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Summer sale (before summer’s over)

Black Grass special advertisement

Edit: September 18, 2021: We’ve decided to continue this sale for a little while longer – there’s still time to save!

It seems hard to believe that this summer is almost over. As I type this on the afternoon of August 26th, 2021, in Ottawa (Canada), the thermometer in my home office reads 31.5° C, and the weather app on my phone tells me it feels like 38. (As I prepare to post, on Friday, the heat wave has mercifully broken at last — 23C!)

It seems even harder to believe that we are now pushing two years since rumours of a new infectious disease began to come out of China. That makes it nearly a year-and-a-half since I was laid off from my day job and since I started wearing a mask when I ventured out of doors.

I am vaccinated now, so I don’t always mask up outside, but I am not yet ready to venture into a bar or restaurant, and I am unhappily prepared for yet another lock-down before all this is over.

But all that said, I do believe (as the old saw has it), where there’s life, there’s hope. And what better way to remind ourselves of that adage, then to remember that life has never been easy and has never been simple.

Take Carl Dow’s fantastic historical novel, Black Grass (which is on sale for the low, low, low price of only $1.99 for the ebook edition, or $12.95 for the paperback (signed by the author at no extra charge if you wish!), only at the BumblePuppy Press. Why pay Amazon when you can be sure it all goes straight to the author!)

Set in 1866, on the border of what would be become the western territories of the United States and Canada, we find that life is no simpler, nor any safer, than it is in 2021. There is still conflict and threats of war; men and women still love, and still hate; the future is (literally, in this case) an on-coming train, inevitable in the broader sense, but not yet set on an inevitable track.

Gabriel Dumont and his fellow prairie Métis face threats to their lives, and their way of life, and face them with courage and imagination, just as we must do in the face of our challenges today.

I don’t recommend books because of their message — most of the best novels and stories cannot be broken down to a singular point. Yet we can sometimes take hints from good fiction, about what makes life worth living, and when it is worth risking all to preserve it.

Anyway, with a week and a half to go before Labour Day weekend comes to a close, I offer some small comfort to those of you in search of a good story.

Black Grass for $1.99 if you want it now, or $12.95 is you want it signed (delivery is extra, though if you live in Ottawa, I might be able to get it to you for considerably less than Canada Post will charge — and faster, too). Please visit our online store and make your choice!

Let’s hope next summer is a far sight better than the past two have been!

Geoffrey Dow, Publisher

P.S. And don’t forget to leave a review if you like it (or even if you don’t), here, at an online retailer, or at Goodreads. Small presses especially appreciate every kind word that comes our way!

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Holiday Specials!

Photo of promotional brochure

The Corona Virus has made this a tough year for us all, and the prospect of holiday shopping during a pandemic won’t make December any easier.

But I can help!

From now until December 24th, I am pleased to offer free delivery in central Ottawa of an autographed copy Black Grass for only $15.00, and The Old Man’s Last Sauna for the extraordinary price of only $10.00!

For those of you out of town, the discounted prices still apply, but alas, so do the standard shipping rates.

What better way to tell the bookworm (or bookworms!) in your life that you care than to give them one or both of these remarkable books by a local author, published by a small press?

If you have any doubts, you can read the first three chapters of Black Grass here, and the deeply moving novelette, “O! Ernie, What Have they Done To You?” here.

To skip all that and purchase one or both books, in paper or electronic editions, please click here to visit our store.

Thank you for reading this, and happy holidays!

Geoffrey Dow, Publisher

Cover of The Old Man's Last Sauna, by Carl Dow
Click here to read a story


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Black Grass – the first 3 chapters

Front cover of Black Grass, by Carl Dow

“I wanted to write a story about a Canadian hero who wasn’t hanged,” Carl Dow told me in conversation some months back.

Gabriel Dumont was the hero, and Black Grass was the resulting novel, a novel which led me down the path to being a publisher. Of course, I am biased – the shared last name is no accident – but I read the book in manuscript form in one sitting, coming up for air with the rising sun.

If my say-so doesn’t convince you, please click here to read the first three chapters and then decide for yourself.

Happy reading!

Geoffrey Dow, Publisher

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Introduction to “O! Ernie … What Have They Done to You?

Short story collections are a notoriously hard kind of book to sell. Short story collections by first-time authors are even more so. Nevertheless, I published Carl Dow‘s collection of stories, and the BumblePuppy Press’ first commercial book, The Old Man’s Last Sauna because I believed in 2013 – and still do! – that these stories were good ones and deserved to be read.

Though “O! Ernie … What have they done to you?” is set shortly after the Second World War and directly concerns the “red scare” of the post-war era, it is a story that is just as relevant today as it is to the era in which it is set (consider the cases of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning, if you believe that times have really changed).

Beyond the politics, “O! Ernie …” is both a deeply human tragedy, and a study in resilience and the stubborn triumph of the human spirit even when faced by an implacable foe.

I re-read the story for the first time in a long while last night to write this introductory note, and found myself deeply moved by it all over again. It will be available to read for free for only one week – if you like it, please consider buying the book from which it is taken!

Geoffrey Dow, Publisher – December 3, 2020

Read “O! Ernie … What Have They Done to You?”

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Black Grass on the pod(cast)

Photo illustration showing Peter Anthony Holder, left, and Carl Dow, right.

Carl interviewed by Peter Anthony Holder

Peter Anthony Holder of The Stuph File, left, Carl Dow holding copy of Black Grass, right.

We at the BumblePuppy Press were delighted when Carl‘s friend and colleague, Randy Ray, told us he wanted to put his skills at as a publicist to work for us.

Last week, Randy got down to it while on vacation in Florida (what a world!) and we are seeing the fruits of his labours already! Carl was interviewed on Peter Anthony Holder’s Montreal-based podcast, The Stuph File Program.

You can read Carl’s thoughts about the interview here, or you can just listen to interview by clicking below.

The full program can be found at The Stuph File. Look for program #0551.

And of course, Black Grass is available in print and e-book editions from your favourite online retailer. And autographed copies can be ordered directly from us.

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Black Grass is coming

Things move slow when one has to juggle a day-job and a relationship with the responsibility of running a small press.

But things do move, and it is with great pleasure that I can now say (for real!), that our next book — Carl Dow’s Black Grass, a novel that smoothly combines adventure, historical, romance and western genres — is in production and will (yes, for real!) be published next year.

Read more …

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The Old Man’s Last Sauna

Stories that will move, amuse and even shock
in their subtle explorations of the human spirit

From odes to loves lost and loves found; from a clear-eyed look at what it takes to destroy a strong man to the web of love between a mother and her son; from the greed that drives a man to murder to a father’s understanding of the difference between his son’s imagination and the lies that lurk in the minds of his grandparents, Carl Dow’s stories introduce a powerful voice for the 21st century, one born of the turmoil, violence and struggle for justice and understanding that marked so much of the 20th.

A limited number (under two hundred) copies of The Old Man’s Last Sauna are still available directly from the publisher. Each will be autographed by the author and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Copies of the second edition can be ordered through your favourite online vendor.
Continue reading The Old Man’s Last Sauna