Posted in Chopped Readathon

Example: Meal for Chopped Readathon

Since the meals for the Readathon seem to have confused some people. I’m going to do an example here of four books I’ve read and a dish that would come from them, that fulfills the prompts.

Also I’m not sure how Youtube works internationally but I’m pretty sure you could catch an episode of Chopped there or at least a clip. But anyway I’m going to do an example with four books I’m not reading for the readathon and for our easiest category Appetizers, I’ll do examples for the harder categories if needed but you guys will have to let me know if you want if you want that.

Pizza-Violets are Blue

Violets Are Blue by [Barbara Dee]

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

Amazon: Violets are Blue

Strawberry-Book with a Red Cover

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Amazon: Tea Dragon Tapestry

Milkshake- Soulswift-two people go on a quest

Soulswift by [Megan Bannen]

Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction?

Amazon: Soulswift

Leftovers-Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch-A book you started but never finished

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by [Julie Abe]

Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before her thirteenth birthday. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test:

One: Help your town, do good all around.
Two: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon.
Three: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.

Amazon: Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch

The Meal

You can draw, write, or, do any sort of artistic or written expression you can think of.

The meal for this is actually a drink, its a red and blue tea that shifts color as as you watch, you can see a storm forming above the tea. Drinking the tea will tea will give different looks you’ll look like a zombie, a mermaid, and a tiger etc. Drinking this tea will also make birds spontaneously appear on the branches in the trees in the tea garden around where you are drinking. The garden also has embroidered flags and a special tree in the center with a special kind of berries that might occasionally fall into your tea. You take in the whole garden and the tea and feel a special kind of magic.

Now lets break this down, the tea is from Tea Garden Tapestry. The shifting colors are from the red color book and the blue in the storm from Eva Evergreen. The shifting looks are Violets are Blue. The birds are from Soulswift where they were an important plot point. The flags in the garden are also from Tea Dragon. The special tree is from Soulswift which was a very important plot point as were the berries.

Now do you all have a better idea of what I’m thinking about for the meals? If not please comment.

Posted in Announcements, new releases

Friendships, Thrillers, and Body Positivity

This week has lots of great books coming out, from books about friendships to thrillers and books about about body positivity, we’ve got a little something for everyone.

All My Friends (Eagle Rock Series, 3

Middle-schooler Bina has everything she’s ever wanted. She has new friendships and a new band whose song is about to be featured on her favorite television show.

But being in the spotlight is hard. When Bina and her band are offered a record deal, her parents are not thrilled. Now, Bina is barely speaking to her mom and dad. To make matters worse, Bina and her best friend, Austin, are still awkward around each other after their failed first date.

Can Bina untangle the various melodies in her heart? Or will fame go to her head?

Amazon: All My Friends

The Ghoul of Windydown Vale

In this action-packed mystery from award-winning author Jake Burt, Copper Inskeep holds Windydown Vale’s deepest and darkest secret: he is the ghoul that haunts the Vale, donning a gruesome costume to scare travelers and townsfolk away from the dangers of the surrounding swamps. When a terrified girl claims she and her father were attacked by a creature – one that could not have been Copper – it threatens not just Copper’s secret, but the fate of all Windydown.

The Supervillain's Guide to Being a Fat Kid by [Matt Wallace]

Max’s first year of middle school hasn’t been easy. Eighth-grade hotshot Johnny Pro torments Max constantly, for no other reason than Max is fat and an easy target. Max wishes he could fight back, but he doesn’t want to hurt Johnny . . . just make him feel the way Max feels.

In desperation, Max writes to the only person he thinks will understand: imprisoned supervillain Master Plan, a “gentleman of size.” To his surprise, Master Plan wants to help! He suggests a way for Max to get even with Johnny Pro, and change how the other kids at school see them both.

And it works! When Master Plan’s help pays off for Max in ways he couldn’t have imagined, he starts gaining confidence—enough to finally talk to Marina, the girl he likes in class who shares his passion for baking. He’s finally starting to gain friendships. With Master Plan in his corner, anything seems possible . . . but is there a price to pay for the supervillain’s help?

Amazon: The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid

Posted in Challenges, Chopped Readathon, Readathons, TBR

Sweet Dessert Chopped Romance Readathon

So we’ve come to the most difficult part of the Readathon. The Sweet portion, you’re in for a bit of a challenge but if you’ve made it this far we know you can do it. I’ll show you what I’m reading for this portion of the readathon.

Champagne-A Protagonist with Anxiety

Quintessence - Best Middle-Grade Books About Anxiety

Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself.

But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star—a star that looks like a child—fall from the sky and into her backyard. I’ve been waiting to read this sweet story for awhile now I’m glad I finally get the chance.

Amazon: Quintessence

Ring Pops: A book where someone gets married or a wedding shapes the plot.

Rouge Princess

Rogue Princess by [B.R. Myers]

Princess Delia knows she must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. But she’d much rather have a shot a true love than an arranged marriage. She’s going to chart her own course in life so she steals one of her family’s spaceship and decides to runaway, only to find a stowaway. But who would have thought a princess on the run from an arranged marriage and a poor stowaway looking to find a better life off planet may be the only ones able to stop a planet wide rebellion.

Amazon: Rouge Princess

Baked Alaska: A book with a surprise.

Healer of the Water Monster by [Brian Young]

Nathan likes to spend time with his Nali during the summer in the Navajo Nation. even though he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer with no electricity or cell service. On night when he gets lost in the desert all that when Nathan encounters a Holy Being from the Navajo creation story. A Water Monster and it needs his help!

Amazon: Healer of the Water Monster

Yuzu-A book with a sweet and tart protagonist

Long Lost by [Jacqueline West]

Eleven-year-old Fiona has just read a book that doesn’t exist.

When Fiona’s family moves to a new town to be closer to her older sister’s figure skating club—and far from Fiona’s close-knit group of friends—nobody seems to notice Fiona’s unhappiness. Alone and out of place, Fiona ventures to the town’s library, a rambling mansion donated by a long-dead heiress. And there she finds a gripping mystery novel about a small town, family secrets, and a tragic disappearance.

Soon Fiona begins to notice strange similarities that blur the lines between the novel and her new town. With a little help from a few odd Lost Lake locals, Fiona uncovers the book’s strange history. Lost Lake is a town of restless spirits, and Fiona will learn that both help and danger come from unexpected places—maybe even from the sister she thinks doesn’t care about her anymore.

Amazon: Long Lost

Posted in Challenges, Pondathon

Pondathon II

Pondathon II: The Quiet Pond’s Story-Driven Readathon. A small spade and watering can are crossed with vines wrapped around it frame the words Pondathon II. Three little forest sprites - one with a leaf on its head, another with twigs on its head like antlers, and a mushroom on the other’s head - sit on the words ‘Pondathon’.

What is the Pondathon?

Pondathon II is a story-driven and gardening-themed readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the this readathon is to read books to earn plants and decorate your own little garden so that we can restore the forest together. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Information about Joining the Pondathon

  • You can sign-up to the readathon here. The readathon starts on January 10th 2022 and ends on December 11th 2022; sign-ups are open across the duration of the readathon.
  • You also get to create your own Pond animal character for the Pondathon, and create your own character card!
  • If you’d like, create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#PondathonII’ in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  • Be sure to check out these two important posts (1) the information post and (2) this sign-up post

My Pond Character

Evrin is a quiet little water witch whose name means magic, they come from a large family and have their own house and large underwater garden they tend to. When they heard about the state of the Pond after the conflict, they knew they had to leave their comfy underwater home with clippings from their own garden to hopefully help along with healing the pond.

They also brought their favorite blessed scythe to reap away anything still containing negative energy. They hasn’t been on land much so they are planning on staying in the pond if they can, but if helping means they has to try being on land they hoping their Pond friends will hep them adjust.

My Pondathon TBR

I needed to put a TBR for Januaruary together anyway so this is a good opportunity. I need to read ten books, But I probably won’t list them all here, just the ones that have recently caught my eye since I’m such a mood reader.

The Kindred

The Kindred by [Alechia Dow]

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.

Amazon: The Kindred

Girl in the Lake

The Girl in the Lake by [India Hill Brown]

Celeste knows she should be excited to spend two weeks at her grandparents’ lake house with her brother, Owen, and their cousins Capri and Daisy, but she’s not.

Bugs, bad cell reception, and the dark waters of the lake… no thanks. On top of that, she just failed her swim test and hates being in the water—it’s terrifying. But her grandparents are strong believers in their family knowing how to swim, especially having grown up during a time of segregation at public pools.

And soon strange things start happening—the sound of footsteps overhead late at night. A flickering light in the attic window. And Celete’s cousins start accusing her of pranking them when she’s been no where near them!

Things at the old house only get spookier until one evening when Celeste looks in the steamy mirror after a shower and sees her face, but twisted, different…

Who is the girl in the mirror? And what does she want?

Amazon: The Girl in the Lake

Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero

Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero by [Saadia Faruqi]

Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.

Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.

With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?

Amazon: Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero

That’s just a little bit of my TBR, if you are considering joining this readathon and are on the fence about it you really should give it a go, it’s cute and a year long so low stress, and @artfromafriend is amazing at literally everything they do so yeah take part.

Posted in Feature, Memes, Uncategorized

Dessert-Chopped Tag

This is it, you made it to the final and toughest round, the dessert round it’s just you and your competitor can you make the winning dish and become Chopped Champion. You are presented with these ingredients as a challenge, what kind of dish can you make?

Dessert

Sugar: A sweet book for dessert

This is a surprise sweet book as the protagonist at first doesn’t appear sweet but slowly embraces her sweet side. She was good all along she just had a dark chocolate outer layer.

The Dark Lord Clementine by [Sarah Jean Horwitz]

Amazon: Dark Lord Clementine

Flour: A hearty book.

The Dragon Egg Princess

The Dragon Egg Princess by [Ellen Oh]

Even though it was a short book I found it to be a hearty book because I was really taken into the world with dragons, fairies and Jiho and Koko, there was a great villain, a wonderful Raman stand and a great array of creatures and people both magical and not.

Amazon: The Dragon Egg Princess

Berries: A book about nature for dessert

The Last Windwitch by [Jennifer Adam]

The Last Windwitch is about a girl on the run from an evil queen because of her magic, before the queen took over there was a witch who wove the seasons with her magic and helped people. The main character Brida is going on a quest to find to learn about her family, her magic, and who she’s meant to be, this book reminds me of a delicate dessert maybe like a sponge cake.

Amazon: The Last Wind Witchwitch

Candy Canes: Something you’ve had to wait all year for.

Dark Waters (Small Spaces Quartet Book 3) by [Katherine Arden]

I’m not normally waiting all year for summer but this book is an exception. I think it would represent something like caviar because of the monster so it would be a wild card ingredient.

From all of this I would make a cholate sponge cake with dark chocolate truffles maybe adding on some gold leaf in a dragon scale pattern and topped with caviar.

If you’ve liked this as a meme, come join The Blind Scribe and I for the readathon version of this in Febuary, all I can tell you right now is the theme will be a Couple’s dinner and each ingredient will be a reading prompt. There is also a signed book as a prize that is unfortunately only available with within the US due to shipping. However I’m also offering a $20 Book Depository Card to one of our international participants.

Posted in Discussion, Feature, Memes

Entrée-Chopped Tag

So for the late post today I didn’t sleep well last night and have been having migraines, plus my ankle has been hurting so yeah, just a big party of fun. I’m still doing better about making post in advance so this doesn’t hit me so badly, but I’ll try and do better next year. So here is the Entrée post for the Chopped tag.

Entrée

Has to be meatier to get you to the dessert round

Protein: Another book that was either long or hard hitting.

The Best Worst Summer Ever wasn’t long but it was surely hard hitting as it was about how friendships can fall apart as and get back together many years later and how new friendships can form.

Amazon: Best Worst Summer Ever

Vegetable: Something healthy, you reading something off your TBR.

Red, White, and Whole by [Rajani LaRocca]

Red, White and Whole was on my TBR as soon as it came out out it tells the story of a young Indian American girl who is growing up as a teen in the 1980s and pushing against her parents rules, it would be a normal story of rebellion except for what happens later in the book. It’s definitely healthy as it talks about healthy and her mother is a doctor.

Amazon: Red, White and Whole

Starch: A comfort read or something that had a found family.

Dragon Fury (The Unwanteds Quests Book 7) by [Lisa McMann]

Dragon Fury is the last book in the Unwanteds Quests books which has great found family and is a great series of comfort reads if you like dragons, magic and multiple worlds.

Amazon: Dragon Fury

Durian: A book that was tough to work with.

The Dark Lord Clementine

The Dark Lord Clementine by [Sarah Jean Horwitz]

Though it turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year, it was difficult to work with at the time because I really didn’t know where the plot was going. I got about 2/3 in and finally got a better idea and then it was a much easier book to read. Great book and maybe it was just me but a little bit confusing in the beginning.

Amazon: The Dark Lord Clementine

Since this is the entrée I would make dinner and a drink I would make Indian Butter Chicken with spices from the Dragon World. Then my Drink would be a slushy with apples to represent both the Dark Lord Clementine and The Best Worst Summer.

Posted in Bookmas, Memes

Appetizer-Chopped Tag

Yesterday I put up the Chopped tag but I didn’t fill it out, you guys deserve to read my version of the tag to see how I want it done. I was just was too tired yesterday to fill it out. I’m going to do part of it everyday because it’s the end of the year and I’m tired so today I’m doing the appetizer

Appetizer

Needs to be light but still impress the judges.

Light Book: A Book under 300 pages

This book would Just Pretend a graphic novel that has that is sweet and focuses on the power of the written word as the protagonist focuses on her own version of reality through her stories, to deal with her parents divorce.

. Amazon: Just Pretend

Protein: This section of books still needs to have some impact. A book that hit you in the heart or a meaty book

For this book I’m choosing American as Paneer Pie, because it really hit me in the feels and was overall just a good meaty book, and not just because it was about food, it dealt with important issues in unique ways and showed the main character’s strength.

American as Paneer Pie by [Supriya Kelkar]

Amazon: American As Paneer Pie

Vegetable: A book that was on your TBR.

For this prompt I’m picking a book I’ve been trying to read all year Five Things about Ava Andrews. I kept wanting to read it but I could only find it in audio book form and I really don’t have the patience for audio books.

Five Things About Ava Andrews by [Margaret Dilloway]

Amazon: Five Things about Ava Andrews

Wild Card: An book that surprised you or was unique.

I picked this book because it’s the first published indie I’ve read and actually liked. It’s plot was very good and the worldbuilding and thriller aspects were used very well to make the story well rounded and and believable.

Amazon: A Place Inside the Storm

I call my dish from these book, the Imaginative Improv Neurodivergent Pizza Pie. Come back and see what I do tomorrow with Entrée and Dessert.

Posted in Bookmas, Challenges

Trees! Characters Christmas trees

So I’m back, I just wanted to take awhile off but I can’t stop blogging for long lol, so since today is Christmas I’ve been thinking about Christmas trees and what character’s Christmas trees would look like.

A Chance to Fly

I can see Nat twisting her family’s arm into a musical based tree after she did the show during the summer. Or maybe the whole cast did one together to commemorate their first show together. I can see the cast doing trees every year for every musical that they do.

Amazon: A Chance to Fly

Dark Lord Clementine

Assuming someone told Clementine about Christmas she’d probably want to put up a tree but to stay loyal to her father she’d probably keep it dark and foreboding even if she wanted something more traditional and sparkly. I think she’d maybe keep a small traditional tree in the area where she does her magic, I think it would have multicolored lights and and a jumble of ornaments that she made herself.

Amazon: Dark Lord Clementine

Vespertine

If the Revenant found out about Christmas one he would first possess Artemisia so he could wear a Santa hat but after she shook off the possession and the hat. I’m sure he would demand a Christmas tree. I’m sure Artemisia wouldn’t love the idea but would give into the Revenant because he’s kind of a pain, I think the Revenant would want a sparkly Christmas tree and that Artemisia would shoot that down quickly. I think they would fight over decorations but eventually agree on skulls.

Amazon: Vespertine

Luminous

I imagine if there were Christmas in Liora and Evran’s world they would have a white tree with stars decorating it and white lights. Partly to celebrate Liora’s power and partly to celebrate the role of falling stars in her life.

Amazon: Luminous

What kind of Christmas trees would your characters be celebrating with?

Posted in backlog reviews, Recommendations, Reviews

Powerful Black Mermaid: Skin of the Sea Review

Skin of the Sea was a great book. So good I want to hand it out to friends as Christmas presents, Also that cliffhanger at the end was just plain cruel, so I can’t wait for 2022 when the second book arrives. I normally love a book where the main character is a mermaid but this book just took it to a whole new level.

Skin of the Sea by [Natasha Bowen]

Summary

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
 
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.
 
To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail . . .
 
Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

Review

TW: Vivid descriptions of people on slave ships, injuries from slave ships. Vivid descriptions of someone being captured for the slave trade

Simi is a great heroine she’s willing to stand up to the Orisha Yemoja or goddess who turned her into a mermaid when it comes to the idea of sinking slave ships of saving Kola, the boy she found who was drowning but alive, she is fiercely loyal, to Yemoja and to Kola and his group of friends once she gets close to them, and she isn’t willing to stop until her mission is done even if she butts heads with Kola from time to time. Even though she’s a mermaid her humanity is a defining characteristic, she misses being human and it influences her choices.

I really love that she’s willing to make hard choices for her friends and the other Mami Wata even at her own expense. I also love the West African mythology and information about different rituals which I hope to hear more about in Book 2. It was very informative and made me want to read some of Bowen’s sources which she lists at the end of the book. Overall this was one of the best books I read this year. It was was well researched and beautifully written. More Simi and her friends as soon as possible please.

Amazon: Skin of the Sea

Posted in Author Recommendations, Bookmas

Yule Celebrations

Happy Yule to everyone who celebrates! To everyone else enjoy the Winter Solstice or the shortest day of the year. I want to envision what some of my favorite characters are doing Yule.

Sweet and Bitter Magic

Sweet & Bitter Magic by [Adrienne Tooley]

I think Tamsin and Wren are with the Coven preparing for a huge Yule celebrate. I think they are going to have some kind of dinner with Tamsin’s mother and that Wren is enjoying the work she wanted to do at end of the book, so they might be celebrating her progress on that front. I just see a sweet happy meal and maybe some rituals to celebrate the day.

Amazon: Sweet and Bitter Magic

The Tea Dragon Society

The Tea Dragon Crew is totally celebrating Yule, everyone is having tea and all their friends have visited. Greta is blacksmithing gifts for others with her new apprenticeship and Minette is making special tea for everyone.  Hesekiel and Erik have welcomed everyone in town to the teashop for special celebration

Amazon: The Tea Dragon Tapestry

Bridge of Souls

Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3) by [Victoria Schwab, V. E. Schwab]

I can see Cassidy celebrating Yule and Christmas, but I think her Yule celebration is quiet, just her and Jacob and maybe she calls Laura for for non corporally challenged company, I see her just kind of reflecting and honoring the work she does all year. Though I see Jacob making her do a gift exchange, not sure how that would work since he’s a ghost and can’t go pick out gift but I think he makes it work. I think she cleanses her mirror on this day.

Amazon: Bridge of Souls

Ghost Girl

Ghost Girl by [Ally Malinenko]

I can see Zee celebrating both Yule and Christmas, for Yule I can see her building some kind of memorial to her mom, and maybe having her friends over and drinking hot chocolate and telling not too scary stories in front of a roaring fire. Because I think even though she lived through a ghost story she still likes to tell the occasional tale. I think her friend chime in with their own stories, I think her dad and sister are around and maybe even Nellie’s aunt.

Amazon: Ghost Girl

All of these are just my imaginings, all respect goes to the authors who created the characters and who I hope are having happy holidays!