Saturday, April 7, 2012

Some Fun Blogs/ Sites Discovered!

So while I have been MIA, I have done something productive!! I discovered a few blogs that I want to share with you.  You may have all seen them already but if not you need to check them out!!

First I came across a site called Bookshelf Porn.  Now don't go judging the name before you check it out.  This site will get all you book lovers hearts racing! I know I can't go a day without taking a sneak peek :P

The next blog I came across while looking through bookshelf porn was Forgotten Bookmarks.  Who doesn't love discovering a long lost message or picture in an old book you picked up at a yard sale?! This blog focuses on sharing their discoveries of various bookmarks and messages found in used books. Browsing this blog makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of books just to see what secrets of the past I can discover.

I have also been desperate to find a site that keeps us Rhode Island readers informed of bookish events in the area.  I finally found it at Reading with Robin.  Very exciting stuff going on, she even has a radio show, if only I could get up early enough on the weekend to listen! Now if only I could get some one to start going to events with me (I tend to be a little shy and would just stand in a corner by myself if no one else came with me).

And for you bookworm foodies like me, The Country Cook is filled with easy and tasty looking recipes!! I am trying the Oreo Cookie Cake for Easter dinner with the family.  It may not all be the healthiest of food but gosh it all looks delicious!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of Golden Opportunity by Donna Marie Rogers

Synopsis: "When a gorgeous little filly shows up at the door waving what she says is the deed to half his ranch, owner James McMillan is incredulous. But sure enough, his brother Reese sold her his half of the Double M during a poker game in Atlantic City. So not only must James find a way to get back those shares, he needs to fight his growing attraction for his luscious new business partner. Angela Roberts has never wanted anything more than the security of a real home. Her dreams come true when half of a Colorado horse ranch falls into her lap. If Reese McMillan is too blind to appreciate what he has, that's his loss, but she hasn't counted on the hostile reception she receives from his brother. James is surly as a bear, and too handsome for her peace of mind. but Angela sets out to prove she has what it takes to help him run the ranch--and ends up losing her heart to both."

My Review: I had high hopes for this one, strong female, cowboy, horses, ranch, Colorado; the makings of something great! While the story had great ideas and lines in it and the characters were fantastic, it was far too rushed. Falling in love within 3 days, doesn't work for me. If Rogers would have taken more time to let the story stretch its legs I would have really really loved this one. I would have loved to spend more time with all the characters.

My Rating: I would love to give this one a high rating, it had so much good going for it but was just rushed way to much.  It earns a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

After Dark Review of The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

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: "A marriage in name only...

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…"

My Review: So I was planning on this just being a little fluff read after some of the more thought involved reading I have finished recently, but boy was I wrong. I became way more invested in this book than I expected. I absolutely adore everything about Alexa, she is the perfect character. Nick while he isn't an ideal guy in my eyes, he has so much more depth then what you would expect in a short romance novel. Even the sub characters are fantastic, I really hope that Probst writes another book that involves Conte, I think I am in love!!! All in all a great read with plenty of laughs as well as emotional dips and peaks, it makes you keep turning the pages.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this one and flew through it so I have to give it a rating of Four Paws!

Review of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Synopsis: "A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles."

My Review: Well I liked this book so much better than the first in the series, it was like Game of Thrones was similar to the first 50 pages of other books that you just have to get through to get to the good stuff. Of course we got to revisit several favorite characters from the last book and then added several more great characters. Arya and Jon Snow are still some of my favorites but I can now add Davos and Gendry and the Reeds to the list. There seemed to be a lot more action throughout this book, not just battles though. The intrigue was a little more involved and easier to get into as well. I have to say I loved watching the play between Tyrion and Cersi. I can't say too much without giving the ending away but I will say that I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book! I have to say I still have a little bit of an issue with the writing style, I don't like the way the chapters are laid out according to characters, but I didn't notice it as much as I did in the last book, maybe it was because the book itself moved along quicker.
My Rating: Well this was better than the first, but I am still not a huge fan of the writing style or layout of the book, it kind of takes me out of the story each time we switch characters.  I still enjoyed the story though, so I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Short Story Review of A Life Worth Living by Jennifer Probst

Synopsis: (I don't usually write the synopsis myself so please bear with me) A short story written from a dog's point of view. From an abusive past to a shelter, filled with trials and fear and hope.

My Review: I picked this one up after reading The Marriage Bargain by the same author. I loved how she had incorporated animal rescue into her story, I then saw she had this short story and had to read it. I dare every one of you to try to read it with out tears coming to your eyes! It absolutely breaks your heart as you follow a puppy through abusive times and into a shelter and then a home. It makes me look at my own rescue and wonder what he suffered before the rescue found him and allowed him into our home. While the story is painful to read at first it is definitely worth it to see life flourish after adjusting to life in a home.

Also on a little side note, I noticed on Barnes and Noble that a portion of the proceeds from this story go to an animal rescue. (Really its only .99cents so its worth it)!

My Rating: This was a great heart warming story, but it was obvious it was a person trying to write from a dogs point of view.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

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.
Angel Story
Angels battle out an age old feud in a parallel world


So still nothing new done, I haven't even gone through that stack of notebooks yet :( I really should have done it on Saturday afternoon while I sat on the couch watching HGTV! At least the internet hasn't been working so well at work so I don't have as much distraction there, should try to use that time for some writing to break up the awful accounting project I have been working on.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

After Dark Review of Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning

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: "An ultimatum can break your heart....

Every night lead singer, Sed Lionheart whips thousands of women into a frenzy with his voice alone. But the stage is the only place Sed feels any passion since he lost Jessica...

If you’re not willing to break all the rules...

It shattered her heart, but law student Jessica broke off her engagement to Sed, determined to be successful on her own terms. But no other man can ever hold a candle to Sed...

Then a chance meeting and tortuously close quarters lead to uncontrollable flares of passion and rediscovery of their unique penchant for public encounters. Now, in addition to the risk of mutual heartbreak every time they get together, they’re in danger of truly scandalous public exposure..."

My Review: Well that was steamy! Sed & Jessica have a passionate and physical connection. I love Sed and even Jessica but definitely Sed. There are a lot of complicated emotions thrown in with this more erotica than romance book. I did enjoy some of the story though, it had a good message about not giving up on something just because it seems like everyone is against you. It also taught me (not that I needed the lesson, its more of common sense) don't do something in public you don't want the public to know or judge. But all in all it was the hot steamy book I was looking for to break up some of the more intense reading. As a final note, I cannot wait until the next book comes out, I already LOVE Jace!!

My Rating: It was a good book, but I was missing a little something I just can't put my finger on.  It was good enough for me to look forward to the next book though.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

March RAK Wrapup & April RAK

March RAK Wrapup

I have been incredibly blessed this month with the kindness of others! I received three great books from my fellow bloggers!

Laura from Owl Tell You About It gifted me the nook book The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory, the last of the Tudor series that I needed!

Amber from The Musings of Alymbnenr was kind enough to send me a hardcover of Vanish by Sophie Jordan, and let me tell you this book is even more beautiful in person!

And Danielle from The Book Queen's Palace also sent me a nook gift as well of Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning that has been on my wishlist for some time!

I was also able to send out one book this month too!

I sent a paperback copy of Fire by Kristin Cashore to Jacquelynne from Hardcover Obsession. I try to share this (one of my favorites) as often as possible, so when I saw it on the wishlist this month I had to send it out!

April RAK Signup

I will be signing up again and hopefully sending out some more gifts, I am loving this nook book gifting option, no shipping required!
If you would also like to join RAK head over to Book Soulmates to sign up.

Here are a couple of my most wanted books this month:

Monday, April 2, 2012

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!

What I Read Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
A few things ;) you will just have to keep your eyes peeled for reviews
Currently Reading:

Frost Kisses by Kailin Gow - pb - on page 45 of 284
Divine Disdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton - pb - on page 51 of 371

Next Books to be Read:

Catundra by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - April Book Club
Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keller- Mount TBR Challenge
So I want to say sorry for my missing posts :( I have been having an issue logging in from work (which is when I do most of my posts and reading).  So I am just having to remind myself to schedule posts when I get home from work!
Hope you all have been having a great couple of weeks!!