Saturday, May 2, 2015

Graphic Novel Review of Thor the God Butcher by Jason Aaron

Synopsis: "Throughout the ages, gods have been vanishing, their mortal worshippers left in chaos. Now, Thor follows a trail of blood that threatens to consume his past, present and future. The only hope for these ravaged worlds is for Thor to unravel the gruesome mystery of the God Butcher!

In the distant past, Thor follows the bloody wake of murdered gods across the depths of space. In the present, the Thunder God discovers a forgotten cave that echoes with the cries of tortured gods...and is shocked to find himself among them! And thousands of years from now, the last god-king of a ruined Asgard makes his final stand against the God Butcher's beserker legions. As three Thors from three eras race to stop the God Butcher, the full extent of his vicious scheme takes terrifying shape!"

My Review: I have to say this wasn't exactly what I expected but it was still really good. I enjoyed the artwork and really loved the oldest version of Thor. If you are looking for something that follows mythology closely, this may not be the best one for you. It does tie in a tiny bit with the Avengers, with just a brief appearance. At times this one is a little difficult to follow because it is set in 3 different time periods and when you are in the later two there are flashbacks and it can get a little confusing if you aren't paying close attention.
My Rating: It was a little confusing jumping between time periods and some flashback memories but it was still an interesting storyline. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bedtime Story: I am a Garbage Truck by Ace Landers

Synopsis: "Simple garbage truck facts in a board book shaped like a garbage truck!

I am a garbage truck
I carry trash to the dump.

Readers may want to put on their gloves for this fun and sturdy board book shaped like a garbage truck! Read along as garbage trucks of all sizes travel door to door picking up sticky, icky trash to deliver to the dump!

Little explorers will love seeing these big machines in action."

My Review: Munchkin picked this book out as a reward for being such a good boy. He is obsessed with big trucks and particularly loves when the garbage truck comes up the street. This one being shaped like a garbage truck makes it all the more fun. I do like how it also features the recycling truck and distinguishes the difference between trash and recycling.
My Rating: This book is good for those fans of the big trucks that come by every week. It is also a nice introduction to recycling and what happens after things are put in the trash.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Chase on the Case

Synopsis: "PAW Patrol is Nickelodeon’s new animated action-adventure series starring a pack of six heroic puppies led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder. This Step 2 Step into Reading leveled reader based on the series is perfect for boys and girls ages 4 to 6 who are just learning to read on their own. And it comes with two pages of stickers!"

My Review: Munchkin loves Paw Patrol, not only does it have dogs, but also action and vehicles & equipment. This was a great level 2 book for beginning readers, it has familiar characters, simple sentences and a short and easy to follow storyline. The story also come with two pages of stickers for some extra fun.
My Rating: A great level 2 book, it is sure to capture interest and encourage reading. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

After Dark Review of Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye

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: "Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.

Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.

With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good..."

My Review: Like so many others I have been anxiously awaiting this next installment of the Hard Ink series. I have enjoyed Jeremy throughout all the books, the way he manages to lighten the tension and stress for everyone. The thing that surprised me in this one is how much I came to absolutely love Charlie. He has played kind of a small role throughout the series so far though he is what brought everyone together in the first place, we never really got to know him. I am so glad to have been able to do that in this novella and he has now taken place as one of my favorite characters in the series. Oh and the addition of Cy, so perfect! I really enjoyed this but it was a short little tease! I need more Hard Ink!
My Rating: I read this the day after it came out in one sitting. I was touching, steamy and so sweet. I really love how many elements fit into this one novella. I give it a rating of Four Paws.
Note: This is an M/M after dark book.

Mini Blogahead Challenge Sign Up & Updates

Back in October I participated in a month long blogahead challenge hosted by Anna over at Herding Cats and Burning Soup. It was a great push to get posts scheduled ahead of time.  Since then I have managed to keep 15 - 20 posts ahead of time.  Anna is once again hosting a blogahead challenge, this time it will be a mini challenge. Please check out her post for the rules and link up.
Our goal is to schedule an additional 14 posts in this two week time period.  Currently I have 18 posts scheduled so my goal will be to have 32 posts scheduled by the 15th of May. This is going to be a difficult challenge since next week is Children's book week and there will be 3 posts a day going live, that is a lot of posts to make up for!  The good thing about this challenge is that I have a little vacation coming up and this will help me make sure everything here is good to go while I am gone.
I will be posting my updates here so you can follow my progress.
Update #1: May 4th 1:30pm
Starting Scheduled Posts: 18
Posts that went Live: 7
Posts Scheduled: 23
Current Scheduled Posts: 34
Goal for next update: schedule 8 posts
Thoughts: Thankfully I have had plenty of content and reviews to post so far. I started with 18 posts and 7 went live since signing up. I managed to schedule 23 posts and get to the point I want to reach at the end of this two weeks. In order to maintain that goal I need to schedule at least 3 posts a day, Yikes!  I have enough content for at least a couple more days of scheduling and then I really have to get to work!

April 2015 Challenge Update

Can you believe it is May?! I feel like on one hand it has taken forever to get to the nice spring weather and on the other hand I feel like I have done enough reading for an entire year!
Personal Re-Read Challenge
My goal is to read 15 books. I am caught up but can see this being the hardest challenge of the year.

Personal Children's Book Challenge
This Challenge is COMPLETE! I of course will be reading many more over the rest of the year.
13. Again!
 35. I Took the Moon for a Walk
36. We're Going on a Bear Hunt
37. The Little Red Caboose
38. Happy to Help!
39. Pony Brushes his Teeth
40. A Hole in the Road
41. The Lost Dinosaur Bone
42. Grandpa & the Truck 2
43. Emergency Vehicles
44. C is for Cornhusker
45. Curious George and the Dump Truck
46. Curious George Goes Fishing
47. Mr. Mischief
48. The Best Show & Share
49. Frogs!
50. The Mitten
51. Curiouse George Goes to a Bookstore
52. Oscar the Almost Butterfly
53. Elmo ABCs book with Sound
54. Happy Easter, Curious George
55. Littlest Bunny in Rhode Island
56. The Happy Man and His Dump Truck
57. The Thank You Prayer
58. Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark
59. Scuffy the Tugboat
60. I'm a Bulldozer
61. The Pout Pout Fish
62. A Rainbow of My Own
63. Follow the Leader
64. The Bear Went Over the Mountain
65. Five Green and Speckled Frogs
66. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
67. Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree
68. Jesus Loves Me
69. Winnie the Pooh Classics Vol. 1
70. Tadpole Trouble
71. Mr. Cheerful
72. A Cuddle for Little Duck
73. Time Together: Me & Mom
74. Wheedle and the Noodle
75. Just a Little Music
76. Mr. Noisy
77. Rain!
78. Storm Song
79. Donald Hamlet, Prince of Dunemark
80. The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear

Personal Beginning Reader Challenge:
My goal is 30 books for this challenge. Things definitely took off this month in preparation for Children's Book Week so I see this one being done well ahead of schedule.
1. Charlie's Snow Day
2. Monsters Munch Lunch
3. Brave Dragon
4. Kick Pass and Run
5. Charlie The Ranch Dog: Where's the Bacon
6. Big Bear, Little Bear
7. Chase on the Case
8. Look for Lorax
9. Curious George, Dinosaur Tracks
10. Danny and the Dinosaur
11. Curious George Colors Eggs
12. Penguins!
13. Pete's Big Lunch
14. Dusty Flies High
15. Go, Go, Go
16. Just Saving My Money
17. Ponies Love Pets
18.  Pete Plays Ball
19. Biscuit and the Lost Teddy Bear

Personal Read Across the States Challenge
Obviously there are 50 books in this challenge (though I might add a few for the country in general).  I am over halfway done, it is going much better than I ever expected!

Alabama  - 
Alaska - If you Lived Here
Arizona - Veil of Roses
Arkansas -
California -
Colorado - Calves in the Mud Room
Connecticut - A Whole Latte Life
Delaware - A Catered Affair
Florida - Because of Winn Dixie
Georgia - Deep Dish
Hawaii - Birth
Idaho - Whatchago Stew
Illinois -
Indiana -
Iowa - Little Heathens
Kansas -
Kentucky -
Louisiana - Taste the Heat
Maine - Stone Bay
Maryland -
Massachusetts -
Michigan -
Minnesota -
Mississippi -
Missouri - The Borrower
Montana -
Nebraska - C is for Cornhusker
Nevada - The Missing Ink
New Hampshire -
New Jersey - The Fighting Ground
New Mexico -
New York -
North Carolina -
North Dakota -
Ohio - Dragons of Spratt Ohio
Oklahoma -
Oregon -
Pennsylvania -
Rhode Island - By the Sea Tess
South Carolina - Girls in Trucks
South Dakota - Buffalo Gal
Tennessee - When Love Finds you in Camelot Tennessee
Texas -
Utah - Wright on Time - Utah
Vermont -
Virginia -
Washington -
West Virginia - Locking Horns
Wisconsin - Blankets
Wyoming - Stone Fox

Audio Book Challenge
I am planning to read 10-12 audio books this year. Made a big jump ahead of schedule this month. I am trying out some children's books for Munchkin and it is fun to listen while eating dinner and in the car.
. The Fighting Ground
2. The Last Valentine
3. Deep Dish
4. The Tao of Pooh
5. Little Heathens
6. Veil of Roses
7. The Borrower
8. Winnie The Pooh Classic Tales
9. Rush

Graphic Novel Challenge
Since I am featuring one graphic novel every other week my goal is 26 this year. I am ahead of schedule but its hard not to read them. Of course, Dewey's Readathon was a big help too!
1. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vol. 3
2. Blankets
3. Shadows of Endor
4. From Fabletown with Love
5. The Books of Magic
6. Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
7. Korgi Vol.2: Cosmic Collector
8. Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1: The God Butcher
9. Fables are Forever
10. Fable Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
11. Ravine Vol. 1
12. Hinterkind Vol. 1
13. Saga Vol. 1
14. Saga Vol. 2
15. Ares: Bringer of War
16. Donald Hamlet, Prince of Dunemark

Series Challenge
With a goal to read at least 5 full series, if not 7. I am moving a little slower on this one. Most of the series I chose are in print and it is a lot harder to get those books read.

1. The Hearts of Anemoi - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4 - COMPLETE
2. Pride Series - Book 1, Book 2
3. Princesses of Myth Series - Book 1, Book 2
4. Warrior Series - Book 1, Book 2

TBR Challenge
I set a goal of 50 books without thinking and have already COMPLETED this challenge! I guess I will shoot for double for the heck of it.
1. Girls in Trucks
2. Because of Winn Dixie
3. Athena the Brain
4. Nubiana
5. Persephone the Phony
6. The Fighting Ground
7. Aphrodite the Beauty
8. The Last Valentine
9. Artemis the Brave
10. By The Sea, Book One, Tess
11. Hickory Daiquiri Dock
12. Locking Horns
13. Stone Bay
14. Dragons of Spratt, Ohio
15. Deep Dish
16. Stone Fox
17. Dragon in the Sock Drawer
18. Birth
19. The Tao of Pooh
20. West of Want
21. South of Surrender
22. Taste the Heat
23. If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name
24. Fish Perfume
25. More Than Pancakes
26. Reading Between the Lines
27. I'll Never Forget
28. This Point Forward
29. Risking It All
30. East of Ecstasy
31. Sand Dollar
32. Glassblowers Apprentice
33. A Whole Latte of Life
34. Every Sunday
35. Missing Ink
36. Little Heathens
37. Toe to Toe
38. Warrior Beautiful
39. Buffalo Gal
40. To Serve a King
41. Veil of Roses
42. Francesca's Kitchen
43. Wright on Time - Utah
44. My Favorite Witch
45. Aure the Topaz
46. A Catered Affair
47. The Scot The Witch and the Wardrobe
48. Storm Glass
49. If You're Reading This
50. Sea Glass
51. The Borrower
52. Spy Glass
53. Whatchagot Stew
54. Into the Wild
55. Rush
56. Hush
57. Fire and Ice

Requested Reviews My original limit of only 25 books this year is obviously not going to work. Netgalley has definitely made this too easy and the loyalty I have with some of the authors I review!
1. Dear Hank Williams
2. Jesper Jinx and the Sneezing Season
3. Calves in the Mud Room
4. Gooseberry Island
5. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
6. Just Not Ready Yet
7. Poole's Paradise
8. Darkness
9. Don't Forget Me Bro
10. Paint
11. Spawn of Medusa
12. The Queen's Dagger
13. One of the Guys
14. Me and Grandpa
15. The Unleashing
16. Jesper Jinx and the Turkish Pepper
17. The Novice
18. HA Rey Treasury of Stories

Goodreads Challenge My Goodreads challenge is out of control of course, I am already at 196 of my original goal of 312. I think I might have another 365+ year this year if this pace keeps up!

As far as my other goals and resolutions . . .
I continue to write faithfully, which is a good thing since May will be the kick off of my Pen to Paper posts!
I have painted my nails at least once every week this month.
I have had loads of fun with Munchkin in April, between egg dying, gardening and getting a sandbox! Warm weather definitely helps! We will be having a fun adventure later this month too!
I still haven't had a date with Hubby, I have pretty much given up on this goal. I guess I will count just a short chat after Munchkin went to bed one night about college savings, getting a generator/hook up, and future plans to remodel the kitchen.

Points Earned this Month: 150 points
Points Spent this Month:  160 points
Pages Read/Time Listened this Month: 5,488/ 24:05

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review of Time Together: Me and Grandpa by Maria Catherine

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review
Synopsis: "Snapshots of a grandpa and child enjoying every day moments together. From taking a nap to reading the newspaper, these small moments are the ones that create big memories."

My Review: This was a NetGalley request for an honest review. I was instantly captured by the cover of this book, it made me instantly think about my own grandpa and what I want my son to have with his grandfathers. The book continued in the same fashion, featuring children and grandpas of all races sharing those special simple moments to be remembered. I particularly loved the phrase on the back cover "Me and Grandpa are birds of a feather. We love each other and our time together." which maybe the theme for the series (I will have to get more books in the Time Together series). This was definitely a wonderful and yet simple book to cherish.
My Rating: This is an adorable book to cherish and keep on a shelf. I love the diversity in race, gender and activities depicted in the book. I give this one a rating of Four Paws.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crafty Times: ATCs and Pocket Letters

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 I discovered a wonderful little thing called Pocket Letters while researching posts for Pen to Paper. I of course was completely sucked in as it combines art (specifically ATCs) with pen pals. I will have a full post about Pocket Letters in an upcoming Pen to Paper post but I just couldn't wait to share some of the art I have been making for them!
Here are a couple of individual ATCs/ Pocket Letter inserts for one I am currently working on.
And these are a couple of pocket letters I have completed (or nearly).  Behind each card/pocket is a little goodie or a letter for your pen pal/ swap partner.
This was the first one I completed, I am pretty happy with it after being out of crafting for so long.

 And this was the second one I made, my swap partner really likes vintage style things so I tried to focus on that even though it isn't entirely my style.

So what do you think? Looks cute and fun doesn't it? Would you want to receive one of these in the mail or send one out yourself?

Audio Book Review of Winnie the Pooh: Pooh Classics Vol. 1 by A.A. Milne


Synopsis: "Come with us to an Enchanted Place, a forest where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo. The stories are about Christopher Robin and these good companions having wonderful times getting in and out of trouble. It is all very exciting and, really, quite thrilling no matter how young or old you may be. It is painful to try and imagine what the world would be like without them."

My Review: I downloaded this on a whim the other day when Munchkin was sick and I was loosing my voice after reading so many stories. I had forgotten how wonderful the Winnie the Pooh stories were and I was thrilled to introduce them to Munchkin. We really enjoyed the narration, I honestly don't think you can have Pooh without the voice of Peter Dennis. This really is a children's book worth getting on audio, it will be listened to many times over and be cherished for years.
My Rating: I absolutely loved this book and the audio version just endeared me more. I am so glad I have it to share with Munchkin. I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring 2015 Dewey's Readathon Wrap-Up

I am still trying to recover from the readathon on Saturday. I discovered about halfway through that I had managed to catch Munchkin's cold so really had to push through the exhaustion.  I wasn't as social this time around as I had hoped but I definitely got into the reading mode and kept it there for hours.
You can see my original signup post HERE
End of Event Meme
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Probably Hours 22 & 23 when I had to get back up with Munchkin and finish reading.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I really focused on the GNs this year and Saga was definitely a huge hit for me. I also enjoyed Into The Wild, a MG novel is great because you can finish it in a sitting.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I didn't participate so much this year except in the reading so I don't have any suggestions
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? There was definitely more Cheerleading presence this year which was great.
  5. How many books did you read? 17
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Go Go Go, Ponies Love Pets, Mr. Noisy, Just Saving My Money, Just a Little Music, Ares Bringer of War, Ravine Vol. 1, Rush, Into the Wild, Wheedle and the Noodle, Hinterkind Vol. 1, Time Together Me and Mom, A Cuddle for Little Duck, Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, Whatchagot Stew, Saga Vol. 1.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I really enjoyed Saga Vol. 1 (and actually read Vol. 2 Sunday afternoon).
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Ravine Vol.1 even for a graphic novel there was just too much world building and I was struggling to place all the characters and the pieces together.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Absolutely, I am not sure if I will focus so much on the reading or try to be more social, I guess it will depend on the mood I am in and how my schedule works out.
So let's check on my goals:

 1. Read/listen for 18+ hours : Check, I read for 18.5 hours total
2. Finish 13 books: Check I read 15 books total (2 were re-reads and 1 was a finish)
3. Read at least 1,100 pages: Check, I read 1,362 pages (and 2:43 hours listening)
4. Update regularly on Twitter: Check, I think I posted just about every new book I started
5. Post updates here every 4-6 hours: Check, I posted 2 updates, I should have posted one more though
6. Visit at least 5 new blogs: Fail :(
7. Participate in at least 1 hourly challenge/mini challenge: Fail :(
8. Keep up with reviews: Fail but working on reviews now.
9. Read and have fun, of course!: Check, I really did enjoy spending so much time reading!
So how did your readathon go? 

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
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (series review)
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder (series review)
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder (series review)
One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
I Love You, Sleepyhead by Claire Freedman (Bedtime Story)
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai (Mini Review)
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (Mini Review)
Down on Her Knees by Christine Bell (Mini Review - after dark)
Love Finds You in Camelot, Tennessee by Janice Hanna (Mini Review)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Mr. Cheerful = 1pt
Tadpole Trouble = 1pt
Donald Hamlet, Prince of Dunemark = 2pts
Rain! = 1pt
Storm Song = 1pt
Whatchagot Stew = 5pts
Time Together Me & Mom = 1pt
Wheedle and the Noodle =1pt
Just a Little Music = 1pt
Ponies Love Pets = 1pt
Just Saving My Money = 1pt
Hinterkind Vol. 1 = 2pts
Ravine Vol. 1 = 2pts
Ares Bringer of War = 2pts
Go Go Go = 1pt
Mr. Noisy = 1pt
Saga Vol. 1 = 2pts
Saga Vol. 2= 2pts
Into the Wild = 5 pts
Rush = 3pts

Currently Reading:

 Books to be Read Soon:

I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci (Mount TBR)
Princesses of Myth Series by Esther Friesner
Warriors Series by Erin Hunter


Total Points Earned
 33 points + 36 pts earned = 69 points

Pages Read/ Time Listened
23,607 pages read (1,630 read this week)
59:11 listening time  (11:10 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



So I got a little distracted early last week with pen pals and this wonderful pen pal thing I discovered called pocket pals.  I will have more on that for you later during Pen to Paper ;) Of course when I discover something I dive in full bore and it ate up a lot of my free time this week. Also Munchkin is still a little sick and it did get worse this week. We had several sleepless nights due to coughing fits and nightmares. 

So with all that going on during the week I didn't get much reading done. Thankfully Saturday was Dewey's Readathon! I was able to make up a lot of the reading during the readathon. I did focus more on children's books and graphic novels due to the ease of being able to read them quickly and not too hard to focus on with interruptions. I also was over halfway done with the audio version of Rush so I took advantage of an audio book and kept busy too.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mini Reviews: The Borrower, Nobody's Princess 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.
This was a big disappointment. After 10 hours of listening there were only a few parts worth it. I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.
This was a re-read for me and wasn't quite as captivating as the first time. I was able to enjoy some of the smaller details this time around though. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
A quick spur of the moment read. It was what you would expect, nothing special but not horrible. Two Paws and a Stump Wag