Sunday, 26 February 2017

Book ~ "The Forgotten Girls" (2017) Owen Laukkanen

From GoodreadsShe was a forgotten girl, a runaway found murdered on the High Line train through the northern Rocky Mountains and, with little local interest, put into a dead file. But she was not alone. When Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint FBI-BCA violent crime force stumble upon the case, they discover a horror far greater than anyone expected - a string of murders on the High Line, all of them young women drifters whom no one would notice. 

But someone has noticed now. Through the bleak midwinter and a frontier land of forbidding geography, Stevens and Windermere follow a frustratingly light trail of clues - and where it ends, even they will be shocked. 

Kirk Stevens is a special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and his partner is Carla Windermere, who is an FBI special agent.  Their latest case is the rape and brutal murder of a young runaway who was a train hopper.  As they investigate, they discover there are more than 25 unsolved cases of women who had disappeared or had been  raped and murdered along the train line in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

I liked this book.  Though this is the sixth in the Stevens and Windermere series (I've read them all), it works as a stand alone.  If you want to get to know Stevens and Windermere, you should read the previous ones to find out the history and dynamics between them because the author doesn't dwell on any of that in this story.  I liked the writing style and found the storyline interesting ... I didn't realize there was a train hopping culture.  It's written in third person perspective with a focus on the various characters, including the murderer.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

The book is dedicated to the memory of the missing and murdered woman of Vancouver, BC's Downtown Eastside and Stevie Cameron's book, On the Farm, was used as background for this story.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Wenona Craft Beer Lodge (on Bloor Street W between Dovercourt and Dufferin).  We've been there just after it opened a couple years ago and haven't had a chance to go back.


Gord likes it there because they have an interesting selection of craft beer (no big beer companies).


They have changed the kitchen since we were there.  It's now Pork Ninjas.

The sides

Friday, 24 February 2017

College Falafel, Toronto, ON

Today marks 30 years since I moved from Nova Scotia to Toronto.

To celebrate, I had an "east coast" donair for lunch at College Falafel (at Ossington Avenue and College Street).  I've gone by this place many times over the years and have seen the "East Coast Donairs" sign but have never stopped in until today.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

beautybox five - February 2017

My February beautybox five arrived today.

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling service that delivers 5 deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door every month.

Subscriptions are $12US a month or $99US for a year.  Shipping is free.


Here's what I received ...

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Liberty Shawarma, Toronto, ON

I had supper this evening at Liberty Shawarma (on Atlantic Avenue at King Street W).  It's in my 'hood but I've never been there before.


I ordered a large chicken shawarma.

Beef and chicken

There are lots of ingredients you can have on it ... I had tomatoes, humus, garlic sauce and tahini.  After the shawarma was put together, it was put on a grill to heat it up.  The chicken was tender and had a nice spice.  It was  tasty and fun and messy.

Superpoint, Toronto, ON

I love love love pizza and headed to Superpoint (on Ossington Avenue, south of Dundas Street W), which is in my 'hood, for a slice for lunch.  It has been open since October.


It's a small take-out in the front with a couple chairs and a restaurant in the back that's open later in the day.  I ate my slice there.

The pizza oven is as soon as you walk in

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Book ~ "Hannah's Moon" (2017) John A. Heldt

From Goodreads ~ After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel.

Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David, find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple straightforward mission becomes a race for survival. 

Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, "Hannah's Moon", the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

It's 2017 Tennessee and Claire and Ron have been trying for years to have a baby to no avail.  When they decide to adopt, they discover their wait could be be years.  Her uncle hears of their situation and contacts her with a suggestion ... he can send them back to 1945 Tennessee where it's easier to adopt and they can bring a baby back to 2017.  Claire and Ron agree and plan to spend a couple months there.  Claire brother, David, goes back with them to help them out.  Though they settle into the community and become friends with their neighbour, Margaret, things aren't as straightforward as they had hoped.  In 1945 Tennessee there was racism and World War II was still going on so men were being recruited.

I like time travel books.  I find it interesting to see how people adapt and react when they go back in time where there are no cell phones, no Internet, etc.  I've read many books by this author and time travel is his focus.  Though it is the fifth (and apparently the last) in the American Journey series, you don't have to read the others to know what's going on as it works well as a stand alone.  The author wrote about 1945 well and I got a good sense of what it was like living in that time period.  It is written in third person perspective in Claire, Ron, David and Margaret's voices (the chapters are labeled).

Monday, 20 February 2017

Book ~ "Gizelle's Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog" (2017) Lauren Fern Watt

From GoodreadsLauren Watt took her 160-pound English Mastiff to college - so, of course, after graduation, Gizelle followed Lauren to her first tiny apartment in New York. Because Gizelle wasn’t just a dog; she was a roommate, sister, confidante, dining companion and everything in between.

Together Gizelle and Lauren went through boyfriends, first jobs, a mother’s struggle with addiction, and the ups and downs of becoming an adult in the big city. But when Gizelle got sick and Lauren realized her best friend might not be such a constant after all, she designed an epic bucket list to make the absolute most of the time they had left.

Bursting with charm, this unique, coming-of-age story of a girl making her way through life is a testament to the special way pets inspire us to live better, love better, and appreciate the simple pleasures. "Gizelle’s Bucket List" is the humorous, poignant lesson our pets teach us: to embrace adventure, love unconditionally, and grow into the people we want to be. 

Lauren's mother bought her a English Mastiff puppy on a whim when she was 19.  That puppy, Gizelle, grew into a 160 pound dog and became Lauren's best friend.  When Lauren went to college, Gizelle went with her.  Then they moved to New York together.  It was an adjustment for a huge dog from Tennessee to move to the big city and live in a tiny apartment but they made it work.

Everything seemed to be going well ... Lauren had a "real" job, her best friend was her roommate and she was dating a professional who loved her dog.  When Gizelle was about six, one of her legs starts bothering her and it was discovered that she has cancer.  Lauren was determined to make Gizelle's last days the best they could be, hence the bucket list.

I like reading stories about animals and that's why this one caught my eye.  Gizelle sounds like she was an awesome dog and a fabulous companion to Lauren.  It's always tough to say good-bye for our furkids.

I liked this book.  I liked the writing style of this book and I found the author made Gizelle come to life for the reader.  Gizelle was there for Lauren when she was dealing with her mother's drug addiction and alcoholism, her parents' break-up, looking for a "real" job, dating and more.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.