Make-Up Book Tag {Tag}



I stole this from MK #noregrets

I did tell her and she told me to do it. You can find her first version here and the second one here. I'm giving anyone permission to steal this because apparently it will be stolen so many times that maybe it'll be known as the "Stolen Make-Up Book Tag".

So yeah, let's get to the tag



1. Primer: A book that left a lasting impression on you


This one is pretty hard...But I'm going to have to go with To Kill A Mockingbird or A Rumored Fortune. In To Kill A Mockingbird, just the way racial differences can affect the way someone thinks really stood out to me and saddened me. During the court scene, my heart was pounding and I had to put the book down for a second after the verdict was proclaimed. For A Rumored Fortune, I really enjoyed the spiritual element. I came away with a really good lesson after I finished that book.

Image result for To Kill A Mockingbird CoverImage result for a rumored fortune Cover

2. Foundation: A favorite first book in a series


Um..... Actually, this is kinda easy but yeah xD Two favorite firsts are Cinder and The Goose Girl.

Image result for cinder CoverImage result for the goose girl Cover


3. Concealer: Pick some characters you wish didn't exist


Ellen Olenska and Newland Archer, The Age of Innocence. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh. I reaaaaaaaaaaaaally hated themmmm. I'm actually (hopefully) posting a review on this book later today at Southern Belles' Book Club so keep an eye out for that. But yeah, I really did not like those two.

Image result for the age of innocence book cover


4. Powder: Pick your favorite book from the end of a series


Now, this IS a hard one......I'm going to give a few because I honestly can't choose a favorite: Winter, The Return of the King, Forest Born, and The One (even though that one had me on the edge of my seat the whole time)

Image result for winter book coverImage result for the return of the king book coverImage result for forest born book coverImage result for the one book cover



5. Eyebrows: Pick a book you think everyone should read


It's sorta hard to pick ONE book you think everyone should read because everyone has their own preferences, but one book that I normally recommend to people it The Goose Girl

Image result for the goose girl book cover


6. Eyeshadow: Pick a book with your favorite colors on the front


The Selection, Flight Into Spring, The Siren

Image result for the selection book coverImage result for flight into spring book coverImage result for the siren book cover


7. Eyeliner: Pick a dark and mysterious book


Black As Night

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8. Mascara: Pick a long book


I would say Les Miserables, but I haven't exactly read that yet so I'm going to say Winter

Image result for winter book cover


9. Blush: Pick a book with swoony romance


Basically every single book I've read??? Jk, The Siren, The Beautiful Pretender, The Captive Maiden, The Healer's Apprentice, The Princess Spy, The Silent Songbird, A Noble Masquerade


Image result for the siren book coverImage result for the beautiful pretender book coverImage result for the captive maiden book coverImage result for the captive maiden book cover
Image result for the captive maiden book coverRelated imageImage result for a noble masquerade book cover



10. Highlighter: Pick a book that brightens your day


Flight Into Spring and A Noble Masquerade

Image result for flight into spring  book coverImage result for a noble masquerade book cover


11. Lipstick: Your favorite book kiss


Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum am I honestly supposed to ANSWER THAT????

But fine! I'll limit myself to fifty five. It will be in spoilers (so basically just highlight the coming text to see it) -That Kai/Cinder kiss at the end of Cress, That Akinli/Kahlen kiss in The Siren, The Bear/Blanche kiss at the end of Black As Night, The Donegan/Tressa kiss in A Rumored Fortune, and the Ryland/Miranda kiss in A Noble Masquerade- You can see which books they are because of the covers below, but you won't know which KISSES unless you read the spoiler.

Image result for cressbook coverImage result for the siren book coverImage result for black as night book cover
Image result for a rumored fortune coverImage result for a noble masquerade cover


Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this. I did xD


Have you read any of these books? If so, did you agree with me? Are you going to steal this? I triple dog dare you! 

3 Violin lessons that have taught me important life lessons



I've been playing the violin for ten years. A decade. Wow, that's a long time! Over those tens years, I've probably had millions of violin lessons. 

I've grown so much these past ten years. In my first violin recital, I didn't even play the violin, I just did this thing with the bow while reciting "Up like a rocket, down like the rain. Back and forth like a choo-choo train. Around my face like a great big sun. Stop in  the middle, curved pinky and bent thumb!" Now, my programme is the 3rd movement of Bruch's Violin Concerto in G Minor, Bach's Preludio in E Major, and Bartok's Rumanian Dances (the three B's)

I'm not telling you this all just to brag, I'm just letting you know: I've had many, many violin lessons. But I haven't just learned things that were pertinent to violin, I've learned some very important life lessons. And I would like to share those with you today


1: Don't be so afraid of making mistakes
 that you forget to have fun

This has been the one that has most impacted me, both in violin and in life. I guess I should give you some backstory. 

Last year, I played the Second Violin solo in the Bach Double Concerto for orchestra. I played it in our school concerts, our spring concert, and then with 2 local high schools. I was absolutely terrified every single time I played it. Now, I am more of a solo player than an orchestra player, and I've been to several competitions. But for some reason,n I dreaded playing in front of my orchestra mates. I couldn't explain why. 

Well, one high school nearby was performing Vivaldi's Gloria for their choral spring concert, and the high school where we had Youth Symphony rehearsal's was asked to send players to the other school. They also wanted to perform the Bach Double (they had somehow heard that the Youth Symphony played it that spring) and so I was asked to play with them. 

I was still terrified every time I played it (this was the first high school I played it with, I later performed it at the high school where Youth Symphony was based), and at the rehearsal before the performance, the director (who was the choral director and not our usual Youth Symphony director) stopped everything during the Bach Double, and looked straight at me. Then he said, "You're so afraid of making mistakes that you're forgetting to play music, to have fun. Stop being scared and do what you love!"

Wow, I really took that to heart. After the performance the next day, my dad (who also plays the violin and had listened to all my performances so far) told me that that was the best he had ever heard me play this.

Ever since then, I've been working on not being so afraid of messing up that I forget to have a good time. Because that's what you want in music, to have fun.

In life, I often find myself being held back by the thought "I'm going to fall on my face and everyone is going to laugh at me". I don't go all out, or don't put in as much passion, or don't enjoy myself as much because I am scared of failing. I'm scared of making a fool of myself. Of falling on my face.

But that's when I remember that piece of advice. Then I throw myself wholeheartedly into whatever I'm doing. Because there's a chance that because I'm not forgetting to have fun, and going full-out, that whatever I'm doing will be better.


2: Don't let desperation keep you down

Now, this next one will be a little difficult for me to write, because I've never really opened up about this except to maybe my mom.

I have a really bad habit of repressing any negative emotions I have. I just keep them under the surface and never really think or talk about them. Normally, I don't have any repercussions from this actions, and they never bother me. But when I get really stressed out, my emotions become extremely volatile and unpredictable. This is because I've been repressing certain emotions and they escape when I'm stressed out.

Last October, I had a really bad case of what I've just described. I had a very big violin competition coming up, and was practicing a lot for it. But the week before, I was taking the ACT for the first time, and right after I took the test, I had to run across the community college campus and play two of my pieces at an event.

I was a complete mess. My pieces weren't coming out right. I was worried about the ACT. I honestly just wanted to throw my violin across the room and never play again. I considered seriously quitting violin.

Now, I've considered that many times, but they were usually in fits of anger, never really serious. This was the first time that I stopped and thought hard about what else I liked.

But yeah, I was a complete mess. I remember almost bursting into tears while at ballet for messing up a simple combination. That's when I knew that I really had to stop and take a breath.

I will tell you, I cried a lot during the week leading up to the ACT. I really thought that I would quit violin. I just couldn't see how I was going to survive this weekend and then the competition.

I struggle a lot with self-confidence. Especially when it comes to my playing. A lot of people tell me that I'm talented, but I never really believe them. My parents always try and encourage me, but I never really seem to believe them.

So everything looked really bleak until the night before the ACT. I don't know what changed that night, but as I was practicing with my dad, I realized how much I loved playing. I knew that I could never really quit, and decided that if I was doing this, then I was going to do it with everything I had. After the performance, someone came up to me and told me that I had made her cry. (I'll attach the two videos from the event at the end of this post, please excuse my playing. I can never hear myself play without criticizing myself so it sounds really awful to me xD)

Life lesson? You might feel down sometimes. You might want to stop. But don't. Push on, the moment of desperation will pass and everything will start looking up, but only if you don't allow yourself to quit.

Think about it. All those moments of thinking that I wanted to quit violin made me realize that yes, I wanted to do something with music but I don't want to commit JUST to it. I started looking around and discovered music therapy, which is what I want to go into eventually.

But please, please, please, don't allow yourself to quit. If you quit when your emotions are all over the place, then you will be deciding with your emotions, and not with your heart. If the storm of emotions blows over, and you see that you still want to stop, and if it's the best for you, then quit. But don't quit when you're upset.


3: Don't let your mistakes stand in
 the way of future glories

Sort of continuing the story from the last one. So I survived the ACT and event, but I still had the big competition coming up. I was still stressed out, but I wasn't the emotional mess that I was before.

My practicing went fairly well the week leading up, I was really proud of the end of my concerto. My dad liked it. My teacher liked it. It was pretty good.

I was playing the Accolay concerto, and the end was a bunch of double stops that got progressively faster until you ended with the chords. I mastered it pretty well.

So we go to the competition. I play my Bach very well. My showpiece is tons of fun. And then we get to the concerto. I start playing, and all the spots I normally had memory slips are spot on. We start nearing the ending and I start getting excited. We go through the sixteenth note section and start climbing higher and higher and higher. We hit the top note, and barge into the double stops. I'm at about the second line when I just forget. I can't remember the next double stop.

I start over, but I get to that section again and can't remember.

So I start over. The same thing happens.

Then again.

And one last time. Finally, I remember, and we finish. The judge thanks me, and I leave. No tears. When I leave the room and start talking to my dad (who is always SUPER supportive in these competitions) I start crying.

I take a lot of pride in my performances. I've never had a noticeable memory slip since I was like 7 and even then I wasn't super fazed.

I was so upset. I was shaking. I was crying. But then I stopped myself and was determined not to think about it. At least I didn't cry in front of the judge.

When we get the comment sheets, the judge didn't say anything about the memory slip. He noticed it but didn't write anything about it. The judge comes over to talk to us, and he still doesn't say anything about the memory slip. He praises my technique. Tells me to play with more musicality. But nothing about the memory.

That boosted my confidence a little, but I was still nervous. The next day I had a gold medal recital for another competition and then a concerto competition.

When it came time for me to play my concerto at the concerto competition, I decided to use the first piece of advice I gave you. I wasn't going to be so afraid of making a mistake that I forgot to have fun. I did mess up, but it was a little fingering issue that I soon resolved.

Afterward, a few people came up to me and praised me. Which, again, made me feel a lot better.

Whenever you mess up in life, don't let that drag you down. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn from your mistake, and try again. Don't let a mistake stop you, for you are stronger, and better, and greater than a mistake.


I really hope that this helped you, it was a little difficult for me to write this. What are some experiences you've had that have helped you in life? Have you ever been so afraid of messing up that you didn't allow yourself to enjoy life? Have you ever let desperation drag you down? Did you let your mistakes stop you from future victories? Here's the link to the performance I was telling you about 


A Rant


So I didn't have this post on my schedule, and I know that I just posted yesterday (A book review of A Rumored Fortune which you should check out) but I needed to rant a little.

Before I go on, let me give you some background info that will help you understand this rant. I have always loved the Phantom of the Opera. Yes, I've only seen the 2004 movie and I love it. I have read the book and honestly didn't like it that much. But the Phantom of the Opera was the first musical I saw (I saw it as a young child) I mean to listen to the stage version one day, but for now, I only have the movie to go off of.

So what's this rant over? The Phantom and Christine

Mostly how I hate it when people ship them

I am a total Raoul and Christine shipper, I honestly don't understand why people hate Raoul so much. Okay, in the book I hated him, but I love him in the musical. Basically, Raoul + Christine = Meant to be together

I have always thought that when Christine kisses the Phantom at the end, she did it to save Raoul. In fact, I say it everytime we watch the movie. She didn't do it because she was "choosing" the Phantom. Like, he's a father figure to her.

Let's get this straight

Phantom + Christine = Lust

The Phantom might "love" Christine, but from what you see of it, it's lust. Don't confuse love with lust. And she always looked up to him as a father-like figure until she actually met him which just makes their "love" (coughnotlovecoughcough) weirder

But

Raoul + Christine = Love

Raoul did everything in his power to protect Christine. They were perfect for each other! Just listen too "All I Ask of You". They're there to love, protect, and support each other.

Now let's get down to what really sparked this rant

I absolutely hate it when people do sequels where Raoul and Christine's love goes south.

Like

Wut

No

No

No

I saw this "sequel" to the book version of the Phantom of the Opera where Raoul has an affair and like WHAT NO RAOUL WOULDN'T DO THAT OKAY

And, apparently, Andrew Llyod Webber wrote a sequel to the musical where again Raoul and Christine's love flunks NO MR. WEBBER HOW COULD YOU (apparently I'm not the only one with this opinions, the show got such bad reviews that no one funded it or whatever)

BASICALLY

RAOUL AND CHRISTINE BELONG TOGETHER OKAY THEY LOVE EACH OTHER TO THE END OF THEIR DAYS AND HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE, LOTS OF KIDS. CHRISTINE DOESN'T REGRET CHOOSING LOVE AND NOT LUST SHE KISSED THE PHANTOM TO SAVE RAOUL.

Like

SHE WOULDN'T HAVE THIS


ON HER TOMBSTONE IF IT WASN'T TRUE

YOU SEE THAT

"BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER"

SHE WAS HAPPY WITH RAOUL AND NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT SO STOP SHIPPING CHRISTINE AND THE PHANTOM

Rant over

Please tell me what you think xD



A Rumored Fortune {Book Review}

Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. 

It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first. 










This book was AMAZING! I didn't expect to like it so much actually. It is historical fiction, but I don't want to call it Regency fiction, I think it's Victorian fiction. I've never read anything - I think - that was Victorian fiction. I really liked the feel it had to it. Not a Jane Austen-y feel, but maybe like a Jane Eyre one.

Anyways, the characters were AMAZING (I have a feeling that I'll be using that word often during this review). They were believable, relatable, and fleshed out. I have a pet peeve of secondary characters who act like secondary characters. You know, all their actions and motivations swirl around the main characters. Well, I am very glad to say that these secondary characters acted like main characters (now if only my secondary characters could act like that...) I loved the main characters. Tressa is relatable, and her character arc is done very, very well! It took me a while to warm up to the other main character (whose name I cannot say because #spoilers), but I loved *insert pronoun* at the end. I loved [blank] and Tressa's scenes

You knew this was coming, but I LOOOOVED the romance. It was just GAH and very squee-worthy. It was also very deep and I enjoyed it. I also love how you didn't know immediately who was the hero/lover of the main character. I was like, "It's this person" but then "NO IT'S THIS PERSON AHH". AND THAT ENDING THO. Yes, the romance was excellent.

The plot was also excellent! It kept me in a death-like grip the whole way through. It was also surprisingly deep. It wasn't preachy, yet I came away with the feeling that I had just learned something very important. And the Scripture verse that it ended with was so amazing and powerful! I didn't begin this book with the sense that I was going to have that feeling when I ended it, and I loved it!

I also love mysteries (Sherlock Holmes whoop whoop), so that was an added bonus. The fact that it was also pretty long (390 pages, okay, long-ish) is great.




Not very many dislikes, only that the beginning was a little slow in some aspects and it was a little predictable (at least with Tressa's father) but not that much.




Just a kiss. (I think)




Um, 5 stars please!

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Have you read anything by Joanna Davidson Politano? Are you interested in reading A Rumored Fortune? You can get a copy here


I want to thank Revell Reads for providing me with a free copy of A Rumored Fortune, given in exchange for my honest opinion.

~July Wrap-Up~


Oof, it's been a while since I did one of these, but let's get to it!


My summer has been going preeetty well. I've basically done nothing since swim team ended, but that's because all my stuff was at the beginning of the summer. I had a summer class, but that ended too and I submitted my last piece of homework on Friday.

What else?

I think school starts at the end of August/beginning of September NOT 100% SURE THO SO DON'T HOLD ME TO IT. We're starting a co-op and I'm going to teach Latin to the middle-grade students so I'm pretty excited for that.


- Lost Boy, Ruth B. -

- Dollhouse, Melanie Martinez -

(thank you Nabila for getting this song stuck in my head)

- Beautiful Girl, Sarah Bareilles -

- Radioactive, Imagine Dragons -

- Midnight, Beth Crowley -

(you can find all those and more in my playlist below)





A Heart Revealed, Josi S. Kilpack; A Noble Masquerade, Kristi Ann Hunter; An Elegant Façade, Kristi Ann Hunter; An Uncommon Courtship, Kristi Ann Hunter; A Daring Venture, Elizabeth Camden; To The Farthest Shores, Elizabeth Camden; A Defense of Honor, Kristi Ann Hunter; Princess of the Midnight Ball, Jessica Day George; The World of Downton Abbey, Jessica Fellows; A Rumoured Fortune, Joanna Davidson Politano





Loved:

A Noble Masquerade: First book in the Hawthorne House Series. I honestly don't remember when a book made me laugh this much. I'll definitely be re-reading this one (maybe even buy it) in the future.

Princess of the Midnight Ball: THE HERO KNIT. LIKE, WHAT. A very adorable book!

The World of Downton Abbey: DOWNTON ABBEY KNOWLEDGE, YES PLEASE

A Rumoured Fortune: It was a really deep book that had many hidden messages. Full review coming soon!

Liked:

A Heart Revealed: A sweet tale. I liked the main character's character arc and the hero was pretty great

An Elegant Façade: Second book in the Hawthorne House series. A pretty good sequel and it also managed to make me laugh.

A Defense of Honor: Also really sweet! The hero was definitely swoon-worthy and just a lot of fun!

A Daring Venture: Pretty interesting plot. The characters bugged me sometimes, but they managed to redeem themselves.

Disliked:

An Uncommon Courtship: Third book in the Hawthorne House series. I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, I loved the characters but then the author had to put something in that threw the whole book off. It was content but yet not content. Just, yeah, it really made me upset because I was enjoying it so much.

To the Farthest Shores: I REALLY wanted to like this book more but it just didn't sit right with me. Like in Camden's other book, these characters bugged me SO MUCH, and they couldn't redeem themselves.

Books I Hope To Read This Month: 

Heartless, Marissa Meyer; Victorita, Portrait of a Queen, Catherine Reef; The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton; Junia, Michael E. Giesler; Grain of Wheat, Michael E. Giesler; The Mysterious Affair of Styles, Agatha Christie; Judah's Scepter, D.A. Brittain; Amish Celebrations, Beth Wiseman; The Big House of Adams Street, Alberta Sparks; Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt; To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee; Shooting Stars: Ten Historical Miniatures, Stefan Zweig (and hopefully more books but these are all I have at the moment) (lol, I'm not ambitious)

Downton Abbey - ALMOST DONE THIS SHOW

THE FEELS





Oklahoma - OH MY GOSH CURLY <33333333333333333333333333333

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Some other stuff that I can't remember


I FINISHED CAMP NANO. AH, I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF. THIS IS THE FIRST NANO EVENT THAT I'VE FINISHED!!!

I set a goal of 30 hours and I was ahead for a while but then I got behind and was like, "I AM NOT GOING TO FINISH THIS" but then I caught up so yeah!

I made a schedule for writing Colm and if I go according to schedule (IF) I should be finished the first draft by October 4th. Then take a break from it until December.

I know what I'm going to be doing for Nano, The Scroll of Wisdom so I've been worldbuilding for that. Almost done and then I can start on character sheets before moving on to plotting.

I've also been writing a The Goose Girl fanfiction. I also want to write a Downton Abbey one. Professional fangirl here peoples.


Stats

Pageviews This Month: 540

Followers: 32

Posts This Month:

The Orphan's Wish {Book Review}

Throwing in the Towel + Book Tour

Another Period Drama Tag {Tag}

I'm taking a short break!

Most Popular Post: Throwing in the Towel + Book Tour

I updated my WIP page so check it out here!

Upcoming posts:

(disclaimer: post titles are not official)

A Rumoured Fortune {Book Review}

Lessons from Violin that can help in real life

Make-Up Book Tag {Tag}

Judah's Scepter {Book Review}

Writing Wednesdays: Colm + 7-7-7 Tag

Music Analysis

I SHALL RULE THE WORLD

Favorite Period Drama Couples

So there we go! Another month has gone by O_O_O_O


How was your July? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Which post are you looking forward to most?