Connie and Lily’s Book Club

My book, Gifts of the Crysnix, is for people with big imaginations and big hearts. It is for people who feel compelled to root for a fallen champion and feel compassion for a lost soul. One who is in search for greater ideals and who is always willing to learn more about themself and be a better person can identify with the life-lessons that are gently persuaded from the pages.

When I wrote the book I targeted the message to young people at the brink of adulthood. I thought that reading a book with new heroes who are just trying to figure out the labyrinth of life would appeal to them. Although I have appreciated positive kudos from all ages, I had the immense pleasure of meeting six young ladies who I really wrote the book for. I was the guest author at a mother/daughter book club and got to meet my target audience up close and personal.

 

I have to admit, I was a little nervous because it was the first time I would have honest feedback from several people at once. You just never know how something like that will turn out! The girls were very organized with their questions and critiques. Exploring the origins of my inspiration and the depths of my research, we had a lively and spirited discussion. I was so impressed by the maturity of these 11-year-old girls and the intelligence of their questions and comments. All in all, the book passed with flying colours and I didn’t have to slink out of the room with my tail between my legs.

My young target audience is a group of people with literally the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are our leaders of tomorrow and they have a lot on their plates. I appreciate the steep learning curve they are on. The primary reason why I wrote the book is to remind the reader to fight the fear that holds them back, to advocate their moral compass and to realize that by just being your true self is enough to gain respect. I dreamed up the Crysnix to personify our inner voice. We all have to listen to it because somehow it knows the future and is always right.

If I can share a little wisdom to our future leaders, it is to trust our instincts, believe in ourselves and dig deep to create and live our best lives. These are heavy lessons and I used a beautiful world of fantasy and imagery to get the point across.

 

Thank you to Connie and Lily for an evening I will never forget. Thank you to all the girls and moms who were there that night. I absolutely loved the interaction! It was a real thrill for me to sign the books to the girls after they read it with them exclaiming to each other in the background about how much they loved it!

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What a treat for an author. For all those countless hours I spent conjuring up the story alone in front of my computer with only my imagination and hope for company, this night was a wish come true.

To see a video of me reading the Prologue set to the beautiful music of Thomas Newman, please click here

 

Life’s Little Stumbles

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When I was two years old I learned the value of perseverance. I broke my left arm and had to suck it up all summer not being able to go swimming and playing like the rest of the kids. But, being only two, I didn’t understand the concept of time passing so being in a cast for 6 weeks was just something to deal with.

Without realizing it, I also learned patience and resilience. These concepts served me well when I broke my left leg three years later. I became a whiz on crutches and time passed. It was what it was and having no control over the healing time, I just sucked it up again.

 

Well, holy crap! I broke my left wrist AND left ankle this summer and I had to dig deep (still am) to remember the patience that is needed to get through. Perseverance and resilience are not a problem as I am patently reminded daily of my uncanny ability to live in denial.

The process has been humbling as I struggle with my belief that I am invincible crossed with the angst of trying to simply walk again. The last two months have been a time of reflection (couldn’t do much else) and insight into how life’s stumbles make us stronger.

images-1Oh, you may think – what a cliche. Well, yes it is and for good reason. But what I am talking about goes deeper than what is obvious. A poor trait of Humans is that we get complacent about what is the norm. When the status quo gets tossed and an unexpected injury or illness takes over our lives, we long for that which used to make us complacent. All of a sudden, we wish we could do the little things again and we are so grateful when we finally can. What a gift! That gratitude makes us deeper, wiser and more aware of life’s simple beauty that surrounds us all. The deeper the scar, the deeper the soul.

I was fortunate to have two book signings arranged before the accident. I really didn’t feel like drumming up business so I was happy to go to Poor Michael’s Emporium a few days after the injuries happened and then on to Indigo in Calgary again. I have to admit, I have felt pretty guilty about not posting about them. But, honestly, I didn’t feel well enough. My hand didn’t allow me to type properly and I had to have my foot elevated so I binge-watched Netflix with abandon!!

I want to thank all those lovely people who came out on a stormy night to listen to my readings at Poor Michael’s Emporium. It was an Onyx of a storm that night! All of the kids bought books and I hope they have enjoyed them!

My day at Indigo went really well. The store almost ran out of my books! I am always excited to talk about a story that helps us dream big and believe in ourselves.

Life’s little stumbles give us perspective. I’m not talking about the big pitfalls that change our life forever such as losing a loved one. Unfortunately, several of my friends and family have had to go through that recently and such profound loss creates a benchmark that will define life going forward. There is no comparison.

The perspective is a gentle one. It is the knowledge that we aren’t always in control of our lives but we are in control of how we live. It makes us take time to savour the little things and appreciate so much we take for granted.

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This time has also given me the gift to see a new side of my loved ones and myself.

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When friends and family offer to help me it makes me uncomfortable. I had to let go and accept help, which can be hard. I appreciate those who were there for me in a way that has bonded a love so strong, it has reached a new level. All the things I took for granted like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping etc. were done for me. The humility I found forged a stronger love for them. I also found a stronger commitment to appreciate life.

 

I have always been the kind of person who notices the beauty around us. It just makes me feel better. Being house bound has made me ache to take a walk at sunset or ride my bike or go for a run. I am so fortunate that I will do those things again. Beyond that, I have a deeper appreciation for those who are bound to a wheelchair. Those incredible people who have dug so deep to carry on and make a great life for themselves. They are the true testament for living with perseverance, patience, and resilience. I have the most profound respect for anyone who has dealt with a life-altering accident.

Mine was just a little stumble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor Michael’s Emporium

Are there Crysnix around Clear Lake, Manitoba? Judging by the enchanting forest hugging the crystal clear waters and the terrific Onyx-like storms that race, boom and crackle over the area with regularity, I think there is a very distinct possibility they are near, waiting for you to make a life-altering wish and the chance to make it come true.

A wish is coming true for me this Friday as I am going to be launching and reading Gifts of the Crysnix at Poor Micheal’s Emporium. Check out more info here and here.

It is a fabulous bookstore and cafe that sells furniture, clothing, jewellery, original art and pottery, and is generally THE meeting place for a wander or a visit. Owners, Murray Evans and Lei Anne Sharratt travel the winter, visiting exotic places such as India, Bali and Nepal and bring back treasures for the store.

In the Clear Lake area, it is a must to drop by for an excellent coffee and a browse for your next favourite book, painting or piece of furniture.

An outdoor patio beckons with flowers everywhere and little seating areas for lunch or a quiet read. Evenings, there are often musical concerts and I hope the weather holds out for me to host my reading out there.

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If you are in the area, I invite you to join me for a glass of wine or dessert and coffee on Friday, August 26th at 7pm.

Wishing you a magical last weekend of summer 2016. xoxo

The Hungry​ Monster Interview

If you think that writing  a book is daunting, it’s only half of the work once you jump into the ocean of publicity and promotional options. Authors who love to write and bring their stories to the masses have to be adept at having a marketing brain as well as being a wordsmith. That is why it is such a treat to have help from the interviews and reviews.

My last post was about the Hungry Monster Review, which I really appreciated. Now I have the honour to share the interview from Hungry Monster. I can’t express enough how exciting it is to interact with those who make it their passion to promote authors like me.

Thanks again to Thomas Anderson for his time and kind insights.

Please read the interview here.

Cheers to all and have a great day!

The Hungry Monster Review

Oh my goodness!!! What a thrill to open a notice from Google Alerts to find this delightful review! It is the most comprehensive one yet – and still so positive and inspiring.

Thanks to the folks at the Hungry Monster for their time and effort toward reading my book, Gifts of the Crysnix and writing such a lovely account. Hungry Monster reaches out to the following:

  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • GoodReads
  • Kobo
  • Alibris
  • The Hungry Monster Book Review

Imagine how my heart swelled when I read:

This novel is filled with so much goodness, it’s difficult to feel a negative thought. Lisa Shore gives plenty of sage-like advice in these pages that I couldn’t help but feel like I was better off after reading it.

Overall, this book was a fantastic read. The plot holds enough meaning to make the lessons learned both insightful and valuable to any reader that pays attention enough to take it to heart. I would love to enter this world again and see how the characters continue to progress!

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Please take a moment to read the review by clicking the link below.

The Hungry Monster Book Review

You can even buy it at their bookstore at a discounted price!

Just click here for savings.

 

I am presently working on an author interview with them. I’ll share it soon!

Have a lovely day!!

The Winnipeg Launch

Hello, Winnipeg! Welcome to my launch!

Lisa Book Launch  05McNally Robinson Booksellers … (cue dramatic music …) a mecca for any prairie author to give a reading and launch.

It is one of the most beautiful and HUGE independent bookstores that still remains in North America and is the largest in Canada. You can just feel the unique touches as you walk in – the children’s section built like a treehouse, complete with a full line of clothing and soft toys, the fabulous Prairie Ink Restaurant and the photos celebrating hometown authors adorning the walls like a frieze of accolades. This is a special place and I was so honoured to have my launch there recently.

Thank goodness it wasn’t a scene from Thomas Wolfe’s You Can’t Go Home Again! That expression was so false when I looked out at the many faces of the people who took time out of a beautiful summer evening to attend my launch.

Family, friends from my school days and friends of my parents, dear friends I can never see enough of and old friends I haven’t seen in years, all came to support me. I can’t thank them enough for their love and “being there” for me.

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My dear friend, Patty Christie introduced me. To give you the level of the bar of the people there, she came and stood at the podium to introduce me after a hip replacement two weeks before! Man, I have good friends!

 

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My best friend from high school, Ali Hanks came by and her husband, Bruce, (and by the way a huge shout out to all the husbands who attended!) took these pictures. Thanks so much, Bruce!

 

My readings were set to the music of Thomas Newman, lowland and Hans Zimmer. Quite an accompaniment! If you would like to hear the music again you can click here , here and here . The first selection was the Prologue and you can read along to the music for fun. It is very dreamy and dramatic and you just feel swept away into another world. I love reading to music and plan to create YouTube videos of me reading to these selections and more.

As I signed books and chatted with old friends, I felt so grateful for the reconnection to Winnipeg. True to the Crysnix magic, the whole evening’s success was a wish come true.

I just heard from John Toews, who is the Events Coordinator, that my book reached #1 that week! 

Here is a video I pulled together. Honestly, I need a resident high school kid to help me with this stuff! Just another reason why I miss my kids. Many thanks to my son, Lee for his amazing help through the evening and to him and his fiancee, Emily for putting me up and putting up with me! 🙂

A video of the evening and much love to all. xoxox

My New Fan

The students file into the library and I smile at the eager faces. I am at my old neighbourhood school and I marvel at how time has passed so quickly since my kids were attending Robert H. Smith School.

The familiar brick walls and corridors call out to my memories of when I was one of the moms who was a permanent fixture, helping out when and wherever I could just to get a glimpse of my kids during their school day.

This is from the letter I sent to the principal, to introduce myself:

I grew up in River Heights and brought up my family there. My three children went through Robert H. Smith in the ’80’s and I was very involved with the school. At the time, I had a video production company and I created a video about the building of the new school and the historic accolades of the original. It was a great fundraising project but also became a testament to the legacy of the presence of the school in the community.

Although I now live in Calgary, my son still lives in River Heights. When I visit him, I love how the memories flood in as I drive by the school. Memories of a very happy time in my life as I raised my young children as part of a loving and thriving community.

My book, “Gifts of the Crysnix”, is about a small community and the people trying to live with purpose. It is about choices and making the right ones to better their lives. Targeted to your middle-grade students, it promotes the message that they have tremendous power over their lives

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by trusting their instincts and believing in themselves. This is the gist of my presentation to them. I will talk about life choices, the science behind a wish and also the components of creating a good story. 

My presentation went well and I was thrilled to have the kids line up to buy the book. There were so many, I was struggling to come up with original notes to write alongside my signature!

As I was leaving, I realized I didn’t have a picture of the school. The children were all streaming out of the school, on their way home for the day. I asked one of the boys who bought my book if he would mind taking a picture of me. I asked his name and Daniel smiled and took this great picture of me. IMG_2001Thanks, Daniel!

I was loading my things into my car as Daniel and his mom came running up to me. Daniel’s mom asked if she could take a picture of Daniel and me. I was so touched.

After, as he was running back to his mom’s car, Daniel called out to me, “I’m your new fan!”

Wow, what a high point of the day! When I think of the years it took me to have the guts to publish this book, I wonder – honestly, why did it take me so long?

Old School

With a couple of weeks to go before school lets out for the summer, the students at Balmoral Hall School must have thought I was crazy when I exclaimed how GREAT it was to be back!IMG_2012

But, really, it was.

I began in Kindergarten and left in Grade 7. The memories are rich and textured and, although the school has changed quite a bit with brilliant new wings and lofty ceilings,

 

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the exterior of the old school is still there and the memories are visceral as I remember how it felt to push out the heavy doors and run down the stairs to the playground.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2007 I was struck by the feeling of belonging as I noticed the beautiful, bronze plaque from a capital campaign years ago, and chuckled at my name engraved on it. I felt proud of the connection

 

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My presentation in the beautiful Sifton Theatre Auditorium went off without a hitch as I reminded the girls to believe in themselves and to fight the fear that holds them back from living their best lives.

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After, I really enjoyed meeting the girls and hearing their DSC00675.JPGdreams of being a writer. There was zero doubt in my mind they would go places and have a significant impact on the world.

DSC00674It was an honour to put a note in a beautiful writing journal.

 

 

 

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I stood under the pictures of the Head Mistresses who were there so many years ago with me. There have been five more Heads of School since and I felt like I entered a time warp.

There is nothing left of the old senior school as I signed in at the new entrance. Complete with a buzz-in system and guard at the front, I wondered, what has the world has come to? as I clipped on my visitor tag.

 

Gone are the days when I used my crutches with my broken leg in Grade 1 and won at “Mother, My I?” under the glass passage. The old swing sets are gone and with them the original and all engrossing pastime of swing tag. The kilts are still there, though, and the prefects and Closing Exercises, and I am convinced the facilities, ethics and dedication toward our leaders of tomorrow are new and improved.

As I walked to my car, I glanced at the old Junior School. Still the tindlestone brick and the many windows we all looked out of, almost every day of our formative years. I paused and looked at one window in particular and a hilarious memory flooded in of when a schoolmate climbed out of it, causing quite a stir as she inched along the outside of the building and climbed in the next one. I remember telling my mom about it and she just laughed along with me. She was definitely NOT old school.

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Many thanks to Balmoral Hall for the warm welcome and the warmest of new memories. There is something definitely intriguing about going back … to the place of your foundation and the seat of your ideals and values and friendships and aspirations … to your old school.

every WOMAN

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A weekend like the every WOMAN Conference in Whistler is an event that silently draws us in with three days of introspection and nurturing our bodies and souls. Once it is over it becomes a memory of drawing us out as we revel in new friendships made and new attitudes and perspectives on life.

I was so fortunate to be a part of the weekend as a presenter and participant. I lead the workshop, “Chart Your Best Life”, and was only a small cog in a wheel of presentations that mirrored and strengthened my message of believing in yourself to create your most inspired life.

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Women from all over joined us and our jaws were sore from smiling all day – from the early morning yoga, through the day’s activities and on to the wine on the deck of Nita Lake Lodge. What a beautiful setting! There were too many fabulous workshops to choose from and I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. Hmm … skiing or mountain biking, yoga outside or an inspirational workshop inside???

The choices offered were both diverse and targeted, depending what you wanted to get out of the weekend. I personally wanted to push myself beyond my comfort level and not only mastered the SUP but DID YOGA on one!!! Holy crap, I was scared of winding up soaking wet for my presentation. But I did it!

I had so much fun I barely had time to sell my book Gifts of the Crysnix at the marketplace. My presentation took some of the life lessons from the book and suggested the steps to take to reach your full potential. Much like charting out a trip, we discussed where you

IMG_1932want to go and how to get there. As always, I loved sharing the message of my book at the marketplace too and was delighted to have some of my new friends take it home with them.

It is fantastic how my book continues to give gifts to me. I could never have imagined how satisfying it would be to promote the message of believing in yourself as a public speaker. I am looking forward to the 2017 every WOMAN Conference next year and the many engagements to come.

Have a look at their site here .

In the meantime, I am preparing for my school appearances and big launch coming up in Winnipeg! It just gets better and better …

 

Story Monsters Ink Review

“Great reads for growing minds” in the subtitle of this thick, high-quality magazine, “Story Monsters Ink”. I was so pleased to see the end result of an ad I placed there. They created the ad for me and I think it turned out great!

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Below is the review they gave me. It’s always such a treat to see that people have enjoyed the book and have something original to say about it.

Story Monsters Ink Review

April 2016

Beautiful creatures from a parallel universe watch over the humans in a small seaside town. A breathtaking new world-so perfect, so enchanting that we want to believe-unfolds as we witness the journey of new friends, who lead us toward our own personal triumphs. They have harnessed the power to bend time and grant wishes. “Elixir will do just fine,” Marsuveus said with conviction. “He doesn’t know it yet but he has tremendous power behind him. He is fulfilling his destiny.” At that moment, the storm hit full force, and the animals and Crysnix cowered for cover. The hurricane whipped and tore at Galvin Cove and shredded the young trees of Castle Forest. It seemed it was only a matter of time before the Dark Prince Onyx would win. The king flew above them all on the back of Marsuveus and shouted to the expectant faces below. “Take heart! Remember our strategy! Fight the fear! Fight the fear!” All it takes is the will to believe.

“Gifts of the Crysnix” is a wonderfully entertaining and original story that will have for young readers an immense appeal to their imagination and sense of wonder. Very highly recommended for school and community library fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Gifts of the Crysnix” is also available in a paperback edition (9781504339650, $16.99) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).

I really appreciate the line, “Very highly recommended for school and community library fantasy collections…”

The people at FiveStar Publications, who produce the magazine, were really nice to work with and I was surprised at the quality of the magazine when a complimentary copy arrived at my door. Cristy Bertini, the Editor-In-Chief was just a phone call or email away and she came across in a very friendly way. So nice to be dealing with people one-on-one and not feeling intimidated.

Thanks again to all the folks at “Story Monsters Ink”!!