musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

a memory of elephants...

". . . graceful as a baby elephant . . ."

I wasn't meant to hear those words. But after weeks of practicing the five positions and struggling – unsuccessfully – to make my demi pliés and grand pliés bear any resemblance to Madame's graceful movements, her stage-whispered comment to Mom brought my ballerina dreams to a stumbling, bumbling end. I was five years old.

As Mom and I walked home after that fateful lesson, she tried her best to cheer me with talk of the joys of tap dancing. I barely listened. Instead, I thought about the elephants in my story books, Babar and Celeste. I thought about the elephants I'd seen at the zoo and on television. I liked elephants. I liked elephants a lot. Maybe this wasn't so bad after all.

Back home in my room, I stood in front of the mirror and frowned at the girl who stared back at me: a chubby child with curly blonde hair that would not be tamed, scuffed ballet slippers, and a too-snug black leotard. I thought of my friend, Judy: she who always looked so perfect in her pink tutu and matching slippers; she with the long legs, long neck, and sleek dark hair twisted into a tidy bun; she who never flubbed a plié. Okay. Well. Elephants had big, tap-dancey feet, didn't they? I swapped the leotard and slippers for shorts and sandals and ran downstairs to tell Mom I'd be okay with tap lessons instead of ballet.

Looking back, I realize Madame's heartless comment in that final ballet class was the lone rogue in a lifetime of happy elephant moments. I seem to encounter them everywhere.

As a child, Saturday mornings meant new episodes of Circus Boy on TV. I'd imagine myself into the stories. Wearing that coveted pink tutu at last, I'd turn graceful pirouettes on Bimbo the elephant's back, and never, ever flub a plié. The crowd under the big top always cheered.

My grandmother kept a collection of elephants in her sitting room. Fascinated by their wildness and their strange searching trunks, I'd cozy up in the big armchair and imagine myself walking through the jungle with the herd or perched between a massive pair of ears as we travelled a dusty road. Grandma once told me a gathering of elephants is called a memory. A memory of elephants. I like that. I like that a lot.

When Grandma passed away in 1966, these two gems from her collection came to me. The little one is cast bronze, the larger is ebony. Given its nineteenth century origin, there is a good chance the tusks are real ivory. In Grandma's time, ivory was a coveted curiosity. The thought of how it was taken makes me terribly sad.

Over the years, my herd has grown. Carved from stone or wood or sculpted in clay, each little elephant has its own unique personality. Most found their way to me in antique shops, galleries, or pottery studios but this gilt-eared cutie was a gift. (Thanks, Wendy!) He always makes me smile.

A few years ago, I tried to call it quits. Life in a one bedroom condo demands moderation and there was, I told myself firmly, no room for more elephants. That was before I met this gorgeous big girl, created by Toronto raku potter Zsuzsa Monostory. I went back to the gallery several times before finally admitting we were meant to be. She was my retirement gift to myself and I've named her Thembi, after a real Botswanan elephant and a fictional Ontario lake.

And what, you may ask, has an African elephant to do with a Canadian lake? Twenty years ago when I was researching and writing Sparks Fly, a friend put me in touch with a young Canadian float plane pilot who shared his experience of life in the north and the risky business of flying in the wilderness. At the time, his fiancé was working on her thesis project with an elephant foundation in Botswana. He travelled there with her – bush pilots are always in demand in Botswana – and was able to meet and interact with the foundation's elephants, Jabu, Marula, and Thembi. It was an experience he described as the most awe-inspiring of his life. When I needed a name for the fictional northern lake in Sparks Fly, I chose Thembi as a nod to his favourite elephant and as a way of saying thanks. I've lost touch with my pilot, but the foundation is still active and doing good work. You can meet the elephant trio and see photos of the real-life Thembi on Facebook at Living With Elephants. 

It's been over a year since raku Thembi took her place as The Last Elephant in my collection. There is still absolutely no room for more elephants. Of course, that's never stopped me before.

Afterword: The tap-dancing lessons were short lived. I adored my shiny, patent leather tap shoes and the clack-happy sound they made when I walked. But walking isn't dancing, and the coordinated rhythm that marks a hoofer was never going to be part of my skill set. So … I decided to take up figure skating, instead. Elephants on ice! I imagine you can guess how well that turned out. 

Eventually, I found my niche and now my fingers do the dancing – across the keyboard. No fancy footwear required. As I write this, I'm wearing a floaty summer dress. It may be more muumuu than tutu, but it is pink. And even better, it's patterned with row upon row of happy, dancing, graceful baby elephants.

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

animals of The Write Spot...

Where do writers write? It's been almost a year since I first posed that question to launch The Write Spot. Since then, I've had the pleasure of meeting two dozen talented authors who've generously invited us into their personal writing spaces. It's been an adventure!

The Write Spots we've visited are as unique as the authors themselves and as varied as the genres they write. But beyond our shared love of books and writing, I've discovered something else we share in common: a deep love and respect for animals. Some of us share our homes with companion pets, others bring animals to life as story characters, while still others take inspiration from animal encounters in the wild. A celebration of this common thread running through our lives seems like the perfect way to mark the upcoming one year anniversary of The Write Spot. So here is part one of a three-part series: animals of The Write Spot…

Meet Jay, companion and feline muse to author Susan McNicoll. Handsome Jay is a Maine Coon Cat, named for Susan's favourite baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Jay has heaps of personality, loves going for walks on his leash, and has even been to visit Santa Claus – twice! Susan tells me Santa and his elves were surprised by how relaxed Jay was. In fact, they told her he was the best behaved cat they had ever met. Check out Susan McNicoll's Write Spot where you'll find more photos of the amazing Jay. (And be sure to click through to Susan's web site where Jay has his very own blog.)

Roo is romance author Donna Fasano's Australian cattle dog mix. As a puppy, Roo ate socks and washcloths, chewed up shoes, tore around the house like a hurricane, and once she even swallowed Donna's engagement ring (everything came out in the end). Donna dubbed her "the wild dingo" for good reason! But Roo is eleven now, a little gray in the muzzle, and she's calmed down a lot. Although those early years were a little crazy, Donna says her life has been truly blessed by Roo. I believe it. Look at the love in those eyes! Visit Donna Fasano's Write Spot.

Doreen Pendgracs, author and chocolate tourism guru, captioned this photo, "Jimmy, hogging the bed as usual." But in this instance, Jimmy is lazing around in style, on vacation for the month of January, 2015 at the pet-friendly Spirit Ridge Resort and Spa in Osoyoos, B.C.  Jimmy also travelled to Vancouver Island with Doreen and her husband Reg for six weeks this past winter. What a lucky cat! Click here to feast your eyes on Doreen, covered head-to-toe in chocolate – all in the name of research. There's more about Jimmy and books, too, of course.

Meet Princess, a gorgeous husky with one brown eye and one blue. Princess shares her home in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, with Canadian author Annelies Pool. Annelies says, "Princess loves to lie down in a cubby hole by my feet when I am writing (particularly when she’s trying to escape the vacuum cleaner). When I’m stuck or I read a paragraph or two out loud to hear how it sounds, this is the look she gives me (if she’s not sleeping). Sheer adoration. She likes everything I write without reservation, doesn’t care about misplaced modifiers or self-indulgent diatribes. Everybody should have such a fan. She doesn’t buy too many books, though." To see more of Princess and discover Annelies' books, visit The Write Spot of Annelies Pool.

Meet Scout the dog and Phoebe the cat, best friends and companions to mystery author Peggy Blair. Peggy says, "Scout was alone with me until I found Phoebe on-line, about to be surrendered to the SPCA, and couldn't resist. From the moment she walked in the door, tail high, it was clear she was at home. Within minutes, these two were pals. Scout had never barked and so I often would let him outside and forget he was there. That first evening, I let him out and heard loud meowing at the back door. Since then Phoebe has always notified me if Scout needs to be let in; in exchange, he's taught her to shake a paw for a treat. They are inseparable. My friends say they are co-dependent." Scout and Phoebe make excellent subjects for Peggy's lovely paintings, too. Visit Peggy Blair's Write Spot for more about this dynamic duo and all the buzz about Peggy's new book.

Over fourteen years ago, this lady, Margaret, was living in author Jillian Dagg's garden. Jillian tells me she really didn't need another cat. "I already had two male, ginger and white cats who had taken eleven months to live in cat-style harmony. But through the summer Margaret migrated to a chair with a comfy cushion near the back door, and then inside. Sadly, the two boys are gone, but Margaret remains. She's about eighteen now and two months ago she had a tooth problem. Surgery and six teeth extracted, she returned home to her same diet, same routine. She's amazing." She sure is! And gorgeous, too. Visit The WriteSpot of Jillian Dagg.

Romance author, Fran McNabb, tells me she hasn't had the heart to get another furry pet since losing her beloved 14-year old cat over five years ago. Instead, she finds joy in watching the birds of the bayou where she lives.

"The ever-present seagulls, graceful in flight but noisy at times, make me happy," Fran says. "In the photo with dark clouds, they're following our boat down the channel. In another photo, the blue heron that skirts the edges of the marsh grass in search of food decided to rest on the bow of our boat. Hubby wasn’t happy! We also have pelicans, doing a fly-over in the photo to the right, shearwaters (skimmers), ospreys, martins, bridge swallows, and even a bald eagle that keep our lives interesting." Visit Fran McNabb's Write Spot for views of the bayou and info about her books.

Romance author Rebecca Kertz shares her home with this handsome blond fellow, whose name is Jameson. After an unfortunate buzz-cut, courtesy of an over-zealous groomer, Jameson is in hiding from the camera, so this is an older image. Poor Jameson – I understand how you feel, buddy. There have been a few bad haircuts in my past, too!

"Jameson barks at other animals," says Rebecca, "but when it comes to letting us know what he wants, he is as quiet as a mouse. If he's out on our porch, we have to check on him to see if he wants to come in. Otherwise, he lies with his nose pointing to the back door and waits patiently for us to come. When I'm outside working, he's content to jump on a chair and stare through the screen. Other times, he'll jump onto the chaise lounge and lie by my feet." Meet Rebecca Kertz and check out her Amish romance novels at The Write Spot.

The Write Spot will return in two weeks when we'll visit with Canadian mystery author Linda Wiken (aka Erika Chase), whose new cozy series, The Dinner Club Mysteries, from Berkley Prime Crime launches on July 5th with Toasting Up Trouble.

Oh, and Sam the Cat says you should watch for part two of animals of The Write Spot… coming your way on August 3rd.

About The Write Spot:
I've always been fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. Whether it's backstage photos from my favourite play, a peek into the kitchen where a chef is working her culinary magic, or simply a glimpse through an uncurtained window into a stranger's private world, there's an undeniable thrill of discovery, a sense of secrets shared. It's no surprise, then, that I'm immensely curious about where other writers do their work. I've blogged about it before in this post about my own 'write spot' and so enjoyed the comments, I was inspired to launch a regular feature here at stillpoint. Watch for The Write Spot every other Wednesday and join me as I discover the many and varied places where writers write.

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

birds in the hood...

I go walking almost every day. Sometimes just around the block or through the neighbouring park - mostly soccer fields and playgrounds. But when I have the time, my walks take me further afield to some of Toronto's loveliest public gardens and wild places. I've started taking my camera with me because you never know what you'll encounter.

This little family of robins was sheltered in a big Norfolk pine at Centennial Park Conservatory in Etobicoke. I might have passed by without seeing them if not for the pleas of three very hungry nestlings. When mama spotted me watching, she froze. Right on cue, the little ones froze, too, mouths open, mid-peep. I backed away and mealtime resumed with a raucous chorus of "feed-me, feed-me, feed-me".

Here's another handsome robin, singing his "cheerily-cheer-up-cheer-up" song. His tree is in a woodland in Colonel Samuel Smith Park on the shore of Lake Ontario in Etobicoke. American Robins are a common sight in the city but, even so, they're among my favourite birds. Maybe it's because seeing the first robin of the year is a sure sign that winter is finally over. (If you've ever experienced a Toronto winter, you understand why that's so very important.)

On another day in the same woodland, I heard a peculiar song - a kind of burbling, high-pitched, happy trill. I'd heard the song before but was never lucky enough to spot the bird, so I was pretty pleased with this photo. Back home, I consulted my go-to bird ID web site, All About Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), and identified this handsome fellow as a Brown-headed Cowbird. Interesting factoid: the female cowbird lays her eggs (many, many eggs) in the nests of other birds, then mama and papa go their merry ways, leaving their babies to be fostered by others. No wonder this guy's song sounds so carefree!

This next fellow has a call that reminds me of finger nails on a blackboard, followed by a scolding "chuk-chuk". In the shade, the Brewer's Blackbird may look a bit plain but caught in the sunshine, his glossy feathers gleam iridescent blue and green.

Whenever I'm in Sam Smith Park, I make sure to visit the lake shore to see the Red-necked grebes. A local bird lover has made a series of floating platforms near the marina, each one the perfect size for a nesting grebe. This one has been in use for many years. I'm hoping to see little ones swimming nearby with mom and pop in the coming weeks.

A bit farther out in the harbour, this cormorant put on a show, dancing a two-step as he dried out his wings. A gusty wind was buffeting both of us, so not the best focus for this shot, but I love the menacing look of him.

A short walk inland brings us to a lush wetland and pond, teeming with fish, turtles, snakes, and myriad birds both large and small. This beautiful Mute Swan has no trouble ignoring the humans ooh-ing and aah-ing just a few feet from her nest. 

When mama swan needs a break, papa takes over nest-sitting duties. I believe this is the second clutch of the year for this pair and was happy to see three eggs in the nest. Conservation officers oiled eggs earlier in the year as part of a program to manage over-population, so the first clutch was lost. I understand why it's necessary - Mute Swans aren't native here and because they're so aggressive, they may drive off native Trumpeter Swans as well as other native wetland species. Sad, though. They are beautiful birds. I can't help but hope to see three little cygnets here in a few weeks.

Not far from the nesting swans, this handsome Great Blue Heron was stalking his fishy prey. Slow and steady ... dive, dive, dive! Drat. Missed it.

The crane just couldn't catch a break. This Red-winged Blackbird and his friends seemed determined to drive him away.

I would have happily spent all day watching the soap opera life of the marsh unfold, but the sun was high and I was feeling the first tingle of sunburn on my nose. It was time to get my ducks in a row...

A brief rant before I sign off. Please don't feed the ducks! (Or the swans, or the geese.) They may share the city with us but they're wild creatures. Bread is nothing like their natural diet (seeds, aquatic vegetation, insect larvae, earthworms, snails, freshwater shrimp). Bread is actually bad for them. But don't take my word for it...

"Ducks that are regularly fed bread can become malnourished, aggressive towards one another, may lose their foraging instincts and can lose their natural fear of people. Also, bread that isn't eaten can result in nutrient build-up and increased algae growth. Feeding wild ducks is a practice CWF does not encourage." - Canadian Wildlife Federation

Got it?
Rant over. And Mr. Mallard has an itch. Quacks me up every time. ;- )

Are you a bird watcher? Bird lover? What's the most unusual bird you've encountered? 

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Write Spot: Susan Fox

Welcome to The Write Spot, a bi-weekly author series spotlighting the many and varied places where writers write.

My guest for this twenty-third edition of The Write Spot is romance author Susan Fox. Susan wrote something like ten romance novels before striking it lucky twice in 2005: she finaled in Romance Writers of America®’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished authors and she signed a two-book contract with Kensington. Since then she has published two dozen books and a number of novellas, writing as Susan Fox, Susan Lyons and Savanna Fox for Kensington and Berkley. She also has two self-published books to her credit.

Susan's books have won numerous awards and this year she’s a finalist for Romance Writers of America®’s RITA award for long contemporary romance (for Love Somebody Like You). She’s an international bestselling author and her books have been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and German. Many are available in audiobook format as well as in e-book and print.

Susan has degrees in law and psychology, and has had a variety of careers, including perennial student, computer consultant, and legal editor. Fiction writer is by far her favorite, giving her an outlet to demonstrate her belief in the power of love, friendship, and a sense of humor.

Welcome to The Write Spot, Susan! Please tell us a bit about your personal Write Spot.

This is my at-home write spot—my office. It's temporary because our house is under renos (I’ll end up with a different room) and it's set up for efficiency rather than beauty, but it's great because it's a separate room with a door that closes and a woodsy view out the window.

Occasionally something catches my eye and I look up from my writing to see a deer wander by. Okay, it's a distraction, but it's good for the soul! I go back to my writing refreshed. Also, I have a nice big desk, a good chair, space for my business files (though my books are on shelves in the basement), and enough room to spread out. (And did I mention the door that closes, so I can cocoon myself and shut out the rest of the world?)

But I do also have two other write spots. In summer, we often go boating on our old 37' Shepherd (which looks a lot like a Chris Craft), so then I work with my little laptop, usually on the dinette table or sprawled on a seat—at least when I'm not lounging on the deck with a book in my hand or going kayaking (and hoping to see a seal).

In winter, we take our motor home (named Rex) to warmer, sunnier climes. When I'm not playing tourist, hiking or sprawling in a lounge chair with a book, I do manage to get in a few hours of writing every day. On Rex, I write in a recliner, on the bed, or at the dinette, and I take a small printer along to plug in when needed (and when we have power).

The writing setups on the boat and on Rex aren't as comfortable or as spacious as at home, but they have the bonus of lovely and frequently changing scenery. And, of course, sunshine in winter! I share photos of our journeys on my Facebook page, if you're interested.

What a wonderful assortment of Write Spots, Susan! You must find lots of inspiration on your travels. Other than your computer or laptop, what's the one thing you couldn't be without in your Write Spot?

Two things: my engagement calendar and the to-do list I print out each week. I know it's old-fashioned to use paper rather than a fancy app, but I love the photos in the Sierra Club books. Also, I like the constant reminder provided by having something tangible on my desk—and a place to make a physical tick-mark when I complete tasks!

There is something very satisfying about checking off tasks on a list. I do that, too. What are you working on now?

Authors have to have at least four things on the go at once, right? I'm celebrating the release of Ring of Fire, which is my seventh Caribou Crossing Romance from Kensington Zebra, and I'm doing page proofs for Holiday in Your Heart, the final book in the series (October 2016). I've almost finished Fly Away with Me, the first book in a new series called Blue Moon Harbor (also with Kensington Zebra) and have started work on the second title (both of which will come out in 2017).

I'm delighted that Publishers Weekly gave Ring of Fire a great review, saying "Fox…proves again that she knows what women want in a contemporary romance."

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

My website is It has information on all my books, including blurbs, excerpts, behind-the-scenes notes, review quotes, and recipes. I run a monthly opinion poll contest on my website, and you can also sign up there for my newsletter.

I'm on Facebook at

Susan's latest release, Ring of Fire, is available now.

She’s raising her son on her own, but that’s just fine with Lark Cantrell. Caribou Crossing’s fire chief comes from a long line of strong, independent women—who have lousy luck with men. Lark’s ex-husband walked out when Jayden was born with cerebral palsy. No matter—Jayden, now ten, is a bright, terrific kid, and the love of her life. When it comes to men, Lark is content with the occasional casual hookup; there’s no room in her heart for more disappointment.

Major Eric Weaver is in Caribou Crossing for one reason: to complete his rehabilitation so he can return to active service. Haunted by what went down in Afghanistan, his wounded soul isn’t healing as quickly as his body. But it’s almost impossible to resist the appeal of the sexy, feisty fire chief and her plucky son—not to mention the friendly, caring small town way of life. In Lark’s loving arms, the scarred soldier begins to believe he may finally have found his true home…

About The Write Spot:
I've always been fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. Whether it's backstage photos from my favourite play, a peek into the kitchen where a chef is working her culinary magic, or simply a glimpse through an uncurtained window into a stranger's private world, there's an undeniable thrill of discovery, a sense of secrets shared. It's no surprise, then, that I'm immensely curious about where other writers do their work. I've blogged about it before in this post about my own 'write spot' and so enjoyed the comments, I was inspired to launch a regular feature here at stillpoint. Watch for The Write Spot every other Wednesday and join me as I discover the many and varied places where writers write.

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

My A-Z of Books...

A few weeks ago writer Shelley Wilson blogged a challenge called My A-Z of Books. Of course, I hopped right on over to read all about it. And then, of course, I had to take the challenge myself. What a great way to get to know other book lovers! Here are my answers:

Author You've Read the Most Books From:

That would have to be the late Lilian Jackson Braun. I have paperback copies of all twenty-nine books in The Cat Who series on my keeper shelf and duplicates of quite a few of them in audio format, as well. Narrator George Guidall personified Jim Qwilleran for me. His voice is firmly in my head whenever I re-read the books.

Best Sequel Ever:

This is a tough choice for a committed series reader like me, but I have to confess I was unreasonably impatient and excited for the release of The Tesla Legacy (Joe Tesla Series, Book 2), by Rebecca Cantrell. It was everything I hoped it would be, so I immediately became unreasonably impatient and excited once again for Book 3. (Now I'm unreasonably impatient and excited for Book 4!)

Currently Reading:

Verdict in Blood, A Joanne Kilbourne Mystery (Book 6), by Gail Bowen. I read the first book in this series a few years ago but somehow lost sight of the rest in the limbo that is my TBR pile. Happily re-discovered last month, I've been binge reading to catch up and enjoying every word.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Coffee in the morning, tea from noon to midnight. (Unless there's wine.)

E-Reader or Physical Book:

Both, please! And let's not forget audiobooks. Some of my favourite reads have been listens.

Fictional Character you Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:

You're going to make me choose?!


Mitch Walker, my bush pilot hero in Sparks Fly. What the heck, he's a figment of my own imagination so he'd have to be the perfect date, right? ;-)

On the other hand, who needs fiction? Here's me with my real-life high school boyfriend, on our way to the Sweetheart Swirl formal in 1967. I married him four years later.

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. A short book with a pretty cover. It's a beautifully told story of a quiet life, heartbreaking but hopeful. I confess I cried a bit, but mostly this book made me happy. Not my usual fare, but I'm so glad I didn't pass it by.

Hidden Gem Book:

Daggers and Men's Smiles: A Moretti and Falla Mystery by Jill Downie – Canadian author, Isle of Guernsey setting, intriguing mystery, and truly engaging characters – these are people I'd like to know in real life. Try it, you'll like it! This series is on my auto-buy list.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

For me, it was a series of important moments, each one marked by a package from England. I never met my great aunt Win in person, but her letters and the books she shared launched me onto the reading road.

Just Finished:

The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, Book 1), by Elly Griffiths. I've listened to the later books in this series (2 through 7) about a forensic archaeologist in Norfolk, England, but somehow missed this story of how it all started. An excellent beginning! Now I'm looking forward to The Woman in Blue (Book 8)

Kind of Books You Won't Read:

I close the cover on stalkers, torture, and extreme psychological suspense. I read to relax. There's more than enough terror in the real world.

Longest Book You've Read:

That would probably be Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke at 1,024 pages.

Major Book Hangover:

The Blue by Lucy Clarke – my favourite book of 2015. This one haunted my dreams for weeks.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Six? […counting…] Seven! And some shelves have books stacked two deep. (There's no such thing as too many books/bookcases.)

One Book You've Read Multiple Times:

Pick any one of the Harry Potter books. I've read and listened to all of them many times over with my son, J. Discovering this series was literally life changing for him.

Preferred Place to Read:

In my comfy chair on the balcony with Sam the Cat nearby.

Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All The Feels From a Book You've Read:

From Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery: "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."

Reading Regret:

That C. C. Bennison's Father Christmas series seems to have ended with only three of twelve tales told. Cozies are an endangered species!

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

I'm impatiently waiting for the audio versions of The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) by Alison Bruce, and The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6) by Ben Aaronovitch. What's taking you so long, Audible?

Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books:

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
Still Life (Inspector Gamache #1) by Louise Penny

Unapologetic fangirl for:


Very Excited for This Release More Than All Others:

Likely to change week-to-week, but right now: A Great Reckoning (Inspector Gamache #12) by Louise Penny.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Reading at meal time. It's the worst because (a) it puts my books at risk of food stains and (2) my brain has decided this pairing of activities is a good and pleasurable thing and now suggests I should eat something whenever I read. I read a lot. (Danger! Danger!)

X Marks The Spot: Start On The Top Left of Your Shelf And Pick The 27th Book:

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. Such a fun series!

Your Latest Purchase:

A Cast of Falcons: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows – a May 2016 release and third in a terrific series. (Here's my review of book one, A Siege of Bitterns.) Steve is another Canadian author on my automatic "must read" list.

Zzzz-Snatcher Book (Last Book That Kept You Up Way Too Late):

Definitely The Blue by Lucy Clarke. Sam liked it, too.

And that's my A-Z of Books (pronounced eh to zed because I'm Canadian). I'd love to read your version, so please let me know if you take the challenge – I'll stop by your blog to check it out.

Now … what are you reading this week?

Permalink: My A-Z of Books

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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