Review: The Perfect Stranger

31443398THE PERFECT STRANGER Written by Megan Miranda

April 11, 2017; 352 Pages (Simon Schuster)

Genre: mystery, suspense, fiction

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

RATING: ★★1/2 STARS

I read Miranda’s first novel, All the Missing Girls and liked it.  While it was not the best writing  (couldn’t really connect or relate to the characters, and the suspense wasn’t that great) the way that Miranda wrote the book in reverse was very interesting.  The writing was okay in that they mystery was not bad and there was promise that with a bit of polish the next novel could really be good.  I was eagerly awaiting to try her next novel, The Perfect Stranger.  I have to say that the novel had the same issues as I found with the first book without any clever tricks.

There is Leah, the main character, who left her job as a journalist to become a teacher.  It is hinted that it is not by choice.  I could not come to like Leah even at the end.  I found her a bit whiny and brash.  Her roommate, Emmy has disappeared but she can’t really prove that Emmy even exists.  There is some stalking..which is easy to figure out who it is, but the motivation for it is a bit weak.  Kyle Donovan is the detective in charge but he is not professional. He does whatever Leah tells him to do despite him being in trouble for this in the past.  I didn’t get the romance angle for them.  I was done in several chapters in, but I thought there might be a twist so I kept reading.  I try really hard to like Miranda’s books.  I do want to read one of her young adult novels as the angst might make more sense in teen books.  A lot of people to seem to like this book, so again this may just be me.

Another Very Late Review: Fire By Night

30037277FIRE BY NIGHT Written by Teresa Messineo

2017; 320 Pages (William Morrow)

Genre: historical fiction, nurses, world war II, romanace

(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS)

RATING: ★★ 1/2

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.” (From Publisher)

I was SUPER excited to read this novel as it was the nurses of WWII that were the main characters.  As I started reading I was impressed with the writer’s research and writing.  Several chapters in…it was started to read like a Nicholas Sparks novel.  Now, I read Sparks (though I have not read anything in awhile) and enjoy his books, but I have to be in a certain mood for it.  The predictability of sorrow, sappy romance and hope of HEA (happily ever after).  I was looking for more of…Saving Private Ryan meets Call the Midwife.  I gave this book two and a half stars for the writing and research. I might have liked this novel more if I read it in a different frame of mind.  You let me know!

 

 

 

Very Late Review: Her Every Fear

29938032HER EVERY FEAR Written by Peter Swanson

2017; 352 Pages (William Morrow)

Genre: suspense, fiction, mystery, thriller

(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS)

RATING: ★★★★

I read Her Every Fear in January, but I have not been able to write a review until now.  Though this time it was not because I cannot pin down a rating, but rather what do I exactly want to say.  I requested this book from NetGalley as I heard so many great things about The Kind Worth Killing.  I figured I would grab Peter Swanson’s newest novel as it too was a standalone.  I was intrigued from the beginning.  At first, I assumed that I would not like this book based on the main character, Kate.  She’s bit of a needy character and sometimes I lose patience with that, especially when it comes to suspense/mystery genres.  Then something happened – I was transported into a Patricia Highsmith novel.  For those of you that have not (yet!) read Highsmith it is indeed a treat for those that like a good psychological thriller.  Movies such as Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley are a few that were adapted from her books.  Highsmith has this way of making you slightly uncomfortable about the characters so that you are almost neutral about them.  They are in situations that dangerous and it can turn a person.  That is how I felt while I read this book.  I didn’t try to guess what was coming because I was enjoy the present.  This is a well written book that I had a few tiny issues with (some plot that can be spoilers) but overall really enjoyed.  I hope you do to!

Series Review: Minnesota Mystery

In my 2-3-4 Challenge group we are reading the Cork O’Connor series (written by William Kent Krueger ) as a monthly group read.  We started at the beginning, book 1 in January 2017.  I listened to all four books on audio, read by David Chandler).

175828IRON LAKE (Cork O’Connor: #1)

1998; 464 Pages (Atria/ Recorded Books)

Genre: mystery, suspense, series, fiction

RATING: ★★★

“Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. Embittered by his “former” status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption, and scandal.

As a lakeside blizzard buries Aurora, Cork must dig out the truth among town officials who seem dead-set on stopping his investigation in its tracks. But even Cork freezes up when faced with the harshest enemy of all: a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.” (From Publisher)

I am not sure about this series.  Reading the synopsis above I was really excited to start listening to this book.  Many fellow readers love and recommend this series so maybe my expectations were a bit high.  My biggest issue with the novel was the main character, Cork.  After reading Bosch, Trent, Banks, etc I was looking for another cop hero.  I was disappointed in his choices and I didn’t see him as flawed hero but just meh.  While I love his kids (Jenny, Annie and Stevie) and sister-in-law, I am not wild about his wife, Jo either.  Add that with this novel being so sloooooooooow  to get anywhere,  I wasn’t rushing to listening as much as I usually do.  But there is promise…I do like the writing of the secondary characters and how the case comes together (finally!).  I am in for book two!

 

123604BOUNDARY WATERS (Cork O’Connor: #2)

1999; 402 Pages (Atria/ Recorded Books)

Genre: mystery, suspense, series, fiction

RATING: ★★★1/2

The Quetico-Superior Wilderness: more than two million acres of forest, white-water rapids, and uncharted islands on the Canadian/American border. Somewhere in the heart of this unforgiving territory, a young woman named Shiloh — a country-western singer at the height of her fame — has disappeared. Her father arrives in Aurora, Minnesota, to hire Cork O’Connor to find his daughter, and Cork joins a search party that includes an ex-con, two FBI agents, and a ten-year-old boy. Others are on her trail as well — men hired not just to find her, but to kill her.

As the expedition ventures deeper into the wilderness, strangers descend on Aurora, threatening to spill blood on the town’s snowy streets. Meanwhile, out on the Boundary Waters, winter falls hard. Cork’s team of searchers loses contact with civilization, and like the brutal winds of a Minnesota blizzard, death — violent and sudden — stalks them.” (From Publisher)

I am warming up to Cork, though he is still not my favourite character or “hero”.  I am hoping that Jo does not get back with Cork, as it is up to her whether they get back together.  Yet, I can sense their reunion.  Again, this novel moved a bit slow in the beginning but it did pick up and I found it harder to put down as we got to the end.

 

325429PURGATORY RIDGE (Cork O’Connor: #3)

2001; 428 Pages (Atria/ Recorded Books)

Genre: mystery, suspense, series, fiction

RATING: ★★★★

“Not far from the small town of Aurora (population 3,752) lies an ancient two-hundred-acre expanse of great white pines, sacred to the Anishinaabe and known to them as Minishoomisag (Our Grandfathers).

Wealthy industrialist Karl Lindstrom does not have a reputation as a sensitive environmentalist, and some members of the Anishinaabe tribe are concerned about the proximity of the trees to his lumber mill. So when an explosion at the mill results in the death of a night watchman, it’s obvious whom suspicion will fall upon.

Cork O’Connor, in the throes of straightening out his life and repairing his marriage, is asked by his successor as sheriff to help with the investigation. His sense of community obliges him to accept, but Cork has distinctly mixed feelings about the case. For one thing, he is part Anishinaabe himself. For another, his lawyer wife, Jo, represents the tribe.

Meanwhile, in a secluded house that overlooks the lakeside home of the Lindstrom family, a reclusive shipwreck survivor and his sidekick also seem to be harboring some resentment of their own against the industrialist. And it soon becomes clear to Cork that harmony, both at home and in the town, will be on the back burner for some time.” (From Publisher)

Okay, Mr. Krueger you got me.  I have officially added rest of the Cork O’Connor books on my “want-to read” list.  I was hooked from the beginning and the story moved quickly so I was galloping through it.  I have not mentioned in my other reviews, but one other thing that I love about Krueger’s writing style is his description of  Aurora and it’s wondrous beauty.  Often the settings in the novel are almost another character.  You can definitely image the place but also almost feel how it would be there.  While I am still not a fan of Jo, I do seem to warm to her when she is around her sister and children.  I am ready for next month.

 

211161BLOOD HOLLOW (Cork O’Connor: #4)

2004; 512 Pages (Atria/ Recorded Books)

Genre: mystery, suspense, series, fiction

RATING: ★★★★1/2

When the corpse of a beautiful high school student is discovered on a hillside four months after her disappearance on New Year’s Eve, all evidence points to her boyfriend, local bad boy Solemn Winter Moon. Despite Solemn’s self-incriminating decision to go into hiding, Cork O’Connor, Aurora’s former sheriff, isn’t about to hang the crime on the kid, whom O’Connor is convinced is innocent. In an uphill battle to clear Solemn’s name, Cork encounters no shortage of adversity. Some he knows all too well — small-town bigotry and bureaucracy foremost among them. What Cork isn’t prepared for is the emergence of a long-held resentment hailing from his own childhood. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated. And that’s when the miracles start happening…. ” (From Publisher)

I rated the first novel three stars, and slowly have been going up half a star for each book ever.  I thought I would stay at four stars for a few books, but wow this book was almost a five star.  This book starts with a bang and almost like a race I kept wanting to read more and more.  I was lucky that I was listening to this book when I had a day of chores.  I listened to 75% of the book in one day.  I liked that this book had more of the O’Connor family, and more of Rose.  I am a HUGE fan of Rose.  She is definitely the strength of the O’Connor family and also it’s heart.  Krueger and Cork describe Rose as smart and kind BUT also plain and overweight.  I probably like Rose so much as I relate with her the most (other than Jenny for her love of poetry).  I think Rose and Annie would be great detectives for a spin-off series – I like the quirkiness of Annie who compliments her aunt.  The case in this book was also very fascinating as it uses big themes like religion, culture, love and secrets.  Highly recommend this book and waiting patiently for May to read book five.

Quick Review: LONG BLACK VEIL

31214015LONG BLACK VEIL Written by Jennifer Finney Boylan

2017; 304 Pages (Crown)
Genre: literary fiction, mystery

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)

RATING: 3 STARS

Okay, so I decided to go with this book based on the title.  “Long Black Veil” is a song sung by Johnny Cash, and has always been haunting.  The only description of the book was the following, “a new novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past.”  The novel’s first part takes place in a prison in the 1980s.  Intrigued yet? I was.  It took me a few days to really get into this book.  The first half is confusing. I can’t even describe to you why as I am afraid I will slip in a spoiler by accident.  I was even confused on what to rate it, and even now as I write I keep volleying between 2.5 to 3.  Once I got to the middle of the book I was able to read it pretty quickly.  I was engaged even though some things didn’t seem plausible and I figured out one plot twist (there are more!).  The characters are not always likeable BUT some are interesting in their flaws.  I am not even sure if I would recommend this book, and if I did, whom I would recommend it to.  I will say that reading this book was entertaining for the most part but it is not one I would read again.

Review: Dead Letters: Not a Suspense

deadlettersDEAD LETTERS Written by Caite Dolan-Leach

2016; 352 Pages (Random House)

Genre: literary fiction

RATING: ★1/2

I was sold with the synopsis starting as “sharp and clever debut novel of suspense”.  Right away I clicked on the “request” button at the library.  With debut authors, I will always give a bit of slack when it comes to the story line as this is their first novel.  Before my hold came in I happened upon a  fellow blogger’s review (a blogger who loves the suspense/mystery/thriller genre as much as I do) on this book.  I saw her warning that this novel was in fact, not a true suspense mystery but more of a literary fiction. I decided to still read the book when it came in, but kept her warning in mind.

Ava and Zelda are identical twins and have not spoken in two years, when Ava ran off to France for grad school.  When Ava finds out that Zelda has died in a fire, she comes home to deal with…everything she ran away from.   Her mother’s alcoholism has led to her becoming more unstable, her father’s abandonment for another family, her own sister’s drinking and betrayal, and finally her feelings for her ex-boyfriend.

There is a slight mystery in this book, but it’s not really interesting in the sense there is no suspense.  None of the characters are likeable which is not a big deal as long as the story is strong and/or you can relate or care for the characters in some way.  Even with my literary lens on, I could not get into this one. This book also touted that it was a “thriller about a dysfunctional family” but I found that they were just selfish rather than a flawed but interesting characters.    I did finish this book despite wanting to abandon ship a few times.  I stayed in for the long haul because I wanted to think there was going to be something coming ahead that would turn this book around.

Thriller Thursday: One Perfect Lie

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ONE PERFECT LIE (standalone) Written by Lisa Scottoline

April 11, 2017; 384 Pages (St. Martin’s Press)

Genre: suspense, thriller, fiction, mystery

(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY)

Rating: ★★★1/2

I still remember my first Lisa Scottoline novel, The Vendetta Defensewhich is the sixth book in the Rosato and Associates series.  I loved the main character, Judy Carrier in the legal drama as much as I enjoyed the story and the quirky secondary characters.  While the novels in the series are serious for the most part, there is a slight bit of humour that makes it endearing and realistic.  As soon as I finished The Vendetta Defense I decided I needed to read whatever else Scottoline had written.  I found out that The Vendetta Defense was actually a part of a series so I found the first book, Everywhere that Mary Went.  Now I loved Mary DiNunzio and her wacky family and friends.   As of today I have read every book by Scottoline, except the nonfiction books she writes with her daughter, and four of her standalone suspense novel (also marketed as “emotional thrillers”).  I plan to read those four books but kind of don’t want to be caught up with Scottoline.  I like the sense of having some books to turn to when I need a Scottoline fix.  I generally rate her novels 3-4 stars so was really upset when I read her last standalone suspense, The Most Wanted, and rated it only two stars.  Yet, I really enjoyed her latest Rosato & DiNunzio series.  So…I was a bit scared going into One Perfect Night but as I started the first chapter I was hooked.

Chris Brennan has been hired as a teacher and coach for a high school, based on his amazing resume and charisma.  The only thing is…it is all a lie.  Everything Chris says is a lie.  He is here looking for one student to help him, and he will pit three friends against each other to get what he wants. One of the three boys is the popular rich and handsome Evan Kostis.  He has everything at his fingertips, so would he accept a challenge?  His mother, Mindy is busy trying to find out if her husband is cheating on her, so doesn’t uncover her son’s secrets till it is too late.  Second, is the bad boy spiraling out of control, Raz Sematov.  After the death of his beloved father his family, older brother and mother, are falling apart.  Susan doesn’t know how to hold it all together as that was what her husband did.  Can she pry out the truth from her boys before they get themselves further in trouble? Lastly, is the good and hardworking Jordan Larkin.  His mother, Heather is a single mother trying to earn enough money to make sure her son can go to college.  Jordan is getting better at sport and school which threatens his friendship with Raz.  Quitting her job, Heather is now around to see what is going on in her son’s life and is starting to realize he may be in danger.  Secrets and lies will collide as Chris begins his plan…

I apologize if my review is a bit vague.  It seems like everything I had an issue with or liked could be a possible spoiler.  I am going to try and be careful.  I was really engaged in this novel until the first twist.  As soon as the first part ended so did the story for me.  While the twist wasn’t a shock, it also felt too easy.  It took the story to another place where I didn’t want to see it go.  If how everything portrayed in the first part stayed that way it would have gone down a really interesting path,   I do understand why the author felt it needed to be this way.  I continued reading even though the subject matter was no longer a story line I liked,  because I was a bit curious to see how the mystery would end.  Scottline is great at revealing things a bit at a time in this book, so you are not wondering where these things were coming from, and how things unfolded.  There is also a bit of a romance, but I didn’t like the chemistry between these characters and it seemed to be too quick in some ways.  I found the novel to be entertaining as the action was quick and would recommend this as a beach read. Or as my dad would say, “it’s an action movie…you never question why.”

Author Website

Buy your copy now! Hardcover   eBook    Audio

 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017): The Girl gets her Library

b&b.jpeg

Image from Disney

If you can believe it, I did not see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991) in theaters.  I don’t even remember why now.  I did of course, see it when it came out on VHS.  For me, it transformed what I thought a princess could be.  I remember watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and to this day I cannot stand Snow White.  She always seemed to be waiting for someone to rescue her…her prince to come and give her purpose or someone to save her from the Wicked Queen.  I was more interested in the villain as she took charge…she died, yes, but she lived a little first.  Before Belle, I adored Cinderella.  She wasn’t looking for a man as much as a way out of situation, I thought.  Although, Prince Charming wasn’t much in the brain department.  I mean, you can’t just look at a woman and know she was the one you danced with and have decided to marry?  You really need a glass slipper?  Were they maybe wearing masks? Was he blind? Is it the Superman phenomenon?  Something I initially overlooked at a young age, I guess.

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1991 Beauty and the Beast – Image from Disney

Watching the animated version of Beauty and the Beast I was intrigued by this girl who didn’t want to get married, wanted to be something more and she loved to read.  It could be me…”strange and peculiar,” as I have been called.  And, this prince gives her a library and she loves him not for his look (though his personality was a bit on the prickly side, let’s be honest).  It was the princess I could relate to and so began the collecting Beauty and the Beast knick-knacks (I am sure you will see them on my Instagram account at some point).

When I heard they were going to do a live version of Beauty and the Beast at first I wanted to cry.  They were going to ruin my favourite animation!  I felt a bit better knowing that it was still going to be done by Disney, as they would not change it much, I hoped.  I became sold when I heard that Emma Watson was going to play Belle.  She’s Hermione, a book reader,  a feminist and a true beauty!  What could go wrong?

I was a bit anxious about seeing Beauty and the Beast…what if I expected too much out of it and end up hating it.  I finally was brave enough to see it last Sunday (April, 2) with two of my friends.  Being that it was a Sunday night, the theater was basically ours.  I held my breath as the movie started, but five minutes in I was mesmerized.  Hooked! The movie was faithful to the original, but did expand on some points (like what happened to Belle’s mother, and the prince’s parents).  It was everything I expected.  And, as the credits started to roll, I was grinning like an idiot.  I loved it!

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Emma Watson as Bell. Image from Disney

Emma Watson was fabulous as Belle.  She seemed to understand the character – she kept her smart and sweet like the previous movie, but gave her more a bit more spunk and things to do.  This time Belle was an inventor who didn’t just accept her circumstances. AND, that scene in the library…her organizing it, just made me misty eyed.  If I am ever held hostage I hope I have a library to organize.   I will leave her singing ability to the music critics…I will say that I liked her singing fine for this movie.

For me, Beauty and the Beast has never been about the Beast/Prince.  So I knew whoever they picked would not make or break the film for me.  The actor, whose name fails me, was okay. I did like his personality better in this film – okay one spoiler – he reads!  That makes him very sexy in my book (see what I did 😉  Another confession, I totally had the hots for Gaston in this movie.  Luke Evans who plays Gaston, is very gorgeous, in my opinion.  Bravo, on the very good casting on Gaston.  But dang I wanted him to be the prince…slight distraction.  Evans was great as the obnoxious Gaston and at singing.  I follow him on Instagram and he seems really nice so that only made me want him to be the Beast.   Really though, there wasn’t a bad performance in this movie.  The actors were great at their characters.  I will say that there is no consistent accent in this movie – there is British, French, American and…fake French.  I have already made plans to go see it one more time in the theater before I buy it on DVD. (Judge away)  Knowing all my biases – I can only say SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!

Podcast Review: Someone Knows Something

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From CBC

I started listening to Someone Knows Something, (a Canadian true crime show about cold cases in Canada) last year when I became addicted to the podcast, Serial. After that crazy ride and binge listening, I needed another podcast to quiet the withdrawals.  I am a huge fan of mysteries…fiction or true crime…and the need to see justice and “closure” fulfilled.  Cold cases have always stayed with me.  The idea that someone is murdered or missing and many decades later the case is still unsolved – tortures my mind.  I worry about what the victim that went through that horror, and those still missing, will they ever be found?  I am scared for the family that they will never have some sense of closure.  They won’t see the murderer be punished or even identified.  The thing that scares me most is someone vanishing in thin air. The sense of how does one person vanish? Why are they gone and where does one hide a body that no one can find?

From CBC

The first season of Someone Knows Something (SKS) was interesting as much as heartbreaking.  Yet, for me there was something that didn’t connect with the show entirely.  I felt for the family but they still didn’t seem real.  I listened to the show, but I could stop whenever and wasn’t really running to listen to more.  Then, last week I heard that Serial and American Life were doing a new podcast called S-Town.  I didn’t want to start S-Town as I wanted to finish some audio books, and have a life.  I really have no self-control when it comes to mysteries and I was trying to be good.  I saw that SKS had a new season so I decided I would listen to it since I could pace myself with this one.

Sheryl Sheppard – from CBC

Three days later…I am finishing the last episode in SKS.  Sigh.  David Ridgen, you really got me with this one! As soon as I was halfway into episode one I knew I was in trouble.  The case of Sheryl Sheppard is a haunting and perplexing case.  First, the suffering that Odette, her mother, goes through every day just breaks my heart. I want this case to be solved so badly for this woman. And, Sheryl, herself…well, I just want to rescue her in some way.  These two women were so close, that it reminded me of my mom and I.  The thought that my mom would have to live with the same thoughts as Odette…well, for me there is nothing worse.  There are things said about Sheryl – good and bad – but I can’t help but question where the bad comments are coming from, and who or what is influencing these words.

Sheryl in the late 1990s lived with her mother, and most times her boyfriend, Mike would be staying with them there.  While her mom went to visit her sister, Sheryl vanishes.  She was last seen on TV at a New Years bash.  Mike proposes to her live on air, which in my opinion is the most awkward thing I have ever seen.  He clearly wants to possess her, and she looks horrified that this is happening, but out of politeness says yes.  When asked, Mike says the last place he had seen her was when he dropped her off in the alleyway of a place she dances in.  Yes, Sheryl at one time was an exotic dancer, but she was now working at Tim Horton’s. A job she liked.  Mike also tells different stories to different people, so the truth is really still unknown.

Sheryl and Mike – from CBC

David is one of those journalists that are tenacious but also respectful.  He tries to uncover the truth but knows that there is so much you can do to get that truth.  I love the relationship between him and Odette.  He seems to give her a bit of peace, and in turn makes him dig harder.  I will admit I hate Mike Lavoie and think he murdered Sheryl.  He was jealous, possessive and abusive.  I don’t see him dropping his girlfriend off at a strip club on her own.  He barely let her talk to other men. He used to stalk her at work to see who she conversed with.   He hasn’t really given his side of the story, and I feel like that is due to his fear of revealing his crime.  I feel bad for his mother as she loves him so much she is really blinded to the truth.  The things she says about Sheryl are nasty and hostile.  It seems more like a case of sour grapes than her actual feelings.  It seems like she once really liked her.  She is even blind to her ex-daughter-in-law and granddaughter’s feelings.  They think Mike has done something to

Host: David Ridgen – from CBC

Sheryl, and they can only say good things about her.  In fact, most people have great things to say about her  She seems like a really sweet person that anyone would want to be friends with her.  Yes, she was a stripper.  Yes, she committed crimes with Mike. But she was trying to clean up her life and be the person she deserved to be.  In abuse cases, many women get killed at the moment when the woman decides to leave.  I think the proposal gave Sheryl the  push she needed to end things with Mike.  And, it was at that moment of honesty and bravery that she lost her life.

If you have not listened to this case…YOU NEED TO LISTEN!!!  I think CBC and David Ridgen do a wonderful job in making Sheryl’s case known.  I really hope law enforcement in Hamilton, ON do not give up on Sheryl.  I hope one day Mike can tell Odette where she is buried.  There is currently a petition for the case to be reexamined.  I hope you will sign it.  This is a cold case that can be solved.

Viva Organics: First Impressions

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After using Viva Organics skin care for 24 hours…here are my first impressions.

Suggestion: Unfortunately, the directions are not on the product themselves so either keep the packaging or take a picture so you can reference it.  Directions are also on the website if you do lose the packaging.

Usage: It is really easy to use once you have used each product, and by the second time it takes you less than 5 minutes to do.

What I dislike: Nothing so far.

What I like: I love the look of the products…very simple and pretty – just like my style 😉 – so I am actually keeping them on the counter versus my drawer.  It is quick and easy to use so it has been easy to slip it into my other routines.  I found with my usual products I would accidentally get the cream in my eye that would sting it and I have to wash it out quickly.  Or, get it on my lip and then lick my lips to a foul taste.  So far with this product I have not had that happen – we will see.

How my skin feels: So far no breakouts or rash so no reactions to anything.  My skin feels so soft and there is no greasy feeling when I touch my face.  There is no strong smells, only faint fragrance of the natural products.