The Forbidden Warriors: A Book Tour Review

The Forbidden Warriors by Moud Adel

Typically I would start off a Book Review with all the links and information and then get on with my thoughts. However, this is a Book Tour and it’s the first one I’ve actually done and committed to posting so I have a mini aside to ramble about here. I want to thank Breakeven Books for reaching out to me. They have put so much effort and love into this tour and Erik deserves all the praise for it.

Now that that is out of the way, on to the review!

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 8/10 I adore painted covers. This one is really pretty and I love the jungle vibes it has. The only thing is as adventurous as the book itself is, they don’t really go into a jungle that I recall at any point. It does cover the fantasy elements the book has.

Publisher: Mastoperia Books

Publish Date: November 15th, 2019

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: e-arc in exchange for a book tour review!

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Four teams, multiple power systems and mythical creatures, vast world, and there can only be one winner.
Mastoperia: A hidden continent with four factions divided and suspicious of each other, with a history of unresolved wars, each grounding themselves in their own unique culture, and magical power.

The Forbidden Warriors: The only force powerful enough to keep the factions from destroying one another. The secret to their power is a mystery, but the only way to hold on to it is by passing the power to a new generation every two and a half centuries.

As that time has arrived, each faction must offer a candidate to become the next generation of the Forbidden Warriors, but only one can be the leader. In a race for that leadership position, four candidates and their teams travel across a world mysterious to them, to hunt artifacts they know nothing about.

The mission is not easy, their goals are not aligned, and the truth is far bigger than they could have imagined. A challenge none were ready for.

Will they choose their own interests, their factions’ or defy all that they know for the sake of their world?

Opening Sentence: “Amarin wrapped his fingers around one of the hot, steel bars centering the massive gate.”

Musings:

The Forbidden Warriors is a high fantasy/sci-fi novel filled with a unique factions system and lots of unique magic. This multi-POV novel will take you on a journey with its many characters as they fight against each other to become the leader of The Forbidden Warriors.

What I enjoyed:

The second half. This book got better as it went along. The second half was pretty juicy with the elements it had going on. Including relationships between characters building and being strained and The Forbidden Warriors having their own alternate agenda for our characters.

The idea of the powers. There were many nuances to the various faction powers and they were all interesting to learn about. However, I felt like they were a little over explained in the beginning and I wanted to see the powers explained for themselves in more practical usage instead of just in telling.

The cultural differences between factions. I kinda wish this was highlighted more. I was interested in the history of the factions and a little bit more of the inner workings of them. I feel like there is a taste of that throughout the novel, but it wasn’t touched on as deeply as it could have been.

Some Criticism:

Too many pov’s: It took me much longer then I would have liked to get a sense of whose POV I was in, who was related to them, and what faction they were from. I think I was half way before I really got a sense of all the individual stories and that threw me off a lot of the novel.

All in all:

I enjoyed myself while reading this novel and that’s the most important thing. I don’t quite think the book reached the potential it could have, but it is interesting and fun to read as it is.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Egypt, living in France with a degree in ancient Egyptian history and a passion for writing. I developed my love for storytelling early on and was fascinated by the idea of deconstructing worlds and building new ones that fall under the laws of my imagination.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Another 30 days of Yoga

I gave myself a few days rest after completing my last 30 day yoga challenge and I’m getting right back into it with another fightmaster yoga challenge for beginners!

October 3rd, 2019

Day 1: Remnant of the last day 1. Just a peaceful soft start and a good reminder to feel good in my body. To come back to peace of mind and feeling like all is well.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/CRZmGnF382c

October 5th, 2019

Day 2: I accidentally forgot to do this yesterday. But, I’m back at it today and I’m happy to enter into another yoga challenge. This video was a reminder of the very basics. Which is good because one of the biggest parts of yoga for me is the mental part. Always being present in the moment and how I think while practicing is important. My mind wandered a lot today, but that’s ok, by the end I was fully in the moment and practicing this way more and more will help with my often wandering mind.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/wITgM-N1PcY

October 6th, 2019

Day 3: Today was short and peaceful. I didn’t put my knees down for the vinyasas because I’m used to them already. In general today I felt so good in my body. I tried to do my first full push-up in my life today and I succeeded. It’s such a small thing, but I’ve been wanting to be able to do so for so long! It’s so nice that the practice that got me the strength for it has been yoga. Even if something doesn’t happen right away it doesn’t mean never. One step at a time and you will achieve amazing things!

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/2qqw5AeqQz8

October 7th, 2019

Day 4: The short practices feel extra short after being used to the 30 min classes. However, it does help me get into a state of mindfulness and peace and I think that’s the most important thing. Today I progressed my forward fold where I could touch my big toe if I lift it up with my back straight. My sister made fun of me because she said it was cheating, but I’m proud of my progress nonetheless.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/FBl-7zxH0v0

October 8th, 2019

Day 5: Today was a little more intense. Plank with my forearms down always has my whole body shaking. I enjoy a good day of core work. I’m happy to continue on a practice that helps my strength and my flexibility.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/iZIvBi0AJkc

October 9th, 2019

Day 6: Another gentle practice. There was more vinyasas, but the time went by so fast that it felt like a good warm up instead of the usual shake fest. I almost didn’t make it to practice today. It’s a good reminder not to get lost in playing too much Town of Salem. I’m way too addicted to that game.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/Fkvb3sgB6dc

October 10th, 2019

Day 7: I just want to say how much I love doing this! There wasn’t any standing today, but I was practicing touching my toes on my own and I can finally do it with my back straight! After less than two months of practicing yoga and one of the biggest things for me has been achieved. I’ve been made fun of for my inability to touch my toes. Finally being able to do so without any pain is such a great feeling. I’m so proud!

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/mFg2QJYn5yo

October 11th, 2019

Day 8: The past few days have been productive in a I’ve grown up and have to do adult things kind of way. The boringish taking care of setting up personal accounts and talking with insurance people and setting up a lot of stuff. Doing yoga has become something I do 100% for myself to stay grounded gain perspective and has allowed me to see the good in the seemingly boring activities that I’ve actually been pretty proud of myself for doing. There is something great about getting yourself put together in all ways.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/KOkTu6qngrY

October 12th, 2019

Day 9: Today while practicing a lot of things in my life felt clearer than normal. I realized that I felt ok within myself and how things are right now. Even though I know my life is changing and will continue to change I’m happy and ok in this transition period of the unknown. I’m proud of just being myself and my refusal to give up on life. I’m healthy. Actually healthy, mind, body, and soul. I remained patient with myself and I’m finally standing and seeing how far I’ve come. I don’t have depression anymore and I’ve come to be able to combat any triggers to my anxiety like a pro. I feel good. Really good. I brought myself out of the darkest my mind had ever been. I truly am grateful I showed up for myself. It even shows with how I care for myself everyday and am not afraid to buy something I like when I see it. I am my own warrior and I am unbelievably proud.
Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/ymNC71KWY1M

October 13th, 2019

Day 10: Sometimes after a really good day things don’t go exactly as planned. Today was one such day, but doing this instead of giving in to apathy and realizing that one bad day isn’t going to ruin the rest of them. Practicing yoga is a reminder that I have a choice in every moment to look at the bright side and not let a negative period dictate how I see things. I can overcome it. Each and every day.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/lJ0G8RgYI6w

October 14th, 2019

Day 11: Lots of twists today! Which felt amazing on my back. My spine feels so good after today’s practice. I’m in a very happy mood today and I’m so grateful for it! I attribute a lot of the peace I find in my life recently to my decision to practice yoga. It’s always the time of day my mind is clearest. I’m loving the practice!

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/5wG-RKX-2Xg

October 15th, 2019

Day 12: she did a variation on a yoga pose today that I hadn’t done before so I messed it up a little, but I got it eventually. I did my practice today with a charcoal face mask on so it felt like a double dose of self care. Today was quite the productive day! We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/Rt3s0q8-YTA

October 17th, 2019

Day 13: I didn’t practice yesterday and I almost didn’t practice today. But, every time I decide to even when I don’t really feel like it I remember why I enjoy it so much. It’s peaceful for me. It helps me to feel ok with where I’m at as a person. It’s part of how I care for myself.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/FWHVtB7zEq4

October 18th, 2019

Day 14: today was a mediation day which felt so good after working hard all day today. This yoga practice is slowly changing my life. I’m truly grateful for it.

October 19th, 2019

Day 15: Today was a good ab workout. I don’t know if it’s just that I was tired today or what, but after I finished I had a tear on my face and I don’t know why? I wasn’t sad or anything, but a tear came anyway.

October 20th, 2019

Day 16: I practiced in the morning today. In the morning my body is a little more stiff, but still it’s not as bad as it used to be. Overall a nice smooth practice today.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/AOYL5MTVsGI

October 21st, 2019

Day 17: In general, this time around it’s been a general yoga flow with bit too many new things thrown in. What’s been good about that is that this practice has been more about a good mental state than anything else. Being healthy in the mind shapes the way you see everything around you. The peace I find practicing yoga is incredible. It feels so good.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/GttbhZ1mQkU

October 22nd, 2019

Day 18: I love feeling the increase to my arm strength. I have so much more control over slowly lowering myself down then I had before. The most minute of progress is still progress and it should be celebrated!

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/lPEEnsyME-E

October 23rd, 2019

Day 19: Today felt pretty tough for some reason. I also felt a weird construction in my throat that felt like stuck energy that wanted to be released. I know that by tomorrow or a few days from now that should feel a lot better. Other then that I really worked my core today. Maybe I’ll do a morning practice tomorrow.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/b-k4RH5BA-0

October 24th, 2019

Day 20: Today also made me tear up. I don’t know what it is about practicing recently, I end up shedding a few tears. I’m not sad about much of anything really right now, but the practice brings it out anyway.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/cgL75KRUfM0

October 25th, 2019

Day 21: During this meditation I cried a bit. Because it was about love. Imagining people you love, people you see from day today, people you dislike, your family members, pets, etc.. you tell all these people that you wish them well, that you want them to be happy and healthy and you do this too while imagining yourself. It’s a very powerful meditation. At one point my ear started ringing… and it isn’t the first time that’s happened while I meditated (even if it doesn’t mean anything). All around a powerful experience.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/ZUsRp3pofPQ

October 28th, 2019

Day 22: I am so happy! I accomplished both sides of the side plank! I was shaking like crazy, but I held it and I couldn’t before. I’m kinda glad that I took two days off. I didn’t really want to, but I did need a break.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/DadDEOPIWB0

October 29th, 2019

Day 23:
Today’s practice felt really good in my body. I felt like I stretched everything deeply and my body feels warm and comfortable. All around a great practice!

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/deTfbPqrEqk

November 6th, 2019

Day 24: So it’s been over a week since I continued this challenge. Partially, that’s because I was super excited to put on some make-up for Halloween. Partially, it’s because I knew I was going to six flags on the 3rd for Halloween. But mostly, it’s because I had the first depressive episode I have had in a long time. It started at the end of November 1st and lasted until today. I spent that time mostly watching Scream Queens and distracting myself with playing Town of Salem and reading a book for a book tour review. All this to say.. I’m doing better today. I didn’t really have an intention of starting back everything till tomorrow, but I knew that if I wanted to feel better I needed to get back into things as soon as possible. Some personal stuff happened and it freaked me out, but I know we’ll push through and in a few months things will settle down again. This is probably the fastest I’ve ever pulled myself out of a depressive spiral and I’m super proud of myself for it. I’m dedicated to my well being and mental health. So if I have to keep pulling myself out of spirals a thousand times until they are no more I will. Because they are lessening and that is something I am truly grateful for. On another note, today’s practice was intense. A strength workout for my first time back over a week wasn’t as fun as you’d think. But, I still did it and that’s worth a whole lot.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/lpqW_GOgHpQ

November 7th, 2019

Day 25: I feel a thousand times better today. This workout felt amazing. I realized I could do a deeper happy baby. My body felt open. I felt the negative energy from worry and depression I talked about yesterday melt away. I feel so much better.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/JMd4HHHwy_g

November 8th, 2019

Day 26: My arms felt pretty tired today. Today’s practice was a little more difficult. However, there was a lot of downtime and I did take some extra breaks so it was definitely doable. I’m feeling much better overall today and I’m excited for what tomorrow will bring!

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/ZzDKrGr6J3o

November 9th, 2018

Day 27: I thought I would be exhausted today because I worked 8 hours, but I’m not. The past couple of practices have felt intense and this was no exception.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/IwAdoSYgWWE

November 10th, 2019

Day 28: I want to go back to this meditation anytime in my life where I’m feeling down or out of sorts. It is a beautiful mediation full of truths we don’t always want to believe for ourselves. I loved it. It brought me a lot of peace.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/hKw9lpBSTIk

November 11th, 2019

Day 29: Today’s practice felt so so good. My back feels wonderful. My mind feels peaceful. I loved every second of it. I’ve noticed recently that my hips have opened up a lot and that I can go deeper into a lot of the hip-opening stretches. I also noticed that as excited as I am for every little piece of progress I am also quite happy with where I’m at currently. This includes in my general life as well. A lot of the time I’m concerned with when something will happen for me in my life, but not so much anymore. I’m pretty happy with how things are right now and that’s saying a lot.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/icxACBM5DC8

November 12th, 2019

Day 30: Another practice that simply felt amazing! It’s the end of another 30 days of yoga and I might not have done it all consecutively, but I did do it to the best of my ability. I feel my body being stronger, lighter, and more at peace than ever. It’s one of the best gifts I could have ever given myself.

Workout of the day: https://youtu.be/jbCK8BwSVtw

All in all: I’m grateful to have committed myself to this experience. This time was more tumultuous then it has been previously, but that’s ok. It happens. But, in the end it helped me learn a few things about myself and continue to grow as a person.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

Celebrating October!!

This October I did a lot of things. I didn’t post as much as I wanted to, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have quite the spooky and wonderful October!

One of the highlights was watching Shane Dawson’s Episodes of the making of the Conspiracy pallet! Which I am saving up money for so I can purchase the bundle with the lipsticks and lip balms when they do a full restock in 2020. I was so excited when they announced that the collection was going to be permanent because it’s the first makeup I’ve ever been excited about buying and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Another big YouTube thing that happened was Markiplier’s: A Heist with Markiplier! I watched it and got every single ending and I was never more proud of one of my all time favorite You-tubers!

As for the spooky things I watched, I finally got to watch Annabel: Comes Home on a rental DVD with my sister. It was really nice because for some reason the dvd wouldn’t work in our tv DVD player, but it worked on the computer DVD player and we watched it being forced to sit closer then usual and it felt like a nice bonding experience with my sister.

I also watched The Exorcist tv show seasons 1 & 2, Uncanny Annie, They come Knocking, a weird movie called New Year, New You, and both seasons of Scream Queens. I enjoyed the majority of what I watched and it was for the most part a nicely spooky time for me.

Then, on November 3rd I went to six flags fright fest, which was fun, but there wasn’t that many monsters. I went with my sister her friend Tony and his nephew Andrew and really I barely know either of them so the only person I had to protect me from scares was myself. This lead for me to develop my own “I’m not scared” technique of smiling like a mannequin while walking in scare zones and being as ridged as possible while I’d get monsters growling in my ear. As well as staring down any monster in my sight, because if I see them coming I’m way less scared.

The whole time I meant to post about some of the movies I watched, but towards the last two weeks I got distracted and the last week of October and into November some personal things happened that lead me to have a short bought of anxiety and sadness. I got over it much more quickly then I have before and I feel great now. It’s just sometimes things happen that hit you hard when your not suspecting it.

All in all, I had an incredible October. I listened to my Halloween playlist non-stop. I added many songs to it (I love it even more now then ever). I wore my spooky earrings all month long (I’m in need of getting myself more cause you can never have too many spooky earrings). I bought two adorable Halloween mugs and I finally got an adorable Hocus Pocus Sweatshirt from Hot Topic that I had my eyes on since I first saw it. I also got another vampire t-shirt that I want to wear all the time.

I love October and I adore Halloween. Something about the spooky season lifts up my spirits and makes me feel so alive. I love how everyone puts on whatever costume they like and become macabre character versions of themselves. I love the horror and the exploration of all our greatest fears. I love the decorations and the dark vibe Halloween has. It’s a wonderful season and I enjoyed every moment of it!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! What did you do for Halloween? Did you dress up? Did you watch some spooky films? How do you love to celebrate the season?

Check out my Instagram and Twitter!

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website!

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagram and Twitter!

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It’s ok to DNF

Sometimes you start a book and it’s not all you hoped it would be. Sometimes you power through and finish it anyway, but sometimes that feels a bit like pulling teeth.

I don’t know what it is, but I always feel bad if I DNF something. It’s like an obligation to the author and all the people that put so much effort into the book that I do my duty as a reader, writer, and reviewer to finish the book. But sometimes, there is a book that’s problematic or boring or just plain bad and it no longer feels worth it to review and promote something that makes you feel like pulling teeth.

After I finished Dream Waters which was something that I didn’t particularly care for, for a lot of reasons, I had a Netgalley review copy to read. I started it. But, right away I didn’t like the vibe. Then I looked into the reviews and I just didn’t have the energy for a book like that one. It was problematic in a lot of ways. The main character wasn’t like able, but that wasn’t the issue. There was weird relationships with older men. A general idealization of men in general. As well as many other negatives that many reviews pointed out.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep going. I’d read about 4 chapters and I couldn’t read another word. I wanted to read something good and right after the book I read was incredible. Something with great representation and solid history. I loved it. I felt good about reviewing it. I dreaded reading and reviewing the other book.

However, you don’t have to have a particular reason to not finish a book. If you don’t want to read something you don’t have to. You don’t have to explain it or give a discussion like mine. You just stop reading and forget about it. It’s ok to DNF. That’s a reminder to myself as much as to all of you.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website!

If your interested in a personalized poem about whatever you’d like check out my Etsy listing here.

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Passing Strange: A Review

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 especially after finishing the novel this is the perfect cover for this book. It seamlessly ties into the story and it’s absolutely stunning!

Publisher: TOR

Publish Date: January 24th, 2017

Number of Pages: 131

Received: the Tor kindle book club!

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy, Passing Strange is a story as unusual and complex as San Francisco itself from World Fantasy Award winning author Ellen Klages, and a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.

Opening Sentence: “On the last Monday of her life, Helen Young returned from the doctor’s and made herself a cup of tea.”

Musings:

Passing Strange is short, but quite beautiful. There was an elegance to it and I also learned a few things about the 1940’s. I would have loved to live in the world of it a little longer, but it was a perfect length for the story told.

What I Loved:

The subtlety of magic. The magic in the book isn’t the most important thing. It’s a part of it, but deep down it’s a tool and nothing more. It’s unique and beautiful in its own way, but it isn’t what makes the novel and I love that!

What it is to be a woman who loves a woman in the 1940’s. I don’t know much about lgbt history. It’s not really taught in school or anything you have to look for it. I love the historical elements in this book. Women in a club entertaining as men. A small safe place for women to be themselves in a society that would never accept them. That regardless of time the lgbt community is as large as it always was. Not a phase. Not a trend. Something that always was and always will be.

Helen Young. Helen is a woman who is dying. She has one last task and at the beginning the reader doesn’t know exactly what that is. She is a witty woman and an all around interesting character and I liked her immediately.

Diego Rivera and his wife Frida. In the book, Haskel is casually friends with Diego Rivera and his wife Frida (yes THE Frida and Diego Rivera). She even slept with Frida once. Anyway, I didn’t know Frida and Diego were really married? I learned about both is school, but this was never told to me and I was shook!

Haskel. Haskel is an incredible pastel artist that gets paid to create horror pulp covers. Yeah those old ones with a very scantily clad women as the focal of it. She’s talented and full of surprises. She is also bisexual and has a husband who she never sees because he couldn’t take that she made more money then him and supported herself (which causes him to go into debt).

Emily. Emily is Haskel’s love interest and confidant. A singer at one of those safe clubs for women who perform as men. She performs as Spike and everyone loves her. Her attraction to Haskel is immediate and I loved their banter and ease with each other.

All in all:

This 1940’s snapshot of women’s friendships, relationships, and deep love is a story I will forever keep close to my heart. It was beautifully written and well researched. I loved every second of it!

About the Author:

Ellen Klages was born in Ohio, but has lived in San Francisco for more than forty years. Her first novel, The Green Glass Sea (2006), won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the Lopez Award for Children’s Literature, and the New Mexico State Book Award for Young Adult Literature. It was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award, the Quills Award, and the Locus Award. A sequel, White Sands, Red Menace (2008), won the California and New Mexico Book awards in the Young Adult category.

Her novelette, “Basement Magic,” won the Nebula Award in 2005, and her novella, “Wakulla Springs,” (co-authored with Andy Duncan) was a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula awards and won the World Fantasy Award in 2014. Many of her other stories have been on the final ballots for numerous awards, and have been translated into Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, and Swedish. The first  collection of her short fiction, Portable Childhoods (2007), was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award.

In addition to her writing, she is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory, the Clarion South Workshop, and served for twenty years on the Motherboard of the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award. She lives in a small house full of strange and wondrous things: lead civilians, odd toys, postcards, and other bits of whimsy that strike her fancy.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter!

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website!

If your interested in a personalized poem about whatever you’d like check out my Etsy listing here.

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagram and Twitter!

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

30 Days of Gratitude

These past 30 days I chose to do a gratitude challenge to remind myself of all the incredible things in life there is to be grateful for.

30 days of gratitude challenge: https://pin.it/juwrhlffx7knol

September 18th, 2019

Day 1: What are you most grateful for today?

Today, I’m most grateful for how far I’ve come. My mind is clear. My heart is clear. I am satisfied with who I am. I’ve made full peace with past mistakes. I’ve made peace with all of my past. I’m focusing on a better future. I’m always doing things that I love to do and I’m practicing being happy and fully myself all of the time. I’m keeping my commitments and I’m the strongest mentally and physically that I’ve ever been. So, I guess I’m most grateful for myself. Because I never gave up on myself and I stayed as positive as possible even when it was only to say that it’s ok to feel bad at a point and that I wasn’t always going to feel that way. So I’m proud of myself.

September 19th, 2019

Day 2: What Technology are you most grateful for?

My phone is probably the most important piece of technology that I’m grateful for. Because it’s what I use most for everything. Music, Reading, writing, gaming, video watching, socializing. Everything’s on my phone. Pictures of memories. My financial applications. I used to do online college from my phone. So it is the technology I am most grateful for.

September 20th, 2019

Day 3: What food are you most grateful for?

I love a good tamale or pupusa. But, I think I’m most grateful for Del tacos bean and cheese burritos. They’ve been a go to non-expensive food item that have kept me fed many many times since I was little. That and McDonald’s chicken nuggets, which are also a childhood favorite.

September 21st, 2019

Day 4: What memory in life are you most grateful for?

I’ll never forget the moment as a little girl coming home from flying on my own and running into my dad’s arms after thinking I’d never see him or the rest of my family again. He hugged me so tight it hurt, but I will never forget that hug. It reminds me that no matter what I will always love my family.

September 22nd, 2019

Day 5: What item in your home are you most grateful for?

I’m picking a mundane item for this because that is how I want to interpret this question. So the mundane item in my home I am most grateful for is the family coffee pot. Really recently, my mom finally purchased a coffee pot and since then I’m always drinking coffee. Recently, we’ve had pumpkin spice as well as red velvet flavored coffee that has been delicious. So I’m really grateful to have the coffee pot.

September 23rd, 2019

Day 6: What in nature are you most grateful for?

Literally all the animals! Animals are a gift to us all. They are so human and every single one of them is a unique blessing. I adore them.

September 24th, 2019

Day 7: What book are you most grateful for?

This is a very difficult question. I am grateful for so many books. I guess I have to say Twilight because it is the book that got me into reading in the first place. My life would be very different if I never read that book. So despite it not being the best book, I owe a lot to it.

September 25th, 2019

Day 8: What lesson in life are you most grateful for experiencing?

Day 8 is getting a bit heavy. The end of last year and the beginning of this year were some of the toughest months of my life. My mental state was not the best and my dad was in the worst part of his illness. I felt lost and utterly and completely alone. I found in myself such inner strength from dealing with all of that. I now find myself genuinely happy. I became very independent during this period and I learned how to be my own anchor and I also learned how to not take what other people say or do personally. Even things that my family would say that hurt. I learned to change my perspective. To stay grounded in who I am and what I believe. To do the best I can no matter what. But I also learned to follow joy wherever it is found. I don’t think of my dad’s illness in the same way. I don’t feel hopeless. I don’t feel alone. I understand myself better and I understand being human better. I am different now, but also very much the same. So I’m grateful for how the hard times teach the most valuable lessons.

September 26th, 2019

Day 9: What place have you traveled that you are most grateful for?

When I went to San Diego and swam with the dolphins when I was a kid. That’s such a bucket list experience and I was happy to have had it. It was a really amazing experience.

September 27th, 2019

Day 10: What are you most grateful for in your childhood?

I’m grateful for God’s hand in my childhood. I don’t speak much about religion. I’m not here to preach or tell anyone how to live their lives, but I cannot deny God’s hand in my life. Before I was born, my family made a decision to move to a specific place not realizing that that was where they would meet me. I came into their care in a daycare and in so many ways I’ve never left. I’ve always felt guided. I also always felt like I could trust that everything would be ok because I was put where I was for a reason. Especially one experience where I was bit in the eye by a dog and they got my eyelid completely but missed my eyeball. I’m grateful I have sight in both eyes because of that. If that wasn’t a miracle I don’t know what is.

September 28th, 2019

Day 11: What movie are you most grateful for?

This is difficult. Only because I’ve rarely ever thought of movies in a way of being grateful towards them the same way I do for books. But, I have to say that recently it was Endgame. Spoilers: when I saw that Captain Rodgers actually did get to live out a full life with Peggy when I thought that was impossible it released a wave of both happiness and pain inside me. Or rather it transformed pain into joy. It gave me hope to know that in life what’s meant to be will be and that the universe works in incredible and mysterious ways. Most of the time not in the way you think it will.

September 29th, 2019

Day 12: What 3 people in life are you most grateful for?

This is an easy question. My mom, dad, and my sister. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Even if we don’t always get along perfectly, my life would be radically different without them. I love them with all my heart.

September 30th, 2019

Day 13: what season of the year are you most grateful for?

I am super grateful for fall. The weather is cooler. Things get spooky. I feel more alive and there is Halloween to look forward to and Christmas is not too far behind. It’s one of the most exciting times of the year.

October 1st, 2019

Day 14: What rejection in life are you most grateful for?

In my life, I have experienced many rejections. Mostly from people.. and I’m not just talking about crushes. But, I think the rejection I am most grateful for is the very first one. I don’t like calling it rejection, but my biological mom gave up her rights to keep me and gave me to my grandmother on my dad’s side. From there my grandmother in a way gave me to a family during daycare and while she was in my life after for the most part that family raised me. I wouldn’t be who I am without that first pass off or from the second. It was like baby hot potato. But, I have a family who raised me from love so I’m glad for it. I don’t know if I’d like who I am if I was raised elsewhere. I love the life I was granted. I would never have wanted my life to be different.

October 2nd, 2019

Day 15: What about your body are you most grateful for?

I’m grateful for all of my body. My ability to see and hear and touch and taste. I’m grateful for how my body heals. I’m grateful for my brain. I’m grateful for my bodies ability to adapt. To strengthen itself and show me that I’m capable of far more than I often believe. My body has gotten me up everyday and has experienced many beautiful things. I have learned to treasure it. I didn’t always feel that way.

October 3rd, 2019

Day 16: What band are you most grateful for?

The only true answer to this is Linkin Park. Even if I feel like in a way I shouldn’t be allowed to say so. It deeply reminds me of someone I care about and I don’t really know how they feel about me now, but Linkin Park is their favorite band and so I’m not sure about saying this answer even if it’s the only real answer to me that is true. Linkin Park’s Music is beautiful. It’s pulled so many people out of darkness. I even saw a video of a woman who used their lyrics to save a man’s life from committing suicide. Music that saves lives. Music that inspires people to walk in the light in a way that doesn’t shut out the fact that the dark exists. That’s incredible music. I am immensely grateful for it.

October 4th, 2019

Day 17: What about your job are you most grateful for?

I am grateful that I have it. That things have gotten better within it. That the majority of the people are worth working with, especially when it wasn’t always like that.

October 5th, 2019

Day 18: What trait do you have that you are most grateful for?

I am grateful for my sense of loyalty. Not necessarily just to people I care about, but to my ideals. I do my best everyday to be the best person I can be and to treat others well. The very basis of who I am is someone who wants to do some good in this life. Sometimes I mess up, but that’s ok. It all comes with being human.

October 6th, 2019

Day 19: What splurge item do you own that you are most grateful for?

I’m not lying when I say I never splurge. It’s not because I don’t want to it’s more that I convince myself that I’m better off saving for something for someone else. Or for an emergency. Last month I went to go by pants for myself at Forever 21 and I got these great pants for only $3.90 and they look amazing, but I got them for a very low amount. I’m really good at getting nice items for low prices. This includes books (which often come to me for free). I’m probably one of the lowest maintenance people out there. But, I have to admit if I see some shoes from Aldo or some sweatshirts and clothing from hot topic I want to buy them. Especially now that hot topic has this Hocus Pocus sweatshirt with witchy sleeves for $80 and I want that so bad. But, with Christmas coming I’m not even allowed to buy myself stuff. Talking about this makes me want to do a little splurging on myself. Maybe I’ll make a point of it after the year ends.

October 7th, 2019

Day 20: What are you most grateful for in your daily life?

I’m most grateful for the food I have to eat. Everyday I always have something and it’s usually something pretty tasty and the fact that I can eat everyday and try new foods when I want to is a wonderful thing.

October 8th, 2019

Day 21: What small item that you use daily are you most grateful for?

My earphones. They allow me to watch and listen to whatever I want without bothering anyone else with what I’m watching. They also help me to concentrate on one thing, especially if I’m listening to music while writing.

October 9th, 2019

Day 22: What Thanksgiving memory are you most grateful for?

Weirdly enough when I was a vegetarian for two years and this one thanksgiving my grandmother took me to her friends home for dinner and everyone tried to convince me to eat meat and I kept saying no. I’m grateful for this memory because it’s one of the first times I decided something about myself for myself that wouldn’t be changed because others thought it was strange. I may not be vegetarian now, but I do miss it. I never really learned how to do it properly and having to eat out quite a bit in a world where there isn’t always a vegetarian friendly option (looking at you in-n-out) I don’t really push it too much.

October 10th, 2019

Day 23: What use of your phone are you most grateful for?

The use I’m using right now. The ability to write blog posts and connect with others who share the same passions as I do. The amount of blessings I’ve received from blogging have been infinite and I will never ever regret one second of the journey I began 3 years ago! I truly am grateful for the friendships and opportunities that have opened up for me since starting and I know that there will be many more in the future!

October 11th, 2019

Day 24: What about social media are you most grateful for?

This is mostly a reiteration of yesterday. Because the social media I am most grateful for and that I care most about is WordPress. Blogging is an incredible thing. It’s changed my life multiple times. I know it will continue to in the future.

October 12th, 2019

Day 25: What are you most grateful for in your city?

That I live in a place with such a diverse amount of people and how you can go down a single street and see many different cultures and people living alongside one another.

October 13th, 2019

Day 26: What meal did you have today that you are most grateful for?

Both breakfast and lunch. My sister made food both times and when she makes it is always delicious. I had oatmeal in the morning and a meat soup with garlic bread for lunch. Both were amazing!

October 14th, 2019

Day 27: What are you most grateful for in your country?

I’m going to give a real answer for this, because I’m not always super patriotic and politics makes me angry and I can rant about certain things in politics for ages and get nowhere so.. that’s that. What I’m grateful for in this country is the people in it. No matter what craziness is going on the majority of Americans are good people who want to fight for what’s right. It’s the unity that I see in those who protest and who see injustice and call it out that truly make me feel good to be an American.

October 15th, 2019

Day 28: What about your home are you most grateful for?

I’m most grateful for having a home. A place to sleep. A place to keep myself clean and fed. A place where I feel safe. There isn’t really anything about it I’m more grateful for then anything else. All of it is precious to me.

October 16th, 2019

Day 29: What bill are you most grateful to be able to pay?

All of them? Rent is huge because without it I would have no place to live. My phone has everything and if I couldn’t pay that bill no one would be reading this now. Bills are such a necessary thing. The basics of living so I’m grateful to be able to pay them all.

October 17th, 2019

Day 30: What experience this month are you most grateful for?

I’m grateful for having dedicated myself to doing this and my yoga practice. I’m grateful because I’ve noticed that through these two things I’ve been able to reduce my anxiety and depression and to feel myself again. I’m so much happier today than I once was and I did that myself and for myself. I’m excited for the future and I’m excited for each day and that’s the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter!

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website!

If your interested in a personalized poem about whatever you’d like check out my Etsy listing here.

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagram and Twitter!

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

Dream Waters: A Review

Dream Waters by Erin A. Jensen

My Rating: 2/5 stars

Cover Rating: 5/10 stars, this kind of cover isn’t typically what attracts my attention. The color is pretty, but otherwise it’s a pretty standard cover. It’s also a little misleading. I thought this was a ya book when I first saw it and didn’t realize it was adult till a ways into the book.

Publisher: Dream Waters Publishing

Publish Date: April 4th, 2016

Number of Pages: 418

Received: Giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A contemporary fantasy that blurs the lines between dream and reality, fairy tale and history, love and obsession, Dream Waters is the first book in the Dream Waters series. 

All his life, Charlie Oliver has watched the people around him morph into creatures that no one else sees. Unlike the rest of the world, Charlie remembers the Waters that transport him to the Dream World each night. And he sees glimpses of people’s Dream forms in the waking world. Condemned to spend his waking hours in a psychiatric facility because of his Dream Sight, Charlie doesn’t expect anything to change. But everything starts changing the day Emma Talbot walks through the door in the middle of a group therapy session. 

Haunted by memories of the events that led to her admission, Emma plans to end her life the first chance she gets. But something about Charlie stops her. From the moment they shake hands, his friendship feels safe and familiar. As Emma begins to let down her guard, Charlie catches a glimpse of the fiery-eyed dragon that lurks behind her Dream form. Each night, as Emma dreams of the man who’s been banned from visiting, Charlie searches the Dream World for the monster that shadows her. But when Emma’s suppressed memories begin to surface, Charlie finds more monsters than he bargained for.

Opening Sentence: If anyone had told me when I woke up that morning that my life was about to change forever, I’d have said they were crazy and considering the fact that I woke up in a psych ward, odds are I would’ve been right.

Musings:

So, there are a lot of things about this book that felt odd to me. The first being that I didn’t get the fact that this was an adult book until later as ages aren’t given till a bit into the book. The relationship between Emma and her husband which is one between a man who was an adult when she was a child and knew her all during that time and took her to his bed by the time she was 16. Which is something I’m not sure is properly reprimanded in this book. However, as I have not read any of the next books in the series I’m not sure how it will be handled in the future.

In general, while the concept was interesting, I felt it wasn’t fully realized in this book. It felt like an early draft of something that could have been much better, but never quite made it there.

The psych ward itself didn’t feel like a true representation of one, but more of a movie like idea of one with rules that made the plot fit.

Then there were the secrets that we never learn about Emma’s husband. Like, did he kill the girl that told Emma she was having an affair with him. Or why the hell no one went after him when Emma’s father found the two together before she was an adult.

There’s a lot of things in this book that makes me raise my eyebrow wondering why it’s even a thing. Especially after the ending. The ending made me question if they would ever properly reprimand the husband for grooming Emma to be his wife, because they give rights to have her under house arrest and then he gives Charlie a job.

I know this review is all over the place, but this book makes me go: ????

Charlie was the only thing I liked about this book and still even the way he was written still didn’t feel fully fledged.

All in all:

There are a lot of things I wish were different about this book. I wanted to like it, but I simply didn’t. It was entertaining at times, but there was too many things that felt unfinished and some things that was ended up completely up in the air. This book was not my cup of tea.

About the Author:

Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite international book award competition. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer’s Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons–who are both taller than her–and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter!

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website!

If your interested in a personalized poem about whatever you’d like check out my Etsy listing here.

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagram and Twitter!

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

The Book Raven Poetry

Today is the day I finally began my own business venture! I am officially the owner of The Book Raven Poetry!

What it’s all about: The Book Raven Poetry is a personalized poetry business where you receive a poem about whatever you want! It can be about a person, a holiday, an idea, a place, anything at all! For only $8 bucks you will receive a completely customized poem on a unique background to digitally download to keep for yourself or give as a gift to a friend or family member!

An Example:

A one of a kind poem is available for purchase now on Etsy!

The Dream: So many of you have been with me from the very start. So it won’t be a surprise to most of you that I’m creating a business from my love of poetry. I’ve written many poems on this site. It would be my pleasure to write poems for all of you. Be it silly, sweet, an anniversary gift, something for your friends to enjoy. It feels incredible that I could create something along side other individuals that is totally unique and personalized to them. Something to make you smile.

A note of thanks: Thank you all for being there for me. This would have never come about without this blog nor the support of all of you. I can’t wait to write some great poetry for all of you!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter! Check out The Book Raven Poetry website!

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My 3rd Blogoversery!!!!

This is my 3rd blogoversery. Officially I’ve been blogging for over 3 years! It’s been an incredible journey and I can’t say how incredibly it has changed my life.

Blogging has been my anchor in what was the most difficult period of my life. It was my something to do to pull myself above water and to take responsibility for my own happiness and health.

Through blogging I had a place to discuss my moods and my depression and through that I started to see what triggered it and how to find a way out. It helped me sit one on one with my anxiety and how I couldn’t continue on the way I was before. I learned how to flip the script in my mind to appreciate what I had in front of me. To honor my wants and desires and to let go of everything not in my control.

What I blog about and how often I do so has changed much. I do the best I can when I can. But, if I don’t feel like it that day or didn’t have the time I let that be ok. So many of you have stuck with me for so long. Some of you I’ve talked to personally about some of the more difficult things that have happened. Doing so has helped me immensely and I am grateful to those of you who know who you are.

I can’t say enough how amazing it is to be in a better place now mentally, physically, and emotionally. That is to say I still have bad days, but they don’t dictate my life. I’m human. I’ve learned to hold onto the good and let go of all the rest. The amount of good that has come from that choice has been infinite and I know that an infinite of good is what’s out there for me.

To every single person who follows and reads my content, Thank you! If anything I’ve ever said has made you smile or think a little deeper or helped you in any way whatsoever I’ve done my job as a blogger. Thank you all for being there. You have truly changed my life!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Yesterday’s Wordcount: 0

Halloween: A Playlist

I adore Halloween! It’s one of my two favorite holidays and it lifts up my spirits every year it comes around. Last year I decided to make a Spotify playlist inspired by A Little Piece of Heaven by Avenged Sevenfold. This song still leaves me speechless. Since then I have considered this song to be a masterpiece. It’s 8 mins long and it tells a full story. The music rises and falls and fills you with different energy as it goes on. It gets angry and romantic and dark all wrapped into one. It’s a Halloween story through and through and I will love this song till my last days on earth.

I am still adding to the playlist that you will soon see. It is everything that reminds me of the season. Things that are dark, creepy, and freaky. The things that play tricks on you. The things that showcase the shadows of the human mind. All of this is what I showcase in this music. From classic Halloween to Edm to Heavy Metal to Disney. All the parts of me are in this playlist. I love it dearly.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I adore this season and I hope you all enjoyed my playlist!

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Yesterday’s Wordcount: 0