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Mailbox 9 3/4, Our FIRST Little Free Library!

I am so excited to finally announce that I'd So Rather Be Reading has opened our first Little Free Library in the tiny Texas town of Vidor. This is the first of three that I have planned and each one will have its own theme and the books will be age specific.

Mailbox 9 3/4 can be found HERE on the Global map (you can find it quickest by searching by our zip code, 77662). This library is obviously Harry Potter themed and is filled with Middle Grade & Children's books!

If you are not familiar with Little Free Libraries, visit HERE. The theme of this wonderful organization is Take a Book, Share a Book. To date there are over 75,000 Little Free Libraries across the globe and now we have one of our very own!

I saw my first #LFL while visiting my SIL in Daybreak, UT a couple years ago (#32633).
I literally squealed and made my entire family trudge through snow and investigate! I was instantly hooked and knew I wanted (needed) these in our hometown. I think I visited that box at least a dozen times. I had drank the literary KoolAid!

I've received a lot of books from publishers and authors over the years and I give a lot of them away but I had always wanted a better way to share a good book. This was it!

When we returned home, I quickly began my Honey Do list-- all my great ideas require extensive Honey Do's. Don't worry, I tell him he's hot stuff and bring him water while he works and makes my little dreams come true.

I had planned to have these up and running quickly. I went around town and scoped out the right spots, got permission and even ordered the official registration plates. And then Hurricane Harvey hit. Our tiny town received over 50 inches, to say it was a tragedy still doesn't do it justice. Our own Macy Kate lost her home and most over her books! So, I shelved the plans until we were rebuilt and ready.  Fast forward two years and...


And to start off, I have filled Mailbox 9 3/4 with one of my favorite short stories that I read each Christmas, The Gift of the Magi.


Obviously, many of you are not physically close and cannot visit our super awesome library, but you can find one near you and support it! Fill it up, visit it, #hashtag it and post important-- make getting a new book seem like the coolest event ever! There are always people watching you, let them see you excited about reading.
Visit the Map HERE

If there isn't a #LFL near you, consider starting your own. If you need help planning I will help! Send me an email and I will guide you through the process.

A special thank you to: 
  • The Dulaney family for their support! You gave Mailbox 9 3/4 a home and a good start.
  • The Beaumont Enterprise for donating a newspaper stand.
  • All the publishers that send us great stories to share.
  • Ms. Leger for donating LOADS of books.
  • To Tailor Made Stamps for making such an awesome book stamp!
  • To The Bluebonnet Nook for designing our stamp image
  • To JK Rowling for creating one of the greatest escape, the ultimate world of Wizards!

    • FLY GUY to make his debut when we open our Childrens #LFL
    • YOUNG ADULT #LFL... we need a location and theme! SHARE YOUR IDEAS!

      image sources: and (fly guy)

      This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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      Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway & Blog Hop

      Written with a blend of humor and practical wisdom, The Same Sweet Girl’s Guide to Life by Cassandra King offers inspiration and solid advice to new graduates that can sustain them through life’s inevitable ups and downs.  In this small book you will find advice that will only grow in meaning throughout the years. It can - and should - be read again and again, by thoughtful people of all ages.
      Review HERE 
      Enter below for a chance to win your very own copy!
      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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      The Werewolf of Bedburg

      It sounds like the title of a bad eighties horror film about a sleepy little town, perhaps in Idaho. However, the Bedburg werewolf, Peter Stumpf, was tried and found guilty of werewolfism…uh, of werewolfercizing…uh, being a werewolf in 1589.

      The trial took in Bedburg, Germany in the 16th century, long before CSI teams, and forensic evidence had been discovered, but there was evidence of Peter’s guilt. It was claimed that the left paw of the wolf had been cut off. Peter was found to be missing the same hand. Conclusion, Peter was a werewolf.

      Peter admitted, while being tortured, that he was, in fact, a werewolf. He claimed that the devil had given him a belt that could turn him into a massive, furry beast with huge teeth and claws. Of course, they were breaking his bones on the rack (a medieval torture device) so he probably would’ve admitted to being a demonic rubber ducky if they had asked him to.

      I have used the story of Peter Stumpf several times when looking for inspiration. He will be in the next installment of the Ishmael series. But he is also a part of the lore for another story that I wrote, and you can read that here.

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      I wrote a book about an evil witch. She spent thousands of years collecting souls for her magical book. One day a young man named Jack was able to trap her inside the book. The book was stored safely inside a museum for over a hundred years. Then the museum was shut down and the book of souls was recycled. Now, Jack’s soul is trapped inside a baseball cap, and he’s trying to help Ishmael, who of course knew nothing about a witch, or a book of souls, or anything.

      I’m not sure how to promote books. I don’t know anything about that. I do know a lot about history. So, I thought I would write about interesting people from history. People who potentially could’ve had their souls stolen by an evil witch. Those souls being collected into a book of souls.


      August 15th, 1769 to May 5th, 1821

      He was a brilliant military leader and the subject of the first adventure for Ishmael and his magical hat. I chose Napoleon because I thought he was someone that most people would recognize. He is a very famous person in history. However, like so many other famous people from history, we kind of take for granted that we know the whole story.

      Saying to someone one, “Hey, you heard about that guy, Napoleon?” A person might get a response like, “Yeah, the short guy,” or something like, “Oh right, that French guy.” Both of those responses are right. Napoleon Bonaparte was French, and he could not dunk a basketball…except on one of those plastic kiddy nets.

      There is so much more to Napoleon than his French-ness, and his shortness. He was the Emperor of France, a position that he created, from May 18th, 1804 to April 6th, 1814. He was the last truly successful French monarch (The kind that rules countries, not the butterfly). The King that ruled France before Napoleon didn’t do so well either.

      Napoleon was known for his amazing military mind. He really knew how to put together a battle plan. He was also the type of General that led his troops into battle. He walked in front of his men and they followed his brave example. Other than his terrible decision to invade Russia without bringing his winter coat, Napoleon led a very successful military career.

      That was why he was so confident he would be victorious on the 18th of June 1815 during the Battle of Waterloo. Famously, Napoleon refused to leave his tent and just assumed that he would be able to defeat the Coalition forces. The British and Prussian (Germany wasn’t a country yet) armies defeated the French. Napoleon suddenly found himself in a country that was no longer willing to support his warring ways.


      This battle was how the Duke of Wellington dealt with Napoleon, to find out how Ishmael handles him, check out Ishmael and the Enchanted Baseball Cap here

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      Helping Your Child Understand the Meaning of Christmas

      It happens every year. Even before the last slice of turkey is eaten, or the final pumpkin pie tin is tossed children everywhere eagerly anticipate Christmas. “What will I get this year?” “What is Santa going to bring me?” and “How many gifts will I find under the tree?” are all common questions. From a day spent giving thanks for the things they have, they slip into an attitude of greed for the things they do not have. As parents, it is our job to help our children understand that Christmas time is not about getting, it is about giving.

      To help them gain a better perspective, it may be necessary to show them how truly blessed they are. Kids will only know what they see. Being so young, they have a limited view on life. They only see their little world. That world may have the influence of abundance, either because their parents have excess, or their parents live sacrificially so the kids can have an abundance. When our kids are blessed in this way, they need to understand that others do not have the same opportunities.

      A few ways to teach your kids about this life lesson are as follows:

      Donate to a Charity

      This can be done through monetary giving or a donation of time. If monetary, it should accompany a visit to the place you are donating to. Even if it is a website, allow your child to view what the organization stands for and whom the funds go to help. If it is time, then find an organization that works in your local community. A soup kitchen, clothing donation station, or a meal on wheels type charity is ideal. Somewhere your child can meet those they are giving to.

      When children get to meet those less fortunate, they can learn to appreciate the things they do have. And in turn, want to give to those who do not have. As they see us treat others equally and not look down on them it provides them with a good example for them to follow. Children will imitate what they see. What will they see in you? Will they see you with a giving Christmas spirit, or giving into society’s portrayal of getting all that you can?

      Go to Church

      If you do not regularly attend church, this is one area that I highly recommend for you and your family. Your children get inundated with influences all week at school. And with all the silly laws and rules in place, any religious teaching is strictly forbidden. There is too much all-acceptance in today’s society. Anything goes. Morals are set aside to usher in tolerance and acceptance of attitudes and beliefs that go against a firm moral standard. The church is a place to affirm a moral standard. A child will be taught that there is a standard to live by.

      In society, Christmas is driven by the dollar. Television and radio tell you that your love for someone will determine how much you spend on them. Christmas has lost its true meaning. Even the word Christmas is not accepted anymore. It has gotten so bad that you cannot even say Christmas without someone getting offended. One misplaced sign can get a company sued very quickly. Terms like Happy Holidays and Merry Xmas are what is accepted. It is not surprising that a child without a church-going base may have never heard the true story of Christmas. For them, it can be a season of gifts, or of families getting together, never about the birth of Jesus.

      Talk to Your Child

      Remember, you are your child’s first teacher. Most of the things that they will learn in life, will be through observation. They see they do. So, what do they see you do? Are you giving into the retail hype and treating Christmas as “gimme that”? Or do they see you giving sacrificially to those less fortunate? Kids need to understand that life is not about the things that we can get. It is not about achievements and accolades. What status you attain means nothing if what was done does not benefit others; if it is not done with a spirit of compassion.

      If a child has been taught that Christmas is about getting gifts, decorations, and Santa Claus, then it’s time to sit down and have a heart to heart. Use the methods above to show them all the things we do have is a blessing, not an entitlement. Teach them that a good heart gives. Admonish them over selfishness and putting others down. Most of all, teach them the real reason for Christmas. Teach them about Jesus, the manager, Mary and Joseph, the star. Show them that Jesus’ birth had a plan. God’s plan and his love for us.

      Final Thoughts

      If you do not teach your children, someone else will. If you want your child to know the truth, then you must assume the responsibility and be the one to guide them.

      It is okay to want things; it is okay to receive Christmas gifts. It’s when the getting outweighs the giving that our children can get confused. Use the resources that are in front of you to help them understand. Volunteering is one of the great eye-openers to the less fortunate. TV and movies are either over dramatic or don’t portray the reality of being in need. Reading about it only gives the knowledge that it exists. Seeing it, putting a face on it, is the only real way to grasp what is out there.

      When a child can see the true need for themselves and have an explanation given to them about what they are seeing, they can gain a better perspective on what their life is like; how blessed they truly are. Then they can grow up with an appreciation for what they do have, and not complain about the things that they do not. It will also instill a desire to give to those in need; even at a sacrifice to them. Just as the Lord has done for each of us.


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      Book Review: Laugh Out Loud Christmas Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott

      The first-ever Christmas collection from the #1 bestselling author of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids is finally here with hundreds of holiday- and winter-themed jokes to make the season bright.

      The holiday season just got a whole lot merrier now that Rob Elliott is back with another instant classic full of fresh, frosty fun to bring the whole family together. These pages are bursting with laughter to warm up the fireside, the sledding slopes, and everywhere in between.

      Why don’t lobsters give Christmas presents?

      Because they’re shellfish! 

      Release Date: September 2016
      Age Group: Children, Family
      Source:  Gifted
      Reviewed By: Nat


      This is a great family funny! I brought this book out at breakfast and read a few of the jokes out loud while my kids were fighting, wailing, gnashing their teeth getting ready for school. It started off with an eye roll and an "it's too early for this" but by the time we were ready to go, I'd gotten a few smirks and a "this are so corny but funny when you get all excited reading them". I'll take it thank you very much!

      My first grader thought a few were so great that he tried memorizing a couple to re-tell to his friends at school. He really got a kick out of the knock, knock jokes too. 😂  
      🎅🏽 What's Santa's favorite candy?
          Jolly Ranchers, of course!

      And a little trivia too.
      What do you have in December that's not in any other month?
          The letter "D" 🤓

      🎁🎁🎁 This little gem is a great gift for: any family, a children's book exchange, teacher gift or even a stocking stuffer. I found it on Amazon for less than $5 (and it's prime)! 🎁🎁🎁

      This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading