All posts by Arwen

October Wrap Up and November Goals

What is it?Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in's linkup on the first day of the month!

Two different link ups one at Writes like a Girl called Small Goals, and another one at Stay Gold Autumn.

My Rating System:

Forgot to do it most days.

Somewhat met this goal (did at least 1/2 of the days.)

Mostly met this goal (did at least 2/3 of the days.)

Accomplished this goal.

October Goals:

Continue to sit down and review my week every Monday.
This habit helps me stay so much more organized.

Celebrate my birthday at the Chinese Buffet!
Absolutely! I had a great birthday, day with my man!

Log my meals for 1 week.
Yes! I managed to do about 10 days in a row last month.

Write Review for The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and Mary Poppins.
I got the review for Mary Poppin finished and posted, but haven’t had time to finish the one for Minnow Bly.

At the Portland Retro Gaming Expo posing with my man Pip Boy from the Fallout series.
At the Portland Retro Gaming Expo posing with my man Pip Boy from the Fallout series.
2017 Pumpkins
Painting our pumpkins makes them last a lot longer…
2017 Pumpkins
… but they still glow thanks to glow-in-the-dark stickers!
Trunk or Treat 2017
This year was my very first Trunk or Treat. I choose a bathtime theme, complete with sounds track that included the Rubber Duckie song and Splish-Splash.

Reading Wrap Up:

Sea So Blue
Change Your Culture, Change Everything

What I’m reading now:  The Clockwork War, Shattered Worlds Read Along

Up Next:  More Shattered Worlds Read Along

Pocket App: Best Articles of the Month

November Goals:

Really November has already, been and will continue to be SUPER crazy busy. My goal for this month is to just make it through in one piece and still mentally sound 😉 .

And to continue to do my weekly review journal entry.

Book Blitz: Dead Blue Sea

Dead Blue Sea
By Erin Hayes
(The Berkano Vampire Collection)
Release date: November 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic

Meet A New Book

Normally this wouldn’t be my sort of book, but the heading “Point Break meets Buffy in post-apocalyptic Cape Town, South Africa” just made me want to check it out. That’s a mash-up that hasn’t been done before and I’d love to know where it goes.

Dead Blue Sea


Point Break meets Buffy in post-apocalyptic Cape Town, South Africa.

They say that surfing used to be a way of life.
In Devil’s Bay, it’s the only way to survive.

My name is Carlyle. I’m a water witch who protects the fishermen of my village from the danger beneath the waves. My days are spent on my longboard saving everyone from the fins. My nights are spent dreaming of something more than my small village isolated from the outside contact by cliffs and jagged peaks.

Then a storm strikes out of the blue, and, well, I wipe out. When I wake up, I’m on the other side of the bay surrounded by vampires who want to see me dead. Major bummer.

Only Kopano, an outcast of the fangers, seems to take pity on me. You see, Kopano also spent his nights dreaming of something more, and he thinks I hold the key. The only catch? To find the truth, we’ll have to face the dead blue sea.

Amazon / Barnes & NobleGoodreads




October 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate Reader

Every month I say that same thing, “I won’t get as many book this month. My TBR pile is already out of control.” And then completely ignore that and go out and get a whole bunch of books. I’ve kept myself from pre-ordering the two newest book collections Sirens and Scales and Heroines & Hellions, but I’m not sure I’ll make it through November without picking them up – because they look so amazing!

For Kindle:

Infinity: 1 Why I got it: When I placed an order with Amazon last month I got a credit for a digital graphic novel

Hansel (Gretel Book Three)
Why I got it: Author Freebie. When you have the first two books and the author offers you the sequel for free you take it.

The Chronicles of Koa Boxed Set Books 1-3
Why I got it: KN Lee offered boxed sets of her books to reviews who were on her mailing list and I snatched them up.

Dragon-Born: The Dragon-Born Saga Books 1-3
Why I got it: Same as above, a KN Lee boxed set offered for free to reviewers.

The Unremembered Girl: A Novel
Why I got it: My choice for Kindle First for October, and I can tell you I completely forgot about this one.

City of Shadows: Part One
Why I got it: Author Freebie. A trusted author who offered this stand alone book in his world of the Atomic Sea. I couldn’t turn it down, although this one looks like it will have a darker tone than some of his other books.


Roar (Stormheart) Paperback
Why I got it: Have you seen the cover? Have you? It beautiful! This is one book you need to own a physical copy of. Unfortunately I will have to wait until June to get the paperback, meanwhile all those Kindle readers are tantalizing me with their reviews.

Where the Fire Falls: A Vintage National Parks Novel
Why I got it: The next book by my friend Karen Barnett. These vintage National Parks novels also have beautiful covers, but I know I can trust Karen to deliver a good story.

Kids Books:

Wee Sing Silly Songs
Why I got it: Any Wee Sing book is a must buy at a thrift store, I love them so much. I already have another version of this, but with songs books it’s okay to have extras.

Blueberries for Sal
Why I got it: A Caldecott winner, for 50 cents? It’s was a great pick up.

Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail
Why I got it: This one is right at Miss S’s reading level and was also on sale at the Thrift store. Plus Amelia Bedelia is hilarious.

Leif Likes to Play
Leif Likes to Count
Leif Needs a Bath
Why I got them: As a child I had a copy of Leif cleans his room, and I had no idea it was part of a series. These were at the thrift store and it blew my mind! Now we have a complete set.

The Mitten String
Why I got it: Was on sale for $2.50 at Safeway of all places. This is such a good story I would recommend that you look for it at your library. I would call it a diverse book because the characters are all Jewish and the character the story centers on is deaf. It’s just rich with multiple layers, and I would recommend reading it to your kids.

Portland Retro Gaming Expo:

Signed copy of 100 Greatest Console Video Games

The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987
Why I got it: The author was at the expo, and this is a book right up my husband’s alley.

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection
Why I got it: One of the tables had this set for $10! It was almost too good of a bargain. I’ve been wanting to get this set for Miss S so that she could expand her game play, esp with Redstone.

Birthday Books:

Books I got for my birthday.

Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse
Why I got it: Cause my sister is awesome. 🙂 And Serenity/ Firefly is awesome. And this was the last of the Serenity graphic novels that I needed.

Star Wars Origami Characters
Star Wars Origami Spacecraft
Why I got it: I like doing origami, but my mother must think I’m a master at it because most of these designs are going to be soooo hard to do.

FoxTrot : En Masse
Why I got it: My husbands know I like a good laugh, and he keeps me supplied with the funnies. Although, this volume is obviously old because, um joke about Alf?!?

KidMin Academy:

KidMin Academy Books

Why I got them: I’m taking the year long KidMin Academy diploma program and this is the packet of books for the first term. Most are required reading but the Almight Bible and Missing were free extras.

The Almighty Bible: Genesis (First Book in Graphic Novel Series)

Pulse II: Pumping Life Into Your Kids Ministry

Kidmin Manifesto: The Values, Culture and Mandate of the Nation

Future Faith: Shaping Today’s Ministry for Tomorrow’s Opportunities

The Volunteer Code: How to Recruit and Care for Volunteers

Missing: An Urgent Call for the Church to Rescue Kids

Change Your Culture, Change Everything: The Leader’s Guide to Organizational Transformation


Pray for Me
Why I got it: Our church is doing the Pray for Me campaign and we decided to participate. After all it’s a great idea to have adults in the church committed to praying for the kids in the church. They try to match up 3 adults for each teen or family.

Book Blitz: Roar

By Cora Carmack
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Fantasy/ Teen Fantasy

Meet A New Book

Ever since I heard about this book I’ve been dying to read it. It sounds absolutely fabulous and the cover is beautiful. It’s on sale today for $2.99 (for kindle)! Although I think I want a paperback copy, I mean look at that cover again. Wouldn’t you want that on your bookshelf? But that doesn’t come out until June 2018. It’s tempting to pick it up on Kindle just so I can read it NOW.

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR, now available in eBook for $2.99 today only! ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!


New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks/ Goodreads


Book Blitz: The King of Eiselorn

The King of Eiselorn: Elwendur (Book One)The King of Eiselorn: Elwendur (Book One)
by Max Kahl
Release date: June 10, 2017
Genre: High Fantasy/Epic Fantasy

Meet A New Book

An interesting sounding fantasy story that has real potential for depth. The synopsis is a bit confusing with lots of place and people names that are unfamiliar, but the last line that’s what intrigues me.


After the invasion of the Kingdom of the Mountain, an era of darkness hovered for years over the Continent of Imnavel. Only a few, decimated after decades of war, resisted the attacks.

But the Hordes of the East finally conquered the Elevated Mountain of Iver Osterith, last bastion of defense of the inhabitants of Imnavel. This last act forced the survivors to regroup in order to repel the invasions or perish forever.

New armies rose. New weapons were wielded. New steels were forged. Forests and lakes died. Even the Ancient heard once again the rumour of war – that old rumour which hadn’t been heard since the First Eras.

From then on, the Hermehrs waited for their revenge, one which would return to them their past and history, their ancient lands and their old songs of honourable kings and noble lords. Only one warrior could do that. And his name is reflected in old prophecies.

The Golden Eras and the Wise Eras had come to an end to give way to the Era of the Elwendur – the Migration of the Peoples.


Leave a comment below telling me why you think The King of Eiselorn sounds interesting. After Nov 1st I will pick one comment at random to will win an e-copy (epub, mobi or pdf) of The King of Eiselorn.

Review: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins Book CoverBy P.L. Travers
Pages: 209
Date Finished: 9/11/17

Book Reviews - BadBad


By P.L. Travers, the author featured in the major motion picture, Saving Mr. Banks. From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.

It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!


I picked this up at a thrift store to read to the six year old, who hasn’t seen the movie. My plan was to finish the book before introducing her to the movie. BIG MISTAKE!

The Mary Poppins of the book is very different from the Mary Poppins of the movie. Vain, condescending, and rude – Mary Poppins is not someone who should be watching children. She is narcissistic to the point where you might actually accuse her of child neglect and emotional abuse.

Actually, about that, Mary Poppins is the best of the worst when it comes to gas-lighting the children. “What? No? That incredible adventure we just had? Never happened. Why would even suggestion such a thing? You must have imagined it all.” Seriously, this is how almost every chapter ends. Kinda takes the wind right outta their sails.

The adventures they have are really imaginative, but it’s hard to enjoy them. And it’s hard to understand why the children grow so attached to Mary Poppins. In fact, I don’t understand the appeal of this book at all.

Bottom Line:

Neither the six year old or I liked Mary Poppins, and it has had the unfortunate side effect of turning her off from chapter books. I don’t know how Mary Poppins became a Children’s Classic. In my option it doesn’t deserve that title. Skip the book, in this case the movie is better.

Amazon / Goodreads

September Wrap Up and October Goals

October Small GoalsWhat is it?Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in's linkup on the first day of the month!

Two different link ups one at Writes like a Girl called Small Goals, and another one at Stay Gold Autumn.

My Rating System:

Forgot to do it most days.

Somewhat met this goal (did at least 1/2 of the days.)

Mostly met this goal (did at least 2/3 of the days.)

Accomplished this goal.


September Goals:

Sit down and review my week every Monday. – I was able to do this every week! It really helps with the flow of my weeks, and being able to see what I accomplish (aka where all that time goes.)

Blog for The Shattered Worlds Read Along, and Read A Book/Buy A Book day Yes and yes, plus several other blog posts in Sept!

Log my meals for 1 week. – Big fail here. I never managed more than one day, and mostly I just have a log of what I ate for breakfast.

Sept 22nd is Hobbit Day. One of these days I’m going to celebrate by having a party under the party tree with cake and lights and fireworks. Maybe for my one hundrend and elevendy birthday.
Sept 29th is National Coffee day. I celebrate it each year by delivering flowers to the barista’s at my favorite coffee stand.

Reading Wrap Up:

99 Days (Red Proxy #2)
No One Else Like You
Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1)
Slayer (Dragon Tamer 1)
Richard’s Story: A Numbers Game Short
The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness, #1)

What I’m reading now: Sea so Blue, Shattered Worlds Read Along

Up Next: Sound of Silence, Shattered Worlds Read Along

Pocket: Best Articles from the Pocket App

October Goals:

Continue to sit down and review my week every Monday.
Why? It just really helps. I’ve got to make a solid habit out of this.

Celebrate my birthday at the Chinese Buffet!
Why? Because it’s my favorite!

Log my meals for 1 week.
Why? I need to do this for my health. I’ve just got to figure out a way to make it work.

Write Review for The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and Mary Poppins.
Why? Because I loved one and hated the other and both deserve a good review.

So that’s it for October. Do you have any goals or plans for the month? Let me know about it in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday #35

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

October 3, 2017: Top Ten Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends (Which characters do you have crushes on?)

I’m going off topic again, and going to skip the book boyfriend in order to go back and do the character topic from last week. Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Now that I’ve read some of the other posts from last week I’m feeling a bit more inspired. (Plus my husband is such a total heartthrob I don’t need a book boyfriend 😉 )

This list is in the order they came to mind. It’s not a ranking of their survival skills.

Top Ten Survivors

  1. Brian from Hatchet – The quintessential wilderness survival book. Brian is lost in the woods with only a handful of supplies and a hatchet after the small plane he was in crashes into a lake in the Canadian wilderness. If you haven’t read it you are missing out. I enjoyed it as a young teen and again as an adult.
  2. Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins – Another YA Classic, and another book I enjoyed both as an adult and when I was younger. Left alone on an island after her tribe moves away Karana is forced to find a way to survive alone against the forces of nature, wild dogs and loneliness.
  3. Sam from My Side of the Mountain – So a lot of these are simply classics. In this story Sam feels crowded in the small apartment in NY so he runs away and finds a home in the Catskill Mountains inside a hollowed out tree. The kid in me get excited just thinking about Sam’s adventure.
  4. Katniss from the Hunger Games – Notice how I specified, Hunger Games, when it’s because of the skills Katniss learned in the wildness, where she hunts and forages for food for her family that she survives the first games. Even using the wilderness again some of her opponents.
  5. Matt from Sign of the Beaver – Matt and his father build a frontier cabin and then Matt’s fathers leaves to go get the rest of the family. Leaving 13 year old Matt to fend for himself, but what’s a boy suppose to do when the weeks, and it seems that his family will never come back.
  6. Minnow from The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly – A book I just recently devoured, uh I mean read. I started to read the excerpt and couldn’t stop. The cover is deceiving because one of the defining characteristics of Minnow, is that she has no hands. She survives when her hands are taken from her by the cruel cult leader, she survives to runaway from the cult’s wilderness homestead in the middle of winter, and in jail the girl with no hands learns to kick-butt. A powerful story.
  7. Marie Dorion from A Name of Her Own – Jane Kirkpatrick always does a great job of making history come alive, but there is something special about this story of the Astor party and Marie’s survival on the second cross-country trip to the Oregon country after Lewis and Clark’s journey.
  8. Jonnie from Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 – My husband rolled his eyes when I told him this was going to be on my list. But he’s only seen the movie, and has not read the book, which is so much better. Although, Barry Pepper is Jonnie in my mind, he fits the part so well. Jonnie survives not only in the fringes of the wildness, but also in an alien concentration camp, torture and more.
  9. Heidi and Peter in Courage Mountain – I read the novelization of this movie before seeing the movie. In fact, I read it several times. Heidi and Peter are forced to help a group of girls cross the alps during World War II. There’s danger a plenty and a young Charlie Sheen, back when he was hot and not crazy, in the pictures in the middle part of the book.
  10. The Swiss Family Robinson – Now here I’m cheating a little because I have only read the abridged version and then seen the movie. But when it comes to surviving and thriving in the meanwhile no one comes to mind like the Swiss Family Robinson.

Note: No Robinson Crusoe is NOT on this list, and that’s on purpose. Have you read that book? It’s rubbish! I’m still convinced that everyone else has read the abridged version or stopped after part one (he actually on the island for only a short amount of time.)

September 2017 Book Pick Ups


September 2017 book pick ups

I am trying to tame my TBR, I really am, but The Deliberate Readerman those Author freebies, and then sequels to the great books from the Shattered Worlds Read Along. There are a lot of really great sounding books here, and once the read along is over I’ll be tackling the Number Games Saga books, because I can’t wait to see where that idea takes things.

For Kindle:

Children of Avalon: The Traveller Series Book One 
Why I got it: Author Freebie. Multiverse, Arthurian story… is enough for me.

Numbers Game (Numbers Game Saga Book 1)
Why I got it: After reading Richard’s story as part of the Shattered World’s Read Along, I knew I wanted to read more of this series.

Chan’s Story: A Numbers Game ShortRuby’s Story: A Numbers Game Short
Why I got it: Author Freebie. During the Shattered Worlds Read Along for Richard’s story the author gave us a link to get these tow other stories.

The Red Queen (Wonderland University)
Why I got it: Author Freebie. I knew this one was coming out a while ago, and was pretty interested. I mean come on, “Iracebeth has one more year of sorcery training before she sits on the throne as the Red Queen of Wonderland. But, each day with her arch-nemesis, Alice proves to be more of a brutal eternity when her life starts to systematically fall apart. Did she have to steal her boyfriend, friends, and every hope for happiness?” And then it was offered for free to her newsletter subscribers (it otherwise $.99, so not likely to break the bank.)

Seeds of Discovery (Dusk Gate Chronicles Book 1)
Why I got it: It’s been on my Amazon list for awhile, and in Sept it was free!

Slumber (Beauty Never Dies Chronicles Book 1)
Why I got it: Author Freebie. Post-Apocalyptic retelling of Sleeping Beauty, I figured it was worth a try.

The Sea Queen (The Dark Queens Book 1)
Why I got it: Author Freebie. This series sounds really good. I really love Greek Mythology imaginings. “And when a dark queen gets an idea, nothing and no one can stand in her way…”

Kids Books:

I Will Not Read This Book
Why I got it: It was $4.99, repeat $4.99! What a steal for such a fun book. I plan on reading this one to Miss S’s 2nd grade class this year.

Cooking with the Grinch
Why I got it: Bought this book for #BuyABookDay, plus Miss S loves to read these books.

From The Library:

One-Pan Wonders

Why I got it: Sheila at The Deliberate Reader had it on her list last month.

Understanding Coding With Minecraft (Kids Can Code Series)
Why I got it:  Trying to take Miss S’s interest in Minecraft and turn it into an interest in coding.

Brave Batgirl
Why I got it: Miss S picked it out to read herself.

Top 5 Disney Rants

Top Ten Tuesday #34

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

Top 5 Disney RantsSeptember 26, 2017Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: (Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!)

I’m going off topic this week. I just couldn’t think of anything to go with this week’s character topic. So I’m going to rant instead, and I’m going to rant about Disney. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Disney fangirl. I love Disney movies. My favorite is The Little Mermaid, and I collect Ariel everything.

Still… there are a few things I’ve always wondered about, or things that just bother me, or that don’t add up.

Top 5 Disney Rants

  1. Jasmine, Princess Privilege Much? – Ok, so seriously, Jasmine is the only child of the Sultan and presumably will be ruler some day, or married to the next ruler and at least be very influential. Yet she doesn’t know the first thing about the rule of law in their nation. You might expect that the plight of the poor would be kept from her, but really she should have been taught about crime and punishment or money and all that by the time she’s a teenager. Plus, it always bothered me that we are supposed to feel sorry for the poor, bored, pampered princess when it’s clearly shown that there are children starving in Agrabah.
  2. Yzma, Everything About Yzma – What fevered nightmare did Yzma come out of? Seriously, the animators who came up with her were deranged. Let’s forget for a moment that we are supposed to be enlightened enough now that we don’t believe that evil people are ugly. (Remember in 1991 when Beauty and the Beast broke this mold wide open? Well The Emperor’s New Groove came out nine years later in 2000.) Yzma is one of Disney’s most cringe inducing characters ever. We watched it again the other night, and I can’t believe she ever made it on screen. I am totally creepified by her.
  3. What do Mermaids eat? – Are we really suppose to believe that all merfolk are vegetarians? And yes, yes, I know that this argument has been made before. In fact, it’s probably the number one thing people bring up about the little mermaid (beside the fact that Ariel could have written Eric a letter explaining her temporary muteness.) Pretty much the ocean food chain is that big things eat smaller things. Yet King Triton puts down humans as “those fish-eaters.” As puts it, “However, in the real world, nearly all sea life feeds on … other sea life. So what’s on the menu in Triton’s kingdom? Perhaps lots of slime and plankton, or other things too horrifying to imagine.”
  4. Why did they make a Hunchback of Notre Dame kids movie? –  I have read the Hunchback of Notre Dame and at no time while reading it did I ever think, “They should make a kids movie out of this.” In fact, I refuse to watch the movie. Seriously they made a kids movie out of a book where everyone dies horrifically and there is no justice what-so-ever. Sorry, Disney no happy endings here. In fact, that might even be the point.
  5. The Prince doesn’t remember the color of Cinderella’s hair? –  I’m not the first to point this out, but it seems odd that his man servant had to try the glass slipper on every maiden in the kingdom. Could he have a least told him, “She has strawberry blonde hair.”? I mean come on.

So that’s my list. Do you have any Disney rants? Please share them in the comments and leave me a link to your Top Ten Tues post.