The Whimsical Mama

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

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 25-31 May 2014 May 31, 2014

Last week’s looked a little sparse despite getting a lot of reading done because I slacked on blogging and was spending time with my family. Hubby’s at a military class plus it was Memorial Weekend so family took priority over keeping on top of posting. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I was still a good deal ahead on posts scheduled. Have to get back ahead! Just on paper doesn’t help! Haha. Naptime will be my best friend while I’m being a military separation single mom. Every time hubby is away for an extended time, I am always reminded of how much I admire parents that pull single parent duty all the time. It’s not an easy thing to do!


Completed:

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)


Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare



Read to the Kiddos:

I was bad and didn’t keep track. ):


New to my shelf:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

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Waiting on Wednesday #32: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings May 28, 2014

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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:

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1)

 

By: Lindsay Cummings

 

Coming: 10 June 2014

 

Publisher: HarperCollins, Greenwillow Books

 

Summary:
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

 

Why I’m excited:

This sounds so exciting! It’s an intriguing thought that the death rate is higher than the birthrate. How long could a population survive in a situation like this? Of course, as a parent, a murder rate like that makes me super nervous. I know a few bloggers who have loved it, so I’m excited to jump in!

Why I need you to be excited:

A debut author! She needs some love! (: I think it’s a brilliant concept and can see this series doing well. Come check out this debut with me!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #40: Freebie (Kiddos’ Current Favourite Reads) May 27, 2014

 

b301e-toptentuesdayEach 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:

Freebie: Kiddos’ Current Favourite Reads

These are a few of the books that are read multiple times a week and sometimes a day. What did you pick for today’s freebie topic? Hope you have a great day! (:

 

Armchair BEA: Day 1 Introductions May 26, 2014

Today marks the start of Armchair BEA week which runs along side BEA in New York City. Last year, I hadn’t started blogging yet so I had no idea what BEA was until the end of the year. Then the excitement started building as authors started announcing they were coming. There was just no way for me to be able to attend this year, and I was so happy when I stumbled across Armchair BEA on Twitter. A way to connect with other bloggers and still get a small amount of the BEA experience?! Count me in!

 

Introductions

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

I am Maura. I’m blogging from Northeast TN. I’m a stay at home mama to my two kiddos: Punk (3 years old) and Ladybug (1 year old). I’ve been blogging since 2010 off and on, but the book oriented side of The Whimsical Mama launched officially in July 2013. I originally wanted to do a cooking blog like Julie/Julia, but that didn’t stick. Newborn baby and not cooking new things consistently killed that one! After helping Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) get her blog some recognition, I decided I ought to give blogging a try again. Books and writing have always been my favourite outlets!

 

2. What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . 

I generally read fantasy the most. Harry Potter got me addicted to reading and I’ve never turned my back on my fantasy beginnings. I love to read because I love to escape daily life. I always have. Growing up in a small town in the foothills of the Appalachians, I loved to go anywhere but home. I’ve always loved to travel and reading helped those adventures and were much cheaper than actual trips!  Because I love to escape in books, I tend not to turn to contemporaries because they are too close to real life for me. I am learning to appreciate them though!

 

3. Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online. 

The Whimsical Mama is just that – whimsical – I mainly read young adult, but read a lot of children’s books and life is pretty whimsical with two toddlers running around! The Whimsical Mama, I hope, reflects a lot of my daily life. You can find me as @armywife2310 on Twitter. Maura T on Goodreads, armywife2310 on Pinterest. Yes, as you can see, I’m very proud of being an Army wife! (:

 

4. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

Hmmm this is a hard one that’s required a good bit of thought. Since I started blogging in the latter half of 2013, I don’t have reviews for all the great things I read. Pre-blogging, my favourite 2013 read would probably be Clockwork Princess or Legend or Die for Me. I really can’t pick! Once I started blogging, my favourite 2013 read was Infinite by the oh so incredibly wonderfully talented Jodi Meadows. Yup. Yup. Yup. Now, let’s see. My favourite read so far of 2014. By far it has been The Impossible Knife of Memory. Again, Army pride is showing through with that pick! (:

 

5. What book would you love to see as a movie? 

I have three off the top of my head that as long as they were done correctly, I would love to see on the big screen. If they’re going to be mangled, I can live without them being turned to movies. The Legend trilogy, the Incarnate/Newsoul trilogy, and the Revenants trilogy. Those were three incredible trilogies that, I feel, would be great on screen.

 

*Review* Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 3 stars
Pub date: 30 October 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt, Macmillan
Genre: YoungAdult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: audiobook, via library
Status: Book two of the Ruby Red series

Summary:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

 

My thoughts:

Sapphire Blue picks where Ruby Red left off which ended with a big cliffhanger (BOO! I HATE cliffhangers!) This book doesn’t suffer from book two syndrome straight out. I feel that Sapphire Blue and Ruby Red are on similar lines of decency. Again, I wasn’t blown away, but interested enough to see what happens next.

I’m uncertain over Gwen in Sapphire Blue. She seems to regress in maturity a bit. She becomes suspicious over everything. Some suspicion is good with not knowing what the purpose of gaining the blood of the circle will do, but there is such a thing as too much and she crosses that line by MILES.

Gideon still leaves the jury out. Being hot and cold all the time got really annoying. Flirting with Charlotte while his feelings weren’t clear is just low.

I still really didn’t care for Charlotte. She’s a mean girl to the extreme. I really don’t think she has any redeeming qualities.

I loved the addition of Xemerius. It makes me sad that more characters can’t interact with him because I think it would make it better. His quips are pretty great though and quips aren’t always meant to be heard.

The pace really seemed to slow. Maybe it was where I couldn’t read at my own pace since I was reading strictly by audiobook. I don’t feel like any questions from Ruby Red were answered. I actually think I have even more unanswered questions and a new suspicious theory. Again, I feel like something could’ve been lost in translation. I still really didn’t like the narrator. I may have missed something if I spaced a bit, but I doubt it.

Flipping between how beautiful Gideon is and how Gwen and Lesley are searching for answers (which only led to more questions for me) became vexing. I could’ve gone without the boy obsession. He treats her like crap and she goes all doe eyed. I hope there’s less of that in book 3. Possibly will happen with that ending. Still not a great read, but now that I’m 2/3 through the series, I might as well finish since I do have the audiobook already checked out.

About the author:

Kerstin Gier is the bestselling author of the Ruby Red trilogy, as well as several popular novels for adults.

 

*Review & Giveaway* Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier May 25, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 3 stars
Pub date: 10 May 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt, Macmillan 
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: paperback, personal copy &audiobook, via library
Status: Book one of the Ruby Red trilogy

Summary:

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.


My thoughts:
Oh, where do I even begin? I bought this on a whim and it’s been sitting in the TBR for a while. I’ve been on an audiobook kick lately and went through my TBR to see what books I had that the library had on audio. I got the whole trilogy in one swoop from the online library. I figured that way I would have it on hand to binge it. This was a good/bad decision

While the kiddos watched their morning shows & played and I do things around the house, I listen to audiobooks. So that’s when I listened to this on audio. If I had a moment to relax, I picked up my physical copy. I read much faster on my own than listening to an audiobook. I wish I had read it all in the physical form over the audio. I really wasn’t a fan of the narrator’s voice. It really took away from the story for me. It wasn’t enough to deter me from pushing through though.

I enjoyed Gwen’s narration as a character. I definitely related to the snarky personality. She’s smart, but you get the sense she doesn’t want to flaunt it because of her cousin, Charlotte. I didn’t care for Charlotte on any level. She’s a spoiled brat who reminds me a lot of a certain someone I know.

I’m undecided on Gideon. He has his good and bad moments, but I just can’t get a feel for him. I’m leaving judgement until later for now.

I really enjoyed the time travel aspect. I love a good time travel read and this series has some great potential. It feels a bit simplified. The characters all interact through the time travel and I feel that would be too great a risk for changing history, but if you don’t think about it too seriously, it works. The amount of time allowed to travel or the things Gwen and Gideon do don’t make much sense, but I’m hoping things will be explained in book 2.

It feels like it’s closer to the younger side of young adult than appealing to adults who read young adult. Not sure if it’s the actual written style or the translation style. More on that in a moment.

The action was decent enough. It was a fairly quick read. Some things felt a bit off, but it’s a translation, so things probably don’t move as fluidly in English as it did in the original German. I don’t speak/read German, so I can’t test that theory!

How the gene started or is passed down isn’t clear or explained either. Hopefully that’s something else that’s explained in book 2 also! 

Ruby Red wasn’t a bad read. It wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t that great. I highly doubt I will ever reread the series and as such, I have a copy to giveaway! It was interesting enough to intrigue me to read books two and three, but this is a one and done read for me. My copy is in basically pristine condition. Hubby says it doesn’t even look like I read it. The giveaway will run for two weeks, so make sure to get your entries in! (:

About the author:

Kerstin Gier is the bestselling author of the Ruby Red trilogy, as well as several popular novels for adults.

GIVEAWAY 

This giveaway is open to US only (Sorry international readers! I promise I will one day have giveaways for you too!) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open May 25th 2014 (12am EST) through June 8th 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 18-24 May 2014 May 24, 2014

Ack! I’m not as ahead as I was on my schedule. I’m still getting a ton read and written, I just have to get it up on here to post. Sheesh. Time is flying by and we’re getting things ready for the summer. Hopefully this week will be a tame one so I can get caught back up on things! (:


Completed:

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)




Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (physical copy & audiobook)



Read to the Kiddos:

I was bad and didn’t keep track. ):


New to my shelf:


From the library:

Narnia audiobooks! (:

 

Introducing Our Other New Feature! Flashback Friday May 23, 2014

A few weeks ago, Punk and Ladybug introduced their new feature Tot Time Thursday. This week, I’m introducing a new/revamped feature that will be starting soon here at The Whimsical Mama. It’s Flashback Friday! Basically the same concept as the Throwback Thursday reviews I did early last fall, I just changed the name and the day. Flashback Friday will feature books that I first read before I started blogging. For the time being, this will be an every other week feature. I currently plan on writing these reviews after I re-read them. I’m slowly getting caught up on ARCs, so I hope to have more time to re-read some favourites to keep this feature going. I hope to have some giveaways attached to this feature. Obviously if they’re worthy of multiple re-reads these are some of my favourite reads. What books will eventually be featured? Well, let’s take a look!

 

 

I’m really excited to re-read these favourites! This is only scratching the surface of the books I plan on featuring. As you can see, Jodi Meadows is on the list so you KNOW there will definitely be a giveaway for that one. I never pass up a chance to share the Sam love! (:

 

Waiting on Wednesday #31: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare May 21, 2014

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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:

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

 

By: Cassandra Clare

 

Coming: 27 May 2014

 

Publisher: McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster

 

Summary:
ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

 

Why I’m excited:

Um. I love this series. I’m currently re-reading the first five books in preparation to read this book NEXT week! I’ve been impatiently waiting for this book since the beginning of last year when I first jumped into this series. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype that’s surrounding it, but I really love this series. I promptly ordered the whole series (through book 5) and the companion series The Infernal Devices (preordering Clockwork Princess) before I even finished City of Bones. I knew this series would be great.

Why I need you to be excited:

The ultimate battle is about to go down. We know SOMEONE will not make it out alive. Maybe more than one person. I’m pumped up to see how it all ends, I want you to be excited too!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #39: Books About Friendship May 20, 2014

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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 Books About Friendship

Punk & Ladybug wanted to include two of their favourites about friends. Of course they’re Pete books!

What books made your list this week? These aren’t strictly about friendships, but the friendships in them are some of my favourites.

 

 
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