Empress of a Thousand Skies

Hey y’all!

I actually DNFed a book for the first time in forever (anyone singing?). And it was…

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. And here’s why.

For starters, the only character I even relatively liked was sort of a minor character. Rhee just fell flat, and Aly was just plain annoying. I didn’t care about anyone. I didn’t connect. And it makes me really sad to say this- I had high hopes for this and was expecting something as gripping as Star Wars. 


The plot was slow and kinda all over the place. It felt like parts had been taken out and the remainder smashed together. One moment the characters would be in one place, then, in the very next sentence, they’d be somewhere else. Weird.

And it was just more boring than it was interesting. I was never “oh-what’s-going-to-happen” at all, even after 200 pages. It was just tiring, not knowing exactly what was going on and not really caring.

I just found myself bored.

But I did enjoy the world. It was a fascinating collection of planets that was cool to read about.

So, without having finished it, I’d give it 2-2.5/5 stars. Just kinda bleh.

I’m waiting for a book that will stun me and make me go totally:

Because aren’t those the best?


You Know You’re A Book Nerd When…

1. You read books in one sitting.

(Not certain I’ve ever really done this, actually. Maybe once or twice.)

2. You have a book quote/reference for almost every situation.

(Believe me, Hunger Games references are a daily occurence.)

3. You’re packing, and you spend more time deciding which book to bring than what clothes to bring.

(This is me today. I decided on Mockingjay. I’m in the mood for rereading it. Maybe it won’t be such a blur the second time.)

4. You name everything after fictional people.

(My phone’s name is Carswell. As in Carswell Thorne.)

5. You cry your eyes out over characters.

(Spoilers. But yes. I sob.)

6. You cry because a series is over.

(I’m pretty sure part of the reason Mockingjay Part 2 had me bawling was because it was over.)

7. Pretty much everything you enjoy relates to books in some manner.


8. There are piles of books everywhere in your room.

(Also true.)

9. You love reorganizing bookshelves… But nothing else.

(Basically. But I do occasionally like organizing my room.)

10. You’re reading and want to scream when people interrupt you.

(Yeah. Especially the books I don’t want to put down, because I have to know what happens.)

11. All your backgrounds (phone, computer, etc.) are quotes from books.

(All Hunger Games for me.)

12. You tell everyone to read your favorite book.

(And some people have read Entwined because I may have told them to.)

13. You can quote all your favorite character’s lines in the movie adaptation.

(I run around yelling “that is MAHOGANY” at everything.)

14. Your family members are nearly begging you to shut up about that great series you just finished, because the references just come out. All the time.

(My brother is sick of The Hunger Games.)

15. You call people nicknames that are related to books.

(I call everyone “sweetheart” because of Haymitch.)

How many apply to you? What’s another sign of being a total book nerd?


I Need Some Help

Hello folks.

Instead of giving y’all some recommendations today, I’m asking for some myself.

I’m in a weird sort of rut in regards to reading right now. Blame it on the three (three!) nonfiction books I’ve read this month.

I don’t know exactly what I’m in the mood for. Maybe a fluffy romance or a start to a long, epic fantasy series? I just want something utterly amazing.

Any suggestions? 

Thank you all!


Sunshine Blogger Award!


I was nominated by inkgirlwords. Thanks so much!


  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo on your post and/or on your blog

My questions to answer:

1: Do you have  YouTube channel?

Yes. Right here!

2: Favorite Musical?

roi arthur

French. King Arthur. Enough said.

3: Do you like to sing?

Yes! My life is a musical.

4: Do you like to dance?

Yes, when no one is watching. 🙂

5: What would you do if you found a Hansel and Gretel kind of cottage?

Run! Maybe… I have a thing for tiramisu and creme brulee, so…

6: Are bunnies adorable?

Of course!

7: Would you ever eat a bunny? (Eww why am I asking this…)

ONLY if I was in the Hunger Games and the only other option was bugs.

8:  Have you read Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver?

No, but I’ve read three of her Gods and Warriors series.

9: Can you bake/cook?

A little.

10: Do you recycle?


11: Are these questions boring?


My questions for my nominees:
1. Do you speak a different language?

2. Gale or Peeta?

3. Coffee or tea?

4. Doctor Who or Once Upon a Time?

5. Hermione or Katniss?

6. Favorite villain?

7. Go-to Starbucks order?

8. Must-have beauty/makeup product?

9. Favorite princess (doesn’t have to be Disney)?

10. Are fezzes cool?

11. Your biggest fictional crush?

I nominate (it’s not 11, I know…):

Past Bedtime Blog


Perspective of a Writer


Thanks for reading!


To Mom

Dear Mom,

I love you. Je t’aime. And there are a million things to thank you for.

Thanks for three meals a day, even when we don’t have much in the house. I know how much you hate grocery shopping; it’s okay. 😉 

Thanks for cooking even though you don’t enjoy it. 

Thanks for reading The Hunger Games and not letting me read it when I was 10- it wouldn’t have sat well with me, and you knew that. Thanks for reading The Wrath and the Dawn, then The Rose and the Dagger. Thanks for sticking with the latter even when the plot holes drove you crazy, because you knew I wanted to know what happened to Shazi and Khalid. Thanks for letting me fangirl and not calling me crazy for having so many crushes that don’t even exist in the real world.

Thanks for answering my questions about life in general, for crawling into bed with me at midnight because I finally admitted I had a crush on a living, breathing boy that’s actually real. Thanks for sharing my excitement when I found out that he likes me, too. 

Thank you so much for turning me into a princess for my first formal dance. I never could have done it myself. Thanks for sitting in the truck’s back seat and laughing at how much room the dress took up. Thanks for letting me wear something so incredibly poofy. 

Thank you so so so much for your encouragement when it comes to writing. Thank you for being an amazing editor for Captain Guinevere, and for listening when I had ideas for the sequel. Thanks for being just as excited as I was when it was published. 

Thanks for not caring when my piano sounds awful because it’s driving me crazy that I just can’t get those notes right. Thanks for bragging about me and showing everyone the video of me at my recital. Thanks for keeping the secret about the song I’m learning for Dad. And for buying me sheet music books. And for the lessons that have let me grow.

Thanks for letting me have time alone and for telling Asa to stop being annoying. Thanks for letting me keep my room cluttered; I really do love walking in and seeing piles of books and notebooks all over the place. Thanks for teasing me about the three notebooks packed with my clothes…just in case. 

Thanks for being supportive in every way. Thank you for nurturing my faith and for the “sermon of the day”s. I still think you should have been a preacher at an all-women congregation. Thanks for celebrating my spiritual birthday and going through study books with me. 

Thanks for letting me cry over fictional people. Thanks for drinking the tea I make you. Thanks for taking me to library events. Thanks for letting me walk out of the house in Effie Trinket fashion and not getting onto me when I yell “that is MAHOGANY” at everything. Thanks for being the best mom I could wish for.

Love you to the moon and back a million times,


P.S. I know, you love me more. I won’t argue that.

The Alchemyst Inspired Makeup

So, I was going to do a video for this, but the light is awful today and I sound like a frog. Hence the blog post.

I tried to create an eye makeup look with the colors on the book’s cover.

the alcemyst

There’s the finished product, and here’s the products I used.

Clinique Almost Powder 01 Fair

I’ve been using this for a while and it’s great. As you can tell, it’s about time for more powder.

Clinique Chubby Stick for cheeks- Robust Rhubarb


Clinique Wave After Wave eye shadow

I used this before I put on the color, and also a little bit over top to soften the brightness. It’s the white one on the left.


L.A. Colors Eyeshadow Teal

I didn’t see this exact palete on Amazon, so I went for the closest option. My mom bought the one pictured for an 80s party and I took it over (*sheepish smile*). The one I used was the top middle color in the picture.

Clinique At Dusk eyeshadow

I used this as eyeliner with a liner brush.

Clinique High Impact Mascara Black


These are Aloette brushes, but I can’t find them anywhere, not even their own website.

There you are! You makeup gurus would probably cringe if you knew how I do things… But I’m learning!


Top 5 Favorite Maps (Listicle Tag)

Hey y’all! I was tagged by A Pretty Story  to do this tag created by Not-So Modern Girl.

The Rules:

  1. Create your own listicle tag, using the prompt from the person who tagged you.
  2. Tag the creator of the post (not-so-modern-girl!) so that I can read all your brilliant posts and see how the joy of listicles is being spread.
  3. Nominate as many people as you want!
  4. Set those 5 people the subject/prompt of their listicle post!

My prompt is prettiest maps!

  1. InkSpell and InkDeath by Cornelia Funke


This is such a beautiful series, too. Cornelia Funke is (to me) the queen of the high fantasy novel.

2. The Mirrorworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke

mirrorworld map

Another Funke book. Her maps are just so pretty- and I love how this picture is the original German version.

3. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval map

If I’m being honest, this map was probably my favorite thing about the book. Sure, the plot was engrossing and I loved Julian, but this map is just so gorgeous.

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glass map

Probably a cliche answer, I know. I’ve only read the first book and The Assassin’s Blade, but the first thing I noticed was how well-done the map was. Kudos to whoever drew this.

5. Crossed by Ally Condie

crossed map

“Pretty” isn’t necessarily the word I’d use for this map, although it is a stunning drawing. It’s just very sleek, and I love love love it.

There you are! I’m considering posting a map of my galaxy, Riverey, in the near future, hopefully followed by a map of Yangela. I didn’t put one in Captain Guinevere, but I feel like there needs to be somewhere where they can be viewed as reference. If you’d like to see maps of my world, please let me know in the comments!

I tag…

A Thousand Lives


The prompt is favorite non-Grimm fairytale retellings.

Thanks guys!


Top 5 Wednesday: Books as Event Themes

First top 5 Wednesday post! I forgot who created this… I’ll update this later with the host and creator.
So. Events. Parties. With bookish themes. Yes, please!

Here we go:

1. The Great Gatsby

Um, 1920s? Jay Gatsby’s parties are so very glamorous, and I imagine this would be a great prom theme. With ginger ale instead of champagne, of course.

2. The Hunger Games

Don your Mockingjay pins and butterfly dresses! I would go to one of these just to dress like Effie, okay? Because I love love love her clothes.

3. Caraval

Sure, I was somewhat disappointed by this book. But it would make a stunning event theme.

4. Written in the Stars

A Pakistani theme! Ok, so I really just want to wear one of the beautiful dresses they have for weddings.

5. Entwined

This book. That cover.

How would it not be a great party theme?

There you are! 


Storms- A Little Bit of Writing

I wrote this late at night on a youth group trip at the end of February and decided to post it. We were in the mountains and it was storming, hard.


The girls giggle and chat as I lay there, patiently waiting for sleep. There’s a storm setting in.

Thunder rumbles outside, soft, but gradually getting louder. Lighting brightens the night in quick, fleeting flashes.

Normally, I hate storms, but this one is beautiful. Maybe it’s the mountain air. There’s something that makes me anticipate the first loud boom of thunder, the bright flash of lightning that’s followed by the sound of rain coming down in sheets.

The cabin’s loft is the perfect place to watch. From here, I can see through the large windows that form a wall.

When the storm picks up, there aren’t words to describe how marvelous it is.


The Best of my School Books- 2016-17 

Back before the school year officially started, I did a video talking about which books I’d be required to read this year. Last week was the finally academic Monday- we spent today playing games- of co-op. 

The books were a good mix of liked, loved, didn’t like, and hated.

So, ranking the 8 books outside of honors books:

8. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I hated this book the first time I read it. Nothing changed the second time around.

7. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

It wasn’t terrible. I just found it very plotless.

6. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

It was a collection of essays. Again, boring, but I agreed with a lot of the points made.

5. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I don’t really remember this book. But I didn’t hate it.

4. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

I was really disappointed by this book. It sounded amazing. I enjoyed it, yes, but I found it very poorly written.

3. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

I really liked this book. It was a retelling of a Greek myth- how could I not? Not to mention the creative writing assignment was an absolute blast.

2. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Oh, this play. It was absolutely hilarious.

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I’m pretty sure I haven’t stopped raving about it since I finished it. Just WOW. So. Good. 

It was a good year for books. None of them were torture, except for Robinson Crusoe. And I found my new favorite classic. 🙂