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#BookReview of #VoodooShanghai by Kristi Charish via @PenguinRandomCA #UrbanFantasy

 

Review

VooDoo Shanghi Cover

Voodoo Shanghai

The Kincaid Strange Series, Book Three

by Kristi Charish

Release date: February 18th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Lipstick Voodoo (The Kincaid Strange Series, Book Three) by Kristi Charish from Penguin Random House Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

… fast-paced mysteries with an urban fantasy/paranormal twist but with plenty of intelligence, wit and dark humour, making this series quirky, fun and extremely entertaining…

I am a huge fan of Kristi Charish so I was thrilled to get to review the third and final (?) offering from her Kincaid Strange Series. I really have fun with this series, the books are definitely fast-paced mysteries with an urban fantasy/paranormal twist but with plenty of intelligence, wit, and dark humour, making this series, quirky fun and extremely entertaining.   

Our protagonist, Paranormal Practitioner, Kincaid Strange, is on the case again picking up where Lipstick Voodoo leaves off with Kincaid now working as Gideon, a powerful sorcerer’s spirit’s, new apprentice. Although no longer working for the Seattle PD, Kincaid is getting her life back together and she is finding a moderate amount of success.  When her ex Aaron, asks for her help on an investigation in Portland, a case involving the ghost of who they believe to be Martin Dane, the White Picket Fence Serial Killer her newfound success in on the line. Something doesn’t sit right with Kincaid, she knows she is not being told everything and it’s making her a bit wary of taking the case but a young girl is involved.  When she receives a warning from the other side, her curiosity and sense of justice prevail and she pursues it even if it means her walking into a trap.  When she arrives in Portland she runs into more trouble than she expected, a magic bog, missing ghosts, zombies and witches just to name a few.

I love Charish’s female protagonist in both this series, Kincaid Strange and her Owl books
She writes strong, smart and sassy but also flawed female characters which make them easy to find empathy for and appreciate.  Although not a fan of zombies, in particular, Charish writes them in a fun way that enhances the quirkiness of her books.

All in all, a fabulous fun read but with one doozy of a cliff hanger at the very end which I really hope indicates we won’t be seeing the last of Kincaid Strange!  If you are looking for a fun, intelligent and quirky urban fantasy, this book is for you.

 

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Meet Coco, an affectionate boy looking for his “furever” home! #Toronto #Ontario #AdoptDontShop #caturday

Meet Coco

Coco Feb 8 2020

Coco is an absolute delight. This 1 1/2-year-old boy is playful, affectionate and knows how to get your attention by stepping on your foot, just to remind you he’s waiting. He has been vet checked, neutered and vaccinated. Coco was surrendered with his sister as the owners were unable to care for them. He’s comfortable around other cats, having been fostered in a multi-cat home. If you’re looking for a complete love bug, you’ve found him.

To meet this boy, visit him at Ren’s Pet Depot, 8 Lebovic Ave in Scarborough.

Or contact Katherine at scarboroughbluffscatrelief@gmail.com for more information. Application forms are available at Ren’s.

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

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#NetGalley #BookReview Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara #CrimeFiction #missingchildren

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

by Deepa Anappara

Release date: February 4th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara from Penguin Random House Canada and Netgalley in order to read and give an honest review.

“…atmospheric, intriguing story, with unique and sympathetic characters makes this such an incredibly engrossing read…”

Debut author and seasoned journalist, Deepa Anappara creates an atmospheric, heartbreaking and vivid portrayal of life in a basti when children go missing from an Indian slum. Bringing to light social issues, misogyny, religious conflict, police corruption, poverty, elitism and even a touch of folklore this book is more than meets the eye.

Obsessed with true-crime television, 9-year-old Jai dreams about becoming a detective.  When a classmate goes missing Jai and his friends Pari and Faiz decide to investigate when the local police are indifferent. “The Djinn Patrol” decides to look into the case but when more children are taken the case becomes much more than they bargained for and hits closer to home than they expected. 

Personally, this book is one that will stick with me for a long time.  The author brings to life vivid details in each and every scene, immersing the reader in the culture. Knowing that although fiction, much of the book is based on facts, is chilling.  The author also shares the tragic statistic that approximately 180 children go missing in India every day and that many never make the newspapers or are ever thoroughly investigated. Flawlessly written,  atmospheric, intriguing story, with unique and sympathetic characters makes this such an incredibly engrossing read that I would highly recommend!

 

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Two amazing kittens looking for their “furever” home! #Toronto #Ontario #AdoptDontShop

Meet Joey & Riley

Joey & Riley Banner

UPDATE: Although no longer at Ren’s these amazing boys are still up for adoption.  For more information contact Katherine at scarboroughbluffscatrelief@gmail.com.


Joey and Riley are 5-month-old brothers looking for their “furever” home. They have been vet checked, fully de-wormed and up to date on their vaccines.

Sadly, these boys were abandoned with their mother and littermates by their previous owner and are looking for a secure, loving home to call their own. Both really love to interact with humans and are extremely affectionate and playful.

We would love to see them find a home together but can be adopted singly, as long as they have another furry friend to play with and keep them company. The adoption fee is $150 each and all funds go back to help other cats and kittens in need.

To meet the boys, visit them at Ren’s Pet Depot, 8 Lebovic Ave in Scarborough.

 

Contact Katherine at scarboroughbluffscatrelief@gmail.com for more information. Application forms are available at Ren’s.

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

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

 

Meet Dax & –1 (Minus One)

Up for Adoption Dax & -1

 

**UPDATE: Great News! Finally, Dax and -1 have found a home together! We are so happy for them. A wonderful person saw their photos and immediately went to meet them. It was love at first sight. At last, these boys get to enjoy their freedom once again, with a devoted human who will spoil them forever.


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

Music Macabra Cover

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