Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Image result for snow like ashes

The Kingdom of Winter fell sixteen years ago.  Its people were made slaves but eight escaped determined to regain their kingdom.

Meira was orphaned sixteen years ago when the Kingdom fell and now she is a refugee training to be a warrior.  Desperately in love with her best friend and future King, Meira will do anything to restore Winter to power despite the fact that she has never been there.  So, when scouts find the location of an ancient locket which can restore Winter and help its people, Meira decides to find it and prove that she can do something to benefit her kingdom.  But everything does not turn out as she imagined and soon she is caught up in a web of politics and evil magic.  On her journey, she realizes that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.


This book was amazing and unique!  The world was wonderful and intriguing because of the seasons and varying cultures.  The characters were exceptionally developed.  However, the main character got on my nerves sometimes.  At first, she seemed like a lovesick cow which was highly annoying but as her journey started she forgot about Mather, the King.  As the book continued she freaked out a little too much about the fact that Mather and Sir were pushing her destiny onto her.   Despite that the book was phenomenal and I am so excited to read the next books in the series.


Night By Elie Wiesel

Image result for night by elie wiesel

Night is a tale of woe shining to show the world the horrendous acts committed in Germany to the Jewish people by the Nazi party.  We follow the story of Elie Wiesel’s struggle to survive Concentration camps when he was but a lad of fifteen.  The deaths, the murders, and the everyday struggle for survival are displayed through a lad who should not witness things at such an age, in fact never should.  Night is an insight into the lives of those in camps, never knowing when it would be their turn to leave this mortal coil.  That time when reason was left behind and instinct reigned.  We see the heartbreak and sorrow of the concentration camps through the eyes of a witness and we begin to slightly understand that humanity can be cruel and wonderful.

This book was heart rendingly tragic.  It led us on a journey, a journey through which the reader saw what man was capable of.  The capability of cruelty, evil, endurance, love, faith, and hope.  The many characteristics in man kind are displayed in Night for the world to see so that we may take away the good and use it but remember the bad so that we may never repeat it again.

Below is Elie Wiesel’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Image result for picture of elie wieselIt is with a profound sense of humility that I accept the honor you have chosen to bestow upon me. I know: your choice transcends me. This both frightens and pleases me.

It frightens me because I wonder: do I have the right to represent the multitudes who have perished? Do I have the right to accept this great honor on their behalf? … I do not. That would be presumptuous. No one may speak for the dead, no one may interpret their mutilated dreams and visions.

It pleases me because I may say that this honor belongs to all the survivors and their children, and through us, to the Jewish people with whose destiny I have always identified.

I remember: it happened yesterday or eternities ago. A young Jewish boy discovered the kingdom of night. I remember his bewilderment, I remember his anguish. It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.

I remember: he asked his father: “Can this be true?” This is the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages. Who would allow such crimes to be committed? How could the world remain silent?

And now the boy is turning to me: “Tell me,” he asks. “What have you done with my future? What have you done with your life?”

And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.

And then I explained to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remain silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

Of course, since I am a Jew profoundly rooted in my peoples’ memory and tradition, my first response is to Jewish fears, Jewish needs, Jewish crises. For I belong to a traumatized generation, one that experienced the abandonment and solitude of our people. It would be unnatural for me not to make Jewish priorities my own: Israel, Soviet Jewry, Jews in Arab lands … But there are others as important to me. Apartheid is, in my view, as abhorrent as anti-Semitism. To me, Andrei Sarcharov’s isolation is as much of a disgrace as Josef Biegun’s imprisonment. As is the denial of Solidarity and its leader Lech Walesa’s right to dissent. And Nelson Mandela‘s interminable imprisonment.

There is so much injustice and suffering crying out for our attention: victims of hunger, of racism, and political persecution, writers and poets, prisoners in so many lands governed by the Left and by the Right. Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. And then, too, there are the Palestinians to whose plight I am sensitive but whose methods I deplore. Violence and terrorism are not the answer. Something must be done about their suffering, and soon. I trust Israel, for I have faith in the Jewish people. Let Israel be given a chance, let hatred and danger be removed from her horizons, and there will be peace in and around the Holy Land.

Yes, I have faith. Faith in God and even in His creation. Without it no action would be possible. And action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all. Isn’t this the meaning of Alfred Nobel’s legacy? Wasn’t his fear of war a shield against war?

There is much to be done, there is much that can be done. One person – a Raoul Wallenberg, an Albert Schweitzer, one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death. As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our lives will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.

This is what I say to the young Jewish boy wondering what I have done with his years. It is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.

Thank you, Chairman Aarvik. Thank you, members of the Nobel Committee. Thank you, people of Norway, for declaring on this singular occasion that our survival has meaning for mankind.


Sharing Saturday Thirteen

It’s the thirteenth Sharing Saturday and today I will be sharing a poem that is a part of a novel I wrote.  This novel which has no name is the only one that ever went beyond fifty-pages.  The poem is called Himori and tells of an evil Dragon.

Al Del La

Over the mountains

Dwells a beast of evil intentions

Who stalks in the night

To devour every soul


His fire burns

Deep within the dells

He hoards his stash

Those who dare steal

Their pain may never end


Al Del La

Himori is his name

Quiver in fear from that word

Or your doom will soon come


Over the mountains

Dwells a beast

Of evil intentions

Who stalks in the night

To devour every soul

Al Del La

Al Del La

Author Highlights Three

This is the third month of Author Highlights.  I love this post because I get to share some great authors I’ve read that are perhaps not that well known.  While deciding what author to do I also have a chance to see what some of my childhood authors have written recently.  It is exciting and I enjoy sharing these author’s with you.  Without further ado, today’s author is…..

Kate O’Hearn

Image result for kate O'Hearn

Kate O’Hearn is a children’s fantasy writer.  She has written the Pegasus series, Shadow of the Dragon’s series, and the Valkyrie series.  I have read the Pegasus series, and the first books in the other two series.  I love her books.  They are wonderfully told stories with the Pegasus and Valkyrie series featuring a stunning combination of modern society with that of Norse mythology.

61Cyzlx46YL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg (260×260)

Emily’s life changes forever when Pegasus, a mythical horse, crashes onto a Manhattan roof.  Suddenly, Emily is thrust into a battle between the Roman gods and the Nirads.  Along with Joel, a mortal, Diana, a goddess, Paelen,a thief, and Pegasus, she must rescue the gods from certain death all while avoiding a governmental agency bent on dissecting Pegasus.  Can she save Olympus before the Eternal Flame burns out?

Image result for valkyrie kate o'hearn books



Freya is dreading turning fourteen.  Fourteen is when she takes up the full mantle of responsibility that comes with being a Valkyrie – a collector of souls fallen upon the battlefield.  She longs to interact in the human world as a mortal.  To make friends without fear of killing them with one touch.  Her chance comes when a soldier she is reaping asks for a favor that sends Freya to the human world.  On her journey she battles both the ordinary and extraordinary to fulfill her promise.

Image result for shadow of the dragon by kate o'hearn


Kira is twelve and strong willed. The daughter of a retired dragon knight, she yearns for adventure and dreams of following in her father’s footsteps astride her own magnificent mount.  But this can never happen. According to the laws of the kingdom, all girls must be married by the age of thirteen. Kira hates it, but being a girl, she has no choice.  Kira’s family is taken away by Lord Duncon who has orders to take them to the palace to serve the King.  Kira and her sisters are thrown in jail.  Their only crime is being unmarried girls.  One day they manage to escape but Kira realizes the battle is just beginning.  With the help of a baby dragon she sets out on a mission to save her family and keep her sister safe.

For more information visit





Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

x500.jpg (428×648)In a world where fear of Wardens tearing apart towns for a war abound, special people called the skilled can cross the veil between the world of the living and the dead.   They are hunted and feared.

When Kate Winters accidentally raises a blackbird from the dead she realizes that she is skilled.  Immediately, she becomes the most hunted person in Albion for she is the only one that can unlock the secrets of an ancient tome, Wintercraft, which holds knowledge and power about the veil beyond anyone’s imagining.  She is captured and taken to the ancient graveyard city of Fume where her parents were killed ten years ago.  To harness her powers and escape she must make a deal with one of the most feared killers in Albion.  But, can she live up to that deal without dying before she has a chance to fulfill it?

This book was unique.  I loved the storyline and the take it had on life and death.  The characters were also intriguing especially Silas Dane who is a collector.  He is not fully dead nor fully alive and it was interesting to read about his struggles and how he hid them beneath his formidable veneer.  I liked how the author portrayed him as a fighter with sheltered hurts that plagued him.  I did not find Silas understandable at the beginning of the book and I hated him.  However, as the chapters went on he became my favorite character.  Overall, his character was excellently rendered.

The main character, Kate was fun to read about but her character could of been developed further.  Kate grew in her understanding of the veil but emotionally I felt that the growth could have been improved.  I still liked her character and the book was stunning as a whole.  I would recommend it especially to those who want a unique and darkly emotional book.



























Sharing Saturday Twelve

It’s another week that brings another Sharing Saturday.  Today I will sharing a paragraph from an essay I wrote called Why I Have an Idée Fixe with Writing.  It’s about my journey through writing and what it means to me.

 Writing is more than an action or thought.  It is a process of pouring out one’s soul onto the stark white pages that are soon filled with black letters marching across the page.  It is an escape; a way to see and do things differently.  Once a doorway is opened to welcome writing there is no way to ever go back.  I found that out when my mom opened a wooden door for me and introduced a world from which I would never leave.  That world bloomed into an infatuation.  A dream.  A possibility.  A reality.  That seed that was planted so long ago is now a pine tree that continues to grow infinitesimally every day.

Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot

2862984128_12214a0978Finunula, a maiden who flaunts the rules of society, needs money for sister’s dowry.  So, she does what most young women do when they need money she kidnaps a man to hold for ransom.  Hugo Fitzstephen, Earl of Stephensgate, is returning from the crusades loaded down with jewels and gold.  It should be easy to hold the man captive but Finnula makes a terrible mistake by falling for her hostage, only to realize that he’s been lying about his identity all along…. But then, so has she.  Now their lives and the lives of everyone they know and love could be in danger.

This book was wonderful.  The main character was fiery and not afraid to state her opinion while dressing like a man and gallivanting about.  Hugo, the man she kidnaps was boorish at times but by the end of the book I adored his character.  The book did take a little time to get into the plot of of the story but I was entertained by Finnula and Hugo’s constant bickering.

I especially enjoyed how the author used both Finnula and Hugo’s perspective so that we could get both sides of the story.  I think it helped move the story along while portraying each character’s view on the other.  It was compelling to read how each character rendered themselves and compare it to the other character’s view.  Overall, how it was told made the story more intriguing.  I would highly recommend this book especially to people who enjoy medieval romances or are looking for a quick and somewhat cheesy story.