IMWAYR – September 26, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicThis week I read Once Upon a Dream, by Liz Braswell.  This is another wonderful book for my collection of flipped or twisted tales.  This takes my favorite princess movie, Sleeping Beauty, and asks the question “What if Sleeping Beauty never woke up?”

Aurora is living with Maleficent in the Thorn Castle.  She loves her adopted aunt, but life in the castle is quite boring.

One day, Aurora sees some strange dust mites.  They are colored and seem to speak to her.  Aurora decides to try to sneak out of the Thorn Castle.

Upon her escape from the castle, Aurora meets up with a prince.  They embark on a quest to beat Maleficent, awaken Aurora, and hope to escape the dream world they are all trapped in.  There are demons, returning memories, magic, action, and outwitting.

I loved this book!  It is a bit long (430+ pages).  However, there was action all the way through.  I loved how much the author stayed true to the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty (it was published by Disney presses), yet Aurora Rose discovers her true strength, intelligence, and grace to lead her kingdom.  She has compassion and bravery.  A true strong princess.  Great example of a strong woman!!

Well, this book and the huge amount of school work took my time this week!  Up next the he highly anticipated Danielle Paige book Stealing Snow that arrived on Thursday!  I’m excited to get started with it. 😀

Beyond the Books: September 22, 2016

Welcome to this week’s  installment of…..


This meme is hosted by Beyond the Books.

She posts a prompt/question every week (mostly non-book related), and it gives an opportunity to blog.

The signs you are getting older

I hate getting older.  Really, I hate getting older.  I am in my early 30s now and there are a few times I am feeling older.  I thought I’d list them here for you – however, I now you guys have some more instances of feeling older, too.  Be sure to chime in the comments and share!

  • One of the biggest things is that I actually feel like an adult.  My sister-in-law and I had this conversation last month.  Life finally feels like I thought it would feel.  My days and weeks are filled with “adulting” – laundry, dishes, grocery shopping.  Adulting.  Yuck.
  • I get really cranky at all the random loudness outside at night.  When it was the 4th of July, I got really cranky when the neighborhood kids were shooting fireworks off after the cut-off time.  I wanted to go out on the porch, shake my fist, and say You whipper-snappers need to get inside!   Yup, old.
  • I realized that when teenagers or children are talking about something really old, it is usually something that happened in my “recent memory”.  Kids don’t know anything about the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, or the joy of prizes in the cereal, or even about events that make up our childhood (see the OJ Simpson trial).  These are things I remember, yet for them, they are ancient history.

Well, that’s just a few.  I could  go on and on – but that is something that “old people” do.  What signs do you see that mean you are getting older?


IMWAYR – September 19, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicHappy Monday!  This past week I really got into a couple of books.  I mean, they were so good that I couldn’t put them down.  Interested?  Let’s check them out…..

First up, we have Shannon Hale and Dean Hale’s story of an awesome, crime-fighting princess, Princess in Black.  In this one we are introduced to our superhero princess, Princess Magnolia.  She has the nosy Duchess Wigtower over for hot cocoa.  Just then, the secret monster alarm goes off.  Magnolia excuses herself and takes on her ninja-like crime fighting identity – the Princess in Black!  The Princess in Black goes to save the goat herd and send the invading monster back to his land.

With gorgeous illustrations, fast moving plot, and engaging action, Princess in Black is a must read for children of all ages!

I then went in a different direction and read an amazing YA novel.  Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, tells the story of Melinda.  Melinda is a high school freshman who is suddenly outcast from her group of friends.  As the novel progresses, Melinda speaks less and less.  The reader discovers why she is not speaking, and the events surrounding the night that changed her life forever.

This powerful novel was a tough one to put down.  It is written without much dialogue, but rather, as a stream of consciousness type narrative.  Laurie Halse Anderson has said that she woke up one night from a nightmare to hear a girl screaming.  That inner girl is the character who became Melinda.  I loved the writing and totally relate to Melinda’s feelings of being lost within oneself.

Finally, I went back to one of the books on my TBR from last fall’s Children’s Lit class.  The Poet Slave of Cuba, by Margarita Engle, tells the story of Juan Francisco Manzano.  Juan was a slave in Havanna who is incredibly talented at reciting and creating poems and songs.  This biographical tale, adapted from Juan’s own autobiography, explores the confusion, frustration, and growth of this amazing poet.

I loved the verse writing style!  She truly attempted to keep close to the essence of Manzano.  His story is one of heartbreak, joy, pain, and love.  This was a true “book-a-day” read as I started and finished it in an afternoon!

Well, that’s what is up for this past week!  I am currently reading a twisted Sleeping Beauty tale and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige.  My Amazon account estimates I’ll get that one by Friday – a full 2 1/2 days post publication day.  I guess I have to survive though!

Beyond the Books: September 15, 2016

Welcome back to my response to this week’s


This meme is hosted by Beyond the Books.

She posts a prompt/question every week (mostly non-book related), and it gives an opportunity to blog.

Your celebrity crush

I really am not a huge “celebrity crush” person.  There are no actors I think are “dreamy” or “handsome” or “insertadjectivehere”.  Rather, there are actors (and actresses) that I enjoy watching and I admire.  I think I’ll list them instead!

  • Viola Davis:  I mean, have you not seen the TV show How to Get Away With Murder?  Viola plays an amazingly strong and complicated woman. Her portrayal of Annalise is one of outer strength, inner turmoil, and all around awesomeness.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch the first two seasons and get ready for season 3!
  • Emily Deschanel:  Gotta go to my other strong, smart, wonderful leading lady – BONES herself.  Emily’s Temperance Brennen has grown from a strictly logical (and sometimes socially clueless) anthropologist to half of a husband-wife-friends crime-fighting super squad.  It has been amazing to watch 10 years of these actors growing, finding their characters, and making them question themselves.  We get a final 1/2 season (shortened 11th season).  If you haven’t seen Bones, (1) where have you been for the last decade? and (2) watch it!
  • Maggie Smith:  I have always loved Mother Superior from the Sister Act films.  Then I saw this amazing woman play Wendy in Hook.  Then I discovered she was Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter films.  At this point, I am over the moon about her comedic timing and ability to play the straight (wo)man as well as the witty one.  Finally, I discovered that she was the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey.  She made that show!  A-MAZE-ING!  I also saw a few scenes of her in Othello as a younger woman.  I can’t rave enough about this awesome actress!  Watch something, anything, that she is in.  You will not be disappointed!
  • Jennifer Lawrence:  My final celebrity fave is Jennifer Lawrence, aka Katniss Everdeen.  I fell in love with the Hunger Games books, and the movies have not disappointed.  Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress who makes me believe that she is Katniss.  Her growth and poise throughout the four film series is amazing.  Also, who can forget her Oscar’s trip?  Gotta love a funny, smart, hilarious woman!

Well, that’s it from my  celebrity land here!  As you can see, I love to watch strong female characters being played by strong, amazing women.  Who are your faves?  Got something I should watch?  Let me know!

IMWAYR – September 12, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicIt’s Monday and I am actually blogging!  Actually, I’m writing on Sunday evening, but still…..  This is improvement!

This past week I finished up a pretty amazing YA mystery novel.  Ripper, by Stefan Petrucha, follows Carver, a young teen in late 1800’s New York.  He is adopted by an eccentric old detective.  His new mentor, Mr. Hawking, wants him to discover the identity of his father from a mysterious note left at the orphanage for Carver.

In the course of his search for his father, there are a series of grisly murders.  Carver, his friends, and the secret detective agency led by Mr. Hawking, work to discover where this Jack the Ripper is, and hope to stop the murders.

I really liked this book.  There were a few chapters in the early-middle that were slow, but I enjoyed all of the action and mystery.  I also liked that the author gave me some clues, just like Carver, but left some unknown.  It made for a great ending!

I also dove into and devoured the second prequel novella to Stealing Snow, the upcoming novel by Danielle Paige.  In this installment, Queen Rising, we find Margot and her brother Go are being sold by their poor, abusive mother for money.  Margot is adopted by the Witch of the Woods and goes to the Hollow to learn magic.

Well, a book isn’t good if there are no twists.  Paige does not fail in this at all!  After a few years, Margot is banished/sent out from the Hollow because she is not learning magic.  Desperate, she ends up taking up with a robber.  He teaches her the trade.  Margot’s brother Go, who has grown up as the companion/friend of the Prince, tells Margot to leave and not visit him anymore.
What’s a girl to do?  You have to read the novella to find out!

Side note:  Someone remind me to not to read Danielle Paige’s prequel novellas before I have the upcoming novel in my hot little hands.  This is really KILLING me waiting until next week!

That’s it for this week!  I’ve got some good ones coming up in the TBR pile.  Tune in next week to see what I’ve read!

Beyond the Books: September 8, 2016

Hi Friends!
So it appears that I am not very good about getting back into the blogging routine.  If you follow me on Twitter or know me in real life, you will know that I have binged nearly 6 seasons of Pretty Little Liars on top of reading and homework.  Also, the new school year started and I am substituting this fall, so that takes away some days.
Basically, I stick at blogging…..but I’m going to get better…I promise!  In the spirit of improvement here is this week’s Beyond the Books!

This meme is hosted by Beyond the Books.

She posts a prompt/question every week (mostly non-book related), and it gives an opportunity to blog.

List 25 random facts about yourself.

This gem of a prompt is actually from July.  However, I didn’t really like this week’s prompt, so I’m pulling up an older one for fun.

25 Random Facts About ME!

  1. I don’t like to share my middle name because my brother used to tease me (and sing a song that is sort of like my name).  Don’t ask.
  2. I’ve worn glasses since first grade and do not know what it is like to wake up and be able to see without glasses.
  3. I took Latin in high school because the teacher reminded me of my grandma.
  4. My dad was in the Army when I was younger.  He retired when I was 9.
  5. My parents have had the same phone number since 1992.
  6. My hair is super fine.  I have to use child hair barrettes to keep them in my hair.  Even then…not cute.
  7. My feet are extremely small.  I wear a size 5-ish.
  8. I bought light up shoes from the kids department my freshman year of college.
  9. I still miss those light up shoes.
  10. I can cross my toes without using my hands.  Both big toe over middle toe and big toe under middle toe.
  11. Toe is a funny word if you say it a bunch…. toe toe toe toe
  12. I can have two or three lines of thought/”conversations” going on in my head at once.
  13. I have never been to Washington State, Oregon, or Idaho.
  14. The best adult vacations I’ve ever taken were a cruise on our honeymoon, a trip to Rome with uncle-in-law and aunt-in-law, and going to Disneyland.
  15. I am planning another trip to Disneyland to celebrate my upcoming graduation next summer.
  16. I make songs out of everything.  This includes a “brushing my teeth” song that I sing every time I brush.
  17. I would have gone into forensic anthropology if I wasn’t so grossed out by blood.
  18. Likewise, I would have become an archaeologist if I could tolerate bugs, heat, and semi-camping.
  19. We do not have live TV at home.  The only options are streaming services or Dish and we do not want to pay the money for TV we won’t watch.
  20. I still use the TI-83 I got as a high school freshman for math classes.  That was almost 20 years ago!
  21. I started high school in 1997.  (Dang….I feel old!)
  22. I sing loudly in my car.  If you see me driving, you will see a silent concert as I jam to my tunes.
  23. I love small town life except for the short (3-5 minute) commute.  Not enough time for #22.
  24. I routinely get mad that clothes don’t last for 6 or more years.  My favorite shirts keep getting holes and I have to remind myself that they are from 2009 and shirts get holes.
  25. I love pens but I am particular about which pens I buy and use.

Well, that’s what I have folks!  I’m still working on reading a good novel.  I’m still marathon watching PLL.  I am still getting homework done.  I will be back for a Monday post!😀

IMWAYR – August 29, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicThis sure has been a busy week.  New semester started last week and then we’ve been away hanging out with family starting on Friday.  Needless to say, not much time for just leisure reading!

We did a library trip with the niece and nephew.  My niece and I got a chance to read together.  She read quite a bit of this one all by herself.  BOM! Went the Bear, by Nicki Greenberg, is about a bear and his drum.  But, once he starts playing music, all the other animals join in with their music.  Cute, fun, silly.  Great read for learning about onomatopoeia! 

In the meantime, I did have a chance to hit up the bookstore while we’ve been in the big city.  My TBR got bigger and my wallet got smaller.  Oh well, that’s the life of a reader!

What did you read this week?  What is your favorite thing to read with kids in your family?  Let’s talk below…..