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Handsome bonded kittens looking for their “furever” home! #Toronto #AdoptDontShop

 

Meet Dax & –1 (Minus One)

Up for Adoption Dax & -1

These two amazing four-month-old boys are looking for their forever home. Two amazing kittens these boys although not siblings, have formed a close bond and have been known to comfort each other when the other is stressed. Both although shy at first, are super affectionate once they connect with you.

Introducing Dax (black with silver; long-haired)

Found outside in October he was tiny, alone and soaking wet; starving he was too weak to stand.

Dax is pure joy, although timid with anyone new. Once you connect with him, he just shines. He gets along with other cats really well but has a special place in his heart for –1. He loves to play, is bright and very engaged!

Quirk: after playtime, he loves to crawl into your lap, exhausted, and fall deeply asleep. Also LOVES people food!

Introducing –1 (Minus One) (Gray; short-haired)

Named by the snowplow operator who found him one night all alone in a parking lot in –1-degree weather.

“Minus One” is a bit timid, sweet and gentle. With patience and love, he blossoms into an affectionate and playful little boy.

Quirk: a relentless snuggle-monster with fantastically soft fur.

Both of these boys are loving and sweet boys looking for a caring forever home where they will feel safe and loved.

These two boys were brought to the Scarborough Bluffs Cat Relief and can be viewed at the Pet Valu Store at Victoria Park & Eglinton Avenue.

Fee for pair is $300, both have been vet checked and vaccinated.

***Please note: GTA/Toronto adoptions preferred***

For more information please contact Katherine at getset2001@gmail.com

Our story:

Sherlock

Recently after losing our twenty-year-old cat last fall, we adopted our newest family member, Sherlock from the Scarborough Bluffs Cat Relief. It was love at first sight and we are smitten with our boy, he fits with our family perfectly. Although four years old he’s incredibly intelligent, cuddly and super playful! Katherine from Scarborough Bluffs Cat Relief is so incredibly caring and committed to rescuing and adopting cats out to their perfect “furever” homes!

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#NetGalley #BookReview of The Woman in the Veil (#Victorian Mystery No.4) by Laura Joh Rowland #Mystery

The Woman in the Veil

(#Victorian #Mystery No.4)

by Laura Joh Rowland

Release date: January 7th, 2020

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The Woman In The Veil


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Woman in the Veil (#Victorian Mystery No.4) by Laura Joh Rowland from NetGalley & Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

The Woman In The Veil is a new entry in Laura Joh Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series featuring crime-scene photographer and reporter Sarah Bain. I consider Rowland to be a master at writing fast-paced, suspenseful whodunits that keep readers on the edge of their seats. I have been fortunate enough to read and review her first three books in the series, the first The Ripper’s Shadow, the second, A Mortal Likeness, the third  The Hangman’s Secret and her newest book, The Woman in the Veil, like her previous books, does not disappoint.

Set in 1890 London, the adventure begins when Sarah, Mick, and Lord Staunton are called to photograph a disfigured, naked female body that has washed up on the banks of the Thames. While the police prepare the crime scene, Sara notices not all is as it seems, something is not right about the victim….the poor thing is actually alive. When the unidentifiable victim is in the hospital in a coma, Sara feels responsible to help get to the bottom of this.  She convinces her boss, Sir Gerald Mariner, owner of the Daily World newspaper to allow her to stay on the story. Mariner gives the victim the name Sleeping Beauty until she is identified. Sarah, Hugh, Mick and along with Sarah’s fiance, Constable Barrett, are determined to get to the truth about who Sleeping Beauty really is and who tried to kill her. The investigation heats up when three different parties show up, all claiming that they are the loved ones of Sleeping Beauty. When sleeping beauty wakes up from her coma with amnesia, things become more desperate, they must get to the bottom of things before the killer decides to finish the job.  When one of the parties claiming to know her is murdered, Sarah becomes a suspect and Inspector Reid, is back, with his usual animosity and Sarah’s life and reputation are at stake. Sarah true to form puts her life and reputation in jeopardy to get to the bottom and save the woman she’s become incredibly fond of.

If you are looking for a clever, fast-paced, Victorian mystery this is definitely a must-read.

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#NetGalley #BookReview Music Macabre (Phineas Fox #4) by Sarah Rayne #Historical #Mystery

Review

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Music Macabre

(Phineas Fox #4)

by 

Sarah Rayne

Release date: December 3rd, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Music Macabre(Phineas Fox #4)
by Sarah Rayne from NetGalley and Severn House Publishers in order to read and give an honest review.

” …clever, complex and incredibly well-written, this book keeps the reader enthralled…

This is the first novel I have read by Sarah Rayne and I know I will definitely be reading her others as well.  A modern-day mystery interspersed with a gothic victorian murder set in the late 1800s, the author manages to intertwine multiple plotlines wonderfully.

Music researcher, historian and author,  Phineas Fox is collecting research to write a biography about famous and flamboyant composer Franz Liszt. While researching he comes across Linklighters, a  recently opened restaurant that was once a well-known Victorian music hall.  Phineas meets it’s mysterious owner Loretta Farrant and uncovers old memorabilia that points to Liszt, Jack the Ripper and about the murder with the famous performer known as Scaramel at its centre. The story travels back in time to meet Scaramel, Daisy, Joe and hear about the gruesome murders that are occurring in the area. Present-day we follow Phineas as he uncovers research and we also learn about Loretta Farrant, her husband Roland as well as the mysterious death of Roland’s mother.

I actually really enjoyed this book but wished I would have seen more of Phineas.  This is the fourth book in a series and I regret not reading the previous three to get more of a glimpse into Phineas’s character but it was a fantastic read as a stand-alone.  Overall I found it clever, complex and incredibly well-written, this book keeps the reader enthralled until the last page and I would highly recommend it!

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Compassion in Action #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 five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Damyanti BiswasLizbeth HartzShilpa GargPeter Nena, and Simon Falk.

After  Jonathan Pinkard, a 27-year-old man with autism collapsed at work he discovered he needed a life-saving heart transplant. Sadly, he wasn’t able to meet the requirements because he wouldn’t have anyone to care for him after the surgery. Pinkard had been in and out of the hospital for a few months and often stayed at a men’s shelter. His grandmother passed away in 2012, and his mother was in rehab leaving Jonathon all alone. In steps ICU nurse Lori Wood who knew she had to get involved and help Pinkard. Just two days after meeting him, she asked if she could be his legal guardian. Watch the video below for more about this heart-warming story…

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Blissfully busy season ahead! #amwriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #amstudying #Archaeology #ForensicAnthropology #IrishMythology

November December Montage

“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Between now and next January is shaping up to be blissfully busy! November and December have always extremely busy for me and this year is no exception.  I have been busy taking courses for both pleasure and business.  I’m currently studying Forensic Anthropology, Archaeology and Irish Mythology as well as pursuing complementary courses and workshops for my creativity coaching practice at IgniteYourCreativity.net which I will be relaunching with new content, new courses and new look in Winter 2020.

As well as my courses and usual to-do list,  I’m also halfway through tackling this year’s NaNoWriMo. To sum it up,  in between writing essays, blog posts, book reviews and articles, I am attempting to finish my draft of a  50,000 word (min.) on my #UrbanFantasy #Gothic novel by the 30th.  So far I’m on track, but as with most writers, the first draft is awkward, messy and often frustrating but it’s become an addiction I’m not ready to quit.

Keep your eyes open for Professor Owl’s Book Corner December Newsletter for Young Adults coming out this weekend, my #WATWB We are the World Blogfest post on November 29th and a few book reviews coming up over the next few months. I will be taking a hiatus of sorts over the last two weeks of December to celebrate the holidays with family.

“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re living with passion and purpose!  🙂
Live, laugh & love! ❤

#amwriting #researching #mythology #egyptology #urbanfantasy #gothic #writerscommunity #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #bookreview #authorinterviews #journaling

““Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”~Neil Gaiman

My Spotify Playlist ~ #AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #Mystery ~ The Secret of Living

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Psssst…A Secret Revealed… #ShortStories #SCCA4 #AnimalsAcrobaticsAttitudeand Amore #AwardWinner #NewAppleLiteraryService

A Secret Revealed

New Apple Literary Services has been holding on to a secret for a few months. Why? Because they wanted to provide their viewers with all the information and the sparkles that are medallions on their website. Just like National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo it’s been a work in progress.

Not sure what I’m saying?

New Apple Literary Services held a Summer eBook Awards competition earlier this year (2019). After the results were tallied, some categories had more than one book that met or exceeded their expectations. Since there is only one Solo Medalist per category, the judges must determine the best of those and then assign the others in the Official Selection category. November 10, 2019, they updated their website with the winners.

If you’d like to see who won what, you can visit: http://newappleliterary.com/2019ebookwinners.html

Why am I telling you this?

My friend and fellow author, Lynn Hallbrooks, participated in this competition. Her book, Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore, won Official Selection in the Short Story Collection category. http://www.newappleliterary.com/2019ebook/2019ebookCat20.html

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What can you do?

You can help me applaud her efforts. That can take the form of sharing this blog post, purchasing her book (see links below), and/or simply saying congratulations to her here or on social media.

Bonus: The book is currently on sale for 99 cents (USD) and equivalent around the various global market places.

Of course, you aren’t limited to saying congratulations to Lynn, you can say it to all the winners of this competition. If you’re an author you could consider participating in future events: http://newappleliterary.com/awards.html

CONGRATULATIONS LYNN!

About Lynn

Lynn Hallbrooks posing

 

Lynn Hallbrooks is a USAF veteran who enjoys reading as much as she does writing. She even started a website to share the love of books with fellow authors and readers. https://author-reader-cheerleader.weebly.com/

Lynn runs her own business, Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC where she self-publishes books among other things. You can see the range of her books and connect with her social media platforms via her website: https://cswcllc.weebly.com/

You can find Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore via multiple vendors. Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6C2FB3

Amazon global: mybook.to/SCCA4 Multiple vendors: https://books2read.com/SSCA4

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#Author #Interview with Damyanti Biswas ( @damyantig ) About Her Debut Novel #YouBeneathYourSkin proceeds to go to @projectwhydelhi & @stopacidattacks

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Recently had the pleasure to interview author Damyanti Biswas about her debut novel “You Beneath Your Skin”. Welcome, Damyanti! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your debut novel, “You Beneath Your Skin”.

You beneath Your Skin” is my debut published by Simon And Schuster. It is a literary crime novel set in New Delhi, about a woman who suffers an acid attack, against the background of a crime spree. I’ve been writing short stories for more than a decade, and they’ve been published in a few venues, and for the last three years, I have been one of the editors of the Forge Literary Magazine.

Please share with us what was the inspiration behind your novel?

You Beneath Your Skin” was written over six years, so I don’t know if there was a firm inspiration. Anjali’s character came to me first, and I kept going back to her. Her son, her lover, her friend, her troubles. The rest of the novel came from there.

 You are a very prolific writer, how was working on this novel different from your previous work?

I’ve written “You Beneath Your Skin” over many drafts. 15 rewrites, 15 edits, and many rounds of copyedits. I draft my work several times of course, but this one took more patience and perseverance that anything I’ve ever done.

 As an author what does your average work/writing day look like? Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?

I do not have average days—my days are all different. Some days I write like a maniac for 14 hours, and others, I don’t write at all. Most days I try to get in a long walk, some exercise, a bit of gardening and cooking. I try to write either in complete silence at home and if the words don’t come, at a busy café with white noise earphones. Once in a while I would use a song when writing characters—I did that a fair bit for “You Beneath Your Skin.”

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a writer and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is within. Mostly, it is about writing without any expectations. To write a novel over months and years needs a lot of discipline and self-motivation, and to sustain this gets difficult on days when the words don’t pour out or the rejections trickle in. The writing life is a head game. To keep at it despite the obstacles can be a challenge sometimes, but I don’t know that I have any tips to overcome them. I cope with self-doubt and disappointment from rejections by writing for fun, for no reason at all. That always reminds me why I wanted to write in the first place, to create worlds, to go out of myself, and for a sense of immersion.

What advice would you give someone new to writing?

Writing is about writing. Not reading about writing. Not writing about writing. Writing is also about figuring out your own process, about listening to advice but taking only that which works for you. About true clichés like hard work and grit and not giving up. It is also about reading a lot, pretty regularly.

What message do you hope your readers take away with them after reading your book?

I don’t necessarily think You beneath Your Skin does or needs to, carry a message. When I began writing it, I had no message in mind. Now I feel it is about appearances and reality, and the ability to look beneath the surface. About women and their place in this world. I had set out to tell a good story, but I hope readers carry away an experience of what it is to be a person in New Delhi in contemporary India.

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

I’m on my website http://www.damyantiwrites.com, and that will connect you to my entire online presence. I’m continuing to write more crime novels and short stories, and am currently wrapping up travels in India about You Beneath Your Skin.

About You Beneath Your Skin

Review Blurbs

“You Beneath Your Skin” is a crime novel about the investigation of an acid attack on a woman from Delhi’s upper class, set against the backdrop of crimes against underprivileged women. They are assaulted, disfigured with acid, and murdered. While the framework is that of a thriller, the novel threads together different narrative strands. The author tackles various social issues: crimes against women and why they occur, the nexus between political corruption, police and big money; the abuse of the underprivileged, be it, adults or children. Of these, the issue of crimes against women is the strongest—why do men attack women? Why do they gang together? What happens when a woman tries to break the glass ceiling? Can toxic masculinity masquerade as benevolent patriarchy? Parents would also find this novel fascinating: how do you bring up a good human being in today’s troubled times? How much do you know about your teenager’s life? If you’re the parent of special needs child, what challenges do you face and what sort of support can you expect? It is a whodunnit, but also a whydunnit because violent crime unravels those affected: the people, the relationships, the very fabric of society, and we get a glimpse of what lies beneath. That’s why the title, You Beneath Your Skin. The narrative of the book was researched and shaped during the author’s work with ProjectWHY and some of the experiences generously shared by acid attack survivors from the non-profit Stop Acid Attacks. To return this debt of gratitude, all author proceeds from the book will go to these two non-profits.

D Biswas Bio PictureAbout the Author 

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi’s underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog and twitter. All the author proceeds will go to Project WHY and StopAcid Attacks.

I would like to thank Damyanti for taking the time to speak with us, please Check back next week to read my review of “You Beneath Your Skin“! 

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer#Historical #Mystery #Sherlock

Review

The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols Cover

The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols

Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.

by Nicholas Meyer

Release date: October 15th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols
(Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.) by Nicholas Meyer from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/MacMillan in order to read and give an honest review.

” …an intelligent and intriguing read …”

I have always been a fan of author Arthur Conan Doyle and have always loved stories that bring the brilliant duo back to life. In The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols, Nicholas Meyer does just that.   At an auction, a newly discovered mysterious journal of Dr JohnWatson surfaces with the notes from a 1905 investigation: The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols. After a lengthy absence from his partner Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson a newlywed and very busy physician is drawn back into the life when a murder points to a mysterious document, zionists, antisemitism and political corruption. Fiction mixed with real events in history this is a unique approach taking us on the Orient Express from Paris to Russia. Holmes, Watson and their fiery and very beautiful translator, Anna Strunsky are on a quest to find the original source of the document and the corruption behind it. They are chased by a wide-reaching group who wants to stop them from asking questions that could disrupt their plans and destroy their future!

I have to say although slow to get into at first I enjoyed it and found it an intelligent and intriguing read that I would definitely recommend!

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Books of the Dead: A Death in Paris Mystery by Emilia Bernhard via @crookedlanebks #Mystery

Review

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The Books of the Dead

A Death in Paris Mystery #2

by Emilia Bernhard

Release date: October 8th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Books of the Dead
(A Death in Paris Mystery #2) by Emilia Bernhard from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

Having read Ms Bernhard’s first book in the series, Death in Paris, I have to say she has outdone herself!

Best friends Rachel and Magda are at it again after being persistent amateur sleuths and beating the police in solving a murder in the first book of the series Death in Paris.  This time when dining at a small cafe Rachel stumbles across the body of a male librarian from the Bibliothèque National.  Reuniting with Capitaine Boussicault, she is thrilled when he asks her to go undercover as a volunteer at the library to observe after a previous murder had occurred as well. Rachel is thrilled to be given the opportunity, unfortunately, Magda feels left out when the mission is only for Rachel.  Although just meant to observe Rachel gets pulled deeper into the investigation which appears to be linked to missing antiquarian illustrations.  After overstepping boundaries Rachel eventually gets dismissed by the police but is determines to solve the crime needing her best friend Magda’s help.  Working together they work to solve the two murders.

After reading several very “heavy” books this was a fun and intriguing cozy murder mystery which kept me guessing to the very end.  I was sure I knew who did it but was left second-guessing after coming across some very cleverly placed red herrings. I also love the quirky, flawed and very fun characters that Ms Bernhard has created.

This book would be great as a stand-alone, but I do recommend reading the first as it is also a fantastic read, both I feel are suitable for most ages.  A fun, brilliant read that will keep you turning pages!