Saturday, April 5, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Vol. 2 by Heather Nuhfer

Synopsis: "Get ready for another unforgettable adventure in the land of Equestria! Twilight Sparkle and gang are confronted with a perilous new danger in the form of a long-unseen enemy!"

My Review: Of course I have a slight prejudice here, I love My Little Ponies and have actually come to enjoy the Friendship is Magic series. I have to say while Twilight Sparkle is usually my favorite, I loved the role Spike played in this volume. This volume should have actually been an episode on TV or a short movie, it was a new layer to Luna/Nightmare Moon. The art was great through out the volume and there were a few I would have liked to blow up and frame.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this one even though it was a short read. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bedtime Story: Foodie Babies Wear Bibs by Michelle Sinclair Colman

Synopsis: "Join the urban babies as they celebrate the pleasures of cuisine. Foodie babies favor finger foods and small plates, and spend their days browsing the farmers' market--all in their inimitable style."

My Review: I purchased this book for Munchkin since he loves every food we give him and want to continue to encourage him to enjoy it as we introduced solid foods to him. Unfortunately this book seemed a little snootie to me. The story is cute but the images feature babies in places and with things that most families don't have or can't afford. I have to say the last page is the cutest "foodie babies taste good" with a dog licking cereal off a baby.
My Rating: I would have liked this to be a little more average folks level, but I guess to be a 'foodie' you need to be able to afford eating exotic foods in high end cafe's.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

After Dark Review of Possessed by Desire 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: "Even desire comes at a price…

Imprisonment has taught Ashur, the youngest djinn prince enslaved by a power-hungry sorceress, one thing: life as a pleasure slave has its rewards…if you play by the rules. He’s been tortured. He’s nearly died protecting a tribe that’s forsaken him. But he’s also seen life on the other side as an obedient slave. For a shot at revenge against the brothers who abandoned him, he’s willing to serve his master, even if it means using passion to corrupt the souls she needs to fuel her immortality.

His first assignment, however, turns out to be more than just a woman in need of a little pleasure. Claire is an angel, and angels have the ability to steal djinn powers. No amount of vengeance—not even a ravenous desire he can’t seem to control—is worth the loss of his powers. And there’s no way he’s tangling with a celestial being.

Unless, of course, she tangles with him first…"

My Review: This series just keeps getting better and better, I don't want it to end!!! I have really come to love all the characters, flaws and all. The storyline for this book seemed a lot more intense than the previous two books and had some great underlying messages. Again while it did a great job of rounding out the series, I can't help but wish it didn't have to end. I want so much more and I want to revisit some of the sub-characters we briefly met, but I guess that is a testament to the author that she created such a great world and characters that I don't want to leave. True to the phrase 'leave them wanting more'
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and whole series. I can't help but give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, April 2, 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.


Gah!! I haven't posted an update in a couple of months because well, I have no update to give you! I haven't written a single thing so far this year.  I did get to join the writing group, but have only had the opportunity to join the group for discussion once with Munchkin being sick so often. It does come to my attention since joining the group that everyone else seems to take their writing much more seriously than I do, they go to conventions, seminars and classes, they allow others to read their work and pick it apart word by word. I find myself absolutely terrified at this aspect, especially since my most recent project is something I don't ever expect to let anyone read, it was more of a project to get me motivated.

So anyway, I definitely need to buckle down and get a little more serious. As punishment for myself I sent out a sample from Last Mountains (my baby) to the writing group! Thankfully, early feedback sounds good.  But if I don't get some stuff done by the end of the month I will have to punish myself again and release some of my other stories, Yikes!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review of 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Synopsis: "Twelve-year-old Henry York is going to sleep one night when he hears a bump on the attic wall above his head. It's an unfamiliar house—Henry is staying with his aunt, uncle, and three cousins—so he tries to ignore it. But the next night he wakes up with bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall, and one of them is slowly turning...

Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers doors—ninety-nine cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room—with a man strolling back and forth! Henry and his cousin Henrietta soon understand that these are not just cupboards. They are, in fact, portals to other worlds."

My Review: I had a little bit of an issue with this book, I almost put it as a DNF a few times but since I have the next two books in the series I pushed through to the end. And it was just that, I felt like I was pushing rocks up hill in six inches of mud. The concept of the story was very exciting and I was excited to see where the story led, but it really didn't lead much of anywhere. There was a brief bit of excitement for about 20 pages near the end but other than that it was very slow moving. I didn't really develop any connection with the characters, other than Blake the cat and potential Frank the Uncle, and almost couldn't care less what happened to them. I am hoping that all this slow build up leads to something exciting in the next book.
My Rating: I was so disappointed in this book, I really hope the next one picks up a little.  I can't give it more than One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bloggiesta Wrap Up

Bloggiesta finished up over the weekend, and unfortunately I wasn't able to participate at all this weekend.  But . . .  I worked my butt off on Friday night and look how much I got accomplished! Not only did I get all of this accomplished but I also backed up my blog (I know, holy cow)!   Now glancing down at my to do list you might notice a big glaring incomplete :( nope I did not get the archive list done.  I do have a good excuse though, I am pretty much starting from scratch and instead of going alphabetical by title I am going by author so series can stay together. Not only that but I pulled out Children's books and Graphic Novels on their own list.  So as you can see it is a big project.  I have however gotten all the way to letter I and hope to be over halfway done by the end of the week!  I promise you that by the next Bloggiesta in the fall I will have the archive list done and will only need to update with new books!!
As for my creative post ideas, I have several fun things on the way and hope to have them all in place by the end of the month.  I will be adding What's for Dinner on Monday nights, this post will include a recipe I plan to make for dinner that week (because I plan my menu for the entire week ahead of time).  Sundays will also now include Crafty posts in which I will share recently completed craft projects (probably mostly for Munchkin). I have also decided that since reviews aren't all that popular and I am reading far too many to post them all in a year that I will have a post the last Sunday of the month with mini reviews of all the books I couldn't post reviews for during the month. Last but not least I am going to try to start a regular post called From the Books where I try something out of a book, be it a recipe, a wine, a movie, an activity or a site to see. That one will probably start with once a month and see how it goes.  It is looking like almost from now on there will be nearly a post for every day!
1. Order business cards for the blog - I thought about this in the mini bloggiesta and decided not to yet but then when I was at the Big Book Club Getaway some of the authors asked for a card! (it made me feel important yet embarrassed that I didn't have them yet).  COMPLETE!
2. Schedule Posts for reviews completed - I have reviews written up for about 10 books but haven't scheduled the posts yet. COMPLETE!
3. Respond to Author emails - I have several review requests that need to be responded to immediately, for some reason this always gets pushed to the side for me. COMPLETE!
4. Put books away - This sounds crazy I know but I have piles of books in every room that need to be put away, some have been read, some need to be read and some need to be added to goodreads shelves. COMPLETE!
5. Get more active - I tend to be shy in person, while slightly less so online, I am still not getting out there and talking to other book lovers like I want to. So I am going to take time to stop by at least 5 other Bloggiesta participants pages and comment. I am also going to push myself to be more active on Twitter. As COMPLETE as it can get as it is an ongoing goal!
6. Update Archive list -  Ugh, how I hate this, but I have a plan in place. I am going to alphabetize by author so I can keep series together and I am going to have a separate list for childrens books and graphic novels so they are easier to find. - In Progress and Making Headway!
7. Get Creative - It has come to my attention and realization that people are not fond of a lot of reviews so I want to add a little something else to my blog. I have a few ideas rolling around my brain and want to get at least 3 new interesting posts scheduled. COMPLETE!
So how did all of you do on your to do lists? Get everything done you wanted to or like me did you run out of time?

2014 Challenge Update

We are already a Quarter of the way through 2014!! Can you believe it?! Well I am still plugging away at my challenges and keeping up with them and even ahead on a couple!
So here we go:
Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge
Halfway done with this challenge, 2 of 4 books read! I am going to read Achilles in Vietnam next.
Series Challenge
Woohoo! Doing so well on this Challenge so far! Finished 2 series this month, Secret of the Unicorn Queen and Firebrand.  I hope to finish the Gifted Series and the Rose Harbor Series this month, each only have one book left (at least that the authors have published so far).
Series #1: Harry Potter - Book 1
Series #2: Secret of the Unicorn Queen - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6 - Series Complete!
Series #3: Rose Harbor - Book 1, Book 1.5
Series #4: Firebrand - Book #1, Book #2, Book #3 - Series Complete!
Series #5: Gifted Series - Book #1, Book #2
Audio Book Challenge
I am keeping up with this Challenge, it seems the Audio books are getting longer and harder to finish in a month (I can only listen after Munchkin goes to bed and I usually can't stay up too late).
Graphic Novel Challenge
Again keeping pace with this challenge, I could definitely read more each month but I like to pace myself with these.
Mount TBR
Definitely got a good push forward on this challenge this month. I am hoping to get another 5 or so books added to this list this month. Once I really get moving on the series challenge (most of which I have had sitting on my shelves for years) this list will fill up quickly.
3. Beauty
Erotica Challenge
I am up and down on this Challenge, my goal is 24 this year and I am a little ahead of schedule but I feel like I should be further along.  I just downloaded an entire series by Cherise Sinclaire that should really add some books though (hopefully I can finish them this month).
 Now that I see everything down I guess I am really flying through challenges and reading this year! According to Goodreads I have already finished 84 books this year and 46 books ahead of schedule. I have already passed the halfway mark for this year's goal!! Not only that but so far this year I have read nearly a book for every day! I have kind of figured out that if I focus on my Series Challenge it really fills up the rest of the challenges too. So I guess that is where my focus will be for the time being.
How are your challenges going? Are you finding you are focusing on any one particular challenge first or just working on them all at once?

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

Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn
A Fool Among Fools by John Terracuso
Not Just Spirited by Chynna Laird
Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Pet by Dr. Seuss (Bedtime Story)
Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa

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

Who's on the Farm
Peace at Last
The Story of Ferdinand
Katy and the Big Snow
Athena: The Grey-Eyed Goddess
War Horse
Show Off

Currently Reading:

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
Perfect Match by Kristin Higgins - PB - on Page 107 of 441
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine - Kindle- 4%
Taking Stock by Scott Bartlett - Kindle - 5%
Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis - Audio - 8%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Lest the Dew Rust Them by Michael Drakich (Requested Review)
My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin (Requested Review)
Track Record by Catherine Hapka (Mount TBR)


Ugh! I didn't get much reading done this week due to a very sick little Munchkin. I did read lots of new children's books but that was about all I could do. While I did have plans to read a lot of books, I have just simply shifted all of them to later in April.

While I was busy with the little man most of the week I did manage to get some work done for Bloggiesta! I worked on updating the archive list and feel like I got a good start on it and I like the way I have decided to format the list so that it is easier to find series and order to the series.  I also got caught up on emails to authors and scheduled posts all the way through the middle of April and beyond! I am looking at the pace I am going with my reading and realizing I am not going to have enough days in the year to post all my reviews. So I am working on coming up with some kind of solution to that problem.  I also have some very exciting new ideas on posts other than all the reviews I normally post. I hope you guys will like everything I have been doing, but I want your feedback as I progress. Hopefully I will have all the new ideas in motion by the end of April.

I only had a little time between Munchkin waking up at night to paint my nails so please excuse how sloppy they are this time. I was really testing this color for my toe nails this summer. It is called Coral Silk and I really like the color but hate the bottle (the square top kept scratching up my already done nails when I would dip the brush).