#WATWB, Quotes

Truth and Reconciliation #OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters #WATWB

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Welcome to the “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB ). The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Sylvia Stein and Peter Nena.

Our next post will be on October 26th, 2018. If you would like to join us please click here!


“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

Those who know me know I am a proud Canadian and a huge history buff. There is, however, a shameful and deplorable period of history that spanned over a century and not many Canadians are aware of.  Between the 1870s and the 1990s, the Canadian government was financially responsible for Indian residential schools. These residential schools were found in most of our Canadian provinces and territories with the exception of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.   Indigenous children were sent to these schools, taken from their homes, separated from their families, stripped of their culture, beliefs, and language while enduring horrific mental and physical abuse which many did not survive; all in order to assimilate them to “fit” with European Christian ideals.

To some, this might not seem like an uplifting post but to me, it is, it’s starting a dialogue which will hopefully bring awareness, offer hope, healing, reconciliation and a level of understanding so events like this will never be part of our history again.

Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 as a result of residential school survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad sharing her experience of the day she arrived at a residential school. Webstad shared her story at a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams LakeBritish Columbia, Canada. On her first day at Residential School Phyllis’ had her new orange shirt taken away from her which was just the beginning of what she would lose. The date of September 30th was chosen for the annual event because it is the time of year in which Indigenous children were historically taken from their homes to residential schools. Phyllis’ experience is used today to teach students about residential schools and their assimilation practices. In 2017 Jane Philpott, Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services and Carolyn BennettIndigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister encouraged people across Canada to participate in this commemorative and educational event.

On September 30th by wearing an orange shirt, you are recognizing the survivors of residential schools and helping to bring communities together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope.

For more information about #OrangeShirtDay: http://www.orangeshirtday.org/

Information

#NetGalley #BookReview The Night Crossing by Robert Masello #Mystery #Fantasy, #HistoricalFiction #Gothic

Review

Night Crossing

The Night Crossing

by Robert Masello

Release date: September 18, 2018

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of  The Night Crossing
by Robert Masello from NetGalley and 47North in order to read and give an honest review.

The Night Crossing is a well written and intriguing gothic novel that blends historical fact, paranormal twists and a mystery, to create a tale that will keep you flipping pages. There are three main plot lines running through this story which all blend together into a fantastical tale that takes a very unexpected tangent about two-thirds the way through the book.  

Following in her father’s footsteps, Egyptophile and archaeologist Mina sets out on an expedition to the Carpathian Mountains to visit and document a mysterious phenomenon of a Sphinx which when the sun sets appears to come to life. Mina and her guides climb a mountain to get a perfect vantage point to capture a photograph of the Sphinx. After getting the shot they start on the journey down the mountain when an unexpected storm forces them to seek shelter in a cave. Too dark to continue they decide to set up camp in the safety of the cave. Mina awakens to find two of the guides have abandoned them during the night. She retraces their footprints which leads her to the back of the cave where a skeleton whose hands have been damaged after an artefact of some sort had been forcibly removed.  Mina finally tracks down the artefact, a mysterious gold box, to a gypsy camp but when she arrives they are in the throes of the funeral and can’t give Mina back the box quickly enough.  

Aspiring writer, Bram Stoker working as the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in 19th century London has his life turned upside down when he stops to rescue a young waif, Lucinda, who has jumped off a bridge on the Thames River in an attempt to take her life. Being a kind gentleman, he continues to care about this young woman, her body ravaged by chemicals from working making matches in a mission house where she and her son resided. Lucinda’s suicide attempt was a result of being distraught over the death of her young son Davey and the guilt she feels not knowing what happened to his body. Stoker becomes a friend and a father-like figure to her and offers her kind words and support. When Lucinda returns to work at a mission house she is intent to find out what happened to the body of her son, but nothing can prepare her for what she finds.  When Mina, Bram and Lucinda cross paths, a family-like bond is formed and together they fight an evil that could be the death of them.  

In Night Crossing, Robert Masello creates an interesting well-rounded cast of characters with a few familiar names such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the “Unsinkable Molly Brown”. I was impressed by the intelligence, strength and resiliency displayed by his female characters as well as genuinely evil villains who the reader can’t help but despise. The author also tackles some of the social issues prevalent at the time such as racism and sexism which he addresses accurately and with class. 

As a writer, I also enjoyed the way Mr Masello gives us insight into the fictional inspiration behind Stoker’s Dracula. Although I found the tangent as well as the time jump of 19 years a bit frustrating at first, I eventually grew to appreciate the author’s unique way of tying two very different storylines together making it fairly cohesive once it unravels.  

All in all an interesting read that I would recommend to those looking for a gothic thriller with threads of the paranormal.
 

 

Books

#BookReview of The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton via #NetGalley #Mystery

 

Review

Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Cover

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

by Stuart Turton

Release date: September 18th, 2018

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton from NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark in order to read and give an honest review.

“Stuart Turton’s debut novel is genius, he has written a clever, unique and deeply psychological novel that will keep you guessing to the very end….”

This has got to be perhaps the most creative, clever and brilliant novels I have read this year.  Stuart Turton writes a novel that blends an Agatha Christie feel with the movie Groundhog Day or Memento, overflowing with atmosphere, complex characters, an intricate plot, psychological twists and turns all of which leading the reader to a completely unexpected ending.  Murder, mayhem and body swapping, who could ask for more?

A brilliant cast of characters is attending a memorial party for Thomas Hardcastle who was murdered as a child years ago at Blackheath. Thomas’s sister Evelyn Hardcastle who was supposed to supervise him that day was blamed by her family and fled to Paris but after a long time estranged, she is invited to the party by her Mother. Poor Evelyn doesn’t visit for long, she is murdered at 11pm the night of the party by one of the guests and guest Aiden Bishop feels driven to solve her murder. Aiden wakes up not knowing who he is, where he is from and every time he sleeps he wakes up in another person’s body, reliving the day but not just from another’s perspective but with fuzzy vague memories of what secrets he learned through his previous host.  He is also visited by a man dressed in a plague doctor outfit and learns that he is not alone there are two others just like him and whoever solves the crime first is the only one to be freed from Blackheath.  There is also a murderous footman determined to murder his hosts so he can no longer jump. With each host, he battles their personalities’, some good, some evil but all begin to bury his own personality.  During his jumps, he figures out who the other two “jumpers” are and they decide to work together, leaving clues and notebooks so they remember what they have learned the previous day, but will they betray him?

Stuart Turton’s debut novel is genius, he has written a clever, unique and deeply psychological novel that will keep you guessing to the very end. Highly recommend it!

Books

Pure Skin Care Nourishing Recipes for Vibrant Skin & Natural Beauty by Stephanie L. Tourles via #NetGalley #Review #Beauty

 

Review

Pure Skin Care  by Stephanie L. Tourles

Nourishing Recipes for Vibrant Skin & Natural Beauty

by Stephanie L. Tourles

Pure Skin Care Cover

Release date: September 18th, 2018

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Pure Skin Care: Nourishing Recipes for Vibrant Skin & Natural Beauty by Stephanie L. Tourles from NetGalley and Storey Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

For the past ten years due to skin sensitivities I have been using more natural based cosmetics and skin care products.  The past year I have taken it even more serious goning right back to basics using pure natural items to cleanse and moisturize and honestly, the timing of this book could not be more perfect.

In Pure Skin Care, Stephanie L. Tourles educates us on the science of our skin, how to care for it, giving us information on tips to care for it other than applying products externally.   Pure Skin Care includes 78 recipes for all types of beauty products from cleansers, toners scrubs, masks, moisturizers, steams, creams and balms, and features some easy recipes for every price range. Some ingredients are most likely in your pantry, others can be purchased at health food stores and even some local grocers.   Tourles even gives us tips and techniques even teaching us to grow and dry our own herbs.

I tried creating some of the recipes and found them easy to follow, I was able to tailor them to my specific skin type and loved the results.  I particularly liked the Balance Restorer, Light and Lively Moisturizer, Salt of the Earth Scrub, Tranquility Toner and the Lavender Protection Balm, all were fairly easy to make and have left my skin glowing!