Mariposa Writers' Group

Writing Group

A Brief History of Orillia - by Dennis C. Rizzo

Available May 26, 2014 from The History Press and Dundurn Press (Canada) through Manticore Books, Bouddica Books or Chapters, Orillia.


A Brief History of Orillia provides background and presents the evolution of the place known as Orillia. It explores the indigenous tribes who managed the land long before the arrival of European settlers and traders. It looks at the fur trade and the Narrows as the key points that resulted in this place becoming a village - then a city. It talks about everyday life, and about the politics and social pressures that have given Orillia a unique place in Ontario's history.


The author is available for presentations and school discussion groups.


PUBLISHED BOOKS                                                               BY MEMBERS OF THE MARIPOSA WRITERS' GROUP

The following authors are members of the Mariposa Writers Group who have published books. See a full list at  BOOKS BY MEMBERS

Assimilating                                                                        by Alice M. de Munnik

ASSIMILATING, A MEMOIR begins with my birth in the fall of 1944 when the Nazis and wounded German soldiers moved into our village in northeastern Holland.  The Nazis took most of the foodstuffs and fuel our village had.  They arrested and took away any villager who broke curfew, was a black marketeer, sheltered Jews (our village hid three Jewish children) or belonged to the resistance. World War II had devastated Holland and most of Europe. To be invited to work in a peaceful country like Canada, where land was plentiful and where my father might finally realize his dream of owning his own farm was a new beginning.  The two-year indentureship to a local farmer in North River seemed a small price to pay for such a promising future.  What my family hadn't counted on was the reaction of Canadians to our entry into their rural villages. Little did my parents realize that the English lessons they had taken in Holland was British English and was little understood in rural Ontario.  We were often laughed at.  At school, trying to spell English often brought me to tears.  When I moved with my family to Orillia, it was the nuns at Guardian Angels School who gave me a lot of grief.  The first few years in Canada was a time of loneliness, isolation, embarrassment, sacrifice and struggle.  Although my father never realized his goal of owning his own farm, immigrating to Canada allowed my brothers and sisters and I to benefit from the educational and employment opportunities offiered by our new country.  Although my heritage is rooted in Holland, my present and future are gratefully imbedded in this wonderful country called Canada.
This book is available on

Michelle Duff - books for all ages but especially Young Adult....

  Available by contacting Michelle Duff or MWG

Home For Christmas - a family saga of rural Canada         by John Forrest

“Home for Christmas - A Family Saga of Rural Canada,” (Scrivener Press 2012) is an anthology set in north Simcoe County. The five stories in this illustrated 130 page soft cover book capture the spirit and emotion of life at this special time of the year. The atmosphere in each crackles with anticipation, tension, hope and joy. Set in Washago, Udney, Uptergrove and Atherley from the 1930s through the 1950s, the stories recount through the eyes and from the hearts of the fictional Stone family; the drama, challenges, joy and wonder of yuletide life in small communities. This book makes an excellent Christmas gift that will be long remembered as it reappears yearly from the Christmas box .


  Home For Christmas will be available for just at $18,95 (or less) at Chapters/Indigo/Smith books, Manticore books, the Leacock Home gift shop and selected Home Hardware stores across Canada as well as on-line from Amazon and Chapters/Indigo.

                                        COOL BLUES                                                                    WRITTEN BY JOAN DAULBY 

  COOL BLUES IS THE STORY of a seven year old boy named Hunter who learns he needs         to wear glasses.  
                  At first, the whole idea is exciting; the eye                                         examination, picking out new frames and being able to see                   clearly. Although his new glasses are a spiffy blue colour,                     he worries his friends will think he looks funny or weird                       and won't want to play with him anymore.
                  COOL BLUES takes the children through Hunter's                                   experiences as he overcomes his concerns about wearing                       glasses and accepts his role as the Cool Blues Guy                                 when his friends give him the biggest surprise of all.
Order Cool Blues from your favourite book store by giving them the name of our distributor:  RED TUQUE BOOKS 
Visit Joan's web site for more information: 

ELEPHANTS I HAVE KNOWN AND OTHER ANIMAL STORIES -                    by Alice de Munnik

ELEPHANTS I HAVE KNOWN AND OTHER ANIMAL STORIES is a collection of delightful animal stories.  They were inspired both by my personal experience and also by world events concerning the potential extinction of certain animals like the penguin.  This anthology includes some unruly elephants, a cantankerous cat named Desmond co-habiting with a slobbering dog named Hoover, skunks who just want to be adopted and loved, a trusting family of field mice and a conniving town mouse, a butterfly rescue at the Smithsonian, a new home for Hazel Groundhog and her boys, a charming pig named Priscilla and a reunion of penguins at the South Pole.  Other than the title story, each story is told from the animal’s point of view and has its own unique take on what it means to be that animal.  There are lessons to be learned, insights to be gained and deeds to be accomplished.  The humour in these stories can be enjoyed by anyone from 9 to 90.
This book is available on

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LIFE AND OTHER NIGHTMARES  is a collection of stories that will variously delight, inspire, shock, make you laugh, cry, shake your head and be amazed at the lengths people go to have their needs met. The gritty reality of many of these stories include: A hockey game played and won by nuns against the home team; lawyers misbehaving; a young girl gets more than she bargained for at a dance; a boy gives an elegy to a beloved pet; a sleepwalker enters a terrifying situation she could not have imagined; a sister faces her brother’s homelessness; a ride in an elevator during a power outage leads to unexpected and life-altering consequences, to name only a few.  No one who reads these stories will remain unmoved.  This e-book is available on Kindle.

LESSONS FROM THE MEN I HAVE KNOWN           - by Alice de Munnik

LESSONS FROM THE MEN I HAVE KNOWN is a collection of stories about the men (and a few boys) author, Alice M. de Munnik, has met and known over a lifetime.  The stories are sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous and often revealing.  They include flirting in a church basement; a first date never to be repeated; the best and worst kissers; how travel broadens the mind; love at the office; men who need mothering; professionals behaving badly, the unfaithful male and other stories that will enlighten and entertain.  Men and women of a certain age will relate to the situations presented in this book.  The current generation will have their curiosity satisfied about what took place in the dating world a few decades ago.  This book also gives a social overview of what dating and mating were like for women before sexual harassment policies were enacted and before the women’s movement and the sexual revolution had their impact.  Things have changed, but, with the passing of years, not as much as might be expected.  This e-book is available on Kindle.


                       A Canvas of Words                                           WRITTEN BY MARIPOSA WRITERS' GROUP





A Canvas of Words is a literary landscape of 100 stories, poems, essays and photographs.  

The 22 contributing authors guide readers to a variety of eras and stunning settings, to meet memorable characters and enjoy intriguing plot lines.  

This 300 page masterpiece in words is a terrific read and makes a wonderful gift. 

                                      WALTER WIND                                                                  WRITTEN BY JOAN DAULBY



WALTER WIND is the best wind in the neighbourhood.  Gillian is a little girl terrified of the wind and the noise it makes as it howls past hger window.  


Gillian's mother calms her fears by telling a story of the wind, its job and why it howls.


What is that awful howling noise and who makes the windows ratle at night?


It's Walter Wind!

Order Walter Wind from your favourite book store by giving them the name of our distributor: RED TUQUE BOOKS   

Visit Joan's website for more information:


ANGELS, STARS AND TREES                                                    WRITTEN BY JOHN FORREST 



Here's a tasteof what's inside...


Star of Hope

A newlywed couple’s first Christmas is marred by illness and

then made forever memorable with the help of the Christmas Star

and a very special nurse.


That Special Tree

Two young boys, captivated by a story read by their teacher,

set out on a quest to find the best Christmas trees ever for their



The Gift of Time

A young girl’s recollection of how she and her family brought

Christmas joy to the residents of a nursing home.



How to get your copy:

Angels Stars and Trees is available in Orillia at 

Home HardwareManticore Books or by contacting the author by email at:  

or through Your Scrivener Press

       (Each copy $25.00) 

 We call him our story elf. With his simple, sincere tales, John Forrest reconnects us with the lost bits of

Christmas that breathe meaning into all the fuss.
—Mark Bisset, Managing Editor, The Orillia Packet & Times

Sweet, personal, and thoroughly Canadian. Forrest finds the quiet, special moments that reveal

the best in people. You'll enjoy.
—Julie E. Czerneda, Award-winning author of Reap the Wild Wind.


                A CHRISTMAS CONSPIRACY                                               WRITTEN BY DENNIS C. RIZZO 

Learn about the roles of ordinary people in America's first civil war.  Read it and get to know the women who helped the colonials win at Trenton, giving new life to the revolution.  


Enjoy a fast moving tale of strife, intrigue and human endeavour and never again be able to say,"I didn't know."


"From the warmth of a kitchen with a smell of ginger cakes and cookies, to the heartbreak and politics of America in 1776, A Christmas Conspiracy, is an historical page turner with love, loyalty and family at its core."  

          Written by Dennis C. Rizzo              Gail Sweet, Burlington County Library.

Purchase A CHRISTMAS CONSPIRACY by visiting Amazon or Llumina Press - also available for Kobo and Kindle.