Recent Posts

Lunar New Year 2019!

Lunar New Year 2019!

Today’s post is a fun one since it features my tribute piece for this years Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year!

My Favorites from January 2019!

My Favorites from January 2019!

Hello everyone and happy February!  It is time to reflect on the previous month by looking at some of my favorites from January, as well as wrapping-up my thoughts on the month! Lets get started!   Enamel Pins!  In January, I found my next obsession…enamel […]

Ciarra Review’s – The Burning Maze

Ciarra Review’s – The Burning Maze

 

Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog!

As I mentioned in my goals for 2019 post, I want to finish at least 1 novel every month. I am already on the right track with this goal by finishing my first book of the year!

 

The Trials of Apollo, The Burning Maze
By Rick Riordan

The Burning Maze Review, read more at gossamerydreams.com.

I’ve talked about this in previous blog posts, but I enjoy reading books across all the various age groups, and Rick Riordan has been a long time favorite of mine for the middle/young adult range.

I started reading his books when I was 9-11 years old, if not younger. His whole universe is well constructed and fun (also dangerous but that is to be expected). With that in mind, I think the Trials of Apollo is a very interesting addition to this whole world of gods and demigods.

While in a lot of ways, I would say a person could probably start reading any one of his series in this universe and relatively understand what’s happening, without reading the previous books (in fact, the first books I ever read in this world was the second Percy Jackson book, and I had no problem following and it made me want to read the rest), but I don’t think you can really do that with this Apollo series.

The whole plot of this story is so dependent on the events of Heroes of Olympus (which of course is easier to understand after reading the Percy Jackson series too), and that you have read that series beforehand. Could you still read this series without reading the other books? Of course, but again, I think compared to all the others, too much context and reasons to who-whose and why are they important, would be completely lost on the unseasoned reader to this world.

With that said, let me get into some of my thoughts on this third book in the series.

*Warning—Minor spoilers*

The Burning Maze Review, read more at gossamerydreams.com.

The Burning Maze in my opinion definitely falls into what I’ve noticed to be Riordan’s formula for structuring his series–that is to say that I find the third to fourth book is often…transitional? What I mean by this is that it often feels like not much is happening in the third book of the series. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of action in the Burning Maze and some gut wrenching scenes. I won’t lie…this books had one of the most tragic deaths of a character in this universe, Personally though, I was not that invested in said character, so while their actual death was not too impactful to me, the reaction of other characters to that death was more meaningful for me.

It didn’t help that I was going through my year-long reading slump when I started this book, but I feel that this book is the build up to something crazier to follow. Again, the third book always feels like that transition to me, which kind leaves me a little on edge and anxious, but in a good way. Usually, something that doesn’t feel like a major detail in the third books comes back to play a major role.

I think two of my favorite things from Burning Maze were…
  1. All the succulent/cacti dryads! They are such cool characters, plus I just love those strange little plants.
  2. The continuing character development of Apollo/Lester! This book I think marked a big step in Apollo’s growth from this egocentric god to someone with some real empathy. I won’t spoil it here…but he does something that I honestly wouldn’t have ever expected this character to do.

The Burning Maze Review, read more at gossamerydreams.com.

 

Overall, I rated this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads, because it was a very solid book in the series, and I did enjoy it. Maybe a little slow for the first half, but the second half of the book definitely lays some major whammies on you.

The next book in this series comes out September 24, 2019 and is titled The Tyrant’s Tomb! I’m very much looking forward to reading it.

So yeah, these are just some of the quick things I had to say about this book. If you enjoyed this little review, please make sure to leave a comment letting me know!

What are some of your favorite Gods & demigod books?

What would you want me to read next?

Until next time!

Ciarra Review's - Burning Maze, read more at gossamerydreams.com

 

 

 

Welcome 2019! Setting Goals for the New Year!

Welcome 2019! Setting Goals for the New Year!

Hello everyone and welcome 2019! In today’s blog post I want to go over some of my goals for this New Year! New Year’s resolutions or goals can be daunting, but I think it’s important to pick positive goals anyway, because it sets the energy […]

RedBubble Update!

RedBubble Update!

Hello everyone, and I hope you are having a happy holiday! I just recently published these four festive mermaids up on my RedBubble shop! It is a goal of mine for 2019 to regularly be adding new works to my shop, as well as some […]

My Month of Hues!

My Month of Hues!

My Month of Hues!

The 2018 Huevember Challenge!

Hello everyone! It’s been a minute since my last art update, so I decided to share with you all a challenge that I completed in November, amidst the busyness of my semester.

Huevember! 

My Huevember challenge! by Ciarra Stebbins (@Ciarra_13). Find more at gossamerydreams.com

My Huevember challenge! by Ciarra Stebbins (@Ciarra_13). Find more at gossamerydreams.com

My Huevember challenge! by Ciarra Stebbins (@Ciarra_13). Find more at gossamerydreams.com

My Huevember challenge! by Ciarra Stebbins (@Ciarra_13). Find more at gossamerydreams.com

If you would like to see each individual piece, please go to my Instagram @Ciarra_13.  

This challenge requires you to create a piece of art everyday, but only using the hue that is specific for that day. For me to properly do this, I ended up using both watercolor and copic markers to achieve the right hue.

I had no specific theme in mind for the drawings, beside the hue and wanting to keep it fairly simple. I also kept my watercolor pieces in a ATC/ACEO format, since smaller works of art are usually faster to complete. My copic drawings were all done in a copic sketchbook I got a few months back, and this challenged really helped me to become more comfortable working on the extremely smooth marker paper. Overall I really loved completing this challenge, and I’m definitely thinking about doing something similar challenges soon!

Have you ever tried the huevember challenge? Which hue is your favorite? 🙂

My Month of Hues! The 2018 Huevember Challenge!

The Chakra Series-The Crown Chakra

The Chakra Series-The Crown Chakra

We are now at the final post of our Chakra Series, which is our Seventh chakra, or Crown Chakra. The Sanskrit name for the crown chakra is “Sahasrara” which means “thousandfold.” This chakra is located at the top of the head, and when working with […]

The Chakra Series- The Third Eye Chakra

The Chakra Series- The Third Eye Chakra

  We are almost to the end of our Chakra Series! Today’s post is all about The Third Eye. The Third eye Chakra, also called Ajna in Sanskrit, means “to perceive” or “To Know.” This chakra is located above and between the eyebrows. This is […]

The Chakra Series- The Throat Chakra

The Chakra Series- The Throat Chakra

 

The Chakra Series- The Throat Chakra

Today we continue with our Chakra Series with our 5thChakra, which is located at the throat. In Sanskrit this chakra is referred to as the “Vishuddha” which means “Purification.” When working with this chakra we are looking to purify our intention in regard to speech and communication. We learn to choose words that bring value and meaning, not just empty chit chat. To reach a pure form of truthful communication, we must first work our way through the previous four chakras, so our throat chakra can fully open, and we are free to speak to productively express ourselves. This chakra is all about personal expression combined with responsibility.

The Throat Chakra Basics….

Location- Base of neck/throat

Name and Meaning- Vishuddha/Purification

Associated Color- Blue

Main Issue- Communication/ Self expression

Glandular connection- Thyroid/ Parathyroid

Associated body parts- Mouth, Throat, ears

Element and ruling planet- Ether/Mercury

Astrological associations-Gemini, Virgo

Associated Sense- Sound/ Hearing

Fragrances/Incense/Oils-Chamomile/Myrrh

Crystals-Lapis Lazuli/Turquoise/Aquamarine

Animals and Archtypes- elephant, Bull, /communicator, Masked Self

Physical Dysfunctions- Sore throats, neckache, thyroid problems, tinnitus, asthma

Emotional Dysfunctions- perfectionism, inability to express emotions, blocked creativity

Sacramental associations- Confession

Foods- Fruit

Developmental age & Life Lesson- 28-35 yrs/ Personal expression

The Chakra Series- The Throat Chakra
Necklaces made of these gemstones/crystals are ideal for those looking to tune into their throat chakra, much like the necklace shown HERE.

How does your Throat Chakra Spin?

What is the current status of your throat chakra? Is it too open? Too closed? Or is it spinning in harmony? Here are the symptoms of each….

Too Open- If your chakra spins too fast you may be over-talkative, dogmatic, self-righteous, or arrogant

Blocked or closed- If your chakra spins sluggishly or not at all you may find yourself holding back from self expression, unreliable, or holding inconsistent views.

A Balanced Chakra- which spins at the correct speed will make one a good communicator, contented, easy to meditate, and artistically inspired.

A word about Archetypes….

The two archetypes associated with the throat chakra are the communicator and the masked self. When our throat chakra is out of balance one “masks” their true self. They are incapable of openly and honestly expressing themselves. In contrast the balanced individual will be excellent communicators. They “walk their talk” and they know how to express themselves with amazing clarity and purpose.

The Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra

Throat Chakra Meditations….

As mentioned in our other chakra posts, I use an app called “Insight Timer.” If you are interested in some throat chakra meditations, here are a few that are available on the app….

I hope you are enjoying our chakra series. Our next post will be on the Third Eye Chakra.

The Chakra Series-The Throat Chakra

Until next time,

www.gossamerydreams.com

 

My Favorites for August & Wrap-up!

My Favorites for August & Wrap-up!

Can you believe we are already in the month of September? Time has gone by so fast! But that means it’s time to do my favorites for August and wrap-up!   Favorite reads of the month Didn’t finish any major novels this month but as […]