Cyber Monday - Online Exclusive

Twitter: @suectravel

Our Thanksgiving may be over, but we Canadians should still be thankful that American Thanksgiving still offers some fabulous shopping bargains! In fact, their “Black Friday” (the day after American Thanksgiving) sales have now been eclipsed by the genius marketing called “Cyber Monday”. The travel industry has jumped aboard this online bandwagon big time with incredible deals that can only be booked online for 24 hours. This year, it falls on December the 1st!

We should rejoice that so many tropical hot spot resorts are offering up to 50% off to guarantee an escape from the next polar vortex. Delightful deals can be found at most Divi Resorts, which are located in Barbados, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St, Croix and Aruba. And as an added bonus for families, children under 12 stay and eat free!

AMResorts has five different brands of all-inclusive emporiums – Zoëtry, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, and Now – participating in Cyber Monday, ranging from upscale adult-only to family-friendly fun in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Dominican Republic, Puerto Vallarta and St. Thomas. Florida is also on board, with deep discounts at top resorts like The Resort at Longboat Key Club in Sarasota, Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater, Sense Beach House in South Beach, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa in Jupiter, and the W in Fort Lauderdale.

More Caribbean deals can be found at Crystal Cove and Turtle Beach in Barbados, the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Aruba, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort in Curacao, the San Juan Marriott in Puerto Rico, and the St. Kitts Marriott & Royal Beach Casino. The specials also include hot spots in Latin American like Casa Palopo in Guatemala, the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco in Peru, and the Westin Playa Bonita in Panama. The deals also reach as far as the steamy Mediterranean, where savings can be celebrated at Il Salviatino in Florence and Palazzo Victoria in Verona!

So get your fingers poised above your computer keyboard for Cyber Monday to save big on sun destinations! Visit each resort’s website for all information.
For more cyberdeal info and promo codes info see: Cyber Travel Deals

John Schneider - From Duke to Director

John Schneider
“I play a deliciously villainous guy. I like psychological drama, dark, complex characters whose life or choices have forced them into a position of doing things that they wouldn't do. And then they realize they enjoy it.” And with those words, I was hooked.

John Schneider, best known for starring as Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard and Smallville's Jonathan Kent (Superman’s dad), was talking about his current dramatic role in Tyler Perry's weekly show The Haves and the Have Nots on OWN.

But there’s something even closer to Schneider’s heart: the first feature to be released by his Louisiana-based production company, Schneider’s new film, Smothered.

The genesis: “I was at a horror convention in Dusseldorf, Germany sitting at a bar with some horror icons who weren't having the best show,” said Schneider a few Fridays ago during our interview. “I said to one of them, 'If I gave you $1000 right now to haunt an RV park and blow off this convention, would you do it?' He said, 'Absolutely.' And that's precisely why a bunch of actors who play serial killers in movies get together and go camping during a weekend.” Spoiler alert: two people die at the hands – ahem – at the bosom of the busty ingénue.

An admitted horror fan, Schneider, who wrote and directed Smothered, was able to see fan reaction at a screening. “The audience went from laughing hysterically to holding hands with someone because they were scared. Well, it is a horror film and there’s gore,” he said. “But, it's not a typical horror film. It’s unique because the audience empathizes with the villain. It’s funny, but it’s not a spoof. We really show the heart and humanity of the characters. You end up caring for them.”

What’s also gotten Schneider so excited is his new year-old production company, Fairlight Films. The plan is to produce two films a year. When I asked him whether he’s a producer type or a director type, he told me he’s the writer-director guy. “I love to go from a blank screen to popcorn. In the creation process two plus two can equal six. Not so much in producing,” he said, smiling. “Ultimately, the team is where the efficiency lives.”

Read more exclusive content from our latest issue of Luxury Report Magazine here.

Mayim Bialik - Interviewed for Luxury Report Magazine No.27

Mayim Bialik’s résumé must read like an idealistic youth’s bucket list: earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience; become a famous actress, chef and teacher; and publish a book – or two. I spoke with Bialik during a recent trip to Los Angeles. The Big Bang Theory star, who plays neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, was about to wrap season 7 of the hit CBS show.

Bialik is a true Renaissance woman, dabbling in music, acting, cooking, writing, and science. “My parents raised me to have a broad set of interests and I’m very grateful to them,” she explains. “Even though I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, they tried to make opportunities available to me.” When asked what she would most like to be remembered for, she jokes that she’d like to “bring about world peace.” Like me, you’re probably wondering how she has time to do so much and still engage in her many hobbies. She admits that she doesn’t do them all at once, but also says: “I don’t watch TV, which saves a lot of time. And I don’t sleep a lot so I get a lot done early in the morning and late at night.”

Bialik’s other role is mother of two. I ask her the best advice she could give to her sons and she says it’s “to repair the world. I tell them all the time that it’s broken and it’s their job to fix it.” This seems like a tall order but she breaks it into manageable pieces by explaining that “there are opportunities every single day to be compassionate, to be kind, to hone the skills on a small scale that, when they get older and have the resources, they can use on a big scale.” And while we’re on the topic of advice, does she have any for her onscreen persona, Amy Farrah Fowler? “Don’t mix stripes and plaids,” Bialik laughs. The actress has a charming laugh, which often punctuates her quick-witted speech.

Life After HIMYM - Charlene Amoia Hurtles Ahead

With four movies due out this year, she’s batting a thousand. “I knew I wasn’t ‘the one,’ but they kept calling me.” It turns out How I Met Your Mother actress Charlene Amoia was not “the mother,” but fans loved her in the recurring role of Wendy, the naïve waitress, in the recently wrapped American TV hit show. “I’m very grateful for that role,” says Amoia. “It was fun to develop a character.”

Simcha Jacobovici - Holy Journalism!

Who comes to mind when a McGill University alumni generates a tsunami of media debate after claiming he has found the tomb of Jesus? The answer is Israeli-born Canadian Simcha Jacobovici, three-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and New York Times best-selling author.

Acclaimed by the Ryerson Review of Journalism as “Canada’s Top Documentary Filmmaker,” Jacobovici gets a great sense of excitement and purpose applying his investigative journalistic skills to biblical archaeology. He can be seen uncovering and sharing his findings on reruns of Canada’s Vision TV hit show The Naked Archeologist and on recent documentaries The Lost Tomb of Jesus and The Exodus Decoded, both collaboratively produced with Avatar director/producer James Cameron. “What a great pleasure it is when you get paid to do what you love,” says Jacobovici. “Contextualizing something physical that came in contact with the bible and using the tools of investigative journalism to do so is a thrill.”

Jacobovici has become an internationally recognized expert in “decoding” the ancient past and has appeared on numerous television shows, including Anderson Cooper 360°, Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show and NBC Today. “We do a lot on the Hebrew bible but also on the Christian Gospels, looking at this material from a historical point of view, not a theological one. What we do is uncover the science and archeology behind the biblical narratives,” says Jacobovici.

For over ten years, Jacobovici, of Jewish Modern Orthodox faith, has been sparking heated scientific and academic debates for multiple archeological claims. He has argued that he has located the exact coordinates that the book of Exodus provides for the parting of the sea, claims to have identified the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth, and even argues that two Roman nails found in the tomb of the high priest Caiaphas are the very nails of Jesus’ crucifixion. “These claims seem fantastic if we mythologize historical events. My goal is to create a good archeological and journalistic case so that scientists can further investigate,” he argues. Simcha was born on April 4, 1953 to Romanian Jewish parents. His late father, Joseph, and mother, Ida, are Holocaust survivors. At the age of 9, he moved with his parents and sister to Montreal, where his father had been offered an engineering position. Jacobovici earned his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University with a degree in philosophy and politics in 1974. After a year of volunteering in the Israeli Army, he got his Masters in International Relations at the University of Toronto, where he completed all but his dissertation for a Ph.D.

Miss America, Nina Davuluri - Beauty, Brains and Ambition

On September 14, 2013, two beautiful women clad in full length gowns held hands on the stage of the Atlantic City Convention hall waiting in nervous anticipation for the name of the next Miss America to be announced. The announcer said, “Your new Miss America is… Miss New York,” and, with that, Nina Davuluri was thrust onto the national stage and made history by becoming the first Miss America of Indian descent. In shock and disbelief, she began her customary runway walk among screaming admirers and camera flashes. “It was such a crazy moment. I was looking for my mom in the audience,” says Davuluri.

After spending about 20 minutes with family and friends following her win, Davuluri was asked to pack up her belongings into two suitcases to begin her year of non-stop travelling. “Everyone wants to win Miss America, but not everyone wants the job of Miss America. It’s very much a year of service,” says Davuluri. “I travel incessantly – 20,000 miles a month.” The Miss America contest, since its inception in 1921 as an exciting local seaside pageant, is still a popular American cultural institution that has become entirely scholarship driven.

Brains, beauty and style are what Nina Davuluri is all about. With the $25,000 in scholarship money she won as Miss Syracuse, she was able to graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science, earning a spot on the Dean’s List, a Michigan Merit Award, and a National Honor Society award too.

Since being crowned Miss America, Nina Davuluri’s win has created controversy. However, Davuluri, whose pageant platform is “celebrating diversity through cultural competency,” hasn’t seem bothered. “I have to rise above that,” she says. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American. Traditionally Miss America has been the girl next door, but that’s evolved as America has evolved.”
The silver lining is that her title as Miss America awarded her $50,000 in scholarship money, which she will apply to her next phase of studies. Amongst her many responsibilities as Miss America is acting as brand ambassador for the internationally renowned brand Joseph Ribkoff.

This article is from our latest edition of Luxury Report Magazine. You can read the full magazine here.