Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Gena/Finn

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 12, 2016

DNF Young Adult Review: Gena/Finn


Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson, May 17, 2016. 287 pages. Published by Chronicle Books. Source: Publisher.
 The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Want to Read It (38): Frogkisser



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.




Frogkisser by Garth Nix, February 28, 2017. Published by Scholastic. Source: Wishlist.
The Last Thing She Needs Is a Prince.
The First Thing She Needs Is Some Magic. 
Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother's new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.
Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land-and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

Why

If you ask me, Frogkisser looks like a fun read! I cannot help it, I'm drawn to books that promise adventure and outlandish acts to achieve the end game. Besides, this year has been, well, it's been something and...just give me all the fun fantasy books!!

I'm pretty sure I'll be stalking my library come February to ensure they get a copy so I can read it!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Sabriel

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Vintage Reads Review: Sabriel



Sabriel (Abhorsen, 1) by Garth Nix, September 30, 1996 (originally published 1995). 491 pages. Published by Harper Collins. Source: Own.
Sabriel is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Ever since she was a tiny child, she has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom--far away from the uncontrolled power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won't stay dead.

But now, her father is missing and Sabriel is called upon to cross into the world to find him, Leaving the safety of the school she has known as home, Sabriel embarks upon a quest fraught with supernatural dangers, with companions she is unsure of--for nothing is as it seems within the boundary of the Old Kingdom. There, she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life, and comes face to face with her hidden destiny. 
First Sentence:
It was little more than three miles from the Wall into the Old Kingdom, but that was enough.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Believers, Thinkers, and Founders


Believers, Thinkers, and Founders: How We Came to Be One Nation Under God by Kevin Seamus Hasson, April 5, 2016. 240 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
In Believers, Thinkers, and Founders: How We Came to Be One Nation Under God, Kevin Seamus Hasson — founder and president emeritus of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty — offers a refreshing resolution to a familiar conundrum: If there is real religious freedom in America, how is it that our government keeps invoking God? He’s everywhere — from our currency to the Pledge of Allegiance. Isn’t that all entirely too religious? And just whose God are we talking about anyway? If we are intellectually honest, shouldn’t we scrub all these references to God from our public life?

Yet the Declaration of Independence says that God is the source of our rights. “The traditional position,” writes Hasson, “is that our fundamental human rights —including those secured by the First Amendment — are endowed to us by the Creator, and that it would be perilous to permit the government ever to repudiate that point.” America has steadfastly repeated that for more than 200 years, throughout all branches and levels of government.
To say that there is no Creator who endows us with rights, Hasson argues, “is to do more than simply tinker with one of the most famous one-liners in history; it is to change the starting point of our whole explanation of who we are as Americans and, ultimately, why our government is a limited one in the first place.” What to do?
Hasson looks closely at the nation’s founding and sees a solution in the classical distinction between faith and reason. The existence of God, he points out, can traditionally be known by reason alone, while who God is can only be seen by faith. By recognizing the distinction between the “self-evident” Creator referred to in the Declaration of Independence and God as revealed in our faith traditions, we can move past the culture wars that plague us. In short, Hasson argues that we can have a robust First Amendment without abandoning our natural rights. In Believers, Thinkers, and Founders, Hasson examines that idea while looking at a host of issues — including the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer at public events, and the Declaration of Independence — as he demonstrates how we can still be one nation under God.

First Sentence
How can they get away with it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I Want to Read It (37): Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.




Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide by Immaculée Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin, September 15, 2009. Published by Hay House.  
For three months in the spring of 1994, the African nation of Rwanda descended into one of the most vicious and bloody genocides the world has ever seen. Immaculée Ilibagiza, a young university student, miraculously survived the savage killing spree that left most of her family, friends, and a million of her fellow citizens dead. Immaculée’s remarkable story of survival was documented in her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.

In Led By Faith, Immaculée takes us with her as her remarkable journey continues. Through her simple and eloquent voice, we experience her hardships and heartache as she struggles to survive and to find meaning and purpose in the aftermath of the holocaust. It is the story of a naïve and vulnerable young woman, orphaned and alone, navigating through a bleak and dangerously hostile world with only an abiding faith in God to guide and protect her. Immaculée fends off sinister new predators, seeks out and comforts scores of children orphaned by the genocide, and searches for love and companionship in a land where hatred still flourishes. Then, fearing again for her safety as Rwanda’s war-crime trials begin, Immaculée flees to America to begin a new chapter of her life as a refugee and immigrant—a stranger in a strange land.

Why


After reading one of Immaculée Ilibagiza's other books earlier this month, I feel compelled to read more about her personal story. Her writing was beautiful and the full story of what happened, as well, as how she was able to move forward with her life after surviving the Rwandan Holocaust has me interested in further reading.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Our Lady of Kibeho

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Our Lady of Kibeho


Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa by Immaculée Ilibagiza, November 28, 2008. 240 pages. Published by Hay House. Source: borrowed from my mom.
Thirteen years before the bloody 1994 genocide that swept across Rwanda and left more than a million people dead, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ appeared to eight young people in the remote village of Kibeho. Through these visionaries, Mary and Jesus warned of the looming holocaust, which (they assured) could be averted if Rwandans opened their hearts to God and embraced His love.

Mary also sent messages to government and church leaders to instruct them how to end the ethnic hatred simmering in their country. She warned them that Rwanda would become "a river of blood"-a land of unspeakable carnage-if the hatred of the people was not quickly quelled by love. Some leaders listened, but very few believed. The prophetic and apocalyptic warnings tragically came true during 100 horrifying days of savage bloodletting and mass murder.

Much like what happened at similar sites such as Fátima and Lourdes, the messengers of Kibeho were at first mocked and disbelieved. But as miracle after miracle occurred in the tiny village, tens of thousands of Rwandans journeyed to Kibeho to behold the apparitions. After the genocide, and two decades of rigorous investigation, Our Lady of Kibeho became the first and only Vatican-approved Marian (related to the Virgin Mary) site in all of Africa. But the story still remained largely unknown.

Now, however, Immaculée Ilibagiza has changed all that. She has made many pilgrimages to Kibeho, both before and after the holocaust, has personally witnessed true miracles, and has spoken with a number of the visionaries themselves. What she has discovered will deeply touch your heart!
First Sentence
It' a difficult confession for me, but if it hadn't been for the apparitions of the Blessed Mother and Jesus at Kibeho, I may never have fully believed in God.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I Want to Read It (36): Sapphique



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Sapphique (Incarceron, 2) by Catherine Fisher, Deceber 28, 2010. Published by Dial. Source: Wishlist.
Finn has escaped Incarceron only to find that he must defend his right to the throne from another challenger. His life and Claudia's hang on Finn convincing the Court that he is the lost prince, even though he has his own doubts about being the true heir.




Why

Discussing The Scorch Trials yesterday on the blog put me in the mood of featuring another older young adult title- Sapphique. It has been ages since I first read Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, and yet, just this past week it popped into my head that I never got around to reading the next installment...yeah, I'm terrible like that!!

Even now, I am still curious as to what happens next. I may hit up my library over Christmas break to fulfill my curiosity (if I can make time to reread Incarceron, that is).

Have you read this series? I know it's an older one, but, the first book (if I remember correctly) was pretty good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Scorch Trials

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Vintage Reads Young Adult Review: The Scorch Trials


The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, 2) by James Dashner, October 12, 2010. 360 pages. Published by Delacorte Press. Source: Own
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. 
Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.
The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 
There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

First Sentence
She spoke to him before the world fell apart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: These Vicious Masks

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 14, 2016

DNF Review: These Vicious Masks with Gifs


These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks, 1) by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas, February 9, 2016. 298 pages. Published by Swoon Reads. Source: ARC from publisher.
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

First Sentence
Death.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I Want to Read It (35): The Fixer



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



The Fixer (Fixer, 1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, July 7, 2015. Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's. Source: Wishlist.
Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.
And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Why


I was going through my Goodreads recommendations and it was one at the top of the list...and, more importantly, it sounded interesting. While I have yet to lay my hands on a copy of The Fixer, I am excited to give Jennifer Lynn Barnes a second read. Especially since The Fixer sounds, well, better than her earlier work that I read. 

Don't get me wrong, I loved the one book I read by her. I'm just curious to see how much her writing has grown since the last time I read her work. 

Tell me, have you read this one? Is it one that you would recommend (to me or anyone)? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Footloose

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Picture Book Review: Footloose


Footloose by Kenny Loggins and illustrated by Tim Bowers, October 11, 2016. 28 pages. Published by MoonDance Press. Source: publicist for review.
Have a rockin' time introducing children to Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins himself. Features a bonus CD with the new children's "Footloose," performed by Kenny Loggins.
Time to cut loose! Have a rockin' time introducing children to the fun of Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins. As a zookeeper named Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party, this new original story from Loggins is sure to get your feet moving. Little ones will love the cast of characters, including the rockin' chimp Louise ("Geez, Louise"), Mister DJ Elephant, the lemur Marie ("Oo Wee, Marie"), Milo the wombat, Luke the funkiest cat in the zoo, and so many more rocking, bopping, boogeying, tangoing, shaking, rattling and rolling animals!
First Sentence
Zookeeper Big Jack checks in his star map.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I Want to Read It (34): Irena's Children



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage by Tilar J. Mazzeo and adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell, September 27, 2016. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books. Source: Wishlist.
Irena Sendler was a young Polish woman living in Warsaw during World War II with an incredible story of survival and selflessness. And she’s been long forgotten by history.

Until now.

This young readers edition of Irena’s Children tells Irena’s unbelievable story set during one of the worst times in modern history. With guts of steel and unfaltering bravery, Irena smuggled thousands of children out of the walled Jewish ghetto in toolboxes and coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through the dank sewers and into secret passages that led to abandoned buildings, where she convinced her friends and underground resistance network to hide them.

In this heroic tale of survival and resilience in the face of impossible odds, Tilar Mazzeo and adapter Mary Cronk Farrell share the true story of this bold and brave woman, overlooked by history, who risked her life to save innocent children from the horrors of the Holocaust.
Why

Having actually heard of Irena Sendler and how she helped smuggle Jewish children out of Poland during WWII, well, it's kind of why I would be very interested in reading Irena's Children. While I have not read the, I guess you could call it, the adult version the middle grade adaptation is appealing because I predominately talk about young adult and middle grade titles. 

Still, I would be very much interested in reading it because, well, history!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Fannie Never Flinched

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, October 31, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: Fannie Never Flinched


Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights by Mary Cronk Farrell, November 1, 2016. 56 pages. Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers. Source: Publisher*.
Fannie Sellins (1872–1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when the Carnegies and Morgans wore jewels while their laborers wore rags. Fannie dreamed that America could achieve its ideals of equality and justice for all, and she sacrificed her life to help that dream come true. Fannie became a union activist, helping to create St. Louis, Missouri, Local 67 of the United Garment Workers of America. She traveled the nation and eventually gave her life, calling for fair wages and decent working and living conditions for workers in both the garment and mining industries. Her accomplishments live on today. This book includes an index, glossary, a timeline of unions in the United States, and endnotes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I Want to Read It (33): Fannie Never Flinched



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.


Fannie Never Flinched by Mary Cronk Farrell, November 1, 2016. 56 pages. Published by Abram's Books for Young Readers: Source: from publisher/review stack. 
Fannie Sellins (1872–1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when the Carnegies and Morgans wore jewels while their laborers wore rags. Fannie dreamed that America could achieve its ideals of equality and justice for all, and she sacrificed her life to help that dream come true. Fannie became a union activist, helping to create St. Louis, Missouri, Local 67 of the United Garment Workers of America. She traveled the nation and eventually gave her life, calling for fair wages and decent working and living conditions for workers in both the garment and mining industries. Her accomplishments live on today. This book includes an index, glossary, a timeline of unions in the United States, and endnotes.


Why

I actually already have a copy of Fannie Never Flinched, of which I am quite excited to read, sitting on my desk waiting to be read. As a history junkie, I could not pass up the opportunity to read about Fannie Sellins' who helped to form unions and to fight for just wages, conditions, and fair treatment for workers. 

I am rather excited to see how Mary Cronk Farrell will tell her story, as well, as a look into American History (because it is not as filled with sunshine and daisy as most history curriculum would have you think).

Have you heard of Fannie Never Flinched?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Courage Test

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, October 24, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: The Courage Test


The Courage Test by James Preller, September 13, 2016. 224 pages. Published by Feiwel & Friends. Source: ARC from publisher*.
Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark--whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn't quite right.

Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter.

It is a journey into the soul of America's past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage.

A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail--from Fort Mandan to the shining sea--offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery.
First Sentence
My mother pushed me out the door, and I don't know why.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Storming the Castle: Conclusion and Celebration


First off, I would like to thank Kendra (of Reading Over Time), Melissa (of Live, Love, Read), Emily (of Emily Reads Everything), Sondra (of Sorcery in the Bookshelves), and Stephanie (of Reading is Better with Cupcakes) for allowing me to share pieces of the mystery story on all of their wonderful blogs! Thank you so much for joining and making my blogoversary a most interesting event!!

Today is a momentous occasion for The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia as today marks the eighth year since I launched my blog! OH MY GOSH!


To be quite honest, I cannot believe that it has been eight years since I first started my blog. As I usually manage to miss celebrating it, I wanted to do something different hence Storming the Castle: A Mystery Story!

You can see the entire story!! Once you read it all, come back here and tell me who you think they're searching for!! I'm dying to know if anyone can solve the mystery!!

Also, you can get to know each of these awesome ladies better through Storming the Castle's 5for5 lineup of posts!

I could not have done this without the help of the above lovely ladies and their kindness!! Also their patience for the story pieces coming in so close to deadline! THANK YOU!!

All story pieces were fueled by mint tea, mint hot chocolate, and a dose of lack of sleep! It was fun and helped me to shatter my hesitancy of sharing my creative writing projects! I hope y'all enjoyed reading each part as much as I enjoyed writing them!


Frankly, after using all the words for the mystery story, I can think of nothing else to write right now. Except for the following.....

Thank you for reading the Haunting of Orchid Forsythia and "HI" to all the long-time and new followers! I hope y'all will enjoy the blog and, hopefully, you'll find some excellent books to try out! Both new and old books!

I'm shy, but I don't bite, so feel free to say hi or ask a question. 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Storming the Castle: 5for5 with Stephanie of Reading is Better with Cupcakes



A mystery is unfolding over the course of the next six days. Do you have the nerve to to accept the challenge of solving the mystery. Who is the girl behind the blog? Follow all the stops to learn more and to see where the story will go!!

Hi there! i am excited to welcome Stephanie of Reading is Better with Cupcakes to the blog for 5for5!! Also, Part V, also known as the end, of Storming the Castle: A Mystery Story is now up and ready to be read. 

5for5

  • Stephanie, how long have you been blogging? What inspired you to start your blog and what keeps you motivated to continue blogging? 

I have been blogging a little bit over a year now. I started blogging because when I became a SAHM to my now 20 month old daughter, I realized that I was reading a lot and that I should do something with it! So I made a book blog where I could post my reviews and share them with more people. My motivation to keep blogging is that I love books. I love spreading them around and encouraging people to read. There is just something about it that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
  • I know that you are quite crafty, can you tell us about the crafts that you do? Any that you would like to learn? What is one craft project that you’re most proud of finishing?
Oh geez. You should see my garage! It is filled with crafting materials for so many different types of crafts. It kind of drives my husband crazy! My current favorites are coloring and papercrafting, but I have the materials to do a whole lot more than that. I am slowly teaching myself how to crochet and I really want to learn and become really good at lettering!
  • On a more serious note. If you could have a do-over and read a favorite book for the first time, which book (or series) would you like to start over with? What is it about that book that makes you wish you could read it for the first time all over again?
Let me be cliche and say Harry Potter. Actually though, I just reread it for the first time last year....and it had probably been over 10 years since I had originally read it! So it was ALMOST like reading it for the first time again. At least that is what I am telling myself. Now I just need to reread the rest of the series.
  • If you could have tea with any author living or dead, who would it be?  What would be the first question you would ask him? What is the first question you would ask them?

         I think for this one I have to say that I would really like to meet Maria V. Snyder.  I have enjoyed the books that I have read of hers immensely (and I have read most of them).  I don't know if there is anything specific I would ask her.  I would just like to get to know her as a person in general.
  • You are stranded on a desert island and can only take one thing with you, what will it be?
I am going to go with inspiration from a book that I just borrowed from a local little free library and say that I would want to take a Hatchet with me.  So versatile.


You know what, I did the same thing with Winter of Fire a few years ago.It had been years since I last read it that it was like the first time. Ooh, papercrafting, that is one crafting skill I would like to learn. I tried teaching myself how to crochet and was never able to make it past the most basic stitches. You'll have to let me know how it all goes!!

5for5 

  • What is your favorite cupcake?  What book do you think it would pair up the best with?
My favorite cupcake would have to be chocolate with chocolate frosting! Did I mention I love chocolate! Strangely enough, I think it would pair well with Harry Potter. Why, because even though the series gets quite dark, rereading it is always like a special reward; kind of like chocolate, chocolate cupcakes!!

  • When you aren't reading, what do you like to do with your free time?
When not reading, I enjoy sewing and embroidery; as well as soccer and running. I'm still learning new techniques for sewing (finally mastered zippers) and how to tidily do my stitches for embroidery. 

  • What is your favorite blogging memory so far?
Can I have two...they tie in together!! Well, my favorite blogger memory would have to be Storming the Castle and working with everyone. That and the realization that I have stuck with blogging as long as I have. I never once thought that eight years later I would still be blogging and enjoying it, if possible, more than before!

  • What do you do with your book swag?
I give a lot of the bookmarks to my local library. The rest of it, what I don't plan on keeping is sent out as bonus surprises for the rare giveaway that I host. 

  • What is your favorite mythical creature?  Is there a reason for it being your favorite?
Griffins! It goes back to a duology by Diana Wynne Jones that I absolutely love! Seriously though, if you have not read The Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin, I cannot recommend them enough. They are a wonderful blending of fantasy and what would happen if our world collided with that of a fantasy type world. 

The Derkholm duology was my first introduction to Diana Wynne Jones' books, so, they hold a special place in my bookish heart! 

Stephanie, thank you so much for stopping! Be sure to check out Stephanie's blog Reading is Better with Cupcakes!!

Don't forget, you can find Part V of Storming the Castle: A Mystery Story over on her blog!

Need to catch up on the what you missed, or maybe you just want a reread,  you can find all five parts by following the links! You should also check out everyone's awesome blogs while you're there!!
Part I 
Part II
Part III 
Part IV 
Part V

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Storming the Castle: 5for5 with Emily of Emily Reads Everything


A mystery is unfolding over the course of the next six days. Do you have the nerve to to accept the challenge of solving the mystery. Who is the girl behind the blog? Follow all the stops to learn more and to see where the story will go!!

As we embark upon the third day of Storming the Castle: A Mystery Story, I am excited to welcome Emily of Emily Reads Everything to my blog.

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  •         Emily, how long have you been blogging? What inspired you to start your blog and what keeps you motivated to continue blogging?

I’ve been blogging for 18 months. I started because I love books and I wanted to recommend books to people. However, the people I’ve met on twitter and in the blogging world really keep me going.
  •      When not reading or blogging, I enjoy_____? One thing I’ve always wanted to learn/do is____?

When not reading? What’s that? Seriously though, I volunteer for a nonprofit for 10-15 hours a month. I’ve also always wanted to learn Spanish.
  •      On a more serious note. If you could have a do-over and read a favorite book for the first time, which book (or series) would you like to start over with? What is it about that book that makes you wish you could read it for the first time all over again?

I think that every book series I’ve loved, I read either at the right time or at the right pace. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. If I were to start again and be able to read a favorite series again for the first time, I’d be afraid that I wouldn’t love it the way I do right now.
  •       The robot uprising has begun, which fictional character is capable of saving humanity from being enslaved?

Robots are more sci fi than fantasy, so I would need a sci fi hero. I choose Captain Jean Luc Picard. I think he would have a lot of resources. Maybe even an in since he was half robot when assimilated by the Borg.   Also, I’m a nerd.
  •        You are stranded on a desert island and can only take one thing with you, what will it be?


A boat, so I can sail away.

Spanish is one of many languages that I hope to learn (when I get a little extra time). That is a very good point, though sometimes, I just wish for the chance to fall in the love with a book or series again. Who am I kidding, that happens each time I revisit my favorites. Thanks so much for joining in, Emily!

Now, now it is my turn to answer Emily's questions!! I cannot wait!

5for5

  • I always want the best for people and I think its important to have a plan. What is your goal for your blog? 
My goal, well, I'm still trying to figure out my overall goal plan for my blog. Ideally, when my schedule opens up next year, I hope to expand my middle grade features and to increase the traffic that comes to my blog. Right now, I just don't have the time to dedicate as much time and energy to growing my blog and doing all I want to do.

In short, I want to maintain featuring both new and old titles that catch my attention. As there are so many books and authors out there that don't get nearly enough attention. Really, the overall plan is one that is, and has been, slowly evolving as I figure out what I want to see in my blog.
  • Do you like to cook? What is your favorite recipe to make?
I'm not really a fan of cooking! I blame the fact that every time I think about cooking all I see are all the dishes that I would inevitably be stuck cleaning. *side eyes sisters and their terrible ability to dirty every single dish whilst cooking*

While I don't really like to cook, I don't mind baking the occasional quick bread. My two favorites to bake are banana bread and this new pumpkin bread recipe the I recently found. 
  • Do you have any pets? Are you a cat or a dog person?
I have three Australian Shepherds! Sometimes they can be a little "spicy" when they're bored, but they are the sweetest dogs. Also crazy smart!

Both! I love both dogs and cats; although I'm allergic to cats and thus cannot have one. Which is sad because cats are interesting little creatures. 
  • What was your last 5 star read?
Oh, that's difficult as I have not had a five star fiction read, that was not a reread, in probably a year. 

It took some digging, but my last five star fiction read was See How They Run by Ally Carter. I just love her books and could not put this one down!! Yet, if we go with non-fiction, my last was Echo of God:  A Commentary For Beginners On St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort's True Devotion To Mary by Fr. Lance W. Harlow. This book was incredible!!
  • What is book did you have a completely different opinion about than most everyone else and why?
Probably Romeo and Juliet. I know that most people love that book and consider it romantic. I really rather loathe it. And hat is putting it mildly.

I just really do not a) like the play nor what it is about and b) do not like how so many interpret it as romantic when it is in fact a tragedy.

Be sure to check out Emily's blog, Emily Reads Everything  for Part III of Storming the Castle: A Mystery Story.

You can catch up with Part I & Part II if you missed them, as well, as the first two 5for5 posts with Kendra and  Melissa.

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