Launch of: The Case of the Missing Deed

What a perfect place to launch a mystery with recipes – Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks, a warm, welcoming cookbook store with a complete demonstration kitchen! About 40 people gathered there on October 13 to celebrate the launch of the first title in Ellen Schwartz’s Teaspoon Detectives series, The Case of the Missing Deed.

Ellen and her daughter, Merri Schwartz, a professional pastry chef, who had created the recipes that form an integral part of the story, had prepared Grandma’s Famous Pesto, Brown Sugar Spice Cake, and Chocolate Cinnamon Sparkle Cookies, all featured in the book, as snacks.

After Merri did a cooking demonstration on how to make the Sparkle Cookies, Ellen read a short scene in which two characters attempt to make the Spice Cake – only to have it explode in the oven.

Ellen signed lots of books, and guests commented on how much fun it was to have a cooking element as part of the book launch. Bon appetit!

Words Worth Eating with Nan Forler and Peter Etril Snyder


Last week, on October 12, Words Worth Books and Uptown 21 hosted Words Worth Eating with Peter Etril Snyder and Nan Forler. This was in celebration of Winterberries and Apple Blossoms, a newly released book filled with poems and recipes.

Here’s a look at the wonderful dinner Uptown 21 prepared:


The first course was an apple, cauliflower, and pickled bean salad in a maple mustard vinaigrette and extra old cheddar.


For the mid course, a roasted pumpkin soup with “off the shelf” relish and caraway oil.


Just look at that main course! Smoked and slow braised pork shanks over a warm sour cream potato salad and Nick’s famous sauerkraut.


For dessert, a strawberry-rhubarb custard crisp and Dutch apple pie. The recipe for this dish is in the book!


Mandy from Words Worth Books takes the mic!


Uptown 21 owners, Nick and Nat. Compliments to the Head Chef, Nick, the food was fabulous!

Missed it? Wished you were there? You’re in luck! Words Worth Books and Nick and Nat’s UPTOWN 21 will be hosting a second evening of Words Worth Eating on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 from 6:00pm-9:30pm.

Please call 519-883-1100 to reserve your seat, your ticket includes a 4-course meal inspired by the story and a copy of Winterberries and Apple Blossoms. $80 for a single ticket or $125 for a couple. Tickets do not include beverages, taxes, or gratuities.

For more photos from this event, please visit our facebook album.

Guest Post: Pam Withers

Pam Withers: The Pacific Northwest is full of adventurers, and not just the armchair variety.

How do I know? Because I did a presentation in Portland, Oregon yesterday to 200 booksellers, librarians, publishers and other book lovers at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s Fall Tradeshow 2011.

If I had a penny for each one who came up to me afterwords and said, “I’m a kayaker” or “I’ve done river rafting” or “I’ve just signed up for kayak lessons and I’m so excited,” I’d have a bucketful of spare change.

My latest young adult novel, First Descent, is about a 17-year-old whitewater kayaker who goes on an international expedition to South America, links up with an attractive 17-year-old indigenous girl there, and then gets kidnapped. Oops! That is giving away too much. Let’s just say that the plot serves up action, adventure, danger, jealousy, abandonment and betrayal.

Pacific Northwesterners have a special passion for all of the above. I know, because I spent years guiding river raft trips and teaching kayaking in western Washington state, while working as a reporter and copy editor at the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. That was years ago, before I wound up in Vancouver — which is also densely populated with adventuresome types.

So I don’t know why I was surprised to have a long lineup of folks after my talk, eager to get autographed copies of First Descent, yes, but also eager to tell me about their own participation in my favorite sport. They hailed from Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon and Montana (perhaps from other states, too – it was a blur of name tags dancing in front of my eyes by the end of my visit). I enjoyed chatting with each and every person, and I sure hope they find that First Descent inspires the readers to whom they’re delivering the book.

Now I’m at work putting together a Pacific Northwest tour, where I hope to drop in on as many bookstores, public libraries and schools as are interested in having me. Especially the small-town Washington library that (so I was informed by the proud librarian) is the seventh oldest library in the United States. Can’t wait to go there!

Adventurous folks make a highly receptive audience to an adventure tale. And the Pacific Northwest has them in spades.

Tuesdays with Tundra 14

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

The Dragon Turn: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Fifth Case
By Shane Peacock
Hardcover | Ages 10-14
ISBN 978-1-77049-231-8
eBook 978-1-77049-273-8
Summer 1869, and Sherlock Holmes and his friend Irene celebrate her sixteenth birthday by attending the theater to watch a celebrated magician make a real dragon appear on stage. It is the London sensation. Sherlock and Irene meet the magician, Alistair Hemsworth – just as he is arrested for the murder of his rival, The Wizard of Nottingham.

It seems that traces of the missing Wizard’s blood and his spectacles were found in Hemsworth’s secret studio. Hemsworth has a motive: not only is the Wizard his rival, but he also caused a scandal when he lured Hemsworth’s wife away. But is Hemsworth guilty? Sherlock has his doubts, and soon, so does the reader.

With humor and plot turns as dizzying as a narrow London lane, Shane Peacock invites his readers into a fascinating world, and a fresh adventure with one of literature’s favorite characters. The Boy Sherlock Holmes series is an international success with readers and reviewers alike.

Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies: A History of Horse Breeds
Written and Illustrated by Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson
Hardcover | All Ages
ISBN 978-0-88776-986-3
Thousands of years ago people living on the steppes of central Asia realized that horses could transport them long distances, help them fight their wars, pull their plows, and provide them with sport and companionship. Ever since, horses and human history have been intertwined.

The author-illustrator team of Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson celebrates all kinds of horses in this beautifully illustrated, fact-filled book. From fast horses like the Barb, which traveled to Spain from Africa in the early eighth century to become a foundation for many Spanish and European breeds, to war horses like the Mongolian that gave their owners military advantage (today there are more horses in Mongolia than there are people), to the hard-working horses ranging from the tiny American Miniature to the giant Clydesdale, Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies is a treasure-trove of information. Today there are fifty-eight million horses in the world.

This is the perfect book for those who own (or dream of owning) a horse, who ride, or who simply like to read about these magnificent animals and the special relationship they share with humans.

In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | Ages 5-8
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions.

Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

The White Ballets
By Rajka Kupesic
Hardcover | All Ages
ISBN 978-0-88776-923-8
Possibly the best-loved of all ballets are “Giselle,” “La Bayadère,” and “Swan Lake.” Known as the White Ballets, they each tell stories of ethereal maidens costumed in floating white, who seem to be lovely creatures suspended somewhere between heaven and earth.

Rajka Kupesic, herself a dancer, has retold the stories and set them against her breathtaking art to create a book to cherish. Notes about the ballets are included.

Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Year
By Nan Forler
Illustrated by Peter Etril Snyder
Hardcover | All Ages
ISBN 978-1-77049-254-7
With an evocative poem for every month of the year, young Naomi introduces us to her family and hosts a journey through the seasonal rhythms of her rural Mennonite community. And all year long there are delicious, child-friendly recipes to make and sample.

The poems and recipes are perfectly complemented by Peter Etril Snyder’s lovely paintings. Winterberries and Apple Blossoms is a beautifully produced book, perfect for gift-giving, or sharing with anyone who appreciates simple, enduring values.

Pub Date Giveaway: Tell us which new release you would love to read in the comments below and one lucky reader will receive a copy of their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, October 13, 2011!

UPDATE: A winner has been chosen! Congratulations to Laurie!

World Animal Day


October 4th is World Animal Day! Celebrate by spreading the word, volunteering, or learning about the relationships between humans and animals:

Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies
A History of Horse Breeds
By Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson
Hardcover | 72 Pages | All Ages
ISBN: 978-0-88776-986-3
Thousands of years ago people living on the steppes of central Asia realized that horses could transport them long distances, help them fight their wars, pull their plows, and provide them with sport and companionship. Ever since, horses and human history have been intertwined.

Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds
A History of Dog Breeds
By Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson
Hardcover | 72 Pages | All Ages
ISBN: 978-0-88776-815-6
Since prehistoric times, humans and dogs have shared a unique bond and both have served each other well. Early people discarded food and as a result, wild wolves cast fear and caution aside, following and approaching their two-legged neighbors until they became less wary of each other. As humans hunted, fished, herded, and hauled, they found ways to benefit from the presence and talents of these animals. Over time, both learned to work together, rely on, and like each other.

Talking Tails
The Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets
By Ann Love and Jane Drake
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Hardcover | 80 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-0-88776-884-2
From our earliest beginnings, we have shared our lives with animals. Jane Drake and Ann Love explore the ties that humans and their pets have formed. With fun and fascinating facts, they address Dog People and Cat People. (Why does a cat wind around her owner’s legs? She’s rubbing her owner with glands on her face to say “you’re mine.”) They also introduce us to more unusual pets. There’s Polly the parrot, who lived through the Klondike Gold Rush to be 126 years old by belting back whiskey, swearing, and biting gold miners. And, of course, there are fish and reptiles, rodents and horses, all of whom can be beloved pets.