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The Untimely Resurrection of
John Alexander MacNeil

September 2, 2023 | Fernwood Publishing

John Alexander MacNeil is back with another astonishing adventure. The ninety-year-old still lives alone on the blessed isle of Cape Breton. He still sometimes makes tea for his wife, who died decades ago. He accepts his lonely life, ignoring the world changing around him. But one night, he feels his heart stop. After willing himself back to life with sheer stubbornness, John Alex finds Death himself sitting at his kitchen table, perplexed and intrigued by his victim's recovery. What follows is a tale on the edge of reality, full of love, doubt and the inexplicable details of an extraordinary life. Keeping what wits he has about him, John Alex needs to muster all the wisdom and courage he has to protect those around him from the dangers of an ever-changing world and the grim reaper he has come to know.

In his 103rd book, acclaimed author of The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil takes the reader through another beautiful adventure about time and love. Lesley Choyce tackles topics like dementia, elder sexuality and assisted dying with humour and grace.

Buy the Book: AmazonChapters/Indigo

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State of the Ark

September 2, 2023 | Pottersfield Press

Buy the Book: AmazonChapters/Indigo

In this collection of science fiction stories, a diverse array of Canadian authors including Spider Robinson, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Robert Sawyer, Terri Favro, and Jeremy Hull explore worlds of the future, where humans look and act differently – or perhaps they just look different and act the same as humans always have. They interact with alien beings, and they must learn to live with the other creatures that inhabit Earth. Sometimes funny, often poignant, frequently ingenious, and always thought-provoking, these works spark questions and challenge our ideas about how the future might look – and how creatures of every kind and species will live in it.

Evocative and engaging, these stories, told with vibrant engagement with “otherness” of one kind or another, offer readers the opportunity to be both entertained and enlightened.

State of the Ark is the long-awaited follow-up anthology to the 1992 landmark Canadian science fiction collection Ark of Ice.


Broken Man on a Halifax Pier

October 12, 2019 | Dundurn Press

Buy the Book: AmazonChapters/Indigo

Fifty-five-year-old Charles Howard has lost his long-time journalism job and has been swindled out of his life savings. Standing by the edge of Halifax Harbour on a foggy morning, contemplating his dismal future, his ritual of self-pity is interrupted with the appearance of the mysterious and beguiling Ramona Danforth. And so begins a most interesting relationship.

On a whim, Charles asks Ramona to drive him to his childhood home, Stewart Harbour, a fishing village populated by rugged individualists far down Nova Scotia''s remote Eastern Shore. Charles left the Harbour immediately after graduating from high school and never looked back. And now that he's returned, the past starts catching up with him in ways he could never have imagined.

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.


The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil

April 3, 2017 | Roseway Publishing

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Shortlisted for the 2018 Dartmouth Book Award.

John Alexander MacNeil is eighty years old. Sharp-tongued and quick-witted, he lives alone in rural Cape Breton, but he still cooks breakfast for his wife, who's been dead for thirty years. He silently starts to question his own mind after stopping to pick up a hitchhiker -- a hitchhiker who turns out to be his neighbour's mailbox.

Everything shifts, though, when Emily, a pregnant teenager, shows up at his house with no place else to go. Determined to help Emily as best as he can, John must also keep the wolves from his door and maintain some semblance of sanity.

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.


Cold Clear Morning

September 15, 2011 | Pottersfield Press

Originally published by Beach Holme Publishing in 2001.

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Taylor Colby and his childhood sweetheart Laura abandoned their Nova Scotia coastal village home for a life in the high-octane world of rock music in California. Now after Laura's drug-related death Taylor has returned to his roots to live once again with his noble but isolated boat-builder father. Complicating matters further Taylor's mother, who has been battling cancer, attempts to reconcile with both her husband and son whom she deserted decades earlier. As Taylor grapples with family dysfunction he becomes involved with Jillian, a feminist professor from Philadelphia, and her troubled twelve-year-old son who are also on the run from the past they can't seem to escape.

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.


Raising Orion

September 15, 2010 | Thistledown Press

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Shortlisted for the 2011 Dartmouth Book Award.

Raising Orion tells the tale of eccentric Molly, a second-hand bookshop owner, and her childhood as the daughter of the last lighthouse keeper of Devil's Island at the mouth of the Halifax Harbour. Molly is on the verge of being criminally charged for interfering with authorities in rescuing a young cancer patient. Her dedicated book-customer friends must help save her, which, given Molly's eccentricities, philosophical outlooks, and strong independence, isn't an easy task.

Available in Paperback.


Sea of Tranquility

April 1, 2003 | Dundurn Press

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

For Sylvie, Ragged Island - and the whales who swam around it - is the only world she has ever known. It is the place where she was born and raised, where she lived with her four late husbands, and where she plans to live out her remaining years.

It is also the home to a community whose love for the island is immense. But when the Nova Scotia government decides to shut down the ferry service that is the lifeblood of Ragged Island, the residents see their world beginning to disappear.

Sea of Tranquility is the lyrical and moving story of an island struggling to survive. 

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.


The Summer of Apartment X

June 1, 1999 | Goose Lane Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Fred Winger and his two buddies, Richard and Brian, intend to take the beach resort town by storm. It's the fateful summer between high school and university, early 1970s version. Equipped with two barely mobile cars and a seized-up MG motor, around which Richard wants to build an entire sports car, they plan to rent a suave apartment, get cool jobs, meet girls, and lose their virginity. Dream and reality diverge immediately.

307 1/2 Hibiscus Street is an old triplex subdivided for summer tenants into a self-contained ghetto. The only window in Apartment X is in the kitchenette, and the entrance is through the outdoor shower used by the entire building. The friends find work: Brian cleans the parking lot and grill of a grease-encrusted burger joint, and Richard preens himself on his lofty -- though brief -- position as a lifeguard. Fred replaces the drunken usher at the Queen Theatre, where monsters slavering over shrieking blondes and Annette Funicello's bursting brassiere entertain necking teens and "pervs" too timid to patronize real porn flicks. Fred's feelings for his chameleon girlfriend lurch from love to lust to horror, depending on whether she's demurely selling movie tickets, acting out erotic fantasies about saving the world on the back seat of a school bus, or sharing the shower with Brian.

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.


World Enough

October 1, 1998 | Goose Lane Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

When their farm gets expropriated to make way for the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant, Alexander McNab and his family move to Saint John. Without the magic of the Bay of Fundy, without the bright companionship of his little sister, Alex grows up a lonely, insecure failure.

At 30, he's had enough; to make a clean break, he moves to Halifax. There, he is hired as a counsellor at New Dawn, a rehabilitation workshop, even though he has no professional qualifications. Alex soon becomes part of the New Dawn family, and the distinction between the helper and the helped blurs. The key may be that Alex takes for granted the wholeness in each of these damaged adults. Blind Jeff, 17, knows everything about cars, so Alex takes him out to the parking lot and teaches him to drive. In turn, Alex is adopted by Cornwallis Itwaru, a descendent of Jamaican Maroons plagued by encroaching Alzheimer's, who firmly adjusts Alex's fuzzy thinking. Alex sees right away that Gloria Vincent, who suffers from schizophrenia, has adopted a sloppy dress and ugly glasses as camouflage for her intelligence and beauty, and his discovery does not wholly displease her. Unfortunately, New Dawn goes broke, but by the time the landlord padlocks the doors, Alex has learned that living life fully doesn't depend on external circumstances.

Available in Paperback.


Trapdoor to Heaven

February 1, 1997 | Quarry Press

Buy the Book: Amazon

Combining the age-old science-fiction gambit of time travel and a new-age belief in reincarnation, this novel follows the adventures of a soul through various incarnations spanning 25 centuries. Drawing inspiration from myth and religion -- Celtic, ancient Hawaiian, Hebrew, Egyptian, Mi'kmaq -- as well as scientific concepts of geological evolution, psychic telepathy, drug therapy, astronomy, and computer interactivity, Choyce transports his protagonist to nineteenth-century Maui, Europe during the Children's Crusades, ancient Mesopotamia, and future eras in search of spiritual fulfillment. 

Available in Paperback.


The Republic of Nothing

September 1, 1994 | Goose Lane Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Winner of the 1995 Dartmouth Book Award

Shortlisted for the Atlantic Booksellers Choice Award

A small Canadian island declares its independence to the world and benign anarchy reigns. A god-like ocean deposits many a thing, yet it also takes away. The 1960s blaze off shore and draw the island’s inhabitants into politics, the Vietnam War, and the peace movement. Sound impossible? Not on Whalebone Island, AKA the Republic of Nothing. Where else can a dead circus elephant, a long-dead Viking, the discovery of uranium, a raven-haired castaway who may be psychic, an anarchist turned politician, and refugees fleeing from the United States all be part of everyday life? Where else is eccentricity embraced with such open arms? 

Available in Paperback and as an Ebook.


The Ecstasy Conspiracy

October 1, 1992 | Nuage Editions

Buy the Book: Amazon

This literary whodunit pulls us into the world of American expatriate novelist Richard DeMille as he attempts to break the hold of his longtime friend and publisher Damien Carlyle. Now teaching at a quiet Nova Scotia university in addition to writing, DeMille goes to Toronto to settle old scores with his publisher. When Carlyle mocks his concerns, DeMille decides to buy a gun and end the relationship, once and for all. But when he arrives at Carlyle’s office, the publisher is already lying dead on the floor. Then the real mystery begins.

Available in Paperback.


The Second Season of Jonas MacPherson

July 1, 1989 | Thistledown Press

Buy the Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Winner of the 1990 Dartmouth Book Award

Set on the East Coast, and focusing on sixty-nine year old Jonas, this novel reflects the title character’s energy, rage and humour as he looks upon his world, past and present, and is filled with memorable characters, adventures, and a pervading rugged gentleness. 

This crically-acclaimed novel is an excellent choice for Canadian Studies and courses that investigate themes of maturity and old age.

Available in Paperback.

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