Category Archives: E-books

Scoundrels now available as e-book

Scoundrels cover.pdf

I am thrilled to announce that, after being out of print for more than three years, my most popular collection of biographical sketches, Scoundrels and Scallywags: Characters from Alberta’s Past, is now available as an e-book. You can find the iPad edition in the iTunes Store (sorry, no browser link for that) and the other formats by clicking HERE.

Here’s a description of what you will find in the book:

Adventurers, criminals, eccentrics, rogue politicians and other scandalous types all come to life in the pages of Scoundrels and Scallywags.

Meet Bill Peyto (pictured on the cover), the legendary mountain man who once let a lynx loose in a saloon to see how quickly the drunks could escape. Or Calgary’s notorious prostitute Pearl Miller, who left such an impression with Canadian soldiers in the Second World War that they responded to the American sign “Remember Pearl Harbor” with “To hell with Pearl Harbour, remember Pearl Miller.” Or Elizabeth “Sweaty Betty” Abbott, an Edmonton slum landlord known for punching out abusive husbands and taking care of their battered wives. Or the reluctant Lord, Fred Perceval, who inherited the title Earl of Egmont but decided after living in his English castle for a few years that he really wanted to be a rancher after all.

They come from all corners of the province and they’re a wild and unruly bunch, but Alberta couldn’t be prouder of them. Scoundrels and Scallywags is a salute to those who have lived within Alberta’s borders – but outside the boundaries of convention.

And here’s what the reviewers said about it:

A collection of riveting tales about the adventurers, eccentrics and outlaws who dared to be different, and who definitely would not tolerate being ignored.” – Western Living magazine

Here is Alberta history in bite-sized, easily digested portions, a lively and entertaining romp through the years.” – Calgary Herald



Reading library books on the iPad

Took me all day to figure this one out. I borrowed my first e-book from the public library today and opened it, a pdf document, on my iMac with a program called Adobe Digital Editions. (The library website told me I would need to download this version of the Adobe software to do this.) I pinpointed the e-book file in my Downloads folder, and Adobe Digital Editions did the rest, seamlessly and efficiently.

I then looked for a way to transfer the e-book file to my iPad, but the instructions on the library website seemed to be directed at PC, not Mac, users. They told me I should download a program called Overdrive Media Console to my computer and use that to move the e-book file from my computer to a reading device. I did download Overdrive, as recommended, but then hit an obstacle: iTunes on the Mac does not recognize Overdrive as a file sharing app that can be used for transferring documents from a desktop computer to an iPad or vice versa. Other e-reader apps, such as Goodreader and Kobo, can be used for such transfers, but they don’t support the Adobe e-book DRM control technology that has become an industry standard for public libraries.

So now I’m stuck. I have the e-book on my iMac, looks great, but I don’t really want to read it on the computer. I want to read it on my iPad. What to do? I Google for quite a while and eventually find the solution: Bluefire Reader, a free app that iTunes DOES recognize as one that can transfer documents between reading devices and personal computers. I install Bluefire on the iPad, connect the iPad to the computer, open the iPad in iTunes, click on the option box that says, “manually manage music and videos,” select Bluefire from the list of recognized file-sharing apps, click the “add” button and add the e-book file to my list of documents. I sync the two devices, click the Bluefire app on my iPad and voilá: the e-book file is on the iPad, where it looks even better than on the computer.

One thing I discover while doing all this: Only the alias of the e-book file appears in my Downloads folder on the iMac. The actual file is in the Documents folder, in a folder called “Digital Editions.” That’s the file that I have to add to the list of documents in the “apps - file sharing” section of iTunes. And there it will stay, on both my iMac and my iPad, until the lending period expires on March 12. At that point, I’m told, the e-book file will evaporate into thin air. Isn’t technology marvellous!