Saturday, November 10, 2012

Graphic Novel Review of Bayou, Volume 1 by Jeremy Love

Graphic Novel Saturdays occur once a month here on Eastern Sunset Reads and will feature a new graphic novel on the second Saturday of each month. This is a whole new genre for me that I am excited about and hope you will all join me in the excitement of finding new adventures!

Synopsis: "South of the Mason-Dixon Line lies a strange land of gods and monsters; a world parallel to our own, born from centuries of slavery, civil war, and hate.

Lee Wagstaff is the daughter of a black sharecropper in the depression-era town of Charon, Mississippi. When Lily Westmoreland, her white playmate, is snatched by agents of an evil creature known as Bog, Lee's father is accused of kidnapping. Lee's only hope is to follow Lily's trail into this fantastic and frightening alternate world. Along the way she enlists the help of a benevolent, blues singing, swamp monster called Bayou. Together, Lee and Bayou trek across a hauntingly familiar Southern Neverland, confronting creatures both benign and malevolent, in an effort to rescue Lily and save Lee's father from being lynched.

BAYOU VOL. 1 collects the first four chapters of the critically acclaimed webcomic series by Glyph Award nominee Jeremy Love."

My Review: Not really sure what to think of this one. It is disturbing, the language and the violence but it is correct to the era unfortunately. That is probably why it is uncomfortable to read, that it was so hard for them. Once I got past that, it seems like the start to an exciting adventure. I adore little Lee, such a tough little girl who tries her hardest to do what is right. But I have to say I love Bayou, so sweet and kind! I am a little curious what happens in the next volume.
My Rating: Bayou has an interesting mix of characters and is appropriate for the era. It was a good start to the story, but for me I am not sure if it will get me to come back for the next volume.  We will have to see if it nags in the back of my mind until I just have to find out what happens next. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bedtime Story: Puppy Explores

Synopsis: "Spend the day with Puppy as he naps through the afternoon and explores new and interesting parts of his own backyard. Puppy Explores, a 16-page sturdy board book, is part of Soundprints' Baby Animals series, which teaches kids that young animals depend on their Mommies and Daddies just as much as young children. Puppy Explores offers a delightful story complemented by rare photographs of a puppy exploring his backyard, a combination that is sure to excite all little learners! Also included is an adorable stuffed toy puppy!"

My Review: Puppy Explores is a fun and short board book. It is nice and short for baby attention spans. I like that it has photographs of a real puppy instead of illustrations. My copy also came with a stuffed cocker spaniel for Munchkin to play with while reading to him (at least once he can hold on to it). I also like how it follows puppy from waking up through play and back to nap time, so it will make a good book to read before an afternoon nap instead of bed time.
My Rating:  We give this one a rating of Four Paws as it is great for young babies, though it may be too short in later years.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Review of The Breeders by Katie French

Synopsis: "Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches-- moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders' long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they're hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender-- a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley's affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?

The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico-- escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is shot and forced into the Breeder's hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she'll share unless she can find a way out."

My Review: Now that is a Dystopian novel!! I may be new to the genre but after reading Hunger Games and Divergent, then following with The Breeders, I think this is what the genre should be! Katie French really sucks you into the book and makes you feel that absolute terror and hopelessness, not to mention determination! I am sure there are all kinds of statements and warnings about science and politics but I didn't really pay attention because I was so into the story and the characters. I love Riley, her toughness is unbelievable and I adore Ethan, he is tough in his own way. Honestly how could anyone not fall in love with Clay?! And Wow the adventure and horrible decisions they each have to make! The end leaves us kind of hanging out there wondering if there is a happy ending or if the nightmares continue. LOVED it and the way it makes my heart race!
My Rating: I can't recommend this book enough, especially for dystopian fans! I give it a rating Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

After Dark Review of Addicted to My Sugar Daddy by Mack Collins

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: "Juggling, school, rent and bills seems like all too much for Liz. Her dream car is just that, a DREAM! Why did her life have to be so, so hard? Her job on campus does not help the situation much either. What is she to do?

Should she find herself a man who provides money or other favors in exchange for sexual relations to ease her burdens? Should she go get herself a Sugar Daddy that will spoil her rotten."

My Review: A hot read! Liz needs a sugar daddy but she has to pick just one. While I wasn't a huge fan of Liz or her pal Suzie, I did really love Mike and Joey really grew on me. I would have liked to get to know Liz a little better and maybe it would have made me like her a little more, I wanted to feel that she had real feelings for the guys. With that said, it is a perfect short book to read after the kids go to sleep, you can slip into the story and imagine being treated like an absolute princess!
My Rating: I did enjoy the story line and the steamy scenes, just wish I could connect with Liz more.  I give it rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
Addicted to My Sugar Daddy was sent to me by the author for review.
You can find out more about Addicted to My Sugar Daddy and Mack Collins on Goodreads.
You can also purchase your own ebook copy of it on Amazon

Music Speaks Read-Along #3 - Solo


Throughout November I will be doing a read along of Music Speaks an anthology of stories with music. I hope you will all participate.  Music, like books, can affect us in so many ways it only makes sense to have a book of music stories. I will be doing 2 stories a week, the first of which will be on Thursday. 

You can get your copy in ebook format on Amazon for $2.99 or in paperback format on Amazon for $6.99.  Sorry but its not on Barnes and Noble (I should have told you all to get it earlier because I downloaded it when it was free).

So please join me, if you aren't going to be reading along I would still love if you would stop by, I would love to hear how particular songs or artist have made an impact in your life!

Welcome to the third read-along of the month! The third short story in the book is call Solo and is written by David Antrobus.

In Solo we hear about a guitar player in a rock band and how he ended up alone.  He let the fame of being a rock star go to his head.  He began to believe he was the sole reason for the fans and that his fellow band mates would be lost without him.  He became so obsessed with his playing and his role that he didn't see the band members start to break off and leave him until it was just him, alone, no band, singers or even fans.

We can all get so into some portion of our lives we may temporarily let it run us. We may forget to make time for our friends or family.

So what is your weakness? What sucks you in so much you forget all else?

I am definitely guilty of letting my hobbies take over some times.  I have gotten so into my crafts that I forget almost all else.  But the real culprit is usually my reading.  I get so involved with books I often forget to even feed myself, granted now I have to make sure I don't loose myself that much since I have Munchkin relying on me.

Join me on Monday for our next story Heavy Metal Lovesong!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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:

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?

Tamlyn Marie's Grace -

Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

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.

Princess Bs - 32,131 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?

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?

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


How is everyone's Nanowrimo going?  It feels weird not to be busy trying to get words down on paper this month, so much so that I almost jumped in at the last minute (note I am so far from a pantser its not even funny) but I am kind of glad I didn't.  Munchkin ended up getting his shots and has been needing constant cuddling ever since, and leaving not much time for writing.

I am however considering getting a recorder to maybe get some ideas down for transcription later when I have time to sit down and write.

I hope all is going well for all of you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review of Something New by Malena Lott

Synopsis: "In this modern retelling of the Princess and the Pauper, three generations of women live together in a loft in an urban district as they redefine love and happiness and the meaning of "having it all."

Matriarch Maeve, 85, is losing her mind to Alzheimer's and after she receives a note that the musical, The Princess and the Pauper, is being revived, she believes she's 25 again, when she starred in the show. Suddenly, she's a stage diva again and can't stop talking about her co-star, Canty, someone her daughter and grand-daughters had never heard of.

Bess, Maeve's only daughter, is dealing with her divorce at the same time she's planning her 25 year-old daughter's wedding. To make things worse, they are starring in a reality TV show, Luxe Weddings, but no one knows the Apples aren't as wealthy as everyone believes. Her oldest daughter, Kelly, 35, has a secret of her own: she's pregnant by a donor, but is afraid to tell her family due to their position in the community. Just when she's given up men, Kelly meets Edgar, the producer of The Princess and the Pauper, who hires her to plan the launch and wants to include Maeve in the show. Meanwhile, the youngest Apple, curvy shoe-addict, Gwen, struggles with her weight and keeping up with the other brides-to-be on the reality show, when the stage bug - and love bug - hit her at the worst possible time.

With humor and heart, Something New delves deep into our inner lives where secrets, passion and identity yearn for the spotlight"

My Review: I was very happy to revisit my favorite character from Lott's Last Resort. I had wanted to get to know Kelly more and have gotten to know her along with all the Apple women. It was very interesting watching the dynamics of all the women as they rediscover and reinvent their relationships with one another. I have so much sympathy for Bess, I can't imagine watching your mother suffer through Alzheimer's and not remembering that you even exist at times. On the other hand Maeve's Alzheimer's brings her back to her happiest times and gives her an opportunity to set things straight or make new choices. Gwen did a lot of growing up and joining the rest of the ladies in her family in making her own decisions and becoming more independent. And Kelly learns she doesn't always have to be so independent, that you can lean on family and friends a little more. Of course Malena Lott has a talent for painting scenes so vividly that you feel like you are there feeling the emotions or at least wishing you could be in a specific place. I really wish I could have a romantic night in a field of lavender while on a weekend getaway in Sonoma Valley with my special someone!! *swoon* talk about romantic scene setting!! Oh and you don't have to read Last Resort to enjoy Something New!
My Rating: I really enjoyed this follow up novel and as always with Malena Lott, you can't help but love the characters and storylines.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.
Something New was sent to me by Malena Lott's publicist for review.
You can see my review of another of her books, Last Resort or find out more on Malena's author page on Goodreads.
You can also get your copy of this BRAND NEW book (yup it was just released yesterday) on Paperback or ebook formats on Barnes & Noble or in paperback on Amazon.

Review of Donners Bend by Alexa V. James

Synopsis: "Donners Bend is an engaging story about a young girl, Eliana Mae Henderson. Eliana was young and pretty, though not thoroughly convinced of the latter. After leaving home at an early age, she experienced her share of difficulties; but she knew this was her life and there was no looking back. Fortunately, she was not afraid of hard work or anything that accompanied her seemingly uncertain future.

As she navigates through the challenges, she finds joy, unwavering friendships, and courage; but more than anything else, what Ellie least expected... an amazing, extraordinary love."

My Review: A lovely romance. I really loved the characters in this book, they were well developed and easy to love. I want to be friends with them! Ellie is such a sweet girl that has so much happen quickly in her young life. I absolutely adore the scenes where when Ellie, the kids and Jamie played Peter Pan and Pirates. I also loved the Shakespeare scene between Ellie and Jamie. Donners Bend is a lovely romance that builds, a couple of love triangles but they support the story line beautifully. It is also a clean romance, appropriate for readers of all ages. The only minor issue I have is that the time period it is suppose to take place in is not very clear. It seems to have taken place in the Victorian era but yet there are a few inconsistencies with the traditions of the society, so that distracted me a little. Other than that I really enjoyed Donners Bend.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, it was nice to read a clean romance with great characters that had time to develop.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
Donners Bend was sent to me by the author for review.
You can find Donners Bend on Goodreads.
You can also get a copy for yourself  in ebook format on  Amazon or paperback at Barnes & Noble.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Music Speaks Read-Along #2 - The Heart Never Forgets


Throughout November I will be doing a read along of Music Speaks an anthology of stories with music. I hope you will all participate.  Music, like books, can affect us in so many ways it only makes sense to have a book of music stories. I will be doing 2 stories a week, the first of which will be on Thursday. 

You can get your copy in ebook format on Amazon for $2.99 or in paperback format on Amazon for $6.99.  Sorry but its not on Barnes and Noble (I should have told you all to get it earlier because I downloaded it when it was free).

So please join me, if you aren't going to be reading along I would still love if you would stop by, I would love to hear how particular songs or artist have made an impact in your life!

Welcome to the second readalong of the month! The second short story in the book is call The Heart Never Forgets and is written by Ann Cathey.

In this story we follow Kimberly Dean as she discovers her crush as a teenager is a famous singer who is performing at a function she is organizing.  She can't help herself from trying to see him one more time, and attends his concert.  A song catches her ear as he sings about the love that got away, the one he wishes he could go home to.  Kimberly approaches him after the show to see if he remembers her and they are able to reconnect and finally confess their feelings for each other back then and still now.

Wouldn't be nice if everyone got to reconnect with the one that got away like that? To find out the one you loved before and still do is still available and loves you as much?!

So fess up! What would you say to your teenage crush or what would happen if you ran into each other again?

This story really couldn't have come at a better time for me! My mom and I were actually talking about my high school crush after she had recently seen him (she still lives in my tiny hometown and sees most of my classmates regularly).  Now back in high school he was the best looking guy in our school, smart, and good at everything he did!  My mom's one comment to me was that my hubby is soooo much better looking LOL! Yup I guess according to her, time hasn't been as good to him.

Anywho, if we did run into each other, which will probably happen eventually, since we are both married with kids will probably result in just simple introductions and maybe a tiny bit of looking back but we didn't talk much in school so probably wouldn't have much to talk about all these years later.

Join me on Thursday for our next story Solo.

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
Sarah Smiles by Seanpaul Thomas
One Little Christmas Tree by the Curto Family and Rusty Fischer (Bedtime Story)

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

The Breeders by Katie French
Addicted to My Sugar Daddy by Mack Collins
Something New by Malena Lott

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 124 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
Eragon by Christopher Paolini - Mount TBR Challenge/ Book v. Movie
Fire on the Island by JK Hogan

So there was a lot less reading this week, but what do you expect with a hurricane, Halloween and Munchkin's 2 month doctor appointment (which included a bunch of vaccinations and resulted in a very unhappy baby).  But all in all it was a good week! I have the read along going on this month and have planned a giveaway for later this month, as well as an event for the next few months!
So as promised here are a few pictures of the family (except hubby who had to work) all dressed up for Halloween.
Miss Valerie was a devil

Niko was a pig

and Munchkin was a baby Duck while I was a swan (our odd take on the Ugly Duckling)

Hope you all have a fantastic week!!