Margaret Atwood devotees, meet your new favorite author

Ronlyn Domingue is the critically and commercially acclaimed author of The Mercy of Thin Air.

She returns in March 2013 with The Mapmaker’s War which is already receiving some fantastic advance praise.

mapmaker's war

Here’s a little bit about the book…

In an ancient time, in a far-away land, a young woman named Aoife is allowed a rare apprenticeship to become her kingdom’s mapmaker, tasked with charting the entire domain. Traveling beyond its borders, she finds a secretive people who live in peace, among great wealth. They claim to protect a mythic treasure, one connected to the creation of the world. When Aoife reports their existence to her kingdom, the community is targeted as a threat. Attempting to warn them of imminent danger. Aoife is exiled for treason and finds refuge among the very people who had been declared her enemy. With them, she begins a new life surrounded by kindness, equality, and cooperation. But within herself, Aoife has no peace. She cannot share the grief she feels for the home and children she left behind. She cannot bear the warrior scars of the man she comes to love. And when she gives birth to their gifted daughter, Aoife cannot avoid what the child forces her to confront about her past and its truth.

This is a mesmerizing and utterly original adventure about love and loss–and the redemptive power of the human spirit.

Take a look at some the wonderful advance praise below.

“Journey to the heart of a fairy-tale land with doomed queens, epic quests, and enemy kingdoms in The Mapmaker’s War. Ronlyn Domingue’s jewel of a book has a big canvas, memorable characters, and intimate storytelling. You will be swept away by this otherworldly tale that charts the all-too-human territory between heartbreak and hope.”-Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night

The Mapmakers War is an extraordinary tale of a woman’s courage in an ancient Utopian world. Domingue has taken on the herculean task of inventing a new legend, and the result is a remarkable novel at once absorbing and heart wrenching, but above all mesmerizing!”
M.J. Rose, internationally bestselling author of Seduction

“A map can make sense out of the seen world. But it can also evoke greed. And what of a map of the heart? Legend, allegory, fantasy—this second novel by Domingue entwines genres to cast a spell upon its reader…. A curious, thought-provoking story about how the heart’s terrain bears charting, too.”
Kirkus Reviews

“What a stunning, original book this is—restrained and sensual, cerebral and lush, always blazingly intelligent, epic and expansive, yet filled with the most precisely and lovingly observed details. This is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s best work and yet wholly its own, The Mapmaker’s War evokes one of its heroine’s fantastic, world-defining maps: giving lines to human landscapes as old as myth, seemingly for the first time. You won’t be able to put this book down, and it will take you somewhere you’ve never been, leaving you transformed.”
Carolyn Turgeon, author of Mermaid and The Fairest of Them All

The Mapmaker’s War evokes not mere fantasy, but the real magic I found as a child, reading by flashlight under a blanket. As then, the story takes me by the hand to exotic lands and noble people. As it proceeds, I’m reminded of myself as a teen-age girl, chafing under the restrictions of an established order. Further on, I’m lead into adulthood. The story keeps me under its spell, but it fills with adult contradictions, with experiences of betrayal and regret, with sex and self-knowledge, with the reality of evil, and all the while, yes, the same old magic. But the magic has matured, now, redeemed by love and wisdom.”
Ava Leavell Haymon, author of Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread: Poems, Winner of the MIAL 2011 Prize for Poetry

“With an original voice, Ronlyn Domingue takes us into a land of strange truths and raw beauty. Writing against contemporary norms, she dares to forge into new territory even as she takes us into an ancient world. To the place of a red dragon and warm desire. A world full of love, and hate, and recompense. Domingue has a rare eye for the honest word and a heart willing to travel where the story leads. The Mapmaker’s War offers us the chance to reflect on both our sins and saving graces and to believe in the possibility of a future that holds kindness and understanding as key. This novel is a celebration of brave women and men, of expansive vision, and ultimately, of a humanity not easily denied.”
River Jordan, nationally bestselling author of Praying for Strangers and The Miracle of Mercy Land

I have a few ARCs available. Send me an email at anneliese.grosfeld@simonandschuster.ca if you’d like a copy. First come, first served.

Win a meet & greet with Buddy!

We are super excited to welcome TLC’s beloved Cake Boss,  Buddy Valastro, back to Toronto for a special signing! Not only is he a master baker, he’s also a great cook—the boss of his home kitchen as well as of his famous bakery, Carlo’s Bake Shop. Buddy’s new cookbook, Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss is packed with 100 delicious Italian- American recipes from Spaghetti Marinara to Veal Saltimbocca.

Are you a Cake Boss superfan? Dying to meet Buddy in the flesh? Enter to win our Cake Boss sweepstakes and be one of 3 lucky winners to get a personal meet & greet with Buddy before his signing on Nov 10th, 2012 in Toronto. You’ll get a copy of his new book and can even bring a friend! Contest ends November 8th.

Get your crime, here!

The world of mystery writing is a deep and winding one, with one author leading you to the next and genres spilling into one another.

It’s easy to find one author you love and go from there, but how do you discover brand new authors, unique and varied in their style?

The QuebeCrime Festival offers an opportunity to hear authors read from and discuss their work. This year’s event is happening from October 25-27 — submerse yourself and emerge with a list of new writers, genres and a gang of other mystery-loving readers.

While you’re there, be sure to check out Brad Smith, Robert Pobi and John Connolly — event details, below.

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Living the Double Life: to Work and to Write

Saturday, October 27
3:30 PM EST

Anglophone Reading and Book Signing
Friday, October 26

8:30PM EST

Living the Double Life: to Work and to Write
Saturday, October 27
3:30PM

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Anglophone Reading and Book Signing
Friday, October 25
8:30PM

Anglophone Panel and Book Signing
Books to Die for: What do Writers Read?
Saturday, October 27
10:30AM

Art reveal! Neil Flambé and the Tokyo Treasure

We’re just a few days away from the release of the fourth book in Kevin Sylvester’s Neil Flambé series, Neil Flambé and the Tokyo Treasure and have we got a treat for you!  Over the next few days, we’ll be releasing the first 9 pages of the book that just happen to be filled with the coolest and most action-packed manga spread ever. Check out the ninja star on the cover!                                                                          

We’ll be releasing the spread a couple of pages at a time, kicking things off here today at simonreads.ca, then on beniceorleavethanks.com on Friday October 12th, 32pages.ca on Monday October 15th and finishing with a bang on the Indigo Kids Blog on Tuesday October 16th.

For more information about the Neil Flambé series, be sure visit to www.neilflambe.com. It is chock-full of videos, activity sheets, and everything you’ll ever need to know about our favourite kid chef.

So what’s Book #4 all about? In Neil Flambé and the Tokyo Treasure, something smells fishy—and it’s not the sushi. Neil isn’t thrilled when his cousin Larry moves to Japan to work on an online manga comic book. Now who’ll help him in the kitchen? But he finds a replacement in Gary the bike courier, and life, and the restaurant, moves on without Larry. That is, until the news that life may have really left Larry behind—he’s been lost at sea. Neil is devastated. But then he checks Larry’s online manga. There’s a subtle change in the plot, something Neil and Larry had discussed—something only Neil would notice. Is this a cryptic message from beyond the grave—or is Larry still alive? Determined to find out, Neil heads to Japan to solve his next mystery.

So without further ado, we present to you pages 1 and 2 of Larry’s online manga!

Dying to know what happens next? So are we! Be sure to visit beniceorleavethanks.com tomorrow for the next 2 pages.

Lisa Genova does it again

Lisa Genova’s third book Love Anthony came out last week and it is already a hit!

Check out the praise Lisa and the book have been receiving:

“I adored this book. Highly recommended. I can’t wait to see what Lisa has in store for us next.”—Daisy’s Book Journal

“Genova caught me from the opening chapters and held me rapt until I turned the last page. This is one that will be on my staff picks for a quite a while. (until I replace it with the fourth book Genova is working on.)”—A Bookworm’s World

“Finished in one evening, absolutely stupendous! !”—Serendipitous Readings

“Love Anthony boasts the same poignancy and depth as Genova’s previous works, and is an essential read, whether you live with autism in your daily life or not.”—Divine.ca

“I highly recommend this novel to everyone, regardless of whether or not you have an interest in disabilities, but in the process you will gain an interesting glimpse into the lives of people touched by Autism.”—Goodreads winner Josie

“Genova never ceases to amaze me with the complexities she explores in her novels – both with the human brain and human emotion. She writes with authority, but in an easy to read way, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the scientific jargon.”—Goodreads winner Krissy

“All people should read this story and open their eyes to the realities of children with Autism.”—Goodreads winner Patricia

“Lisa Genova brought up so many valid points, and did it in a way that wasn’t confrontational or negative.  Once again this is a book that will stay with the reader long after they turn the last page.  It is a wonderful book.  I recommend it to anyone who has been touched by autism in any way.” –Raising Positive Kids blog

“A tale of a mother’s loss and the journey to find herself, the latest offering from bestselling American novelist Lisa Genova is a gentle, meandering story punctuated by moments of stunning emotional brilliance.”– The Winnipeg Free Press

“I give a major tribute to the author who has brilliant writing and used her thorough research skills and drew upon her personal connection to autism to develop a superb novel. Lisa’s story gives an excellent portrayal of an autism parent’s experience and shows just how autism tends to shape and influence a person’s life experience.”—Wanda, YMC Bookalicious

And also take a look at the fabulous Q&A Lisa did for the Indigo.ca blog.
Lisa guest blogs on Autismspeaks.org. Read about the inspiration behind Love Anthony.

 And don’t forget, Lisa is coming to Canada for three events this month:

Toronto, Oct 5, 6:30pm Indigo Manulife Centre

Ottawa, Oct 6, 11am-12pm Costco Kanata

Vancouver, Oct 13, 2pm, Chapters Robson