Comment Inspiration

Are you commenting on blogs and need some inspiration?

A kind spammer sent me their whole list of fake comments (complete with serious spelling issues…I almost want to reply and offer to clean it up for them). This is 4 pages in Word (2000 words worth) of comments you too could make on people’s blogs. I especially love the specificity of some of these, “Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to [tears] at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.”

I’m thinking of setting up a BINGO card with a bunch of these and seeing how long it takes me to get BINGO…anyone want to play along? 😉

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So clearly I’m not advocating fake comments. I love getting real comments and interacting with my readers. And although I have comment moderation turned on (to avoid the above things from clogging stuff up) I’ll approve pretty much anything that isn’t spam or offensive.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books Set Outside the US

The lovely folks at Broke and Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is: Ten Books Set Outside the US

One of the best parts of reading is getting to explore foreign lands and cultures. Here’s my list of Ten Books Set Outside the US.  I tried to limit the fantasy books that are set in fictional worlds.  I think these all count as backlist books for their authors, so here’s a chance for you to check out some older books. With the bonus that those which are part of a series already have the whole series available!

1.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (see my review here) – set in Scotland this is one of my all time favourite reads. It’s in a second season of a television show and is one of those books I push on everyone. Read it!

2. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery – set in the lovely Prince Edward Island, Canada. Another of my all time favourite reads this is one of those books that I own multiple copies of. Anne Shirley is a classic character that everyone needs to read at least once!

3. Shadows by Paula Weston – set (mostly) in the fictional Pandanus Beach in Australia. This is the first book in the four book Rephaim series. I loved these books. They are action packed contemporary fantasy books with half-angels, demons and whole bunch of intrigue.

4. Every Breath by Ellie Marney – set in Australia. This modern teenage take on Watson and Holmes is fantastic. The characters are great and the mystery keeps you guessing. I did find it challenging at times to understand the Aussie slang…but that’s what I love about books set elsewhere.

5. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – set in the Galaxy. While this book starts on Earth, most of it is set elsewhere in the Galaxy. On planets you probably didn’t know existed. This classic sci-fi book is full of Adams wit and humour. If you haven’t read it yet, you’ll want to add it to your TBR.

6. Air Awakens by Elise Kova – set in a fictional world. This is a great high fantasy book. As with many fantasy books it’s set in its own world. With a library apprentice turned sorcerer, political machinations, and elemental magic this is a great read.

7.  Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts – set in Ardmore, Ireland.  While this might not be great literature, it’s a typical Nora Roberts romance.  It’s got a romanticized view of Ireland but makes for an excellent read when you’re looking for some escapism.

8. Darkfever – by Karen Marie Moning – set (mainly) in Dublin, Ireland. The first in the Fever series this dark urban fantasy has fantastic world building and main characters that you’re not sure you even like. It’s dark, filled with fae, and seriously, I’m left wondering if I even like Mac and Jerricho. Yet, I love this series. Sometimes you need a break from the light and fluffy.

9. An Unwilling Bride by Jo Beverly – set in England.  There’s nothing like a historical romance to take you to another country. This is part of the Company of Rogues series. Each book stands alone, but there are character and minor plot links between them.  I enjoyed this. There’s decent characterization and while there’s a bit of a predictable plot twist towards the end it provides some lovely escapism reading.

10. The Wedding by Julie Garwood – set in Scotland/England. Once again, a historical romance to take us out of North America.  If you haven’t read any of Julie Garwood’s backlist this is one I love. Set in the 1200’s it has the typical issue of outgoing female leads and stereotypical emotionally stunted men. But there’s some good humour in it and I definitely was entertained as I read.

So, my bookshelves clearly lean towards Canada, Scotland, England and Australia. I’m looking forward to checking out what some other folks are recommending as it’s always fun to read books with a less common setting.

What’s your favourite book that is set outside the US?

Summer TBR Wipeout 2016 – Update #1

It’s my first update on the Summer TBR Wipeout, hosted by The Candid Cover. You can find my original post with my full TBR here.

Well….I’d hoped to be a bit farther along in working through my TBR. I’m going to blame it on a couple of very busy weeks at work. I’ve got some vacation time coming up soon so that should get me back on track.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

how four feet of plywood

How 4 Feet of Plywood saved the Grand Canyon – this was an okay read.  I enjoyed it, I’d recommend it to others, but it didn’t stack up against some of the other books I’ve read in this genre due to some issues with style. You can read my full review here.

cowboys kissCowboy’s Kiss – This wasn’t on my planned TBR, but I’d received it for free and was looking for a light read on a day I wasn’t feeling great. I didn’t love this one.  It had some issues with insta-love that was jarringly out of context.  My full review is still to come.

What I’m currently reading:

the girl from everywhereThe Girl From Everywhere – I’m about half-way through and so far I’m really enjoying it. I love that much of it seems to be set in Hawaii. It’s not your typical setting and I love when books allow me to explore someplace new.

Check out some of the other participants in the TBR Wipeout by following the links on this page:

I’ll be back on July 31 with another update!

How’s your TBR Wipeout going? Are you making progress? Did you get distracted from it like I did?


Bookish Merch

If you’ve spent any time on Instagram you’ll know that it’s full of awesome bookish stuff. Mugs, pillows, posters, mugs, artwork, t-shirts, mugs (I kinda love mugs!). There are lots of places to buy stuff like this.  There are bookish subscription boxes that include these types of items, stores that carry them, lots of independent artists selling stuff, etsy, redbubble, and more. One of my fav places to look for bookish stuff is Society6. I’ve purchased mugs from them before and was pleased with the quality and speediness of my order.

Society6 Low Down (for those who have never heard of it)

This is a web-based retailer that allows artists to upload their designs and make it available on a variety of products.  They offer so many different products – mugs, art prints, t-shirts, phone cases, shower curtains, clocks, tote bags, pouches, duvet covers, beach towels and more. You can see the full list here: They frequently have sales and free shipping promos so I’d strongly recommend that you wait for one of these to place an order.

There are soooo many great artists that are selling bookish stuff on Society6 that I wanted to share some of my favourites with you. I could gush about each of these. Some have simple clean designs and others elaborate highly graphic ones and I love them all!

Here are some of my favs and a small (seriously…follow the link there is sooo much more) sampling of their work.

**All photo’s from the artists store**

Bookworm Boutique

Follow Bookwork Boutique on twitter  or Instagram

Evie Seo –

Follow Evie Seo on twitter or Instagram


Paper Fury –

Follow Paper Fury on twitter or Instagram


Helena Reads –

Follow Helena Reads on twitter or Instagram


E.A. Creative –

Follow E.A Creative on twitter or Instagram


Aentee Read at Midnight –

Follow Read at Midnight on twitter or Instagram


Demmi Writist Designs –

Follow Demmi Writist on twitter or Instagram


I have all sorts of designs bookmarked…my biggest challenge is choosing which to order!  I have a serious mug obsession collection, and I keep wanting to add to it.  If you search you can likely find something for whatever your fandom is.  I’m in awe of the talent that these artists have. And I want all the things!

If you place your first order by following through this link you’ll get $10 off your first order (full disclosure, it’s a referral link and I get a $10 credit too). And if you don’t want to do that, I’m good with that too. Mostly I just wanted to share some of the great bookish designers that are available since it can be hard to search for them sometimes.

Do you have any others that I missed and should add to the list?

Flashback Friday – Anne of Green Gables


My well loved copy, from PEI


Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: Lucy M. Montgomery
Release Date: 1908
Find it: Amazon | Indigo | Goodreads
My rating: 5/5

Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

My thoughts:

This is one of my all-time favourite reads. It’s the one book that I own multiple copies of, and even have in French. I love the descriptive passages and the adventures Anne has. I first attempted reading it when  I was about 8 and I just couldn’t get into it. It’s not a fast-paced book and it’s not an easy read. I tried again as a pre-teen and fell in love with it. Anne gets herself into trouble a lot, and she has a very over active imagination (which is the cause of much of her trouble), but at her heart she is caring and kind. She sees the positive in almost everything. It’s important to remember that she’s only a young girl at the start of the book. She’s not 17 or 18 and on the verge of adulthood. She’s 11 and she’s had a tough life so far. You get to see her character grow and mature throughout the book as she ages.  The secondary characters in this are great as well. You’ll love to hate Mrs. Rachel Lynde and you’ll just love quiet, steady Mathew. This has the original (well probably not, but it was the first I read), hate-to-love, slow burn relationship between Anne and Gilbert

I know there are complaints about this book being boring and not having enough action. Or that it’s got too many words. I think it’s important to remember that this was first published in 1908. Way before Young Adult was a genre and in a time when books were typically written more in this style. Books such as this contributed greatly to the vocabulary I have today. And sinking into the lovely, descriptive text is like being wrapped in a warm blanket. You’ll likely have to work a bit harder to read it, and there aren’t any battle scenes as it’s all based in the quiet village of Avonlea, in Prince Edward Island. But if you can immerse yourself in the world you’ll find it’s a place you want to stay.

Review – How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon

how four feet of plywood

Title: How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon, 8 Little Known Inspiring True Stories from American History
Author: Jerry Borrowman
Find it: Amazon | Nook| Goodreads
My rating: 3/5

Summary:History turns on small points. From the world’s most catastrophic game of chicken to the nail-biting success story at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, discover fascinating events you’ve probably never heard of. In this compilation of eight true stories from the forgotten pages of history, learn about disasters caused by human error as well as calamities avoided by quick and clever thinking–the lawsuit that launched Abraham Lincoln’s political career, the collapse of the Teton Dam, the invention that revolutionized the world of sound, and more. This book is truly love at first sight for lovers of history.

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Flashback Friday – The Wedding

Flashback Friday is my blog feature where I review an older book that’s been published for some time.  I’ve got lots of great books sitting on my bookshelf that I read years ago.  Books that hooked me on a genre or ones I like to revisit.  It seems like new books get all the blog love these days so this is my chance to highlight some old favourites. Julie Garwood is one of my favourite authors.  She writes both historical and contemporary romance and her historical romances were among the first I ever read.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Under-rated Books

The lovely folks at Broke and Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

Since my reviews on Goodreads aren’t completely up to date this is me doing the best I can!  I sorted my reviews in order from highest to lowest and then went through and picked the ones that had less than 2000 ratings in the order they appeared.

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