Sunday, June 27, 2021

Book Review by Benni Chisholm: Lost Immunity by Daniel Kalla


Author – Daniel Kalla

Publisher – Simon Schuster Canada edition

Copyright – 2021

Pages – 328

Daniel Kalla is an emergency doctor in a Vancouver hospital. His extensive vaccine research, his expert knowledge of illnesses and medical procedures, and his talented writing skill make Lost Immunity an informative, page-turning thriller.

The story's main protagonist is epidemiologist, Lisa Dryer, Chief Public Health Officer in Seattle. The antagonist is a severe strain of the meningococcal bacteria that attacks teenagers frequently with fatal results. Lisa, with the help of many capable people, tries to contain the nightmarish bacteria as it spreads amongst Seattle's youth. Thankfully a new vaccine works wonders--until frightening side effects occur. 

Is the vaccine faulty or is someone sabotaging it? Read and find out.

Benni Chisholm

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Book Review: From the Ashes (memoir) by Jesse Thistle

From the Ashes

Jesse Thistle

Simon & Schuster Canada


I saw him on the street. He smiled and I smiled back.

"Thank you," he told me. "All I want is to be treated like a human being. Most people hurry past as fast as they can. They don't even want to acknowledge me."

I walked away thinking how did he end up on the street? What would he have to do to get off of them?

In his, at times brutally honest, memoir Jesse Thistle gives a voice to the homeless.

How did Jesse wind up on the street?

It was a combination of things--home life, school environment, but I think the answer could be boiled down to one conversation. Jesse is told, by a friend, '"You're just a dirty Indian."'and '"You'll probably die drinking like they all do."' (p. 86-87) Faced with this prejudice, the words vibrated in his skull and he was unable to shake them. 

What brings him home?

It was only when Jesse lost everything that he was able to start to rebuild himself. An important step in rebuilding himself was learning the truth about his ancestors. They were chiefs, political leaders and resistance fighters. People to look up to and admire.

What keeps him home and away from the streets?

Jesse writes of his wife Lucie:  'When I am lost at sea and drowning, her arms rescue me.' (p. 341)

From the Ashes is not an easy book to read. Some passages are downright depressing, but I strongly recommend this book. You'll learn about struggle, resilience, and triumph. 

'Abby's treasure' photo by ldyck

Next on this Blog

Encouraged by your support of A Woman Like Her

and your interest in Feeling Groovy

This summer, I'll treat you to the extended version of Feeling Groovy--starting Sunday, July 11. I'll continue to add to the story twice a week--Sunday and Wednesday. 

My only question is, "Are you ready for the summer?"

It's time to celebrate
I'm fully vaccinated
photo by bdyck

Sharing my Autbor Journey...

With one manuscript in my beta's reader's hands, I've turned my attention to another one.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Magic Carpet (short story) (children's fiction) by Leanne Dyck


photo by ldyck

A boring rainy day is enlivened by a creative babysitter.

Raindrops pitter-patter on the living room window. "You're not going out. You're not going out. You're not going out, today," the rain sang.

"I can't ride my bike," I told my cousin Lorna. She was babysitting me. "We can't go to the park. We can't do anything. I hate this day."

"Why don't we go for a magic carpet ride?"

"You have a magic carpet?" I asked.

"No, you do."

"I do? Where?"

"Right there." Lorna pointed at the area rug in the middle of our living room floor. "Jump on and we'll go for a ride." Lorna swept her hands around like feathers. "And we will travel far away and distant lands we'll see. We'll fly over teal-coloured seas. We'll see tall snow-capped mountains. We'll find wondrous treasures. All will be yours. If you'll travel with me."

"You're silly. That's just an old rug."

"You have to look with your heart," she told me. "Close your eyes."

I closed them.

"Now, open them."

The rug was gone. A magic carpet hovered a few inches off the floor. Lorna patted a spot. behind her. "Come on. Get on."

The carpet went higher and higher and higher. It broke through the living room ceiling. It wasn't raining anymore. We flew over the park. Way down below, I saw my favourite swing. The sun shone on my face. The wind whipped my hair.

"Hold on tight," Lorna said.

I wrapped my hands around two corners of the carpet. The carpet zigged and zagged. I burst out laughing.

"Oh. Oh. We're going to crash into that mountain," Lorna said.

I saw the snow-capped mountain. Its granite walls loomed just in front of us. Closer and closer and closer and... "Fly higher," I told her.

"I'll try." She pulled back on the carpet.

We flew right over the top of the mountain.

"Look at the water. It's just like glass." Lorna pointed the carpet at the sea.

I looked down. Someone was smiling at me. That, someone, was me. Looking at the sea was like looking into a mirror. I jumped into the water. I reached up, grabbed hold of the carpet, and pulled it over my head. So did Lorna.

We threw open the door. We chased the rain until the sun came out and we found a rainbow, way up high, in the bright blue sky.

photo by ldyck

Next on this blog...

Online Author Reading
Wednesday, June 16
by Leanne Dyck
June 17 is Icelandic National Day. To celebrate, I plan to record and share In Icelandic.

Book Review
From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle (memoir)
Jesse Thistle gives voice to the homeless

photo by ldyck

Sharing my Author Journey...

I woke early on June 9 and headed to my computer. I was eager to record a new story for

Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Island Storyteller and the ice cream cone (short story) by Leanne Dyck

 How does a writer order an ice cream cone?

                                                                photo by ldyck

Sunny Mayne Island Bakery is full of muffins, cookies, tarts in glass display cases in the front part of the store. During the summer, in the back, there's an ice cream parlour. Rocky Road is like Cookie Dough but has brown crunches instead of black. Some of the tubs are marked blah, blah 'ice cream'. Other tubs blah, blah 'frozen yogurt'.

"What will you have?" you ask loudly stressing each word like I didn't hear you the first couple of times.

Standing there, looking at all the flavours reminds me of the story I'd just written, earlier that morning, "Hey, would you like to hear a story?" Of course, you do. I pull a piece of paper out of my purse and read...

Rainbow Ice Cream

(Please click the link to listen to me read the short story)

I fold the page and return it to my purse.

"We don't have Rainbow." You sigh.

"A scoop of Strawberry Shortcake."

"Waffle or plain?"

"I don't want a waffle. I want an ice cream cone."

"Yes, I know but what kind of cone--waffle or plain?"

"Which is cheaper?"


"Plain, please."

Your next customer treats you like a machine--orders two scoops of chocolate, says, "waffle" without being asked, and pays. No imagination. No exchange of pleasantries, beyond thanks. How rude.

I listened to...

Colleen Story

What To Do When You're A Discouraged Writer 

I'm listening to...

CBC radio

Here are the winners of the 2020 Governor General Literary Awards

Next on this blog...

Wednesday, June 9
Author Reading Podcast
An anthem for women of a certain age
Written and read by Leanne Dyck

Sunday, June 13
The Magic Carpet
short story/children's fiction
by Leanne Dyck