Friday, March 18, 2016

Bedtime Story: I'm Not Sleepy by Jane Chapman

Read For: Children's Book Challenge
Synopsis: "A little owlet employs a big bag of tricks when Grandma tries to get him to settle down to sleep."

My Review: This is a great book for bedtime when that little one just doesn't want to settle down and go to sleep. Tricky Grandma knows how to get little owlet sleepy enough for bed. It is a cute story with cute illustrations.
My Rating: This is a fun book for those stubborn bedtime kids. We really enjoyed this story and the pictures.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana by James Dean

Read for: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "Join Pete the Cat in New York Times bestselling author James Dean's I Can Read! beginning reader Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana. In this hilarious new title, Pete the Cat bites into a bad banana and decides that he never, ever wants to eat bananas again. But Pete really likes bananas! Will a rotten bite ruin Pete's love for this tasty fruit?

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana is a My First I Can Read! book, which means it's perfect for shared reading with a child. Fans of Pete the Cat will delight in this I Can Read! tale featuring the grooviest cat, Pete!"

My Review: This was a great beginning reader book for those Pete the Cat lovers that are ready to move up in reading. It has simple sentences with familiar words. It also has a great story about trying something again after it didn't taste good one time. It is definitely a fun book that uses the familiar character to teach about flavors and compare different foods.
My Rating: This was a fun book that both Munchkin and I enjoyed reading, it is simple for those beginning readers and of course features the familiar Pete the Cat character.  We give it a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

After Dark Review of The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

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 ;)
Read for: Audio Challenge & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

The first of a new historical series."

My Review: I wasn't really sure about this book when it first started but the uniqueness of the characters quickly drew me in. I loved Beth with all her tenacity and lack of lady like polish. Ian is one of the most unique characters I have read in a romance, from his manners it is my understanding that he has Aperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, but it is never mentioned by name. It makes it really a unique book and very refreshing to show that even with this issue he is still able to develop strong and lasting relationships with family and those outside the family. It is an absolutely fascinating book to read with characters and a developing storyline that work to make a really unique book. I also listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator (I can't remember her name off the top of my head) did a fantastic job distinguishing the different voices, accents and inflections, it added another element that made you almost feel as if you were a part of the story
My Rating: I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was a little surprised by how much.  I also listened to the audio version and didn't want to stop listening. If you enjoy historical romance I really urge you to give this one a try, it is so enjoyable and unique as well. It stands out in my memory, I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Pen to Paper: Books to Inspire You - Pen Pals as a Hobby

So I wanted to continue with the series I started a couple of weeks ago with books to inspire your letter writing.  Last time I introduced you to a book called Snail Mail that gave a lot of tips on getting started and ways to be creative or have unique to you letters.  I have a new book for you this week with the subject of Pen Pals in mind specifically.
This was a great book about pen pals in particular. It gives a brief introduction about pen pals and how to get started. Then it goes into some of the various aspects and joys of having and being a pen pal.  It is a short ebook to read but will hopefully give you some inspiration of what a friendship pen pals can create over the years.
I hope you will join me again next week as I continue this series with another wonderful book about written correspondence.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review of A Life With You by Roy Miller

Read for: Requested Review
Synopsis: "A Life With You details the small moments of life as lived with a partner. Running out of gas, going for a walk around the neighborhood or water fights in the kitchen, the little things are the glue that keep us together over the years and this collection of vignettes aims to rekindle some memories. Read it with a partner and discuss it together if you can, or use your imagination to paint the image of your perfect match. A Life With You is a reminder that our lives aren't measured in milestones, but in the time between."

My Review:  I wasn't sure what I would be getting with this book, it could have gone either way but I ended up really enjoying it. It is a bunch of brief glimpses into a relationship from one partner's point of view. While so many point to big moments to define a relationship, this book does a great job of pointing out the little moments that speak of great love and connection. It was definitely one that made me pause and think about my own marriage and even stop one day to write my husband a little thank you note for all the little things he does that I never really thank him for. It is beautiful to read and gives you a very feel good, sentimental feeling.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, honestly even more than I expected I would. I found it to be a really feel good, mushy and all around happy book to read. I really hope you will give this one a try (and I may even consider it a great wedding gift to remind couples to note the small moments).  I give it a rating of Four Paws!
I received a copy of A Life With You from the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Roy Miller and his work on his Goodreads Page or his Website.
You can also obtain your own copy in print or digital format on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tea Time: How Do You Take Your Tea?

This is a new series of blog posts to share my love of tea and some discoveries I am making as I dive more into that love. (And honestly, what goes better with books than a nice cup of tea?)
I received this free sample from the Republic of Tea. It is from the Downton Abbey collection and it is the Crawley Sisters. It is a red tea with chocolate and strawberry flavors, now I am not a fan of chocolate so I am not the best person to ask on this tea but I bet some people really love it!
So today I wanted to chat about how you take your tea.  I came across this article a couple of weeks ago and thought it was really fun (and I may at some point try all these different teas). Anyway, it got me thinking about how different people take their tea.  My best friend and her mom who got me into drinking tea as a kid always drink their tea with cream and one sugar.  For me I almost always prefer mine black, I think this is because I tend to drink flavored teas so they are already sweet and full of flavor. 
So how do you drink you tea? Cream? Sugar? Honey? Something else?

Review of Princess in Love by Meg Cabot

Read for: Mount TBR & Series Challenge
Synopsis: "Princess Mia may seem like the luckiest girl ever.

But the truth is, Mia spends all her time doing one of three things: preparing for her nerve-wracking entrée into Genovian society, slogging through the congestion unique to Manhattan in December, and avoiding further smooches from her hapless boyfriend, Kenny.

For Mia, being a princess and in love is not the fairy tale it's supposed to be... or is it?"

My Review: While this book wasn't as bad as the first one, it still wasn't the most enjoyable book for me to read. I found it difficult to sympathize with Mia in this one, maybe I am ready for her to get over some the same issues she has been whining about throughout the series so far. I did find her to at least mature a little bit in other aspects, as far as caring about how her actions will affect those around her. We are finally getting to the point the series has been leading to so far, her introduction to the Genovian people so I am looking forward to the next couple of books.
My Rating: After the great progress in book 2, I felt like this one was a little middle of the road for me. It didn't do a lot to grab my attention but it didn't turn me away either.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Magic Tree House Monday: Book 10 - Ghost Town at Sundown

Welcome to Magic Tree House Monday!

Each Monday (other than when special events are planned) I will review one book of the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne.
Book 10 continues Jack and Annie's quest to become master librarians.  They travel to back in time to the wild west and a ghost town. Facing horse rustlers and rattlesnakes they must find the answer to the next riddle.
My Review: I really enjoyed this new adventure for Jack and Annie. The old west visit was a great idea and I loved the tie in with the mustangs. There of course was the hint of danger throughout the book and the urgency to find the answer to the riddle. I also liked how Slim was tied in to the story in many ways. Again Osborne does a great job of luring in young readers, both boys and girls and even reluctant readers.
My Rating: I particularly enjoyed this book and I feel like the series is doing a great job of growing at an appropriate pace for young readers.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

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

Dolphins at Daybreak by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House)
Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry
What Pet Should I Get by Dr. Seuss (Bedtime Story)
Snail Mail: Rediscovering the Art and Craft of Handmade Correspondence by Michelle Mackintosh
Spring Fling by Mari Carr & Jayne Rayon (After Dark)
Run, Remy, Run! by Kitty Richards (Beginning Reader)
Monday is One Day by Arthur A. Levine (Bedtime Story)
Falling Softly by Jayne Rayon & Mari Carr (After Dark)
The Berenstain Bears Clean House by Stan Berenstain (Beginning Reader)
Clifford's Spring Clean Up by Norman Bridwell (Bedtime Story)
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: Redemption by Scott Lobdell (Graphic Novel)

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

Geronimo = 1pt
Fishing in Narragansett Bay = 1pt
I'm Not Sleepy = 1pt
Clifford's Spring Clean Up = 1pt
Berenstain Bears Clean House = 1pt
How to Help the Earth = 1pt
Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana = 1pt
Pen Pals as a Hobby = 3pts
Ghost Town at Sundown = 5pts
Mabel Crowley Book One = 3pts
Now We Are Six = 3pts
Always First Class = 5pts

Currently Reading:

The Street or Me by Judith Glynn - Kindle - 8%

 Books to be Read Soon:


Total Points Earned
205 points + 26 points earned - 105 points spent = 126 points

Total Points Earned this Year: 321
Total Points Spent this Year: 195

Pages Read/ Time Listened
73:09 Hours Listened (:56 listened this week)
9,828 Pages Read (540 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

The Falconer by Elizabeth May - 15 points spent
An Uncertain Choice by Judy Hedlund - 15 points spent
Riders by Veronica Rossi - 15 points spent
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer - 15 points spent
Firebringer by David Clement-Davies - 15 points spent
Landry Park by Bethany Hagan - 15 points spent
Valkyrie by Kate O'Hearn - 15 points spent

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



So I am back after nearly 2 weeks away.  Boy did that flu really knock me down, then followed it up with a nasty sinus infection.  I am still on the mend but at least I am back to functioning again! I didn't get much reading done in that time, but at least there were some books finished.  I also had my birthday while down but I treated myself to a little book shopping spree once I was able to get out of the house again. 

I am now frantically behind schedule in planning my Rhode Island Author Month next month but I have already gotten one interview started, another scheduled to do in person. I need to email 2 more authors and read a good 6 more books!  Luckily, this week I am on a semi-vacation (semi because it was supposed to be a stay-cation but I need to make up for some of the days I missed while sick). Between working on a full spring cleaning of the house and getting Munchkin's room changed from nursery to a big boy room, I will be also trying to get as much reading and blogging done as possible.