Book Club



And the Winner is … Me?

I’m thrilled to announce that this site has just won the Versatile Blogger Award, an honour given by (the company hosting my blog) to sites that demonstrate some degree of awesomeness.versatile blogger

Only a matter of time before the Giller shows up.

The rules surrounding this prestigious award appear somewhat loosey-goosey.  However I can tell you that to win, a site must first be nominated by another Versatile Blogger Award recipient.  And so, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Irish author Lesley Richardson for nominating my site. (Her acceptance blog is hilarious – check it out.  While you’re there, read the excerpt from her novel Biddy Weirdo.  You won’t be disappointed!)  Lesley nominated nine sites in all and said of her nominees “they’re all brilliant bloggers and damn fine writers.”  Aww, shucks.

As part of my acceptance, I’m supposed to tell you seven interesting facts about myself – I had to call my BFF for help on this one.  She provided quite an extensive list … although I don’t think “has too many pets” really counts.

Here’s my list.

Reads Tarot Cards:  I did a reading for a friend one time and at the end of it, she called me a witch.  I’m not sure how that was intended, but I took it as a compliment. We’re still friends though, so I guess it’s all good.

Big Fan of Castle (TV Series):  If you haven’t seen this show yet, check it out.  It stars Nathan Fillion as crime writer Richard Castle who teams up with NYPD detective Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic.  It’s a lot like Moonlighting.  Nathan Fillion is hilarious.  I can’t wait until the theme song is available as a ringtone.

Studied Spanish for Two Years:  All I can remember now is “¡Dos cervezas por favor” (Two beer please!) and “¿Dónde está el baño” (Where’s the bathroom?).  Yup.  That was money well spent.

Currently taking Piano and Voice Lessons:  I always wanted to play the piano, so when I turned 40 I bought a beautiful Kawai acoustic and started lessons.  I’m about Royal Conservatory of Music grade three now and am working on all three movements of Clementi’s Sonatina in C Major.


The voice lessons are just so that I’m ready when Michael Bublé calls and asks me to sing a duet on his next album.

I’m a Virgo:  BFF actually wrote that I’m an over-achiever.  I prefer to think of myself as having high standards.  I’m also a perfectionist and am freakishly organized. The root cause of all this anal-retentiveness is that I’m a Virgo.

Used to be in a Rock Band:  Or as my guitar-god son puts it, I used to be cool.  I played electric bass in a band called The Prophets.  I think I still have one of our t-shirts around here somewhere.  I even studied music (jazz) at St. Francis Xavier University – well, one year of it anyway … which leads me to the last interesting fact about myself.

Only One Regret:  I didn’t finish my music degree.  The story of how I went from dreams of being a composer to a career in the public service is actually pretty interesting – and one I’ll no doubt tell in my memoir someday.  I think that once I’m a rich and famous author, and I don’t have to worry about things like working for a living, I’ll to go back to university and finish my BA in music …  maybe even write the score to the film adaption of one of my novels.

And now, my list of blogs I think worthy of the Versatile Blogger Award.  for sheer enthusiasm toward and love of all things books and writing  for her fabulous Inspector Ramirez series for consistently interesting posts

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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