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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Iron Daughter: Iron Fey Book 2 by Julie Kagawa


***THIS IS A SERIES BOOK***
PLEASE DO NOT READ UNTIL AFTER IRON KING!



Overview:

Half Summer Faery Princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere.

Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey-ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Review:

For those of you who insist on reading the review on this one without reading the review for the previous books, this is a young adult book, I recommend at the very youngest ages 9+, keep in mind this is a very long book. Please read the first book in the series before reading this book as it is a series book. The link can be found below in the image for Iron King. There is also a novella that has been published to fill a time-gap made between books 1 and 2 called Winter's Passage. As always, this is at the discretion of the parent and their knowledge of their own children.




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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Winter's Passage: Iron Fey Book 1.5 by Julie Kagawa

***THIS IS A SERIES BOOK***
PLEASE DO NOT READ UNTIL AFTER IRON KING!



Overview:

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a Faery Princess.

After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck - Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon - who was gravely injured defeating Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter - a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat...



Review:

For those of you who insist on reading the review on this one without reading the review for the previous books, this is a young adult book, I recommend at the very youngest ages 9+, keep in mind this is a novella and MUST be read AFTER Iron King. As always, this is at the discretion of the parent and their knowledge of their own children.



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Monday, August 1, 2016

Iron King: Iron Fey Book 1 by Julie Kagawa







Overview:

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny - one she could never have imagined...

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth-that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Review:


This book brings in a whole new side to the world of the Fey. With the grand ideas that Kagawa enlists in her writing, it is a surefire win for all. My recommendation is for readers who are a bit older and able to sit down through a lengthy story plot, typically those in age from 7+ should be able to follow the twists that go on in this book. There are some slightly gruesome scenes that I would suggest a higher age range of at least 9+ to be the target-able age for this book. As always, this is at the discretion of the parent and their knowledge of their own children.

This story takes flight quickly with the usual normal girl is quickly thrust into a seemingly impossible world, and we as readers learn along with her as she makes mistakes, gets thrown around, and all around follows the rabbit hole to where it leads. At first, I was honestly quite worried that this would bore me easily, since it follows the average step by step of the more recent fantasy writings. I didn't expect this.
What a wonderful surprise that someone has decided to create! Everyone who has read a book involving fairies as a main race in their book knows that the fey folk of legend are deathly allergic to all things iron. This is where Kagawa blows us out of the water, what if, like everything in the world of make-believe, the things of our imagination has changed enough to create a new race of fey? What if our new found worship of technology created a generation of fey who are not allergic to iron, but rather are born from it? Magic. This is what happens when you decide to think out of the box! Welcome to my newest favorite series! The Iron Fey! 



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Sunday, July 31, 2016

I'm coming back!

Hello my dear readers, 

I am sorry that it has been so long since we last spoke together, but I promise, I NEVER forgot you!

I have been dedicating my time to schoolwork and baby-rearing. Little Lilly just turned one this past Thursday. I promise photos are coming! She celebrated in true Princess fashion, as her theme was Princess Sofia the First. 

Back to the real story, I told you all last year that I would be coming back in August of this year so that I could focus fully on the new balance of my house with a husband working far away and two children instead of only one as I knuckled down on my final years of schooling before earning my Bachelor's degree.  I am happy to report that I succeeded in staying on my timeline! I will be starting my Student Teaching this fall and, should everything go perfectly, I will be gradating in December! *insert happy dance, or rather crazy spastic twitching that I call dancing* 

I have a full month ahead with my coming back review bang, I will have at least three different reviews up on the blog this month and at least two next month. I am still juggling a lot but I promise to review as quickly as I can. Even though I stopped posting my reviews, I never stopped reading so I have a nice stash of books to review for you...I may even go crazy and post two per month..not sure yet. 

Again thank you to all of you reading this, you make my day worth it.












Related Posts:

 Hiatus Explained Pregnancy Previous Graduation Story



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hiatus.

Where do I start? So as you already know, I am pregnant. I have been battling with hormonal issues throughout the pregnancy and well...you guessed it, they haven't stopped. I had little baby Lilly on July 28, 2016 weighing 6 pounds and 1 ounce. No, she was not premature, she is, as most of my family is, skinny. It has been nearly three weeks since her glorious arrival and as of a week ago, I had to make the very hard confession that I felt nothing towards her. The magical "bond" of mother and child never happened and I had waited two weeks. I knew this was wrong, heck, I was more emotional about having no emotions towards her, or for that matter anyone at all. I cried more thinking about how the only thing I felt was obligation to feed and change her but nothing else.  I knew I ran a high chance of postpartum depression, but I hadn't quite prepared for this.

I tell you this for two reasons. The first is to banish any thoughts that postpartum is anything like normal depression, it isn't, or rather, it isn't like that for everyone. The second reason is to explain why I haven't been on and why I will be taking a year off of writing to all of you lovely readers. I will come back in August 2016. I might take time out here and there to write a review for some of my big hitters through this next year, but for the most part, I will be taking time to focus on my relationship with my family. I have worked hard over this past summer to keep on track for my graduation schedule and *fingers crossed* I should be graduating from Texas A&M in Corpus Christi by December of 2016.

For those who requested photos upon arrival: (Yes that is my belly with NO Photoshop, only turned black and white)







Monday, April 6, 2015

Why I've been gone...

So maybe not too noticeable, for most, but for some avid readers out there, you'll notice I've been slightly absent lately...well I apologize. I found out in November that I was expecting my second child, and with the holidays, graduation, and my sisters wedding, I have had quite a load on my shoulders plus having my three year old and returning to school in January and of course, my wonderful husband. He provides beautifully for us, but at a cost...he has to live two hours away for work and only gets to come home every other weekend. This has been going on a year now, and while we have all grown accustomed to it, it is only made harder through the pregnancy. Currently, we are actually waiting to hear back to find out if there are going to be any more layoffs in his bracket of the company, and if there are any more, if he will be one of them. 

With the start of the new school year (or rather, the new year and a new semester), I started a new school, which means that the program I had my son in for daycare was no longer accessible since it was through the college I was previously attending, and since I was no longer a student there, I had a need to find a new daycare. My search began in November, and through December and January I took a break from applying for assistance and trying to find a program for him because of the stress levels of the holidays as well as my sisters wedding. In February I resumed my search and found a place I was quite happy to enroll him into, and things were looking up for us to get him into the school. However, the day I went to visit for a walk-through and fill out paperwork, they lost a teacher, and that same day happened to fall on the same day another teacher had set as the last day of her two weeks notice. So they no longer had space available for my son to enroll with a staff shortage. Plus, thanks to a great, but annoyingly slow, new law, they had to run not only a criminal background check on any and all new applicants for the positions, but they also had to run a formal FBI background check as well. This is a wonderful safety feature that the state put into place as of January this year, however with all the daycare providers in the LARGE state of Texas, and only one company that can run the FBI checks in that state...well there was quite a large backlog. So I had to start my search again, getting lucky that one daycare happened to have a student who had told them they were leaving that month (military family moving away) and thus, my son could take his spot. "HURRAY!" I thought this was the best thing in the world for me. I not only was exited for that, but I was also happy cause they had video feeds from each of the rooms so that my husband could look in and see our son at any time. We enrolled him halfway through February, and he seemed ok at first, the normal anxiety issues arose and I was dealing with them as they came...but soon things became apparent that they were more than just simple separation anxiety issues. He quickly started asking which school he was going to, his "Old school with Ms. Erin." or his "New School." when I answered the new one, he would begin a temper tantrum and be afraid, saying, "I don't like my teacher. She's mean. She puts everyone in time out." I was worried at this point that my son had gotten in trouble and didn't want me to know what he had done wrong, so I asked the teacher, and she said that other students had gotten in trouble but not him so I shrugged it off....but it persisted, same set of woes each morning and I began to watch the video feeds more often....I started to notice that the teacher played favorites to some students, braiding hair and such and other students were persona-non-grata with her, where she seemed to send them to their desks all the time....unfortunately, the cameras were never able to see the table my son was at because the whole month and a half that he was enrolled, they couldn't fix the ONE camera that was improperly positioned. Other little issues arose, like I realized that each day, the students were trying to practice handwriting, but the teacher never really helped any of them....most of the time each day was spent literally sitting at their desks with a pencil and a paper with their name in traceable letters and do nothing else...for HOURS...these are three year old children with short attention spans and a high need for movement....this was not okay...and the more I noticed it the more upset I began to become. I would ask questions to the teacher daily to see what they had done in the day and then repeat those questions to my son and get totally different answers (mind you, he's three, so memory isn't that perfect) plus what I had seen for the day on video and it just never added up. 

I re-applied in March for a government assistance program for my son to get childcare at a discount because of our income amounts and how much my husband works and I go to school. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, we were denied at first because the oldest check (out of four) was quite sizable due to holiday pay, overtime, and such...but the thing was, his hours had been cut the paycheck after due to cutbacks in the company...so it wasn't a true reflection of our income....so since we were only two days away from a new paycheck we decided to re-apply with the new paycheck and see if we would be approved. I spoke informally to the director of the daycare's husband about applying for assistance and he informed me that they might have already reached capacity for the program, to which I began looking again for a daycare, first reviewing the ones I had already looked into and found that the daycare I had originally wanted him to enter was now enrolling again and that they could fit him into their classroom as soon as I was ready. This gave me a great out for getting my son out of the class with that teacher, and into a new class with a better curriculum. When it came to the assistance program, it was a bit rocky getting the paperwork revisited because it all landed during the beginning of April and glorious Good Friday, but as of this morning I was approved! Happy to get to move to a shorter income, I called to the daycare that my son was at, to let them know what was going on and before I could even finish my sentence, the director cut me off telling me that they had no room for him to attend on the assistance program. I informed her that I had heard that that might be the case from her husband and that we had looked into another place and found an opening and since we were already accepted we were going to move him into it right away to start the transition, hence why he hadn't been present by attendance time. I asked her about the photos that were taken at the end of the previous month and when they would be available to view, she was kind and courteous with her reply and said I could come by anytime to pick up the remainder of my son's belongings. I had to run one more errand (dropping my son off at the new daycare) and then I would be there, and once I arrived, the clothes were sitting on the counter for any and all to just grab and go....however, I had wanted to talk to her a bit before I left, because I wanted to be sure she was aware of the situation, because when I went to the new daycare to drop my son off, the anxiety and issues he displayed were worried over by the teachers and not only them, but the office faculty as well. I spoke with them about how he had been acting and what I had seen on video and their intimidate response was for me to go to licensing and have them investigated. So that I wouldn't step on her toes by not talking to her about it and allowing her to try and fix the issue first, I tried to talk to her....big mistake.

My pregnancy has my hormones at a constant roller-coaster feeling of up and down and all around. I started off by saying that "I wanted to talk to you 'cause my son has been having some issues in the class lately, and I was going to talk to you about it either way today even if he hadn't moved to a new daycare." she immidately switched to an offensive stance and began with how I had taken an "attitude" to her worker about not being able to apply bug repellent and that that was the true root of my issues not anything they had done. Confused, I tried to understand what she was talking about and remembered an incident about a week or two prior when my son had gotten slightly pink (he is very fair) from being out in the sun. I had asked at the time about applying sunscreen before playtime and they had shut me down saying that it was against state policy to apply sunscreen. I scoffed at this because the previous daycare had not just applied it, but had required it. So I could see how that might have been percieved as attitude, and I quickly corrected the director saying, "No, that wasn't what I was trying to talk about, in fact, I had actually completely forgotten about that already. I was wanting to talk to you because my son has been having a higher anxiety about going to school each day and I wanted to try and address the situation." I then explained about his not liking his teacher, and his tantrums and with each sentence, she cut me off to give me either an excuse such as "None of the other kids have any issues with this teacher." or that "He never acts that way while he's here." or something else that (I believe) was meant to cut me off an shut me up, and it was starting to slightly work because it was becoming more tiresome to try and explain the situation than to just walk away and leave it alone. 

I went on however and remarked on the issue that was most recent, the issue that I had already touched on the previous week. On Thursday, I had talked to her about how my son (when I picked him up) had his pants unbuttoned and unzipped, and without prompting from me, had informed me that his teacher had ignored him several times when he asked for assistance in buttoning and zipping the pants, telling him that she was "busy at the moment" and to "go sit down." and when I picked him up from daycare that day, they had combined the remaining children into one classroom to watch a movie and the teacher was finishing clean up in their regular room, while the director was watching the children watching TV. They were in that room for 30 minutes and no one noticed that my son's pants were unbuttoned or unzipped. (Mind you I don't believe that he drew attention to this issue anymore) and according to the director, he hadn't gone to the restroom during the time spent with her. So that tells me that his teacher was the one to ignore and send him away, and the fact that they were still unbuttoned and unzipped, proved that he wasn't lying. (Which my son doesn't really lie, he just deflects) When I started this topic, the director switched gears telling me that the reason he acted this way wasn't the fault of the daycare and "Everybody always wants to blame the daycare, but really the problems are usually something at home, like your pregnancy," where she pointed at my belly and began to walk away exasperated, saying that "his anxiety might also stem from the fact that his father isn't ever around." That last one pissed me off, but the pregnancy one hit a high probability for his actions. I noted to her that my husband had been working this job longer than my son had been going to school at all, and that she had a point that the pregnancy might be a factor. However, I was no longer in the mood to try to "talk" with her since obviously she was unwilling to listen. Yet somehow, she felt like this was the time to interject with "I only take in the minimum requirement of government assistance program kids because it's just not worth it for me money wise. That and all the parents in those programs feel entitled, and complain all the time." Talking as if I wasn't even there, or that I wasn't just accepted into this program and insinuating that the only reason I was complaining now was because I was part of the program. Then she just said the last straw for me, but I felt I had to keep composure because I was going to have to come back later this week to get my photos of my son. She said, "All these government supported families just look for handouts and expect the rest of the world to take care of them, and if anything in their life goes wrong they blame those who are helping them rather than look at how their broken family and unkempt household are really to blame." With that...I was done. I kept myself from lashing out and thanked her for her time, saying I'd see her on Thursday to get my photos. I went to my car and cried, I was so mad I bawled my eyes out, then because I was crying I was even more mad. HOW DARE SHE!! I called my husband, and he said that she was just lucky that he wasn't there or she would have been regretting it. He also said that he would try to get out of work early enough on Thursday to be there with me to get the photos and give her a piece of his mind. I calmed down, got another errand done, and cried another two times. I have to say, this pregnancy has me crying a lot....but really, I think I would have cried at least once anyway even if I wasn't pregnant. Needless to say, I'm going to call licensing anyway....

Thanks for hearing my rant....











Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Graduation Here I Come!

So as some of you already know, I've been attending the local junior college for the past few years. Well I've gone and done it now, I'm graduating! I'll be walking the stage on December 12, 2014 and a few of my graduation buddies got together with me to decorate our caps for graduation. It was a bit last minute and while I had already planned on decorating it after seeing last summer's commencement, I didn't have a CLUE what to decorate it like. So, after a day of Pinterest pins and Google searches, I found about 50 cute ideas, but none of them seemed to fit just right for me. I turned to my friends and asked for help in this and said, "I need something that screams ME and I see bunches of little things that say me in a soft voice, but I just need something to say that I'm a jack of all trades..."then a short breath and I realized as I was speaking the words that I had just come up with the saying for it as I finished, "...and I'm finally mastering one!" since my original thought was to finish the generic phrase of a master of none, I realized that I was mastering one of them. It was an epiphany of epic proportions and I still smile as I recount the simple yet easy fix to my problem. I searched online after this was finished and found NO results for a cap decoration with this wording. I am the first and I am seriously proud of it! lol 



So please critique and give me ANY and all thoughts you have on this, and maybe I can do a few adjustments still so I can make it even better. :D I would ADORE comments this time.,.please?