This is absolutely one of the best books that I have read on the subject of Household Witchcraft and Magick in general. Bradley doesn't bog us down wi...moreThis is absolutely one of the best books that I have read on the subject of Household Witchcraft and Magick in general. Bradley doesn't bog us down with the basics as a 101 Primer might but rather jumps right into it with lots of incredibly easy and practical spells and recipes. She's engaging and real throughout and the book is chock full of information including:
Simple rituals for the solitary practitioner or the whole family Ways to get children involved Spells for cleansing and protection Use of various herbs A great list of domestic deities She shows us that almost everything that we need to effectively bring harmony and balance into our homes, are for the most part already here. No need to go out and buy expensive tools or ingredients...a simple wooden spoon from ones drawer and the spices in your cupboard are the place to start. And doesn't it intuitively make sense anyway...to use things that are already an integral part of your home to bring about the desired effect within your space?
For me though, the best part of this whole book was the message that Magick doesn't have to be all or nothing. As someone who doesn't necessarily define myself as Pagan, but obviously has some very strong Pagan tendencies...I've been hoping and trying for years to find a way to work more spirituality, more thankfulness, more environmental awareness and more Magick into my everyday life. After reading this book I feel empowered to do just that...no prerequisites, no fancy tools required, and most importantly no huge time commitment needed. It all starts with me and my intentions. I think that is a lesson that we all need to be reminded of periodically.
If you are looking for a simple and straightforward way to start to bring a little magick into your heart and hearth...look no further than Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes by Kris Bradley.(less)
I adore books that can keep me wondering and keep me guessing until the very end and Cindi Madsen's All the Broken Pieces delivers that and then some....moreI adore books that can keep me wondering and keep me guessing until the very end and Cindi Madsen's All the Broken Pieces delivers that and then some. Liv's character (or characters) was compelling and completely believable. I felt so much for her and just wanted he to achieve the peace of mind that finding the answers would hopefully bring. And Spencer is wonderfully mysterious yet completely loyal. Exactly what a great "book boyfriend" should be. Liv's parents complete the picture by seemingly being sincere and loving while at the same time obviously lying and keeping secrets. Will we ever find out what exactly their past hides and what their true agenda is? Madsen writes characters that one can easily come to love..even Liv's parents (complex though they are) fall into this category.
As Liv battles not only to break free from her parents over-protectiveness and to fit in at school, she also simultaneously battles with herself as parts of her desire so strongly to be a part of the "in" crowd while another part of her is too independent to care what that crowd thinks! Add a mysterious guy into the mix and her struggle to combat amnesia and regain her memories and figure out exactly who she is and we're left with plenty of the good kind of drama to drive this story along.
The writing style and pacing of All the Broken Pieces were perfection...I could find no flaws and I could barely force myself to put this one down to go to sleep at night...in fact the night I finished it I stayed up way past my bedtime because I just had to know the answer! The plot while admittedly a tad unrealistic was nevertheless written in such a believable and compelling way that I had no troubles accepting it all.
This book has the exact perfect mix of mystery, drama, and a delightfully "swoon-worthy" guy. Add in a power punch of a surprise ending and I was left with no doubt that this one was a winner. This one will definitely keep you hooked from beginning to end!
I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more from Cindi Madsen.(less)
I was expecting great things from Megan Miranda's latest after loving Fracture and Hysteria did not disappoint. The setting (private boarding school o...moreI was expecting great things from Megan Miranda's latest after loving Fracture and Hysteria did not disappoint. The setting (private boarding school out in the boonies) may sound a bit cliche...but I assure you that it works completely. Though I admit that I may have a thing for small town/rural New England settings. Miranda's prose and dialogue flow effortlessly and are completely believable for a young adult read without feeling in the least bit "dumbed down."
The story unfolds a few months after Brian's death and is presented as a combination of the present mixed in with Mallory's flashbacks/memories of what happened the night Brian died and the weeks leading up to it. I love how we slowly learned the story of what happened that night as the book progressed while we were simultaneously trying to figure out what was happening at the boarding school.
Mallory is a typical teen - stupid at times but very likeable. Reid is...well...amazing...anyone looking for a new book boyfriend? I nominate him! Miranda keeps us guessing with the supporting characters: who can Mallory trust and who isn't what he/she appears?
The action and suspense grab the reader from the start and never lets up. The pacing is perfect, pulling the reader in and keeping one captivated until the very end. I couldn't put this one down...in fact I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this one because I just had to know what happened. I think you'll need to know too...
Hysteria was spooky and mysterious and still managed to squeeze in a few swoon worthy moments. Trust me, you don't want to miss this one...(less)
I adored Monument 14 and had high expectations for it's sequel Sky on Fire. I was not disappointed. At the end of book 1, our original group of fourte...moreI adored Monument 14 and had high expectations for it's sequel Sky on Fire. I was not disappointed. At the end of book 1, our original group of fourteen splits into two factions, one staying inside the Greenway and the other taking the bus and heading to Denver. Now we get to see how each of these groups fared and whether they made the "right" choice.
Alex and Dean share the narrating in this book and I love that we get a glimpse into each of their minds. The pacing is perfect...it's a fairly short read, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The language flows without hitch, I've heard some complaints that Laybourne dumbs down the language, inserts tedious reminders etc, but I did not find this to be the case. The dialogue and thought processes all seemed correct to me for the ages of the narrators and other characters.
Sky on Fire is definitely a bit darker than Monument 14. There is not as much humor present as there was in the first book, and things do get ugly. Both for the group at the Greenway and those on the road: These children are growing up fast.
I'm just as happy with the relationships and character development in this edition as I was in the first. I loved learning a little bit more about each of them and loved watching how the older kids watched out for the young ones. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am amazed that Emmy Laybourne can write such a large cast of characters and not only keep them all fresh, individual, and vivid in the readers mind but can also make each one of them so incredibly easy to connect with.
Things almost wrapped up completely at the end of Sky on Fire but we are left with just enough of a loose thread to lead us into the next book. I for one will be awaiting it with bated breath.(less)