Category : Tellwell Books

Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Tellwell author success stories – awards, media, and reviews!

Our authors have been making headlines all month long! From winning awards to securing interviews, to generating reviews – our authors are getting their names out there! Great work, everyone!


Awards

Blood and Silver

by Vali Benson

Vali Benson’s Blood and Silver was also named a winner in the 2021 San Francisco Book Festival, for two categories; History and Young Adult.

Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #Lifeskills

by Kathleen Boucher

Kathleen Boucher’s Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #Lifeskills does it again! She is a finalist in the Young Adult Non-Fiction Category of the 2021 International Book Awards sponsored by the American Book Fest! 

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Author of the Month Book Marketing Tellwell Books

How a cheeky, real-life pelican inspired a book about cleaning up our oceans – Tellwell’s July author of the month Renee James

Renée James is the talented Australian children’s author of Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican. Her book was featured as one of the best-reviewed books by IndieReader in May, she has been reviewed on a number of book blogs, and has been featured on the Clarence Valley Independent!

Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican touches on the impact of ocean pollution, such as rubbish, on wildlife – an important theme in line with “Clean Beaches Week” that took place earlier this month July 1-7.

Renée’s ‘monkey see, monkey do’ attitude has inspired her to pursue her dreams and become an author! Learn more about Renée and discover her advice for authors!

PATROOSH, THE CHEEKY PELICAN is an illustrated children’s story that hits all the marks: appealing and memorable central characters, high entertainment value, and its function as a powerful educational tool.

~Amanda Ellison for IndieReader
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Tellwell Books Tellwell News

Celebrating Canadian Indigenous Authors

We are celebrating and recognizing the tremendous history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. We also acknowledge the inequalities and injustices Indigenous people face every day.

Our hearts ache for the thousands of lives lost and stolen across the country.

We encourage our family, friends, staff, and fellow Canadians to educate ourselves about the land we live on, the history of the Indigenous Peoples who cared for it, and the issues facing Indigenous Peoples in our communities. Let’s become a country worth celebrating. 

Here is a selection of moving stories by Indigenous indie authors. 

Calling My Spirit Back

by Elaine Alec

Indigenous Peoples have always carried the knowledge necessary to heal. When our people heal, our families heal, our communities heal and our land will heal. You cannot have one without the other.

These stories are teachings, prophecy, and protocols shared throughout the years by elders, language speakers, medicine people, and helpers. They have been the foundation to individual healing and learning self-love. They teach us how to make good decisions for ourselves and for all other aspects in our lives.

When our people were young, they were sent on the land to gather as much experience and knowledge as they could, and when they returned, they would contribute what they learned.

I am Syilx and Secwepemc and although many of my teachings come from this place, they also intertwine with indigenous knowledge shared through ceremony from many other nations.

People from all backgrounds have embraced concepts from other parts of the world that promote self-love, healing, and well-being through practices of discipline and meditation.

Very little has been shared about indigenous systems and how it promotes self-love and approach to healing.


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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

A Tribute to Albert Etzerza – Father, Husband, Best-Selling Author, Residential School Survivor

Thanks to his family, Albert Etzerza’s new book became a three-time Amazon Best Seller, bringing more awareness for the trauma created by the Canadian Residential School system

Trigger warning: this post mentions sexual assault on a minor.

At Tellwell, we have the privilege of working with authors from all over the world, each one with their own unique story, giving us the chance to see so many different facets of life. Recently, we had the pleasure of working with the family of Albert Etzerza, who realized Albert’s dream of becoming an author.

At the end of 2020, Albert’s wife, Rose and her five sons published Albert’s book, The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story. It was one of Albert’s dreams to have his story published, and they helped him accomplish it after he passed away. Since publishing, they’ve gone on to host book giveaways, run social media campaigns, and gain mentions in local media across British Columbia. As a team, Rose and her sons helped Albert’s book hit the Amazon Best Seller list in three different categories: History of First Nations in Canada, Canadian Biographies, and First Nations in Canada.

Their teamwork, creativity, and drive are just a few of the reasons why we are featuring Albert as Tellwell’s author of the month!

We love celebrating our authors’ success, but it is the content of Albert’s book, and the fact that he bravely shared his story, that inspires us most of all.

Albert Etzerza at age 10. Image from The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story

Albert Etzerza is a survivor of the Lower Post Indian Residential School. He was only six-years old when he began attending Lower Post, which was part of Canada’s Indian Residential School system, a system rooted in colonization and the oppression and killing of Indigenous people. In 1991, Albert spoke out about the abuse he endured throughout his years spent at Lower Post, including the fact that he was repeatedly molested by a school supervisor. Albert eventually took the Canadian government to court for the abuse he was subjected to and the trauma he was left to deal with. He then went on to write The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent to share his story and offer people a look at the tragic reality behind residential schools in Canada; and, to help other residential school survivors heal and find hope.

We were fortunate to speak with Rose, Albert’s wife, to learn more about Albert’s story and hear how the book is being received across Canada.

Don’t miss the chance to read an excerpt from The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent at the end of this post!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rose, Tahltan/Tlingit First Nation, artist and a mother of five boys. 

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Tellwell Books

Happy Pride Month! We are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Pride Month

Pride isn’t just a parade and celebration,

it is also a protest.

While representation is increasing, and acceptance and love is spreading, there are still many people in the LGBTQ+ community that are suffering. Yes, we celebrate this month, but we also protest for those living in countries where freedom to be yourself hasn’t been achieved, and to the lives lost getting to where we are today. Let this Pride Month be a reminder to us all that we need to consistently stand up when we hear words of hatred; we need to teach our children that love is available for everyone and that love is something we all deserve, regardless of who our partner is.
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Let us continue our fight to make the world a more inclusive and accepting place. In honour of Pride Month, we are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Happy Pride Month!

Here are a few of Tellwell’s picks:

Blame it on Betty

BOOTS I’M IN

 “Get over it” the story of my life
And it’s what I do to routinely survive.
“Get over it” those words I’ll ne’er forget
So often given with little to no regret.
For a First Nations Gay woman who’s deemed a triple threat
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.
In the mid-’70s whilst serving for my country
With a 1:1000 gender ratio in the military,
And only one of nine women at that time
Accepted to a trade, wherein the past denied.
And only one of three women of seven other members
Who graduated early with exceptional skills!
So, I reported to a station as the first woman in that place,
And was I worthy written on their faces.
For male dominance, such a routine privilege
And that’s the world I was living in.
Not only a woman but a Gay one too
And in that era, condemnation, it’s true.
If “outed” during service, I was discharged from the army
Without hesitation and without being sorry.
In the mid-’90s whilst serving as a cop
When a “fag boy” article stirred emotions up,
By fellow officers with blatant discrimination on display
And an employer who didn’t care what I’d say.
“Should have been a private joke,” said the commander,
But with my lifestyle deemed comical, that wasn’t the answer.
With article upon article in the newspaper
“Get over it” barked the enablers.
Now, my greatest threat at that time
Were comrades who conscientiously denied
Whilst the investigators dealing with my complaint
Didn’t have my back and held me to blame.
“Get over it” summarized the investigators.
“She’s the problem, and she’s a troublemaker.”
Now, with policies galore to protect my human rights,
It should have been a slam dunk and should have been airtight.
And I’m ne’er alone, there’re others like me
Facing discrimination on the job, it’s plain to see.
So, just another battle, I’ll “get over it”
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.

AVAILABLE NOW


Blessed

In a world filled with magic where Gods and Goddesses walk amongst the mortals who worship them, a war is brewing-a war between the Divine that started centuries ago. Unable to fight in the Divine Realms, they’ve enlisted their followers to fight for them. And to certain mortals they’ve even bestowed their own powers.

These mortals, known as the Blessed, walk a lonely path, balancing the awesome and cruel powers of the Gods and the vulnerability of their human sides. They are immortal unless their God or Goddess sponsor abandons them or they are killed by another Blessed.

One of these Blessed, a veteran from the first war, is gathering other young Blessed to her. Her plan? Create a bond between them all so they can vanquish the God bent on bringing destruction to their world once and for all. Under her tutelage, her students will be the turning point of their world. They start their destinies struggling with their powers and their place in the world. But will they be the salvation or the destruction? Only time will tell, for they are . . .

The Brethren.

Neilina – a Blessed who once conquered a God, she has lived a solitary existence since the first war ended. Now once again she will face a foe from her past that could be her undoing. But this time, she won’t be fighting alone.

Adeline – the only daughter of a warrior king, she is a healer and prophet. But her powers weigh heavy on her and the darkness promises sweet reprieve-will her bond to her Brethren keep her strong?

Aubrey – a young girl with a mysterious past she can’t remember. She wants to be a knight in the Holy War, but she’ll need to discover her past if she’s to help save their future.

Mathilde – the Crown Princess of the nomadic tribes, she’s got to right an ancient wrong if she wants to help her people. Her powers of the wild and animals makes her a strong card for whoever earns her loyalty in the coming war.

Niall – the bastard waif of a nobleman of a distant kingdom, he’s not who everyone thinks he is. Behind his laughing persona is the power of the cosmos. He’s got a lot to prove.

Selene – the exiled Princess, cast away by her magic-fearing father. She’s got a lot to prove and isn’t afraid of a fight. Her loyalty is unquestionable but she feeds off of her emotions. Her powers are barely in check: she could be the wildfire that burns friend and foe out.

Eibhlin – with humble beginnings, her stunning beauty enchants every man who meets her. But when a young-love romance goes wrong, bitterness rules her heart and only time will tell if she turns to her Brethren for comfort or if she’ll cast them aside.

AVAILABLE NOW


Lavender Rose

When nine-year-old Haven Fleet disappears from her school bus stop, everything changes.

Every parent will tell you that the thought of losing their child is unfathomable. Stevie Fleet would spend her whole life searching for her lost daughter, and her four remaining children will face battles of their own.

How far would one parent go to find her lost child, and what other obstacles could meet her along the way?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dani is a non-binary author, activist, and animal lover. They published their first novel in 2020 and have been writing since the age of ten. They are an avid activist for the LGBTQ+ community and includes this subject in many of their novels. Dani lives in Canada with their family.

AVAILABLE SOON


Coming in from the Cold

“The truest, most authentic freedom in this Universe, is found in love…”

-Cosmo, Chapter 14, “Coming in from the Cold”

This is one of many seeds of wisdom prudently planted by Cosmo: a mysterious yet engaging and compassionate mentor to Jake Johnson, Jr., the protagonist in the novel “Coming in from the Cold”.

Jake, Jr. is a young, troubled African American man on the cusp of important life transitions when he meets and befriends Cosmo while travelling into New York City one day in early June. Cosmo takes the young man under his wings and over the course of a summer, Jake and Cosmo have a series of meetings and dialogues at significant venues in New York City. The compelling dialogues explore such topics as spirituality and religion, the constructs of race and racism, the dynamics of human sexuality and relationships, the connections between the health of planet Earth and human health, the mechanics of money and the material world, the legacy of slavery across time, and the nature of the Universe.

The first three chapters of the novel delve into the origins of Jake’s family life before his fortuitous meeting with Cosmo. At the heart of the novel is a love story. Shortly after graduating from Evergreen College in New England, young Jake travels to Japan, where he teaches English. During this transformative sojourn abroad, Jake meets and develops a close companionship with a very atypical, hip Japanese man named Hiro, who introduces Jake to love and the very best of Japanese culture.

Much against his father’s wishes, Jake is called to work in the field of education, and enrolls in Columbia University’s graduate program in teacher education upon his return from Japan. It is the period between his return from Japan and his enrollment at Columbia when Jake meets Cosmo, who provides guidance and wisdom at that critical juncture in the young man’s life. During Jake’s first semester of graduate school in New York City, however, there is a catastrophic earthquake in Japan, and all communication is cut off between Jake and his Japanese companion, Hiro. Not knowing if Hiro is dead or alive, and compelled by his deep love for him, Jake makes the momentous decision to take a dangerous trip back to Japan to find his lover, with whom he is eventually reunited. At the end of the novel, the true identity of Cosmo is revealed.

The main theme of the novel is about the redemptive powers of embracing love and wisdom in facing the vicissitudes of life during this transitional era in human history: a turbulent era on the cusp of brighter, more promising days of a more harmonious, united humanity on Earth.

AVAILABLE NOW


Violet Mage

Homelessness in the hardscrabble town of Belleau can be life-threatening: transients often suddenly vanish from the dingy streets without a trace. Sixteen-year-old Polly Onasis suspects the king and his guards are the culprits behind these disappearances. Once she turns eighteen, she knows she will be forced into the city streets too, away from the safety of her foster home and family . . .

One morning, Polly wakes up to discover that her hair has turned from deep brown to brilliant violet. How? And why? She must keep herself hidden from the public, for fear of being noticed by the king’s guards. But soon enough her eighteenth birthday is upon her, and she no longer has any way to hide herself. She runs into a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about Polly and the secrets which lie behind her hair. Polly’s life is turned upside down as she is carried through the wonderful and the nightmarish, the dark alleyways of Belleau and the king’s palace. Meanwhile, she must fight to protect her loved ones, and find out who she really is.

AVAILABLE NOW


Basil's Unkie Hred

Basil’s Unkie Herb microwaves socks, plans fabulous birthday surprises and has a friend with a donkey, a monkey and a garbage truck.

This book chronicles the special relationship between Unkie Herb and Basil, and grandma’s worries about “lonely” Unkie Herb.

It ends with Unkie Herb finding love, and Basil learning, contrary to what the girls in school say, “where we live, you can marry whomever you love.”

AVAILABLE NOW

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Author Celebrations – News, Reviews, Awards, and More!

Tellwell authors, do you ever rest? So many of you have accomplished so much over this last month! We’ve seen interviews, online book readings, reviews, awards, and book launches. You continue to impress and surprise us!

Take a minute to sit back and relax so we can celebrate each of you!

REVIEWS

We’re especially excited to celebrate this first review. Tellwell’s own Jennifer Chapin received a terrific 4-star rating from IndieReader for her book, The Poet and The Angel.

You may have connected with Jennifer when you started your self-publishing journey with Tellwell. She’s been with our team as a publishing consultant since nearly the beginning! We love seeing reviewers like IndieReader recognize her talent as a writer.

THE POET AND THE ANGEL is a moving exploration of the life and death of Frederico Garcia Lorca that offers historical insight and cultural relevance. While the plot is spare, the author’s language is enchanting.

“Chapin’s lyrical language and talent for crafting evocative imagery consistently elevate this book beyond typical historical fantasy. For example, Angelina is introduced with a poetic description: She twirled round and round like a spinning top, her hair an aureole of red and gold. Her skirt swirled around her in fuchsia disarray, like the petals of a flower opening its arms to the sun on a warm summer day.” – Lisa Butts for IndieReader.

Click here to read the full review for The Poet and The Angel.

The Hollywood Book Review had nothing but great things to say about Monique Gliozzi’s new thrill-ride of a book, Facets of the Past.

Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished is undoubtedly a successful work. Very quickly, the book puts you on your toes. It starts to become a real page-turner all without the standard cheap elements designed to move forward a plot. It truly does feel like a fully realized world that you can get lost in and the characters are memorable. I loved how the author thrust us into the life of the antagonist and how in the plot, he was slowly becoming a victim of the unknown. ” – Lily Amanda for Hollywood Book Review.

Read the full review here.

First time author Karen Bailey recently published Obsidian Mine. The Prairies Book Review had nothing but great things to say about the first book in Karen’s new urban fantasy trilogy, calling it, “Hypnotic, bold, and deeply seductive…

Karen has made quite the literary debut! Here at Tellwell we already can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.

Read the full review of Obsidian Mine here.

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Book Marketing Tellwell Books Tips & Tricks

How to market and sell your children’s book – book marketing advice for children’s authors

Whether you are published, in the process, or only just thinking about it – here are some tips & tricks for all children’s authors.

1 . YOUR AUTHOR BRAND

Your author brand gives your readers insight into who you are! Creating something that showcases your personality is key. As a children’s author, you may also want to show off a bit more of your goofy side!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your author brand:

  • Make it eye-catching and fun!
  • GET PLAYFUL
  • Use a fun background or bright colors
  • Don’t be afraid to make a silly face
  • Let your personality shine through – both in your photo and bio

2 . YOUR COMMUNITY

The average buyer’s age of children’s books is between 30 and 44.

Females make up more than 70% of these buyers. They are also more likely to discuss and recommend a book they and their kids enjoyed. In fact, buyers of children’s books are more easily influenced by the recommendations of family and friends than any other book category. For this reason, it is really important to build a loyal community of parents and teachers that enjoy and support your book.

Consider building an ambassador program or launch team! Also, get involved in your local community and make time to meet your readers.

Meet your readers!

  • Pursue classroom visits
  • Join children’s book festivals
  • Participate in library events such as a read-along!

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

Poo with a View – How an alpine outhouse experience became a top-selling book!

One of Tellwell’s best-selling books in 2020 by author Gavin Boutet

Be persistent. Be patient.

Gavin Boutet, author of Poo with a View

Gavin Boutet’s coffee table book, or perhaps more appropriately bathroom book, Poo with a View: High Alpine Shitters of the Canadian Rockies, showcases some of the most remarkable views in the Rocky Mountains….from outhouses. The unique concept was inspired by Gavin’s time working for the Alpine Club of Canada servicing these remote locations. He began photographing the, rather, unique and stunning places to go to the loo.

The quirky humor book has been featured on three national news outlets – the CBC, Global News and CTV news. The book has sold thousands of copies, and was Tellwell’s best-selling book in 2020! As our Tellwell April author of the month, we asked Gavin to share the secrets of his success and his all-time favourite poos with a view:)

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Collingwood, Ontario and moved to the Bow Valley in 1999 in pursuit of skiing champagne powder. I have been playing drums for over 30 years and have developed an addiction to fly fishing in the last five. 

What inspired you to write Poo with a View?

It was strictly a collection of photographs to start, but as the project took shape, I wrote a small amount for each “chapter” or location. It’s a simple toilet humour book, meant for the bathroom or coffee table, so there’s not a huge focus on the writing.

Tell us about the process and adventures in finding these outhouses. How did you find them? 

It was an opportunity working with the Alpine Club of Canada that led me to some of these locations. I was employed as a hut services worker when I came up with the concept. We were responsible for the helicopter long-lining work that went into servicing these remote locations, including flying out the full outhouse barrels, or “honey buckets” as we liked to call them.

Did you visit all of them or were some recommendations from friends? 

All of the photographs in the book are taken by me, so I have seen all (and used most too).

I had no idea that a funny little project like this book would actually make me money.

Gavin Boutet, author of Poo with a View

What are your top three poos with a view? 

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Tellwell Books

April is National Poetry Month!

This month we are celebrating some of our poetry authors and books. Each book, poem and story shares their experiences of love, loss, personal growth and so much more. 

Poetry, literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.

Britannica

The author displays her vulnerability and openness in this collection of poetry, which spans the last twenty years of her life. She deals with such themes as lust and love, as well as illness and abuse, among other profound and relatable topics. The overarching theme, though, is that there is hope and triumph throughout all experiences, and is a poignant reminder that there is light through the dark. Faith also serves its purpose during all of life’s most magnificent and most heart-wrenching times.

For me this book is not just a book…

It’s an achievement It’s a reward It’s a helping hand

It’s a token for my success

This book is a gift to those who thought

I wasn’t enough

To those who thought

I wouldn’t achieve anything

This book is the story of my life…

Poems to the Homeless paints a graphic picture of the poor and the homeless everywhere in the world on a given day. The poems elicit deep feelings of sympathy and compassion towards those who once may have been whole, healthy and productive individuals, but who are now broken, and some beyond repair or help. Many are on the street, begging for food, heat and shelter. The poems also address the great indifference and complacency of individuals and institutions who may have the power and the means to make a difference in the life of the poor and homeless, and help make society more just and humane.

Poems to the Homeless has been written to sensitize and motivate the readers through schools, social and religious groups, private networks, churches, volunteer organizations, and for those who may be searching for an excellent fundraising item when working with the poor and the homeless, and encourage greater awareness and financial and practical involvement.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Celebrating Black Authors: Black History Month

It’s Black History Month, a time to celebrate the contributions that Black people have made to history, society, and culture. We’ve had the privilege of working with so many talented Black authors on their self-publishing journey, and we want to share a few of their unique stories with you!

From National Hero and first Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds, to eight-year-old author Adetola Babatunde who wrote her first children’s book to combat Covid boredom, to motivational speaker, coach and consultant Anthony Sanni, we hope you check out the stories from some of Tellwell’s Black creators.

Tequis McGann

Kyra’s BIG Appetite

Kyra’s BIG Appetite is a humorous story written in a playful rhyme scheme. Kyra is a rambunctious child with a sweet tooth she can’t seem to control. She has an unhealthy diet consisting mostly of cookies, ice cream, and cake. Although Kyra’s mother warns her that unhealthy eating will catch up to her, she does not listen. Kyra now faces the responsibility of making a decision about her eating habits. What will she decide?

Tequis McGann, a GTA native currently residing in Toronto, Ontario, graduated from McMaster University in 2015 with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in English. In 2018, Tequis returned to school to pursue an interest in learning American Sign Language, and in 2019 she graduated from George Brown College with an ASL and Deaf Studies certificate. A passionate writer and poet, Tequis tells stories inspired by real experiences and people. Through her extensive career in the social service industry focusing on mental health, seniors, at-risk youth, and children, Tequis has a plethora of experience working with ethnic and culturally diverse people. Her love and fascination for the difference that people bring to their communities, motivate her to detail these idiosyncratic encounters through storytelling.

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