I Heart New York – and Book Riot too!

Waiting for our adventure to start.

Waiting for our adventure to start.

I went on a whirlwind three days in New York City.  This was a pretty big deal for me because as I love to travel, and always say I want to travel, I have gone places, but nowhere far lately.  I haven’t flown since my honeymoon in 2002.

So when Jolene – my dearest friend, the eggs to my bacon, told me almost a year ago about an event that was coming to NYC – Book Riot Live – naturally I thought it sounded cool, but never really considered going.  Jolene being the seasoned traveller that she is, saw it and thought to herself – of course I’m going to that – I wonder if Danielle will go with me.  Book Riot is an awesome website and community about everything books.  If you’re a reader at all, you should check it out.  They had announced that they were having Book Riot Live – basically a two-day event, with authors, panels, vendors, games, signings, live recordings of podcasts, you name it.  Basically drool worthy stuff for bibliophiles like myself and Jolene.

Book Riot Live!

Book Riot Live!

We had been planning this trip for so long – it never really seemed like it was going to get here, but it did – and it happened November 7th – 9th.

I feel like I want to write this blog post so I don’t forget.  It’s been a week and I already feel like the feeling is starting to go.  The amazing feeling that I felt while I was in New York City.  Admittedly, it’s probably not for everyone.  But I feel like everyone could probably find something there for them.  Jolene was telling me about how much her Dad hated big cities, but he loved New York.  I seriously can’t blame him – there is so much there to love.

Our flight took off on Saturday morning around 5:50.  Between the time I arrived at Jo’s house on Friday night, and with the Niagara Airbus picking us up at 2:20am, I had gotten about 1 1/2 hours of sleep.  It was a good flight and we arrived in one piece on the tarmac at JFK at just after 7am.  We took a cab into the city and dropped our bags off at the hotel.  From there we walked to the Metropolitan West, where Book Riot Live was happening.  It was about a half an hour walk from our hotel.  Our hotel was located on 7th Ave between Central Park and Times Square.  We had to walk through Times Square to get to the convention.  I loved walking in New York.  It really is the best way to absorb everything, and feel like you’re really part of the experience.

Oh yeah - that's Margaret Atwood!

Oh yeah – that’s Margaret Atwood!

Book Riot the first day was awesome.  We got registered, and had our first look around.  We got to do a bit of shopping at the various vendors – all selling bookish goodness.  The day went very fast and included a bunch of different interesting panels, being part of a tattoo chain and actually meeting and getting my book signed by the one and only Margaret Atwood!  That was so cool.

At the end of the day we made it back to the hotel, where we cleaned up, and then went out for dinner before going to see Kinky Boots.  Now…Kinky Boots was awesome.  So much energy, so much light.  If you ever get the chance, I would totally recommend seeing it.

After walking back to our hotel, Jolene and I totally died.  With only 1 1/2 hours of sleep since Friday morning at 5:30, we were both totally exhausted.  No bed was ever quite so comfortable and no pillow was ever quite so soft as ours were that night.

We headed back to the Metropolitan West the next morning – feeling like real New Yorkers as we grabbed coffee and breakfast and ate while we walked.  We had another full, interesting day at Book Riot Live.  I want to take a second to really commend the folks over there.  They are a really quirky (I mean that in the most complimentary way possible) and interesting group of people.  They are so diverse, so forward thinking, so unique.  I love reading their content, watching them on YouTube and following them on Twitter.  They didn’t disappoint in real life.  They’re an amazing crew and should be proud of themselves for putting on a fantastic event.  I hope it’s the first of many.

First sight out of the subway.

First sight out of the subway.

After Book Riot Live was over, we hopped on a subway and made our way down to the World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and museum.  To be honest, I didn’t know really what to expect or how I would feel going there.  We came up out of the subway station and the first thing I saw was the new 1 World Trade Center jetting up into the sky.  It is a beautiful, impressive structure and the first sight took my breath away.  We walked over to the memorial fountains, that sit in the exact footprints of the fallen twin towers.

The museum itself completely blew me away.  In a way, I’m still processing everything I saw while we were there.  It was huge, and beautiful, and so incredibly sad, while still preserving the pride and resilience of New York, the United States, and Americans and Western Civilization on a whole.  In building this museum, they have found a way to preserve the details of that day, and the events leading up to it and following it, in a way that no one will ever forget even the smallest details.  The human factor will never be forgotten.  The planes flew into the buildings that day, but it was in no way about the planes or the buildings.  It was about the people.  The people in the planes.  The people in the buildings.  The people on the ground.  The service people, the families.  I walked through this space, full of people, and for the most part, you could hear a pin drop.  I was quite overcome by emotions several times throughout my time there.  It hit home several times – I remember this day.  I remember where I was, how I heard, how I felt.  This is part of the history of this generation, my generation.  The events of this day changed the world.  For me, there will always be life before 9/11 and life after 9/11.  I can say that.  My son will never be able to say that.  He never knew what life was like before.

Memorial fountain.

Memorial fountain.

Needless to say, if you are ever visiting New York City, please don’t leave without taking a trip down and making this part of it.  It was worth it, and it was definitely one of the things I will never forget about this experience.

Back on the subway we went, and got off at Penn Station so we could walk over to the Empire State Building.  We crossed off another bucket list item for me by stopping for a slice of pizza on our way there.  The Empire State Building was definitely another highlight of the trip, and I’m so glad we got to see it at night.  Manhattan is so beautiful from up there at night.

After some dessert and some drinks, we made it down to Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Centre, and (the outside of) NBC Studios before heading back for another amazing sleep!

Empire State

Empire State

Amazing shot from the Empire State

Amazing shot from the Empire State

Monday dawned a beautiful day.  We checked out early, and headed over to NBC Studios in the hopes of going on the tour, which was unfortunately booked.  So we went for breakfast instead, after doing a bit of shopping in the store.  After breakfast, we went up to Central Park.  I had been very excited for this for the whole trip.  It occurred to me at one point walking down the street when a dog stopped to do his business on the sidewalk that New York (Manhattan anyway) is a city without grass.  Not a blade to be found everywhere.  So walking into Central Park was crazy different to the rest of the city.  It is an absolutely beautiful green space, and standing there within it looking out at the city around you is an incredible contrast.  One I don’t think you can fully appreciate unless you are there in the middle of it.

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park Selfie

Central Park Selfie

library

New York Public Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a trip to the BEAUTIFUL New York Public Library, a stroll down 5th Ave looking at all the stores that I could barely afford walking through the front doors, we stopped at Macy’s.  Decorated for Christmas, Macy’s is a feast for the eyes and senses.  To be perfectly honest, we walked in the door and into the handbags.  Beyond that was the cosmetics and fragrances.  Jolene went to some of the other floors, I never made it past that one area.  I was totally in my element.

After a bit more shopping, and a couple more slices of pizza, it was time to hop the subway to head back to JFK.  We got our bags and headed down to the subway, which was just down from our hotel.  Before we went down into the station, I stopped, and did a complete 360, looking around and trying to take everything in.  I knew when I next came out of the ground, we would be at JFK.

Heading home. See you soon NYC!!

Heading home. See you soon NYC!!

I was happy to get home, happy to see my family and crawl into my own bed, but I will always remember this trip and how amazing it was.  How addictive this city is.  I already have looked up flights for the spring so that I can go back and take Joe with me.  It’s completely exhausting.  I normally like to average about 10,000 steps in a day.  In the three days we were there I logged over 57,000 steps.  I ate everything under the sun and still lost 3 lbs while I was there because of all the walking.  It was wonderful, it was life changing, it was one of the best times of my entire life, and I can’t wait to go back again someday.

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Summer’s in the Air. 8 Reasons to be Happy About That.

All the seasons have something to offer

All the seasons have something to offer

What is your favourite season?  Living in Southwestern Ontario, we are blessed to experience four distinct seasons.  I truly love each one.  I love the crisp, cool fall days where the leaves on the trees change colour and you can just start to see your breath in the air.  You can go out for walks and the air is chilly, but you can get away with just jeans and a heavy sweater.  I love the clean, fresh smell of winter, and get excited for the first snowfall, and for waking up to find a blanket of snow everywhere.  I love the feeling of the air finally starting to warm up after a long winter.  The smell of a spring rain, the sight of daffodils and tulips poking up out of the ground.

But mostly – I love summer.  And summer is in the air, especially this last week.  It hit 30 degrees today, and it is likely to again tomorrow.  I think next week is supposed to have more seasonal temperatures, but this blast of heat that we’ve been experiencing has given us a taste of summer again, and a promise of what’s to come.  I can’t wait!

If you know me, you know that I love a good list.  So in the spirit of the warm weather we’re having, and the warm weather to come, here are the top eight reasons (in no particular order) that I can’t wait for summer:

My happy place

My happy place

1.  The beach.  I love the beach.  It is my happy place, and there is nowhere I would rather be on a  hot summer day.  It can be 35 degrees at home and feel like 45 with the humidex.  But standing on the shore of Lake Huron, it’s warm, breezy, and there isn’t a drop of humidity in the air.  I can sit for hours, staring out at the waves, reading a book, or simply laying on a towel or in a beach chair, eyes closed, listening to the water lap up against the shore.  When the heat from the sun gets to be too much you simply wade out into the water to cool off and bring your body temperature back down.  Back to the sand, you’re good for a little longer, until you’re ready for another dip.  Over and over it goes, all afternoon.

Then of course, there is the beach at night.  Where would you rather view a sunset more than over the water?  The air cooling down, a blanket wrapped around you and someone you love.  You can watch the sun slip slowly beneath the horizon, and if it happens to be July 1st, and there’s a fireworks display, well – you’ve just had about the most perfect day ever.

2. Ice cream.  I freaking love ice cream.  It is my dessert of choice, most of the time.  When I go out for dinner, often I finish looking at all the decadent desserts on the menu and I look up at my server and ask: “can I just get a bowl of ice cream?” My friends are all nodding their heads right now.  Ice cream is awesome, but ice cream in the summer?  That’s what I’m talking about!

I have memories of being a child and hearing the bells of the Good Humour man on his bike with the ice cream treats inside.  The Purple Phantom with the bubble gum nose was my favourite.  Dairy Queen of course is open year round, but of course it tastes better on a hot summer day after an afternoon of swimming.  In a nearby town there is an ice cream parlour called Lickety Split.  In another nearby town there is the Cool Cucumber.  These places are only open in the summer, and there is nothing quite like driving past one of them to find they’re open for the season.  It’s truly a reason to celebrate.

Take me out to the ballgame...

Take me out to the ballgame…

3.  Baseball.  I love baseball.  When I was a teenager, I lived and breathed baseball.  It may have had something to do with the massive crush I had on Roberto Alomar.  It also had everything to do with the game.  I got away from baseball a bit during the strike in 1994-95.  After that I paid attention, but not how I used to.  The game lost a bit of something for me.  In the last couple of years I have returned to the fold.  We have made it out to a Toronto Blue Jays game at least once a season in the last couple of years and I hope this year to get out there again.  Nicholas played baseball for our local league last summer and will again this summer, so he is interested too.  Perhaps a game for Joe and I and a game for the family.  I love the atmosphere of a ballpark.  Especially when we’re winning.

4. Grilling.  Oh, heck yeah.  The smell of the barbecue is a sure sign of summer.  It may sound silly but my favourite thing to eat off the barbecue is grilled chicken breasts, when they’re seasoned properly and done properly so they’re tender and juicy, and they’ve got barbecue sauce on them…..oh yes.  I am fortunate to be married to an excellent grill man.  Joe is so good at barbecuing that I said to my Mom the other day “if I ever tell you that I’m thinking about leaving Joe, just whisper into my ear: grilled chicken breasts.  I’ll be sure to reconsider.”

Barbecue is awesome because it tastes great, the cleanup is minimal, and when you eat outside on the deck, you just leave the food on the grill and everyone grabs their own.  You don’t even need to dirty a serving plate.  Add the spuds and veg in foil packets, and you’re all set.

5. The smell of freshly cut grass.  Need I say more?

Anyone for s'mores?

Anyone for s’mores?

6.  Campfires.  Another summer activity I could do every weekend.  The sun goes down, everyone moves from the deck to the fire pit.  Someone gets the wood, someone else grabs that week’s flyers and a lighter or matches.  Grab some coat hangers and a bag of marshmallows, your drink and a sweatshirt, and you’re almost all set.  All I need is my iPhone set to my “Fireside” playlist, and I could sit there all evening.  It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends.  I love the smells, the sound of the fire crackling, the warmth.  While I’m out there that is.  As soon as I get in the house, it’s into the shower.  I can’t sleep with the smell of campfire in my hair.

7.  Flip flops.  I hate socks.  Once the warm weather starts, I don’t wear them until the snow flies again.

8.  Produce.  Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, cherries, peaches, corn on the cob.  Fresh, local produce simply can’t be beat, and we in Ontario are so lucky to have access to so much awesome fresh fruits and vegetables.  In late August and early September I would exist simply on corn on the cob if I could.  When the fresh produce is out of your own garden, so you are eating it within sight of where it grew, it’s an added bonus.

So those are just 8 of the reasons that I am so excited for summer.  There are so many more that I haven’t listed here.  Are you excited for summer?  What are your reasons?  Do you have a different favourite season?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Enjoy the heat…and don’t forget your sunscreen!

 

Exploring the World of….Comic Books?

My first literary love.

My first literary love.

As if I needed further proof that I’m a nerd.  I love being a nerd by the way.

First of all, let me start out by saying that I learned how to read with comic books.  I was completely addicted to Archie Comics.  We went out shopping, and where most kids would be begging for a candy bar, I would be standing there in the checkout with my parents begging for the latest Archie Comics….and a candy bar.

I was an only child and if you were looking for me, you could likely find me with my nose buried in a book growing up.  I remember as I got a little older I loved reading In Grandma’s Attic books, Babysitter’s Club, and then Sweet Valley High, before graduating to Danielle Steel, and eventually broadening my scope to where I would read just about anything.  But it all started with Archie.  My mom tells the story of how I would be sitting there at 4 or 5 years old, comic book in hand, giggling as I read.  She went up to me and asked me if I knew what I was reading, suspecting that I was simply laughing at the pictures.  She sat down with me and I started reading them to her.  So I wasn’t kidding when I said that I literally learned to read with Archie.  I still have boxes and boxes of books in my basement that I haven’t looked at in years, that contain Archie comics, Babysitter’s Club, and almost the entire Sweet Valley High series.  I just can’t bring myself to throw them out.  I feel like it would be throwing my childhood away.

I hadn’t read comics in a very long time, until recently when I was browsing YouTube and came across thisSaga 1 video that talked about comics.  It got me thinking about them again, and I went to the store and picked up Saga Volume 1.  I had heard a bit about it and thought it may be a good place to start again.  I read the first, and got totally hooked.  It’s a far cry from Archie, being a much more mature series, with mature scenes and language.  Overall though, it’s very engaging and I proceeded to head back out to the bookstore to pick up volumes 2, 3 and 4.  I also picked up the first trade for the latest Ms Marvel, which I also read and quite enjoyed.  In a way I feel like I’m a kid again!  But I really have to say that I’m enjoying comics a lot again.  Not only do they make great literary palate cleansers, which are great to read in between books as something that isn’t intellectually taxing, but they are great on their own, and I can really see myself getting into several of the stories.  Of course my husband and parents look at me like I have two heads, wondering why I am wasting my time on kid’s stuff, ms marvelbut I really don’t look at it that way.  In a way, I feel like I’ve come full circle.  Comics are great to read in between more difficult books or chunkies, they’re great for car trips or plane rides as they don’t require a huge amount of concentration, and you can look up from them for a few minutes and then quite easily get back to where you left off.  They’re nice if you just want to read for a few hours and don’t want to get into anything too heavy, or don’t have a lot of time to read and don’t want to commit yourself to starting a new novel.

It really makes sense that I would get back into comics.  I like to read all kinds of fiction.  I like historical fiction, romance, mystery, horror, etc.  But I also appreciate YA and sci-fi, including reading about vampires, werewolves, witches, wizards, hippogryphs, and dragons.  Comics to me seem like a perfect addition to my reading list.  Though my TBR just doubled in size, I’m pretty stoked to read more.

Are you interested in comics?  Do you think I’m crazy?  Do you have favourites you can recommend?  I’m certainly open to suggestions.

Pictures from here, here, and here.

What is Love?

Baby don't hurt me...

Baby don’t hurt me…

Love, amour, amare, amo, любовь,爱, agape, eros, älskar…..

The Concise Oxford Dictonary, Ninth Ed. describes love like this:

love n. & v.  -n. 1. an intense feeling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing; great liking. 2. sexual passion. 3. sexual relations. 4 a a beloved one; a sweetheart (often as a form of address). Brit. colloq. a familiar form of address regardless of affection. 5. colloq. a person of whom one is fond….

Yadda yadda yadda.

After 9 definitions of the word love as a noun, it goes on to provide 4 definitions of love as a verb and the use of the word in various contexts, such as fall in love, for the love of, in love, love-hate relationship, making loveand so on and so forth.  All of which make me believe even more strongly what I am here to say today, on Valentine’s Day, when love is celebrated above all else:

There is no true description to the word love.  It means something different to everyone, in every situation. Each time the word is uttered (which is often – I also think it is the worlds most overused word) it means something different.  Love is such a vast, multi-layered complex concept, that those folks that wrote that dictionary barely even scratched the surface in their very long definition of the word.

Let us break it down.  I can only speak for myself, but I think that the general concept is universal:

I love God.  God loves me.

I love my son.  My son loves me.

I love my husband.  My husband loves me.

I love my Mom.  My Mom loves me.

I love my Dad.  My Dad loves me.

I love my friend Jolene.  My friend Jolene loves me.

I love my friend Renee.  My friend Renee loves me.

I love my friend Karen.  My friend Karen loves me.

I love all my friends (you know who you are) and they all love me.

I love my dog Sophie.  Sophie loves me.

I love reading.

I love my job.

I love being home, nice and cozy, on a cold winter day.

I love soaking up the sun on the beach on a hot summer day.

I love my cell phone.  Also my Macbook Pro.  And any kind of amazing technology.

I love shopping in Sephora, Indigo, Coach, and other various clothing and shoe stores, etc.

I love bacon, pizza, popcorn, chocolate, the smell of BBQ in the summer, the smell of baked beans in the winter.

I love to cook, bake, and create things in the kitchen.  I love to share those things with the folks that I love.

I love Harry Potter.

I love music.

I love the sound of my son’s laughter.

I love my bed.

I love cuddling.

I love a good cup of tea.

I love how you get the idea…..I’m sure you get the idea.

I just used the word love in almost 50 different ways.  Each time I typed the word, it meant something different.  Each time I typed the word I totally meant it.  Relative to the subject I was writing about.  Do I love a good cup of tea as much as I love my Mom?  Uh…no.  But I do love them both.  I love my son more than anything in the world.  I also love my husband more than anything in the world.  You may ask how I can say that.  You may think I am contradicting myself.  But I am not.  I love them both more than anything in the world, yet the love I feel for my son is so completely different than the love I feel for my husband, that there is absolutely no comparing the two.

Love is a pretty big thing.  It makes the world go around.  There is a reason why many people wait to say it in relationships, and have a hard time saying it for the first time.  It means something, or at least it should.

I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day, and use this day to celebrate love.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or not.  We are all capable of love and because of that today is for everyone, everywhere.

Enjoy!

 

Family Time

Buddies

Buddies

Today my baby boy turns 6.  It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago today he entered our lives.  Each day has gotten better since.  He has truly made our lives complete.  Being a Mom can be the toughest job in the world sometimes, mostly because you simply love that little one so much that they become an extension of you.  When they laugh, you laugh.  When they hurt, you hurt.  When they feel bad, you want to step right in and fix whatever the problem is.  Even when you can’t.

Anyway, I just wanted to fill you in about the little trip that our family took to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  We had gone in February and spent a couple of days, and we all had such an amazing time, that we thought we would take another trip to celebrate Nicholas’ Birthday.

So last week on Wednesday, we packed up the car, and headed for Niagara Falls.  It was a lot better drive than it was the time before, as we were in a snowstorm that time.  We had my parents with us, as we had the last time, and this time was even better because we had all been there before, we knew the ropes and how to go about doing everything, and how to best utilize our time there.  We had such an amazing time, I thought I would share the experience with you, and show you some of our pictures.  I was able to get some awesome pictures, as we purchased a waterproof camera a few weeks before our trip, which came in very handy in the waterpark, as I didn’t have to worry about it getting wet, as well as it allowed me to leave my phone in the room and causing me to be unplugged for hours at a time, which astonishingly enough, did not bother me at all.  I kind of liked it actually!  I got some great waterpark pictures, and I plan on using this camera a lot at the beach this summer too.  Already a great investment.

We arrived at GWL at around 2pm on the Wednesday.  We were delighted to find that our room was ready, so we were able to check in.  So we unpacked, suited up, and hit the water running!  Here are some pics from Day One:

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And from Thursday, Day Two:

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And lastly Friday, Day Three, and the day we came home:

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As you can see, we had a lovely, fun filled trip, where Nicholas spent a large amount of it under the water.  It’s such a nice place, we’re already planning our next trip, probably for October or around there.

Hope you have a great weekend, and a very Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there. 🙂

MAC Cleanse Oil – Tried, Tested and True

MAC Cleanse Off Oil

MAC Cleanse Off Oil

I have been using skin care for a very long time.  I can probably count on two hands and have fingers left over the number of times I have gone to bed without washing my face since I was 14 years old.  It doesn’t matter how late it is, how tired I am, how many cocktails I may have consumed, I still take the time to wash my face before bed.  ESPECIALLY if I’m wearing makeup.

So needless to say, I have tried several skin care products.  Some are keepers, some are definitely not.  When I find something that really works well for me, I tend to stick with it.  Sometimes something will come along with pretty packaging or some awesome claims.  I will get pulled in by this, but if the product itself is not worth using, it never takes me long to go back to my old faithfuls.  If you find a product that works good for you, it is worth its weight in gold.  Sometimes your skin changes though, either due to the seasons, aging, hormones or a million other reasons.  Sometimes it’s necessary to change it up a bit.

If I make a recommendation to you, I want to make sure that I am totally sure that it’s a good one.  At least for me.  That’s the thing with skin care, everyone is different, no two faces are exactly the same.  So what works well for me may not for you or vice versa.  My skin type is oily.  Like oily.  I get the odd blemish, especially hormonal, and often have to blot and/or powder throughout the day.

So the product that I want to recommend to you here is the MAC Cleanse Off Oil.  My love affair with MAC Cosmetics goes back a long way.  I have been a fan of their makeup for many years.  I had my makeup done for my wedding (almost 12 years ago) by MAC make up artists, and I had already been a fan for ages before that.  I love their range, I love the versatility of the colours.  I had never really used any of their skin care products before, until I heard of their Cleanse Off Oil.

This stuff is awesome.  I use it just to take off my eye makeup.  You could use it to take off your entire face, but as I do have very oily skin, I just use it on my eyes.  After removing the majority of my face makeup with a wipe, I put one pump of the oil in my hand and rub between my two hands on my fingers.  I gently in a circular motion, massage the oil into my dry eye area.  It breaks down waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliner like nobody’s business.  Once I look like a panda, I simply splash warm water on my face.  The oil turns into a milky cleanser which rinses off with all my makeup.  Once the water hits it, there is no oiliness at all, and it doesn’t leave a residue on the skin.

If you’re in the market for a great makeup remover, I highly recommend this product.  It retails for $36 at your nearest MAC Counter, Store or online.  At one pump a day, this stuff lasts forever.  I have used the bottle in the picture above every day for the last five months, and it’s not even half gone yet.

Have you tried this product?  Do you use it on a regular basis?  Love it?  Hate it?  Do you have any recommendations for removing eye makeup?  I’m always up for suggestions.

Hope you’re having a great day. 🙂

Kelley Armstrong Photobombed Me

The one and only Kelley Armstrong during her Q&A

The one and only Kelley Armstrong during her Q&A

Well, not really.  Not intentionally, it just looked like a photobomb.  Sorta.  So it doesn’t count.  But whatever.  I’ll get to that.

Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors.  I have reviewed some of her books on this blog here, here, and here.  I love her style of writing, I love her characters.  I have read almost all of her novels and novellas both for adults and young adults, and enjoyed each one.  The fact that she is from the London, Ontario area is very cool to me as well.

Naturally, when I heard from my bestest Jolene that Kelley Armstrong was going to be doing a book signing and a pre-release event for her latest book Sea of Shadows where you could meet her and have her sign the book for you 3 days before it comes out, I was in.  Especially when I found out that it was as close as Brampton, ON.  Okay, at first I thought it was in Burlington, not Brampton.  But that’s a long, not very interesting story that doesn’t really bring anything to this story, so I won’t expand on that.

So I got an e-mail from Jolene a few weeks ago, telling me that Kelley Armstrong was going to be in Brampton, because she knows that I like her books a lot.  I immediately asked her if she was free and wanted to meet me there.  A true testament to what an amazing friend she is: she didn’t hesitate to agree to drive over an hour to meet me and stand in line with me to wait for an author she has never read, and probably never will read, as it is a genre that she has no interest in.  I also called my good buddy Karen, who I have to credit with introducing me to Kelley’s books in the first place.  She was in too.  I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I have awesome friends. 🙂

We had an awesome day, got to meet Kelley Armstrong (who is charming as all heck), and got to spend time with two of my dearest friends.  We had a lovely lunch, and we had a great time with lots of laughs.

If you’re into the supernatural at all, both adult fiction and YA, be sure to check out Kelley Armstrong’s books.  She has created an awesome world and characters you fall in love with.  Start with the 13 books in the Otherworld series.  Bitten is the first one.  That’s a good place to start.

Waiting in line

Waiting in line

Meeting a favourite

Meeting a favourite

Sadly, the only pic of Jolene from the day.  She was taking them all!

Sadly, the only pic of Jolene from the day. She was taking them all!

Doesn't it look like she photobombed me?  Maybe?  A little?

Doesn’t it look like she photobombed me? Maybe? A little?