Friday, November 8, 2013

Bedtime Story: How Bees Came to Make Chili by Terry Bradley

Synopsis: "Nubbiebee is showing off for the queen when he accidently clips his wing on a tree. Unable to fly, he is compelled to learn something about himself. Find out what valuable lesson he learned by focusing all his energy and efforts into making something new."

My Review: This was a very cute story for children. The message through out the book was clear and encouraging, to keep trying and that everyone has something they are good at. The illustrations are also cute, even though I was reading on my kindle paperwhite and only in black and white. I also loved the names, Jazziebee is my favorite! It is my understanding this is the first in a series of books to take place in the hive and I look forward to seeing what happens in the future.
My Rating: This was a great book and one I am looking forward to sharing with Munchkin as he gets a little older.  It has a great message, delivered in a kind and clever way.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.
How Bees came to Make Chili was sent to me by the Author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Terry Bradley and his work on his Website, Facebook page or Goodreads Page
You can also obtain your own copy of How Bees came to make Chili in Digital or Print formats on Amazon

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review of Tale of the Taconic Mountains by Mike Romeling

Synopsis: "Everyone had an agenda and it just seemed like coincidence—and of little consequence—that they happened to end up in the small town of Cedar Falls nestled at the base of Bakers Mountain, deep in the ancient Taconic Mountain range. Completely involved, even obsessed, with their own pursuits, it was hardly surprising the visitors would be unaware of older agendas both within the dying town and up in the forests and ridges of the mountain looming above.

There was the discontented novelist fleeing his job and his family, hoping to regain his mojo with a young girlfriend and a new book; a mother in search of her long-estranged daughter, but finding first an unlikely romance with the proprietor who loved his failing bowling establishment like a child—at least when he wasn't making plans to burn it down for the insurance; a soap opera queen who thought she was stopping by for a simple PR gig for the PETA folks when the town was plagued by thousands of bats in search of a new home. Instead found herself revisiting Gretchen Foley, the frightened disturbed child she had been before emerging as the famous Amber Steele.

There were the two Native American friends who came to climb the mountain in search of the fabled quartz Spirit Stones of their Mohican ancestors, the young man who wanted to retrace the steps of his grandfather who once lived along the river that flowed through town. But instead he would come to grief and need to be carried down the mountain by the mysterious and seemingly ageless Boudine sisters who had led secluded lives high on the mountain as long as anyone could remember. Few knew where these strange women had their cabin, but the dying Randle Marsh did, and it was said that he visited the sisters often; was he trying to live on endlessly as dark rumors suggested the sisters did? The rustic Wayne Funt knew where they lived too, but he would leave them strictly alone until he and his dog Duke played a major role in the mayhem that broke out during the raging Christmas snowstorm that buried the town and the mountain.

This collision of clashing agendas was presided over by a sheriff who did the best he could to navigate a safe landing for as many as he could who shared the wild ride on this memorable, often frightening year. And if the result could often be laced with humor and absurdity, it was always tempered—sometimes tragically—with what has always been true: sometimes, deep in the heart of the New England mountains, there are things going on, things both lighter than air and darker than starless night."

My Review: This wasn't quite what I was expecting, I found it very difficult to get into the story. The characters were vivid and the setting was very vivid. However, the story seemed to amble a lot, there were times the author got off on a tangent and it started to read like a tourist brochure for the area. Not that I am against it, I actually enjoyed the history and little inside stories of the area, but in this case it really took away from the story and made it difficult for me to continue to read. At times all the background information on even the most minor of characters or the mountains themselves didn't seem to add to the story. For me if there was a little editing and shortening of the story it would have been much better, but would just fit my reading style, for others this may be a perfect fit.
My Rating: As I said I had a difficult time with this book, I just couldn't get into it and found I had to make myself to finish reading it before starting anything new. That said the characters were very well developed and Romeling did make me want to visit the area and find out how much of the history in the story was true. I give it a rating of Two Paws.
Tale of the Taconic Mountains was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Mike Romeling and his work on his Goodreads Page.
You can also obtain your own copy of Tale of the Taconic Mountains in either Print or Digital formats on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, November 6, 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:

Each Item a Story - 7,841 words

A journal a woman keeps as she sorts through antique items and documents left in a home she purchased.

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 - 5,811

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

All in the Company
A business that keeps to itself, employees marry employees and live on company property. Lissandra is ordered to marry Cody but both are always on business and don't know one another.

Little Wind Guides
Little Wind must lead her clan to new territory as the gods of the Fire Forest are cleansing their home with wrath.  Will they follow her while she holds so many secrets.


Check it out! I added this years Nano project to my list!! Considering I did no planning what so ever for this year I am rather impressed with how well I am doing currently! I came out of the gate strong last Friday with 4600ish words.  I went into the weekend knowing that I wouldn't be writing (and probably won't at all this month due to a very heavy schedule and needing a Sunday down day). According to the Nano goals my word count fell behind on Sunday but I recovered nicely on Monday with another 3200ish words.  Sadly, Tuesday was busy in the office and I was too distracted to continue writing that evening, so a day was lost and so was the inspiration.  Opened my first plot bunny today to get things moving again!

If things keep up like this I may just shoot for the full 50K words this year but don't want to get discouraged if I fall behind so I am sticking with my goal of 25K for now.

So how is everyone else doing?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review of The Book of Spells by Jennifer Probst

Synopsis: "The Official love spell from the Marriage to a Billionaire series And an exclusive short story with Nick and Alexa from the bestseller The Marriage Bargain."

My Review: This is a great little companion to the series. I love the spell book, it was fun and maybe if I was still looking for that special someone I would have a little fun and give it a shot. Probst also included a recipe for truffles, like I haven't eaten enough food throughout reading the book, now I must make them! The short story about Nick and Alexa nearly killed me, I love the affection they have for their rescued dog Old Yeller. It was a very sweet story to remind me of where the series started. If you love this series you need this book!
My Rating: This was a great addition to the series! I can't help but give it a Four Paw rating.  If you have joined me in reading the Marriage to a Billionaire series then please go download this one!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mount TBR 2014 Signup

I participated in this challenge a few years ago and it helped clear out some of my TBR books.  However that pile is accumulating at an alarming rate yet again.
Here are the rules (as posted on My Reader's Block)
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you're on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.  All books counted for lower mountains may carry over towards the new peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2014.

*You may sign up anytime from now until November 30th, 2014.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2014. No ARCs (none), no library books. No rereads. [To clarify--based on a question raised last year--the intention is to reduce the stack of books that you have bought for yourself or received as presents {birthday, Christmas, "just because," etc.}. Audiobooks and E-books may count if they are yours and they are one of your primary sources of backlogged books.]
*You may count any "currently reading" book that you begin prior to January 1--provided that you had 50% or more of the book left to finish in 2014.  I will trust you all on that.

*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

*Feel free to submit your list in advance (as incentive to really get those books taken care of) or to tally them as you climb.

*There will be quarterly check-ins and prize drawings!

*A blog and reviews are not necessary to participate. If you have a blog, then please post a challenge sign up and link THAT post (not your home page) into the linky below. Non-bloggers, please leave a comment declaring your challenge level--OR, if you are a member of Goodreads, I will once again put together a group for the challenge there. Feel free to sign up HERE.  And, finally, I will once again have a sidebar link for Progress Reports-->  ***Coming Soon: Reviews may  be posted at links found at Review Headquarters (click link).

More importantly here are the Levels:
Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/sMount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s

Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s
I am going to be signing up for the Mt. Kilimanjaro level, I think I will be able to read more than that but I have a tendency to get distracted by new shiny books ;)
Some of the books I plan to read include
Books 1-7 of the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (if I get them for Christmas. And believe it or not I have not read a single one of these!)
Books 3 & 4 of the Outcast Series by Rachel Caine
Some are print, some are kindle, some are nook and some are audio, I have a major backlog in all book forms LOL! So care to join me and clear out some of those TBR shelves?!


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
If Only We by Jessica Sankiewicz
Pooh's Halloween Pumpkin (Bedtime Story)
Return to Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart (After Dark)

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

Christmas Jars Reunion
Southern Attraction
Bah, Humbug!
Big Girls Do it on Christmas

Currently Reading:

Dark Chatter by Andrew Branch - Kindle - 22%
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen - PB - on Page 40 of 383
Christmas in Wine Country by Addison Westlake - Kindle - 28%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine (Requested Review)
One Boy, No Water by Lehua Parker (Requested Review)
Catching Barramundi by Rebecca Burns (Requested Review)
The Lover from Hell by Rob Palmer (Requested Review)
The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann (Requested Review)
Clara Claus by Alexandra Lanc (Advent Reads)
The Christmas Wish by Alexandra Lanc (Advent Reads)
Judgment by Jade Varden



Read, read, read was the theme over the past couple of weeks and I think I did a pretty good job of accomplishing all the reading I had hoped.  Now the theme will be Write, Write, Write!! Nanowrimo started on Friday.  I haven't updated my word count but I feel like I did pretty good with my goal so far (especially considering I had a big wedding this weekend), so look for my Wednesday writing update! 

In the mean time I have plenty of reviews scheduled throughout the month for those of you who are reading instead of being insane and trying to write a novel in a month.  If I manage to keep on top of my word count I will try to squeeze a few more books in this month.

Ta ta for now!