Thursday, April 8, 2021

Dundas Valley School of Art - 50th Annual Spring Auction - Margaret Lindsay Holton

Thrilled to be included in the on-line art auction for the Dundas Valley School of Art this year, running from April 12th - to - the 17th. With another 3-week 'shut-down' imposed by the provincial government throughout Ontario, (effective Friday), it's becoming increasingly more difficult for traditional artists to show and sell their work locally. 

(... FYI, the #NFT 'digital art' craze sweeping through the global 'screen-living' community is not, sad to say, doing very much for those who have long honoured the challenge - and commitment - to make actual physical objects to beautify and enhance public and private 'real life' spaces ... )

In any case, I have put up a small, framed painting of Lake Ontario. The viewpoint in that work is from the center of the lake - where waves, wind and the horizon meet ...

It is hoped this vibrant small painting will appeal to all 'lake-dwellers', especially fans of the #GreatLakes of #NorthAmerica.

Fifty percent - 50% - of the final auction price is earmarked for the DVSA school so that they can continue their GOOD WORK to encourage and develop artists in a broad range of disciplines throughout the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario.

Please SIGN UP, look for my item under my name - or - #AU501

PLACE YOUR BID !!! -- May the Best Bid Win!


LINK HERE >> 'LIVE'Auction Site<< 

Register NOW. Bidding starts Monday, April 12th at 9am - runs until April 17th, 9pm.  



.... excerpt from  MLH Spring 2021 News Update ...

MLH Newsletter LINK:

Monday, March 29, 2021

Easter is Coming! What's on your #TBR List?


Families keep Humanity Alive. 
Without them, we are cut-off from our species. 
... Love your Family ...
Care for your Family. 
 Encourage Reading, at all levels. 
Open Minds Expand through Exploration. 
The two titles I am offering here are novels for mature readers. 
(Women seem to prefer them more than men, but hey, that's up to you. )
The stories I share are intended to help you find your way ... 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Live-Chat About TRILLIUM

Oh dear. Must share a few more thoughts about 'video-conferencing' from an artist's perspective ... I know that it is increasingly common-place for everyone and their mother to engage in 'voice chats' over Zoom, Facetime and Skype, etc. It's so commonplace now, it's consider kind of ODD not too. 

And yet, for me, this super-controlled, literal 'in-your-face' video interaction is wholly unsatisfactory as 'human communication'. It's not just the invasion of private space - as has so readily occurred over the COVID Lockdown - it is the screen's innate inability to really engage with the person you're chatting with. There is, quite literally, two screens between you.

Sure, you can see and hear each other through the screens, but what about all the other manifold physical senses and tangential happenings that naturally erupt when actually with another person? 

As example, over the past year, I have attempted at various times to 'chat' with my dear old mum in this way. Yes, it certainly does allow us a chance to catch-up and SEE each other. But we both soon discovered a mutually understanding of the incredible VOID we were experiencing through the screen. Both of us sorely miss the spontaneity of the ever-capricious 'just-being-with-each-other-in-Time-and-Space' experience. Nothing can replace the actual synergy of REAL LIFE -- and humanity would be sorely mistaken to believe that 'screen chats' suffice - or that, "it will do". 

To be clear, it does not. It cannot. -- And it never will.

Jens Hansen, Voice Artist
For those who have no qualms about interacting through video chats with others, whether for private or public use, I do get it. It's easy, it's convenient. It gives you sense you are 'connecting'. You can 'zoom' in or out over vast distances. You can seemingly control the volume, lighting, backdrop and you can exit at Will, (unless you are a 'guest' on an interview!) 

But, to be EXTRA clear, this is not what real-life surround-sound 'conversation' between living-and-breathing human beings is like, or about. So many of the delightful nuances of engagement are lost through this pervasive and invasive technology. So much is NOT seen, heard or felt through our screens. It's really just not Half as Good as the real thing! -- Really!

... Anyway, enough about why I loathe this controlled form of engagement ... Now, the juicy stuff!! 

On Monday, I and #Dutch-#Danish-#Canadian, Jens Hansen, the talented #narrator of the #audiobook version of TRILLIUM, were interviewed on a UK-based Youtube station, 'Boomers on Books'. It was a huge opportunity to 'spread-the-word' about our combined effort on the TRILLIUM audiobook project, so, yes, I had to do it. 

During the pre-live, prep period - when we were testing connections, lights, background and extraneous visuals - the loathing I hold for this kind of 'screen communication' began to manifest ... Every fiber in my being was resisting the necessity of the 'performance art' that had to ensue. (I am also very aware that I prefer being behind the camera, not in front of it.) Fundamentally, as I writer, I 'observe' while others 'perform'. Writers epitomize spectators. We are the All-Seeing Watchers. All this was swirling around in my mind as we got ready for the one-hour 'live' #interview ...

On the day of, I thought I was going to throw-up. I was overcome by a completely irrational fear that almost prevented me from joining 'in' to Vince's channel room.  -- What would others thinks? What would I think? Who would be judging? How would I judge myself? -- This reached a crescendo just a few seconds before 'air-time' ...  

How could I cope? -- How would I cope?

....  well, watch for yourself ....

... As one long interested in the impact of screen culture on humanity, yes, I crossed the Rubicon ...

And, of course, it was 'performance art'. -- Later remarks that I looked "so natural", "at ease", and "comfortable" (while very kind and supportive) attest to that. -- Believe me folks, the whole thing was, from start to finish, 'performance art'. Some have said, "it's no big deal. You did it!" -"It's excellent & necessary promotion." "You're just selling your book!" Yes, yes, and yes, BUT ... I still loathe every single second of having to do it. And that, my dear friends, is why you will see little more of this #writer 'live', on big or little screens. 

Now, let me add this link for the real #performer, the real #actor, in our midst. It goes without saying that I chose wonderful Jens for all the #acting abilities he so easily manifests during the interview: charm, wit, timing and an all-round good sense of fun.  As mentioned in the interview, it was during the taping of his STELLAR rendition of 'The Cremation of Sam McGee' that I first saw and heard the fantastic potential he had as a #storyteller. - Jens is a natural. Jens IS gifted. - And, you really should listen to the bravo 14.5 hour #performance he gives to TRILLIUM. It is outstanding!

Settle in for a thrilling, engaging and timely tale that spans 250 years of life on the Niagara peninsula. The #Ebook, #paperback and audiobook are now available in the States & Canada via  Amazon, or iTunes.  -- Plus, here are the United Kingdom links.

#ReadAlongWithJens   :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

MLHolton Poetry in 2021 UK Anthology

Delighted to have three of my older #poems - Shareware, Pond Life & Trading Post -  included in the '2021 Still Together' Anthology of Shorts, Edited by UK-based author, Tracy Hutchinson. 

As the cover reads, "2020 has been a long year. And now we must look with hope to 2021.We hope for a vaccine that can return the world to normal. We hope for an economy that will heal quickly, avoiding the painful recession that has been forecast. We hope for people to continue to develop the sense of togetherness that has appeared this year. We hope that 2021 will be an easier and a better year than 2020 has been.2021 Still Together is an anthology to follow on from 2020 Together. This second anthology reflects the community spirit of 2020, where writers, artists and photographers, who like you, want to continue to help our Covid-19 heroes. 100% of profits from sales of this book will continue to go to NHS Charities Together.Lockdown, Covid-19 and change has happened this year. Learning to stay safe, and helping to keep other people safe has happened this year. ... And we hope that you will enjoy reading these short, family friendly creations, while also providing funds to help our NHS heroes.Together, we can still make a difference." 

ALL proceeds go to support the tireless UK NHS - Help if you can, please.

Here's the Canadian Amazon link for the title. 

Trading Post - Poem by MLHolton

Monday, February 22, 2021

Hamilton Spectator Profile: Jens Hansen, Narrator of TRILLIUM

A fantastic profile of the #audiobook narrator, Jens Hansen - (chosen for my third novel, TRILLIUM) - came out today on the front (and full page!) of The Hamilton Spectator's GO section. 

Written by veteran lifestyle & arts columnist, Jeff Mahoney, Jeff really 'gets' the "debonair" character that Jens brings to the pages of TRILLIUM ... 

The article is a wonderful and in-depth coverage of a versatile actor whose first language is, surprisingly, not English. 

 As I explained to Jeff as background for the profile, I initially chose Jens because of his exotic life-and-lived experience from elsewhere on the globe. His cadences, tone and inflections add a rainbow of audio colour to the telling of the tale. So much so, Jeff gushes about his "great Niagara of Narration". -- Fine words indeed! 

So, if in the mood to listen to a distinctive and beguiling voice for 14.5 hours, tune into Jens' "brilliant" rendition of TRILLIUM.  You will be alternatively amused, delighted, intrigued - and seduced. -- Promise! 

TRILLIUM, written by Margaret Lindsay Holton, available on iTUNES -- or Audible. If you prefer to #read TRILLIUM yourself, download the ebook -- and/or pick up the 350+ paperback -- via Amazon.

Full, front page on the GO Section of The Hamilton Spectator! Woohoo!

Click on image for TRILLIUM links

Woorah! Followed-up by a nice 5-minute interview clip with Jens on 610 AM Radio #Niagara.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Delighted to have this wonderful post all the way from sunny #FLORIDA! Marcia Meara let me share the wonderful #voice of Jens Hansen on her comprehensive book blog. Dive in for a good read about what makes Jens soooo good for the 14.5 hours TRILLIUM #audiobook project. Tune into Audible, or  iTunes to have a wee listen to his stellar effort!


Tuesday, December 8, 2020


Harvest Moon - Photo Zapped by MLHolton
Who knew, mid-March, that we'd still be stuck here? ... ... Well, it's not all been bad ...

In fact, in some instances, it's been a welcome improvement ...

The Gilded Beaver 2nd Edition & TRILLIUM by MLHolton

 Most importantly, the pandemic 

has been a hearty wake-up call to 're-calibrate' ...


See more of what  

 I've been doing about that this past year ...

>>>>   HERE  <<<<<

p.s. TRILLIUM, the #audiobook version, is now on iTUNES !!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Painting in Defiance by MLHolton

When 2020 started, there was an a genuine sense of excitement at the start of not only a New Year, but a whole new decade. Sure, the world wasn't perfect, and MANY social, economic and personal 'injustices' continue, but, overall, in the main, Life is Good. The following was my first painting for the year, entitled 'Spring, From the Mountain, 2020'. The ground is still hard, remnants of winter remain, but the light, the blessed LIGHT, changes. The Earth responds and new growth emerges. Living beside and near Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes of North America, is a blessing. Not only do I get to see the land awake from slumber, but the lake heaves, rolls and shakes off its icy cleansing burden. The whole cycle begins again. This hillside promontory is near the farm. It's a root, a deep root, with a view that I adore ...

Spring, from the Mountain 2020, by MLHolton

And yet, as the year went on, the COVID pandemic swept over the land. It didn't affect the land or the lake, per se, it just devastated human activity. We turned into moles as we burrowed into our homes, locked the doors and barred the windows. In isolation, we did as best we could. Many turned into screen addicts for their lifeline to the 'outside' world. At one point, I made a statement about that with the following painting, 'I am Here'. Living and breathing, movement and eating are the mainstays of our 'existence'. We live because we are alive. A truism perhaps, but how else to say it? I am ALIVE. 

Detail from 'I am Here' by MLHolton (this is a LARGE piece, 7' by 5'.) 

As the months continued, the seasons changed as they always do. We went through spring, summer, fall and now enter winter of this awful year. And yet, within the human tragedy and collapse of commerce, we survive. We are diminished, but we are surviving. Solitary walks in nature became the greatest balm to the frightened. We found comfort in the remarkable 'routine' of Nature. Plants grew, harvest came, snow falls. And here we are. The first serious snow of the season 'dumped' a few days ago and blanketed the dwindling fall landscape. Promises of a vaccine have arrived. We have adjusted, we have adapted, we are changing to the new reality. Our communal spheres have been reshaped by a new-found love of humanity. At the end of the day, let's hold on to that. Love Humanity. We can and will make it through this as well as what's next. My last painting of the year, 'First Snow 2020', is an imaginative work, based on familiar back-country hills. Farming fields lie dormant now, but they will come back ... Hang in there people. We're almost through it. 

I will be sending out my winter newsletter shortly. If you are not on my mailing list, jump back here in about a week and look for it on the side tab under newsletters. Other than that, try to enjoy the descending winter. Get out there as much as you can. Revel in the on-going blessed beauty of it all. Continue to pursue those pandemic-induced resolutions ... Be Better. Be Healthier. Be Kinder.

xox mlh 

'First Snow, 2020' by MLHolton

Friday, November 20, 2020

Launch of TRILLIUM Audiobook, Written by MLHolton, Narrated by Jens Hansen


Woohoo! The AUDIOBOOK version of TRILLIUM is Finally HERE!!! 

Spanning a period of 250 years, from 1750s to 2001, three ambitious young men arrive to the Niagara peninsula. They come from rural New York, dirt poor Sicily and a squalid 19th century Dublin. As time passes, their growing families mix and mingle in the burgeoning wine region known as Niagara  ... 

… Expect very good times. Expect very bad times … 


Award-winning Canadian author and artist, MLHolton, has created a “magnificent” historical fiction that focuses on three distinct families, held together by familial roots, as they become embroiled in national and world events ... Driven by love, lust and loot, dive into the psyche of an evolving nation ...

“Beautifully written!” -“Compelling characters!” - "Epic!" - “Original & Unique”

Narrator, Jens Hansen
The 14.5 hour audiobook is narrated by the uber-talented actor,
Jens Hansen.

AUDIBLE Audiobook link for the USA/Canada – Sign up to receive your FREE copy.

AUDIBLE Audiobook link for the UK – Sign up to receive your FREE copy.


*** Already an AUDIBLE member in CANADA? Here’s the direct link to TRILLIUM!

*** Already an AUDIBLE member in USA? Here’s the direct link to TRILLIUM!


TRILLIUM on Amazon COM - Ebook, Paperback (or Sign Up for Audible Audiobook) - **Listen to SAMPLE **

TRILLIUM, Written by MLHolton,, Narrated by JHansen

And now, on iTunes Audiobook link

More about the Canadian Author & Artist, MLHolton, explore this website, or explore via Wikipedia.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020


For something a bit different this Christmas, why not a #heritage puzzle kit for your favourite puzzler? I've teamed up with Fine Arts America to produce a limited edition of one of my Heritage Panel boards for you. Have a gander. It is meant to be a bit difficult, a bit challenging. 500 pieces of colonial history and activity. Review and order HERE.

Heritage Puzzle by MLHolton

Friday, November 13, 2020

Shareware by MLHolton, Narrated by Mitch Bensel

So wonderful to have Mitch do this narration of an older #poem of mine, Shareware. It was originally published in my first book of poetry 'On Top of Mount Nemo'. Mount Nemo is a familiar landmark within the Golden Horseshoe region of #Burlington, #Hamont, #Milton #Halton #Ancaster, #Dundas and beyond ... Have a listen -

Original format of poem - Shareware by Margaret Lindsay Holton

Monday, November 2, 2020

All Authors BOOK COVER Competiton: TRILLIUM in for NOVEMBER 2020

Super excited to have my third novel, TRILLIUM, in the running for Best Book Cover Design on the All Authors website.There's stiff competition, over 350 titles. My title really does stand out from the pack, primarily because of the yellow background and simple choice of typeface. The image, of a man holding a grape cluster, is a detail from a painting I did some years ago of a Niagara vineyard ... 

Currently ranked at 89th place, please cast your vote to keep me in the Top 100 - for the NEXT WEEKLY ROUND!    

The competition runs for the month of November. 

You can, if you like, vote every week.

It would be grand to make it to the final 25!! And better yet,  to WIN!!  Can I count on you? 


         If you like the cover of my book - 

 PLEASE VOTE!!               

(Scroll down until you see it. 

It does stand out  Then lock it in! )    


UPDATE: Hoorah, made it thru Week 2!  TRILLIUM is now in the top 50!! Please cast your vote again (or once) via link above! Over 15,000 votes have been cast! The competition is FIERCE. :)

Thank you!

UPDATE: Monday, Nov.16th. Well, TRILLIUM did make it to the Top 50, but the front-runners are now running ahead by 100-400 votes!!  I simply can't catch up. So, I am conceding. - THANKS to all who did get TRILLIUM into the 'semi-final' run. It is appreciated!! I am so glad so many of you do like my cover. :) 



Friday, October 16, 2020

When the Main Character Morphs into Something Else ...


Delighted to be included on Assaph Mehr's excellent blog, The Protagonist Speaks. It's a clever idea. Authors are given free rein to expand on the thoughts, feelings and perceptions of their main character, in the first person. 

In this instance, I morphed into Anna Di Angelo, as an 80-year old woman looking back over the incidences in her life. Anna's story is key to the entire evolution of TRILLIUM, even though, in the story, she is not given much of a voice. Deemed 'slow' at birth, she was sheltered by her Italian-Canadian family. She was never taught to read or write as there seemed no need. But, as we learn in the following 'interview', Anna has always had a mind of her own ...

Assaph sets it up beautifully ... Dear readers, tonight with us is a matriarch of a wine-making family from Canada. She is here to tell us about the 250-year history of three families... 


It is also a thrill to be included in my university's on-line 'Coffee House 2020', a 'coffee house' tradition that spans decades at the school. 

Here, I supplied a 'test read' by the narrator of TRILLIUM, Jens Hansen.  Unfortunately, the audiobook that we've worked on so hard over the spring and summer has been 'locked' in 'Quality Assurance' at the distributors since mid August. Apparently, the backlog at ACX,/Audible is unbelievable ... That's totally understandable given the global COVID circumstances, but terribly disappointing that there we still have no tangible audiobook to share with you. 

Thus, at present, there is no opportunity for you to hear the continuation of Jen's brilliant 'start' of TRILLIUM* ... Listen to his little audio teaser on Facebook or Instagram.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

A DoDa DoDa Day: A Poem by MLHolton

Twitter can be a wonderful place, especially within the amazingly supportive #WritingCommunity. 

I am delighted to share a recent collaboration.

I first met narrator Jacqueline Belle, voice extraordinaire, on-line about a year ago. She was doing 'voice overs' of authors works and posting them on Youtube. We got chatting and soon she performed a rendition of one of my short stories - The Frozen Goose.

About a month ago, she invited me to submit something else for her to do. 

I suggested this light-hearted poem from an earlier poetry collection, On Top of Mount Nemo, published nineteen years ago, in 2001. (No longer available, other poems are available to read at the very good University of Toronto Canpoetry website.)

Jacqueine, in concert with Daniel, the producer of the visuals, assembled this sweet little piece.  -- Enjoy!  - A DoDa DoDa Day by MLHolton

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Problem with Equality: Book Review by MLHolton

A clear-cut forest ridge. The pulp and paper industry ravages global forests ...

Equality is a much-lauded quality, but in truth, it is a perpetuated falsehood.

What the heck, really, is ‘equal’?

As example, I was recently looking at two tomatoes that I had picked from the same tomato vine in my garden. One was perfect in every way. The other was mangled and ruined by a parasite. Both pieces of fruit came from the same tomato vine, both had the same genetic make-up, and yet, one, through no perceptible fault of its own, was ravaged by a parasitic bug. (One does wonder: was there some inherent blemish in the skin of that particular piece of fruit that permitted the bug to get in?  Hard to say. Other factors could have been involved: wind currents, innate larvae or fractional differences in sun and water nurturing, etc.)  The fact remains: two pieces of fruit from the very same vine offered two very different kinds of fruit.

I have run into this ‘inequality' again in the recent reading of two debut novels. One is a stand-out effort with a writer showing much promise. The other was a mess from start to finish. Both works spring from the same vine of language, English, and yet, the results were so starkly different. 

Why so?  I believe, at core, it comes down to a love of the English language. When English is well loved and well used, it is a precise tool that has the ability to both conjure and convey thoughts in the minds of others. Truth instantly resonates. If a writer appreciates the precision of English, they not only admire and revere their successful predecessors' efforts, they work hard to craft a literary offspring worthy of inclusion in the long written history of that language. If, on the other hand, a writer does not care a fig about the English language, that disregard, disinterest and disrespect are immediately evident. This 'writer' simply doesn't care - and it immediately shows in the careless crafting of their work. 

The one that is a mess will not be discussed in detail in this review. Suffice it to say that after I plowed through to the bitter end. I was embarrassed for the author that so much precious paper had been wasted on that crude vanity effort. (I really did try to overcome the terrible writing and just focus on the story to find the merit. But even then, cookie-cutter stereotypes, preachy diatribes and long-winded alliterations overwhelmed the interesting kernel of a tale ... Yes, ‘a story’ was in there but it was 100% lost in the appalling story-telling. This wannabe-writer desperately needs a very patient and good editor in order to learn the basics of structure, compelling 'voice' and plot development. But, even then, sadly, a good editor cannot teach a love of, or for, the English language.)

In comparison, Kelly Miller’s debut regency romance, Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley House', was a thoroughly refreshing read. 

Not only was the mother-vine of the English language used with alacrity, this well-paced novel kept my interest from the get-go. 

This was my first read of ‘fan fiction’. 

In this instance, the title is a supposed projection of Jane Austen’s classic, ‘Pride & Prejudice’, with a revisit to the famed characters loved by so many, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. 

At the start of this story, we discover that they have wed and had a child, a boy, who they have named Bennet.

I personally don’t think it necessary to have read the Austen classic to follow or enjoy this ‘drama piece’. More to the point, ‘Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley House’ is a carefully-crafted Regency Period fan fiction. 

Throughout, Ms. Miller was very careful in her choice of detail. She judiciously uses arcane words to describe everyday occurrences and wardrobe highlights. Old-fashioned words do lend authenticity to this hybrid form of historical fiction. Details from grand manor estates, the supportive stables and horses therein, the exquisite gowns, top-coats and hair-pins - all swirl around the poised personalities of the good and not so good characters. We are successfully transported to another era.

The early injection of a visible other-world nemesis, the Angel of Death, is an unexpected out-of-the-gate starter. The angel, a 'Mr. Graham', inhabits the body of a deceased other who quickly becomes the unexpected house guest at Pemberley House. But his bold introduction and continued presence does not overpower the other well flushed-out cast of characters in the story. Lords and ladies grace the pages in varying degrees of nobleness and pettiness. Their percolating emotions are, in the main, hidden behind well-constructed social facades that act-out in predictable social settings. Periodically, direct and intimate thoughts are given as asides in italics. 

The story unfolds at a trot. 

I was particularly taken by Ms. Miller’s ability to pirouette from scene to scene. The scene changes oscillated with the on-going under-current of the narrative and pulled the reader on. (Will she or won’t she? Did he or didn’t he?) These underlying and interwoven dilemmas added heat to the stateliness of the exposition. As example, the diabolical machinations of an ill-tempered conniver, Lady Catherine, and her hood-winked accomplice-in-crime, Lady Rebecca, are offered in clear contrast to the consistent good-will and abiding love between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. 

When additional family members arrive for a surprise birthday celebration, the emotional drama intensifies. The Angel of Death, aka Mr. Graham, while hitherto well-tempered to the circumstances, begins to loom over them all. We press on to a measured canter that suddenly breaks into a gallop  ...

‘Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley House’ is a mannered novel, (in more ways than one). But if you are intrigued by the rule of families by families, the on-going economic advantages of marriage to protect family status and the long-standing reality of family legacy, you will be quietly captivated by this well-written story as it explores the persistent social tensions that threaten true love.

Kelly Miller is a writer who knows what she is doing. She has provided readers with a strong but simple story, underpinned with a solid moral structure - albeit with a bright flare of the fantastic.

‘Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley House’ deftly displays the vices and virtues that plague and enhance humanity - in any age. Thankfully, it is well-worth the paper it is printed on.

Pick up your copy here: