Sunday Book Review – Canada, The Greatest Economy in the World

My Sunday Book Review was a bit of a more serious read for me. I read this book while away this past winter after purchasing it at Christmas time, which wasn’t so merry for us when the stock market took a huge dive and I felt compelled to learn a little bit more about the banking system here in Canada to learn about how our money is protected in crisis and how much power the banks have with OUR money.





This book takes a deep dive into how Canada’s economy works. It looks at aspects of the economy like the public pension system and the banking system and is pointing out obvious flaws in the system, how to protect yourself from them and what to do once you have acknowledged the problems. The book helps you wake up from what the investment and real estate industries are covering up and how they collude with the government for a significant profit. Reading this book will be a great eye-opener and can change the course of your life from a certain destination of losses to winning in the next economic collapse very few are seeing on the horizon.
In this book you will learn:

•How the Canadian Dollar is heading for failure and there is nothing the government or banks can do to stop it. Imagine a 90% loss of your net worth?

•How real money, commodities might be able to save the Canadian Economy when it collapses and how Gold and Silver is like a life insurance policy just for your wealth.

•How to take responsibility for your own money instead of giving it to the banks and the government and much more.


My 5 Star Review:

As a Canadian concerned about our own economy, I was curious to read this book – especially after the stock market began to tank in December. I felt compelled to learn more about how our banking system works and what possible scary situations could happen if our banks were to ever collapse – as they did in 2007-8 in the U.S.

John Thore Stub Sneisen offers concise information in detail  on how the Canadian economy works from our banking system to its potential flaws as well as good advice on how to best protect our assets in the event of an economic/bank crash. Good explanations on the differences between bailouts and bailins.

The information provided in this book is almost a rude awakening about government and banks profiting off individual citizens and big companies, investors and real estate colluding with government. Sneisen also speaks about the importance of buying gold for when all else loses in an economic crash.

This book isn’t the gospel on protecting ourselves. but offers some good insight into how the banks work in conjunction with the economy with solid back-up, and raises some interesting questions, which urged me to continue more follow-up reading. Yes, this book is based on the Canadian economy, but I think, just as informative for all country’s banking systems.


I also want to wish my Canadian friends here a very Happy Canada Day! Happy long weekend!

Happy Canada Day




#WATWB -How ‘Buddy Benches’ are making playtime less lonely

Welcome to this month’s edition of #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest, where we share good things that are going on around the world on the last Friday of every month.

I came across this wonderful idea – Buddy Bench, which was designed to bring children together at recess time, particular for children who’ve yet to make new friends. If children feel alone, they can go sit on the Buddy Bench and other children are encouraged to check the bench and go befriend someone new so they don’t feel alone. How cool is this???? Read more below and visit the page link below to learn more about this wonderful venture that began in Germany and is spreading across North America.



With the buddy bench, every kid has a friend at recess


Recess is fun, but only if you have someone to play with.

Anyone who attended elementary school probably remembers scanning the playground to find a friend. That sometimes anxious moment is a little easier at A. Lorne Cassidy school in Stittsville, where a “buddy bench” has been installed near the play structures.

“It’s for if you don’t have anyone to play with,” explained Ava Thorsell, a Grade 1 student, during recess at the school. “Or maybe just take a rest,” she added. . . Please continue reading


Source: How ‘Buddy Benches’ are making playtime less lonely – BBC News


If you’d like to participate in sharing something good for #WATWB, please click on this LINK to add your post.


Your hosts for this month’s #WATWB are:  Sylvia McGrathSusan ScottShilpa GargEric Lahti, and myself, Belinda Witzenhausen.




Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – Synonyms Only

This week’s #Poetry challenge at Colleen Chesebro’s blog – Synonyms only for the words ‘Plan‘ and ‘Spend‘. I’ve written a Haibun and Tanka.




Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?



Here are your two words for this week:

Plan & Spend


HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! Except for the first challenge of the month ~ then, the poets get to choose their own words. ❤


For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:







CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia





Barbed wire
Image by Andreas Samuelsson from Pixabay


The Border


My heart aches for the pain and suffering, and loss of life. What remains etched in my mind are the senseless deaths of many fleeing the only homes they’ve ever known, in hopes of asylum – only to find there isn’t any.


Beware the border

A failing system of hope

Yearning for freedom

Human life squandered in search

Where hopes and dreams go to die.


Visit Colleen’s post to learn how to join in!



I Don’t Always Wear My Wedding Ring, Do You?

I love wearing rings. In fact, whenever I go out it’s common practice for me to be wearing four at a time – two on each of my ring fingers and two on my index fingers. But when at home I don’t wear any.


When I go on vacation, I still always wear my signature four rings when out painting the town, albeit, the only diamond I travel with is my wedding ring along with my silver jewelry, but I’d never worn rings out to the pool or beach – that includes my wedding ring.

My husband  is never short of compliments. He always compliments me on how I look or on something I’m wearing, often adding, “I’ve never seen that before.” Seen may denote he may never have noticed me wearing it, or even noticed the latest deliveries as I hastily bring up packages from the mailbox before he gets there so I can avoid being grilled, “What’s in the box?” Lol. But never had he asked me where my wedding ring was while at a pool. That was until our last winter vacation.

After almost twenty years of marriage, we were lying in our lounge chairs at the pool one day when the revelation came over him that I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring. It was like after over 100 vacations together that he only noticed I had no rings on. I remarked to him that I was amazed that he’d only waited till then to ask me where my wedding ring is.

I’ve always had a thing for wearing nothing but earrings and my ankle bracelet (besides my swimming attire) when it comes to sunning and swimming. My first reason is because I don’t like ‘tan lines’ on my fingers, and secondly, I don’t like suntan lotion getting inside the crevices of my rings and dulling the stones every time I apply. I’ve adhered to this practice ever since I can remember back and honestly, I’d never thought anything of it.

Hubby didn’t lecture me, it appeared he asked out of curiosity, but made sure to proclaim that he NEVER takes his wedding ring off. “Okay, I get it,” I replied. I didn’t wish for him to continue harping on the conversation and felt if he felt slighted in some way I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so for the rest of the vacation I wore my wedding ring everywhere, including to the pool.

I have to admit, it felt weird having a ring on my hand in the hot sun and in the water as I found myself always double-checking to make sure the ring was still on. I still didn’t like the idea of lotion re-applying with my ring on and was paranoid of taking it off while doing so in case I’d forget to put it back on, so I’d pop it in my mouth every time I applied lotion, knowing I wouldn’t forget it was in my mouth!

As it turned out, since I began wearing the ring all the time, I didn’t have to worry about tan lines on my finger because it was always covered. Once back up to our condo and taking off my jewelry, I got to used to the ring tan line serving as a good indicator of how nicely my tan was coming along. Hubby was happy too. He no longer felt threatened that his wife was showing as ‘available’.


I’d be interested to find out who here never takes off their wedding rings when out in public and why, from both – male and female perspective.



Sunday Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman – Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Today’s Sunday Book Review features  – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Q. Vega. This short novelette was a perfect read for one sitting, and in this case, size doesn’t matter because I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. I always enjoy Vashti’s books, and despite the subject matter, I was eager to read this book too by Vashti. Great story, plot and characters shine through in this story, demonstrating that even short books can convey big, powerful stories.




A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.


My 5 Star Review:

Wow! Such a powerful story, deeply rounded characters and a plot sewn up beautifully at the end in this short novelette. The subject matter is disturbing and I found myself skimming over the torturous parts because this is normally a genre I try to stay away from because of the disturbing abuse. But I felt compelled to read this because Vashti Quiroz-Vega is one of my favorite writers to read.

The mood is dark, and poor damaged Emma definitely was born into a world of hard knocks. Emma orphaned as a young child, ends up in an orphanage where people do bad things to children. She endures bullying, abuse to the max, yet something within her gives her the courage to soldier on until that one spark of madness brings out the revenge in her – the just desserts deliciously deserved for all those who inflicted pain on her.

It’s not very often we find ourselves rooting for evil, but when you’ve glimpsed into the life of this poor, neglected and abused little girl, you too will find yourself screaming for justice as each horrific event done onto her becomes a spectator event. Emma’s eventual unleashing becomes the only way to end the never-ending madness of her world. A most chilling read that kept me reading till the end in one sitting. #Recommended.



Deal of the Century! Do No Harm #Blogtour – 17 Book Box Set – 99 Cents!

I’m thrilled to be part of multi-genre author, Christoph Fischer’s blog tour to help promote an amazing book collection – Do No Harm box set, available on pre-order now for a ridiculous price of just 99 cents! Christoph has teamed up with some other exceptionally talented authors to assemble this huge promotion of a 17 book boxed set of Medical Thrillers. Christoph’s – The Healer, is part of this set, which I’ve already read, loved, and reviewed. And I can’t wait to sink my eyes into all the other reads here by prolific authors such as Uvi Poznansky and Judith Lucci, to name a few.



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Christoph is known for his gripping historical fiction sagas, and is equally talented with his cozy mysteries and thrillers. This collection is a thriller lover’s delight. Grab your copy now while it’s on pre-order price because once it goes live on July 30th, the price will go up.





Get this collection  Now!


Available for pre- order now for .99 cents!


Also available at:

Barnes and Noble    Amazon Kindle



DO NO HARM is an extraordinary, limited collection of medical thrillers written by USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon best-selling authors!

Do you crave reading books with nail-biting suspense, twisted plots and great characters who get caught up in whirlwinds of crime, deception and lies?

Do you love sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering who will survive…and who won’t?

From the mountains of West Virginia, to acute care hospitals, the battlefields of the Middle East and the hallowed halls of our educational system, join us for these incredible stories of healthcare gone wrong.


>>>If you like Robin Cook, David Baldacci and Patricia Cornwell, this collection is for you!

Do No Harm is a binge-readers dream – 17 medical thriller books in one!



You can read more about the authors and their books who’ve contributed to this collection at the HBS Author’s Spotlight



Christoph Fischer


About Christoph Fischer


Christoph Fischer is an Independent writer from Germany, based in the UK.

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his latest thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Find more about him on ChristophFischerBooks

Christoph Fischer is also a reviewer of independent books and on his recommendation pages on this site he features interviews and reviews of the books that have most captured his attention and appreciation by genre.


Visit Christoph’s BOOK PAGE to view his books





Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – The Island of #Cuba #Caribbean | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This week, I’m sharing my Travel Column I wrote for Sally Cronin’s monthly Blog Magazine edition at the Smorgasbord Invitation.


Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column at the Smorgasbord. Today we’re going to learn more about the island of Cuba.



Officially named, the Republic of Cuba, Cuba is located in the northern part of the Caribbean where the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea meet, just south of Florida and the Bahamas. Havana is the capital of Cuba and the largest city of the Republic. Cuba also reigns over another island, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) as well as a quite a few other minor archipelagos, covering a land mass of over 42,800 square miles. The exact name of Cuba and where it was derived from are unknown. It is believed that Christopher Columbus named the island for a town named Cuba from his native Portugal. The native language is Cuban Spanish, their own dialect from original Spanish.

Similar to many other Caribbean islands, Cuba was inhabited by the Taino people since 4000 – 3000 BC until the 15th century when it became a colony of Spain, again, until the Spanish American War of 1898 when it became occupied by the United States. After signing the Treaty of Paris in 1898 and more politics, Cuba became formally independent from the U.S. May 20, 1902, going through several leaderships and several political takeovers leading to the eventual takeover by a dictatorship in 1952 by Fulgencio Batista until he was ousted for his corruption and taken over by Fidel Castro under communist rule. Cuba is culturally considered part of Latin America and exports sugar, coffee and tobacco and nickel. As of 2016, Cuba was still declared an authoritarian government ruled country.



Before Castro took over in 1959, Cuba was considered one of the most advanced countries in Latin America. Cuba relied heavily on aid from the USSR. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, their economy went into a sliding depression, allowing some the opportunity for self-employment and the legalization of using the U.S. dollar for business, encouraging tourism.

For many decades, Cubans were not allowed to leave this island, yet many tried to flee communism in unsafe methods to get across the waters. Prior to January 2013, Cuban citizens weren’t allowed to travel abroad without obtaining official permission and applying for a government issued passport, which was usually denied and cost 5 month’s salary. Back on September 9, 1994, the U.S. had agreed to grant Cuba 20,000 visas annually if Cuba kept a promise to prevent further dangerous attempts to enter the U.S. by unsafe methods across the water.

Also, with the intervention of the U.S. government, in 2010, Cubans were granted permission to build their own houses. Approximately 85% of people own their homes paying no property taxes or mortgage interest. It is said there is no homelessness in Cuba. But in May of this year, because of increased U.S. trade embargo and a large decline of aid from Venezuela, and oil and fuel costs, Cuba has begun rationing staples, as almost two thirds of their country’s food is imported. Cuba’s natural resources include tobacco, fish, citrus and tropical fruits, coffee, beans, rice, chicken, potatoes and their most important export mineral – nickel. Cuba is currently drilling for oil as a geological survey has shown their capability to produce approximately 4 – 9 billion barrels.





Cuba has what is known as a dual currency system. The Cuban peso (CUP) is used to set wages and prices, while Convertible pesos (CUC) is used for the tourist economy, set at par with the U.S. dollar.



Tourism in Cuba was originally restricted to segregated areas designed for tourism, and away from Cuban society. But it was marked that in 2003 over 1.9 million tourists visited Cuba mainly from Canada and Europe, helping to generate revenue for the country. In 2011 that number jumped to just over 2 ½ million tourists, making it the 3rd highest tourist destination in the Caribbean, coming in just behind Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico … Continue reading at the Smorgasbord



Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – The Island of #Cuba #Caribbean | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine




#Writephoto Writing Prompt from Sue Vincent – Daily Echo – Fly Away

Sue Vincent offers a #Writephoto prompt weekly at the Daily Echo. I enjoy reading some of the responses with the stories people come up with from a photo and a word. The word this week is ‘choice’, and Sue left 4 images to choose from. I thought I’d jump in with the image given below, and decided to go with the first thing popping into my head.



Welcome to this week’s writephoto prompt. As I travelling, I have posted four photographs to cover TWO weeks prompts. The two prompt words are ‘small’ and ‘choices’.


Take your pick.

Each week, choose one of the images below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon(GMT)  Wednesday 19th June and link back to this post with a pingback to be included in the round-up.  There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly.

an old, carved stone whose recesses are stuffed with red and black ladybirds.

The image shows an old, carved stone whose recesses are stuffed with red and black ladybirds.



Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away


Whew! I made it in! Busy day here I see. It’s sweltering out there today! Everyday it’s a drag flying around looking for shelter. I was nearly crushed  by human shoes at least 20 times just today. If I wasn’t so quick to escape that one annoying little boy chasing me around with a fly swatter, I surely wouldn’t have lived to tell. I much prefer the docile humans who treat me kindly, making silent wishes and blowing on me gently to seal their wishes.

They tell me I’m lucky. The only thing I’m feeling lucky about today is that I wasn’t squashed or swatted to death. Man, did I ever make the right choice when the gang flew south and I decided to head north.

I’m happy to be back here in safety with my friends, hanging out at Mr. Stone’s moss covered cave getaway where I’m safe for another day and have my friends to commiserate with about whose experience of narrowly escaping those deadly fly swatters was most harrowing today. Tomorrow, it’ll just about be time to hit the skies and look for a place a bit cooler and a lot more friendlier, a place where people appreciate me and don’t wish to kill me.



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