Saturday, July 18, 2015

Graphic Novel Review of Ravine Vol. 1 by Stjepan Sejic

Synopsis: "In a fantastic world far from our own, an ancient magic spell almost split the world in two and left an endless ravine in the north. One man, Nebezial Asheri, driven by the deaths of his wife and daughters, will attempt to reclaim that magic and bring his loved ones back to life. The forces of an entire city, Paladia, will rise to oppose him, but his greatest foes will be a ragtag band of an outcast wizard, a dragonrider, and their allies."

My Review: I kind of struggled through this whole graphic novel. I am not too keen on the digital 3D art style that was used for this one. It looks as if it is a storyline from a video game and I would have preferred it stay there. Also there is a lot of world building but not enough so that it all makes sense. I spent a good portion of the story trying to figure out who was who and what their positions and roles were. Of course I discovered at the end of the GN there were character sheets and references for the settings, it would have been nice to know that from the get go, being a person who doesn't flip to the back of the book before reading I totally missed out. I don't think I will be following any more of this series.
My Rating: Maybe if I had the character index and world maps before reading the whole thing it would have been better for me. In the long run though, the art isn't my style and I wasn't into the storyline much so I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Bedtime Story: Look, A Book! by Libby Gleeson

Synopsis: "When two ragamuffins stumble across a book in the dust their world begins to change. The familiar becomes fantastical, the mundane becomes magical, and a fractured community finds a focus."

My Review: I picked this book up for Munchkin during Children's Book Week. It is a mostly wordless book and a little monochromatic in the illustrations so it was a little difficult for Munchkin to stay focused. While the story takes the two kids on a journey and gives them a little imagination with the tough world around them, I didn't quite get idea that the whole community finds focus from the book.
My Rating: While this book is along the lines of Harold and the Purple Crayon or Journey with the imaginative and nearly wordless style, it just didn't hold up for us. We give it a rating of Two Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Little Critter To the Rescue by Mercer Mayer

Read For: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "Uh-oh, Dad needs help!

When Dad is locked in the basement, Little Critter knows just what to do. He picks up the phone to dial three numbers. The firemen arrive in just a few minutes to rescue Dad . . . but they can't stay long to share in the excitement. They have another job to do. Join Little Critter as he shares his 9-1-1 smarts!"

My Review: This is a cute book and has a great lesson to it. It is a fun way to teach kids the importance and ease of dialing 911 when they need help. It is a simple story and with simple lines though maybe a little more advanced that a first level. I think this will be a great story for Munchkin when he is ready to read, with familiar characters and fun illustrations to go along with the story.
My Rating: This is a fun book yet a great teaching tool, both for reading and for practical life.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

After Dark Review of Wolf with Benefits 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 & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "Ricky Lee has no plans of getting serious about anyone, but he will protect Toni Jean-Louis Parker. Not just because he’s been hired to do so, but because it’s the right thing to do. And if that means traveling around the country with one complicated She-jackal, dealing with chocolate-eating wild dogs, instigating trouble between his brothers, and having the most amazing sex he’s ever had…well, who said his job didn’t have perks?

Toni doesn’t know how she keeps getting herself into these situations. But even she has to admit there’s something about Ricky Lee Reed that she finds kind of interesting…and downright sexy. Now they just have to survive long enough to figure out if what they have is worth fighting for…"

My Review: Well this was a little bit of a disappointment, after building so much steam for the series long storyline of the shifter hunters this book completely jumps off topic. In Wolf with Benefits we focus on a little known sub-character from the series and a whole new character, species and family. Not only that but we have to deal with annoying self centered little brats and a whole new, and rather unnecessary, storyline. I really don't care about the Russian shifter hockey negotiations that this book is so focused on. Maybe a couple of minor events will be tied back into the main storyline but for the most part it feels like this entire book was a waste of my time. I didn't really enjoy the characters and I know I didn't enjoy the story, it was all just so pointless. I must say I am glad that there is only one more book out to push myself through to finish.
My Rating: I am not really sure what the point of this book was in the series but it was really disappointing for me. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Pen to Paper: Vintage Desks

I apologize for missing last week's post! Things just got a little out of hand for me and by the time I realized the day of the week it was over.
Oh well, did you try the mission from two weeks ago? To try writing a letter in a new location?  I did, I tried to take my writing outside. It might have been a good idea if I didn't have Munchkin with me. I was only able to write a very brief note in between trying to get Munchkin not to run in the street after bubbles or to dump sand over his head and requests for drawing with sidewalk chalk.
So as I started out the month, I want to continue talking about desks. I guess I have a little fascination with them since I don't have on of my own (you would think I would despise them after sitting at one all day every day). So today I wanted to share a few pictures of vintage style desks that I have found and love.  I urge you to share some of your favorites as well and link up with me.
This Japanese desk from the 1700s would be perfect, beautiful, lots of cubbies and even shelf space for some very special books.
This one from Germany from 1815 is so beautiful with all that dark, polished wood. Of course it has tons of little cubbies to stash supplies and secrets.
This Swedish desk from the 1800s also has all those wonderful cubbies I so want, I am not a huge fan of the pink color painted on the inside but I do like those big doors, and another little bookshelf too.
Since we can't all have these insanely huge vintage desks, there are some lovely smaller desks for some quick letter writing (or can be taken to a summer home HAHA)
This French 1900s desk is beautiful, a little ornate for my liking but I love that bar that you could rest your feet on while writing.
And if you don't have the space or want something a little more rustic there are always those old school desks. They might not appeal to everyone, but I have always really liked the flip open ones.
There are such a variety of vintage desks, as I said before I love ones with cubbies to stash all my supplies.  If I had the time and money I would hunt down the perfect desk to refinish.
Your Mission this week: Add a little flourish to one of your letters. It is always fun to add a little something extra to your letters, whether you are using stationary or plain paper. Adding your own personal doodle, a sticker or even a pressed flower, bookmark or some other embellishment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review of Ratha's Creature by Claire Bell

Read for: NetGalley/ Requested Review
Synopsis: "Ratha and her clan are the Named, a band of intelligent wild cats whose society is based on herding deer. The Named have laws, language, traditions, and leaders. They also have enemies. The predatory raiders of the un-Named are driving them close to the edge of survival. Then Ratha, a mere yearling, discovers what she calls the red tongue: Fire. Her new weapon gives the Named a new defense, but it also rouses the ire of Meoran, the tyrannical clan leader. Soon Ratha finds herself in exile among the un-Named, but determined to survive."

My Review: I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book really appealed to me since I have been reading the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. It seemed like it was going to be a similar style book but for a more advanced audience. It was just as I expected, interesting characters in a wild and primitive world. For some reason I wasn't able to really come to connect or love any particular character but it was very interesting to follow Ratha's harsh but intriguing story. For the most part Bell was able to capture and maintain the animalistic natures of the world and characters but every once in a while it was hard to remember that these are cat like creatures and not humans. There were times I was instead of imagining cats, I would imagine early humans making these advancements, but then you would be returned to the animals with the brutality and harshness of their world and behaviors. This was a captivating and interesting book to read and I may in the future read more in the Named series.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book even though I wasn't able to connect to any of the characters, it was still very intriguing.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review of The Untouchables by Eliot Ness

Read for: Reading Across the States
Synopsis: "The Untouchables is the gripping true story of the team of men who broke the back of the vicious Chicago crime mob and its stranglehold on the nation, told by the man who orchestrated the effort."

My Review: I have a secret soft spot for mob books, I read Donnie Brasco's book in high school and since have rather enjoyed them. The Untouchables was no different. It is written in such a way that it is more like reading a journal account than an actual story. I enjoyed the book even though it wasn't quite as heart pounding as I expected, you would expect far more threats and shootouts from Al Capone. At times Eliot almost makes them seem dumb and lazy. All that said it was an interesting book and enjoyable to read, and rather a quick read too.
My Rating: This was a surprisingly enjoyable and fast read. I am also curious to see the movie (which I am surprised I have never seen). I give this one a rating of Four Paws and will be recommending it to several of my friends and family!

Monday, July 13, 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
Bluegrass State of Mind by Kathleen Brooks
Risky Shot by Kathleen Brooks
Dead Heat by Kathleen Brooks
Secret Santa by Kathleen Brooks
Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston (After Dark)
The Sandcastle by M. P. Robertson (Bedtime Story)

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

Dead Heat = 3pts
Secret Santa = 3pts
Fables Vol. 6 = 2pts
Dixie & the Class Treat = 1pt
Octonauts and the Colossal Squid = 1pt
Daylight, Night Light = 1pt
Untouchables = 5pts
Wolf with Benefits = 3pts
Turncoat = 3pts
Slowly, Slowly, Slowly said the Sloth = 1pt
Sweet Dreams Pout Pout Fish = 1pt

Currently Reading:

 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
   206 points + 24 points earned + 5 points for completing Bluegrass series = 235 points

Pages Read/ Time Listened
35,219 pages read (1,284 read this week)
105:31 listening time (10:14 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Another great reading week, I feel like I am getting somewhere with my challenges finally.  Though because I have been reading so much and not paying attention, I have gotten a little behind in my art and post scheduling. I normally keep 15-20 posts scheduled and I am now down to 7, I guess it is time to buckle down and schedule things ahead again. Especially since the next month is going to get a little crazy, 2 Bridal Showers, 1 Bachelorette party, 3 weddings, Munchkin's 3rd Birthday, our annual Summer Party and a ton of house work that needs to be done before winter hits again. Ugh, I hate looking at my calendar any more!

I guess it is time to buckle down and get caught up (and hopefully a little ahead of schedule). I probably won't be getting much reading done this next week as I play catch up, and I have a little feeling that looking at that schedule that lull might end up stretching out over the next month and a half.