Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lady Parts by Andrea Martin

Lady Parts
by Andrea Martin
ISBN: 978-1-44340-939-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: Whether lighting up the small screen, stealing scenes on the big screen or starring on the stage, Andrea Martin has long entertained Canadians with her hilarious characterizations and heartwarming performances. An important player in SCTV, the funniest show ever to come out of Canada, Martin helped change the face of television by introducing us to a host of characters, including the indomitable Edith Prickley. Martin has worked stages, sets and even trapezes across North America, playing to houses packed with adoring fans, all of whom instantly recognize the star who has entertained us for nearly forty years.

In Lady Parts, Martin, for the first time, shares her fondest remembrances of a life in show business, motherhood, relationships, no relationships, family, chimps in tutus, squirrels, and why she flies to Atlanta to get her hair cut. Martin opens up her heart in a series of eclectic, human, always entertaining and often moving essays. Lady Parts will make you giggle and may make you cry-a powerful collection of stories by a woman with a truly storied life

The Good Stuff
  • I had to request this one as I have been told all my life that I look like her (Even Gordon Pinsent)  and well quite frankly I grew up on SCTV
  • Such a beautiful, honest, open and bloody hilarious memoir
  • Excellent choice with title, but Fake Beaver and Perky Tits would have been wonderful titles as well, though might be hard to market in a family bookstore
  • After reading her memoir I even feel more close to her.  Especially the parenting aspects and the low self esteem about ones body
  • Enjoyed the story of her first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
  • Silly I know but it made me happy when she mentioned Nora Short, who went to nursing school with my mom
  • I admire her openness about talking about her battle with Bulimia, that takes courage my twin
  • Balled my eyes out when she begs forgiveness from her children about not being present while fighting her battle with Bulimia - That is very open and I believe helpful those that might be still fighting this battle
  • The story about Snow Whites inner thoughts - priceless
  • She loves Libraries
  • The chapter on Old Lady Parts is worth the price of the book alone (and I totally understand)
  • Truly did make me laugh and cry.  
  • Perfect for fans of Andrea, but as well as any women over the age of 30 (Younger women too, but they aren't going to get some things like us old broads)

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Totally flabbergasted that I didn't know she was an American (shocked I tell you, shocked) I's ok I still love you though 

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I had no conception of what I looked like. I had always  adapted to what other people wanted me to be. Without their input my face was a blank canvas."

"I will still camp out on Toronto mayor Rob Ford's front lawn if he brings up the ludicrous and decadent idea of closing libraries again."

"Recently, I accepted the invitation to write a monthly humour column for ParentsCanada magazine. What was I thinking? I don't remember my kids' names, never mind the way I parented them nearly thirty years ago. Except hat I was anxious all the time. Worried that I was not doing it right, whatever "Doing it right| is supposed to mean."

4.75 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review - Thanks Cory!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

So, Anyway by John Cleese

So, Anyway
by John Cleese
Doubleday Canada (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-385-68024-0
Buy from Indigo

Description: Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend. En route, John Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public appearance, at St Peter’s Preparatory School at the age of eight and five-sixths; his endlessly peripatetic home life with parents who seemed incapable of staying in any house for longer than six months; his first experiences in the world of work as a teacher who knew nothing about the subjects he was expected to teach; his hamster-owning days at Cambridge; and his first encounter with the man who would be his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python.

Punctuated from time to time with John Cleese’s thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and waterskiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a former schoolmaster.

The Good Stuff
  •  It's written by John Cleese - need I say more (Grew up with British Television loving parents so I was introduced quite early to the brilliance of Cleese and his mates)
  •  Just thoroughly enjoyed his candor with the fact that he was writing his book his way and just didn't give a fuck what anyone thought.  He just shares his thoughts and his experiences and doesn't mince words
  •  Enjoyed his reasoning for including some of the skits in the book and his reasoning is hilarious (oh and so are the skits)
  • I feel a connection with him based on the fact that I also detest know-it-alls (See pg 26). 
  • I enjoyed his commentary on the British Press and very much appreciated his candor
  • Loved the story about Geoffrey Tolson and the instance which led to the creation of  the beginning of the  sex lesson scene in The Meaning of Life.
  • Fascinating paragraphs on the description of humour
  • Ok its silly I know but I really enjoyed his commentary on Canadians
  • Loved how he described Graham Chapman's coming out and the conversation between Pippa and Cleese about Graham coming out  - wonderful stuff and quite worth the price of the book
  • Thought he quite eloquently expressed the difficulty as a celebrity in dealing with request for autographs, charity, etc.  And how he has dealt with it.   (See pages 320-322)
  • As a fan of many British actors, I enjoyed hearing stories about Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Felman, Peter Cook etc
  • Learned that he was French-kissed on  camera by Tim Curry (Check it out - Damn I wish Tim Curry had written a biography
  • I finally understood that Cleese is a writer who performed, not the other way around

The Not So Good
  • Far more serious than I expected. Not really a bad thing, more of a heads up
  • I wanted more stories about his time working on the Monty Python movies and a Fish Called Wanda
  • A little too much psychology for me, but again, not a bad thing just a heads up and it is his book so he can talk about whatever he wants to

Favorite Quotes/Passages (Sorry so many to choose from, I just didn't)

"I think Dad was secretly proud of his Jewish connections; in an age where there was so much prejudice, he did what he could to work against it, although hew was prepared (with Mother) to make an exception of the Welsh. This is a well-established West Country trait, and rooting it out will take may generations I fear."

"BRITISH JOURNALISTS tend to believe that people who become good at something do so because they seek fame and fortune. This is because these are the sole motives of people who become British journalists. But some people, operating at higher levels of mental health, pursue activities because they actually love them."

"A good sense of humour is the sign of a  healthy perspective, which is why people who are uncomfortable around humour are either pompous (inflated) or neurotic (oversensitive)"

"It's just a shame that for seven months of the year it's so cold that only Canadians would put up with it."

"Nowadays I have a simple rule: you can ask me anything you like, provided I can say "No"."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny

Kissing Frogs
by Alisha Sevigny
Fierce Ink Press
Buy from Fierce Ink Press (For PB version, also available in other formats)

Description: Finding Prince Charming sure is hard work
Popular high school senior Jessica Stone has a secret: she used to be a nerd — a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ kind of nerd. But she gave herself the ultimate makeover and applied all her academic genius to study and imitate the social elite and now she rules the school. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach — and that’s where she’s headed for spring break. That is, until her biology teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing and her only chance to make up the grade is to join the conservation club in Panama to save the golden frog.
Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, including a ghost from her past that could threaten her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving her lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three non-dates. The last thing Jess wants to do is be around him any more than she has to, but she’s desperate to keep him quiet and agrees. Soon she begins to realize the worth of her inner nerd, and that one frog in particular could be her prince in disguise.
Set in the lush and tropical El Valle de Anton, Kissing Frogs is a smart and funny re-imagining of “The Frog Prince” with an environmental heartbeat.
Rated E - Everyone over ten: Content is suitable for everyone but may contain mild violence and language and minimal suggestive themes.
The Good Stuff
  •  Author has a fabulous understanding of the teen world with all its bumps and drama
  • Excellent character development
  • Reminded me of being that age and wanting to be someone different than you are
  • Beautiful setting and lots of interesting information about environmental issues done in a non preachy way
  • Laugh out loud dialogue at times
  • Excellent for reluctant readers
  • Sweetly romantic
  • Adorable Golden Frogs
  • Well written secondary characters, which is something many writers forget to do is flesh out their secondary characters
 The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Not really a bad thing, but I felt too old to really appreciate the story. So thinking that could be a good thing as I am not the intended audience
  • Would have liked more back story
 Favorite Quotes/Passages

"There's something jarring about seeing your teacher half-naked. He's pretty white. I hope he's wearing a high SPF."

"Oh." I flush. Dora and Boots will only get me so far here."

"There happens to be this fabulous invention called Google." I retort, wiping the water dribbling down my chin. "In fact, you're there under the search term 'annoying-know-it-all'"

3.75/5 Dewey's

I received this from Fierce Ink Press in exchange for an honest review 

Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Sociology and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and current Social Media and Communications Director for an award-winning English school. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a recent trip to Panama with their new daughter, Alisha fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog. She was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, Kissing Frogs. Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.

Blog Tour

Nov 4 YA Book Shelf (review)
Nov 5 Cozy Up With a Good Read (review)
Nov 6 YA Book Shelf (Q&A)
Nov 8 Jess’s Book Blog (review)
Nov 9 A Portia Adams Adventure (review)
Nov 10 Canlit for Little Canadians (review)
Nov 11 Canlit for Little Canadians (guest post)
Nov 12 Book Drunkard (review)
Nov 13 Writing on Writing (review)
Nov 14 Feisty Little Woman (review)
Nov 15 A Portia Adams Adventure (Q&A)
Nov 17 Misbehavin’ Librarian (review)
Nov 18 YA Book Shelf (guest post)
Nov 19 Escape Through the Pages (guest post)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea by Alan Doyle

Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea
by Alan Doyle
Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-385-68036-3
Buy from Indigo

Description: From the lead singer of the band Great Big Sea comes a lyrical and captivating musical memoir about growing up in the tiny fishing village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and then taking to the world stage.
     Singer-songwriter and front man of the great Canadian band Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle is also a lyrical storyteller and a creative force. In Where I Belong, Alan paints a vivid, raucous and heartwarming portrait of a curious young lad born into the small coastal fishing community of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and destined to become a renowned musician who carried the musical tradition of generations before him and brought his signature sound to the world. He tells of a childhood surrounded by larger-than-life characters who made an indelible impression on his music and work; of his first job on the wharf cutting out cod tongues for fishermen; of growing up in a family of five in a two-bedroom house with a beef-bucket as a toilet, yet lacking nothing; of learning at his father's knee how to sing the story of a song and learning from his mother how to simply "be good"; and finally, of how everything he ever learned as a kid prepared him for that pivotal moment when he became part of Great Big Sea and sailed away on what would be the greatest musical adventure of his life.
     Filled with the lore and traditions of the East Coast and told in a voice that is at once captivating and refreshingly candid, this is a narrative journey about small-town life, curiosity and creative fulfillment, and finally, about leaving everything you know behind only to learn that no matter where you go, home will always be with you

The Good Stuff
  • A wonderful and charming memoir of a talented (ok and handsome, totally had a crush on him for years -- till Fillion and Tennant came along) humble musician growing up in small town in Newfoundland.  The man is a born storyteller, which for those who are fans of his work, will not be surprised.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed where Alan and his mother have a discussion on the recipe for her homemade bread.  Reminds me of all the times I would ask my neighbor to write down her recipes, it never happened
  •  His tales of the dinner table are so very similar to ones I heard from my husband
  • Don't get me started on the chapter about the family bathroom.  I laughed so  hard, I had tears running down my face.
  •  As a fan of GBS, I never realized the Janie mentioned in Ordinary Day was Jann Arden.   Interesting to hear how Ordinary Day came into being.  Still one of my favorite songs by them, and like so many others, when I am having a crappy day that song always gets me out of my funk.
  •  As a gal raised with very little religion  (and in a bigger town, where I don't remember any kind of mentions of the difference between Catholics and Protestants) , I was fascinated by the religious divide between these two faiths (I know I'm a heathen, but to me they both believe in God -- so what's the problem here folks, thought God was about love and acceptance)
  • I felt very nostalgic when he talks about the kitchen parties.   My fondest memories of my childhood are when my Dad's side of the family came over for a party.  All the male members of the Porter clan have the most beautiful voices (unfortunately for me and my sister, we did not inherit this and we both sound like cats dying when we sing - never stopped me from singing along though) and we would hang out in the kitchen while my Uncles and Cousins strummed their guitars and sang.  Guess that's why when I first heard a GBS song, it made me feel like I was home.
  • I appreciate and agree with his commentary on organized religions. 
  • Felt like I was hanging out with a good friend telling stories of his youth. Sometimes the stories would make me laugh out loud and at other times made me cry and want to give him a hug. 
  • Delightful glossary of terms 
  • Book is even better if you read while listening to his solo album, Boy On Bridge

The Not So Good Stuff
  •  Hoping he will write a second book, as I want to know more about life on the road with Great Big Sea
  • Spent days singing Ordinary Day - and trust me that was torture for so many people as I just can't sing worth a damn
  • Nooooo he's a Habs fan - why oh why ; ) Ah well, married to one of those, so I can let it go
  • Now having fantasies about this man singing to me -- hmmm new bucket list item. Have attractive man sing a song to me. Might have to let that one go
  • Have had a serious craving for homemade bread - ok lets post this review so I can try to make some (FYI - pals, don't drop by for a while, this could get messy)

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"This has always been my mother's pearl of wisdom, a single piece of advice she offers just about every time someone walks out the door or every time she ends a phone call. It's one of the most brilliant pieces of advice I've ever heard: Be good. Be good to people."

"We even got to play for a few dances in St. Paul's church basement, which meant playing for Protestant girls. And according to my grandmother, these girls were all scandalous whores who were on the pill, girls who were constantly having sex with just about everyone. You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered for myself that these gals were no more willing to make out with a guy like me than the Catholic gals at my own school."

"That's how parties went. That's what my folks did.  People came over to our house, we sat around the kitchen  or the piano and we sang songs.  It wasn't a party unless someone was singing a song.  We didn't have a big stereo or many records. Music was homemade."

"So, I restate my place in the world as a religious free agent with more questions than answers."

"Don't be afraid of tough guys. You need them and they need you. Let them have their moments in charge if it buys you order and civility where there might be madness.

4.75 Dewey's

I received a copy from Random House in exchange for an honest review. Also won a signed copy - which I will get him to personalize when I meet him next week at Chapters Chinook!!! And will try not to go all fan girl on him or beg him to sing me a song

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Choose Your Own Autobiography
by Neil Patrick Harris
ISBN: 978-0-385-34699-3
Random House
Buy from Indigo

Description: Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?

Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

The Good Stuff
  • This autobiography is -- legen - wait for it--  dary (Yes you know I would have to go there)
  • The most unique way of presenting an autobiography I have ever seen and lets face it, only this multi talented could pull it off so wonderfully
  • Not at all relevant to the review, but I met him at BEA and he is so handsome and sooo charming & he shook my hand -- yes I feel sort of special right now LOL!
  • Touching, honest and utterly perfect.  He is definitely a class act. Even when being negative about someone it is done in a classy honest way
  • Will make you snort out with laughter
  • His mom. Love where they talk about NPH maybe being gay
  • Found a connection to him - yup we are both boring crappy drunks LOL!  I had to pretend to be drunk a lot Neil in High School and College because booze just makes me sleepy
  • Yeah, there is a chapter written by Nathan Fillion
  • He is also a huge fan of anything Whedon and learned that he actually auditioned for a role in Firefly
  • Chapter on how David him became parents is hilarious
  • There are magic tricks and recipes
  • I always appreciated his thoughts on his gayness. I'm gay, who gives a fuck.  Some people are straight and some  people are gay end of story.

The  Not So Good Stuff
  • Try reading it like a normal book and you will find yourself going -- huh
  • Wanted more pictures
  • I really feel bad about never having watched Doogie.  Saw commercials so knew about it but NPH will never be Doogie to me.  Feel sorta bereft now. My first introduction to him really was Harold and Kuman go to White Castle

Favorite Quotes/Passages

 "But  moms are moms, and later in life she will tell you that deep down she always had a strong suspicion*"
"* You almost had to have a board slapped against your head not to know he was interested in men, not women - Your Mother January 21, 2014"

"But at the same time you're not shouting "I'm Gay" into a megaphone from the middle of West Hollywood either. And why should you? There's a great deal of immodesty in assuming the entire world is desperate to know who and what you stick your wang into. You yourself aren't particularly interested most of the time.  And you' are not, by temperament, an activist. Despite you love for Les Miz, flag -waiving on the barricaded is not your style in real life."

"You're shown the set and the lights and the costumes and learn another various the the same basic lesson about showbiz  you will learn over and over again - it's all fundamentally just a bunch of crap glued together and spray-painted over. But the wonderful paradox is that knowing this does not distract from the experience."

5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
By William J. Mann
ISBN: 978-0-06-2242167
Buy from Indigo

Description: By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.

In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.

A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.

The Good Stuff
  • Reads like fiction. Forgot on many occasions that I was reading non-fiction
  • Absolutely fascinating, hooked me in with the first chapter. Author really knows how to set a scene
  • Henry Peavey sounded like he was a delightful and colourful man
  • Interesting to find out about the scandal involving Fatty Arbuckle. I knew a little about it from stories from my Dad, but had no idea what really had happened. Poor bastard.
  • I know, I know, but I am still flabbergasted at the Anti-antisemitism against the Jews in Hollywood - especially by so called christian people who went to church every sunday but thought Jews were evil - still blows me away
  • Made me very interested in reading more about Hays
  • Extremely thorough and well researched
  • Fascinating exploration of the decadence of Hollywood in the Twenties

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Not sure if the finished copy (I received an ARC) has pictures, but if not, this would be a lovely addition
  • My lord, Mary's mother was a truly horrific women - cannot believe the scene in which she forces her daughter to have an abortion - worse than many evil fictional characters
  • Ummm tagline says murder was solved until now- well technically it is not solved, this is just a theory (This is the reason I lowered the rating on the book)

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"The affair had started as a lark, full of fun and laughs, but it had ended up wrecking Mabel's health and depleting her bank account--the way romances with cocaine usually ended."

"The only part of his religious education that had ever interested the future moviemaker was the Bible itself, because it was a primer in how to tell good stories."

"Zukor knew that bringing on Hays wouldn't completely silence bigots like Ford, but it would deprive them of one of their most potent, and loathsome, rallying cries. The leader of the movies would no longer be a Jewish infidel, but a Christian elder."

3.25 Dewey's

I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Visions (Cainsville #2)
by Kelley Armstrong
RandomHouse Canada
ISBN: 9780525953050
Buy from Indigo

Description: Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

The Good Stuff
  • Once again Kelley Armstrong proves that she is a born storyteller with the second installment of this unique series
  • Story is fast paces and fascinating. Enjoyed it even more than Omens
  • Sexy biker boy
  • Love Gabriel, even-though he is not the usual type of character I enjoy.  Great background information on him in this installment.  He really grows on you as Amrstrong gives you more little tidbits about him
  • It has fey aspects and I still enjoy it -  see the power of a born storyteller is that they keep you hooked even if it isn't your type of thing.  Only one other author can get me reading Fey stories and that is also a Canadian author by the name of Lesley Livingston
  • Love Rose - sorta wish she was real
  • Loved the dark humour
  • The relationship between Olivia and Gabriel and their dialogue is positively brilliant at times
  • A few questions were answered but it led to more questions which leaves you happy, yet intrigued about what is going to happen next
  • Didn't figure out a major plot point ahead of time, so I gasped a little
  • Love how strong Olivia is (eventhough she did the odd stupid thing).  Armstrong also has a gift for creating strong women.  Hmm wonder what Kelley Armstrong and Joss Whedon could do together

The Not So Good Stuff
  • How long do I have to wait till the next book comes out

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Gabriel discourages emotional attachments the way most of us discourage door-to-door salesmen."

"And I was still dressed in only my bra and panties.
Well, at least it's a nice set of bra and panties.
Yep, these were the thoughts going through my brain as i looked at a  photo of a decapitated head on my bed.' 

"I've spent my life feeling like a cuckoo raised by robins. I grew up pretending to fit into my mother's world, and the whole time I felt suffocated. Then I went to Cainsville, and everything changed. I met people who know who i am and don't give a shit. Who don't expect me to be anything other than what I am."

"How do you have a personal relationship with someone who thinks that way? You just do. You accept it, and you understand it, and you don't take offense, because none is intended. You read actions and ignore words."

5 Dewey's

I received this from RandomHouse in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HarperCollins Fall Book Preview

As I have mentioned before one of the best benefits of working for Chapter's (Indigo) is that we get to attend presentations from publishers on their Fall Picks.

The highlight of these for me are the HarperCollins Fall Presentations.  I not only get to hear about some exciting new books, I also get to see two of my favorite people in the publishing industry, Cory and Shannon.

The presentation was informative, inspiring and funny.  Which is totally impressive since Cory had been in Ireland the night before, and Shannon had been awake since 2am.  HarperCollins bosses, these are two dedicated employees, I'm thinking big raises.  Oh yeah and extremely helpful as
I can't and don't want to read every book out there.  And I want to be able to help each and every one of my customers to get the right book for them.

They also brought in the talented author Thomas King to talk to us and we each received a copy of his latest novel, The Back of the Turtle and SIGNED each of our copies.  He was extremely charming, witty and now I totally need to read everything by him now.  Also Mr King, I would really like to read a story of what happened to that asshole that ran over the turtle.

Books I am most interested in reading

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
How to Build a Girl by Caitlan Moran
The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King
Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Doctor who: The Secret Lives of Monsters
Canada's Great War Album by Mark Collin Reid
The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller
Lady Parts by Andrea Martin (Have been told on numerous occasions and even by Gordon Pinsent that I look like her)
Common Ground by Justin Trudeau
Yes Please by Amy Poehler

If you are interested in finding out more about HarperCollins and their books, here are some helpful links.  Also if you already haven't done so, join the 50 Book Pledge.

The Savvy Reader
50 Book Pledge
Twitter:  @savvyreader

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

by Grady Hendrix
Quick Books (Random House)
ISBN: 978-1-59474-526-3
Buy from Indigo

Description: Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds. Clearly, someone or something is up to no good.

To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new 21st century economy.

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it

The Good Stuff
  • The man has obviously worked in retail. A store is the perfect setting for a horror story (trust me I would take the paranormal over a lululemon clad mommy in our kids department any day)
  • Great use of humour
  • Fabulous layout for the book and the Orsk Employee evaluations are priceless
  • Ruth Anne is awesome, to see why, check out the last quote in the quotes section of this review
  • Impressed with the character development of our protagonist Amy
  • Love the snarky bits regarding retail culture and big box stores. Trust me, you will enjoy this tale way more if you have worked retail. My co-workers and I at Chapters are constantly discussing the need for every child, before they graduate high school, must work 6 months in retail and 6 months in the food and beverage industry. Maybe then they will learn some manners and how to deal with people and just some plain common sense.  Some of the behavior I have seen during the many years I worked retail is just mind boggling.
  • Loved the ending!
  • Extremely creative presentation. I know I have mentioned this earlier, but this will be one I will be leaving out on my coffee table. (Ok maybe somewhere else, as cover may freak out my anxiety prone son)
  • Fast paced story, will keep you hooked right from the first paragraph, right to the very last ad (yes I said ad - even has coupons)
  • Could have been just a cutesy premise with fluff inside, but was very pleasantly surprised on how fabulous it was

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Could have been much moody and scarier. Felt the horror plot line could have been executed better.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the presentation of the novel, but felt some of the added bits, could have been more tongue in cheek (but it still works very well, this is just a personal preference)
  • Used to have a dream of being locked up in a bookstore overnight, now I am soo not into it, Damn you Mr Hendrix
  • Also used to think the set up of Ikea stores were innocent and helpful, now not so much. Won't be stepping into an Ikea in the near future.

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"There's nothing waiting inside but retail slavery, endless exploitation, and personal subjugation to the whims of our corporate overlords."

"People don't just come here just to shop. Some of them think this is their living room, only with maid service. And you're the maid. They act like pigs, and you have to pick up after them. Dirty diapers are just the start."

"No, you've talked plenty tonight. Now it's time for you to listen. The last time I checked you were twenty-four years old. Thirteen and angry is a long way back in your rear-view mirror. You need to buckle up because it is time to toe the line and act like a grown-up women. You don't want to go out on the floor? Tough titty, said the kitty. I don't want to go on the floor, either, but having a job is all about doing things you don't want to do. That's why they pay you money for it. Life doesn't care what you want. All that matters is what you do. And right now, what you're going to do is stand shoulder to shoulder with me and march out that door, find our friends, and help them deal with this situation. Tomorrow you can do whatever the heck you want, but I am going to keep my job. So get up, put some pepper in your pants, and let's get moving."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quick Getaway to Jasper

Thanks to my bestie Sarah, Jeff and I were able to take a quick getaway to Jasper.  We booked us a inexpensive hotel and took a nice and relaxed drive to Jasper.  It was a peaceful 5.5 hour drive, full of beautiful scenery, great conversation, fabulous tunes and best of all no fighting or children asking if we were there yet.  Just a few pics of our trip.

Damn these Glacier lakes are cold (Athabasca Falls)
Athabasca Falls

Columbia Icefields

Athabasca Falls
View from Jasper Gondola (No we could not afford it - but this is view from the entrance)
Jasper Park Lodge (totally could spend the day reading here)
Athabasca Glacier

Athabasca Falls
Elk Love (Finally some wildlife)

Maligne Canyon
Jeff at the bottom of the Athabasca Glacier
Pretty Mountain beside the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefields
Jasper Park Lodge

Maligne Canyon

Columbia Icefields I think

Bow Glacier
View from Entrance to Jasper Park Lodge
 Highlights and low-lights
  • Got totally ignored at De d Dog in Jasper - sat at a table for 20 minutes and no service, not even a - I'm busy or a I'm sorry - not impressed
  • Tonquin Inn - comfortable simple room - ok, the hairdryer almost exploded on me, but other than that - not bad.  Really just a simple clean room with comfy pillows and fluffy towels.  Nothing fancy but it did the trick. Oh yeah and the free breakfast the next morning was fresh and tasty.
  • Jasper Brewing Company - Good food, good service but really tiny cutlery (not a bad thing, but it did make us giggle)
  • Overcast so did not get to see the beautiful night sky or Northern Lights
  • Bears  Paw Bakery - long line up but totally worth the wait. Jeff and I snacked on treats all the way home to Calgary. Yup Sunday Lunch and Dinner consisted of us sharing the following: Nanaimo Bar, Raspberry Coconut Bar, Cherry Danish and a Raspberry White Chocolate Scone (ok and a Timmies in Banff)
  • The ride from Banff to Jasper and back was truly spectacular
  • Cannot believe the price of the Gondola in Jasper and the Glacier Skywalk - we couldn't afford either
  • If you head to Jasper - it really is the natural beauty that is the draw.  If you are looking for unique shopping, go elsewhere. Most of the shops were touristy and tacky. Banff would be much better for this sort of thing. But if you want to see raw, spectacular beauty -  this is the place to go.  I was speechless at times with the stunning sights.  Mother Nature, you did some fine work here
  • Really wish I had a better income, because if I did, I would soooo stay at the Jasper Park Lodge. Truly a spectacular looking resort. Honestly, the staff accommodations would even do
  • Canadian Wildlife where are you hiding - still no Wolf, Grizzly or Moose sightings (this is an inside joke) and do not get me started on the lack of Ottesr

Penguin Random House Canada Fall 2014 Preview

One of the benefits of working for Chapters (Indigo) is I get to attend publisher book previews.  This month it was the Penguin Random House Canada Fall 2014 Preview. Unfortunately, I had bus issues and ended up being late for the event.  Jen and Charidy did a fabulous job of getting me excited about some new and upcoming books. They also showed us some books that I know, that even though they are not my cup of tea, many of our customers will enjoy.  This type of information is invaluable for being able to help our customers

Here are some of the books that they discussed that I look forward to reading. 

Visions by Kelley Armstrong (one of my favorite authors)
The Secret Place by Tana French (Intriguing Mystery)
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (you had me at ghost)
I'll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich (Fashion and gossip)
Walking Home by Eric Walters (beautiful story and good charity)
More Fool Me by Stephen Fry (Yeah Stephen Fry - that is all you need to know)
How We Got to Now  by Steven Johnson (sounds fascinating)
The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak (cannot wait to see)
Choose Your Own Biography by Neil Patrick Harris (really, you wonder why its NPH)
Tell Everyone by Alfred Hermida (Intriguing and makes you think)
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan (sounds hilarious)
Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud (once again you said ghost, I am in)
The Secret Life of Squirrels by Nancy Rose (picture book with squirrels in cute poses, need I say more)

We got a lovely bag including the books

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant
If I Fall, If I die by Michael Christie
Some cute litle swag including some Margerat Atwood buttons that I know Chelsea will love

Best thing was I won a copy of Alan Doyle's Biography and his solo debut - cannot wait to crack it open.  Thinking of reading it while listening to his CD and sipping on some screech LOL!

Thanks Jen and Charidy for a fun and informative evening.  After reading I promise to send you a link to my reviewss

The Swallow by Chris Cotter

The Swallow
by Chris Cotter
Tundra (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 9781770495937
Buy from Indigo
Suggested Ages: 9-12 (and old moms too)

Description: In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren't alone--they're actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so... ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose's name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family... before it's too late.

The Good Stuff
  • Intriguing opening chapter. Hooks you in and doesn't let you go
  • Felt for Polly as my Dad was very much a do-gooder. I remember the conflicted feelings about wanting him to be there for me and feeling angry at him for spending so much time helping others while trying to understand his need to help others less fortunate than us.  Miss you Dad
  • The relationship between Rose and Polly was so real and honest
  • Love the description of the library and the more realistic Librarian character
  • Love the inclusion of some Toronto landscapes, made me think of home which also gave it a special meaning to me (for those who don't know I am an Ontario girl living in Alberta)
  • The discussion between Rose and her Dad was so magically written
  • Made me bawl my eyes out and the last page was just so beautiful
  • Beautifully written will appeal to the mature 9-12 reader as well as with adults
  • Moody and Haunting with a fabulous twist that the younger ones probably won't see coming. Even kept this 44 year old mom guessing.
  • Highly recommend, this one will be getting my Staff Pick approval and have passed it on to my co-worker Jen, who I think will enjoy as well
  • Beautiful expression of friendship

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Point of view jumps very quickly
  • Moody realistic setting may be too much for the younger less mature reader.  But I could totally be wrong - each child is so unique

Favorite Quotes

"My Parents want to save the world, and they're doing it one unwanted kid at a time."

"That's what mother's do, don't they? Love their kids no matter what."

"But that's why I liked her. She didn't know what might be lurking in the dark but she jumped in anyway, and she actually believed she could make a difference."

"I wanted you to grow up in a happy house. But now it looks like I've made the same sort of family I came from, with things not talked about, and everyone keeping to themselves."

"You keep running away from all the poor ghosts who need your help. It would be easy for you to help them, and you just turn your back."

4.75/5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Catwalk Beauty Trends 2014 with Dave Lackie and Nina Westbury

Thanks to twitter I was able to score some tickets to Dave Lackie's Fall Beauty Event at The Chinook Mall  in Calgary.  Dave is the senior beauty editor of BEAUTY the guide and regular guest on Cityline.  As a former Ontario native I attended Cityline on a regular basis and am a regular viewer. Dave, along with top U.K. makeup artist Nina Westbury, gave a fabulous presentation on the latest trends in beauty and makeup for fall.  The presentation was informative and fun. It felt very personal,  like hanging and gossiping with you best friend.

Nina and Dave
 After the presentation they sent us over to get a fabulous gift bag that was filled to the brim.  I thought the presentation was outstanding, but they hit it out of the ballpark with the gift back. 

Look at it all!
 The best part of the event was chatting with Dave and Nina afterwards.  Nina was amazing and gave us all sorts of advice and beauty tips. I could have just spent the whole day learning every little trick on how to look your best from Nina.  She was delightful, honest and absolutely hilarious  I felt bad as I was almost stalking her so I could learn more.

Sarah, Dave Lackie and Me
 Brought my awesome friend Sarah with me and we had a fun time sampling treats and checking out all the new beauty products available at the Bay

Oh yeah, and Nina, don't forget to call me if you ever get to work with Tennant again.   I will be on the first plane and will ply you with treats for a chance to be near him. And I am sooo in love with the Dior art pen, makes doing my eyeliner so much simpler.

Look at all the pretty treats we got.

Nina recommended the Diorshow Art Pen & look what I got with it!
Dave recommended the oil from Philosophy for my dry skin and wow look what I got as a bonus
I highly recommend you follow Nina and Dave on Twitter.  As well here is a link to BEAUTY

Nina's Website
Dave's Website

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rayment's Take on British Columbia

Hubby and I thought it would be fun to take a road trip to and around B.C. this summer for a vacation,  We did tons of planning and I put together some "fun bags" to keep the kids entertained along the way.

It was still a bit of a disaster at times even with all my planning and will not be doing a road trip with the boys in the near future.  My youngest is just not one to be stuck in one place and our kids just don't get along well.  We learned through our mistakes, but still managed to have some fun times.

Hit the road early on Monday morning heading towards our first stop in Kelowna

Highlights of Trip to Kelowna
  • Bag of fun is a big hit (made a whole bunch of fun things to do for the boys with treats in separate bags plus a camera for each, electronic device for each boy and reading, colouring, drawing and games.) Learned that should have kept the chocolate in the cooler as it was so hot it all melted.
  • Even with the bag of fun, learned that we should stop every two hours while on car trips with boys.  Jesse is sooo not good at being confined in car for too long at a time
  • Drove through new places that I had never been before:  Golden,Glacier National Park, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and Vernon. Scenery was unbelievably gorgeous (though boys didn't give a crap thank you very much)  Stopped in Revelstoke to use the facilities and have something to eat
  • Cooled our feet in Mara lake.  A beautiful area, perfect place for having a cottage

Highlights of Kelowna
  • Stayed at The Super 8. It was clean and relatively comfy but rather small.  But it was cheap which was what we were looking for.  Ate at the local Boston Pizza for dinner. This was not a trip for fine dining, just places that the kids would eat at and not complain
  • The Mission Hill Winery - this place was positively gorgeous.  We could have spent the whole day there - but well kids would have been bored after a while.  They were actually quite well behaved there.  Jesse charmed the staff and also photo bombed  a family taking a group shot.  They actually thought it was quite delightful and they ended up getting a nice family shot for us as well.
  • Would love to spend more time in Kelowna and the Okanagan area with Jeff (and the kids when they are much older and act less like heathens)  Beautiful scenery, warm lakes and lots and lots of wineries. I picked up tons of literature on wine tours in the area
  • Family that Jesse photobombed, then we got a pic with all of them (They were from Calgary too)
    Pinot Noir grape - my favorite (we bought a bottle of it to bring home)
    Jesse charming the staff - don't worry he didn't sample the wine, but he and Jake did get some sparkling Pear and Peach Juice (Jake purchased a bottle of the peach to go)
    Want one of these for the house
    Next time we are taking a tour
    One of the many pics we took with the art - this was the highlight for the boys (ok and Jeff and I had fun too)
    Check out the view - this would be my idea of a perfect home
    More pretty scenery
    Aren't we adorable
  • after the winery we headed out towards Vancouver where we were going to spend two nights with Cousin Jill and her son Pete (who Jesse and Jake idolized)
Highlights of Trip to Vancouver

  • Our van actually made it over the Coquihalla Highway - known as the Highway thru Hell.( Check out the TV show and you will understand) Our van is mighty old and has been all over the East Coast of Canada - including a trip from Ontario to P.E.I.  The terrain on the Highway is outstanding with some of the windiest roads, hairpin turns and some damn steep areas. Afterwards Jeff told me that he was a little worried that "super car" wasn't going to make it, it was so overheated.  Speed limit was also 120 which I thought was way too speedy for the terrain, but Jeff did not seem to think so and well he is a good driver
  • Kept my eyes out for wildlife (and for rest of the trip toe) and was disappointed to have seen nada (that also proved to be true for the whole damn trip, damned shy Cdn wildlife) 
  • Went through more places that I have heard of, but never been to before: Merritt,Hope (stopped here),Chiliwack (yup I sang some Chiliwack tunes) and Burnaby

Lovely picturesque little town & tons of marketing about being home for the filming of First Blood
  • We stayed at Jill's house for two days and she took exceptionally good care of us.  She showed us some beautiful sites, fed and housed us and just made us feel very welcome.  Jesse and Jake loved spending time with Pete and playing video games.  For the rest of the trip they just kept asking us to go back to Vancouver. Thanks Pete, you were awesome with the boys.  Also next vacation will just involve going somewhere that has video games and water slides, that is all they want (only slightly bitter)
    Gabby - yes one of the fattest cats I have ever met - Jake loved her
  • We biked around Stanley Park which was incredible, I could have spent the whole day doing just that.  Saw my first Harbor Seal and yup I squealed like a toddler.  Which led to the Seal completely disappearing. Insert whatever joke you would like. This was one of my highlights of the trip, I could have biked around here for hours!
    I sooooo need to get me one of these bikes - the seat was incredibly comfy

    Jill and Jesse
  • Headed to the Vancouver Aquarium which was a big hit for everyone.  Unfortunately the Otter Experience was sold out so I didn't get to feed them, but they were still beautiful to watch. Let me tell you though, it is very expensive

    Jeff spent a very long time trying to get a good pic for me - my precious - wanted to steal him
    Beautiful Beluga
  • Took a quick look around Granville Island (stay away from the kids market - they charge for everything and its seriously tacky) Got some yummy fudge from the public market area.  Lots of yummy places to eat and some great looking groceries in this area
  • Jill took us to the Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge, which is almost in her backyard.  It was stunning.  Jesse had a fabulous time playing in the water with Jill and her dog Sammy

    wish my photos could show how spectacular this place was - check out guy diving
Highlights of trip to Victoria
  • Took Ferry from Tsawwassen to Sidney
My handsome boys on the Ferry

  •  Took an amazing trip along the west coast to Sooke, Otter Point (false advertising, didn't see a feckin Otter), Juan De Fuca China Beach (won't tell you how much that name amused the hell out of all of us)
Think this was near Port Renfrew - but do remember telling Jeff to speed up LOL!
Surrrreeee - still bitter about not seeing Otters
Say the first line fast and you will understand why this made us giggle so much
  • Had a truly delish meal at the Stone Pipe Grill in Sooke. Extremely friendly waitress told us the places that you would have the best chances of finding otters

Highlights of Victoria
Fell in love with those eyes
  • Seeing Harbour Seals Up Close - I was soooo good I didn't try to touch one and also kept others from trying to touch them
  • The house boats were awesome and had sudden urge to retire to Victoria and live in one
    Check out the awesome House Boats
  • Our hotel was awesome. Comfy and close to everything. Oh yeah, it would help if I mentioned the name. The Embassy Inn
  • Walking along Fisherman's Wharf
  • Parliament Buildings in Victoria

Parliament Buildings
The Fairmont Empress
Munros Book Store (Wasn't open when I was there : ( so sad)
Part of the Fairmont Empress - thought it would be a fabulous place for a haunting
Took all my willpower to not touch
Obviously Jesse also had a hard time not touching

 Highlights of Trip to Whistler
  • Lovely drive from Victoria to Nanaimo
  • Had a yummy but extremely slow lunch at Modern Cafe.  We actually missed our Ferry because of the slowness but hey the food and drink were worth it. There is actually a Nanaimo Bar Route - where  you can try all sorts of different versions of the bar (wish I had known about the Nanaimo Bar Martini before we had paid for the bill at the restaurant we were at)
  • Picked up Nanaimo Bars and some to die for Nanaimo Bar Truffles  
  • Stunning Ferry trip from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (seriously windy but beautiful, kept my eye out for whales but nada)

  • Spectacular scenery on trip from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler

Highlights of Whistler
  • Spectacular scenery while we walked around Whistler
  • Found a Wild Wings (Hey we miss that chain here in Calgary.  The only one near us here, closed down)
  • The boys purchased me a Cow's Dr Who shirt
  • Jesse had a fabulous time playing in the swimming pool at our resort - Glaciers Reach (Thanks again Pam for letting us use the place so cheap. The bed was spectacularly comfy by the way) and the one FREE area to play at Whistler - yes this place is seriously pricey and they charge for everything
  • Visiting the Golden Crust Bakery (owned by Jeff's friend Pat and her husband)
  • Spent a fabulous evening at Pat's house. Thoroughly enjoyed the pictures Pat showed me of their days at the Banff Springs Hotel
    Jeff during his Banff Springs Hotel DJ Days
  • Walking along the trails around Whistler
  • The Farmer's Market at Whistler - got some lovely items and the home made perogies were delis.  If you are ever in the area - head to the Golden Crust - scrumptious home made pies

    Famous Pie Pockets - nom nom nom

Highlights of Trip to Kamloops
Snacking on our to die for Pocket Pies from Golden Crust
  • The change in scenery was outstanding from lush to dessert - all in a 4 hour (ok well 7 hours dues to road work and accident) was unbelievable.  Again this is why this would be a fabulous trip for just Jeff and me. The kids lost it during this leg of our trip (and well we were about ready to tape their mouths with duct tape)

    Wish I could show you the drop behind us - lets just say - no one would survive a fall
  • Joffre Lakes - Thanks Pat for the suggestion on this one

  • Seeing a Bear FINALLY near Pemberton
  • This ride was hell at times due to road work and an accident.  
Highlights of Kamloops
  • We really didn't see much of Kamloops, so not many highlights
  •  Stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton (also where Ric's Grill was see below) Fabulous hotel for the price. Rooms were comfy, staff were exceptional (especially boys who played with our boys in the waterslide) and the exercise and pool area were fantastic
  • The steak at Ric's Grill was the best I have EVER had. The guy who showed us to our table was a huge jerk but everything else about the restaurant was awesome. The waitress was hilarious  especially when she had to deal with the fact that the kitchen was  out of everything I wanted to order.  It was meant to be that I had to order the Steak I did - again OMG the chef cooked it to perfection
  • The water slide was a huge hit for everyone. The boys wish they could have spent the entire vacation there
    Highlight of trip for boys
    Jake and Jesse
On the Way Home
  • By this time, we just wanted to get home, but we did manage to make a few stops and take a few nice pics
    Love these stubborn fellas - tons in Banff area too
    Near the Spiral Tunnels - looked heavenly

  • Spiral Tunnels - Thanks Auntie Holly for the suggestion on this one - truly fascinating

  • The Bannock we got at this cart near a fruit market.  It was warm and tasty and really hit the spot
  • Picked up some yummy blueberries (Haven't had a blueberry this good since we moved from Ontario - man how I miss fresh fruit) 
  • The Shuswap Lake area looked like a perfect place to spend a summer vacation
  • Had to check out at least one Chapters on our way home - yeah and never had a chance to pick up a local ghost story book (it's a thing for me) 
  • Excellent store - fabulous Geek table and loved displays behind cash desk


Yummy Treats from the Golden Crust Bakery in Squamish

Nanaimo Truffles and Nanaimo Bars

Things I want to do next time we visit B.C.
  • Whale Watching
  • Miniature World - Victoria
  • Butchart Gardens - Victoria
  • Ghostly Walks Walking Tour - Victoria
  • Robert Bateman Centre - Victoria
  • Wine Tour of B.C.
  • Hell's Gate Airtram
  • Fort Langley
  • Craigdarroch Castle - Victoria 
  • And of course see an Otter in the wild (But thanks Harbour Seals for making it less devastating than I never saw one)