Book Review: Greyhound of the Baskervilles

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Greyhound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle with some new bits by John Gaspard

My husband knows how much of a crazy dog lady I am. Sometimes while he is working away, he sends me random surprises. So finding this book in my mailbox one afternoon made my day. I just finished reading it and writing a review for a newsletter for a greyhound group I’m in, so I thought I would share here.

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This is new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
It’s the same story. Mostly. That is, it contains the same characters, the same action, and much of the same dialogue.
What’s different?
Well, it’s a little shorter, a little leaner, a little less verbose in some sections.
But the chief difference is that it’s now narrated by a dog. A greyhound, in fact, named Septimus.
In this new edition, he tells his story of how he became “The Greyhound of the Baskervilles.”

Legend has it that the Baskerville family are cursed to be murdered by a demonic hound that lives upon the moor. So when Henry Baskerville is the next heir set to move into the family home in Devonshire, there are worries that his life is in danger. Holmes sends Watson and Septimus to go with Henry, and start an investigation into the truth behind the hell hound.

.I was very pleased to discover that the book is in the point of veiw of Septimus, the greyhound that Sherlock rescued. Septimus takes his job seriously, as he knows he plays an important role in helping his master solve crimes.

The creepy atmosphere is perfect for this mystery. The moor, the fog and curious neighbors all combine well for this tale.

I highly recommend this book for any bookworm who loves dogs, especially greyhounds. I love the classics but I find sometimes they can be a bit verbose, so I enjoyed this leaner version. I was chuckling in the first few pages at Septimus. Like any dog, he worries he will starve to death one day (even though he is very well fed) and he can be stubborn (who wants to walk in the rain?!)

Does Septimus help save the day? Does the hell hound exist and who really wants the Baskervilles dead? You will just have to get a copy and find out yourself. 😉

I found this cartoon by Richard Skipworth, which I found very fitting. 😉

greyhoundcartoon

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Book Review: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making of The Princess Bride

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Book two of 2019 is one that my hubby gave me for a gift last year. I’ve crossed off ‘A book that makes you feel nostalgic’ on my  reading challenge . It was the perfect gift. before I get into my review, I should say a few things.

First, The Princess Bride Came out when I was five. I watched it at least five hundred times, if not more. I can recite dialogue as it is being said, (or randomly with friends). This movie made me fall in love with fantasy, pirates, princesses and whimsical worlds. It has gotten me through illnesses (including the WORST FLU EVER, when I watched it 9 times in one week). It is the movie I pick up when I am blue, when I am happy or whenever I just want to relive the story of Westly and Buttercup.

I have read the book, which sits proudly on my bookshelf. I own the board game, and am planning a tattoo. So when Mr. C gave me this book, I fell in love with him even more. Because that man just gets me.

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

as you wish

This book is a MUST HAVE for any fan of the film. Cary writes about all aspects of making the film, including when he was cast, the table reading, meeting his fellow cast mates, how he injured himself on set: twice, preparing for the duel, and the last day of filming.

He tells stories of what it was like having Billy Crystal on set, the night he went for drinks with Andre the Giant and how the film became a classic

There are also inserts from many people who worked with him, giving their take on the movie, different things that happened and how the film affected them.

I devoured this book, and I am so pleased that Cary Elwes wrote it. It will sit on my bookshelf, right next to my copy of The Princess Bride. Now if you will excuse me, I think it is time for me to watch the best film ever made.

What film(s) have affected you? Which one got you through rough patches or made you fall in love with new worlds?

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One is my first read of the New Year, and it also crosses ‘A Book You Meant To Read In 2018’ off of my list from Pop Sugars reading challenge.

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In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I don’t know what I love more about this book: the fact there’s so much 80’s jam packed into this, or the geeky goodness. I’m an 80’s girl. I love the movies, music and the decade as a whole. Growing up in it made me the nerd I am today. So I loved reading a book that took me down memory lane.

The book is pretty freakin good, in my opinion.

Wade is a believable character, and I found myself feeling for him and rooting for him from the beginning. From living in poverty, to trying to escape reality and escape what his life is by winning the big contest, he has a lot on his plate. The futuristic setting is also very realistic. I often wonder what living will be like in the future, with an every growing population. The stacks described a scary view of what living may look like. Technology keeps progressing and the OASIS sounds like something that could very well come to pass.

The OASIS is an intriguing thing, but shows the dangers of technology.  People spend most of their time hooked up in a virtual reality world. Some to escape their crapping real life, or for other reasons, like making money or friends.

I also loved the supporting characters. I’m a sucker for any type of ragtag group, even if they weren’t working together.

When Wade is searching for the first clue to the key and passing the gate, I felt like I was playing the game with him. At one point and let out a “Yes!” as his points on the big scoreboard increased. Maybe it is the gamer in me, but I loved reading about every point he earned and every time he unlocked a clue and found a key.

Of coarse every story, especially in a world where fortune is involved, has to have a Big Bad. In this case a corrupt and evil corporation that wants to win so they can own the OASIS and do whatever they please with it.

I did find the novel to be too wordy. Long descriptions were used in places I (personally) didn’t think necessary. Aside from that though, I pretty much loved every aspect of this book. It was a really fun read.

 

New Year, New Goals

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Last year I decided to set myself some goals for 2018. Get back to reading, increase how often I write, etc… I wanted to make another list for goals for 2019 and try to improve upon what I managed to do this year. There are some personal things I want to work on, but they won’t be on this list. They aren’t resolutions, just changes I want to make, and not because its the time of year everyone tries to improve themselves. These are things I want to do anyway.

So, here is my new goal list for 2019!

The Book Pile: I didn’t reach my goal of reading 15 books in 2018. I had some personal life crap that put me off of doing much. I can’t read or focus well when I am stressed. But I did get 9 or 10 under my belt, discovered a new author and binged on some great books. This year I am attempting to tackle this reading challenge from Pop Sugar. Right off the top when I read this list I have at least 11 books on my shelf that fit for it. I plan to set my goal again for 15 books, and hopefully this time I will reach it at the very least.

Blogging: I will be blogging book reviews again, writing topics and the like. I would like to make a schedule but instead I will aim for writing once or twice a week.

Writing:  One thing I really want to improve is how much I write and work on my projects. I want to spend at least 10 minutes a day writing. Which is better then what I do now. There are times I go months without writing, and I really want to change that. Plus I have too many plots in my head that need to come out. You know, to make room for more ideas I can’t keep up with. 😉

Other stuff: When I was looking back on my Facebook photos the other day, I forgot how fun this year was. From comic con to a mini road trip with my mom and sister, the good outweighed the bad. I want to keep that up. I have a few ideas for this year that I hope pan out. I also have small projects I want to get at, like some crafts and I have stacks of photos that need to be organized.

So, do you have any goals for the year? If so what is on your list?

Top Faves of 2018

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Hey all! Well, we are about to say goodbye to another year. Since I started off this year focusing on the positive, I thought I would make my last blog post of 2018 on the same note. From books to tv and personal moments, here is my list of favorites from the year!

Book: While I didn’t read as many books as I had wanted this year, I did binge out on some great reads. It’s a hard thing to pick a favorite book, but I think for this list I am going with new-to-me author Candace Osmond and her Dark Tides series, which I have raved about here. The Devil’s Heart is the first in the series and it got me hooked! I am looking forward to reading more of her work in 2019.

Movie: Again, another hard pick. I watched a lot of great flicks and there were a ton that came out this year I didn’t get to watch yet. But I am going with Black Panther, which was a kick ass awesome movie! I loved every aspect of this movie, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Song: I got hooked on a few new bands this year, thanks to my husbands great taste in music. The band July Talk is now on the top of my list of fave bands, but the song Roots by In This Moment is my binge song of the year.

Celeb Meet: Hands down, Manu Bennett. I met a few cool people and had a blast at comic con in Toronto, but he was on my bucket list for a few years and I was supposed to meet him a few years ago. He was an awesome guy, and I enjoyed chatting to him.

me and manu

I was so happy meeting him I didn’t even care I looked like shite in this pic haha.

Life Moment: Adopting our greyhound, Foxy. It has been a much more rewarding experience then I could ever have imagined. Watching her come out of her shell has been amazing. She’s a hoarder of stuffies and she makes me laugh every day.

 

Bucket List Moment: Getting to see Bryan Adams in concert with one of my best friends. Mr. C surprised me with the tickets last spring. He wasn’t able to come with me but miss Tanya joined me for an amazing night.

concert

This year was a good one. I hope 2019 is just as good. What are your favorites of 2018? I would love to hear what book, movie or moment is on the top of your list! 🙂

Writing News: My Book Release!

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Happy October, y’all! It’s 2:32 am on this first day of my favorite month and I can’t sleep. For two reasons. 1) I napped a lil too much today. And 2) My e-book is now LIVE!!! I am so excited! I got the email just a few minutes ago from Amazon that it’s now up and available! *squeeeee*

 

Lily and quinn cover

Lily Myers is living an ordinary life until she meets Quinn Carter. When Quinn turns out to be a century-old vampire, Lily is thrust into a reality where she’s an unwilling believer. But as her fear fades and her curiosity wins out, she finds herself falling for Quinn and learning more about this new world. From hunting down a vampire killer to meeting werewolves, Lily’s life has definitely taken a turn…but whether it’s for the worse or better, she’s still finding out.

This collection of short stories are those that I have written over the last ten years. The first story, Awake and Alive, is one I am proud of as it was the first story I ever had published. But each one in this collection holds a place in my heart for one reason or another.

I have fallen in love with these characters, and I keep getting sucked back into their world. There is so much I can do with the world I created for them. And they are always getting into trouble somewhere and meeting new…beings.

Since October is a month for spooks and the supernatural, I figured it was the perfect time to release my collection. I plan to write some posts this month about my characters, but in the meantime you can start getting to know them over here at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. 

I do plan to expand to Kobo and a few other places. Bear with me, my fellow word lovers. This world of self publishing is a new one for me. 😉 Now I think it is time for me to head to bed, since work isn’t too many hours away!

September Check In

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Where did summer go? I feel like I blinked and it’s over. I know it is still technically summer, but it feels like it is over with school back in session and the weather cooling off a bit.

First, a Foxy update. Our newest furbaby is really settling in. While she is yet at that “Hey love me!” stage with the tail wagging all the time, I think this photo is proof she is comfy in her new home.

foxygirl

I have been so busy with life in general I even forgot to post an end of August update. Opps. My bad.

Also, today is mine and Mister’s 2 year wedding anniversary. Feels like just yesterday I was elbow deep in wedding stress. But hey, I got to blow it off by ‘killing’ the wedding party. They were zombies, what could we do? 😉

wedding fun

One of several shots our photographers took. One was altered for a zombie Apocalypse. 

I have been thinking about my goals for the fall. I plan to get back to reading, writing and plan my novel (or short stories) for November. I have a few unfinished pieces that I really want to get back at.

My office aka my Bear Cave is almost organized. At this point it is good enough. I have all sorts of projects I want to do with crafts and photos this winter. I have at least space to do it in.

What are your fall plans?