What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. It’s magic and joyous and kind. It’s as much the gifts you get as the gifts you give, yet as I’ve gotten old enough to go out and buy my own gifts for people, it’s the look on someone’s face when I give them something they really love that puts the biggest smile on my face.

Everyone on this earth wants to feel joy and happiness and to feel cared for. Christmas is the time where I really feel and see that all around me.

Then there is the romantic parts of it. Mistletoe and ice skating dates, drinking egg nog or a peppermint mocha with someone your getting to know, feeling that romantic pull in your heart. It’s a beautiful thing and it makes me feel excited, because I’ve never experienced that in person before and love during the holidays feels like it’s sprinkled with that little extra spice of magic.

People change during this time of year. There is more kindness. More remembering that we really are all in this life together and we are all deserving of being treated well. A lot of people donate time to feeding the homeless and more people give a little extra to those in need. More people are willing to give the benefit of the doubt and understand that mistakes are human.

This time of year is special. The decorations all around are gorgeous. There is a festive spirit you can feel in the energy of the people around you. I’ve seen so many guys wearing Christmas sweaters this year… so so many. More then the girls and I thought to myself, “the men really came through in terms of spirit this year and I want to hug every single one wearing one of those sweaters because I’m so proud. All of the women too while I’m at it. The Christmas cheer ends nowhere in my heart.”

But, what I’m most happy to say here is that this has been my favorite Christmas so far. It’s been happier then any other Christmas I’ve had and it’s because I’m happier now then I’ve ever been. Every single day of my life recently has been so joyful and full of life that it baffles me. I’m treating myself the way I always deserved to be treated. I follow my joy at all times. I follow my excitement at all times. Everything is working out for me. I’ve never appreciated myself or life in general more.

This Christmas feels so rich. Rich in happy moments with my family. Rich in dancing. Rich in singing until I got my annual sinus issues and even that hasn’t been bad at all. I’ve never had such a good time while my nose and throat were acting up in my entire life. I’m so deliriously and wonderfully happy and I know there is no end to it in sight. I know that my life is just going to get better and better. There is so much good to experience. So much music to fall in love with. So many books to read and movies to watch. So much to laugh about. I feel so blessed this Christmas and I know it’s a feeling I will have for the rest of my life.

Christmas is like all the best parts of life to me. I can only explain it as these visions of beautiful moments in my head. Moments like when I gave the item in my hand to a woman who was looking to buy that item and didn’t know where to find it. Then I just went back and got another one to buy myself. Moments like one of the guys that work as a janitor taking out the trash from my store so I didn’t have to do it myself. Then another time me holding the door open for the same guy when I was on my way to storage (which he didn’t want to accept at first.. which made my eyes roll, but I digress). Moments like my sister tickling me when I was trying to get her to fist bump my hand and us both ending up laughing tell we started coughing because it was all too much. Moments like picking out a free ornament from World Market with my family and finding the most beautiful animal ornaments to hang on the tree.

Christmas is a beautiful time of year. Filled with the taste of peppermint and lots of music and cheer. I love it with every fiber of my being and I appreciate so much Christmas this and every year.

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

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Till next time!

A Coffee Kickback/ Review: Schism

This weekend has been wonderful. I woke up Saturday morning made some breakfast while listening to Christmas music. Then after breakfast I had some tea and read Schism for about two hours. After that I watched Christmas movies while drinking some coffee with my mom and my sister.

I watched “The Holiday Calendar” and “Holiday in the Wild” and well as “Holiday Rush”. Overall, a Christmas extravaganza. It was the most relaxed and myself I had been in a long time. It reminded me that you can make any day special and do whatever it is that would bring you the most joy at life the spur of the moment.

Christmastime this year has really showed me to enjoy every moment as well as the unfolding is happening. Because nothing is ever done, not really. Life is constant movement and I’m so ready to enjoy and dance in it again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. So much so that I have noticed that I no longer find a trace of depression or anxiety anywhere at all. I am so free and from that place of freedom I know that the world will be my oyster and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds.

On to the review!

Schism by Britt Holewinski

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not the best in my opinion. It fits the setting and the genre, but I feel like they could have done something so much cooler. It kinda looks like they just kinda photoshopped a few things together that in some basic way fit the story and that doesn’t really do it for me.

Publisher: Delirious Pixie

Publish Date: March 15th, 2016

Number of Pages: 264

Received: goodreads giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“My name is Andrea Christensen. I’m one of the oldest oldest people in the world.”

The first book in a new YA, dystopian trilogy, SCHISM is a story of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.

A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.

Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.”

Opening Sentence: “The two young men moved quickly under the cover of night, the summer air thick with humidity.”

Musings:

Schism is post-apocalyptic in a very dark way. It really paints a negative picture of human beings being at there worst most of the time and the few that are good that are trying to make the best of it all. People are raping and human trafficking and murdering all over the place.

Not only that but it’s kids doing all these things to other kids because all the adults were killed by a virus. It’s utter chaos. Nowhere is safe. There’s drug trading and just a whole lot of awful things and as smart as the kids are the pieces of hope are few and far between.

What I liked:

The pacing. There was always something happening and the story moves pretty fast. There is always something shocking to wonder at.

The characterization. Everyone was pretty distinct and they all had their own motivations for acting and I really enjoyed that.

Not too unlikely of a scenario. I want to believe that if this really happened that all the kids of the world would behave this terribly, but honestly I don’t really know. I want to hope humanity would do better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the reality.

The idea itself. I like an interesting concept and this sure was unique. It was an exploration of what could be.

All in all:

An interesting and intense novel. I had my issues with it, but overall it was enjoyable read.

About the Author:

I was born in Boston, but moved when I was less than a year old. I lived all over the country growing up, so I had to adapt and learn to make new friends quickly. I was a gymnast at a highly competitive level until I was 15. Then I focused more on school, especially math and science because I wanted to become an astronaut.

After high school, I went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where I studied mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2000, and attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. After getting my master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, I went to work for the CIA shortly after 9/11. I travelled all over the world for my job, including 3 years in the Middle East. I decided to leave the Agency after 14 years to focus on writing, which is where I am today!

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

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Till next time!

The Way I Pick My TBR

The way I approach my TBR now a days is very different from how I used to approach it. Which was pick whatever on my shelves I was in the mood for and go.

I have a decent amount of books on my shelves I have simply never gotten too, because I’m always reading the next awesome book that comes my way. So I decided enough was enough and that I’m not going to reduce the amount of books that come into my life cause I love them and I know I will get to them all eventually, but that I was going to form a system that would ensure that I got to them all unbiasedly.

So what I do now is I have all my Netgalley and books from authors and publishers for review on a list and after I read one of those I read one book from my shelves picked by random.

The random part I set up by putting all the books I haven’t read yet into a google doc separated by comma and then I put that into a random word picker and it’ll pick my book for me.

So now I have a running tbr instead of a monthly one and it looks like this:

TBR reading order:
Schism
Autonomous
An Act of Faith June 4th
Seaspell
Glow book 1 July 16th
Ps I still love you
The Grace Year September 17th
Horns
The Orchid Throne September 24th
Witchmark
Jack Keri is dead to me April 7th 2020
Luna new moon
Orchid Unshaken Diana’s release
Pride and Prejudice

Every time I get a book for review I add that book and one book from my haven’t read tbr list and read down the list. Usually I read review books by their release date order so sometimes I fiddle a little with the order, but this is the current list I have ongoing.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! How do you pick your tbr?

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Watching: Marvel’s Runaways: Season 1

Runaways is a really great teen tv show following a group of friends who find out their parents are not at all who they believed them to be.

What interests me most about the dynamics of this show is the idea of the parental and child relationship that each of them has that is never broken in spite of any of the transgressions on both sides. All the parents here have done absolutely awful things, but they still have this something about them that is redeemable. Especially with some of the parents more then others.

Especially Victor Stein who is the father of Chase and is an abusive asshole. Yet the show showcases unhealthy relationships in a way that doesn’t glorify them while showing real cycles of abuse that play off in abusive relationships in real life. I really enjoy a show that does that. Shows morality and immorality in a way that is clear, but also glorifies neither.

Then there is the casual relationships that happen between the characters that show them discovering the kind of people they are and who they want to be with.

The is especially apparent with Nico who spends half of the show dating Alex:

Then discovering that he wasn’t quite what she wanted and exploring a new relationship with Karolina after she expresses her feelings for her.

Life and love is a fluid thing and I really like seeing that fluidity expressed in a matter of a fact way throughout the show.

As far as the powers go my favorite was by far Gerts! Having a Dino that listens to you and is your constant companion is so cool! Also the fact that they call her Dino an emotional support Dino for her anxiety is so beautiful!

I love that it’s that Gert is a person first and she happens to deal with anxiety. No one in life is there mental health issue or disability. Everyone is themselves first and foremost. I love this characterized in a marvel tv show.

But I love that we also have a character that is a part of the group that doesn’t have a specific power. Alex is a leader that doesn’t have any powers, but that doesn’t make anyone respect or love him any less.

All in all, Runaways is a great tv show that showcases diverse characters in a very well represented way living their lives and navigating school, love, and saving the world from their parents. It’s complicated and well-written. I loved the first season and I can’t wait to watch season 2!

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

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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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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!

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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!

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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!

Real Talk

I know I do this a lot. But, for me it’s the easiest way to process a lot of the stuff that’s going through my mind. As well as sharing my process into becoming the best version of myself I can be, because I think that’s helpful. To hear about healing and growth from someone who is still figuring stuff out.

Also, to know that you shouldn’t have to figure everything out at once. I feel like we all put so much pressure on ourselves to be one way or another, but it’s all not necessary. If we all just do the best we can at a moment. Even if our best is simply showing ourselves a little self-care then that’s golden!

Im my life I’m proud that I’ve gotten to a place where I’m more often happy then not. Honestly, a majority of my life wasn’t like that and it wasn’t my fault. I’ve realized a lot of things that I thought were terrible parts of me aren’t actually so terrible.. just human. This isn’t to say I don’t make myself accountable for mistakes I made, but I no longer define who I am by my mistakes. I course correct. I remind myself to do my best in every situation and to be kind and I move forward.

But, more recently I’ve added be happy to that too. To follow anything that adds to my happiness. And the weird thing is I’ve realized that people actually prefer me happy. That might be a weird thing, but in my mind I didn’t really think people much cared or noticed if I was happy or not, but they do. It’s also interesting that the happier I am the more blessings that follow. The other day I found a 5 dollar bill on the floor and no one else seemed to see it. My coworkers often offer to share food with me (which is a thing in itself.. I swear people always offer me food). A random customer gave me one of the perfume samples she got after I complimented her perfume. I’ve also had more coffee in the past few weeks then I’ve had in my whole life.

It’s like being happy=more things to be happy about. I’m not complaining. It’s opened a whole new world before me. The past few days I’ve sorta been not focusing on it as much as I should only because I’ve been working so much. But, talking here is helping me to refocus and think about how things are working out in a beautiful way even if I can’t see how in various situations yet. Sometimes there are blessings that come from the shadows and your perceptive shifts in an instant and everything changes.

Anyway, I’m headed to sleep, but this was a nice little thought bubble post. Your input is much appreciated.

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Yesterday’s Wordcount: 0

Welcome September!!

It’s the end of September 1st and I’m excited to welcome the new season and all that September has to bring me.

I don’t really have any plans this September. Whenever, I make plans they never quite turn out as I’d expect anyway. However, I know whatever I do it’ll be fun. I’m still looking for a better job. One option didn’t work out so I’m exploring other avenues.

One of my biggest lessons has been to let things be. In every situation. Sometimes I want to worry about what will be. I’m still learning this lesson. So the approach I am having for this month is just to do my best. I’m going to let any mishaps wash away and follow whatever brings me the most joy in every moment.

That’s what this month will be about for me.

Also I’m really excited for the fall season. The weather has been extremely hot recently and it will continue to be hot for a while, but when it starts to cool I am going to feel very relieved.

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

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