Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Random 'White Collar' post

happier times
Public Notice:This post has nothing to do with books....

Remember a few months ago when the season 3 finale of White Collar  aired and I had to air my personal grievances on ye olde blog?

Houston, we have a problem.  Did you guys see this week's episode?! Did you! DID YOU SEE IT! Did you see the two-parter that kick-started Season 4?

AHHHhhhhhhhh asdfasdf jaksdlf; jakdl fjakdsl UAAAUUGHHHHHHHH!

my heart! 

I can't.... I can't..... I just......

Don't worry about spoilers here, I am too emotionally distraught ....

all I have to say is PETER BURKE FOREVER

dsafjksdlfj aklsdf jkasld! the treasure map! 

 jakdlf jaklsdf jakld;f jaklsd;fj aiowe auiot aort ioar ut ioufgioa uidsfo auisdof uaisdof uaiosdf uio dusioa udisofp

*incoherent message truncated because I melted into a puddle*

if these two aren't together, my faith in the world is lost. LOST, i say!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Congratulations Lynn Austin

For the 8th (8th!!!) time, Lynn Austin won the Christy Award for Best Historical novel.  Far and away she has won more Christys than any other author and deservedly so: she is the best in the business.

Read my review of the award-winning Wonderland Creek

Read the full list of Christy Award winnners here 

Guest Post: Mary Manners, author of "The Wisdom Tree"

What Makes a ‘Good’ Bad Boy?
by Mary Manners
I’ve often wondered why women are so drawn to Bad Boys. I have a few of my own lurking in my past. My husband often jokes that he’s a Bad Boy, and I recently bought him a motorcycle just to keep the image intact.

When the idea for my debut contemporary inspirational romance, Mended Heart came to me, I knew I wanted to take a bad boy and turn him good (within the confines of 200 or so pages). What a daunting task! So, how does one ‘change’ a bad boy to good? First, one must understand the recipe for a bad boy:

Bad Boy Stew:
1 Overflowing Cup of Hidden Secrets
2 Heaping Tablespoons of Recklessness
1 Swollen Ego Mixed with a Rounded Teaspoon of Pride
A Dash of Insecurity
A sprinkle of Humor
Just a Pinch of Conscience
Garnish with Good Looks

Take the above ingredients and stir them well. Then add the girl he spurned in high school, who’s back in town with a vengeance. Blend them together and bake at high temperatures until he realizes she’s developed a backbone—and a sharp tongue. Throw their hidden secrets into the mix and let them churn for a while, then peek and see what’s cooking. Continue to let the contents mingle, watching for new developments. When the ingredients appear to be fully meshed and tender, remove from the heat and enjoy!

Now, it’s my firm opinion that every woman is drawn by a bad boy, but we also entertain the idea that deep down, somewhere in the depths of his reclusive heart, there’s a good boy just dying to get out. That’s what happened with Mended Heart. When the story opens, Shane Calkin is the proverbial rich kid in town. He runs with a wild, reckless crowd that shuns Jade McAllister…the poor girl from the trailer park whose father took off when she was a child.

But the passage of time—and a host of life-altering circumstances—set into motion subtle changes in both Shane and Jade. When they meet again, ten years later, on the steps of Pineyville Church, the ingredients they both bring to the recipe make them ripe for travel down a new path…into a fresh and exciting direction.

The most important ingredients in the Bad Boy recipe are the Hidden Secrets (what woman doesn’t like a few juicy secrets?) and the Pinch of Conscience…for this is what sets the desired change into motion. The sharing of secrets creates a strong bond between a man and a woman. And without at least the slightest Pinch of Conscience—which leads to a sense of loyalty when blended well with the other ingredients—there can be no real development or change.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a true Bad Boy always harbors just a hint of his wild nature along with the deep tenderness and loyalty that develops along the way. He’s willing—and ready—to fight to the death for the woman he’s grown to love. And, after all, a hint of Bad Boy, even when he’s good, is what keeps the excitement flowing!

visit Mary Manners on the web

Mary Manners is an award-winning author of inspirational romance who lives in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers.In her free time, she likes to garden, take long walks with her husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What should I REEEEAAAD ?

hi friends,

i am planning a trip to IRELAND and SCOTLAND! and i leave in just over a week. i have not been UK-ward since I studied there in 2002, opting instead to use the travel budget each year to head to different parts of Europe and North America.

what should i load on ye olde kindle?  yes, the good thing about a kindle is this: previous trips my suitcase had to allot plenty of room for numerous books and my travel budget had to include an emergency trip to a bookstore (sometimes even going out of my way to find an ENGLISH bookstore---which was, still fun, because I love bookstores; but i digress ).....

i get goosebumps just THINKING about stirling castle....

i would prefer to read some really fun and juicy historical novels about ireland and scotland.

i have done my share of chicklit and literary fiction and ACTUAL history of these areas; so please do not say JAMES JOYCE! JAMES JOYCE! because i hated ulysses. i did.  don't get it. don't care.....


suggesteth me titles ....

mostly i wanna hang out with these fellas: the highland cows!

...... i also can't wait to be immersed in these amazing accents. seriously: the scotch accent is my favourite in the entire world .... like james from 'sliding doors'

Thursday, July 05, 2012

be Less Crazy About Your Body by Megan Dietz

I confess I have image issues. Loads of them. I have grown up with them. I remember wondering at age 8 or 9 what would happen if I just ate lettuce for two weeks, I went through that awkward growth spurt that naturally curvy girls go through: hiding behind the flounces of a skirted bathing suit. I spent my teen and university years wanting to be Gwyneth Paltrow and, failing, failing, to realize that one cannot magically shrink bone structure, tried a variety of eating disorders ( from starving to starving to over-exercising to bulimia) to try and get things under control. I have obsessive food thoughts. I count calories. I love the control of food: the reward and the punishment.  I never think of food as fuel so much as something which tempts and taints resistance; a measure and metric to which I can weigh myself as a person with self-control. I am, without a doubt, one of the “crazy” people.  I am not the only female on the planet with these issues. Not by a long-shot.  Megan Dietz recognizes this and she wants to help us squelch it once and for all.  I first read her piece in the Hairpin and immediately bought the kindle edition of her book, Be Less Crazy about Your Body

Fortunately, about four years ago, I got a much better handle on things. I read voraciously about nutrition, about what I need to survive; about what exercise I can do and how I can work with what I have.  Always active, I am now extremely fit and healthy; but as healthy as I am and no matter how healthy I eat and live and exercise; I still have those persistent, mosquito-like thoughts.  They don’t go away. They ring through my brain.  They always will.And I desperately, desperately want to be THAT girl: the girl who maybe has a day or two where she feels a tad pudgy or who over-eats at a BBQ and has a moment of remorse; but then MOVES on…

I relish food guilt, I relish standing in front of a mirror, running my index finger over my ribs and around the decidedly different proportions between my waist and my hips and thinking: “ I wish I lived in the Victorian era. I could get away with hourglass then”  Never: “wow! Look at me! I look like a HUMAN GIRL!” and Megan Dietz wants me to see-saw my opinion of myself to the latter. That body image, regardless of era-centric ideal is something varied and wonderful.  Dietz wants us to own what we have, to be happy, to look at pictures on facebook and not have our mind-radar target each and every supposed flaw; rather to remember the happy time when the photo taken, what were we doing. Were we happy?

Dietz ( in her ridiculously reasonably priced Kindle book ) through a blend of snark and sass gives women a bit of a guidebook on how to survive each day as, well, as a woman in a 21st Century world where appearance is everything, where our bodies are forgotten as portals for goodness and strength and agility and are, instead, conscripted  by a self-reflective constant appraisal and, as society would have it, constant disappointment.

What strikes me about women is how they rail against societal dictations and still subscribe. When it comes to my body I am the world’s biggest hypocrite. As a proud equalist with feministic ridging who believes that women have the strength and power to be all; as a fervent believer that we should applaud the good and beauty in every form, I am still a prisoner to the ideal.  I am baited to the constant comparison.  I am a victim to the standard I can never live up to.

Dietz doesn’t suggest that these thoughts will go away; but she gives reasonable suggestions for reining them in.  She craves and revels in enjoyment; in the dichotomy; in the contrast between our railing against image and our embracing of the ideal thrust upon us by the media.

She also allows us a keen insight into her world: a curvy girl who entered a beauty pageant, who watched hours of herself on film just to get to the point where she could find the good apart from that immediate moment when we universally zero in on our flaws. She speaks to a friendship found outside of the convention of image and she speaks to the crazy mindset that has brought us this far. She’s too smart and savvy to couch this in a typical “self-help” way. Rather, she offers you a glass of proverbial wine and invites you to gab about it with her.  Gab outside of the restricting structure of comparative hate and loathing ( you know, we all do it---we get together with our girlfriends and the comparative hating begins). Dietz wants us to reclaim the female space outside of society’s permeating judgment.  She wants us to spend more of our life thinking about what our bodies can do, what we are made of ( of sterner stuff than cosmetic packaging) and how we can find constant enjoyment.

She wants us to be the generation that stops the insanity: that leads it away from mothers inherently (and inadvertently) imparting the same impractical wisdom on young girls. Dietz rightfully claims that we have more opportunity afforded us than any generation of women previously and yet we still fall into the same patriarchal trap when it comes to image. We need to renounce once and for all the conceptualization of ideal beauty as identified through the media.  We need to stop acting so bloody insane about it.

It’s a powerful and uplifting and funny ( snortle orange juice out your nose type of funny) book and I highly recommend you skip over to amazon and buy the Kindle edition.    Every woman I know has something they would like to change about themselves and I am getting a little tired of it, aren’t you? 

Jennifer Weiner would love this book, fyi.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Film Review: Swing Kids

Okay, last night I watched Swing Kids. I am going to give the entire plot away so Spoiler Alert. 

Guys, this is just what 1993 girls wanted to see: Christian Bale and Robert Sean Leonard and a very young Noah Wylie ( !!!) and a badly-accented Kenneth Branagh swinging the night away in 1939 Berlin. Oh 1939 Berlin, I can't think of any place in the world or history that would possible be worse than 1939 BERLIN! But, there's the beginning of a romance and a lot of showing one's 1930s undergarments while being swung into the air by an  enthusiastic male partner and pin-curls and bright red lipstick and socks and mary janes.

You see, there was a bit of a counter-culture inferencing Ye Olde Reich at the fringe of the Second World War.  Certainly Hitler was in power and certainly invasion and war were the close horizon and to this, a bunch of Count Bassie-groovin'-hepcats were spending the nights Jumpin' and Jivin' even though Swing music was outlawed.  Why, you may ask, was Swing Music outlawed?  Because Artie Shaw was Jewish and Count Bassie was black and OBVIOUSLY ( saith the party who read double-meanings into everything)their improvised melodic mumbo-jumbo was just another way to brainwash you away to having your own ideas apart from the safe, regulated German polka waltzes championed by Fuhrer Hitler. Guten Tag Hop Hop! Guten Tag Clop Clop! You get it.

Further, Swing Music accompanied a style of dress, of shenanigans, of long hair and British emblems and American speech. It may be the cat's meow ( I mean, look at Robert Sean Leonard with spats); but it was ACHTUNG DANGEROUS VERBOTEN! 

The swinginest kids in Swing Kids are besties Thomas (Bale ) and Peter ( RSL ), they hang out with their friends and listen to records, they go dancing every night, they go to school and chase girls whilst snapping and tapping their feet to music that the soundtrack plays; but, for all film credibility, must just be looping through their minds, they avoid being roped into the white-washing, aryanizing Hitler Youth movement ( think Rolf the telegraph boy in the Sound of Music)

Oh Rolf! you troublesome boy!

They bee-bop along. Christian Bale hates his rich father. Robert Sean Leonard ( his brown eyes straight from the tragedies that befell him in Dead Poet's Society) lives with his mother and little brother fully aware that his musician father was taken, tortured, interrogated for being proven to oppose Nazi forces. 

It ain't good kids. Things get more and more and more tense as trouble arises and tension mounts and some of the Original Swing Kids become little Gestapo Officers in training.  And the more things progress, the stupider Christian Bale and RSL get.

For example, they steal a radio from the bakery shop of one of the SS officer's girlfriends. Then they run with it down the street.  Christian Bale hops into a cart and Robert Sean Leonard is stuck behind and Christian Bale is all: "buddy! drop the friggin' radio!" and RSL is all: "no!" 

And, RSL gets thrown into the Hitler Youth.  Damn.  
In a moment of supreme bromance, Christian Bale enlists too so as not to leave his buddy behind.

The Hitler Youth is like an army camp of scary propaganda and it basically gives hormonal boys another chance to beat each other up : this time in the Name of the Reich.  Christian Bale and RSL and Noah Wylie (!!!) box in their tighty whities and wear lederhosen with their Nazi shorts and arm bands and slick back their hair and learn to click their boots and "heil" their way through town.

While Christian Bale is all "cool! we're the king of the castle"  RSL is le CONFLICTED!!!Because he has a heart and he begins to understand where his father was coming from.

Random Foyle's War Shot 

Remember that one time in Foyle's War when Andrew Foyle has shell-shock and you can tell he is just AACCCCTING his heart out (by the fireplace? while Sam holds his head and he wears a cableknit turtleneck?); guys, this is the same thing ... but on speed. Because, you see, RSL is actually quite a gripping actor.  He rises above the source material: the bad dialogue, the choppy editing, the overly-sentimental storyline, the loose threads ( RSL smuggling birth certificates out of books and to Jewish patrons ....say what? wrap that s**t up!, the JAMES HORNER SCORE with operatic undertones as the Hitler Youth learn to march and zieg heil! ) he rises above and beyond and displays a ridiculously competent sense of theatricality.  There is one amazing scene near the end of the film.  RSL has decided he just cannot deliver Swastika-emblazened boxes full of human ashes to widowers anymore ( obviously) and so he breaks it.  He breaks all of it.  He would rather be captured and go up in swinging flames than be part of this destructive movement so he starts his own pseudo-culture.  He strips out of his Hitler Youth uniform and adorns himself in his Swing clothes of old, he finds an underground club that breaks all the Nazi laws and he begins to dance. By himself. In a crowd.  To his own rhythm.  It breaks the Swing Culture, it breaks the Nazi Culture; it is his own moment of expressive potency; of reclaiming something in himself that he subconsciously knows will be stripped of him forever.  He wrestles and battles on the dance floor.  And if this were ANY OTHER ACTOR IN THE WORLD this scene would be laughably horrendous to watch; but it isn't, it's RSL and you believe him.  He moves and stomps and stamps with integrity. There is a fluidity to his movement and a passion-wracked fervour on his face that transcends all abounding horrors.

Christian Bale ( who has incidentally ratted out his own father for trash-talking Da Fuhrer) has so many unresolved issues that he leaps at his friend in the impending mob arrest.  They battle it the hell out: Christian Bale now conformed to Hitler Youth splendour with club and polished boots and RSL still glistening with the efforts of his solo " Dancing With Myself" routine. They are two sides of the same coin: one being the part of us that would find it easy to assimilate; the other the part we wish we could be : the bravery to stand up, to say "this is wrong!", to create a counter-culture of conscience.

Maybe don't watch the film; but watch this: 

Unfortunately, the whole thing ends realistically: meaning RSL is led off to a concentration camp.  Unfortunately, it also ends sentimentally: with his little brother standing in the rain-glazed pavement ( how is he not run over by that car?!) shouting Swing Heil! Swing Heil! 

....and you roll your eyes and turn it off and think: Well, RSL, I don't think that plot was worthy of your one-man show; but I'd like to thank everyone else for showing up and providing you a background canvas.  I don't really recommend this film because it wasn't that exceptional; but whatever.

p.s.Remember when they killed RSL off in House ? Yah. People should stop doing that.

and the WINNER is ........

for my blog hop giveaway....



I assigned a number to every commenter and then put them in a random integer generatory thingy on the web and this was the result!

Kailana you get some David's TEA and some signed JOLTED action!


Monday, July 02, 2012

'Code Name Verity' by Elizabeth Wein

"Write little Scheherezade," he says. It is a command. "Tell of your last minutes in the air. Finish your tale."

"Kiss me Hardy, Kiss me Quick!" You hear that, initially, and you think of Nelson turning to  Capt. Hardy on his deathbed at Trafalgar  But, to those who have read Code Name Verity ( and face it, you all will at some point, because it is the well-deserved and evocative book du jour), it will turn you into a blubbering idiot.

A friend just wrote me and called this book "The Usual Suspects" for teens.  While she is right ( there are enough twists and turns and surprises, you will want to start at the beginning again and piece it together to see where you went wrong and HOW certain things fell into place and WHO people really are and what side is what, etc., ), I don't think we should marginalize  this in YA zone. Because, I think a lot of people who would shy away from a book with a Young Adult categorization (fortunately, there are fewer and fewer of these people due to recent genre-blurring) , will not find ANYTHING remotely typical of a YA book found herein.  Certainly the ages of the heroines, Maddie and "Verity" bespeak young adult; but the dark subject matter of the book; the espionage, the daring operatives, the torture, the murder and the war-time devastation, will grip those of any age.

At the middle of a dark and sinister world lie Maddie and "Verity" who never, as "Verity" explains, had they met in peacetime, become best friends.  Finding your best friend is like falling in love, "Verity" tells us and it's true.  You know that moment of immediate kinship?  You know when you trip over all of the commonalities you have with a new acquaintance? The bond between these two women is immediate and unbreakable and that in itself is another reason to read this exceptional novel.  We read and view several examples of strong male friendship; but when was the last time you read a book casting odes to the tight connection between two women?  You will find it here: two halves of a whole; an exceptional team who set into motion ( intentionally and unintentionally) a series of twisting events that will have you guessing, weeping, confused, discovering and disbelieving every single moment of truth or untruth in the reliably unreliable narration.

It all boils down to a crucial moment which will change the book and the women with unequivocal force and, perhaps, will change the reader too.

This is the power of words, of tale, of strung oration.  This is what readers read for.  This is the type of novel you slip into: you smell the darkened, dank hotel basement-turned-Nazi interrogation centre, you hear the scrape of "Verity's" pencil on scraps of paper ( recipe cards, sheet music, prescription pads, anything the Gestapo can find ) as she desperately ( not unlike the Marquis de Sade infamously writing in blood on his prison cell ) coaxes a prolonged measure of her life through word.  For "Verity" has two weeks to tell everything about a botched flight operation over France. Two weeks to spill incessant codes and leak all truth to the Nazis.  She is truth foretold ( it is in her name).  After the two weeks
( strung onto a long and devastating tenure of torture), she will either (fortunately) be shot or sent either to a concentration camp or worse--- to become a lab rat for the Germans until her heart stops.

If, by some miracle, she were to escape, she would be shot on scene as a collaborator: for spilling her tale, for being weak while the squealing and agonized cries of those stronger than she prevail in neighbouring cells.

What gripped me about this book: The first half belonging to "Verity" the second to her best friend, spicy and mechanically-minded pilot Maddie, is how stark a contrast the reminiscences of "real", "normal" life singed and surged through the depravity of their captive recounting and the horrors therein.  While "Verity" writes of sharing a sticky bun and a "Brolley", of charming the men in a neighbouring pub, of "Peter Pan" and Dickens she is bound to a chair, her wrists and neck bearing burn scars, without light at the end of her tunnel. Both women recall light and warmth and laughter and conversations bottled up like a message tossed to sea that no one will read and yet both are in the midst of bleak depravity. It makes for one of the lesser jolts of shock and disillusionment.

To many of us, we think of the Second World War and immediately conjure images of the murky trenches and fire-cracker warfare in our mind's eye.  Rightfully so; for the battlefield we recall is one of the most stagnant images of the chilling loss of life and freedom in wartime years.  What Code Name Verity reminds us is that the universality of the battle stemmed far from the field: it infiltrated the farmhouses of those in the French resistance, it included those sent "underground" in sleek operatives, it effected everyone: those who outwardly fought or those who were on the sidelines--- the Land Girls, those in munitions factories, the pilots, the wireless operatives whose minds were riddled with Code.

Several reviews I have read speak to the cunning narration of the novel and the bafflingly wonderful surprises held within the unique plot structure. I do not want to take away from that experience; nor deflect from its potency.  However, there are several layers to this book's exceptional readability and one layer is the sheer beauty of the prose.  Wein is a poet: " The soaring mountains rose around her, the poets' waters glittered beneath her in the valleys of memory---hosts of golden daffodils, Swallows and Amazons, Peter Rabbit" ----See, "Verity" issues the Nazis her tale in the guise of a novel; using the plot devices even her chief interrogator immediately determines as English.

"People are complicated," "Verity" writes, " There is so much more to everybody than you realize.  You see someone in school every day, or at work , in the canteen and you share a cigarette or a coffee with them and you talk about the weather or last night's air raid. But you don't talk so much about what was the nastiest thing you ever said to your mother, or how you pretended to be David Balfour, the hero of Kidnapped, for the whole of the year when you were thirteen, or what you imagine yourself doing with the pilot who looks like Leslie Howard if you were alone in his bunk after a dance."

People are complicated, yes. The characters in this novel certainly so.  As for things not being what they seem: you will turn the last page, heave a deep breath and start at the beginning. You've been tricked and tried and wrung out with an emotional intensity few and far between in modern fiction and you must reclaim what pieces of your heart you left within---hopefully, as you string through again, your coherence will catch up.

It's a good puzzle, this.  And one of the best examples of historical fiction we have.  If ever there was a curse to literature told in first person narration, Wein has shattered it ....and then some.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Canada Day Blog Hop Day III: ARTHUR SLADE!


 Our giveaway remains thus:  you comment on ANY Canadian-themed post this week and I will put all of your names in a hat and you will win a little package including a signed copy of JOLTED, my favourite Canadian YA novel.

I AM SO EXCITED!  Today my favourite living Canadian writer is on the blog as a guest star! How lucky am I ....are the world? I have followed Arthur Slade's writing for about a decade and have read every book he has written ( and he writes in a myriad of genres, so there is a plentitude to choose from )

Arthur Slade is an award-winning author, hilarious tweeter, active facebooker and insightful blogger. He defines what it means to be an author who knows how to use social media to effectively reach a large audience.  He is also probably the nicest person you will meet: virtually or in person. I think this is partly because he is from Saskatchewan.  [Remember our Arthur Slade Field Trip?]


1.) Name a few of your favourite Canadian authors.
Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, Tim Wynne Jones, Kenneth Oppel, AE Van Vogt, Guy Gavriel Kay, Welwyn Wilton Katz, WO Mitchell...wait how much is a few?
2.) How is your Canadian identity reflected in books of yours which are set wholly in Canada ( like 'Jolted' and Dust ) and books that are set elsewhere (parts of Megiddo's Shadow, the Hunchback series)?
Well, I try to work Moose Jaw and hockey into each of my books. So far Moose Jaw has had the most mentions. But as far as my own Canadian identity, I think it just naturally flows from living in Canada. Those typically Canadian "feelings" and belief systems shine through. Dust has a hero who isn't really an action hero, he's more a "thinking" hero. Figuring things out. Finding inspiration from books that he's read. He doesn't charge into a situation. He assesses then, finally, commits to an action. That's very Canadian. Well, except when we play hockey. 
Though Edward in Megiddo's Shadow is probably my most Canadian character. He's very much in the middle of trying to belong to the empire and Canada at the same time and eventually chooses Canada. Whether that correlates with my own personality...I'll have to hire a team of therapists to figure that out.

The Hunchback series is an ode to Victorian literature. So I don't know what is Canadian in it...other than I try to add a few Canucks here and there to spice it up.

And Jolted and the Canadian identity? I think I can sum it all up in two words: Gopher Quiche.

3.) Have you ever won an award named for the vice-regal of a monarch in a major colonial realm? 
Yes. A long time ago. And I ate all the food I could get my hands on at the ceremony. Haven't had a meal since.
4.)  Can you speak to the Canadian book community: booksellers, publishers, readers, bloggers?
Yes. I can.
Err, do you want something different? Here's my deep reply: Booksellers, publishers, reader, and bloggers, lend me your ears. You are the support posts that Canadian culture is built upon. You are the glue that holds together the universe of Canadian literature. You are the hewers and sewers and hefters of words.

And my not so deep reply: I like you guys. You're great. Keep up the good work. Peace out.

5.) What are three words you would use to describe Saskatchewan?
Booming. Big. Blue Sky. Okay...I cheated.
6.) You can only have one thing for the rest of your life: poutine or maple syrup. Which would you choose?
Maple Syrup. You can't put poutine on your pancakes.
7.) What do you take in your Tim Hortons?
I only drink the tea. Coffee is evil. 

8.) Which Canadian Prime Minister was in office from 1957-1963?  Did you ever write a book about him?
John Diefenbaker, the greatest prime minister who ever set foot in the Oval office. Err, not the oval office but that other office. I did write a book about him. It turned me into a political junkie. A horrible state of mind...

9.) Do any of your book series have the words "Northern" or "Canadian" in their titles?
Funny you should ask. Yes. Northern Frights and Canadian Chills. I must move on to Southern Frights next. Southern Chills doesn't really work. Unless there's an ice age. Aha! Southern Chills: The Attack of the Yeti. I think I'll go write that.
10.)  Do you have any books publishing in July set at least partly on an Island?

Yes, how did you know? it's called Escape from the Blue Lagoon of Death. No wait, it's called Island of Doom, a much less dramatic title. And it's all about a young man named Modo who is a great reader of books (oh and secret agent and he can shift his shape, but that's beside the point).

Arthur Slade is an award-winning author, hilarious tweeter, active facebooker and insightful blogger. He defines what it means to be an author who knows how to use social media to effectively reach a large audience.  He is also probably the nicest person you will meet: virtually or in person. I think this is partly because he is from Saskatchewan.  [Remember our Arthur Slade Field Trip?]


A recap of the Canada Day Blog Hop thus far:

  • Kick-off post
  • Hey Canada blog tour
  • Mountie Day
  • Jessica Strider's 5 Canadian Sci-Fi and Fantasy book picks
  • Rachel and Katie's 5 favourite Canadian novels
  • East Coast Fiction with Kailana from The Written World