggy's Cove, and details about the everyday life of nineteenth-century families living here. A history of the famous lighthouse is included and there are excerpts from many of the famous and not-so-famous visitors who have written
about the Cove through two centuries.

The author explores the most damaging storms, the shipwrecks, the reports of sea monsters and other strange phenomena. Fishing was always a source of income, but it changed over the years. At times the fish prices were so low it was not worth the effort and, in recent years, dramatic changes to the ocean have seen the collapse of several important species of fish.

In the twentieth century, Peggy's Cove attracted artists, writers and ultimately thousands of tourists. Sculptor William de Garthe made his home here and created his monument to the coastal fishermen out of the sheer granite outcropping in his backyard. In 1998, Swissair Flight
111 crashed off the shores of Peggy's Cove and the community opened its doors to the world in an effort to provide support for the rescue workers and the families of the victims. From the earliest days to the present, the story of Peggy's Cove has been a tale of natural wonder and
human endurance.

Lesley Choyce lives at Lawrencetown Beach and is the author of 65 books including
Nova Scotia: Shaped By The Sea and The Coasts of Canada, a history of the country's shorelines. He has also edited Nova Scotia: A Traveller's Companion.

Giants of Nova Scotia: The Lives of Anna Swan and Angus McAskill

Nonfiction: Biography, The Maritimes

146 pages, $16.95, 6"x9" Paperback (Includes photographs)

ISBN-13: 978-1-897426-01-2

ISBN-10: 1-897426-01-1

Available in September 2008

Amazon|| Chapters

This double biography depicts the lives of the famed Nova Scotia giantess Anna Swan (1846-1888) and the celebrated Cape Breton giant Angus McAskill (1825-1863). These two splendid and singular celebrities toured the world entertaining royalty and impressing audiences from town halls to palaces. Angus and Anna's Scottish influences were deeply embedded from childhood and although it was unlikely the two ever met, the similarities in their lives are uncanny. During their adventures, both worked with and met many unusual characters. Both met Queen Victoria. Anna married an American giant and the two toured as "The Tallest Married Couple in the World."

The book explores the causes of gigantism and how this rare condition shaped the lives and personalities of these two Nova Scotians. Anna and Angus were born to normal-sized, hard-working parents and grew up in rural surroundings but rose to great stardom on the world stage. Both were regarded for their kind hearts and compassion for others. They have left a meaningful message for readers that resonates more than a century after their deaths. Both are honoured at museums in Nova Scotia that house their artifacts. Thousands of people flock to these sites to learn about these great giants.

Shirley Vacon was born in Truro, Nova Scotia. Her career was with the Department of Youth Corrections in the capacity of a youth care worker with young offenders. While working in
St. John's, Newfoundland, Shirley attended Memorial University. She is the mother of three children and proud grandmother of seven. She got her start as a freelance writer in newspapers
and magazines. This is her first book. She now lives in British Columbia.

Anchorman: My Life in Broadcasting

Nonfiction: Biography, The Maritimes, Politics

192 pages, $19.95, 6"x9" Paperback (Includes photographs)

ISBN-13: 978-1-897426-03-6

ISBN-10: 1-897426-03-8

Available in September 2008

Amazon || Chapters

Bruce Graham started his television career working on Romper Room, with excitable five-year-olds and near-daily on-air disasters. Undaunted by that experience, he moved on to other forms of mayhem with excitable ambitious politicians. Police stories, pumpkin stories - he reported it all. Anchorman is filled with Bruce's experiences, observations, commentaries and occasional letters from viewers who took it upon themselves to correct, compliment or contradict him Through four decades there were many high points but absurd moments and disappointments as well.

As a student reporter, he found himself sharing the same streets as the Boston Strangler, mob hit men and Jack Kennedy. He encountered a labour leader so intoxicated he fell asleep on the news set before his interview. There were plenty of controversies in his career, some so explosive that they threatened the stability of a city. As a news director in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he was often at odds within his own profession. Bruce didn't believe that news should be tamed or timed for somebody's convenience. This led to battles over news embargoes and the campaign for television cameras in the Nova Scotia Legislature.

There are plenty of personal glimpses of people in this book, from Ralph Kline to Pierre Trudeau, as well as many other newsmakers of the day. And there are also the humorous moments: Cape Bretoners witnessing the Virgin Mary on the side of Tim Hortons and the man who tried to convince the anchorman that he was being destroyed by aliens. There are stories of injustice too, of people charged with arson, the murder of a young man in a Calgary convenience store and those people who just disappear off the face of the earth.

Bruce Graham has had a long and distinguished career in broadcasting. He has worked in Newcastle, Moncton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Halifax-Dartmouth. Bruce is the 2004 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Radio & Television News Directors Association. He and his radio newsroom won the Ohio State Award for journalistic excellence. Anchorman is his fourth book. He is also the author of three novels: The Parrsboro Boxing Club, Dream of the Dove, and Ivor Johnson's Neighbours.