Beyond the Darkness – Podcast

Beyond the Darkness – Podcast:

Tagline: “Enlightening & Entertaining discussions about all things Paranormal with world renowned researchers and experiencers, challenging everything we think we know about Ghosts, Ghouls, Angels, Demons, Aliens, Monster Encounters, Mysteries and Miracles.”

A new podcast born out of a previous long-running radio show “Darkness on the Edge of Town” a.k.a “Darkness Radio” which was an awesome place to go for all things Paranormal.  As of January 2017, its 11 year run was ended, and “Beyond the Darkness” on has since taken its place for listeners.

Aside from the themed Paranormal content, the show’s longevity is mostly due to the two co-hosts who created and produced the Darkness Radio   show – Dave & Tim.  What I like most about the pair is their interviewing style, which says a lot about their personality and business integrity.  They’ve always done their best to provide quality interviews delivered with respect for their guest as well as the audience.  Their shows are informative for anyone interested in the Paranormal, whether they’re new to the topic, or researching for decades.  On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoy their humour and their compassion for those in need.

Their success has gained them thousands of listeners from around the world, but they were also invited to guest host for Coast to Coast   radio for the past few years.

For Paranormal content, these are the guys I go to first for podcast listening.



CAN-CON 2016 pt.2

Following up directly after Can-Con 2016 over the past weekend (Sept.9-11 at Novotel in downtown Ottawa ON), – the Con was great as always!

At Registration, everyone’s badge was an RPG sheet you had to fill out, and there were weapons to be collected from vendors and guests.  I was awarded a +2 battle axe for purchasing a copy of Clockwork Canada a Steampunk anthology edited by Dominik Parisien.  I didn’t partake in the RP but there were some mysterious formidable Secret Monsters to be found and battled who were busy on twitter.  They may be back again next year.

Books I picked up over the weekend: Ninja versus Pirate featuring Zombies by James Marshall, Angel of Death by Karen Dales Revelations by Jennifer Carole Lewis and as mentioned before, the Clockwork Canada Anthology.

Some of the historically themed panels I attended were: Archeology with Heritage Coordinator Katrina Guy and S.M Carriere, Medievalisms with K.V. Johansen and David Szarzynski, and Local History Sourcing with Amal El-Mohtar and Kate Heartfield.  Of course there were many other authors sitting in on each panel.

My daughter particularly liked the Saturday panels on Animal Senses with Nina Munteanu and Julie Czerneda, and Fairy Tale retelling with Charles de Lint and Melissa Yuan-Innes.  She wasn’t able to see the Comic Creation panel with  Dominic Bercier  and  Jay Odjick  (who had prints of his CAN-CON 2016 Program cover art for sale in the dealer room) because it was scheduled for Sunday.  She was also very pleased to have found some Harry Potter jewelry and magnets in the Dealer’s Room.

This year, the best Business panel was Laurie Stewart ‘s talk on Authorpreneurship about writing and taxes.  I took sooo many notes and am very thankful she provided attendees with printouts!

My favourite philosophical panels were about the domesticity of Horror with Sandra Kasturi, Brett Savory  and Matt Moore, Antagonists with Erik Scott de Bie and Gregory A Wilson, and Witchcraft & Druids with Can-Con Co-Founder Farrell McGovern, Mary Pletsch and Prof. Brendan Myers.

And of course, the timeslots devoted to TEGG Project.  Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve heard Ed Greenwood talking about Onder Librum on PlanetXPodcast with Marie Bilodeau, Jay Odjick and Ken Bonnie , and also on The RoundTable Podcast with Dave Robison.  The first open panel was about the business of the TEGG project with some discussion on the already launched Hellmaw world.  Most of the authors were on hand for the published books to date – Ed Greenwood, Erik Scott di Bie, Suzanne Church, Marie Bilodeau, and Gabrielle Harbowy.  The second panel was devoted to the Storm Talons world, for which Gregory A Wilson was also on hand. The last public timeslot was a small discussion about the TEGG project with Deputy Lore Guardian Marie Bilodeau for more information and Q&A.

Can-Con 2016 was another success and I’m looking forward to what Co-Chairs  Derek Kunsken and Marie Bilodeau and the wonderful network of hardworking Volunteers produce next year.









LIMESTONE GENRE 2016 was this conference’s second year, and was held July 23 &24 in downtown Kingston Ontario (my favourite Canadian city) at Kingston Frontenac Public Library.  I’m late in posting about this conference since summer was insanely busy with family affairs, but better late than never!

This year I focussed on the panels all weekend, but there were a lot of great Readings and Workshops available too.  The Author list was extensive and the dealer room was impressive and consistently packed with buyers and minglers.

There was a nice mix of all Spec-Fic Genre topics – Fantasy, Mystery, the world of Comics, Science Fiction, Comedy, Thriller, Horror and Romance etc..  and the Cross Genre discussion to round it all up.

In Fantasy, I enjoyed listening to Tanya Huff speak about her career, providing insights for up-and-comers and Violette Malan ‘ s publications as well as her beautiful dresses and classy hats.

In mystery, with my love of history, specifically Canadian history – I was quite interested in Janet Kellough ‘s Thaddeus Lewis series set in historical Eastern Ontario.  And there was Y.S. Lee ‘s Agency series set in Victorian London.

Derek Newman-Stille interviewed Jay Odjick on the topic of Comic creation and Jay’s KAGAGI: The Raven project.  They discussed everything from the details of Comic artistry and publication to the Kagagi  television series production and Jay’s background and success as a First Nations artist and businessman – which for him is important as a role model to his Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community.  It was a great interview -Derek always has insightful questions and commentary to every discussion he attends, while Jay’s charisma and energy make 2hrs fly by.

Another panel I always find interesting is the Horror discussion which aside from great book lists, also leads to reflections on human nature through fear.  Some of this panel’s attendees included David Nickle , Alyssa Cooper and Matt Moore .

Through all of the discussions I listened to over the course of the weekend, the underlying theme in many topics was acceptance and change in diversity in the publishing world.  Panels about Feminism, LGBTQ2 Identities and Disability representations in fiction.  These topics have been growing at every convention with open discussions amongst authors reflecting diversity and promoting them.  It’s great to see the social changes being made through art and the frank dialogue over what has changed and how to navigate what still needs to be improved.

Thanks to Liz Strange and her crew for all the work put into organizing this event!



This year, ROMANCING THE CAPTIAL 2016   ( #RTC2016 ) was held May 5-7th 2016, again at Holiday Inn  Kanata (Ottawa Ontario Canada) location .  This time, I not only attended the evening activities, I lured a couple of friends to join in too!

Of the writing conferences I have attended over the last few years, this one is my favourite.  I enjoy them all and really get a lot out of them, but this one is by far the most fun.  Eve Langlais  does a tremendous job and puts so much into the organization, the overall tone of the event is geared toward having a good time, it’s really difficult not to.

I took advantage of the writing panels on Thursday, which most were geared toward the business side of publishing.  The panel I took the most from was “POV and finding your Voice” presented by Deborah Cooke .  Voice and POV craft are tricky topics, and her delivery of the information was very concise and useful –  she talked about when a writer might use these tools, and how best to.  And I have to say, she has a most excellent Voice!

That evening, some of us were loaded up into a bus and whisked off to the downtown core to enjoy The Haunted Walk   led by tour guide Leonard and sponsored by Viola Grace, who is hilarious!  What a great sense of humour!

Unfortunately, my body seemed to have been trying to fight off some kind of disease-bug and I missed most of the panels scheduled for Friday.  After plenty of napping, I was well enough to return for the Cowboy themed dinner (delicious!), where of all the different life-size cut-out guys around the room, everyone was hoping they had the winning ticket for Dean Winchester.  Me included.  No matter that I had  no idea what to do with a cardboard Dean. However, my friend convinced me he’d make a great ride-along companion since I drive so much.  My rather bemused husband, was a little relived that I didn’t win the Dean.

Sunday morning had a panel “Adding Queer Characters” presented by Nathan Burgoine  that was more of an intimate chat.  I really enjoyed that discussion too.  Later that afternoon was the Author Book Signing.  It was packed!  The evening ended after the 80’s themed dinner (Again, Delicious!) , where I again lost the prize (Viola Grace’s quilt), and also the trivia.  But it was a great time. AND – the best costume was the man-sized Optimist Prime!   I’m happy I had the chance to chat with  Tina Christopher  about writing and characters, after dinner had wrapped up.

Aside from all the fun and interaction with some really cool Authors, there is also the neat stuff I got to take home.  Lots of the usual SWAG, but a few other neat things like: the awesome quilted goodie pouches that Viola Grace made; “Chance Creek” paper dolls from Cora Seton ;  and some free books from Viola Grace , Barbara Devlin (with a beautiful bookmark fob),  S.E. Smith (two from Susan Smith, one from the Dragon series, and another YA novel for my teen daughter.  There were also some cute dragling buttons for my younger daughter).

I came away with two purchased books: one from Claire Delacroix , and one from  Layna Pimentel (which came with lovely handmade soap!)  I missed out on Nathan Burgoine’s new Triad Blood novel.

So, that was #RTC2016 and it was a lot of fun.  Next year looks like an August event according the Eve Langlais’ facebook page.  I’m looking forward to it already!



On April 17 & 18, I attended the writing convention: Romancing the Capital 2015 in Ottawa at the Holiday Inn, Kanata. It was a great time! While I just attended the panels throughout the day and skipped the evening events, I still really enjoyed the time there. Next year, I intend to stay overnight and partake of the festivities!

A great bunch of authors sharing their experience, advice and SWAG! So much SWAG to be had, I’ve never seen such a large SWAG bag! Tons of bookmarks, free e-book downloads, cool pens and other fun stuff including a triangular screwdriver set – who’d have thought a screwdriver set could be gotten at a Romance Conference. But I think my favourite was the box of character cards given out by S.E. Smith, whom also gave a great presentation: “Keys to Being a Successful Author” .

At the book signing, once the massive line up died down, I squeezed my way in and managed to buy a couple of books by new-to-me authors – Kali Willows (who talked about interracial romance along with Milly Taiden) and C.I. Black. I’d hoped to buy Tina Christopher’s steampunk fiction, but there were only digital copies available. Perhaps one day I’ll step into the 21st century and try e-book reading.

Some of the other panelists that I enjoyed were: Eve Langlais , Deborah Cooke, Sharon Page, Nathan Burgoine , Viola Grace, Ashlyn Chase and Robyn Peterman .