Friday, December 9, 2011

Arthurian Legends 2012 Challenge - My list

So of course I am signing up for my own challenge! I love books that deal with knights, kings, princesses, battles and some magic and above all I love the Legends of King Arthur!

1. This challenge runs from January 1st, 2012 through December 31st, 2012. You can join at any time but the books must have been read in this time frame.
2. Any books read for this challenge can be applied towards other challenges
3. You can read any books, new or re-reads, as long as they have to do with some form of the Legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
4. If you have a blog, please create a sign up post and bring the link here so I can come and cheer you on. 
5. I will have monthly updates and encourage you to join me, but it is not required.
6. Pick a level from the below listed, you can always go up a level if you are reading extra books.
7. Have Fun!!

The Levels:
1-5 Books ~ Guinevere
6-10 Books ~ Round Table
11 -15 Books ~ Camelot
16-20 Books ~ Merlin
20-30 Books ~ King Arthur
30+ Books ~ Excalibur

So I have boat loads of these books both on my shelves and in my TBR pile, so I need to pick the ones I want to read.

I think I am going to go with the Camelot level and possibly obtain Merlin!

My Reading List (in no particular order):
1. Under Camelot's Banner by Sarah Zettel
2. In Camelot's Shadow by Sarah Zettel
3. For Camelot's Honor by Sarah Zettel
4. Camelot's Blood by Sarah Zettel
5. Knights of the Round Table: Lancelot by Gwen Rowley
6. Knights of the Round Table: Gawain by Gwen Rowley
7. Knights of the Round Table: Geraint by Gwen Rowley
8. Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey
9. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
10. Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
11. The Book of Mordred by Vivian Vande Velde
12. The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick
13. Shadow of the King by Helen Hollick
14. Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick
15. The Mists of Avalon (crosses fingers I get this one for Christmas)

So do you want to come join me?!  Sign up HERE

Arthurian Legends 2012 Challenge - Join the Battle

So how can anyone resist the Legends that surround King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin and the scandal between Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere? These legends have influenced authors and stories for generations and continue to do so.  There are always new takes on the myths and legends surrounding King Arthur.  So how about we spend a little time this next year and read a few of our favorite versions of the legend and maybe try some new ones out?!


1. This challenge runs from January 1st,  2012 through December 31st, 2012.  You can join at any time but the books must have been read in this time frame.

2. Any books read for this challenge can be applied towards other challenges.

3. You can read any books, new or re-reads, as long as they have to do with some form of the Legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

4. If you have a blog, please create a sign up post and bring the link here so I can come and cheer you on.

5. I will have monthly updates and encourage you to join me, but it is not required.

6. Pick a level from the below listed, you can always go up a level if you are reading extra books.

7. Have Fun!!


1-5 Books ~ Guinevere
6-10 Books ~ Round Table
11 -15 Books ~ Camelot
16-20 Books ~ Merlin
20-30 Books ~ King Arthur
30+ Books ~ Excalibur

Having trouble coming up with a list of books to read? Check out this awesome list on Goodreads Arthurian Legends List

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review of A Knight's Enchantment by Lindsay Townsend

Synopsis from Amazon: "Desperate to liberate her father who is being held prisoner by the corrupt Bishop Thomas, Joanna of Glastonbury must use her skills as an alchemist to produce an elixir for eternal life. Gold is a key ingredient, and while panning for its rare gleam, Joanna struggles to rescue a boy who is drowning - until a knight comes to her aid. When Joanna lays eyes on the handsome man, a scorching desire is sparked deep within her. Hugh Manhill is captivated by Joanna's stunning beauty. When he and Joanna discover they share a mutual hatred of the Bishop, they devise a daring plan to save their imprisoned family members. Their common mission strengthens their undeniable bond. Soon, neither can resist their all-consuming passion as they risk all for love."

My Review: This one took me forever to get through. The pacing was rather slow and there were almost too much going on at once. Add together the fact that Joanna is an alchemist, her father is imprisoned, she a mistress to the Bishop, and of Jewish heritage, etc etc. It really is too much. I didn't really connect with the main characters at all and there was really only one scene that really sparked my interest and felt real and that was the bee keeper scene. There just seemed to be too many stops on Joanna & Hugh's road to saving their family members. I think if a lot of the extras were cut out it would have been a better and more exciting book.

My Rating: Unfortunately there is just too much stacked against this one and I have to give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Club Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I just realized I never posted the Book Club review from last month since I was just starting to get sick at that time, so here it is a few days before our next book club meeting :P

Synopsis: "Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances."

My Review: WOW! What a fantastic book! I literally could not put this one down, thank goodness the boss was gone so I could read all day. I loved the intensity of the book and the characters. Tris is like an ultimate heroine, love her determination and toughness. I also loved Four, it was great to see some chinks of that strength he has. This was quite the emotional roller coaster, it gets your heart racing. I loved seeing the fears, it brings a little bit of reality to the characters, making them not so perfect, and I really enjoyed seeing Tris face her fears. I know I should be reading more into the society and how no matter how hard you try the negative human personalities will always arise, but I flat out just enjoyed the book.

My Rating:  How could I give this one anything other than Four Paws and a Stump Wag?!

Rhodie Reader Thoughts: There were only two of us this month but we both loved this book and felt it was one of the top books we have read so far this year.  Might I also add that we agreed that Four is quite possibly the hottest guy MC we have read in a while?! We agreed that this one was better than the Twilight series but hesitated to make comparisons to the Hunger Games until we read the next book, since we were both disappointed with the 2nd & 3rd books of that trilogy.

Wednesday Writing

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 - 32,131 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?

Other Works in Progress:

The New Old Home - 17,193 words
Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but what would you do with that money? That is the question presented to Natalie, when she is at the lowest point in her life, she is presented with an opportunity to make any normal person's dreams come true, but all those winnings can't give her what she wants most.

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:

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.


Well I haven't gotten any more writing done as of yet due to the still crazy holiday season, but the office is starting to slow down and I will have some time between files to start working on Princess Bs again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

After Dark Review of A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Synopsis from Goodreads: "My name is Meredith Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of the Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why."

Meredith Gentry, Princess of the high court of Faerie, is posing as a human in Los Angeles, living as a P.I. specializing in supernatural crime. But now the Queen’s assassin has been dispatched to fetch her back–whether she likes it or not. Suddenly Meredith finds herself a pawn in her dreaded aunt’s plans. The job that awaits her: enjoy the constant company of the most beautiful immortal men in the world. The reward: the crown–and the opportunity to continue to live. The penalty for failure: death."

My Review: Well that was just as good the second time around (I think I saw 3:00am and still had to get up for work)! I have been kind of missing Merry and all the guys, even Frost and all his emotional baggage. So I decided to re-read the entire series. I have to say, even though I know what is going to happen, I still felt the build up and suspense throughout the book! I normally don't appreciate super detailed description because I feel they take away from the book but the descriptions Laurell Hamilton gives us of each of the characters seems to add so much to it (and makes me want to make ponies of each of them). Be forewarned this book is full of blood, guts, sex, and danger. Also lots of eye candy for your imagination and court intrigue. Love this book! Can't wait to start the next one asap (maybe I will have to just call out of work for a few days like I did last time)!

My Rating: It is rare to find a book or a series of books that you can visit and revisit over and over again and still enjoy them.  I can't help but give Kiss of Shadows a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag it really sets the stage for the whole series and drags you into it.

The Classics 2012 Challenge Signup

Yup I am signing up for my second challenge next year and it will be the Classics Reading Challenge hosted by my friend, Jessica, over at Thoughts at One in the Morning.  I think you should all join us as well, with so many fantastic classics out there, even if you think you have read the big ones I can guarantee there are more out there for you!

Some Rules for you (quoted from the signup post from Jessica)
1. This challenge starts January 1st 2012 and ends December 31st 2012.
2. All books read for this challenge can be counted toward all other reading challenges.
3. All books chosen for this challenge must be books you have NEVER read or NEVER finished that were written prior to 1980.
4. Choose a level or number of books you would like to read.
5. Create a sign up post for your blog including the Classics Reading Challenge picture above and the books you would like to read (you can change your mind at any time).
6. Sign up for the challenge with the link to that post in the linky list

The Levels
Level One: 1-3
Level Two: 4-6
Level Three: 7-9
Level Four: 10-12
Level Five: 13-15

So I am only signing up for Level Two for now, with 5 books.  I am taking a low challenge on this one due to the fact that there can't be any re-reads and I hope to read some of my favorites again this year.  That and the fact that some classics seem to take longer to read (ie Jane Austen is slow for me).

So what books to I plan to read you ask?

well . . .

1. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (I attempted to read this one and didn't even make it halfway through)
2. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (loved the movie and have had the book downloaded for a while to read)
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (from the part of my 2011 Challenge I didn't get to)
4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (again from the part of my 2011 Challenge I didn't get to)
5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (again from the part of my 2011 Challenge I didn't get to)

And some of my favorites that I plan to re-read, but are not part of the challenge . . .
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Iliad by Homer

I hope you will all join us in reading some new to you classics!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Reading List & Other News

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!

What I Read Last Week:

Links will take you to my review

Nothing :(

Currently Reading:

Sabriel by Garth Nix - PB - on page 231 of 496
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton - PB - on page 267 of 480
Torment by Lauren Kate - PB - on page 132 of 452
A Knight's Enchantment by Lindsay Townsend - Nook - on page 126 of 282
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin - on my Nook, page 20 of 1439

Next Books to be Read:
Catundra by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
Holes by Lewis Sachar - Middle Reader/ 2011 Challenge
Christmas Jars by Jason Wright - Book Club
Yup still no books completed this week, though I did start reading another one *smacks forehead* I was just kind of missing Merry and her kings.  I am hoping to finish at least 3 this week though since I am nearly done with making Christmas Gifts.
Another reason I didn't get much done this weekend??
Yup thats me and a couple of my guy friends tailgating at the Patriot's game this Sunday! We had awesome seats, 26 rows back from the 40 yard line, right behind the patriots bench! It was a total blast but completely exhausting and took up a day of prep work and a day at the game, so worth it though.
I was also debating starting an additional blog for my art, since I have been dabbling in quite a bit of different forms of art and would like to share ideas, tips and tricks with other people.  Hmmm something to ponder and see if I have the time for it.
And last but not least, I am hoping to have a signup post by the end of the week for the Arthurian Legend 2012 Challenge.  I hope some of you will join me in reading books featuring King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table!