Thursday, 29 May 2014


Listen up, thrill seekers ... have I got the book for you!

Coming from Strange Chemistry on June 3, ESSENCE by Lisa Ann O'Kane.

The cover alone is enough to make you catch your breath and feel a rush of adrenaline.

I'm absolutely jazzed to be part of the ESSENCE blog tour. I first met Lisa Ann when we were scuttling around the dregs in QueryTracker, both starry eyed and crossing our fingers and toes to get that elusive yes from an agent.

Well, here we are two years later and Lisa Ann has earned her chops and produced this fabulous story for us to all devour, huddled under blankets with our flashlights on.

Did I mention this is the perfect book to take camping?

Anywho, lets get on with the shiny.

“The story’s strength lies in its evocative setting and the vicarious thrill of wild parties and daring stunts in one of the most beautiful natural areas in the United States…quick, action-packed read”
- Owl Cat Mountain

Autumn escaped a cult, but now she realizes she's fallen into another.

Growing up in San Francisco’s Centrist Movement, sixteen year-old Autumn Grace has always believed emotions—adrenaline, endorphins, even happiness—drain your Essence and lead to an early death. But her younger brother’s passing and a run-in with a group of Outsiders casts her faith into question.

Ryder Stone, the sexy, rebellious leader of the Outsiders, claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic -- and he can prove it.
Autumn follows Ryder to his Community of adrenaline junkies and free spirits in Yosemite National Park, and they introduce her to a life of adventure, romance, sex, drugs and freedom. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realizes the more she risks in search of the perfect rush, the further she has to fall. 

Pre-order your copy today! It comes out June 3 (mark your calendar).

Amazon (U.S.)
Amazon (Canada):
Amazon (UK):  
Barnes & Noble:

Lisa Ann O'Kane is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel ESSENCE. Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.

You can find her here:

Lisa Ann was nice enough to drop by for a virtual chat.
What inspired you to write ESSENCE?

The inspiration for Essence came to me randomly. I was in Vail with some friends during the winter of 2011, and we were watching a friend get inducted into the Snowboarding Hall of Fame. There were tons of early '90's snowboarding legends there, and I was struck by how poorly many of them had aged. Some had mobility issues (thanks to the beatings they put on their bodies), some had substance abuse withdrawal issues, and many others just seemed ‘different.’

I turned to my friends at one point and said, "It's weird. It's almost like these guys were given a certain allotment of life, and they've already used theirs up."

BAM. The rest of my story came to me like lightning.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Essence is all about literal and metaphorical balance: the balance between right and wrong, between safety and freedom, between too little and too much. Autumn’s dual fears of tight spaces and heights also speak to this, and she struggles to find her inner balance throughout most of the novel.

My hope for Essence is that readers will understand that they alone are responsible for finding their own balance and moderation. They cannot simply trust that the people around them are looking out for their best interests.

What was the hardest scene to write (no spoilers!)?

The first fifty pages of Essence bamboozled me. I was so excited to JUST GET TO YOSEMITE ALREADY that I blazed through them and didn’t give them the attention they deserved until well after I finished the first draft. This meant I had to go back and rewrite those pages several times, and they have changed so much from their first incarnation that I am sometimes still surprised by their final content.

Which character do you relate to the most? Why?

Essence is interesting to me, because these characters have less in common with me than any other characters I have ever written. However, I can see traces of myself in almost all of them, and I feel a particular connection to Jett. Although her mistakes, heartbreaks and failures have altered her, she has made the conscious choice to learn from them and rise above them. (Hopefully people say this about me, too!)

Outside of family, what was the greatest support while you wrote this novel?

I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by an incredible group of friends and loved ones, and their support for me was unwavering during this process. In particular, I am thankful for my long-time alpha reader Allen Walker, my brainstorming partner-in-crime Keith Wood, and my Colorado writers’ group: Beth Christopher, Christina McCarthy, Eugene Scott, Joe Kovacs, Rene Zimbelman, and Sean McAfee.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

As best as you can, please don’t take criticism or rejections personally. If you decide this is what you want to do, please don’t let anyone ever talk you out of it.

I have considered myself an aspiring author for the past five years, and I am finally beginning to see the publishing industry for what it is: an industry. When I first started this journey, I pinned all my self-worth on the success of my novel. If an agent or editor liked it, that meant I was a good writer. If they didn’t, I questioned my entire identity.

Nowadays (thanks to time, experience, and many, many rejections), I understand that agents and editors can like my work—sometimes even love my work—and still reject it. Maybe it isn’t a good fit for their list, or maybe they already have a similar novel. Maybe the market is saturated, or maybe it isn’t saturated enough. Maybe they love my novel but realize it doesn’t have mass appeal, or maybe they just don’t love it enough to stake their reputation on it.

Regardless, rejections are often far less personal—and far more subjective—than I would have ever imagined. This is good news, and it’s bad news. When agents and editors say, "It’s not you, it’s me," they usually really mean it.


What did you have for supper last night?

I have the taste buds of a twelve year-old boy. I am also incredibly lazy in the kitchen, so last night’s triumph was some frozen chicken fettuccine and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. (Ah, the romantic life of an author!)

Is there an actor who you think looks like your MC?

Absolutely! I didn’t realize it until a reader pointed it out, but I think Jane Levy from Suburgatory is a dead ringer for Autumn. I have also always pictured Ryder Stone as a young version of Alex Pettyfer.




Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla! Call me boring, but everyone likes vanilla for a reason: it’s delicious! I am particularly fond of that fancy vanilla bean ice cream with real specks of vanilla in it. So. Darn. Good.

As a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Believe it or not, my very first career goal was to (not joke) be a garbage man. This was back in the days when the garbage men used to ride around on the back of the trucks and jump off to collect the cans, and I thought hanging onto the back of a moving vehicle looked SO FUN. (I think the characters in Essence may have inherited some of their adrenaline junkie compulsions from me. They also probably inherited some of my questionable decision-making skills. )

Last book you read.

I am right in the middle of Dare Me by Eric Devine. Eric is a good friend of mine, and I am a HUGE fan of the gritty, honest way he writes. His characters aren’t perfect, and he doesn’t shy away from highlighting their flaws. He also doesn’t shy away from tough language or uncomfortable scenes. I have SO much respect for this.

Thanks so much, Lisa Ann! Good luck with the rest of the launch and thank you for writing this book and sharing your story with us.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Book Deal!!!

Yup. It's true.

THE ASP is going to be a real book on a real bookshelf in a real bookstore.

Read the press release here!

Fierce Ink Press is dedicated to producing high quality books of fiction and short non-fiction pieces by Canadian authors who write for young adults. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to publish with them and I'm certain Terry's fate couldn't be in better hands.

Coming from Fierce Ink Press in June 2015...

Not the real cover, but fun to look at while we wait for next year!

Still recovering from the accident that killed her mother a year ago and left her with a disfigured leg, sixteen-year-old Terry Hughes limps through a new high school, wishing she was invisible. Recently relocated back to America with her archaeologist father, Terry wants nothing more than to leave the secrets of ancient Egypt buried and forgotten.

When the editor of the school newspaper, swoon-worthy Fraser Lucas, asks for an interview about her father's upcoming exhibit at the museum, Terry is skeptical. Why would a guy with so much swag be interested in a bunch of dusty artifacts? She rebuffs his questions, secretly suspicious her father's latest discovery is more than just another crumbling sarcophagus. Her paranoia increases when Fraser hands over a newspaper article from fifty years ago, detailing the unsolved case of a girl who visited the museum on a class trip and was never seen again.

After Terry's father succumbs to a mysterious illness, she delves back into the world of ancient Egyptology, curses and all. Terry will need Fraser's help to uncover the museum's macabre agenda, and hopefully her father's cure. But her detective work may prove lethal when she discovers the sarcophagus is not only the key to her fate, but to the missing girl’s as well.

THE ASP, a YA mystery with magical realism, is Veronica Mars meets Indiana Jones in the style of Stan Lee.

Add it on Goodreads here!
For character pictures, quotes, a playlist and various other inspirational bits, check out the Pinterest board for THE ASP here.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Merry Bethmas!

It's almost my birthday (May 20th) otherwise known around my house as Bethmas.

I love my birthday. I think my love of cake has a lot to do with it — especially a castle cake! Also, I love presents with nice wrapping. Plus, you sometimes get free stuff from the coffee shop.

Last year I celebrated by sneaking all over Halifax, hiding books!

This year, I've got something even BETTER to share with you, but I have to keep it a secret until my actual birthday.

For now, I'll leave you with footage of my celebration dance, which is now taking place ... secretly.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Memorable Quotes from Favorite Literary Heroines

As much as I enjoyed The Amazing Spiderman 2, I'm still fuming over Hollywood's continued ignorance to the fact that every super hero (dear God, including the Green Lantern) has their own movie, except for ... Wonder Woman.
She's one of the originals! She had her own TV show! Where is her movie, Hollywood? Huh?

In order to soothe my temper I'm returning to the place I find solace ... books. You don't have to look too far to find a plucky heroine to make you forget about the narrow minded thinkers in L.A.

Here are some of the best quotes from my favorite literary heroines.

"I mean, you could claim that anything's real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody's proved it doesn't exist!" Hermione GrangerHarry Potter and The Deathly Hollows

"There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me." Elizabeth BennetPride and Prejudice

"At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it." Katniss Everdeen, Catching Fire

"Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough." Jean Louise (Scout) FinchTo Kill A Mockingbird

"I’m nobody’s sidekick." Annabeth Chase, The Mark of Athena

"My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes."  Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

"I have solved some mysteries, I'll admit, and I enjoy it, but I'm sure there are many other girls who could do the same.” Nancy Drew, Nancy's Mysterious Letter

"We are all tempted, Mma Potokwane. We are all tempted when it comes to cake." Precious Ramotswe, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

And let's end with the lady of the hour shall we?

"We are never everything we wish to be, Superman. And rarely are we everything we appear to be." Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman #226

Which one is your favorite?

Monday, 12 May 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, FINALE! "Snow Drifts; There's No Place Like Home"


Or better title "Oops"

Henry presents Emma with the classified ads for apartments. She looks uncomfortable since she's planning on going back to New York. David and Mary Margaret are elusive about naming their baby.

Robina enjoy some smoochie time. Now that she has her heart back, it's all good times for Regina. They talk about their previous lost loves and are super glad they've found each other. Robin Hood says after his wife, Marion died, he thought he'd never be happy again.

Regina spills the beans about Tinkerbell and his secret tattoo.

He says, “Maybe things only work out when they're supposed to, maybe it's all about timing.”

Ain't love grand.

Mr. Gold hides the dagger in his shop.

Sure, no one will look for it there.

Belle arrives shaky and nervous asking Mr. Gold to take the fake dagger back because she feels it's too powerful. He tells her never mind, it's safer with you...or something like that. Then they talk about their wedding and kiss.


Henry reads through the story book reminding all of us how Snow White and Charming met and fell in love—even though he was engaged to King Midas' daughter. Suddenly, Hook says one word and everyone is looking at Emma worried that she's going back to New York.

That was fast.

Henry looks out the window and sees the time travel vortex racing up into the sky.

New York forgotten.

Regina stares at Mr. Gold and knows he's behind this magic. They all run to the cell to check on Zalena because no one thought to stay with her. It's empty! David rewinds the security tapes in the Sheriff's office and they see Zalena curse herself and turn to dust.

How did Mr. Gold do that?

Hook and Emma argue in the forest about her staying in Storybrook. Emma says she doesn't feel like the fairy tales are real and nothing has ever felt like home for her. “Home is the place that you miss when you leave it.”

Hook pulls a sad face. Then they notice the time travel cyclone. They race to the barn. Emma falls to the edge. Hook tries to save her, but the pull is too strong. They both go in and end up back in the enchanted forest.

But when?

Emma sees a wanted poster for Show White.


Emma still has the story book. She figures that whatever you were thinking of when you enter the portal is the place or time you're sent.

How did she know this?

Emma comes up with the idea to pay a visit to Rumpelstiltskin. The Queen's guards fly past. Emma and Hook watch from behind the trees as the Evil Queen harasses a group of villagers; including Marco and Pinocchio. Emma wants to rush out and help a particular young woman who is being arrested, but Hook tells her she must not meddle with the past.

Hook takes her away and they steal some peasant garb for Emma. Garb that includes a low cut dress and cleavage.

Of course. It's fairy tale land. There's always cleavage in fairy tale land.

Prince Charming and Catherine journey by coach. Snow White prepares a fallen log to ambush the coach—just like the first time in Season One.

In fact it's some of the same footage.

Emma and Hook are once again watching from the sidelines. When Prince Charming gets out to investigate, Emma realizes she's about to witness her parents meeting for the first time. She spies Snow White up in a tree ready to ambush the guards.

But Emma puts her hand on a stick and ruins the whole thing. Distracted, Snow White falls from the tree, and Prince Charming gets back into the coach and keeps travelling with Catherine.


Snow White meets Blackbeard in a tavern and asks him to help her escape.

Emma and Hook approach Rumpelstiltskin's castle. He appears and starts to kill Hook. Emma intervenes and tells him she's from the future and proves it by saying she's the Savior who broke the curse he created to find his son.

*Takes deep breath*

He's convinced. They journey back to his castle where it's obvious Rumpelstiltskin and Hook have a past. Belle puts in an appearance before she whisks away to the library.


Emma uses the story book to convince Rumpelstiltskin he has to help her get Snow White and Prince Charming back together, but the pages are all blank.


No problem, Rumpelstiltskin says there's a ball at King Midas' palace. All Emma and Hook have to do is convince Snow White she doesn't have to escape with Blackbeard, but instead go to the ball to meet her true love.

Emma and Hook find the original Hook at a tavern playing poker. Emma has to keep the first Hook occupied while the other Hook finds Snow White and convinces her to go to the ball.

Emma pretends to get drunk with Hook #1 while Hook #2 makes a deal with Snow White on the Jolly Roger; if she steals the wedding ring at the ball he won't turn her in for ransom (holds up wanted poster) plus he'll give her safe passage to wherever she wants to go. Snow White buys it.

Hook #2 takes Emma to the Jolly Roger as Snow White passes them unaware. Emma plays cat and mouse with Hook #2 and Hook #1 eventually knocks himself out in order for Emma to escape his clutches.

Rumpelstiltskin magics an invitation for Emma and Hook to go to the ball.

Instant makeover.

Emma introduces them as Prince Charles and Princess Leia. He tells her she's a natural princess.

And natural princesses don't go to New York.

Hook teaches Emma how to waltz in another portion of the show I like to call, “Flirting time with Hook and Emma.”

Outside, Snow White uses a grappling hook to scale the walls.

Prince Charming and Catherine have no chemistry. She asks him to fetch her more comfortable shoes. The Evil Queen arrives 'cause she loves a good party.

Snow White ransacks Prince Charming's room and finds the ring. She's interrupted by Prince Charming. They scuffle. Snow White hits him and barely escapes, except she drops the ring.


He hangs out the window vowing to find her, but not in a 'I totally dig you and must know who you are so we can get married and make babies' kind of way.

Emma finds the ring and picks it up. Hook tells her to run after Snow White while he holds off the Queen's guards. One of the Queen's guards shows up and tires to shoot an arrow at the thief. Emma pushes him down, allowing her mother to live another day.

Emma runs back through the palace, but the Evil Queen and her guards stop her. Emma is dragged off as a prisoner with Prince Charming's ring in her grip.

Emma and Neal share a coffee while he breaks into an amusement park by picking the padlock. They hang out on the swings while Neal tries to explain his childhood. He tells her he can't go back home.

No kidding.

He says home used to be fun before his dad bad. “That's how you know it's your home,” he tells her. “When you leave it you miss it.”

Back in the past, Emma ends up in a cell next to the young woman from the village she'd tried to save. She breaks the news to Emma that they'll both be executed tomorrow.

Snow White walks through the forest and gets caught in Prince Charming's trap. “I'll always find you,” he says. They do the same banter as before. But she tells him she doesn't have the ring.
Hook arrives and tells Charming that he knows the girl who has the ring, but she's a prisoner of the Evil Queen.

Snow White knows that castle like the back of her hand 'cause, well she grew up there. They make a deal; she sneaks them into the castle and they promise her freedom.

As Snow White and Charming travel, she tells him about her history with the Evil Queen. Then she shows him her pixie dust that will help her squash the Evil Queen.

She goes on by herself when they get close enough and asks the men to stay behind and wait for a signal. Hook and Charming bond over a campfire. The dudes talk about love. Charming wants to marry for love, but he knows that's impossible with Catherine. Hook tries to impress Charming with his love for Emma. Out of the darkness Red shows up and tells them she's a friend of Snow White's.

Emma and the young woman talk about how horrible it is to miss your family. Emma looks at her ring and knows her mother would tell her not to give up hope. She sees the spoon on the floor, fashions a key, and picks the lock to her cell.

Red becomes a wolf and helps Hook and Charming slip in through the dungeon tunnels. They meet Emma and the young woman. Emma hands over the ring and they rush to meet Snow White. Hook worries that the girl Emma saved might mess up the future.

Hmm...probably not. *Rolls eyes*

Snow White has other plans. She sneaks into the Evil Queen's bedroom with a handful of dark pixie magic. The Evil Queen takes it away from her easily. Then they banter about Daniel and how his death is Snow White's fault.

Emma, Hook and the others see Snow White is about to be executed in the courtyard. The Evil Queen throws a fireball and Snow White goes up in flames.

What? Why doesn't Charming race out with his sword? Why doesn't Emma use her convenient magic that happens out of nowhere? Why doesn't Red turn into a wolf?

Anyway, they all stand there and watch.

Later, around another campfire, Hook tries to soothe Emma by reminiscing about his brother's death. Then Emma makes the startling discovery that she's still alive. So that means Mary Margaret must still be alive too!

Hook tries to come up with a plan, but a bug is driving him crazy. He's about to squash it when Charming runs out of the darkness telling him to stop. He reminds them that Snow White was carrying the pixie dust that could change any enemy into something that can be easily a bug!

The Blue Fairy arrives with her magical cleavage. She says, “Dark magic did this to her. Light magic can undo it.” And poof! Mary Margaret is back.

That's new. I was sure black magic could only be undone by black magic. Okay, whatever.

Emma is so excited! She hugs Snow White who looks super confused. Then Snow White goes to Red and they have a fabulous reunion that Emma is jealous of.

Oh, hold on. Home is what you miss. Emma misses her mom. Her mom is her home. Ten points for me!

It's the next day. The sun is up and there are still time warp problems. Hook reminds Emma that the young girl with them was supposed to die. The only way to keep the future safe is to take her with them back to Storybrooke.


She isn't buying their story and only wants to get back to her family. Emma knocks her out.


Charming informs them that Snow White pick pocketed his ring and he races off into the forest for her.

Emma and Hook follow, knowing that the Troll bridge is where Snow White used the pixie dust the first time, but since she already used it on herself, she's defenceless.

Time travel is hard on the head.

Snow White and Charming are taken by the Trolls. She's able to escape—just like last time. She turns around and sees Charming is about to get killed—just like last time. She shows up and threatens the trolls with pixie dust, but instead of last time, she's bluffing. But they buy it because they're trolls and they run away.

Emma and Hook watch from behind the trees (these two should have poison ivy by now) and watch as Snow White and Prince Charming start to fall in love—just like last time. In fact it's the same footage they used from Season One because Snow White is pre-pregnancy face.

Emma gets the story book and sees all the pages fill back in.

The Evil Queen finds out Snow White is still alive and is super mad.

Emma and Hook arrive at Rumpelstiltskin's castle...oh yeah and the girl they knocked out too. He tells them the spell to open another time portal can only be cast by someone who's gone through the portal. He throws them his amazing powerful wand that do any kind of magic and says they're out of luck unless one of them can wield magic.

Only when it's convenient, Rumpelstiltskin. Only when it's convenient.

He, on the other hand, has made himself a potion to help him forget all this nonsense. And he sends them to a place where they'll be safe and he'll never have to see them again.

Emma, Hook, and the unconscious girl whose identity will be the cliffhanger for this season, apparate to a large castle room full of curious objects. Hook plays with an urn and Emma freaks out because this is the place Rumpelstiltskin puts power stuff. Then they argue about her denying her magical heritage.

She says she never felt like she had a home and was always running. Then she finally admits that watching Snow White hug Red made her realize that her mother is her home. “Henry wasn't bringing me to Storybrook to break a curse, he was bringing me home.”

Hook is all smiley. The super amazing wand is glowing.

Emma makes the vortex with her convenient magic. Hook picks up the young woman and jumps through. Emma is about to go too but Rumpelstiltskin arrives and holds her back. She tells him he finds his son and that he forgives him. There's some back and forth and says he died saving everyone—he was a hero.

Rumpelstiltskin lets her go. Then he drinks the potion and instantly forgets.
Back at the barn, Emma and Hook brush off the dust. She races to Granny's pub/diner/laudromat and it's hugs all around. David calls everyone to attention and is ready to announce the baby's name...Neal.

Aw, shucks. Emma's little brother is named after her former lover.

She finds Hook outside at a table for two...under the twinkling lights...all alone. She questions him about how he managed to get a magic bean to cross over into her world and find her in New York. He told her traded the Jolly Roger.

“You traded your ship for me?” She inches closer. And then they kiss.

In the forest, Belle and Mr. Gold are married by Dr. Hopper.

Yeah, I thought it was weird too. What about the chick in the barn? Isn't anyone watching over her?

Mr. Gold and Belle talk about love. She says, “Sometimes the best book has the dustiest jacket.”

Robina and the little tyke walk to Granny's all smiles. The young woman from the village is awake and having coffee. Emma explains that Regina is no longer the Evil Queen.

But before they can be introduced Robin Hood stands up and calls out her name. “Marion! I thought you were dead!” Robin's son hug her and says, “Momma”


Regina turns to Emma with a massive lemon face. “You're just like your mother. You never think of the consequences.”

Here we go again.

The urn that Hook picked up in the mysterious cavern is stuck in the dirt in the barn. A blue fluid seeps out and swirls around the design. Slowly, a form takes shape. It's a woman with blond hair. She flicks her hand and freezes the ground.

Dear God. No. Seriously? That movie was so horrible. The hype was ridiculous.

Blah. Terrible ending.

What do you think of the cliffhanger this year?

Need more Storybrooke? You'll find my recaps for ALL of the Once Upon A Time episodes (even from the very first season) on my Pinterest page here.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Why Are Guys Growing Massive Beards?

I've noticed lately that facial hair seems to be making a comeback. And I don't mean just Grandpas either. Young dudes are neglecting the razor in droves.

Listen, I'm not talking about the sexy two day stubble that some *cough* Alex Pettyfer *cough* guys can pull off. I'm talking about full blown "Mr. Edwards from Little House on the Prairie" facial hair.

And not just on TV, but even in my home of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Why is this happening? And more importantly, how can this be stopped?

Dear Men,

Beards are gross. Only high school science teachers who wear cardigans and crippled wizards should have big beards.


Your Aunt Bethany

Oh, I can hear you now.

But Aunt Bethany,

'So and so' looks good in a beard.

Guess what? They'd look better without it—just like all those models in the eyeglass catalogue.

I blame Duck Dynasty and the Toronto Blue Jays for this foray into follicular festivities.

Exhibit A

  Exhibit B

I'm not sure if dudes are hoping someone will mistake them for camouflaged millionaires or professional athletes, but whatever the reason it's not good enough.

Unless you're one of the above mentioned millionaires, the big beard is not for you. You see, a beard like this says, "I've left the mountain to troll the streets of your city for a wife to take back with me."

And this makes women want to reach for their can of mace.

So, guys, please reach for the razor. Unless of course you're the Head Master...

Why do you think guys are growing massive beards?

Monday, 5 May 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 20 "Kansas"


Or better title, “Oh Baby!"

Mary Margaret arrives at the hospital breathing through contractions. Dr. Frankenstein is there.

Not exactly comforting.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gold spins a pile of gold like nobody's business. He gives the pile of gold to Zalena. She waves her wand over the spaghetti like mass and creates a golden brain.

She grins at him. “You always said spinning cleared your mind.” She puts the golden brain in the trunk with Charming's sword and Regina's heart.

A green Zalena spies through a magic pond, watching Rumpelstiltskin try and teach Regina magic. Zalena's taken over the palace in Oz since she turned the Wizard into a flying monkey. Glinda, shows up and thanks Zalena for taking care of such a shyster. She said he was a trickster who falsely offered hope to the good people of Oz.

She offers Zalena another way to spend her time rather than pinning for something that can never be hers. She says, “Come with me and I'll show you your true sisters.”

Zalena orders Mr. Gold to dig a pattern in the dirt of the barn in preparation of her spell to turn back time. Mr. Gold says "No matter what you change of your past, one thing shall remain the same, who you are. That is a fate you can never escape.”

He also said, "Deary" a few times, but I edited that out.

Regina and Emma put a protection around the maternity ward. Hook shows up offering his assistance. Emma is determined to stay mad at him and says she'll go after Zalena on her own. David interrupts and convinces her to let him tag along.

After all. If you're going to kill a super powerful witch, it helps to have a sexy pirate.

Henry waits for the birth of his new aunt or uncle and kills time by looking for an apartment in the classifieds. Dr. Hopper keeps him company and gets all sentimental with his former patient. Henry says he's back home to stay.

While they walk to Zalena's farmhouse of spooks, Hook tells Emma that New York was a fake, and Storybrooke is her real home. He asks her why she's so scared to stay.

Maybe because the only guy she has the hots for has cursed lips.

Zalena breaks up the romantic moment. She has Mr. Gold drown Hook.

Yup. That should dampen the moment. Get it? Oh, never mind.

Glinda takes green Zalena to the 'heart of magic' where she meets the other two sisters of the south and east.

FYI, The "heart of magic" is a round table with four chairs.

Glinda points to the empty chair and says Zalena is the one they've been waiting for to fill the last spot. The West represents innocence. Glinda says, "Innocence reclaimed can be just as powerful as innocence born."

Green Zalena is unconvinced.

Glinda has a special destiny book that foretells the future (hence the name destiny). It has been foretold that the last powerful witch will be brought to Oz by a cyclone.

Green Zalena smiles.

Emma rushes to the water and pulls out Hook. He's not breathing. She performs mouth to mouth.


Green Zalena returns to spy on Regina. Then she stands tall and relinquishes her jealousy, ready to forget what she wanted so badly.

Glinda appears with a long list of rules and a really pretty pendant.

Green Zalena is now part of the sisterhood. The pendant concentrates all her magic and makes her more powerful. Zalena puts on the necklace and the green vanishes as her jealousy ebbs.

Zalena and Mr. Gold trample into the hospital. She drops everyone who tries to stop her. Even Regina is not match.

Glinda takes a nighttime walk in Oz with Zalena.

Yikes a cyclone appears!

They find a wrecked cottage. Glinda rescues a young girl in a gingham dress. She tells them she's from Kansas and her name is Ethel.

Just kidding, it's Dorothy Gale. Glinda is super excited that someone so young could survive such a storm.

Zalena, not so much.

Mary Margaret pushes out little bambino while the lights flicker.

It's a boy! And it doesn't have monkey wings!

David and Mary Margaret are so happy. They finally have a normal delivery. No curse raining down on them or a secret magical wardrobe they have to send the baby in.

Oh, wait. Never mind.

Zalena arrives and effortlessly takes the baby. She vanishes in a flume of green smoke—her signature colour.

The witches share cookies with Dorothy around the round table.

She's sitting in Zalena's chair! The one for the Witch of the West, the innocent one.

Glinda find Zalena lurking in the background. She asks what's wrong? Zalena starts to turn green again. She sneers at Glinda and reads from the book of destiny. There is ANOTHER prophecy that says the witch who arrives in the cyclone will help defeat the biggest evil ever seen.

Glinda tells Zalena that destiny is something you choose. "If you believe you are evil, evil will happen."

I believe I will win a unicorn!

David gathers a team at the hospital to help him get the baby back. Emma and Hook drop the bomb that she lost all her magic. Henry convinces Regina that she's their only hope.

"Hold on," she says. "I'm evil. Dark magic is all I know."

Henry says she's good now. He believes in her. Emma nods, "You saved Henry with true love's kiss. That's white magic."

Back in Oz, Zalena is completely green again. She surprises Dorothy at a nearby well in the middle of the night, saying that she's the only witch of the west and it's time for her to disappear.

Dorothy has no idea what Zalena is talking about. Zalena gets ready to throw fireballs at her. Dorothy tosses the bucket of water at Zalena and she melts into the ground.

Glinda shows up and mentions that it wasn't a coincidence she was by a well, it was her destiny. Dorthy is shaken, she wants to go home. Glinda breaks the bad news that even though she is super duper powerful she cannot cross realms. But the Wizard may be able to help.

You know, the Wizard she said was a fake. 

He's comes from a far away place too. Since Zalena is dead her magic will be undone and he's returned to his human form.

Zalena gently places the baby in a basket on the barn floor as the fourth and final element, ready to travel back in time. Mr. Gold promises to kill her the next time he sees her.

Smoke. Fireworks. White light. Orange light.


Emma, David, Hook, Robin Hood and Regina show up talking tough.

Mr. Gold tells them to get the dagger from Zalena otherwise he'll have to kill them. Zalena laughs when Regina tries to use white magic. "It's your destiny to be dark."

Regina sees Robin Hood and bolts of white magic explode from her hands. Zalena is thrown back and drops the dagger in the dirt.

Regina rips off Zalena's pendant. David grabs his baby.

Jesus! Who has the dagger? Someone go for the dagger!

Now that she has no magic, Mr. Gold gets ready to kill Zalena.

Regina takes the dagger and stops Mr. Gold. He's irate but Regina convinces him white magic is the way to least today. 

Glinda takes Dorothy to see the newly reformed Wizard. From behind the curtain the shadow tells her he is grateful since she helped rescue him from the wicked witch. After Dorothy clicks her heels and disappears, Glinda thanks the wizard and asks him to show his true self.

Green Zalena comes out, giggling.

She sent Dorthy away so she could fulfill her prophecy as the powerful witch of the west. Then she sends Glinda to the enchanted forest...I mean that cold place where it's always snowing but never Christmas. 

Zalena sits in a cell while Regina explains her reasons for changing into a good person. She says she's going to give her a second chance. "Evil isn't born it's made. And so is good."

And so is Kraft Dinner.

Regina takes Zalena's pendant and places it in a box in her secret vault where it will be safe.

Mr. Gold mopes about his shop, pining for Neal. Belle arrives and ... no please...just hug. Please, just hug. 

They profess their love for each other. He's amazed that she's still in love with him.

So are we, Mr. Gold. So are we.

Belle hands him the dagger saying, “I believe in you. You're a free man. Promise me you won't go after Zalena.”

He says it symbolizes that she trusts him with all her heart. Then he hands the dagger back to her and proposes. And they kiss.

Thank goodness for the shadows.

David returns to the hospital triumphant. Mary Margaret has since changed into a frilly housecoat. Emma looks on smiling. Hook swaggers along in his low cut black leather ensemble. He thanks Emma for saving him.

Emma says her magic hasn't resurfaced, but that's okay because she'll be returning to New York with Henry soon.

Henry and Emma go in to see his new Uncle.


Mr. Gold arrives at Zalena's cell. She's pretty cocky until he produces the real dagger. "Belle thinks she has the real one," he sneers.

Mr. Gold made a promise to avenge his son's death.

And Rumpelstiltskin never breaks a promise. He stabs Zalena. She turns porcelain and breaks into a million pieces that blow away.

Back at the secret vault, a green smoke escapes from the locket. It winds through town and finds the pattern Zalena had prepared to go back in time. The green smoke traces the pattern. It becomes charged and a bright orange vortex opens up to the sky.

Hmm...a vortex to the past?

Two hour Finale next week!

Need more Storybrooke? You'll find my recaps for ALL of the Once Upon A Time episodes (even from the very first season) on my Pinterest page here.


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Top Five Reasons Why Andrew Garfield is a Better Spiderman than Tobey Macquire.

1. The hair!!!!

2. Andrew's version of 'nerdy' Peter Parker is a delightful dorkish genius with messy yet stylish hair. Tobey was greasy and creepy.

3. The kiss with Emma Stone was AH-SOME. The upside down kiss with Kirsten Dunst was ridiculous. How could he breathe?

4. Andrew uses all his face parts when acting. His eyebrows are the hardest working in Hollywood today. Tobey... blinks.

5. Andrew's Spiderman has all the sass of the comic book Spiderman but is still goofy and romantic at the same time. Tobey was cynical/full of spite/awkward/depressing and I found it hard to root for him.


The amazing Sally Field plays his Aunt. 'Nuf said.

Who's going to the Spiderman movie? Whee!!!

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