Saturday, February 14, 2015

Audio Review of The Last Valentine by James Michael Pratt

Read for: Mount TBR & Audio Book Challenge
Synopsis: "Television reporter Susan Allison is looking for the perfect story about true love, yet she doubts where such a thing really exists, Neil Thomas, Jr. wants to share his parents' bittersweet love story with the world. On February 14, 1944, Caroline Thomas said good-bye to her beloved husband, a Navy pilot sent to the Pacific. For fifty year, she waited for him--until a miracle happened, and she received his last valentine. In the present day, when Susan and Neil meet, can the story of Neil's parents bring them together in a love as powerful as she dreams of and he remembers?"

My Review: Thank goodness I had this as an audio book! I had to pause the story a few times to get my emotions under control. It is a very emotional book with both love and loss. My audio version was done with two narrators, a man and a woman and it got a little jumbled at times with some repeated lines and overlapping which kind of took away from the story at those times. Also the overlap of the story of Susan and Neil Jr. with the original story of Caroline and Neil Sr. at times really bothered me. I would have preferred to just stick with the original characters that the story is about because that was the true sentimental story.
My Rating: I really enjoyed the majority of the story though the second storyline didn't seem to add much for me. I still got very emotional throughout the book and thank goodness I was listening while doing chores so I could sit down and let the tears flow. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bedtime Story: Sweet Child of Mine by Caroline Jayne Church

Synopsis: "An endearing and enduring story of love from bestselling author and illustrator Caroline Jayne Church!

I love you in the crisp white snow that quietly fills the sky,
I love you in the stormy air when strong dark clouds pass by.

Caroline Jayne Church returns with an emotional story that proves no matter how much things in life change, one thing lasts forever: a parent's love.

With Caroline's signature art style and heartwarming rhymes, SWEET CHILD OF MINE is destined to stand the test of time."

My Review: I have said it before but we LOVE Caroline Church! The illustrations are always simple and beautiful. The story has a beautiful flow and rhyme that makes for a soothing and easy read. This one shows the love that continues not only throughout the day but the year as well. This is one that will be on the bedside table for reading before bed a lot.
My Rating: This book was definitely not a disappointment, it holds up to all the other books by Ms. Church. We really enjoyed this one and have read it again and again and again! This one gets a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

After Dark Review of North of Need by Laura Kaye

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 ;)
Read For: Series Challenge & Re-Read Challenge
Synopsis: "While attempting to escape the agonizing memories she associates with Christmas, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband-and collapses in tears against the snowman at the sight of what she'll never have. Called to life by the power of Megan's tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity. Megan is drawn to Owen's mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things, and her heart opens enough to believe he's a Christmas miracle. But this miracle comes with an expiration-before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow's grief and learn to trust love again, or she'll lose Owen forever."

My Review: I just finished re-reading this one (I read it when it first came out) and this was my original introduction to Kaye (I am now a huge fan and buy everything she puts out). I did notice upon re-reading, it didn't hold the same emotional turmoil and suspense as it did the first time, but I think I just was anticipating what was on the next page or in the next chapter. It was fun to watch the blending of Owen's happy and eager personality blending with Megan's tentative and guarded one again. I love Boreas, he is the best even though he plays such a small part in the book. Now I can finally move on to the rest of the books that have been waiting so patiently for me to re-read this one.
My Rating: This wasn't quite as good the second time around but with that said, it did originally introduce me to one of my favorite authors so there is something to be said about that.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review of Darkness by Ciye Cho

Read For: Requested Review
Synopsis: " dire prophecy has emerged, and the mer believe that humans and merfolk are in grave danger. Terror is closing in, but only one person holds the key to stopping it: Florence Waverley. However, her mission to save two worlds will lead her far, far out into the Darkness--a shadow-realm full of monsters, magic, and wicked tides that could tear apart bodies.

With the help of her friends, Florry must uncover a secret about humans and mer. A long-lost secret that could change her life. And above all else, she must fight hard to light the darkness. Everything depends on her mission: her friends, her world, and the one she loves.

The past, present, and future are about to collide--but can she stay afloat? One way or another, nothing will be the same when she enters the Darkness..."

My Review: It took me a bit to get back into the setting and characters but if you read the books a little closer together than I have it should all flow together nicely. As with his other books I love how Cho really keeps you in the setting and makes it clear that Florence is a human living under water. I found it very interesting the twists and turns that this third book takes the story line on, I was surprised with some of the developments. I am not sure but this has the feel of being the last book of the series but it there are a couple of loose ends that can lead into another book.
My Rating: Even though it took be a bit to get back into the book and characters, once I did it was fantastic. Also there is a glossary at the back of the book that is a huge help too.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.
Darkness was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Ciye Cho and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
Darkness was just released in digital format on February 9, 2015! You can download your copy of this brand new book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review of Birth by Lehua Parker

Read for: Across the States & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "On a beautiful Sunday morning in Lauele Town, Hawaii, all Kahana wants to do is jump in the ocean and catch some breakfast. Too bad there’s something in the water that wants to eat a skinny old man. Unnerved, Kahana and ‘Ilima decide to comb the reef and look for ‘opihi instead. What they find changes everything.

In One Boy, No Water Uncle Kahana told one version of Zader’s birth. In this novella more of Zader’s remarkable story is revealed of how he came to be part of the Westin ‘ohana. While this novella is a companion piece to the middle grade/young adult Niuhi Shark Saga, the themes and content will appeal to a more mature audience.

There are two versions of Zader’s birth story in this eBook. The story is the same, but the language used in much of the dialogue is different. The first version is written in Standard American English and assumes the reader isn’t familiar with Hawaiian island culture or the local slang’s commonly used phrases and words. The second version uses Hawaiian Pidgin English and Hawaiian words and phrases without explanation."

My Review: I enjoyed this little prequel to the One Boy No Water and One Shark No Swim books of the Niuhi Shark Series. This definitely explains a few things that were left a little vague in the other books about where Zander came from. I really appreciated that this book had the option to read it in standard English or in the Hawaiian slang Pidgin (which the other books were written in) so that also helped clear up some other interpretation questions. It is a great little addition to the series but it is rather short.
My Rating: I did enjoy this, even with the shortness of the story. I liked the option to read both language versions. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Introducing a New Blog - The Authorteers

Four indie authors have teamed up to form a blog!
The four authors--Molli Moran, Marie Landry, Lilly Avalon, and Jessica Sankiewicz--have written and published 14 books altogether ranging from young adult to new adult to women's fiction to romantic erotica. They decided to put their powers of awesome together to form an author blog called The Authorteers!

Meet the Authors:
Molli is a Southern author who doesn't consider her day complete if she hasn't written. She loves coffee and talking fast, things she attributes to being raised by Gilmore Girls. She's a romantic at heart, and brings that to her books, which are usually about quirky characters chasing after their happily ever after. Although content when reading, she can often be found watching and flailing over Doctor Who, cuddling her various pets, or spending time with friends, family, or her girlfriend. Molli loves Oxford commas, country music, Stefan Salvatore, and scarves.
Marie has the best job in the world—one where she gets to make stuff up for a living and shamelessly eavesdrop on everyone around her. She writes happily ever afters while dreaming about the day she’ll have her own epic love story to tell. Most days you can find her writing, reading, fantasizing about traveling the world, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece.
Lilly Avalon is the author of the RESIST series as well as other erotic romances. She's somewhere in the midst of her twenties and lives mostly in the stories in her head. When she's not enveloped in the worlds she creates, she's out in the real world making stories happen. That or reading other romances. It's a toss-up.
Jessica Sankiewicz is the author of the New Adult novella series, This Night. You can often find her either reading or marathon watching TV on DVD, her favorites being Castle and Veronica Mars. She frequently mismatches her clothes and giggles uncontrollably. She knows almost every Billy Joel song by heart. She collects books and toys, and she has an intense love of cats and lemurs. Jessica decided when she turned 27 that she would remain 27 forever. Currently in the midst of her quarter-life-crisis, she is still takin' names and getting very close to reaching an epiphany.
To celebrate this occasion, The Authorteers are hosting an EPIC giveaway! Here's what you can win:
International (20 WINNERS)
FOUR winners receive 4 e-books--1 book of choice from each author EIGHT winners receive 1 e-book of choice from our backlist (from any author) FOUR winners receive 1 swag pack (one from each author, the one you receive will be randomly selected) FOUR winners receive 1 signed postcard (one from each author, the one you receive will be randomly selected)
FOUR Special Prize Packs from each author
Giveaway Rules:
1. The only real requirement is to follow The Authorteers blog (via Bloglovin', Feedburner, or another reader of choice). 2. This contest runs from February 9th to 28th. 3. Winners will be selected at 12:01 a.m. on March 1st via Rafflecopter random selection.
US/CAN Only:

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

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardner
Poole's Paradise by John Vorhaus
Stone Bay by Min Edwards
Kick Pass and Run by Leonard Kessler (Beginning Reader)
Goodnight Football by Michael Dahl (Bedtime Story)
Cinderella Vol. 1 From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson (Graphic Novel)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name = 5pts
The Tao of Pooh = 3pts
Big Bear Little Bear = 1pt
Charlie, Where's the Bacon = 1pt
Delivering Your Mail = 1pt
Tuggie the Patriot Pup = 5pts
West of Want = 3 pts
Puma Sight Sails the Harbour = 1 pt
Friend to Merida = 1pt
South of Surrender = 3pts
Grandpa and the Truck = 1pt
Chase on the Case = 1pt
Taste the Heat = 3pts
Mr. Messy = 1pt

Currently Reading:

Don't Forget Me Bro by John Michael Cummings - Kindle - on page 23 of 230
Fish Perfume by Sammie Grace - PB - on page 86 of 283

 Books to be Read Soon:

East of Ecstasy by Laura Kay (Mount TBR/Series)
More Than Pancakes by Christine Depetrillo (Mount TBR/Rhode Island Authors)
Toe to Toe by Sammie Grace (Mount TBR/Rhode Island Authors)
The Queen's Dagger by Merilee Andelin Saunders (Requested Review)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (Mount TBR)


Total Points Earned
173 - 245 spent = -72 (oops guess I better get to reading)

Pages Read/ Time Listened
8,099 pages read (1,441 this week)
16:17 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

Deception's Pawn by Esther Friesner - Print (preorder) - 25 pts
The Sun Tea Chronicles by Quinton Blue - Kindle - 20pts
A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid - Kindle -20pts
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - Nook - 20pts
Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas - Nook - 20pts
Hard to be Good by Laura Kaye - Kindle (preorder) - 20pts
Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye - Kindle (preorder) - 20pts
Love Finds You in Camelot Tennessee by Janice Hanna - Kindle - 20pts
Winter's Thaw by Mari Carr - Nook - 20pts
The Selection by Kiera Cass - Audio - 20pts
Mr. Red Riding Hoode by Dana Marie Bell - Nook - 20pts
Of Shadows and Ash by Dana Marie Bell - Nook - 20pts

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:

9 Erotica Books that Should be More Popular than Fifty Shades - I am so sick of hearing about Fifty Shades, the book was awful, the actors they picked aren't anything like I pictured and I can only imagine what I would think of the movie, so here are some better choices!



Good gordy I am so sick of snow days! Over the past 2 weeks we have had 3 days of being stuck in the house (not to mention the days over the weekend).  That time in the house would normally be a blessing and I would love to read those days under a warm blanket, but instead they are filled with potty breaks and keeping up with a toddler.  I miss my quiet time in the office to read, which I don't get there anymore either because of having to play catch up from the days we couldn't get in. 

All this has made for a not so happy me, so I took a little time for myself yesterday (before the snow started up again).  I am sure you know what that means . . . I broke my no book buying streak and spent some quiet time (and money) at the book store! Bye bye points, hello new books!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Nail Art Share: January 2015

So as I said I have been painting my nails weekly/biweekly as set in my resolutions.  Instead of boring you with posts of just plain colors I wanted just to once a month share my art and maybe some colors that I find particularly striking.
So here are a few of my nail looks for the month of January
I received a huge Shany Nail art set for Christmas and let Munchkin pick out the colors and this is what I did with them.
Again Munchkin picked out his favorite color, red, for me to use. As there was some snow in the forecast I decided to paint snowflakes and use a snowflake/glitter polish for accent.
Finally, I found some cute little animal ideas on Pinterest and let Munchkin pick between polar bears or penguins.
Yes, Munchkin gets a lot of say in my nail polish, for some reason he is completely fascinated by it. He loves to pick out the colors and watch me paint or do art. He also loves looking at them after the fact. Odd, but it brings him joy and it keeps the creativity flowing if I get a block.
Looking at these pictures, I see I really need to work on cleaning up after I paint and before I take pictures.  Also, I need to really take better care of my hands and cuticles, the cold weather and working with paper my hands are dry with lots of hang nails.
I have some really great ideas for February (including one commemorating Letter Writing Month and of course Valentines Day).
Please share your ideas or art too!