Thursday, January 31, 2013


Thirstday is the new Thursday!  A beverage and a book!
I found this Meme on Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, and it is hosted by Eat the Book.

This week, I read Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti and drank some orange juice!

I also read The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron, and I decided to be daring and added some cinnamon to my hot chocolate.  It was yummy! 

Last night I was reading The Seven Songs of Merlin by T.A. Barron and had a root beer float!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Batman Begins

My Thoughts:

-    This is a great movie!  It isn't entirely accurate, but I enjoy it!  I think they captured the essence of Batman.

-    Christian Bale is a really good Batman, but the 90s animated Batman will always be the best one!

-    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Michael Caine as Alfred!!

-    They cast Jim Gordon perfectly as well!  

-    The action sequences are a lot of fun to watch, and they keep you on edge!  It makes me want to play Batman: Arkham Asylum.

-    I think Liam Neeson did a fantastic job, as usual, but I don't like him as a bad guy.  He is too awesome to hate.  I think Ken Watanabe should have been the real Ra's Al Ghul.  

-    Some of the dialogue is a just great!  The banter between Bruce and Alfred and Fox makes me laugh!  There are very fun quotable lines int his movie!

-    Batman has this "no kill" rule, and he doesn't break it, but he sure bends it a lot!

-    In a nutshell, the casting was amazing, the story is great, the action is great.  It is a fun movie!

Hubby's Thought:

-    Tyson's dad could play Jim Gordon.

Tyson's Thoughts:

-    I did notice that Batman destroys a lot of the city before saving it.

-    It needs a good lady, like Batgirl or Catwoman.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Lost Years of Merlin

The Lost Years Of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #1)From the Dust Jacket:    Spat out by the sea, the boy lay on the rocks, as still as death.  Even if he survived the day, he had no home.  No memory.  And no name.

So begins the tale of a strange young boy who, washing up on shores of ancient Wales, is determined to find his real home and his true name.  One day he will become the greatest wizard of all time, but he knows nothing of this now.

At the knee of the mysterious Branwen, who claims to be his mother, the boy learns lore of the Celts, Druids, and people even more ancient.  Yet the secret of his identity seems always to escape him.  To discover the truth, and the secret of his own powers, he runs away, voyaging to the mist-shrouded isle of Fincayra, an enchanted land between earth and sky that is being destroyed by blight.  It is there he meets the forest girl Rhia, the brave little giant Shim, and the wicked Rhita Gawr.  He discovers that the fate of this land and his quest are strangely entwined....If only he can solve the riddle of the Dance of the Giants.

Combining all the passion, power, and spiritual depth that are T.A. Barron's hallmarks, this book adds a thrilling new dimension to the legend of Merlin.

My Thoughts:

-    I discovered these books in Jr. High, but I never finished the series.  I think it is about time that I did.  It wasn't that I didn't enjoy them, cause I did.  I just didn't get around to them.

-    Emrys is a bit annoying at times.  I get that he is scared to use his powers, but come on!  Learn how to control them!  He is supposed to become the greatest wizard of all time, but he has a TON to learn.

-    Shim reminds me of Gurgi from Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series.  In fact, there were a lot of elements in this book that reminded me of that series.  

-    I hope my husband and I are just like T'eilean and Garlatha when we're old.

-    I love that Branwen taught Emrys about all mythologies and stories.  She didn't stick with one religion or another, she taught him EVERYTHING!  I think there is something to learn from all ancient stories.

-    I loved Trouble!  He was funny.

-    I'm glad someone decided to take on writing about Merlin's childhood.  It was very brave, and I look forward to where this story goes.

-    I enjoyed this book a lot, but I wish the main character was more likable.  I feel like I connected with the side characters more than Emrys.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Leaving the Bellweathers

Leaving the BellweathersFrom Goodreads:    The young Bellweathers–fourteen-year-old Spider, thirteen-year-old Ninda, and the ten-year-old triplets, Brick, Spike, and Sassy–and their equally peculiar parents have brought constant chaos to the once-peaceful village of Eel-Smack-by-the-Bay. Still, no one has suffered more than their loyal butler, Benway, who has finally had enough. He is secretly writing his tell-all memoirs, packing his bags, and planning his move to a tropical location, Far, Far Away.
But when the siblings discover Benway is preparing to leave their lighthouse home, they band together to prove how much he’s needed, as only Bellweathers can. . . . 
Full of comic capers and close calls, an art heist and albino alligators, and good intentions gone wrong, Kristin Clark Venuti’s hilarious debut novel introduces a new family that is absolutely unforgettable.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a really cute and humorous book!

-    The cover is a lot of fun, and after reading the book, I fell like it captures the Bellweather family perfectly!

-    I like how the font changes for Benway's journal entries.

-    Spider, Brick, and Sassy are terrible names for children.

-    The way that things are described is pretty funny.  I also got a kick out of the names of things, like St. Whiplash.

-    The writing reminds me of Lemony Snicket's books.

-    I disliked a lot of the family members at first, and I thought they were all out of control and crazy, but by the end, a lot of them grew on me.  I still don't like Ninda though.

-    I liked Benway a lot.  He was such a funny character, and I really sympathized with him.

-    The triplets reminded me of the 3 little boys from Brave.

-    I loved the transition in the book, and I thought the ending was sweet.

-    This book is definitely for younger readers, but I thought it was fun.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January Book Club

This month we read:

Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1)

We had a good time last night, and there was a lot of good food!  We talked about the book, husbands, crazy ex-wives, etc.  It was a lot of laughs.

Our Thoughts on the book:

My Thoughts:    Click Here

Emma's Thoughts:    I loved this book!  It had all right amounts of fantasy and adventure.  I also want a dragon friend.

Andrea's Thoughts:    I loved this book and I can't wait to finish the series!  This really fed my dragon love, and the unique dragons are so fun.  I also wish I was as talented as Creel.

Erin's Thoughts:    This book was so much fun!  I enjoyed getting to know the dragons and Creel.  I loved how the dragons collected different items.  I wish I had the blue dragon slippers.  I cannot wait to read the next two books.

Random Things I Remember From Last Night:

Emma wants to name her next girl Creel.

We loved how easy it was to read.

We are happy the author didn't go into super detail and get carried away with dragon stuff.

Emma expected to hate Marta and like Larkin, but it turned out opposite.

It was unanimous...Amalia needed to die!

For February we are going to read:

Dragon Flight (Dragon Slippers, #2)

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth PrincessGoodreads Bit:    Zita is not an ordinary servant girl--she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.

Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends--Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier--Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot--and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.

A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, "The Thirteenth Princess" tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses--and the young girl determined to save them all.

My Thoughts:

-    I admit to judging this book by it's cover.  I saw it sitting on the shelf at the library, and I was like "oh pretty!"  I took it home, but it didn't disappoint.  

-    This was a really fun and cute re-telling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

-    I love the cover!!  The art is fantastic, and I love the colors.  I also love how the title is big and pretty.

-    I really enjoyed this twist on the tale.  It was different from all the others I've read.

-    I really liked Zita.  She was a fun character, and I almost felt like she was my little sister.  
-    It is a good thing this was a fairy tale, cause sisters do not get along that well in the real world.  All of Zita's sisters were so kind, they all got along, and they it was like a big group of best friends.  

-    I liked Breckin and Milek a lot as well.  Breckin was especially fun.  I wish there had been more of Milek.

-    I really enjoyed the whole story.  Adding Babette and Taika in there were really cool, and I like how the curse came about and such.

-    I would definitely recommend this to fairy tale lovers.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Thirstday is the new Thursday!  A beverage and a book!
I found this Meme on Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, and it is hosted by Eat the Book.

This week I read House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones, and I tried to drink more water.  That is my blue water canteen.  It holds 3 cups, so I can keep track of my intake. 

This morning I was reading The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler, and I drank a cup of hot chocolate!  YUMM!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways (Howl's Moving Castle, #3)Goodreads Synopsis:    Charmain Baker is in over her head. Looking after Great-Uncle William's tiny cottage while he's ill should have been easy. But Great-Uncle William is better known as the Royal Wizard Norland, and his house bends space and time. Its single door leads to any number of places--the bedrooms, the kitchen, the caves under the mountains, the past, and the Royal Mansion, to name just a few.

By opening that door, Charmain has become responsible for not only the house, but for an extremely magical stray dog, a muddled young apprentice wizard, and a box of the king's most treasured documents. She has encountered a terrifying beast called a lubbock, irritated a clan of small blue creatures, and wound up smack in the middle of an urgent search. The king and his daughter are desperate to find the lost, fabled Elfgift--so desperate that they've even called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, can the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer be far behind?

Of course, with that magical family involved, there's bound to be chaos--and unexpected revelations.

No one will be more surprised than Charmain by what Howl and Sophie discover.

My Thoughts:

-    I enjoyed this book, but Howl's Moving Castle was my favorite in the trilogy.

-    Charmain is kind of stupid and a bit lazy.

-    Opening Uncle William's suitcase would have been the first thing I did.  Charmain is not a very curious person.

-    I think I would have liked the book a lot better if I had liked Charmain better.  It is hard to love a book when the main character bugs me.

-    I loved Waif!  I want a dog like her.

-    Twinkle's dialogue was a little hard to read and understand.

-    Peter was kind of a git.  I don't understand why he was needed in the story.

-    I loved the banter between Sophie and Howl.  They are so funny.

-    Calcifer is awesome!!  I loved that we got to see some of his power in this one.

-    This book is a bit slow, but I was still interested.

-    I really didn't understand Sophie and Howl's mission, but I think I got the gist of it.

-    Overall, I thought this book was charming, but there were certain elements that weren't to my liking. 

-    I think this is one of those books that I'd have to read a few times before I could really appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'll ask the questions, you provide the answers.  Ready?

For authors, aspiring authors, or anyone who has an opinion on this...

Who would be your dream publisher and why?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dragon Slippers

Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1)From Goodreads:    Many stories tell of damsels in distress, who are rescued from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons by knights in shining armor, and swept off to live happily ever after. 

Unfortunately, this is not one of those stories.  

True, when Creel's aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that the knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it's Creel who talks her way out of the dragon's clutches. And it's Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the king's city with only a bit of embroidery thread and a strange pair of slippers in her possession.

But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale. For in a country on the verge of war, Creel unknowingly possesses not just any pair of shoes, but a tool that could be used to save her kingdom…or destroy it.

My Thoughts:

-    I LOVE this book!  It is so wonderful, and it always have a special place in my heart because this series were my first signed books.  After meeting Jessica Day George, I craved more, and it led to a whole lot of author events and signings.  Dragon Slippers and Authorpalooza started it all!

-    The beginning reminds me of Dealing with Dragons (another series that I love and cherish from my childhood).  

-    I am a dragon fan.  I admit it.  If the story has dragons, I'll probably love it.

-    I love Feniul.  He is probably my favorite dragon, but I love Shardas as well.  I love that Fenieul collects dogs.  I might do the same if I were a dragon.  I also love all of Feniul's oddities, and I love his big heart.

-    The characters are awesome!  I love Creel so much!  She is unsure of herself, yet spunky and determined.  She has ambition, and she isn't afraid to speak her mind.  Prince Luka is so charming and funny!  I also loved Marta and Alle and Tobin!  The Duke and Duchess were also great side characters that added a lot.

-    Amalia...grrr...there are no words for the hate.  

-    The whole story and the concept are so great!  I just love it!

-    The ending makes me almost cry.  Pathetic, I know, but it does.  I want to cry for Shardas's hoard as well.

-    This is such a fun book to read!  I just crave more after reading it, so I'm glad it is a trilogy.

Friday, January 18, 2013


My Thoughts:

-    That movie was pretty trippy.  

-    It was like a James Bond film meets the Matrix.

-    This was probably the best Leonardo DeCRAPrio movie I've seen.

-    I don't understand how they could control the dream?  Who controls their own dreams like that?

-    Also how they heck did they get into one man's dream?

-    The visuals were really cool!

-    That British man, I think he was the "forger".  He was handsome.

-    There were bits of the story that were confusing, but I think they were supposed to be.

-    I thought the side story of Cobb's wife wasn't really needed.  It was interesting, but I don't think it was really needed for the main story.

-    As for all the hype...did I love it? No, but it was good.  

Tyson's Thoughts:

-    The whole movie was just a basset hounds dream.  Cobb's dog was dreaming of the family.

-    My dream would have been filled with Grimace, Kool-Aid man, and Zombies.

Hubby's Thought:

-    Why didn't they conjure up better gear to battle the mind defenders?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Thirstday is the new Thursday!  A beverage and a book!
I found this Meme on Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, and it is hosted by Eat the Book.

This week I enjoyed some good ole orange juice and Aesop's Fables!

This morning I'm reading Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George while drinking my usual hot chocolate.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables Goodreads Synopsis:    As legend has it, the storyteller Aesop was a slave who lived in ancient Greece during the sixth century B.C. His memorable, recountable fables have brought amusing characters to life and driven home thought-provoking morals for generations of listeners and modern-day readers. Translated into countless languages and familiar to people around the world, Aesop’s fables never tarnish despite being told again and again. 

This collection presents nearly 300 of Aesop’s most entertaining and enduring stories from The Hare and the Tortoise and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse to The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs and The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Populated by a colorful array of animal characters who personify every imaginable human type from fiddling grasshoppers and diligent ants to sly foxes, wicked wolves, brave mice, and grateful lions;these timeless tales are as fresh and relevant today as when they were first created. 

Full of humor, insight, and wit, the tales in Aesop's Fables champion the value of hard work and perseverance, compassion for others, and honesty. They are age-old wisdom in a delicious form, for the consumption of adults and children alike.

My Thoughts:

-    I'm sure everyone has heard an Aesop tale or two.  They are so common, yet not a lot of people know it is an Aesop fable.

-    Some of my favorites are:  The Peacock and the Crane, Mercury and the Woodman, The Ass The Fox and The Lion, The Crow and The Pitcher, The North Wind and The Sun, The Bear and the Travelers, The Bee and Jupiter, Father and Sons, The Two Bags, The Blacksmith and His Dog, The Farmer and The Fox, The Farmer and The Viper, The Lion and The Hare, The Crow and The Raven, and The Miser.

-    Some of the fables were a little hard to understand because I don't have a vast knowledge of Roman mythology or places.

-    These are the classic comedy or tragedy type tales.

-    There is a lot of wisdom and great advice in these little fables.  I loved pondering the message of a lot of them.

-    I really enjoyed reading these.  

-    I liked how Aesop used animals to explain people and their demeanors.  He was a clever guy.

-    I would have loved to me Aesop.  He would have been a fun person to hang out with.

-    I love how these Barnes and Noble Classics have added information on the authors and time period.  I also liked the little glossary at the end.  It helped me.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kirby's Epic Yarn

My Overall Thoughts:

-    The happiest game on earth!!  You have a grin on your face the whole time you play.  This game is seriously charming, and it is really fun to play.  Whenever you have a bad day, just pop in Kirby and all your problems will disappear.

My Thoughts on Gameplay:

-    The story is read to you by a very soothing male voice, and everything is portrayed in storybook form.  It’s fantastic. 
-    The evil Yin-Yarn dude is turning everything into yarn/fabric.  Kirby gets sucked out of Dreamland into a different world.  This world is falling apart, and Kirby has to help Prince Fluff find the magic yarn. 

-    You get to fight a couple of classic villains as well as the new guy.  

-    You can’t die.  When you fall down a pit or something, you just lose beads.  Beads are collected along the way, and you only have to collect them if you want the Gold Star at the end.  

-    The game is super family friendly, and it is cute as it can be. 
-    Kirby has his own apartment, and you collect furniture in the different levels to put in your apartment.  You also decorate other apartments so friends can move in.  You would never guess it, but it was fun to collect all the furniture.
-    There are several different challenges to play.  They are fun, but they aren’t really important.  The only thing you get from them is fabric to reupholster your furniture.  The challenges include things like Hide-n-Go-Seek, Racing, Collecting a certain amount of beads in a certain amount of time, etc.  

My Thoughts on Controls:

-    You only need to use the Wii Remote, and the controls are really easy to learn and use.  My favorite was the double tap forward that turns you into a cool car that goes “beep beep.” 

-    Instead of sucking things in his mouth, Kirby whips things with a yarn rope.  He can grab things and throw them, and he also can turn into several different vehicle things.  The vehicle things are fantastic!  They are easy to control and super fun to use.  They include surfing, fire truck, tank, space ship, rocket, train, car, monster truck, digger, and a few more.  The train is a little frustrating, but it’s doable.   

My Thoughts on Graphics:

-    The graphics are super cute and pleasing to the eye.  Everything is made of yarn/fabric.  It is so original and fun!!  I think Nintendo should make a lot more yarn games.  I would personally love to see a Mario Bros. yard game.  This is seriously one of the most unique graphic games I’ve ever seen. 

-    Fun Side Note:  When Kirby goes behind a piece of fabric, there is a little bump where he is!!  

My Thoughts on Sound:

-    The music is awesome!!  Every stage has really fun songs to hum along too.  Some of the levels sounded like Ben Folds to me.  They were upbeat and played on a piano.  I seriously loved the background music.
-    The character noises were classic Kirby.  Everything is so happy!  

-    My favorite noise is the car “beep beep.”  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Castle in the Air

Castle in the Air (Castle, #2)Goodreads Synopsis:  Young merchant Abdullah leads a humble life. Or he did until a stranger sold him a threadbare--and disagreeable--magic carpet. Now Abdullah is caught in the middle of his grand daydreams. Waking one night in a luxurious garden, he meets and falls instantly in love with the beautiful and clever Flower-in-the-Night. But a wicked djinn sweeps the princess away right before Abdullah's eyes, leaving the young man no choice but to follow. This is no ordinary quest, however, for Flower-in-the-Night isn't all the djinn has stolen. Abdullah will have the so-called help of the cantankerous carpet, a cranky genie in a bottle, a dishonest soldier, and a very opinionated black cat. Will this motley crew be able to find the djinn's mysterious dwelling and rescue a castle full of princesses?

My Thoughts:

-    Except for the ending, this story wasn't as enchanting as Howl's Moving Castle, but I still enjoyed it.

-    It begins in the Middle East (Aladdinish), and then later in the story the characters travel to a more familiar scene.

-    I loved Abdullah.  He was such a great character, maybe even a charming character.  He was a lot of fun to read.

-    I wish there had been more Howl and Calcifer, but there was a good bit of Sophie.

-    When characters revealed themselves towards the end, I was like "what?"  Some things were a little weird.

-    There was a whole lot of traveling.

-    I liked this one, but I enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle better.  I'm excited to read the third!! 

Series Info:

This is the 2nd book or companion book to Howl's Moving Castle.  Click on the cover below to see my thoughts on the previous book.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Thirstday is the new Thursday!  A beverage and a book!
I found this Meme on Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, and it is hosted by Eat the Book.

This week:
I read Anna and French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and drank lots of Blueberry Bliss tea! 

I also enjoyed a Sonic Strawberry Limeade while reading Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Monday, January 7, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French KissFrom Goodreads:    Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Thoughts:

-    This wasn't my kind of book from the get go, but everyone seemed to love it, so I tried it.  I wasn't impressed.

-    The beginning reminds me of Gallagher Girls.

-    There was some heavy profanity, and I mean R rated heavy.  There was also a lot of sexual references.

-    There were some witty and enjoyable parts, like some of the dialogue.

-    The emails were fun to read.

-    There were bits that were WAY over dramatic.  Like the part where she almost falls down cause she just sees the guy.  Who does that?  Besides chicks who want major attention, no one does that!

-    I liked all the French stuff.  I studied French in Jr. High, and I still remember some.  It was fun to read the French parts.  It also made me want good French cuisine.

-    I love that Anna was a movie buff, and she favored old movies!  Is it true there are that many theaters in France?

-    I liked that Anna and Etienne became best friends, and their relationship development was good, but oh my drama!

-    Overall, it had it's moments and parts, but it was too chick flick/ dramatic for me. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)Goodreads Synopsis:    Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

My Thoughts:

-    This was an enchanting book!  I really enjoyed it.

-    There were a few slow parts in the middle, but it was still entertaining.  The ending is the best!

-    I love the relationship between Howl and Sophie.  The bickering cracked me up!  I loved a lot of their dialogue. 

-    I love the Miyazaki film of this, and while they are very different, I love them both.  The book and movie seem like 2 different entities to me.  They are both unique and wonderful.

-    I'd love to have a door that went different places.  I'd make one got to my hubby's work, then he could come and go easily.  He could even come home for lunch.  I'd make one go to the mall or a grocery store.  I think I'd make a door that goes to the park as well, just for my little gnome.  

-    I loved Calcifer!  I want a fire demon!

-    So, can Howl time travel as well?  I was confused on the part with Howl's family. 

-    The characters were wonderful, the story was so enthralling, and the scenes were so real!  Great story!

-    Oh, and I'd have a door that went to the ocean.  

Neau Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!  I hope you enjoyed your introduction to Neau!

The winner of this fabulous necklace is...

Diana from Book Adventures!

 I will be contacting you today.  Please respond within 48 hours or I'll pick another winner.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Thirstday is the new Thursday!  A beverage and a book!
I found this Meme on Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, and it is hosted by Eat the Book.

This morning I am reading Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and I'm drinking my daily cup of hot chocolate.  I decided to treat myself today and add a little whip cream!