Tricia O Welcome - Copy



Dundurn Canadian History


Happy Friday.  I was going to write about something

else this week but I read a great mystery last weekend

that I had to share.  I know I am late to the table for this series

but it is so good I think others who may have missed these books

should know about them.  The book is The Water Rat of Wanchai

by Ian Hamilton and the edition I read came with a prequel

called The Dragon Head of Hong Kong.  Both were fantastic stories

with great settings, good characters and lots of Chinese food.  (How could one

go wrong with that trio?)  The main character Ava Lee is Chinese Canadian and is

a forensic accountant – a very good one as she is called upon to recover

peoples missing monies (large amounts!)  She has to travel to all sorts of places

to track down the missing dough and is great at what she does.  If you haven’t read

Ian Hamilton, you should give him a try!

Have a great weekend.


Front Cover

Hi guys!

Let me just make things clear: I am not a yogi. I don’t think hanging upside down until
my head explodes as I breathe with the intention of…sounding like an ocean (what?) is 
the way to find inner peace. I especially felt this in my first yoga class when I took it
in a room that used to be the meat aisle in an old Loblaws. However, in the spirit of the
Ampersand Health Hustle, I do take one nooner class every (well, most) Wednesdays. It’s
across the street from our office and there’s one teacher that is awesome. If she wants you
to stretch your arm, she’ll say something like, “Now, stretch your left arm” instead of
“Reach your left tree branch towards the sky and breathe life into its growth.” So after her
class I walk out feeling well stretched and refreshed, instead of in pain and confused.

This past Wednesday I went to yoga and walked in the door to find someone else
in her place. A man. A yogi wannabe. My co-worker and I spent the next 70 minutes listening to
our instructor talk and talk and TALK, about being thankful that we can do yoga, all the
while trying to contort our upper bodies into opposite versions of our spiralling lower
bodies (we’re still not sure what it means to “spiral”). Even the awesome sleeping part
at the end was interrupted with whale sounds and a loud bell that turned out to be a
real singing bowl sitting in front of our instructor whose smug face read: “Yes, it’s true. I
can make this bowl sing.”  It was everything I dislike about yoga and when we left the class
we were a sweaty, confused mess. It reminded me of my original feelings about yoga, and then
I saw this and it summed it up nicely for me.

Yoga reading


- Tamara

Today is my first day back in the office after a vacation in Vegas! Which isn’t so much a vacay as it is a
whirlwind of heat and pools and bright lights. So I think next up for me is a nice, relaxing staycation. As
fun as Vegas was, my ideal way to spend some time off involves a whole lot of reading! And my TBR pile is
looking quite large!

Here are a few books that I’d like to spend my staycation with:


Friendship by Emily Gould
Raincoast Books / Macmillan – Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Why I want to read it:This is a novel about two friends learning the difference
between getting older and growing up. I can relate.


Lost for words by Edward St. Aubyn
Raincoast / Macmillan – Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Why I want to read it: This man writes hilariously funny and dark satires
like nobody’s business. If you haven’t read The Patrick Melrose novels, you’re
missing out. 


The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien
Raincoast / Macmillan – Roaring Brook Press

Why I want to read it:  1 – She wrote The Birthmarked Trilogy. 2 – That COVER!
3 – It sounds a bit like a YA version of The Truman Show.



Hello all! I hope everyone had a most excellent weekend. I know I did! For months now, I’ve been training to run 10kms in under 55 minutes, and I FINALLY DID IT! I’ve been using a program on Runkeeper’s app, and it’s been super helpful. Up until now, my running was usually a simple 5kms, a few times a week. This program has pushed me to run farther than I ever have before (14kms!), and faster too. Hurray for me! There have been many blisters and shin splints along the way, but here we are. I’m pretty excited to reward myself with a pedicure (sorry nail technician!), and a new pair of running shoes. Oh, and a week or so away from running!


Sweet Alchemy

Happy Friday.

This week we had one of our semi-regular

staff potluck lunches where we all pick something

from a cookbook and bring it in to share.  We take

turns doing the different parts of the meal and this

week I made dessert.  Please note the luscious

cookies on the bottom right of the book cover.

Moist chocolate chunk cookies with flake sea salt.

That’s what I made.  My results were not quite as photogenic.

The author of the cookbook

grew up without chocolate chip cookies as part of

his childhood (his mom is Turkish and I guess

chocolate chip cookies aren’t part of the regular

Turkish sweet selection.)  This is his take on

the chocolate chip cookie.  He does an outstanding job

and for the piece de resistance he sprinkles Maldon

salt flakes on top – outstanding!

Have a great weekend!



Wink, wink. We know someone who has a crush on you. Who is it? I’ll give you

a hint. She is in Liberty Village. Still don’t know? It’s Amy Kwong who just opened a

new store called, I’ve Got a Crush on You. Amy’s the mastermind behind our awesome

line Smitten Kitten and you can visit her store at Unit 201 at 51 Jefferson Avenue. Want a

sneak peak at the store? Check out InnerSpace’s feature here.

I have a crush on you store


I have a crush on you interior

- Tamara



Hi Everyone,

I didn’t get too much reading done this weekend, so unfortunately I can’t update you on any of those exciting

books I mentioned last time. BUT, I can update you to let you know that I’m now the rep for Ottawa

and Quebec! If you’re out there, look for me around bookfair time.


I’ve been enjoying Mark’s What I’m Reading posts so much that I decided, ”Hey, I ought to do my own!”

This weekend, I was faced with the difficult decision of what to read next, and to my surprise, found
myself grabbing an ARC of SWAY by Kat Spears. This YA contemporary book, about a boy who can get
just about anything you want (for a price), finds himself having to get a girl. For someone else. Sounds
like a fun, if cheesy, premise (She’s All That, anyone?) – like a lighthearted romance, a look at a bad boy
and his growing feelings for a nice girl. Sure, this book does deal with a romance, but it is so much more.


Sway by Kat Spears
HC | September 16th, 2014 |  
Raincoast/Macmillan – St. Martin’s Griffin | 9781250051431

SWAY is actually a darkly funny story about a high school boy named Jesse Alderman (also known as
“Sway”, much to his chagrin). Jesse is not your usual protagonist. He’s blunt and crude and a bit of a
jerk; he deals drugs; and when football star Ken pays him to get a girl named Bridget to date him, he ends
up going through with the deception. He lies to her and feeds Ken information so that he can finally win
Bridget over. But this time around, Jesse starts feeling things again – for this girl he’s handed over to
someone else for money, for her kid brother Peter with cerebral palsy who is starting to hang around
him (and doesn’t know when to shut-up), and for his business partners who might just consider him a
friend. This is a book about Jesse’s relationships – the one with his father, with his dead mother, with the
people he’s known for years and those he’s just met.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book and couldn’t put it down! So if you’re looking for a dark, honest
YA contemporary story, look no further. I know I’ll be looking forward to more from Kat Spears.

~ Vanessa

Wow, that was an AMAZING weekend, you guys!

I Anne-with-an-E’d it up, ate my own weight in seafood, and had the most wonderful time.

Pics or it didn’t happen!



Happy Friday.  My summer reading is in full swing and

I need more hours in the day or the ability to function well

with little or no sleep to keep up the momentum.

Reading is great any time of the year but

I seem to require more reading in the summer time

to keep me happy.  As you know, I am crazy about mysteries

and sometimes I get to read books that I don’t sell.  Andrea Davies,

owner of Hager Books in Vancouver gave me a book called

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

The Case of the Missing Servant

It is the first in a series about Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator,

and is a fun, informative and funny mystery.  The story is set in

contemporary Delhi, there is a marvelous cast of characters

(Vish nicknames his associates and others – meet Handbrake,

Facecream and Flush) and lots and lots about food.

Vish’s wife wants him to lose some weight but he just can’t resist all

the fabulous food available to him at his favourite roadside stands or

cafes. (Luckily for me a handy index of Indian terms has been provided

so I can decode everyday Indian words and phrases that

I’m not familiar with.)

Vish uses investigation techniques that predate Sherlock Holmes;

indeed he bitterly resents any comparisons bewteen himself and the famous

detective.  This is the first in a series and Vish is hired to investigate a

servant girl who has gone missing.

His normal routine is doing background checks for prospective mates in arranged

marriages so this is a change of pace.   The story is sharply written and

I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times.  The book

doesn’t sugar coat the way things are and are done  in India

and one gets a picture of some of the good and not

so good qualities about Indian life while being entertained by an engaging

story.  I’m looking forward to the other books in the series.

Speaking of not sleeping:


Not sleeping because of a good book

Have a great weekend.



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