The Magic of Memoir

The Magic of Memoir: Inspiration for the Writing Journey
Author: Linda Joy Myers, PhD, Brooke Warner
Publisher: She Writes Press
Professional & Technical

I have obtained the book from Netgalley, this will not affect my honest opinion.

Memoirs are a tricky thing to write, isn’t it? I have read some, but never seem to finish them. My husband loves memoirs, his favorite would be Lee Iacocca, the CEO who made Ford and Chrysler great. For me, memoirs are hard to read when they are humorless and lack substance. Why would l want to know someone’s childhood, and how it shapes into their adulthood and decision making? No one walks the exact same path, and has the same circumstances.

My question is, why bother reading?

The answer is in this book, people write memoir because they are compelled to, not because they want to. The collection of stories in the book are interesting and funny, a showcase of many talents and experiences. In Magic of Memoir, I learn how to write better, because memoirs are harder to write. Memoirs need to be accurate, engaging, most importantly memorable. People share their darkest secrets in their writing.

In the Magic of Memoir, authors share their pain and joy, it is like listening to a friend talking about their experiences. What done is done, I will never be a wife of an expat or a victim of child abuse, but from these memoirs I gain a new insight of how they feel. For an aspiring author, this is a valuable tool. I am happy that I requested this book, and happier that I get a chance to read this book. 

The Magic of Memoir is a book recommended to everyone, especially writers looking to look into the minds of how people think and act. It contains a lot of writing tips and author insights, a wonderful addition to my writing tools. 

The Bound




tb-amazonCyrene Strohm is a Queen’s Affiliate, a high-ranking official of the court of Byern, with power and privilege to spare. But she’s also a keeper of dangerous secrets: like the fact that she holds the heart of the King, and that she possesses magic in a world where magic no longer exists.

Determined to discover what this means and how to use her newfound abilities, Cyrene sets off for the distant land of Eleysia. An island nation where Affiliates are strictly forbidden from entering.

But the journey is perilous, and the destination may mean utter ruin, as Cyrene comes to learn that everything she’s been told her whole life – about her court, her homeland, and even herself—are bound in a beautiful lie.


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Staggering down the hallway, she didn’t even look up when she heard her name.

“Hmm?” she asked.

“Cyrene, there you are!”

Someone grabbed her shoulders, and she tipped her head to look up into the most beautiful face. She smiled and felt a renewed burst of energy flow through her.

“Hey,” she whispered.

“Hey,” he said, threading his fingers through hers. A shiver ran up her back. He glanced around the empty hallway and then tugged her away from the main corridors. She turned a corner, and he pressed her back into a darkened alcove. His mouth was only inches from hers.

Her exhaustion was wearing off from the excitement of being with him.

“I was really worried about you,” he breathed.

“You don’t have to worry about me,” she said, trapped in his gaze. She teetered on her tiptoes and nearly brushed their lips together. Her heart was racing ahead of her. This felt almost better than reaching for her magic. Definitely better than moving one drop of water at a time all day.

“You’re wrong.” Then, he softly dropped his mouth down on hers. His lips were tender and slow as they caressed hers. “I will always worry for your safety.”

Cyrene’s cheeks heated, and she sighed, leaning back against the hard stone of the alcove. “I didn’t mean to worry you.”

His hands pushed up through her hair and tilted her head back up to look at him. She closed her eyes and sighed. She was so tired, and just the feel of his fingers was lulling her to sleep.

“That feels good.”

His mouth found hers, and despite her exhaustion, she pushed back against his lips with more force. She refused to let the fact that she was tired get in the way of her time with him.

“Whoa,” he said, pulling back from her. He rested his forehead against hers, and she could tell he was breathing heavily. “As much as I want this, and I do, I want to make sure you’re okay. This didn’t scare you away?”

She shook her head. “This, most certainly, does not scare me.” Then, she kissed him again for good measure.

He laughed. “Good. Because I’ve been wanting to kiss you since I first met you.”

“You have not!” she insisted.

“Are you kidding? A gorgeous, feisty woman who wasn’t afraid to put me in my place the first time she met me? I mostly certainly have.”







ta-amazonThe Affiliate: Book 1

“With rich romance and twisty political intrigue, THE AFFILIATE is a breakneck fantasy ride that’s perfect for fans of THE SELECTION or THRONE OF GLASS.” –Susan Dennard, NYT bestselling author of TRUTHWITCH

On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland–an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks.

When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series. Great for fans of Game of Thrones, Tudors, and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.


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editkylaK.A. Linde grew up as a military brat and created fantastical stories based off of her love for Disney movies, fairy tales, and Star Wars. In her spare time, she is an avid traveler, loves reading young adult novels, and dancing. Additionally, K.A. has written more than a dozen adult novels and is a USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Lubbock, TX with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

K.A. Linde loves to hear from her readers!

You can contact her at or visit her online at one of the following sites:




Raven Song

Raven Song: A Dystopian Fantasy (Inoki’s Game)
Series: Inoki’s Game
Author: I a Ashcroft
Genre: Fantasy, dystopian

Jackson, sometimes known as Jack see Ravens. When he was a kid, he thought that he was touched by magic, so that he would be in the Order of Mages. But it is not to be, Jackson grows up still able to see ravens. The problem? Ravens are extinct when the world bombed a century ago. Jackson had no memory or name when he was a kid, and he struggles to find his past to make peace with his future.

The story started slowly. Jackson was the owner of a shipping company and he does side jobs, as long as the Coalition government does not know about it. When he was approached to do a special, under the radar assignment, he found Anna. Anna in a box, somehow a person who lived in the pre-bombed world.

Together, Anna and Jackson has to find out the mystery surrounding them, and who is this Announcer? And why is Anna immune to radiation, and Jackson can see ravens? The questions make you stay, but the action keeps you engrossed.

Raven Song is confusing for me, I had to read it slowly. Despite that, I did enjoy how Jackson and Anna managed to solve problems and get out of trouble, sort of. The first book of the series, Raven Song is set in a depressing world where people are still trying to live their lives after a devastating nuclear bomb.

A promising book for a series, Raven Song is original to me, and I do wonder a lot of things about the characters in this book. I shall have to wait and see. A book for dystopian fans not looking for Hunger Game types.

Demon King

Demon King: Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales Book Two (Volume 2)
Author: Kassandra Lynn
Series: Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 17, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1523450299
Synopsis: Adriana has returned to her kingdom and ascended the throne as the rightful Demon King. However, she finds her home on the brink of war. Heartbroken and drained from a forbidden love, Adriana must find a way to assume her responsibilities, stop a war, and somehow unravel the family secrets that threaten to destroy her world. It’s a tremendous feat, but one she may be destined for.

I am Sleepless

I AM SLEEPLESS: Sim 299 (Volume 1)
Author: Johan Twiss
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-13: 978-1517166335
Synopsis from Amazon: he planet Ethos is at war with a mysterious enemy known as the Splicers. Their only successful defense is the Prime Initiative. All newborns with the compatible genetic code are taken from their families and injected with the Prime Stimulus. Each child that survives the stimulus develops an extraordinary ability and is conscripted into the military for training.
After turning twelve, Aidan is moved to the upper-class at the Mount Fegorio training complex. His special gifts allow him unprecedented success in the virtual training simulations, advancing him further than any prime cadet in history. No one knows what lies after sim 299, not even Director Tuskin, the ruthless and reclusive ruler of their planet. But something, or someone, has been guiding Aidan there. If he can pass the final tests, he may discover the key to ending the Splicer War.


Firewalker (The Worldwalker Trilogy)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy (Book 2)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
 ISBN-13: 978-1250050908
Cover and Link from Amazon
Synopsis from Amazon: I’m a Witch and Witches burn. Lily is back in her own universe, and she’s ready to relax with Rowan. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and must hide her magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.
You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified. Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make her come back. Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off…


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Lily is back in her world with Rowan. Her own sister Juliette and mother Samantha arrived just in time to help badly burned Lily and Rowan, return home. It did not take long for Lily to recover and convince her sister that Rowan was from a different dimension.

In her world, Rowan finds many fascinating things in this new world, while Lily struggles return to normality. Without telling Rowan, Lily and Lilian from the other world had been conversing due to their bond. Lilian tries to convince Lily that what she had done and going to do was right for the world that she loves. Their mind sharing has allowed Lily to realize what Lilian had went through and her motive.

With Rowan insisting to return to his own world to save his friends from Lilian’s evil clutches, Lily has no choice but to follow, this time with companions. Arm with information from Lilian and part of her memories, Lily makes a hard decision, and she is not sure about the outcome, but it was better than her other options.

In book two of the series, some answers are revealed as another question surfaces. What are the woven exactly? Back in Rowan’s world, Lily refuses to walk the paths set for her, choosing instead to forge a new one. Exciting times ahead, I am enjoying this series a lot. There are a lot of elements that make this series interesting and unique, even Lily seems to have some internal battle with her conscience and her dream. Definitely worth reading, can’t wait for book 3.

Nioxin Scalp Renew

trying out this

Link from Amazon: Nioxin Scalp Renew Density Restoration 1.7 FL OZ / 50 ML

One of the main concerns in my aging life is my scalp, hair fall and having less luscious hair. For those mommies who remember what was it like being pregnant and having high estrogen, those days of luscious hair will be long gone after the kid pops out. Kinda sad really.

My biggest mistake is not researching well enough before I buy, however since it was less than aud$10 I guess it was worth the risk. Nioxin is a good brand of hair products, and many people I know love using their system shampoo and conditioner. I had decided to try this on a whim. And I got mine from Strawberry net.

The instruction on the label said: to use in the evening after scalp renew dermabrasion treatment, which was clearly something that I did not do prior. I did forget some days, which is odd for me. The applicator was easy and long, with a dropper that can distribute serum almost evenly for me.

After a few weeks, I don’t see a lot of hair, but I definitely noticed that my hair is falling a little less. Not clumps and clumps during hair combing, which I hope is attributed to the serum as I am not using anything new. So far so good, my hair may not be plentiful as before, but it certainly seems like it has stabilized for me.

I should give that dermabrasion a go, seeing how well the serum works for real.  

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder


Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder [ Amazon]
Claims: a moisturizing skincare that delivers moisture to the stratum corneum and promotes beautifully translucent, firm and lustrous skin.

Powder features 2 enzymes to remove pore- clogging dead skin cells and excess sebum.

Direction: empty 1 capsule into palm and add small amount of warm water to work up into a lather. Gently cleanse for 30 seconds and rinse for 30 seconds to ensure all product is removed.

Of the things I got from Japan, this is probably the most remarkable and regrettable one, I highly regret not buying more at that time, because it was on sale and for 800 yen it was pretty good deal for me.

The small capsule is easily opened to reveal white powder inside, it is not much but enough to exfoliate your skin. This is a gentle exfoliate, so it does not make your face super duper clean, but with frequent enough use you would see some results like I did. 

I am using it alternate days, massaging it thoroughly before rinsing it off. I can see a difference before and after, which is saying a lot with just 1 minute in the routine. Ella Bache was good too, but a little more hassle with the mask needed to dry and everything. This powder is good as I am diligent and I have also this konyakku facial massager, they work well together for me. 

Since I only have one, I would be looking out for other brands of beauty powder to try, I hear Fancl has one too. Yes, I have no brand loyalty, but no reason to when there are so many new things out there I have not tried. Although I do keep coming back to some when the new one runs out, until I see something new and promising. 

Such is life of a fickle minded reviewer. 

Parenting with Wisdom and Compassion: Bring Out the Best in Your Family

Parenting with Wisdom and Compassion: Bring Out the Best in Your Family
Author: Dr Ilene Val-Essen  
Synopsis from author: Dr. Val-Essen invites parents to enter a new paradigm of parenting that can dramatically improve the way they relate to their children. A Six-Step Process supports readers to realize this vision in their own families. Val-Essen presents insights, principles, and skills that inspire and guide parents to expand their minds and open their hearts. As they gain a deeper understanding of their children and themselves, parents are able to express wisdom and compassion even when buttons are pushed and fear takes center stage. Val Essen, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been passionately serving parents for decades, explains how to transform painful conflicts into opportunities for growth.
In this practical guide, she presents proven tools for conscious parenting to help children and parents flourish. Family life becomes deeply rewarding. Val-Essen is also the author of the award-winning book, Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self: Creating a Family Based on Mutual Respect.

I have to say that I have been very lucky so far, first I get books about writing when I was doing Nanowrimo, and suddenly this book came out of the blue from the very kind author: Ilene Van Essen, offering me an insight of how things can be different in my relationship with my 3 year old, Prince Brat.

The timing could not be more awesome, because when she approached me, I just found out that I am 8 weeks along, Prince Brat is going to be a big brother! Hence my lack of blogging comments lately, I’m sorry if I seem a little distant with you guys, morning sickness has been a real… nasty case.

What is so special about this parenting book? It is not really a parenting book, it is a book about developing good relationship between you and a child, basically if you are teacher, it would work just as well. But since parents are the ones who struggle everyday to communicate and achieve some sort of milestone, and get some balance.

Ilene’s six steps process is reasonable, to me, and I do admit that it would take practice before I am proficient in her steps, but it is helpful, useful even to try some of the things she had suggested. Granted, each kid is different and they would react differently, and there is no secret formula to raising good children (or is there?)

We all know that there is no single manual that works for every household, but I think this book is worth a read and ponder. The values are certainly valid and since it is in line with my personal beliefs I would definitely put into action what Ilene suggests. I like how her book offers helpful examples and positive thoughts rather than focusing on bad behavior and try to find ways to counter it. 

A fascinating book for parents to try out, definitely would recommend it for those who wants to have a read at it.