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'Nutritionista' hopes to change lives

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A Toronto food and lifestyle guru -- with strong connections to the land of smokies, perogies and Old Dutch chips -- is launching a book this month that promises to help readers transform their lives through organic, vegetarian food.

Meghan Telpner, granddaughter of the late Winnipeg entertainment journalist Gene Telpner and daughter of ad executive Ron Telpner, is set to release UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health. The self-described "nutritionista" shares the approach to eating that she says allowed her to become symptom-free after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

The book, due April 9 from McClelland & Stewart, comes with 35 gluten-free, plant-based recipes.

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Manitoba freelance writer Doreen Pendgracs has a sweet idea for a travel book: an illustrated tour of countries where chocolate is grown and made.

Now the Matlock-based author of The Manitoba Book of Everything is looking for people to help her bring Chocolatour: a Quest for the World's Best Chocolate to the reading public.

Pendgracs has travelled to chocolate-growing countries, including Peru, Ecuador and St. Lucia, and chocolate makers in Switzerland, Belgium and elsewhere to research the book.

She's seeking $15,000 toward printing costs in a campaign on the crowd-sourcing site Indiegogo. To learn more, search for "chocolatour" at Indigogo.com. The campaign runs until April 13.

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The path to publication is seldom short and straight.

But The Beggar King, the first part of what's intended as a young adult fantasy trilogy, took a particularly long route to its publication this spring.

B.C. writer Michelle Barker, who drew inspiration for her fictional Holy City of Cir from her time living in Israel and a sailboat trip from Vancouver to Hawaii, sent the novel to 47 publishers before the book found a home at Saskatchewan's Thistledown Press.

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Organizers of Winnipeg's Thin Air literary festival are cheering for two of the shortlisted books in this year's Amazon First Book awards.

First-time novelists Pasha Malla and Anakana Schofield read from their nominated books People Park and Malarky at last year's festival. They are joined on the shortlist by Marjorie Celona (Y), Scott Fotheringham (The Rest Is Silence) and Kim Thuy (Ru).

Thuy is the likely favourite for the prize, given that her novel, published last year in English translation, won the Governor General's Award for French fiction when it was originally published in 2009.

The winner of the $7,500 prize will be announced April 24.

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A new graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop has reportedly been offered a seven-figure advance for her debut novel, according to the Associated Press.

Erika Johansen's fantasy trilogy, Queen of the Tearling, will be published by HarperCollins. Johansen says she was inspired to write the first novel in the series, described as a female equivalent of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, after hearing then-senator Barack Obama speak.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 30, 2013 J8

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