The Whimsical Mama

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

Hello November, Goodbye October! October 31, 2013

October turned out to be a hectic month. One of hubby’s cousins was found dead at the beginning of the month and we had to travel for his funeral last weekend. Investigation is still pending on how he died. It’s hit the family pretty hard. We did get to spend time with his side of the family which was good though. I also got to meet and have lunch with the lovely Jodi Meadows on the drive up. I think I held it together pretty well and didn’t go complete fangirl on her! (:

This year is flying by! My baby girl will be a year old all too quickly! Thanksgiving and Christmas are rapidly approaching and I’m struggling to grasp it haha. November hopefully will be a great month all around!

Books I read in October (in order of completion)

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire 4 stars.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 5 stars.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris 5 stars.

I, Saul by Jerry B Jenkins. 3 stars

Waterfell by Amalie Howard. 5 stars. (GO BUY IT NOW!)

Wither by Lauren DeStefano 5 stars.

Fever by Lauren DeStefano 5 stars.

Another great month of reading! Some of these reviews have already gone up, and some of them are coming up in November! Keep an eye out for them.

We read a ton of books with the kids this month. On Goodreads, it probably doesn’t look that way, but we reread a bunch of favourites. When I say reread a bunch, I mean reread and reread.

Coming up in November

  • Catching freaking Fire! HECK YEAH!
  • Thanksgiving!
  • Champion by Marie Lu ❤
  • reading an Infinite ARC!!! (: *pets the pretty*

Goals for November

  • Work on NaNoWriMo. Using it to overhaul my WIP.
  • Work on commenting on other blogs. I’m hit and miss with this.
  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.

How was your October? What’s up for November?

Advertisements
 

Waiting on Wednesday #12: The F- It List October 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — 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:

The F- It List

 by Julie Halpern

 Coming: 12 November 2013

 Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends

Summary

With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again–Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend–you do it.

Why I’m excited:

I will admit, I selected this eARC based on the title. Then when I read the description I knew I had to read it. In my alternating ARC/eARC and for fun list, I haven’t gotten to this one yet, but it’s coming up soon. Can’t wait to read it!

Why I need you to be excited
Friendship betrayal is not something I like. But being able to repair your friendship is something that I admire. It’s not easy to get over things. Helping your dying friend complete her bucket list is awesome! (:

 

*Review ARC* Waterfell by Amalie Howard October 29, 2013

***I was granted permission to read this by the author and publisher due to winning the ARC in a giveaway prior to release. I chose to do a review on my own. Quotations could change from ARC to publication.***

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 29 October 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: ARC via author
Status: Book one of the Aquarathi series

Summary:

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father’s betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa’s upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa’s mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

My thoughts:

I admit, mermaids have never been my thing. I’ve never really been interested in them – until the YA Scavenger Hunt that is. When I read the description of Waterfell, I knew I had to read it. When Amalie contacted me to let me know I won her giveaway, I squealed. No, really. I did. My son looked at me like I’d lost my mind. We were on a boat out at the lake. It echoed in our little cove. Good thing that was just for winning and not reading it!

From the beginning I was hooked. Nerissa is such a magnetic character. She makes you want to know more about her and about her situation. What could possibly make a princess want to stay away from her kingdom?!

Rissa’s world is rocked when new boy, Lo, arrives. She’s asked to show him around their school and she’s less than thrilled, but finds he can match her snark for snark.

“Whoa, try not to sound so ecstatic! New kid babysitter, the job you’ve always wanted.” – Lo, pg 34

Who doesn’t love a cute guy with a great sense of humour and a good dose of snarkiness?

Best friend, Jenna, is always up to diffuse the tension between Rissa and Lo.

“Hey, I’m Jenna, the snarky one’s best friend, and this is my boyfriend, Sawyer. I take it you’re the Antichrist or something.” – Jenna, pg 38.

Rissa trusts Jenna enough to reveal her secret – that she’s an alien water creature called an Aquarathi. Jenna freaks a bit, but promises to keep Rissa’s secret and to stay by her side. Definitely the type of best friend every girl needs! (:

Despite Rissa’s best efforts, she finds herself falling for Lo –

The boy with the eyes of my home’s darkest secrets.

A cute guy with reminders of home etched into his being? She doesn’t stand a chance!

Rissa is challenged by her guardians’ son, Spieo, on not wanting to return home to Waterfell, but to remain in human form in San Diego. He calls her a coward because she doesn’t want to fight for her throne. She reminds him that before her father was murdered, he anted her to stay away from Waterfell. Her throne has also been usurped by Ehmora. He also resents that she told Jenna the truth about their kind.

Before she can drown herself in her guilt, she discovers that her long suspected dead mother is really in the clutches of Ehmora and Ehmora challenges Rissa to a fight to the death for the High Court throne. Ehmora uses Rissa’s mother as a bargaining chip. Rissa is torn on what her next course of action should be.

What will happen? Does Lo return Rissa’s affections, or did Rissa realise her feelings too late? Does Rissa accept Ehmora’s challenge for the throne? Does someone reveal himself or herself as a traitor?

Find out by reading all of Waterfell! Seriously, it’s a FANTASTIC book! If I could’ve shirked all responsibilities, I would’ve read it all in one go. Can I have Oceanborn now? Yes, please? (:

 

*eARC Review* Infinityglass by Myra McEntire October 27, 2013

Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 6 August 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-ARC via Netgalley
Status: Book three of the Hourglass series

Summary:

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn’t an object. It’s a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?

My thoughts:

After the spectacular blow up of action in Hourglass and Timepiece, I was a bit disappointed how this started slowly. I didn’t stay disappointed for long. Since this was an eARC, the formatting was a bit off, which as a bit irritating with the dual POV. That has nothing to do with the actual story, and more a personal preference.

Dune was a very likable character from the first two books. I  was glad i finally got to see more of him. He did feel a bit randomly thrown in at times in Hourglass and Timepiece, but I as pleased to see him get his own chance to tell his story. His loyalty to the Hourglass and his desire to protect Hallie are very well done.

Hallie is a difficult person to get a read on in the beginning. She’s so closed and standoffish that it almost makes it hard to like her. Until Dune breaks down her defenses. the way she was raised – almost like a prisoner doesn’t help her way of feeling like she doesn’t need anyone or any help.

The realisation that she is the Infinityglass that people start fighting over really throws her off her game. She quickly adjusts and accepts Dune’s help. Against both their better judgements, they find themselves falling for each other.

Dune is such a gentleman even though he is very much a teenage boy. It’s a refreshing change from reality. I wish more teen boys had the respect and mannerisms that Dune has!

The fight against Hallie’s mom (the head of Chronos) is heart wrenching and I wish Hallie didn’t blame herself for the events that come to pass. Despite the darkness from the threat and fighting with her momand Hallie’s penchant for relying only on herself,  it’s great that she lets herself accept help from the other members of Hourglass.

This series was a great one to find via recommendation and I gladly pass on the recommendation! I definitely plan to revisit this wonderful series again in the future!

 

Waiting on Wednesday #11: The Boleyn Deceit October 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — 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:

The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn Trilogy #2)

 by Laura Andersen

 Coming: 5 November 2013

 Publisher:  Ballantine Books

Summary

Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Allison Weir! After presenting readers with an irresistible premise in The Boleyn King (what if Anne gave birth to a healthy royal boy who would grow up to rule England?) Laura Andersen returns in this deepening saga, into the dangerous world of the Tudor court, where secrets can bring down an empire, and even the strongest of monarchs may not be able to prevent history from repeating…

Henry IX, known as William, is the son of Anne Boleyn and now the leader of England, his regency period finally at an end. His newfound power, however, comes with the looming specter of war with the other major powers of Europe, with strategic alliances that must be forged on both the battlefield and in the bedroom, and with a court, severed by religion, rife with plots to take over the throne. Will trusts only three people: his older sister, Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by Anne Boleyn. But as the pressure rises alongside the threat to his life, even they William must begin to question-and to fear….

Why I’m excited;

I came across this eARC on Netgalley and was immediately intrigued. I love all things Tudors. Really. I have an entire shelf, maybe two, FULL of Tudor era books. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Tudor family. Anne Boleyn is my favourite of Henry VIII’s wives. When I saw this alternate history aspect, I was so excited! I still have to read the first book, but I am so excited about this!

Why I need you to be excited
Um. Have you seen The Tudors? No? Well, go watch it. Get obsessed with all things Tudors. Yes? Well, come enjoy another Tudors series with me!

 

9 Killer Thrillers Book Blast October 22, 2013

Filed under: Book Blast,Books — Maura @ 8:34 am

Synopsis 

9 thrillers. 9 authors. Some of the top names in the genre. An unprecedented value for a limited time. These are not samples – they are complete bestselling thriller novels from reader favorites at an incredible holiday price of:


Only .99!

 

line1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Top Ten Tuesday #16: Character Names I Love/Are Unique

 

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 Character Names I Love/Are Unique

This was so easy it was hard for me this week. There are so many character names I’ve come across in all of my readings that I just couldn’t decide. So these are just a sampling of the character names I love.

1. Katniss Everdean from The Hunger Games trilogy

2. Juliette Moreau from the The Madman’s Daughter series

3. Dossam “Sam” from the Newsoul trilogy *pets Sam* my precious…. (:

4. & 5. Luna Lovegood & Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series

6. Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird

7. James “Jem” Carstairs from The Infernal Devices trilogy *grabby hands* He’s mine, mine, MINE!

8. & 9. Nerissa “Rissa” Marin & Lotharius “Lo” Seavon from The Aquarathi series *swoons for Lo*

10. & 11. Cather “Cath” & Wren Avery from Fangirl (They’re twins! I can get away with this!)

So these are some of my top favourite names. Are any of my favourites on your list? Feel free to leave a link! I’d love to stop by! (:

 

*e-ARC review, Tour* I, Saul by Jerry B Jenkins and James MacDonald October 21, 2013

I was granted a digital review copy of I, Saul by the publisher (Worthy Publishing) in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 stars
Pub date: 27 August 2013
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Genre: Christian Lit, Adult, Fiction
Format: Digital Review Copy, hardcover provided by the publisher

Links:
I, Saul on Goodreads

Summary:
Told from the point of view of the disciple Luke, the apostle Paul and “Auggie,” a modern-day scholar, I, Saul, is a fast-paced story of intrigue and mystery. Readers will be reminded of Indiana Jones and the DiVinci code as they become absorbed in this page-turner by a master storyteller. Along the way they will learn of the fictionalized but plausible story of the life of Saul who relentlessly persecuted Christ’s followers prior to his conversion when he became known as Paul.

My thoughts:

When I first joined Netgalley in August, I went on a book requesting spree. As a new blogger, I didn’t expect to be approved for many books let alone a New York Times bestselling author. Jerry B Jenkins is one of two authors of the Left Behind series. Seeing his name and reading the book description, I decided to give it a try and request it. I was very surprised when my request was granted. Before I got started reading, I was invited to do a blog tour.

As was expected, given my experience of reading part of the Left Behind series, the writing was excellent and it had a great premise. It was truly fascinating to learn more about Paul.

I have stood in front of the prison where Paul was kept. It was an experience that words cannot describe. We did not get to go in, so I have not seen the actual dungeon, but I can only imagine what it was like.

I was disappointed with the pace of the action, though. All of the praises spoke volumes about how it was fast paced. I found it lacking. the action didn’t really pick up until around chapter twenty and then slowed back down. The story line always remained interesting, it just seemed a bit bogged down in the details.

The description comparing this to Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon was spot on. Auggie was very well versed in his field and his moral high ground helped keep things interesting. Despite numerous opportunities, he stuck firmly to his beliefs. A lot of Christians today would take the opportunities that Auggie was offered. It’s disheartening.

I really liked following Luke’s reading of Paul’s memoir manuscript. I don’t know a lot about the Jewish faith or the role it played in Saul’s early life, and it was interesting to learn more about his life prior to his conversion.

It wasn’t clear if this was a standalone or the first of a series until the end. I look forward to reading the rest of the story in I, Paul, due out next year in 2014.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerry B. Jenkins’s novels have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal mega-best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times best-seller list, including seven that debuted at number one, as well as the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Jerry and his wife, Dianna, live in Colorado.

Worthy Publishing Group (www.worthypublishing.com) is a privately held, independent voice in Christian and inspirational publishing, based in Nashville, Tennessee, comprised of three divisions. Worthy Books publishes a boutique list of trade titles across a broad spectrum of genres, including current events, biography, fiction, devotionals, spiritual and personal growth, and specialized Bibles. Ellie Claire is a line of gift and paper expressions, and Freeman-Smith is a value-priced, impulse book imprint.

 

*Review* Timepiece by Myra McEntire October 20, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 12 June 2012
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-book, via library
Status: Book two of the Hourglass series

Summary:

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking…

Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples – cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan landers, the man who tried to murder is father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers’ return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he’s stolen on the people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered – with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough…

My thoughts:

I blew through Hourglass and quickly jumped into Timepiece. Even though I was enjoying being away at the beach, reading about TN warmed my heart.

I fell in love with Kaleb when he first met Em. Adorable and lost Kaleb. For a heartbeat, I really loved the thought of him and Em together. Then I realised Em and Michael were too perfect together. Also because Kaleb really meets his match in Timepiece. Kaleb is also in touch with what could be considered his feminine side. He knows his way around a kitchen. What girl doesn’t love a guy who knows his way around a kitchen? C’mon, ladies, fess up!

“I’m a badass. A badass who bakes when he’s depressed.”

Love it!

Kaleb’s match is Lily. She’s the fierce and protective best friend of Emerson. She reminds me of my childhood best friend, Brydget. She’s fiercely loyal, has a mind of her own, and knows what she wants. Very admirable. She also makes Kaleb work for her affections. Guys need to learn that a girl isn’t just gonna give it up because you give her the time of day! Lily also brings out the best in Kaleb by letting himsee he doesn’t have to drown his pain.

“I’m simply remind you that you’re worth more than what you’ll find at the bottom of a bottle.”

Rips are becoming more common place and everyone with the time travel gene is now able to see them. Rips are also becoming more defined. Not just one at a time, but multiple people. The gang also learns about the Infinityglass that may be the solution to help heal the time continuum. They are threatened by Chronos to bring Jack Landers to them or the time continuum would be fixed and no one knows what the implications would be.

Kaleb is surprised to discover Lily also has an ability. She can find things, and also has a latent time travel gene because she too can see the rips. They journey to discover just how powerful she could be. Everyone is surprised to find out she is more powerful than any of them could imagine. Her grandmother tells her that each generation the ability becomes stronger and that’s why they fled from Cuba – to protect her.

In the end we discover more about the Infinityglass and that it isn’t an object, but a person.

I really enjoyed reading from Kaleb’s POV. It’s a nice change from the continuous streams of girls’ POVs I’ve been reading lately. This was a spectacular sequel which continued the magic from Hourglass, just switched gender perspectives.

Recommended for: Time travel enthusiasts, those who love swoon worthy boys and another kickass heroine!

Not recommended for: Those who dislike time travel.

 

Please be kind, rewind: 13 – 19 October October 19, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 4:30 pm

Decided to change up the name of the Weekly Reading Review since more and more reviews are scheduled and I don’t want things to get confusing! (:

Completed:

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris. 4 stars.

I, Saul by Jerry B Jenkins & James S MacDonald (ARC) 4 stars.

Currently Reading:

Waterfell by Amalie Howard (ARC)

Read to the Kiddos:

Where’s Spot by Eric Hill. 4 stars. (Punk “read” to himself and we read it several times)

Zipper, Buttons, and Bows by Karen Fung. 3 stars

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. 5 stars

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle. 4 stars.

Llama Llama Nighty-night by Anna Dewdney. 4 stars.

Maisy’s Big Flap Book by Lucy Cousins

New to my shelf:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater e-ARC via Netgalley

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (won in a giveaway)

Crewel by Gennifer Albin (won in a giveaway)

Pawn by Aimee Carter e-ARC via Mary!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: