Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mindless Weekend Rambling: Rant about Never Ending Series

Welcome to my new blog event called Mindless Weekend Rambling where I will ramble on and on aimlessly about all the junk rolling around in my brain. Occasionally I might rant and rave about something that is bothering me or question the sanity of it all, or maybe choose to discuss my to do list or plans that I am making or maybe share something new I learned. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be totally off the cuff. I hope you will bear with me and maybe get a laugh or two in the process.
Brace yourselves for a little frustration and ranting. I just have to get this off my chest as it has been driving me nuts. . . .
A few weeks ago I went on a book shopping spree, I pretty much do all my book shopping online anymore because it is nearly impossible to browse a bookstore with Munchkin in tow. There are some great benefits to this, like being able to price comparison super easy and also to keep the compulsion buys to a minimum.  It also allows me to keep my to purchase list up on Goodreads while shopping on other links. So I noticed that a lot of the authors I follow have recently put out books in series that I read or have one coming out soon. I figured I better at least get the books purchased so I can continue the series when I find time.
The problem I have is that some of the series that I have been reading are ridiculously long, I am talking 10-15+ books. I go so long between reading the next books that I really need a refresher but do you know how long it takes to read that many books, even when familiar with them in order to read just one more. Then the frustration to do it again in the next year or two?!  I have taken to just getting the books and planning to re-read the series when I have 2 or 3 new books to read in that series.
The worst is when you have dedicated all this time and money in these series and continue to do so out of dedication even though it is totally clear that the character and story lines have run their course, and it even seems at times that the author is sick of the series. I just am having difficulty understanding the need to have this series go on for so long.
A couple of series that come up for me in this rant include:
Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton - we are up to 22.6 books with #23 coming out this year.  I haven't read the past 3 books because I am just sick of the crap going on in the series, the characters personalities have changed as has the storyline.
House of Night by PC Cast - this series is up to book #11 with #12 expected out this year, that isn't including the novellas too. I only read up through book 8 and I enjoyed it when the series first came out but the storyline had taken such a drastic turn I couldn't stick with it anymore.
Celta's Heartmates by Robin D. Owens - This series has 12 books out so far with #13 expected out this year. I have continued to purchase the books in this series but haven't read them since book 8. I still love this series but it pretty intricate and there are a lot of details to keep track of, you really need to read this series of books back to back.
Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward - Book 12 just came out and it looks like #13 is in the works.  Again I rather enjoyed this series but I caught up to the series so quickly and needed to read other books that I again fell behind. I haven't read this series since book 9 but have downloaded most of the rest of the series.
I am sure I have a few other series that I have read that have continued without my knowledge and I am sure there are many more series like these out there but these are the ones I have actively followed at some point. But come on when does it end? Can the author even end them at this point? Do they have to kill off the main character in order to finally wipe their hands clean of these series?
What is your take? Are there any long series that you follow?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bedtime Story: Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

Synopsis: "An affectionate storybook tribute to that truly wonderful place: the library.

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Michelle Knudsen's disarming story, illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers."

My Review: I really enjoyed this book, the lightness of the illustrations and the message of the story, everything fit so well together. After so many books about do what your parents tell you, follow the rules, etc. it is nice to see a book making it clear that sometimes to help someone the rules need to be broken and that's okay. This book was a little advanced for my Munchkin but I am looking forward to when he is old enough to enjoy it, I just hope there are still books in the library by that point!
My Rating: This was a very cute book and I loved the almost vintage feel to the illustrations. I hope Munchkin will love it eventually, we really need to find a good library since we have more books than our local one.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Cover Reveal: Not Until Tonight by Jessica Sankiewicz

Not Until Tonight
By Jessica Sankiewicz
New Adult
Release Date: May 26, 2014
Synopsis: "Haley has spent the last year going to the bar across the street from her apartment every day. It's the only thing that winds her down at the end of a long day at work. She gets to have a drink and talk to the gorgeous bartender, Skylar. Her little crush on him is starting to drive her crazy. She wants to take their friendship to the next level but she doesn't want to compromise what they already have.

When Skylar asks Haley to pretend to be his girlfriend for one night, she doesn't hesitate to say yes. This is her chance to finally experience what it could be like, even if it's just for one night. But pretending becomes difficult when their real feelings surface and the pull is too strong to resist. And neither one of them prepared for that.

At the end of the night, will they be willing to turn a fake relationship into a real one?"
Ready for the cover?!

Check it out on Goodreads and mark your calendars!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

After Dark Review of Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Nights by Cherise Sinclair et al

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: "A Good sub Would... by Sierra Cartwright
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary

Shelby, a wanna-be sub, hasn’t found a Dom strong enough to push past her need to be in control. Her experiences as a sub have been yawn-inducing. She’s fantasized plenty, though, about Trevor Lawton, one of Dark Haven’s legendary, mouthwateringly firm Doms.

As the stakes get higher at the charity poker match, Dom Trevor Lawton is fascinated by the woman kneeling across the table from him. Problem is, she’s not a good sub. Oh, she tries, and she’s lovely. But she’s not very good at following orders. The woman needs a firm, unyielding hand...his.

Hunting Holly by Belinda McBride
Genre: BDSM Shape-shifter Paranormal Menage
Related Titles: Educating Evangeline, part of the Doms of Dark Haven anthology

When Holly left the Truckee pack, she left her family, her safety, and the two men she loved. Now she's in San Francisco training as a Domme at Dark Haven. She thinks she's found herself, but tonight, Tex and Hunter have found her. And they are not happy with their little wolf. She's been keeping secrets from them. Tonight, someone's gonna beg.

Additional Publisher's Warning: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, caning, sensory deprivation.

Welcome to the Dark Side by Cherise Sinclair
Genre: BDSM Erotic Contemporary
Related Titles: Master of the Mountain; Master of the Abyss; Simon Says: Mine, part of the Doms of Dark Haven anthology

Real Doms terrify her, so Summer plays with lightweights only. And only in the safety of her club, Dark Haven. But on Western Night, the tough cop who wins her in a sub-roping game is as powerful as they come.

Virgil's first taste of BDSM was disturbingly enticing. Hoping to burn out his interest, he visits an infamous San Francisco club, where he wins himself the prettiest little sub he’s ever seen. He’s in a quandary. A man shouldn’t render a woman helpless, let alone spank her ass. But the nervous little submissive clearly loves being in his ropes. Her need to be controlled is as powerful as his need to control. So he indulges himself, and her.

That one night could be the beginning, but instead it's the end. She won't play outside the club and he lives too far to come play. He'll just have to find a way to forget her...or get her in his ropes to stay.

Publisher's Note: All of the stories within this anthology contain explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: strong BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to: bondage and spanking)."

My Review: This was definitely better than the Doms of Dark Haven 1 anthology. Though I honestly don't know why these had to be put together, each individual story could have easily been a short novella on it's own. I rather enjoyed the first story by Sierra Cartwright, I fell in love with the characters and honestly want read more about them. The second story, Hunting Holly, still just doesn't fit for me. Throwing a paranormal book in the mix when I am specifically reading a non-paranormal series just doesn't sit with me. I am sure if I read the series by McBride separately it wouldn't be an issue but I really don't like the mixing of the genres. That said, Hunting Holly sure did have a lot of steam, probably the steamiest of the three stories. Finally the last story is the one I wanted to read to continue the Mountain Masters series by Cherise Sinclair. I really enjoyed this story, I love that for a change the Dom was a little inexperienced in the scene, it was a refreshing change. Though he still has the instinct to push his sub. I found it different and interesting how instead of moving more into the scene, the characters in this story seemed to be moving more into the vanilla direction. A little fun in the bedroom but maybe not full play felt a little more to fit with normal lifestyles. Better set of stories than the previous one but still not to my taste when reading a series, I honestly really hope this is the last one I have to read to complete a series.
My Rating: This was definitely better than the first anthology of the series, but I don't really like the format and would prefer a single novella. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, May 7, 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 - 50,052 words - 1st Draft COMPLETE
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.


Finally, progress! I managed to finally buckle down and write for the first time this year, at least seriously. Guess what that little bit of effort got me? I book that reached 50K words and actually had a conclusion! Granted it is the worst bit of writing to ever leave me and will be stuffed in my writing box until my grandchildren find it cleaning out my house and I hope they laugh and then burn it!

So there you have it, I managed to write something again, maybe that will get my muse kicking my butt again as I turn my attention to Princess Bs and finishing the outlining for The Last Mountains.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review of Tithe by Holly Black

Synopsis: "Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms - a struggle that could very well mean her death."

My Review: I was kind of up and down with this one. There were things I enjoyed like the familiarity of some of the Faery realm and major players. But then I didn't like other important things like Kaye. She was at times too mature and other times so immature and naïve I thought she was a pre-teen. I did enjoy Corny, I thought he was a fantastic character who sadly ended up taking such a minor role and was basically there to throw a little extra wrench in things. The author did take a little bit of a cop-out way to remove some of the other difficult to incorporate characters out of the story. The conclusion was rushed as well, suddenly everything is just better because Roiben speaks. It was really an eh book for me but at least it was a quick read.
My Rating: Definitely a disappointment, especially for the rating it has on Goodreads. Maybe it just wasn't the book for me at the time. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Monday, May 5, 2014

What's for Dinner this Week (5)

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.
I admit that I spend a rather large amount of time online at work browsing the internet and a good part of that is spent looking for new recipes to try.  I try to make sure not to cook the same meal twice in a month if not longer so I always need new ones. Pinterest has done nothing but feed into this weird obsession of mine.
In one of my pinterest food searches I came across this gem High Protien Mushroom Stroganoff

Image from her website (chocolatecoveredkatie)
Doesn't that look delicious?!  I love mushrooms and try to find a way to put them into almost any recipe.  The thing I love about this recipe is that it is simple, has things both Munchkin and Hubby love and it is perfect for meatless Mondays. 
I try to always plan a meatless dish once a week but the thing I struggle with is finding a  dish that doesn't have a lot of starch (we eat pasta nearly every day and when we don't eat pasta we eat rice). This dish has neither the green beans kind of act as the pasta.  I am looking forward to seeing what Munchkin will think of this dinner.
So do you make a meatless dish every week? Is there one food item you find yourself eating all the time?

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

Moonspell by Gwen Hansen
Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester
Master of the Abyss by Cherise Sinclair (After Dark)
Journey by Aaron Becker (Bedtime Stories)
Athena: The Grey Eyed Goddess by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)

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

Doms of Dark Haven 2
Secret Zoo
Reflections of Queen Snow White
Bad Beginnings
Dinosaurs before Dark
Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse
Between Light and Dark
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Currently Reading:

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
Perfect Match by Kristin Higgins - PB - on Page 243 of 441
Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff - PB - on page 35 of 272
How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini by Heather Horrocks - PB - on Page 43 of 265

 Books to be Read Soon:
Lest the Dew Rust Them by Michael Drakich (Requested Review)
My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin (Requested Review)



Tried to ride the adrenaline wave coming off Dewey's Readathon last week not to mention clear out some of these books I have been partially through for some time.  I feel myself starting to lag and loosing interest. I need to push through so I can find something new and exciting to read again. While I didn't get through most of them I have gotten a lot of reading and preparing done for Children's book week!

It finally got nice over the weekend here so Munchkin, Hubby and I spent a bunch of our time outside cleaning up the yard and in the garage cleaning and organizing. Time to start that spring cleaning, ugh! I like the feeling of starting fresh but I hate the process (and of course I cringe and finding spiders).

I thought spring had finally arrived and jumped in finger nails first this last week with Turquoise and Caicos, the picture doesn't do this pretty sea green justice

At the end of last week I wanted to do a bright color, and had this color called Oh My Melon, I ordered it online thinking it would be a nice pinkish coral but it turned out to be a rather bright pink. I decided I could tone the color down with these really pretty decals I have been waiting to use.