Solstice Blessed by Crystin Goodwin

Now, don’t get all run around the house in your undies screaming excited, this isn’t a new novel. But, by all means, get a little bit jumpy up and down excited because this is two short stories about a few favorite characters during their holiday season. 

The stories are cute, fun and holiday themed, just what the book doctor ordered for December reading.

Would I recommend it? If you are a fan of the Blessings of Myrillia Series you should certainly read these too! And if you are any kind of young adult fantasy book lover and haven’t yet been exposed to Myrillia I recommend putting Unblessed on your Christmas wish list straight away!

Book Doctors should be a thing. “Ahh Mrs. Pumpernickel, You’ve sprained your ankle, ice and elevate until you’ve read all of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and you should be as good as new.” or “It’s alright little Patsy Pipsqueak, you just have the flu. Drink lots of fluids and read Yesterday’s Doll by Cora Taylor, and you’ll be just fine.” And then doctors’ offices and pharmacy’s would have libraries and books stores attached to them and life would be so much better. Yes, I’ve convinced myself, book doctors should totally be a thing. 

I Did The Thing!

I like challenges. They can be nice, concrete, sensible things or fairly arbitrary things like say, joining in with National Blog Posting Month and publishing a blog post everyday in November.  nanopoblano1

I suppose that’s the kind of thing which might seem silly. Why? Why would I decide I have to do such a thing. Well part of it, not gonna lie, is pure competitive nature. If you think you can do it, then heck yeah I can do it too! Another part of it is what happens afterwards. It’s over – I did it. I was a Tiny Pepper (team NanoPoblano) and I did the thing. On November 30th when I posted my last post I  bounced around the house in excitement. It feels good to accomplish goals you set, even if they are random things that make friends and family look at you a little sideways when you explain that you’d really love to x,y and z but first- you must go blog.

When it comes to blogging, it’s always been fairly easy for me to find something I want to post everyday. What I find less easy is “finding” the time to sit down and do it. Ever since John switched to a normal day shift and I lost my late night hours when I had the house to myself, I have been struggling. Wondering when I could find time to write and edit pictures without taking time away from some other part of my life that needed me. Thirty days later it turns out that time is hiding in all sorts of places and I am freshly reminded of how much I love blogging.iamatinypepper3

I am a Tiny Pepper. I did the thing and I’m going to keep doing it. Not everyday, (because -wow- 30 days in a row, you all need a break from that!) but more often. I do have time to do this thing I love and that’s worth taking on a 30-day challenge to find out.

An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston

Lets just start off with a definition of “off-piste” because I’ll admit I had no idea what the title of this book (novella really) was referring to.

Google to the rescue!


adjective & adverb   SKIING
  1. away from prepared ski runs.
    “challenging expanses of off-piste skiing”
    • so as to deviate from what is conventional, usual, or expected.
      “on this occasion I went off-piste and booked in at The Griffin, a place none of us had ever visited before.”

I know there are people out there who always want their books to be really realistic and not all convenient with enough happily ever afters to go around.

I’m totally not that person.

I like happy endings, I like Christmas, I like this book (err- novella).

Actually, I love Christmas but it is also the part of the year that we spend lots of time with our family. Time where you look around and think that they are all crazy and you wonder how anything, much less everything is going to work out. (Sorry family.)

But then! Then, you read a book like this fine novella and think- “Well, her daughter is dating her best friend’s previous lover and father of her baby and they are all going on a fancy schmancy Christmas skiing trip in Italy together, even though she hates skiing and it all works out for them,” my totally normal family will be fine.

Would I recommend it? It’s goofy and funny and crazy and scandalous and *spoiler alert* ends happily. While I know there are scrooges out there who don’t approve of such things, I thought it was an excellent quick (Did I mention it was a novella? You can totally fit in in your reading schedule this month!) Christmas read!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

The Prince’s Son by Deborah Jay

The Prince’s Son is, of course, the sequel to The Prince’s Man.

I read The Prince’s Man last year and found it to be a solid book:

“This newly created world is firm, there are no gaps or jumps of reasoning. One creature, idea, magic or bit of history flows right into the next. Characters that appear substantial at the beginning of the book do nothing but grow and evolve as their backstory unfolds behind them.

This is solidly written fantasy tale.” -myself on The Prince’s Man last year

This sequel, built as it was on such a solid foundation, continued to impress me.

The first book was very much a web of spies and lies and political maneuvering that really had me hooked. In this book what struck me was the character growth.  I loved the way the characters from the previous book grew between books and how the whiny lady at the beginning (that I could barely stand reading about) turned into the character than I’m most excited to read about in the next book. While there is a precedent in fantasy for the original whinging characters to turn into fantastic heroes by the end, it’s a trend that can feel forced enough to be questionable. Not in this book. When you build your characters with a backstory and foundation as solid as Deborah Jay has, their growth and change isn’t something to wonder over but something to enjoy!

Would I recommend it? The Prince’s Son can be read as a stand alone, you don’t have to read The Prince’s Man first, but I think you should. What would happen to order in the universe if everyone just started reading books all willy nilly and out of sequence? Chaos I tell you, chaos! Either way, if you choose to be an agent for chaos or read the books in a sensible order like proper purveyor of peace, if you are a fan of fantasy I recommend this/these books!


I was given a copy of this book from the author in exchange for Beta reading it, which was basically the best nerdy book lover experience ever! After reading the final copy I also agreed to post my own honest review. Thank you Deborah Jay for letting me be a part of the experience! 

Black and White Sunday: New Kitty

Never have a conversation about how you aren’t going to go looking for a kitten but if a kitten showed up in need of a home, it would be a good time to add a cat to the family… unless you really mean it.

Meet our new kitten, and Jane’s early birthday present, whose name has ranged from a very confusing “Sarah” to an equally confusing “Baroness Sarah McCutiePie Von Stuffington of Sunshine Manor”.Sarah Cat


Be careful what you say, the universe responds to kitten requests in a very timely fashion.