Friday, December 19, 2014

Tim Cratchit's Christmas Carol by Jim Piecuch

272 p.
Publisher: Pocket Star
Published: 11/3/14
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review

Tiny Tim is all grown up in this continuation of Charles Dickens’s beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol, and this time, a certain ghost shows him the true meaning of Christmas cheer! 
In A Christmas Carol, evil Scrooge was shown the error of his ways by three helpful ghosts and vowed to become a better person. Bob Cratchit and his family benefited most from Scrooge’s change of tune—but what happened after the goose was given, and Scrooge resolved to turn over a new leaf? 
Tim Cratchit’s Christmas Carol shows us Tiny Tim as an adult. Having recovered from his childhood ailment, he began his career helping the poor but has since taken up practice as a doctor to London’s wealthy elite. Though Tim leads a very successful life, he comes home at night to an empty house. But this holiday season, he’s determined to fill his house with holiday cheer—and maybe even a wife.

When a single, determined young mother lands on Tim’s doorstep with her ailing son, Tim is faced with a choice: stay ensconced in his comfortable life and secure doctor’s practice, or take a leap of faith and reignite the fire lit under him by his mentor, Scrooge, that fateful Christmas so many years ago.
My thoughts:

Surprise! Yes, I did read a holiday book... during the holidays! LOL

A Christmas Carol and all it's incarnations (Scrooged! for one...) have always been my favorite holiday kind of read. I've always said that I love a book where the character grows and that book's main message is about growth. So, what happened after? How is Tiny Tim all grown up supposed to have an epiphany? I mean he wasn't a horrid boy and in this incarnation he isn't a horrid adult either. In fact he is a doctor and surgeon. His skills are renown as is his kindness. However, he has lost his way a little bit and fallen into practice with a doctor as mean as Scrooge was at the beginning of A Christmas Carol. So, Tim needs a little push, a small shove to correct his course in life. Scrooge is now likened to a guardian angel who helps, but it is the actions of Tim himself that sets things to right. Scrooge is only the one presenting opportunities not ultimatums.

I really enjoyed myself with this story. It was nice following Tim and how he felt responsible in returning the favor Scrooge presented to him. I also enjoyed his shy romance. We are also not without an adorable child to complete the scene. While this isn't the big epiphany we get with Scrooge, we still get some redemption for Tim as he finds his way back to himself and happiness. Besides, a big epiphany wasn't needed here.

I give this book 5 stars. If you are looking for a sweet read that completes a circle started with A Christmas Carol, then I suggest this book. It is a great holiday read.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Silverblind by Tina Connolly

Series: Ironskin #3
272 p.
Published 10/7/14
Publisher: Tor Books
The final book in this series will jump forward 18 years and feature Dorie, Jane's young charge from Ironskin. 
18 years later...
Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shapechanging fey powers--to disguise herself as a boy.
While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who's about to get steamed by a silvertail-- and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn't spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can't bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her. 
The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?
I've enjoyed the other two books so I was thrilled to get the last book in the trilogy. In this book we are moved in time ahead to 18 years later and we follow Dorie the child we left in the other two books. She is full grown and trying to find her own way in this world. Wanting to become an explorer she finds herself in the midst of misogynist attitudes. She decides to use her fae powers to become a boy in order to get the job she seeks. While exploring she finds out more about the world and the misinformation which is used to the crown's benefit and to the decimation of several species. She tries to find a way to stop and help the fae and wyverns who desperately need her help.

I really liked the plot of this book but I cringed often with some of the decisions she made. I think even a "Seriously?!" or two escaped from my lips. I did enjoy the slow re-introduction of Dorie and Tam and while there is no solid romance at the end of the book, you do see the possibility of a relationship. I also enjoyed Dorie's other friends, Jack and Sadie. They complimented her character well.

In the end I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed the environmental and women's rights issues tackled in this world. It gave Dorie a good fight to help her find herself. I recommend it to those that enjoy fae stories.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shake Puppies by Carli Davidson



Photography
144 p.
Published: 10/28/14
Publisher: Harper Design
Source: From publisher for review
This highly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling book Shake features more than 130 photographs of adorable puppies. This brilliant, brightly colored collection truly captures the squishy cuteness of a puppy—its tousled fur, floppy ears, and endearing expression—in the moment when our tiny, wide-eyed companion is mid-shake. 
In addition to its vibrant photographs, Shake Puppies includes a message of support for animal rescue and creating an environment in which all dogs, young or old, can succeed in their new homes. Training tips are included to help dog owners achieve this goal. There is also a roster listing the names and ages of all the dogs featured, as well as a peek into Carli Davidson's studio.
My thoughts:

Hm.. my thoughts on this book? Seriously? I don't think I have a coherent thought in my brain with all the cuteness! Okay first... PUPPIES! Second... PUPPIES caught with such cute and humorous expressions while in mid shake. You cannot have a bad day with this book in your hands. Then I learn that the author also adopted a dog during the session. Not a puppy but an elderly dog needing a home. Carli Davidson is also a proponent of rescues. I also love that there is a small section on basic training. I feel that is one of the main reasons that dogs are sent to shelters because they don't know basic manners. It's not the dog's fault, but the human who failed to educate themselves and train their dogs.

I give this 5 puppy breaths! Need a smile? Get this book! It is adorable and like I said it would even make the grinch turn his frown upside down! :D


Friday, December 12, 2014

My Puppy's B-day!

Every year I have done something to celebrate my pup's b-day. Felicia of the Geeky Blogger Book Blog also helped me celebrate her own puppy's b-day. She is even has a facebook page to help animals (Friends Helping All Animals). Well, things got away from me and I just couldn't get something set up. I will donate something to a animal charity for my pup instead. This makes it a bit easier on me this year. I also hope that this season you don't forget the furry ones that share the world with us. You don't even have to do much to help out. For example, you can give when you holiday shop online. 

iGive is one way that I donate when I shop. You can chose your charity. Last year I chose
who are great people helping dogs who have never had a life out of a cage.

This year I decided to go with
I like the big puppers! :)

There are other ways to give as well. You could do the iGive AND Amazon Smile when you shop. Even ebay has their giving works entries. That is also a way to give the proceeds if you sell something to your favorite charity.

Also please add your favorite animal charity to the list below:


Remember helping does not always mean money. Sometimes it means just helping out a neighbor in need with walking the animal, finding a stray, donating items you don't need, taking a shelter dog for a walk. So many ways to help. You all have helped put a smile on my face in the past by telling me the ways you help. Thanks so much for that. :) I do reread them when I need a lift.

Okay, off my soapbox. My pup is demanding attention since he seems to think the WHOLE month is his birthday. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

AimeKay Review: One Dirty Bowl by Christina Dymock



Cookbook
128 p.
Published: 6/10/14
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Source: From publisher for review

Quick desserts and even quicker clean up mean more time with your family and friends, and less time in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl, whip up show-stopping desserts like Hazelnut Puffs, Peanut Butter Truffle Bars, and White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes,
Very Vanilla Brownies,Hazelnut Puffs, 3X Chocolate Cookies

From Christina Dymock, author of Young Chefs and The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook, this cookbook will impress your guests and satisfy any craving. And these quick, tasty desserts only dirty one bowl, which means more time with your family and friends at the table.

Fast desserts, faster cleanup—grab a bowl and get ready to bake!Quick desserts and even quicker clean up mean more time with your family and friends, and less time in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl, whip up show-stopping desserts like Hazelnut Puffs, Peanut Butter Truffle Bars, and White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes, Very Vanilla Brownies,Hazelnut Puffs, 3X Chocolate Cookies

From Christina Dymock, author of Young Chefs and The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook, this cookbook will impress your guests and satisfy any craving. And these quick, tasty desserts only dirty one bowl, which means more time with your family and friends at the table.

Fast desserts, faster cleanup—grab a bowl and get ready to bake!
AimeeKay's Thoughts:

I really love One Dirty Bowl.

The author meant to provide recipes that are simple to make and require the use of the minimum amount of utensils. Which is especially great for dessert makers on the go during this crazy holiday season. Plus a lot of the finished desserts, like the various cookies, can be put in inexpensive decorated containers and used as gifts.

The author succeeded in keeping the recipes simple. You don't need to be a 5 star chef to pull them off. Also the recipes only need the bowl they are mixed in and the pan they are cooked in. With everything else that needs to be cooked at this time of year this is a definite bonus. But because of their simplicity a lot of these desserts can be made as regular treats all throughout the year. Some do require some time to set, cook, and so on. Be sure to check the times on the recipes so you don't feel rushed.

The only thing that I didn't like is that there aren't pictures of each item. There are pictures of most of them, just not all. However this is usually the case with cookbooks, and there are a lot more pictures than there would be in your average cookbook. So it's not too much of an issue. However I like to know what the food I'm cooking is supposed to look like. So while I will eventually try all of the recipes in the book, I will put off trying the ones without pictures, unless it's something like cookies, which I'm relatively sure of what they look like.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5. I think it's a great dessert book to pick up if you like sweets but don't like a lot of work. Or if you are looking for a great present for the cook in your life. As a bonus, if you give it as a gift, then you have the opportunity to not only give a great gift, but also enjoy any desserts that the cook decides to make! (This is especially true if you happen to live with said cook!)