Saturday, January 4, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Frankenstein Agent of SHADE Vol. 2 by Jeff Lemire

Synopsis: "The mysterious organization known as S.H.A.D.E. protects the world from its most dangerous supernatural threats. But what happens when the threat comes from within S.H.A.D.E. itself? Frankestein and his Creature Commandoes must investigate suspected double-agents in their own field offices. Their first stop is the Untropolis--an exact copy of Metropolis that floats upside down in the 4th Cloud above Superman's hometown. Will Frank and company be able to stop the threat to S.H.A.D.E. before the organization gets capsized from the inside?"

My Review: After absolutely loving the first volume I had to immediately track down this volume. I have to say I was a little disappointed, I felt like the issues in this volume took a really odd turn to make them come out the way someone wanted. While I still enjoyed Frankenstein and his fellow Agents the story took a much larger role as opposed to the characters and I didn't connect as well with them. The storyline itself also felt a little scattered compared to the first volume. All in all it did not turn out how I would have liked nor was it anywhere as good as the first.
My Rating: It really is too bad this didn't stay on level as the first volume. That said maybe others would enjoy it more.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bedtime Story: A Pal for Pugwug by Susie Jenkin-Pearce

Synopsis: "Pugwug is an energetic, rough-and-tumble little penguin. When he discovers that the large egg his dad is protecting will soon be a new brother or sister, he can’t resist playing with his new pal—despite several reminders to “be gentle” and not touch. But when an emergency arises, Pugwug discovers that his own unique way of playing with his new pal might actually be best."

My Review: This was a cute story that would be great for a family having a new baby with a toddler in the house as Pugwug is constantly reminded to be gentle. I thought it was cute the ways Pugwug tried to play with his new pal. The illustrations are adorable as well. The issue I had with this book was that it was very large, and it was difficult to hold and read with a wiggly toddler on my lap.
My Rating: It was cute, though a little average. I think it would have had more meaning if there was a new little family member being introduced.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

After Dark Review of Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

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: "Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator…

To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?"

My Review: I LOVED this story! Yes you saw that correctly all caps. I loved the concept of the story, I loved the characters, and especially how the tension continued to build all through the story. I a lot of times it seems the authors feel the need to cut some to of the tension but not Ms. Kaye, she just kept adding more and more in all varieties. I definitely want more of both Makenna and Caden, they are fantastic characters with so much background and vitality, I want to go to the bar or have a BBQ and hang out with them. It was a quick but oh so enjoyable read and one I will be suggesting often.
My Rating: So yea, I really loved this book (not to mention others by her as well) so how can I give it any less than Four Paws and a Stump Wag!?!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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 - 46,444 words
A journal a woman keeps as she sorts through antique items and documents left in a home she purchased.

Olivia's Mountain Tale - 3,607 words
Olivia is left in the mountains by her uncle to guard the sheep grazing in the summer pastures.  This summer could change the course of her life.

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.


So 2013 has come and gone, what a crazy busy year but at least I really pushed myself in the writing aspect this last year. I think having some goals really helped me out.

My 2013 goals were:

 Goal #1
Catch up on typing on Tamlyn Marie's Grace Complete!

Goal #2
Plot/outline ending of The Princess Bs Complete!

Goal #3
Obtain voice recorder and start making notes for stories using it Complete!

Goal #4
Reach 50,000 words in one of my novels

So as you can see I did pretty darn well on them. I should have finished #4 but the chaos of December really swallowed me up and I lost steam. Even with not completely finishing my 2013 goals list I am still very, very happy with my progress.

So I have set some goals for myself again this year:

Goal #1
Finish writing The Princess Bs

Goal #2
Finish Outline of The Last Mountains

Goal #3
Reach at least 25,000 words during Nanowrimo this year (or camp)

Goal #4
Reach 50,000 words in one of my novels

Now these goals are a lot more ambitious for me this year, to not only finish a story but to also reach 50K on a story but also get the outline done for another novel. While these are pretty lofty goals, if I keep my nose down I think I can get them done (it will help too that I am at work full time again and can spend more time writing).

So how did your writing go in 2013? What are your plans for this year?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review of Seventh Night by Iscah

Synopsis: "A romantic, comic, action, adventure fantasy in which a princess attempts to marry a prince while someone has set out to sabotage their wedding and the resulting alliance."

My Review: I have been going back and forth on this review since finishing the story. I read the novella prequel "The Girl With No Name" which totally blew me out of the water, so many interesting twists that you couldn't stop reading. However Seventh Night at time hit some real lulls and I had to push on because I knew more adventure was to come. I must admit too that I wasn't a huge fan of the main character and namesake of the book, Seventh Night, she was just typical princess to me for most of the book. That said though I was totally thrilled to see The Girl with No Name return and I still loved her, as well as several other sub-characters (surprisingly enough I really enjoyed the male characters over the female when it is usually the other way around). There are several open ended storylines at the end of this book with no real conclusion for them and it really has me curious what happens to several of the characters after the story. I will come back for more because I have really come to love the unexpected twists and new adventures the author comes up with when the story is moving along.

My favorite quote from the story "May your travels leave you wiser." Isn't that something to live by!
My Rating: While there were some slow spots in the story that I had to push through all and all it was an exciting fantasy adventure that I am sure many will love. I give it a rating of Three Paws.
Seventh Night was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Iscah and her work on Goodreads or her Website.
You can obtain your own copy of Seventh Night in Digital or Print format on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of Marcie by Carly M. Duncan

Synopsis: "When Kate's mother, Marcie, dies mysteriously she is forever tormented by the many questions surrounding her mother's death. In Marcie's absence Kate clings to her mother's husbands, searching for solace.

As family secrets are revealed Kate works to build her own life and family, but the mystery of her mother's death sidetracks her until she finally gets the answer she's always hoped for."

My Review: This was an interesting journey through love and lack thereof and how the acts of one generation influence the acts of the next. I found it interesting that all through this book Kate is looking for love from her mother but yet she creates additional distance and disconnect with the use of her mother's first name. I did find Kate's development interesting, she insisted on being independent yet was still leaning on someone for support and direction (either Luke or Charlie). I had a little difficulty with the writing, the constant jumping back and forth between time frames, I usually like books with a little more of a chronological order with only glimpses into the past. To sum it up though, this was an interesting book that caused some self reflection on how I interact with those around me.
My Rating: This book may not have been quite my cup of tea or in my usual reading genres but I can definitely tip my hat to the self reflection it stimulated. I give this one a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
Marcie was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Marcy and Ms. Duncan on her Goodreads Page or Facebook Page.
You can obtain your own copy of Marcie in digital or print format on Amazon or in print format on Barnes and Noble.

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
The Age of Not Believing by Andrew Szlachetko (Bedtime Story)
The Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry
Christmas Shoppe Magic by Juliette Hill
One Boy, No Water by Lehua Parker
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz (Bedtime Story)
Catching the Barramundi by Rebecca Burns
The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren

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


Currently Reading:

One Big Beautiful Thing by Marie Flanigan - Kindle - 3%
The Gnosis of Salmon by Lynne Marie Rowley - Kindle - 43%
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - PB - on page 18 of 309

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
One Shark, No Swim by Lehua Parker (Requested Review)
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine (Requested Review)
The Lover from Hell by Rob Palmer (Requested Review)
Judgment by Jade Varden



I hope you who celebrate had a very Merry Christmas and found all kinds of fun books under your tree. I was very lucky this year and found the new special edition Harry Potter series under the tree!

Aren't they pretty!! I am guessing that most of the rest of my reading will be put on hold for a while as I dig into the series, I am very excited to read them all of the sudden.
I also received Gift Cards to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I have already spent the Barnes and Noble on and downloaded these books onto my Nook:
I am so excited for the books I will be reading in 2014 and can't wait to get the year started! I hope you will all enjoy the plans I have for the new year!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review of The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren

Synopsis: "In the small town of Hadlee, Mississippi, during the 1980's, Jason Lee Rainey struggles to find his way amongst the old, steadfast Southern attitudes about race, while his friendship with a black boy, Samson Johnson, deepens.
By way of stories from others, Jason Lee learns about his larger-than-life father, who was killed in Vietnam. He longs to become that sort of man, but doesn't believe he has it in him.
In The Clock Of Life he learns lessons from the past, and the realities of inequality. He flourishes with the bond of friendship; endures the pain of senseless death; finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right; and comes to realize he is his father's son.
This story explores how two unsettling chapters in American history, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, affect the fate of a family, a town, and two boyhood friends."

My Review: This was a very moving and intense book to read. It tackled so many tough issues but didn't seem to really push them on you. I really think this would be a great book for book club, there are so many things to discuss. The characters are all so very rich and full of life as is the setting, they start to seem real. I came to love so many of the characters but especially Uncle Mooks with his drops of wisdom and Mr. Otis with his hard ways brought on by a hard life. There isn't a lot going on in the story, it seems to be more for pondering. You can see the influence of To Kill a Mockingbird, which I really enjoyed, but it is definitely not the same story once you get into it.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and it is one that will remain with me for some time to come.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
The Clock of Life was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Ms. Klann-Moren and her work on her Website or Goodreads Page.
You can also obtain your own copy of The Clock of Life in print or digital format on Amazon or digital format on Barnes and Noble.