Saturday, July 5, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Hades: Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor

Synopsis: "Volume 4 of the highly acclaimed Olympians series!

Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons. In Olympians, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology."

My Review: Confession first, Hades is my favorite so I was already partial to giving this a good review when I started. That said I was a little disappointed in the fact that it was such an abbreviated version of the myth of him and Persephone. I did however love the depiction and artwork. It was a slightly different take on the myth from what I have read before and that made it new and refreshing.
My Rating: I really wished this one had been longer but it was still very good. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bedtime Story: Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

Synopsis: "Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?
With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination."

My Review: A cute story about stealing through the house in the middle of the night with a special goal in mind. I didn't really like the art in this one though, it is made to look like different patterned papers and textiles that make it difficult at times to formulate what the image is supposed to be, Munchkin had a hard time with this one as well and quickly lost interest.
My Rating: This just wasn't the book for us. Someone else may really enjoy it and maybe we will come to enjoy it as well but not right now.  We give it a rating of Two Paws.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

After Dark Review of Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton

Synopsis: "I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn't be the only one for much longer...

Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.

Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.

To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage."

My Review: I had to hold off on writing this review after all the emotions had settled a little bit so that I can make everything clear. I love the Merry Gentry series, far more than Hamilton's Anita Blake series and have been waiting for several years for this book to come out. We were left hanging with Merry being pregnant and waiting to discover who the fathers were. I downloaded this book the day it came out (even though I have the entire series in print, I couldn't wait to get the book) and read it immediately. I have to say I was extremely disappointed in this book. I found the characters to be almost ghosts of themselves, when they were even in the story, the leading men has such little time in the spotlight it was like they weren't even there and didn't matter anymore. Additionally, I found Merry to be very distant from her babies after working so hard to have them and protect their futures, she was almost uninterested. Not to mention the book was mostly filled with pointless conversations that honestly didn't seem to have much to do with the plot line, vague and implied threats that don't exist, random chatter, worries without actually going into any depth. Granted you do get a little bit of action and shock factor at the end and eventually find out who the fathers are in a jumbled up paragraph at the very end of the book. All in all a very uneventful book that is a huge disappointment. I honestly hope the Hamilton doesn't continue to write this series as it appears she really doesn't care for the characters or story anymore. I will continue to re-read the previous books in the series to get my visit time with my favorites but I will no longer be purchasing any books in this series.
My Rating: I really hate giving this book a low rating, I have loved so many moments and characters throughout the series but they just weren't there in this one. I give it a rating of One Paw.

Wednesday, July 2, 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:
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?

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?
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.
Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 5,811
Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

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.

Draft Complete:

The Story of Things (previously titled Each Item a Story) - 50,052 words
A journal a woman keeps as she sorts through antique items and documents left in a home she purchased.


I tackled that spider covered box, turns out I did kill it and could have worked on it the whole time.  Anyway, I am still the master at procrastination and proceeded to organize said box instead of sitting down and writing.  I did work on the outline for the rest of Princess Bs and read through everything I have done so far in preparation for this month.  I am cracking down and determined to finish not only Princess Bs this month but also meet my goal of 25,000 words in this months Nanowrimo Camp.

How have your writing projects been going?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 2014 Challenge Update

Hurray we have made it halfway through the year and Holy Reading Batman!! I cannot believe only 6 months have passed when I look at how many books I have read this year already!
So here we go:
Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge
This challenge is complete however I do have one more book I would like to read for this challenge, maybe in the fall.
3. Dependent (not one of the official books but seems to fit)
Series Challenge
This challenge is officially Complete, however I have several more series in progress and planned that I would like to finish this year. I can't believe how many books and series I have read already this year though!
Series #1: Harry Potter - Book 1
Series #2: Secret of the Unicorn Queen - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6 - Series Complete!
Series #3: Rose Harbor - Book 1, Book 1.5, Book 2 - Complete for Now
Series #4: Firebrand - Book #1, Book #2, Book #3 - Series Complete!
Series #5: Gifted Series - Book #1, Book #2, Book #3 - Series Complete!
Series #6: Master of the Mountain - Book 1, Book 1.5, Book 2, Book 2.5, Book 3, Book 4 - Series Complete (for now, I am sure there will be more books but none are set to release this year).
Series #7: Dakota Series -  Book 1
Series #8: Vampire Warrior Kings Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 - Series Complete!
Series #9: Firelight Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 3.5 - Series Complete
Series #10: Woods Family Series - Book 1 (read previously), Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book .5 - Series Complete
Audio Book Challenge
This challenge is really taking a lot more effort than I expected. I seem to have a really hard time sitting down and dedicating hours to listening to a book when I could be reading another one. Odd I know but I can't seem to equate listening time to reading a book.
4. We Bought a Zoo - in progress
Graphic Novel Challenge
A few more read this month, I am really having to pace myself with this challenge as it would be so easy to blow it out of the water. The thought has crossed my mind though to just finish the challenge and schedule posts through the end of the year, and I might just have to do that since we are past the halfway point.
10. Relish
Mount TBR
I still haven't really worked on this challenge as I should have, especially considering it is the largest by count of the year. Time to buckle down and get moving.
3. Beauty

Erotica Challenge
Good gravy! I am nearly done with this challenge! I had planned on pacing myself but I guess I got a little carried away. Only 3 books left until it is complete, it definitely won't take long.
 Halfway through the year and I cannot believe how many books have been read already this year. I am sure things will slow down but I am already scheduling reviews into August! According to Goodreads I have read 178 books so far this year (of my 208 goal) and that puts me 76 books ahead of schedule.  For some reason I am foreseeing another raising of my goal, maybe even within this next month!
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?

Creative Projects: Blog Hop

So last week I was tagged by Suey over at Its All About Books Blog in the creativity blog hop.  I am a day late but figured what better day to post than the kick off to July NanoCamp?!  You should check out her post that includes her fearless view on the red marks during editing, various WIP quilting projects and video editing.
Suey decided to tag me because she knows I am crazy about crafting and creative projects.  She is also helping to push me along in my writing, and helping me take it a little more seriously (she was the first to see my writing since high school).  She was definitely right in saying I am involved in many, many creative projects, but I promise not to flood you. I will control my sharing ;)  So on to answering the questions.
What am I working on?
Well first off I am kicking off my NanoCamp today and am working hard to finish my novel Princess Bs.
I am all prepared, reading through my progress so far, my outline is handy as well as my jar of writing prompts and jar of Plot Bunnies. I also have my little encouragement stickers (I put them on my planner on the days I reach my daily goals).
I am also dabbling in Tamlyn Marie's Grace. I keep my notebooks handy for when I find myself struggling to write because this story is what started me writing again and it continues to inspire me. I am also handwriting it so that I can work on it any where or any time.
Participating in this Blog Hop has also pushed me to pull out a project I needed to finish. I started this some time ago but ran out of the supplies, well I guess it is time to finish it up.  I am gathering the last items I need today to finish it. Can you tell what it is? I will give you a hint: you need to be a little bit of a Star Wars geek. 
I also have a few more crafting projects going that I didn't take pictures of including: Eye spy bottles, felt board trucks, and preparing to work on Munchkin's scrapbook.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Everyone thinks their work is unique, which it is.  For my writing I draw on my own personal experiences and dreams (yes the ones you have when you sleep - just keep that note book handy for when you wake up and jot it down before you come fully awake).  So I guess that is how my work is different, there is a lot of me in each one (and a good portion of them feature horses in some way).
Why do I write/create what I do?
Well it might come as a surprise but I am extremely left brained, and if I don't push myself to use my right brain and creative side, things can get a little out of hand and overly stressful for me. I know that sounds little odd but it is the honest truth, if I don't take that break to create I become obsessed with to do lists, order and perfection. It is my way of reminding myself that it is okay to let go and enjoy things.
How does my writing/creating process work?
I really like to just let my writing flow. I follow where my inspiration leads me and just write it down as I go. Sometimes on paper, sometimes on the computer. I have one novel in progress that I have let my left brain take over and have outlined it very thoroughly, but it is by far my favorite project and the one I hope to publish someday so I want to put the extra effort forward.  With my crafting I tend to let my left brain work at the beginning, I usually don't start a project until I have all the supplies I could possibly need gathered together and organized. Then I let my right brain take over and put it all together.
Next on the List:
Unfortunately I don't have anyone to tag because I refuse to tag someone without their permission.  One person I contacted had already participated and the other never responded so unfortunately this is the end of the road (but you can go back to previous posters for links to more great creative project posts).

Monday, June 30, 2014

Whats for Dinner This Week? (13)

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.
It has been a heck of a couple of weeks, and I have a feeling dinner this week will consist of cheese and crackers, take out, pasta or cold cut sandwiches (well at least for Munchkin).
I think at least one night this week (probably tomorrow night after a nightmare commercial closing) may end up being what we refer to as a liquid dinner in our house. Now don't get me wrong, we are casual drinkers in our house and do enjoy our adult beverages but in no way do we over indulge or think that it can solve our problems, but occasionally that little extra help to relax really comes in handy.
We have a fully stocked bar in our house (we used to host some great wine tasting or martini tasting parties with our friends before Munchkin came along), but it seldom gets used anymore.  I also have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to beverages (here is the link if you like  I thought I would just share a couple with you.
This is a great one to warm you up, apple cider, ginger ale, and bourbon. Tends to be a little strong though - Link
I like another variation that is champagne and cider (like a mimosa only with cider).
Root beer floats for the summer anyone?! I have used both French Kiss vodka or Whipped Cream vodka, both are delicious - Link
Speaking of whipped cream vodka, mix it with orange juice for a orange creamsicle flavored drink to die for!
For those of you who don't drink alcohol
Of course I wouldn't forget you (I spent almost two years that way)
Cucumber water is my favorite! LINK  A lot of people make different mixes, with cucumbers and rosemary, cucumber and lemons, cucumber and watermelon, but I really prefer the fresh taste of cucumbers. It is so refreshing in the summer, more so than lemonade in my opinion.
So there you have it my liquid dinner this week (granted I will probably be munching on something not so healthy while sipping, like popcorn or potato chips).  Do you have a favorite beverage? Care to share a mix or two?

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 Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Lest the Dew Rust Them by Michael Drakich
Beyond Me by Jennifer Probst (After Dark)
Kissing Hand by Audra Penn (Bedtime Story)
Life's a Beach by Melina Lott (Mini Review)
Vanish by Sophie Jordan (Mini Review)
Hidden by Sophie Jordan (Mini Review)
Breathless by Sophie Jordan (Mini Review)
Perfect Match by Kristen Higgins (Mini Review)

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

Once Upon a Memory

Currently Reading:

Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff - PB - on page 35 of 272
We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee - Audio - 51%
Cabin Fever by Diana Hunter - PB - on page 89 of 272

 Books to be Read Soon:
Dakota Home by Debbie Macomber
Dakota Always by Debbie Macomber
Buffalo Valley by Debbie Macomber
Visions of a Revolution by Jeffery Minucci (Requested Review)



Not a super great reading week this last week. I was super busy preparing for a yard sale I had with a friend on Saturday and starting to prep for Munchkin's birthday! Oh My Goodness, he is going to be two soon! He is having a Sesame Street party but I couldn't find the perfect invite so of course being me I said 'self: you are creative and have a bunch of supplies so why don't you make them yourself' now I want to smack myself for that kind of talk!

So yeah that has been my week, I will share pictures with you soon!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mini Reviews: Life's a Beach, Vanish, Hidden and More!

So with reading and reviewing so many books, I am running out of days in which to share them with you.  I am going to start posting Mini Reviews of books that I read through out the month but couldn't find the time to post on the last Sunday of each month.
(Book 2 in Series)
Jacinda becomes a Mary Sue but other characters step up to save the story. Three Paws and a Stump Wag
(Book 3 in Series)
Jacinda is a tired character, but Tamra really holds it together. A nice conclusion book to series. Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
(Book 3.5 in Series but can be read at anytime)
A great little novella about Az. Three Paws
Not your typical lovey dovey summer read, a little surprise but gets Four Paws!
Disliked the characters, a plot line that doesn't move until the last 50 pages. One Paw and a Stump Wag.