Field to Flask, 4th Edition
Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021

Field to Flask: Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling (4th Edition)by Malcolm BucholtzPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Marlin Legare$52.00 ISBN 9781989078075 Field to Flask: Fundamentals of Small Batch Distilling is an arsenal of knowledge for anyone seeking to begin or perfect the art of distilling spirits. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast looking to try a new business endeavour during the pandemic or a wide-scale distiller with years of experience in the industry, there is something for everyone to learn in this book. Published by Wood Dragon Books in Regina, SK and written by native Reginian Malcolm Bucholtz, this book is just as locally sourced as the products that have taken consultation from Bucholtz, such as Saskatchewan’s own Sperling Distillery and Doucette Distillery, just to name a couple of examples. Bucholtz is a B. Sc. and an MBA who has been crafting alcohol for over 30 years. In 2014, he went on to complete his General Certificate in Distilling from the Institute for Brewing and Distilling to fully pursue his passion for entrepreneurship and crafting quality spirits. This expertise shines through from cover to cover of this comprehensive guide, which Bucholtz distributes to budding and experienced distillers during his 5-day…

Power Plays
Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021

Power Playsby Maureen UlrichPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Michelle Shaw$18.99 ISBN 9781989078273 In this first book in the Jessie Mac Hockey Series, we are introduced to fourteen-year-old Jessie McIntyre, the new girl at Estevan Junior High. In Saskatoon, at her old school, Jessie was part of a close group of friends. Now, not only does she not have any friends but one of the girls, Kim, a real bully, makes every day of Jessie’s life a nightmare. Things get even worse when Jessie somehow manages to get on the bad side of a group of older kids who have a really scary reputation. She can’t tell her parents. They think she’s the one being difficult. Jessie’s mom discovers that the local girls’ hockey team is in desperate need of players and signs her up, hoping to give her daughter a fresh start. But Jessie is a ringette player. She’s never played hockey before and she is horrified at what her mother has done. She’s also convinced that the other girls consider her a troublemaker and don’t want her on the team. But slowly Jessie begins to learn the game and fit in, and life starts looking up. Until her…

Cartwright Men Marry, The
Wood Dragon Books / 3 March 2021

The Cartwright Men Marryby Monique DesrosiersPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Toby A. Welch$19.99 ISBN 9781989078242 I love when a book sucks you in immediately with a great action scene. This one does just that, pulling you into an avalanche in 1863 before launching into present day. The Cartwright Men Marry jumps often from the years in the 1860s to current day. At its heart, this book is two separate stories linked by history and family roots. Desrosiers seamlessly pulls off the constant shifting, never making it awkward for the reader.  As a child of the 70s, this book had a Bonanza vibe right from the get-go for me. (For you millennials and non-TV watchers, Bonanza is an American Western TV series that ran from 1959 to 1973, a record-breaking 14 seasons. The show featured a family of Cartwright men dealing with ongoing moral and situational dilemmas.) The names sounded familiar, as did some of the history, and I discovered why. When you get to the end of the story, Desrosiers includes a page titled Why I Wrote The Cartwright Men Marry. She explains how binge-watching Bonanza in December 2018 inspired this book. She couldn’t stop thinking of what kind…

Spirit Sight
Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021

Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book Oneby Marie PowellPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$18.99   ISBN 9-781989-078280 I’m grateful that Regina writer Marie Powell provided a map (Wales, 1282), glossary, and character list with her galloping new young adult fantasy, Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book One, because as one who doesn’t naturally gravitate toward the oft complex fantasy genre, these guideposts were helpful. Powell’s a veteran writer – see her complete library of books at mariepowell.ca – with more than forty books published, and she’s clearly not lacking one iota in inspiration. She explains that this particular novel series – the characters return in Last of the Gifted: Water Sight, Book Two – was inspired by her “adventures in castle-hopping across North Wales to explore her family roots” in 2006. The amount of research required to write a book of this complexity is impressive, and the writing’s made even more interesting as Powell fused fact and fiction: she based the story on the real-life Welsh prince, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (d. 1282), his French wife Elinor – who was held captive by England’s King Edward for three years – and the fictional characters of supernaturally-gifted…

If It Wasn’t For the Money
Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021

If It Wasn’t for the Money: A Sam Anderson Mysteryby J.A. MartinePublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.99   ISBN 9-781989-078341 If It Wasn’t for the Money: A Sam Anderson Mystery, by Saskatchewan author J.A. Martine – aka business writer Jeanne Martinson – is a rather delectable novel, in more ways than one. The story concerns twin sisters who’d inherited “bloody millions,” their down-on-their-financial-luck husbands, the adventurous magazine writer Sam Anderson (who possesses an interesting, lottery-related back story), and an initially clownish retired Regina cop, all of whom we meet on an Alaska-bound cruise ship. Smooth sailing? Oh no … this is a mystery, after all.  The characters are well-drawn – especially Sam, who leads photography workshops on the ship and rappels down a rockface for a travel story – and plausible, and as the author employs multiple points of view, readers are able to enter into each of the major character’s concerned minds.  Martine explains that the lavish fictional ship, the “Sea Wanderer,” is an amalgamation of Alaskan cruise ships she’s obviously had experience with, as I could easily imagine “the grand lobby with its elegant multi-level staircase,” the “[buzzing] excitement of the first-time passengers,” and the…

Burned-Out Healer, The
Wood Dragon Books / 8 October 2020

The Burned-Out Healer: A Path to Trauma Release and Reconnection to Selfby Jacquie BaloghPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReviewed by Michelle Shaw$19.99 ISBN 978-1-989078-23-5 In The Burned-Out Healer, Calgary-based hypnotherapist Jacquie Balogh shares her journey from burnout towards spiritual and physical harmony and provides a practical roadmap for others to recognize and address their own energetic exhaustion. Jacquie has been involved in healing for most of her life. Even as a child, she says, she had a special knack for reading people, for knowing things about them she had no realistic way of knowing. “I was able to see things around them such as auras and visitors from another realm. I was able to decipher what those things meant and help people along their journey by sharing this knowledge with them.” Jacquie naturally gravitated towards a career that would involve helping others and became a licensed practical nurse, which initially she thoroughly enjoyed. But after fifteen years she was disillusioned, she says, with a system that seemed to focus more on bureaucracy than healing. She decided to train in other avenues of healing such as reiki, tarot, mediumship and hypnotherapy, incorporating her knowledge into her own healing work. But even though…

Fully Half Committed
Wood Dragon Books / 22 September 2020

Fully Half Committed: Conversation Starters for Romantic Relationshipsby Barbara Morrison and Ed RislingPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.99 ISBN 9-781989-078167 If you’ve been single and searching for a healthy new connection over the last decade or so, you’ll know that the dating and relationship landscape has changed significantly, in large part due to the popularity of online dating. With a few key strokes, finding “another fish” at the first sign of conflict or boredom is a mighty temptation for some, and short-term relationships are the new norm. Tragically, our throw-away society’s come to include people. But what about actually working on a relationship and allowing it to evolve? And why are people less likely to commit, fully and completely, today? Professional couples’ therapists Barbara Morrison and Ed Risling address these topics and examine relationship issues like communication, curiosity, awareness, and libido differences in their book Fully Half Committed: Conversation Starters for Romantic Relationships. With sixty years of combined counselling experience, the pair – who met as students – have collaborated on “writing a book about the reoccurring themes” they see in their practices, and each short chapter addresses an issue. There are also numerous examples of how…

My Dearest Dido
Wood Dragon Books / 7 February 2020

My Dearest Dido: The Holodomor Storyby Marion MutalaPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Keith Foster$19.99              ISBN 978-1-989078-20-4 Marion Mutala’s My Dearest Dido: The Holodomor Story is a passionate account of the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933, known as the Holodomor. Based on actual events and documented eyewitness accounts, this story consists of correspondence between two fictional characters – Hanusia Hrabowa in Saskatoon and her grandfather, Dido Bohdan, in Hafford, SK, supplemented by Hanusia’s personal diary. As a class assignment to write about the Holodomor, Hanusia does her research using a primary source – her grandfather, or Dido, who survived the famine. Sixteen-year-old Hanusia starts writing to Dido, requesting his assistance, beginning each letter with “My Dearest Dido.”  Readers may find it odd that Hanusia chose to write letters when any sixteen-year-old would almost instinctively reach for her cell phone. But discussing such a sensitive subject over the phone would have been too difficult. Corresponding by letter would enable Dido to reread the contents, dwell upon Hanusia’s request, and gather his thoughts. Dido is reluctant at first – the memories are just too painful. As he starts to  open up, he becomes severely ill from…

War and Peace in the Workplace
Wood Dragon Books / 10 February 2019

War and Peace in the Workplace: Diversity, Conflict, Understanding, Reconciliationby Jeanne MartinsonPublished by Wood Dragon Books Reviewed by Ben Charles$21.99 ISBN 9780968537022 War & Peace in the Workplace: Diversity, Conflict, Understanding, Reconciliation is written by Saskatchewan-native Jeanne Martinson, a renowned speaker, author, and management trainer. Published by Wood Dragon Books and distributed by Martrain Corporation and Personal Development, this national bestseller is designed as a guide for employers, organizations, managers, or those interested in navigating their work places in a more positive manner. The content of this book pertains to many of the challenges that the average Canadian faces in the workplace. These include: diversity/bias, toxic people and environments, harassment, conflict, and much more. Similar to one of Martinson’s other bestsellers, From Away: Immigration to Effective Workplace Integration, this book begins with an in-depth analysis of what diversity is, and how it may affect communities such as the average Canadian workplace. The most interesting portion of this chapter, in my opinion, is Martinson’s analysis of the factors that shape a human being’s “us vs. them” mentality, and how easy it is for us to distort information to cater to our biases. If you have interest in human behaviour or psychology,…

From Away
Wood Dragon Books / 5 February 2019

From Away: Immigration To Effective Workplace Integration by Jeanne Martinson Published by Wood Dragons Books Reviewed by Ben Charles $21.99 ISBN 9780995334212 From Away: Immigration To Effective Workplace Integration, written by Jeanne Martinson and published by Wood Dragons Books, can be best described as a concise yet effective tool for employers and managers to navigate an increasingly diverse team. For better or for worse, Canada’s economy is significantly driven by a workforce that is largely comprised of immigrant employees and entrepreneurs. Although this increased manpower reduces stress on employers and the economy, it also presents unique challenges, misunderstandings, language barriers, and cultural differences that may be difficult for an average Canadian to understand. A gesture or saying that may be completely innocent to us may also be highly offensive through the lens of another culture, or vice versa. Martinson’s book is a fantastic place to begin as a Canadian who may not understand all of the intricacies, values, and mannerisms that various cultures from around the globe maintain. The book creates a useful framework for the reader to begin with by a brief introduction, statistical figures of Canada’s immigration history, and a crash course on the modality of Western culture….