Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shelving Saturday - #15

Welcome to Shelving Saturday

Shelving Saturday is a weekly blog event I have started here at Eastern Sunset Reads. Each week I will post a shelving dilemma or question and you can join me in the response.

Please feel free to post on your blog and link back here, please be sure to post the link to your response in the comments so I can come and check your Shelving day out!

So today we are going to talk about one of the virtual shelving sites, Goodreads.  I know some of you already use the site but I would like to take a look at the shelving features Goodreads offers.  Each account has three shelves to start out with, Read, Currently Reading and To Read. It is very simple to add books to any of these shelves, just search the book you want to add and move your mouse over the 'add to shelf' button and choose which shelf you want to add it too.  The great thing about Goodreads is that you can create your own shelves too.  You can break up your books into genres, authors, subjects any thing you want and you can add the books to multiple shelves. It is a great way to keep track of the books you have read but don't own or even like me trying to keep track of the books you own, and the books you want to read.

Goodreads is a free site to join and you can add as many books as you want.  It also has several other great features, but since this is Shelving Saturday I wont go into the extras.

So do you have a goodreads account? How many books do you have shelved? How many shelves do you have and how do organize those shelves?

I do have a goodreads account that I started about a year ago.  So far I have 817 books on my account, most of those are books I own and books that I want to get my hands on.  I have my books shelved several different ways, I have some shelves dedicated to my favorite authors, Laurell K. Hamilton, Robin D. Owens and Robin Cook.  I also have a shelf with special subject matter, horses, so all books that feature horses strongly are added to that shelf.  I then also have it separated into genres, children's, young adult, middle reader, romance, fantasy, etc.  My favorite genres I also separated into sub genres like paranormal romance and historical romance.  All in all I have 23 different shelves to organize my books.  Its a great thing how you can organize them however you want and put them on multiple shelves (wish I could do that at home)!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bedtime Story: Little Mouse on the Prairie

Synopsis from Goodreads: "Tweezle the mouse never laughs or smiles-she's too busy working to prepare for winter while the other mice frolic and play. But Tweezle and her friends help one another-she shows them the value of hard work while they teach her that laughter can make work more fun!"

My Review: A great story about balancing work and play. I think this one is almost more appropriate for adults than it is for children.  Tweezle and the other meadow mice could teach all of us adults who work work work that sometimes its important to have some fun and smile. I couldn't have read this at a better time after a very busy week in the office.

My Rating: It seems more a lesson for adults to remember but the fun wording and adorable pictures keep Little Mouse on the Prairie a great children's book. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night, Sweet Dreams!

Follow Friday & In My Mailbox

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Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?

That is a tough question because generally if I want a part in a book I just write my own.  But if forced to choose it would probably be one of my historical books or Arthurian books because I find the time periods amazing, I would love to go every where on horse back and definitely wouldn't mind a little hard work.  As far as the role I would be the close friend probably and partner in crime to those strong female characters that push against the gender norms.

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren that I have decided to participate in.

How IMM works:
Make your own IMM post! You can post about books you've bought, gotten from the library, received for review... books don't have to arrive via your mailbox.
I post every week, but you don’t have to. You can do one week out of the month or every other week it’s up to you.
You don't have to call your post In My Mailbox... (some people don't even have mailboxes!)
I post my IMM on Sunday, but choose a day of the week that works for you.
Once you have your IMM posted, come back to The Story Siren on Sunday and add your link to the list.
Try to post a comment on other bloggers IMM posts. I don’t expect you to post a comment on every single one, but pick a few!

All book bloggers are welcome, while I’d like to keep the theme to YA literature it’s NOT a requirement.

There is no right or wrong way to do In My Mailbox, you can vlog, you can take fun picture, you can use the books cover art, it’s up to you!

Most importantly HAVE FUN!

I was a good girl this week and didn't get any books, I even read three from last week!  See I can take books off the TBR Pile instead of always adding to it :P

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting Excited for Fall Adventures

Normally I don't like fall because it means that winter with all its snow, freezing rain and cold is getting very near.  But this year I am anxious to get to fall! I want October to be here now! Why? you may ask.

Well the Boston Book Fest of course!

I got to attend this last year for the first time (thanks to a football pool win over the hubby) and nothing will stop me from attending again this year!  You can see my post about last years HERE.

Last year however I was very unorganized and couldn't get up there early enough, so only made it to two talks. 
One was The Ancients: History & Myth where Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff talks about Cleopatra, Sir Peter Stothard explores a famous slave rebellion in The Spartacus Road, while Caroline Alexander provides a fascinating look at the timeless classic, The Iliad, in The War That Killed Achilles were presenting.   Unfortunately I still have not read any of the books, and am kicking myself for not purchasing them while I was there.

The second was YA Fiction where  Francisco Stork, author of The Last Summer of the Death Warriors shares the stage with Kathryn Lasky, celebrated author of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, now a major motion picture, Harvard sophomore and writing phenom Noni Carter, author of Good Fortune, and Kristin Cashore, bestselling author of American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults Graceling and Fire presented. I was so excited and honored to get my copies of Graceling and Fire autographed by Kristin Cashore.

This year's schedule has not been announced as of yet but they have told us the date . . .

October 15th
So mark your calendars, make arrangements and come join me, listen to the presenters, meet your favorite authors and spend a day surrounded completely by books & the bookish!!

Review of Wyoming Wildfire by Elizabeth Lane

Synopsis from Amazon: "They accused Jessie Hammond's brother of murder. He, of course, was innocent, and as his sister, Jessie felt compelled to prove it. However, first she had to rescue him from the clenches of a duty-bound U.S. deputy.

Frank Hammond's appearance amazed U. S. Deputy Marshal Matthew T. Langtry. The kid didn't have the look of a killer, but Langtry knew looks meant nothing. Hammond was an accused murderer and as an officer of the law, it was Matt's job to take the prisoner in.

Sadly, Jessie's rescue plans go awry and her brother ends up dead. Maybe sometime, in the future, Jessie would put the ugly scene behind her and go on with her life. But right now she had to prove her brother was not a killer, and if the self-righteous U.S. deputy Matt Langtry would not help her, then she would do it alone!"

My Review: Now this was the book I was looking for last week! Historical, wild Wyoming, rugged men, stubborn and tough women, horses, guns, danger and sexual tension you can cut with a butter knife. The book starts out horribly tragic with the death of the MC's brother Frank and from there you can feel Jessie's pain but can't help but be proud of the way she handles everything, even though Matt receives the brunt end of her wrath and pain more often than not. I love reading about how when everything is lost, tough Wyoming women find a way to survive. I really enjoyed that this one took place in the Bighorn Mountains, a favorite camping spot of my family's. I enjoyed the characters, Jessie is such a tough, stubborn woman but eventually sees she may not always be right and might not have to always do things alone. Matt, does his duty almost to a fault but can't help but be drawn to Jessie's strength. Morgan, oh gosh I want more Morgan, a good upstanding rancher with a kind heart and a no nonsense attitude. The story line keeps you involved and your heart racing with the danger.

My Rating: Like I said above, this was exactly the right book at the right time. I really enjoyed it and give it a rating of Four Paws.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Write it Wednesday

So Wednesday is my official writing update day. I have so many story projects going on and I need a push to get some done. So I will be trying to post each Wednesday about how my writing adventures are going (and I may need a swift kick in the pants by you guys sometimes).

Current Active Project:

Princess Bs - 18,834 words

A story about a woman, recently divorced and returned to her home town to figure out what is next. She encounters an old friend and spends a weekend with him and his daughters. Feelings that are long since buried are rising up again, but are her recent loss and his current life going to stand in the way of their happily ever after?

I fell a little behind last week with the busy schedule but I am making a lot of progress in the past couple of days.  I am happy to announce I am only 8,000 words behind schedule and farther than I have ever been in a story I have written!!

Other Works in Progress:

Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 12,072 words

Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

The Last Mountains - 15,352

A equine shapeshifting family is being hunted to near extinction and the young new leader must go against all her lessons and approach the elite council for aide. Will they help her? How will she keep her family's traditions and values alive, let alone her herd?

Night Rider - 17,229

Alice is a recent high school graduate who is a very accomplished competitive rider in Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Western/Rodeo. Her parents had arranged for her to attend a private college on the east coast geared specifically to equine professions. However, Alice wants to focus on her studies in English Literature. When she arrives at the college she hides her riding abilities, but can she keep her talent and love of horses hidden?

Other Ideas Plotting:

The New Old Home
A lottery won and what is decided to do with the money.

Bloodsoar's Story
A pegasus struggles through life, ejected from the herd, near capture by humans.

The Assassin's Assassin
A student learns what the school is really teaching and sets out to destroy those who support the program.

I will leave you with a couple of teaser lines from Princess Bs:
" But instead of shaking her hand he drew her closer until the fence and only a small space laid between them. He slowly raised her had to his lips, his eyes gazing at her face the whole time. “No, thank you for your time and all your help. You really are a princess.” He said softly.  His soft words and tender treatment brought her breath short, her hand shook a little as she withdrew it from his as a movement caught her eye, Amy had taken a step towards them a dark look on her face. Bonnie took a quick step back toward Spartan’s side waving, she called out “maybe I will see you all again some time. Take care.”

She turned quickly and mounted the black horse in a single swift movement. Bonnie turned Spartan abruptly, she reached down and grabbed April’s reins.  She pushed both horses into an immediate gallop as she headed home, careful not to look back at the family behind her in the yard. Tears had filled her eyes. For a moment she had tricked herself into thinking they were her girls and this was her happy life, what a farce."

Review of Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner

Synopsis from Goodreads: "Her older brothers think that the quest for the Golden Fleece is man's work, but not Helen of Sparta. In this sequel to Nobody's Princess, this pretty adventurer disguises herself as a boy and, accompanied by her faithful friend Milo, sets off on the Argo. Keeping her real identity secret on a long sea voyage is no simple matter, but that is only one complication that the future queen of Sparta must confront."

My Review: A great follow up to Nobody's Princess. A fast moving story line, almost too fast at times. Helen continues to grow up and come into her own power and knowledge. The only downfall I had with the story is that the characters change so fast, you start to get attached to a group of characters only for her to leave them behind. You then have to get to know another set of characters very quickly. Even with the short times you spend with each of the characters you really become attached, you feel their triumphs and losses with them. I really enjoyed how neither of the books went into the story we all know about her part in the fall of Troy (except for a tiny bit in the last pages) so the whole story was new and exciting, yet familiar (if that makes any sense at all).

My Rating: Although I really enjoyed this book and read it very quickly I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first.  So I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Poetry Pause: O Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman

I am working in the poetry section of my own 2011 Reading Challenge. I had planned on posting the poems for you to join me in reflecting on them; however, I am not entirely certain on the copyright laws regarding some of the poets we will read. So to be on the safe side I decided to try to link you to the poem I will be reading.

Another option, if you are looking to purchase a book of poetry, I suggest Half Hours with the Best Poets (Barnes & Noble or Amazon)

This is a fantastic collection of poems, nearly all of my top poems are in this one book!

So the next poem is
The title is a link to the poem
I think we all had to read, memorize or paraphrase this poem in High School! Even though it was homework then I enjoyed it and I still enjoy it. There are many many ways to interpret O Captain! My Captain! but I prefer to read it as it is without any symbolism.  It is only a few short lines but it tells a story of a successful voyage, and the homecoming and then tragedy. Quite a range of emotions and picture painted for so few words.  This is definitely one of those classic poems that will remain one of the greats!

Review of Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Synopsis: "She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Not one to count on the gods—or her looks—to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and a sassy attitude. That same attitude makes Helen a few enemies—such as the self-proclaimed "son of Zeus" Theseus—but it also intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi."

My Review: An exciting adventure into the past myths and legends. Esther Friesner's writing draws you into Helen's world and keeps you there. I love Helen's spunky and stubborn personality, its a fun and different take on the traditional tales of Helen's later life. I also enjoyed the sub characters, Polydeuces and Castor, Helen's brothers, remind me of my own brother and cousins. I really enjoyed watching Helen grow and learn how to manipulate the adults to get her way. The adventures she gets to participate in are fantastic and exciting. I am so glad I already have the second book Nobody's Prize and can start Helen's next adventure with her!

My Rating: This adventure kept me intrigued the whole time and has me wanting more. I read it in about 24 hours! I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

I decided to join in this meme for my sanity and your own to keep track of what books have bookmarks in them!

What I Read Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Tears of a Vampire Prince by Christine E. Schulze
Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly

Currently Reading:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - PB - on Page 28 of 331
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke - PB - on page 6 of 348
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin - on my Nook, page 20 of 1439
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - PB - on page 23 of 269
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner - PB- on page 68 of 296

Next Books to be Read:
Little Mouse on the Prairie by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo - Middle Reader/ 2011 Challenge
Sabriel by Garth Nix - YA/ 2011 Challenge
O Captain My Captain by Walt Whitman - Poetry/ 2011 Challenge
Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze - Young Adult


I really didn't read much at all last week huh?! Oh well this week is suppose to be yucky so I will have plenty of time inside for reading. 

Also apparently I didn't do my scheduled posts for Bedtime Story or Shelving Saturday right so I just rescheduled them for this week. Sorry about that!