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At FriesenPress, we celebrate each and every book we help our authors publish. Here are some of our team’s recent favourites – happy reading!
Jac Pencuri has been a busker, magician, and thief for most of his life. After growing up on the streets of Sydney, Australia, he’s made his way to Victoria, BC, living on his stolen tugboat, Scrimshaw. Jac performs regularly at the inner harbour with his apprentice, Chidi, and on the side, running cons and picking the pockets of rich tourists. But his settled if somewhat shady existence is upended when an old patron-turned-nemesis, Australian billionaire Foster Roth, comes to Victoria in his magnificent mega-yacht Trio. Roth has come to the city to exhibit a collection of rare children’s books at Craigdarroch Castle, including a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dalí and signed by the artist. Jac steals the frontispiece of the book out of its supposedly impregnable display case from under an array of cameras and the noses of security personnel—an apparently impossible crime. When Roth brings in another old nemesis of Jac’s, retired police investigator Albert Vargas, to hunt down the thief, Jac finds himself on the run. He's trying to stay one step ahead of Roth, Vargas, and the Victoria Police, and sadly unable to properly pursue his unexpected attraction to the pretty au pair of a wealthy couple he intended to rob. But magic is the art of misdirection. All is not as it appears, and more than one kind of sleight of hand is at play . . .
There are two themes: Indigenous reconciliation and environmental resilience. The purpose is to inform and inspire action – to quicken the pace of reconciliation and lessen the pace of global warming. The chapters, loosely held together by personal experience, may be read in any order like a magazine or a blog.
MarshMello loves to have fun, explore, and try new things—like going to the park. You’ll know he’s having a great time when he yells “Ta da!” He always has fun with his best friends, Graham and Choco, along for the adventure. A trip to the park starts out fun for the three best friends, but before long, they find themselves in a sticky situation. “Ta da,” turns into, “Oh no!” But MarshMello isn’t scared. He knows that he needs help, and his best friends won’t let him down. But will his friends and the firemen be able to rescue MarshMello in time? This delightful story shows young readers how to be their true selves and what friendships really mean. MarshMello knows there’s no shame in being different, and he’s not afraid to ask for help when the going gets sticky!
At last, the thing was partially levered out of its grave and Frank lay his head down, panting with relief. It was a copper kettle, discoloured and bent. They weren’t made anymore, but this one was clearly recognizable. Uncle Jim had had one just like it. It may have even belonged to him. Cradling it, Frank curled up around it as best he could, comforted. Surely it was a sign, from Mary or Jim or even God, telling him to keep on going. Its shape rounded by frozen dirt and leaves, Frank moved his hands gently over every bump and roughness, as if he were blind. The spout was broken off near the tip, leaving a sharp edge, but he didn’t feel the cut it left on his palm or the warmish blood that issued forth. For the first time since his ordeal began, Frank felt a wisp of happiness weave its way around his heart. The kettle had materialized to give him hope; he was certain of it. Frank Carlyle has always been most at ease in the northern Ontario wilderness, hunting and being at one with nature. But now he’s a fugitive, alone, lost, and injured on the very land that used to bring him peace. Through a series of flashbacks from the 1950s to 2005, middle-aged Frank looks back at his life, reliving events and emotional and psychological struggles with family and friends, trying to come to terms with pain he suffered as a child, not achieving the goals he set for himself, and feeling trapped by circumstances. With no one to help him in the woods, and too wounded to elude police much longer, Frank is finally forced to stop running from himself and face his inner demons, once and for all.
Props are integral to the success of any movie or TV show. Weapons, books, newspapers, eyeglasses, military gear, medical equipment—virtually anything that a character holds, reads, uses, or shoots on screen is provided by the props department. The right prop can become an iconic plot point on which the entire story pivots, turning that item into a fabled piece of Hollywood history. The wrong prop can expose a film or a TV show as a shoddy production, making the story more laughable than believable. Even worse is a prop breaking, or not showing up when the cameras are ready to roll. Such a scenario is the worst nightmare for someone like Dean Goodine, who has spent nearly four decades putting props into the hands of actors and using these items to help bring imaginary worlds to life. Dean has worked on everything from Oscar-nominated feature films like Unforgiven to network TV shows like Stargate SGI to streaming hits like A Series of Unfortunate Events to small independent films. In this book, Dean details the highs and lows of his thirty-six years in props, giving readers a firsthand look at what it takes to deliver the goods on screen. It’s full of humourous stories and hair-raising moments, and it features many names that you will recognize along the way. When it comes to recognizing excellence in the film industry, no awards are ever given for props, but by the time you reach the end of this book, no doubt, you’ll agree there should be.
IN TURBULENT TIMES, AN AVALON INITIATE FALLS IN LOVE WITH A ROMAN SOLDIER… Enter an enchanted world of Song, Ceremony, and reverence for the Earth’s seasonal cycles. The Tribes of Albion honor their wise Druid advisors, their prophetic Healers and Seers, and their divinely inspired Bards. In this culture, women stand as respected equals with men. Cerridwen is born into this world in 43 CE, on the small Island of Ynys Môn, home of a famed Druid College. When she reaches womanhood, her Druid parents send her to study at the Mystery School on the sacred Isle of Avalon. Here, a student must undergo years of challenging initiations in order to move beyond academic knowledge and become an enlightened Knower. Cerridwen thrives in Avalon under the tutelage of the Merlin and the Lady of Avalon. Then she meets Marcus, a Roman soldier her own age, and her world turns upside down. The young lovers personally experience the painful clash between Empire expansion and the Earth-based spirituality of the ancient Druid Way. The Alchemy of Avalon is a poignant, believable love story and an awakening reminder of the Old Wisdom. It shines as an ode to life-affirming ritual and the deep alchemy of Soul evolution.
Rudy's Belly of Bees is designed to be a tool that contributes to the development of emotional awareness and intelligence in youth, specifically those struggling with overwhelming feelings. Children can begin to identify their feelings and experiences within the main character, Rudy, who wakes up with a belly full of bees. Follow Rudy throughout her day as she navigates strange, new feelings and coping strategies.
As the Endellion Emperor’s daughter, Althea Crimsonheart is expected to train in the ways of the enlightenment. Where Althea struggles in her training, her friend Jidan excels. To aid their training, Althea and Jidan’s mentor sends them on a journey to a wise sage rumoured to have achieved enlightenment. Meanwhile, Endellion is at war with Ormilla, a neighbouring kingdom, while the spiròts shun their people. Meeting friends and foes along their journey, Althea and Jidan discover startling truths about the world they thought they knew. When many forces collide, those caught between will be forced to make tough choices and learn how to steer the wheel of their own destiny.