Sounds Like…A Good Time Coming Soon

I’m so excited that in about two weeks time you will be able to listen to Harry’s first adventure as well as read it.

As you may know, I have been working with Tantor Media on getting the first three books of the Harry Russo Diaries out as audio books.  First they let me select the very talented Dara Rosenberg to narrate (I think she will be a great fit for Harry).  And then, because we weren’t able to easily get the rights to change my covers to fit the audio book requirements, a whole new cover was designed for Dead and Kicking (the other covers will follow).  While I was a bit disappointed that we couldn’t use the great covers I already had, I was also kind of curious to see what a completely different designer (in this case, Matthew Frederick) would come up with for Harry.  I think he did a fantastic job. What do you think?

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You can check out Tantor’s listing for Harry’s books here.  They still have the original covers up as placeholders right now though.  Amazon is also already listing the audio books for pre-order.

Now That’s Crazy

batshit crazy

Things that make me go Hmmm

So I saw this the other day and just thought it was funny, but then I started wondering.  Why do we say batshit crazy?  Well, thanks to the Urban Dictionary, here’s your answer:

A person who is batshit crazy is certifiably nuts. The phrase has origins in the old fashioned term “bats in the belfry.” Old churches had a structure at the top called a belfry, which housed the bells. Bats are extremely sensitive to sound and would never inhabit a belfry of an active church where the bell was rung frequently. Occasionally, when a church was abandoned and many years passed without the bell being rung, bats would eventually come and inhabit the belfry. So, when somebody said that an individual had “bats in the belfry” it meant that there was “nothing going on upstairs” (as in that person’s brain). To be BATSHIT CRAZY is to take this even a step further. A person who is batshit crazy is so nuts that not only is their belfry full of bats, but so many bats have been there for so long that the belfry is coated in batshit. Hence, the craziest of crazy people are BATSHIT CRAZY.

So now you know.  You’re welcome 🙂

Have a great weekend!

The Tragically Hip


I’m feeling a little sad today.  If you’re a Canadian over the age of 35, you’ll probably understand why.  If you’re not, well let me explain.

Last night, an iconic Canadian band bid the country farewell in a live concert in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario.  The show was broadcast across the nation and played on screens big and small from St.John’s to Victoria.  They even had a special screening down in Rio for the Olympic athletes.  In a way that is usually reserved for gold medal hockey games, the country stood still for a few hours and came together to celebrate something uniquely Canadian – The Tragically Hip.

The Hip, as they are often lovingly called, consisting of members lead singer Gord Downie, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair, and drummer Johnny Fay have been rocking their way into the hearts of Canadians since 1984. They’ve released 14 studio albums, two live albums, 1 EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. They have received numerous Canadian Music awards, including 14 Juno Awards.  Remarkably, despite being superstars here at home, they never achieved the same fame internationally, but maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s one of the things that make them so special to Canadians.  They are truly ours and we didn’t have to share them with anyone else.

With a new album just released, you would think it would be a strange time for a farewell tour, but the reason is significant and, dare I say it, tragic.  Gord Downie has cancer – a terminal brain tumor – and is dying. Cancer sucks, what can you do? Instead of packing it in, The Hip packed the trucks and the bluesy-rock band whose lyrics often portray long-forgotten moments from Canada’s history or familiar scenes of Canadian life, hit the road for one last tour.

At times triumphant, others raw and emotional, Gord Downie and the band cranked out almost three hours of classic Canadian rock, songs that have been a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. I know I’m not the only one.  As I sat dazzled in front of the TV often snivelling quietly (so as not to alarm my son who just wouldn’t understand) I saw others in the crowd, men and women alike, that were just as teary as I was and I wondered at the courage it must take to get up on that stage over and over again across the country singing songs for possibly the last time.

As he belted out the final encore, Ahead by a Century, I couldn’t imagine what was going through Downie’s mind. Sorrow? Fury? Gratitude? All of the above? While I will never know, I hope that he was also thinking about how the entire country was bidding him a fond farewell and thanking him for being a part of their lives.


I found this article (What the World Can Learn From Canada)after I had already posted.  It says it better than I did.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – pt4



Yes, that’s right.  I’m working on Harry’s next adventure.  I can’t give you many details right now, but I’m loving how it is coming together.  Harry is so much fun to write.

I’ve actually decided on both the title and the tagline for the new book, but if you want to be one of the first to know, you’ll just have to join my mailing list.  As an added bonus, I’m just 25 names short of the first 100 new subscribers so that means I’ll be making the draw to pick the random winner of a $25 gift card very soon.*

So, what are you waiting for? Join my mailing list by clicking HERE and be the first to get all the news.



*For every 100 new members, I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate. Winners will be randomly picked from ALL names on the list (so if you have already signed up, you’re automatically entered) and once you join, you will be eligible for every subsequent draw.


How I Spent My Summer Vacation – pt3

The RCMP Musical Ride


August 2nd was my birthday and I spent most of the day relaxing at the cottage with a good book (The Drafter by Kim Harrison – I’d highly recommend it, but don’t expect it to be anything like her Hollows series). We also took the whole family to see the RCMP Musical Ride.

The RCMP Musical Ride consists of 32 riders who execute a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. The Ride tours throughout Canada and internationally between May and October performing at approximately 40 venues each year.


A spectacle known around the world, the RCMP Musical Ride has played an important role in the RCMP since 1873.

I posted a short video clip on my Instagram page. Check it out here.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – pt 2


This past weekend was a long weekend here in my neck of the woods and to celebrate I embraced my inner viking at Islendingadagurinn (pronounced “ees-len-ding-ga-dog-a-rin”), the annual Icelandic Festival held in Gimli, Manitoba. One of the longest running ethnic festivals in North America, the festival has been a mainstay of the August long weekend since before there actually was a long weekend.

Velkomin! Welcome!

Attracting more than 40,000 visitors each year, the family-friendly festival offers something for everyone – food, music, entertainment, events/activities, Icelandic culture, and of course, Vikings!

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Always be yourself
unless you can be a Viking,
then be a Viking

I’ve been attending the Icelandic Festival since I was a kid. Back then, the midway and carnival rides were always a hit, but now, poking around the craft stalls and watching the fireworks probably hit the top of my list.

wonder shows gimli


If the midway or craft stalls aren’t your thing, there are many other events to check out, including some more unusual ones:

Get Dinged

Pretty self-explanatory (see below), but you won’t get me to eat Harðfiskur so this is one event I’ll take a pass on.

get dinged


A festival favourite, the Islendingadunk basically lets competitors battle one another with a sack full of wet sponges, while sitting on a soap covered beam over Gimli Harbour. As you can imagine, hilarity often ensues.

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Viking Village and Battle Reenactment

My son’s favourite event, the Viking Village demonstrates the lifestyle and culture of 9th and 10th century Western European nations of Danish, Norse, Swede, Finn, Anglo–Saxon, Hiberno Norse, and Dane law (Central England and Scotland) many of whom travelled to and settled in what are now the present locations of Iceland, Greenland, The Faroe Islands, Newfoundland (Canada) and Baffin Island.

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Fris-Nok Tournament

Although they have tamed down this game to make it family friendly (i.e. removed the drinking component), the Fris-Nok tournament is always a crowd pleaser. The game is played using two poles driven into the ground with an empty bottle (usually a beer bottle) balanced on each. Two teams of two face off and try to knock the other team’s bottle off the pole with frisbees. The first team to score 5 points wins. (Again, this is normally a drinking game and played while each player is also holding/drinking a beer, I think it ups the challenge level, but drinking liquor at a family event is frowned upon, so they don’t do that at the Festival).


Everyone Loves a Parade!

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Icelandic Festival without the parade. A staple of the festival, the parade celebrates the history and culture of the community’s Icelandic roots.

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Mmmm Prunes!

Okay, so prunes probably aren’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of summer celebrations, but that just means you’ve never tried Vinarterta.  Sweet, gooey prune filling between layers of short-bread cookie/cake, topped with sweet vanilla frosting. Yum!


And then there are pannkakor, or Iceland’s answer to crepes. These tasty, cinnamon-flavoured treats are always the first to disappear when we visit Amma (that’s Icelandic for Grandma) Joan’s.


So whether you want to ride the ferris wheel, watch a bunch of big, burly Vikings bash each other with swords, listen to some traditional Icelandic poetry or left off some steam by whomping someone with a bag full of wet sponges, Islendingadagurinn has something for everyone. You might have missed it this year, but there’s guaranteed to be just as much fun next year, so when the August long weekend rolls around again head out to Gimli and get your Viking on!