The Whimsical Mama

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

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 24 – 30 November 2013 November 30, 2013

Filed under: Books,Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 7:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Even though it’s a holiday week full of EVERYTHING, I still managed to get a good amount of reading done. My inlaws came in for the holiday and we hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year. Mmmm deep fried turkey. I can’t go back to oven cooked. It’s just not up to par anymore! Also went to see Catching Fire for date night with my hubby.<3 It was a great holiday! How was yours?


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audiobook) 5 stars. This was a great job on audiobook!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (audiobook) 5 stars.

Champion by Marie Lu. 5 stars!

Currently Reading:

Mockingjay  by Suzanne Collins (audiobook)

Read to the Kiddos:

Champion by Marie Lu (naptime reading again!)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (audiobook, Punk didn’t get to listen to any, but Bug got to listen to a bit on a girls’ evening!)

New to my shelf:

Sadly, nothing new to add this week! ): I’ve been put on a book buying ban (self-imposed) since the holidays are coming. No requests came in at the library this week either. ): There’s always next week! (:


Top Ten Tuesday #19: Things I’m Thankful For November 26, 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 Things I’m Thankful For

I have so much to be thankful for this time of year and everyday. These are just a small sampling. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday! (Dummy me scheduled this and forgot to finish it, so here’s the complete one now!)

1. My faith. I am a Christian and I am so thankful for the love of Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful to live in the US where I can worship as I choose.

2. My immediate family. I am so blessed with my immediate family. On my mother’s side we currently have five generations living. It’s so wonderful. From my great-grandmother to my daughter, I am thankful for them all.

3. My extended family. I’m from a large family on my dad’s side with dozens of cousins. My in-laws are wonderful too. Being surrounded by family is always a blessing, even when up to your eyeballs in drama.

4. My friends. Stretched across the country, we may not often get to talk or hang out, but I know they’re there when I need them and they know I’m here when they need me. I love you guys!

5. My best friend, Mary. We live hundreds of miles and several states apart now, but this year has really strengthened our friendship. We were great friends in college, I only wish we’d taken better advantage of living in the same town! Thank you so much for being there for me, my Mary. Thanks for introducing me to this wonderful expanded world of reading. Thanks for recommending so many awesome books which opened a pathway to be friends with them. I love you! (:

6. My children. I know I did immediate family already, but I am in particular thankful for my children. They are such blessings. They may drive me a little batty every now and then, but what kid doesn’t do that to his or her parents every now and then? (: I love that they already love being read to. My son brings me books, my kindle, my iPod, anything that can be read and asks me to “Read, mama, please.” My only thing I hate about his love for books is chewing on them. Not just a little chew mark here or there, but GIANT GAPING HOLES. I wanted to cry when we moved the bookshelf out of their room. ): But for the good of having books for the duration of their childhoods, I did it.

7. My husband. We’ve definitely had a roller coaster ride this year. I am so thankful I have him by my side for all the ups and downs of life. Military deployments and schools, job changes, raising our children, losing family, all of it. I’m so ridiculously thankful God brought him into my life.

8. Staying at home with my kiddos. Like I said, some days they drive me batty, but I LOVE being able to stay at home with them. My mom stayed at home with me and I loved it. I never thought I would want to stay at home growing up and in college. I can’t tell you what changed my mind, but whatever it was, I’m glad it did. Money can be tight, but the memories aren’t something you can put a price tag on.

9. Wonderful authors who treat readers like we’re their friends, not just crazy fans. Being able to talk to an author about something in particular about his or her book is incredible! Just chatting to see how days are going, how characters are treating them, or how they’re treating characters (I’m looking at you, Jodi!), it’s just great. Also, taking time out of a busy schedule to meet up for lunch and giving me an ARC to share with my friends was the BEST FREAKING BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER. (Thanks, Jodi!)

10. Being able to read and easily having access to basically all the books I could ever need…. er… want. (: We really take reading and our easy access to books for granted. Think about how it was in the Dark Ages and even up to today. People don’t always have access to education. Girls used to be thought as stupid and useless to educate. There are STILL places in the world that hold this view. For the easiest way to get books, all I have to do is open my computer, pull up the web browser, type in Amazon, and go to town. This isn’t a luxury everyone has. I’m very thankful for a wonderful library and interloan system. I’m thankful I have the ability to buy books every now and then. (My purchase list is ridiculous. I’m always up for gift cards for gifts!) I’m thankful for bloggers, authors, publishers, etc who host giveaways for FREE books. This is a wealth that should be spread with everyone. *steps down from soapbox before I blow up my blog…*

Thanks for dropping by and checking out my TTT post! Do you have a post for today? I’d love to stop by and read it! I hope you all have a great and safe holiday season. (Yes, being PC cause I can’t remember EVERY holiday that occurs in the next six weeks or so)


*Review & Giveaway* Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows November 25, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 3 September 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: e-book, personal copy
Status: Novella from the Incarnate series


This breathtaking and lyrical novella captures a thrilling and momentous decision for a young man and the people he loves. Told from the perspective of Sam, the sensitive musician from Jodi Meadows’s Incarnate series, lifetimes before he meets Ana, Phoenix Overture is a story of love and loss, strength and courage, and facing the consequences of the hardest of decisions.

Phoenix Overture offers existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the intriguing history of Heart, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the romantic, captivating fantasy of the Incarnate series.

In the wilds around the Community where Sam and his family have taken shelter, life is dangerous. Dragons, trolls, centaurs, and other monsters fill the world. The word comes from the council that everyone must leave and journey to rescue their leader, Janan, who has been abducted by a mysterious new enemy in the north. Faced with overwhelming threats that bring death and destruction, Sam and the others reach the northern Range and, reunited with Janan, are given an unimaginable opportunity. Although it would give them the privilege to live and learn and love without fear, the choice is not without its own dire consequences. And lives—though not theirs—are sure to be lost. Just how much are they willing to give up to save themselves?

HarperTeen Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

My thoughts:

***SPOILERS FOR ASUNDER!!!! This is a prequel, but has MAJOR spoilers for the second series book***

Oh, Dossam. I don’t think it’s possible to love him any more.

After Ana sees the skeletons chained together in the tower, I HAD to know what led Sam and the others to agree to their reincarnation while Janan devoured newsouls. What could be so important to let them sacrifice so many others for their own immortality?

I let out lots of fangirl squeals when Jodi announced that she was working on a novella from Sam’s point of view. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it. When I finally got my hands on the novella, I was so ecstatic. You know who was more excited? My toddler. He asked me numerous times while I was reading to “Read, mama, please.”

Let me put a quick summary on this. Bad things happen. Evil authors are evil. Yup. That can tell you everything you need to know. Not enough? Okay.

Sam’s mother has just recently died. His father blames him and is abusive already. Sam’s brother is torn. He blames Sam, but tries to protect him. His father believes he’s useless. Music is good for nothing. He tells him to go enlist with Janan or never set foot in the house again. On the way, Sam comes across Stef.

Oh, Stef. Mischievous, wonderful Stef. He is the first to start calling Dossam, Sam. Much to Sam’s chagrin and after much protesting, he lets it slide. Stef almost kills Sam. On accident, but still. Stef and his inventions. He’s such a mess!

Now that we know the origins of friendship for the dynamic duo, you know bad things go down, cause well, Jodi cannot NOT be mean to Sam. Don’t believe me? Go ask her. She’ll tell you she has to be mean.

The blissful world of Range and Heart are nonexistent in the novella. It’s chaotic and terrifying. Everyone is in fear for their lives. Janan and his warriors are captured and it is decided the entire population will move to rescue him. Millions of people are forced to uproot and travel for months.

Attack after attack occur. I’m telling you, Jodi can be very cruel. Mean and EVIL. The ultimate death and next attack occur quickly and then you understand WHY they make the choice they do. It really makes you question what you would do in their place.

I loved every single word of this novella. I would totally be okay if Jodi wanted to write the similar back story for say, Cris? Just an idea. (: I loved that even though this is essentially the same world, the tone and flow of the story are entirely their own. It completely belongs to Sam. Just like the glorious music.

Now, what you’ve been waiting for! I’m hosting my FIRST giveaway. I’ve helped with others in my reviews and such, but this is the first of my own choosing. One lucky winner will receive their own ebook copy of Phoenix Overture.



Open to US only. Sorry international readers, hopefully I will be able to do one for you soon! Entrants must be 13+ and those under 18 must have parental consent. Giveaway is open until 12AM December 16th, 2013. (NOTE THE EXTENDED DATE!) I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

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Please Be Kind, Rewind: 17 – 23 November 2013 November 23, 2013

Hubby was away at a military class this week and it was not a good week for reading. My kiddos became toddler terrorists! They were AWFUL this week. Hopefully this weekend and the holiday week will make up for the atrocity of this week! My inlaws are coming in so I know the kiddos will love seeing Grandma and Pa! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week! Does anyone go out on Black Friday? I have before, but once stores started opening ON Thanksgiving, I gave it up. I shop on Amazon. It’s also easier with two small ones. (:


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audiobook) 5 stars. This was a great job on audiobook!

Currently Reading:

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (I think I’m going to come back to this one!)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (audiobook)


Read to the Kiddos:

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (Our naptime ritual continues! Punk has been napping in our bed cause he won’t stay out of Bug’s bed. He’s been handing me my Kindle and asking me to read.)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audiobook, Punk LOVED listening to this in the car!)

I SWEAR I will get better at keeping track of the kiddos’ books again.


New to my shelf:

Champion by Marie Lu via library

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (ebook, Amazon)

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano via library

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis via library


Top Ten Tuesday #18: Book Recommendations November 19, 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 YA Books I’m Trying to Force, I Mean, I’d Recommend to My Hubby to Read

Hubby and I have similar book tastes. He prefers audiobooks though. I’m not a fan of audiobooks for a first time read. I’ve been on him to read these since I read them the first time, or I’m trying to get him to read them with me!

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth. I’ve had this on my list for a while. Since I haven’t read it, I avoid all movie things. I like to read before I watch. Hubby hit up the trailers on IMDB the other night and watched a few for Divergent and really liked it. Now I’m trying to get him to read the trilogy with me!

2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Since hubby loves Supernatural, I thought he might enjoy this. He seemed interested based on the previews, so persuading is still in progress!

3. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. He’s only read the first few. I’m still trying to get him to finish the series. He’s not too enthusiastic since he’s seen the movies. Oi.

4. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. C’mon, he had lunch with her. The LEAST he could do is now check out her books. He IS a musician after all and should enjoy that aspect!

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. He enjoyed the movie, but felt like he was missing out on a few things. We borrowed the audiobooks from our library and loaded them on our ipods. He’s almost done with his series and he’s said he’s starting this next. SCORE! (: I think it’s cause he liked the movie and is interested in seeing Catching Fire.

6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Same reasons as #2 with a dash of history thrown in. We’re BIG history nerds in this house!

7. Legend by Marie Lu. I think he’d enjoy the military aspect that’s thrown in. I also think he’d just love it.

8. The Prophecy by Erin Albert. I think this is right up his alley. I haven’t vocally suggested this one yet, but I’m now adding it to the list. (:

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Pushing the history thing again. I’m really wanting him to read this with me so we can maybe go on a date and see the movie! (:

10. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I’m actually pushing a SM book on him. I actually think he would enjoy it since it’s an entirely different level from Twilight. I need him to watch the movie too. He just needs to look the other way when I drool over Max Irons. Just sayin’!

Top Ten Books Punk and Ladybug Recommend to Other Munchkins

My munchkins are jealous of the Baby Bettys having their moment on their mama’s blog (@bookrockbetty) and want in on the fun! This is their list of their favourite books they want parents to read to their kids.

1. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and James Dean. Pete is a favourite character in our house! We’ve checked out every single one our library has and own several of them.

2. Go Dog Go! by Dr Seuss. I have lost count of how many times this has been read. Punk’s birthday party was a dog party this year. He still calls this Dog Dog!

3. Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Dr. Jill Biden. We haven’t actually read this one yet, but we love supporting our military and their families in this National Guard household!

4. One Foot, Two Feet by Peter Maloney. This was one of Punk’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books and it’s a huge hit. Punk loves counting for Ladybug and showing her the aeroplane on each page.

5. Ladybug Girl by David Soman. I was so happy to find a series that has my baby girl’s nickname in it. It’s adorable and the kiddos love it.

6. The Tushy Book by Fran Manushkin. Hearing the kiddos giggle every time hubby or I say tushy is priceless. Definitely a kiddo giggle inducer!

7. That’s Not My… by Fiona Watt. Punk’s first book he got was That’s Not My Penguin. We’ve added to that collection and Punk and Ladybug love them all. Punk loves showing Ladybug how to touch each thing on the pages and tells her if it’s soft, scratchy, etc.

8. I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara. Punk often finds this on my kindle and asks for it. He loves the turtles. He gets it from his Grammy.

9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. Punk LOVES this book. He cried when we returned it to the library the first time we checked it out. He now has his own copy and proudly points out each letter to Ladybug. It’s a GREAT one to expose your kids to the alphabet!

10. Love You Forever by Robert N Munsch. So this one is more my recommendation to parents. I love reading this to my babies because it’s true. It doesn’t matter how big they get, they’ll always be my babies. (:

How did you like the toss up for this week? I focus mainly on YA and a bit of New Adult & Adult, but I like throwing in the occasional kids’ focus. I do read A LOT of children’s books!

 What books would you recommend to your significant other? If you’re a parent of kiddos, what do they recommend as one of their favourites? Feel free to leave your link! I’d love to check out your posts!


*Review & Blog Tour* The Prophecy by Erin Albert November 18, 2013


I am so honoured to be a part of this wonderful blog tour! This book was absolutely incredible.


***I was granted permission to read this galley before publication by the author in exchange for an honest review and to participate in the author’s blog tour***

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 15 November 2013
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Format: ebook, final review galley via the author
Status: Book one of The Fulfillment Series


Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

My thoughts:

Crystal was helping Erin find some help for her blog tour by showing off a blurb. I decided to check it out. When I read this blurb, I knew I HAD to be a part of the tour. I contacted Erin and she still needed some help. I was ecstatic!

The Hook Line and Sinker blurb:
“Everything must be taken down.” A rotund man, with beady black eyes, surveyed the town, disdain in his expression. While he did not appear distinguishable from the other black and purple clad men, he spoke with authority. “The First Ones and their great Prophecy must be honored properly.” He sniffed, his actions indicating the very existence of Medlin and its occupants offended him.

Layla wondered what this man considered a “proper honoring” of the First Ones. The First Ones…they’d been dead for centuries, and, as far as Layla could tell, hadn’t done much in life except start a never-ending war. She knew nothing more about them except that she was to thank them for good things, curse them for bad, and celebrate them on this day.

“That’s Elder Werrick, head of the Ecclesiastics,” whispered Samson, glancing back at Grant. Layla noticed the look that passed between them.

Grant nodded his assent. “Get her out of here, brother.”

Samson tried to steer Layla away, but she held her position to get a closer look at the man whom her family so feared. She knew they had good reason to worry—her black hair and purple eyes marked her as a Fulfillment candidate, one with the potential to bring about the long awaited peace. But she couldn’t quite bring herself to believe Elder Werrick would notice her on the crowded streets, especially with her eye drops and hood. Could he really be responsible for dragging candidates from their homes, forcing them to undergo strenuous, sometimes gruesome, testing for the sake of the Prophecy? To Layla, he looked like nothing more than a short, fat, unhappy man. The very notion that he could strike such fear into the hearts of her people seemed almost laughable…almost. As his gaze swept over the crowd, she glimpsed a sinister undertone that made her shiver.

Waving his pudgy arms at the awaiting townspeople, Werrick commanded, “Take it down.”

Suddenly, his body stilled and his tiny eyes grew wide. They briefly connected with Layla’s, narrowing with calculation. The Elder turned to his nearest black clad companion.

“Do you feel that?” Layla heard Werrick ask.

The other man looked skeptical. “Feel what, Elder?”

Werrick leaned in as the two whispered, stealing furtive glances in her direction. When the Elder’s companion pointed at Layla, Samson grabbed her arm. She heard his breathing change from rhythmic to jagged as he pulled her away from the men.

“We have to go now.” His urgency spurred her into action.

Grant moved to block them from the Elder’s view. “Get her away from here, Samson.”

The Elder looked up to see everyone staring at him as if frozen. He repeated his demand, “I said take everything down.”

The townspeople, joined by the Elder’s minion, scampered to remove their decorations, anxious to “properly” celebrate the First Ones. Their flurry of activity concealed Layla as Samson and Grant escorted her away. Layla scanned the streets, horrified, as the people of Medlin stripped the town’s center barren. In no time, everything appeared as it always had, devoid of any celebratory adornments. She looked up at the sky with its gray clouds lingering overhead. A bad omen…

On the hill, a safe distance away, Layla watched a group of Ecclesiastics erect a monstrous stage where the donkey races should have occurred. She heard the braying of the angry animals, harnessed and corralled on the orders of the Elder to avoid interfering with the “true” Day of Dawning celebration. Her ire rose. Who did they think they were coming in and changing everything?

An icy, phantom finger traced a frigid line down her spine. After hearing warning after warning from the Mantars her whole life, Layla knew exactly what the Ecclesiastics could do, what they had done to others in the past. Maybe Samson and Grant had been right. Maybe she should never have come, especially today. Layla turned her back on the town, resolved to go home, to safety.

“Layla!” Samson’s alarmed tone sliced into her, and she swung around toward him.

To her horror, two Vanguard soldiers forced Samson to the ground. She knew just how much strength he possessed, yet he couldn’t free himself. Her hands balled up into fists, shaking with their desire to unleash the full force of their fury.

“Run!” Samson screamed before a soldier’s fist smashed into his face.
His body stilled. Panic, coupled with indecision, crippled her. She should run like Samson commanded, but she couldn’t leave him lying there. To her relief, Grant ambled toward them, his eyes full of rage.

“Run!” Grant echoed Samson’s warning.

With a final glance at the two boys who’d been as close to her as brothers, Layla fled. She flew down the hill, swinging her head from side to side in alarm. Ecclesiastics swarmed throughout the city, making a clear escape route difficult to discern.

Terror rose within Layla. Why hadn’t she listened to her family? She’d been foolish to believe she could sneak around under the ever-watchful eyes of the Ecclesiastics, and that hubris put Samson and Grant in danger as well. She choked back a sob.

“Run,” she whispered.

Willing her feet to move forward, Layla darted toward the back of the baker’s shop, hoping to take a shortcut through the back alleyway. She swerved to miss a wooden box and stumbled, arms flailing to right herself. Unfamiliar hands reached out to break her fall. Once stable, Layla looked up to find Elder Werrick staring down at her. She screamed but no sound came out of her open mouth.

“I’ve been looking for you,” he said, a wicked smile on his face.

Oh. Wow. This blew my mind! After I joined the tour, Crystal stayed on me asking if I had read it yet. I was in the middle of an ARC of Infinite and I was trying to devour and savor it all at the same time. Once I finished Infinite, I immediately jumped in The Prophecy. If I didn’t have two small kiddos, I would’ve read it all in one sitting. It is seriously THAT good. It definitely doesn’t have that “debut book” feel. Erin’s work is superb. The characters are fantastic.

Layla is definitely a girl young girls can look up to. She’s smart, strong, and independent. She knows how to take care of herself and to me that is extremely admirable. Even when she runs into trouble, she keeps her head about her and starts to formulate a plan to get out of said trouble. She’s willing to do anything to protect her friends and family.

Then we meet what appears to be two parts of a love triangle. I know what you’re thinking. Great, ANOTHER love triangle. Trust me. Not only is this not your usual love triangle, it ISN’T a love triangle. At the risk of revealing too many spoilers, that’s where I will leave that and introduce you to the boys.

Nash. Strong Nash to the rescue. Sometimes even kickass heroines need saving. Once he literally runs into Layla, he can’t help but be drawn to her. He immediately takes it upon himself to help keep her out of trouble. Nash struggles as an outsider and Layla brings out all the best in him. Nash is tall, dark, and handsome. Normally, that’s my book boyfriend type. Not this time!

This time, my book boyfriend is Prince Wilhelm “Wil.” At first, he is reluctant to meet Layla. As the heir to the Ethereal throne, he is bound to marry Layla who is The Fulfillment of a long foretold prophecy. Friendship begins to blossom between the two. He’s as fair as his brother, Nash, is dark. He knows his royal duty and is willing to do anything to help protect his kingdom.

Whoa. I know. It looks like a love triangle, you’ll try to tell me it is, but just trust me. Besides, even if this was a love triangle, it’s done WELL.

Things hit the fan and things start spiraling out of control. A massive secret is discovered, lives are threatened, war is brewing and about to boil over (again). The action is nonstop. You have to read this book. It is simply fantastic and you won’t regret it! I can’t wait to get my hands on book two! This world is so incredible and I would love to live in it. From the get go, Erin wraps you up in it completely and you forget that it is a work of fiction.  I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this wonderful series.

Meet the author:

Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer.  Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word.  She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”  In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing.

Find me online:

Preorder Link:

Twitter: @ErinAlbertBooks




The giveaway!

The lovely Erin is hosting a giveaway for the blog tour! Enter to have a chance of winning a $50 Amazon gift card!

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Thanks for stopping by! Check out Erin’s twitter to see the rest of the tour stops.


Please Be Kind, Rewind 10 – 16 November 2013 November 16, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 8:05 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I definitely wrote more this week than I read (again). I still got a good amount of reading done though! (:


Infinite by Jodi Meadows (ARC)

The Prophecy by Erin Albert (ARC, Final review galley)

Currently Reading:

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

Read to the Kiddos:

Infinite by Jodi Meadows. Yup. We read some more!

The Prophecy by Erin Albert. Punk loves YA already! (:

Again, I was bad about keeping track of books we read this week!


New to my shelf:

Find Me by Romily Bernard (ARC, won in a giveaway!)

A backpack full of books for the kiddos from the library!


Waiting on Wednesday #14: The Offering November 13, 2013

Filed under: Books,Waiting on Wednesday — Maura @ 11:00 am
Tags: , ,


“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 Offering (The Pledge #3)


 by Kimberly Derting


 Coming: 31 December 2013


 Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster)



True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.
Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

Why I’m excited:


I came across Kimberly Derting during the YASH this fall. I was immediately intrigued by her books. I can’t wait to check them all out!


Why I need you to be excited:


Because I am and excitement is catching! (:


Veteran’s Day Thoughts November 11, 2013

Filed under: Musings — Maura @ 11:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Instead of my scheduled review, I decided to take a moment and post about Veteran’s Day. As some of you know, I am an Army National Guard wife. My husband has served our country since December 2004. He served overseas in Iraq in 2010. I come from a very military heavy family background like him. Both of our grandfathers served. His in the Navy and Air Force. Both of mine in the Army. One grandfather and great-grandfather of mine served in World War II. We’re very proud of our military heritage.

In today’s world, a lot of people criticise our military and that bothers me to no end. “Bullet catchers” is one of my least favourite things to see. You may not agree with where our military goes, Lord knows I don’t always agree, but after they sign on the dotted line, they go where they are TOLD not where they CHOOSE. Please remember that.

Not all wounds our veterans suffer from are visible. Think before you criticise. PTSD and TBI are things that are still only in the infancy of being understood and treated. My great-grandfather had “shell shock” when he came home from WWII. He was haunted by nightmares of the things he saw for the rest of his life. He once dreamed he was back in the trenches fighting with a German soldier and grabbed my Granny in a choke hold. She talked to him quietly until the nightmare passed. Any sudden moves and he could’ve snapped her neck. He was part of the 89th Infantry Division which helped liberate Ohrdruf Concentration Camp. Look it up sometime. It’s horrifying. Shortly before my Grandaddy died, I had on my husband’s Army sweatshirt when I was over to visit. He almost cried and begged me to tell Tim to get out when he could. He kept saying no one should see the horrors he saw. And no one should. I miss him everyday. We named our son after him.

Then, we told our veterans to man up and deal with it. Today, we know it’s much deeper than just being able to cope with things. Our veterans need help. They need our support. Our military families need support. Regardless of your politics, you should stand by our military and their families. Their sacrifices are what enable you to say, think, do the things you want. Our military’s sacrifices won our freedom and help maintain that freedom.

Sorry, not sorry for this post. I know it has nothing to do with what my blog is for. I read and review YA with the occasional adult book. Supporting the military is something that has ALWAYS been close to my heart and I just needed to talk about that today on here. Our country will be so much stronger when we put politics for personal gain aside. That’s a whole other can of worms that I don’t wish to get into. Our country will be so much stronger when we stand with our military. People were terrible to Vietnam vets and are now realising how huge of a mistake that was. I only hope we continue to learn from that mistake. Our military needs support. Thank a veteran. Smile at a military kid. Offer to help the military spouse juggling everything while his/her spouse is deployed. There is so much you can do. Any help and support is appreciated.

Thank you to all of our veterans. No matter their service. Never served overseas? Who cares. They still signed on the dotted line, willing to give their all. Former and current members of our military, this military loves and supports you.

*steps off soap box*



*Review* Wither by Lauren DeStefano November 10, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 22 March 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: hardcover via library
Status: Book one of The Chemical Garden series


By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My thoughts:

Wither was recommended to me by the lovely Mary, Mary Had a Little Book Blog. While waiting for Perfect Ruin to come in at the library, I decided to read Wither. I started it on audiotape while I ran errands. I was also mulling over which book I was going to read next. I just finished Waterfell and was suffering from a bit of a book hangover.

The tone of Wither just gripped me. It was fantastic. Lauren did an incredible job. It’s hard to fathom a world where the people die so young. Females die at the age of 20 and males die at the age of 25. I would be dead already on that time line. My husband too. It’s something that humbles you in a way. Especially as I’m writing this. (originally written in my journal On our way to my hubby’s cousin’s funeral. Just 26 years old. In today’s world, someone that age shouldn’t die. It’s tragic when it happens. Not expected and unavoidable like in Rhine’s world.

There is a glimmer of hope in Rhine’s world, though. There’s the rumour of an antidote being researched all through the country. Some are optimistic, others try to stop it. They believe the human race is doomed and should just die out the way it’s going.

Our narrator, Rhine, is 16 years old. Four short years away from certain death. She’s just been taken away from home. She’s with a group of girls being inspected by a wealthy man. She suspects they are being inspected to be selected to become brides. Three of the girls are selected. Those not selected —-

Rhine is escorted into the back of a car with the other three girls. She wakes up in the lap of luxury, but is dismayed that she is nowhere near her childhood home of Manhattan. She’s in Florida. She’s immediately consumed with the desire to plot an escape. She makes friends with an attendant, Gabriel. After he tends to her, she decides to see if the door to her room is locked. She’s surprised to see that it is not. Rhine decides to explore to see if she can find a way to escape. She comes across Rose’s room. Later she’s asked to come back. She knows Rose is dying and assumes she is the House Governor’s wife. Despite knowing Rose is facing a quickly approaching death, they become friends.

Rhine meets the other two girls she was take with on their wedding day. They are married by age. Jenna is the last bride at 18 and Cecily is the first bride at 13. They are married to House Governor Linden Ashby.

Jenna is withdrawn. She’s resigned herself to her fate and would rather die in luxury than in squalor. She’s beautiful, but is destroyed over the deaths of her sisters. She and Rhine eventually become friends.

Cecily is completely ecstatic about her new life. She grew up in an orphanage. She proves to be a very ignorant child. She believes that this is the best thing that could ever have happened to her.

Rose eventually succumbs to the virus and it impacts Rhine more than she thought it would. It absolutely crushes the girls’ husband, Linden. Once Rose is gone, he begins to dote on his new wives. Cecily is soon pregnant.

The longer Rhine is trapped in the mansion, the stronger her desire is to escape. She tries to escape during a hurricane and is nearly killed. Gabriel is reassigned to a different part of the mansion and she fears he is dead. With Jenna’s help, she and Gabriel make a plan to escape.

Jenna suddenly falls ill before her 20th birthday and dies from the virus. Rhine is more determined than ever to escape. She and Gabriel finally manage to make their escape.

I really loved Wither. The narrator on the audiotape did a fantastic job. Lauren hit a homerun with her debut book! Even though it was fascinating to visit Rhine’s world, it definitely is not a world I would choose to live in!


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