Month: March 2018

Fairy Tale Friday #4: The Enchanted Pig (Porcul cel fermecat) by Petre Ispirescu

Fairy Tale Friday #4: The Enchanted Pig (Porcul cel fermecat) by Petre Ispirescu

The Enchanted Pig (Porcul cel fermecat) Written by Petre Ispirescu The Enchanted Pig, originally published as Porcul cel fermecat in Legende sau basmele românilor in Bucharest, Romania in 1882. It was written by Petre Ispirescu, a Romanian folklorist, who wrote several tales that were published throughout his lifetime […]

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Thursday Blog Trot #6

Thursday Blog Trot #6

I think ya’ll know what THursday means on my blog now. It’s Thursday Blog Trot time! Oh yeah, we are heading to some different blogs today, and some pretty cool ones that that!  This week, I’ve had a lot on my mind regarding blogging. While […]

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My Favorite Teachers/Mentors Found In Books

My Favorite Teachers/Mentors Found In Books

I think we all have someone that we looked up to, or still look up to, throughout our lives.

I know for myself, there were several people at different times of my life that have had a large impact on forming the person that I am today. Without these teachers and/or mentors, I wouldn’t have some of the passions that I possess, wisdom that I’ve gleaned, and a general sense of who I am.

I’ve also received a lot of direction from mentors and teachers in different books. Whether they are non-fiction, or fiction-based, some characters have been very influential and inspirational in my life. I think anyone can find new mentors that they can look up to and learn from in books.

Here’s some of my favorite five mentors/teachers in books that I’ve read.

Jesus Christ from the Holy Bible

By far the most influential person I’ve ever encountered, this man literally changed my life. A good portion of the New Testament is filled with teachings and sermons given by Jesus.

It’s amazing how simple many of his lessons are, yet how profound as well. I could quite literally talk about him, and his teachings all day, everyday, but will sum them up for the sake of this post. Not only has he taught me how to go through life on a day-to-day basis, he taught me why. Why is it important to love God, and love others as I love myself? Well, isn’t that the wonderful mystery of self-sacrifice? There’s nothing more beautiful than putting others above yourself. Without this, I’d be the most self-centered person on the planet. Jesus not only helps to bring balance in my life, but meaning, encouragement, and literally so much more. Really, I can’t say enough about him. 

Apostle Paul from the Holy Bible

Another mentor figure in the New Testament of the Bible is the Apostle Paul. What makes his story so powerful is his conversion. He was the opposite of what Jesus stood for, yet, took a figurative U-turn when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. To me, his life shows that anyone has the ability to change the path they are on. Not only that, but once the truth is revealed, it cannot be denied. For myself, his story and teachings have been incredibly impactful, especially in the sense of leaving “myself” in pursuit of something much greater than me.

Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings

Gandalf has always been one of my favorite fictional characters. I watched the movie series before reading the books, but loved him even more once I had finally picked them up.

His calm, comical nature is admirable.  Tolkien put a lot of time and effort into creating his character, and developing such a strong presence throughout his books. What I love about Gandalf the most is that he never passes up an opportunity to learn. The part where he talks about the “small things” giving him hope always made me reflect on my own life, and focusing on if I appreciated every aspect of it, big or small, or not. 

Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, & Mrs. Whatsit from A Wrinkle In Time

This interesting trio brings “bizarre” to an entirely different level. Bizarre, yet memorable. Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, with all their quirks, were incredibly significant characters. They focused on bringing out the best in Meg, Charles, and Calvin by pointing out their faults. Instead of sugar-coating the situation, they challenged the kids to accept parts of themselves that weren’t necessarily “likable.” Even so, these aspects of our characters can grow, change, and morph into something beautiful and powerful. 

Brom from Eragon

Lastly, I wanted to mention Brom from Eragon. Although he doesn’t get much page time, his impact on Eragon as a mentor is evident through the entire series. While he’s rather crass, he’s real, honest, and isn’t afraid of a challenge.

A good mentor must be willing to put himself at risk for the benefit of his mentee, and that’s exactly what Brom does. While it honestly took me some time to like Brom’s character, I really appreciated him at the end of the series, and all that he did for the greater good. 

So, Who are some of your favorite mentors or teachers in books?
What lesson(s) did you learn from them that made them such valuable characters to you?
Let me know in the comments below!

eARC Review: Dragons of Dark by Ava Richardson

eARC Review: Dragons of Dark by Ava Richardson

As both dragons and Riders struggle to return to the ways of old, from before the land fell into darkness, the evil king undermines their every move with spies and sabotage. Bower knows their efforts are doomed without a final assault against the palace, but […]

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eARC Review: Reign The Earth by A.C. Gaughen

eARC Review: Reign The Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands. Partial synopsis provided […]

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Thursday Blog Trot #5

Thursday Blog Trot #5

Well, it's a late night for me this Thursday.

Sorry I’m getting this post up so late. I’ve been working a lot of overtime lately, and it’s been eating into my blogging time a lot. Either way, my schedule doesn’t stop other book bloggers from keeping up with their blogs and posting some fantastic and helpful posts! 

I normally try to feature different bloggers each week, but this week is a bit repetitive because some people just have too many goodies to share!

Thursday Blog Trot is a weekly meme dedicated to passing along great information provided by bloggers from all over the world. If you like the sounds of this Thursday Blog Trot Meme, feel free to use it, along with the image provided! Be sure to comment below if you do!

Privacy Policy

Simant at Flipping Through The Pages had a fantastic post (that I had never considered myself) about having a privacy policy on your blog. Create Your Blog’s Privacy Policy breaks down what a privacy policy is, why it’s important, and what it should include. This is some very valuable information, folks! Be sure to check it out!

Bookstagram: Photo Props

Pamela at Reverie Society wrote a wonderful guest post on AvalinahsBooks about Bookstagram props. Looking at a lot of feeds out there, it seems that people spend a lot of money for props in their photos. Pamela, however, gives affordable tips for anyone to use in Bookstagram Myths: Are Props Expensive?

Audiobook Love

Tiffany at Read By Tiffany shares about why she loves Audiobooks. I have to agree with you Tiffany, they are definitely efficient! Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Audiobooks gives some great pointers as to why this format of reading is so handy. If you haven’t tried listening to and audiobook, do it!

Linking Up

If you are unfamiliar with “linking up,” be sure to check out Nicole’s post over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction! She wrote a guest post for AvalinahsBooks about linking up, what they are, and how great they can be for becoming participated with other bloggers. Be sure to check out the post a What Are Linkups All About?

Get Back To Writing!

I also like to share writing tips because even if all book bloggers aren’t aspiring authors, we are all writers. But also, I hope to be an author someday, so this may be more for my reference than others 😉 Maria at A Writer’s Journey posted about How to Get Back To Writing After A Long Break. Writing slumps, reading slumps, all sorts of slumps can happen. It’s getting back into it that matters—and how that is accomplished matters too. I’ve taken a somewhat forced hiatus from writing, but have wanted to get back into it recently. This post has motivated me to do so. Even if I only get 100 words down on paper a day, it’s still writing! Be sure to check out Maria’s blog for more wonderful writing advice!

I hope you find these great posts helpful and useful! Be sure to give these bloggers some love by checking out their blogs, and leaving a comment or a like!

5 Most-Anticipated Books Coming Out This Spring

5 Most-Anticipated Books Coming Out This Spring

I’m deviating from the prompt this week, as I wanted to discuss some of my most anticipated reads coming out this Spring. I’ve been approved for several ARCs that will be published before Summer hits. Some, I’m looking very much forward to reading. All of […]

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PopSugar Reading Challenge 2018: February Wrap-Up

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2018: February Wrap-Up

Yet again, Popsugar Challenge, you have been put on the BACK-BURNER. I only conquered two reads again this past month. So, this post will be short, sweet, and to-the-point. I think I made the mistake at committing to too much from the beginning, without really thinking […]

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Book & Audiobook Review: Of Sand and Storm by Amber Argyle

Book & Audiobook Review: Of Sand and Storm by Amber Argyle

By law, any child born in Idara is free, even if that child is born in a slave brothel. But as Cinder grows into a beauty that surpasses even that of her mother and grandmother, she realizes that freedom is only a word.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Of Sand And Storm

Series: Fairy Queens #5
Author: Amber Argyle
Publication Date: August 11, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
Page Count: 175
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★★

Of Sand and Storm (Fairy Queens #2.5)Of Sand and Storm by Amber Argyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“She was the wind, and wind could never be caged.”

After reading Cinder, the name Cinder had been killed for me, but the main character in this book totally redeems it.

Of Sand and Storm is a very dark, and oppressive story. Sex trafficking holds a strong undertone throughout and ensnares the reader in the devastating realm it creates. It is not an easy read, because of this reason, as the reader is placed directly into the bowels of the beast.

Cinder, along with her mother and grandmother, are held in a brothel. While Cinder is “freeborn,” her life certainly doesn’t reflect it. Her “Mother” (as she prefers her “proteges” to call her,) Zura, holds her family’s enslavement and situation against Cinder. Zura coerces her into servitude by threatening her mother and grandmother’s livelihood. (Not that Ash and Storm had much, to begin with anyway.)

Cinder’s character is phenomenal. She is challenged at every angle, with HARD decisions. Yet, she remains true to herself and is willing to lay everything down for those whom she loves. This is a major theme throughout this book series, and I’m really appreciative of that. Many books nowadays focus on antiheroes, and their characters have little-to-nothing to offer. They don’t help the reader to think, to internalize, and to grow as a person. It is without a doubt that Of Sand and Storm does this.

Darsam is a wonderful and redemptive hero character. He seems shady and shallow at first, but his role in the plot requires him to be so. I won’t reveal why here–I guess you’ll just have to read it and find out.

The plot line is depressing, but there is so much which comes from that aspect and is turned into good, making this a valuable and engrossing read.

View all my reviews

Audiobook Review: Read December 2017

Of Sand and Storm (Fairy Queens #2.5)Of Sand and Storm by Amber Argyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This is my second time reading Of Sand and Storm. I read the entire Fairy Queens series towards the beginning of 2017 and absolutely fell in love with the plot, characters, world-building, and writing style. Listening to the audiobook version of Of Sand and Storm made me rethink my original ratings of this book, as well as the rest in the series. My conclusion is that I don’t think I rated these books high enough. Whether it’s due to being reintroduced to this fantastic story or reliving Cinder’s experience by hearing her tale, Of Sand and Storm yet again, knocked me off my feet.

Of Sand and Storm was narrated by Elizabeth Evans. She did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. Her voice matched the characters well and did not possess overpowering or distracting qualities to the plot or characters themselves. While there weren’t many tonal differences between characters, her dictation of them was easy to follow as the correct emotional variances were portrayed at the appropriate times.

Overall, I thought this audiobook was very easy to listen to, and the plot even more powerful the second time through.

My Rating: ★★★★★

View all my reviews

Fairy Tale Friday #3: Fairer-Than-A-Fairy (Plus-Belle-que-fée) by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force

Fairy Tale Friday #3: Fairer-Than-A-Fairy (Plus-Belle-que-fée) by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force

Fairer-Than-A-Fairy (PLUS-BELLE-QUE-FÉE) Written by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force Fairer-Than-A-Fairy (originally published in French under the name Plus-Belle-Que-Fee), was written in 1698 by French author Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force. La Force, a French novelist and poet, was best known for her tale Persinette, which […]

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Thursday Blog Trot #4

Thursday Blog Trot #4

Why hello there, and happy Thursday to you! This post totally snuck up on me this week. Since the time change, I’ve been so off with time and day of the week, that I didn’t realize that it was Thursday until…Thursday. So, sorry for getting […]

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Five Children’s Books To Read As An Adult

Five Children’s Books To Read As An Adult

We all remember one of our favorite childhood books.

Majority, (if not all) of mine were horse-related. I grew up eating, breathing, and sleeping horses. I even had a shirt that said so, so I naturally leaned towards stories influenced by the lovely creatures.  Don’t worry, I didn’t flood this list with horse books, as they  aren’t up everyone’s alley. 

Each of these books are great for every age of reader. Personally, I think it’s quite healthy to read children’s books as an adult because it helps us to remember the wonder children have, and the wonder we should still have

Have you ever noticed how there isn’t a lot of detail in children’s books? It’s because the imagination is allowed to take over and drive the story, rather than the words themselves. As adults stuck in “real world” scenarios almost all of the time, it’s healthy to allow our minds to see stories and life in a different light; to revel in simplicity.  

But that’s not the only reason to pick up children’s books. Many, if not all, are written for a purpose. All-to-often is the purpose in YA and adult novels utterly forgotten. Children’s books, on the other hand, tend to be more wholesome, meaningful, and undeniably universal. 

Here are five reads that I’ve found to include some of these traits, and could benefit any reader that decides to pick one up.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

The first book in the Time Quintet, this odd little Sci-Fi novel rotates around the theme of good vs. evil, and the meaning of love. While there are strong Christian undertones, the overall concept of the book is applicable to any-aged reader. In truth, I found some of L'Engle's concepts difficult to understand, because I was reading everything too literally. This book will challenge any reader to look inwardly, and access love in it's purest form.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I think this may be a popular pick for this topic. While The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe is well-known--it is well-known for good a reason! Honestly, any book in this series is worth picking up at any age, as again, there are so many great learning points for all! Not only that, but the characters are extremely relateable, and the whimsy is just lovely. I think the fact which makes The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe most impactful is it's main theme--sacrifice. While this story follows the lines of the Bible and Jesus' sacrifice for humanity, Aslan does the same. I could also argue the fact that love is a major theme, as Aslan sacrifices himself in every thinkable way to protect and redeem the ones that he loves.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Heidi is a rather new story for myself. I hadn't heard of it until late last year--and I'm glad I did! This sweet (but sad) little story is set in the Swiss Alps. A girl, who is unwanted by everyone, manages to win the heart of her grandfather. Just when she forms a strong bond with him, her aunt takes her away to be a wealthy man's daughter's companion. Having little to no training on decorum, Heidi has a lot to learn. One thing she doesn't need to learn about is how to be a friend. This tale has it all--happiness, heart-ache, and mystery (and harbors a gothic feel at times).

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Another sweet tale, The Secret Garden is an impactful story about friendship. While some of the characters take a while to warm up to, each and every one becomes very likable. This classical tale gives that warm fuzzy feeling as companionship, and selflessness are learned along with the characters.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

One of my personal favorites growing up, I remember devouring this read every time. Told from the horse's perspective, Beauty experiences all walks of life. I think that's what makes a book like this so relateable, because the main character experiences the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. It will probably bring you to tears, so be ready for that. It's an easy, but very realistic read.

have you read any of these books? What was one or two of your favorite book(s) when you were a child, and think it worthwhile to read as an adult?

Blog Tour, Giveaway & Author Interview: The Most Special Chosen by Rachel de la Fuente!

Blog Tour, Giveaway & Author Interview: The Most Special Chosen by Rachel de la Fuente!

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Most Special Chosen by Rachel de la Fuente. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. Read the whole post to discover more about this book, find some links to some character interviews, some […]

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eARC Review: Our Dark Stars by Audrey Grey & Krystal Wade

eARC Review: Our Dark Stars by Audrey Grey & Krystal Wade

Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. […]

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Beat the Backlist 2018: March

Beat the Backlist 2018: March

February was a rather unproductive month for this challenge.

While I did get a few reads done for the Backlist Challenge, I was piled high with ARCs that needed to be read first. February is such a short month, so I didn’t get as far with my reading in general. But, progress is progress, right?

I was able to read four books this month for the Backlist Challenge (not including my pledged read The Forbidden Wish, yet again.)  Overall, I contributed only 28 points to the cause. I’m sorry, Story Sorcerers! 

My Completed Backlist Reads for February

This month, I'm pledging to read

I would love to pledge more, but I just don’t see how it will help me as I’m still playing catch-up from last month. So, I’ll leave this month wide open for books that I’m going to read for this challenge. Let’s hope it’s a more successful month than February!

Are you taking part in the Beat the Backlist challenge?
How is your reading going so far?
The best of luck to anyone who is participating!


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