Review: Wendigo Whispers

Wendigo Whispers is Alex McGilvery’s first thriller and it is officially being released today. Set in a fictional small town in Northern Manitoba, the story follows Leigh and her husband, new-comers to town, as they unravel the mystery that is plaguing the failing town.

The town was once prosperous, until the ore in the mine ran out and the big money left town. Things have been sliding downhill ever since. You meet a lot of very interesting characters in this town, some quirky, some friendly, some dangerous, some just misguided.

The main character, Leigh, hears voices and is on some very potent medication. This makes her both a sympathetic and empathetic character. She’s passionate and dedicated to her class (she’s a teacher).

The story features a lot of Cree culture. Now, I’m not an expert in any form of Native American culture but I do have family and friends who are Native American and it seems that Alex has done some research and has certainly treated the Cree characters in his story with respect.

The story itself walks a fine line between traditional thriller and supernatural tale. There are little side stories woven into the novel making it a story about the town and its people, not just Leigh vs the bad guy.

I read this book in one sitting, I could not put it down. I stayed up way too late just to finish it, and I’m glad I did. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, and to reading more of Alex’s works.

Wendigo Whispers is available TODAY so if it sounds interesting to you, you can be one of the first to read this gripping tale. I know I give it 5 stars.

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Local Business Review: 10 Acre Woods

10 Acre Woods is a petting farm, community resource center, animal rescue, located on Highway 15, east of Anola Manitoba. This family run farm offers a children’s outdoor education program, community craft and vendor sales, community BBQs, goat yoga, swimming with ducklings, and a unique site for birthdays, photo shoots, and even weddings.

They may be small but they are dedicated. When you book for a birthday that is the only booking they take for the day so you have the full attention of everyone working that day, you aren’t rushed, and you aren’t crowded. They are hands on, knowledgeable, and friendly and are concerned with the safety of every visitor and their animals.

They have goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, geese, an alpaca, Guinea fowl, a turkey, rabbits, peacocks, pigeons, and chickens. The Guinea fowl eat wood ticks so that is one thing you don’t have to worry about when you visit.

Their children’s program is called Trackers and they run both a spring and fall session. The program costs $50 per child for a 10 week session and the kids learn to interact with the animals, identify plants and bugs, and make nature based crafts.

The petting zoo costs $5 per person but once you’ve paid you can go in and out all day. This is nice because the kids get bored or overwhelmed and need a break (which is why they also have a large play structure) and you don’t need to worry about “getting your money’s worth” before walking out of the gate. This is really great if you’re attending a vendor sale as a vendor. I was able to bring my kids along and they could just run about on the play structure or go in to see the animals. There are electric fences in some places so parental supervision is advised (my kids were in Trackers so they already knew their way around).

Goat yoga is an experience I haven’t tried but it’s getting rave reviews. Thick mats are provided to protect your yoga mat from the ground and then you do your yoga outside, with an instructor, in the pen with the animals. The baby goats get right in your face as you’re stretching.

This is a great place to visit with the family and if you’re in the area I highly recommend the Trackers program.

Local Business Review: Driven 2 Sew

Driven 2 Sew is a quilt and craft shop located at 354 Main St in Steinbach Manitoba. The owner, Sherri-Lynn Parent is a fourth generation (at least) quilter. As well as selling quilting supplies and both ready-made and custom ordered quilts Driven 2 Sew offers the following services: long arm sewing machine services (if you are a quilter and want to use the big fancy machine), quilting classes, sewing lessons for home school families, and various quilted items such as make-up bags, wallets, notebook covers, coffee cup cozies, coasters, and more.

Driven 2 Sew is also home to Evangaline’s Creative Comforts which sells receiving blankets, hats, and other handmade items and offers alteration services, and a soap maker who has a variety of scented, unscented, and vegan soaps, body scrubs, and bath bombs.

With all this, Driven 2 Sew has also found space to host the Authors of Manitoba Steinbach Book Nook. They have one corner of the shop set up with shelves featuring the works of over 2 dozen authors from across Manitoba. They also host the Steinbach and Area Book Club on Monday evenings.

Sherri and her co-workers are fun and friendly. They know a lot about fabrics and sewing and quilting patterns. They love to talk and they love to teach. This store is truly welcoming, both to customers and clients, and to local crafters and authors. They are always adding something new to the display.

This is a strong example of a small, community-minded, business that is giving back in every way possible.