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.

Book Club Pick: The Colour of Tea

“Tea and books: mmmmmm, two of life’s exquisite pleasures that together bring near-bliss.” – Christine Hanrahan

I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as Hannah Tunnicliffe’s The Colour of Tea. It is as lovely, sweet, and comforting as an afternoon spent in a small cafe, drinking tea or coffee and eating perfect macarons; the restorative power of such experiences lie at the heart of Tunnicliffe’s novel, and for this reason I am thrilled to announce it as Simon & Schuster Canada’s first recommendation for our followers’ Book Clubs.

The Colour of Tea describes the journey of Grace, a young woman who moves with her Australian husband Pete to Macau, China, in order to begin a new life. Grace has recently been devastated by the news that she will never bear children, and she feels helpless to stop her marriage from slowly unravelling. Yet in this new, exotic location, at the heralding of a new year, she resolves to do something bold. Something her impetuous Mama might do. In this pocket of China, filled with casinos and yum cha restaurants, she opens her own small French cafe. This sanctuary of macarons and tea become a place where the women of Macau come together, bridge cultural divides, and share in each other’s triumphs and pain. Infused with the heady aromas of Macau and pepper with what I can only describe as delectable characters, The Colour of Tea is a literally mouth-watering journey of senses as Grace rediscovers what it is to love, to live with hope, and embrace real happiness.
One of the most unique and delicious aspects of this novel is that each chapter is titled after a different macaron, chosen to match that specific part of Grace’s story. Some of my favourites include L’Arrivee — Arrival (sweet and smoky caramel with salted buttery cream filling), Cirque — Circus (lime with chocolate ganache, dusted with blood-orange sugar), Brise d’Ete — Summer Breeze (yuzu with dark cherry filling), and Prenez Ce Baiser — Take This Kiss (honeycomb with milk chocolate ganache). It literally makes your mouth water (or at least it did mine), to the point that I felt inspired to make my own French macarons — Hannah Tunnicliffe even provided us with her favourite recipe! Perhaps you and your fellow book club members could bring your favourite chapter’s macaron to your meeting? What a yummy way to get discussion rolling!

Again: yum.

This book is meant to be shared with others, and as such Simon & Schuster has prepared a handy Reading Group Guide for book club members who might like a few extra questions to talk about, or some neat ideas to “enhance” your regular meeting. I know that I can’t wait to ask my friends about their experiences with men like Leon, or how badly I’d love to go travelling again, or how Grace and Pete’s relationship seems so startlingly familiar, or how much I want to start cooking again (…we’ll see how that one goes). There’s something for everyone in this gem of a read, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Below is a great video of Hannah Tunnicliffe talking about her amazing novel!

Browse inside The Colour of Tea.
Visit Hannah’s website.
Win up to 10 copies of The Colour of Tea for your book club.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey

UPDATE: Thanks for participating. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Justin M., our grand prize winner.

I have never played hockey myself, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. You see, I had two brothers, one older and one younger, and both played pee wee hockey. As a child I used to have to get up at some ungodly hour on Saturdays, sleep-eat my bowl of Cheerios and head to the hockey arena with my dad and brothers. I’m sure I probably didn’t really know what was going on, except for the fact that I knew once we got to the rink I would get hot chocolate. I would sip my steaming hot chocolate and cheer on my brothers. Whenever my dad hooted or hollered, I did. Looking back now, I cherish this one on one time I got with my dad. Hockey isn’t just a sport, it’s an activity that is associated with memories, feelings and a sense of community and it really does bring people together in many ways.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey is full of fun, heartwarming and inspiring stories for hockey fans and families. Family-oriented stories from everyday hockey players and fans, as well as revealing personal stories from NHLers and hockey insiders, will captivate readers.

Do you have an inspirational, amusing, or encouraging hockey-related story to share? It could be a story about: your first pair of skates, the street where you played ball hockey, tickets to a memorable game, or any thing that makes you think of our favourite national sport. We want to read it!

In 100 words or less, tell us your hockey story to win a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey and a $100 gift certificate to Sports Chek to go towards your next pair of skates.

Email your story to audrey@simonandschuster.ca (with the subject line: Hooked on Hockey) or leave it as a comment here and we will draw a winning story on November 1. We’ll also select 5 runners-up who will receive a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey. 

Contest is open to Canada only (excluding Quebec). By submitting a story you have agreed to our Official Rules, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Fall picture book preview

It’s that time again!  Back to school, back to sweaters, and luckily, back to books too.     This fall, we’ve got a slew of gorgeous new picture books that are perfect for readers young and old.

Have a look at three of our story time favourites.

I’m Bored

There is NOTHING boring about being a kid, but one little girl is going to have to prove it in this anything-but-boring picture book. Fun, quirky and totally hilarious, I’M BORED is written by the one-and-only Michael Ian Black and illustrated by the very talented (and Canadian!) Debbie Ridpath Ohi.
Check out these gorgeous pages:

Bear Says Thanks

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Karma Wilson’s unforgettable character Bear is back with all his super-cute pals. Full of Jane Chapman’s beautiful illustrations and a sweet story about sharing, Bears says Thanks is a perfect bedtime read.


Nightsong

Meet Chiro, the CUTEST bat you’ll ever meet ( just look at him!) who is off to explore the night-time world on his own for the first time. This beautiful and touching coming-of-age story, with mesmerizing artwork from illustrator Loren Long and lyrical text from Ari Berk, conveys a heartwarming and universal message: No matter how far away you go, you can always find your way home.