Monday, February 28, 2011

Review- Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

This was the first adult book I ever read. I read it for the first time all the way back in the 5th grade. I think about it now and it rather shocks me that I read it then. A warning this review may contain spoilers. This is the real V.C. Andrews not that horrible hack ghostwriter who has been making money off of her name for the past 20 years. Virginia died back in the 1980s. Don't even get me started on the recent books he put out in her name (she would never have  written a vampire book). Virginia was the queen of delving into dark and twisted families.

Flowers in the Attic is the story of a widow and her 4 children-Cathy, Christopher, Carrie and Cory. The widow was a typical housewife of the 50's and had no real skills as she was raised in a world where you found a husband and did what you could around the house to please said husband. She is forced to contact her parents who are very very rich but disinherited her years ago for the sin of marrying her half uncle. When the 5 of them arrive at the house the children learn that their grandfather does not know that they exist and that the children will be locked up for a short while till the mother gets back into her father's good graces and she can tell him about her 4 children. They will spend that time in a small room with two beds and a bathroom. Their playground will be the attic upstairs where they can run around and make as much noise as they want. Months pass and the children finally learn that they have to wait till their grandfather dies before their mother can inherit any money. Years pass and the mother remarries and barely comes to see the children. The cruel grandmother begins to starve them. They are fed poison donuts that kills poor Cory. They find out through eavesdropping that the grandfather died a long time ago and that if the mother ever had children with their father that she would lose everything. Hence the poison donuts Eventually Chris, Cathy, and Carrie escape but they are forever scarred by what happened.

This book is still one of the most shocking and disturbing books I've ever read. It has been at least 15 years since I last read this book. Now as a mother I'm shocked and angered beyond belief by the selfishness of the mother. She is the ultimate show of what a selfish mother can be. She keeps them locked up where they cannot see the sunshine nor play with other children. She buys them expensive presents to "show" she is thinking of them but really it is to buy off her guilt. Because the brother and sister go through puberty together in such close confines it leads to the most infamous part of the book where Chris rapes his own sister. She forgives him and that truly shows just how twisted their minds have become after so many years being locked up.

Cathy who is the main character in the book really is something special. She constantly sees through her mother and never hesitates to question her and badger her on things.She is brave and willing to stand up to who is arguably the scariest grandmother I've ever seen. In the beginning of the book when she sees her mother struggling financially she swears that she will never become so dependent on a man that she can't take care of herself. She never backs down and always fights for what she wants.

This is a dark and disturbing book often called a modern day gothic novel. I have often said that this is on my top 5 of favorite books. And after rereading it after all these years I've come to discover that it is indeed still in my top 5. I plan on reading the follow up book Petals on the Wind in the next week or two.  The third and 4th book in the series I've never really cared for. I give this 5 out of 5 stars

Challenges Fullfilled
2011 Challenge-Way Back when
Hogwarts Reading
Kick Ass Heroine

Review- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In the Harry Potter series this book has not been my favorite. In fact I would say that this one always comes dead last for me. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because it always disturbed me that Ginny was possessed by Tom Riddle. 

Normally I would give a summary here of the book but lets face it if you haven't already read the books you're not going to LOL. This time reading it through I tried to remain cheery and upbeat. One of the best parts of the book is that one of my favorite character's is introduced in this book. That of course being the lovable Doby. Doby who is so different from his fellow house elves. Another one of my favorite characters is introduced and that being Gilderoy Lockhart. So for a book I really don't enjoy it was a pleasure to rediscover the fact that two such great characters are introduced in this book.  OH and Moaning Myrtle who is always good for a laugh!

One of my favorite scenes is when one of Lockhart's pictures still had a curler left in it's hair after it is startled in the middle of the night. Such a great description and small detail that really does show the true nature of this narcissistic character. As always it broke my heart to see Hermione in a frozen state and left out of a huge portion of the book.  Then there is poor Ginny who is nearly destroyed completely by Tom Riddle.  Yes I really think that is the part I hate about the book. There are so many other great scenes and everything but it breaks my heart that two strong female characters are rendered incapacitated in this book (both Ginny and Hermione). This reading through I find myself scoring it higher than usual since I really kept in mind my prejudice in the book and was delighted to see all those scenes and characters that are memorable and lovable.  This time I give it 4 out of 5 stars (normally it is 3 an half stars). 

Challenges Fulfilled
Hogwarts Reading
Harry Potter Challenge

Review- The Old Man's Bag by T.W.H. Crosland

I was looking for some old story books to read to my 3 year old son when I came across this one. I read it to him last week one night when he was up really late and having trouble falling asleep. This book simply put was WEIRD!

An old man takes with him this bag and steals a hen. A red policeman catches him and chases him for 5 miles (an old man can run that far? I don't think I can do 1!!). As he is being chased he drops the bag. When the policeman catches the old man they go back to the bag to find it empty but with a big hole in it. The hen must of escaped. The old man was given a warning. The old man's wife sews up the bag and goes out the next day and steals a roll of butter. The same policeman catches her and she runs for 10 miles (man these old people are in good shape) she too drops the bag but this time the butter is still in there. The policeman find the old woman to be polite so tells her if the weather is nice he will stop by her house tomorrow to arrest her. The next day just as it starts to rain the policeman shows up. The old woman tells him he promised he would not come if the weather was bad. The policeman agreed and walked home in the rain. He then decides he will become a soldier as he is tired of being a policeman. When the couple find out they go out and steal tons of wonderful things. a couple of rolls of butter, hens, and tons of other things to cook. After a grand meal the wife sends the husband back out to steal again before the soldier changes his mind and becomes a policeman. The man comes back but this time with a cat and her kittens, hay and broken glass. The wife is mad and tells him to toss all the items. The old man asks her what he should do with the bag. And she tells him to do whatever he wants. So he cuts it up into small pieces and burns it. The next day she asks him why he did that and he said guess. She guesses and guesses but never comes up with the reason. Then the book ends telling the reader to ask their mom why he destroys the bag.

The story was kind of long (I cut out parts in my summary) for a children's book and really weird. I did however love the illustrations in it. The book is rather silly and leaves the moral of it up to the parent. Thankfully my son is still too little to ask me why the old man destroys the bag. I give the book 1 and half out of 5 stars. I don't see myself ever reading it again but I would look at the drawings with my son again.

Challenges Fullfilled
Hogwarts Reading
Buck Stops Here
E-Public Domain Challenge

Fairy Tale Fridays-The StoryTeller

Argh I'm so upset. I had this auto set up to post on Friday and it didn't. I had a super busy weekend and knew I couldn't get on to post. So this is a few days late but nevertheless here is my Friday Fairy Tale.

This week I decided to not read a tale but rather to watch a series of tales. I've been thinking about the old Henson show The Story Teller.....remember that? I have such fond memories of it. So I  was super excited that Netflix not only has it but it is available for streaming right to your computer. BTW if you don't have Netflix...GET IT! I swear it is the one of the best things we've ever done and all we do is stream movies we don't bother with the mail in DVDs.

I had some vague memories of a few of the stories but it all came flooding back as I watched. I haven't seen these since they first aired back in the late 80's but they still hold up and do not have the feeling of watching an 80's show. There were 9 tales in total but my favorite was The Soldier and Death. I remember that one from when I was little.

In The Soldier and Death a soldier receives a bag for an act of kindness. He can trap whatever he would like in the bag all he has to do is command it in there. He goes to a castle filled with demons and captures them making himself a very rich man and close personal friend to the king. Later on as the king is dying the man is able to capture death so the king may live. But it turns out that everyone will live. Soldiers fighting wars still live, young lovers who throw themselves off cliffs find themselves alive and have to crawl back up the cliffs. Eventually he sets Death free but after being trapped for so long Death is terrified of the old soldier and runs way from him. In the end the soldier is left alive to wander for eternity because neither Heaven nor Hell would welcome him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review- Etsy shop escentualcreations

Normally I don't do reviews on giveaways I've won (other than books). But a while back I won a gift pack of soaps and candles from escentualcreations etsy shop and well I'm in love. They have such wonderful collection of items such as olive oil soaps and wonderful smelling votives. The real surprise for me and what caused me to write this review was their Lettuce olive oil soap.This soap is the most amazing smelling soap! I can't even describe it but if I had a bottle of this stuff I would wear it as perfume. I was actually disappointed when my bar was all used up. Their soaps leave no residue and smell so wonderful (again you must try the lettuce!). Their votives are pleasantly scented and last a long time. All in all I would I highly recommend this shop! They also have $1 sampler soaps made from the leftovers of other soaps. So you never know what goody scent you will get. All of their candles normally $4 are on sale for$1.66 each! So please check out their shop. Oh and let me say it one last time you must must must try their lettuce soap!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looking for Sponsors- Huge Giveaway Event Coming Soon

So I am nearing 300 followers. When I hit 300 or 350 I will start a huge giveaway event that includes 2 old navy gift cards and a sports authority giftcard. I may also have a few sponsors from etsy shops join in. If anyone would like to help sponsor a giveaway please contact me.

Review- Vampire Diaries- The Awakening by L.J. Smith

I first read these books many many years ago when I was in middle school. I haven't read them in at least 15 years. I was so excited though when I saw that they were making a TV show based on the books. I tried watching the show but it was so different from the books. When I was a teenager these and the Anne Rice books were the books that cause a vampire craze with me. Recently Twilight restarted the vampire craze in people and I kept telling people to read the Vampire Diaries because they were so much better.

The first book in the series introduces us to Elena, the Queen Bee of her school. Her parents had passed away and her aunt is raising her and her younger sister. Stefan Salvatore is the new mysterious boy at her school. Elena used to getting what she wants has set her sights on Stefan but does not understand why he ignores her. Stefan is determined to avoid Elena at all costs because she looks just like his old love, Katherine. Stefan is also hiding the dark secret that he is a Vampire.

Ok so when I started to re-read this book I was well...disappointed. It just wasn't what I remembered it to be. Elena was whiny and well a bitch. She wants Stefan and cant have him so she plans and schemes and uses people to try and get what she wants. I literally found myself questioning how I ever even liked the book. I know that 15 years is a huge time gap and that now I'm in my 30's and back then I was just a teenager but sheesh! I had to force myself to keep going. But then something miraculous happened. I came to the part of the book with the dumb supper and memories flooded in my mind. I remembered sleep overs with friends and us doing silly things like trying to do a dumb supper. It brought a smile to my face. I remember my friend Michele and I obsessing about how if one of us ever became a vampire we would swear to turn the other one into one (so silly to think of now). While I'm not the person I was back then (who so wanted to be someone special) I finally could enjoy the book. More for nostalgia reasons. I will definitely check out at least the next book which I recall as being my favorite in the series. I think I also understand more now the teens that are obsessed with Twilight (sorry can't stand Twilight tried and just find it to be horrible lesson to girls that a stalker, obsessive, borderline abusive boyfriend is a desirable mate). So while the 14 year old me would have glowingly given this 5 out of 5 stars. The adult English Lit major in me gives it 2 out of 5 stars.

Challenges Fullfilled
Hogwarts Reading- mini challenge

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fairy Tale Fridays- The Monkey's Fiddle

For this weeks tale I looked into South African tales. I chose The Monkey's Fiddle. This one was a interesting one where deceit is he main theme. In Monkey's homeland there is a famine so he goes to live with his uncle Orang-Outan. He works for his uncle till he finds out there is no longer a famine in his home so he decides to head back home. Before he leaves his uncle gives him a bow and arrow that will kill anything he desired and a fiddle that when played others would dance till he stops playing. Monkey comes across Cousin Wolf who grows jealous and accuses Monkey of stealing the bow and arrow from him. They go before the court of the Lion where it is decided Monkey is guilty. Monkey is given a final request and he asks to play his fiddle. He plays and plays while the animals and and dance till some collapse with exhaustion with their feet still moving. He gets Wolf to admit he stole the bow and arrow and gets  Lion to agree  to renounce his guilty sentence.

I enjoyed this tale. Not as much as some of the others I read but it was still enjoyable. I don't know that there is necessarily a moral to the story. Perhaps liars never win?  It still was nice to read one where animals are the feature of it. I do like that you can very much tell that it is an African tale. There is no great violence (other than the death of a deer). So all in all it is a good non-scary tale for children. I would give this tale 3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop

Obviously MARvelous
This blog hop is hosted by

1. Follow your 2 hostesses: Obviously MArvelous and Smookie Style
2. Link up your blog on the Linky 
3. Copy and paste the Thirsty Thursday button in a blog post or on your sidebar
4. Click other links on the Linky and follow some new friends

Don't forget to Enter my BonitaBellita Floral Bobby Pin Giveaway. Look on left hand sidebar for link. Ends 3/3

Review- Walk of the Spirits by Ritchie Tankersley Cusick

When I was a teenager one of my all time favorite authors was Ritchie Tankersley Cusick. She was up on the top of the list with R.L Stein, Christopher Pike, and L. J Smith. So I was pleased to find out that she has kept up with writing and released a couple of books since the 90's.

Walk of the Spirits is about high schooler Miranda. After a hurricane completely destroys her home she and her mother are forced to move in with her Aunt and grandfather. Miranda has never met her grandfather and is forbidden to even speak to him. There are rumors that he is crazy. Miranda is paired up with a group of other students to do a project in one of her classes. They become fast friends and Miranda even starts up a bit of romance with one of them. She also begins to have nightmares and see strange things. Is she crazy like her grandfather or is there more to it....

I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow in places and didn't quite have the refinement of some of her earlier works. As always though she does romance right. She always just sprinkles it through out the books but doesn't make it the main focus...which is how I like my romance. The cast of characters are your typical high school stereotypes including the goth chick and the football player. However their playful banter between each other is genuine feeling and had me laughing at parts.  There are some sexual suggestions but nothing overt and certainly appropriate for the age group. I give the book 3 and half out of 5 stars.

Challenges fullfilled
Hogwarts Reading
2011 Reading- To YA

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

$1 or less Etsy Finds

Here are some great Etsy items that cost $1 or less (not including shipping). These are items everyone would want and can afford!

From PaigesPrettyBowtique Shop- Strawberry Clip- How adorable is this for only 75 cents! Any little girl would love to wear this!

From Ladyllew's shop- Purple Apple Earrings- Oh my gosh it was so hard to pick just one pair. All of her earrings are a $1 and she has other really affordable jewelry!

From NOTJUSTTEA's Shop- Sample Size Jasmine Paradise- for just .20 plus shipping you can get to try some yummy Jasmine tea. I love the smell of Jasmine so I can only imagine just how good this tea tastes.
From Beanforest's shop- Footnotes are Great Button- Oh my gosh this had me cracking up. All book lovers can relate to this one! This was another shop I had a hard time just picking one item.

From TwinkieMoonBoutique's Shop-Mardi Gras Purple Mineral Eye Shadow Sample- how pretty is this? For only .75 plus shipping you can try out this eye shadow. She gives at least 1/8 of a teaspoon which is enough for multiple uses. I rarely wear makeup so this is perfect size for me on those rare occasions I do!

From StephsYaya's shop-Charlie Brown Bookmarks- How cool are these book marks?!?!? The set of 3 is only 80 cents! She has lots of other really cool bookmarks. This make me actually want to put down the ereader and pick up some real books.

4 Embarrassing Moments

So here are 4 embarrassing moments that have happened in my life

#1. When I was a teenager I briefly imagined myself as a celebrity chef. But that dream was quickly dashed the day I realized I'll never be a great cook. I decided to make egg salad one day and put eggs in pot to hard boil. I've learned that you can indeed burn a hard boiled egg. Just leave it on the stove for over an hour!

#2 When I was 6 years old I used to go to a day camp during the summer. The day camp was at a church and we would change there and go to a neighbors near by pool. Well one day when we got back I could not find my underwear anywhere. I was wearing a dress so I prayed that no one would notice. Luckily no one did. But the next day my Counselor, who just happened to be a guy, held up my panties and asked us which one the girls had left them behind the day before. I was so mortified at the time I didn't say anything. (I mean really who asks an entire group of first and second graders whose underwear it is). Then one kid shouted it was the counselor's and we all just start shouting "Their yours!". Yeah never got back that pair of panties.

#3 When my husband and I were dating during our first Valentines he had to work late. So he said we would celebrate it the weekend after it. So that day I worked out and loafed around the house. I didn't bother to take a shower and hadn't shaved in like a week. So hubby calls and we start talking and he says "I'm driving down your street". I was like "uh no your not". He told me "yeah don't you see me coming up the driveway". So of course there he is driving up my driveway. There I am in stained shorts and top, greasy hair and hairy legs and pits yelling at him on the phone that he simply can't be here now. Lets just say we don't bother with too many surprises anymore and Valentines Day hence is known as the day Melissa unromantically told Ange  that he can't be there.

#4 Now for the most embarrassing moment of my entire life. When I was in 5'th grade I was painfully shy. Mostly due to being bullied and picked on by all (yes ALL!) of my classmates. Most of the time I didn't bother doing homework or studying. I hated school and saw it as a place of torture so wanted nothing to do with it when I was at home. Well one day I had actually did the research and work for a project. We had to give presentations on different sea animals. At that time I wanted to be a marine biologist. I had it in my mind that I would show all those other kids that I was smarter and better than them. I had picked the octopus as my animal. So I stood up confidently in front of the whole class in my unfashionable hand me down clothing. I was so going to kill it and give the perfect presentation. I started to say how the octopus has 8 tentacles.....but that wasn't what I said. No of course not. In front my entire classroom and the only male teacher in the school I said loudly and proudly "The octopus has 8 testicles". After that I swore I would never go back to school again. Now that I'm older I can actually laugh about it and see it as not just the most embarrassing but one of the funniest moments in my life. I had a phobia about talking in front people ever since then. But in college I took a public speaking course and first speech I did was to confront the "8 testicle" demon and told them about my most embarrassing moment. It felt good to hear them laugh during it not at me but with me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Some Spicy Etsy Finds

I'm really hungry and these gourmet Etsy finds are making me even hungrier!

From BullyHotSauce's Shop- Mango Hot Sauce - YUMMY! Nothing like the sweetness of mango with punch of spice

From RDHotSauces Shop- Desert Sun Habanero Hot Sauce- Starts off Sweet and finishes hot! Love when heat creeps up on you like that

From Idmitruk's Shop- Spicy Serrano Chilli Bacon Chocolate Bars- I've always wanted to try Chocolate covered Bacon and these spicy treats are just calling my name!

From Gatelinesalsa's shop- Hot Black Bean and Corn Salsa- I think I'm in love..beans, corn, garlic and lime all in one salsa....yummy!


Lastly from Sardineandanchovy's Shop-Spicy Garlic Dill Pickled Green Beans- Oh my god it is like someone leaped into my mind and figured out what the tastiest treat would be. I'm so drooling now!

The Winner Is....

Congrats to MANDY83 the winner of the $15 gift certificate to Elisa's Scrumptious Treats. She has already responded and confirmed her win. Thanks to the sponsor and all of those who participated. Remember I still have the BonitaBellita Floral Hair Pin giveaway going on till March 3rd and I plan on starting another giveaway in the next few weeks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review- Perfectly Matched by Maddie James

So last night I realized with horror that my mini-challenge for Hogwarts 2011 reading Challenge was not completed and that last night was the last night for it. So thanks to a friend who lent me her ereader for this quick read to fulfill my mini-challenge.

Perfectly Matched is the story of a young woman named Mary Lou. Mary Lou has a crush on country singer Nash Rhodes. Chef and cookbook author Suzie Matthews decides to step in and play matchmaker for the two seemingly opposite people. Because rather conveniently  Nash just happens to be playing a concert at Suzie's husband's lodge.

This was a very short ebook. However it did pack in a whole lot of romance. Imagine if you take a regular sized romance novel and just chopped out all the unromantic parts...that is basically what you get here. Or like when you go back and reread a romance but only read the juicy or overly romantic parts. There is not much time for character development but the characters are believable. That have that small town countryish feeling to them. I do wish the book had been a bit more in depth but it was a pleasant enough reading. There are more books in the matchmaking chef series. I may just check them out when I need a quick romance. I did however notice that all of the covers for the series are of the same picture just different colored filter used on each. Which for this cover loving gal is a no no. I give this 3 and half out of 5 stars.

Challenges Fullfilled
Hogwarts 2011
2011 Reading- Slim Pickings

Interview With an Aspiring Author- Barachi21

When I first started this blog one of my intentions was to highlight not just well known authors but those who are aspiring to become authors.  In my search I've found some wonderful websites with free books and stories written by hopeful authors. Among those sites are smashwords and wattpad. One of the first stories I've read and has kept me coming back for more is one written by Barachi21 on wattpad. Her story I am a Survivor has me hooked! She was politely agreed to let me interview her. I'm so grateful and I truly hope that you guys check out her work in progress.

How old are you if you don't mind my asking?
 Age: 17 (turning 18 the end of May)

I know you have been writing since a very young age. Do you remember what any of your early stories were about?
Most of my stories when I was younger were about magic.  I had this fascination of controlling magic and being special.  The story I wrote in 6th grade was about me and my friends each owning some sort of power and growing closer because of it.  It's strange in a way because those friends that I wrote about, I realize now, weren't very good friends, and we don't talk anymore.  I read the story and think "Why was I holding onto these girls so much?" 

What author/authors inspire you the most?
Well.  After writing 2 short novels (the sequel to the friend story "The Five Jewels" in 6th grade. 60 chapters was a lot in my eyes), I stopped writing.  I wrote short stories once in a while.  Stories about a puddle capturing souls, or one about a girl running away from home after a horrible fight amongst her parents, and a bit of poetry.  Then I read The Cask of Amontillado and I fell in love with Edgar Allen Poe who taught me that every word counts.  And I became inspired and wrote poetry.  My friend Amanda finally wanted me to write a complete story (not a short story), so I wrote "Hospitalized", followed by "Sepia", then "My MSD", next "Let's Go Back Now", and last "I Am A Survivor."  But... while I wrote these stories I read and learned more.  The two authors that really touched me later and made me strive harder were Zora Neale Hurston and Agatha Christie. But still my all time favorite author is Edgar Allen Poe.  I still go through stories and dissect them as if they'll speak to me.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?
 Guilty Pleasures? Um....chocolate??? I'm confuzzled on this question. (confuzzled= I used to have a speech impediment in 8th grade and I accidentally combined "confused" and "bumfuzzled" together. I said confuzzled and liked the word so much that I now use it on a daily basis.) Oh! guilty pleasure: making up words... like "confuzzled" and "tud".

If you were caught in a cabin for weeks after a blizzard what 3 things would you absolutely need with you?
Stuck in a cabin? Large, thick, warm blanket. Notebook paper with attaching pen full of ink.  And my Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe book.

Do you have any book recommendations? 
Book recommendations? O my.... tons.  Would you like the abbreviated list or complete list... I'm serious.  I even broke it up into age groups.  I'll send it to you if you'd like.

When you are not in school or writing where can you be found?
Unfortunately, I am mostly at work because I have my car payment, insurance, and gas to pay for. But suppose I'm not at work, I would most likely be in my room reading a new book with my scrap writings strewn around me, my overflowing drawing book open, my computer on with Word open and half a page of new writing, and my cat trying to lay on my lap.  Yeah... sounds like me.

What is your favorite book/books?
 Favorite books? Long list or short list? 1,001 Nights (Arabian Nights), A Child Called "It," Among the Hidden (series), And Then There Were None, Don't You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey, Fahrenheit 451, Inkheart (series), The Little Prince, Pride and Prejudice, The Count of Monte Cristo (Unabridged), The Giver (series), The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes were Watching God, and Undiluted Minds. (This does not include the amazing writing from the writing sites that I have been on or the short stories I've read.)

Lastly, what is the worst book you have ever read?
The absolute worst book I ever read is called Follow the Blue by Brigid Lowry.  There was seemingly no point to the story.  Quick Synopsis: Main character's younger sister loses pet gerbil.  Main character meets boy she likes.  Main character loses virginity to boy's best friend.  Absolutely nothing redeemable in the story. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review-Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Let me start off by saying this book hop skipped and jumped ahead of all of the books on my TBR list. I even set aside books I was currently reading just to read this book. I read about this book a month or two ago and loved the premise of it. It is a mix of sci-fi, dystopian, and romance.

Amy is a teenager who is frozen along with her parents and other people. They are destined to travel to a new planet to establish a new earth. Amy is prematurely defrosted and awakens on a ship ruled by a man named Eldest. The next in line to lead is Elder and he teams up with Amy. There are so many things that seem wrong with the world created on the ship. Soon people who were  frozen are murdered. It is up to Elder and Amy to figure out who the murderer is. Elder is also left with many questions about what kind of leader he should be and what really is for the greater good.

OK I LOVED this book. The chapters a short and consistently switch between Elder and Amy. This made for a fast paced read. It kept me on the edge of my seat as I kept wanting to know what would happen next. This is classified as a young adult novel but there is a lot of sex in it (nothing graphic but sex is mentioned often in it). That doesn't detract from it at all. I really don't want to put in any spoilers because I just love this book so much and don't want to ruin it for anyone looking to read it. It is fairly predictable and some things you can see coming from the beginning however there are some twists and turns I was not expecting. The book brings up the question of what is best for all. Should one lie to preserve humanity or let humanity know secrets that can cause death and discord. The romance between Amy and Elder is genuine and not rushed. I had originally gotten this book for my KickAss Heroine Reading Challenge. But it doesn't fit into that catagory as much ass I wanted it to. But still I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. This book is perfect for any sci-fi lover.

Challenges Fullfilled
2011 Challege- Will Power? What Will Power?
Whats in a Name 4- Movement
Take a Chance- Bloggers Choice
Hogwarts Challenge- Prefect mini challenge

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some Yummy Etsy Valentines Day Finds

Some yummy Valentines Day Etsy Finds. Because there is nothing sweeter than homemade goodies

From JeweloftheLion's Shop

From GlutenFreeFromNYC

Fairy Tale Fridays- A Tigress Witch (Hoko Po)

This week I decided to go with a Taiwanese Fairy Tale. A Tigress Witch (Hoko Po) was a short gruesome fairy tale. I will say I did rather enjoy it. In this tale it starts off explaining how people used to believe that when an animal grew old enough it was able to change into a human and then devour other humans. The mother of two daughters has to head to the city and worries about her two daughters. She tells them to lock the door and not let anyone in. Soon after the mother leaves there is a loud knock at the door with someone claiming to be their mother. They let the person in only to discover it is not their mother. The old woman then claims to be a great aunt of theirs. The older sister is not trusting of the old woman but the younger one is naive and tired and so she sleeps with the old woman while the older sister sleeps in another room. The older sister wakes up to loud crunching sound only to discover that the tigress witch has eaten her younger sister. She tricks the tigress and hides up in a tree but the tigress soon discovers her up in the tree. The older sister tricks the tigress one last time the result of which ends in the tigress witch's death. This is your typical lesson of listening to what your parents tell you and to not trust strangers. I really enjoyed this one since it had the familiarities of your typical fairy tale while still being different.

For next weeks fairy tale I'm thinking of maybe doing a South African tale or Nigerian tale. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Giveaway at Rustique Art ends 2/11

My newest friend in the blogging world Cindi at Rustique Art is holding her first giveaway. Yeah Cindi! Please check out her wonderful giveaway that ends this Friday for these lovely musical paper flowers set in swirly wires in a lovely glass carafe. 

Rustique Art  is a Christian based company but I can see both Christians and non-Christians wanting this lovely piece of art. Head on over to her giveaway at

Happy Birthday Jules Verne- Etsy finds

So today is the famous author Jules Verne's birthday. So I thought I would look up some Jules Verne Etsy finds

From JezebelCharm's Shop

Review- Night of the Solstice L.J. Smith

I had read this books years and years ago. In fact the last time I read this book I was probably in 5th grade. I have very fond memories of this book. As and adult every once in a while I would think of this book and could not for the life of me remember the name of it. I could only remember a few small details. Details so small that Google searches brought me nothing. Finally, about a month ago I thought of the book again and tried one more time to look it up. This time it was a success.

The plot of the book is centered around 4 children. Claudia the youngest sibling is approached by a vixen one day and is given the task to help free the vixen's mistress the sorceress Morgana. Claudia gets her older sisters and brother to help her. The sorceress Morgana is a prisoner in Wildworld which can only be reached through the mirrors in her house. A bad sorcerer by the name of Cadal Forge has plans on coming through the mirrors on the night of the Solstice to take over and destroy all of human kind. It is up the children to find Morgana and prevent Cadal Forge from crossing over to our world.

Rereading this book was an absolute joy for me. While I remembered many parts much of it was like reading it for the first time. Just as when I was younger I loved this book. When I was younger I felt like Claudia (seeing as I was a younger sister) but longed to be brave and strong like Alys. It is only now as an adult I can appreciate the brainy Janie who was always annoying in the books but it was because she was too smart for her own good. She is sort of like Hermione from the Harry Potter books. The brother Charles is your typical wise-cracking fun loving dude. It is amazing how all these things that are so popular in books right now L.J Smith was writing back then. Nymphs and sorcerers, Arthurian legend, winged serpents, strange monsters. The book holds up well even after all these years. Though I think one of the main differences is that these days kids carry cell phones around with them. This is purely a children's book and not really meant for teenagers. Though I'm sure they would enjoy it too. I have to give this book 5 out of 5 stars! It may be partially from fond nostalgia and partially from just plain loving the book.

Challenges Fulfilled
Hogwarts Challenge
Kickass Herione (all three sisters kickass)
2011 Challenge Back in the Day

Monday, February 7, 2011

Random Etsy Finds

This morning I was just randomly looking up items on Etsy. These are a few of my favorites that I came across.

From beeluckylady's shop these adorable aprons for your soap bottles. Too cute! They range between $1.50 and $5.00.

From SweetNSourInFlorida's Shop sampler packs of their jarred foods. Such yummy varieties like Pumpkin Apple Butter, Lemon Curd, Spicy Dilled Baby Carrots, Mojito Jelly or my son's and my favorite Dill Pickles. They also do Salsas and other items! For $8 you'll get 4 half pint jars of choice. What a deal!

These last items come from The Gorgonist Shop . The artwork is amazing and I had a hard time just picking three items to showcase. I love almost everything in this shop!