Saturday, August 6, 2016

Graphic Novel Review of Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge
Synopsis: "From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40, Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple's multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets."

My Review: It has been nearly a year since I read the previous 2 volumes but even with that break it was easy to slip back into the storyline and characters. I really enjoyed this one even though it isn't very action packed, I am enjoying the multiple character's storylines. I also really enjoy the art style and even the font in these. I am looking forward to reading the next few volumes soon!
My Rating: I have enjoyed this one as much as the previous 2 and am loving the storyline and characters.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Bedtime Story: What a Bad Dream by Mercer Mayer

Read for: Children's Book Challenge & Munchkin's Nightmares
Synopsis: "In his dream, Little Critter turns into a monster that is so scary that he can do whatever he wants, but he discovers that he does not like being alone."

My Review: We love Little Critter books and with Munchkin suffering from bad dreams I thought this would be a great book to convey that it is all pretend. This wasn't quite what I expected but it did trigger some of the conversations with Munchkin about dreams that I was hoping for. Still a great book for Little Critter fans.
My Rating: While it wasn't exactly what I was looking for it was still a great Little Critter book to enjoy.  We give it a rating  of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Ice Cream Soup by

Read for: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "What happens when you try to make an ice cream cake, but add too much stuff? You end up with ice cream soup! This original Level 1 reader with rhyming text is perfect for beginning readers."

My Rating: This is a fun and silly book for those beginning readers. It is a great level one book with large print, simple words and sentences and a story to keep attention. Many of the words are sight words that early readers will be able to pick up on. The story is also so silly, about making an ice cream cake that kids will ask to read it again and again.
My Rating: This is such a great book for those early readers, sight words, rhyming words, describing words for the senses and it is silly to boot.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

After Dark Re-Read Review of Heart Mate by Robin D. Owens

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: Series Challenge & Re-Read for refresher
 Synopsis: "All his life, Rand T’Ash has looked forward to meeting his HeartMate, with whom he could begin a family. Once a street tough, now a respected nobleman and artisan, he has crafted the perfect HeartGift, which, in the custom of the psychically gifted population of the planet Celta, is the way a man finds—and attracts—his wife…

Danith Mallow is irresistibly drawn to the magnificent necklace on display in T’Ash’s shop, but she is wary of its creator, despite an overpowering attraction. In a world where everyone is defined by their psychic ability, Danith has little, placing her at the opposite end of the social spectrum from T’Ash. But T’Ash refuses to accept her rejection and sees it as a challenge instead. They are HeartMates, but can T’Ash persuade his beloved to accept her destiny by his side?"

My Review: I am finally re-reading this series since several new books have come out in the years since I last read these. I listened to the audio book for this one this time and it was a rather long and drawn out narration. It was also more confusing than I remember it being. There is a lot of world building necessary for this book and series and there are definitely some things like rituals and powers that aren't really clear but that you can form rough ideas (I think they become more clear as the series continues). I enjoy the characters of the book, they each have a lot of depth to them. Of course Zanth is fantastic, the cat attitude came across perfectly. There is a lot of sexual tension in this book and romance is the main theme but there are also several background story lines developing as well. I must say that this might be a book that is best read instead of audio though, I felt like I wasn't able to settle into the story as well as I did in the past.
My Rating: For some reason this one wasn't nearly as good of a re-read, I think part of it was because of the narration of the audiobook (I think I just don't like male narrators in general).  It was still good but definitely not for everyone, one thing to keep in mind is that this is the start of a 14+ book long fantasy/sci-fi series and the base to build off. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Pen to Paper: Vintage Postage

Hello everyone, I hope you have been having a good week so far.  I personally cannot wait for the weekend, we are all still sick and I just too Munchkin to the doctor yesterday and found out he has walking pneumonia :( poor guy, now I have to try to get in too since I have the same cough.
Anyway I thought I would talk to you a little bit today about how to dress up the outside of your envelopes without having to be artsy.  It is simple, just use some old stamps.  Did you know you could use any previously unused vintage stamps, they can still be used at face value.  You can use any combination of US vintage or current stamps as long as the postage amount comes out to be correct (regular letter currently .47 cents or postcard at .35 cents). Sometimes I go a little over but that is okay too. I know some stamp collectors might throw a fit about using some vintage stamps so if you are concerned about a collector item just try to check it out first.

You can find unused vintage stamps in lots on ebay for not much cost and chances are they have already been picked over by a collector, or if you want more themed sets of stamps you can check on Etsy too.  Or even go look in your old junk drawer or check with parents and grandparents.
Happy Mailing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review of More Than Pizza by Christine DePetrillo

Read for: Series Challenge & Mount TBR Digital
Synopsis: "Book Four in The Maple Leaf Series

Detective Daxton Wilder only wants one thing—to see Boston mob boss Richard DiNoble behind bars. After spending time undercover in DiNoble’s organization, Dax is close to reaching his goal. Only DiNoble is a step ahead. When Dax wakes up, he has two bullet holes in him from the mob boss, and his twin brother, Harris, has dumped him at Liberty Hill Nursing Home. Pissed at the bucket of suck his life has become, Dax vows to get out of Liberty Hill as fast as he can.

Until his physical therapist walks in.

Shaylee Keene, Liberty Hill’s top physical therapist, can only charm men eighty and older. That much is clear. Her last boyfriend delivered the painful news that he wasn’t attracted to her anymore. Out of the blue. As if it had just occurred to him one morning that she no longer satisfied him. What if she couldn’t satisfy any man? What if she was destined to be alone forever? What if no one ever wanted her?

Now she has a new patient.

As Shaylee works with Dax and the pair tries to avoid DiNoble’s revenge, they find that nothing mends a broken body—and lonely hearts—like falling in love."

My Review: This book took an interesting step away from the previous books in the series. It could almost be the start of a branch off series instead of a continuation of the Maple Leaf series, you didn't really need to read the previous three books as only a couple of the sub-characters made an appearance in this one. With that said I enjoyed the new characters and settings that were presented in this book. I found Shaylee to be a very personable and relatable character as is Dax with his dedication to his job. This was a quick read that was perfect for a summer day on the beach or by the pool.
My Rating: This book wasn't exactly the direction I expected the series to take so that took me a bit to wrap my head around but once I got into the story it was quite the page turner.  I really enjoyed this book, much better than the previous book.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws.
Note: This book does contain some adult themes and scenes but if you prefer you can skim over them and it will not effect the story itself.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tasty Attempts: Chinese Takeout Night

I am now posting Tasty Attempts every other Tuesday. The posts will include a variety of recipes, maybe some of them turn out tasty, maybe others are failed attempts.
On the weekends we usually let Munchkin pick what we are having for dinner, it encourages him to make good food choices and he is more likely to eat dinner if he picks and helps prepare it. But lately all he has been asking for is Pizza or Steak and my Hubby was really disappointed last weekend because he wanted Chinese takeout.  So this weekend I thought I would make something on Saturday for him and let Munchkin choose.  Funds have been tight with some bathroom repairs so I decided to find a recipe and surprisingly enough we had nearly everything needed to make both these recipes.
I chose to make a Chicken Lo Mein and Mushroom Fried Rice, both I found on Pinterest. They were easy enough to make but did take a lot of ingredients and prep work.  The Chicken Lo Mein was okay, the fish sauce was a little over powering and I didn't have quite the right noodles, Munchkin did love it though and gobbled it down. The Mushroom Fried Rice though was out of this world! I will definitely be making it again!

Review of Centaur School by Lucy Coats

Read for: Series Challenge
Synopsis: "Beasts of Olympus is a series of illustrated chapter books set in a magical Ancient Greece where strange things still walk the Earth. In the fifth book, Chiron the centaur teaches Demon to make his own cures for sick mythical beasts. But Demon must put his new skills to the test right away in order to save an ailing phoenix before it's too late!"

My Review: This series has been such a fun find and is getting better and better. I really like how Demon's character and the creature characters have progressed with the story. I also appreciated the fact that Demon is having to come up with cures based on what Chiron has taught him and his own experience. This is another action packed, page turning book for MG readers but that everyone can enjoy.
My Rating: I originally picked up this series last year on a whim and can't believe how much I have been enjoying it. A new book comes out soon too! I give this one a rating of Four Paws.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Magic Tree House Monday: Book 26 - Good Morning, Gorillas

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 26 takes Jack and Annie on an adventure to a new jungle in Africa.  They must learn a new form of magic, the magic of the animals and gestures in their quest to be come magicians.
My Review: Another great installment to this series. Jack and Annie must use skills of observation to appease the Silverback Gorilla. I do find it odd that they are suddenly using their research books less and less and more going off Annie's impulsive instincts, but it has been working for the most recent books. I really enjoyed the facts at the back of the book, even I learned some things about the different gorillas in the jungles.
My Rating: This book seemed a little more mild compared to a lot of the other animal books in this series.  Also, while this book was about interpreting body language of the animals, I have noticed a decline in the use of their research books, that for me was one of the best parts for kids to see so I hope it comes back in future books.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws.

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

Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House)
Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot (Mini Review)
Princess Mia by Meg Cabot (Mini Review)
Princess Forever by Meg Cabot (Mini Review)
Holiday Princess by Meg Cabot (Mini Review)
Perfect Princess by Meg Cabot (Mini Review)
Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot (Mini Review)
A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (ARC Review)
The Surrender of Persephone by Selena Kitt (After Dark Review)
Can You See What I See? Nature by Walter Wick (Early Reader)
Winnie the Pooh's A to ZZzzzs by Don Ferguson (Bedtime Story)
Blood of the Empire: Star Wars Old Republic Vol. 1 by Alexander Freed (Graphic Novel Review)

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

Longing = 3pts
Good Morning Gorillas = 5pts
Curious George Dinosaur Discovery = 1pt
Star Wars Blood of the Empire = 3pts
Destined for a King = 3pts
Centaur School = 5pts
Bambi Hide & Seek = 1pt
Pete the Cat and the Four Groovy Buttons = 1pt
Currently Reading:

Tale of Oriel by Cynthia Voigt - PB - on page 276 of 544
Heart Mate by Robin D. Owens - Audio - 53%

 Books to be Read Soon:

Tale of Elske by Cynthia Voigt
HeartMate Series by Robin D. Owens

Total Points Earned
 123 points + 22 points earned = 145 points

Total Points Earned this Year: 831
Total Points Spent this Year: 699

Pages Read/ Time Listened
153:49 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
29,211 Pages Read (928 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Ugh! What a week last week, it was totally insane in the office and Munchkin brought home a nice summer cold and we all ended up catching it.  So pretty much all week was just grinding through until the weekend.  I did spend most of the weekend disinfecting the house and cleaning, hoping that maybe we can all get healthy again.