julia and her cats

I can’t wait until Kady and Julia are happy and adopt a kitten and live together in a little cabin where they grow their own vegetables in a garden and watch the sunset together.

13 Witchy Books for a Magical Month

They say you write what you want to read, and I’m no exception. I love some goodold-fashioned (and newly imagined) witchy magic at any time of year but particularly as we enjoy the days leading up to Halloween. No matter your age, here are some fabulous witchy tales to enjoy this month. (I didn’t include the Harry Potter series because it’s a given that these books should lead any list in the witching/wizarding world.)

Picture Books

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler

The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? Copy And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?


Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini and Howard Fine

Gritch the Witch is grouchy, grumpy, and very hungry. The only thing that could make her happy is something extra special for lunch, and that is: Piggie Pie! Gritch zooms off on her broomstick to find eight plump piggies – where else? – on Old MacDonald’s Farm. Cleverly disguised pigs impersonate ducks, chickens, a cow, and Old MacDonald himself, as this uproarious, quick-paced story builds to an ironically surprising conclusion. Wacky, hip, and illustrated with bold, bright paintings, “Piggie Pie” adds a new twist to an old fairy-tale scene.

To purchase:  PAPERBACK       HARDCOVER

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler

Once there was a witch who longed for pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the pumpkin she had grown from a seed became so big she simply couldn’t get it off the vine. Although “she pulled and she tugged and she pulled…that pumpkin just sat.”

Along came a ghost. “I am bigger than you and stronger, too,” said he. “Let me try.”

Well, the witch wanted that whole pumpkin for herself. But she needed help – Halloween was just hours away…

With the rhythm and repetition that children love, Erica Silverman tells a rollicking story about a witch who, through her encounter with a ghost and other spooky creatures, discovers both the value of cooperating and the joy of sharing. S.D. Schindler brings this captivating crew to life in spirited paintings that are as warm as they are funny.

To purchase:   PAPERBACK       HARDCOVER

Middle Grade

The Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett

In print for the first time in thirty years is Anna Elizabeth’s Bennett classic tale of a little witch who dreams of becoming normal girl.  

To purchase:   PAPERBACK       eBOOK    

The Witches by Roald Dahl

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!


The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

Mildred Hubble is starting her first year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches — and making a mess of it! She can’t ride her broomstick without crashing, she’s always getting her spells mixed up, and worst of all, the teacher’s pet, Ethel, has just become her sworn enemy.

To Purchase:   PAPERBACK     HARDCOVER     eBOOK

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.


Young Adult

Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch. Her non-gifted mother has been supportive, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—a warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who exiles her to “Hex Hall”, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fairies, and shape-shifters. By the end of her first day, Sophie has three new enemies, a futile crush on a warlock, a tagalong ghost, and a vampire roommate. Worse, Sophie soon learns that an unknown predator has been attacking students. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries converges, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

To Purchase:   HARDCOVER   eBOOK

Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of  Gatlin  has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When  Lena  moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

To Purchase:   PAPERBACK     eBOOK

Sweep series by Cate Tiernan

Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discovery that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan’s power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong, almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her … secrets that could destroy them both.

To Purchase:   PAPERBACK   eBOOK

Adult Fiction

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

To Purchase:     PAPERBACK     eBOOK

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life.

To Purchase Book One “A Discovery of Witches”:   PAPERBACK      eBOOK

Cousins O’Dwyer Series by Nora Roberts (Dark Witch, Shadow Spell, Blood Magick)

From Book 1: With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

To Purchase Book One “Dark Witch”:         PAPERBACK   eBOOK

To Purchase Book Two “Shadow Spell”:     PAPERBACK    eBOOK

To Purchase Book Three “Blood Magick”:   PAPERBACK    eBOOK

What are your favorite witchy reads?? Please share!

Happy Reading, Valerie

things my best friend julia has said: a sentence meme.

❛     LAUNDRY DAY  !     ❜
[  to  her  cat  ] ❛     clean the toe beans !     ❜
❛     i will haunt your ass if i go first and you let that happen to me.     ❜
❛     do you think all these internet/meme famous people are going to ave their most known quote on their gravestones ?     ❜
❛     man, now i’m gonna be bummed if it’s not.     ❜
❛     to the kitchen ! … which still continues to be stubbornly chocolate free.     ❜
[  about paris hilton’s new perfume  ] ❛     twenty-three perfumes. we live in a golden age.     ❜
❛     saaaaah many organic olives.     ❜
❛     yaass bitch, bring it.     ❜
❛     my cat just sneezed himself awake.     ❜
❛     do you think i could sneeze myself awake ?     ❜
❛     tell your headache i told it to fuck off.     ❜
❛     i wonder what the fashion retail market it going to look five years from now.     ❜
❛     i’m pretty sure that, because i say it to him so often, that my cat introduces himself to other cats as ‘butthead’.     ❜
❛     she truly is both vile and utterly useless.     ❜
❛     text me when you get home.     ❜
❛     i’ll text you when i get home.     ❜
❛     i forgot to text you when i got home.     ❜
❛     are you alive, or have you died and your cats have started eating your face and so now you’re a faceless dead person who has no idea what i’m saying ?     ❜
❛     i love you so much that sometimes i just wanna peel your face off and wear it as a party hat.     ❜
❛     … did you just send me the same video i just sent you ?     ❜
❛     my favourite part is i’d 100% be the guy getting angry about the other guy’s shitty roofing tiles. like, he could be charged with negligent lizardcide.     ❜
❛     i had one cocktail last night, and then i went out tonight, too. i feel like such a cool kid.     ❜
❛     i’m in bed eating peanut butter toast, trying to sober up a little.     ❜
❛     i’ve been coveting his book for a while, i just don’t have the space for umpteen coffee table books.     ❜
❛     my brain is a steel trap for things i reallllllly don’t want to remember.     ❜
❛     an internet quiz told me so, and therefore it is clearly true.     ❜
❛     i love the word ‘gazelle’.     ❜
❛     apparently i don’t get to be a space citizen - kind of a bummer.     ❜
❛     it’s decided : we shall go on this crazy cookie adventure together.     ❜
❛     what does ‘cerveza’ mean again ?     ❜
❛     well yeah, just ‘cause we’re all dying doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of our carbon footprint.     ❜
❛     it was so good i think i might die from the chippy-butteryness.     ❜
❛     pew pew. pew pew pew.     ❜
❛     you should change your name to ‘lizard’. we’ll call you ‘liz’ for short.     ❜
❛     my inner old lady is raging so hard against the notion of going out for drinks tonight after i finish work.     ❜
❛     you know when people are beautiful and so you just kinda look at them like ‘yep ok, i’ll do it, i’ll have your babies, where do i sign up, let’s do this, let’s get this show on the road !’ … and then they talk and it’s like ‘oh. never mind.’ ?     ❜
❛     i hope it’s a possum running about in my roof, or i may be about to be murdered by a barefoot, no good, very long toe-nailed serial killing grifter.     ❜
❛     i just wanted to say ‘hi’ ‘cause i’m awesome.     ❜

BULLYING CELEBRITIES (The Case of Yeng Constantino)

Very recently, Yeng Constantino got attacked on her Instagram page for showing so much care for a pet she dearly loves, Julia the kitten.

Those who follow her would know that she is a cat person.  But, only recently did she really get a cat to personally take care of.  

Yeng treats it like how a Mom would treat her own kid.  (Yes, she even video chats with it.)

Why am I even spending time to do this?  To answer the attacks being thrown at her because:

1)  She is a FRIEND, a true one.  She helped me when I was battling CANCER in more ways than one. 

2)  She may not be perfect but she is a GOOD PERSON with a BEAUTIFUL HEART.  She AGREED to work on a project to help an 8-YEAR OLD BOY fighting a RARE BONE MARROW DISEASE for FREE.  She doesn’t even know the boy.

3)  She is an EXAMPLE of how it is to be a PET OWNER.  While some would only go as far as buying them and have someone else do the rest, she personally makes time for her own.

I’ve known Yeng, since Pinoy Dream Academy.  Her looks and style might have changed a lot, but her head, heart and soul have remained grounded and humble.

I might be older than her, but I am not even a bit embarrassed to say that I look up to her.  I continue to learn from her - from the way she moves on-stage to how she keeps herself passionate and make sure she’s excellent with her craft; the way she helped and took care of her family at a very young age; the way she treats her fans; and the way she’s grown with God.

And to reiterate, no, she is not perfect.  But she finds ways everyday to be a better person.

This blog doesn’t just go out to Yeng, but for all the celebrities out there.  At times, we fans are quick to judge without really knowing the person inside because all we see are the things showbiz reveal about them.  

And let me end with this, before you say anything bad about anyone, showbiz or not, THINK. If that’s not enough, look for the word, “RESPECT” in the dictionary.  Maybe that would help.

*I do not own the photos used in this blog. Photos were taken from the net including photos from wheninmanila.

Be Empowered By This Little Kid Standing Up For a Woman Who's Being Cat Called
"Hey. That is not nice to say to her and she didn't like you yelling at her."

Julia Price was just on her usual jog when some man started yelling at her. Nothing weird here, right? I mean, it sucks majorly and makes women feel unsafe and shitty, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

However, what was different on this day is that there was an awesome little boy standing nearby and he yelled at the creepy street harasser to stop being such a pile of garbage.

More specifically, Price said the little kid said, “Hey. That is not nice to say to her and she didn’t like you yelling at her. You shouldn’t do that because she is a nice girl and I don’t let anyone say mean things to people. She’s a girl like my sister and I will protect her.”