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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Book Tuesday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, by Joanne Fluke

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Resume: Hannah Swensen is the owner and head baker of The Cookie Jar, in the ficitional small town of Lake Eden. Her life is complicated enough by her interesting family dynamics, and it becomes even more so when she stumbles onto a dead body. The victim was a well-liked former football star and delivery person, there were no witnesses, and no trace of the weapon. Hannah has no idea what she gets herself into when she agrees to help her brother-in-law, first officer on the scene, to solve the case so he can get a big promotion.

I’ve been in a cozy mystery mood recently, and I decide to try this book, which had been given to me as part of a gigantic ebook bundle. (5000 books gigantic, and no I didn’t keep them all, and I haven’t read all the ones I’ve kept yet. It was one of the best gifts of my life.) I was reasonable confidant I would like it, because my mom had recommended this series to me once. A solid love of cozies is one of the things we have in common, and since our reading tastes are pretty similar, I figured I might like it.

I did, too, so kudos mom! I really enjoyed this story. There was a lot of repetition, and the characterization could probably have been more solid, but there was a lot of humor, and the mystery was well built and well-paced: I began to suspect who the killer was a few pages before the big reveal, in other words: at exactly the right time.

I was a little confused about the pacing at one point, because my ereader can’t tell the difference between what is actually the novel and what is the short story that came attached to this edition of the novel. (Excerpt from my inner monologue: “If that the reveal of the killer, or another red herring? It’s the reveal?! But we’re only 80% through the book, how … Oh. Now I get it.”) The short story, a Christmas mystery where the plot revolves not around murder but discovering the identity of a teen-aged runaway, was also funny and well paced, and adorable to boot.

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Anything goes Sunday: A Match Made In Austen update

Lots of exciting things happened this week.

On Wednesday,  the game boxes arrived.

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On Thursday,  the designer sent me the final version of the cards, snd once I approved them, Renaissance placed the order, and we should get them in two to three weeks.

And then, we already have the dice and the rulebook.

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So that is it! We will have physical copies of the game ready to show off, to send to the Kickstarter backers and to local independent game stores. The thing that I made up in my mind in December two years ago will be real!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Tuesday: The Baby Sitters Club, by Ann M Martin and Raina Telgemeier

Synopsis if you need it: four 13 years old friends decide to pool their resources and form a babysitting club, and have many adventures along the way.

Book one

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Book two

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Book three

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Book four and final

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The original BSC books played a very important part of my childhood,  ever since my mother bought me the first one when I was in kindergarten. I remember joining the official fan club when I was nine, and a year later, I remember going with my dad to a tiny theater that felt like it was on the other side of the world (I think it might have been in Aylmer) because it was the only place around that showed the movie. When a friend told me that there were comics of the BSC, and that yhey were pretty good,  I owed it to elementary school me to check them out.

I have to agree with my friend. Those comics were excellent adaptations of the original novels,  and I am pretty sure that elementary school me would have loved them. (There is the possibility that elementary school me would have been in a snobbish phase and not wanting to read comics. That phase didn’t last long, though.)

However,  I must note that I (30 years old me) am not the intended audience for these comics, or for the original novels. The characters are 13 years old, they are written like 13 years old and that means that they sometimes show a lack of maturity that 30 years old me finds irritating. The enjoyment I got from reading these books cames from the nostalgia more then from the stories themselves.   With that said, I would throw the book at any little girl who likes to read, even just a little bit.  It makes you want to read more of the series.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Another day late, another dollar short

I keep meaning to write my Sunday posts early, because I am aware, on some level, that I won’t have the time to write anything on the day of. My errands in the day and my board-gaming in the evening take up all the time and creativity I have. So I do mean to write ahead of time, but then I get distracted and I forget.

Anyway, this is what I meant to post yesterday: A Match Made in Austen, my story-telling card game based on the novels of Jane Austen, is now available for pre-order. Those who pre-order get bonus characters, from the novel Lady Susan. Since Renaissance is based in Québec, I was asked, and gladly accepted, to also make a French version of the game, which you can also pre-order. (Allez, mes amis! Commandez!)

And one last thing (one last excuse for not posting yesterday)… the heatwave is back! Argh!!! Why can’t it be fall already?

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

A day late (and a dollar short, perhaps) but nonetheless, here it is.

Yesterday, Apt613 posted this absolutely lovely review of Thrills On Ice.

Check it out right here!

Thank you, Jennifer Carole Lewis! I am so happy that you liked my book.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Tuesday: At the Water’s Edge, by Sara Gruen

at the water's edge

(boy, it’s been a while since I made one of those!)

In 1942, three Philadelphia socialites make their way to a remote Scottish village, with the intention of proving the existence of the Loch Ness monster once and for all. Maddie Hyde, the wife of Ellis Hyde, accompanies Ellis and his best friend Hank on their quest mostly out of a sense of obligation, and is quickly left behind while the two men are gone, sometime for days at a time. She befriends the locals who work at the inn where they have taken rooms, and she learns a lot about herself, and about the true nature of monsters.

A lot of the publicity strategy for this book was to emphasize the connection with Water for Elephants, which makes sense. Water for Elephant has been adapted into a successful movie. (It made enough money to earn back it’s production costs and it got enough good reviews to earn a “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so that is successful to me.) There is also some comparison to be made between the two stories: they are both historical novel, set in the early part of the 20th century, and they both focus on the personal growth of their respective main characters. Of course, I may be missing some other similarity or subtle references: it has been four years since I read Water for Elephants. And this review is about At the Water’s Edge, anyway.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Heatwave!

Weeks like this week are the reason I genuinely prefer winter to summer.

Seriously! My workplace is a 30 minutes walk away from my apartment and I don’t have a car. I don’t have central AC, I only have a small window unit that is barely enough to cool my bedroom. I now live with a cat who likes to go out on the patio, and she’s been giving me a pouty face all week because I’m like: “Sorry puss, for not putting your inch-long-fur-coat-covered-ass in 40 degree Celsius weather!”

That’s the kind of weather that makes it next to impossible to do anything except take cool bath, eat Popsicles and wait for the worst to be over. Which it should be, now, thankfully. Unless August has some mean surprise in store for me.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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