October 21, 2014

These Final Hours

Sadly, I missed the Toronto International Film Festival this past September because I wasn't capable of standing in line for more than ten minutes (the damn plantar fasciitis and patellofemoral syndrome--—yep, still!). Plus, If you have trouble with your knees you'll know how uncomfortable it can be to sit with them bent for any length of time. But I've still been going to the movies; I just fidget like CRAZY throughout, straightening my legs every fifteen minutes or so. Let me apologize here for anyone I might've driven bonkers (I swear I typically try to pick an otherwise empty row) with my cinema-restlessness!

But what I really want to say is that Australian end of the world flick These Final Hours is exactly the kind of gem I go to the festival to discover, a film you otherwise might miss because it doesn't have a big budget, a wide-release or tons of promotional $ behind it.

Nathan Phillips (James) and Angourie Rice (Rose)  in These Final Hours

What it does have going for it are wonderfully convincing performances from Nathan Phillips (James) and Angourie Rice (Rose) as its central characters and a compelling plotline which begins with the destruction of Western Europe and North America—after the Atlantic is hit by a meteor—and is destined to end with the frying of Australia in twelve hours' time.

Our setting is Perth, Western Australia looking every inch the last outpost of a fast-vanishing civilization. As the film kicks into gear, society rapidly unspooling, James's only plan for the end of the world is to face the moment out of his head so he won't feel the pain of annihilation. But en route to his own personal oblivion, James stumbles upon a situation he can't ignore, rescuing Rose from reprobate abductors.

With the clock ticking down a lifetime shrinks down to hours. As James deals with the hardest questions, we are forced to ponder them ourselves. How do we say goodbye? At the very end, who and what still matters?

If you admired Miracle Mile and Melancholia and are intrigued by the idea of a film that plays like the flipside of On the Beach, These Final Hours is for you, an entirely realistic but not heartless rendering of the end of life on our planet seen through the eyes of one man.

October 06, 2014

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing Blog Tour

This is week 2 of The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing's blog tour and I want to say an enormous thank you to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours and Alessandra from Dancing Cat Books for putting together such a wonderful tour so far. I've loved reading all the reviews!                              

There's a tour giveaway for The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing plus other Dancing Cat Books releases so please stop by and say hi along the route somewhere to enter.

You can also read my Back to School post on the Dancing Cat Books blog. The entry comes complete with a perm photo of my seventeen-year-old self with one of my favourite high school teachers.

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing Blog  Tour: Sept 29-Oct 10

Week 1:
September 29th
-Back Porchervations  Review
-Read more-sleep less Guest Post: For the Love of Judy Blume
-Cindy’s Love of Books  Review

September 30th
-Bookshipper Review
-Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews  Review

October 1st
-Rhea’s Neon Journal  Review
-Book Lit Love  Review + Top 10 Tips for Debut Authors

October 2nd
-Reading In Winter Excerpt
-Journey with Books  Review
-Daydream Books Playlist Post

October 3rd
-The Book Landers Review
-The Bookish Confections Review

Week 2

October 6th
-A Reader of Fictions Review
-Heather’s Book Chatter  Guest Post: The Importance of Book Covers

October 7th
-Actin’ Up with Books Review
-Sassy Book Lovers  Excerpt
-Creating Serenity  Review

October 8th
-Beneath the Jacket Reviews Review

October 9th
-Becky on Books Interview
-Doodles, doodles everywhere Excerpt
-YA Story Teller  Review

October 10th
-The Young Folks Excerpt
-Loving the Language of Literacy Review + Top 10 List

September 05, 2014

Victim Blaming & Inequality in the Age of Internet

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing should be arriving in Canadian bookstores within the next week or so and I'm excited at the thought of encountering it out in the real world. It's a strange but good feeling when the characters and situations that had previously only been living in your head (and Word document file!) leap into the outside world.

To celebrate the book's release I'll be doing a blog tour that starts at the end of the month. I hope you'll stop by somewhere along the way! You can click the banner for details regarding when and where I'll be.

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing Blog  Tour: Sept 29-Oct 10

Meanwhile, during the last few days one of the stories the media has been buzzing about is the leak of nude photos of several famous Hollywood actresses. These kinds of "leaks" don't just happen to famous women, and they shouldn't happen at all. They're a violation, a crime. But in response to this crime, ridiculous articles like this one from Fox news advising stars who want to take nude photos with getting hacked to never upload them online or, better yet, use a Polaroid have sprung up.

Why not go a step further and advise women never to be naked in the first place? And definitely not to have sex! Because if it's discovered that any of us are 1) naked under our clothes, complete with female bodys parts and 2) engage in sexual activities—well, then it's open season. It's our fault simply for being women in the first place!

While many people (including Seth Meyers) are well aware that blaming the women whose privacy was criminally invaded is unjust



culturally, we continue to face an enormous problem. One that all women potentially face as large segments of society cling to damaging double standards. This is partly what The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing is about as main character Serena and several of her friends fall afoul of the thin line of acceptable sexual behaviour they are supposed to display as girls. Actually, instead of thin line we could more accurately call it an impossible line, one where you can garner negative attention for being considered attractive as well as not not attractive enough, one where sexual acts are encouraged and cheered one one hand and then condemned, the girls taking part in them termed sluts and hos, on the other.

A study published in the Journal of Children and Media in June found that adolescent boys judge teenage girls whether they sext or not, calling teen girls who send sexts “insecure” or “slutty” and  and labelling ones who don't as “stuck up”and prudes. Meanwile "boys were virtually immune from criticism regardless."

How do you discover your authentic sexual self in a culture that's not-so-secretly hostile towards you, glorying in dictating and policing your sexual behaviour in the most illogical and—now public—of ways? This is one of the challenges facing young women today. Prejudices of the past mingling with ominpresent technology.

We are never allowed to forget how the rules are different for girls

We can help girls and young women by letting them know we're on their side, that there is nothing shameful about their naked bodies or sexuality, but that who they share those things with should always be their choice. That means instilling these same values in boys—respect for girls as their equals— again and again and again until they, and we all, have incorporated them to the point that things like revenge porn, slut-shaming and sexual bullying become rarities.

August 06, 2014

This Must Be the Place

In some ways I feel like I've been living this summer inside of a bubble. It seems strange not to be getting out for the long walks that were common for me up until last winter. I hope someday I can return to those, although never ever to the evil manual treadmill that I hold responsible for my current knee and feet woes (they require more force so put extras stress on your joints over the years)!

But I've been sitting outside when I can—a friend and I hung out by the lake for a good two hours this past Saturday afternoon, and each week Paddy and I've been hitting the Tuesday evening performances by the Oakville Wind Orchestra.

Several years before I moved to Oakville I worked with a woman who lived here. I can't remember exactly what she told me about the place except that she spoke of it in glowing terms. So much so that when Paddy and I decided to leave Ireland for Canada (man, was I homesick!) I was sure that Oakville was the place we should ultimately head for. Since then we've both fallen ever more in love with the town because of things like the lovely lakefront parks, the picturesque downtown streets, the jazz festival, the summer wind orchestra times, and the GO Train system (which makes it easy to get into Toronto whenever you like).

So if you don't know Oakville but happened to read about it in my new adult book, Come See About Me, I swear I'm not just making Oakville sound good, it truly is a terrific place to live.

Anyway, the below photos of Oakville were all taken yesterday but pretty much sum up most of my summer (I've also seen a fair amount of movies—another sitting activity—but the cinema is no place for taking pictures!).

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

Often we follow wind orchestra night with gelato from one of a handful of places in the area. My favourite flavours are pistachio (La Dolce Vita on Lakeshore makes their with pistachios from Sicily) and lemon vanilla custard, but last night's chocolate orange was scrumptious, as was Paddy's scoop of Ferrero Rocher.

August 5, 2014

Good evening, moon. I will miss these long, balmy evenings with you.

August 5, 2014

Hanging out by the water's edge, watching the boats go by...

August 5, 2014

and wondering precisely what the not-so friendly ghost does. I'm guessing with a title of 'not-so friendly' he or she is just a little on the cranky side rather than being a full-blown horror meaning there's probably nothing to fear.

August 5, 2014

Of course, in the run up to the September first release of The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing I've also been doing things like looking at copy-edits and page proofs. There'll be a blog tour shortly after the release. I'll post details when I have them. In the meantime Canadians can enter to win 1 of 5 copies (international giveaway to follow!).


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K. Kelly Martin

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing

by C.K. Kelly Martin

Giveaway ends September 10, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

July 05, 2014

July Things

I hope all the Canadians out there had a fantastic Canada Day, and the Americans, a terrific Fourth of July! Paddy and I try to make it out to the local fireworks display every year, and this one was no exception. As you can see from the below photos, it was a perfectly clear summer evening with plenty of Canadian pride on display.

Canada Day, Bronte, Oakville, 2014

Canada Day, Bronte, Oakville, 2014

Canada Day, Bronte, Oakville, 2014

Canada Day, Bronte, Oakville, 2014

If I'd had it together (and not been spending so much time watching the World Cup lately!) I would've posted this video of astronaut Chris Hadfield and his brother, Dave singing about Canada on Canada Day. You can read the lyrics and chords here.



While my Goodreads Come See About Me contest concluded earlier this week, and the winners been sent out their books, my summer giveaway continues with the chance to win signed copies of sci-thriller Yesterday AND its sequel Tomorrow. If you haven't read them yet but can imagine something like Looper meets an Inconvenient Truth meets Say Anything but in book form, you'll get a good idea of what the novels are like.

Come See About Me, Yesterday, Tomorrow by C. K. Kelly Martin



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin

Yesterday

by C.K. Kelly Martin

Giveaway ends August 02, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Because the Netherlands vs Costa Rica match will be starting shortly I have to wrap this entry up! But before I go I want to recommend some fun summer reading for kids ten and up—Governor General’s Literary Award finalist Deborah Kerbel's new book: Bye Bye, Evil Eye.

Here's the blurb:

A summer trip to Greece seems like the perfect chance for thirteen-year-old Dani to spend some time on the beach, help her bookish best friend Cathy get her first kiss, and maybe find some summer romance of her own. But when bad luck begins to strike over and over, and continues to strike when she returns to her home in Toronto, Dani starts to wonder if she is cursed. Literally. Cathy tells of the “evil eye,” and warns that a curse may have been put on Dani by a mysterious girl whose path she crossed in Greece. Dani gets sick, injured, and her family car is vandalized. Is it the “evil eye,” or is someone out to get Dani? And what bizarre lengths will Dani go to as she tries to get the curse lifted?

I finished reading it the other day and am now hoping Deborah's planning a sequel for Dan and Kat! Get a load of the snazzy trailer. It's one of the best I've ever seen.



Now, Go Netherlands!

June 16, 2014

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing Trailer

I'm reluctant to count down to September, because who wants to wish summer away? But it's 77 Days until The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing's release! Voila the newly-finished trailer:

June 03, 2014

Summer Giveaways

While it's technically not summer just yet, it sure feels like the season has arrived. I've already watched a couple of summer blockbusters (and enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past so much that I'm planning to see it again soon, probably just after Edge of Tomorrow). I've also been on several gelato-oriented outings in the past few weeks and on Sunday afternoon dragged my Frankenfeet outside to lounge in the sunny barbecue grounds of our condo along with the rest of me. They may not be up for much lately, but the Frankenfeet appreciate a sunny day as much as anyone, as long as they can sit down while doing it!

Summer Giveaways at Goodreads: Come See About Me, Yesterday, Tomorrow, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K. kelly Martin

To celebrate the return of fine weather, and the upcoming release of my brand new book, I'll be holding several Goodreads giveaways over the course of the summer. The first one, for my new adult book, Come See About Me is open now. Draw date = July 1st.

The next giveaway will open at the beginning of July with a draw date of August 1st. Winners will receive signed copies of my YA sci-fi books, Yesterday AND Tomorrow.

Finally, on September 1st I'll be giving away FIVE copies of my brand new contemporary young adult book, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing. The giveaway will open at the start of August.

* All contests will be open to residents of Canada and the United States. I wish I could send some lemon custard gelato to the winners too, but I think that might get a little messy.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Come See About Me by C.K. Kelly Martin

Come See About Me

by C.K. Kelly Martin

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

May 21, 2014

Frankenfeet Editing

In restrospect, paying a visit to the Toronto Zoo at the end of March—when my plantar fasciitis was already a chronic problem and my knees even unhappier than my feet—wasn't the brightest idea. But fourth month old Humphrey beckoned. How could I resist?

And he was adorable. Have a look:

Humphrey at four months, Toronto Zoo

Humphrey at four months, Toronto Zoo

Humphrey at four months, Toronto Zoo
If you haven't already, you might want to take a look at Humphrey's video album clips of his early days. Here's one of my favourite videos—Humphrey's first steps:


And here are Humphrey's parents in the water (family friend hanging out on the rocks in the background).

polar bears, Toronto Zoo, March 29

If you've ever been to the Toronto Zoo, you'll know it's huge. 2.87 km² to be exact. Paddy and I didn't walk all of it that day at the end of March, but we didn't exactly take it easy either. Seeing the pandas was another must. I hadn't laid eyes on pandas in person since the last time they were at the Toronto Zoo, way back in 1985.

This time around a wide-eyed little girl in a stroller was peering at the pandas at the same time as we were. I'm not sure how old she was, definitely not more than a year, but her mother informed us that she had a beloved plush toy panda at home and now couldn't believe her eyes. Indeed, awe lit up this little girl's face like a sunny July. Yes, pandas are REAL. There is true magic in the world.

Panda Bear, Toronto Zoo, March 29

Panda Bears, Toronto Zoo, March 29

Magic and beauty like the stunning white lions, and all sorts of intriguing creatures from Australia's Kookaburra to a brand new mountain gorilla baby.

White Lions, Toronto Zoo, March 29

So I'm not the least bit sorry I went to the zoo at the end of March, but I couldn't do it now. For the last six weeks or so twenty minutes of standing/very ginger walking has been my absolute maxium, which meant I had to cut the Dublin trip short. As it was, the majority of my holiday looked much like this, and I've been spending countless hours in the night splint sock since returning to Canada too.

CK in Night Splint sock, Dublin

Yep, I'm pretty much housebound. But I'm very grateful for the time I had visiting with family and friends while in Ireland, and am already looking forward to the next trip. In the meantime I'm continuing to do battle with plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and patellofemoral syndrome. My latest weapon is orthotics. Voila the molds of my Frankenfeet

feet molds

feet molds

which were used to produce some incredibly hard custom insoles designed to correct my specific feet imbalances. Luckily, I can still type and so none of this will interfere with revisions on The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing that I'm expecting later today.

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing

Me and my Frankenfeet will be back online once I'm done editing. Meanwhile, If you happen to visit the Toronto zoo, please give Humphrey my love!

May 19, 2014

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing...coming September 1!

Whoah, my contemporary new YA, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing, is now up for pre-order at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Indigo/Chapters, the Book Depository and Barnes and Noble. Release day is only 105 days away...September 1st!

Here's the catalogue copy: Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. After narrowly avoiding exploitation in a shortlived relationship, Serena aligns with a new friend who was the victim of an explicit image that was shared at school. When Serena finds herself in a relationship with a new guy, she is surprised to find a different set of expectations. But have her previous experiences damaged her too much to make it work? As Serena struggles to find who she is as opposed to who she is expected to be, she begins sighting Devin — her older brother who disappeared months earlier.

Out September 1st!

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C. K. Kelly Martin
Dancing Cat Books, 2014
1770864113 (ISBN13: 9781770864115)

And cover:


More info coming soon!

Add to goodreads

April 20, 2014

Easter Greetings from our PM

It's that time of year again—the season when sun and warmth return to the land, and when Canadians look forward to receiving Prime Minister Harper's annual Easter card in the mail. As has become tradition, I've scanned in the Prime Minister's Easter card so Canadians who happen to be out of the country or who didn't receive their greeting (possibly due to the phasing out of Canada Post!) before the holiday can have a look.

Maybe it's just me but this year's card seems to contain a certain ennui, perhaps a sense that Stephen's time at the helm is fading. Nonetheless, professional that he is, Steve-o still showed up for the Easter photoshoot. He clearly doesn't want to let Canadians down——except when it comes to human rights, the environment, gun control, job creation, and other, er, trifling matters.

Happy Easter, peasants. Your czar, Stephen Harper
View Easter cards from other years:

 
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