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!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and Contest

Happy Halloween Everyone

I love  Halloween! I love it even more than Christmas.  I always dress up -- even at work.  My mom was a huge Halloween addict too. She always went crazy decorating the house, buying lots of treats and making us the coolest Halloween Costumes.  I miss her so much on this day so in her honour I am doing a quick contest - details to follow at end of post

Favorite "Scary" Movies
Evil Dead
Evil Dead 2
Army of Darkness
Nightmare on Elm Street
When a Stranger Calls (This one freaks me out!)
The Sixth Sense
Poltergeist (Hate the part with the clown doll though)
Young Frankenstein
Slither (Nathan Fillion)

Favorite Scary Books

The Stand - Stephen King
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
It  - Stephen King
Bag of Bones - Stephen King
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
Misery- Stephen King
Watchers - Dean Koontz
Strangers - Dean Koontz
Carrie - Stephen King
Lost Souls - Poppy Z Brite
The Night Inside - Nancy Baker

Favorite Halloween Songs

Bloodletting - Concrete Blond
Moon Over Bourbon Street - Sting
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Some Halloween Pics

GRETA Buy More Employee (From TV show Chuck)
Jesse as Captain Hammer

Me and Natasha - Super Librarian and Dewey Defender

Old School and New School Nerds (Star Wars and Star Trek)

Jake 2009
Jake 2010

Got lazy last year and wore Super Librarian again

Contest Details

Post in comments or Tweet (to mountie9) me your favorite Halloween Memory
Contest Ends: The Witching Hour on Halloween (Tonight at Midnight)
Prize: Book around $10 from The Book Depository
Internationally (As Long as Book Depository Sends to your Country)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Duchess of Sin by Laurel McKee: Mini Book Review

Duchess of Sin (The Daughters of Erin #2)
by Laurel McKee
Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 978-0-446-54476-4
Buy From Indigo

Description: Blonde and beautiful Lady Anna Blacknall is in the mood for mischief. Entering Dublin's most notorious den of vice, she finds herself in the arms of a mysterious, emerald-eyed Irishman. And although he is masked, his tender kiss is hauntingly familiar.

Conlan McTeer, Duke of Adair, has come to Dublin to fight for a free Ireland. But he's suddenly reunited with the young Englishwoman who had once claimed his heart, and his passion turns from politics to pleasure. When their sizzling encounter brings danger to Anna's door, she must decide where her loyalties lie-and quickly. For someone will do whatever it takes to destroy Conlan . . . and anyone he dares to love

Mini Book Review:  I really enjoyed this one and rate it a cut above the usual escapist historical romance I enjoy. This is mostly due to the character and plot development, as there is not the usual stereotypical misunderstandings and denial, and you were actually surprised when things happened.  The heroine actually spoke up about her feelings and didn't play games.  Anna is a strong willed, intelligent compassionate heroine that you admire. The hero also was quite honest and open,  which honestly even-though I love the historical romance genre, is not something that often happens.  He wasn't your stereotypical bad boy turned good by the love of a sweet virgin.  Conlan is a fiery Irish man fighting for the good of his country and appreciates a women with a brain and a heart, not just beauty.  There are plenty of twists and turns, hot passionate love scenes and even some accurate historical information included.  There are some mistakes that should have been caught in editing, but hey not that noticeable. Highly recommend this for a blustery Canadian night curled up on the couch with a glass of wine. Will be passing this on to Joan as it is based in Ireland and I think she will enjoy.  

3.75 Dewey's

Honestly cannot remember where I got it from, I think I won it -- but cannot find any documentation on it -- oops, sorry.

Indigo Fall and Holiday Launch

I recently had the honour of being invited to TWO separate  product launches at the Indigo head office. This is the first (and well now 2nd) time that Indigo had invited rewards members to preview their new lifestyle products before the general public. Usually this sort of event is reserved only to media and employees.  What a brilliant marketing idea guys, you have guaranteed yourself a customer for life.  I have also purchased many of the items that were previewed that night and I am quite sure many of the others that attended have as well.

Both events were wonderfully organized with the room set up so we could take a leisurely stroll in the strategically and beautifully set up room.  Items were placed in a way that you could see how easily they could fit into or enhance your home or office.

Fall Preview

I attended this preview with my pal and fellow Library worker Jenn Hubbs.  By happy coincidence I also ran into fellow #indigoTweets pals Zoe, Evil Andie and Sarah Prince.  We had a wonderful time sampling the delicious food from Chef Michael Smith's cookbook, some to die for Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, scrumptious homemade marsh-mellows & fudge that melted in your mouth.  All the while chatting with fellow Indigo Rewards members about the products and learning a little about them from Indigo employees. It was nicely done with no heavy push to sell you the items, just giving you some background info on the items and letting you explore and experience them all.  I also was extremely lucky to win one of the 10 Kobo Touch's they were giving away (Can I tell you now how much I love it and how fast it is compared to the old Kobo I had).  We were also given a very generous gift bag at the end of the night with a book, notebook, gift card and few other items (See picture below). Really had a fantastic evening and it was much appreciated as I was dealing with the stress of impending strike.  Only complaints were that it was really hot in the room with all the people and the cooking going on

Sorry about the horrible pictures for this one

To DIE FOR balsamic vinegar

WANT this globe

Andie and Suzie (Still dying to try Buca restaurant she recommended)


Librarian Jenn
Winnings and Gift Bag
Fun with Andie

Holiday Preview

This product preview event was spectacular as well. This time I attended with my pal Natasha and once again ran into some of my fellow IndigoTweets pals Evil Andie and Leora. Also ran into Liam and Nicole from Twitter.  The room was set up very similarly but done with a holiday season theme.  Stockings were hung with stuffer ideas and there was a beautifully decorated Christmas tree (with new products from the lifestyle collection) with plenty of Christmas present ideas under it. The food was from Mark McEwan's cookbook Fabbrica and McEwan himself was cooking (with assistants) and he was even serving it himself --  GASP!  The Spicy Octopus with chickpeas was incredible (didn't like how it was served - as it was difficult to eat without looking stupid) and the canapes were scrumptious!  Also chowed down on these delicious Maple Sugar cookies that Indigo will be selling (Bought some last night btw!)

Mark McEwan, Heather Reisman and Neil Pasricha each gave separate little speeches and talked about some of their favorite products. Neil also talked about how he came to write the books and some very funny stories. Really had no interest in reading The Book of Awesome before but after meeting him I will be picking up all the Awesome books.  Much to Natasha's disgust (LOL!) I won a prize again, this time The  Book of Holiday Awesome (Which I got signed for Auntie Sheila for Christmas) and Anna Olson's Back to Baking cookbook (giving to Auntie Holly for her birthday) . As we were leaving we once again got a fabulous gift bag with a copy of The Dovekeepers (got it signed for my sister Tracy at Hoffman signing the other night), a Indigo gift card and the truly adorable Porcupine from A Porcupine in a Pine Tree.  Another fabulous experience from Indigo all because I am a rewards member - think you should all sign up now, don't you think!
Mark and his staff hard at work
One of my fav people Evil Andie (and the delectable marshmallows)
Checking out all the products

Mark McEwan
Heather talking about her Heather's Picks

Everybody's favorite Porcupine (From Helaine Becker's A Porcupine in a Pine Tree)
Jen's Picks - I'm putting them on my Christmas  List (Adore the USB)

Will be picking these up for my 3 brother in laws

Isn't it adorable -- nicer than my kitchen (Espreso Kitchen)
Beavertail Pancake Kit -- guess what's going in Jeff's Stocking!
Winnings and Gift Bag
Loved this!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Signings

Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver
Indigo Yorkdale

This was a fantastic event.  Lots of enthusiasm from the teens which is so wonderful to see.  Both of the authors were genuinely nice and tons of fun.  They also gave us all fabulous swag bags that my neighbors daughter totally geeked out over & which now sits in my office. Nice work everyone!  Sorry, cannot seem to find my pictures from the event.

Kathy Reichs
Indigo Eaton Centre

Last time I saw Kathy I was a wee bit disappointed. She seemed very preoccupied and standoffish. But this time she was animated and talked very passionately about what she does. She was also quite funny and a joy to talk with. She also totally dug my cookies (I made them in the the shape of bones and wrote Bones, Tempe, etc on them)

She loved my Bones inspired cookies (man I'm such a dork!)
Rick Riordan
Indigo Yorkdale

The Indigogreenroom and Indigo staff did an incredible job on this event. There were photo booths, Face painting, dog tags and so much more.  All of the kids got tons of swag and the DJ entertained them the whole evening.  Rick Riordon was charming and really took his time with all the kids.  I was very impressed with his enthusiasm and his perseverance (He must have signed over 1000 books and I heard he was enthusiastic right down to the very last person). There were also tons of people in costume and it was fantastic seeing all the young boys excited about an author.  Can't believe I totally forgot to take a picture of Jake in his Camp Half-Blood T-shirt I made for him. Jake now wants to go to all the author signings with me

Pic of our fav DJ (Pic is from another event)

They had face painting!
Rick talking about his Canadian character

Jenn Hubbs and Back of my adorable Jake
They even had a booth where you could get your picture on the cover of The Son of Neptune (Fun!)

John Lithgow
Indigo Eaton Centre

John Lithgow is one of my favorite actors as I always feel a sort of connection between him and my Dad.  They look very similar and both love to act over the top.  My dad took me to see The World According to Garp when I was like 12 and afterwards we talked enthusiastically about Lithgow's understated and beautiful performance as Roberta Muldoon. And ever since than I watch everything that  he is in.  He was mesmerizing in Footloose as Reverand Shaw (don't get me started on that remake with Dennis Quaid totally miscast as Shaw)  and totally brilliant in Dexter where he creep-ed the shit out of me (Did not remind me of my Dad in that performance) with his chilling portrayal of Arthur Mitchell.  He made me lmao in his portrayal of Dick Solomon on 3rd Rock from the Sun (the scenes between him and Jane Curtain were delightful) and it was nice seeing him last year on How I Met Your Mother where he has fantastic chemistry with Neil Patrick Harris.

At the event he talked about why he came to write the book and read some passages from Drama. He was charming, self deprecating and quite funny.  He than did a question and answer period where he talked enthusiastically about his love for the theatre and gave us some background info on his time on Dexter (which totally thrilled the audience)

Eventhough he was only supposed to sign Drama, he took the time to sign a copy of his children's book for my sons Jake and Jesse and also signed my very old copy of The World According to Garp.  I made him some severed finger cookies, brains in a jar and also a couple of the brain cupcakes left over from my son's birthday party.  Hopefully he got a chance to eat some of them and even more important got a laugh out of it. Thanks to Melissa for delivering them for me, didn't want to come across as a total dork when I met him.  He was quite sweet with me and took the time to listen (and even more impressive he didn't look at me with that holy shit this girl is sorta crazy look)
We were bonding (damn after looking at pic - I'm thinking face lift for myself not so bad idea after all LOL!)

Alice Hoffman
Indigo Manulife

One of my favorite books this year is The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. I have to be honest when I first got in in the mail for review I was less than impressed. It sounded way too serious and depressing for my taste. But I was completely wrong, it is a stunningly beautiful epic novel, check out my review of it here.  I attended the event last night and it was fascinating. Reisman did a fab job (no I'm not kidding you, she actually did) during the interview and I was very impressed with how personable she came across. She even came over to me when I was waiting in line to chat.   Hoffman talked about her inspiration for the novel and about the incredible amount of research she did for the novel -- it took her 5 years to write it.  She also took some questions from the audience and than did a signing.  I also ran into the handsome and charming Cammy, which is always a pleasure.   I got there quite early and spent way too much money -- I am not to be trusted with cash in a bookstore.  Although, I did get some Christmas shopping done & bought the latest Bertrice Small book (have a copy of every book she has ever written).  All in all a wonderful evening!
Image from @indigogreenroom (Forgot my camera today)

FanExpo Canada 2011

I've always wanted to go to one of these FanExpo events, so I finally decided that what the hell, I was going to cough up the cash and take a peek.  It was truly fascinating to see, but OMG - the amount of money you would have to spend to meet the guests is truly outrageous.  I had a fab time with Natasha and Jen, but honestly, not sure I would go again, unless someone I really wanted to meet was there, like Nathan Fillion or Bruce Campbell.  I could not believe how much you would have to pay to get a picture AND an autograph from one of the guests. I go to book signings all the time and never have to pay for their autographs (okay I buy the book - but tops that's $30 & well its a book for god sakes). Seriously Shatner wanted $80 for a picture AND $80 for an autograph - sort of turned me off the whole experience.  I did want to see what the picture with guest fuss was all about so I coughed up the $40 to have my picture with Robert Englund (Freddie Krueger).  The photo was fantastic and they organized it really well, but it was like an assembly line and I barely got to say hi.

The Horror fiction panel was fantastic and worth the price of the admission. Lesley Livingston was hilarious when we caught her eye in the audience and showed her that we bought her book.  She is always totally hilarious and a truly lovely and gracious lady.

As we were walking along these guys from one of the booths called us over to talk. Ends up they are the voice actors for Jake's favorite cartoon show, Jimmy Two Shoes.  They were so totally sweet and fun to talk to and they recorded (for free) the part of an episode that puts my 10 year old in total hysterics. I cannot thank them enough for this, it totally made my sons day!  Also got to meet Jeff Smith (Bone) and he also FOR FREE autographed Jake's copy of Out from Boneville and this Bone postcard we have.  Now I am like the best move EVER!

Larry Hagman
Cory Doran and Brian Fround (Jimmy Two-Shoes and Beezy)

Lance Henriksen

Malcolm McDowell

Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi)

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) - you should have seen the HUGE crowds & screaming girls for him

Elisha Dushku (Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Check out the outrageous prices for Shatner - that's as close as I got to Shatner

John Astin (Gomez)

Another Eliza pic - she's so pretty & heard lots of nice things about her

Incredible Makeup &  Masks

My fav vendor - had Zombie Stuffed Toys
If I had money would have totally bought the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Library Set (yup I'm a geek)

Natasha's Vampire Bite Tattoo

R2D2 - he moved around too!

Geeky Pics of Me and Fans Dressed Up

Yes I'm a nerd - I was excited about this

These guys were fun!
My Vamp Bite Tattoo (Wore it to work today)

Fav Costume - Ilyria from Angel - she was intense

Very creative costume

Mal Reynolds & Inara Costume

Jayne costume - I WANT the hat

Purchases and Swag
$40 for this

Spent about $100 (Got 2 Free Books & other small swag)

My Fav T-shirt

In My dreams!

Had to get the Browncoat T-shirt & Signed book for Jake