Better Late Than Never?

Okay, so here’s the thing. At the beginning of 2019, I did a video where I discussed what I wanted to accomplish for 2019 in terms of reading and writing.

Turns out I accomplished exactly 0 of those goals.

And you know what? I’m totally okay with that. Even though I didn’t complete them, just setting them made me more conscious of where I was spending my time and energy. If I wanted to write a novel by the end of 2019 (which you can probably tell didn’t happen), then I should at LEAST be putting time towards that, right? You know what I accomplished instead of writing a novel? For the first time EVER, I completed #nanowrimo. Do you know how awesome that felt?? I count that as a win, even though it wasn’t my main goal.

The other thing I wanted to do more of (or less of, sentence structure is a thing), was buying less books. In fact, I’m pretty sure my goal for 2019 was to buy NO new books. Guess what? Totally failed at that. I maybe made it three months before I purchased a book. And when I finally did purchase a book, I figured the gates had been breached so might as well allow myself to buy a couple more.

But, what it did make me consider, was what books I was bringing in. Instead of mindlessly buying whatever, I established a couple of rules to kinda-sorta feel better about the goal breaking. 1) a book had to be on my wishlist for awhile before I could buy it or 2) it had to be part of a series I already had on my bookshelf for me to buy it. Although these rules didn’t always apply, they at the very least made me stop and think before I purchased something. Considering I bought maybe a third to a quarter of what I bought the year before, I’m counting this as a win too.

The one thing that did take a hit in 2019 was my blogging. I thought starting a YouTube channel would be more fun (it has its perks) but that quickly fell off to the wayside as well (three whole videos were made). Instead, I spent the majority of 2019 falling back in love with reading. Just reading to read. What a novel (pun intended) idea.

For 2020, I’m not making any goals. Will I read? Yes. Will I write? Yes. Will I blog? Maybe. What I will do is enjoy myself.

So there’s that.

4 Years!

It was pointed out to me the other day that last week marked 4 years since I started this blog. Four whole years. Which is crazy to me. Time makes no sense.

In honour of that accomplishment, I’ve made a list of things I’ve learned in those four years. All of the knowledge I’ve gained, all of the wisdom I have knocking around in my head, all of the information I can pass onto you lovely people.

Ha. I’m joking. No wisdom. Just a quick yay from me to me.

If I’ve taken anything away from these past four years, it’s back up your damn website. Because that was a whole ordeal I’d rather not repeat.

Space and Time Continue

There’s a space inside my head

An empty space

An echo.

A place where words used to dance,

Mouths used to whisper,

People used to kiss.

The light

Behind my eyes

Sparkled off the ideas within.




So suddenly the light fades

When there is no one there to notice it.

Unappreciated it drip, drops

Leaking slowly out of my head.



2019 Reading & Writing Goals from a Procrastinator

2018 has been a year. A year of saying no instead of yes, a year of making time for the things I really want to do, a year of making space for the person I want to be; a year of growing into that person and her quirks. It has also been a year of lost motivation, unread books, and unwritten words.

I like setting goals (or resolutions as they are so fancily called this time of year), but I rarely follow through on them. One of my goals for 2018 was to keep on top of posting reviews and writings here, but that quickly fell by the wayside.

And you know what, that’s okay. Why? Because goals should be flexible. They should bend and shape with the person you are. They should adapt to the growth you experience and the pitfalls you encounter. Rigidity only heightens the sense of failure.

For 2019, I have two main goals, which fall under one umbrella goal; don’t let the fear of failure stop me from doing things I’ve always wanted to do. Who cares if I look like an idiot, put something out into the world that isn’t perfect, or end up failing at whatever I do anyway? The point of it is that I’ve tried.

The fear of failure has stopped me from doing a lot of things in life (got to love anxiety), but the biggest thing it has stopped me from is writing. Why sit down and write a book when it’s going to suck anyway? Well, not anymore.

But that, along with my other goal for this year, you can view in my first video for my YouTube channel. Because when you’re fighting back against anxiety, why not tackle the scariest and biggest thing you’ve wanted to do for awhile; putting your face on the internet for everyone to see.

So, that’s my plan for 2019. We’ll see how well it goes.

Here I am, world. Be gentle.

Why I Haven’t Been Reading (2)

I have an excuse. I have many excuses. Some may say I am full of nothing but excuses.

As some of you know, many of you may not, November is NaNoWriMo. Or National Novel Writing MonthFor those of us crazy enough to give up sleep and a social life for 30 days, this is a chance to buckle down and prove to everyone that will listen that you a writer can indeed spit out 50,000 words in a short amount of time.

Anyone that has talked to me at length this month has been told about this book I am writing. This child I am birthing. This thing that I am banging against the walls in the hopes that PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET YOURSELF ONTO THE DAMN PAGE.

For ages I’ve been a hardcore panster. That is, to say, I don’t plan what I write. I just write. The muse and I sit down over some coffee and we talk. It weaves a story, I dictate it as fast as my fingers will carry.

The issue with this being that sometimes I’ve given the muse too much coffee and it’s walked off to ramble by itself in the corner and I’m left staring at a blank page.

All of this to say that I haven’t been reading this month because I’ve been writing instead.

I am sleep deprived. I am slightly incoherent at this point.

But, on the plus side, I’ve written 24,000 words which is more than I’ve ever written on one project. Ever.

I mean, it’s not 50,000. But it’s a damn fine start.

Detective Docherty and the Demon’s Tears

Detective Docherty and the Demon's Tears

Detective Docherty and the Demon's Tears by Sarah WaterRaven
on August 20th 2012
Genres: urban fantasy

It was called The Great Awakening, when humans around the world awoke to a new reality. In their homes, on their lawns, and in the streets, fairies, trolls, and shapeshifters began to roam. Exposed to mankind, they had a choice: assimilate into human culture or be destroyed by it.

They live among us now, renting apartments, laboring in the workforce, and paying taxes. Wood nymphs keep the cities green; trolls bounce for nightclubs, and dwarves own the finest jewelry shops in town. The world is full of magick again, but with new neighbors come new crimes.

A new class of detectives has emerged. Meet Detective Docherty, a forgetful, old fashioned detective who throws traditional methods out the window. Who needs technology when it only attracts pixies? With his vampire assistant, the two work together to keep the peace between their two kinds. Throw in a mysterious stranger and a pet goldfish and you have a recipe for an adventure full of mystery and magick.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Pinky swear!

I met Sarah at a writer’s group that I joined when I moved. She was discussing abusive relationships in books with someone else at the table. Naturally, being the person that I am, I inserted myself into the conversation. We got to talking and I mentioned I run a book review blog. She mentioned she’s written some books. It was a match made in heaven.

When Sarah gave me her first book to read, she told me to be honest with the review. I told her I would be, even if it meant she didn’t like me any more. She assured me that wasn’t a problem.

When I picked up Detective Docherty, I realized it’s the exact type of book I’ve always wanted to write, which made me even more excited to read it. I love that it takes place in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area, for those non-Ontario, Canada people), so I know many of the places that she mentions in the book. There’s just something special about reading a book and knowing you’ve stood where some of the characters are standing (hypothetically). Sarah does a really good job of painting the scene even for places I haven’t been before, like Docherty’s office. The descriptions are wonderful.

Out of all of the characters in the book, I identify most with Ares. I don’t know what that says about me. Half of the book is told from his point of view, half told from Alexandria’s point of view. While Alexandria is young, cheery, and excited about life, Ares is grumpy, pulled back, and paranoid. Mind you, he is a vampire, so I feel like that comes with the territory. Both points of view are written well; I never confused who was talking. I think Sarah’s hands down best talent is her ability to develop distinct characters. Not one of her characters sounds like any of the others, they’re all distinct personalities, even if they’re only in the story for a page.

The other thing that I appreciated about Detective Docherty was all of the mythology that Sarah’s weaved in. It’s done in such a way where it’s completely just part of the world. She doesn’t info dump, even though she has to explain these myths as the story progresses so you know what’s going on. It was done really well.

The one issue I had with the book was the plot line. I felt like some parts of it were rushed or not explained enough, which did confuse me at some points. It wasn’t enough to deter me from continuing the series, but it did make me stop reading a couple of times to figure out what was going on.

All in all, Detective Docherty and the Demon’s Tears is a great first book in a series that I can’t wait to continue. I might be a tad jealous and wished I’d written it myself 😉

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Rake and The Recluse

The Rake and the Recluse - A Tale of Two Brothers by Jenn LeBlanc
Published by Iris Photo Agency on February 10th 2011
Genres: romance
Pages: 430

Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn’t quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to another horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.How does she find herself in the past, when she couldn’t even find herself in her present? How does a self sufficient businesswoman survive in a time when women were still considered property for the whole of their lives and what is she going to do with this man who draws her to him so fiercely.

Okay, sooooo, I haven’t enjoyed a book quite like The Rake and The Recluse in a very long time. So much so that I’m debating purchasing the paperback since I snagged the Kindle version through Kindle Unlimited.

I’ve known about this book for years. I used to interact with Jenn LeBlanc on Twitter (I’m pretty sure I even won a contest she ran), but that was back in the day before I fully admitted that I enjoyed romance novels. So when I came across it again, I jumped at the chance to read it.

If you like Outlander, but you just more of the sexual tension and sex, then this is definitely what you should pick up next. I mean, it doesn’t have a scotsman, but it does have a reclusive Duke and his rakish brother. Both of them are SO charming in their own ways, and I loved them both.

I had a little bit of a harder time liking Francine, but she grew on me. I mean, if I woke up in her situation, I’d also probably be very confused, so I had to cut her some slack. I loved her fire when she got comfortable enough to show it.

The tension was wonderful, both in the Duke’s relationship and his brother’s. I found it a bit odd that it transferred points of view half way through, but once I got into it, I was sold. I found myself very heavily invested in all the relationships that were going on. They were all cute and definitely satisfied that romantic-illusion I find gets left out of some books in exchange for more sex.

All in all, you can bet your booty I’ll be picking up the next novel in this series.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

We Are Not Ourselves

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
Published by Simon & Schuster on August 19th 2014
Genres: historical fiction
Pages: 620

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she's found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn't aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.

We Are Not Ourselves was a very hard book to rate. On one hand I love the historical aspects of it, the writing made it come alive and the characters seemed incredibly real. On the other hand I really disliked the characters and the…plot? I’m hesitant to call it a plot because I feel like a plot inspires visions of a rollercoaster of emotions and the storyline was very linear.

When we first meet Eileen as a child, I feel bad for her but she seems like a strong person. She seems resigned to her fate but motivated to change it when she can. I know that they say you grow up to be like your parents, but I feel like she was so hyper aware of how her parents were and how much she didn’t want to be like them, that it was odd that she grew up to be like them. Maybe it was because she was so focused on her financial stability and outward appearances that she didn’t nurture her caring side, or maybe it’s just a sign of those times, but her attitude just didn’t sit right with me. Especially her interactions with her son. A big part of my dislike for this book was because of Eileen, and although that means I likely wouldn’t recommend the book, the fact that Thomas’ writing evoked such strong feelings from me means it was written well.

Like I said before, the plot wasn’t much of a plot. From the outset I kind of guessed what was going to happen. When Ed started to decline and Eileen basically out and out ignored it because she was too focused on everyone judging them on it, so she didn’t get Ed the help he needed, I wanted to reach into the book and shake her. I get that this is in a different time, so appearances mattered a lot more (or I assume they did), but her attitude around the whole situation just frustrated me. She spent the entire book being miserable, judgy, and snarky towards everyone when if she’d put caring for her family above everything else, she could have had a much better time. Which again, the fact that I got so annoyed at her as a character means the book was well written. Not every character has to be loveable.

So all in all, would I reread We Are Not Ourselves? No. Would I recommend it? Probably not. Do I still consider it a decent read? Begrudgingly.

She tried to imagine what it would feel like to have always been alone. She decided that being alone to begin with would be easier than being left alone. Everything would be easier than that.

“Don’t ever love anyone,” her mother said, picking the papers up and sliding them into the bureau drawer she’d kept her ring in. “All you’ll do is break your own heart.”

One StarOne StarOne Star


Implanted by Lauren C. Teffeau
Published by Angry Robot on August 7th 2018
Genres: science fiction
Pages: 400

When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organization, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to carry encoded data in her blood, and train her to transport secrets throughout the troubled city. New Worth is on the brink of Emergence – freedom from the dome – but not everyone wants to leave. Then a data drop goes bad, and Emery is caught between factions: those who want her blood, and those who just want her dead.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Pinky swear!


Implanted started off a little slow and weird. I was a tad confused by what was going on with Emery for the first chapter or so, although the backstory on what was going on did get explained later. You just get dropped into the story and it was a little jolting to begin with.

Once it picks up, it picks up. The plot is really interesting, if slightly predictable at times. I enjoyed the scienc-y/techie aspects a lot, I think they added an intriguing layer to the plot over all. The idea that you can have someone in your head all the time, whether that person is chosen or forced upon you, I thought was really cool. The technology and the environment – domed cities in a dystopian future because of course humanity has killed Mother Earth – speaks to a likely future, which I always find interesting to read about. It makes it more realistic, which can also make it a little more scary.

The side characters and relationships were also quite well done. Each relationship that Emery has is focused on in a different way, since she basically has to fake her death in order to become a courier and her new “friendships” aren’t exactly coming at a great time for her. Having to cut off her old friends and make new friends in a place she’s been blackmailed into becoming a part of was emotional to read about.

Her relationship with Rik didn’t exactly work out how I thought it would, which was good. I appreciated that it wasn’t completely straight-forward. Through their rollercoaster, I think we saw the most growth with Emery, even if some of the stuff she did regarding him annoyed me. Her lack of communication was somewhat warranted but it still got on my nerves. He was quite a softie and wasn’t at all what I was expecting when we were first introduced to him.

The best part for me was that Implanted read more like a movie than it did a book. I love books like that. I hope it gets optioned one day so I can see it on the big screen 🙂

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Talking About Death Won’t Kill You

Talking About Death Won't Kill You: The Essential Guide to End-of-Life Conversations by Kathy Kortes-Miller
Published by ECW Press on March 6th 2018
Genres: non-fiction
Pages: 280

This practical handbook will equip readers with the tools to have meaningful conversations about death and dying

Death is a part of life. We used to understand this, and in the past, loved ones generally died at home with family around them. But in just a few generations, death has become a medical event, and we have lost the ability to make this last part of life more personal and meaningful. Today people want to regain control over health-care decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Talking About Death Won’t Kill You is the essential handbook to help Canadians navigate personal and medical decisions for the best quality of life for the end of our lives. Noted palliative-care educator and researcher Kathy Kortes-Miller shows readers how to identify and reframe limiting beliefs about dying with humor and compassion.

With robust resource lists, Kortes-Miller addresses• advance care plans for ourselves and our loved ones• how to have conversations about end-of-life wishes with loved ones• how to talk to children about death• how to build a compassionate workplace• practical strategies to support our colleagues• how to talk to health-care practitioners• how to manage challenging family dynamics as someone is dying• what is involved in medical assistance in dying (MAID)

Far from morbid, these conversations are full of meaning and life — and the relief that comes from knowing what your loved ones want, and what you want for yourself.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Pinky swear!

I was excited to read Talking About Death Won’t Kill You because I’m one of those weird people who is fascinated by death, the psychology of people around death, and I do think that death is one of those things that is just brushed under the table in Western society. Not a lot of people talk about death and even less people know how to discuss it when it’s creeping up on someone’s doorstep.

When I had the chance to review this book, I thought it would be great. I’d be able to read about death from the perspective of someone who teaches people how to handle death and the process leading up to it. How cool is that! Unfortunately, I felt that while the ideas were there, the execution wasn’t the best.

I found a lot of the information in the book repetitive. In the first couple of pages the author explains that she teaches this undergrad course and then a couple of pages later, explains the exact same thing. Small things like that happened throughout and made it a little hard for me to stay engaged, as I’d find myself starting to skim.

If you can get past that, though, the book is pretty interesting. It touches on all the important aspects of talking about death – talking about it at work, telling your children. I was super interested to read chapter 9 – Posting, Tweeting, & Texting – Dying in a Digital World. Living in a digital world has drastically changed how you find out about death, how you talk about it, and even how people who have died are remembered. This chapter especially was full of useful tips on how to manage this new world. It made me more aware of what I’m sharing and how I’d be remembered if I passed suddenly (I say this as I knock on some wood).

All in all, Talking About Death Won’t Kill You was a neat little book. Was it my favourite? No. But I did learn some things about how to handle the process of dying that I didn’t know before and it’s made me think about death in a different manner.

One StarOne StarOne Star