Spotlight on As You Were by Gerry Fostaty

A hot new book now available is As You Were by Gerry Fostaty. The following description is taken from the author's website:

Six teenaged boys died and fifty-four were injured in an explosion on a Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier, Quebec. A live grenade inadvertently made its way into a box of dud ammunition, and its pin was pulled during a lecture on explosives safety. One hundred and forty boys survived, each isolated in their trauma, yet expected to carry on with their lives.

Thirty-four years later, Gerry Fostaty, who was an 18-year-old sergeant that summer and one of the first on the scene after the explosion, received an unexpected e-mail from his former sergeant-major, triggering a journey into memory, a quest for a true picture of what had happened on that day. In As You Were, Fostaty pieces together the story of how a series of preventable mistakes led to tragedy.

The only full account of an event that received minor attention at the time, As You Were is the story of a normal day turned horrific; how duty, responsibility, and honour make ordinary people take extraordinary measures; and how the military did their best to ignore this devastating incident.

Published by Goose Lane Editions. Visit the publisher’s website here. You can find more information about this book and the author at the following sites:

CBC Quebec AM interview
CBC The Current interview

Review: The Watchers by Jon Steele

I have a short list of books that I love and always keep a copy of. It includes The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Drood and The Black Hills, both written by Dan Simmons, and The Lord of the Rings. These books are characterized by great story-telling abilities by the author. They are not the kind of books (that shall remain nameless, the worst written by an author also with the first name of Dan) that have a cliff hanger at the end of a two page chapter. They are the sort that weave a story so cleverly and rich with story that it takes the reader into another world that is not soon forgotten, long after the characters names can’t be recalled. The Watchers by Jon Steele is now on my list.

 I loved this book from the first beautifully written and haunting chapter to the last heart-pounding one. Its exotic locale (Lausanne, Switzerland), its clever plot twists and turns and the revelation about two-thirds of the way in of what exactly is going on. Though it’s a relatively large book at more than 570 pages, I devoured it in just a few days.

I was besotted with Jay Harper, one of the main characters. I think it was his sense of humor (that gets me every time) and his sure-fire way of seeing through to the heart of any matter. His relentless pursuit of the bad guys didn’t hurt either. Another main character, Marc Rochat, tugged at my heart and I cheered for him the whole book through. This book isn’t for the faint-at-heart, however. There are a few scenes that are difficult to read so if you don’t like to read anything violent, I suggest you skim those few short paragraphs and keep reading – it’s worth it!

It was a happy surprise to discover that The Watchers is just the first book in a new trilogy. It’s definitely a must-read for the literary thriller crowd and just about anyone who enjoys great writing and a fabulous story. For more on The Watchers you can see the author speak about his book here.

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows: Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences from somewhere on that page and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules. My teaser this week is from The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen. From page 122:
The bodywork was almost entirely burned away, and what remained had been charred black in the blaze. The thing was destroyed, but the Detroit police swore it was a a Ford and they figured it had probably been red once, too.

Mailbox Monday, May 8, 2012

In May, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Martha's Bookshelf.
I had one book come into my house last week - The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James. The book description reads:
Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis – rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts – has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a desperate struggle. For Maddy’s ghost is real, she’s angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance – before she destroys them all?

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