Saturday, December 28, 2019

Graphic Novel Review of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie's first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too."

My Review: I have been eyeing this book for a bit but when it was voted Barnes & Noble's Book of the Year 2019, I was able to pick it up locally. I can completely understand why it was voted Book of the Year! This book is beautiful with beautiful writing, and stunning illustrations. All that is wrapped around some of the simplest but most amazing words of wisdom. This book hit me at just the right time and they gave me such peace. I will keep this book handy as I want to use it as guidance in the coming year.

My Rating: I cannot say enough about or recommend this book enough to you, even pictures online do not do the beauty of this book justice.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, even if it is just to borrow from a friend or from the library.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Review of Heartsong's Missing Foal by Whitney Sanderson and Illustrated by Jomike Tejido

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: Iris cannot wait for Heartsong to have her foal. Unicorns go into the Fairy Forest to have their babies, so Iris isn’t surprised when Heartsong goes missing for a few days. Yet when the unicorn does not return, Iris and Ruby have to go in and find her. The Fairy Forest is filled with trickster magic and can be a dangerous place. Can Iris and Ruby find Heartsong and her missing foal before it is too late?

There are unicorns behind Magic Moon Stable, but no one except Iris and Ruby know they exist. As Unicorn Guardians, it is their job to protect the unicorns and their magic to keep them safe from the outside world.

My Review: When I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to read it. I have always been a huge fan of unicorns and this would have been a book and a series I would have been obsessed with as a young reader. I like the unique backstory of the key to this magical kingdom being passed down from generation of girls to generation of girls, and it is explained a bit how it works. There are some gaps in the story that I found a bit confusing and think the other books in the series may clear up, but I don't think the target audience would notice those gaps quite as much. I like the unique world created for the unicorns and I want to read more about it. The illustrations weren't complete in my early edition but from the looks of what is planned, they will be great additions to the story and assist the younger readers in picturing the story.

My Rating:  I would have loved this book as a young girl and I am so happy to see a series I can get my nieces started on reading! I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Whitney Sanderson and the rest of the Unicorns of the Secret Stable on her Goodreads Page.

Heartsong's Missing Foal is scheduled for release on January 1st, 2020 but you can pre-order a copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local bookstore or library.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Advent Reads Day 25: The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman

Welcome to Advent Reads!
This is an event I have had on my blog for several years running now.  Each evening I feature a different holiday themed book. Think of it as your Book Advent Calendar! I post a variety of holiday books including romance, children's, middle-grade, mystery, paranormal, and I try to find some that are other holiday celebrations than Christmas too. I hope you will stop by each evening to see what new book I have for you!

Merry Christmas!

Read for: TBR & Beat the Backlist

Synopsis: "Written in 1816 by the German Romantic E. T. A. Hoffmann for his children, nephews and nieces, The Nutcracker captures better than any other story a child's wonder at Christmas. Since its publication, it has inspired hundreds of artists and adaptations, most notably the legendary ballet, scored by Russian composer Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Today, the story - and its enchanting images of sugar plums and nutcrackers, mistletoe and the Kingdom of the Dolls - continues to cast its fantastical spell on readers of all ages."

My Review: I have seen the ballet and listened to the music many times, I have read books based off this story but never the original material. I thought it was finally time. I must admit that I am rather out of practice with classics and this was a slow read for me. I also found the translation to be a bit clunky, at times the words were translated exactly but the meaning that was intended was clearly different. I think that lead to it being slightly confusing while reading it but looking back at the story I can understand it fine. I think maybe if I had picked up a different translation or maybe an audio version, I might have enjoyed it a bit more.

My Rating: I had been eyeing this one for a while and am glad I finally read it but I think I will stick to the ballet and more modern interpretations in the future.  I do give it a rating of Three Paws!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Advent Reads Day 24: Bedtime Story: One Wild Christmas by Nicholas Oldland

Welcome to Advent Reads!
This is an event I have had on my blog for several years running now.  Each evening I feature a different holiday themed book. Think of it as your Book Advent Calendar! I post a variety of holiday books including romance, children's, middle-grade, mystery, paranormal, and I try to find some that are other holiday celebrations than Christmas too. I hope you will stop by each evening to see what new book I have for you!

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Best friends the bear, the moose and the beaver have been so busy getting ready for Christmas, they have forgotten the most important decoration of all - the Christmas tree! Rushing through the snowy forest, they reject one tree after another. And then they spot it. A pine tree that is just the right size, with soft needles and a wonderful scent - it's perfect! But just as the beaver is about to chop it down, the bear stops him. He can't allow this tree to be harmed, it is simply too beautiful! But the moose and the beaver disagree. Is there a way they can have a perfect Christmas - without chopping down the perfect tree?"

My Review: I have been seeing this on a bunch of my recommended for me lists and decided to pick it up from the library. This is a really cute book for little ones, it is a quick story with some really cute illustrations. The story is also great with a bit of love for leaving nature as it is and enjoying the beauty of it. I think little ones between 2-4 will really enjoy this as a nice bedtime story leading up to Christmas.

My Rating: This is a cute and fun book for young children, older kids around Munchkin's age will be a little bored by it.  But it is a quick and satisfying story to get the little ones settled down and into bed for the big night.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Advent Reads Day 23: Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer

Welcome to Advent Reads!
This is an event I have had on my blog for several years running now.  Each evening I feature a different holiday themed book. Think of it as your Book Advent Calendar! I post a variety of holiday books including romance, children's, middle-grade, mystery, paranormal, and I try to find some that are other holiday celebrations than Christmas too. I hope you will stop by each evening to see what new book I have for you!

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "A Nantucket shopkeeper discovers that Christmas is the perfect occasion to make unexpected friendships . . . to warm the coldest of hearts--and maybe even find love.

Christina Antonioni is preparing for the holidays at her Nantucket toy shop, unpacking last-minute shipments and decorating for her loyal Christmas shoppers. But when her Scrooge of a landlord, Oscar Bittlesman, raises her rent, it seems nearly impossible for Christina to continue business on the wharf.

Even so, Christina hopes there is a warm heart underneath Oscar's steely exterior. When she bonds with Wink, his sweet, young granddaughter who frequents the shop, it becomes clear that perhaps he isn't so cold after all. And with the help of Wink's uncle, who happens to be a charming and very handsome bachelor, this may be the best Christmas any of them could have ever imagined. Nancy Thayer's enchanting Nantucket setting provides the perfect backdrop for this holiday love story."

My Review: I have never read any of Nancy Thayer's books, but I have always wanted to pick one up because of the local setting. So what better way to kick off my reading than a holiday book?! Admittedly, I have never been to Nantucket, but I am familiar with the small isolated island setting with the huge class difference. I really appreciated the spin that Thayer put on the billionaire romance and the scrooge element as well. It was fun to see those familiar tropes twisted a little. I really enjoyed Christina's character she was sweet but had a level of determination I love for my female characters. Andy was great but just a little lackluster for me, he almost felt like a side character. The bright light in this one was without a doubt, Wink, she just brings that brightness and positive Christmas feeling to the story. This was a great book full of a variety of characters who really grew throughout the story.

My Rating: This was a great holiday read with some interesting twists on familiar romance and Christmas tropes.  While the characters were a little flat, the setting really stood out.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of Let it Snow via Netgalley. The following is my honest review and opinion.

To found out more about Nancy Thayer and her books, check out her Goodreads or Website.

Let It Snow was released early this fall so you can obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check with your local library or bookstore.

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle
The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere
Cowboy Christmas Redemption by Maisey Yates
A Royal Christmas Wish by Lizzie Shane
Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Bedtime Story)
Esther's Gift by Jan Karon

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

Heartsong's Missing Foal
A Boy, A Mole, A Fox and a Horse
All I Want for Christmas is a Werewolf
Cursed - DNF

Currently Reading:
Molly and the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley - Print - on page 26 of 320
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda - Audio/ebook - 31%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
571:19 Hours Listened (None listened this week)
33,775 Pages Read (356 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep - UNHAUL
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions - UNHAUL
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Dark Harmony
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Metamorphica - UNHAUL
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction - UNHAUL
Primal Force - UNHAUL
Rival Forces - UNHAUL
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Man Made Boy
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
We Hunt the Flame
Romanov - UNHAUL
Dreaming the Bear
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Storm and Fury - UNHAUL
Honeybees and Frenemies
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Merciful Crow - UNHAUL
The Bridge Kingdom
A Crash of Fate
Black Spire
The Testaments - UNHAUL
The Warrior Moon
Molly and the Cat Cafe
Plum Crazy Vol. 2
Plum Crazy Vol. 3
Plum Crazy Vol. 4
The White Christmas Inn
There Will Come a Darkness
Shadow Frost
How to Love a Duke in 10 Days
How to Catch a Wicked Viscount
Three Days on a Train
Destiny of the Wolf
Leave the Lights On
Marshmallows and Mistletoe
Cocoa & Carols
The Prince's Son
At Last
The Last Huntsman
Forgotten Love
Mae's Cafe
Within the Captain's Hold
Elusive Dreams
Christmas & Cannolis
Fated Mates
Take My Breath Away
Stolen by the Viking
Destroyed by Magic
Abducted by Magic
Rise Like a Goddess
Out Like a Goddess
Finding Her Dragons
Freeing Her Dragons
When the Lady Lies
The Bromance Book Club
Christmas Camp
Cowboy, It's Cold Outside
His Cowboy Heart
Pride and Prometheus
Stone Cold Cowboy
The Belgariad Vol. 2
The Mad Scientists Daughter
The Season of Us
The Way Home
The Good Ones
The Christmas Keeper
Royal Holiday
A Royal Christmas Wish
A Piece of the World
All I Want for Christmas is a Werewolf
The Boy The Mole The Fox and the Horse
The Very Very Far North
Little Women
Secret Sisters
Love and Other Consolation Prizes
Not the Girl You Marry


What a week! It has been a really trying week this last week and I am ready to move on to next year.  We already had our second snow day of the year last week, due to nasty ice storm that coated everything in a thick layer of ice. We are only just now getting rid of that ice finally.  Hubby ended up hurting his back at work last week, and then proceeded to catch a head cold at the doctor's office when he went to get checked out.  I always think I am on track for the holidays and be able to relax and enjoy the holiday with the family, but something always happens and I am left grasping at straws to pull everything off every year. As a result of trying to get everything done over the weekend I ended up missing an Advent Reads Day, for the first time ever I think.  I am trying my best to be okay with it and just be happy that I managed to instead bake cookies with Munchkin.  I think this year has been a real year of learning that I am only one person and there is only so much I can accomplish.