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Lady Sam (100 Mile House / BC)
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Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
by E L James
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.96
265 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Series ..., July 23 2014
There was such a hype about this book and its two 'follow-ups' completing the trilogy that I finally succumbed and started reading. To be perfectly honest, I almost stopped after about a hundred pages but am now glad I didn't.
Why did I almost give up on the novel? Quite frankly, it did look and feel like a man taking full advantage of a young and rather confused woman - something that happens all too often in real life, something I did not really want to 'experience' in my reading. However, as it turned out, there was a great deal more about and within Anastasia Steele than meets the eye and she started to stand her ground. In retrospect, she actually always did - right from the start, even if it had not been obvious. The man, in return, instead of looking for another 'victim' started to adjust to the situation and, if not exactly face, at least he openly acknowledged his 'demons'.
This is an exceptionally moving story of two people meeting unexpectedly and experiencing the emotional rollercoaster ride of trying to adjust to one another and getting to know each other despite their obvious differences. Add childhood issues (on both sides), innocence and money into the mix, and you have the basis of Fifty Shades of Grey.
E L James created a masterful story with in-depth exploration of issues that are usually 'not talked about' and spun it into an intriguing and compelling tale. The main message - in order for ANY relationship to last and flourish, communication with one another openly and honestly is an absolute must!
I am glad to have persevered and read the entire story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, and am now looking forward to reading Fifty Shades Darker and, eventually, Fifty Shades Freed, which, no doubt, will answer further questions about Christian Grey's demons ...

Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life
Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life
by Michael Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars I was not sure whether I would 'bother' reading the entire 400+ pages and now I am very glad I did, July 18 2014
Whether you see Michael Moore as a 'Rebel with a Cause' or simply a 'Troublemaker' - truth is that his work (be that film or literary) does make waves and creates headlines. Whether you 'approve' or not, he makes his views known and, essentially, reveals what is going on in the corporate and political world.
In Here Comes Trouble, the reader gets a glimpse at Michael Moore's childhood and early years right up to his first movie screening in form of short stories out of his life. Mind you, the very first tale is the one when he stood on stage in Los Angeles, accepting his Oscar and muttering those 'infinite' words - we live in fictitious times ... with a fictitious president just over a year after 9/11, when everybody still believed that Bush had done the right thing by invading Iraq as well as the aftermath of his infamous speech resulting in people not wanting to have anything to do with Michael Moore ... to put it mildly. However, as we do know in the meantime, this did not stop him from doing what he's doing - both in pictures and the written word.
His sub-title - Stories From My Life - are truly that, 'excerpts' from his life and most interesting and intriguing ones at that. Did you know that Michael Moore actually met Bobby Kennedy as a young boy while visiting Washington DC? That and more is masterfully interweaved with playing pranks and making silly mistakes as a young man - something we probably all can remember doing. However, this author/filmmaker soon decided to uncover what he perceived as wrong-doing that nobody else would do or say anything about. And this book shows the way Michael got into what he is doing now and why.
To be perfectly truthful, when I first started reading, I was not sure whether I would 'bother' reading the entire 400+ pages and now I am very glad I did. It's always interesting to learn about the life of intriguing characters, especially well-known ones, and this man certainly is both and is good at what he is doing.
Thank you very much, Michael Moore, for this frank and straight forward recount of your life thus far. Now I am looking forward to reading more and maybe even catching up with a movie or two ...

Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar: Horoscopes for You Plus an Introduction to Astrology
Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar: Horoscopes for You Plus an Introduction to Astrology
by Llewellyn
Edition: Calendar
Price: CDN$ 11.67
13 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Year after Year ..., May 29 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Ever since discovering the Llewellyn Astrological Calendar I have been buying it every year since and have not regretted it one little bit. Every month, there is a general horoscope to be read - I generally do so at the beginning of the month and again when I feel I need a reminder - but more to the point, it keeps the owner updated on planetary movements and aspects as well as the moon cycles. It even appeases of planting and fishing dates ... which is something I have not quite figured out yet but others may well have. In any event, it's there if you need and/or want it. :)

DVD ~ Douglas McGrath
Price: CDN$ 6.98
11 used & new from CDN$ 4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Jane Austen Great, May 29 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Emma (DVD)
While I am generally not into period drama - mainly because women are generally 'traded' and have no real power of their own - Jane Austen stories I do love and Emma is no different.
Gwyneth Paltrow, being such a diverse actress, appears in her element as the only unmarried daughter of a wealthy gentleman who sees herself as something of a matchmaker. What she cannot see, however, is that love is staring her in the eye and not only from one of the suitors she tries to kindle with her lacking of fortune friend she basically introduced into society.
Jane Austen - never married herself though she is rumoured to having been engaged at one point - definitely has a knack of writing intriguing stories that seem to translate so beautifully into successful movies. And although her stories always appear to involve a love story or more, the social standing of especially women in the time she lived are predominant - together with the fact that the only way females could 'survive' was by either marrying and becoming 'property' of a man away from daddy or by the good grace of others taking care of them. Nonetheless, her tales are always uplifting, no matter how low the heroine or others have to fall to actually get there. And, I guess, nothing much has really changed in the years since where feelings and emotions are concerned ...

The Holiday (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
The Holiday (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kate Winslet
Price: CDN$ 7.00
18 used & new from CDN$ 3.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, May 29 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Yes, I know, a lot of people rate this movie not very highly - I on the other hand simply love it! It is simple and straight forward and incorporates love in so many different ways, your head starts spinning. And, according to this movie, the saying is right - love will find you when you least expect it.
The general storyline to touch but quickly - two women break up with their relevant beaus and feel the need to go somewhere over the Festive Season. So, they exchange their homes for two weeks - one being a mansion in Los Angeles, the other a cosy cottage in Surrey/England. And that's all there is to it.
A word to the various 'kinds of love' - there is the one-sided/taking advantage type, the being taken for granted, brotherly, caring for a kind older gentleman, friends ... and the romantic/real kind we all seek. These are all incorporated into this one movie and then some. Just look real close and you'll see them all.

Mirror, Mirror
Mirror, Mirror
by J. D. Robb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
129 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Fairy Tale Galore!, May 29 2014
I really liked this book - for the most part anyhow. I am always amazed when I come across stories that are based on something else and then 're-engineered' to sound like something completely different.
The first three shorts by J D Robb, Mary Blayney and Elaine Fox had me eagerly reading the night away. JD's 'in death' series continues with a short based on Hansel and Gretel, with its usual bite and the reader's wondering about the outcome right to the last page. I have also come across Mary's magical coin before and while I realised pretty quickly what was going on, it was still a delight going on the rollercoaster ride of the how ... with a nice little twist at the end. Elaine's Sleeping Beauty was just compelling from page one to end, with a beautiful and unexpected slant to the whole story.
Mary Kay McComas chose a fairy tale that was too filled with negativity right from the beginning for my taste and also reminded me too much of 'real life events'. To be perfectly honest, I only read the first few pages and the ending, going back to the middle at some point and have no read desire to go back and read the whole. From what I read, she is a good writer and all, it's simply the storyline that did not appeal to me but may to others.
Finally, R C Ryan's plot of Cinderella was once more intriguing with an interesting storyline on so many levels ... only to fall flat right at the end. A HUGE explanation was promised ... that simply never came. Also, the stepmother and stepsisters seemed pretty much abandoned with me wanting to know what happened to them and how they took 'Cinderella's awakening'.
Overall, each and every author in this book did a grand job and the book was a very easy read, and filled with intrigue, 'who dunnit' and 'what's next' components. I simply love books containing various short stories and thus introducing readers to new/different writers that they may not, otherwise, have picked up on. Let's face it, we often pick books because we have read stories by certain authors before. This is a wonderful way to get introduced to somebody new we might be interested in reading more of and, to be perfectly honest, I am intrigued into reading stories of all of the aforementioned writers whether I liked the particular story chosen or not.

Low Pressure
Low Pressure
by Sandra Brown
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.55
156 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story, Sept. 12 2013
This book was recommended to me and I am so glad! It's the story about a young woman re investigating her sister's murder when she was a pre teen and trying to come to terms with it all. The events then pretty much destroyed her happy family life and, as it turns out, she suffered memory loss which she is trying to fill in. So, she researches, interviews and writes a book under a penname. Trouble is, there is this nasty paparazzi who figures out who she is and what it is all about, and, naturally, exposes it all. And that is where her troubles really begin ...
I am not sure whether I have read any novels by Sandra Brown before but I was most definitely very pleasantly surprised by her easy writing style and her talent at suspense writing. While the reader knows all along who the culprit is trying to harm the young woman, there are a variety of subplots and mysteries that only come to light right at the end. That way, the reader also gets to know the `baddie' and why he does what he does, and, of course, all the other `not so nice' people involved in the original murder investigation and what exactly happened there. Was the right man sent to prison or was he railroaded so the case could be closed? Was there an overall cover up and, if yes, who did what and why? Was the murder victim's boyfriend involved after all? Has the young woman put herself into danger by seeking him out to try and resolve issues? These are all questions that come up throughout the story. Yes, we know who tries to harm the young woman now but pretty much everything else is `in the dark' and remains there to the end.
Murder is a very intrusive thing to happen in life and can cause a lot of distrust - especially, if there is concern about the culprit's guilt. This storyline not only ponders the issues of what happens to the family of the victim but also whether law enforcement did the right thing and/or how they came about a conviction. These issues can very easily be compared to real life and it is interesting how Sandra Brown deals with it and, eventually, resolves it all. We get to know the characters in detail, how they think, what they feel, how they deal with things or not, what their actions are and why.
A most intriguing mystery and suspense, masterfully mixed with the emotional rollercoaster of the people involved and how they deal with their choices in life. An absolute Must Read!

The Seance
The Seance
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
76 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Paranormal Murder Mystery, Sept. 12 2013
This review is from: The Seance (Mass Market Paperback)
He title invites the speculation that this is a ghost story and it is to a degree. It is also a warning NOT to play with an Ouija Board as you just never know what may happen if you open that avenue. Many stories have been told - in books, on tv as well as real life! - where such a `game' has caused trouble and this is also where and how this story begins ... after an initial prologue.
Most of the people introduced and involved are either related or at least know one another pretty well. However, it appears, that you can never know someone too well or even wonder whether you know them at all, especially where murder is involved. Whom can you really trust?
I very much enjoyed reading this new adventure penned by Heather Graham and it appears to be one of her earlier stories, yet again involving Adam Harrison, even though only on the periphery. It appears that the author initially wrote some storylines introducing this man - the head of an investigation agency with an ever increasing reputation of solving `strange' cases for and with law enforcement - this essentially being her first series in this respect. Apparently, there are about eight tales in this respect - thus far? - where Adam finds and involves people he knows to be gifted and thus finding answers to questions others dare not ask or have no inclination to. How does he find them? I'm not sure that has ever really been disclosed, but then, I have not as yet read all the adventures in this series.
Yet again, Heather Graham manages to capture the reader's attention from page one, making him/her wonder, where it may all lead. As for the resolve - that does not happen until right at the end with many Red Herrings in between. Who is guilty of what? Who has done what? Who is involved? Those are all questions fascinating the reader from beginning to end. A true mystery with some paranormal aspects that appear to hinder the resolution more in this book than help it, thus adding to the suspense.
The book is an easy, straight forward read, with characters fleshed out nicely so that you get to know them along the `ride'. Plots and subplots are very decisive, comprising a serial killer that everybody thought was dead, a young woman just moving into the big house her family owned for two generations and who has to come to terms with her newly discovered gift that she does not want because everybody around her seems to think that she's gone mad. Intrigued yet?

Betrayal in Death
Betrayal in Death
by J. D. Robb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
104 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, Encore, Aug. 18 2013
This time, death comes knocking close to home. And yet, there are plenty of Red Herrings along the way - things are never clear and obvious where author J D Robb is concerned.
Yet again, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, is out and about with hubby Rourke, attending one of his many social engagements. In fact, a celebrity friend of Rourke's and her entourage are present, trying to raise funds for charity when the first murder occurs ... one that makes absolutely no sense at all. One more thing J D Robb - aka Nora Roberts - is really good at.
The past is also, once again, catching up with Rourke - in form of a lad from his childhood re-emerging, one that he has not seen for decades. Being the loyal type and not having forgotten his roots, Rourke invites his Irish buddy to stay at his house rather than one of his hotels. Eve isn't too happy about the situation, but determined to adapt to her new social status of being married and married to Rourke. It's all still very new to her and she is aware that everybody around her is trying to help, be patient and supportive ... well, all bar Summerset, Rourke's man servant. However, even that relationship is undergoing a transformation.
As always, all characters involved are really well fleshed out - be they main characters or only those involved at the periphery. There is never such a thing as a superfluous person involved - there is always a reason for someone to appear in the storyline and it always becomes apparent in the plot.
As for the plot itself and the sub-plots, those, too, are well fleshed out and become more and more obvious as the story continues, without becoming boring and/or repetitive ... although I could probably have done without Ian and Delia's complications. Mind you, it was not enough to pull me out of the storyline or really distract from what was going on - so, no harm done, just a personal preference. It's definitely not enough to stop me from seeking out the next adventure of Dallas, Lieutenant Eve.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
by Alan Bradley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.77
10 used & new from CDN$ 1.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Adventure, Aug. 18 2013
Looking at the thickness of the book and amount of pages, this one is only two thirds the size of the last Flavia de Luce adventure. However, the full 'case load' and mystery is still there!
This story starts just before Christmas, with the usual dysfunctional family affairs, money problems and ghosts of the past - though, this time round, a film crew is about to take over Buckshaw (home of our teenage sleuth) in order to stimulate the cash flow. As the cast and crew arrive, the reader is treated to introductions of several of the main players in fair detail, while others remain murky borderline and thus suspect already.
It is not until almost half-way through the tale that the unavoidable crime occurs - nonetheless, the story itself and all the characters involved keep the reader gripped and virtually unable to put the book down. And, as usual, of course, there are plenty of sub-plots going on - is there a Father Christmas? Can I catch him? - to keep the mystery going and the tale to be told interesting and intriguing.
As always, the family members keep bickering at each other - stiff upper lip and all that - but, deep down, they would never let anything happen to one another ... just like in real life families.
Our heroine, Flavia de Luce, is definitely a 'different breed' to the others, an individual - even at her very young age - who will go her way, no matter what. And, quite frankly, I do hope, she'll never grow out of it! And - yes - author Alan Bradley is now working on Flavia's next adventure, I, for one, cannot wait to read it!

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