Sunday, 21 May 2017

Book ~ "I Found You" (2017) Lisa Jewell

From GoodreadsIn a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable - and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Alice has three children, three dogs and makes her living as an artist.  She finds a man on the beach who has nowhere to go as he has amnesia and no ID.  Alice feels sorry for him and takes him in and tries to help him get his memory back.

Lily is young and a newlywed.  She met her husband, Carl, in her home country of the Ukraine.  They fell in love and got married rather quickly.  She's been in London for three weeks when Carl doesn't come home from work one evening.  She has no friends or family in England to turn to so she goes to the police.  At first they don't take her seriously but then they discover that his passport is a fake and wonder who he really is.

The story also jumps back to 1993.  Gray and Kirsty were on vacation with their parents when they met a young man named Mark.  Though their parents had no issue with Mark pursuing Kirsty, there was something about him that Gray didn't like or trust.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  I thought the premise sounded interesting and it was.  I liked the writing style.  It is written in third person perspective mainly from Alice, Lily and Gray's points of view.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

I liked the characters.  Alice had her hands full as it was and she didn't think twice about taking in another stray and naming him Frank (the guy with amnesia).  She has questionable parenting skills and I liked her quirkiness.  I liked Gray and his family.

I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Spring Session of Toronto’s Festival of Beer, Garrison Common, Fort York, Toronto, ON

I went to the Spring Session of Toronto's Festival of Beer today ... it's the first time I've been to it.

I had an advanced ticket ($30 which included the sampling mug and five drink tokens).  Tickets were available at the gate for $45.

It was at Garrison Common at Fort York, which is a short walk from home.

There was lots of space and lots to do!  No one seemed deterred when it started to rain.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Toronto Wolfpack 70, Barrow Raiders 2, Lamport Stadium, Toronto, ON

Toronto Wolfpack is a Canadian professional rugby league club, based in here in Toronto, which began play in the 2017 League 1 season.  They are notable as being the first Canadian team to play in the Rugby Football League system, the first fully professional rugby league team in Canada and the world's first trans-Atlantic rugby league team.  Their home stadium is Lamport Stadium (aka "The Den"), which is just a couple blocks from where Gord and I live.

We were at their first home game a couple weeks ago and had fun.  This afternoon they were playing the previously unbeaten Barrow Raiders and we were there!

Here are Gord and I in our Wolfpack gear before the game started.

Here are the Wolfpack players warming up.

Book ~ "This Dark Road to Mercy" (2014) Wiley Cash

From GoodreadsWhen their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a town not far from the Appalachian mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, suddenly appears and wants to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, Wade has signed away legal rights to his daughters and the only way he can get Easter and Ruby back is to steal them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn't the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due. 

It's 1998 in Gastonia, NC, and Easter and Ruby are sisters ... Easter is twelve and Ruby is six.  Their mother has recently died and they are placed in a foster home.  Their only relatives are their mother's parents in Alaska and arrangements are being made to see if the grandparents would take the girls.  In the meantime, Wade, their father, arrives back in town after taking off three years ago and wants to see his daughters.  Wade, though, had signed away his legal rights to them.  So he kidnaps them in the middle of the night and leaves town with them.

Looking for them is Brady, the girls' court-appointed guardian (it's a volunteer position).  He is an disgraced ex-cop now working for his brother's security systems company.  Also looking for Wade is Pruitt.  Wade had gotten involved in something shady and Pruitt's boss had hired him to find Wade.  Pruitt, though, is also looking for Wade with revenge on his mind from an incident in their past (Pruitt is not a nice guy at all).

Everyone is a baseball fan ... Wade and Pruitt are former minor league players.  In the background of this story, is the Major League Baseball home run record chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.

This is the first book I've read by this author.  I thought the story and writing were okay.  It is written in first person perspective in Easter, Brady and Pruitt's points of view (the chapters are labeled so you know whose voice it is).  I didn't have an issue with this style of writing.  As a head's up, there is some swearing and violence (it's not described by alluded to later).

I look forward to checking out other books by this author sometime.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Liberty Shawarma, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Liberty Shawarma (on Atlantic Avenue at King Street W), in our 'hood.

We both ordered large chicken shawarmas.  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.  Yum!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

KC's tree, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

I walked through Trinity Bellwoods Park today and passed by KC's tree.

We had it planted in the fall of 2011 in memory of our dog, KC, in the park.

It was just starting to bud when we checked it out in April ... how it's quite green.

There it is in the middle

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Book ~ "The Buffalo Job" (2014) Mike Knowles

From Goodreads ~Wilson should have just walked away when three men came looking for a way to boost a valuable piece of art. But the heist was more than just a job for Wilson; it was a chance to get off the sidelines and back in the game.

The art came off the wall, the alarm screamed thief and Wilson walked away clean. But it turned out that job was an interview for an even bigger heist. A dangerous man wants Wilson to get him something more valuable than a painting. Problem is Wilson only has a week.

Wilson and his crew crosses the border to Buffalo to steal a 200-year-old violin. Four men cross but four don’t come back. A lot of people are interested in getting their hands on the instrument and none of them are shy about killing to get it.

The job starts like a bad joke - a thief, a conman, a wheel man and a gangster get in line to cross the border - but the Buffalo job doesn’t end with a punch-line. It ends with blood. 

Wilson lives in Toronto and, using his experience and skills of his former employment working for the Italian mob in Hamilton, he now works as a criminal consultant.  He helps thieves develop strategy for jobs that will pay off big-time.  But Wilson is getting tired of living on the sidelines and is looking for something juicy he can sink his teeth in himself.

He is approached to steal a 200-year-old violin worth $8 million in Buffalo and the job will get him a big payoff.  He puts together a team and away they go across the border.  But they discover that they aren't the only ones after the violin and things get a lot messy before it's over.

This is the fifth in the Wilson series.  Though it is part of series (I've read them all except for the latest one), it works as a stand alone.  As with the previous ones, I liked the writing style.  It's written in first person perspective from Wilson's point of view.  It was blunt and to the point and there were lots of twists and turns.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

I like Wilson ... he is straight to the point and no nonsense.  It was fun to have Miles, a con man, as part of the team Wilson puts together ... he was amusing and added some humor to the writing.  I hope Miles will hook up with Wilson again.

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Topbox - May 2017

My May Topbox arrived today.

For only $12 a month, you will receive a Topbox with 4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products. Then test the products in the comfort of your own home.

Here's what I received ...

Total value = $56.81 value

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Book ~ "Never Play Another Man's Game" (2012) Mike Knowles

From Goodreads ~ An armoured car carrying a huge payday will be rolling through the city every Friday for four weeks. Out of money, Wilson takes up with Ruby, an old partner, for a job that promises a huge score. The only problem: Ruby’s kid, Rick, wants in on the deal. Rick is everything Wilson isn’t but without him there is no job. Wilson signs on with the condition that he runs the job; he plans it, supplies it and staffs it. 

The job is a success but so is the double cross. Wilson loses the money and almost his life. He sets out after his partners and learns that nothing was ever as it seemed - nothing but the blood on the ground. Honour among thieves is bullshit but Ruby and her son should have known better than to try and play another man’s game.

Wilson lives in Hamilton, ON, and had an interesting career working for an Italian mobster, Paolo.  Since Paolo is now dead, Wilson is unemployed and living on his savings, which are rapidly running out.  When the police show up at his house one morning, he sets it on fire and takes off.

When Ruby, a former colleague of his late uncle, shows up with the idea to rob an armoured truck full of money, Wilson can't resist because he needs the cash ... plus Ruby has made him an offer he can't resist.  Wilson takes charge , the job is done but then he is double crossed.  Wilson doesn't take that lightly and is determined to find Ruby and Rick to not only get his share of the robbery but he's also seeking revenge.

This is the fourth (of six) in the Wilson series.  Though it is part of series (I've now read the first four), it works as a stand alone as there is enough information provided.  As with the previous ones, I liked the writing style.  It's written in first person perspective from Wilson's point of view.  It was blunt and to the point.  This was my favourite of the four.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.  I like Wilson ... he's a loner with no attachments and has just two friends.

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Toronto Rock 8, Georgia Swarm 11, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

Gord and I are season ticket holders for the Toronto Rock lacrosse team games ... the Rock is a professional lacrosse franchise in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).  This is our fifth year going to the games and our fourth year having seasons tickets.

Tonight was the first game in the second round of the playoffs of the East Division.  It's the best of two games.

Scotty Newlands sang the national anthems.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Madoc Dairy, Madoc, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening with Minnie (his mom), Judy (Gord's sister) and Doug (Judy's husband) at the Madoc Dairy.

It's been around for many years.  It started as distribution centre for milk from what is now the kitchen.  It's grown to become a restaurant and gift shop.

Judy ordered the Fin & Feather and Doug ordered a hot hamburg sandwich.  Minnie, Gord and I ordered the Kentucky Style Chicken Dinner.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ipsy Glam Bag - May 2017

My May Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • 4 to 5 beauty products in a collectible makeup bag 
  • Monthly videos showing you how to get the Look 
  • Win free products in contests and giveaways

Subscriptions are $10US a month or $110US for a year.  Shipping is free in the U.S. and $4.95US per month to Canada.

Here's what I received ...

Total value: $85.81US (without the make-up bag)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Book ~ "In Plain Sight" (2010) Mike Knowles

From Goodreads ~ Wilson thought he had acquired freedom from being a gritty, gruesome criminal when a car accident puts him back in the crosshairs. This time dirty cops use him as bait, telling him the only way to stay out of cuffs is to put someone worse in them. 

Knowing that justice isn't blind in the city, Wilson picks a fight with the Russian mob to lure both the corrupt cops and brutal robbers into a trap, scavenging once again for his freedom. 

Wilson lives in Hamilton, ON.  All his life, he'd worked for an Italian mobster, Paolo.  Paolo recently was killed (something Wilson had a hand in).  Leaving the scene of Paolo's killing, Wilson has the misfortune of being hit by a drunk driver and wakes up in the hospital.

The police don't know who he is but Detective Morrison has taken a special interest in him.  Morrison knows Wilson was involved in Paolo's death and is willing to use him to lure in something which will get him promoted.  Wilson has to choose between helping Morrison or going to jail.  So Wilson goes after Igor, with whom he has a history, to lead him to Sergei, the head of the Russian mob in Hamilton.  But Igor is still carrying a grudge against Wilson because of an incident a couple years ago which makes him a very dangerous and crazy opponent.

This is the third (of six) in the Wilson series.  Though it is part of series, it works as a stand alone as there is enough information provided from the other two (Wilson encountered Igor in the first book and this book happens minutes after the second book ended).  As with the first two, I liked the writing style.  It's written in first person perspective from Wilson's point of view.  It was blunt and to the point.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

I look forward to reading more books by this author.