Saturday, April 19, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge

Synopsis: "Paige Turner has just moved to New York with her family, and she's having some trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she makes friends and starts to explore the city, she slowly brings her secret identity out into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding.

Laura Lee Gulledge crafts stories and panels with images that are thought-provoking, funny, and emotionally resonant. Teens struggling to find their place can see themselves in Paige's honest, heartfelt story."

My Review: LOVE this Novel!! This may be my favorite Graphic Novel of the year. It reminds me of the Plain Janes but so much better! I loved Paige, she reminds me so much of myself and my own struggles to branch out and meet people, it is difficult to be an introvert sometimes. I loved her rules and will have to institute some of them into my own life, as well as some of her projects (I loved the easter eggs idea). The art in this novel was outstanding, it was all black and white but so impactful. Definitely get this one if you can!
My Rating: I am absolutely obsessed with this one! Can I use the paws from both critters and give it an eight paw rating?! Now that wouldn't be fair, so I will give it the highest rating possible here with Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bedtime Story: Easter Bunny Touch and Feel by Roger Priddy

Synopsis: "Perfect for babies and toddlers.

-Pictures of incredibly cute animals from cold places.

-Fun rhyming text makes this a book that every child will treasure."

My Review: I got this one for Munchkin for Easter since he has become a lot more involved with the books. I like how this touch and feel book is so much larger than most that I have. The touch spots are big enough that he can find them on his own and they are all kinds of different textures instead of very similar furry ones. I also liked the little rhyme for each of the animals, simple yet fun.
My Rating: I liked the uniqueness of this book, each of the touch and feels were very different, especially the hedgehog which is just raised bumps in the page. I give it a rating of Four Paws!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Dewey Readathon Signup

Guess what?! It is almost time for the Dewey Spring Readathon!! I almost missed it too, but I happened to catch a post about it.  So the readathon is scheduled for next Saturday, the 26th.  You can find out more on Dewey's Page.

I am definitely going to try to participate again this time, the last readathon was cut short for me because both Hubby & Munchkin couldn't understand the importance of reading for 24 hours! HAHAHA!  I am hoping to get Hubby to take the little man on an adventure outside of the house so I can get some peace and quiet.  I am also going to adjust my reading a little to include books I can share with Munchkin.
So what books to I plan to read you may ask.  Well I plan on reading some of the books I have in progress and finish them. In addition I plan to put the following books in my Dewey pile:
Books to read with Munchkin
                                   Milo Armadillo
I know that looks like a mountain of books but most of them aren't too long. If I can just get a little peace and quiet here and there I should be able to get through most of them. The total page count for all those books (not including the ones already in progress) is 2,205.  I think that is doable, I generally read 60-75 pages an hour (obviously depending on the type of book) so based on that I should be able to read them all in 29-36 hours (but obviously children's books and graphic novels read much quicker).
So are you going to be joining the readathon? What books do you plan to read?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

After Dark Review of Master of the Mountain by Cherise Sinclair

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: "When Rebecca's boyfriend talks her into vacationing at a mountain lodge with his swing club, she quickly learns she's not cut out for playing musical beds. Now she has nowhere to sleep. Logan, the lodge owner, finds her freezing on the porch. After hauling her inside, he warms her in his own bed, and there the experienced Dom discovers that Rebecca might not be a swinger...but she is definitely a submissive.

Rebecca knows that no one can love her plump, scarred body. To her shock, lodge owner Logan not only disagrees, but ties her up and shows her just how much he enjoys her curves. Under his skilled hands, Rebecca not only loses her inhibitions, but also her heart.

Damaged from the war, Logan considers himself too dangerous to be around the enticing little sub. He sends her away for her own safety, not realizing she believes she has once again been rejected because of her size. As Logan's mountains echo with her voice long after she's gone, he realizes she's taken his heart with her. But when he arrives in the city to reclaim her, Rebecca's phone has been disconnected and her apartment is empty...

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and content, exhibitionism."

My Review: Hmm what to say, what to say. Um I loved the setting, loved the characters, loved most of the sub characters, I could go on and on. I really enjoy reading Cherise Sinclair's work, she does such a great job of developing the characters that you feel like you really get to know them. One of the down falls though is that you see how things will end up, you know right away that Matt will be out of the picture in no time (not that I really missed him). While I could tell how things would end up, I still loved the ending. I think though my favorite part about this book is the fact that Rebecca figure and Logan's love of it gives a little confidence to women like myself and Rebecca who have a little more 'jiggle' to their figure.
My Rating: I have to admit I was a little nervous starting this book and new series, I thought I might have a difficult time putting aside the Shadowland Series to start a new one with new characters, but that didn't happen. I fell in love with these new characters and look forward to meeting more from this new series.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Synopsis: " powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey.

In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?"

My Review: I so wanted to love this book, it is all about a horse, not only that but written from the horse's point of view. Maybe because it was from Joey's point of view that I felt like there was an emotional disconnect. I missed out on the emotional connection I expected with what seemed like simply observations as to what was going on around Joey and those people who enter and then leave his life. It was definitely a very interesting take on the war though, and I found that redeemed the book somewhat for me. It was a good book, just not what I expected, I hope that it is better for those in the right age group for the book.
My Rating: Didn't quite live up to my expectations. But still a very interesting story and take on things. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review of The Final Test by Dory Perlman

Synopsis: "When Mardock, the evil wizard, put a spell on handsome Prince Laric and his courageous warriors, he also invented a magical antidote that could only work during a lunar eclipse. Now, at last, that time is at hand in the enchanted kingdom of Arren. But someone must sneak into the wizard's underground laboratory and seize the magic formula ... that someone is Sheila."

My Review: I thought this third book was the most interesting so far, while it involved the unicorns still it branched out a little bit into Laric and his Eagle Warriors. I liked to see a little more of their involvement because they were just there to rescue the Unicorn Warriors when they got in a tight spot in previous books and didn't feel like they were treated as full characters. I also loved how Dr. Reit became a significant character as well. While this book would have made a great conclusion to a trilogy, the series continues on.
My Rating: This series is starting to really become a middle of the road one for me, but I did like the emergence from the background of some of the Sub-characters. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What's for Dinner This Week? (2)

What's for Dinner This Week is a little insight into my life for you every Monday night. I carefully plan out meals for the week ahead of time and do my shopping over the weekend.  So I wanted to start sharing with you one of the recipes or dinners I am most looking forward to each week.
So a couple of weeks ago when Munchkin was so sick, I had the TV on the Cooking Channel or FoodNetwork all week while rocking the little man. I caught an episode of Pioneer Woman and saw this weeks dinner and wanted it immediately, of course that couldn't happen, there was no way I could cook anything let alone go shopping with a sick child.  So now that I am home from vacation and have a healthy boy, I am eating this!!
First is this fantastic spinach salad with caramelized onions, mushrooms, bacon and hard boiled eggs.  I might pass on the dressing (I haven't had dressing since I cut it out of my diet way back before my wedding) but the fact that it is made with bacon grease is rather tempting.
Image from Pioneer Woman
And this was the real kicker for me, Olive Cheese Bread, I think I died and went to food heaven!
Image from the Pioneer Woman
It all sounds so delicious and I can't wait to enjoy this with a nice glass of white wine. Lets just hope the weather cooperates and gives me a beautiful spring day so I can open the windows while enjoying this dinner.
Now doesn't that sound delicious? And perfect for my spring mood. So what are you having for dinner this week?

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

Gifted Hunter by Nicholas A. Rose
Witch Song by Amber Argyle
Hot as Hades by Alisha Rai (After Dark)
Thank You for Your Service by Linda Rosenberry (Bedtime Story)


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

Go Dog Go
Ear Book
Farm (touch and feel)
Currently Reading:

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
Perfect Match by Kristin Higgins - PB - on Page 243 of 441
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine - Kindle- 4%
Taking Stock by Scott Bartlett - Kindle - 5%
Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis - Audio - 8%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Lest the Dew Rust Them by Michael Drakich (Requested Review)
My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin (Requested Review)


Boy I totally forgot how crazy vacations are and it was even crazier with Munchkin! I definitely had no time for reading except to Munchkin. We had a good vacation visiting friends in the DC area and then down to North Caroline for my Uncle's Marine Corp retirement. It was very nice to not only see everyone again after such a long time but also to get a little warm weather (I spent a lot of time outside worshiping the sun and have the sunburns to prove it). So I definitely didn't get much reading done last week but hope to get a lot done this week after I get our house and lives back into some kind of order.

Oh and I don't have a nail picture for you :( I did paint my nails Red White and Blue for my uncle's retirement ceremony but forgot to take a picture in the chaos of party preparations!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crafty Times (2)

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!
So last week I gave you a little rundown of my past arts and crafts.  Well now it is like I have hit a new stage in my life and nearly everything I do revolves around Munchkin. I don't know about the other parents out there but I am a little disappointed about how every toy for toddlers seems to have buttons, noises, lights and of course batteries (even puzzles). Pictures of me as a kid was full of simple toys and I seemed like a perfectly happy child. So in my hunt for something else for Munchkin to play with I came across felt boards.  I clearly remember having a blast with these and my mom being the crafter that she is would whip out new pieces all the time.
So that is what leads me to today's Crafty Time. First I made a couple different colored felt boards (it was super easy, some felt, a cheap canvas from the craft store and a staple gun and walla). When I started this project I was still very limited for time and lacked a little creativity. So to get me started with the first few sets I visited CopyCrafts Etsy Shop and ordered a couple of sets. With these you print them on transfer paper, iron them onto the felt and then cut them out.
In almost no time at all I had an awesome set of cars and trucks for Munchkin to begin playing with . . . see that eager little hand.
They were a big hit right away (even though this was when he was still sick)
I think I need to make some bigger felt boards (I only have two in 8x10) and I think I want to make my own roads with black and yellow felt. But there you have it, how much my arts and crafts have changed since having a child, but looking through all that old artwork for last week's post has really got me inspired again.