Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday Morning with Robert Rotenberg

You know your job is cool when Robert Rotenberg drops by your store to get a coffee and to, y'know chat about his new book.

Ok so maybe he wasn't in town to just come and see us. Speaking of which I don't have a name to give you for Robert's new book, but I can tell you that the main character is from Cobalt, Ontario!! Which would be why Robert has been hanging out around town, collecting research for his book.

Robert also picked up a copy of "We Lived a Life and Then Some" by Chalie Angus & Brit Griffin. I figured if he was researching Cobalt this would be a great piece of reference material.

I love Book cover art!! Here is the German cover art for "Old City Hall" and "We Lived a Life and Then Some".

Friday, January 23, 2009

George Straatman to do live broadcast with CKLU's Night Fright

I had to run out just before lunch today so on my way back I stopped by Harvey's to pick up a Burger for Jenn and I. A few minutes later I look over and who do I run into but Timmins author George Straatman and his wife Louise. It just so happens that the two of them were heading South to Sudbury to meet up with award winning music composer Brent Holland to do a live broadcast of CKLU's Night Fright at Chapters in Sudbury tonight. So if you're in Sudbury or the area drop by and give some support to George!

Horror fans will have a chance to take part in Chapters' first radio show, ask questions and discuss the horror genre during a live taping of Night Fright. The event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Straatman, author of the horror trilogy The Converging, will also be signing books at Chapters on Saturday and Sunday.

And if your like me and will not be in Sudbury this weekend you can catch CKLU's Night Fright show when they will be airing the interview next week. You can get CKLU at 96.7 FM if you're in the Sudbury area or you can go to

Deep Waters

Our morning routine is pretty simple...get up, have a shower, give the cats some treats(before they destroy the place), pour a cup of coffee, get in the truck turn on CBC radio drive to work...Coffee is the most important step in that sequence, then of course CBC radio with Markus Schwabe.

It being Friday we were able to catch this weeks segment of Airwaves Challenge on CBC, and today's secret guest was none other than James Raffan author of Deep Water.

On the morning of June 12, 1978, 27 boys and 4 leaders from St. John’s School in Ontario, set out on a canoeing expedition from the wharf at Timiskaming, Quebec, headed for James Bay along an old voyageurs’ route. By evening the same day, all four canoes were overturned and floating aimlessly in the wind — 12 boys and one leader were dead. The rest huddled over a weak fire at the base of a cliff, waiting for the light of morning, and rescue.

So begins the story of the Lake Timiskaming tragedy, a tragedy that was quickly flashed around the world on the wire services and that struck fear into the heart of every parent. For who has not watched a child head off on an adventure with some misgivings? What is the right balance of safety and risk that we can live with? And does risk really build character as so many people believe?

Questions such as these are at the heart of Deep Waters, James Raffan’s moving and suspenseful story about a great wilderness adventure gone wrong. Raffan’s meticulous deconstruction of the circumstances leading to the accident is chilling: the hubris of school leaders whose motives may have been good-intentioned but whose practical knowledge was limited; the faith of the parents who played an integral role in St. John’s; the confluence of water and weather on a treacherous lake that fateful day; the lack of proper precautions for a trip that would have taxed even the most experienced of wilderness canoeists. Raffan slowly unfolds the web of events that resulted in such a tragedy and, with the hindsight of more than two decades, shows us what can be learned from such experiences.

We do still have copies of Deep Water in the store! You can usually find it in our local section or in the travel section.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Three Wiser's Men and the Mystery of Grace.

In December I posted a link to "DRIVEN Magazine" article on Joseph Boyden;

Driven magazine Dec issue has a great article on Joseph Boyden the author of "Three Day Road" and this years Giller Prize winner for "Through Black Spruce".

In my haste to get the blog post out I totally missed the fact that on page 32 "DRVEN" also featured an exclusive short story by Mr. Boyden, called "Three Wiser's Men"

I wouldn't have known about this tasty tin bit of gritty Canadian Lit if it wasn't for Eric Grant the web editor for DRIVEN magazine,(Thanks Man!!) who saw my posting last month and was kind enough to let me know, thus letting me let you know about it.(You need to read the story!!)

Speaking of amazing Canadian Lit, last week I phoned in a request for an advanced reading copy of Charles de Lint's new novel "The Mystery of Grace". Yesterday it came in(Thanks Paula!!) and of course when I got home I started reading it and I must say it is amazing! The only thing I will give away is if you read "Promises to Keep" you'll enjoy "The Mystery of Grace". Also the main character Grace could be a grown up version of T.J. from de Lint's book "Little (grrl) Lost".(Which I think every library and high school should have a copy of!!)

Anyways both these guys are great Canadian authors and we being Canadians are lucky to call them our own! If you haven't ready any of Charles's or Joseph's work I would recommend starting with "Born With A Tooth" and "Dreams Underfoot".

Born With A Tooth

Almost a decade after its original publication, award winner and Governor General Literary Award nominee Joseph Boyden's classic book of short stories is finally being reissued. Born With A Tooth, Boyden's debut work of fiction, is a collection of thirteen beautifully written stories about aboriginal life in Ontario. They are stories of love, unexpected triumph, and a passionate belief in dreams. They are also stories of anger and longing, of struggling to adapt, of searching but remaining unfulfilled. The collection includes 'Bearwalker', a story that introduces a character who appears again in Boyden's novel Three Day Road. By taking on a new voice in each story, Joseph Boyden explores aboriginal stereotypes and traditions in a most unexpected way. Whether told by a woman trying to forget her past or by a drunken man trying to preserve his culture, each story paints an unforgettable and varied image of modern aboriginal culture in Ontario. An extraordinary first book, Born With A Tooth reveals why Joseph Boyden is a writer worth reading.

Dreams Underfoot

Welcome to Newford. . . . Welcome to the music clubs, the waterfront, the alleyways where ancient myths and magic spill into the modern world. Come meet Jilly, painting wonders in the rough city streets; and Geordie, playing fiddle while he dreams of a ghost; and the Angel of Grasso Street gathering the fey and the wild and the poor and the lost. Gemmins live in abandoned cars and skells traverse the tunnels below, while mermaids swim in the grey harbor waters and fill the cold night with their song. Like Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale and John Crowley's Little, Big, Dreams Underfoot is a must-read book not only for fans of urban fantasy but for all who seek magic in everyday life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We missed Delurker Day!!

Oh no we missed "Delurker Day"!! I heard about this event last year while lurker on another blog called Veerle blog 2.0.(which is a great design blog) "The idea, is that all of the people that read the blog and never post, should break their habit. Stop lurking around and let us know that you’re out there!"

Maybe you’re a an avid reader, and would like to comment on one of the books we have mentioned or reviewed or maybe we want to let us know about a great book that you have read! - Why not add to the fun! Maybe your comment will help convince other lurkers to add their comments! We would love to hear from you!! They don’t have to be dramatic comments, just a simple hello would do! So don't be shy and let us know your out there.

Now - seeing that is Jan 19th and I have missed "De-Lurker Day" that does not mean that you have to wait until next year to de-lurk! If you made it to this post after the 10th, please go ahead and de-lurk!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Local Fundraiser for Cobalt, Coleman, Latchford Food Bank

Here at Chat Noir books we like to support local culture be that at the Classic Theatre, local art Galleries or support for local authors and musicians. That being said The Miners’ Tavern in Cobalt will be hosting a fundraiser for the Cobalt, Coleman, Latchford Food Bank(which is also something very important to support).

It's all starting at 1:30 p.m on Sunday, Jan. 25th. Come out and enjoy some great local music with "Headframe", the "Heat Cat Slicers", the The Wabi Delta Blues Band and Crank Radio.

Admission: Non-perishable food item or cash donation for Cobalt, Coleman, Latchford Food Bank

Location: Miners' Tavern Come on over and "get your groove on".


We mention a few month's ago that Les Stroud(Host of Survivorman)had a book coming out called "Survive!" It has been no surprise that Les's book has done very well in our area considering that he is somewhat of a local celebrity. So if you are traveling abroad or at home this is the book that will give you the essential skills and tactics to get you out of anywhere alive. So if you didn't get a copy at Christmas this is your chance since we just got a new batch of Les's books in stock.

Jenn and I were able to catch Les's Music show at the Classic Theatre last year which was just an amazing mixture of music, lights and video. We were hoping to get the chance to talk to him after the show and see if he might be interested in doing a book signing at the store. Unfortunately that didn't happen but we are still working on it.

On a side note, if you checked out last month's issue of "Outpost" Laura Bombier( Award Winning Toronto-based photographer)had an article called Shutterstop. And the guy in photo is none other then Les Stroud, which is no surprise since Laura is currently travel with Discovery Channel's Survivorman and Shark Week.

Also in the same issue Outpost also has a really great review on on "Survive!

You’re alone in the forest on a fine autumn day with nothing but a multitool. You’re stuck there for a week. Should you be more worried about finding a source of uncontaminated water or about a bear that might be in the area? Neither, says Les Stroud. The bear will most likely avoid you, and dehydration will affect you faster than parasites in untreated water. Your bigger worry should be shelter—the daytime might be nice, but it’s likely going to be cold at night. And that’s just the beginning.

The concept of Survivorman is simple: left in a remote location, Les must survive for seven days on his own without food, water or equipment. Now, he shares his expert knowledge inSurvive!, a fully illustrated guide based on his experiences on six continents and filled with field-tested advice. Many books on survival are culled from Second World War–era training techniques that are out-of-date or just plain wrong. Survive! debunks these dated myths, exploring basic and advanced tactics that show you how to cope in any survival situation.

Brought to life with Les’s own anecdotes and the tales of others, Survive! is the perfect manual for anyone -- from beginner to armchair traveller to seasoned explorer -- who wants to meet nature’s dangers with confidence. As Les writes, “If you believe you can make it through the bad times, and you are not intimidated by the forces of nature, you will markedly increase your chances of survival.”>/p>

SURVIVE! includes detailed information on the following:
• preparing for survival, mentally and physically
• fire-making techniques
• basic survival kit components
• finding, collecting and making water
• sources of food
• types of shelter

Author Bio

LES STROUD is a musician and filmmaker with more than 25 years experience as an outdoor adventurer and instructor. His television series Survivorman is a top-rated show on Outdoor Life Network Canada and Discovery Channel International. Stroud has also appeared in or produced numerous television specials, including Off the Grid with Les Stroud, The Mad Trapper and Surviving Urban Disasters; his documentary Snowshoes and Solitude has won several awards. He has been a guest on Larry King Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Hour, The View, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and many others. Stroud lives in Huntsville, Ontario. Visit him online at

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year New Books

Jenn and I are back and ready for a new year of books, books and more books...and few cups of coffee as well.

Speaking of new books, here is one to look out for "Old City Hall" by Robert Rotenberg!! Before Christmas we mentions that Robert Rotenberg had stopped by the store. Robert actually stumbled upon us while visiting the area doing research for his new book, which he was kind enough to read me a small sample of. It is really kind of cool to have an author stumble into your book store but then to have him read to you from his work in progress that's special...

(I notice my hair is kind of wild here, the left over of my pho Mohawk from Halloween.)

Robert Rotenberg is one of Torontos top lawyers, defending, as he likes to say, everything from murder to shoplifting. He lives in Toronto with his wife, a television producer at CBC News; their three children; and their little dog, Fudge.

Old City Hall opens with a bang, or perhaps a stab: Canada's leading radio show host, Kevin Brace, comes to the door of his luxury condominium with his hands covered in blood and tells the newspaper delivery man: 'I killed her.'The 'her' in question is his young wife, whose body lies in the bathtub of their suite, a knife wound through the sternum.

So, if he killed her, where's the mystery? That's the question asked by the detectives plowing through what should be an open and- shut case. Even Kevin's defense attorney doesn't know what really happened, because he refuses to talk to her or to anyone else after muttering those incriminating words. With the discovery that the victim was actually a self-destructive alcoholic, and the appearance of strange fingerprints in the Brace apartment, the mystery gets more complex just as it should be getting simpler.

Robert Rotenberg claims and celebrates the city of Toronto as a character as exciting and vital as the Dickensian ensemble populating the story. Douglas Preston rejoices that Rotenberg's 'Toronto settings make this most multicultural city in North America come alive.' Elmore Leonard has Florida; John Lescroart, San Francisco; Robert Parker, Boston; Scott Turow, Chicago; George Pelecanos, D.C. And now, in Old City Hall, Rotenberg creates in modern-day Toronto a canvas as diverse and surprising as the city itself.


On another note, I am just checking my email and Charles de Lint's(one of my Favourite Canadian authors) has sent out a new Newsletter with a reminder about Andrew Vachss' virtual book store event tomorrow night (well tonight Wednesday, Jan 14th. I am just getting to some of my email today). You can get more information about it at


After years of carefully working the edges, a blood-commitment forces Burke's return to his former career: "violence-for-money."

Claw, once the shot-caller of a white supremacist prison gang is free . . . and terminally ill--he desperately needs a pile of cash to bet on a long-shot cure. He tells Burke about a punk who once purchased protection from him, a man who claims to know the truth behind a "cold case, " the unsolved rape-murder of a thirteen-year-old girl. The killers are all weathly men today, ideal blackmail marks. But wealth is power, and the informant needs Claw's protection again. Burke decides to roll the dice. A win would give Burke the two things he lives for: Money and Revenge. A loss would turn "terminal" from a diagnosis into a certainly, and not just for Claw.

Author Bio
Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who represents children and youths exclusively. His many novels include the Burke series and two collections of short stories. His books have been translated into twenty languages, and his work has appeared in Parade, Antaeus, Esquire, Playboy, The New York Times, among other publications. He divides his time between his native New York City and the Pacific Northwest.

This online author event is sort of new with the net being able to handle live video streams. Another Canadian author Margaret Atwood is credited with inventing this new fad but with a twist. Atwood had a robot hand called the LongPen invented for her, so she coud "attend" book signings all over the world without having to leave the comfort of her home. Combined with a remotely via video feed and robo-hand, that signs the books at the actually bookstore. Now some of you are asking will this replace the traditional book signing tour? Probabley not but the net is opening up a lot new marketing ideas for bookstores and authors!


Anyways back to Charles De Lint who has a new adult novel coming out in March called "The Mystery of Grace"!!

Three years after his last major adult novel, Charles de Lint returns with a new tale of magic, loss, and redemption, his first book set in the Southwest. Centered on a remarkable female protagonist and entirely self-contained, this is a modern contemporary fantasy as invented band pioneered by de Lint himself. Altagracia—her friends call her Grace—has a tattoo of Nuestra SeƱora de Altagracia on her shoulder; she's got a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg; and she has grease worked so deep into her hands that'll never wash out.

Grace works at Sanchez Motor Works, customizing hot rods. A few blocks around her small apartment building is all her world—from the grocery store where she buys beans, tamales and cigarettes to the library, the little record shop, and the Solona Music Hall. Which is where she meets John Burns, just two weeks too late.

Grace and John fall for one another, and that would be wonderful, except that they're both haunted by unfinished business. Before their relationship can be resolved, they're both going to have to learn things they don't know about the world of the living and the world beyond. About why it's necessary to let some things go.

The Mystery of Grace is a hardcover. The cover art for the "The Mystery of Grace" was created by the very talented and amazing artist John Jude Palenca.


Thanks to my parents(We love you guys!! Best Christmas Present Ever!!) Jenn and I spent New Years in the Dominican!! My Sister and her Boyfriend and my parents came along as well and a great amount of fun and relaxation was had by all.

We didn't spent all of out time lounging around the pool or the beach! We did get out and explored the area!

Here we have sugar cane fields! Pretty.

On one of our tours we went were brought to a Fair trade family run farm, Called Maria's Place. You guessed it run by Maria's family. Here they grow and sell coca beans, vanilla, cinnamon, honey(well they don't grow honey but they do have honey bees) and COFFEE!

This is Maria's husband, who is roast coca beans and coffee beans in this photo.