Saturday, June 28, 2014

From the Book: Page by Paige

From the Book is a series of posts where I will take something I read in a book and either re-create it in real life or at least something inspired by the book.
So welcome to my very first From The Book Post! I have had this one planned for months and months but weather and time has not been cooperating.  Nonetheless, we have finally arrived. 
I found the graphic novel Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge (you can see my review HERE) to be very inspiring in my artistic life and have been trying to use some of the lessons learned in that book.
One of the things that I really liked were their Art Mobs I guess you would call it because it isn't really street art but art out on the street. One of the things they did were filled Easter Eggs
Goodness knows I had loads of left over eggs from Munchkin and I always have little trinkets in my art supplies so I set out to make some inspirational eggs of my own.
I think my favorites are the Minions, they make me giggle. 
I have started hiding the eggs, only a few at a time because really I don't go many places. Hid one next to a mail drop box at the office complex to brighten someone's bad day, one at a coffee shop drive thru to start off a day in a good way, left one in a shopping cart. I haven't been able to hang around and see if I can watch someone's reaction yet but I would like to think the eggs brought a smile to someone's face and maybe made them a little happier and a little friendlier at least for a time.
So what do you think? Like them? Or do you think they would be a nuisance? Do you have a favorite?
Coming up soon on From the Book, soufflé (yea you read right, wish me luck!).

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bedtime Story: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Synopsis: "School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children's classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive."

My Review: This is a really cute concept and great for kids who have a little separation anxiety or are going on an overnight for the first time. I think maybe it fell a little short in the story telling, and wasn't explained very well. It is appropriate for slightly older kids maybe 5-7 (so I don't know why it is a board book) as opposed to toddlers like Munchkin who while enjoy acting out the kissing of hands and putting them to cheeks don't quite understand the reasoning. Still it is a cute book and the illustrations are very cute.
My Rating: For all the hype this wasn't a spectacular book, it was a good book just not as fantastic as I was expecting.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

After Dark Review of Beyond Me by Jennifer Probst

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 ;)

Spring break in Key West with my besties was supposed to be casual fun. But I never expected to meet James Hunt. Sex and frolic? Yes! A relationship? No. But his hot blue eyes and confident manner drew me in. And when he let me see the man behind the mask, I fell hard, foolishly believing there could be a future for us. Of course I never considered our relationship might be based on lies…or that his betrayal could rock my foundation and make me question everything I believed in…


The moment I saw Quinn I knew I had to have her. She hooked me with her cool eyes and don’t touch me attitude. I had it all, money, social status, and looks. I could get any girl I wanted…until her. When my friends challenged me with a bet to get her into bed by the end of the week, I couldn’t pass it up. But sex wasn’t supposed to turn into love. She wasn’t supposed to change me, push me, and make me want more for myself. She wasn’t supposed to wreck me in all ways. And now, if I can’t turn my lies into truth, I just might lose her forever…"

My Review: While this book was a chic flick cliché I still gobbled it up! There were so many story lines and personalities that I have seen over and over again both in movies and books that I thought I would get bored and start rolling my eyes, but I should have known better. Probst never fails to deliver for me. She created characters I got totally wrapped up in and wanted the best outcome possible for them. The tension created between the characters is fantastic and just kept building as the story continued. I did find it a little odd that whenever sensitive subjects were touched on by the character, the point of view changed to the one observing for the outside, I guess it was a way to keep the novella short and light without fully delving into the psyche of the characters. I definitely suggest this as a short fun summer read!
My Rating: This was a great book to kick of summer for me, it was the prefect combination of romance, steam and emotions. I loved how this was a part of an anthology but you didn't have to read the other books (granted I might because I am a little curious how the other girls' vacations went). I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review of Lest the Dew Rust Them by Michael Drakich

Synopsis: "Terrorism in America has a new game…decapitations!

Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson faces the task of catching five men in New York City. They call themselves the Sword Masters with a single minded plan of terror through decapitations.
Barely has the task begun when a new arrival at JFK is a man importing thousands of swords! Alexander Suten-Mdjai is a trainer in the deadly art of swordsmanship and Robert cannot help but believe there is a connection between him and the Sword Masters.
As he goes about the task, each step in his search is made more difficult through the interference of politicians, the media and his own government.
Robert’s examination constantly draws him back to Alexander who regales him with a tale of swordsmanship from his lineage featuring events of mankind’s bloody past and often oddly having a connection to the case before him.
With the clock ticking as New York collapses into a deep panic, he must catch the Sword Masters before it is too late!"

My Review:   I have to say, for some reason I kept putting off reading this book but once I got into it I was completely sucked in. It did take a while to get all the characters straight as you were kind of thrown in the middle of things (even though it was actually the beginning). The book definitely drew you in and made you keep reading to find out what was next, for me the main storyline really took a back seat to the stories of the swords. I absolutely devoured those stories and actually went back to read a couple of them again. If you are looking for a modern thriller/suspense/crime/mystery with a twist this is definitely the book for you.
My Rating: It takes a bit to get all the moving parts straight but once it gets moving a really good book! I give it a rating of Four Paws!
Lest the Dew Rust was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Michael and his work on his Goodreads Page or Blog.
You can also obtain your own copy of Lest the Dew Rust Them in digital or print format on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review of Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Synopsis: "Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Note: Mature themes, sexual situations, religious discussions."

My Review: It has been some time since I read Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker, but it was interesting to pick up another book by Kenneally. It did take some time for me to connect the dots with the characters in the previous books with the ones in this book. I did however really enjoy Kate, I only went to all girls camps as a kid but would have loved to be able to run into a guy some years later. I have to say for me Bumble Bee Brad took some of my attention away from Matt. Be forewarned, this book is extremely heavy in religious content and difficult issues. I really appreciated it though after going through a similar questioning of religion and having a friend that we broke apart because she had a much more Christian view of things. This is definitely a great book for those teens who are struggling to come to terms with their beliefs.
My Rating: While I know some of you will notice I usually get upset reading a book that is heavy on religion, but that is usually due to the unexpectedness of it, it has been made clear in the synopsis that this one would way heavily in the realm of religion.  I really appreciated this book and almost wish I could have read it during High School when it could have had quite the impact.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What's for Dinner this Week? (12)

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.
So I was inspired by a comment on last week's post about a follower who enjoys tomato sandwiches and I enjoy my tomatoes much differently.  So I thought instead of a meal this week I thought we could talk about the different ways people classic summer foods!
Salt, Pepper or Sugar
I know this sounds like an odd title but bear with me (and laugh a little if you like), we all enjoy foods and flavors so differently and it is a lot of times influenced by our families and watching parents and grandparents enjoy food.
First : Melons
I personally love putting salt and pepper on all my melons, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon. Any of them I love putting salt and pepper on, and I have gotten so many odd looks over the years.  Another way to enjoy cantaloupe is wrapped in prosciutto, yum!
Another odd thing I enjoy is slicing my tomatoes and then sprinkling them with sugar and eating them that way. I watched my dad eat his tomatoes like this for years and obviously picked up on it. Whenever I am at a BBQ and they have them sliced for burgers I grab them and eat them this way instead of on my burger.  Again I have gotten some weird looks and a few gagging sounds when other people see this.
Burgers & Hot Dogs:
Speaking of burgers, I HATE ketchup and mustard! I usually have to eat my burgers with just cheese on them because that is usually all that is available.  I much prefer my burgers with mayo or sandwich spread (you know the one that is kind of like thousand island dressing with pickles and pimentos diced in it?).  Of course since I dislike these condiments so much I don't put them on hot dogs either, instead a slice of cheese is perfect! Weird I know but it is delicious.
I get comments all the time, especially at restaurants, when I request my salads with no dressing. I know a lot of people like a drizzle of oil and/or vinegar too, but I prefer just plain old salt and pepper on my salads.  Odd I know, but years ago when I was trying to loose weight for my wedding I gave up all dressings (do you know how fattening they are?) and opted for my current method and found it to be so refreshing and light tasting not to be drowned in dressing.
Other things:
Another odd thing I grew up eating (and cannot stand now after eating it nearly every night) is bananas. My mom felt that bananas were a great dessert and every night after dinner she would serve us bananas sliced in a bowl, sprinkled with sugar and the bowl filled with milk (kind of like cheerios and fruit without the cheerios).
So what do you eat that is odd? Put condiments on things that most people wouldn't normally try?

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

Down Came the Rain by Brooke Sheilds
The Letters by Luanne Rice
Taken by the Vampire King by Laura Kaye (After Dark)
Welcome to Trucktown by Jon Scieszka (Bedtime Story)
Birds of Prey Vol. 1 by Duane Swierczynski (Graphic Novel)

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

Lest the Dew Rust Them
Surrounded by Temptation
Surrounded by Death
Surrounded by Secrets
Blue Balls and Push up Bras
Dark Chatter

Currently Reading:

Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff - PB - on page 35 of 272
We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee - Audio - 36%
Cabin Fever by Diana Hunter - PB - on page 89 of 272

 Books to be Read Soon:
Dakota Home by Debbie Macomber
Dakota Always by Debbie Macomber
Buffalo Valley by Debbie Macomber
Visions of a Revolution by Jeffery Minucci (Requested Review)
Contrails by Robert Anderson (Requested Review)



So another great reading week for me even though Munchkin has been miserable and it has been insane in the office! I kind of really got on a roll with Mandy Harbin's books, they are short and fun reads (though definitely After Dark books and NSFW). I also got myself motivated again on the requested reviews.  I need to get back into the rhythm of reading one a week. I have a boatload of requesting emails to respond to (and this will be done this week).

I did manage to try another new color on my nails this week. It is called Muchi Muchi and is a very feminine color, I feel like I should have been wearing a modest skirt and cardigan and joining a sorority.  Since it was my anniversary this last Monday I also used these cute love bird decals.
(The picture doesn't do the color justice it is pale but so pink, almost bubblegum color but lighter)