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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!
After two decades of mental, emotional, and physical afflictions, J. T. Wahlberg had had enough, and he was all set to end his twenty-year addiction to alcohol. There was just one problem: he “forgot” to research the potential risks of detoxing on his own without any medical supervision. Armed with cans of Campbell’s Chunky soup, plenty of water, and a few tips he had picked up from the movie Trainspotting, he hunkered down in his apartment for what he imagined would be a couple of days of pain followed by a life of sunny sobriety. Instead, it’s a miracle he survived to tell his story. In between describing his harrowing do-it-yourself alcohol withdrawal experience, Wahlberg recounts how and why he became addicted to alcohol in the first place, the negative effects his addiction had on his health and his personal and professional life, and his unconventional approach to sobriety over the past six years. He also offers a blistering critique of alcohol’s socially accepted and yet destructive role in society and urges readers to reconsider their relationship to this highly addictive substance.
At twenty-nine years old, Stefanie is what some may call a “late bloomer”—but her life has had no shortage of intrigue. With a prestigious, world-class ballet career under her belt, and her youth fading much too fast for her liking, she suddenly finds herself at the crux of several life-changing decisions. After getting “sort-of” engaged to a wealthy patron of the arts, she somewhat impulsively accompanies her mother—a domineering woman—to a conference in Seattle. There, she inadvertently runs into an old flame who reignites both her passion for dance, and unexpectedly, her heart. As she comes face to face with own her self-destructive nature, her penchant for conflict avoidance and ability to unintentionally stir up personal chaos, Stefanie must come to terms with the possible life paths laid out before her. Luckily, she has the support of several close friends: former ballet companions who all bring to the table exciting and challenging life experiences of their own. Weaving together the lives of a colourful cast of characters whose backstories intertwine in the world of ballet and the joys and struggles of being artists, Warren Pierce offers a story that blends the hilarious minutia of deciding one’s identity, and choosing the family who will support you the most. It is a book about being an artist and taking responsibility in life, as much as it is a book about love in all of its many forms: platonic love, romantic love, parental love, and—perhaps most challenging—self-love. In order to get on the path that will bring her emotional fulfilment, Stefanie must face her deepest flaws, overcome difficult circumstances, and make critical, heart-breaking decisions that offer her an authentic life with the people who love her most.
A worm and a truck? How can that be? You will see. This little earthworm is in danger! How can such a little one ever escape a hungry bird, a watchful cat, a curious dog and a playful pup? This story has been written especially for beginning or early readers. The story is followed by answers to questions about earthworms, designed for sharing.
Brimming with horror, tragedy, suspense, and a hint of the supernatural, Nightshades is an anthology set in the Canadian Prairies and perfect to read on a stormy night. Told with poeticism and honest mercilessness, these thrilling tales explore the dark underbelly of being human in an often painful and unforgiving world. Two sisters visit their parents’ graves every year, until one of them goes too far. A young child, reeling from a traumatic event, befriends a mysterious boy in a hole. A cruel father is separated from his family under suspicious circumstances in an eerie, Saskatchewan small town. A young girl with an affinity for horses becomes the target of unbridled evil. After moving to a new town with her family, a teen meets a friend who leads her down a one-way path to destruction. A woman struggles with depression until her internal world begins leaking into her external reality—with monstrous results. The themes in Nightshades—ranging from the legacy of childhood trauma, to twisted justice, to the abuse of power, to toxic relationships, to mental illness, and more—are topics that scarcely leave anyone in this world untouched. Unifying these nightmarish tales is the core truth that nothing is scarier than real life.
Pathology of a Pandemic is a collection of poems that was written during the onslaught of the novel corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Teenagers, young adults, and mature adults will find this book of poetry captivating because the voice in each poem is different from the others ranging from a deceased grandmother, a physically disabled person, to the never ending passion of those who stand against all types of oppression, discrimination and systemic racism. Common issues of identity, death, anti-Black racism, the power of love and its ability to heal the human spirit run throughout the anthology of poems. The collection is a creative chronicle and documentation of the individual and collective experiences we have faced during the 2020 pandemic. Pathology of a Pandemic is a mirror of ourselves that, hopefully, will allow us to see our strengths and weaknesses and help us create a better world for ourselves and others.
When a series of traumatic calls on the job as a firefighter leaves Steve shaken and unable to recover, he, reluctantly at first, seeks out clinical counselling. His one rule, “I won’t talk about my childhood,” closes the door on several therapists, until he meets one who is willing to respect his wishes—providing he explores his childhood on his own. When Steve begins to reflect on his past, he also begins to write it all down. The good, and the terrible. Those written words are here. Growing up in a fractured family rocked by addiction and trauma, Steve had to learn how to understand life, and death, on his own. As a self-described “street rat” on Boundary Road in East Vancouver, Steve caused trouble when it wasn’t already following him around. Struggling in school, at home, and in countless fights, he navigated his way through adolescence with the help of his father, and pursued his dream of becoming a firefighter. While realizing that dream, he is forced to confront the demons of his past and the reality of post-traumatic stress injury. Through clinical counselling he is able to release his past and find the power of self-acceptance and vulnerability. The Unbroken is the memoir of one firefighter, his family, trauma, and resilience. Most importantly it is a story that teaches all of us, no matter our situation, that life is school, and the subject is ourself, our life habits, thoughts, and our reactions to them. And that sometimes it is okay to not be okay.
What would the world look like if women were confident, empowered, and fulfilled? Why do so many women get lost in endless overwhelm, imperfect relationships, and draining jobs? How can women overcome all of these obstacles to become the best version of themselves—the person they were meant to be? In Becoming ‘You’ for Women, Wendy Turner-Larsen answers these questions and more. This book is the must-have kit—complete with revolutionary concepts, in-depth explanations, interactive exercises, and supplementary resources—for women who are ready to take the leap to become who they really are. Becoming ‘You’ for Women is the last self-help book you’ll ever need. Turner-Larsen draws on her thirty years of mental health, counselling, and coaching experience to show women how to un become the person they think they should be and thereby become their true, whole, empowered selves. This book will show you how to identify the beliefs that are getting in your way, how to let go of these beliefs, how to engage with your emotions and spirituality, and how to improve brain health so you can become you—the person you truly are and want to be. By equipping yourself with this knowledge, you will gain the courage, know-how, and develop the self-compassion you need to take full responsibility of your life and make those long-overdue changes. Like all journeys, this one begins with a single step: choosing to embark on this adventure to become you. And, as Turner-Larsen will convince you, you are enough.
“I want to be . . .” Young animals think about how they want to be different. The monkey wants to be a turtle. The squirrel wants to be a giraffe. The bird wants to be a lion. But when their mothers remind them how special they are as themselves, the little animals remember: “It’s OK to Be Me!” With empowering messages of self-acceptance, It’s OK to Be Me! reminds young readers that God created them to be okay just as they are.