BookwormCastle Rising from the Dead

My blog, long ago having taken a hiatus, after years traveling the world (and returning home and finding new adventures in between, including teaching, working at a national park, volunteering abroad and ghost-writing) I am now resurrecting BookwormCastle from the dead.


Though the blog is being resurrected, my passion for all things books and writing has never died. I have been and still am as passionate about this as when I first started the blog.

In honor of being faithful to my new, (Welcome to BookwormCastle-it is a beautiful place to explore with many rooms) and returning readers-welcome so glad you are back!)  I would like to announce I am starting a new writing challenge.


This time, instead of going around the world due to my love of travel and learning new things, I am going to take on the A Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge! Come join me as I explore worlds through my words of stories!


This will include me setting my own goal of writing, to be updated weekly. It is tailor made for anyone to join and set their own personal writing goal for 80 days.

My goal: working on a personal writing project everyday

Let’s see what gets created and will be shared on here!

A great way to begin anew, resurrect my blog and spark new ideas of writing in the days to come.

Here’s to the A Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge! I hope you will follow me on this journey and/or even join along with me!

Let’s explore!


The Road to Tomorrow: Will it ever come?

Road to Tomorrow cover FINAL[1]

Will I ever get out of here? Was this the best way to do it? Will I really be able to leave him?

Such were the questions that were racing through main character Andrea’s head in Mary Metcalfe’s stirring new novel, Road to Tomorrow.

How will I get away for good? What about the kids? Will he really let me leave? Will I even survive trying to leave or will he kill me first?

Read on to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

With the tension mounting as Andrea prepares her getaway, the reader becomes the character and breathes in the fear and anxiety that Andrea feels when she is trying to make fleeing from her abusive husband a reality. The reader is thrown headfirst into the action and can feel the heat and smell the smells that the character is experiencing.

Everything seems to come crashing to a halt once something unexpected happens that ruins Andrea’s attempt to escape. Will she still be able to get her freedom and her children? At first, it seems doubtful, but many surprises happen that  leave the reader wondering what will happen next.

When the unexpected turns out to  be a blessing in disguise, Andrea finds herself staying with some new friends while she is on the run and she cannot believe her good luck with this new support system that forms around her. She is staying with them while trying to get on her feet so she can get her kids back and into safety with her.

But some things might be too good to be true, after all. Andrea’s husband comes to town and pays a visit. Will he find her and get his revenge?

Not in this town!

One of the highlights (that provided some comic relief as well) was seeing how the town really stood up around Andrea and protected her as one of their own (the military catch phrase for protecting their soldiers. Andrea also has to deal with the military standing behind her husband to protect him. Will anyone still be able to protect her?) The town becomes a force of its own as they rally around Andrea and do battle for her against her abusive husband who tries to come to get her back.

This novel really stands out as a powerful message for how to show support to those dealing with and suffering from abuse and domestic violence and living under fear. It delves into the sometimes scary truth (that happens in real life!) of those whom you go to for help sometimes sending you right back out into the line of fire. But fear must not stop us from helping those we love. Andrea is able to stand strong and her family and friends also stand with her, though it doesn’t all come easily at first.

Also a testament to the courage it takes to be in the military (and to be in a military family!) and how this comes with a duty to protect and not to hurt others, Road to Tomorrow is a powerful story about what to do when you think your world has ended and how to rebuild it.

Even if the trouble comes back to haunt you again.

But armed with a plan, courage and those around her who love her, Andrea just might make it out okay.

This hits close to home for some and it is crucial to know that there is help out there. It may seem impossible, but you are loved and there is help for you. Read here on how to find out about Making a Safety Plan.


Sometimes we don’t know or may suspect that a friend or loved one is facing abuse, read here on How to help your friend who is in this situation.

Remember, there is always hope and you can always ask for help to get to your tomorrow, no matter how rough the road may seem now.

Have you or a friend experienced abuse? What are some ways that you got help? Please share in the comments below, I want to hear your story!

“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”

~Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Fall of Atlantis



About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the book: Andrea Garrett is trying to escape her abusive marriage. Fearing for her life, she leaves her two small children with her twin brother and flees her home the day before her husband is due to arrive back from a tour of duty. After falling asleep at the wheel and landing in a ditch, her life takes on a new direction when strangers step in and introduce her to a life she could only have imagined and one that could save her soul and give her children the future they deserve. Get Road to Tomorrow through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Mary Metcalfe lives in the foothills of the Laurentians, northeast of Ottawa, Canada with her husband, three cats and a very large dog. Love of writing runs in the family. Their daughter is a published literary non-fiction author. Clarion Review described Mary’s debut novel as a “sparkling debut… readers will love being swept along by Winds of Change.”Road to Tomorrow is her third novel in the Look to the Future series. Connect with Mary on her website, blog, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Road to Tomorrow! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked here on the official Road to Tomorrow tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Road to Tomorrow Badge[1]

Eating Frogs, Making Sh*t Happen & the Motivation to Reach your Concrete Goals

Challenges and Warriors

The Crazy Frog Goal Style Method- Doing Whatever it takes, even if it's crazy or scary

What is the thing that challenges you the most? What do you really care about? What is one thing you want to change?

In honor of the new year, I will post about a couple of inspirational books I have read or people I have heard about.

Many people may be fed up with any mention of New Year’s resolutions or change by  now. This might be because they didn’t follow through after the first day or because they didn’t see a need to make a resolution this year at all. Like a jaded warrior, you may run the other way or pull out your sword and start slashing wildly when you hear any talk of resolutions or goals. Why the fear? (Or violence?)

Here’s a quote that might give a possible answer.  “In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~ Anon.

This quote could describe how some people may feel if they constantly face failure or not following through on their goals. This is how I sometimes feel, but I am ready to dive in and make the changes that I need to in my life. Jenny Blake, motivator and awesome life coach I just found out about, may have some answers as well. She quit Google to pursue her dreams that included writing a book and she speaks about the importance of taking little steps towards your goals and not just having an all or nothing mentality on following your goals in her web conference here about how to Make Sh*t happen.  She is also the author of Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want, a book I just discovered that may be very helpful for anyone graduating, recently graduated, or feeling like they should have done something more after this so-called graduation into real life. It is also helpful for anyone wishing to make changes in their life and turn things around.

Samurai Style Method: Facing your Fears to carry out your goals (and not stabbing blindly at them)

I have also been reading called Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy.  Don’t turn away yet, as this book is powerful and packs a punch that goes straight to the core of what you need to do to change your habits that bring you nowhere. You need to take the right steps and this cuts right to the bone of the issue. There is so much you can take away from this book, but a few helpful tips it suggests are:

  • Do something, whatever it is and however small it is, RIGHT NOW towards your goal. Taking the first step is always very difficult and just starting can really be a great motivation for you to keep going.
  • It also lets you know how important it is to develop the right habits, as they can determine how successful you are. This is important because what you spend your time doing, or what you are used to doing can determine what opportunities you open yourself up for and what you miss out on because your habits or ways of doing things get in the way.
  • The importance of Visualization and seeing yourself successful and as the person you would like to be. This is similar to Jenny Blake’s method of Act As If.
  • The super importance of writing your goals down. This allows you to see your goals in concrete form, or rather, on paper I should say. Or Concrete Paper? Check out Papercrete here- recycling paper into concrete
  • I won’t say anymore about what the book advises you, just that it is awesome advice presented in a way that allows you to apply it to your life right away to make true changes.

Other Inspirational people who really blew me away

Alicia Kozakiewicz  is someone who survived being kidnapped and exploited for human trafficking. She was rescued by a FBI team and now has goals to prevent others from experiencing the trauma that she did. She is currently going to school to reach her dreams of being on a FBI team herself.

“I’d like,” she says, “to ultimately become the person who rescues the child, and then helps to recover that child’s soul.” 

Find out more about her at the Alicia Project

Someone else who has touched my heart ever since I heard about her is Elizabeth Smart. I was glued to the TV and scoured the internet trying to find out more about her and praying that she would return home safely and soon. Elizabeth and Alicia created a video on how everyone can help to rescue children who have been kidnapped and held in horrible conditions against their wills, just like they were. Everyone can be a hero and it starts with taking a single step, a single click of your mouse. Check out their video here, called Not One More Child and determine today how many more children should have to be stuck in slavery.

Issues like this really touch my heart and set it on fire. I will make a difference for these children, many who have nobody out there fighting for them. And EVERYBODY  can make a difference for the causes they believe in. The Wikipedia Blackout has shown us this. Where there is a fire, there is a way, a solution to that fire. You have to spread the fire to get to the solution. What are the causes that you believe in, that you are wildly passionate about? Please share below, I would love to hear!

Choose your own adventure (Remember those books?): This is your Life!

Your life is better than any choose your own adventure book: you are not limited by what is on the pages and can choose anything you want. What is on Page 1 for you today?

Welcome to the first Weekend Writer’s Castle!

This post will be the start of what I will call my Weekend Writing Castle series: basically I will start a topic of discussion and anyone can feel free to join in. It will focus on writing but may also be about other things or life in general. (After all, what do we write about?) I want this to be a conversation, so please feel free to tell me things you would like to discuss! Check out the Writer’s Castle page- (tab at the top) for more information and for my other writerly posts.  I will try to post on Saturday or Sunday every week, so be sure to check back and sign up for updates to stay posted! (Email updates are on the right hand side of the page at the top.)

I am in a new country, teaching English in South Korea as you may or may not know and everyday I remind myself that it is a new day. Every weekend I can explore a new country. Sure, sometimes I want to stay home and cuddle up with a good or rather, a good e-book, lately since I can’t just order books to be shipped to me anymore or go to the local bookstore- (cannot read hangul yet).

But I want to make the most of time here, so I grab that book and get out there! I can always read on the way to wherever I am going! It is pretty exciting to be able to explore, go to new places, meet new people (even though I cannot really speak with them, but I manage, most of the time- and it reminds me I need to really learn the language! More about the language barrier in another post!)

You can do the same- go somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be far away. It can even be down the street from you. Just make it somewhere new- that new shop, the one you always pass by but never go in? Or make it new by talking to someone you have seen there but never really spoke to, more than in passing anyway.

You make the rules. You can take the bus, subway, train, car, time machine or whatever mode of transportation it is that you have and go somewhere new. Get off at a stop you have never been to before. Go to a new place. Make it a new start, a new day, a new phase of your life. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t January 1st. You can start now. Every day really can be made anew for you.

Recently, I decided to go do some exploring (which I definitely will be doing more of while I am here!) and went to a Jewel museum. I got off the bus along with a few other people and met two guys my age who were also going to the museum, so we walked in together and were talking, as much as we could anyway, as they did not know much English and sadly I do not know more than five words in Korean.

But I learned they were from Seoul and were doing some traveling. When we left the museum, we all waited for the next bus together at the bus stop (and kept waiting…and waiting…) and I told them about my plans to go to Seoul hopefully soon and visit the museums there, particularly the Korean War museum for an idea for a novel I have- (more about that to be announced as well!)

We finally got on the bus back to the main part of the city and they made sure I knew how to get back to the right bus for my town (Korean people are very friendly and helpful and will always go out of their way for you-they are great friends to have!)  We made plans to get together in Seoul and go to the museum.

Experiment time!

 I will go somewhere new, talk to someone new, and I won’t plan more than necessary and will write about my adventure in a future post. If I plan too much, sometimes it discourages me from getting out there. Or just gives me a nice excuse to stay in 😉

But you can do the same and make everything new for you! It doesn’t have to be a whole remodeling of your life, but you can change certain things. This can awaken your outlook on life. And for the writers reading this (this is Writer’s Castle, but anyone is welcome!) it will also breathe new life into your writing.

I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I think that everyone can do small things to improve their life and it has to start somewhere. And the best thing is you can always start again every day.

I would like to start a support system, so to speak. For writers. For readers. For dealing with life. Everyone gets discouraged at times, everyone could use a friend or someone to support them and listen to them. If you don’t think you need this, look around. Someone does. Try to be that person for them.

Okay, back to our experiment: First, decide what you want to change. It can be any area of your life: this is your experiement. Why do you want to change this? You need to have a clear purpose, a goal in mind about what you want to do and why. It has to matter to you, so make sure you know your motivation.

Change things around you. You can make choices that affect how your day goes, how your week goes and in turn how your life goes. Smaller choices lead to bigger choices. What you think is trivial or unimportant can in fact have a bigger impact than you expected. Smiling at someone as you walk by can start a new friendship. Yes, we know this, but how many times do we ignore the advice (myself included) because we are too busy, too tired, not in the mood? Deciding to talk to someone can reveal something in common with them and you can both end up being a huge source of help and support to each other (or even a small source of support).  It is the small things, how we live our life everyday that can have the surprisingly biggest impact.

Another way to change things is to go a different route than you normally do. Walk the long way or go down a different block- change your perspective. Wake up earlier and get some more sunlight before you start the day. Take a few minutes to think about what you want your day to be like and then do what you can to make it that way.

Set goals for yourself, go ahead, and make a short list right now. Jot down a few things. Not motivated enough? How about at least one thing?! What do you want? And then focus on accomplishing that. What are some ways for you to do that? Make sure you set a time to do them, so they actually get done and keep the task connected in your mind to your goal, so you remember its importance.

Once you have started this new way of doing things, write about it or  work on some of your writing (or to go with the theme- write something new!) free-write if you like, about whatever comes to mind.

See if it inspires you. When you go back to your current writing project (or new one) – see if it inspires a character, a scene, a place, an idea, a conversation.  Even if you don’t think it has inspired something concretely or anything right away, it’s still good to switch it up. This allows you to be more flexible and this will help in your writing. Everyone can always can use a breath of fresh air and the same goes for your words.

Start your own experiment with me- change it up everyday and write about the experience and how you think it affected your writing.

Set your goals. Join the experiment. Write! Remember, the world is your own adventure book! Start with a new page today.

Report back.  Looking forward to hearing about it! Post in the comments below about what you plan to experiment with and change and how you will do this. Then come back and tell us about your experiment! Please follow or sign up for email updates at the top right, thank you!