Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review of Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 1 by HitRecord & Joseph Gordon- Levitt

Synopsis: "From hitRECord, the immensely popular open collaborative production company, and its founder, Golden Globe-nominated actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, comes The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1.

The universe is not made of atoms; it's made of tiny stories.

To create The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known within the hitRECord community as RegularJOE--directed thousands of collaborators to tell tiny stories through words and art. With the help of the entire creative collective, Gordon-Levitt culled, edited and curated over 8,500 contributions into this finely tuned collection of original art from 67 contributors. Reminiscent of the 6-Word Memoir series, The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 brings together art and voices from around the world to unite and tell stories that defy size."

My Review: Gosh I am so glad I purchased this book, but disappointed I didn't get the other volumes at the same time! This is such a unique concept, I am not even sure it really belongs as a Graphic Novel, but for lack of something better that is where I am listing it. The Tiny Book Of Tiny Stories kind of seems to me to be an updated adult version of Shel Silverstein's 'Where the Sidewalk Ends'. Each page has a short story, phrase or rhyme with a unique illustration to go with it. Each page evokes a different thought or emotion, some times you giggle and some times you just stop and ponder for a minute. I even considered keeping this one in my purse just to be able to pull out and look at occasionally.
My Rating: I absolutely adored this little illustrated collection of short stories.  I can't help but give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag and encourage you all to give it a shot!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bedtime Story: One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five by Dr. Seuss

Synopsis: "One fish, two fish, three, four, five . . . This one has a car to drive!
This bouncy counting board book comes with five beads shaped like Seussian fish that toddlers can move across the top of the book as they count along. Based on Dr. Seuss’s celebrated classic, this sturdy board book will be a hit with all the little fish in your family!"

My Review: This is such a great book for toddlers. I love the simple and short introduction to Dr. Seuss. Munchkin absolutely loves this book, to the point that I have it memorized and can tell him the story just by the sound of him turning the pages. The plastic fish that he can count on the top of the book is a great added bonus, and would be great for a busy child who hasn't quite found the love for books yet.
My Rating: I am absolutely loving this book, Dr. Seuss, plus counting and rhyming, plus activity to keep the little one's interest.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

After Dark Review of Slave to Passion by Elisabeth Naughton

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: "Kill them all…

Enslaved by his enemies and forced to fight in the pits of Jahannam for their depraved entertainment, Nasir, the once-proud Marid warrior and djinn prince, has become a killer. One celebrated and feared at the same time. Even he doesn’t remember who he used to be, nor does he care, until hope enters his cell in the form of an alluring woman who may be the key to his salvation.

This is not my life…

Sold into slavery, Kavin must prove her worth. If she can survive one night in the arms of a killer, her life will be one of luxury—albeit as a concubine, forced to serve her lascivious master. Sickened by the thought, she knows it’s better than death, and where she once dreamed of freedom, now all she wants is to stay alive. But when the gladiator refuses to touch her, her only hope for survival is seduction."

My Review: I really enjoyed this one, possibly even more than the first in the series. I liked that there was no clear leader in it and Nasir and Kavin worked together so beautifully. I did feel like Kavin was at times a little week but she ended up surprising me. I really love Malik and I desperately hope we can revisit him at some point. The storyline really moved along nicely and was so enjoyable I didn't want to stop reading (I did finish this one at work because I couldn't wait until I got home).
My Rating: I enjoyed the interactions between the main characters and how they fed off each other's strengths and weaknesses.  Might end up being my favorite in this series.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review of The Collection of Heng Souk by S.R. Wilsher

Synopsis: "When her father dies, Sun Tieng visits his estranged brother, Heng Souk. Yet her frail, elderly uncle, a Vietnamese War hero, is very different from her tough and testing father. When she discovers in his house a notebook written by American POW, Ephraim Luther, detailing his torture by the prison commandant she is startled by what she learns.
Meanwhile, Thomas Allen, still reeling from the death of his daughter and the breakup of his marriage, is told that the man he always called Dad was not his father. His mother gives him a batch of letters she still has from the ‘real’ father, Jefferson Carlisle. Their tragic love story prompts Thomas to find out why his mother’s ‘greatest love’ never returned to her after the Vietnam War.
His search leads him to the notorious prison ‘the Citadel’, and to Sun and her uncle. Despite the hostility of her brutal husband and mother, Sun is drawn to Thomas. Aware that the fate of Thomas’ father is revealed in Ephraim’s notebook, she is torn between helping Thomas in his search and the damaging effect revealing what is in the notebook will mean for them."

My Review: This book packs quite a punch, it takes some time to build steam but once it gets going there is no stopping. At the beginning I was struggling with the connection between the main characters, but once I found that connection the story really started to come together for me. I fell in love with all of the characters and honestly want the best for each of them, flaws and all. It really hit me on all levels, emotionally and mentally. There really isn't much more to say other than to read this book for yourself and find out how it speaks to you.
My Rating: While it took me a little while to get into this story, once I did it grabbed me and wouldn't let go until I finished (even a little after to be honest). I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
The Collection of Heng Souk was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
To find out more about Wilsher's work please visit his Website.
You can obtain your own copy of The Collection of Heng Souk in digital format on Amazon

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review of To Tame a Wild Heart by L.B. Shire

Synopsis: "Chancy Mallory is loyal to three things in her life: her horse Bowie, her parents and the Mallory Ranch.

Chancy is set on capturing a wild mustang colt to prove her worth to her father who believes the Mallory legacy died when he buried his three sons. When Nick Stone appears at the ranch, Chancy can't fight the waves of change. She fears her father's attentions are slipping out of her reach. And while before she thought only of horses and the ranch, her thoughts are now drifting to boys and kisses. Sweet kisses with Nick that is. Except he's her rival, or is he?

Nick Stone wandered west to avoid the lackluster future his father devised for him inside a stuffy bank in Boston, not to fall in love. He craves the wide open spaces Oregon has to offer. Heʹs learned in his travels that he has a special gift with horses. Especially those that have been tossed aside by others: the rogues, and the unwanted. With this gift, he makes a name for himself at the Mallory Ranch and causes friction with the ranch owner's daughter. Can he prove to Chancy he is a friend and not a foe? Can his gentle ways tame the ranch owner's daughter's wild heart?"

My Review: I enjoyed the story, though I wasn't able to connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to I did enjoy them. The story line was a little jerky at times, felt like a lot of stop and go, you would get into a rhythm and it would jump around a little again. I love the horse element, it really drew everything together for me. I found the setting and time period was clear throughout the story, the travel took a long time and was rough as it should have been. Be forewarned the ending is quite abrupt and I wasn't expecting a cliffhanger ending at all! This was a great coming of age story for Chancy, I think some tomboy girls would really love this one.
My Rating: This was a mediocre book for me, I enjoyed elements of it but couldn't connect the way I would have liked to with the characters. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, March 17, 2014

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

Sun Blind by Gwen Hansen
One Shark, No Swim by Lehua Parker
Bound to Seduction by Elisabeth Naughton (After Dark)
Dr. Seuss' Sleep Softly by Dr. Seuss (Bedtime Story)
Zeus: King of the Gods by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)

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

The Final Test
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff
Bear's New Friend
Possessed by Desire
Into the Dream
Dark Gods
A Fool Among Fools
Hot as Hades

Currently Reading:

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
Making the Rounds with Oscar by Dave Dosa - Audio - 68%
Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins - PB - on page 36 of 441
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine - Kindle- 4%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
Lest the Dew Rust Them by Michael Drakich (Requested Review)
From My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin (Requested Review)
Hard as You Can by Laura Kaye
Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens (Mount TBR)
Firebringer Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce (Series & Mount TBR)


Another busy week this week, both reading and otherwise! I really cannot believe how much reading I have done so far this year, already over 60 books, and well on my way to completing my goals! I am expecting come summer that reading will go down hill as I hope to be outside doing fun things with Munchkin. Not to mention I plan on participating in Nano Camp in July and regular Nano in November (of course the holidays are always insanely busy as well). So I guess I am just getting ahead of the game now.
I actually painted my nails twice this week (while listening to Making the Rounds with Oscar). On Monday I had my first attempt at true nail art, I painted my nails Breezy Blue and then used a nail art pen to paint the flowers. I am rather impressed with myself, I even managed to do my right hand!
Then on Friday I had to prepare for St. Patrick's Day! I ordered this great shamrock glitter special for it from this Etsy Shop