Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A HUGE thank you to my friend, Sara, over at My Life is An Effing Fairy Tale for this georgous award!  You made me day! 

Here are my nominees for the blogs that I think are super cool..... I wish to warmly pass this award on to:
Danielle at Opinionated? Me?
Michele at Finding Trinity (who also happens to be one of my very best friends I've had for over 20 years!  Her blog is FANTASTIC!)
Shellie at Layers of Thought
Steph at Steph Su Reads

Have a TERRIFAC day, everyone!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Here are the rules, and anyone can participate!

* Grab your current read

* Let the book fall open to a random page

* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page

*You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

* Please avoid spoilers!

"Claire, Bree, himself -- each time they had traveled, the span of time was the same:  two hundred and two years, close enough to the two hundred years of the ancient tales.  But Geillis Duncan had gone too far."  ~  An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

For more Teaser's go here.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Interview with Sarah Stonich author of The Ice Chorus

Hello everyone!  First of all I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Sarah for joining us today on Book Blab! 

The Ice Chorus is Sarah's second novel, her first novel, "These Granite Islands" was short-listed for France's prestigous Gran Prix de lectrices d'Elle, and sold 40,000 copies in the US alone.   The Ice Chorus has gotten rave reviews and has been re-released by ALMA books of England in paperback, and in the US in September of this year.  (You can read my review of The Ice Chorus here.)

LJ:   I'm always curious how long an author has taken to write any given novel. How long did Ice Chorus take, and were you in Ireland at the time of writing the book?

SS: I wrote this book rather quickly, in around 18 months – I had a deadline and a contract to deliver the book, so I had to move. I do better under deadline – nothing like a gun to the head. Right now I have a manuscript due in January, and only 130 pages. Wish me luck.

LJ:  Can you tell us a bit about the writing process for you? Some write in a straight line, others use an outline, some write in bits and pieces. Was it one peanut of an idea in the beginning? Or did you have the whole story mapped out before hand.

SS:  I have a notion of a story, but I don't write in a linear fashion – and my stories aren't told in a linear fashion either, so you can imagine the process is pretty organic. Also I go off on tangents and let the characters sort of drag me around, so I'm not always in control of the material and more often it has me. I write in bits and pieces and fits and starts and somehow it all coheres into a whole at the end, and believe it or not, I'm not sure how.

LJ:   Did you know from the beginning that you were not just writing a story about Liselle and Charlie but about different types of love that one can have for different people in thier life?

SS:  Any love affair – but particularly an extramarital affair - is rarely just about two people. They might be at the center of the web, but the reprucussions reverberate cross more heartstrings than their own. Also, I don't believe one can neatly compartmentalize love – that you have one sort of love for a friend and something completely distinct for a child or a parent – for even those loves change and grow and recede. Love's unpredictable at best, right?

LJ:   Your characters are very well defined. Each has a distinctive "voice" which many times is lacking in novels. Like Remy, for example, (my personal favourite), and Soibhan, and even down to the people that visited in the hardware store to chat with the camera. Would you say this is a learned talent, or something a writer either is born with or not.

SS:  If I'm going to spend months living with and writing a character, they might as well be interesting. Life is too short to spend around dull or uninspiring people - and books are even shorter. I wouldn't say writing three dimensional character is learned, or even a talent, maybe more like an instinct or the result of a long habit of observation – so when you say born with or not..? Maybe so.

LJ:  I love how you didn't portray the husband as the "bad" guy that deserved what he had coming. Can you tell us how you saw Stephen and what made you create him in the way that you did?

SS:  Seldom is one person at fault in the failure in a marriage. Again, three dimensional characters are believable characters and the good spouse/bad spouse notion is a little too simplistic. Besides, what would we think of Lise's character had she married a total shit? I wouldn't respect or relate to her, and I doubt a reader would. I saw Stephen as being close to the cusp – he was nearly a good match, but not quite, and not quite present enough for Lise. That said, I do not need for all my characters to be likable...I look forward to someday cooking up someone evil, awful or obnoxiosly saintly or pious – that might be fun.

LJ:   I read somewhere that you were a writer-in-residence at some point in the writing of this book, did you find this helped the writing process? Or hindered it.

SS:  I'm in a residency program or writers' colony about once a year – much different than being a writer-in-residence at a university, where you would have duties and students. I usually have a month of condensed writing time, so save up a lot of new material to get finished. It very much helps the process to immerse, step away from life and responsibilities of home and give the writing ultimate priority. I was recently at one for a month and one of my housemates dubbed it assisted living for writers.

LJ:  What would you say is one of the surprising things about being a published author? Something you didn't expect or really had no idea would happen?

SS:  Hands down, the most pleasant surprise in having work out there and available to read has been the feedback and responses I get from the readers. It's turned out to be quite a give and take proposition – I take them away or entertain or engage them for at least the time it takes to read a book, and they in turn make it all worth my while when they take the trouble to reach out and let me know I've touched them in some way, or that they related to a character. I was asked this in a recent interview and I responded by encouraging readers to write to writers, give feedback, even a wee customer review on Amazon or B&N or Goodreads, a comment on a blog – just a word. Think kipper tossed to a starving cat.

LJ:  ) And lastly, the cover... I'm a huge sucker for a georgous cover, and yours is beautiful. How did it come to be and did you have any say in the design of the book?

SS:  The jacket for the hardcover version of this book was so tragically bad and so misrepresented the story it killed sales and ruined the chances of the book succeeding. I made sure when I signed with my publisher Alma that this wouldn't happen again, that I would have some say. As it happened I chose the cover photograph and Alma designed around it. A collaboration – as it should be, and everybody's happy.

Once again, thank you SO MUCH, Sarah, for joining us today, and on behalf of myself and  all of the fans of your writing I can't WAIT for Vacationland to come out!  And we wish you great success with the rest of your writing career! 
For more information on this fantastic and extremely talented author, visit Sarah's website here.

And now FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!! 

In honor of Sarah generously agreeing to do an interview for Book Blab, I am giving away a brand new copy of THE ICE CHORUS which I will order from Amazon and it will ship from them directly to the lucky winner!!!  This contest is open to Canada and the U.S. only.

                                                  TO ENTER: 

  •  Leave a comment with your email address (1 entry)

  • Leave a seperate comment when you become a follower of my blog, or if you already are a follower. (2 entries)

  • Post about this giveaway on Twitter or in a blog post. (2 entries)

  • Link this giveaway in your sidebar (2 entries)
This contest will close on October 15th at 11:59pm, I will announce the winner on October 16th. 


Thursday, September 24, 2009


This is just a reminder for winner of "The Way Home" by Greg Pelecanos AMARYLISS to PLEASE contact me, or leave a comment (which I will not publish) with your mailing address.  I have sent 2 emails, but still have not heard from you. 

If I do not hear from you by Monday I will be forced to do another draw for another winner.

THANKS, and I hope to hear from you soon!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The Ice Chorus by Sarah Stonich

What happens when you are in your life, filling out the shape of it, and suddenly you see someone and you hear a voice inside your soul say, "Now here's someone."

Love has no rules.

It makes no sense.

It finds you.

Sarah Stonich's The Ice Chorus is a profoundly moving story of love, betrayal, hope, redemption and healing.  Lise's life has fallen apart.  Her marriage of 18 years to archeologist Stephen has crumbled, and soaring above all the mess is a painter named Charlie.  She met him while visiting Stephen on a dig in Mexico, and suddenly she heard it, that little but powerful voice inside her,  "Now here's someone."  

The story takes place in Ireland and, from her memory, in Mexico.  Stonich paints vivid pictures of both places, and her writing is poetic without being too much so.  It is not cliche, in my opinion, the characters are real and the dialogue is completely believable, as are the circumstances that surround the entire storyline.

If you like a good love story, then The Ice Chorus is for you.  But it's so much more than that.  It has layers of love.  The layers you find in your own life.  The love of a husband and wife, Mother and son, Father and daughter - friend.  The love of Remy and Margaret, two new friends and allies in Lise's  fight to heal herself from her own misery, is perhaps one of the most amazing of all.  Remy, who is such a real character, has written "pages" to his wife every single day of there 40 plus year marriage.  Poems, snippets of a song, words of love.

Hands gloved now in crepe of years,
Ease this rough brow
with silken care,
affix the buttons o'er my heart

 One of my favourite scenes in the book is when Lise (a documentary film maker) decides to film people in the Irish village she is living in.  She soon realizes that the story she is telling through her lens is simple - Love.  As in "What is.."  Remy encourages her to set up her camera in his hardware shop and record the various customers who wander in and out.  Instead of just straight dialogue or 'he said' or "she said", Stonich bookends dialogue with mannerisms, and moments that, to the reader, bring the characters alive.  

"Ah, bless you."  Kenny faces the camera.  "Now what's it you're after?"

Remy crosses his arms.  "How you met your bride."

Kenny rubs his forehead.  "Oh yeah, I should remember that, sure now.  How I met Theresa... how I met..."

Lise looks to Remy, now leaning over the register.  "Take your time, Kenny."

Kenny sits, crosses and uncrosses his legs three times.  "A course I remember.  The year, anyway.  That was 'fifty-five, I think.  Yup."  He leans forward, temples clamped between fists as if he might squeeze out the memory.  "Theresa.  She was my mother's Saturday girl, for the laundry and what-not.  She ironed a shirt for me to wear to a dance I was taking another girl to."  He seems pleased to have remembered, but his smile fades quickly.  "Theresa.  We had forty good years.  A great girl, yeah.. a great girl... Christ, Remy, have you a tissue on ya?"

Remy was my favourite character in that he was endearing and funny and a hopeless romantic beneath that rough irish exterior. A father figure to Lise, he was the anchor that held her fast as the seas of her choices raged about her.

By the end of the long day, word has swept the village and a few more people come around to offer their stories. Whether Remy's intended to or not Lise cannot know, but he's introduced her into the tight society of the village, person by person, story by story. Lise may be an outsider still, but perhaps less a stranger.

When he insists she sit down herself, Lise balks.
"How I met Stephen?"
"Nah, the other. The one."
"Oh." She sits and looks at her knees. When she tilts her chin up, Remy nods

While in the store, after many quick answers to "how did you meet your mate?", an old couple sits down and here is the exchange:

A middle-aged farm couple peer shyly from the aisle, hoping to slip out unnoticed, but Remy fetches another chair and steers them both to sit.  The wife speaks first. 
"We met at a church supper."
"No, Katie, it was a church jumble sale."
"It was a supper, love."
"Randall, you've not remembered one birthday or anniversary without being reminded in twenty-seven years, so how in Christ would you remember how we met!"  The woman goes shrill.  "I'm telling you now, it was a bleeding supper!"

Randall's neck goes the colour of a beet as he faces the lens.  "We met at a church supper."

It's this kind of thing that made Ice Chorus more than a love story.  It made me think, "What would I say about my love?"   It is also going to hit home to those of us of a "certain age" (cough), as in over 40.  If you are married, have children, and are 40 ish and have put your own life on hold to raise your family, then this book will really resonate with you.  Heck, you could be ANY age and relate to that!  I think that it also may start some healthy debate about morals and fidelity, and what it really means to love someone.

The Ice Chorus is Sarah Stonich's second novel, her first being "These Granite Islands" and she will soon be releasing "Vacationland". 

Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Sarah, as well as a giveaway of her book!  In support of this book I will actually be purchasing the book from Amazon and have the book directly shipped to the lucky winner! 

You can watch the trailer for The Ice Chorus below. 
RATING:  4/5

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly meme (and my personal favourite) hosted by Should Be Reading .  The rules are simple and anyone can play along.  You don't even have to have a book blog!  You can just leave your teaser in my comments.  And if you do have a blog, you can leave your link in my comments for everyone to enjoy! 

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here is my teaser for today!   

From:  The Ice Chorus by Sarah Stonich

Pointing to the plateau of the headlands, where the grass washed gold under the burst sky, she asked, "There.  Would you meet me there in a few months' time?"

They embraced, happily unaware, for the moment, that a few months would stretch to so many.

You can read more teasers here.

Monday, September 21, 2009


A HUGE thank you to Alyssa, Gregory and Jake at Teens Read and Write for this awesome award! 

I nominate:  Jessica at Book Lovers Diary
Jenny at Take me Away

And ALSO thanks to Jessica at Book Lovers Diary for: 

This award is designed with one purpose in mind. Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

And I pass this on to those who have generously sent me such beautiful cool awards in the past.

Jessica at Book Lovers Diary
Alyssa, Gregory and Jake at Teens Read and Write
Natalie at Book Inn
Liz at Booklover


This week, once again, I actually DID recieve some books in the mail!  And one package from Hachette was a total surprise!  Not only was I not expecting it, there was 4 books in there! 

The first one from the Hachette pile is Robert Ludlum's "Bourne Sanction".  I have never read any of the Bourne books, but not because I didn't want to.  I just never really thought about it!  Now I totally will! 

The next one from Hachette is "Dewey The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched te World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter.  This book has the cutest cover in the entire universe.  The story sounds so heartwarmlingly sweet, I think it would be a great book to give for Christmas.  I'll post a review when I read it.  It starts on the coldest night of the year when Dewey, only a few weeks old, is stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library in the town of the same name in the US.  "He was found the next morning by library director Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband.  Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks of love.  For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most. " (from the dust jacket)

Tell me that isn't the cutest most heart swelling story EVER. 

Also from Hachette is Larry King's biography entitled "My Remarkable Journey".  Not much to say about this one, other than I am curious how "remarkable" his "journey" will be to read.  But I digress.

This last one from Hachette sounds REALLY cool.  It's by Jacques Attali and it's called "A Brief History of the Future - a brave and controversial look at the twenty-first century".  From the dust jacket:  "In the international best seller, world renowned economist and political adviser Jacques Attali predicts how our world will look not only in the coming decades but a century from now.  Will there be global chaos, dominated by terrorists, pirates, dictators, devestating droughts, and rising floodwaters?  Or will the planet be blessed with peace, prosperity, and greater freedom for mankind.   While many unpredictable factors could change the course and timing of events, Attali argues that history flows in a single, stubborn direction that no upheaval, hoever momentous, can permanently deflect. 
I can't wait to read this one!

Here is a beautiful looking book that was sent to me by the author Sarah Stonich (THANK YOU, SARAH!)  She even sent a lovely hand written note inside, which is a very nice touch!  First of all, look at that cover.  Is that not georgous!  And the review line on the bottom of the cover is what really hits home for me, "Any woman who ever had her heart cracked open by a man should read The Ice Chorus."  Nuala O'Faolain.       I started it the other night and so far it takes place in Ireland!  And her writing style is beautiful! 

What's in YOUR mailbox this Monday??

Friday, September 18, 2009


Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

I have literally JUST finished this book about a minute and a half ago, and my overall impression is.. wow.  Now I wouldn't say it's "wow" as in "this is the best book I've ever read in my life", but I would say it as, once again, Maguire has managed to take us into the bizarro world of Oz and make us sort of like being there.  The Oz of Maguires stories is kind of like the movie "Brazil", if you get my meaning.  Everything is a bit twisted, and weird, and just slightly disturbing.  But all of the weirdly twisted disturbing-ness of this world is very subtle, and compelling.

 One of the reasons I love Maguire's work so much is his use of words.  His words are so wild and unusual I have no idea where he gets them from!  Even his character names are bizarre:  Oatsie Manglehand, Trism, Iskaanary, Chyde, etc.  And not just his names of characters, even names of places are weirdly cool like The Kells, and The Dissappointments.  I love the names of the "maunts" which, you can infer by context only, are nuns -  Sister Apothicaire, and Sister Doctor.  These two in particular provide some much appreciated comic relief in their shinannegans.  Also, there are animals and then there are Animals.  The Animals are intelligent talking creatures, where as the animals are just the ordinary non-talking-thinking types.   I will warn you, though, Gregory Maguire's work such as this is not for everybody!  It is challenging at times in his use of language, and not exactly "happy" or "light" reading.  I happen to love his use of weird words that, quite frankly, at times I have no idea what the heck he is referring to until later in the paragraph or chapter.  But his style is so unique, I feel like it must be appreciated!  But that's just ME. 
Here is an example of what I mean:  (the set up:  in search for his beloved childhood friend Nor, Liir is taken down to the Southstairs district below the streets of Oz)

They found the set of steps leading farther down.  Chyde asked for directions once or twice, and sent Jibbidee scampering to check the marks on buildings.  "This'll be it, I guess,"  he said.  "It's an Animal district, so you'll forgive the stench.  Hygiene isn't their strong suit, as you know." 

The air was so cold, though, with a wind whipping in from above that the smell seemed negligible.  At any rate, Liir was too excited to care.  He found himslef bobbing up and down, and once he nearly grabbed Chyde's hand to squeeze it.  So what that Shell was a bounder, that Lady Glinda was a glamorous airhead!  They've done something good; he'd gotten here.  He'd find her, his only peer and friendmate, his half-sister if that version of history was true-- the girl who befriended mice, and shared her gingerbread, and who had giggled at bedtime, even when threatened by spanking.  He would liberate Nor, and then--- and then----

I have sat down to read this book a half dozen times.  I just couldn't get past the opening images.  But had made this "deal" with myself that I wouldn't buy a book for a whole year (cough, cough) I decided it was time to read through the hundreds of books I already owned and this one was one of them.  So, with my new found ferver in tact I plowed ahead. 

The story begins with Oatsie Manglehand and her collegues on the road in a stage coach of sorts.  They come accross several bodies on the side of the road.  These happen to be maunts whose faces have been scraped.  (See what I mean?)  So, finally getting past this part after 4 years I was delighted to find that I was actually enjoying the story!  Oatsie and her band find another unfortunate laying on the side of the road and when they go to retrieve the badly beaten and bloody body they find him still breathing.  Barely.  They decide to take him to their overnight rest stop which just happens to be the Mauntery. 

At the time nobody knows who this unconscious stranger is, and he is left in the care of a young Quadling female named "Candle" who plays an instrument near him called a "domingon".   This is how we find out that the stranger is in fact Liir, the Wicked Witch of the West's "son" ( I use quotes here as we as readers and even Liir himself are not sure if he is in fact her son) from the first story, and the music penetrates his sleeping mind and transports us into his past and how he came to be lying on the side of the road. 

I really came to adore Liir.  His character is not unlike Elphaba (the wicked witch) in that I ended up having a lot of empathy for the guy.  He is extremely loyal, has his morals intact, and draped against the backdrop of  of the sometimes despicable creatures we encounter in Maguires novels, he comes off as almost a saint at times!  And standing witness to his struggles is very endearing.  He is just trying to figure out who he is, and how everyone assumes he is the witches son and assumes he has some of her powers.  In his inability to help the She-Elephant/Human we can see that he feels he has failed her and all of Oz, just by virtue of not knowing where he truly came from.  And last but not least, reading passages of his times with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion and their talk of the Wizard, makes me think about the movie and the original book and wonder, "Yeah!  What IS the deal with the wizard hiding behind that curtain! What a scam artist!" 

As I said before, Son of a Witch is not for everybody, and some people (like Wicked) will either love it or hate it.  I for one loved it.  And it will go on my shelf of favourite books in my office.  I cannot WAIT to read the next one in the trilogy, "A Lion Among Men".  For those of you that have already read Son of a Witch  or end up reading it, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the book!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Okay, seriously, Chapters? ... We need to talk...

Tonight while browsing.  And then shortly thereafter buying... THIS:


Here are the winners for the Hachette Book Group giveaway of George Pelecanos "The Way Home"
(drumroll please!)
The winners were chosen using RANDOM.ORG and have also been notified via email.  Please contact me with your mailing address as soon as possible so I can forward them to Hachette and you can get your book! 
CONGRATS again, and a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated!!! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My teaser this Tuesday is from  "Son of a Witch" by Gregory Maguire. 
"Oh, Toto!"  Shrieked Dorothy suddenly.  "Where's Toto?"
"He's wandered off to do his business," said the Lion. "Just between you and me, it's about time he learned to be private about it.  I know you dote on him, but there is a limit." 
Now THAT'S funny. 

Monday, September 14, 2009


A big thank you to The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday.  "Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists."  ~ The Printed Page

I actually have books that came in the mail last week!!  WOOOOT!!!  I would like to thank Hachette Books for sending me my own review copy of my giveaway "The Way Home" by George Pelecanos (deadline for entering to win one of 5 copies is tomorrow!!!)  It looks like a good one! 
Also, thanks to Little Brown and Company for a review copy of "The Murder of King Tut" by James Patterson! 

And last but by no means least a huge thank you to the publishers of Susan Higginbotham's book Hugh and Bess!  I can't wait to read this one! 

Have a great day!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Today my eldest is having a playdate, so I'm not sure how much reading time I will get in when my youngest has her nap.  For some weird reason I was just not that into reading this week.  I'm not sure what that was, I just couldn't concentrate.  I DID read, but not as much as I normally did.  Instead during my designated reading time everyday I knitted and watched DVD's of Everybody Loves Raymond.  This is one of my favourite things to do, and it just puts me in the loveliest state of domestic bliss!

Since our family reading club started we've all discovered that the reading schedule is much to slow.   We were only reading 60 pages every two weeks, but I found that I could read that in a flippin' day, EASILY.  And my other family members were saying that they were not wanting to go too far ahead because they would forget the book by the time the dinner meeting came.  I was so relieved to hear this, and I'm now going to set it so that we read double that if not more.  The book is "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden and it is only 394 pages long, so it really should only take an average reader a couple of weeks, maybe three.  The book is great, and it is written beautifully and ties in flashback with present day very very well.  I'll review it when I'm done!

Son of a Witch I am still loving, although I have not been reading that one as much.  I am focusing my reading efforts on "A Breath of Snow And Ashes" by Diana Gabaldon as her new book comes out in 9 days and I am trying to finish my re-read before then because as IF I am not going to be standing at the check out with Echo in my hot little hands as soon as Chapters opens on the 22nd!!! 

Have a WONDERFUL Sunday, and here's to a terrifac week!!!

You can read more Sunday Salons here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The ABC's of me...

I was tagged by my good friend Alyssa at Teens Read and Write

Available or in-a-relationship? Married

Best Friend? Carole

Cake or Pie? Cake... TOTALLY.

Drink of choice? Alcoholic?  white wine  non?  rootbeer

Essential item for every day use?  My wall calendar

Favorite color? don't have one

Google?  Love.

Hometown?  Calgary, Alberta  YEE HAW!

Indulgences? Chips, ripple, usually Lay's.

January or February? February, my anniversary and hubby's birthday!

Kids and their names? Two girls:  Ellie and Ayana

Life is incomplete without…? Family, books, knitting, holidays.

Marriage date? Feb. 12, 1997

Number of siblings? Two.

Oranges or apples? Apples

Phobias and fears? Something happening to my kids.   Claustrophobia.

Quote for the day? Carpe Diem.  Like it's your last diem.

Reason to smile? My girls, and my hilarious albiet sometime irritatingly funny husband.

Season? FALL!!

Tag 3 people and anyone else who would like to play.!



Unknown fact about me? I work in the film business.  And the most famous person I had the good fortune to get to know was Brad Pitt on Assassination of Jesse James.  And yes I got to know him and his family very well.  True story.

Vegetable you hate? Turnips or parsnips.  Anything with an "ip" on the end.  Yuck.

Worst habit? procrastinating.

X-rays you’ve had? are you kidding me?  tons.

Your fave food? any kind of comfort food.

Zodiac sign? Taurus

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

REVIEW: THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2006 Vintage Books

As I think I have mentioned before there are only a very small hand full of books that has made me cry, and The Road is one of them.  And we're not talking just "cry", we are talking THE UGLY CRY, I mean a real boo-hoo fest.  Even just thinking about this book makes my eyes well up!  I will not see the movie as this is my number two favourite book of all time (Anna Karenina being #1), and I do not want my memory of it diluted or tainted in any way.  I don't care how great the movie was. 

"The Road"  follows a man and his 7 year old son in a post apocolyptic world somewhere in North America.  This premise is enough to grab the reader right there.  But this story is so much more than that.  This is a Love Story between a father and son, and when I read it my own daughter was 6 years old and it just hit me hard right in the heart.  Took my breath away.  Kept me up at night.  It was devestatingly beautiful, heartbreaking, and I am so profoundly glad I read it. 

Another reason I loved it is because of McCarthy's writing style.  I believe it is a common theme in many of his books, but this was the first book I have read of his and so it struck me even more vividly.  The dialogue is, most of the time, not prefaced by "he said" "she said", instead it is just THERE on the page, and so brilliantly written that although you are not handheld into who is saying what, it is not necessary as each characters voice and vision is so strong you will have no trouble following along.  Here's what I mean, this is the very first bit of dialogue in the book, it is between the father and his much beloved son:

He was a long time going to sleep.  After a while he turned and looked at the man.  His face in the small light streaked with black from the rain like some old world thespian.  Can I ask you something? he said.
     Yes. Of course
     Are we going to die?
     Sometime.  Not now.
     And we're still going south.
     So we'll be warm.
     Okay, what?
     Nothing. Just okay.
     Go to sleep.
     I'm going to blow out the lamp.  Is that okay?
     Yes. That's okay.
     And then later in the darkness:  Can I ask you something ?
     Yes.  Of course you can.
     What would you do if I died?
     If you died I would want to die too.
     So you could be with me?
     Yes.  So I could be with you.

Even as I typed the above scene I find I am moved to tears.  There are scenes in this novel that are beautiful and some that are so disturbing  I will never get those images out of my head.  But what McCarthy does do is paints a very realistic picture of what the world would look like after a massive catastrophy like a nuclear war.  It is at once a chilling account, and a moving powerful story of the love of between a parent and their child.  I am not summarizing the story here, (I often do not do that in my reviews) because I think a person should go into this book fresh with just the basic premise, that way you will enjoy it so much more.  But that is just my opinion!   I am like that when I read other reviews as well, I usually skip over the summary as I want to read a book with only knowing the bare minimum.  But here is the link to the book on so you can read for yourself more detail if you like. 

RATING:  5/5

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Del publishing 1991

I thought it might be fun, since Diana's latest book in the Outander series is coming out in 2 weeks, to do a review of the 6 books leading up to the next one. 

Outlander is the very first in the series, and it also happens to be my favourite.  Most people (my husband included) would dismiss Gabaldon's work as "chick lit".  And though there admittedly is quite a bit of romping and manly highlanders in the mix, it is really  very rich, detailed historical fiction at its best.  This is, by far, my number one source for the ultimate in escape reading.  You feel as though you could actually live in DG's world.   For the past 8 years, there has never a week that has gone by that Jamie and Claire have not been a part of.  I am always reading a book from this series.  It is intelligent writing, it is manly enough that even many men have read and enjoyed it! 

The story begins in 1945 just after the war, where Claire is on holiday in Scotland with her husband Frank.  Theirs is a relatively happy marriage, as in it is not completely UNHAPPY.  Claire decides to take an early morning walk and stumbles accross a set of standing stones, not unlike Stonehenge but much smaller.  When she touches the stones she hears a deafening noise and feels as though she is being torn to pieces.  Badly disoriented she comes to on the ground and in the same place but something is eerily different.  Suddenly, without warning, a band of weirdly dressed men come upon her and demand to know who the hell she is.  And she replies with one of my favourite lines from the entire series with, "I'm Claire Beauchamp.  Who the hell are YOU?"  It does not take long for Claire to realize that she has some how been transported back in time to the 1700's in Scotland and that's where everything gets very interesting.  She meets a young Highland warrior named Jamie, and through no fault of their own they are thrust together in what will prove to be one of the greatest love stories ever told in literature (okay, this is just MY humble opinion.  ;) ) . 

The Outlander series is a fantastic read for anyone who has ever been in love, wants to be in love, or especially (as in my case) anyone who has been married for a long time.   On the pages of this beloved book are tests of the heart, soul and love that you will find yourself swooning all over the place.  And it will keep you turning its pages long into the night.  Will she be able to go back?  What about Frank?  What about Jamie?  WHAT THE HECK IS GOING TO HAPPEN???!!!!

If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would!!  Pick up your copy TODAY.

RATING:  5/5

Sunday, September 6, 2009


What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

This week was not the best week for reading, per se.  Every day I thought about reading, and I did actually read EVERY day, but I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.  The new additions to my reading list at the moment was our Family Book Club's selection "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden.  Our official start date was Sept 1st, and I have created a reasonable reading schedule for everyone and even made a bookmark with the deadlines on there to keep everyone on track.  The only thing is, this book is SO GOOD that it is VERY difficult to stick to the 60 pages every TWO WEEKS!  But for a couple of people in our club they only tend to read a few pages a night, so we wanted to make sure that everyone could in fact get the book done by the deadline.  We could plough ahead if we wanted to, but my fear is that if I finished the book too far ahead of our meeting on November 28th that I would have forgotten about the story and wouldn't be as involved in the discussion.  I am thoroughly enjoying it, though! 

The other book I picked up this week is "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  So far I really like it, I adore the main characters and it is a very fast read.  Although it is a thickish book, the text on the page is large and therefore you can get through the book pretty fast.  Plus the story is grabbing and you get into it right away. 

I was at the book store (like I said) the other day and had a look at "Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire".  They look FANTASTIC!  And it was all I could do to not buy them.  SERIOUSLY.  The buzz in the book blog world about these books is off the charts, and this morning my beloved Book and Arts section in our local paper had a huge write up about them and the author.  Soooo, this week I may have to step into a Chapters and see if they fly into my hand and to the cash register.  And like most other book addicts out there, yes I DO hide my bags, and have been doing that for YEARS.  Like an alcoholic and liquor bottles, but it's BOOKS so it's OKAY... right?  RIGHT???!!!!!!  

This is a long weekend in Calgary, and we have been doing not much else other than hanging around at home.  It is very cool out today and I got very excited by the idea that maybe I could actually wear a SWEATER.  But alas, it is not quite THAT cool.  I am a HUGE fan of fall.  It is hands down my FAVOURITE season.  The leaves, going back to school, the cooler temps, sweaters, you know... the whole thing.  LOVE.

Have a WONDERFUL rest of your weekend everybody!!!!


I have sent you an email as well, please email me your mailing address so I can mail you your prize!  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone that entered!

Friday, September 4, 2009

REVIEW: THE LEGACY OF LUNA by Julia Butterfly Hill

(I apologize for the format of this post, blogger was giving me issues this AM and for some reason is not putting my paragraph breaks in.. grrrr!)

The Legacy of Luna
by Julia Butterfly Hill
Harper Collins c. 2000

What would you do to save the life of one tree?  When Julia Butterfly Hill climbed the branches of Luna, an enormous redwood in Northern California, she had one mission in mind... save Luna.  Little did Hill know that that single act would sear her into the pages of environmentalist history.  She would spend a total of 738 days living on Luna, her feet not touching earth for over 2 years.  All for the life of this one incredible organism and even more for the strong message the saving of this one tree conveyed.  But this story is so much more than that.  It is not a "tree hugging"  angry memoir, but rather an uplifting journey into the human spirit and a journey into Hill's very soul and we stand as witness to her incredible metamorphisis.

When I almost died in that mother of all storms, my fear of dying died, too.  Letting go of that freed me, like the butterfly frees itself of its cocoon.  I began to live day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath, and prayer by prayer.  Before I knew it, I had reached the hundred-day mark I swore I would never see.
The Legacy of Luna begins with Julia's brush with death in an automobile accident, and her year long stay in the hospital.  Upon release she stumbles upon this section of the redwood forest and there she finds out about how environmentalists are living atop this enormous redwood named Luna.  She decides without much preamble to take her turn in the sky, tree sitting among Luna's branches and living on the teeny tiny platform which was barely enough room for one, but would, at times, accomodate three people and their supplies.  Thinking she would only tree-sit for a few weeks, she begins to get reports that the millionaire logging company is not backing down on its plan for hacking down all of the hundreds of years old trees in the area, including the ancient and beautiful one Hill was living in.  Despite incredible physical pain, hardship, winter, little food, Hill perserveres and begins to understand how we are all connected not just as human beings, but as all living things on this earth. 

One thing about this book, is you will be inspired to do more. While living in Luna, Hill takes recycling to a whole other level. It is fascinating to read how ingenuitive tree-sitters must be with scant supplies.  It makes you look at how you live your own life and the often times incredible needless waste we accumulate day after day.

 This book came out before "greening" our world became the "thing" to do, before Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and before we found out that we must indeed to something, or we will quickly hit the point of no return for our beloved planet.  That's why, perhaps, this book was so powerful for me back then.  There was little in the maintream media at the time about such things.  And I had never heard of a woman actually LIVING IN A TREE FOR 2 YEARS!  Hill did, and her story will have you intrigued and flipping pages, even amongst, at times, her very new age take of life as we know it.
RATING:  3/5

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

THE WINNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!!!!!  I will email you all shortly, and then as soon as possible please reply with your mailing address so I can forward it to the publisher and have John's book on it's way to your mailbox!!!!!! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Somebody stop me...

So, every Tuesday my 9 year old daughter goes to piano lessons.  It takes awhile.  So instead of trying to entertain my 2 year old daughter in the car, I usually take her to Chapters.  Here's the thing.

I have a lot of books.

I really have no business buying anymore books at the moment.

But this is what I found in my hand when I got back to my car.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…
  • Please avoid spoilers!
Here is my teaser:

In the end the answer is simple.  Elijah has learned to take pleasure in killing.

~ Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
For more Teaser Tuesdays click here.