Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Two Mother’s Days!

May 10, 2022
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Photo by George Dolgikh @ Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

I’m in the unusual position of having the potential to celebrate two Mother’s Day’s. In England the day is celebrated in March, however in Canada it is celebrated in May.

I wondered why this was the case, so did some research to find out why there are two dates. The Mother’s day in the America’s is a 20th century invention by a woman called Anna Jarvis. Her mother organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health, and was also a human rights activist during the Civil War of 1861. Anna wanted to celebrate her mother in a memorial service and did so on 12th May 1907. This was her late mother’s birthday. Within five years virtually every state was observing the day.

In England, Mothering Sunday was not originally to celebrate mother’s per se, but began as an explicitly religious event of the 16th Century, with no connection to mothers at all. The word “mothering” referred to the “mother church”, which is to say the main church or cathedral of the region. Thus the date falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent three weeks before Easter Sunday.

I was treated to supper and received this lovely calla lily.

The rest of my weekend was spent walking Sammie, editing book two of The Delphic Murders and reading.

What did you get up to?

What are you reading?

My current read is The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser. Blurb: Mary Swan Middleton has always taken for granted the advantages of her family’s wealth. But a tragedy that touches all of Atlanta sends her reeling in grief. When the family maid challenges her to reach out to the less fortunate as a way to ease her own pain, Mary Swan meets Carl-and everything changes. For although Carl is her opposite in nearly every way, he has something her privileged life could not give her. And when she seeks his help to uncover a mystery, she learns far more than she ever could have imagined.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Author Event – Independent Bookstore Day

May 3, 2022
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I was honoured to be part of Indie Bookstore Day at my local bookstore, The Sherwood Park Bookworm on Saturday. With so many books to choose from and three local authors and a couple of artisan’s attending as well, it was a great day.

I was sequestered on one of the lavish armchairs to display my novels and chat to visitors. It is always a pleasure to talk about my stories and the backstory of their creation. I am always open to reader questions and welcome a comment or email at any time.

These beautiful paper flowers were too beautiful not to purchase by @unwrittenbookbinding.com

What is your local bookstore called?

The Smart One by Jennifer Close A glimpse into a family’s thoughts, their interactions and events that cause friction, reassessment and belonging. Well crafted characters that you will become involved with, finding some similarities within your own family dynamics, others far from your experience

What are you reading?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Love a Local Bookstore – Sherwood Park Bookworm

April 26, 2022
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It is my pleasure to promote this bookstore and interview it’s owner, Leanne. She is very knowledgeable and will find ‘that’ book for you! I will be at the store this coming Saturday 30th April (1:30 – 2:30 pm) for Independent Bookstore Day. Come and say “Hello” to me & Leanne.

What made you buy a bricks & mortar bookstore?

1. I grew up loving to read, and of course don’t we all want to be our own boss. So when I discovered that the owners of The Bookworm were going to close the store I decided I would buy it and hopefully save it for other bibliophiles to enjoy.

Has the store always been in its current location?

2. The Sherwood Park Bookworm, formally The Bookworm is currently in its fourth location. The store has now been in business for about 34 years and I am the fourth owner. The previous locations were on Athabaskan Ave.  and I moved the store to Wye Rd, three and a half years ago. I love our new spot.

Do you have a special place to read?

3. I love to read, and don’t really have a favourite genre. Owning a bookstore means I need to step out of my comfort zone and read a broader book genre. But, when I want something easy it is usually romantic suspense or cozy mysteries. I don’t really have a favourite spot to read, but I do have two very comfy chairs at the store that get the warm bright sun in the afternoons. And sometimes I can sit for a bit and enjoy some reading time.

Which book began your reading journey as a child?

5. My book journey began so long ago I don’t really remember which book would have started it all. But I do remember devouring Little House on the Prairie. As well as the Trixie Beldon and The Bobbsey Twin series.

What are your plans for the future of the store?

6. I don’t know what the future of the store will be. I am always looking at ways to help it grow. I recently hired a very talented and ambitious lady to help me with all things technology related. So we have created a new website with and E- Commerce store. And she has really stepped up my social media presence.

We are also looking at creating a Bibliophile Boutique! Which will feature locally sourced book lover gifts.

What is your view of print versus digital books?

7. The age old argument of print vs. digital books is an interesting one. Both versions or reading each have a special place or purpose. Traveling with a device definitely has advantages, you can take many more books with you. So it saves space, and weighs far less. But, you are at the mercy of technology. Will it run out of battery, what do I do with it at the beach. Will it work, or leave you stranded without something to read. On the other hand a great print book is always there for you, but you may only be able to pack 3-4 or more, if you put some in your spouses suit case…

Printed books though are here to stay. People like the feel and texture. Some say they like the smell of ink and paper. Publishers have also reported an increase in sale of printed materials. Though I don’t know the exact reasons why, perhaps people thought digital books should cost substantially less. But, are disappointed that many cost the same as a printed book.

Regardless The SHPK Bookworm is thriving, despite the two year pandemic and digital devices.

What makes the Sherwood Park Bookworm unique?

8. The Sherwood Park Bookworm is a local gem. We have an amazing selection of paperback fiction in all of the genres. Many of them older or out of print. But that doesn’t affect the quality. We try very hard to have only the best condition of books available. And best of all if you aren’t a book hoarder, we offer you credit for the books you bring in to exchange for your next enjoyable reads.

We also carry a small assortment of local authors that may, or may not, be available in larger bookstores. We offer book signings as well as book launches. 

Can you tell us about the Independent Bookstore event?

9. Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, is an annual day celebrating readers, writers, illustrators, publishers as well as other industry supporters to celebrate Indie Bookstores. Check out CIBA books.ca for even more details. The SHPK Bookworm has been participating in CIBD for at least the last five years. It is a great day to be an indie bookstore, and I look forward to planning this event every year. And each year gets better and better.

How can book lovers find you?

10. Book lovers can find us on most social media. 

Facebook and Instagram @parkbookworm  The Sherwood Park Bookworm

Website parkbookworm.ca 

Yelp, and of course good old Google.

Is there a message you would like to relay about the store?

11. The Bookworm is a wonderful place to visit, the selection is great, and the company is inviting. Great conversations happen between strangers drawn together by their love of books. We even host a monthly Book Club and everyone is welcome.

Independent Bookstore Day 30th April

Wordsmith Collective Thursday – Writing Group Back Out in the World

March 31, 2022
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Last Saturday, was the first time my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County attended an in-person event since the pandemic started. In conjunction with Recreation, Parks & Culture the event gave residents the opportunity to try sports and discover the multiple cultural organizations within the county.

As a writing group, we always encourage all ages to delve into the delights of the written word and explore their imaginations. We promoted our annual children’s writing contest, which has a deadline of 30th April, 2022. It is a great opportunity for young people to enter their stories and have it published in a ‘real’ book.

We had many visitors to our table and several took the contest details home with them to begin their story entries. I’m looking forward to reading all the entries and the expressions of imagination from the clues.

I also attended the AGM for the Arts and Culture Council last night. Meeting with other people passionate about the creative arts and exchanging ideas and views is always a treat.

The next big event on my calendar is a Spring writers conference (virtual) on 23rd April. Registration is required via the website: http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com Details so far are:

What is on your writing calendar?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Love a Local Bookstore – Daisy Chain Book Co.

March 8, 2022
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1.     How did you start your journey into a bricks & mortar bookstore?

I began by resurrecting and researching an idea that had been brewing in my mind for many years: a mobile used bookshop. In time, and with a lot of work, the book mobile became a reality. I enjoyed connecting with readers, but realized I was leaving them behind when I traveled to other communities. That was the impetus to open a bookstore.

2.     What was your motivation for owing a store?

To create a community space where readers can gather, creating a literary hub for the neighborhood

3.     Will your book van still be touring at some point?

No, the van was decommissioned just after the store opened – a side effect of the pandemic

4.     What is your view of print versus digital books?

There will always be room for both, and there are dedicated readers of both eBooks and tree books. Paper books (or tree books) are still a relaxing respite from screens which we desperately need. eBooks do not support independent bookstores, so I am a biased fan of tree books!

5.     You are obviously a reader – do you have favorite genres? If so which ones?

I prefer contemporary fiction, and I especially like books with strong characters that tell a story that makes me FEEL something. A book that makes me cry gets extra points.

6.     Do you have a special place to read?

Although I do have a very cushy corner of my sofa, I don’t get to sit there as often as I’d like. So, I guess I don’t really have a favorite place to read. I am on the move a lot and one thing I love is that my books can adjust to wherever I am and make any place I sit down cozy and satisfying. 

7.     Which book began your reading journey as a child?

The Ringmaster’s Secret by Carolyn Keene

8.     What are your plans for the future of the store?

To develop a strong community and always make newcomers curious about their next great read. I have many ideas about future plans, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what’s happening next!

9.     What makes the Daisy Chain Co unique?

No two indie bookstores are the same, they each reflect the passions and character of its owner. DCBC is very much like me, so it’s hard to answer that without talking about myself. I guess you’d have to ask someone in our reading community this question!

10.  Can you tell us about the programs and events you offer?

It’s best to go to our calendar for all the current events.

11.  How can book lovers find you?

Social media, website, Google, and walking by. Address: 12525 102 Ave, Edmonton, AB T5N 0M4

12.  Is there a message you would like to relay about the store?

Choosing to support your local indie bookstore keeps your community vibrant. I would encourage readers to cease the “Add to Cart” habit and instead choose to get books from a local bookstore that is dedicated to your community and cares about you. There is nothing quite as magical as an indie bookstore, and if we want to keep them around, we have to be supporting them. I am so grateful for the remarkable readers who support us!

Connect with Daisy Chain:

Instagram: daisychainbookco

Facebook: @daisychainbookco 

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