Friday, April 26, 2013

Bedtime Story: Armadillo Rodeo

Synopsis: "When Bo spots what he thinks is a "rip-roarin', rootin'-tootin', shiny red armadillo," he knows what he has to do. Follow that armadillo! Bo leaves his mother and three brothers behind and takes off for a two-stepping, bronco-bucking adventure. Jan Brett turns her considerable talents toward the Texas countryside in this amusing story of an armadillo on his own."

My Review: I really enjoyed this book (might be my love for the armadillo speaking). The images were bright and the story was very cute. I liked how Brett used actual facts about the armadillo in the story (ie. poor eyesight). It was also great how not only do you get to read Bo's adventure but in the borders of each page you can see his mother's story as she tries to find Bo. A very cute and unique story for little ones. I would suggest a pre-school to kindergarten age for this book though, its a little long for really young ones like Munchkin.
My Rating: I adored this book, while it was a little advanced for Munchkin we did manage to read it over a few nights. I hope he will really like it as he gets older.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review of Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Eyes Like Stars was your choice for the Fantasy Genre during my Spend My Money event in January.
Synopsis: "All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.

Open Curtain"

My Review: I was really looking forward to starting this series, and it is clear this is the first book of the series until you start reading. I felt like maybe I missed a prelude. I had an unusually tough time picturing the scene. Maybe you need to be very familiar with the workings of a professional theater and the backstage workings? I'm not really sure because while I do enjoy plays, I am not familiar with all the details of pulling one off. It was an interesting concept though, everyone confined to the theater and able to be called on stage with just the use of the headset, any scene or act ready on a moments notice. An escaped actress who returned and now another trapped actor wishes to escape but possibly Bertie is the only one who can release him. I think that maybe the characters would have eventually grown on me but I don't see me being able to dedicate the time to the next novel of the series.
My Rating: This was such a disappointment.  I wasn't attached to any of the characters except Nate, in fact I found several of them very annoying and distracting.  For the great story concept, it was a little bit of a let down.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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 - 34,317 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


So I have managed to complete two of my 2013 writing goals so far this month :D I have finished my outline for the ending of Princess Bs, some of it will probably be thrown out in the long run but I have a means to get to the end that I want for the story.  I also settled on a digital voice recorder and got it ordered.  Fun thing about a digital one instead of tapes is that you can create folders so I can have one folder for a current project and another folder for random ideas that strike me.

I am excited to say that I have managed to also get myself motivated to work on the Princess Bs, I just started writing again on Monday and have already managed to write 1,650 words! It doesn't seem like much but it is a start. I may not quite reach my goal of 18K words this month but am just happy to be making progress in the writing front again.  I am using what little spare time I have in the office for my writing (and the spare time I have at home goes to reading). I think I have developed a nice balance and schedule for myself.

Monday, April 22, 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
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (Bedtime Story)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Audio Book)
Life of Pi (Movie Review)

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

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Goodnight Thumper
I am a Dump Truck
Currently Reading:

October Night by Theresa Oles - Kindle - 11%
Twelve Months by Steven Manchester - Nook - on page 62 of 212
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Manchtev - PB - on page 256 of 352

 Books to be Read Soon:

True Grit by Charles Portis (Book v. Movie)
Chasing Dragons by Doug Jaffe (Requested Review)
Luminaire by Ciye Cho (Requested Review)

Another week has passed me by with only a little reading accomplished.  I did however manage to finish listening to Life of Pi and that was quite a big deal for me, its hard to get enough quiet time to listen to a long audio book around here! 

I have also been using my spare time in the office to work on my writing instead of reading. So busy busy busy, I hope to have a few more books finished for you this coming week! We will have to see.

Hope you all have a great week filled with new adventures.