Saturday, July 4, 2015

Graphic Novel Review of Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

Synopsis: "From award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Pride of Baghdad, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, Done to Death), SAGA is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet... grandparents.

Collects Saga issues #7-12"

My Review: After reading the first Volume in the final hours of the Spring 2015 Dewey's Readathon, I couldn't help but read this later in the day. I am totally drawn into the story line and wrapped up in the characters. This is a fantastic series and is great for beginners and veterans of Graphic Novels alike. I am definitely going to continue to get my hands on the rest of this series as fast as I can.
My Rating: I really am enjoying this series so far and have purchased the next two volumes. I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Bedtime Story: Curious George Gets a Medal by H.A. Rey

Synopsis: "After repeatedly disastrous efforts to get himself out of trouble, George ends up being the first monkey in space."

My Review: What a difference there is in one of the early Curious George books to the newer ones. This was one of the older books I found in a lot. The story is a lot longer with less illustrations than the newer books. Munchkin still enjoyed it just not as much as the other books. There weren't as many pictures for him to look at and George was very small on several of the pages. He did however love seeing George in the space suit and getting to go into space.
My Rating: It was interesting to see the difference between the older Curious George books and those being put out now. I do like the older illustration style but it was definitely too long for Munchkin's liking.  We give it a rating of Two Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Little Critter: This is My Town by Mercer Mayer

Read for: Beginning Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "Welcome to Critterville!

Little Critter® shares what he knows about his neighbors and the places to go in Critterville. Who delivers the mail? Where does Little Critter go to see a movie? Who keeps everyone safe? Come explore the town with Little Critter and discover where everyone works and plays!

This Is My Town is a simple story, ideal for emergent readers who are eager to know about who does what and where everything happens in their own towns."

My Review: This is a perfect first level reader. The familiar characters from Little Critter books take you on a tour of the town. The simple sentences and familiar places little ones visit with their family make the words easy to identify. This is great for those emerging readers and give them confidence.
My Rating: Little Critter books have been so much a part of so many readers lives, I am so glad I get to share them with Munchkin and continue to even after he outgrows the picture books. I give this one a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

After Dark Review of Howl For It 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 ;)
Read for: Series Challenge and Mount TBR
Synopsis: "They hunger for your pleasure. They growl for your touch. And in these sizzling stories by New York Times bestselling author Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden, these sexy wolf shapeshifters are lust at first bite. . .

"Like A Wolf With A Bone" by Shelly Laurenston
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there's nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts--and have her surrender however and whenever she wants. . .

"Wed Or Dead" by Cynthia Eden
Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem--Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla's secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game. . ."

My Review: Let me start off this review by saying I really dislike having several authors/ different series in a novella book for a series I am trying to read. I really loved the story that is meant to go with the Pride series that I am reading by Shelly Laurenston. I loved getting to know the back story to Eggie and of course the Lewis sisters. The story brought a fun and at times comical element to some serious, mysterious and often intimidating characters of the series. The second story had absolutely nothing to do with the current series I am reading (in fact the only thing it had in common was wolf shifters and sex). I was lost as it seems this was part of a different series and it took almost the whole novella story to get characters straight. Again, I so dislike having multiple novellas by different authors in a single book, it takes me out of the series I am currently reading to have to sift through all the other stories to read the little bit that applies to my series.
My Rating: If this has just been Shelly Laurenston's book it would have gotten a four paw review but because they just had to throw in another novella (and then charge me an arm and a leg- seriously it was something like $11.99 for this book) I can't give it more than Two Paws and a Stump Wag. Seriously publishers, stop trying to add other authors in to get more money, please!

Pen to Paper: A Desk to Write Our Letters On

Did you write to someone new last week? Maybe a family member you have written a letter to in months? I wrote to a few different people this last week including my best friend's mom, she is like a second mother to me and I am sad to say I haven't kept in better touch with her over these years. Hopefully we can establish contact more frequently through snail mail.
So this month I thought we could talk about desks.  I am sad to say I don't really have a designated desk, and it effects more than just my letter writing (it makes my book writing difficult as well).  Sometimes when the boss is out I am able to spread out on my work desk (like the picture above), or if my table isn't buried in junk mail or craft supplies I will write there but more often than not I can be found writing my letters with a  hard cover book on my couch or favorite chair.
Some day it is my dream to have my own designated desk. This desk will be only used for writing letters, writing books and gosh it would make my accounting and bill paying so much easier. I already have the desk in mind, I love those roll top old secretaries desks. I dream about what I would put in all those little cubbies and drawers.

Image from Pinterest
Where do you write your letters? Do you have a desk you can leave set up for letter writing or are you like me and write where you can?  Please feel free to share pictures on you blog and link up below!
Your Mission for this week: Write your letter this week in a new location. Find a new place to write your letter, maybe it will inspire a different type of letter.  Go to the park, or the beach, find a funky little coffee shop with some jazz music, or even face a different window and get a new perspective.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review of Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review
Synopsis: "Daughters of Zeus, Book One

One day Persephone is an ordinary high school senior working at her mom’s flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she’s fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of Winter, and learning that she’s a bonafide goddess—a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until Spring.

There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she’s automatically married to him. It’s the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn’t interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Zeus’s schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?

Can she escape the grasp of her powerful dad’s minions? The Underworld is a very cool place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She’s going to fight back."
My Rating: I have been eyeing this book for a while.  I am a big fan of the Myths and Hades & Persephone are by far my favorite. I also enjoy when there is a modern twist on the myths.  This combines all of the things I really enjoy.  I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this book, Persephone just seemed a little too immature to me. She does act her age as set in the book but she just didn't really fit into the image I have in my mind of a modern day Persephone.  Once I got past that little snag, it was an enjoyable book. It progressed mostly how you would have expected and it stuck with the main elements of the myth. You are left with a pretty good cliffhanger and some huge open questions that will have you reaching for the next book in the series.
My Rating: It took me a bit to get into this book but then it was a fun read. It is a short read and can be read in a couple of sittings easily. I will definitely be reading the next two books, no question.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 2015 Challenge Update

Woohoo! We are at the halfway mark of the year! I cannot believe how fast this year is going.  Of course I have done a ton of reading so far but looking at my challenges I have a few I really need to work on and get caught up.
Personal Re-Read Challenge
My goal is to read 15 books. I am about caught up with this challenge, still running a little bit behind schedule. I think if I fail at any challenge this year, this will be it.
1. North of Need
5. Nobody's Prize

Personal Children's Book Challenge
This Challenge is COMPLETE! I of course will be reading many more over the rest of the year. I am going to cut myself off at 120 books for this year.  I need to save some for the future challenges!
1. Peter Loves Penguin
13. Again!
 35. I Took the Moon for a Walk
36. We're Going on a Bear Hunt
37. The Little Red Caboose
38. Happy to Help!
39. Pony Brushes his Teeth
40. A Hole in the Road
41. The Lost Dinosaur Bone
42. Grandpa & the Truck 2
43. Emergency Vehicles
44. C is for Cornhusker
45. Curious George and the Dump Truck
46. Curious George Goes Fishing
47. Mr. Mischief
48. The Best Show & Share
49. Frogs!
50. The Mitten
51. Curiouse George Goes to a Bookstore
52. Oscar the Almost Butterfly
53. Elmo ABCs book with Sound
54. Happy Easter, Curious George
55. Littlest Bunny in Rhode Island
56. The Happy Man and His Dump Truck
57. The Thank You Prayer
58. Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark
59. Scuffy the Tugboat
60. I'm a Bulldozer
61. The Pout Pout Fish
62. A Rainbow of My Own
63. Follow the Leader
64. The Bear Went Over the Mountain
65. Five Green and Speckled Frogs
66. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
67. Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree
68. Jesus Loves Me
69. Winnie the Pooh
70. Tadpole Trouble
71. Mr. Cheerful
72. A Cuddle for Little Duck
73. Time Together: Me and Mom
74. Wheedle and the Noodle
75. Just a Little Music
76. Mr. Noisy
77. Rain!
78. Storm Song
79. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
80. The Best Teacher Ever
81. Tow Truck Trouble and Lights Out
82. Pete the Cat: Rock On Mom and Dad
83. Look, A Book!
84. Mr. Perfect
85. Outer Space Bedtime Race
86. Pete the Cat: Construction Destruction
87. Meet the Penguins
88. Mr. Strong
89. The Sandcastle
90. Otter in Space
91. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day
92. Curious George Gets a Medal
93. Numbers! Take the Dog Out
94. Whose Nose and Toes
95. Mr. Funny
96. Llama Llama Mad at Momma
97. Llama Llama Home with Mama
98. No More Hitting
99. Letters from Felix
100. Elmo's First Babysitter
101. Astronauts
102. Bye Bye Mom and Dad
103. Little Critter Astronaut
104. The Night before Preschool
Personal Beginning Reader Challenge:
This Challenge is COMPLETE! My goal for this challenge was 30 books and I have a few more I would like to read this year but the rest of the ones I own will be saved for next year's challenge.
1. Charlie's Snow Day
2. Monsters Munch Lunch
3. Brave Dragon
4. Kick Pass and Run
5. Charlie The Ranch Dog: Where's the Bacon
6. Big Bear, Little Bear
7. Chase on the Case
8. Look for Lorax
9. Curious George, Dinosaur Tracks
10. Danny and the Dinosaur
11. Curious George Colors Eggs
12. Penguins!
13. Pete's Big Lunch
14. Dusty Flies High
15. Ponies Love Pets
16. Just Saving My Money
17. Go, Go, Go!
18. Play Ball
19. Biscuit and the Lost Teddy Bear
20. The Three Little Grouches
21. To the Rescue
22. Just Helping My Dad
23. Little Critter: This is My Town
24. Danny and the Dinosaur Go to Camp
25. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping
26. Going to the Sea Park
27. Life in Space
28. Best Chef in Second Grade
29. Dixie
30. Mittens at School

Personal Read Across the States Challenge
Obviously there are 50 books in this challenge (though I might add a few for the country in general).  I am just over halfway through on this challenge. As I said last month I am struggling because so many books I have are in print, so I have started purchasing them again here and there in digital and audio formats for a little more flexible reading.

Alabama  -
Alaska - If you Lived Here
Arizona - Veil of Roses
Arkansas - A Suitable Wife
California -
Colorado - Calves in the Mud Room
Connecticut - A Whole Latte Life
Delaware - A Catered Affair
Florida - Because of Winn Dixie
Georgia - Deep Dish
Hawaii - Birth
Idaho - Whatchago Stew
Illinois -
Indiana -
Iowa - Little Heathens
Kansas -
Kentucky -
Louisiana - Taste the Heat
Maine - Stone Bay
Maryland -
Massachusetts -
Michigan -
Minnesota -
Mississippi -
Missouri - The Borrower
Montana - The Smoke Jumper
Nebraska - C is for Cornhusker
Nevada - The Missing Ink
New Hampshire -
New Jersey - The Fighting Ground
New Mexico -
New York - 
North Carolina -
North Dakota -
Ohio - Dragons of Spratt Ohio
Oklahoma -
Oregon - Rose Suitors of Seattle
Pennsylvania -
Rhode Island - By the Sea Tess
South Carolina - Girls in Trucks
South Dakota - Buffalo Gal
Tennessee - When Love Finds you in Camelot Tennessee
Texas -
Utah - Wright on Time - Utah
Vermont -
Virginia - Crazy VA
Washington -
West Virginia - Locking Horns
Wisconsin - Blankets
Wyoming - Stone Fox

Audio Book Challenge
This challenge is COMPLETE! I do have more audio books on my list, especially since I am getting a few of the print books in audio to make it easier.
 1. The Fighting Ground
2. The Last Valentine
3. Deep Dish
4. The Tao of Pooh
5. Little Heathens
6. Veil of Roses
7. The Borrower
8. Winnie The Pooh Classic Tales
9. Rush
10. The Song of Achilles
11. The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
12. The Smokejumper

Graphic Novel Challenge
Since I am featuring one graphic novel every other week my goal is 26 this year. I am very near my end goal on this one and will finish this challenge this month!
1. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vol. 3
2. Blankets
3. Shadows of Endor
4. From Fabletown with Love
5. The Books of Magic
6. Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
7. Korgi Vol.2: Cosmic Collector
8. Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1: The God Butcher
9. Fables are Forever
10. Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
11. Saga Vol. 1
12. Saga Vol. 2
13. Hinterkind Vol.1: The Waking World
14. Ravine Vol. 1
15. Ares: Bringer of War
16. Donald Hamlet, Prince of Dunemark
17. Loki Vol. 1 Agent of Asgard: Trust Me
18. Persepolis: A Story of a Childhood
19. Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons
20. Swamp Thing Vol. 1
21. Hinterkind Vol. 2: Written in Blood
22. Northlanders Vol. 3: Blood in the Snow

Series Challenge
With a goal to read at least 5 full series, if not 7. I am still struggling with this challenge a little bit, with only 2 series complete I have a lot of reading left to do.  I hope to at least finish the Pride series and hopefully one more this month.
1. The Hearts of Anemoi - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4 - COMPLETE
2. Pride Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book .5, Book 7
3. Princesses of Myth Series - Book 1, Book 2
4. Warrior Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6 - COMPLETE

TBR Challenge
I set a goal of 50 books without thinking and have already COMPLETED this challenge! I guess I will shoot for double for the heck of it, and I am nearly there too!
1. Girls in Trucks
2. Because of Winn Dixie
3. Athena the Brain
4. Nubiana
5. Persephone the Phony
6. The Fighting Ground
7. Aphrodite the Beauty
8. The Last Valentine
9. Artemis the Brave
10. By The Sea, Book One, Tess
11. Hickory Daiquiri Dock
12. Locking Horns
13. Stone Bay
14. Dragons of Spratt, Ohio
15. Deep Dish
16. Stone Fox
17. Dragon in the Sock Drawer
18. Birth
19. The Tao of Pooh
20. West of Want
21. South of Surrender
22. Taste the Heat
23. If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name
24. Fish Perfume
25. More Than Pancakes
26. Reading Between the Lines
27. I'll Never Forget
28. This Point Forward
29. Risking It All
30. East of Ecstasy
31. Sand Dollar
32. Glassblowers Apprentice
33. A Whole Latte of Life
34. Every Sunday
35. Missing Ink
36. Little Heathens
37. Toe to Toe
38. Warrior Beautiful
39. Buffalo Gal
40. To Serve a King
41. Veil of Roses
42. Francesca's Kitchen
43. Wright on Time - Utah
44. My Favorite Witch
45. Aure the Topaz
46. A Catered Affair
47. The Scot The Witch and the Wardrobe
48. Storm Glass
49. If You're Reading This
50. Sea Glass
51. The Borrower
52. Spy Glass
53. Whatchagot Stew
54. Into the Wild
55. Rush
56. Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale
57. Fire and Ice
58. The Mane Attraction
59. The Song of Achilles
60. Crazy, VA
61. A Suitable Wife
62. Forest of Secrets
63. The Mane Squeeze
64. Rose
65. Rising Storm
66. Beast Behaving Badly
67. The Last Continent
68. Big Bad Beast
69. A Dangerous Path
70. Howl For It
71. The Smoke Jumper
72. Darkest Hour

Requested Reviews My original limit of only 25 books this year is obviously not going to work. Netgalley has definitely made this too easy and the loyalty I have with some of the authors I review!
1. Dear Hank Williams
2. Jesper Jinx and the Sneezing Season
3. Calves in the Mud Room
4. Gooseberry Island
5. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
6. Just Not Ready Yet
7. Poole's Paradise
8. Darkness
9. Don't Forget Me Bro
10. Paint
11. Spawn of Medusa
12. The Queen's Dagger
13. One of the Guys
14. Me and Grandpa
15. The Unleashing
16. Jesper Jinx and the Turkish Pepper
17. The Novice
18. HA Rey Treasury of Stories
19. Irona700
20. Parsen Holt- Slinger
21. Rules of Riders

Goodreads Challenge My Goodreads challenge is out of control of course, I am already at 257 of my original goal of 312. I am definitely way ahead of schedule with this challenge, I am looking at a potential of 400+ books this year!

As far as my other goals and resolutions . . .
-I continue to write to friends and family and even new pen pals!
-I picked back up with my nails this month and had a couple of really cute ones.
-There was a lot more family and Munchkin fun to be had this month.  We started doing art projects (almost daily), Picnics, and a visit to the aquarium.  He is also starting a new preschool this month.

Points Earned this Month: 82
Points Spent this Month:  -50
Pages Read/Time Listened this Month: 4,105/ 24:51


Monday, June 29, 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
Irona 700 by David Duncan
Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston (After Dark)
Mr. Strong by Roger Hargreaves (Bedtime Story)
Rising Storm by Erin Hunter (Mini Review)
The Dangerous Path by Erin Hunter (Mini Review)
The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson (Mini Review)
The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans (Mini Review)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Smoke Jumper = 3pts
The Best Chef in Second Grade = 1pt
Little Critter Astronaut = 1pt
Northlanders Vol. 3 = 2pts
The Night Before Preschool = 1pt

Currently Reading:

Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis - Audio - 25%
Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston - Nook on page 31 of 407

 Books to be Read Soon:

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner (Mount TBR/ Series)
Sphinx's Queen by Esther Friesner (Mount TBR/ Series)
Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes (Mount TBR)


Total Points Earned
   165 points + 8 points = 173 points

Pages Read/ Time Listened
32,213 pages read (234 read this week)
95:17 listening time (14:39 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



For some reason this week felt even busier than last week! Probably because the weekends are usually when I do my chores and that didn't happen last week with all the running around. So I ended up doing chores the first half of the week. I also had a book event I went to on Wednesday night too (and had a night off from Munchkin).  Oh well, I did get myself nice and caught up on the house chores and on my art so hopefully this week I can get back to reading a bunch.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mini Reviews of Rising Storm, A Dangerous Path, Lost Continent and more

So with reading and reviewing so many books, I am running out of days in which to share them with you.  I am going to start posting Mini Reviews of books that I read through out the month but couldn't find the time to post on the last Sunday of each month.
Some interesting developments and was good to see some of the natural struggles, but I am tired of the same 'bad guys'. Four Paw.
Again I really enjoyed the natural elements and enemies the clan has to overcome. It was also an interesting internal battle with duty and loyalty. Four Paws.
Full Review
This was a horribly cynical book, not at all what I was expecting. One Paw and a Stump Wag.
After a rocky start this book was incredibly engrossing, especially the last couple hours of the audio, I nearly died when I had to go to work. Four Paws!
Full Review