Monthly Archives: August 2014

Book Review: Devil’s Hump – by Syr Ruus

Devil's Hump
Book: Devil’s Hump
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: etc. Press Ltd., Canada
Date: August 2013
Genre: regional fiction
Pages: 148
Price: $20.00
My rating: an amazing tale to satisfy the mind


I purchased this book from the author, and what a treat. Syr Ruus has written an amazing tale to satisfy the mind. She believes “one shouldn’t take the time to write what is already on the bookshelf” and – since this approach does not work for everyone – I admire her for daring to be different and succeeding at it. Her writing is compelling. Devil’s Hump is not like any novel I have ever read, which is certainly not a bad thing. It was intriguing and kept me curious and reading.

The story around Devil’s Hump begins in the early 1920’s on a fictional island off Nova Scotia, Canada. (FYI: there are hundreds of small islands off Nova Scotia’s coast so it could be similar to several of them.)

Devil’s Hump is written in five sections, each addressing a pivotal character in the story. Although separated it’s not disjointed because each part relates back to, and interconnects with, the main story in a very interesting way. The reader gets to know each character and to appreciate how they individually saw and understood the events that happened. When reaching the ending to this marvellous story, the reader may wonder ‘what if?’ while at the same time being satisfied with how it wraps up.

Syr Ruus wrote a very interesting and well-constructed novel. Although it is not always advisable to try to write the way people speak because it can get hard to follow, Syr Ruus did this and effectively mastered it, adding so much depth and realism to the story. The dialect helps to shape the characters and brings the reader right into the old General Store to eavesdrop and nod along with the locals eager for the latest gossip and opinion-sharing.

You see, there was a series of dramatic events that occurred – a diphtheria epidemic, deaths, dramatic life-altering decisions, mystery surrounding one particular secluded family, a newcomer, a discovery. No one knows all the details of how it played out, except one person thinks he knows. Most of it. Only the reader is permitted the luxury of that knowledge. It is well worth the read to that end.

Devil’s Hump is sold in a very few Nova Scotia shops and not on the Internet, but it can easily be ordered directly from the author. Please write to her at: syr(at)eastlink(dot)ca

For anyone local who has the chance to attend a book reading, Syr Ruus is reading from her novel, Devil’s Hump, on Tuesday, August 19 at the LaHave Islands Museum Hall on Bells Island (as the novel was inspired by the LaHave Islands) from 3-5 p.m.

If you would like to contact or connect with Syr Ruus through Facebook, she has two locations: Her personal Facebook page is HERE where she uses her full name of Sirje Ruus, and her Author Facebook page is HERE

You can find Devil’s Hump listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂



Hillsong music, and Helping one another

A rambling post …

Here it is Sunday again. Weather-wise it has been like a late summer day – but it is supposed to warm again this coming week. I appreciate the summer so much; it’s far too short for me.

My spirit longs for particular music sometimes, right now being one of those times. Here is a link to Hillsong so you can enjoy the music I’m listening to as I’m writing this post.

Life continues on with its caregiving challenges (almost 3 1/2 years now!) – some days make me appreciate the good ones so much more. If it weren’t for the help we are getting my sister and I could not have managed all this as long as we have.

As you know, one of my goals is to write children’s books, or even any writing for myself would be good right now! Last month a friend and I were discussing our mutual desire to write, and I suggested a challenge. From that conversation we are now both writing – actually, we are writing together although long distance – one writes, the other adds to it and sends it back … and so on and so on. This effort is challenging us and helping to release our creative (writing) energy. Have you tried anything like that?

Now for the burning question:
How are you enjoying my blog; is it helpful to you?

I’ve been looking into ways I can help you more. Since I’m interested in helping promote your books (the ones I agree to read and review) and others I think you might like or should know about, you know I have a new page for that purpose: BUY THE BOOK!  On that page I’m in the process of adding a few more things – both for writers and for readers.

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of my available time reading books, updating my blog and writing posts. (and I enjoy it all!) When I upgraded my blog to better suit my needs it meant I’d have to pay for its hosting. (WordPress is very reasonable or I wouldn’t have done it.) After much consideration, I recently decided to look into affiliation which will bring in a very small percentage for any sales made through your clicks from the links I have here on my site. It will help me pay for my blog as it is, so is a way you can help me, too, if you want to.

The affiliations I chose are ones I think are of the most benefit to you as writers and readers. Once all the techie stuff is worked out you will be able to click to great things not only at,, and WritersDigestShop, but also at Christianbook, Chapters.indigo, CafePress, and Vista Print. When I get them all set up you will find them through BUY THE BOOK! and on my Writers’ Helps page. Exciting!

Now I must grab some time to read more of the book I am going to review soon. So many books — so little time!  🙂

Please tell me what you think of what I’m doing here on my blog. I appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂




Book Review: How to draw Forest Fairies (Step By Step Practical Guide For Beginners) – by Amit Offir

How to Draw the Forest FairiesBook: How to draw Forest Fairies (Step By Step Practical Guide For Beginners)
Author: Amit Offir
Publisher: troubadour
Date: February 22, 2013
Genre: art (beginners), for any age
Pages: 16
Price: Kindle, under $1
My rating: so easy and rewarding!

I picked up a Kindle copy of How to draw Forest Fairies when it was offered for free, just to see if I could actually draw such complicated-looking images. I was both amazed and delighted with how simple Amit Offir made it. He uses a technique he developed, which he calls “Drawing Easily.”

Amit Offir starts us off with simple lines, adding to it through very easy-to-follow directions. He doesn’t use words to instruct, just pictures. Each page shows how to add to what you have already drawn. The end result is both fun and rewarding.

Not only does Amit Offir teach how to draw fairies in his book by that name, he includes a frog, a spider and its web, a fancy toadstool, and more. It was surprisingly easy to follow his instructions and have an end result that almost exactly matches his!

Renowned artist and illustrator, Amit Offir, offers How to draw Forest Fairies and many other “practical guides” to drawing. Check out this book, especially if you’ve always wanted to draw but thought you never could. He has a whole series of books as simple and fun as this one.

You can learn to draw; you’ll be amazed!

You can find How to draw Forest Fairies listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2) – by Erika Kathryn

The Angel Archives, book 2Book: Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2)
Author: Erika Kathryn
Publisher: Erika Kathryn
Date: 2013
Genre: MG chapter book, fantasy, adventure
Pages: 186
Price: paper, $9.89; Kindle $6.57
My rating: an ongoing adventure young readers will enjoy

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

In Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague, Erika Kathryn continues the story she started in volume one of The Angel Archives. (You can read my review here.) Having just read book one, I had no trouble following the characters, but for someone starting with book two it may be confusing as to who they are. The plot is good but I did wonder if, in places, it is more for an older or advanced reading audience.

As an adult reader who notices typos, wording, and grammar glitches there were things that disturbed me. The story is basically a good one, and the author has an amazing imagination, but she needs better editing to correct grammar and spelling mistakes and a good dictionary and thesaurus to improve her use of words with meanings she intends. 

In this volume of The Angel Archives, Audie (the angel) and Cave (her human friend) join forces with the angel army to save humans from the infection of an aging plague. Once the infected human ages to the point of death they become … something else quite awful.  I will give you the link to my young friend’s review at This Kid Reviews Books so you can get an idea of the story from a member of the intended reading group, but with slight spoilers. 

Again there is action, drama, all manner of interesting creatures, and characters who make the reader care about them. When the story comes to its close a list of questions challenges the reader.

Erika Kathryn ended Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague with a bit of a cliffhanger, the same way she ended volume one, so you know there is another book in process to continue the drama. Young readers will look forward to finding out what happens to Audie and her friends as the adventure progresses.

You can find Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2) listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


How old is your pet? Conversion charts for dogs & cats

IMG_0716I’m sure you have heard and used the method of figuring out the age of your dog. Veterinarians figured out it’s inaccurate to say 1 year in a dog’s life equals 7 years in a human’s life, and they came up with a new chart. (This info I obtained from this very good site:  I also found out there is a chart for cats, too. (Look on this site:

<– my dog, Meyya
Dog                 Human           Cat         Human
5 months   = 10 years        
8 months   = 13 years         
10 months = 14 years        
1 year         = 15 years           1 year   = 15 years
2 years      = 24 years          2 years  = 24 years
3 years      = 28 years          3 years  = 28 years
4 years      = 32 years          4 years  = 32 years 
5 years      = 36 years          5 years  = 36 years
6 years      = 40 years         6 years  = 40 years
7 years      = 44 years          7 years  = 44 years
8  years     = 48 years         8 years = 48 years
9 years      = 52 years         9 years = 52 years
10 years    = 56 years        10 years = 56 years
11 years     = 60 years       11 years = 60 years
12 years    = 64 years        12 years = 64 years
13 years    = 68 years        13 years = 68 years
14 years    = 72 years        14 years = 72 years
15 years    = 76 years        15 years = 76 years
16 years    = 80 years       16 years = 80 years
17 years    = 84 years        17 years = 84 years
18 years   = 88  years       18 years = 88 years
19 years   = 91 years         19 years = 92 years
20 years   = 94 years       20 years = 96 years
21 years   = 97 years
22 years   = 100 years
23 years   = 103 years
24 years   = 106 years
cool-cat.jpgmy cat, Scamper

What fun pet facts do you have to share?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂