Words of Wisdom: Take A Deep Breath


Our chaotic world often leaves little time for peace and small breaks from the hustle and bustle. This leaves us in a state of heightened anxiety, and increased stress. Take the time to relax.

Take a moment for yourself.

Life may seem daunting; the future too overwhelming.

Just breath.

You can handle it.

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Book Review: The Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable

Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable

Published by Simon and Schuster


A new and enticing voice in fiction draws readers through the streets of Paris and New York on an intricate adventure. It’s twisting, contemplative, playful and darkly entertaining. A suicide note. Hidden clues. A deadly game of wits. An imaginary cat. A paean to a strange and addictive friendship. Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa is a compelling invitation to indulge in simple delights and explore a shadowy world where the boundaries between truth and invention are blurred. Ben Constable and his friend Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa live in Paris. They drink in late-night bars, smoking and laughing, caught up in a seemingly endless conversation—until Butterfly sends a letter saying she’s killed herself. Haunted by the loss, Ben follows her final instructions on a mysterious treasure hunt, revealing unexpected joys and obscure faces of the cities she has lived in. But the deeper he digs, the darker the past he uncovers. Butterfly’s life was less innocent than he could have imagined. In a game he thought had been devised for his amusement Ben starts to suspect he is in fact the plaything. And the real and surreal overlap, making it difficult to judge what comes from the heart and what could be dangerous.

1600167_10152164384800908_58508561_nBenjamin Constable has crafted a phenomenal book. This book was a very loaded read. The story goes is quite heavy, and has a significant impact on the readers emotions.

I loved the twists and turns crafted into the storyline. Just when I had predicted how something would unfold, I was completely in awe over what developed.

To go into detail would reveal too much. This is a book that must be experienced by the reader to truly understand its dynamics. It is written beautifully. It is tragic, lovely, inspiring, depressing and mesmerizing.

A great read.

This is the sort of book you need to read twice just to see if you missed anything the first time around. Perhaps in knowing how the story unfolds, smaller details will be more significant to the storyline in the second reading.


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Poetry: Contradictions


It does not matter what position your mind takes.

What you think.

Your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day.

You want to go.

You’re desperate to stay.

Your mind will believe comforting lies

While also knowing the painful truths

That make those lies necessary

Your mind then punishes you for believing both.

What you think is not important.

You write your life with actions.

It is only important what you do.

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Artist Spotlight: Brittany Hanks


Hi everyone! My name is Brittany Hanks, and I am a Professional Artist and Illustrator. Lisa has been kind enough to ask me to talk a little bit about what Art means to me.


When I was growing up, like many kids I suffered from depression and social anxiety. I always drew and painted, but one day I asked my parents if they thought I could do it as a career, and they said yes. For me, this was in retrospect, a defining point in my life and my career. From that day on, I identified myself as an artist, and pushed myself into my craft. Art has been more than a hobby, it has been a source of discovery for many lessons in life. Pushing myself to get better at something proved to me that I possesed the ability to improve the things I didn’t like about my life. Like anything, trying to better yourself is a struggle, but the hard work gives way to victories and gratification.


I think one of the reasons why art is so important is that it is a true creation. Any form of art, not just visual art. When you start a new drawing or painting, or dance piece, or novel, you are starting on a new slate. You choose to create and inhabit this new space with whatever you wish. For me, the act of creation, bringing something new out of nothing, is something truly beautiful in life. No matter what you’re discipline, or even if you think you don’t have a specific one, the choice’s you make and what you inhabit your world with are up to you, and it is beautiful. And it is Art.


 Brittany Hanks: Fine Artist, Punk Rock Shirt Designer, Illustrator!! 


Twitter @Brittanyhanks

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Book Review: Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable, Undead

BookReviewsDeck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead by Chris Pauls, Matt Solomon T


1600108_10152164384975908_207743490_nImagine being trapped aboard the doomed Titanic on an icy Atlantic . . . with the walking dead. This fast-paced thriller re-imagines the historical events of the fateful Titanic voyage through the lens of zombie mayhem. Captain Edward Smith and his inner circle desperately try to contain a weaponized zombie virus smuggled on board with the 2,200 passengers sailing to New York. Faced with an exploding population of lumbering, flesh-hungry undead, Smith’s team is forced into bloody hand-to-hand combat down the narrow halls of the huge steamer.

In its few short days at sea, the majestic Titanic turns into a Victorian bloodbath, steaming at top speed toward a cold, blue iceberg.

A creepy, tense page-turner, Deck Z will thrill zombie fans and Titanic buffs alike.


It is often said to not judge a book by the cover, but this cover is so creative and reflects how inventive the book is. So, yes this book can be judged by it’s cover.

Everyone is familiar with the story of the Titanic, and I think that is what makes this book so appealing. It is easy to lose yourself in this narrative because you can visualize the story because you know the setting so well.

The famous characters we know and love from the stories of the Titanic are alive in the story, as well as some new additions that fit in quite nicely. It is easy to imagine these characters wandering the halls of the famous ship fighting the plague. The atmosphere is created perfectly. The reader can vividly see the beloved Titanic, but with a dark twist. I loved all the extra little details the authors included to make the story seem more ‘real’.

Great characters, very imaginative premise and overall, wonderful book. A must read for Zombie fans, and any historical buffs.

It is good for a light read and a few laughs.

While the ending was complete, there is still enough opening to revisit yet another historical event where perhaps the same plague can reappear, reshaping our history and extending our imagination once again.

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Book Review: Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski


Published: July 2nd 2013


Sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what—or who—is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?

As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.


What a wonderful little book!

I was expecting it to be a light read, offering only a few hours of entertainment—what I got, was one of the best reads of the summer. I really and truly loved every single detail of this book. Doktorski is a master of the YA craft, and I cannot wait to see more from her.

Her characters were realistic, compelling and most important: interesting. The female protagonist was a character I actually found myself cheering for. She is eccentric, silly and relatable. She is the kind of girl you would want to be friends with. This is a hard thing to master in character development, to create a character so real the reader actually cares. Doktorski banged the nail on the head with her group of eccentric characters.

It was not the typical run of the mill “teenage love story,” it had depth, moments of humour and overall a great experience for the reader.

This is the perfect book to turn to when you are having a bad day, or when you are simply looking for an escape from life for a few hours.

As you turn the pages, you find yourself immersed in the story, and smiling along with the characters.


Thank you, Raincoast Canada for the ARC.

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Artist Spotlight: Brittany Hanks

Oh..my..gosh…Just when I think I have an absolute favourite piece, that nothing could ever top…Miss Brittany Hanks goes and creates something as majestic as this:



The colours. The details. Wow. I think I speak for everyone when I say, thank goodness Miss Hanks decided to share her art with the world.


This piece is simply divine, absolutely gorgeous. I think I could stare it for hours in complete awe.

If you haven’t already, check out the rest of her work at: https://www.facebook.com/BrittanyHanksArt

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