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Books of 2019...

I read a total of 95 books in 2019 and binged a few terrific new (to me) mystery series. You can check out the entire list over on Goodreads but these few were my five-star favourites, listed in order read with most recently finished first:The Dragon Lady by Louisa TregerThe Other Windsor Girl by Georgie BlalockMoon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig RiceSilent Night, Deadly Night byOriginal link
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just a little buzz...

How to make an author happy: leave a review! I can be a bit intimidating, but a book review doesn't need to be complicated - just a few words will do the trick. You'll make an author smile by letting them know someone is out there, reading their work. Even more important, your review will help other readers find books that you've enjoyed. Here are just a few things readers haveOriginal link
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books of 2018...

I read eighty-seven books in 2018, most of them e-books on my iPad. These seventeen were my highest-rated (listed alphabetically, by author):A Tiding of Magpies by Steve Burrows Bleeding Darkness by Brenda Chapman The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki DelanyA Scandal in Scarlet by Vicki Delany'Twas the Knife Before Christmas by  Jacqueline FrostThe Spook in the Stacks by Eva GatesOriginal link
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Sparks Fly homecoming...

This excerpt from Sparks Fly really sets the scene for me from Logan's point of view:  "Beyond the window, across a narrow stretch of dark water, windswept white pines stood guard on a rocky islet. Home. Such a beautiful word. A beautiful place...rugged and wild." I've tried to capture the feel of Logan's bittersweet wilderness homecoming for you in this short trailer. Enjoy!SparksOriginal link
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books of 2017...

Happy New Year and welcome to my seventh annual New Year's Day book list. I almost made it to one hundred books in 2017... but not quite. According to Goodreads, I missed the big number by four. My five-star reads were a mix of mystery, historical fiction, and non-fiction and if there's an overarching theme, it must be books with a French connection. I binged on first two Brittany Mysteries (Original link
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introducing Fast Focus...

Are you ever nostalgic for the "good old days" before cell phones and digital-everything? Why not give Fast Focus a try? A retro caper set in Manhattan in the late 1990s, it's got romance, mystery, quirky characters, and a big, lovable dog. G-rated and a perfect holiday read. Fast Focus by Cheryl Cooke Harrington and Anne Norman is available in hardcover, paperback, and for yourOriginal link
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picture says it all...

stillpoint... blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke HarringtonOriginal link
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a wee Irish tree...

St. Patrick's Day arrives this Friday and I will definitely be wearin' the green. I can trace my Irish roots all the way back to the 17th century when my maternal grandmother's Dickenson forebears, Daniel and Elizabeth, settled in Edenderry to raise their family. This year, instead of green beer (yuck!) or a tipple of Irish whiskey (Writer's Tears?), I'll be celebrating with something newOriginal link
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goodbye little friend...

RIP SamJanuary 24, 2001 - February 2, 2017My sweet Sam passed quietly away this afternoon. He was the best and finest cat I've ever known and I will miss him terribly. The last few weeks were a great struggle for Sam - after sixteen years his mighty heart had begun to let him down - so I'm comforted to know he is finally at peace. I'll always be grateful for our time together, for all theOriginal link
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where's the sun?

As I publish this post, my countdown to spring stands at 53 days. That's nearly 1,272 more hours of shivers and gloom. I need me some sunshine! But since a trip to the tropics isn't in the cards this year, I did the (almost) next best thing and visited the Centennial Park Conservatory where just about everything is blooming and cheerful.Gorgeous AmaryllisBird-of-ParadiseAloe VeraOriginal link
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Books of 2016

Welcome tomy surprisingly fulsome sixth annual New Year's Book List! I read a lot in2016, surpassing my original goal of 60 books in early summer when I upped mygoal to 100. I blew past that in autumn and kept right on reading.Grand total: 134 books. I'm honestly not sure where I found the time… but Iknow I've enjoyed myself (and Sam has enjoyed the lap time).Here's thebreakdown ofOriginal link
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The things I love best about this time of year are simple traditions that fill me with joy and put smiles on the faces of the people I love. Unpacking my snowman collection or wearing a pair (or two) of festive earrings is sure to kindle my Christmas spirit. My son J (that's him in the Santa hat) loves taking part in a local Santa Claus parade. He's been riding, walking and now rolling forOriginal link
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being thankful...

Thanksgiving comes early in Canada, celebrated on the second Monday in October. But there can never be too many reminders to be thankful, especially now when good news seems hard to find.I am thankful for my family, for friends I love and who love me. I'm thankful for quiet mornings with my cat, for the sometimes hectic busyness of life, and for the freedom to write and speak what I believe.Original link
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five sisters, four seasons...

My window overlooks a park and junior school, meaning my quiet writing time is often punctuated by the sounds of children at play or by rowdy summer soccer games. I welcome those noisy moments, reminding me to get up, move around, breathe the fresh air! At quieter times, I often catch myself staring out the window, lost in thoughts about the little grove of trees across the park. Do trees haveOriginal link
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As always in the lead-up to Remembrance Day, I find myself thinkingabout my Dad, about the brave and honourable man he was, about the sacrifices he made for Canada, and about the wonderful, loving father hebecame. I think, too, about my Mom, the separation and uncertainty sheendured during the six long years of World War II, and the overwhelming relief and joy she must have felt when herOriginal link
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I've staked out some writing space at a friend's house this week, a quiet bungalowon a quiet street in a small and mostly quiet town. It's a very differentatmosphere from my urban apartment where scarcely an hour passes without thewail of distant (and sometimes not-so-distant) sirens, and where my day ispunctuated by the shrieks of kids at play in the schoolyard next door. Here,the onlyOriginal link
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Is it a bird?

What would you say if I asked you to name your favourite flower? I'm guessing many people would choose roses or daffodils, perhaps peonies or iris. My own choice, without a moment's hesitation, would be lily-of-the-valley. A good friend once surprised me by picking bird-of-paradise as their best-loved bloom. At the time, I wasn't sure I'd even heard of such a fabulous plant, let alone seen oneOriginal link
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The Write Spot: Susan Elia MacNeal

I'm absolutely thrilled to have New YorkTimes and USA Today bestsellingauthor Susan Elia MacNeal as my guest for this special edition of The WriteSpot. She's sharing a few of her favourite writing spots and introducing TheQueen's Accomplice, the new book in her Maggie Hope mystery series,released October 4th.Thanks to Penguin Random House and NetGalley, I had the opportunityto readOriginal link
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The Write Spot: Elle Wild

The Write Spot is back and for this 26thedition we're celebrating the release of author Elle Wild's debut novel, Strange Things Done, winner of the 2015 ArthurEllis Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel.I was intrigued by the premise of a murder in DawsonCity – a town about to be cut off from the rest of the world – and jumped at thechance to read an advance copy. IOriginal link
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a tree worth hugging...

"I think that I shall never seea poem lovely as a tree."*Yes, it's true. I'm a tree hugger. I've always felt a deep affinity foranything with branches. But there's a special place in my heart reserved forone particular spruce – the heroic tree that saved my family's home.It was a sticky-hotafternoon in the summer of 1985. My three young sons and I were picking peas inour farm gardenOriginal link
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