"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Book Review - Murder on the Orient Express

Welcome to Monday and this week's book recommendation.



Detective Hercule Poirot is on his way home when his detective skills are once again called into service.  It's overnight on the Orient Express when a murder occurs, one that leaves so many questions the case seems unsolvable... at least for someone other than Poirot.

I love a good mystery, and I've been meaning to read MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS for a long time. It doesn't disappoint. The murder is complex, the motive far reaching and the clues add up to a solution that doesn't seem to make any sense. I loved it. It was entertaining and stimulating as I tried to put the pieces together before Poirot. Of course, I did not succeed. But that's the sign of a really good mystery. A perfect puzzle. 

If you're a mystery fan and you've never read this classic, definitely make sure you do. And if you've never read a mystery, this a great one to start on, I'm sure it will make you a fan of the genre.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - This Year's Favourite

Welcome to Friday and this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction. There was no prompt this week on Lillie McFerrin's website. My guess is due to all the Christmas whatnot that takes over our lives this time each year. So, instead I've chosen to share my favourite edition of Five Sentence Fiction over the past year. I hope you enjoy it.

May 10, 2013

"Stephanie, honey, could you please take off those damn goggles?"
Stephanie could tell her mother was exasperated but she just shook her head. The goggles were important, they were the only way to tell when someone was telling the truth. She watched her mother on the phone with her dad, through the lenses of the goggles she could see the blue fog pour out of her mouth. She was lying to him about something, she just wasn't sure what.

I hope you enjoyed, my pick for favourite of the year. Please read feel free to read through this year's editions of Five Sentence Fiction and let me know what your own favourite is as well. Just click on the Five Sentence Fiction label at the bottom of this post. I hope you'll check back next Friday for the start of a new year of Five Sentence Fiction.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

No post today my friends, but I will be back on Friday for the last Five Sentence Fiction of the year. In the meantime...


Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Book Review - Happiness

Welcome to Monday and this week's book recommendation.

HAPPINESS by Will Ferguson


I bought this book in September, at the Word on the Street festival in Saskatoon. In fact, I bought three of Will Ferguson's books. Why? Because he did a reading and an interview and was so funny and charming I just couldn't resist. And I'm glad I didn't. Happiness is the first I've had a chance to read and it does not disappoint. It's fabulous!

What is it that all people want? Of course, there's the usual culprits; money, possessions, etc. But deep down what everyone really wants is happiness.And what if there was a book that could give it to you? A self help book that actually worked? It would be wonderful, yes? Wrong. This is the story of a self help book that worked and in the process set off the apocalypse.

It's funny and witty, with a lovable main character you can't help but root for. The writing is superb, and of course the plot is exceptionally original. It's an amazing book. Definitely give this a read.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Silver

Welcome to Friday and this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction. This week's prompt is silver, a very fitting prompt on this last Friday before Christmas. If you'd like to learn more about Five Sentence Fiction, or give it a try yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. Enjoy!

She touched the ornament, looked down at the dusting of glitter sticking to her fingertips. She liked the way it rotated slowly on the branch, catching the light, shimmering just so. 
She was supposed to be finishing her Christmas shopping, not mooning over pretty ornaments, but she couldn't help herself. She plucked it from the store tree and took it to the counter, desperate to race home and hang it on her own tree.
Something wonderful was going to come from this ornament, she just knew it. 

Voila! A little holiday cheer just for you right before the holidays. If you're in the mood for more Five Sentence Fiction, just check out the links below. Don't forget to follow this blog and come find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. Have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Alone
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Highway
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Human
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pieces

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monday Book Review ... On Wednesday

You'll have to excuse my being tardy with this week's book recommendation. I was away visiting my sister and playing with my sweet nephew and never had a chance to sit down in front of a computer. But I promise you, it was worth the wait.

N0S4A2 by Joe Hill

Yes, this is the second book I've recommended by Joe Hill. What can I say? The dude can write. And this is a story that will have you pondering the dimensions of the universe while being thoroughly creeped out. Not to mention it's especially festive for the holiday season. Nothing like a trip to Christmasland to cure what ails you!

It's the tale of Vic, a woman who has always been able to find things. Lost things. One day, as she tries to escape troubles at home she goes looking for trouble. And finds it. Trouble is a man named Charlie Manx, a man who enjoys kidnapping children and taking them to live forever in his magical Christmasland. But something awful happens to the children that end up in Christmasland. Something inhuman. 

This is not just a novel that tests the boundaries of reality. It's a gripping tale about a man with a mission and the only person on Earth who can find him and stop him. It's fresh and exciting, unexpected and as I mentioned before, gloriously creepy. The kind that will have you blocking off your chimney come Christmas Eve. Definitely give this one a read.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Alone

Welcome to Friday and this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction. This week's prompt is alone. If you'd like to learn more about Five Sentence Fiction, or give it a try yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. Enjoy!

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Man wasn't meant to live alone. And yet, what choice did he have? It's one thing to nag, but when your wife starts trying to eat your brains you really have to put your foot down. Still, he couldn't help but miss her...

Yes, I felt I'd gone a few too many weeks without zombies. I hope you'll forgive me, not to mention follow this blog. If you're in the mood for more Five Sentence Fiction (and not just zombie related), follow the links below. Have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Highway
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Human
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pieces
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Letters

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Counting Down to the New Year

I shouldn't be this excited to see an end to 2013, but I am. After all, this was the year I went to Paris and celebrated five years of marriage to my wonderful husband. But it was also the year that the business I work for was sold to another company and I lost the best bosses I've ever had. It was the year my sister had to move away with my sweet little nephew and brother in law to Ontario (although they will be returning in the summer time, thank God).

It's just that next year holds so much possibility, the way all new years do. This year is old and dirty, smudged with good and bad memories. I want a new one, fresh and clean. Perhaps this new year will hold far more good memories, and far fewer bad ones. It begins with my mentorship, which I'm excited about, and hopefully it will only go up from there.

Three weeks from today will be January 1st. And rather than hiding under the covers until then (which I'd love to do), I'm going to enter the new year blazing. I want to enter it strong, head held high, ready to take the opportunities it presents and make the most of them.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Book Review - My Life in Black and White

This week I've brought in a little help by way of the darling Crochet by Megs, who has a blog all about her crochet, cooking and books, among many other wonderful things. Definitely stop over and give it a look when you have the chance. You can find it here. And now, I shall hand things over to her expertise. Enjoy!

I was surprised and delighted when Melanie asked me to guest post on her wonderful blog. The book recommendations on Monday are actually one of my favorite parts to her blog, so I was honored to be able to contribute.

This Monday’s recommendation is:


It's the story of a screen writer turned tabloid reporter and her struggles with a disappointing marriage, career and life.

This was an incredible book with one of the most painful, realistic break-up scenes I’ve ever read. Seriously, everything you’ve ever dreaded a lover saying, gets said. 

The main character, Clara Bishop, is shocked and hurt when her husband leaves her for a waitress with little warning. She was deeply in love with him and had deluded herself into believing they had a happy marriage.
With her husband gone Clara finds herself longing to be one of the strong women she loves in film, but always finds herself coming up short, she turns to her mother for solace and finds unusual comfort in her grandmother’s old clothes.

After the devastating loss of her husband, Clara doesn’t know what to do with herself except follow him and his new lady to London in the hopes of winning him back. 

Armed with her grandmother’s beautiful clothing Clara strives to become that what she’d always admired - the femme fatale - and win her husband back. 

This book was a fun journey through a modern day film noir and a beautiful look back into the past and what it would have been like to live in a classic black and white film. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Highway

Welcome to Friday and this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction. This week's prompt is highway. If you'd like to learn more about Five Sentence Fiction, or give it a try yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. Enjoy!

She realized a little too late that she never should have gotten off the highway. The little side road had seemed charming at first, but the road had become rougher and rougher, and when she finally decided to just turn back, there was nothing to turn back to. The road behind her had simply disappeared, leaving a dead end in its place.
The road was now too rough to continue on in her car, so she took her purse and set off on foot, looking back only once at her beat up old chevy, unsure of whether she'd ever see it again.
In truth, she would, but it's hard to recognize a car that's been sitting by the side of the road for 100 years.

Voila! I hope you enjoyed this little tale, and if you did, please share it with friends. Don't forget to follow this blog and come find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. If you're still hankering after more Five Sentence Fiction, just follow the links below to read past editions. Have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Human
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pieces
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Letters
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Dancing

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Party - Continued

As I said last Wednesday, for the past month my husband and I have been planning a 60th birthday party for my mother in law. And this past Saturday was the big night. It went really well. There was a ton of great food and good music and lovely toasts given in honour of the birthday girl (although my favourite was definitely my husband's, he really knocked it out of the park). The best part was seeing the birthday girl have fun, dancing and visiting with all of her friends and family who came out to help her celebrate.

As you may recall, I was in charge of the decorating, among other things, so I thought I'd post a few pictures so you can see how it all came together.

This was the guest table. I want to note that the creepy teddy bear was the property of the hall, as part of their Christmas decorations. The bear aside, their Christmas decorations were lovely and complimented my own decorations nicely.
I did up a board of pictures of my mother in law over the years, all in black and white that spelled out 60.
This was the hall. You might notice the disco light bulb I found on Amazon, which I love and worked great.
I hung Christmas tree decorations from the ceiling, along with paper lanterns and stars.
These were the table centerpieces. I spray painted wine bottles white, filled them with glittery silver florals and surrounded the base with a white boa, silver beads and fake diamonds.
This is a close up with a different filter, neither one really does it justice. In my opinion it was pretty lovely.
I alternated the wine bottles with these centerpieces to break it up.

And there you have it. I spent the rest of the evening dancing, eating and visiting. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Book Review - The Miracles of Ordinary Men

Welcome to Monday and this week's book recommendation.



Sam, a high school English teacher, is an ordinary guy until the day he wakes up with wings growing out of his back. No one besides himself, his cat, his childhood priest and a student are able to see them.
Delilah is torn between her cold and distant mother dying of cancer and her younger brother, who lives on the streets of Vancouver and refuses to come home. When her new boss approaches her for a date, she finds him both dangerous and alluring, and impossible to turn down.

This is a book you'll be thinking about for days and weeks afterwards. In fact, it's a good idea to lend it to friends and family as well, because you're going to want to discuss it with them. It's something to reread and argue about, a story that will make you question the purpose of God, the devil and miracles. 

This is a book that comes along only once in a while. A beautiful story that sticks with you and makes you question what you know and what you believe. This is a definite must read.