Saturday, November 16, 2013

Graphic Novel Review of Northlanders Vol. 2 The Cross and The Hammer by Brian Wood

Synopsis: "The second NORTHLANDERS collection, featuring issues #11-16, takes place during the tail end of Viking rule in Ireland. A series of mysterious murders and arsons against wealthy citizens leaves the Viking occupiers worried that a potential uprising might ignite. When surprising details involving the crimes are revealed, though, their jobs become much harder! Once again, writer Brian Wood teams with artist Ryan Kelly (Local) for an intriguing, gorgeously rendered peek at the inner workings of society."

My Review: After the first volume of the Northlanders, I found this one slightly disappointing. The story didn't quite seem to fit the time period and while I do expect plenty of violence this one seemed a little much. I found the twist at the end pretty interesting but it wasn't quite enough to save the whole volume for me, there is obviously some of the story missing from Brigid's point of view that would have cleared things up a little. All in all it wasn't as good as the first but I will give the Northlanders another chance and check out Volume 3.
My Rating: I wish that I could say this was on the level of Northlanders Vol. 1 but it just couldn't hack it.  That said it was still a middle of the road graphic novel and in a series I plan on continuing.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bedtime Story: Little Bear's Little Boat

Synopsis: "Little Bear loves his little boat. He rows it around Huckleberry Lake, fishing and dreaming. But then Little Bear begins to grow and grow, until one day he doesn’t fit in his little boat anymore! All children who experience growing pains will appreciate Little Bear’s predicament. And they will smile with satisfaction as the solution to his problem unfolds in simple, lyrical words and charming pictures from two award-winning picture-book creators."

My Review: I am so glad I picked up this book for Munchkin. It has such a sweet storyline and the illustrations are beautiful. I like how the story will help as my little man gets older and out grows toys, to convince him its time to pass them on. This is such a cute story I hope everyone reads it!
My Rating: This is such an adorable book, so many lessons wrapped up in it. I really enjoyed this book and hope it becomes one of Munchkin's favorites.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

After Dark Review of Big Girls Do it Better by Jasinda Wilder

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: "Gorgeous, rock-star guys like Chase Delany don't go for girls like me. They go for supermodels and actresses, skinny-girls who never eat and spend all day working out. I'm not that girl. So when he locked his fiery brown eyes on me for the first time, I couldn't quite believe it was really happening to me.

It was the second night I spent with him that I'll never forget."

My Review: I am not really sure how I feel about this one, Anna seemed more like two people instead of one, like the author was trying to force her to be a certain way while the story led her down a different route. She seems like a confident woman, comfortable in her skin (I mean if you can rock a mini skirt how can you not be confident) yet she still seemed really insecure. I didn't like how it was said guys expected big girls were easy, and Anna was against feeding into that but yet she did things anyway. All in all it laid out that women need to be reassured, all of us have our insecurities and need confirmation again and again that we are beautiful and amazing.
My Rating: While I struggled with the character connection, the story was still enough that I want to continue the series. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Review of A Tricky Game by Seraphima Bogomolova

Synopsis: "A Tricky Game, by Seraphima Bogomolova, is a mystery psychological thriller, published by Souliris UK Ltd, released on July 15, 2013.

In Russia, an aluminum magnate, Kazimir Stankevitch, enters into an unwritten agreement with Angela Moreaux, an enigmatic and seductively attractive woman that he secretly desires. Later that night, as she returns home from a nightclub, a shot is fired at her. At the same time, in the Ritz, her unsuspecting associate has a meeting with an elderly Swiss gentleman, Jacques Moreaux, who delivers to him a mysterious letter signed by Angela. In a game of genuine intents, secret longings and seconds agendas, the seemingly unconnected yet mysteriously intertwined events unfold on the pages of this compelling psychological novella. As the stakes in the game go higher, the young woman finds herself confronted with life choices that will challenge her on unexpected levels."

My Review: I don't believe I have ever read any books with this particular setting so I found that fascinating from the start. I did however have a difficult time reading this short story, it read almost like a script for a movie or TV show, or maybe a descriptive outline for a longer novel. It was due to that writing style that I had a difficult time following the storyline.  The interweaving of the characters was a times clear and other times so obscure that a little more filling out would have been nice. I did love the integration of the venetian masks and the hint of romance. The ending was beautiful!
My Rating: I give this one a rating of Two Paws. I would have liked the story to be filled out more to create a clearer setting and storyline.
A Tricky Game was sent to me by the Author's Publicist for an honest review.
To find out more about Seraphima Bogomolova and her work please visit her Goodreads Page or Website
You can also obtain your own copy of A Tricky Game in Digital or Print formats on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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:

Each Item a Story - 11,785 words

A journal a woman keeps as she sorts through antique items and documents left in a home she purchased.

Princess Bs - 34,317 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?

Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 5,811

Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

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.

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?

The Last Mountains - 13,468 (handwritten) = 15,766 (typed)

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?

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

All in the Company
A business that keeps to itself, employees marry employees and live on company property. Lissandra is ordered to marry Cody but both are always on business and don't know one another.

Little Wind Guides
Little Wind must lead her clan to new territory as the gods of the Fire Forest are cleansing their home with wrath.  Will they follow her while she holds so many secrets.


So I totally bombed this weeks writing! I haven't written anything since last Wednesday! But at least I am still on track for my original goal.  I blame it on the fact that Munchkin has been sick for the past week and has shared it with me so my brain doesn't function in the morning leading to me forgetting my memory stick bracelet at home.  I did however remember to bring it with me today! I am buckling down and pushing through, shooting to reach 15K today and hopefully reach 20K by this weekend.  We will have to see how it goes, I can feel myself loosing steam and interest though so I think I will be digging into my writing prompts and plot bunnies again very soon.

How is everyone else doing? Have you managed to stay on track?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review of The Unbelievable Story of How I Met Your Mother by Preston Randall

Synopsis: "Daniel Zurenski feels like a total loser, but he's about to encounter a crazy array of characters who are going to change his life forever. It starts with Fred Zimmerman (and his unique pet) who scrubs pots at The Spaghetti Barn restaurant and accidentally sets off a disastrous chain of events. There's the volatile restaurant manager Paolo and his greasy head chef nephew Tony. Then there's a fanatical sports reporter named Bruce Jagerski who dreams of winning a marathon if only he didn't have such a bizarre running style. All come together during marathon race weekend in this hilarious tale which will keep you guessing right to the finish line."

My Review: This was kind of a comical short story but had some very serious underlying issues. It did get a little confusing at times with the jumping around of the timeline but after you got use to the writing style it kind of faded into the background. The characters were vivid and each had a very clear personality. Like I said the story as a whole was comical, though at time it was difficult to see the big picture until you neared the end of the story. All in all it was a pleasant time spent reading it.
My Rating: It was a funny story but with so many underlying issues that you can appreciate the substance of the story and the delivery. It did occasionally get confusing with some skipping around of the timeline but with being a short story it didn't effect the outcome of the reading experience.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
The Unbelievable Story of How I Met Your Mother was sent to me by the author for an honest review. 
You can find out more about Preston Randall and his work on his Goodreads Page.
You can obtain your own copy of The Unbelievable Story of How I Met Your Mother in Digital format on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, November 11, 2013

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!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
The Book of Spells by Jennifer Probst
Tale of the Taconic Mountains by Mike Romeling
How Bees Came to Make Chili (Bedtime Story)

Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Big Girls do it Better
Christmas in Wine Country
Big Girls do it Wetter
Pride of Baghdad

Currently Reading:

Dark Chatter by Andrew Branch - Kindle - 22%
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen - PB - on Page 40 of 383
Catching Barramundi by Rebecca Burns - Kindle - 14%
Airs Beneath the Moon by Toby Bishop - Kindle - 785

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine (Requested Review)
One Boy, No Water by Lehua Parker (Requested Review)
Catching Barramundi by Rebecca Burns (Requested Review)
The Lover from Hell by Rob Palmer (Requested Review)
The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann (Requested Review)
Clara Claus by Alexandra Lanc (Advent Reads)
The Christmas Wish by Alexandra Lanc (Advent Reads)
Judgment by Jade Varden



This week has been up and down, I did a lot of writing and then downloaded a new book and got distracted from my writing. So I need to finish this book that has my attention captured so that I can buckle down and get back to writing.  So there you have it, some great reading and some great writing but doesn't seem like I have much to show for either.

How was your week?