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.

Picture Book Preview: More fall reads

Believe it or not, we’ve got more beautiful picture books releasing this fall.  Sweet, quirky and and tons of fun — these three reads are sure to charm readers young and old.

Boot & Shoe

An endearing story from Caldecott winner Marla Frazee, Boot & Shoe is about two adorable dogs who were born into the same litter, and now live in the same house. They eat out of the same bowl, pee on the same tree, and sleep in the same bed. Their lives are just perfect… until a crazy neighborhood squirrel arrives and everything goes topsy-turvy!

Have a look at some of the beautifully detailed illustrations:

Christmas Parade

Tried, tested and true, Sandra Boynton picture books are family favourites and this year, we’ve got a new one just in time for Christmas.  Written with the irresistible rhythm of a lively marching band and chock-full of signature Boynton characters, Christmas Parade is the perfect Christmas gift for budding readers.

Santa from Cincinnati

New from the author of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs comes the life story of Santa Claus himself.

As you might imagine, the early life of Santa Claus was a liiiiiiiittle different from the childhood of your average kid. His first words were “ho ho ho!” By five he was wearing a fake beard and mustache, and could rarely be found without his favourite stuffed reindeer. It was clear from a very young age that he was destined for uniqueness…

Full of Barrett’s quick wit, Santa from Cincinnati will delight readers young and old.

Meet Lisa Genova!

We are extremely lucky to have author Lisa Genova in Canada for not one, not two, but THREE events. Lisa is the bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected. She is touring Canada to promote her new novel Love Anthony. See below for event details and info.

Meet Lisa Genova in Toronto
Friday, October 5, 2012
Indigo Manulife Centre
55 Bloor Street West
6:30pm

Meet Lisa Genova in Ottawa
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Costco Kanata
770 Silver Seven Rd
11am-12pm

Meet Lisa Genova in Vancouver
Saturday, October 13
Chapters Robson
788 Robson Street
2pm

Love Anthony explores the healing power of friendship between two women, each cast adrift by loss, as one woman begins in her fledgling writing, to give voice and meaning to the other’s autistic son.

Lisa talks about her new novel Love Anthony

Read an excerpt

Visit www.lisagenova.com

Andrew McCarthy- The Longest Way Home

With an irrepressible taste for adventure, candor, and a vivid sense of place, award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy takes us on a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the world’s most evocative locales.

Unable to commit to his fiancée of nearly four years—and with no clear understanding of what’s holding him back—Andrew McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. Something in his character has kept him always at a distance, preventing him from giving himself wholeheartedly to the woman he loves and from becoming the father that he knows his children deserve. So before he loses everything he cares about, Andrew sets out to look for answers.

Hobbling up the treacherous slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, dodging gregarious passengers aboard an Amazonian riverboat, and trudging through dense Costa Rican rain forests—Andrew takes us on exotic trips to some of the world’s most beautiful places, but his real journey is one of the spirit.

On his soul-searching voyages, Andrew traces the path from his New Jersey roots, where acting saved his life—and early fame almost took it away—to his transformation into a leading travel writer. He faces the real costs of his early success and lays bare the evolving nature of his relationships with women. He explores a strained bond with his father, and how this complex dynamic shapes his own identity as a parent. Andrew charts his journey from ambivalence to confidence, from infidelity and recklessness to acceptance and a deeper understanding of the internal conflicts of his life.

Read the first chapter.

Watch the trailer:

Chat with Andrew live online this Friday, Sept 14th, 2012. RSVP here.

Win a copy of THE LONGEST WAY HOME. Answer our trivia questions over at @SimonSchusterCA this week!

Arnold Caption Contest: Pumping Iron

Update: Thank you for participating. This giveaway is now closed. 

Congratulations to bozpictures for winning our Arnold Schwarzenegger caption contest!

We received lots of really good captions, but this one really gave us a chuckle.
An honourable mention goes to Joseph A. for “Is this just a routine blood check? Because you might need a bigger needle!”

Come back Monday, September 16 for another fun Arnie picture and another chance to win a copy of Total Recall.

From bodybuilder to actor to politician. We’re celebrating the extraordinary life of chameleon Arnold Schwarzenegger and the upcoming release of his memoir Total Recall with a caption contest.

Every Monday for the month of September, we’ll post a new photo to this blog.Submit your best caption (in 30 words or less) for these photos as a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of four copies of Total Recall! One winner will be selected and announced every Friday.

Here is our next photo: young Arnie during his days of training for the Mr. Olympia competition.

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