Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spooky 2-Book Give-Away! Omens and Visions by Kelley Armstrong

The nights are getting a little chillier here in Ontario. The kids are going back to school soon. It's time for some good spooky reading material for those darker evenings.

A special two book giveaway for Canadians!

Following the epic conclusion of her internationally bestselling Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong launches a brand-new series set in Cainsville, a small town as spookily fascinating as Stephen King’s Castle Rock or Dean Koontz’s Moonlight Bay.

In the second book in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new Cainsville series, Olivia’s newly discovered power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her hometown. 

September is my favourite month of the year, and this contest is open until September first. Send me an email to livinginthekitchenwithpuppies AT hotmail DOT com and tell me one thing you like most about September.

Contest closes midnight EDT Sept first, 2014. Sorry, we can only ship to Canadian addresses. One winner will win both books! 

Read the blurbs below to find out more about Kelley Armstrong's new series.

The Cainsville Series
By Kelley Armstrong

Trade Paperback, 480 pages

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancĂ©, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

The Cainsville Series
By Kelley Armstrong

Hardcover, 496 pages

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Kelley Armstrong is the author of eleven novels and two short-story collections in the Otherworld series. She lives in Ontario with her family.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe

A novel
By Romain Puertolas
Trade Paperback, 320 pages

Some lighter fare for the summer - The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe is a quirky yet sentimental journey in farcical form. Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod begins a pilgrimage as a fake fakir and through his bizarre and impossible journey he finds himself.

We are along for the ride as he is whisked all over Europe, avoiding murderous Gypsies, meeting famous people, poor people and pirates, all who teach him a little more about who he is and who he wants to be.

Silly, fun, touching. A great read.

From  the back flap:

For readers of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, a funny, charming, feel-good story about a fake fakir from India who arrives in France to shop at IKEA and unwittingly embarks on a European tour like no other.

     Meet Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod. One day a fakir leaves his small village in India and lands in Paris. A professional con artist, the fakir is on a pilgrimage to IKEA, where he intends to obtain an object he covets above all others: a brand-new bed of nails. Without adequate euros in the pockets of his silk trousers, the fakir is all the same confident that his counterfeit 100-Euro note (printed on one side only) and his usual bag of tricks will suffice. But when a swindled cab driver seeks his murderous revenge, the fakir accidentally embarks on a European tour, fatefully beginning in the wardrobe of the iconic Swedish retailer.
     As his journey progresses in the most unpredictable of ways, the fakir finds unlikely friends in even unlikelier places. To his surprise–and to a Bollywood beat–the stirrings of love well up in the heart of our turbaned hero, even as his adventures lead to profound and moving questions of the perils of emigration and the universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world.
     The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe [pause for breath] is a hilarious tale that evokes the manic energy of a Marx Brothers romp and calls to mind the incisive social commentary of Candide. Pull up your Poang chair and take an unforgettable tour of Europe propelled by laughter, love and redemption. (Meatballs not included, but highly recommended.)

ROMAIN PUÉRTOLAS was born in Montpellier and has lived in France, Spain and the UK, where he has been a DJ, singer-songwriter, language teacher, translator-interpreter and steward. He currently works as a police inspector with the French border service, specializing in document fraud. The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir… was a #1 bestseller in France and has been sold to 35 countries.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

No Safe House: A Thriller by Linwood Barclay

No Safe House
A Thriller
By Linwood Barclay

Trade paperback, 464 pages

Not only am I on the edge of my seat when I read Linwood Barclay's thrillers, (which just happen to get better and more complex as they go on), but I am constantly amazed at all the threads he has going on and how he manages to tie every little one together and still baffle you in the end.

The mind reels.

I read this 464 page novel in two days because I could not put it down. Okay, I might have stayed in my jammies for a whole day - but it was worth it!

Linwood Barclay can craft a puzzle like no other. Read this book. Read the rest of his books. Tell your friends.

From the Back Flap:

#1 international bestselling author Linwood Barclay delivers a sequel to No Time for Goodbye–an electrifying novel of suspense in which a family’s troubled past is about to return in more ways than one. And this time, they may not be able to escape…

     Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family experienced a horrific ordeal that nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that night are still haunting them. Terry’s wife, Cynthia, is living separate from her husband and daughter after her own personal demons threatened to permanently ruin her relationship with them. Their daughter, Grace, is rebelling against her parents’ needless overprotection. Terry is just trying to keep his family together. And the entire town is reeling from the senseless murder of a local retired couple.
    But when Grace follows her delinquent boyfriend into a strange house, the Archers must do more than stay together. They must stay alive. Because now they have all been unwillingly drawn into the shadowy depths of their idyllic hometown. There, they will be reconnected with the man who saved their lives seven years ago, but who remains a ruthless, unrepentant criminal. The Archers will learn that there are some things people value much more than money, and some people who will do anything to get it.
    Caught in a labyrinth between family loyalty and ultimate betrayal, Terry must find a way to extricate his family from a lethal situation. All he knows is that survival might mean doing the unthinkable…

About the Author

Linwood Barclay, a former columnist for the Toronto Star, is the internationally bestselling author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including Fear the Worst, Too Close to Home, and No Time for Goodbye, which has been optioned for film. He lives near Toronto with his wife and has two grown children.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Juice! Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing and Living Well

Recipes for Juicing, 
Cleansing, and Living Well
By Hayden Slater, Hedi Gores, Carly de Castro

Hardcover, 160 pages

I do love to juice and in fact I have two juicers. One for citrus and one for firmer produce. I have to admit though, I end up making the same things again and again and sometimes go a little too long without doing any juicing at all.

I know you know what I am talking about.

Most of us are fairly aware that there are great health benefits to juicing: more energy, less fatigue, healing the body and losing weight. So what stops us from doing it at home? Why are we quick to buy fairly expensive juices or, dog forbid, dead sugary juices when we can be making real live healthy juices in our own kitchens?

For some, like me, it is routine. You get in a rut and only break free once in a while. After a bit you realize you are half made of carbs and you need to cleanse your body. Get back your ability to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face and the energy to get through the day. And if you lose a little weight along the way? Even better! Well, for me anyway.

This book gives you the inspiration that you need. You learn the stories that got Hayden, Hedi and Carly to where they are. How they opened up the famous Pressed Juicery, and why they want to share all their recipes that made them famous with you. I love that.

You will find all sorts of great ideas for juicing and what juices go well with whatever is going on in your life right now.

So I'll make you a deal: We will both juice more. And use this book to come up with the healthiest and most delicious juices possible.

Chapters include:

Sharing the Juice

Drink Your Fruits and Vegetables
1. Here's to Your Health
2. The Basics of Juicing

The Juice Box
3. It's All About the Greens
4. Get Back to Your Roots
5. Citrus Appeal
6. Something Sweet
7. The "Milk Bar"
8. Smooth Operator
9. Savory and Spicy
10. Elixers and Flavored Waters

Push Reset
11. Choosing and Preparing for Your Cleanse
12. Getting the Most Out of Your Cleanse

Conclusion: Drink Up!
Cleansing Recipes
Measurement Conversions

From the Back Flap:

A lushly illustrated and accessible guide to juicing and juice cleansing, featuring 75 recipes for making organic juices, milks, and other concoctions at home to provide the vital nutrients a healthy body needs to function at an optimal level.

Once considered a fringe practice of raw-food zealots, juicing has gone mainstream. In this beautiful full-color health guide and cookbook–which requires only a juicer or blender to use–the founders of Los Angeles-based Pressed Juicery explain how juicing and juice cleansing can be part of a fit and healthy lifestyle. Featuring seventy-five recipes for the shop’s most popular juices–including greens, roots, citrus, fruits, aloe and chlorophyll waters, and signature beverages like Chocolate Almond and Coconut Mint Chip–this inspirational handbook outlines the benefits of juicing, explains how to do a juice cleanse safely, and shares testimonials from people who have experienced personal health transformations after integrating juice into their lives.

Founding partners (from left to right), Hayden Slater, Carly de Castro, and Hedi Gores.

Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores, and Hayden Slater are the founders of Pressed Juicery, a Los Angeles–based chain of juice shops that feature more than forty organic, cold-pressed juices and a simple series of multi-day juice cleansing regimens. With nearly twenty locations in Northern and Southern California (and many more opening soon), Pressed Juicery has been featured in Vanity Fair, InStyle, Details, Natural Health, Marie Claire, Vogue, the Los Angeles Times, and Entrepreneur, among many others, as well as on Today, Extra, and The Doctors. Carly, Hedi, and Hayden all live in the Los Angeles area.