Bloodman: The new Luther?

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I love Luther. This BBC show has a style to which I’m not accustomed. It has a smoothness about it, an addictive pacing and more than anything, a darkness. It’s this darkness that grabbed me first and it’s this same darkness that I find myself looking for in other mediums. I’ve since found it in books like Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer and in the works of James Lee Burke. Now, I’ve found it again. Continue reading

The First Stampede of Flores LaDue

The First Stampede of Flores LaDue has it all – adventure, history, drama, love and excitement.

The First Stampede of Flores LaDue

Though it sounds more like a movie or a great historical fiction novel, The First Stampede of Flores LaDue is the true story of Grace Maud Bensel, later known by her stage name, Flores LaDue. While many know the story of Guy Weadick and how he started the Calgary Stampede in 1912, many do not know the story of the women behind the man, Flores LaDue.

Born in Minnesota, but raised on a Sioux reservation when her mother died, Grace Bensel ran away with a Wild West show at the age of 17, just  a few years after her father made her return to Minnesota to go to school and become a lady. Using the skills she learned on the reservation, she became a world champion trick roper and in 1905, she caught the eye of rodeo cowboy, Guy Weadick. The two travelled North America and Western Europe before settling in Calgary, where they established the Calgary Stampede in 1912.

While parts of the book, such as the dialogue, are fictionalized, much of it is based on the memories of current Alberta rancher, Lenore McLean, who grew up next door to LaDue in the late 1940s and looked at LaDue as a mentor, mother-figure and friend.

Calgary author, Wendy Bryden, has received both the Alberta Centennial Medal and the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation for her work on Canada at the Olympic Winter Games and The Glencoe Club Story: 70 Years of Sports History.  Bryden and McLean became great friends over the last few years while working on this books and  both hope that this book will demonstrate stampede values as well inspire others to live their best life.

To browse inside the book, click here.

I am Canadian

There are so many things that make me feel patriotic: listening to our national anthem, hearing the Hockey Night In Canada theme music, visiting Parliament Hill, drinking Timmies or listening to Shania Twain. But even more than these things is the general feeling one has about being proud to be a Canadian. Wherever I travel, when people find out I’m Canadian they are always full of compliments. “Oh, Canadians are so friendly,” or, “Canada is so clean, so beautiful.” We are known for our beautiful landscapes and friendly citizens, and are so much more than maple syrup, beavers and hockey!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada is a tribute to all things Canadian, from cottage country memories, to Remembrance Day, to the often subzero temperatures, there are stories in this collection that will speak to the heart of every Canadian, at home or abroad.

To promote the release of this book we have launched our own “Share Your Canadian Story” on Facebook. Whether it’s about your daily life, your travels across Canada, sports, family, traditions or any story that makes you think ‘Canada.’ We want to hear it! Click here to submit your story and enter to win a copy of CSS: O Canada.

With a foreward by famous Canadian singer-songwriter Amy Sky, lyrics from Liona Boyd’s upcoming album, and stories from Marc Jordan, Matt Duchene and others, this will be a welcome addition to every Canadian’s bookshelf, eh?

Check out an excerpt.