All posts by Arwen

Maiden: Book Blitz

Maiden Cover
by Teresa A. Harrison
(The Lightwalker Series, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: October 13th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Meet A New Book


Marta and Jayme are childhood friends with different beliefs. Marta dreams of becoming a healer. Jayme has been schooled by the black-coats, a group of priests who claim women are inferior, and he fears Marta is jeopardizing her eternal future.

Despite a heated debate over Marta’s soul, Jayme betrays her to the priests. The consequences of this betrayal change Marta’s life forever and sends Jayme on his own journey.

After a brutal massacre, Marta awakens deep in the forest overcome with grief for her lost sisters, but the world will not let her rest. The tragedy has changed her. She hears the call of nature, eventually steering her toward a small cottage in the wilderness. There she learns of nature’s magic and what it means to be a LightWalker. The path is there for her to follow. If she’s strong enough to embrace it…

Download an excerpt.

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The Fighter of Aldea: Book Blitz

The Fighter of Aldea 
by Kira Weston
Publication date: October 15th 2018
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Meet A New Book



It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.

Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coincide peacefully, but when Leonardo Kinch–a deranged sorcerer who blames humans for the death of his family–starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.

When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop the war and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.

Goodreads / Amazon

Download an excerpt.


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Sophia Writes to Her Bully: Review

Sophia Writes to Her Bully
By Dr. Mildred D. Peyton, with Leah N. Peyton and Jada L. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 24 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: February 21, 2017

Book Reviews - Liked ItLiked It


Content Rating: G

Sophia experiences verbal and social (also referred to as relational) bullying from her classmates during recess. Whenever Sophia attempts to play with a group of students from her fourth-grade class, she is rejected; Amber also calls her an inappropriate name. Only when Sophia takes action by confronting her bully with a letter does her victimization finally end. Want to know what Sophia was being called and how her classmates treated her? Read Sophia Writes to Her Bully and find out what her letter is all about!

Social exclusion is a form of bullying experienced by some children. When it occurs, they feel isolated, alone, and humiliated. It is important for parents to be informed and talk with their children about all types of bullying (e.g., verbal, physical, social/relational, and cyberbullying) so they are better equipped to intervene or prevent their child from bullying others or being a victim of bullying.


I choose to do this book because I wanted to do a post for Bullying Prevention Month which is October.  The story is one that many kids will recognize, from both points of view. Sophia just wants to play with a group of friends during recess, but they keep excluding her.  Amber seems to be excluding without thinking about it or without realizing what she’s doing. I think it’s important to remember that not every bully is a “mean kid”. Frankly sometimes kids just say mean things without thinking about it, they may be afraid of including someone new in their group, or they may not know how to handle situations with new people.

When Sophia comes home and tells her mom what’s been happening  her mom acts with empathy, but doesn’t blow up the issue. I appreciated that she took some time to think about a solution while allowing Sophia some time to rest and refresh. Her mother doesn’t tell her what a bad person those other kid are, or tell her to just ignore them,  or call up the school and demand that they do something. Her calm solution helps to defuse the problem rather than escalate it.

The solution resolves itself rather quickly, and I would have preferred if the book had gone on for a few more pages with Amber and Sophia having to take a few more steps to resolve their problem.

The illustrations are unique, very colorful and expressive, and much improved from the first book (see more below.)

Bottom Line:

A book that you can use to create space for conversations around bullying, but stops short of being a really good book.

Goodreads / Amazon

A Bully on the School Bus
by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and Leah N. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 26 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: Sept 2015

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay


Content Rating: G

Nicole is the main character in the book “A Bully on the School Bus.” Nicole is a young girl who rides the school bus to school every day. It wasn’t until Nicole started experiencing problems with another bus-rider named Dylan when she became uncomfortable being on this bus. Her experience with Dylan is a form of bullying, and she was frightened. After several incidences, Nicole made her parent aware and found a way to solve the problem.


The first book in by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and it feels like it. Phrases are awkward, and the flow of the book just seems off. The illustrations are amateurish and while they are expressive they just don’t seem professional. This book has a great idea, but really needs more polish.

Goodreads / Amazon

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends Nov 3, 2018

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August and September 2018 Book Pick Ups


For Kindle:

Three Dark Crowns
Why I Got It: It was on sale for 99 cents!
What I hope to get out of it: This book has been on my wish list and it sounds like a great fantasy series.

Happy Doomsday: A Novel
Why I Got It: Kindle First pick for August
What I hope to get out of it: It looks like an interesting YA post-apocalyptic story.

Why I Got It: I think this was the Tor book of the month.
What I hope to get out of it: I’m not sure. I really don’t remember getting this one.

The Faerie Prince
Why I Got It: Offered in Authors Newsletter
What I hope to get out of it: I already have the first book in this series, so if I like it I can now continue on to the second book.

From The Library:

The best restaurant in the world
Why I Got It: It looked funny.
What I hope to get out of it: Every once in a while you have to try out something new that you see sitting on the library shelf. It was just a funny and different sort of book.

A Graphic History of the American West: The Gold Rush
Why I Got It: To continue the series after The Oregon Trail.
What I hope to get out of it: The 8 year old is really into pioneers right now, so I got more of this graphic story series to continue learning about life as a pioneer.

A Graphic History of the American West: The explorations of Lewis and Clark
Why I Got It: Next in the series.
What I hope to get out of it: Same as above.


Island on Fire
Why I Got It: From Xpresso Reads, it sounded like a fun historical fiction text.
What I hope to get out of it: Read my review here.

Children’s Books:

The First Christmas Ever
Why I Got It: We have the First Easter, and I didn’t realize it was part of a series. When I found out I got the first book.
What I hope to get out of it: A kid friendly picture book about Christmas.


Phone Call with a Fish
Why I Got It: As a part of the LibraryThing early reviewers program.
What I hope to get out of it: A kids book about having a shy classmate sounded interesting.


For Kindle:

Mirror X (The Van Winkle Project Book 1)
Why I Got It: I did a Blitz for the series on my blog (see the post here) and the first book was on sale for 99 cents.
What I hope to get out of it: A YA dystopian, which is pretty much always up my alley.

The Rule of One
Why I Got It: My Kindle First Pick for September.
What I hope to get out of it: Another YA dystopian, with an interesting premise of the one child rule in a future American.

The Black Company
Why I Got It: Tor book of the month.
What I hope to get out of it: I hear mixed things about this book, some call it a classic others say it’s a pass. I’m not sure if I’m super interested in reading it right now.

Children’s Books:

Wayside School Get A Little Stranger
Why I Got It: Bought it for #BuyABookDay, and also because the * year old loves Wayside school.
What I hope to get out of it: Laughs, so many laughs. And we will probably be playing pretend with Wayside school characters for a long time.

Bella The Bunny Fairy (Rainbow Magic: The Pet Fairies #2)
Why I Got It: The next book in the series.
What I hope to get out of it: A beginners chapter book that the 8 year old can read herself.


Sophia Writes to Her Bully and A Bully on the School Bus
Why I Got It: I will be reviewing the books soon for iRead Book Tours.
What I hope to get out of it: Books that give practical advice for kids to handle bullies as part of Bully Prevention month in October.

What we’re into:

Personal Reading – Maiden by Teresa A. Harrison
Reading With the Miss S – Wayside School Get A Little Stranger
Listening to – Threads by Geoff Moore and the Distance
Watching – We finally went and watched Solo. And I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as the media had made it out to be.

Island on Fire: Review

Island on FireIsland on Fire
by Sophie Schiller
Publication date: April 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Thriller

Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It


Content Rating: Adult content including scenes of violence and abuse. Also contains Voodoo and pagan ritual scenes. No sexually explicit content.

In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past.

At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed city of St. Pierre before it’s too late?

Island on Fire Tour


Oh man, where to even begin? This books was at times exciting, at times suspenseful, and also aggravating. (I mean government can be aggravating anyway, but a government who refuses to see the impending doom of a volcano in full eruption is a special kind of aggravation. I managed to keep from throwing my Kindle across the room, even if I did want to try to shake some sense into a few government officials in the book.)

I was completely unfamiliar with the island of Martinique before reading this book. The author does such a good job of describing the setting and the historical time period that I really felt like I had a feel for 1902 Martinique and the island’s geography by the end. And it was written in a way that didn’t take away from the action. It sounds like an absolutely beautiful place to visit.

There are 3 unique conflicts going on at the same time. The heroine Emilie has a lot on her hands. It starts out seemingly simple enough with her discovery of her fiancé cheating, then it adds the mystery of the volcano, and a new love interest in Rémy. As more and more is revealed about Lucien and Emilie becomes more desperate to escape from his controlling and abusive behavior she turns to Voodoo. By the end Emilie is dealing with multiple enemies her crazed fiancé Lucien, the Voodoo Grand Mamy and the erupting volcano.

By the last quarter of the book I was conflicted… I HAD to know how it all ended, but I was almost scared to finish it, being totally unsure of how it was going to end. As I sped through those last chapters I was almost breathless. The action and the drama was absolutely intense. You could practically feel the force of the volcano. The danger that Emilie and Rémy faced on all side was palpable.

I’ll end as I began… oh man!

Bottom Line:

In a word, intense! A great read with a strong heroine a fantastic setting and lots of action.

Goodreads / Amazon

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An Authentic Experience: Book Blitz

An Authentic ExperienceAn Authentic Experience
by Kelly Wittmann
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Sara Camilli Literary Agency
Release date: February 13th 2018

Meet A New Book


Fifteen-year-old Silver Abelli’s life has been as tumultuous as the punk rock she was raised on. Her divorced parents just don’t get along, even though they’re both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver has always lived with her mom, Nicola, but when Nicola is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz. Because her family is so traumatized by Nicola’s condition, Silver doesn’t know where to turn when she suffers her own trauma. Will the truth set her free, or will it only make a bad situation worse? Find out in this story of family, friends, and young love.

Download an excerpt.

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The Van Winkle Project Trilogy: Book Tour

The Van Winkle Project Trilogy
by Karri Thompson
Published by: by Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Dystopian

Meet A New Book



This trilogy looks soooo good! I love dystopian stories and this one sounds like a unique one. Since the first book is on sale for 99¢ I’ve already bought it, and I WILL find time to read it. Check out the full series below and grab Mirror X while it’s on sale.

MIRROR X (Book 1)


Mirror XI was born more than a thousand years ago.

Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I’ve finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future.

But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me.

Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets.

The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either.

When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

MIRROR X is 99¢ for a limited time!

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I’ve been lied to, deceived, and manipulated—again. You’d think I’d be treated with dignity and respect. I’m the one who’s supposed to save humanity, right? I’m the one with the power to re-populate this dying world. But the clones want to control me, force me to give birth over and over again. And my daughters will face the same fate—unless I change it.

My awakening into this future should have been a chance for a new life, but it just promises a living death. With Michael on my side, though, maybe I can save us. He’s the only person I can trust.

I hear rumors of others… A secret society is growing. Tension is building.

A rebellion is imminent.

Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Goodreads


The end is near—and I’m fated to save humanity.

I’m feared, yet revered. The presidents are leery of me, but I’ve read the files. And I know the truth—at least, I think I do. And I’m the one who is going to tell the clones. They deserve to know.

Michael and I have been forced to fight, to kill. We’ll do anything to keep our daughters safe and free. But we can’t do it alone. There’s a rumor about a secret society eager for battle… and we’re going to find them. Help them end the government’s corruption.

It’s my duty, my calling as the first mother of the new world I want to create.

This started with me, and that’s where it’s going to end.

Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo / Goodreads

Hiro Loves Kite: Book Blitz

Hiro Loves KiteHiro Loves Kite
by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
(Paper Stars #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Meet A New Book


We offer our wounds and scars. Understanding that’s part of what makes us beautiful.

Nora finally has her beloved sister Frankie back but that’s just the beginning of their struggles. She must now become Kite. A stronger, more independent version of herself. A King. A guardian.

And Kettle has Kite’s heart. She gives it freely. But as he holds it, dear and close like a lost treasure, something holds him back: A feeling that he doesn’t deserve good things. A looming shadow that threatens to separate them. Kettle must accept that he is also Hiro: A Japanese American with every right to happiness and freedom.

Because Hiro loves Kite. And Kite won’t wait forever for him to tell her.

But they’re standing on icy ground. As the leverage they had on Kite’s abusive father wavers and life on the street affects Frankie’s health, the challenges threaten to break their bond.

Snow is gathering at the station doors and doubts are piling high. They must rely on each other. Believe in the magic that got them this far. If they don’t, it’s not just their future in jeopardy but the fates of all the street kids in their care. All the Kings.

Download an Excerpt

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Top Ten Tuesday #44: Eight Books for Eight Year Olds

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

August 28, 2018: Back to School/Learning Freebie (in honor of school starting back up soon, come up with your own topic that fits the theme of school or learning! Books that take place at school/boarding school/during study abroad, books you read in school, textbooks you liked/didn’t like, non-fiction books you loved or want to read, etc.)

I can’t believe that Miss S has turned eight. This whole god-parenting thing has been an incredible blessing for us. Now that she’s eight we can really enjoy a wider range of books together. We now enjoy everything from pictures books to MineCraft guides, to chapter books. Below I’m going to share some of the chapter books we’ve been enjoying as bedtime read alouds (and one bonus book we’ve recently found and really enjoy.)

Eight Books for Eight Year Olds:

  1. Little House in the Big Woods
  2. The Mouse and The Motorcycle
  3. Tales of A Forth Grade Nothing
  4. Sideways Stories from Wayside School
  5. Pet Fairies #1: Katie the Kitten Fairy
  6. Winnie-the-Pooh
  7. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
  8. Roger Is Going Fishing


She’s especially enjoyed the books that make her laugh. Sideways School and Tales of a Forth Grade Nothing were big hits. We also read Fudge-A-Mania which is a sequel to Tales, and she loved that one too! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a classic for Christmas time and funny too. Roger is Going Fishing is one she’s read aloud herself time and time again. It’s a very cute book with lots of action going on on the pages.

What would you add to this list? Are there any chapter books you’d suggest for bedtime read alouds? Please leave me a comment and let me know.

Top Ten Tuesday #43: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday #43: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading SlumpAugust 21, 2018: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

Argh! We’ve all been there, in a reading slump. I’ve talked before about how Robinson Crusoe did me in one year and how a Tom Clancy book pulled me out of it. Below are other books that helped pull me out of reading slumps.

5 Books That Pulled Me Out of Reading Slumps:

  1. The Bear and the Dragon – This is the book I mentioned above, that pulled me out of the post-Crusoe slump. Tom Clancy is always a pretty easy read, so it’s a no brainier that even at a whopping 1137 pages it could pull you out of a slump. (Side note: In my freshman year of high school I got bumped from gifted English to regular English cause the class was too full and I was the last one to test in, due to illness. So totally not my fault, but here I am in regular English one day I’m reading a Tom Clancy book in class and the teacher takes it away. He told me, “You can’t read anything in this class that I can’t understand.” Seriously… the teacher said that… about a Tom Clancy book.)
  2. Moon White: Color Me Enchanted – Sometimes the reading slump is just falling into a series of Okay books. Sometimes just one book after another failing to inspire you. 2012 was that kind  of year for me (both before and after Moon White.) I felt a special kind of connection with this book. My story isn’t the same as the stories main character, but I understood her journey very well.
  3. Holes – Holes was a refreshing breath of fresh air in between reading for a tough term in college. I absolutely love Holes and think that everyone should read it middle grades on up. It’s a sweet story of redemption. After all the reading I did for Philosophy class Holes was able to stand up on it’s own with some very profound thoughts about life.
  4. Taliesin or almost anything by Stephen R. Lawhead – Because he is my very favorite author. Reading his books is like coming home.
  5. Dumbheart: A Get Fuzzy Collection – Sometimes your in a slump and you just need to change up the kind of book you’re reading. Nothing quite like turning to your favorite comic strip for some good laughs to cleanse the soul before moving on to other books. This one happened to be a Christmas present and was the first book I actually finished in 2014. 😂

A Book to Pull Me Out of the Next Slump:

  1. Lady of Sherwood (Outlaws of Sherwood Book 1) – I’m saving this one for a special read through. One when I really need to book to sit back and enjoy. This Young Adult retelling of the Robin Hood myth sounds like just the thing next time I’m in a reading slump.