The Healing Star

The Healing Star

The Healing Star by A. Kidd

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a magical story! Chasing falling stars, magical stardust, a ladder to the stars & cloud people all in one fantastical story of young girl’s adventure to save her dying grandmother.
Julia is a 4th grader whose most favorite person in the world, her grandmother, Grammu, is dying from the invisible disease. The only thing that can save her is a falling star. But catching one isn’t easy. Only one person in the history of their small town has ever actually caught a falling star, but Julia is certain that she can catch one to save Grammu. When things don’t quite go as planned, Julia embarks on a journey to find the legendary ladder to the stars & has several interesting adventures along the way.
I normally don’t review children’s books, but The Healing Star stood out to me as a unique & magical story dealing with childhood adventure, disappointment & loss. I highly recommend this to young readers in 3rd-5th grade age range & is definitely a great story to be read to younger kids.
*Thank you to the author, A. Kidd, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
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Sunshine Blogger Award!!

Thank you….

What an unexpected thing to see your blog mentioned on Twitter as a nominee for the Sunshine Blogger Award! A huge thank you to Beth Gray over at Panutopia. She has a very unique blog about the social and political issues in Panama, and what she envisions it could be. Be sure to go & check it out!


The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site.
  3. Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  5. Notify the nominees about their nominations.

My Questions:

  1. When did you start blogging?  I started my blog back in 2017. I thought it would be a great way to get back into writing again.
  2. What is your writing inspiration? Life.
  3. If you had one wish, what would it be? I wish people would have more respect for our environment & be proactive about how much their actions & ambivalence impact everyone else. We are destroying our planet every day & I wish more people actually cared.
  4. Are you a full-time writer/blogger? Sadly, no. Maybe someday?!
  5. What is your favourite music?  I love rock & mostly 90s grunge/rock.
  6. If you could travel in a time machine where would you go? Woodstock 1969.
  7. Would you ever bungee-jump or sky-dive? Yes. To both.
  8. Name your favourite dessert.  This is the toughest question on this list. It is a tie between creme brulee & a good carrot cake.
  9. In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a friend/relative, watch a movie, or read? Read. Number 1 choice always. Second, play a game.
  10. Who is your hero? IRL: No one. Honestly, to elevate a real life person to hero status only leads to disappointment. Everyone has flaws & will disappoint you at some point. In movie world, Captain Marvel is one bad ass bitch & my Marvel hero.
  11. Three random facts. I have 2 dogs. I love cheese. I hate snow.

My Nominations:

After careful consideration, I nominate the following bloggers & their blogs:

  1. Dark Blue Journal
  2. They Once Called Her Pumpkin…
  3. natachainreviewland
  4. Ham ‘N Eggs
  5. ArtieCarden
  6. The Girl in All Leopard
  7. My Forty Something Life
  8. Big Ideas for a Tiny Writer
  9. NishanBooks
  10. My Midnight Musing
  11. By Hook Or By Book

Questions for My Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite time of the year?
  2. If you could travel to any country, where would you go?
  3. What is your favorite TV show you are watching right now?
  4. How often do you write other then for blog posts?
  5. Coffee or Tea?
  6. What is your all time favorite book?
  7. What is your favorite blog post?
  8. What is the one thing you love about blogging?
  9. What is one thing you can’t live without?
  10. What is your favorite food?
  11. What is your biggest blogging accomplishment?

Please go check out all my nominees! Thank you again Beth for the nomination! And if you want some other awesome blogs to check out, here is Beth’s Sunshine Blogger Award post with my fellow nominees!

The Toilet Zone

The Toilet Zone

The Toilet Zone by Bret McCormick

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I will be completely honest…I almost declined reading this book. I’m ashamed to admit, I totally judged a book by its title. But I’m glad I changed my mind & gave it a chance. The 32 short stories in this anthology are well written & quite a few are scary as hell.
The premise of the book is each story is just long enough for your daily trip to the bathroom & each story has a reminder at the end to make sure you wash your hands. Although I am not sure I’d really recommend reading this in the bathroom, as I kept reading to the point that my legs probably would have gone numb. I enjoyed almost every story, but there were a few stand out stories that actually gave me nightmares… which is kind of difficult to do.
My 3 favorite stories:
1. The Itch by Mark Towse
2. Reclaimed by DJ Tyler
3. Crow by Ian Bain
I really want to give a description of each of these stories, but I feel like it would totally ruin the stories if I did. I’ll just say they are totally nightmare fuel.
*Thank you to Hellbound Books for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
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The Stepfather ~ TubiTv

⭐⭐⭐

The Stepfather was one of my favorite scary movies in my early teenage years. Terry O’Quinn (Lost) plays such a creepy guy, desperately searching for his “perfect” family. When his family disappoints him, they are brutally murdered & he moves onto the next unsuspecting divorcee or widow.

The film begins with Terry O’Quinn changing up his appearance & leaving his brutally butchered family behind. We fast forward a year later and we meet a new family, Susan & her teenage daughter, Stephanie, and the newest member of the family, the stepfather, Jerry Blake. Stephanie, of course, wants nothing to do with her new stepfather & acts out in defiance. She becomes suspicious of him after seeing his reaction to an article in the paper about the manhunt for Henry Morrison, the stepfather that murdered his family. Once Jerry gets wind that he is about to be found out, he abruptly quits his job & begins preparing a new life in another town as Bill Hodgkins. He plans to rid himself of Susan & Stephanie & they are left to try to survive his brutal attacks.

The movie is a great 80s slasher type film, but certain aspects of Jerry’s attempts at creating new identities only hold up because the internet doesn’t exist. For example, when Stephanie suspects Jerry is really Henry Morrison, she writes a letter to the newspaper to request a picture of him. Said picture is mailed to her house, which Jerry is able to intercept & he switches out his photo. Stephanie is none the wiser. A simple Google search would have easily pulled up Henry’s photo, especially considering he only moves a quick ferry ride over to a new town. The guy doesn’t even try for a different state. That would never be able to happen today.

Terry O’Quinn is what makes this movie. He is utterly charming and creepy all at the same time. His goal of having the “perfect” family & witnessing the rage inside him when the family disappoints him is quite scary. I considered binging all the sequels as well, but then I remembered how terrible they were.

The German House

The German House

The German House by Annette Hess

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The German House takes place in 1960s Germany, where many are trying to forget about the war & it’s tragedies. The story centers around Eva, a young woman in her 20s, helping out at her her family’s restaurant, The German House, & working as a Polish translator. Eva is too young to have known what transpired during the war herself, & everyone she knows refuses to talk about it. As she is living her life of finding herself, as well as finding a husband, she is pulled into translating during the Frankfurt trials. Naturally, her family & boyfriend vehemently oppose to Eva taking part in the trials.

Eva’s boyfriend, Jurgen, is one of the worst characters in the book (although her sister, Annegret, is by far the most awful person in Eva’s world.) However, it is to be taken into consideration that the time frame this takes place, a woman’s role is very different and Eva struggles with becoming an independent woman or a potential & traditional wife. She is also at odds with her family, who begins acting strangely when she accepts the job to translate during the trial. She wonders what secrets they are keeping from her.

I love historical fiction, but there are so many historical fiction novels that take place during WWII that I almost avoid them at this point. But, The German House is a different take on the horrific aspects of the war, specifically from the German viewpoint. It is a story of a country with a generation trying to heal & rebuild, while ashamed of the atrocities that occurred & the juxtaposition of a modern generation trying to moving forward, while forcing those to acknowledge their actions as well as those who chose subservience.

I really enjoyed The German House as both a historical retelling of the Frankfurt trials, as well as Eva’s personal story & her family.

*Thank you to BookishFirst & HarperVia for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.*

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