The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Hello October, Goodbye September! September 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura @ 10:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Wow. September is already over. I can’t believe it. September was definitely action packed. One of our friends came in for Labour Day while his fiancee had her bachelorette party. A few weekends later it was time for their wedding and a family getaway weekend in Murfreesboro. The wedding was BEAUTIFUL and I’m so happy we got to be a part of their day. The kiddos had fun at the MTSU game. We had a great time catching up with friends, too! We had a week at the beach with my dad and I got so much accomplished. I finished four books and wrote three reviews which are coming soon! I’m really looking forward to October though. My birthday and Hallowe’en. Two of my favourite days of the YEAR! (:

Books I read in September (in order of completion)
The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener

Everbound  by Brodi Ashton.

World War Z by Max Brooks (audiobook)

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Oh. Wow. These books. I loved all of them. I really enjoyed the audiobook of World War Z. I wasn’t so crazy about the movie. Well, as a page to screen adaptation I didn’t care for it. It was a pretty cool movie. The Madman’s Daughter was spectacular. I can’t recommend it enough! Keep an eye out for a review for Seven Day Fiance. It’s full of hotness! The Hourglass series is spectacular. I can’t wait to finish Infinityglass! I’m also looking forward to discovering some pretty incredible reads in October.

The kids and I read about 20 books this month. We were kinda bad about reading at the beach. We did read some good ones this month! Looking forward to some great trips to the library this month. They were remodeling when I was there before we left for the beach! Can’t wait to see how it looks now!

Coming up in October

  • My birthday!
  • MTSU’s blackout game! (We’re hoping we can go)
  • Hallowe’en. OMG SO excited for Hallowe’en!
  • Publishing/Writing event in Asheville I’m hoping to attend

*Review* The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 29 January 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: hardback, personal copy, signed


In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

Wow. Just wow. I don’t even know where to begin this review. I came across this book on the suggestion of Mary. (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) She reviewed this title earlier this year and also recommended it to me. I am so glad she did!

I haven’t read The Island of Dr. Moreau, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this gothic thriller. Let me just say, from the get go I was HOOKED. I started reading in the car on the way to our family beach getaway last week. I wanted to wait til as close as I could to the signing event so it was still fresh in my mind. Now, I’m dying with impatience waiting for Her Dark Curiosity! I also want to dive into The Island of Dr. Moreau to see the inspiration behind the insanity!

We are introduced to our leading lady, Juliet Moreau right away and the book is from her point of view. She is a fallen from the top of society young lady living and working in Victorian (I’m assuming) London, England. I was sold already. I love England, and I love historical fiction. A forbidden friendship made it even more intriguing. She’s surrounded by a scandal. It’s not quite clear what scandal surrounds her which has driven her from the heights of society, but we immediately know it’s as bad as bad can get.

After a series of a turn of events from flirtatious med school students and an attempted sexual assault, Juliet learns her disgraced and assumed dead father is really alive and living on an island off of Australia. She flees with her former servant to reunite with her father. Montgomery pleads with her not to come, but she is relentless in her desire to find out if the rumours surrounding her father are true.

After an interesting sea voyage involving discovering a castaway, Juliet and company arrive at the island. She quickly learns not only are the rumours true, things are worse than she thought. The question arises what does humanity really mean? Do we have humanity because we were born human? Or is it possible for a creature to be created and mutated to have humanity? Are all humans filled with humanity and are all created science experiments truly monsters? Some of the creations show more humanity and compassion than some of the truly human characters.

A giant plot twist and gotacha moment at the end brings it to an incredible cliff hanger. Can I just say the gotcha moment was in the back of my mind as a possibility and when it became obvious I was BLOWN that I was right. And I called how the cliff hanger ending would go. I so can’t wait to see how Her Dark Curiosity will be!

From the beginning, I felt a great connection with Juliet. Despite the usual stereotype of her age, (women and girls are delicate and pretty incapable of being intellectual) Juliet is incredibly intelligent and resilient. Her resiliency is really tested when she finds her father. Even though she had believed she was an orphan, she desperately wanted things to work out in her relationship with her father. He’d abandoned her, but she hoped he had a good reason. She struggles with his work and knowing it isn’t right. She uses her intelligence and resilience to try to get off the island with Montgomery and Edward and when events don’t go as planned, she rolls with the punches and adapts.

Montgomery is definitely a fallen angel to me. He still has an innocence despite everything he has done. He knows he’s done evil, but also shows a great wish to redeem himself. His choices at the end of The Madman’s Daughter show what he thinks will be his redemption. I’m looking forward to see how this redemption goes in the sequel.

Edward is confusing in a way. Nothing ever makes sense about him and he always seems a bit dark even when he doesn’t seem like it. Confusing, right? Despite his obvious affections toward Juliet, and urging from her father, I never wanted to see things work out for them. They just didn’t seem to completely fit together. I’m completely Team Montgomery for relationships!

Dr, Moreau is just an a-hole. Completely self absorbed and oblivious to his faults. His genius is what cripples him. In discovering this mysterious island and continuing his research, he essentially loses his humanity in trying to create the perfect specimen of humanity. He thinks himself like a god. He comes up with his own commandments that he teaches to his creations. It’s truly appalling.

Balthazar. Oh, I love his innocence. I wish he had appeared more and hope he makes at least a small appearance in the sequel.

This was a fantastic novel and was also Megan’s debut. I can’t wait to get my hands on Her Dark Curiosity!

***Signing event***

Megan was with two other authors at the JC Public Library on the 28th. I didn’t stay long, we had just driven 6 hours back from the beach and the kiddos were exhausted and tired of being in their carseats. Punk wanted to go inside with me and he was greatly entertaining to everyone while I stood and talked with Megan and Chris for a few minutes. He decided to dance and chatter for everyone. Megan asked him if he had fun at the beach and he said “YES!” then proceeded to chatter. I’m guessing he was telling her all about it. I did catch swim and papaw while he was going on and on. I got to see Her Dark Curiosity. I was going to ask to hold it and skim through it, but I was too nervous that once I had it in my hands I’d never be able to let it go until I devoured it. Still crossing my fingers for an ARC of my own!

I’m hoping to go to an event next month that she’ll be at in NC. It’s about publication and writing. I think it might just be what I need to take the plunge on writing. (:

It was such a great honour to get to meet her! She’s super awesome and nice. It was neat to meet her after tweeting back and forth for a while.

I apologise that my first event recap is so short! I did get a few extra bookmarks signed. If there’s any interest I’ll do a giveaway for them. Or I may just wait and see if I can go to the event next month and get a copy of The Madman’s Daughter signed and give both away then. Make sure you leave your thoughts on the giveaway! (: Just bookmarks now or wait and get bookmarks and book later?

Recommended for: Sci-fi and historical fiction lovers

Not recommended for: Those who have a weak stomach where guts and blood are concerned or dislike sci-fi or historical fiction


Weekly Reading Review: 22 – 28 September 2013 September 28, 2013

Filed under: Book Review,Books,Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 11:00 pm

I got quite a lot of reading done this week while on vacation and it was GLORIOUS. I couldn’t figure out what it was that made me so productive until hubby pointed it out. We didn’t watch much TV this week. Now, I don’t watch much TV. It may be on, but I don’t really watch it. Then I got to thinking how I glance up for a couple of minutes every now and then. That really cuts into my reading time apparently. As does watching my little ones enjoy PBS in the mornings. Now that we’re heading home, I’m going to re-evaluate how I do things during the day. Maybe get up a little earlier in the mornings (before Punk comes crawling in the bed for cuddles and PBS) and read. I’ve been trying to dedicate at least an hour in the evenings of reading, so I’m going to try to keep on that, too. Going to try not to pay attention to the TV so much if hubby’s watching something I’m really not interested in.


The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. 5 stars! (Keep an eye out for a review and an event recap!)

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris. 5 stars!  (keep an eye out for a review closer to publication day!)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire. 5 stars!

Currently Reading:

 Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Read to the Kiddos:

We were bad this week and didn’t keep track of what we read before we left for the beach or at the beach.

New to my shelf:

Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris (e-ARC)

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire (e-ARC)

Richard III A Small Guide to the Great Debate by Annette Carson (e-ARC)

The League of Delphi by Chris Everheart (signed)

The Delphi Deception by Chris Everheart (signed)


Waiting on Wednesday #7: Evertrue September 25, 2013

Filed under: Books,Waiting on Wednesday — Maura @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,

affiliate links used

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

Evertrue (Everneath #3)

by Brodi Ashton

Coming: 21 January 2014

Publisher: Balzer + Bray


Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself… which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

Why I’m excited
Oh wow. I blew through Everneath, Neverfall, and Everbound. This retelling of the Persephone myth is fantastic.. Nikki, Cole, and Jack are incredible!

Why I need you to be excited
The action! The love! The feels! Oh, the feels! It’s so fantastic. You’ve got to check out this series if you haven’t already.


Top Ten Tuesday #12: Best Sequels Ever September 24, 2013

Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

in no particular order. affiliate links used

1. Asunder by Jodi Meadows. Oh wow. She keeps it amped up! I can’t wait to see where Infinite will take us!

2. Prodigy: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu. Legend was fantastic. Lu definitely did not suffer from the sophomore slump with this sequel!

3. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare. This was a perfect ending to The Infernal Devices series. I would like to see more of Jem and Tessa though!

4. Gates of Paradise (A Blue Bloods Novel) by Melissa de la Cruz. Way to rip my heart out and stomp on it. I love Jack.  I love Jack and Sky together. Beautiful ending of this cycle of Blue Bloods!

5. Shades of Earth: An Across the Universe Novel by Beth Revis. Holy plot twist. Once I finished A Million Suns, I HAD to jump right into the finale. This was so fantastic. I was speechless at the end.

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by JK Rowling. This finale. The journey. Growing up, eagerly anticipating midnight releases. My childhood ended with this spectacular sequel. How could it NOT be on my list?

7. Die for Her (A Die for Me) by Amy Plum. This. Oh, Jules. This was a perfect insight into Jules’ view of this world. It made me fall in love with Jules even more and pine for him in his absence in If I Should Die.

8. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer. Worth. The. Hype. True enough I didn’t get to fully enjoy the ending because the kiddos kept distracting me, but this was a great sequel which made me crazy for Cress.

What’s on your list? Is anything from mine on yours? Feel free to share! I can’t wait to see them!


In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener September 23, 2013

Filed under: Book Review,Books,Interview — Maura @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

affiliate links used

I was granted a digital review copy of In Defense of the Queen by the publisher (Season Publishing) in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 1 Aug 2013
Publisher: Season Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Format: e-ARC
In Defense of the Queen (Susanna Horenbout & John Parker) (Volume 3)

*Disclaimer* From the author of In a Treacherous Court and Keeper of the King’s Secrets comes In Defense of the Queen, the third book in the Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series of Tudor-set historical suspense. However, you don’t need to have read the first two novels to enjoy In Defense of the Queen. As of the reading this book and publishing of this post, I have not read the first two books.

An artist never betrays her patron . . . especially one of the world’s most powerful kings.

Susanna Horenbout has learned this lesson from the cradle. But when she receives a letter from her father telling her to do just that, she faces a dilemma. Betray Henry VIII, or carry out the request of her father’s employer, Margaret of Austria, and pass secret information to Henry’s queen, Katherine of Aragon.

Caught between the machinations of her husband and her nephew, the Emperor Charles, Queen Katherine needs all the allies she can get. But what can Susanna really do to help her, and even if she does, will it be enough?

Susanna and her betrothed, Parker——one of Henry’s most trusted courtiers——balance on the knife’s edge of treason as they try to make sense of both international and domestic conspiracies. Sometimes, it’s better the enemy you know . . .

About the author:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes In a Treacherous Court and Keeper of the King’s Secrets, with In Defense of the Queen set for an August 1st, 2013 release.

Michelle’s other historical novels include Daughter of the Sky, The Emperor’s Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies (loosely connected to The Emperor’s Conspiracy), which will release on October 22nd, 2013.

Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter and Facebook.


Ms. Diener was nice enough to grant me an interview (via email) to go along with my review! (:

Concerning In Defense of the Queen:
Why did you decide on Henry VIII’s court?
Henry’s court came with Susanna Horenbout, so I had no choice, there :). I was doing some historical research into interesting women the history books often don’t mention, and stumbled upon Susanna Horenbout. My imagination was immediately fired up with ideas at the thought of an accomplished woman painter at Henry VIII’s court, and I just had to write a book about her. My first novel with her as the protagonist was In a Treacherous Court, and I just found I wasn’t done, yet. She, and her betrothed, John Parker, had a lot more story to tell, hence Keeper of the King’s Secret and In Defense of the Queen. I’ve since been in correspondence with a number of Susanna’s descendants, which has been great fun, too. They love my portrayal of their great x 10 grandmother!

What was the most difficult scene to write?

I always find action scenes quite hard to write, and spend a great deal of time on them. Parker’s race to get to the Tower of London before Cardinal Wolsey was incredibly difficult, juggling a lot of action with a great deal of emotion.

How much further will we see the Tudor court go? Will we get to see Susanna and Parker wed?

There is definitely at least one more book to be written, and Susanna and Parker deserve to finally get married, I think. 🙂

In Defense of the Queen is part of a series, but set up to read alone. What made you decide to set up the series this way?

I just think it’s respectful of new readers to make each book stand on its own as much as possible. That way, they can still go back and enjoy the other books in the series, but it doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of reading the later one they picked up.

What’s next after In Defense of the Queen? Do you have anything in the works?

My next release will be Banquet of Lies, which is coming out on October 22nd through Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books, so quite soon! It is connected to my November 2012 release, The Emperor’s Conspiracy, with some of the characters in The Emperor’s Conspiracy making an appearance in Banquet of Lies – although again, the books stand on their own. They are set during the Napoleonic Wars in London.

*** Right after I received Ms. Diener’s interview answers, I received an email from NetGalley that I was approved for Banquet of Lies! Keep an eye out for THAT review, too!***

Would you like to see In Defense of the Queen be obtained to make it to the big screen?

Oh, definitely! I don’t think there is enough historical action-thrillers out there on the movie scene, and I would LOVE to see these characters on the big screen. 🙂

Concerning your writing process and career:

What is your writing process?

I write a short outline before I start a book, and often write short paragraphs before I tackle each scene, so I know where I’m going, but I still have a lot of leeway.

What is your favourite writing environment?

My own home. It’s quiet, which I like when I’m working, and I have a good coffee machine :).

How do you get your plot ideas?

I love history, and there is so much material for stories in history, I simply can never run out of inspiration.

Do you get any say in your cover designs?

I am really lucky, in that my publisher, Simon & Schuster, always ask for my input before they hold the cover conference for my books. I’ve loved all the covers they’ve come up with for me. For my two self-published novels, I obviously had the full say in the look of the cover, and I love those, too.

What do you do to combat writer’s block?

The best way for me is to shake things up. Write with pen and paper, change the place where I write. Or reread really good books I love, to get reinspired.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’m one of those annoying people who always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was very young.

Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

There has never been a better time to be a writer than the present. Opportunities are opening up that where never there before, and as long as you are committed to working hard at your craft, and not cutting any corners, the world is your oyster!

Getting to know you outside of your books:

Do you prefer hardback, paperback, audiobook, or e-book?

I prefer paperback and e-book. I buy a mix of these. I would probably buy more e-books, but I live in Australia, and often the books I want aren’t available due to international rights restrictions. So I have to buy the print copies. I find my mind drifts too much with audiobooks, although when we are in the car on a long trip, my whole family loves listening to them. It makes the journey seem much shorter.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

The Outcast Prince by Shona Husk.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I love baking and cooking. Which worked out well for me in Banquet of Lies, my upcoming release, as there is a lot of cooking in that book.

(If they’re old enough)Do your kids enjoy reading your books?

My daughter would love to read my books, but she is still too young. My son is even younger than my daughter and hasn’t even considered the possibility of reading my books yet.

Thank you for having me, Maura!

Thanks for letting me interview you! (: Can’t wait to read past and future books!

When I started this, it was skipping over Pretty Dark Nothing. I hit a wall while reading it and decided to go on to my next eARC. I’m glad I did. I was not very far into the story, and the action was already gripping. Susanna’s brother shows up and there’s an assassin on the loose. So fascinating!

The more I read of this the better it got. The pace kept going faster and faster and the intrigue kept getting deeper. I have a particular fondness for the Tudor era of England. This takes place right in the early years of Henry VIII’s reign. He is still married to Katherine of Aragon, his first wife. The main premise is the different spy ranks for various world powers are either trying to get a message to the Queen or keeping her from finding out. What is this mysterious message? Currently, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, is betrothed to the little Princess Mary, daughter of Katherine and Henry. As she is such a young child and years away from marriage, Charles is contemplating breaking the betrothal in order to marry a wealthier, older bride. Margaret of Austria is trying to inform Katherine of this so she has time to persuade Charles to keep from breaking the betrothal. If the betrothal is broken, the already strained marriage of the king and queen may falter even more.

Susanna’s brother carries a message he needs Susanna to get to the queen. She reads it and is then forced with the decision on what to do. Should she betray her employer, King Henry, and warn his queen, or does she do nothing? She shows it to Parker, but before they can fully weigh their options, an assassin attempts to kill them. Parker is convinced it is Jean, another spy, and jumps out the window to pursue him. Very quickly, things escalate, fall apart, and Susanna finds herself accused of treason and locked in the Tower.

While she is playing a game of survival in the Tower, Parker is playing a similar game trying to prove to the king that Wolsey has falsified evidence against Susanna because the information he received had been faked. As a court painter and despite being imprisoned in the Tower, Henry has commissioned her to paint his bastard son, Henry Fitzroy. Wolsey’s hand is forced by the king, and he decides he must get Susanna to the dungeons of the Tower. Parker is chasing Wolsey, and Susanna with Parker’s aids, try to escape the Tower. During this, the mysterious French spy/assassin Jean makes his play. He takes Susanna prisoner. His plan is to force her to to reveal the hiding place of a French jewel and to convince her to run away with him. He also reveals an assassination plot to take out Henry Fitzroy. She refuses to accompany him and manages to escape into Parker’s arms while Jean goes to look for the jewel. Susanna quickly tells Parker of the plot and they race off to save the young bastard prince.

They arrive just in time to save Fitzroy, and race off to safety. They split into groups to confuse the attackers. Once Susanna and Fitzroy reach the Tower, they are refused entry. Finally, they reach the safety of the king. Henry is overjoyed with the rescue of his only male child. He quickly forgives Susanna of their past difficulties. He also says he will never speak against her upcoming marriage to Parker again.

****My thoughts****

When I saw this title on NetGalley, I was immediately drawn to it. I love all things Tudor. I also liked that this was in a series, yet could be read as a standalone. There were a few things I was a bit foggy on understanding, a few minor things that would be crystal clear had I read the previous books. I enjoyed it and definitely plan on reading the other books in this series and I’m HOPING for a wedding and another book! (: I believe I have found another historical fiction author I will enjoy for years to come. I’m also very excited that I’ve been approved for another eARC of Ms. Diener’s. I fell in love with the fierce devotion and loyalty of Parker and Susanna. I’m very excited to go back to the first two books of this series and see where their relationship started!

Recommended for: History and Tudors lovers. Those who love a fast paced mystery.

Not recommended for: Those who dislike historical fiction.


Weekly Reading Review: 8-21 September September 21, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 11:00 pm

We went out of town for the weekend and I didn’t get the chance to fully work on my weekly review for the 8th through the 14th, so I’m combining two weeks!

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory. 5 stars (check out my review!)

In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. 4 stars. (Keep an eye out for a review and interview soon!)

Everbound  by Brodi Ashton. 5 stars.

World War Z by Max Brooks (audiobook). 5 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (Keep an eye out for a review and an event recap!)

Read to the Kiddos:

The Tickle Tree by Chae Straithe. 4 stars

Good Morning Blue Bird by Anna Jones. 3 stars.

Paints, Pots, and the Royal Queen by Wilbert Awdry. 3 stars.

Old Hat, New Hat by Stan Berenstain. 3 stars.

Fisher Price Let’s Go to the Zoo Lift the Flap by Reader’s Digest Association. 3 stars.

Hide and Seek, Little Tiger by Julie Sykes. 4 stars.

I am a Rainbow by Dolly Parton. 4 stars. (Punky’s Imagination Library book)

Where’s My Nose by Susan Ring. 4 stars. (Ladybug’s Imagination Library book)

Go, Dog, Go by PD Eastman. 4 stars. (almost every night this week!)

Sam and the Firefly by PD Eastman. 4 stars.

New to my shelf:

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Everbound by Brodi Ashton via the library

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray via the library

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (e-book) via the library

Timepiece by Myra McEntire (e-book and book) via the library

World War Z by Max Brooks (audiobook) via the library

Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel (e-ARC) via NetGalley

Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols (e-ARC) via Edelweiss

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead via the library

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audiobook) via the library

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (audiobook) via the library

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (audiobook) via the library


Waiting on Wednesday #6: Into the Still Blue September 18, 2013

Filed under: Books,Waiting on Wednesday — Maura @ 12:00 am

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)

by Veronica Rossi

Coming: 28 January 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins


The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Why I’m excited
I’m just now jumping into this series. I’m hoping it lives up to the hype!

Why I need you to be excited
Come explore with me! (Don’t spoil it for me if you’ve read it please!)


Top Ten Tuesday #11: Fall TBR List September 17, 2013

Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Fall TBR List (Fall release or just up next on list)

I selected to do the ten books that are up next on my TBR list (in no particular order, I select my next read depending on the mood I’m in) This also does not include any of my DRCs as some of them have been requested to be kept under wraps by the publisher.

1. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. I’m on a huge Philippa Gregory binge right now. I finished the published books of The Cousins’ War and am now moving on to The Tudor Court series books I haven’t read before.

2. Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows. Beach read. Yes. Hubby owes me big for each week he’s on military duty book. Sam. Oh, yeeeeeeesssssss.

3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. So excited about this one! I won it in a giveaway and keep putting it off. It ends now!

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth. Dying for this and it keeps getting put off ): As such, I am avoiding ALL movie news like the PLAGUE.

5. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. Meeting her at the end of the month. So. Excited.

6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. WWII and France? Yes, please!

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’ve heard some great things about this one and am excited!

8. Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. It’s been highly recommended to me by my lovely Mary, so of course I’m totally looking forward to it.

9. Champion by Marie Lu. CANNOT WAIT. NEED IT NOW.

10. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. This has also been highly recommended by Mary AND Alex. Upcoming movie too has sold me. Again, avoiding all movie news until it’s been read!

So that’s my Fall 2013 Top Ten TBR books. Are any of my books on your list? What’s up on yours? Feel free to leave a link and I’ll check it out! (:


Waiting on Wednesday #5: Allegiant September 11, 2013

Filed under: Books,Waiting on Wednesday — Maura @ 12:00 am
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“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

Allegiant (Divergent #3)

by Veronica Roth

Coming: 22 October 2013

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books


One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Why I’m excited
I will admit, I’ve bought into they hype. Divergent is on my TBR list. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I’m totally excited to read this series.

Why I need you to be excited
Come explore it with me! If you haven’t read it, take the plunge with me. If you’ve read the series, please, no spoilers!


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