Monday, 28 April 2014

Time for a Break

I will be taking a break from my three weekly blogs, The Overnight Bestseller, Open Investigations, and Behind the Walls of Nightmare so I can focus on completing the first novel  in my new Canadian crime series.

Thanks to all of you who continue to follow my blogs. I expect to be back at the end of August with an update on the new series.

I will continue to post reviews as part of the Tribute Books blog tour. Next week's review on The Overnight Bestseller will feature Dianne Ascroft's Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves.

In the meantime, I will remain active on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great summer, everyone!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Pet Vet Day

It begins in early January with the dreaded postcard reminders from the veterinary office. When these are ignored, there is a tactful reminder call from office staff asking if we would like to schedule an appointment for our five pets for their annual shots and check-ups. No longer able to procrastinate, we set a day aside for the annual Pet Vet Visit.

This annual event has taken on a somewhat legendary status complete with war stories and survival bragging rights. It begins with a search for cat kennels which we have dutifully packed away in a storage shelter outside. The trick is to remember which shelter and then to excavate the cages and remove the mouse droppings.

Once the cages are located and brought inside to be cleaned, previously bored cats become hyper-vigilant. THEY KNOW WHAT'S COMING. For those cats unlucky enough not to have moved quickly, this means going directly into the cages. For the cat who is a grizzled vet (no pun intended), there is a hasty retreat upstairs. Quick question: how many people does it take to coax a cat from under a bed and then get it inside a cage? Answer: at least two, but reinforcements are always welcome.

Now all three of our cats are inside their cages and meowing in unison. They are NOT amused.

The dogs are next. Our black Lab Charley actually loves to go to the vet's to socialize. Cody, on the other hand, hates going there and is already looking very worried.

The dogs are on their leashes now, and we've spread an old blanket on the back seat of the car. Two cat carriers are perched there, and the dogs jump in too. My wife sits in the front passenger seat, and I balance the remaining cage on her lap. After a brief discussion with Cody as to who will actually drive the vehicle, he moves to the back again while I take over the driver's seat. The cats start meowing in tandem, and a pungent odor alerts us to the fact that one of them has found a new way to express his or her displeasure.

We're off now, and my wife is serving as navigator because I can't see past Cody's head. When we finally get to the vet's, we're already exhausted. We shuffle them all inside. Charley has meanwhile changed from his usually sleepy self to being a whirling dervish, and he requires two hands on the leash to keep him from sacking the office.
Two hours and $900 later, it's finally over for another year. All of our guys are well, although Sammy the cat has gained three pounds instead of losing the six extra from last year. The vet will call us later with details of a DIET, which will no doubt involve exorbitantly-priced cat food and will probably not lead to weight loss.

Oh well, at least we have another whole year before we have to do this all over again. . .

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Uni Project

Photo courtesy of Uni website

The April edition of the Goodreads newsletter has an interesting article on the Uni project, which is bringing books to the people by setting up reading rooms and seating in public places, including parks, farmers' markets, and city plazas. Currently the project is placing pop-up reading rooms at various locations in New York City. The project is non-profit, and it provides high-quality books and knowledgeable staff. Moreover, the reading rooms can be shipped across the world.

For more information on the project, including how to donate books, please click here.

It's always nice to see books shared among readers.

Monday, 7 April 2014

No More Selfies!

I am probably not the only one among you who is sick to death of "selfies", supposedly candid (but often posed) shots of oneself alone or with a group. Even President Obama has succumbed several times to the craze, only to learn that his latest selfie with David Ortiz was a Samsung marketing ploy. (The President is not amused: see

With spring here, it would be nice to see people, especially adolescents, moving outdoors to see what's awakening in the world. So far, I've spotted robins and red-winged blackbirds and that sure harbinger of spring, the Canada goose. The snow is gradually melting (unless you live in Newfoundland) and, fingers crossed, we've hopefully seen the last of snow storms.

You can even take non-selfie pictures of birds and wildlife outside. . .