I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

So a while back Cederberg Tea Company was doing a giveaway-you know me and free, I just can’t resist.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

Anytime I see a giveaway I have to enter it.

So I commented I wanted Chai tea (as my entry) and won this package of Classic Red, Green Rooibos, Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, Rooibos + Chai, and Rooibos + Ginger.

Now I didn’t pay close attention when I entered the giveaway and didn’t realize it contained Rooibos in it. I avoid Rooibos after I had the one by Tea Forté, and it did not agree with me. I resolved to not drink any again, until I saw that this was Rooibos.

That’s not good.

Well I won it and needed to review it, so I decided to stop wasting time and start drinking some tea.

I drank some…and loved it!

The other one I had must have had something wrong with it or something, because these were fantastic. I expected to like the Chai, but was just blown away by the Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla. I drank it and drank it, until I realized I only had one teabag left.

I mean you know how I feel about Earl Grey Tea:

But I was just drinking Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, at least until it was all gone.

The others were good too, but that one was the best!

Delicious!!!! I know I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.

For more giveaway posts, go to I Won the Madsen Creations Giveaway

For more tea posts, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

And eat scones!

Since then I try my best to repeat it whenever I try out new teas. 🙂 As this is Chai teas and Rooibos, I tried to do my best to connect it with books that are set in Africa or India.

Tea #1: Classic Red

This Classic Red was a wonderful tea. It had everything you wanted in it and I enjoyed it so much I finished it before I realized it-picking up the cup to drink some more and finding it empty.

You can tell at first sip why it is a “classic”.

Around the World in 80 Days is one of my favorite books and an amazing classic. It is the story of mysterious, wealthy Phileas Fogg being bet to travel around the world in 80 days. It was to be an interesting challenge-made more so when he is mistaken to be a bank robber and followed by a detective; along with having some people try to sabotage him from winning. It has action, adventure, romance-everything you could want and more! It is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if Phileas is going to make it or not!

One of my favorite parts is when they go to India and the group rescue Aouda, an Indian princess, from her dead husband’s evil relatives trying to sacrifice her so they can inherit everything. This is a great scene because in it we see Phileas change from his “mechanical” way of being (everything planned and thought out) as he steps out to help, becoming a “classic” hero. I love him and Aouda together-you know me and biracial relationships. A great book and great tea.

For more on Around the World in 80 Days, go to Happiness is Having a Library Card: Another 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

Tea #2: Green Rooibos

This tea was exactly how I expected green tea to taste, no surprises-but I mean that in a good way. It’s nice to have something and know you are going to get exactly what you want to get.

This tea made me think of Death on the Nile. Death on the Nile isn’t my favorite Agatha Christie novel as to me there wasn’t any big surprises or truly innovative or amazing characters (except Cornelia Ruth Robson). But like this tea, sometimes you want the predictable, to get exactly as you expect.

The story is of Linnet, a wealthy woman, who marries her best friend’s boyfriend, Simon Doyle. For their honeymoon they go on a trip through the Nile, and of course run into Hercule Poirot (he never gets a vacation). He sees the former best friend, Jacqueline, threaten them and they ask Poirot for help. He declines, but warns Jacqueline to stop or else she will open herself to evil. She refuses and follows the Doyles on their boat trip on the Nile, joined by 11 other interesting characters. Linnet is found dead (of course), and everything points to the two characters who could not have done it. Who could the murderer be? Poirot is on the case.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Shame Book Tag

Tea #3: Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla

So I thought I would like this tea, as who doesn’t love vanilla? But OMGoodness I was not prepared for how amazing this tea was. It was so delicious I just drank it and drank it and before I knew it, I had drank it all up. It was sweet, wonderful, and smelled so good.

What I felt for the tea, I felt the same way about this book. When I saw the art deco style cover, I thought I would enjoy this mystery, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. The story is of Perveen Mistry, female Indian lawyer, in the 1920s. She is sent out to a small princely state to speak to the Dowager Maharani (grandmother) and Maharani (mother) about the young Maharaja’s schooling. She is the only one who can as the ladies are observing purdah (and cannot speak to any men not related to them). Preveen travels out there and finds things are not well in the palace. The Dowager Maharani and the Maharani are both fighting for control, the circumstances of the older brother’s death are very suspicious, and Perveen believes the young prince might be next-especially after a monkey eats her bread and dies. Will Perveen be able to figure out who is responsible in time to save the prince, or will she be next?

Not only is this an intriguing mystery, but Perveen has an interesting and heartbreaking backstory. It was fantastic and so easy to have your attention captured-and keep flipping pages to find out what happens next.

Tea #4: Rooibos + Chai

This was absolutely delicious and just what I wanted in my chai tea-spicy but not too much, sweet but the right amount-i.e everything I wanted. It was so good that after I finished the bourbon one, the chai was gone just like that “snap”.

Like the tea, The Sign of the Four has everything you could want in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. You have a beautiful woman in need (Watson notes she is very attractive [he’s in love with her]), a disappeared father, jewels, a mysterious note, a secret treasure, a peculiar mansion, a villain with a wooden leg, a puzzling death, a bloodhound, and the sign of the four.

It is an amazing mystery, Holmes and Doyle at their finest, and like I said gives you everything your could want. It also is what I believe The Great Mouse Detective was based on, so if you love that movie-you’ll love this book.

For more on Sherlock Holmes, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Tea #5: Rooibos + Ginger

So I didn’t think I would like this tea as ginger tea is often too strong, but this was not overpowering but the right amount. It was enjoyable but still had a bit of a kick to it. It’s not something that I would drink all the time, but is perfect for every now and then or if I have a stomachache.

I felt this book was perfect to pair with it as it is a good story but the sam time has a “kick” to it that gets you thinking…I will actually discuss the book fully below.

So it has been over three months since I did a book club book review, I was only a few behind but then things happened and I fell behind.

 

I am 13 books behind…

I know, I know-stop looking at me like that. I just will have to try harder to catch up.

Hmmm…

Anyways…so quick recap for those who haven’t heard of my book club.

So as you all know I started a book club a few years ago, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books and need to be around others who feel the same.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time our member chose:

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken

So as I read this book 13 months ago, I was hoping to reread it as it had been a while and I wanted to make sure I got the timeline right. So I went to the book from the library…but it turns out the person who checked it out never returned it. Called (I work in the library) and sent notices but the book has not been returned.

Seriously??????!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE when people do that!!!!!!

I then thought I would ask the other book club member, (one member had borrowed my library book) but she lent it to a friend who never gave it back.

So I’m doing this all based on what I remember from reading this 13 months ago, hopefully this go well. Right now I apologize for anything I write that is wrong.

So the first thing that struck me about this book, was the title. “Insanity of God”? What does that mean? Why did he choose that title?

The story starts off with Nik Ripken (a pseudonym) sharing how he came to know Christ. He was a kid that loved baseball, but God took a hold of his life and set him out on a new path.

He ends up going to a Christian college and meets and marries a pastor’s daughter. After both graduate, they both feel the strong call of the mission field and when they ask to be sent out, they are asked for their qualifications. For Nik, he quotes the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

That part made me laugh so hard.

As Nik hadn’t been raised in church he didn’t know what exactly was being asked. They want to know his education, spiritual journey, youth mission trips, background, etc-but Nik is confident in that the Great Commission tells you to go all throughout the world and he wants to answer the call.

If he was on his own he would have been denied, but his wife knows the lingo and what is being said so they are able to be sent out. They both have a heart for Africa and get sent to Somalia in 1992.

Nik and his wife aren’t able to have a “church” but are sent with an aid group, of which they try and preach to people but find it extremely difficult. Christianity is illegal and having a church is illegal, and anyone who becomes a Christian is often taken away and never seen again. Nik and his wife really struggle with questioning what they are they doing there, is it right being here? Are they helping people?

Things get more unsettled in the country, and the Somali Civil War breaks out. His charity group requests the UN to come take action, and when they do send help, he is one of the people that helps map out the unknown areas of Somalia. I remember him describing the villages and the horror-but one really sticks in my mind. There was a village that was full of kids and had no parents and one of parents with no children, so they went and took the kids to the adults.

Also it was really hard to get the people in need the supplies as the leaders and soldiers would steal them and sell them or use them, and the people would continue to go hungry and without. War is sad and hard.

Ripken’s father didn’t care for him becoming a minister, but when Black Hawk Down came out, he was suddenly proud of his son telling all his friends that Ripken made that happen-the military going in.

The first part of the book was on his mission trip and they later were moved out of Somalia into South Africa, but were moved again. A big milestone in their life and faith was when their son grew ill and because the conditions of their home they lived in aggravated it, their son died. After this, they became heartbroken and returned to the states.

They return to the United States and teach at a bible college to young adults going out into the missions but feel really mixed up. Did they help anyone? Going through trials and tribulations every day was hard and wore them out-how do they keep people going? How do they bloom, survive, and keep going when everything is bleak, when it would be easier to give up and go home?

Ripken then goes on a quest to get this information, to speak to people who have had to go to trials and survived still praising God.

There were two incidents in the quest that really struck me, and I can’t remember their names exactly-but I remember pieces.

The first one took place in Russia. This man was jailed during the communist reign, when Christianity was outlawed and the only religion allowed was the worship of the state. He was thrown in jail-often in isolation, but the thing that kept him going was writing down the word of God. He wrote verse after verse that he remembers, helping to lock it in his brain. The beatings, isolation, lack of food, cold, etc-it was all bearable when he could get a scrap and write something down. That is what got him through.

Ripken later goes to China and their he mets several secret churches, as the church is illegal there. These Christians actually delight in getting thrown in jail or having tribulations, as they feel that is a real marker of being a Christian and consider that is when they go to “school” and recieve their “theological education”. Before anyone can be a pastor they have to have been thrown in prison.

When Ripken leaves he asks what they need and all they want is bibles, a bible. He gives them his and they take the pieces apart and hand them off to different people so they have a book to memorize, and it reminded of how they memorized books in Fahrenheit 451.

It also makes me think of how lucky we are in the United States, how many bibles are available in my home, in my parent’s home, for free, online, in a phone app, etc-and here are people begging for a page.

Wow!

The rest of the book has different stories-and I enjoyed it. It defintely made you realize how lucky you are to be in the United States and how grateful we should be for everything we have, even in the midst of COVID-19.

At the end of the book, I concluded that the insanity was not in reference to God, him being insane, but how we feel as humans. We can only comprehend so much of what God’s plan is with our tiny human brain-it seems insane, but God has a plan for us-a bigger picture.

Hmmm…

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: Chasing the Wind

For more Christian novels, go to Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen

For more nonfiction, go to The History of England By a Partial Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian or is Jane Austen a Precursor to Drunk History?

For more bible verses, go to Literary Tea Parties

I Won the Two Sisters Tea Giveaway

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about free things.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

So I just cannot resist a giveaway-anytime I see one I have to enter it.

I can’t stop myself.

So a while back I entered the Two Sisters Tea and Tea and Me giveaway. I received my tea at the beginning of October, but because I was in the midst of Horrorfest VIII I didn’t get a chance to review it.

I won one bag of tea and had my choices of Original Hibiscus Iced Tea, Hibiscus Iced Tea with Cardamom, Hibiscus Iced Tea with Cinnamon, and Hibiscus Iced Tea with Dried Pineapple. You know me and making decisions…

Which way…?

So I told them to send whichever, and I waited for it to arrive.

I received the Original Hibiscus Iced Tea which contains 3 family sized teabags of whole hibiscus flowers, each makes 80 fl oz./2.3 liters.

The Two Sisters of Two Sisters Tea are Jennifer Michelle and Claudia Maria. The sisters grew up drinking Rosa de Jamaica, or Jamaican Rose, tea in Guatemala. After moving to America, it was hard getting it, so the two created their own company to share the amazing health benefits of Jamaican Rose Iced Tea and bring it into every home.

So when I opened the iced tea, there were these giant tea bags. I felt a little unsure how much to do, but on the back of the package it gives clear directions on how much water and sugar are needed.

And then I made it and just had to wait…

It was pretty good, not what I usually drink, but I enjoyed it. It was extremely refreshing as well.

A friend of mine saw it and loves hibiscus tea so I sent some off with her and she loved it as well.

My friend is actually Elizabeth.

So if Hibiscus Iced Tea is your thing, you should definitely check them out!

For more giveaways, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more tea posts, go to Green Tea Frappuccino

For more on the Tea and Me blog, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes better together than a good book and a delicious tea. I decided to repeat it with the teas I won in the Regency Marketplace Giveaway. Since that went so well, I think it will just be my new thing. After all:

 

Original Hibiscus Iced Tea

So something set in Latin America, involving sisters-the first book that popped in my head and stayed in it was:

In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

I first came upon on this book when I read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and Before We Were Free; both part of a recommended reading list. I enjoyed Alvarez’s style of writing and was intrigued by her account of living under the dictatorship Rafael Trujillo-something that she experienced along with having her father be a part of the resistance movement. At the time I was reading it I knew extremely little about this time in history-but her words hooked me and caused me to research about it.

I must find out more.

Out of all the books, the story In the Time of Butterflies was the one that really stuck with me. It tells a fictional account of the four Mirabal Sisters, known as Las Mariposas (Butterflies)-Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Dedé- who take a stand against their dictator and fought to save their country and their people.

“We cannot allow our children to grow up in this corrupt and tyrannical regime. We have to fight against it, and I am willing to give up everything, even my life if necessary.” -Patria Mirabal

Alvarez took an already amazing story and brought the sisters and their bravery, freedom, and all they did and stood for back to life again.

I recommend reading it with a glass of Two Sisters Tea Rosa de Jamaica.

 

Prom & Prejudice

psychPromjulietshawn

Prom.

Some of us loved it,

Some of us hated it.

Whether we planned for it

Or ignored it,

it is something that every person in public school in the United States encounters in their lifetime.

It’s true.

For me, I enjoyed prom. I tried to spend as little money as possible on everything and did extremely well. I had a beautiful blue gown, cost $2.50 at a thrift store sale, $8 to get it dry cleaned.

Oh yeah!

My shoes? Beautiful silver heels, extremely comfortable, and free-with the purchase of a bracelet for $8 (Kohl’s cash buy something $8-10, get something $8-10 free).

I like it.

Make-up? Free, my sister did it.

Yep!

Hair? Only $16 as I knew a hairstylist.

Limo? Free, my friend’s date father owned a limousine rental.

Sweet!

Dinner? Free, my friend had coupon that covered everything.

Awesome!

The most expensive thing? $25 tickets. So a total of $59.50, not bad.

But we don’t want to just hear about my experience. Oh no, this is a book review post:

Promandprejudice

Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

**Contains Spoilers**

Yes, if we go through prom, why not the Austen characters? (Or at least Pride & Prejudice Austen characters.)

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In Eulberg’s book Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Caroline, Mr. Darcy, Charlotte, Mr. Collins, and Mr. Bingley all get an opportunity to go to prom.

Why not?

This book came out when I was a young adult and I just happened on to it accidentally, started reading and LOVED it! In fact I think it is one of the best modern adaptions.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet is a scholarship student at the elite prep school, Longbourn. She was recruited for her musical talent, as she is an accomplished piano player.

07_animpianoorganmusicplayingcreepycarnivalofsouls

Sadly, piano playing is the only nice thing about being there at the school. Everyone treats her horribly as they want her to “know her place.” They dump drinks on her, call her names, give her the wrong room when she asks for directions, etc.

HateYou

She does have two friends in the school, one is a fellow scholarship student, Charlotte, and the other is the incredibly nice Jane.

So Lizzie has just returned from Hoboken, New Jersey to the school from winter break. While she is thinking about the spring concert and her studies; every other girl at Longbourn and every boy at Pemberley (school for boys) have only one thing on the brain: prom.

To not have a date would be the biggest faux pas; so all are prepping and conniving to have the best date.

While Jane is excited for prom, she is also thrilled that Charles Bingley will be returning from England where he spent the previous semester. Before he left the two had been heading toward something, and spent the whole summer emailing and writing; so Jane is eager to see if they  will become more.

 At the welcome back dance Lizzie is pleased to meet Charles as he is extremely nice and appears to be perfect for her friend Jane. Unfortunately, his twin sister Caroline is a real jerk.

Charles also brought his best friend Will Darcy, who is attractive and seems like a good guy, that is until he finds out Elizabeth is a scholarship student and just takes off, major diss.

What a jerk

Later she overhears him saying how he spent a year in London to try and get away from those kinds of people.

Ugh

Elizabeth tries to leave, but is stopped by Colin Williams (Mr. Collins) the only other person nice to her and the most boring person she has ever met.

Blah, blah

Oh, Mr. Collins:

While her way at school is paid, she still needs money to fund everything else and works at the local coffee shop as a barista. She runs into Darcy there, but the fate is sealed. She is not going to like him for anything.

Charles invites Jane and Lizzie to come with him, Caroline, and Darcy as they are headed to Vermont to ski. Lizzie agrees to support Jane although she has no clue about skiing. She decides to just wait inside playing the steinway (piano), doing homework, and sipping hot tea.

The next day everyone heads out to the slopes while Lizzie decides to head to the bookstore to pick up a book for school. Darcy offers her a ride, but Lizzie doesn’t want help. She finally agrees and the two talk on the drive. Darcy doesn’t get why she is being so snobby and down about school, while Lizzie lets everything out about how people are treating her.

That night things go a bit sour as Charles is taking Jane out and Lizzie is to be stuck at the house with her two favorite people, Caroline and Darcy.

Those guys

Darcy isn’t so bad, but Elizabeth Lizzie has to be there while Caroline tries to impress him. She starts with commenting on his email writing, then doing yoga moves, etc. The conversation moves to involve only Lizzie and Darcy, but Caroline doesn’t like that.

They all return to school, and in Lizzie’s case work, and things are back to normal. However, Lizzie meets George “Wick” Wickham who is handsome, charming, and hates Longbourn and Pemberley as much as she does. Wick tells her that Darcy and he became very good friends, but when Darcy’s father was paying too close attention to him Darcy got jealous and had him kicked out.

Charles is having a party and invites all kinds of people. Jane and Lizzie are going of course, and because Jane is going, her sister Lydia squeezes her way in. Jane’s father recently lost his job and that has downgraded her status at the school. It doesn’t help that Lydia is all kids of crazy and embarrassing and can’t stop about prom or boys.

If only she followed this advice.

Wick was supposed to come to the party but changed his mind, leaving Lizzie sad and upset as she wanted to spend the time with him. However, Darcy pays quite a bit attention to her and even asks her to dance.

The night ends even worse with nonstop attention from Colin, Lydia doing a bad dance/rockette/cheerleader routine, and her coat getting stolen. Could things get worse?

The next day things get even worse, as Colin asks her to prom and doesn’t want to take no for an answer. He then insults her and says that she will have no one else ask her poverty-stricken patootie (I added that).

When Elizabeth gets home, she is surprised with a new coat. Life seem to be brightening up, but then the dark cloud comes back as Charles just breaks off contact with Jane as “things came up.”

Two weeks pass and no Charles. He just drops off the face of the earth and poor Jane is heartbroken.

Noooo!

To add to that, it turns out that Wick didn’t consider he and Lizzie a couple, but has been dating a wealthy Longbourn girl who’s family has great connections. What a jerk!

But strangely enough, who should come every day to the coffee shop? Mr Darcy. And not only does he see her every day bit he leaves a big tip.

One day as she was walking, she runs into him and his cousin Fitzpatrick, and discovers that he broke up his friend’s relationship as the girl wasn’t right. Lizzie hooks on that it must be Jane and Charles. She is furious!

She tells Darcy her hours and hopes that he will avoid her. It is the opposite as Darcy seens to come more than ever.

And out of nowhere he drops the bomb:

And he asks her to prom. Elizabeth Lizzie’s reaction?

She is furious with him for Jane, Charles, Wick, Longbourn, everything!

She goes to write an email to her New Jersey friends, but finds one from Darcy instead! His letter contains the following:

  1. He’s had scholarship kids in the past try and get things from him-money, connections, social status, etc.-so now he avoids them. He’s sorry to have been so rude to Elizabeth, but that has became his instant reaction.
  2. He wasn’t the one who really pushed Jane and Charles apart, although he didn’t try and have them be together either.
  3. The guy and girl he was talking about? It was Colin who wanted to ask Lizzie out again and Darcy thought it was a bad idea.
  4. He had Wick kicked out of school because of two reasons:
    1. He got Darcy’s young sister, Georgiana drunk to try to get her to have sex with him.
    2. He broke into their house and stole a bunch of things.

Elizabeth realizes that she thought Darcy was the prejudiced and prideful one, but it turns out that she was as well. Because he was rich she thought the worse of him, and because he hurt her pride she was willing to believe anything horrible that was said of him.

They both are.

Things get weirder as it turns out that Wick and Lydia are “together”.

I guess his rich girlfriend didn’t work out.

Lizzie sees this and is horrified as she now knows that Wick is a sexual predator, looking for young, freshmen girls. She goes to Jane and lets everything out. She is just as shocked when she hears it all.

They keep a tight leash on Lydia and argue whether or not to reveal what happened to Darcy’s sister to keep Lydia away from Wickham. They decide to wait as it isn’t their story to tell.

They are both pleasantly surprised when Charles comes with a bouquet and begs Jane’s forgiveness. And as she is so sweet and adorable, she forgives him.

 Midterms end and Lizzie heads home for break, but she gets an even better surprise. Her piano teacher, Mrs. Gardiner, gives her two tickets to see her favorite pianist, Claudia Reynolds.

When Lizzie and her mother go to the concert they are thrilled with the amazing music, and Elizabeth is floored when she discovers that Claudia Reynolds is Darcy’s mother.

She meets Darcy in his own setting and sees all pretense gone. She also meets his adorable sister and sees how cute their little family is.

The have a great time and even make plans for Darcy and Georgiana to visit her in New Jersey. Their fun trip is cut short when Lydia goes missing with Wick and Lizzie and Darcy set out to find her.

Darcy goes through everywhere that Wick would want to stay at and finds the two utterly wasted in a trashed hotel room. He uses his father’s money and influence to remove Wick and settle the bill.

The rest of the break is uneventful and quiet, with no calls from Darcy. It seems that now that she wants him, nothing is heard from him. Don’t you just hate that? When they return to school Charles has a big dinner party for their friends, but Darcy doesn’t sit with Elizabeth Lizzie or talk to her, no matter how hard she tries to get his attention.

Soon Lizzie’s recital comes up and she rocks (figuratively). Afterwards Darcy asks her out, telling her he was waiting as he didn’t want to break her concentration.

Aw!

However, they will not be going to prom but be going out to enjoy their night together.

I loved this book.

Even though they didn’t follow the book exactly I thought Eulberg was able to capture the life of the characters and bring across what Jane wanted.

The only thing I din’t like was Darcy didn’t take her to prom. Come on, you guys could have just dressed casual or not spent a lot of money. I mean seriously.

Totally!

But there is something that really surprised me. I spotted this in the acknowledgements:

“I’d especially like to thank Stephanie Meyer for being so enthusiastic for my writer life and having that conversation about Pride and Prejudice that led me to the idea for this book.

Stephanie Meyer?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Stephanie Meyer who wrote Twilight?

The horror!

I can’t believe I have to thank her for something good!

Well that aside, it is a fantastic book and I recommend it for any Austen fan.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

For more on prom, go to Oh What A Night

The Unknown Princess Nevermore

Day 6) F is for Free: Choose a book you got for Free

princessNevermore

Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan

Do you remember the Scholastic book fairs they used to have at school? I loved it. There were  bunch of books at the school and in the catalog. Even though we couldn’t spend a lot, my parents would always buy me at least one item. No matter how many books I already owned, I could always use more.

buybooksdon'tneedthem

Well if you bought so many and did a certain amount in school you were able to get a free book! I was so excited and picked out a ton of different books I wanted to get.

WantAlltheBooks

But my mom pointed out that the free book had to be $4.50 or under. So we looked through the catalog and it turned out that there were only two books that were eligible.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Yeah, what a scam! Anyways, out of the two books Princess Nevermore, intrigued me. I read it and quickly loved it!

Now one of the reasons I choose this book to include in the 30 day challenge is that is seems to be one no one knows about which I think is a shame as it is a great book and needs more attention.

Bruce-Almighty-Love-Me

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princessNevermore

Princess Quinnella, Quinn for short, lives in Mandria, a magical world that exists under our feet! Once they lived in the world of men, but had to relocate as magic with humankind wasn’t working out.

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See ya!

The only place to view our world from Mandria is in the wizard Melikar’s chambers. There he has a magic pool that gives the Mandrians a view into our world, but we cannot see into their’s.

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Quinn has grown up dreaming and wishing to visit the other world. She and Melikar’s assistant, Cam, have conspired on how to get there.

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Quinn feels as if time is running out as she will soon be sixteen: a woman, betrothed, and focusing on ruling her kingdom.

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One day she is visiting Melikar when out of nowhere Cam comes crashing into her, his magic ring transporting him there instead of where he was desiring to go. Melikar tells Cam to check the magic book and see what is wrong with it.

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Cam goes and gets an idea, he decides that now is the time to send them to outer Earth. He shoots Quinn a look, and she quickly catches on and distracts Melikar until it is too late.

“Anger, fear, love, and mirth.

Send Quinn and Cam to outer earth.”

The pool’s water comes down and surrounds Quinn dragging her up and over to the other side.

Not good

Not good

And just Quinn!

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As you can guess Melikar is furious! Not only was Quinn sent into the other world, but there is no way to bring her back until she choose to return, a clause that Quinn has no clue off.

Not good

Not good

Yes, Cam was foolish and acted too quickly or else he would have realized that it was a bad idea.

ouch Hermione

In order to bring the princess back, she has to go back to the pool, wish with all her heart to return, and turn in the pool, stirring it. And the catch, the spell can only be done once and is strong only for a quarter moon, that’s seven days. If she misses her window, she will never be able to return.

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The first thing they must do is buy some time, drugging the royal family so that they will sleep through most of time that Quinn is away.

Yes, like in Sleeping Beauty

Yes, like in Sleeping Beauty

Quinn find herself in the real world and is unsure what to do next. She always planned for her to be with Cam and them being able to visit the world, but return whenever they desired.

I don't know what to do

Then a girl comes across her path, one she sees daily coming to the pool and wishing for beauty. A boy calls out her name, Sarah, and she calls him Adam. Adam tells her they need to leave now as Mondo has declared it is time to go.

Quinn decides to follow them as they make her curious and she has no idea what else she can do.

He did buy it.

She follows them onto a giant dragon creature, a bus, and is questioned by Sarah and her brother is surprised when Mondo recognizes that she is from Mandria and gives the sign of the Lorik, a symbol to seal an oath and mark of friendship in this case. Mondo takes Quinn with them to their apartment.

Quinn shares the history of who she is with Adam being surprised and completely taken with her; and Sara slightly jealous at her beauty and the attention Quinn is receiving.

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The next day they head off to school, Quinn fascinated and lost and confused. At first Sarah is helpful and kind to her, but then when her long time crush shows interest in Quinn and continues to ignore Sarah.

Not good

Not good

Quinn and Adam grow closer as he not only teaches her about the world, but they begin to fall for each other.

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However, while young love blooms; Mondo is not pleased with it. Quinn can’t understand why he would be so upset over it.

Thinking Hmm

As for Quinn she finds herself wondering about Adam. He isn’t royal, but she could abdicate her throne for her cousin and live in the human world, them visiting back and forth.

It could work, like The Little Mermaid

It could work, like The Little Mermaid

Back in Mandria, Cam and Melikar have to take another into their confidence. Ameka, Quinn’s tutor comes to Melikar’s place and discovers Quinn’s disappearance. They grow worried as Quinn not only seems to not want to leave that world, but Melikar can sense danger coming as Quinn has the magic ring.

Not good

Not good

Quinn found the magic ring stuck on her dress and promised not to use it, unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, she used it to get pizza, zap Zach, and get apples for lunch. However, Zach senses that there is something weird about her and gets Sarah, who only wants to impress him, to ‘fess up about her cousin.

It is horror and funny at the same time!

Halloween approaches and Adam asks her to the dance. Quinn is thrilled to go with him, but then Zach enters and the testosterone goes flying as he tries to bully them into letting him take Quinn. They decide to “duel”, Quinn choosing jousting.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

As there are no horses in the city for the teens to access, Adam’s friend Roger develops a “modern day” jousting. Adam does well, but Zach cheats and wins Quinn as his date. Zach isn’t interested in Quinn, but wants her secrets of magic.

It is horror and funny at the same time!

This is bad.

The day of the dance, Quinn tries to speak to a hurt Adam, but he manages to elude her at every turn. That night as she prepares for the ball, Mondo decides it is time to tell his story.

He was a nobleman and used to visit with Melikar, just like Quinn. He would look at the wishing pool and see a girl come everyday. He feel head over heels for her and asked Melikar to send him over. He promised to remain there for a few hours and bring her back.

Sadly, she never came so Mondo went in search for her as he couldn’t go back without her. He found her, but she wouldn’t leave so he remained above. The two married and had a son.

Yes, but that’s not the whole story. When Mondo arrived the year was 1830. One year in Mandria was three years on Earth. Mondo was happy with Hannah, even though she aged more rapidly than him. But he was only thirty-four when she died at the age of seventy. And while they had love there were a lot of issues with it. They had to move around A LOT, pretend to be mother and son; grandmother and son, etc.  By the time he lost her, and his son as he left him with anger over his lack of aging; he thought about going back but it was too late with all the modern convinces to head back to the Middle Ages.

So now Quinn has a choice to make. Should she stay in our world or return home? Risk the lack of aging for her love?

Thinking Hmm

And with Zach’s intentions, what will happen to her? Will she even be able to make that choice?

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I’m not revealing the end as I thought it was too good. I loved this story and how the characters were and the ending. An ending I thought was better than Age of Adalind and all those other films that have a similar premise.

It is hard to find a copy of it, but try your local library. It is definitely worth a read.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days

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For more on free, go to Free, for Lack of a Better Word, is Good

For more on princesses, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

For more Virginia Woolf, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

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So today’s carol I thought about how Quinn’s not sure if she will make it home, and settled on I’ll Be Home for Christmas. 

I’ll Be Home for Christmas was written about and for the soilders serving overseas and wishing to be home with their loved ones. The song is supposed to be from the view of a soldier, asking them to get things ready, even though he isn’t sure he’ll be back.

It was written in 1943 by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent. No one would record it, as they thought it was too sad, until Gannon sang it to Bing Crosby who loved it. Bing Crosby was the first to record it, but it went on to be recorded by numerous singers.

Now I remember first hearing it be sung by a woman, not a man, and went with Karen Carpenter’s version.

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For more on Bing Crosby, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

For more Christmas Carols, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones

30 Day Challenge: Literature Loves

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Yes it is that time of the year, our new tradition of a 30 Day Challenge. As I am a book lover and just can’t get enough books, I decided this year we will cover that love.

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As any book lover knows, it is difficult to choose a favorite book.

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So this will either fit the category of the book challenge, or will be a book I love. I’m hoping to meld both, but I know that won’t happen for every one of them.  I also ran into a few issues finding 30, so I had to get a tad creative.

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I am also going to skip the Jane Austen novels as I always talk about them on this blog. I’m going to try and do books I haven’t mentioned already, but no promises on that.

I can't help it.

I can’t help it.

Now every time I try to do something in December, it tends to fail. I just get toooo busy.

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But this year I am really going to try.

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So here we go!

30 Day Challenge:

Day 1) A is for Apocalyptical: Choose a book with an Apocalyptic theme

Day 2) B is for Best: Choose a Best-Selling novel

Day 3) C is for Childhood: Choose a book you used to read over and over again when you were a Child.

Day 4) D is for Diary: Choose a novel or memoir in Diary form

Day 5) E is for Elephant: Choose a book with a Elephant on the cover

Day 6) F is for Free: Choose a book you got for Free

Day 7) G is for Ghost: Choose a Ghost story

Day 8) H is for Happily Ever After: Choose a novel that is a retelling of a fairy tale

Day 9) I is for Island: Choose a book that takes place on an Island

Day 10) J is for Jane Austen: Choose a book based on, a sequel to, or a retelling of one of Jane Austen’s works

Day 11) K is for Killer: Choose a book with a murderer

Day 12) L is for List: Choose a book from your to-read List

Day 13) M is for Merry Christmas: Since this 30 Day Challenge is being done in December, let’s pick a favorite book that captures the merry Christmas spirit.

Day 14) N is for Name: Choose a book with a character that shares your first or last Name

Day 15) O is for Ocean: Choose a book that takes place on or in the Ocean

Day 16) P is for Politics: Choose a book that is Political

Day 17) Q is for Quest: Choose a book in which the characters go on a Quest

Day 18) R is for Remake: Choose a book that is a Retelling of a classic

Day 19) S is for Short Stories: Choose a collection of Short Stories

Day 20) T is for Translated: Choose a book that was Translated from one language to English

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

Day 22) V is for Vanished: Choose a book with a missing person

Day 23) W is for Weather: Choose a book where the Weather plays a major role

Day 24) X is for X: Choose a book whose author has an X in their name

Day 25) Y is for Young: Choose a junior or Young adult book

Day 26) Z is for Zombie: Choose a Zombie retelling of a classic novel

Day 27) One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: Shoes symbolize wealth. Choose a novel that involves wealth or fashion

Day 28) Three, Four, Shut the Door: Doors symbolize new beginnings. Choose a novel where a character has to start over

Day 29) Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks: Sticks symbolize power, strength, or judicial decisions. Choose a book that revolves around a powerful ruler or ruling.

Day 30) Seven, Eight, Lay Them Straight: Straight means upright. Choose a book with a moral or strong moral character

Additional one to keep the Symmetry

Day 31) Nine, TenA Big Fat Hen: Hens symbolize motherhood. Choose a book that revolves around a family or strong motherly character.

Have Card will Travel

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For more 30 Day challenges check out 30 Day Challenge: All About Me! and 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition

For more book loving posts, go to Sadly I’m a Stalker

My Trip to Teavana

So I’m sure you are probably thinking this another pun like in my teaddiction.

Couldn't resist

But it is not a pun, but about my actual trip to Teavana.

huh

huh

So a couple weeks back I took my niece and mother to the big mall in the next city. It has a ton of stores, ones we don’t have in my town.

You should have gone shopping.

So something I do every time is consider buying a teddy bear from Build-a-Bear.

Don't be fooled by its cuteness, evil lurks in that heart.

So let me back up a bit. When Build-a-Bear first came out I really, really, really wanted one. But my parents said it was tooo expensive for a stuffed toy so I never got one.

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

So every time I visit a mall that has one I consider buying one, but then I fight with myself after all I really don’t need it.

Tempting but no

Tempting but no

This time we were at the store and they had a great deal on the animals. You saved ten dollars if you bought two. I was really planning on it until I saw the cutest Ewok bear.

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I was totally going to come back for it before I left. After all it was cute, Star Wars, and I had just gotten paid. And it was soooo cute!

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We were going to come back but then my mother maneuvered us toward Teavana. I was happy as you all know how much I love tea.

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Plus free samples!

free stuff

The tea was great and my mother wanted to buy some. So she headed in the back while I was looking for a trash can. I then went to the back when the guy was asking me what tea I wanted to buy.

Majorly

Majorly

I was about to tell him it wasn’t for me but my mom, when I looked around and she had disappeared.

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She had tricked me. She took me there, got the salesman all prepped  and now I was going to have to buy the tea.

And of course I had no tin to put it on so I had to buy one of those. Pretty much I ended up dropping a larger wad than I was planning.

Argh!!!

Argh!!!

And I couldn’t buy that adorable Ewok.

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Oh well, at least I know one thing that will make me feel better:

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And watch out for your mothers, they be tricky.

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For more tea stories, go to One Hot Date

For more trips to the mall, go to A Trip to the Mall Turns into the Twilight Zone

For more on teddy bears, go to The Teddy Bear that Would NOT Die!

For more stories from my every day life, go to I Will Not Bend, I Will Not Break

Free, for Lack of a Better Word, is Good

Who likes free things?

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So this month is my birthday month.

Yay!

Yay!

And with that comes some free things….Like being in the Red Robin club and getting a free burger.

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I of course, bought the most expensive burger I could…

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Then from Raley’s I got a free cake mix…

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And free cupcakes from Raley’s.

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And a free BBQ sandwich from a local restaurant.

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So why am I talking about this?

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Because it is nice to get things for free. It is fun and I am currently doing a giveaway.

Double double yay

I am giving away a copy of Death Comes to Pemberly, a Jane Austen quote mug, and a Jane Austen inspired hairclip.

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Enter by going to my facebook page.

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Walking on Pins and Needles

So do you remember a post a while back when I compared myself to The Little Mermaid, not the film version, but the book.

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In the book, the Little Mermaid in her deal to walk on land, trades the comfort of walking along with her voice. Every step she takes feels as if she has knives stabbed into her feet. I had tried to get into shape by doing squats and overdid it, creating very sore thighs. (Read more about it in The Little Moreland)

ouch Hermione

Well it happened again.

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But this time it wasn’t my fault.

Mmhm great gatsby

I mean it!

So every year in my community there is this big free event in which they give away backpacks, clothes, and all other things to kids and families in need.

free stuff

The woman in charge asked me if I would help out this year and do face painting. I like doing face painting and have for years, so I agreed.

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That day I got there before the event started, and it was packed. I ran over to the table were we had everything set up, but there was one problem. They had only provided three chairs. I had brought an extra chair, but that wasn’t enough for us three volunteers and the people whose faces we would be  painting.

Spoke too soon

We managed to find one more chair, but that was still one too few. Me being nice as I am, went without.

big mistake

I thought that we might have breaks in between, but no. It was a never ending line of children and parents.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

I spent three hours squatting and painting non-stop. I was only saved the last hour as when other people went home, and they found a chair for me to use.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally!

When the event ended I was in so much pain. My thighs and feet hurt. Every step I took I could hear a popping noise or it was extremely sore.

ouch Hermione

The next day was extremely painful too. Every step was excruciating. But hey, at least it was for charity instead of vanity? Right?

Gotcha!

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For more stories of my everyday life, go to I Call A Do-Over

Every Heart Beats True for the Red, White & Blue

“You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of the land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true ‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.”

                                                                             -You’re a Grand Old Flag

Happy 4th of July everybody!

4th of july Captain America

Today we celebrate the birth of our country.

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A country that was going to be different than any other. One that wouldn’t have a king with all power, but a President with limited power, and the people would be the ones to hold sway. A county based on giving people rights and allowing them to make their own decisions. Happy Birthday United States of America!

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So while you’re eating your BBQ and shooting off fireworks, never forget what this holiday stands for.

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For more on the 4th of July, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Jaws (1975)

For more on Captain America, go to Do the Right Thing

For more holidays, go to Dear Dad

Conan the Librarian

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Okay I loved the original Conan films with Arnold Schwarzenegger, I thought they were absolutely great. (To read more of my thoughts on the first film, go here.)

So anyways, I found this pic on the internet and it is hilarious. 🙂 And it got me thinking…Wouldn’t Conan make an awesome librarian? I mean with him there would be no late fees, ever.

You kept items past the due date!

Let me show you what happens to people who keep items past their due date!

He would use all his strength and power to pass on the love of reading.

“Mongol General:  Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: To teach people how to use the online catalog, help people find the books they want, and create children and adult reading programs!”

Haha! LOL

Think about it people. Sometimes the way of the future can be pulled out of the past.

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Now in other news, today is a very special day in our world & nation’s history. Not only is it Veterans’ Day, but 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of WWI. I would just like to take the time to give a shout out to all the veterans who have served, and all the troops currently serving.  Thank you so much for everything you have done and for all the sacrifices you have made. I am so happy to live in a country that gives honor to those who deserve it for all that they do. Happy Veteran’s Day!

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For more on Conan go to Part XI: A Movie Line List’s Excellent Adventure

For more on Arnold Schwarzenegger, go to I’ll Be Back

For more on libraries, go to The America I Love

To read more book related posts, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?

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For more on Veterans’ Day, go to Let’s Hear It for the Boys

For  more on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, go to My Favorite Movie Lines