Saturday, April 13, 2013

Graphic Novel Review of Bone Vol. 1: Out from Boneville

This was your choice for the Graphic Novel during the Spend My Money event in January!
Synopsis: "After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert.

One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures...

Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.

My Review: This was a little bit of an ehh for me. The illustrations were great and a some of the lines were a little funny but the story line fell flat for me. I really wanted to enjoy this one, it looked like a great story line but it wasn't as exciting as some of the other graphic novels I have read recently. It was a little predictable and I kind of enjoyed the forest animals better than the human characters. The one character I really did enjoy was the dragon. Oh well, some may enjoy it but just didn't hold up to my expectations.
My Rating: I wanted to like this one so bad, the concept and the illustrations had my expectations high, unfortunately it just didn't strike a chord with me.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bedtime Story: Little Blue Truck Leads the Way

Synopsis: "Zooom! Wooeeee . . . ! "Make way!" The big city sure is a speedy, noisy place for a country truck like Blue. Everywhere Blue looks, he sees buses, police cars, taxis, vans, a street sweeper, and even the mayor’s limousine. With everyone pushing to be first, soon there’s a giant traffic jam! But even a wrangle-tangle is no match for Little Blue Truck, who comes to the rescue in true Blue style. Brimming with bright colors, sounds, and city energy, this new adventure makes working together and taking turns more fun than ever."

My Review: I have grown rather fond of the Little Blue Truck books. Munchkin really enjoys the sound effects. Living in a pretty urban area I got a chuckle out of the car's personalities and how everyone was so cranky! The images were a little small but I think as Munchkin grows he will have fun spotting the different vehicles on the page and mimicking the sound effects with me. A great little story to share with little ones.

My Rating: We will be enjoying this story for some time. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

After Dark Review of Cynful by Dana Marie Bell

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 ;)
This was a book you all picked from my Spend My Money posts in January! Enjoy!
Synopsis: "To save the woman he loves, he must push his gifts to the brink.

Halle Shifters, Book 2

Julian DuCharme, a rare Spirit Bear with legendary healing powers, is finally free from the threat of death, finally free to claim his mate—but she’s not having it. While his Bear screams it’s time to mate, the love of his life wants to date.

Holding his Bear in check while convincing her he’s not out to control her won’t be easy. She’s stubborn and a closeted geek—in other words, perfect for him.

Cynthia “Cyn” Reyes, owner of Living Art Tattoos, thinks Julian is the hottest thing on two legs. That doesn’t mean she’s going to roll over for his masculine charm. She watched her mother flounder when her father passed away, and she’s determined to never lose herself to someone else. Not even a man who would jump the moon for her, if she asked that of him.

When the women of Living Art are targeted by a killer, Julian doesn’t think twice about pouring out his last drop of power
to keep Cyn safe. But it’s Cyn who’ll give up everything—her independence, even her humanity—to keep a terrifying vision
from coming true.

One of his death.

Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, graphic language, a tattooed heroine and the Bear who loves her. Maybe he’ll finally convince her to tattoo him with “Property of Cyn”."

My Review: This was a great follow up to Bear Necessities, and a much better book to read. I got to see the characters I really liked in the first book of the series really develop. I absolutely adore Cyn and Julian, I want to be their friends. They are both hidden geeks and I loved seeing them discover that about each other as their relationship developed. While there was a lot of crisis in this one, it didn't seem as much because there was some recovery time in between. What I did love was Cyn's journey to meet Bear, it was a great little insight into how things work for the Spirit Bears. I am not sure what to think of the next potential book in the series as I am not sure if I like Glory or Ryan so much anymore but maybe once their story takes the spotlight and I can see what is behind their personalities it will be better.
My Rating: I love Julian and Cyn, they are such great characters! Cynful was a much better story for me than the first book of this branch off series. I give this book a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review of Last Regress by Rachael J. Thorne

Synopsis: "Alyssa Matthews thought she had an explanation for everything. After all, as a slightly sceptical paranormal investigator that was what she was used to doing; researching, observing and explaining.

So when she began writing a paper about a long forgotten case of death by Spontaneous Human Combustion, she assumed it would be a run-of-the-mill piece. Little did she realise that she was about to be plunged into a situation that would not only force her to question her own sanity, but also her scepticism about the nature of the paranormal.

Not to mention the dreams that just wouldn’t go away..."

My Review: Last Regress was sent to me by the author for an honest review. It took quite a while for this book to build up steam. I felt like the first several chapters just kept repeating themselves, I don't know if that was by design to draw the readers into Alyssa's possible psychosis. Honestly, Alyssa drove me a little crazy and definitely was not my favorite character, I much preferred Nathaniel and Cain with their perspective stories. As compared to what we are all use to with paranormal being witches, vampires and shapeshifters; Thorne takes a much more traditional approach to paranormal with ghosts, other dimensions and dabbling in chants and black magic. I was really hoping for the spontaneous human combustion to take a much stronger role in the book but sadly it only made a brief appearance. Another thing that caught me a little off guard is the romance, it doesn't really build so much as that it is suddenly very there. It almost felt out of place and much of that chapter wasn't really needed. With all that said, Thorne did a fantastic job with the Dark Ones and creating the scare factor for me. I honestly had to set the book aside for a little while so I would stop looking for creepy shadows in the corners of the room every night.
My Rating: I really have mixed feelings about this one, I definitely liked some parts and other parts not so much.  I think it would be a great paranormal horror if some of the romance was removed.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
Last Regress was sent to me by the author to read and give an honest review.
You can find out more about Rachael Thorne & Last Regress on Goodreads or Facebook
You can also obtain your own ebook copy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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:

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?

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.

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?

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?

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


Hurray for some motivation!! Since I have decided to unofficially participate in NanoCamp this month I have pulled out my writing box filled with works in progress.  I settled on Princess Bs to be my project for now since it is the closest to being done.

Monday I read through what I have already done and it was exciting because even though it was my own writing it still drew me into the story.  I spent some time yesterday working on outlining the ending since I now know where exactly I want this to end up.   My goal now is to get that 18K words to bring it to 50K and maybe even complete the story by the end of the month!!

Don't you just love when inspiration hits you in the face, with a baseball bat?!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review of Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Here was all of your choice for Young Adult during my Spend My Money event in January!
Synopsis: "Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?"

My Review: Well Stealing Parker wasn't really what I was expecting. It turned out to be a very religious book revolving around the church, prayer and sinning. There were a lot of other themes but it kind of bugged me how religious it was when I wasn't expecting it. I really have to be in the right mood for that kind of book to enjoy it. As a result I ended up not being a huge fan of many of the characters. I did end up really loving Drew and Will and Parker's mom. After reading and absolutely loving Catching Jordan, I was kind of expecting a lot more sports talk and involvement but it really seemed to take a back seat to all of Parker's relationship drama. Unfortunately this was a little bit of a disappointment for me :(
My Rating: Stealing Parker really through me off, maybe if I had been prepared for such a strong religious aspect I would have enjoyed it more but it just felt like it kept getting shoved in my face over and over again. I feel like it kind of took away from some of the other messages in the book.  I unfortunately give it a rating of Two Paws.

Monday, April 8, 2013

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
Baby Farm Animals (Bedtime Story)
Bear Necessities by Dana Marie Bell (After Dark)
Hiccupotamus (Bedtime Story)
Grimm Fairy Tales Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel)

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

Armadillo Rodeo
Bunny Loves to Read
Hush Little Baby
Slow Snail
Easter Bunny
Stealing Parker
Last Regress
Currently Reading:

October Night by Theresa Oles - Kindle - 2%
Life of Pi by Yann Martel - Audio Book - On Disc 3 of 9

 Books to be Read Soon:

True Grit by Charles Portis (Book v. Movie)
Twelve Months by Steven Manchester (Requested Review)
Luminaire by Ciye Cho (Requested Review)
Gosh it feels good to get caught up on some reading, reviews and posting. I have also been getting caught up on email responses and working on my writing! It felt like a very productive week last week even though it was a little short after company left!
I have a few goals for this month to get several of the requested reviews completed and posted.  I also need to get my review policy written up and posted (I have secretly been reading all of yours to get an idea of what I want mine to say) by the end of the month. 
So yea, I'm back and working hard!!
Oh yea and I had an uber adorable co-worker last Friday! It was hard to get any work done with him sitting there being cute lol

Hope you all have a great week!!