We’re introducing something new, folks, and we’re very excited about it! We will now be offering free ebooks on the Tellwell blog and newsletter!
Tellwell authors have partnered with other authors in their genre to offer their books completely for free – for a limited time. This is part of Tellwell’s new marketing service for authors. Here, we are partnering with authors with similar content to leverage each other’s audience and expose each book to new readers, building the author’s email list in the process. If you are interested in participating, get in touch with your publishing or marketing consultant.
Read on to learn more about each book and how you can enter to receive a free copy.
Ben’s Final Checkmate by Laura Sandor
Toronto-based psychotherapist and author, Laura Sandor shares the tragic story of mental illness, murder and suicide which tear apart her unsuspecting family in her new book.
Readers are calling Ben’s Final Checkmate impossible to put down!
Laura has partnered with other talented non-fiction authors who bare it all in their stories. To get your free copy, all you have to do is click here. Bonus, you can download any of the other 11 books from this giveaway, too!
A really great book cover is one that captures the book inside it in some fundamental and, perhaps, unforeseen way.
Von Langoyan, Tellwell book cover designer
What do you enjoy most about designing book covers?
I enjoy the creative process of capturing and evoking the essence of a story through visuals. The cover needs to both intrigue a reader and give them a sense of the book’s genre and content. I enjoy staying up to date on design trends and using them in my process so our covers look fresh and contemporary.
Our authors sometimes have a vision for how they would like their covers to look, and I work with their input to create something they would love, and that is also captivating and current.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
Social media and the Internet, in general, are great for inspiration. I follow artists and designers who I admire to see what they are working on.
What have been some of your favourite covers that you’ve created for Tellwell? Tell us why.
I’ve had the pleasure of working on several book covers for the talented fiction author Monique Gliozzi, who lives in Australia. Monique’s books Foresight, Vestige and Diversity are paranormal thriller/mysteries and we wanted the covers to evoke a sense of supernatural spookiness.
Monique had a clear idea of what type of cover she wanted and provided us with really great, detailed instructions. I used a number of design elements to create a sense of haunting and mystique, such as the illusion of depth, partially hidden titles and objects, and surrealism.
For May’s Mental Health Awareness month, we are acknowledging some of our Tellwell authors whose books include themes of anxiety, depression, insecurities, and emotional expression. These books aim to give the reader a better understanding around mental health and how to recognize and communicate various feelings.
I Don’t Want to Go To School is a book that is intended to help children and families deal with separation anxiety, especially when it’s their first time at school. For some children, every day is like the first day because they are afraid their families will not return to pick them up. I wrote this book to reassure children who are still working on a secure attachment, that school is fun and families always come back because they are loved. Most books that address these issues use animal characters, but I chose real-life illustrations that the children can relate to. Lastly, this book will help teachers present classroom transitions to little children more effectively.
A story about a young girl who has a worry bully that keeps visiting and making her tummy and her head hurt. Whether it’s when she’s trying to join a game with friends, speak in front of her class or go for a check-up, he keeps showing up. He seems to be EVERYWHERE! But with help from some people who care and a big dose of bravery, she begins to learn just how to send her worry bully away.
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.
Well, I have a busy life! I write historical fiction, I run a business and I work as a physiotherapist. I was born in Sussex, England, brought up in Surrey and now live in Sydney, Australia. I was formerly a professional archaeologist – being graduate of the University of York, and having worked at the Museum of London in the late 1980s and early 1990s; I was also a tour guide at the British Museum.
I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed a few careers. I qualified as a physiotherapist in London in 1998. Whilst studying for my physio degree, I worked as a chef for four years at the Covent Garden Brasserie, which is now the site of the west end apple store! I moved to Australia in 2000, the year of the Sydney Olympics; thinking that it would be a temporary move, but I have been here ever since. Currently, I have my own holistic Physiotherapy and Wellness centre (Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness) in Sydney.
I live in Elizabeth Bay, which is in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, and I love it here. I have a partner and a dog. I love getting away from town though for ocean swimming, bushwalking and rock climbing. I’m passionate about history, archaeology and philosophy and I love the variety of media forms available now – books, audio, podcasts. Reading history and archaeology is my main relaxation and my escape.
What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always been a writer – be it poetry, short stories, memoir, health and wellness or just letters to the press. I had been writing a lot before I discovered my character; the day I found him was a revelation and I decided that I just had to write about him.
That said, I discovered Juan Luis Vives by mistake. I’d never heard of him until I gave a Spanish friend in Australia a book about exiles from Spain and I thumbed through it first and found out about this incredible man.
His life-story became my inspiration. It then became my mission to bring him back into the light and writing a novel rather than a non-fiction book allowed me to give him a human voice. As a Spanish Jew, he had to hold so much back in his academic writing and yet you can still feel the struggles that he endured. By writing in an intimate diary format, I could give the man himself a voice. That was a privilege, because Vives, forgotten by the mainstream, really contributed to making the world a better place.
Who is Juan Luis Vives and how did you become interested in his story?
Juan Luis Vives was born to a family of Spanish Jews in Valencia in 1492. His family were faced with an excruciating choice: leave Spain permanently or stay and convert to Catholicism. The family decided to stay and convert – a decision that they would later come to regret – as one-by-one they were ‘picked-off,’ by the Spanish Inquisition, for the crime of ‘Judaising.’ He left Spain at the age of sixteen – never to return for fear of the Inquisition. He moved to Paris and then to Flanders, and he eventually came to the English (Tudor) Court of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. There he became tutor to Princess Mary and he became closely acquainted with the well-known characters of the English court such as Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey.
Vives spoke about ideas that were quite revolutionary in the 1520s. He was a great scholar, writer and teacher. His ideas encompassed the rights and equality of women, the necessity for peace over war – at all costs – and the cessation of sedition, oppression and persecution. He advocated for state-funded schools, skill-training and hospitals for all; regardless of class. Vives hated lofty, pretentious academic speech. He studied his subjects closely, and he spoke about syndromes such as ‘post-traumatic stress disorder,’ and addiction to such an extent that he has been named the Godfather of Psychoanalysis (Zilboorg, 1941). He also wrote about care of the animals – that they experienced emotions and had memories – quite revolutionary for his day.
All the while, he was struggling with great internal conflict. He was always keeping one step ahead of the Spanish Inquisition and staying out of danger himself. He was also trying to help his family and his people, who were still in Spain.
I have created this educational video for YouTube to explain, in greater detail and depth, the man who was Juan Luis Vives.
Here is a selection of books published by Tellwell featuring spooky ghost stories, paranormal creatures and mystical adventures. Plus, learn the truth about Dracula from Bram Stoker himself.
Drafts of Dracula
by Bram Stoker
A decade after making Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula available to the public, Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller reach a new plateau with this revised and updated version of their groundbreaking work. – J. Gordon Melton, The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead.
Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller’s Drafts of Dracula builds upon their pioneering work on Bram Stoker’s notes to give us new insights into Stoker’s typescript, his play of 1897, and the mystery of Dracula’s Guest. – The London Library
Wicked Night & Unusual Night
by Evi Rhodes
Follow the journey of a strong, independent, yet caring woman as she navigates the supernatural world she is thrust into. Gwen steps out of a dysfunctional family life and into a world filled with danger she never realized lives at every turn, fiery passion, and a love that is ever binding. How will she handle her strange new surroundings as well as the man with the intense and overbearing personality who threatens to destroy the emotional barriers around her heart?
Wicked, the next in line to become the vampire king, is caught off guard when he grudgingly agrees to take on a charge, something he never wanted to do. He is unsure how to handle this fierce and vibrant woman with the unsettling green eyes. It doesn’t take long for them to clash, but will it end passionately or burn down around them?
This month we are celebrating our LGTBQ+ authors and books with LGTBQ+ themes and characters. Each book, story and shared experience paves the way towards a more inclusive future. It helps people see from a different perspective, and perhaps, increase understanding and change attitudes. Sharing a personal experience with the public isn’t easy but it is empowering. Thank you for sharing your story.
David Scott Stargazer
At the age of seventeen, his life changed dramatically when his father died and David took on the running of the family cinemas and drive-in theatres. Puberty and not coming to terms with being gay plagued David who had to keep his sexuality secret in his small home town.
His career includes forty years as a film exhibitor; establishing a horse stud; managing a motel; working in the hospitality industry, and a few other experiences along the way. David’s latest book, Stargazer, is an autobiography highlighting the value of family, ingenuity, bravado, old-fashioned common sense, colourful characters and unfailing good humour. From rural towns in Victoria and New South Wales, to the mountain life in Queensland, the constant has been faithful canine companions, perseverance and a joy for living.
Our authors of the month share insights on which marketing efforts led to the best results of their guide on navigating Ontario’s long-term care system
Karen Cumming and Patricia Milne are sisters who guided their 98-year-old mother, Verna, through Ontario’s long-term care system. They found themselves lost in a confusing maze of paperwork, equipment rentals, health care workers and medication. It was scary and unfamiliar territory where they felt alone. After navigating Ontario’s long-term care system, they wrote and published The Indispensable Survival Guide to Ontario’s Long-Term Care System.
Cumming and Milne have been featured on the CBC, Global News Radio and in the Hamilton Spectator. They have been interviewed on multiple podcasts as well as by influencers and bloggers on various social media platforms. In addition to online retailers, their book is available to purchase at various brick and mortar bookstores and over 100 copies of the book are available in libraries across Ontario. The sisters’ marketing efforts are paying off. Their book has sold thousands of copies this year alone and they are just getting started. Read the rest of the article to hear which marketing efforts yielded the best results as well as their advice to authors.
1. Tell us about yourselves.
Karen: I’m a freelance journalist, health promoter and teacher with a long career in radio and TV news.
Pat: I am a retired teacher living in southern Ontario with my husband.
2. What inspired you to write your book?
Karen: The lack of guidance available to families whose elderly loved ones are heading into long-term care. It’s crazy! Someone had to do something.
Pat: The frustration of navigating the long-term care (LTC) system with inadequate help.
3. Describe your book in a sentence.
Karen: It’s the survival guide we never had, providing practical tips to help you and your family be proactive and prepared for the decisions that may lie ahead.
Pat: Our book is a tool to simplify the process of investigating long-term care in Ontario.
4. What are you most proud of about your book?
Karen: The lessons we’ve been able to pass on to other families so that they might never feel the stress and frustration that we did.
Pat: Our intent was to help people. The testimonials we continue to receive are proof of our success.
5. Your book has been selling really well. You’ve been featured in major media outlets across Canada and have your book stocked in numerous bookstores and libraries. Tell us about how well your book has been doing.
June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. It’s a time to reflect upon and learn the history, contributions, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their role in shaping the country. First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples have their distinct histories, and within each group, their unique stories.
Tellwell is celebrating Indigenous History Month by showcasing our talented and courageous Indigenous authors whose stories strengthen our social fabric, enrich our culture and understanding of history. Thank you for telling your stories and sharing it with the world.
They Called Me 33: Reclaiming Ingo-Waabigwan
Karen Chaboyer is an Ojibwa mother and grandmother from Rainy River First Nations, a community in northwestern Ontario. She is proudly admired by her children, who have witnessed her transformation as she worked through layers of shame and learned to embrace her identity. A second-generation survivor of residential school, Karen now shares her experiences with audiences throughout the Toronto area, where she now resides. Karen’s goal is to educate people on the extent to which the tragedies of the residential school system have impacted individuals, families, communities, and entire cultures to this day.
Grieving is the way to work through our losses and past traumas; compassion for ourselves and each other is how we move forward. Only then can we be victorious.
British Columbia-based author Mark Lloyd is quietly celebrating a huge win after his book nabbed top prize in the science fiction category at the IndieReader Discovery Awards.
The humble author was looking for feedback and submitted the book on a whim. “I was surprised. I didn’t expect the story would win anything,” he said.
The award winners were announced in May at the New York International Book Expo. IndieReader gave the book 4.8/5 stars rating A Place to Stay Forever “an imaginative and quirky story that simultaneously hearkens back to both Philip K Dick and Douglas Adams.”
A straightforward, absorbing tale that unfolds inside a beefy futuristic setting. – Kirkus Reviews
The concept of Lloyd’s sci-fi novel is a mix of the Matrix and Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode. The protagonist, Miranda Sage, is plugged into an artificial reality where she is living out her life peacefully as an old man, when a power surge abruptly awakens the crew in a spaceship hurtling back to Earth. The crew has to hack back into the alternate reality through its only access point – the town of Penticton – and awaken consciously to explore a way to end the simulation without harming their bodies.
“I wanted to write a story that makes the readers think about something they haven’t put much thought in before. This book is about immortality, and the perils of being immortal,” said Lloyd.
Despite the virtual reality/alternate universe premise – the story’s locale is very real. Lloyd who grew up and lives in the Okanagan town of Penticton, loved the idea of turning his hometown into the setting of a sci-fi tale.