Saturday, September 20, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of The Unwritten Vol. 1 by Mike Carey

Synopsis: "Tom Taylor's life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom's real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it's even implied that the fictional Tommy will crossover into the real world, giving delusional fans more excuses to harass Tom.

When an enormous scandal reveals that Tom might really be a boy-wizard made flesh, Tom comes into contact with a very mysterious, very deadly group that's secretly kept tabs on him all his life. Now, to protect his own life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, eventually finding himself at locations all featured on a very special map -- one kept by the deadly group that charts places throughout world history where fictions have impacted and tangibly shaped reality, those stories ranging from famous literary works to folktales to pop culture. And in the process of figuring out what it all means, Tom will find himself having to figure out a huge conspiracy mystery that spans the entirety of the history of fiction."

My Review: I am really up in the air about this one. It starts off feeling like you jumped into the middle of a story but slowly clears that up. I find the concept very interesting though at times difficult to follow. The illustrations were outstanding but the nearly whole pages of text are not what I want to encounter in a graphic novel. But even with it's downfalls I am still interested enough to read the next volume in the series.
My Rating: The concept is fantastic but the execution not so great. I am hoping that maybe things will be cleared up in the next novel. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bedtime Story: Frankie Works the Nightshift by Lisa Westberg Peters

Synopsis: "While everyone else is busy dreaming . . .


. . . Frankie is hard at work, cleaning and scheming. There's no time for rest.


But here's a little secret—Frankie really seems to enjoy the night shift.

Is he working hard or hardly working? Open this book and decide for yourself.

Good job, Frankie!"

My Review: I originally picked this book up for Munchkin in order to maybe help him understand his dad works nights. This book turned out to be so much more than I expected. It was a cat doing what cats do at night, but also a counting book. I really enjoyed how the images of the animals were more like photos but the rest of the background was illustrations. I think Munchkin really enjoyed it too.
My Rating: This book really turned out great and we both are enjoying reading this one again and again.  We give it a rating of Four Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

After Dark Review of The Peacemaker by Jianne Carlo

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: "Can the Peacemaker tame a warrior bride?

When Njal the Peacemaker meets his bride-to-be, she’s dressed in breeches, flaunting a crossbow, and covered in boar’s blood. What he needs is a woman skilled with words, a woman with exquisite manners, a cunning woman capable of maneuvering the political intrigue of a king’s court. Not this rough country lass whose skill with a crossbow rivals his.

Bettina has no desire to wed a peacemaker. She needs a Viking warrior who’ll strike fear into the hearts of her enemies, a man of strength who can thwart her step-uncle’s theft of her castle’s treasures. But Nyal the Peacemaker wields words, not weapons—until their wedding night proves he’s also a man of passion. Neither can resist the heat of their coupling, but can a man who values peace be enough for a warrior bride?"

My Review: Another good after dark book in this series. I do love the Viking men and their tough ass women, but sometimes I want to read more than their bed-sport. There is so much more going on in this one, maneuvering of kings and political intrigue, chest pounding to see who comes out the victor but the story really skims over all of that. All that said, if you are looking for a steamy book to keep you company at night this is perfect.
My Rating: For what it is, this is a great book but I am starting to want more from this series and these books.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Audio Review of The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts

Synopsis: "Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a bleak winter afternoon between the slats of a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse. He recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up horse and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, the horse thrived. But the recent Dutch immigrant and his growing family needed money, and Harry was always on the lookout for the perfect thoroughbred to train for the show-jumping circuit—so he reluctantly sold Snowman to a farm a few miles down the road.

But Snowman had other ideas about what Harry needed. When he turned up back at Harry’s barn, dragging an old tire and a broken fence board, Harry knew that he had misjudged the horse. And so he set about teaching this shaggy, easygoing horse how to fly. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping.

Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo, based on the insight and recollections of “the Flying Dutchman” himself. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. Elizabeth Letts’s message is simple: Never give up, even when the obstacles seem sky-high. There is something extraordinary in all of us."

My Review: I really fluctuated between really loving this book and not liking it much at all. I loved the parts that were actually about Snowman and Harry, I really grew to care about them and by the end I was searching for old videos of them on youtube. The part I wasn't too fond of were all the very wordy and descriptive histories of EVERYTHING, from the horse population in the US, to the history of sports and the school Harry taught at, it got a little old going off on these tangents. That and it felt like the author thought we were stupid and felt the need to repeat the rules of the horse shows every single time it was mentioned, the same thing every single time, and again the rules the same every single time (annoying isn't it?). Without all this added extra language the book would have been much more enjoyable and shorter, easier to fit into a time frame. I did listen to the audio version and the narrator was absolutely fantastic! I loved his voice and will be searching for more books narrated by him.
My Rating: I have such mixed feelings about this book, if some of the extra language that has nothing to do with Snowman or horses was removed I think it would be a really fantastic book.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's for Dinner? (21)

What's for Dinner 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 am on vacation this week, and I mean really on vacation! I am sitting back and letting my mom, dad and hubby cook for me, granted I might do some dishes and of course I always have my hands full with Munchkin but I need this break.
So instead of bringing you a new recipe this week I found a new site to get all kinds of recipes from, and of course I am already addicted.
Check out Yummly
It has so many great features, like seasonal recipes, weeknight dinners and my favorite - quick and easy.
It also learns your preferences and gives suggestions!
It really turns into an addiction, I have some many new recipes yummed already and have gotten lost on there for hours.

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

Buffalo Valley by Debbie Macomber
The Dragon Slayer by Jianne Carlo (After Dark)
Count to 10 with a Mouse by Margaret Wise Brown (Bedtime Story)

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

The Eighty Dollar Champion
1001 Nights of Snowfall

Currently Reading:

My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin - PB - on page 15 of
Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens - PB - on page 32 of 425

 Books to be Read Soon:

Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
Behind You by Carly M. Duncan (Requested Review)

Interesting Tidbits from the Web:

The "Millennial Generation" reads more than adults
Facebook Tags: The Books that Stayed with Us Analysis



Boy did last week take a toll on me.  Between a surprise (and extended) visit from a cousin, scurrying around packing for vacation this week and general work and house chores I had almost no time to spare, let alone energy.   So sadly my reading took a major hit this week.  I am hoping to get a lot of reading done this week but you know how it goes with vacation, you bring a stack of books you want to read and think you will have time for only to not touch a single one all week.

Happy Adventures to all!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Crafty Times (6)

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!
By the time all of you read this my family and I will have spent all day Saturday in airports and airplanes and now we are facing down a 6 hour car ride just to get to my parents home.   So I was on a mission last week to find ways to keep Munchkin entertain for all these inactive hours (no easy task). 
One of the things I came across were Eye Spy bags, I had made bottles at one point but I thought these bags would be easier to pack.  He isn't quite old enough to really identify everything but I figured he would grow into them too, but in the mean time he has fun pointing at the recognizable ones and shaking them violently.
I used $1 pencil bags from walmart, filler pellets I found on Etsy and some trinkets I purchased along with some little erasers, charms, toys and craft supplies I had laying around the house.   There are 25-30 items in each bag, and the zipper is sealed with super glue (it has yet to come open but I might seal it a little more with hot glue and a ribbon).
So there you have it, my latest crafty times adventure.  More items I made to keep Munchkin busy to come!