Friday, July 8, 2016

Bedtime Story: Dragons Love Taco by Adam Rubin

Read for: Children's Book Challenge
Synopsis: "This scrumptious New York Times bestseller has a whole lot of kick!

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble.

The award-winning team behind Those Darn Squirrels! has created an unforgettable, laugh-until-salsa-comes-out-of-your-nose tale of new friends and the perfect snack."

My Review: I have heard a lot of great things about this book, but it didn't work as well for me and Munchkin. Yes it was cute and funny but I didn't enjoy how it read. We did get a kick out of the dragons not liking spicy salsa because I am a huge wimp when it comes to spicy food and Munchkin knows it. It is fun and the illustrations are great but it just wasn't for us.
My Rating: This was a fun and silly book but just hold up to the hype I have heard for it.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and Stump Wag.
Good Night!  Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Picnic!: A Day at the Park by Joan Holub

Read for: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "Summer is the perfect time for a picnic -- and everyone knows that ants love a good picnic! Watermelon and corn on the cob -- yum! But when the sun starts to set, the ants must find their way home after a long afternoon in the park."

My Review: This is a very simple early reader (pre-level one) that will go along well with your own picnic. It has a nice rhyme throughout the story and is filled with names so maybe your child will find his or her name. It is great for learning food words and even some sound words. Munchkin really enjoyed this one and helped sound out the words he knew.
My Rating: This was a fun and simple book for those learning sounds and site words.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

After Dark Review of Hard Ever After 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: Because I love this series and author (click links below for reviews on previous books in the Hard Ink series).
Synopsis: "Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited.

After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending.

As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found.

Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after."

My Review: I really enjoyed this novella, it was a great little taste of the Hard Ink Series again, I will definitely miss it. I think the best thing about it was seeing Becca have weakness, yes she did have some moments in the first book but all through the series she has been that rock that everyone leaned on so I really liked seeing her need the support for a change. I also liked how it gives a little idea that at the end of the series it isn't always happily ever after, there are still hiccups. Also, I am glad I read this one after Only, Always & Forever (a short story for Nick & Becca) because I think this one was better and more fulfilling, I can walk away from the series happy and satisfied (and on to the next branch off series).
My Rating: I enjoyed this after the series peek back in, it was definitely worth it to read it (though I am not a fan of the cover at all).  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Pen to Paper: What I Have Learned - Writing Time

Hello my fellow mail lovers and senders.  I have been posting lately about things I have learned in the last year of more actively writing letters (Where to Find Pen Pals, Pens I Like).  So this week I thought I would continue on that trend and talk about the time I dedicate to writing.
I originally wanted to set up a scheduled time to write once or twice a week, about an hour to an hour and a half each.  What I have learned since then is that pen pal letters are inconsistent.  I don't have an outrageous number of pen pals because I want to dedicate my time to each of them, but it still seems that I receive all my pen pal letters at the same time.  I do try to respond to each of my letters within a week or two, some of the longer ones I take a little longer.  So as a result I don't set aside time anymore.  As the letters come in I reserve an evening for each letter.  I do find that I am writing longer letters and I take about 1 to 2 hours each to write the letters and more time if I am going to create something as well.
How much time do you take to write a letter? Do you have a set day of the week that you write or do you write as you receive?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review of Jesper Jinx and the Scrumptious Snacks by Marko Kitti

Read for: Requested Review & love of the series
Click titles below to see reviews of the previous books in the series
Synopsis: "Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname 'Jinx'.

In this fifth book of Jesper Jinx's wonderfully wicked adventures chaos unfolds when Jake the school bully meets an ancient chocolate bar. Soon, things get even weirder when Jesper's mum can't bake her cherry pie because her precious cherry tree's gone missing. And then, to top it all off, Snowy the Cat
decides to go on a hunger strike.

Can Jesper save the day with his best Boredom Breaker ever or will a diabolical lunch thief get to him first?"

My Review:  I have been actively following this series since it first started and Marko Kitti contacted me to review and I must say, I think it just keeps getting better! This book also makes me very glad it wasn't available when my brother and I were kids but I am looking forward to when my own son is old enough to enjoy it. Anyway, I love how in this book you get a little glimpse as to how Jesper ended up being such a prankster, because the whole family seems to be too. This book tells a series of events, all centered around food, each is comical in it's own way and is sure to keep the pages turning. It also has a nice little introduction to a new series that just started too.
My Rating: This might be one of my favorite books in the series so far.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and think that it is a book that anyone could enjoy, young or old, boy or girl.  I can't help but give it a rating of Four Paws and Stump Wag!
Jesper Jinx and the Scrumptious Snacks was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Marko Kitti and his work on his Goodreads Page or Jesper Jinx Website or new Delbert Website.
Jesper Jinx and the Scrumptious Snacks was just released on June 30th, 2016! You can obtain your own copy of this brand new book in print from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tasty Attempts: No Bake 4th of July Cake

I am now posting Tasty Attempts every other Tuesday. The posts will include a variety of recipes, maybe some of them turn out tasty, maybe others are failed attempts.
So the nice thing about this past holiday weekend is that we never host 4th of July parties, we always go to other people's houses (no mess or work for me YAY).  I do however always bring a dish and I like to be festive so I am always hunting for some kind of red white and blue dish to take, oh and it must always be easy to make because I do not want a messy kitchen when I get home!
So in my hunt this year I found a recipe on Pinterest for a simple No Bake Cake! I did alter the recipe a tiny bit and added mini marshmallows for the stars.  It was super simple and oh so tasty! It was a huge hit (and I even have enough leftover ingredients to make a small one for at home).
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday yesterday filled with good friends and good food and enjoyed the freedoms we have gained.

Review of Dragon Dreams by Dusty Lynn Holloway

Read for: I stumbled upon the author on Twitter and it looked like something I would enjoy.
Synopsis: "A prophecy of murder.

An elf hunted by dragons.

One man who risks everything to save her.

Nachal is a human that should not be having prophetic Dragon Dreams. But he does. Every night he dreams of an elf running through flames, trying in vain to outrun the Rebel Dragon Obsidian. Every night he sees her fall. Sees her eyes close. Feels her heart as it slows, and then stops. Every night, through the connection of the dream, he dies with her. It's a spiral that he can't control, and it's slowly driving him insane.

Auri is an elf raised by a powerful human king not of her own blood. Left behind by the mother who perished far from the elven isle El`dell, she seeks to forge her life among the humans. Her journey takes her to the land of her heritage. To a place that holds both a haunting betrayal, and a miracle that just might save her life.

Together, they become embroiled in a conspiracy where destinies are intertwined, love is born in the fallout of ultimate sacrifice, and the only path to victory lies through the searing flames of dragon fire."

My Review: This was an interesting book that certainly had ups and downs throughout. I really appreciated the classic quest style fantasy that this book is written in. I also like how the romance wasn't the main focus of the storyline and how the relationship between characters is built upon slowly. With that said, I wasn't much of a fan of the characters. Auri has a rather inconsistent personality, one minute she is naïve, hesitant and a little unsure, the next she is on the attack based on assumptions or jumping into new and scary experiences. Nachal is purely human but some how can hike/run for 21 days with a flu like virus, massive burns and potentially broken bones/sprained ankle just because a dream drives him. Liran while he is distant and has moments of weakness is at least consistent. There were also some typos and odd sentences that were distracting at the beginning of the book but were easier to ignore as I was immersed into the story. Even with these issues and a few more, it was still an enjoyable story that kept the pages turning and a series that I want to continue.
My Rating: While I did have some issues with this book, it was still really easy and fun to read. Hopefully with more experience the next book works out some of the issues. I give this book a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Magic Tree House Monday: Book 22 - Revolutionary War on Wednesday

Welcome to Magic Tree House Monday!

Each Monday (other than when special events are planned) I will review one book of the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne.
Book 22 takes Jack and Annie back in time to a snowy evening in 1776, in fact it is Christmas Day and the day of an important mission during the Revolutionary War.  They must find something to send to save Morgan's Library.  They encounter a small troop being led by George Washington himself.

My Review: Another great book in the Magic Tree House series, I like how Pope has taken significant events in history but found the lesser known moments and stories to highlight. The facts at then end of the book are a great way to encourage young readers to learn more about the history in the story. Also, the characters are subtly changing and growing up, Jack is taking better notes, using sentences and making note of more significant information.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and how Pope chooses the lesser known moments in the big historical events.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
On a side note, I couldn't have picked a more perfect day for this review to land on.  Happy Independence Day America!

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

Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House Monday)
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
More Than Rum by Christine DePetrillo (After Dark)
Pete The Cat: Pete at the Beach by James Dean (Beginning Reader)
Paw Patrol: Itty Bitty Kitty Rescue (Bedtime Story)
Lumberjanes: Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson (Graphic Novel)

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

Dragon Dreams = 3pts
Revolutionary War on Wednesday = 5pts
Clifford Camping Out = 1pt
The Fire Engine Book = 1pt
Picnic! Day at the Park = 1pt
Hard Ever After = 3pts
Currently Reading:

Forever Princess by Meg Cabot - Audio - 39%

 Books to be Read Soon:


Total Points Earned
   115 points + 14 points = 129 points

Total Points Earned this Year: 728
Total Points Spent this Year: 609

Pages Read/ Time Listened
134:22 Hours Listened ( none listened this week)
25,194 Pages Read (745 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Happy 4th of July to everyone here in the US!

Not much of an update for you today because we are heading out to BBQs and fun.  I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday. Enjoy your day and your week!