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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Once Upon A Time Series by Heidi Garrett Book Party Blog Tour

    Welcome to the Once Upon A Time Series by Heidi Garrett Book Party hosted by the wonderful Ms. Rose ! Today, I am (as always!) excited to be reviewing ALL the books in these amazing series. There will  be an awesome  giveaway ( found after my reviews! ) you can join and might win! So, check it out (later) pretty ones!

    Since I'll be reviewing ALL , and I write LOoooooong  reviews..believe me! Haha. I'll make today an exception...or let me put this way, I'm going to challenge myself into few words! Hah! I got to do this! Uh-oh! 


A Short Story: The Girl Who Watched For Elves (Once Upon a Time Today, 0.0) The Girl who waited for Elves:
Links : * Goodreads  *  Amazon *

Excerpt:
The first card in the tarot reader’s tableaux, depicted a smirking man, sneaking away, his arms full of swords. “Everything was lies and deception,” the tarot reader said.
The girl’s tongue itched. “It’s what my family knew best—how to hide the truth. Carefully layered in lies like butter rolled into dough when you make a croissant.”
The tarot reader nodded, encouraging, as his gaze dropped to the spread configured before him. He pointed to a second card that looked like a medieval tower exploding. Bodies flew through the air.
“Yes, it was kind of like that after my father won the custody battle.”

The young woman squirmed—they’d reached the part of the story she hated the most, because it brought her to the last day she saw her mother alive. She was not quite five.

                                    My Thoughts:

    First, I loved the cover! Looking at the little girl reading that book feels so magical. Like each page is offering her a glimpse into that magical world where all the troubles in the world would just disapper if you believe. Yes, that girl believed. 

    This story gave me the Cinderella vibe . Of course , there's the evil step mom that made everything difficult for the girl. But I admire the little girl . I can never imagine  how he endured all of these? Being Hopeful? That's when she heard the story about "The Elves and the Shoemaker" :

“And the girl began to imagine, that the kind voice of the narrator, who told the stories on the record, belonged to her real father—the one his new wife had locked up some place far far away.
And she began to think that her father was rather clever for sending a message to her from his real self.
And she decided that probably, one day, she would be able to rescue him, because now that her real mother had disappeared, he was all that she had left.”


    So the girl waited and waited for the elves to visit her. She looked for the elves everywhere. Until a name came up: Elva. Elva became her hope. But who is Elva?

    The entire book took me into a wonderful journey of finding hope... Discovering one's strength and most of all believe in magic all over again. 

                  My Rating: 


A Short Story: The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes(Once Upon a Time Today, 0.5) The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes:
Links: * Goodreads *  Amazon*
Excerpt:
There was a young girl, an orphan, who lived in the forest. She scraped out a meager existence, living on nuts, berries, mushrooms, and whatever vegetation she could find. As lonely as she often was, there was also a happiness in her heart. She loved to come across squirrels running with nuts in their paws, or chipmunks playing hide and seek in the dirt and the brush. She also loved to rest in the cradle of low-lying branches and watch for blue jays. The most magical days, were the ones where she might catch a glimpse of the robin’s red breast, because red was her favorite color in the world.
The girl drank from rivers and streams, and sometimes, if she hid in the long grass and didn’t move at all, she might see a doe bring its fawn to drink. On rare occasions, the antlered buck might join them, regal and proud.
At night, the girl searched for grassy meadows, so she might sleep beneath the stars, and when the days got shorter and colder, she’d search for large rocks that she could burrow against.
Everyday she wore the same tattered dress, but sometimes she came across a swatch of dirty, but colorful cloth, dropped by a sparrow or a mouse. The girl collected these strips. When her pockets were stuffed with them, she went about dying them with raspberry juice so they would be red, like the breast of her favorite bird.

She began to collect string, and one day, she came across a needle in an abandoned nest. Within a few days, the girl had created a pair of red shoes, of sorts. They were funny little slippers, but they kept her toes from freezing, and softened the pinch of pebbles she walked on. The girl came to cherish them more than anything, because she’d made them.

                My Thoughts:

“So if I’m going to binge, is it going to be the Dunkin’ Donuts, Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chunk Cookie, Half-Pound Bag of M&Ms Triple Header? Or, will it be the Stouffer’s Frozen Macaroni and Cheese, chased down by Häagan-Daaz Coffee Ice Cream, and a large bag of Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups Threesome?”

With all that goodies?   Sweet stuff!  If I drool..then it's entirely Ms. Heidi Garrett's fault! Lol. Being sweet tooth myself, very well, you just had my undivided attention!  

    This was the second short story from Ms. Garrett's Once Upon Today Collection, and once again I experienced the same kind of magic I had from her previous book. ( The Girl who watched for Elves ). 

    So, why binge? And why does this young lady feels disconnected with herself ?

“I’ll devour it unconsciously, I know this, but the effect of blotting out this wretched hunger, for things I don’t know that I want, or things that I think I can’t have, or things that I don’t know how to get, will help me make it through one more night, of not understanding, why my life feels… chained.”

Will she  ever find the answer she been looking for? Until she heard this voice of a "cantadora", the keeper of old stories  that took her into this magical threshold. 

“It transported her to an ancient wood, the threshold between the world of souls, and the world of dreams, where she came upon a wraith dancing in the woods. Mesmerized by the spirit’s frenzied spins and twirls, the young woman settled in the roots of a gnarled tree to watch and listen. For this was her spirit, and she’d come to retrieve it.”


“She began to collect string, and one day, she came across a needle in an abandoned nest. Within a few days, the girl had created a pair of red shoes, of sorts. They were funny little slippers, but they kept her toes from freezing, and softened the pinch of pebbles she walked on. The girl came to cherish them more than anything, because she’d made them.”


See? The fairytale like feel is always there. I just love it. It was definitely magical. As the rest unfolds the more I see how this red shoes became almost her obsession and how she felt lost and incomplete without it.  

“The problem was not the girl’s longing for red shoes. The problem was the living of a life that was not hers, a life that was disconnected from her spirit.”

“Searching for red shoes has distracted me from my compulsive nemesis—binging. Is the cure as simple as acknowledging that I really want something, and then refusing to give up or settle until I find it?”

I love how this book was written  that I can't help but to quote some excerpts  from it. ( mostly my personal favorites! ) 

                 My Rating:



A Short Story: The Girl Who Couldn't Sing (Once Upon a Time Today 0.75) The Girl Who Couldn't Sing
Links: * Goodreads *  Amazon *
Excerpt:
“You can’t sing.”
It just couldn’t be true. Heather Baker slid her Takamine guitar into its fur-lined case.
Artistic success was ninety-nine-percent perspiration. That meant, raw talent accounted for a measly one-percent. If you worked hard enough, you could achieve anything.
That’s what Heather believed, and that’s what she would continue to believe.
The woman was just plain wrong—plain and wrong. She didn’t have the courage to attempt something amazing, or face anything that terrified her.
She’d probably never even colored outside the lines.
Heather left the studio and headed for her red Isuzu pickup. Every interior entrance and exit in her mind was on lockdown. The echoing statement beat against her inner windows and doors, like a frenzied bird. She refused to count the number of voice teachers who’d made similar declarations. It was too painful.
Dreams of being on stage and strumming her guitar, with a hot flamenco rhythm, while she sang like an angel, were what kept her going.
What would she do without them?

She slammed the truck door and gunned the engine.

     My Thoughts: 

“You can’t sing.”
It just couldn’t be true. Heather Baker slid her Takamine guitar into its fur-lined case.
Artistic success was ninety-nine-percent perspiration. That meant, raw talent accounted for a measly one-percent. If you worked hard enough, you could achieve anything.
That’s what Heather believed, and that’s what she would continue to believe.”

    I loved Heather Baker. Her persistence, tenacity and even guts to sing her heart out, that is something I would want myself to have.  Like Heather, I couldn't sing! I mean, I can sing.. but not that sing-sing? Once I tried singing, my friends ( my only audience coz they have no choice?! haha!) have no clue which song I am singing?! Yes! That bad! I am out of tune! hehe.

   But Heather pursued her dream ..to sing! She even enrolled to get a degree in music! I love the determination! Nothing and no one can bring her down, she is such an inspiration.

    I love how Ms. Heidi link the astrological influences , like how Saturn or Neptune is somewhat affecting the series of things happening in our lives....but at the end it's always up to us and our choices.

    I love how this story warmed my heart. It made me believe that if we can't be good at something, then we can also be better at another  thing. The most important thing was to be open to all the possibilities. Because as we pursue and do the things we loved most..beautiful surprises will come along. This happened to Heather. .. and I believe it will happen to both you and me.  So, never give up. Keep pushing. Believe.

                   My Rating:



Beautiful Beautiful (Once Upon a Time Today, #1) Beautiful Beautiful
Links : * Goodreads * Amazon *
Excerpt:

“Open the damn box,” Norah said.
Kerrin handed her Frank’s note. Her hands shook as she opened the expensive case. When she saw what was inside—an exquisite diamond choker—she couldn’t help but exclaim.
Joanie squealed and slapped her butt. The girl had a one-track mind.
“It’s going to look perfect with your gown,” Norah said.
The backdrop of the final, breath-stopping scene, in A Scorched Heart, had been a setting sun. A nod to those closing frames, the colors in her sunset-inspired gown, progressed from its blue-gray bandeau bodice, through lavender, gold, and orange, to end in a fierce train of red. Kerrin appreciated the aesthetics as much as the fairy tale princess motif.
Her gaze roamed over the chaos of boxes. Bittersweet memory tugged her heart. In one of them was a junkyard crown—one she’d used to play dress up, when she was a child.
“Honey, that bling would make a dirty sheet look good,” Joanie brought her back to the present.
Kerrin couldn’t laugh at the lame joke. She was too touched by a sense of enchantment.
“It was made to go with my grandmother’s shoes.”
*~*~*
Mibi clapped her hands. “Magic shoes!”
“Made of diamonds,” Kerrin exaggerated.
“Were they expensive?”
“They were a gift from her fairy godmother.”
Mibi folded her arms across her chest. “I wish I had a fairy godmother.”
“I’m sorry, honey, only orphans get fairy godmothers.”
“Was the girl an orphan?”
“Yes.”
“That’s sad,” Mibi said.
“It is.”
“So she got magic shoes instead of a family?”
“Something like that.”

“What happened next?”

My Thoughts:

     I  loved everything about this book.  I wish I could put into words the wonderful experience I've gone through with each page I flipped. It was definitely magical.  Like, I was inside the two layers of stories : First,  inside Kerrin's life story  and  secondly , inside her faerytale . These two stories were both   weaved into one truth that we all probably search throughout our lives. And at the end of it all, leaves us with this question: What's your beautiful, Beautiful?

                    My Rating:



***I  already reviewed this on my Pink blog but with a different tour host, for my full review , please click this  LINK ***


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***Pictures found on my Blog are mostly from Google ***

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting for this book party Billie!! I love you post- the pictures with your thoughts are so cool! Your blog is cute, too :)

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    1. You're welcome, Rose! It was fun experience . I had a blast! :D

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  2. Billie, Thank you for creating such a beautiful interpretation of these stories! The pictures you picked out are so amazing! Perfect for each story! I don't even know what to say! Thank you! Heidi

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    1. You're welcome Heidi! It's always been an honor to be on your Book Tour! :D

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