Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dewey Readathon Update #4

I can't believe how long I have made it this year with only a couple interruptions. My last update was 5 hours ago and I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked as Munchkin and Hubby came home and Munchkin was full of energy. It took both of us to get him to go to bed. I also struggled with the book choice a little. Bounced between Reflections of a Snow Queen and then How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini and then finally back to Doms of Dark Haven 2.
Here is my new update:
Currently reading:  5 Minute Disney Pixar Stories (on pg 42), Doms of Dark Haven 2 (on pg 334), Mozart Season (on page 35), How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini (pg 42)
Books finished: Flight, Hades, Count to 10 with a Mouse, Biscuit Loves the Library, Welcome to Trucktown, The Gruffalo, The Bippolo Seed & Other stories, and The Legendary Yoda, Birds of Prey
Pages read: 231
Running total of pages read: 1176
Amount of time spent reading: another roughly 3
Running total of time spent reading: 9.5 hours
Snacks: having a Angry Orchard hard cider and some blueberries
Reading Spot: I think lay in bed and keep reading until I can't keep my eyes open any more.
I am sure Munchkin will be up bright and early in the morning so even if I fall asleep I will still get up in time to read for a couple more hours before the readathon ends!

Dewey's Readathon Update #3

It has only been a little over 2 hours but I needed a break, the book I am currently reading was not working so I am going to have to change it up.
Here is my new update:
Currently reading:  5 Minute Disney Pixar Stories (on pg 31), Doms of Dark Haven 2 (on pg 156), Mozart Season (on page 35), Reflections of Queen Snow White (starting)
Books finished: Flight, Hades, Count to 10 with a Mouse, Biscuit Loves the Library, Welcome to Trucktown, The Gruffalo, The Bippolo Seed & Other stories, and The Legendary Yoda, Birds of Prey
Pages read: 249
Running total of pages read: 945
Amount of time spent reading: another roughly 1.75 hours
Running total of time spent reading: 6.5 hours
Snacks: I think it is about time for my special Gouda cheese, rosemary crackers & homemade summer sausage
Reading Spot: Going to stretch my back out and lay on the floor.
I am having trouble getting into The Mozart Season, it has tiny print and rambles a lot so I am going to put it aside and read The Reflections of Queen Snow White instead.
Are you starting to loose steam like I am yet? Maybe time to hit the caffeine finally and try out a new book. Wish I had a stationary bike and could pedal while reading. . .

Dewey's Readathon Update #2

Another 3 hours have passed and I have managed a surprising amount of reading with both Hubby and Munchkin still in the house. Had to take a couple of quick breaks to help with Munchkin and to eat some lunch but have spent the most of this past block of time reading.
Here is my new update:
Currently reading:  Doms of Dark Haven 2, starting The Mozart Season
Books finished: Flight, Hades, Count to 10 with a Mouse, Biscuit Loves the Library, Welcome to Trucktown, The Gruffalo, The Bippolo Seed & Other stories, and The Legendary Yoda
Pages read: 156
Running total of pages read: 696
Amount of time spent reading: another roughly 2.5 hours
Running total of time spent reading: 4.75 hours
Snacks: about to dig into some crackers & Cucumber dill dip
Reading Spot: Time to get back into the recliner.
Going to take a quick breather from Doms of Dark Haven and read Birds of Prey while having a snack and dive into the Mozart Season. Maybe read Munchkin a quick story before he heads out with Hubby for some Daddy/Son time.
How is your day going so far? Have you taken any breaks? Tried a new book yet? I am off to visit some other readers for a few minutes and then back to my happy place!

Dewey's Readathon Update #1

Well I have made it through 3 1/2 hours with only a few brief interruptions. I have been reading a lot of Children's books so far this morning because Munchkin was with me all day so far.  He just went down for a nap though and will be playing with Hubby this afternoon (too bad it is a rainy day and he is sick so they can't go outside and leave me in peace).
Currently reading:  I am just going to start Doms in Dark Haven 2
Books finished: Flight, Hades, Count to 10 with a Mouse, Biscuit Loves the Library, Welcome to Trucktown, The Gruffalo, The Bippolo Seed & Other stories, and The Legendary Yoda
Pages read: 540
Running total of pages read: 540
Amount of time spent reading: Hard to tell with Munchkin so I will say 2.25 hours
Running total of time spent reading: 2.25
Snacks: yogurt covered raisins and smartfood
Reading Spot: Been reading all over so far, chair, floor in Munchkin's room, couch and doctor's office.  I am now going to go lay in the bed to read since everyone else is laying down for their naps.
How is it going for everyone else? I am feeling really happy with my progress so far but can't wait to see what the rest of the day holds!

Review of Dark Gods by Josepha Sherman

Synopsis: "Synopsis 1: When Sheila McCarthy first landed in the magical kingdom of Arren, all she could think about was how to get back home. But surrounded by her new friends, the beautiful unicorns and their courageous Unicorn Queen, she soon realized that hanging out in an enchanted land and doing battle with an evil wizard beat going to high school any day. When joining a royal procession through Prince Laric's land, Sheila and her warrior friends discover evil afoot near the border - in the form of a handsome but sinister king who will stop at nothing to gain control of the kingdom...and the precious unicorns. Calling upon the world's ancient forces, King Kumuru enchants the warriors - and forces Queen Illyria through a fog-shrouded portal! Only Sheila is immune to his dark powers, but even she cannot break his evil spell. Somehow she must destroy the ruby amulet that is the source of his power - but how!"My Review: I had a hard time rating this one, it was more of a 2 & 1/2 star book for me. Back to the same dangers and bad guys that Sheila seems to always be battling. It was a little bit of a shame that Kumuru was such a throwaway character, I think he could have been bigger than the author made him but he ended up just being a filler. The one thing I did really like about this one though was the Imps, I want more of the odd little creatures!
My Rating: This book just felt a little forced and the characters weren't as rich.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Readathon Kick Off Post

Hurray Hurray Hurray! The time has finally arrived! It is 8:00am here in Rhode Island and it is time to kick off the Dewey's Readathon. 
You can check out my Sign Up Post
I was up bright and early with Munchkin and got us both ready for the day and made us both a good breakfast.  Laid out mid morning snacks for both of us (yogurt and grapes for Munchkin and apples with peanut butter for me). Our schedule has had to change a little bit after an emergency room visit a couple of days ago. I have to take couple of short breaks throughout the day to give Munchkin nebulizer treatments and a doctor check up but it shouldn't slow down my reading too much! I have our stack of books ready to go (and a couple in the diaper bag for the office visit) . . .I couldn't find all the books I had wanted to read so had to make a few adjustments  . . .
so to start we have
While Munchkin watches an episode or two of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse I have
Then from Snack time until Nap time we have
For short play breaks throughout the day
During Munchkin's Nap time
Remaining books in the Pile for later in the day
Alternates (in case none of the books in the original pile capture my attention)
Almost just as important I have goodies and snacks lined up for the day too.
Smoked Gouda, homemade Summer Sausage and Rosemary Crackers
Peppers, carrots and ranch dip
Chicken Salad Spinach Salad
Chex Mix
 Butter Popcorn
And Hubby will be making Grilled Chicken for dinner!
So there you have it, my plans somewhat laid out for the day.
I hope to update on here roughly every 2 to 3 hours, I will also try to update my twitter feed with each new book I finish or progress throughout the day. Follow me here
Thank you and I appreciate any comments, cheering and support; even if I don't comment back right away (I will hopefully be buried in books all day)!  Good luck to all the other participants today too!  I will see you in a few hours (plan to post at 11:00 EST).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bedtime Story: Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson

Synopsis: "How Bear and his forest friends discover a NEW FRIEND will enchant young readers. Karma Wilson's playful text and Jane Chapman's radiant illustrations make Bear's New Friend a perfect summertime read-aloud companion to the bestselling Bear Snores On."

My Review: Munchkin really didn't have the patience for this book. He did enjoy the illustrations but really only wanted to see Hare. I found the foreshadowing of Bear asking Who to be a little funny, but found it odd who the mysterious new friend was based on what lead the friends to find out. Maybe as Munchkin gets a little older he will enjoy the book a little more.
My Rating: It is a cute book and I hope Munchkin grows to like it a little better in the future.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

After Dark Review of Doms of Dark Haven by Cherise Sinclair, Sierra Cartwright & Belinda McBride

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: "Three women, three Doms. One extraordinary night. Welcome to Dark Haven, and may all of your darkest wishes come true...

Met Her Match (A Hawkeye Story) by Sierra Cartwright
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Series: Hawkeye; Previous Book: Bend Me Over

Highly trained Mira Araceli can hold her own in the toughest parts of the world, but not, it seems, against her secret crush, Torin Carter. She'd fallen for her Hawkeye instructor years before, and to him, she'd been just another recruit; fresh, green, idealistic.

Torin, with his dark Irish good looks and fierce temper, doesn't want a partner, any partner, and especially not Mira. But assignments are assignments, and he takes his responsibilities seriously. So when the beautifully submissive Mira crawls into his bedroom, a leather belt between her teeth, he calls on all his resolve to send her away.

Unsatisfied, Mira ups the stakes and finds another dom to play with at Dark Haven. Beyond furious, Torin storms into Master Xavier's club and claims his rights to dominate Mira. For the first time in her life, she's met her match.

Educating Evangeline by Belinda McBride
Genre: BDSM Shape-shifter Paranormal

This isn't what she came here for!

Pursued by a group of mysterious hunters, Evangeline Jones was desperate for sanctuary when she ducked into the doorway of Dark Haven. Instead of safety, she discovers a decadent, sensual world that challenges her very outlook on life.

Harte Sommers is charmed by the little wolf with the pink streak in her ebony hair. As alpha of the Napa pack, he sometimes feels that he's alone at the top. When he meets Eva, he knows he might not be able to keep his wild little wolf at his side, but his heart tells him that his lonely days might be at an end.

Simon Says: Mine by Cherise Sinclair
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Related Title: Master of the Mountain

With an empty nest and divorce in hand, Rona decides it's time to explore the fantasies that nourished her through a long, tedious marriage to a man whose idea of outrageous sex was leaving the lights on. At the top of her fantasy list is touring Dark Haven, the BDSM club, but she isn't prepared for the effect of a powerful Dom. When Master Simon takes control and introduces her to toys and sensations she's never felt before, she realizes he could fulfil every fantasy on her list all by himself. But she's vowed to never get trapped in a relationship again.

One of the most popular Doms in Dark Haven, Master Simon has had his fill of eager, shallow, young subs. Rona is older, intelligent, independent...and sweetly submissive. After an evening of intense pleasure and despite her obvious attraction, she refuses to see him again. He needs a way to change her mind. She's not the first sub he's taken on a journey of exploration, but he's beginning to think she might be the last.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, strong BDSM theme and elements to include exhibitionism and voyeurism."

My Review: I got this book to continue reading the Masters of the Mountain/ Dark Haven Series by Cherise Sinclair. It ended up being an anthology with a mix of three different authors and three different story lines, even though they meet in Dark Haven, I was not a fan. The first story was very confusing, I didn't know who the characters were or how they were connect until nearly halfway through the story. The second story involved shifters, I have not been into reading shifter books for quite some time, and was sick of the clich├ęs they include. It was okay but definitely not what I was expecting to read. It took until the very end to get to Cherise's actually story. I love Simon and was happy to read his story but I really felt he deserved a full length novel. All in all I was disappointed in this installment of the series and in the future if I come across another anthology as part of a series I will only read the story of the author I am currently reading, the rest just threw me off.
My Rating: Gosh I don't even know how to rate this one because I liked some elements but definitely did not like many of them.  I guess I will give it Two Paws.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review of Taking Stock by Scott Bartlett

Synopsis: "Just as Sheldon Mason is about to end it all, he meets his upstairs neighbour, a drug dealer named Sam. Sam gets him professional help, as well as a job at a local grocery store.

As he struggles to make sense of his life, Sheldon starts to notice something odd about one of his new co-workers, Gilbert Ryan. Gilbert seems to know about Sheldon's mental health issues - in fact, he seems to know secrets about everyone.

And Gilbert sees value in Sheldon..."

My Review: I have previously read Royal Flush by Scott Bartlett and found his style of writing to be interesting and unique. I did have a little bit of difficulty with the jumping around in the timeline, sometimes you are in the present and some times in the past and occasionally it is difficult to tell where exactly you are in the order of things. I did find this to be an interesting novel that takes you from a time when Sheldon is at rock bottom and his struggle to climb back up and those who help him or appear to help him. You follow Sheldon along as he climbs and makes progress and then as he slides down again. At times I found it a little depressing, though that is part of what the book is about and if you are feeling the emotions then it is a well written book. It may not be a book for everyone but for some it will be a great book.
My Rating: It may not be a style of book I want to read all the time but it was still a good read that lead me into the emotions I think was intended.  I find it very interesting about how Bartlett interlinks another of his novels (Royal Flush) into this book, very creative.  I give Taking Stock a rating of Three Paws.
Taking Stock was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Scott Bartlett and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
You can also obtain your own copy of Taking Stock in digital or print formats on Amazon  or in print format on Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review of Into the Dream by Suzanne Weyn

Synopsis: "When Sheila McCarthy first landed in the magical kingdom of Arren, all she could think about was how to get back home. But surrounded by her new friends, the beautiful unicorns and their courageous Unicorn Queen, she soon realized that hanging out in an enchanted land and doing battle with an evil wizard beat going to high school any day....
Sheila has been home for a month - and not a day passes that she doesn't wonder what's going on in the magical world of Arren. When Dr. Reit shows her the improvements made in his transporter, Sheila sees her chance. She sneaks into his laboratory and plunges through the portal - back to Arren and into her most dangerous adventure ever!
Her old enemy, the evil wizard Mardock, has found a way to make the unicorns disappear - and Sheila and her warrior friends must journey to an exotic land of pyramids and evil spells to save them. But Dr. Reit has followed her through the portal - and is captured by the dreaded sorcerer himself!"

My Review: I kind of wished that the series had concluded after the last book. At times during this book it felt like a repeat of previous events. The Unicorn Warriors are once again faced with the same battle and same enemy they have previously fought. I did like how some of the dynamics between the characters had changed with the time apart. Though again so many of the characters I had come to enjoy took a back seat if they made an appearance at all. I am kind of finding the series to be up and down for me. Maybe it is because there are so many authors involved with their own writing voices and at times it seems their own agendas for the storyline and characters.
My Rating: Again this series is becoming repetitive and at times a little confused in itself.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What's for Dinner This Week? (3)

What's for Dinner This Week is a little insight into my life for you every Monday night. I carefully plan out meals for the week ahead of time and do my shopping over the weekend.  So I wanted to start sharing with you one of the recipes or dinners I am most looking forward to each week.
This week's recipe is determined by the little eater in this house.  Normally Munchkin is a great eater, he will eat just about anything we put in front of him, but recently he as started to get a little pickier. Lately he only wants to eat pasta, shrimp, bell pepper (raw, I know weird huh) and bananas. Now when I say Munchkin eats these few things, he really eats them, which is good. We were told by the doctor to fatten him up, he has lost 3 lbs. in the past few months (of course that has nothing to do with how sick he has been constantly or the fact that my genetics tend to run on the very slim side, at least until you hit 20).
So for this week I am going to make Shrimp Fried Rice. I have been scouring the internet a tasty recipe that will combine at least one other ingredient he will eat. I came across this great recipe on Simply Recipes that not only had a recipe with veggies the little man usually likes but also some great tips as well.
image from SimplyRecipes (& pinned on my Pinterest page)
Now doesn't that look delicious?! I am not usually a huge shrimp fan, but when I was pregnant I couldn't get enough of it! Now I know why, Little Munchkin can't get enough of it, at least with this dinner I know at least one night this week he will be eating!
So what will be on your dinner plate this week? Craving anything in particular?

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

Final Test by Dory Perlman
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Master of the Mountain by Cherise Sinclair (After Dark)
Easter Bunny Touch and Feel by Roger Priddy (Bedtime Story)
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge (Graphic Novel)

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

Thumper and the Noisy Ducky
Put Me in a Zoo
Taking Stock
Murray's First Book of Words
Master of the Abyss
B is for Books
Spots First Easter
Cooking with the Cat

Currently Reading:

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
Perfect Match by Kristin Higgins - PB - on Page 243 of 441
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine - Kindle- 4%
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)


Getting back into the swing of things after vacation. Boy was my desk swamped when I got back to work. I am still trying to work out a balance between regular life, chores and time with Munchkin, with my reading, writing and crafts but I am slowly getting there. There is so much I want to do, create and read! You should really see my lists upon lists. Now I have decided (after a couple of people I didn't know asked me when the baby was due) that I really need to get back to exercising and get back into shape, especially for chasing the now running Munchkin.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter yesterday. I not only celebrated with Munchkin and the family but feeling festive I also brought the decorating into my nails.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Crafty Times (3) - Happy Easter!

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!
It is Easter Sunday for those who celebrate it and I have just the perfect craft for today.  While desperate to find simple ways to keep Munchkin busy and keep his brain on and learning I came across these things called Busy Bags. They are all over Pinterest and Mom Blogs, and I saw the inspiration for my craft to day on one of them.
I made Munchkin color matching Easter eggs. You really can't get much more simple than this, some plastic Easter Eggs, white felt, colored felt to match the eggs, and some felt glue.  I cut out the colored yokes and egg whites, totally eyeballed it and some are a little wonky but Munchkin doesn't care.
I made 4 sets (as many sets as came in the bag of eggs), two of which I kept for Munchkin, one set I sent to my little niece and the last set I plan to list in my Etsy shop once I get things up and running again. 
While Munchkin doesn't quite get the concept of matching the eggs to the shells, or get them open on his own yet, he loves playing with them. He got all excited this morning when we hid them (he had already played with them a few times before the 'Easter Bunny' came) and would find one, run over and ask us to open it up for him.
Did any of you make a unique craft for Easter? Have any special holiday traditions? Or maybe have a really awesome dyed Easter egg to share?