Saturday, November 8, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen

Synopsis: "In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers that fight off intruders, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden village to another. The Guard patrol borders, find safeways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predatory infestation. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, three such Guardsmice, are dispatched to find a missing merchant mouse that never arrived at his destination. Their search for the missing mouse reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard’s own ranks."

My Review: Why has no one suggested this to me?! This is awesome, I love all the elements to this graphic novel. The characters are great and they are animals, the action element and the storyline keeps things moving and excitement up, and the illustrations are fantastic. I actually picked this up the other night thinking I would just read a few pages and then go to bed but could not put it down until I finished it and now I must find the rest of them.
My Rating: This is definitely a top graphic novel pick for me! I loved the storyline, the characters and artwork.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bedtime Story: Elmo's Monster Mash by Christopher Moroney

Synopsis: "Elmo's having a Monster Mash Halloween party with games, treats, and pumpkins galore to decorate. Then Elmo drops a big pumpkin and the Monster Mash becomes a Monster SMASH! But not to worry! Everyone takes home some broken pumpkin and returns the next day with delicious pumpkin treats--and the entire Sesame Street gang--including Grover, Zoe, Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, and the others--gets to celebrate all over again!

Fuzzy, bright orange flocking on the cover and on every spread adds an irresistible touchable element to a story about sharing and finding a creative--and fun--solution to an unexpected problem."

My Review: I was on the hunt for new Halloween/fall books for Munchkin and came across this one. His favorite characters are Elmo and Murray and this book has both (let me tell you it is difficult to find much with Murray in it). It is a simple book with conversations between the characters and would be great if I could do their voices. It is also a good introduction to pumpkin decorating because after reading the book Munchkin is asking to do that too.
My Rating: This was a fun and simple book.  Really little ones can just look at the pictures and figure out what is going on.  (It also gives you ideas of what to do with all those pumpkins leftover from Halloween).  I give it a rating of Four Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review of Giving Chase by Hannah Hooton

Synopsis: "There has only ever been one man in Frankie’s life: her father, Doug Cooper. That is, until she takes the job of amateur jockey at Aspen Valley Racing Stables. Here, in the rolling countryside of southwest England, she crosses paths with star rider, Rhys Bradford. Her crush on him would be made so much simpler if they didn’t both have their hearts set on the same prize: the coveted ride on Grand National favourite, Peace Offering.

In the turbulent run-up to National Hunt’s biggest event, questions are raised. What exactly does Doug have against the Bradfords? Is Rhys playing games with her heart? Will Ta’ Qali show his true potential in time to warrant his place at Aspen Valley? Why do there have to be so many blasted calories in strawberry cheesecake? And lastly, who exactly is Francesca Cooper?

Frankie’s curiosity unearths some long-buried secrets which their keepers would rather remain buried, and on a journey of self-discovery that takes in Britain’s fiercest steeplechase courses, love will prove her costliest stumbling point."

My Review: I had a hard time while reading this book, it involves horses so I should already like it but the unfamiliar setting pushed it out of my comfort level. I also didn't really connect with the characters, I found Frankie to be an immature drama queen who is terrified of her job so does it horribly, and Rhys is just that mysterious, dark guy who is now required in every book since Twilight. The only redeeming characters for me were Tom and Ta'Qali. The storyline was also very all over the place and it felt like there were a lot of random tangents that had no supporting qualities. All in all a disappointment for me.
My Rating: This was a real up and down book for me but in the end I can only give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, November 5, 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:

Here's The Truth (and you don't get a spoonful of sugar) - 7,001 words
the honest to goodness truth about creating the little tyrants that will run your lives. No sugar coating here!
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?

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?
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.
Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 5,811
Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

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.

Draft Complete:

The Story of Things (previously titled Each Item a Story) - 50,052 words
A journal a woman keeps as she sorts through antique items and documents left in a home she purchased.


Nanowrimo has officially started! I didn't get started until Monday afternoon but got started with a bang.  Monday I wrote 3,414 words and yesterday I manage 3,587 to get myself caught up at 7,001(as of yesterday the word count needed to be 6,666).  My goal is to continue writing about 3K a day this week and reach at least 15K by Friday.  As long as I keep this up I will be able to keep the writing at the office and not have to bring it home at night or on the weekends.

Oh did you see I came up with a title too?! What do you think?

Anyway, I am off to try to hit 10K by the end of the day today, better get busy.  How is your nano coming along? Still in the fresh rush of the first week?  I hope the words are flowing nicely for you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review of Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens

Synopsis: "As one of the last surviving Mistweavers, half-blood Jenni knows what it's like to be caught between two worlds: the faery and the human. But the time has come to choose. The Lightfolk require her unique talent for balancing the elements to fend off a dangerous enemy—and rescue her missing brother.Only for Rothly will Jenni deal with those who destroyed her life. Only for him will she agree to work with her ex-lover, Tage, and revisit the darkest corners of her soul. For a reckoning is at hand, and she alone has the power to hold back the forces of dark…."

My Review: I am a huge Owens fan but this book just didn't sit right with me. There seemed to be a shortage of world building, I was lost a lot of the time with the faery terms, folk types and rituals. I was honestly pretty lost through pretty much all the book and had to continuously push myself to pick it up and read it. Also I wasn't too keen on the characters, especially the main ones, there was no connection to them and I found their relationship to be forced. I did however enjoy the guardians (the elf and dwarf that assisted Jenni). Sadly, it ended up being a book just to get through so I could put it away.
My Rating: Gosh I hate giving bad reviews and ratings to one of my favorite authors but I just did not like this book at all.  I give it a rating of One Paw.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's For Dinner? (28)

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.
It is getting much colder here now and I said previously that I really wanted to use my crockpot more.  Well when better to do that than a month when I am focused on writing.  I found this great boxed dinner at the World Market inside our Bed Bath & Beyond store that sounded really good and super simple. 
It was nice that it had instructions for both dutch oven and crock pot. I only needed chicken thighs (which we buy in bulk so I had that), chicken stock (which we keep on hand for risotto), red wine (we have a whole wine rack full of that), and a can of tomatoes (which we always have on hand in case Hubby wants to make sauce).  It was simple to start in the morning before work and was timed perfectly for when I got home with Munchkin.
Doesn't that look delicious? I wish you could have taken a whiff of this because it would make you drool!
Only down falls were that it made a TON, I ended up bringing a bunch to work to share, and Munchkin did not like it at all so I ended up making something for him anyway.

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

Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey
Frankenstein  by Mary Shelley
Happy Halloween, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer (Bedtime Story)

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

Dashing Through The Snow
Jingle All the Way
10 Hooting Owls
Leaf Trouble
Behind You
The Christmas Quilt
Daniel's Esperanza
Santa Wore Combat Boots
Currently Reading:

Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill - Audio - switched to HC - on page 68 of 496
Elixir by Ted Galdi - Kindle - 12%

 Books to be Read Soon:

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 by Stanley Weintraub
Holidays on Ice by Daniel Sedaris
Enfold Me by Steven Greenberg (Requested Review)
Winter Horses by Philip Kerr

Interesting Tidbits from the Web:



I pushed hard to get as many books as possible read and reviewed before Nanowrimo started on Saturday because I didn't want too many distractions. I still have a lot of reading to do for the Advent Reads event in December but I am feeling pretty prepared.   I am already looking forward to next year's books and plans!

There will be a little less going on this month than obviously last month.  I am focusing on my writing for Nanowrimo, and I will be posting a writing update every Wednesday this month with my progress.  I will also have reviews for you on Tuesdays and Thursdays, of course there will still be Bedtime Stories every Friday Night.  I am not sure if I will have posts for you on the weekends but I will try my best, I am also not sure if I will have dinner posts but again I will try my best!