Friday, September 28, 2012

Bloggiesta Update - Day 1

Boy has it been a busy, yet very satisfying day working on the blog! Thanks to Bloggiesta I have gotten so much done!
My Goals for Bloggiesta
1. Update my read page  - DONE
2. Update my about me page -DONE
3. Get pictures and update my ratings page - DONE
4. Figure out more about Twitter and get my account more active - Ongoing but checking DONE
5. Get caught up on emails & respond to pending review requests
6. Schedule posts for October
7. Visit some of my favorite bloggers - Working on it
8. Connect with at least 10 new bloggers (would love to connect with more) - Meeting Great new people!
9. Maybe set up a facebook page for my blog
10. Have some fun and learn some new techy things - Learning Tons
Mini Challenges Participated In So Far
Guest Posts -  2 pending, want to request 2 more before the end of the weekend!
Get Personal - Updated About Me page, more info & scheduled personal posts once a month
Get Organized - Set up a weekly & monthly schedule & made notes in Planner
Pocket - Oh My Gosh! Brilliant!! Downloaded App & signed up!
Printing - Need a printer but bookmarked printfriendly! Can't wait to print my reviews!
Review Catch Up - I definitely needed this and am all caught up with my 7 reviews!
Discussion Posts - I want all you to get to have a little more interaction with me so I am going to start doing a Book to Movie discussion post on the 2nd Saturday each month!
Comfort Zone - So exciting, I have tons of ideas rolling around in my mind. I will definitely be adding more in my personal monthly post, and I have been trying new Genres thanks to authors sending me books for review, but the one thing I need to try is a giveaway & using Rafflecopter, I also want to do more author interviews, they all terrify me!
Wow it has been a crazy first day of Bloggiesta and I am looking forward to more tomorrow! Though I must remember to wear my glasses tomorrow, I think my eyes have crossed!

Bedtime Story: Doggies, a Counting and Barking Book

Synopsis: "Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring

nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages,

and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages."

My Review: I received this book as part of a book swap and my partner was kind enough to send some books for Munchkin! I was very happy to receive this one as it goes through and adds more dogs, each a different breed (sadly no doberman) and with a different bark! So much better than trying to explain why all the books and toys say dogs bark or woof and ours makes a completely different noise. It will not only help teach Munchkin to count but also that not all animals make the same noise like on that spinning farm animal sound thing we all played with as kids! Oh and nice touch on the last page with the cat!        
My Rating: Well I think Munchkin will enjoy this one a little more once he gets older, right now barking at him doesn't exactly soothe him, or Niko really for that matter. I give it a rating of Three Paws for the future education value.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Review of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Synopsis: "Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers."

My Review: The only word I could think of to describe this book after finishing it late at night was traumatizing. This was a traumatizing book to read, but a great book. It was horribly emotional and revealing. We saw the good side of people and the horrible ugly side too. With all the talk of bullies at schools I think Thirteen Reasons Why should be required reading, show the impact of not only bullying but also so called idle rumors. I have read several reviews about this book and there is a lot of talk about how Hannah's reasons for suicide aren't bad enough, but I myself was bullied, teased and the subject of many rumors and can say they hurt far more than expected, they worm deep down inside and hide out, popping their head up at the most inopportune times. While I made it through, not everyone has the support system I had, or the determination or emotional strength to get past it. I think teachers and adults should also have to read this book, I turned to those who are suppose to aid you in times of hurt but only told to get over it or be the bigger person or let it slide off my back; there is a lesson here for everyone.

This was a very emotional book, and it may not be easy for everyone to read but it really shouldn't be with the intense message held within.
My Rating: This was a difficult book to rate, there is no happy ending, no resolution, it just is and it leaves you feeling empty inside.  So how do you give a great rating to a book that made you feel so bad, except it was a great book written to cause those emotions.  I have to give it a rating of Four Paws!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


So I am taking a dive and joining Bloggiesta in hopes of getting my blog in tip top shape for our big October!
Bloggiesta is hosted twice a year over at There's a Book Blog to help us all get those to do lists done and meet new bloggers (or reconnect with old friends).
If you decide to participate in the Fall 2012 edition you can expect:
  • to spend time that weekend (as much or as little as your schedule allows) working on your blog
  • to create a to do list to share on your blog and link up with other participants
  • to hopefully participant in several mini challenges and learn something new
  • to connect with other participants through blog hopping or twitter
  • to make new blogging friends!
  • to come away at the end of the three days with a spiffed up blog!

So if you want to join me and the rest of the participants head on over and get yourself signed up.
My Goals for Bloggiesta
1. Update my read page
2. Update my about me page
3. Get pictures and update my ratings page
4. Figure out more about Twitter and get my account more active
5. Get caught up on emails & respond to pending review requests
6. Schedule posts for October
7. Visit some of my favorite bloggers
8. Connect with at least 10 new bloggers (would love to connect with more)
9. Maybe set up a facebook page for my blog
10. Have some fun and learn some new techy things
I hope to spend at least a couple of hours each day online and participating, but it all depends on what Munchkin will allow (hopefully hubby will be home and can take him for a bit).

Review of Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie

Synopsis: "In a quiet fishing village seventeen years ago, one lone fisherman rescued a child from the sea. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder long about where she came from -- or notice her silver hair, usually pale skin, and wide, dark blue eyes.

Pearl grows from a mysterious child into an unusual young woman, not always welcomed in the village. As all the other girls her age find husbands, she has only one friend to ease her loneliness. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.

But their friendship is shaken when trouble erupts in the kingdom -- a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, just when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and hints about Pearl's past threaten to tear them apart...forever."

My Review: I am really loving all these retelling of classic fairy tales in the 'Once Upon A Time' books. I find it so interesting how different the point of view is from the Little Mermaid that we all know and love. I really enjoyed the characters and the really different ending from the classic tale. Pearl seems so timid and almost fearful but it was a pleasure to watch her blossom with James' friendship and the arrival of Kale and Faye. I almost wanted more in the story, I wanted to learn more about the blacksmith, and Kale and even the Sea Witch. I want to know what happens next, but at the same time I am thrilled with the ending.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

After Dark Review of Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton

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 a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…"

My Review: I love that Hamilton is bringing back the original Anita Blake that I fell in love with! Its great to see the books getting back to the original Executioner Anita as opposed to the overly sexed and emotionally drained Anita! In this one while we still get some time with Anita's lovers (and of course some of my favorites, Micah and Nathaniel), we don't spend all our time in the bedroom (or other random places) but get back to the business of being a US Marshal and hunting down bad vampires. There is a little drama with the lovers but Anita seems to finally be standing up and taking control of the situation like she does when she is working, it was kind of a relief to see her send one of her lovers away (I won't tell you who, you will just have read and find out). I have to say I hope the next book continues with this trend of not overly doing the sex and magic, but just gives us awesome, in control Anita! Oh and you must read the end of the book! Surprises and heart stopping action!!
My Rating: A great way to save a series for me, this is book number 21 in the Anita Blake series and while I adore the characters I was getting a little tired of all the drama involved in the books and lack of action, but Kiss the Dead brought it all back around for me! I give it a rating of Three Paws and A Stump Wag.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review of Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan

Synopsis: "In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!"

My Review: I was so excited when I started reading and found out it was a create your own adventure book! It has been years since I read one and the ones I did read always seemed to be geared more towards boys. Not only was it a create your own adventure but also an interesting twist on a classic fairy tale. I didn't really understand the ninja warrior part as it didn't seem to have a huge part in the story but it may have just been choices I made. The characters were very interesting, I probably liked them more in this book than in the classic fairy tale! I loved Ty and Max, and of course Cinderella. I loved seeing her take matters into her hands and the mix of the fairy tale, romance, and magic! I am looking forward to reading it again and choosing a new path!        
My Rating: Loved choosing my own path and participating in creating the story, there really need to be more of these style of books!! I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, September 24, 2012

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!

What I Reviewed Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

The Brotherhood of Piaxia by Michael Darkich
Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James (After Dark)
Oh, Baby, The Places You'll Go by Tish Rabe (Bedtime Story)
WE3 by Grant Morrison (Graphic Novel)

Currently Reading:

Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keller - PB - on page 92 of 288
Cleo: The cat who mended a family by Helen Brown - PB - on page 89 of 292

Next Books to be Read:

Under Camelot's Banner by Sarah Zettel - Arthurian Legend Challenge
Soul of a Highlander by Melissa Mayhue - Mount TBR Challenge

So yay for being back to reading, reviewing and blogging! I have a lot more reviews coming up this week and next week.  October is looking like it will be an exciting month here at Eastern Sunset Reads so I hope you will visit throughout the month!!
In other exciting news, I think I am finally starting to figure out the whole Twitter thing so if you would like follow me there @EasternSunset9