E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · edited 11 months ago · 1 like
Howdy! As of May 6, 2022, I am providing updates on Bane of All Things and subsequent books in this series through my ConstantContact mailing list, instead of the Inkshares website. If you wish to join my mailing list, find the link on my website at https://leovaliquette.com/novelist/ 


Howdy! Good news to share, and an opportunity for Canadian fans of Bane of All Things to put it on the awards map.

BoAT has made the Best Novel Eligibility List for the 2022 Aurora Awards. The Auroras are Canada’s annual English-language Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards. They have been presented since 1980 by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA).

These are popularity awards. Anyone who is a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, and a CSFFA member, can vote for their picks in any of 12 award categories.

How do you become a CSFFA Member?

Easy. Take an annual membership at the modest cost of $10 (that’s in loonies). Please visit the CSFFA Membership Page to create your account and secure your membership. This helps to pay the bills so that the Awards, and their annual ceremony, can take place.

Your deadline is March 26, 11:59 pm EDT

So, don’t wait! Once you have signed up, you can find Bane of All Things on the Best Novel Eligibility List.

There are 11 other award categories as well. As a CSFFA member, you may select up to five different works in each category (if you wish).

How to make your choices

Select works from the dropdown lists, which are sorted by title. If you want to remove an item that you have chosen, select the blank line at the top of the dropdown list. You must click the Update button at the bottom of each nomination form to save your selections. Your choices will be displayed on your nomination central page.

As the award guidelines state:

“You don’t have to nominate in all categories. Nominate those works that you enjoyed, because this is your chance to have your favorite works from 2021 on this year’s Aurora Awards final ballot. The top five most-nominated works in each category will be selected to be on the final ballot."

The awards ceremony is slated for Aug. 13. Even just having BoAT make that top 5 finalist list for Best Novel would be fantastic!



Howdy! I hope this finds you well. If you are also connected with me on Facebook or LinkedIn, you may have seen my recent cancer updates. If not, here is the latest recap. 

It’s been four months (early October) since my surgery to remove the cancerous tumor (metastasized melanoma) from inside my head. This was then followed by the initial treatments with targeted radiation therapy. My recovery has been gradual, now also aided by immunotherapy treatment.

But when you are dealing with something such as this, there are inevitably going to be further speedbumps.

Case in point – two weeks ago, my first MRI since the fall revealed the presence of a number of new spots in my head. These required another round of targeted radiation therapy with that good old CyberKnife machine (completed on Thursday). These new spots may in fact have already been there in October, but still been too small at that time to be detected by an MRI.

The trade-off with targeted therapy is that it targets only known cancerous tissue, as spotted on an MRI. The advantage is that it can be aggressive with the dosage, with minimal harm to surrounding healthy tissue. Before the CyberKnife, the only option was to bathe the entire brain in radiation. (It may be more complicated than this, but that’s how my radiologist explains it to this layman.)

That old method had the disadvantage that, well, you’re baking the whole brain, including all the healthy parts that don’t need treatment. This can result in unwelcome side effects related to memory and cognitive function. On the other hand, by hitting the whole brain, you may also be treating by default any cancer spots that remain too small to show up on an MRI. 

For me, targeted therapy remains the ideal way to go. My next MRI in six weeks or so will hopefully reveal that we are getting the upper hand on this game of “Whac-a-Mole” with targeted therapy and the cancer will be in retreat. 

Meanwhile, life goes on

There remains a certain book to tell the world about. Please post those reviews when you have had a chance to read Bane of All Things!

FYI, you don’t have to purchase from Amazon to post a review there. You just need an active Amazon account. And then there is Goodreads.com and your favourite bookseller (the more the merrier). Thank you very much if you have already done so.

Also, I took the leap and registered to attend, in person, this year’s World Fantasy Convention – taking place in November in New Orleans. And I don’t mean for it to be the last time, either. Who knows where the world will be by then – virtual attendance may still be the wisest course, regardless of my health, but still I plan to be there in some form.

Stay safe and keep reading!




Welcome to the morning after the snowiest winter blast that we’ve seen in six years in my neck of the woods. I have some exciting news today – the release of the first ever podcast episode where I am featured as the guest author!

It still feels strange to say that out loud – “guest author” – but here we are. 

I had a great time recording an epic fantasy episode of writingbloc.com’s Indie Writer Podcast with hosts Jacqui Castle and Cari Dubiel. 

You can access the podcast episode here.

Thank you again to Jacqui and Cari for having me! We talked about what makes epic fantasy epic, getting started as a writer of this weird stuff, my creative process, and some of the interesting aspects of world-building found in Bane of All Things.

Covered in local magazine

I was also humbled to earn some great coverage earlier this month from theHumm – my local arts and culture magazine. Thank you very much to editor Kris Riendeau and writer John Pigeau for making it happen.

You can read the full article at theHumm Online.

Giveaway on Goodreads.com

My publisher Inkshares also ran a Giveaway on Goodreads.com over the past few weeks. Up for grabs were 25 copies of the trade paperback edition of BoAT. Publishers run these Giveways in the hope attracting more readers (and buyers) who then will post reviews to drive that word-of-mouth buzz that is so vital to the success of any new novel.

I can’t say how successful this Giveaway will be in that regard, but I can tell you that by the time it ended last night, 3,815 people had entered to win one of those free copies! Here is hoping that a few of those folks who did not win a copy are now inclined to purchase one.

Reviews: Your opinion matters sooo very much

As I have noted before, reviews on the big sites Amazon and Goodreads are also crucial to drive that word-of-mouth buzz and help BoAT stand out in a crowded field. 

When you have had a chance to read BoAT, please post a rating/review online. Don’t fear to give your honest opinion – I can take it. No author can expect to please everyone all the time. What matters is having a sufficient volume of ratings/reviews for BoAT to attract attention.

That’s all for now. I hope you are finding BoAT to have been worth the wait. You can reach out to me at any time with your comments. Soon it will be time to talk about what’s up with the next book in the series, The Crucible Tree.

Stay safe and keep reading!

P.S.: If you have still not received your pre-ordered copy or copies of BoAT, please contact hello@inkshares.com. And don’t hesitate to contact me if you need to confirm what you actually pre-ordered those many moons ago in terms of ebook vs. print and number of copies. 

Good day! 

I hope you have had an enjoyable holiday season so far. Here is a quick update on a few things.


 If you did pre-order an ebook copy (or copies) of Bane of All Things those many moons ago, you should have received an email from Inkshares around Dec. 7 to download the ebook file in the format of your choice. If you did not, please reach out to hello@inkshares.com. I can also look up your original order date for you. 

Print copies, meanwhile, continue to arrive. I have received notes (and lovely social media posts) from many people who did receive their trade paperbacks over the past week. If you have not received yours yet, I expect many more are in transit for arrival this week and next. If you have received a delivery and anything is amiss (such as not having received all the copies you should have), again, please reach out to hello@inkshares.com.


On another note, my publisher launched this morning a Giveaway on Goodreads.com that is open to both U.S. and Canadian residents. Giveaways are intended to drive interest in a book and attract more readers who will then post reviews. Up for grabs this time is 25 trade paperback copies. The Giveaway runs until Jan. 17 and the winners will be announced then.

In January, we expect another Giveaway to run with Canada’s own 49thShelf.com


I recently had a great time recording an epic fantasy episode of Writing Bloc’s Indie Writer Podcast with hosts Jacqui Castle and Cari Dubiel.

We talked about what makes epic fantasy epic, getting started as a writer of this weird stuff, my process, and some of the interesting aspects of world-building found in my novel. Plus, I did a short reading. The episode will publish on https://indiewriterpodcast.podbean.com, Jan. 18. 



Word of mouth and piles of reviews are critical to drive attention to a new book on Amazon and elsewhere. So once you have had a chance to read your copy of BoAT, please take a few minutes to also post a rating and review – it doesn’t have to be lengthy – to Amazon, Goodreads, your favourite bookseller, and so on.

With January just around the corner, and a certain virus that keeps finding new ways to reinvent itself, we face the long dark of Moria … again. But we’ve made it through before and we will once more!

Stay safe and keep reading.

E5ib5kij Leo Valiquette · Author · added over 1 year ago
Thanks, Dean!
Dean fearce dean fearce · Author · added over 1 year ago
Downloaded the Kindle version and read the 1st chapter. Hooked!

Bane of All Things is away!

Launch day on Tuesday, Dec. 7 went well. Those of you who pre-ordered e-books would have received emails that day from Inkshares to download in the file format of your choice. For print copies, these are on their way. Being the busy holiday season for mail and parcel delivery, it could be another week or so before print copies arrive.

As a supporter of my original pre-order campaign more than two years ago, thank you again for taking that leap of faith then and for your patience in the long months since. I also owe huge debts of gratitude to everyone who further supported BoAT’s launch by spreading the word on social media in recent days, by reading advance reader copies to provide advance reviews and blurbs, and by graciously taking the time to contribute in other ways. All efforts are deeply and sincerely appreciated. 

That first time seeing your novel on a bookstore shelf

While in town on Wednesday for my next round of immunotherapy treatment, we had to of course stop in at the local Chapters-Indigo to see BoAT on an actual bookstore shelf. (For my American and overseas friends, Chapters is Canada’s big national bookstore chain.)

A member of the store staff saw me posing this photo with my wife. When this lady learned I was in fact the author, she had me sign the store’s copies. And a gentleman promptly bought one to add to his collection of signed first editions!

My first in-store experience as an author, and it came about by chance. Which was awesome, considering no local bookstores that I am aware of are currently doing any formal in-store author events because of the pandemic.

A family friend later visited that same store and took this shot of my signed copies – thank you, Gwen C.!


What’s next? Bring on the reviews!

The release of a debut novel is a huge milestone. But it’s also just the first step from the starting line of a marathon. Now comes the grind of working to stand out from the crowd. It’s tough for any debut author to rise above with so many other titles competing for readers’ attention. 

A vital part of gaining the attention of the book-buying public is getting a critical mass of reviews on Amazon and any other review sites you may frequent such as Goodreads.com. The more reviews a book has, the more prominence it gets on these sites to draw the attention of readers. 

Stay safe, enjoy the holidays, and keep reading!



P.S.: There is a Glossary at the back of the book you may find handy.


Today is the day! Bane of All Things has at last left the nest!

It’s a rather surreal feeling, to say the least, considering this tale first began as a short story idea some 22 years ago. I have of course worked on other, unrelated stories during that time, which may eventually see the light of day. BoAT itself went through two full reboots to become the novel it is today, comparable to how the Planet of the Apes film franchise has been reinvented.

But here we are. Don’t forget tonight’s launch event at 7 pm EST – here again is the Zoom linkhttps://bit.ly/3nZuswz 

If you have any issues or questions with receiving your pre-ordered copies of BoAT from Inkshares, please contact hello@inkshares.com

Help spread the word!

Word of mouth is vital to an author’s success. Any promotion today and in the coming days through your social media channels would be greatly appreciated. Reviews posted to Amazon and Goodreads are also critical to help a new novel stand out and get noticed.

Thank you again for your support and your patience. This day could not have come without you. I am eternally grateful.

Stay safe and keep reading!



Happy Sunday!

Here we are, just two days away from the official release of Bane of All Things! Though my local Chapters Indigo locations (that’s our big bookstore chain here in Canada, for my American and overseas friends) may in fact be putting the book out on the shelf as early as today. 


Yesterday was the Big Event at my house -- the official unboxing of my copies of the book from my publisher, Inkshares. I have posted that video to social media and you can view it here on Facebook, or on LinkedIn. This was my first time seeing, and holding, an actual print copy myself!


Over the past week or so, you should have received an email from Inkshares to confirm your mailing address ... if you have pre-ordered print copies coming your way. For ebook copies, you will soon receive an email notification that your download is ready and you can choose the ebook format you prefer to receive. 

If you have any other questions or concerns about your account and ensuring Inkshares has the correct contact details for you, please reach out to hello@inkshares.com 

TUESDAY LAUNCH EVENT: Submit your answers for the prize draws!

Don’t forget, the virtual launch event I am hosting on Zoom, at 7 pm EST, on Tuesday.  Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3nZuswz 

As I said last time, this is a fun event that will include prize draws with Jeopardy-style questions. It only takes one correct answer to be in the draw. Please submit your answers to me in advance:

  • >;;;>;;;>;;; This European castle stands in for Dragon’s Claw Abbey – the “fictional” locale that is featured on the cover of Bane of All Things. 
  • >;;;>;;;>;;; This recessed cupboard for storing sacred vessels in a Christian church inspired the last name of my heroine, Josalind Aumbrae.
  • >;;;>;;;>;;; This is the title of Book 2 in the series.



Notable Readers

Kelsey Rae Barthel
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Craig A. Munro
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Dave Barrett
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Stephen Carignan
Fernando Crôtte
Adam Gomolin
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Mike X Welch
Eric H. Heisner
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Robert Batten
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Mike Donald
Christopher Huang
Kendra Namednil
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Wamuhu Mwaura
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William Schiele
Louise Lindell
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David M. Olsen
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Kaytalin Platt
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Roman Colombo