Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mindless Weekend Rambling: Soundtracks

Welcome to my new blog event called Mindless Weekend Rambling where I will ramble on and on aimlessly about all the junk rolling around in my brain. Occasionally I might rant and rave about something that is bothering me or question the sanity of it all, or maybe choose to discuss my to do list or plans that I am making or maybe share something new I learned. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be totally off the cuff. I hope you will bear with me and maybe get a laugh or two in the process.
So for today's rambling thoughts, I have been finding I am listening to soundtracks more than any other music.
I am not sure what led to this recent obsession (I guess not so recent since I have had all these soundtracks for years). Maybe it is the fact that when you listen to a soundtrack you can get a wide variety of music on once CD (yes I still listen to CDs, I don't own an ipod or know how to use music programs on my cellphone).
The current most popular soundtrack is Happy Feet Two, Munchkin is going through a penguin phase and we both enjoy this soundtrack (the little man has started dancing and it is just too cute).

Seriously, how can you keep from boppin' to the beat?!
Now have you guys ever seen the movie August Rush? Fantastic movie not to mention the soundtrack that is in my work computer most of the time. Its got upbeat moments and soothing quiet moments, perfect for a light sound in the office.

My all time favorite movie and soundtrack is a little known one, I have only come across one or two other people who know of it and love it. Rigoletto has the most beautiful soundtrack, I use to watch the movie over and over to listen to the music and Hubby seeing my obsession tracked down the hard to find CD for me. So I have a few of the songs from it because I can't pick my favorite!


When I need an upbeat pick me up I immediately turn to Pitch Perfect! That soundtrack is so much fun and really makes you smile.
Gosh I wish I could just share all my favorite soundtracks with you, it is so hard to pick favorites! Some of my other top soundtrack CDs are Dirty Dancing, Remember the Titans and of course all the Disney songs. I also like to get musical scores, the ones from all the Twilight movies are fantastic and you know what, the ups and downs of the scores really help when you are in writing mode! 

Sometimes I think I might like movies just because of the soundtrack because the music is so much better than the movie itself!

So do you listen to regular records from artists or do you like the blend of Soundtracks? Or do you make your own mixes? Any one favorite movie soundtrack?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bedtime Story: I Love You All Year Long by Steve Metzger

Synopsis: ""Every season has its song, and I love you all year long!" From camping and visiting a water park during the summer, to going on a hayride in the autumn, skating and building snowmen in the winter, and then planting seeds in the spring this rhythmic story celebrates the love between a mother and her child all through the year. The soft padded covers, round corners and sturdy board pages make this title a perfect fit for preschoolers."

My Review: A very cute story to go through the seasons, a book I can keep out all year and maybe do some of the activities with Munchkin. While it is an adorable story, Munchkin did not have the patience for it. While I love the phrase in the synopsis (also the end of the story) it is the first mention of songs of the season, I would have liked it if that was brought more into the story.
My Rating: I think this book will be even better when we can get out and do some of the things in the story and then come home and read it together. A cute book to read throughout the year. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

After Dark Review of Table for Two by ER Pierce

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: "The third installment of the Hot Lunch Saga is almost here! Will Ryan and Samantha work out their differences, come together, and find love? Or will their pasts tear them apart?

Table for Two is the third story in the series, and is significantly longer at over 12K.

Ryan and Samantha met at work, and started a lunch time affair that quickly morphed into a sexy relationship. Now they must decide if their baggage is worth the risk, or whether they should go their separate ways."

My Review: This really wasn't the conclusion I was expecting for this short series. I really do enjoy Ryan and Samantha and it was great getting to know each of them. For some reason I have a hard time putting together Ryan's personality in the first two books with that in this one, I can't imagine him giving up control. With that said I was really proud of Sam for standing up for herself and pushing for what she wanted.
My Rating: This third and final installment of this short series had some interesting twists that seemed out of character to me. I did enjoy to reading some of these changes but it ended up being a kind of the middle of the road read for me.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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 - 46,444 words
A journal a woman keeps as she sorts through antique items and documents left in a home she purchased.

Olivia's Mountain Tale - 3,607 words
Olivia is left in the mountains by her uncle to guard the sheep grazing in the summer pastures.  This summer could change the course of her life.

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.


Well I didn't get anything done this month like I had wanted to, but I have told myself that I will finish Each Item a Story by the 15th of this month and reach 50K words on it (accomplishing goal #4).  If I don't then I am going to impose a writing prompt on myself at the end of the month which I will share with all of you on my next Wednesday Writing. 

I am joining a writing group too, though it is remotely I am hoping it will give me the push I need to keep me motivated through the months and years of writing I have left!

How are all your writing adventures going?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review of Lie by Rathan Krueger

Synopsis: "On the surface, "Lie" is about a group of four women who go on a getaway to a cottage to help one of their own through a life-changing problem.
Underneath the bridge, "Lie" is an attack on bland female characters in modern fiction.

Wherever you look, it'll be a lot of fun.

In alphabetical order...

Quinevere Ainsworth is the one with the problem. Under normal circumstances, she's quiet but with the right accident, this white-haired comic book geek can be quite the companion.
Fantine Karoly is quiet under pretty much all circumstances. In her defense, she's a rather shy teen. She'd much prefer to watch films or let her mind drift to faerie folk. Her aunt, however, wants her out of her shell and feels that this getaway will do her a world of great.
Veronique Karoly is a middle-aged woman with no regrets. Save for how her niece acts sometimes. She's done it all in life, and sometimes twice. The only thing she loves more than Fantine is being a woman.
Idette Rudelle has known Quinevere for most of her almost-30 years being alive. Although she's younger, she's the protector of the two. A bit like those tiny dogs that are cuddly with the ones they like, and insanely... chompy around everyone else. Except she's obviously not a dog and I've never seen a ginger pooch."

My Review: This is a short story that had some interesting characters. They are very unique and I liked the candid interactions between them. I did however get very confused when the author started introducing us to them as other women's names were used, they must be actresses or something but it really confused me since I was still trying to get their names straight. I also felt like we were thrown into the story with not much build up to find our footing, I think with a little more development and fleshing out of the story these characters could really grow on me.
My Rating: As I said I believe with some work and development this could easily be a good full length novel.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
Lie was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Rathan Krueger and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
You can obtain your own copy in digital format on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Challenge Update - January

So we have made it through the first month of 2014 and I am hoping to update you on my challenges each month (kind of to keep myself motivated).
So here we go:
Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge
I haven't finished a book yet, but am about halfway through my first of the year title Still Alice
Series Challenge
I have started a couple of series and hope to get moving on them more in the next month or two.
Series #1: Harry Potter - Book 1
Series #2: Secret of the Unicorn Queen - Book 1
Audio Book Challenge
I have finished one and am about halfway through my second (again Still Alice).
Graphic Novel Challenge
Really on a roll with this one, completely on track and have a bunch on deck ready to go!
Mount TBR
Really plugging away at this challenge. I have 8 books so far (not including all the children's books, Review Requested books or Graphic Novels but I didn't think that was fair) and have 3 more I am currently reading; Ophelia, 100 Cupboards, Listening is an Act of Love. So I think I am pretty on track for my goal of 60
3. Beauty
Erotica Challenge
I recently added the Erotica Challenge to my challenges since it seemed that many of the books I planned on reading this year fit this challenge as well (not to mention many of the books sitting on my TBR shelf).
 All in all I am doing pretty good on my challenges, I think I am on track so far this first month.  According to Goodreads I have read 31 books so far this year (as of 1:00pm on 2/3/14) and am 17 books ahead of schedule to reach my goal of 156 this year.
How are your challenges going? Are you finding you are focusing on any one particular challenge first or just working on them all at once?

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 Gnosis of Salmon by Lynne Marie Rowland
Stringz by Michael Wenberg
Beauty by Laurell K. Hamilton (After Dark)
If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay (Bedtime Story)
Janes In Love by Cecil Castellucci (Graphic Novel)

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

Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Pet
Dump Truck
If Only
Falke's Renegade

Currently Reading:

The Lover From Hell by Rob Palmer - Kindle - 8%
Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
Listening is an Act of Love by David Isay- PB - on Page 103 of 284
Still Alice by Lisa Genova - Audio - 36%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
One Shark, No Swim by Lehua Parker (Requested Review)
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine (Requested Review)
The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodein-Jones (Mount TBR)
Stone Cold Revenge by Jess Macallan (Mount TBR)


Not much reading done this week, I have been a little all over the place. I feel like all the work I did to update for Bloggiesta got my mind moving in a direction away from reading temporarily.  That and the fact that the books that really have my interest right now are paperbacks and I can only read those at home after Munchkin goes to sleep and my chores are done :( I need a day off with no one home!

I did manage to finish going through my Goodreads shelf and eliminated over 300 books and got my TBR shelf down to 704 books and my Wishlish shelf down to 384 books (a good chunk of those are Graphic Novels and books for Munchkin). I am rather proud of that progress and would have liked to make more but I just couldn't bare to part with any more books! Now on to updating the archives, Ugh! I am determined to get somewhat caught up on my Bloggiesta to do list so that I can start fresh when the next one rolls around.

For my nails this week, I ended up painting them early because that last color chipped off really quickly.  Since we are headed into February and Valentine's Day is coming up, all my polishes this month will be love themed.
The first one this week is called Love is a Kitten (sold at this Etsy Shop)
The picture just doesn't do it justice. It is a lovely creamy white color with a hint of lavender tint and lots of blue and purple glitters in it.