Book Review: Oz Book #3 – Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum

9/10

In this third installment of the original Oz series, more delightful characters are introduced and two already beloved little girls meet in another adventure. Baum has done a fine job of bringing little Dorothy and Ozma of Oz together, and their first meeting is in the Land of Ev, not Oz as you would expect.

Some old favorites, the Scarecrow, Nick Chopper, and the Cowardly Lion, join the fun, as well as new faces, like Billina, Tik-Tok, and the Hungry Tiger. The adventure is promised to continue farther than this book, and indeed, much farther.

If you love Oz you will come to love Ev and the new cast of characters, and you will welcome back those you already love. I recommend this book for everybody!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056584.Cassie_Kelley

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Why I Write

Despite the stigma that goes with it, I have never been shy about saying that I started writing by working on Fanfiction stories. I still enjoy writing them from time to time, delving deeper into what I think the world of {insert cartoon, movie, or book here} is like.

I enjoy writing characters that have a darker side, and most of the stories I work on end up with some hint (or more than just a hint) of some deeper problem that is darker than the series or movie that the characters come from. This darkness comes from my own battle with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety, as well as living life as a person with Asperger’s Autism (now called ASD).

As Branch says in the movie ‘Trolls’ “Life isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows.” I want my writing to reflect that.

Moving from Fanfiction to my original works, let’s take a look at what I’ve written so far. My first books are a trilogy, ‘The Lost Scrolls Trilogy,’ that is a Christian work. I used this book to deepen my relationship and knowledge of God and hopefully help some other people on their journeys. Mostly, though, it was for me.

My current project is a novel called ‘9 Ways to Normal.’ Its premise is a group therapy session followed by POV (point-of-view) shots from the characters. Besides a set of twins who both have Asperger’s, each character has a different diagnosis. Some have mental illnesses, some have neurological problems (problems with how their brains are wired). All are different. All have their own versions of what a ‘normal life’ looks like.

I want people to realize and really consider this: Normal is a completely subjective experience.

So why do I write? Well, I write for myself, to help myself get through the peaks and troughs of Bipolar Disorder. I write for others who might be struggling with mental illness or friendship issues or maybe even abuse in their lives, and who need a break from the world. That’s what reading does: takes you to another place.

I hope to help those who don’t know much about certain things, like neurological differences or misunderstood mental disorders such as Schizophrenia and Bulimia. I want to make a positive impact

I’ll explain why I write in paraphrasing Eric Liddell, borrowing from his words.

Why do I write?

God made me a natural storyteller. When I write, I feel His pleasure.

To support my work as an author, please consider giving to my editing fund here.

To get a taste of my writing style, visit my Fanfiction profile and browse my stories here.

Visit my Goodreads profile to see what books I have read and reviewed here.

For a sample of ‘9 Ways to Normal’ check out an excerpt here.

You can by my first book here.

You can buy my second book here.

You can buy my third book here.

Book Review: On Writing – A Memoir on the Craft by Stephen King

10/10

If anybody has the right to give writerly advice based solely on success, Stephen King is one of them. With so many novels and short stories under his belt, King offers the collected wisdom, both learned and discovered.

The opening half is a look back on major events that helped to shape King as a writer, and you can see how even the little things, things seemingly unimportant or silly, can influence somebody and really leave a mark on them. From silly stories to ones that make you laugh or even cringe, the first half of this book is a treasure trove of personal experience.

The second part of this book offers answers to commonly asked questions. The advice is solid, though I don’t agree with all of it. However, not everybody writes or thinks in the same way, so naturally nobody will agree with every bit of another person’s philosophy.

This book is a fun read as well as an informative one. I suggest it to anybody who has questions about writing. Well worth the time it takes to get through it.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056584.Cassie_Kelley

Book Review: Oz Book #2 – The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

9/10

Despite the fact that ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ was originally intended to be a stand-alone story, this sequel is a good continuation of the lore of Oz. With terrific new characters, as well as beloved old ones, this story is just as charming as the original.

The adventures of Tip, from creating and bringing to life Jack Pumpkinhead and the Saw-Horse to meeting Dorothy’s old companions, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow, are a joy to read. And the pinnacle of this story is the mystery of Ozma.

If you enjoyed the original story and want to know more about the marvelous land of Oz and it’s odd inhabitants, this is the perfect story for you!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056584.Cassie_Kelley

Thankful

Though I am sick, in both body and mind,
I can’t help but notice how God is so kind.
I live and I breathe and I have food to eat,
And my marriage and friendships are all very sweet.

God blesses my husband with a job he enjoys
And He blesses me dearly with unquenchable joy.
This thankfulness is part of the key
To why I’m joyful, but not really carefree.

Cares weigh down my heart when I’m feeling low,
And even when the darkness surrounds me I know
That I am loved more dearly still
Than the beautiful bird called the Whippoorwill.

My mind can cloud up and my heart might sink
But even when I am too near the brink
Something or someone will catch my eye
And then I no longer want to die.

Yes life is hard, and my body complains
Especially when the weather makes it my bane,
With stiff muscles and joints that creak,
My life seems to be totally bleak.

Sore as I might be right now,
When sweat or a wrinkle comes to my brow,
Showing the pain that I feel every day,
I close my eyes and start to pray.

“Dear Father in Heaven, I understand
That my pain is a part of the plan
To make me like Jesus, my Christ and my Lord,
I pray that you defend me with your sword.

“The devil and demons crowd my mind
And make my senses so dull and blind
That I can’t see the blessed light
That fills me and keeps You within sight.

“Clear my mind and my vision,
And wipe away any imprecision.
Let me see You as you are,
And I ask that you be my North Star.”

With prayer and with patience, I am becoming
A creature that is fair and stunning.
Soon I hope that I will be
Complete and without misery.

Until that day, I must be content
Though my body’s twisted and bent,
But that, my dears, will make the rest
And freedom from sin the best.

Whether you are healthy and strong,
Or your body and mind feel horrid and wrong,
Blessing abounds in your life, just look around
God will lead you through, safe and sound.

So, though I am sick in both body and mind,
This list shows how God is so kind.
With His love, he surrounds me with blessings galore.
And who could ever give you more?

So take heart, you who are sick and sore,
You who are exhausted, who think life is a chore,
So consider your blessings and count them all up,
And you will see just how full is your cup.

Book Review: Game Book #1 – The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

I read this book when I was a kid. I remember enjoying it, but now, reading it as an adult, I can enjoy it in a different way. I honestly didn’t remember the book as well as I thought, and the brilliant subplot completely slipped my mind.

What didn’t slip my mind was the imagination and joy that is contained in this wonderful book. It made me feel like a child again, looking through the eyes of the children who were so fascinated by ancient Egypt that they brought Egypt to their own world.

You can enjoy ‘The Egypt Game’ as a child and you can enjoy it when you’re older. It is a wonderful read that engages the imagination and makes you feel as if you’re there with them. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in Egypt or those who want to feel young again.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056584.Cassie_Kelley

Book Review: The Wildflowers Book #4 – Cat by V.C. Andrews

9/10

Saving the hardest therapy session for last, V.C Andrews digs deeply into the mind of a girl broken, as the others were, by somebody else’s bad decisions. However, her story is the worst in some ways just because of who did it. The characterization of this book series is so heartfelt, and ‘Cat’ in particular really made you feel the pain that the character has gone through.

The Wildflowers is wonderful and sheds some light on divorce, feuding parents, abandonment, suicide attempts, mental anguish, trauma, and more, as well as helping to show what the children caught in the situations feel like.

‘Cat’ is a book I would recommend if you’re at all curious about what she’s been through, but be warned that there is some disturbing material. No spoilers here, but it isn’t easy to read.

This series is certainly for older teens and up, but if you’re interested in psychology and how the mind works, this is an excellent look into it.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056584.Cassie_Kelley