Sofie & Cecilia Publishes Today!

Happy Book Birthday to Katherine Ashenburg, whose book SOFIE & CECILIA is publishing today with Knopf Canada!

From the Publisher: “A surprising, rich and beautiful first novel about women’s friendship for readers of Paula McLain and Elena Ferrante, by a bestselling non-fiction author who has brilliantly turned her hand to fiction.

In Sofie & Cecilia, beloved non-fiction author and journalist Katherine Ashenburg draws upon her formidable skill and maturity as a writer to craft an extraordinary and splendid debut novel. This is the story of a lifelong female friendship, set in the fascinating art world of Sweden between 1900 and 1940, just as modern art and the beginnings of the Scandinavian mid-century modern design movement were inspiring a creative revolution across northern Europe. Loosely based on the lives of celebrated artists Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn (“Nils Olsson” and “Lars Vogt” in the novel), Ashenburg transports us behind both the public and domestic scenes–and canvasses–of these larger-than-life men to reveal the lesser-known but equally astounding and rich stories of the women who married them: restlessly creative artist-in-her-own-right Sofie Olsson, and fiercely private and intelligent curator Cecilia Vogt.

Here is a gorgeous gem of a book: surprising, unique, layered with insight into the nuances of female friendship as it stretches, changes, and deepens in unexpected ways over a lifetime. Woven effortlessly through this tapestry, like a beautiful motif, is absorbing detail about Scandinavian painting, design, and textile work; European history and sexual politics; the country life, city salons, vibrant art, and folklore of Sweden; and the secrets and challenges of bright, talented women juggling marriage, career, individual aspirations, and family life inside an artist’s household in the early twentieth century.”

Advance Praise:

“Closely and beautifully observed. . . . As readers, we experience both the affirmation of women’s friendships, and the challenge of devoting oneself to a life of artistic creation.” —Jane Urquhart

“Sofie & Cecilia paints a marvelously detailed, slyly witty portrait of two women of talent married to successful painters in early twentieth-century Sweden—when girls might dabble in drawing lessons, but must put aside any artistic ambitions after marriage. Their growing independence is fueled by their friendship, sustained over the length of their lives. Fans of Elena Ferrante (not to mention Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, whose books are a bonding point) will revel in this wise and intensely moving story of two women navigating a world that expected women to weave, knit and embroider in the shadow of the real artists, their husbands. Nevertheless, they persisted.” —Marni Jackson

“Katherine Ashenburg slips her needle delicately beneath the skin to reveal the anatomy of an artist. This is the best kind of writing about art that is an art itself. So many pleasures here for the reader: delights of dress and décor and food and furnishings, all of the made things that make life better. Through the graceful procession of the years, strong strands of friendship tie these women together: their love of art, and books, and intelligent observation of the tangled knot of marriage.” —Marina Endicott, Giller shortlisted author of Good to a Fault

“Against the luscious backdrop of the early twentieth-century Swedish art world, Sofie & Cecilia offers a fascinating, intimate look at the many variations of female love: maternal love, marital love, love of industry and craft, love of beauty. Most of all it is a celebration of the love that can exist between women friends. An intelligent, tender, highly pleasurable novel.” —Barbara Gowdy, author of Little Sister and The Romantic

Visit the following link for more information: https://penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/550386/sofie-cecilia#9780735272682

Book Birthday: FIND YOU IN THE DARK by Naben Ruthnum

Happy Book Birthday to Naben Ruthnum‘s, writing as Nathan Ripley, FIND YOU IN THE DARK published on March 6th with Simon & Schuster in Canada! It’s also due to publish in Australia with Text Publishing on April 2nd 2018, and in the US in June 2018 with Atria Books!

Visit the Simon & Schuster website at the following link for more information and to read an excerpt: www.simonandschuster.ca/books/Find-You-in-the-Dark/Nathan-Ripley/9781501179037

Simon & Schuster will host the official launch tonight at Ben McNally Books – stay tuned for photos from the event!

We are thrilled to congratulate Naben Ruthnum, writing as Nathan Ripley, on FIND YOU IN THE DARK being named a Loblaws Book of the Moment!

FIND YOU IN THE DARK is also a Paul’s Pick, which will bring this this novel to 60 stores in airports across the country.

“Fans of Dexter will enjoy FIND YOU IN THE DARK” – Naben sat down with CTV​’s Your Morning​, full interview here: Ctv.ca/YourMorning/Find-You-in-the-Dark

Naben’s CBC Books​’s Magic 8 Q&A: Cbc.ca/thriller-writer-nathan-ripley-on-the-highs-and-lows-that-came-with-writing-his-debut-novel

Advance Praise: 

“Acclaimed fiction writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum debuts his alter-ego Nathan Ripley with this fast-paced, smart, unsettling thriller.” – The Globe and Mail

“A wickedly smart thriller that manages to be both chilling and wry. The page-turning plot . . . is thickened by a great cast of characters and Nathan Ripley’s fantastic eye for detail and dialogue. Just when you think you’ve got a grasp on it, the story twists to new and darker places.”– Amy Stuart, bestselling author of Still Mine

“A fast-paced, morbidly addictive novel of chilling infatuation. Ripley’s impressive debut is a rich and innovative thriller.” – Iain Reid, bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things

“It’s not always easy diving into the mind of an obsessive protagonist, but Martin Reese’s fixation on finding dead bodies makes for one heck of an addictive thriller. Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley is an original, inventive take on what happens when you go looking where you shouldn’t. Start reading early in the day, or you’ll be up all night like I was! A standout debut novel.”– Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts and Wonderland

“An unsettling exploration of obsession you won’t soon forget. Nathan Ripley delivers a first novel that fans of Patricia Highsmith psychological thrills and Thomas Harris cat-and-mouse suspense will devour. I certainly did.”– Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Only Child

“Crafty and dark, Nathan Ripley’s novel toys with the lines between predator and prey, his sentences as careful and considered as the crimes he depicts. Ripley is a truly exciting new voice in the thriller world.”– Roz Nay, bestselling author of Our Little Secret

From the Publisher: In this chilling debut thriller, in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr. Ripley, a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims catches the attention of a murderer prowling the streets of Seattle.

Martin Reese is obsessed with murder. 

For years, he has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and studying them in depth, using them as guides to find missing bodies. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results to the police anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs that cops have continuously failed to do.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees it differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case-closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious caller—the Finder, she names him—leading the police to the bodies. Even if the Finder isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, who’s to say that he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom he never met. But when he arrives at the site, he finds a freshly killed body—a young and recently disappeared Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn buried his victims . . . and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work.

When a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder. Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape the killer’s trap, he may have to go deeper into the world of murder than he ever thought.

Solomon’s Ring by Mary Jennifer Payne Publishes with Dundurn Press!

Happy book birthday to Mary Jennifer Payne, whose YA novel SOLOMON’S RING was published on January 6th with Dundurn Press!

In this second book of the Daughters of Light series, the demon-hunted Seers are in a race against time to return a stolen ring. Twin sisters Jade and Jasmine are finally together after a five-year separation, but there’s no time to enjoy the reunion. As Seers, the sisters are being hunted by demons spilling through the rift, and the city is on high alert against terrorist threats. The Protectors at Beaconsfield have gathered as many Seers as possible, as the countries that haven’t been destroyed by climate change are starting to close their borders. On top of it all, Jasmine discovers that someone has stolen a ring with the power to control the demons, and the Final Battle between the Daughters of Light and the forces of darkness is approaching more quickly than anyone predicted.

Canadian Materials called SOLOMON’S RING, and the first book in the series, FINDING JADE, “enjoyable reads for fans of dystopic urban fantasy”.

Mary Jennifer Payne is the author of FINDING JADE, book one in the Daughters of Light Series, the YA novels SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE and ENOUGH, and several YA graphic stories. She lives in Toronto.

Happy Book Birthday to Natasha Deen!

Happy book birthday to Natasha Deen whose YA novel GAME’S END is just out from Great Plains Teen! GAME’S END is the conclusion to the paranormal/mystery/romance Guardian trilogy. Can Lit for Little Canadians has said “if you’re a new reader to the Guardian series, you’ve got three books of robust plotting, clever characters and bright banter ahead of you. Enjoy!”

Squawk Publishes with Playwrights Canada Press!

Happy Book Birthday to Megan Gail Coles on the publication of her book SQUAWK, which has just been released by Playwrights Canada Press!

From the Publisher: “This daring new play from Newfoundland playwright Megan Gail Coles showcases a bold and refreshing approach to theatre for young audiences. Coles deftly interweaves Canada’s colonial history with online gaming as our Indigenous protagonist struggles to understand and reconcile her past, present and future.

Annie Runningbird doesn’t have time for the games boys want her to play. She’s aging out of foster care on her next birthday. The system has decided she is an adult, so Annie must make adult decisions. Where will she live? How will she make money? Demanding grown-up choices preoccupy the young girl’s mind as she navigates relationships with boys and men in her company. Does she like Isaac, a cute yet naive boy she met at the mall food court? Can she trust Louis, her older and increasingly overbearing foster care worker? Who can Annie depend on in her ever-shifting world? This intel is important. Because Annie needs to win the very real game she’s playing. She must save herself to save the day.”

Rights Sold: World English, Playwrights Canada Press Ltd.

POWERED BY LOVE Publishes with Goose Lane Editions

Happy Book Birthday to our client Ilana Landsberg-Lewis and fellow author Joanna Henry on their new book POWERED BY LOVE: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End Aids in Africa! It released last week on October 10th with Goose Lane Editions.

Watch the launch of the book here:

From the Publisher: 

“By the time the AIDS pandemic in Africa had reached its height in the early 2000s, millions of children had been orphaned. In the face of overwhelming loss, the grandmothers of Africa stepped in to hold families and communities together. Author Joanna Henry and photographer Alexis MacDonald visited eight African countries, interviewing and photographing hundreds of grandmothers (including Sarah Obama, Barack Obama’s grandmother) who are reclaiming hope and resurrecting lives. The extraordinary images and stories of resourceful women fighting for a better future make Powered by Love an inspiration for everyone.

Writes journalist-social activist Michele Landsberg, “We thought we knew what was happening in Africa when the AIDS pandemic raged across the continent, sweeping away 35 million lives. But we never knew it the way this book reveals it, in the shockingly intimate voices of the grandmothers who had to save the abandoned children when no one else was left alive. These voices will leap straight into your heart. Their unguarded faces, in portraits that glow with character, pain and humour, will captivate you.”

In 2006, the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched a campaign to engage Canadian grandmothers to support their African sisters. The Grandmothers Campaign, now a movement 10,000 strong, has raised over $25 million that has gone directly into the hands of African grandmothers and their grassroots organizations. Powered by Lovejoins this campaign by telling the story of these indomitable women and by directing all royalties from the sale of the book to African grandmothers raising children orphaned by AIDS.”

To learn more about the book, please visit: https://gooselane.com/products/powered-by-love

Rights Sold: World Rights, Goose Lane Editions

ALL WE LEAVE BEHIND by Carol Off publishes with Random House Canada

Happy book birthday to Carol Off‘s ALL WE LEAVE BEHIND, publishing today with Random House Canada.

One of Canada’s most respected journalists – currently the host of CBC radio’s flagship program “As It Happens” – Carol Off, relates the gripping story of a family’s desperate attempts to escape Afghan warlords, Taliban oppression, and the persecutions of refugee life.

ALL WE LEAVE BEHIND is an action-packed and complex story of lives intertwined on opposite sides of the world. In the tradition of The Land Between, it explores the intensity of raising a family in a constant state of limbo – all guided by the good faith and convictions of a journalist who could not simply walk away. Not this time. The result is a deeply personal, emotional journey that took over a decade to complete – a journey from one home in search of another.

About the Author
Carol Off has covered conflicts in the Middle East, Haiti, the Balkans and the sub-continent, as well as events in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, the US and Canada. She reported the fallout from the 9/11 disasters with news features and documentaries from New York, Washington, London, Cairo and Afghanistan.

Off is the author of the best-selling books The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle: A Story of Generals and Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and The Ghosts of Medak Pocket: The Story of Canada’s Secret War, which won the prestigious Dafoe Foundation Award. Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet, was a finalist for the National Business Book Award and was nominated for the prestigious Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing.

Praise for Carol Off
“The CBC reporter steers by her own conscience and that is to tell the story from the point of view of the powerless.” —Vancouver Sun

“One of our country’s finest and most prolific journalists…Off’s journalistic style reveals a deep humanity in the stories she tells about Canadians and people around the world.” —Richard Hardacre, ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) National President

“There are a number of terms one could choose to describe Carol Off…most of which may appear incongruous when taken together. High-school dropout. Single mother. Award-winning filmmaker. Author. Arts reporter. War correspondent. She’s a woman who’s comfortable in many roles…The urge to put the story first is typical of Off…Off loves to report on the artistic scene, with its colourful and passionate characters, and rich and complex narratives. She loves the challenge and the struggle to engage viewers who don’t always care. But even though this beat always piques her curiosity, she is always drawn back to current affairs.” —Alexandra Shimo, The Globe and Mail

“Off writes with a meticulous sense for disconcerting details that resonate with ugly truth.” —Calgary Straight

Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz by Anna Humphrey Publishes with Owlkids!

Happy book birthday to Anna Humphrey, whose latest book in the Clara Humble series, CLARA HUMBLE: QUIZ WHIZ publishes today with Owlkids! CLARA HUMBLE: QUIZ WHIZ also features fantastic illustrations by Lisa Cinar.

Clara Humble, the winsome and über-confident fourth-grader who’s been described as “Ramona Quimby meets Timmy Failure” is back for a second adventure. When Clara and her best friend, Bradley, discover their favorite game show, Smarty Pants ―a mix of trivia and obstacle course stunts ― is recruiting in their area, Clara is sure she’ll be chosen. Fame and game-show glory will be hers… with Bradley’s help, of course.

Things get complicated when Bradley also earns a contestant spot on the show, and the friends are pitted against each other. It escalates into an epic schoolyard battle between boys and girls, and not everyone is playing fair. Will Clara and Bradley’s friendship survive? Between the tension, sabotage, shenanigans, and Clara’s comics featuring her alter ego @Cat, this is a flat-out funny, fast-paced read.

Advance Praise:

“The lively narrative and cunning plot points provide a nifty adventure and an exploration of the consequences of going with the crowd. Smart, lively, and genuine.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Another humorous misadventure… A satisfying sequel for younger readers seeking realistic fiction with levity and a plucky protagonist.” —School Library Journal

LOST IN SEPTEMBER by KATHLEEN WINTER publishes with Knopf Canada!

Happy book birthday to Kathleen Winter​’s LOST IN SEPTEMBER, this thrilling new novel just published with Alfred A. Knopf Canada​!

This brilliant high-concept novel reimagines an eleven-day period in the life of General James Wolfe (1727-1759), an iconic figure in the military history of Canada. Legend portrays him as fearless and determined, but his voluminous personal correspondence (some of which is housed at Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library) reveals a lifelong struggle with melancholy and trauma.

Wolfe began his military career at the age of 15. By 25, after a decade of hard soldiering, he begged, and was awarded, a month of study leave in Paris. But before he could embark, Britain adopted Europe’s Gregorian calendar, and the entire country had to adjust its dates: September 2, 1752 was followed by September 14, and Wolfe lost eleven days of his precious sabbatical.

In LOST IN SEPTEMBER, Wolfe is reimagined as Jimmy, a PTSD-afflicted veteran wandering the streets of contemporary Montreal, determined to reclaim those lost days and to fathom what became of his youth—and of the British North America for whose gain he’d abandoned all hope of personal happiness. His search dislodges unsettling questions about the price war exacts from soldiers of all empires, past and present. In this poetic and imaginative work, Winter skillfully interweaves the factual past with an imagined present, while bridging more than 300-years of time.

Kathleen Winter’s previous novel Annabel was published in 15 countries and is in development as a film. It was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller, Governor General’s Award, Writers’ Trust and Orange (U.K.) prizes, was a Globe and Mail “Best Book” and a New York Times “Notable,” and was a #1 bestselling Canada Reads selection. Previous to that debut, Kathleen penned the short story collections, boYs and has subsequently published a second collection, The Freedom in American Songs, and an award-nominated travel memoir, Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage.


Pre-publication Praise:

– A CBC Books selection for “Fall 2017: books you must read this season”
– A Globe and Mail “Most Anticipated” book for the rest of 2017
– Chosen by Canadian librarians as one of their “Favourite Upcoming September Books” (Quill and Quire)
– A Chatelaine “Best Fall Reads” book
– Deemed a highly-anticipated “Sizzling Stories” by the Winnipeg Free Press

RUN, HIDE, REPEAT by Pauline Dakin publishes with Penguin Canada!

Happy book birthday to Pauline Dakin whose riveting memoir RUN, HIDE, REPEAT publishes today with Penguin Canada!

A fast-paced, action filled memoir, in the same vein as Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club or Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle, RUN, HIDE, REPEAT explores coming to terms with a lost childhood, and betrayal by those most loved and trusted. But at its core it also explores a profound path of personal discovery – one that is paved with the redemptive powers of love and forgiveness.

Pauline Dakin is an ‎Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of King’s College. She was the Senior Producer, Current Affairs Programming (Nova Scotia) for CBC Radio, the former national health reporter for CBC News, and was the host of the regional documentary program Atlantic Voice. She is a three-time recipient of fellowships from the National Press Foundation in Washington and was a fellow of the MIT/Knight Science Journalism program. Dakin has worked as a producer, on-air host, assignment editor, and reporter in various media including film, television, radio, and print. She also writes and produces documentaries on a wide range of topics. RUN, HIDE, REPEAT is her first book.

Pre-publication Praise: 

“What happens when ‘Fake News’ takes over your family? This harrowing true story reads like a psychological thriller—I was haunted by it.” —Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything

“From a childhood marked by secrets and sudden moves to an adulthood where truth—and lies—of the past are laid bare, Run, Hide, Repeat is a fascinating story of family, deception, and forgiveness.” —Sonja Larsen, author of Red Star Tattoo

“This twisted page-turner brings the truth to the forefront, while Dakin tries to master the art of forgiveness.” —Canadian Living