Overcoming Adversity to Pursue Her Passion ~ Meet #Artist Mariam Pare #WATWB #Mouthpainter


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 five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Lizbeth HartzPeter NenaShilpa GargEric Lahti, and  Inderpreet Kaur Uppal. 

To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!

From when Mariam was young her passions always revolved around art and it was her dream to be an artist when she grew up.  This passion for creating art continued throughout her teenage years, and she began attending college for art.  She was focused on pursuing her dream when in a split second her life changed for good. In 1996, at the age of 20 years old, she became the innocent victim of gang gun violence. While stopped at a stop sign in the driver’s seat of a friend’s car, gunfire erupted on the adjacent sidewalk and a stray bullet went through the door and struck Mariam in her neck paralyzing her instantly and changing her life forever.

So began a new life for Mariam, she was now a quadriplegic and would be spending months, if not years, in rehabilitation, painfully having to relearn how to do everyday activities that like most people, she had previously taken for granted.  Now in a  wheelchair, she had to learn to manoeuvre throughout her day, fighting to do simple things. One of the more difficult things for Mariam was to learn new ways of holding things with fingers that did not grip. She learned to use her mouth for daily tasks that required precision. Greatly missing her art, when a therapist taught Mariam to hold a pencil in her mouth she began by learning to write her name, sparking a revelation that perhaps this would be a way for her to paint as well. This revelation exposed Mariam to a way to pursue her passion, determined to paint, she worked hard, became an artist and is enjoying a successful career.

Watch this to get a glimpse of Mariam’s incredible talent…

Watch to see her meeting with her favourite actor and fellow artist Pierce Brosnan:

Check out her website here: http://www.mariampare.com/

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

~Henry Ford


#NetGalley #BookReview of Myths and Mortals (Numina#2) by Charlie N. Holmberg(@CNHolmberg )#UrbanFantasy #YA


Myths and Mortals

Numina, Book 2

by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release date: April 16th, 2019

MythsandMortals Cover


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Myths and Mortals Numina, Book 2 by Charlie N. Holmberg from NetGalley and 47th North 

…created another brilliant series, one filled with brilliantly crafted plotlines, compelling and unique characters and her world building…

True to form Charlie Holmberg has created another brilliant series, one filled with brilliantly crafted plotlines, compelling and unique characters and her world building skills are well…out of this world! 

Myths and Mortals picks up right where Smoke and Summons left off.  Sandis is no longer a vessel for Ireth and living with the only family she has, her Uncle. Although grateful for having somewhere to go now that she is no longer a numina, she is still grieving, terrified and feels alone in the world.  Still destroyed by Rone’s betrayal and plagued by bad dreams of the vessels left behind and of Kolossus, a numen, who can destroy humanity. Although she lives her life doing unusual jobs for her corrupt Uncle. When she refuses a particularly unsavoury one, he kicks her out without anywhere to go, there is only one person she can think of…Rone.  Rone managed to get his mother across the border to safety and even though he had papers to join her, he has stayed behind.  Rone won’t rest until he knows Sandis is alright and he hopes to have her understand why he betrayed her. 

Although Sandis doesn’t completely trust Rone when they are hunted by an assassin and learn that  Kazen might still be alive and looking for a new vessel for Kolossus they team up.  The two start out trying to find the other vessels to save them from a fate worse than death. On their journey, they pick up allies and make enemies as they find clues to Kazan’s whereabouts all leading to one terrifying cliffhanger.

All in all, a fantastic, fun series that I would highly recommend for young and old alike.


#NetGalley #Review of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett #Teens #YA #Romance #Mystery



Serious Moonlight Cover

Serious Moonlight

by Jenn Bennett

Release date: April 16th, 2019


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

“…filled with unique, quirky characters, incredible wit and it didn’t hurt she mentioned David Bowie a number of times…frankly, I was sold after that.”

I’ve been a fan of Jenn Bennett’s urban fantasy series and when this popped up on Net Galley even though it was YA, I thought I would give it a try.

I have to admit I really did enjoy this book. Like her other books, this was filled with unique, quirky characters, incredible wit and it didn’t hurt she mentioned David Bowie a number of times…frankly, I was sold after that.

Our main protagonist eighteen-year-old Birdie after the death of her mother is raised by her grandparents along with the assistance of her Mom’s eccentric best friend “Aunt Mona”.

After living with her grandparents, and under the watchful eye of her strict and very religious grandmother, Birdie becomes a very shy and introverted young woman. Being homeschooled, having strict rules, and not really knowing what true friendship is, Birdie’s view of the world and her experiences are very limited. After her grandmother passes, her grandfather who thankfully had bonded with Birdie over their love of mysteries, was a bit more laid-back allowing Birdie some freedom. At first, Birdie goes a bit wild having a one-night stand with a stranger which doesn’t turn out as expected. She struggles with her poor reaction to the situation, more so when she turns up at her first job, the graveyard shift at a famous hotel and said one-night stand, Daniel, is a co-worker. As Birdie tries to navigate “adulthood” her and nineteen-year-old Daniel strike up a friendship working on uncovering the truth behind a mysterious hotel guest that leads to a shocking and unexpected discovery.

All-in-all a fun, well written, character driven book, I would highly recommend it. Just a note to parent’s this book does contain sexual content as well as suicide but it is handled in a very responsible and tasteful manner.



#Witchcraft and #SecretSocieties of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen by Nigel Pennick via #NetGalley #Review #NonFiction #Historical



Witchcraft & Secret Societies of Rural England Cover


Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England

The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen


Nigel Pennick

Release date: April 9th, 2019


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick from NetGalley and Inner Traditions/Destiny Books in order to read and give an honest review.

As a fantasy fiction writer, I have read some of Mr Pennick’s previous works as research material in the past, so this was right up my alley.

This author is prolific and knowledgeable when it comes to the folklore that surrounds paganism and it definitely shows in “Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England”.  As always, the author’s work is interesting, very meticulously researched and it is evident beyond doubt that he is passionate about the subject matter.

Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England” covers everything from the secret guilds that arose around trades to magic and folklore that surrounded witches. Sharing with the reader and giving us insight into their traditions and how they came to be.

Considering much of the history of these subjects was spread through oral tradition, being passed down through the generations, the author has discovered some very unique and interesting tales that are the origins of sayings or traditions still present today.  What really intrigued me was the folklore behind some of the artefacts that have survived, in particular, the “witch bottles” and “sprite traps”. Another impressive touch, which was particularly helpful, was the fact that the author included photographs and illustrations.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning about folklore and traditions that surround Anglo-Saxon paganism.


#NetGalley #BookReview of Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer (@craig_schaefer) #UrbanFantasy #Sci-Fi #Bibliomystery


Ghosts of Gotham

Ghosts of Gotham

by Craig Schaefer

Release Date: April 9th, 2019


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer from NetGalley and 47North in order to read and give an honest review.

I’m a Craig Schaefer virgin so to speak.  I have had quite a few people recommend his work to me but I’ve always seemed to have let it slip by.  This time when given the chance to read and review Ghosts of Gotham I finally seized the opportunity, and wow, I am so glad I did! It’s so unique, is a bit of everything…urban fantasy mixed with mythology, bibliomystery and so much action making this such a fun page-turner. 

Our main characterLionel Page is an investigative journalist who has made it his mission to debunk anything that is considered “Supernatural”. When another up and coming journalist finds out about his past and threatens to expose him things get serious.  Enter Regina, a wealthy, a very powerful socialite who wants to hire him to investigate the discovery of, and the impending sale of, a mysterious manuscript by Edgar Allan Poe. She promises him that if he gets to the bottom of things, he will never have to worry about his past being exposed, she will protect him.  He agrees and the adventure begins. Immediately flown to New York City he barely gets time to breathe as he is running over town, finding bodies as well as clues that make this manuscript more than meets the eye.  When Lionel learns that the reporter who threatened to expose his past is murdered, he truly wonders what he has gotten himself into.  His path keeps crossing with Maddie a very strong, savvy and beautiful woman who is mysterious and holds secrets his life will depend on knowing.

 I absolutely loved everything about this book, the characters, the pacing, the writer’s voice, his twisty plot turns…it kept me voraciously reading and desperate for more when I finished.  I also love the way he portrays women in this book, smart, flawed, beautiful and resilient.  

Filled with magic, mayhem and amazing plot twists that you just don’t see coming. This is a fantastic book I highly recommend! I will definitely be reading more of his work.