Winners of the Pre-Order Contest, and Invitation to the Book Launch Party!

I have lots of updates in the lead-up to the launch of The Oyster Thief: the book launch party, reviews, names of the winners of the pre-order contest, notes on next steps, and Chapter One of The Oyster Thief—now available for you to read!

BOOK LAUNCH PARTY

The book launch party will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 7pm at The Theatre Center in Toronto (1115 Queen Street West, next to the Drake Hotel). A big thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Another Story Bookshop for organizing.

REVIEWS

I am honored that The Oyster Thief has received an endorsement from the world’s foremost ocean scientist and one of my personal heroes, Dr. Sylvia Earle! “The Oyster Thief deftly weaves a mermaid’s tale while bringing real and urgent ocean conservation issues to the reader’s attention. Dive in and enjoy!”

The newspaper The Globe and Mail describes The Oyster Thief as one of its most anticipated fall reads and says in its review: “A stand-out in the current crop of books about merfolk is The Oyster Thief, the fiction debut of Sonia Faruqi…. The charm of this beguiling novel is in all the details of the underwater world that Faruqi has dreamed up.”

I am also looking forward to the following library events later this month:

  • On Tuesday, September 25, I will speak about food sustainability and Project Animal Farm at 7pm at Cyril Clark Library (20 Loafers Lake Lane, Brampton).
  • On Thursday, September 27, I will speak about ocean conservation and The Oyster Thief at 6.30pm at Riverdale Library (370 Broadview Avenue, Toronto).

CONTEST WINNERS

Pegasus Books and I ran a pre-order campaign for The Oyster Thief that just wrapped up on Sunday, September 16. The winners are…

  • Deb Teachout, a veterinarian based in Illinois. Deb said: “I just bought three copies of your new book, and I can’t wait to read it! One for me, and two for Christmas presents.”
  • Robert Winterbottom, a consultant based in New Hampshire. Robert said: “I am certainly looking forward to reading your book, as I am concerned about the health of our oceans and the planet and am interested in a novel that deals with the underwater world. I don’t have a chance to read many novels or fantasies, but still recall how much I enjoyed reading the Tolkien trilogy and imagining the world of hobbits and middle Earth.”
  • Sonia Schnee, a filmmaker based in New Jersey. Sonia said: “I can’t wait to start reading The Oyster Thief. I’m ready to be whisked away on a gorgeous adventure!”

Deb, Robert, and Sonia will be winning an ocean spa collection, a gift basket of chocolates, and a beach-themed wall clock, courtesy of Pegasus Books. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to Pegasus Books for the generous prizes!

There’s still plenty of time for you to pre-order your copy before the book comes out in October! You can get The Oyster Thief at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, or your neighborhood bookstore.

WHAT’S NEXT

In the next weeks, you can expect more events and media coverage of The Oyster Thief. There’s also going to be a blog tour! I am including below some photos taken (from left to right) by bloggers Read with Sam, Kristin Kraves Books, and Biblio Virgo, all of whom are participating in the tour. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to remain updated on the blog tour and more!

CHAPTER ONE

I am excited to share with you Chapter One of The Oyster Thief. You can find the start of the chapter below, and you can read or download the whole of it as a pdf here.

The fantasy novel features two protagonists, mermaid Coralline and human Izar. The chapter commences with Coralline’s perspective and continues on with Izar’s. I hope you enjoy the read, and would love to learn your thoughts at info@soniafaruqi.com.

Chapter One: Fire and Water

“This supper is a special occasion, Coralline,” said Trochid.

Coralline frowned at her father. The eighth of July meant nothing to her. But her mother had set the table with their finest limestone plates, which did suggest that it was, in fact, an occasion of some sort. But it was not Algae Appreciation Day or Horrid Humans Day. It was not Coralline’s birthday, nor was it either of her parents’ birthdays. That meant it had to be…Ecklon’s birthday—his twenty-sixth! They hadn’t been together long enough to have celebrated his birthday together, but he had recently mentioned the surprise party his fellow detectives had organized for him last year. Coralline had neglected to note the date.

His birthday would explain why he looked particularly handsome this evening, in a jet-black waistcoat with half a dozen large lettered olive shells forming a column of buttons down the center. Coralline’s mother was also elegantly attired—in a white corset with wispy sleeves that fluttered gently about her shoulders—as was Coralline’s father—in a new, tan waistcoat. Come to think of it, Coralline herself was also well dressed, though it was not intentional on her part.

She had returned home late from work, swum into her bedroom, and proceeded to do what she usually did at the end of a long day: massage the muscles in the back of her neck with her fingertips, in an attempt to loosen the knots formed over a day of bending over medications at The Irregular Remedy. She had then burrowed under her blanket and, closing her eyes, had thought of her most unusual patient of the day: ninety-one-year-old mermaid Mola, who suffered from dementia and whose memories of her husband kept falling as irreversibly out of her mind as her molars had fallen out of her mouth.

Coralline had been about to drift off into a nap when her mother rushed into her bedroom, flung off her blanket, and, surveying Coralline’s corset, pronounced, “You can’t dress so hideously for supper. Ecklon is coming, remember?” Her mother then handed her a new corset she had sewn for her, with emerald vines that met and separated over a glistening bronze fabric that precisely matched the bronze scales of Coralline’s tail. Coralline had slumped on a chair in front of the mirror as her mother had tugged her long black hair into a pillowy mound at the crown of her head and circled the bun with a string of little white spirula shells.

How embarrassing that Coralline had forgotten Ecklon’s birthday, especially given how he had spoiled her on her own birthday a few months ago. He had taken her to their favorite restaurant, Alaria, where he had presented her with The Universe Demystified, the latest book by the stargazer Venant Veritate. Like a telescope into the universe, The Universe Demystified had opened brilliant new galaxies in Coralline’s mind. Ecklon admired Venant just as much as Coralline, describing him as “the detective of the universe,” but she still couldn’t imagine how Ecklon had managed to get the book autographed, for the stargazer was known to be just as reclusive as he was illustrious.

It was true that Coralline’s wages as an apprentice apothecary at The Irregular Remedy were meager, but she could still have gotten Ecklon a pen as a gift, perhaps an engraved one, which he could use in taking notes during his investigations. In the absence of any gift, the least she could do was sing. Clearing her throat, she began….

Dive into the world of merpeople by continuing to read The Oyster Thief here.