Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dewey's Spring 2015 Readathon Signup

Woohoo! It is almost time for the Spring Dewey's Readathon, I have been very anxiously awaiting another readathon and it is finally here.  This one is scheduled for two weeks from now on April 25th.  To find out more and to sign up yourself visit Dewey's Page
I am hoping I will have a little more success with this readathon than I did with the fall one last year. I have a lot less going on between book events and work. I am not sure how it will work out with Munchkin, I am hoping the weather will be nice so he can go outside to play some of the day and maybe I can take a walk with the dog and an audio book in the afternoon. We will have to see as the time gets closer.

So I guess I better start with some books to read . . .
Princesses of Myth Series - Wherever I am in this series that day
Pride Series - Wherever I am in this series that day
This is just a quick preliminary list. I have found that I will still have Munchkin at least a few hours of the day so try to work that into readathon time with some children's books.  Also, graphic novels are great books to start the day and feel like progress is being made and for later in the day to break up some time. I decided that an audio book would also be handy this year so I can get up and do chores, get some exercise or just get moving in general.  I have also found for my own personal preferences that I like to read shorter books, read straight through and then take a break (I am one of those people who don't feel like they are accomplishing anything without crossing things off a list).
A Couple Goals:
I don't think I set any specific goals last time but will this time.
1. Read/listen for 18+ hours
2. Finish 13 books
3. Read at least 1,100 pages
4. Update regularly on Twitter
5. Post updates here every 4-6 hours
6. Visit at least 5 new blogs
7. Participate in at least 1 hourly challenge/mini challenge
8. Keep up with reviews
9. Read and have fun, of course!
So are you going to read for the readathon? Any special books planned? What are your goals?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bedtime Story: Mr. Grumpy by Roger Hargreaves

Synopsis: "Mr. Grumpy is in a BAD mood?until he gets a visit from Mr. Tickle!"

My Review: This has been the best Mr. Men book so far. Munchkin actually was able to sit through the whole book and pay attention. He loved when Mr. Tickle would sneak up on Mr. Grumpy. He even tells me when I am being grumpy that he is going to tickle me, so I think a little lesson was taken from this book.
My Rating: This was the best Mr. Men book we have read together, one that we could actually apply to our lives. Munchkin was very into it and learned a little something too.  We give it a rating of Four Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

After Dark Review of The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston

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: "Some things are so worth waiting for. Like the moment when Jessica Ward "accidentally" bumps into Bobby Ray Smith and shows him just how far she's come since high school. Back then, Jess' gangly limbs and bruised heart turned to jelly any time Smitty's "all the better to ravish you with" body came near her. So, some things haven't changed. Except now Jess is a success on her own terms. And she can enjoy a romp - or twenty - with a big, bad wolf and walk away. Easy.

The sexy, polished CEO who hires Smitty's security firm might be a million miles from the lovable geek he knew, but her kiss, her touch, is every bit as hot as he imagined. Jess was never the kind to ask for help, and she doesn't want it now, not even with someone targeting her Pack. But Smitty's not going to turn tail and run. Not before proving that their sheet-scorching animal lust is only the start of something even wilder..."

My Review: As when I originally read the book in 2011, it was so much better than the first book in the series. The characters and plot lines were much more developed. We didn't spend the vast majority of the book in the bedroom (though it was visited a few times) so it felt like there was some real substance to the story. There was also great foreshadowing for the next books and introduction of more characters who deserve their own novels. Speaking of characters, there was such a wide range of personalities in this book that there is someone for every reader to connect with and it made the interactions so much fun.

My Rating: This book was so much better, there was more story action and less bed action (not that it is a bad thing but I need more to my books). I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review of The Queen's Dagger by Merilee Andelin Saunders

Synopsis: "Princess Brielle is used as a pawn in a political marriage with a foreign king. An old magic surrounds Marinia and the royal family, and Brielle is thrust in the middle of a kingdom that will crumble if that power is lost. She is timid and subservient; however, she soon learns that the man she wed expects more from her.

King Dravyn bequeaths to her an enchanted dagger and forces her to train with the blademaster. Unbeknownst to Brielle, King Dravyn trusts her with defending and preserving their kingdom. But in the process, she has to learn to trust him, while battling lies and malevolent forces that conspire against both of them and Marinia.

The Queen’s Dagger dares to begin where other stories end. Join Brielle as she embarks on the journey of a lifetime. Though she was compelled to marry, find out if she can choose to love King Dravyn, and save Marinia, amidst the complexities of her new life, new magic, and new perspective of her role in it all."

My Review: This was quite a daunting book to start, it is nearly 500 pages long and gets a rather slow start. It has the feel of an epic fantasy and there is a lot of world development. I honestly didn't even realize how into the story I was getting or how attached to the characters I was until about half way through when things really started happening. At that point I really couldn't stop reading and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Though at times it felt like maybe there was a little bit of an agenda for women's rights and it did push that thought throughout the story, it was still a great fantasy to read. While I would enjoy a shorter follow up book, just because I have enjoyed the characters so much, this one is great as a standalone too.
My Rating: This was a great book, everything I could have wanted to read in a fantasy at the time. Some times you just match the right book with the right mood and it is so satisfying. I give it a rating of Four Paws!
The Queen's Dagger was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
To find out more about Merilee Andelin Saunders and her work please visit her Goodreads Page or Website.
You can also obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Audio Book Review of Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

Read for: Mount TBR, Audio Challenge & Reading Across the States
Synopsis: "This compelling debut follows one spirited young woman from the confines of Iran to the intoxicating freedom of America, where she discovers not only an enticing new country but the roots of her own independence...

Tamila Soroush wanted it all. But in the Islamic Republic of Iran, dreams are a dangerous thing for a girl. Knowing they can never come true, Tami abandons them... Until her twenty-fifth birthday, when her parents give her a one-way ticket to America, hoping she will go and wake up her luck. If they have their way, Tami will never return to Iran... which means she has three months to find a husband in America. Three months before she's sent back for good.

From her first Victoria's Secret bra to her first ride on a motor scooter to her first country line-dance, Tami drinks in the freedom of an American girl. Inspired to pursue her passion for photography, she even captures her adventures on film. But looming over her is the fact that she must find an Iranian-born husband before her visa expires. To complicate matters, her friendship with Ike, a young American man, has grown stronger. And it is becoming harder for Tami to ignore the forbidden feelings she has for him.

It's in her English as a second language classes that Tami finds a support system. With the encouragement of headstrong Eva, loyal Nadia, and Agata and Josef, who are carving out a love story of their own, perhaps Tami can keep dreaming and find a way to stay in America."

My Review: This was an interesting book, I really wasn't sure how I was going to like it since the subject matter was so far outside my comfort zone. It turns out that I did really enjoy the story. I don't know how much of the life in Iran is actually based on truth. I loved experiencing the little things about life in America with Tami, it really did make me think about the simple joys of day to day life. All the characters are really unique and added to the story in their own ways. While the story ended in a way you kind of expect it is still nice to conclude on an up beat. The narrator on this one did a fantastic job with the voices and accents, it really drew me into the story even more.
My Rating: I was very pleasantly surprised with this book. It was so enjoyable I almost didn't want it to end but at the same time it was all wrapped up nicely.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, April 6, 2015

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
Spawn of Medusa by Mary Bernsen
The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston (After Dark)
Charlie The Ranch Dog: Where's the Bacon by Ree Drummond (Beginning Reader)
Sweet Dreams, Curious George by HA Rey (Bedtime Story)
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Peterson (Graphic Novel Review)

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

Curious George Colors Eggs = 1pt
Penguins! = 1pt
The Littlest Bunny in Rhode Island = 1pt
Storm Glass = 3pts
Happy Man and the Dump Truck = 1pt
Nobody's Princess = 5pts
Happy Easter, Curious George = 1pt
Elmo's ABCs = 1pt

Currently Reading:

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai - Audio - 56%
Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder - Kindle - on pg 62 of 296
Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner - Print - on pg 22 of 320

 Books to be Read Soon:

I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci (Mount TBR)
Princesses of Myth Series by Esther Friesner
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder


Total Points Earned
 126 (14 earned this week) - 60pts spent= 66

Pages Read/ Time Listened
19,063 pages read (944 read this week)
35:07 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

Reply to a Letter from Helga by Bergsveinn Birgisson - Kindle purchase
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee - Kindle Purchase
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik - Kindle Purchase

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



I was hoping to do so much more reading last week but there is too much going on around here.  I ended up having to hosting Easter at our house. Let me tell you it is no easy task to work full time, handle a toddler, decorate, clean the house and prepare Easter dinner on your own! Oh and of course there is the egg dying the night before and all that wonderful mess to clean up too!

Hopefully after pulling that off yesterday, I can kick back for a little bit and just read and maybe work on some projects before attacking spring cleaning with full force! Of course we do have Dewey's Readathon coming up (I will be posting my signup soon), so that will be a nice day to get some reading done.  I am really hoping for some beautiful weather so I can read outside.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Nail Art Share: March 2015

I haven't been as creative with my nail art this month, more of just enjoying some of the new nail polish colors I have gotten recently (from Julep, Color Club and Ulta).
Of course I had to do something special for my birthday! I got the Pisces nail art set from Color Club that had a really pretty aquamarine holographic polish and these pretty little gem stones. This was my first time using gems and they did last for about 3 days.
And then there is St. Patrick's Day. I have recently discovered I do not wear green colors! Seriously, I do not own a single green thing to wear. So thank goodness for nail polish, I had this pretty pale green from Julep and then the dark green glitter from the Shany nail art polishes I got for Christmas. I tried to do a little shamrock but it was hard to control that glitter polish.
Did I mention how sick of snow I am?! I finally got around to giving myself a nice little pedicure and chose a polish color that just screams summer to me! I can't wait to wear peeptoes and sandals!
I have some pretty cute ideas coming up for April with Easter and spring showers and flowers coming up (hopefully)!  I also need to get around to getting my polish stand all set up so I know what colors I have, I keep ordering polish and picking it up in the store but I honestly don't even know what colors and shades I have already!