BOOK REVIEW: Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon

Book Review

Title: Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
Author:  Diana Gabaldon
Imprint: Doubleday Canada
Released: November 23, 2021
Pages: 928
ISBN-13: 978-0385685542
Stars:  3.5

Like every other die-hard fan of the Outlander series and Diana Gabaldon’s writing, I anxiously anticipated this ninth book, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, and man, we waited a long time for it. In the meantime, I and millions of others enjoyed the Outlander television series immensely, although it does not faithfully stick to the books’ plot lines.

I read a couple of other books simultaneously because, unlike many of the other volumes in the series, I could easily put this one down and wait for it. I was often uninterested in the lives of the newer characters, including Silvia Hardman and her family, Agnes and Fanny. I also felt that William received a lot of space but didn’t do anything of substance, although hopefully, that will come. I find it hard to connect with William and care about him even though I want to, but I enjoyed him getting to know Bree a little.

I have read these books because I love Jamie and Claire, their love story and adventures. I wanted Diana Gabaldon to spend more time with them in this book than she did. However, I also appreciate Roger and Brianna, Young Ian (though his Quaker wife Rachel is a bore), Fergus and Marsali (I would’ve liked to see them have a much larger storyline) and especially Lord John Grey. I love him as much as the Frasers. I could do with fewer children in the story, but I understand why they need to be there. I also enjoy every appearance of John Quincy Myers. I could care less about the rest of the characters (except for Hal and Percy), and in my humble opinion, they received far too much time.

There must be antagonists in every book, and Ezekiel Richardson has proven to be a decent one, although he is no Jack Randall or Stephen Bonnet.

My favourite scenes included the bear attack on Amy, the emotional scene between Jamie and Jenny, and when Fergus finds out who his birth father is. That was awesome! I also thoroughly enjoyed the heart-pounding battle scene near the end of the book and holding my breath to see whether Jamie would come out alive.

While characters like Amy, Fanny, Agnes, and Silvia may support the storyline, they receive too much space. They are not exciting characters, unlike Amaranthus, and I wouldn’t have cared if Gabaldon had omitted them. Also, while dramatic, the whole baby-delivering incident with Agnes’ mom didn’t feel unique compared to other scenes Diana has written in past books. I know she doesn’t write linearly, but in scenes, as they come to her. Sometimes I think that method can make the book cumbersome.

I will have to trust that she had a reason for everything. There is no doubt that I will read the tenth book, which I hope will be the end of the series. Jamie and Claire, at their age, likely won’t have the types of adventures that they once experienced—which made for exhilarating novels. I don’t care anymore how many of Fraser’s Ridge settlers Claire heals or how many babies she delivers, or about them hanging out with a dozen grandchildren or fighting in more small battles during the birth of the United States. (I didn’t mind the bees.) I would like to see their entire immediate family return to Scotland in the tenth book, whether to the eighteenth century or the twentieth. I want to know how it ends, and I think Gabaldon could wrap it up nicely in 600 pages or less.

Here’s hoping I live long enough to read it.

BOOK REVIEW – The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Book Review

Title: The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health
Author:  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Publisher: Skyhorse
Released: November 16, 2021
Pages: 934
ASIN: B08X5YWRRP
Stars:  4.00

It took me two months and one week to read this book on Kindle—all 934 pages. I admit to not reading every one of the 2,200 endnote citations, but I read a few from media sources that are considered, by the mainstream, to be credible and reputable. It took me almost two more months to decide whether to share this review. I am publishing it now because I believe in freedom of speech and expression, and it is up to the readers of this book to decide what they think.

Disturbing and anxiety-inducing, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health is a book that, no matter where you stand on COVID-19 restriction issues, vaccines, or government response to the pandemic, should be carefully read—preferably with an open mind. Anyone who leaves a scathing comment about this book when they haven’t read it—or based on their googling Kennedy and finding him discreditable without ever having spoken to him or listened to him talk live—should be discounted. Their opinions are just that. Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?

I have followed Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the Children’s Health Defense, and many of his well-known supporters since April 2020. I have trust issues and haven’t trusted Bill Gates, our government, or mainstream media for many years because I have worked in social media marketing for thirteen years. I know that Big Tech leverages its algorithms to achieve its objective for the owners, world governments, and intelligence agencies. I did not know these things four years ago. I have always had difficulty with some authority figures and following rules that I think do not make sense. That probably puts me in a particular category. I am an empath and a truth seeker who knows people who believe in the “conspiracy theories,” and I want to know why because I care about them. I also wanted to know what the so-called anti-vaxxers and misinformation/disinformation rebels had to say to decide what I believed.

I have to trust my gut because it’s difficult to discern between what is truth or misinformation and disinformation. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is someone I believe, based on my intuition. I have listened to Kennedy speak live on social media and private websites on numerous occasions, and he articulates his truth. His career speaks for itself, and the man is intelligent. He has followed his truth to the detriment of family relationships. He is not perfect or without sin. I can understand why the mainstream media labels him as dangerous. He threatens their narrative. He has sold over 1,000,000 copies of this book. Before you get upset, I haven’t only listened to this group’s arguments but read legacy news and magazine articles about the pandemic. I listen to our Premier and Prime Minister and find their arguments flawed. Science is fluid. There will always be a virus. So, what have I come to believe?

There are many explosive facts revealed in this book.

While The Real Anthony Fauci may not be flawless, Kennedy did extensive research to support his argument. Unfortunately, there are some broken links in the endnotes. Many news sources will not be deemed credible by the mainstream (such as Kennedy’s foundation, Children’s Health Defense and its contributors). However, there is enough doubt cast in this book about the intentions of Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, the US government, intelligence agencies, heads of Silicon Valley Big Tech, and Big Pharma to make one raise an eyebrow. Some people think a carefully orchestrated plandemic of epic proportions deceived us. I suspect that truth is a very subjective concept.

I won’t write a detailed book synopsis, as there is one on Simon & Schuster, but if you are currently disturbed or displeased by the pandemic response or its often draconian restrictions, reading this book might give you hope. There are people in the world still fighting for democracy in the increasingly totalitarian world of the 2020s. It might also keep you awake at night. Read it at your discretion.

Trust your gut. If you think you see a red flag, it’s probably there. If you think there’s something rotten in Denmark, there likely is. Don’t decide under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

We choose to be activists and fight against the globalist agenda or listen to what they tell us. It’s up to us. I have had enough of this clusterfuck, and I want my life back. I have stopped reading the news because it is terrible and will destroy my mental health, and I cannot change what is happening in the world. I know who I will not vote for and to who I will not give my money. I know that human beings must dramatically change if we want this planet to survive. I believe a revolution is most likely inevitable.

Next, I must ask myself, what are you willing to do to fight for it?

On This International Women’s Day, Achieve a Fresh Start with Help from Karen Carrington

Book review for A Fresh Start by Karen Carrington

Nonfiction Book Review


Title: A Fresh Start: 111 Affirmations to Make This The Best Year Ever and Create The Life You Want
Author:  Karen Carrington
Publisher: Discovering Diversity Publishing
Released: August 1, 2018
Pages: 141
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1718187733
Book Reviewer: Christine Bode
Stars:  4

I met Karen Carrington in an Executive Career Jam Zoom group led by Mich Nadon of Media Intelligence.ca and loved her immediately. She is kind, caring, courageous and oh, so glamorous! After reading her book, I know her much better and can add that she’s resilient, determined, fabulous and fierce.

Karen’s book A Fresh Start: 111 Affirmations to Make This The Best Year Ever and Create The Life You Want is chock full of powerful affirmations for the most meaningful areas of our lives. In it, Karen shares her story including the many challenges she has faced and how, through faith, support and sheer will, she overcame them and became a success as a talk show host, inspirational public speaker, author, and most importantly, a mother. Her love for her two sons is a beautiful thing. Her role model, Jack Canfield, would be proud of her. I certainly am!

In her book, Karen asks the sort of questions we all need to reflect on and provides us with space to write down our answers. I wrote out my answers to seven Life Lessons last night when I finished reading it. She also gives us a bonus journal of 32 lined pages to write in.

Two of my favourite things about this book (besides a slew of wonderful affirmations) are reading how Karen discovered the TV show Dynasty and realized that she IS Alexis Carrington and the terrific S.E.L.F. C.A.R.E. acronym she created to remind us of the importance of self-care and self-love.

My favourite affirmations are the first four sentences of #1, and 4, 14, 15, 25, 34, 38, 48, 56, 66, 73, 76, 77, 83, 92, 93, 101, and 104.

“Today, I am open and ready for the prosperity and blessings that are coming my way. I am an amazing person who is loveable and deserves to be loved. I let go of all past hurts and pain. I am focused on shifting my mindset into a positive space. I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful, and I am committed to making this year my best year ever.”

Karen Carrington, a fresh start: 111 Affirmations to make this year the best year ever and create the life you want, affirmation #1

Karen Carrington is much more than a brand; she is a phenomenal woman who deserves to be celebrated on this International Women’s Day!

Get Karen’s book on Amazon.

Conquering the Divide: The Legend of Barsicon Is an Outstanding Fantasy Fiction Debut by Angela Stever

Book Review

Title: Conquering the Divide: The Legend of Barsicon
Author:  Angela Stever
Imprint: Tellwell Talent
Released: October 30, 2021
Pages: 284
ISBN-13: 978-0228863120
Stars:  4.00

Conquering the Divide: The Legend of Barsicon is new, young adult, LGBTQ-friendly fantasy/dystopian science-fiction for the 21st-century by well-known Kingston, Ontario radio host, Angela Stever. The book’s hero, Seneca Ellis-Brant, is a girl just turning 16 years old, and she’s the youngest Light Seeker in Barsicon history. Seneca has been training her whole life to be a Light Seeker with the help of her two moms, Ma Marie and Mama C (Catherine), and her combat instructor, JD, a diminutive warrior with a neon-coloured mohawk.

In July 2022, two days before the Light Ceremony she believes it is her destiny to conquer, Seneca meets Alex, JD’s cousin, who is referred to using the pronouns they/them. Alex is the first stranger Seneca has ever met, a popular singer in Light City, and sexual-spiritual fireworks ensue.

Seneca has trained diligently for the Light Ceremony, believing that she will complete it and be able to move her family from The Darkness, the land to the east of Light City, inhabited by the 1% elite of Barsicon on the shores of West Ocean. To gain the privilege of living in Light City, Light Seekers must successfully complete Seven Steps into the Light, Steps that amount to a battle to the death. But has Seneca been brainwashed? Is the story she has been told about her miraculous birth true? Is she simply a pawn in a very toxic game?

Light City is ruled by President Barbara Crow, an angry woman with daddy issues whose father, General Walter Crow (a comic book buffoon of a bullying leader, with no real backbone), demanded the construction of a wall between Light City and The Darkness following the Battle of Barsicon in 1972. Northern Warriors erected the barrier which runs parallel to the coastline, two miles inland from the West Ocean. Only the wealthy live along the West Ocean, its residents made up of people who sleep until noon and feast until midnight, playing games and dancing all day. The wall offers them protection from the ‘unworthy.’

While reading this book—which could arguably be a parable—during the middle of the umpteenth lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, one cannot help but recognize the parallels in the world in which we live and the authors’ world of Barsicon, a simply constructed, dystopian fantasy world. Many of us are seeking a higher spiritual path in light of the darkness we have found ourselves in for the past two years. The 1% elite who govern us and decide upon how we will conduct ourselves and live our lives, have divided us with vaccine mandates, passports, and other draconian restrictions. In today’s world, there is a divide between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, people who are described by the media and even our own Prime Minister, as unworthy to live in regular society. It may only be a matter of time before we are physically segregated from each other, even though many of us can see that our leaders’ plan to deal with the pandemic is not working. Right now, most of our lives are about survival and not thriving, just like the citizens of Barsicon who live in The Darkness.

There are psychopaths and unexpected twists and turns in Conquering the Divide, and a little bit of magic, lots of mystery, and plenty of heart-centered heroes to cheer for. If you loved The Hunger Games or The Mortal Instruments, you’ll want to join Seneca as she discovers her new normal and realizes her true destiny, moving out of The Darkness and into the light. This fast-paced, exciting adventure is filled with nuggets of spiritual wisdom and a satisfying ending that will leave you wanting more.

Angela Stever has peppered her story with “Easter egg” references to local singer-songwriters who music fans in this region, know and love, and named the main protagonist and another heroic character after her two sons. I suspect she may have used Prince Edward County and Sandbanks Provincial Park as inspiration for Barsicon. Conquering the Divide (available on Amazon now) is her first novel, and it is an outstanding debut. This reader cannot wait for more stories by Stever.

May the God of Light’s Final Judgement find you worthy before you are forced to die for the greater good. “The power should be in the hands of the people, not in the hands of one man.” As in all fantasy stories, there is a battle between good and evil, and the protagonists have to overcome seemingly impossible challenges to defeat their adversaries.  Sometimes the men in power are simply weak, bullying idiots being controlled by psychopathic puppet masters. And sometimes, it takes standing up to our oppressors and being willing to start a revolution before the light can shine through The Darkness.