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Recent Reviews

Phyllis Smallman should be "congratulated for creating such a fascinating and engaging character." Great review of Long Gone Man by Crime Fiction Lover.


"A finalist in the new culinary arts category of the High Plains Book Awards, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet by dee Hobsbawn-Smith is... [a] treatise on the importance of knowing where our food comes from and how it is grown and raised." Review in the Billings Gazette.


Please join TouchWood Editions in celebrating the publication of Cocktail Culture: Recipes & Techniques from Behind the Bar by Shawn Soole and Nate Caudle. Monday, September 30, 6:00pm at Little Jumbo (506 Fort Street, down the hall), Victoria. More details here.


Anny Scoones and Robert Amos will be at Russell Books for "Rediscover Victoria," 7:30pm, Tuesday, September 10. Here, Anny talks about writing Hometown: Out and About in Victoria's Neighbourhoods and finding the little gems worth noting in the book.


The 49th Shelf includes How to Expect What You're Not Expecting: Stories of Pregnancy, Parenthood, and Loss edited by Jessica Hiemstra and Lisa Martin-DeMoor on its list of most anticipated books for fall.


"Lundy has an amazing talent for combining the personal with the facts. As a storyteller, she makes it enjoyable to follow her on the journey...even on an island that is very apple-conscious, her perspective gives the topic a whole new savoury slant." Susan Lundy and her new book Heritage Apples: A New Sensation profiled in the Gulf Islands Driftwood.


Times Colonist food guy Eric Akis includes On the Flavour Trail and Island Wineries of British Columbia in his round up of local cookbooks. More here.


Debra Purdy Kong, author of the Casey Holland Mysteries, talks to CBC's Canada Writes about Crime Writers of Canada and what inspires her as a crime writer.


"A sparkling, well-plotted and quite devious mystery in the cozy tradition, all pointing to Ace’s growing finesse at telling an entertaining story." A lovely review of The Corpse with the Golden Nose by Cathy Ace in the Hamilton Spectator.


Did you know we're on Pinterest? We're just getting started, but we'd love to have you following us.


"Well written, informative and entertaining...Lundy’s book is a great resource for anyone at all interested in apples." A review for Heritage Apples: A New Sensation by Susan Lundy.


Bill Jones is featured on Langdon Cook's blog 'Fat of the Land.' Bill talks about his new book The Deerholme Mushroom Book: From Foraging to Feasting, the ins and outs of mushroom foraging, and why home cooks should be excited to cook with wild mushrooms.


“There are a lot of historical books on areas and such of Victoria, but they are very intensive. This will be more of a history of now. It will say what it’s like to live here today." Anny Scoones and Robert Amos spoke to Victoria News about their new book, Hometown: Out and About in Victoria's Neighbourhoods.


Crime Fiction Lover deems The Corpse with the Golden Nose by Cathy Ace "perfect comfort reading. You could call it Agatha Christie set in the modern world, with great dollops of lovingly described food and drink." Read full review here.


The Deerholme Mushroom Book: From Foraging to Feasting by Bill Jones reviewed in the North Shore News.


Stephen Legault tells about the story behind the story, and why The Third Riel Conspiracy was one of the hardest books he's ever written. Read the full piece from the Rocky Mountain Outlook here.


"Craft-y Crime" An interesting guest blog by Kay Stewart, who writes about the ancient custom of well dressing, a feature in the new Danutia Dranchuk mystery Unholy Rites by Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock


Taste Canada Food Writing Awards released their 2013 Submissions, which includes Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet by dee Hobsbawn-Smith (Culinary Narratives), and Flavours of the West Coast by Cedarwood Production with Chef Steve Walker-Duncan and guests (Regional/Cultural Cookbooks). Congrats to these talented food lovers and all on the list! View the submissions list here.


"If you’re a lover of classic mystery, this second Cait Morgan novel is for you. Ace takes her foodie / criminologist into B.C. wine country for a murder with touches of Christie or Marsh but with a bouquet of Kinsey Millhone." The Corpse with the Golden Nose by Cathy Ace reviewed in Margaret Cannon's mystery column, featured in the Globe and Mail.


 "Stephen Legault has proven himself to be one of the most versatile writers currently working in Canadian crime fiction...[The Third Riel Conspiracy] offers sharp, uniquely West Coast perspective on some of the most important moments in early Canadian history." A glowing review for Stephen Legault's new Durrant Wallace Mystery, The Third Riel Conspiracy, in the National Post's Crimewave.


Foraging survival stories, a favourite recipe, and more in Western Living's Q&A with award-winning chef and food writer Bill Jones, author of The Deerholme Mushroom Book: From Foraging to Feasting.


On Saturday, March 30, CBC Radio's North by Northwest spoke to Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch and Robin Tunnicliffe, authors of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming, about their book and small-scale organic farming. Listen to the podcast online here.


 "As much of an examination of cultural practices - all of which are fascinating - as it is a straight-up mystery. Stewart and Bullock do a marvellous job of describing and explaining the various traditions and linking them to the violence of the present day of the novel and a brutal event of many years earlier." Unholy Rites by Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock review featured in the Montreal Gazette. More here.


The Rocky Mountain Outlook reviewed The Third Riel Conspiracy by Stephen Legault, writing "Legault is proving himself to be a writer with an ability to create increasingly complex story lines while at the same time taking readers deep into the history, politics and culture of the time, without sacrificing story." More here.


Mystery Maven reviews Unholy Rites by Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock. She writes, "The setting is marvelous...The writers have drawn on a wealth of information about pagan rites and current ceremonies, which is all fascinating... A strong series with interesting characters and always, unusual plots. I look forward to seeing where the next book takes them." More here.


Mysteries in Paradise reviews the first in the Cait Morgan Mysteries The Corpse with the Silver Tongue by Cathy Ace. deeming the mystery "an easy and engaging read." More here.


The Slickrock Paradox by Stephen Legault found a nice review with popular mystery blog site Mysterious Reviews. "The Slickrock Paradox opens with a strongly written, vividly descriptive first chapter, which sets the style and tone for the rest of the book. The murder mystery itself has a solid foundation and doesn't wander too far afield as it develops, keeping the reader's attention on the questions of the whos and whys of what happened." Read full review here.


The Third Riel Conspiracy by Stephen Legault reviewed by Margaret Cannon in the Globe and Mail. Margaret deems the the book "a slick whodunit...It’s Legault’s excellent research that makes this novel work. Think Canadian history is dull? Think again." More here.


A lovely review for The Third Riel Conspiracy by Stephen Legault in the Hamilton Spectator. Mystery reviewer Don Graves writes, "A thoroughly researched history mystery with tension, fine storytelling, and a focus on some of the defining moments of Canada’s story, holding a mirror to the hardened reality that Canada’s political chicanery has deep roots into our national soul." More here.


Escape with Dollycas blog reviews The Corpse with the Silver Tongue by Cathy Ace calling the mystery "a captivating debut." 


Mystery author Kay Stewart writes a guest blog on Mystery Maven about England, well dressing and the third book in the Danutia Dranchuk series, Unholy Rites.


Stop by Socrates' Book Reviews blog for an interview with mystery Cathy Ace, and for details about her second book in the Cait Morgan Mysteries The Corpse with the Golden Nose.


"A celebration of three women who farm organically. [All the Dirt] is worth the read." See Canadian Organic's 'Down to Earth' Winter 2013 newsletter for a review of All the Dirt by Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch and Robin Tunnicliffe.


A lovely interview with Cathy Ace on Mystery Most Cozy. Look for the second Cait Morgan Mystery The Corpse with the Golden Nose out in March.


Greystone Books rises out of the ashes of Douglas & McIntyre and joins the Heritage Group. http://ow.ly/hkRx8 


"Florida has never seemed so appealing and appalling as it does in the Sherri Travis novels." Highball Exit by Phyllis Smallman reviewed in the Toronto Star.


The lovable and eccentric professor Cait Morgan is back this March! Cathy Ace's The Corpse with the Golden Nose included in Quill & Quire's Spring preview 2013: Crime Fiction.


"The Slickrock Paradox is the first book in a promised series of mystery novels featuring the reluctant detective who still has the mystery of his missing wife to unravel... lushly described settings...genuinely suspenseful scenes..." Briarpatch Magazine reviews the first installment in the Red Rock Canyon Mysteries by Stephen Legault.


"This is one for those who like a bit of fiction woven in with their history...The Judge and the Lady provides as complete a fictional portrait of the era and the place as one can hope to find." Look for this review of Marlyn Horsdal's The Judge and the Lady in January Magazine's Holiday Gift Guide.


"A dip into the world of BC food and how easy it is to make wonderful meals with local fresh ingredients." Flavours of the West Coast by Cedarwood Productions with Chef Steve Walker-Duncan and guests reviewed by the Coastal Spectator. Read the review here.


"An engaging whodunit...Fans will enjoy downing a fifth while touring the West Florida beaches with Travis as our guide." Highball Exit by Phyllis Smalllman reviewed by the Midwest Book Review. Read full review here.


"A personal story of triumph and optimism that will inspire and excite knowledgeable gardeners." Steve Whysall recommends Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy by Bill Terry in the Vancouver Sun.


We're very pleased to announce that Flavours of the West Coast by Cedarwood Production with Chef Steve Walker-Duncan and guests has won Best Local Cuisine (Canada) at the 2012 Gourmand Cookbook Awards. The book will now go one to compete for the "Gourmand Best in the World" Award. The results will be announced on Saturday February 23, 2013 at the annual awards event during the Paris Cookbook Fair. Congratulations to all a part of this celebrated cookbook!


A big congratulations to dee Hobsbawn-Smith and her book Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet winner of Best Food Literature (Canada) at the 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards! The book will now go one to compete for the "Gourmand Best in the World" Award. The results will be announced on Saturday February 23, 2013 at the annual awards event during the Paris Cookbook Fair.


"Solid entertainment with a shot of tequila: murder, mayhem and sandy beaches." Highball Exit by Phyllis Smallman reviewed by Don Graves in the Hamilton Spectator: Great Canadian story-telling.


"Taylor covers the rich history of the building... A highly readable account of a real Victoria landmark." The Spencer Mansion: A House, a Home and an Art Gallery by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor reviewed here in the Times Colonist: How a stately residence became the city's art gallery.


Recently reviewed by Helen Chesnut in the Times Colonist, Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy by Bill Terry was deemed a "fascinating tale, rich in local colour, culture, history, people and politics, stunning landscapes and spectacular plants. A perfect gift book." Read the full review here.


Friday, November 9 from 1-2pm, Robert W. Mackay, author of the award-winning novel Soldier of the Horse, will be giving a book signing and presentation at The Book Warehouse, 632 West Broadway, in Vancouver.

On Sunday, November 11, 2012 at Noon, join Robert at the Surrey Museum, where he will be a guest speaker talking about the horses in World War I and local connections to Canadian Cavalry.

More about both these events on Robert's website: http://www.robertwmackay.ca/news.html


"A culinary road trip through the local foods landscape of BC." Look for a review of Flavours of the West Coast by Cedarwood Productions and Steve Walker-Duncan and guests in the November/December issue of EAT Magazine.


 Death as a Fine Art by Gwendolyn Southin received a glowing review in the Hamilton Spectator. Reviewer Don Graves wrote, "Death as a Fine Art is another well-crafted morsel of escapism set in the fashionable art world of 1960s Vancouver...there’s a dead gallery owner, a long list of suspects, greed and lies carefully woven into a suspenseful story that will make you smile... A refreshing read from beginning to end." Read the review online here.


The first book in the Red Rock Canyon mystery series,The Slickrock Paradox by Stephen Legault, was reviewed in the Hamilton Spectator. Reviewer Don Graves wrote, "A perfect recipe for conflict: big money, business first, abuse of native rights and history, all resulting in murder...a skilful story by author Legault and marks a series worth investing your time in." Read the review online here.


On Thursday, October 4, CBC Radio One's "All Points West" (90.5 FM) spoke to Heather Stretch, Rachel Fisher and Robin Tunnicliffe, authors of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organics Farming, about their book and recent nomination for the 2012 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. You can listen to the segment here.


Passage on the Cardena by Mel Dagg is a "gorgeous, cinematic, and engaging foray into a past we can't afford to forget." Meet Mel and hear him reading from his new novel at the Courtenay Public Library on October 9, 6:30pm, and at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library on October 12, 6:30pm.


Lovely review of Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy by Bill Terry in the Coastal Reporter: "Though this book will delight those who love flowers, it will certainly engage armchair travellers as well with its clear, descriptive prose. The glimpses of life in China and Tibet are fascinating." For the full review, click here.


In a brief interview with the Delta Optimist, author Mel Dagg discusses writing his first novel and the inspiration behind Passage on the Cardena. "I thought for writing a first novel, this would be a shoo-in, that is, a proscribed journey from Point A to Point B with a small group of characters, but it turned out to be more than that. It always does, I guess, after you start out." For more, click here.


All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming by Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe is a finalist for the 9th Annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Congratulations, ladies!


Very nice review of Stephen Legault's latest mystery, The Slickrock Paradox, in the Rocky Mountain Outlook: "Legault does a masterful job of making it all so believable. The human landscape in Slickrock Paradox is littered with characters that are not what they seem to be, such that even the good guys are suspect, right up until the end." To read more, click here.


"Dee has known these farmers for a long time. She has nurtured her relationships with them and it shows. Their stories are personal and real . . . But throughout all this, it is the deep connection to the land that stands out." Nice review of Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet by dee Hobsbawn-Smith in the September issue of Culinaire. For more, click here.


"Exciting, dense with literary references, and definitely worth a try . . . Legault's complex new series' start will appeal to conspiracy buffs, outdoors enthusiasts, and literary detectives." Great review of The Slickrock Paradox by Stephen Legault in Library Journal.


Robert W. Mackay's novel Soldier of the Horse has been longlisted for the 2012 ReLit Awards. Congrats, Bob! To see the full longlist, click here.


"While All the Dirt is intended to help people who might undertake organic farming . . . it also has wider appeal. The stories are well told, informative and entertaining, with the human element always at the forefront. Each of the authors has had a different journey and approach and they offer inspiring examples of what is to be gained from trying to live with strength and determination." Another fantastic review of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming, this one in the Jewish Independent. To read the full review, click here.


All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming by Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe was recently featured in the Globe and Mail's selection of "six must-read food books." For the full list, click here.


Lovely review of Cathy Ace's debut novel, The Corpse with the Silver Tongue, on the Crime Fiction Lover blog: "For readers who enjoy a classic cozy puzzle, this is a truly delightful romp set on the Côte d’Azure. With lashings of good food and fine wines, plus a strong-minded, quirky main character, The Corpse with the Silver Tongue is an enjoyable introduction to what promises to be an intriguing new series." To read the full review, click here.


A recent review of dee Hobsbawn-Smith's Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet in Savour Life Magazine: "While the stories are about Alberta growers and producers, their stories are relevant to anyone interested in sustainable eating. Foodshed is sure to take you on a journey beyond your local farmers market and into the heart of local living."  


The Slickrock Paradox by Stephen Legault, the first book in his new Red Rock Canyon mystery series, was featured in Quill & Quire's Fall Preview 2012: Crime & Mystery. Check out the full preview here.


Two very nice reviews of new mysteries in the Hamilton Spectator this weekend:

"Debra Purdy Kong’s Deadly Accusations is a traditional mystery complicated by the characters’ desires to keep secrets and the self-serving manipulations of others. It’s a good read with urban grit and a spicy climax."

"The Corpse with the Silver Tongue, the debut novel by British Columbia author Cathy Ace, is a sharply paced cozy with a French flair . . . If you enjoy a meticulously plotted whodunit in the traditional vein, then Ace’s debut will be what you’re looking for: a pleasant diversion with a dash of brain teaser."

For more, check out the full article here.


All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming by Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe is reviewed in the upcoming issue of AlbertaViews. "All the Dirt is literary fertilizer for the mind and a feast for the eyes . . . You'll never look at the people behind the vibrant veggies at your local farmers' market the same way after this read. Organic farmers could ask for no better ambassadors than these three courageous, hard-working, funny, thoughtful women." Check out the July/August issue for the full review.


CBC Books has put together the Cross-Country Cookbook Shelf to determine which book best represents food writing from our home and native land. Dee Hobsbawn-Smith's Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet is one of five titles representing Alberta! Click here to learn more and cast your vote.


Nice review of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming in the Times Colonist: "rich with wonderful stories about life on the farm." The article also includes a great interview with authors Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe. To read more, click here


A wonderful review of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming appeared in Canadian Organic Growers magazine this month: "A remarkable documentation of the personal journey toward a successful career for each of the three young authors revealing her committed and passionate attachment to the land . . . All the Dirt is a unique book: it is extremely well written, clearly organized, peppered with beautiful (at times mouth-watering) coloured photographs. The entire design of the book is remarkable and its production is first-rate."


Fantastic news! Two TouchWood titles have been awarded Independent Publisher Awards: Soldier of the Horse by Robert W. Mackay won Gold in the Military/Wartime Fiction category and Secret Combinations by Gordon Cope won Silver in the Suspense/Thriller category. Congrats to Robert and Gordon! For a full list of winners, click here.


Great review of Stephen Legault's latest mystery, The Vanishing Track, in the Hamilton Spectator: "The soul of The Vanishing Track is in the dialogue: it shapes the raw tension, exposes the layers of greed and cover-up . . . The portrayal is clear; the action sharp and brutal . . . The Cole Blackwater stories are among the most riveting today, and The Vanishing Track is the best yet in this intensely dramatic series." To read the full review, click here.


Lovely review of Cathy Ace's The Corpse with the Silver Tongue in the Library Journal: "In the finest tradition of Agatha Christie, debut author Ace brings us the closed-room drama, with a dollop of romantic suspense and historical intrigue."


There was a great profile of author and food advocate dee Hobsbawn-Smith and her new book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, in the Edmonton Journal. Check it out here.


Great news: Island Wineries of British Columbia has been nominated for a Taste Canada Food Writing Award! Congrats to editor Gary Hynes and all the contributors! To see the full list of nominees, click here.


"In [Foodshed], along with the main dish of stories aligned with each letter of the alphabet, [Hobsbawn-Smith] has seasoned the offering with 26 original recipes. She also serves up well-researched explanations of current food issues and trends, and still manages to keep the whole meal appetizing enough that we’ll want to go out and reap the bounty of her creative A-Z harvest." Great interview with dee Hobsbawn-Smith, author of Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, in the Calgary Herald. To read more, click here.


Lovely review of Somebody's Child: Stories About Adoption in the Toronto Star: "Each [story]—like life itself—is full of unexpected twists and surprises. But all of the narrators are honest, compassionate and have something important to say about the ways their lives have been forever changed by adoption." To read the full review, click here.


Two TouchWood books made it onto the Calgary Herald's most recent Calgary Bestsellers list: The Vanishing Track by Stephen Legault tops the fiction list at #1, and All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming by Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, and Robin Tunnicliffe is #6 on the non-fiction list! Check out the full lists here.


A great review of dee Hobsbawn-Smith's new book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet, in the Globe and Mail: "Foodshed is a rich encyclopedia of facts, farm-gate lore and original recipes. It's also a politically engaging narrative in which Hobsbawn-Smith articulates the challenges and joys faced by small-scale producers in Alberta." For the full review, click here


Nice review of Stephen Legault's latest mystery, The Vanishing Track, in the National Post's "Crimewave" column: "Even though the source material lends itself to preaching and moralizing, Legault wisely sticks to telling a good story. The Vanishing Track made me want to track down the first two Cole Blackwater books and, even better, has me curious about what’s next for him and his friends." To read more, click here.


Another lovely review of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming, this one in the Winnipeg Free Press: "This timely publication will give assistance to novices, more experienced growers and environmentalists . . . [an] amazing hands-on book." Read the full review here.


There's a great review of Debra Purdy Kong's Deadly Accusations in the April issue of Quill & Quire! "The novel's short, punchy chapters whisk the story along to a thrilling climax, while the characters' relationships and rivalries provide a strong emotional anchor."


"All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming is the would-be organic farmer’s answer book . . . A how-to book with heart and soul." Read the rest of this great review of All the Dirt by January Magazine here.


The Globe and Mail's New Crime Fiction feature includes two of TouchWood's Spring mysteries! Margaret Cannon calls The Corpse with the Silver Tongue author Cathy Ace "a writer to watch" and praises Stephen Legault's The Vanishing Track as the "best in the Cole Blackwater series." To read more, click here.


"Both an inspirational account of modern agricultural life and a cautionary tale of long hours and low pay . . . All The Dirt provides answers rooted in real-world experience, both successes and failures." Check out this great review of All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming in the Vancouver Sun!


Fast Forward Weekly said: "More than simply a how-to book on organic micro-farming . . . All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming is a manual for change." Read the full article here.


More excellent news! Island Wineries of British Columbia has been selected as a finalist for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award at the BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to everyone who worked on this celebrated book! For a full list of prizes and finalists, click here.


Great news! Island Wineries of British Columbia was awarded the Bronze Medal at the Gourmand World Wine Book Awards in the New World category. Congrats to Gary Hynes and all of the contributors!


 All the Dirt: Reflections of Organic Farming was recently featured in the Gulf Islands Driftwood: "The book offers readers an insightful and inspiring look into the lives of three organic farmers with plenty of local flavour." Read the full article here.


"Informative, timely and well written, All The Dirt is a must-read insider’s account of farming today on Vancouver Island.


The Land of Heart's Delight

Author: Michael Layland

TouchWood Editions is thrilled to share the news that The Land of Heart's Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island by Michael Layland is a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes' Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award. Winners will be announced at the awards gala taking place May 3 at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel. For more details about the prize and a list of other finalists, please visit www.bcbookprizes.ca.

read more


Don Genova

Author and celebrated food journalist, Don Genova will be launching his new book Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands on April 24 at the Victoria Public Market. Meet Don and many of the local food artisans at this special event. More details at www.dongenova.com.

he deadly ramifications of street racing.

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