The Whimsical Mama

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

Top Ten Tuesday #53: New Series I Want to Read October 21, 2014



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 New Series I Want to Read

affiliate links used – book titles; covers lead to Goodreads

  1.The Orphan Queen
The Hidden Prince: An Orphan Queen Novella (HarperTeen Impulse)


the cage megan shepherdThe Cage


The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy Book 1)
The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy)


A Court of Thorns and Roses


A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book #2)
The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book 3)


Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles)
Burning Kingdoms (The Internment Chronicles)


Sabriel (The Old Kingdom)
Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr
Abhorsen (The Old Kingdom)
Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen (The Old Kingdom)




Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine


Top Ten Tuesday #50: Fall TBR September 23, 2014



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 on My Summer TBR


I was doing better with my TBR lists! (Winter 6/10Fall3/10Spring TBR 6/11 ) I read 3/10 for Summer. I did hit a major slump, so that didn’t help matters any. Here’s to doing better!

1. Poor Katie. This book has been on my lists for AGES.

2. I *should* have Defiance up since I’m gonna have to read it again, but since I’ve read it already, I’m going with #2!

3. I’m kinda nervous about this one. I’ve seen both good and bad, so I’m hoping it’ll be on the good side for me!

4. This is one that will FOR SURE be read. I’m in the process of binge rereading Blue Bloods so I’m refreshed!

5. Mary got me an ARC at an event AND my OTSP Secret Sister sent me a copy, so DUH. It’s moved up the list!


7. I started it, but had to take it back to the library. I requested it again and had to wait for it. Now it’s back and I’m all over it.

8. I still have September and October ARCs to read, but I AM SKIPPING TO THIS!

9. Mary, you can get off my back now. (;

10. I’m equal parts excited and nervous for this! I had a love-hate relationship with Matched…. SO….

Tell me, what’s on YOUR fall TBR? (:


Please Be Kind, Rewind: 20-26 July 2014 July 26, 2014

Well… my streak of posting every day this month went bust this week. Ah well. I’ll try again in August! I fell behind in posting and have struggled to get caught back up. The office is almost completely cleaned up and organised. I’ll post some pictures once I’m completely done in there. The den is organised now too. Kids have bins for their toys and they’re easily accessible instead of all dumped in a giant tote. As a result of lots of working in the office, I finished Clockwork Prince and listened to all of Clockwork Princess this week. Now I have to figure out what to listen to next! Punk’s very belated birthday party is today and we’re super excited. It’s a pirate party! (Jake and the Neverland Pirates)


Oceanborn by Amalie Howard

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (paperback & audiobook) 

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley (ARC)

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (paperback & audiobook)


Currently Reading:

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

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (audiobook)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord



Read to the Kiddos:
Read to Tiger by S.J. Fore

Peanuts by Charles Schultz (Punk picked this out at the B&N Pop Cultured event!)

New to my shelf:

Atlantia by Ally Condie (sampler, B&N, extra copies to giveaway)

The Young Elites by Marie Lu (sampler, B&N, extra copies to giveaway)

The Way of Kings & Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (for hubby, sampler, B&N, extra copy to giveaway)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (sampler, B&N, extra copy to giveaway)

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (sampler, B&N)

Peanuts by Charles Schultz (Punk picked this out! sampler, B&N)

The Punkydoos Take the Stage by Jennifer Jackson (The kiddos don’t know they’ve won this yet! They’re getting it at Punk’s party today! Thanks Book Rock Betty and Disney-Hyperion!)


From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:


*Review & Giveaway* The One by Kiera Cass July 7, 2014

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

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 6 May 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Format: hardcover via library
Status: Book three of The Selection trilogy

The highly anticipated third book in Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is perfect for the fans who have followed America’s whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!


My thoughts:

I haven’t devoured a series (and enjoyed it) this quickly in a while. I’m blown away by how quickly I knocked it out! The writing and plot are beautiful in their simplicity. Kiera didn’t need to get all flowery and show and she didn’t. I’m extremely satisfied with where this trilogy ended. I’m not happy with every outcome, but let’s face it, no one is ever 100% thrilled by all the outcome in a series!

The action from The Elite continued to rise in The One until everything explodes at the end. I found the action scenese were well done and I was often squirming in my seat from nerves!

America really came into her own as she realised her full potential. I won’t give major details away. It was nice to see her realise everything isn’t as it seems and sort out her feelings for the boys. I won’t give anything away there either. I do believe she ended up with the guy she is meant to be with, though.

I believe Maxon really flourishes as well. He makes decisions that aren’t easy in anyway imagineable. I believe he will become the ruler Illea needs. There were still moments when I would’ve loved to wreing his neck, but again — he’s human and prone to mistakes. Knowing what happened to him through his life, I was happy to see him stand up to his father.

As much as Aspen’s ego bothered me through the series, I was thrilled to see him make huge strides. I grew to respect his loyalty and devotion to America as things evolved.

I have to say the character who surprised me the most was a toss up between Celeste and Kriss. I had a feeling about Celeste so it wasn’t a huge shock, but Kriss was. Again, no details because I don’t want to spoil anyone’s experience.

I loved getting to see the girls’ relationships grow with Queen Amberly even more than they did in The Elite. She’s easily one of my favourite characters and I could relate to her through our mutual loss due to miscarriage. I still struggle with not knowing if my daughter would’ve been a twin or not. I think in a way, that’s worse than knowing for certain.

Getting to see more of America’s family was great. I love May. She’s so feisty! I would love to know what Gerad chooses to do as his profession.

OverallI’m thrilled with the arc this story took. The prose was lovely and it was an enjoyable read. I’m definitely planning on eventually ordering the series. It will look nice on my dystopian shelf! I still recommend this series to all readers. I think it’s a good series to at least give a shot. I’ll be sure to check out any of Kiera Cass’s future works. I am hoping I can go to YALLFest in November. If I do get to go, I’ll keep you updated. If I go, that means…. GIVEAWAY! Kiera will be there and I will totally be getting books signed. (:

About the author:

100 Things I Love:

Being married. Cake. The smell of Autumn. Motherhood. Books. Elephants. Back rubs. On demand movies. Actually going out to movies. Faith. Cinnamon rolls. My family. Butterflies. When my kitchen is clean. Crayons. Pink. Tote bags. Dancing. Organizing via color coordination. That my wedding dress was tea length, not floor. Baking. My house. Writing utensils. Paper. India. The sound of water. Making videos. Buttons. The word Episcopalian. Making people laugh. Layering clothes. British accents. Pinterest. Animation. Fireworks. The smell of the Ocean. My wedding rings. Aprons. Reasons to get dressed up. Sex. Pop music. Stars. Taking walks. Daydreaming. Stickers. School Spirit. My friends. Living in a small town. Japan. Singing. Painting my toenails. Pranks/ practical jokes. Painting. Stretch canvas. Costumes. Dipping my fingers in melted wax. Style. Soda. Spending an hour typing at a coffee shop. Musicals. Back to school season. Mopeds. Good hair days. Naps. Not walking up but looking at a beautiful staircase. Driving alone. My ankles. Playlists. Spending entire days in pajamas. Holidays. Telling stories. Spontaneity. Theme parks. Bookshelves. The word copacetic. Boxes. Empty journals. Surprises. Doing things in groups. Doing things alone. Getting real mail. Decorating. Small forks. A good hug. Gift cards. New Years Goals. Going out to dinner. When someone else remembers some great story about me/us that I’ve forgotten. Toy stores. Fireplaces. Breakfast foods. Journaling. Crying for a good reason. Doorbells. Pointless adventures. Voting. My birthday. Reasons to make wishes. Recycling


This giveaway is open to US only ( Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 6th 2014 (12am EST) through July 20th 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! (: For every 100 entries, I will add another winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Top Ten Tuesday #38: Books I Almost Put Down May 13, 2014


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 I Almost Put Down

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. Let’s face it. When I got this book, I wasn’t big into reading for me and I wanted to give up after the first chapter. Thankfully, my Gran wouldn’t let me! 

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz. I just wasn’t as into this book as I have been with her other books. /: My love of her kept me in til the end though!

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier Honestly, I wish I had given up on this book. It kept getting worse with each book. I kinda feel cheated cause I stayed in til the end. 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I wish I hadn’t even read this one, but I did. Ugh. 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge I stuck it out even though I had to take a break. It wasn’t all that I was hoping it would be, but it was decent. 

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown That moment when you realise your favourite series is nothing but a formulaic book. I’ll still read the Robert Langdon series though. It kinda sucks that it’s a bit predictable now. 

The Host by Stephenie Meyer I actually did put this one down. I bought it the day it released, read about 100 pages and put it down. I was still hoping for a bit of Twilight style and this was so much better that it threw me off and I couldn’t handle it. When I did come back to it a year later I couldn’t put it down!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Ugh…. this book made the South look sooooo bad. The movie made it worse. I was so disappointed.

After the End by Amy Plum This book. I just can’t even. I was expecting brilliance. I got disappointment and predictability. /:

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory Oh, this book. Definitely my least favourite of The Cousin’s War series. I stuck it out til the end though.

Crossed by Ally Condie This was another that I had to take a step away from and read something else and come back to it. I finished it though!


Hello September, Goodbye August September 1, 2013


Another month down. I can’t believe September is already here. This year has been flying by! The recent loss of one of my junior high teachers really makes his words ring true years down the road. On the last day of 6th grade, Mr. Church looked at us and said, “If you think this year went by quickly, wait until the next year, and then the next. They’ll keep going by faster and faster.” He was a great man, and will be greatly missed. Those words are really true. It seems like just yesterday I found out I was expecting my little boy and now I’m a mama to two.

Picking up from last month, I’m happy to say our kitchen is FINALLY done. No more construction. We still have some organising and cleaning to do, but the bulk of the work has now been completed. I’m SO thrilled! Even though work continued into the middle of the month, it didn’t really cut into that much of my reading time. Hubby being gone for three weeks of military training DID cut into reading time. Three weeks of being a single mama. Kuddos to those parents who do the single parenting all the time. You are a true inspiration! Now, to books!

Books I read in August (in order of completion)
Glitches by Marissa Meyer (I forgot this in July)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare
Reached by Ally Condie
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
As They Slip Away by Beth Revis
The Queen’s Army by Marissa Meyer
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Neverfall by Brodi Ashton
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I was sad to finish the Across the Universe series. Check out my review if you haven’t! I was relieved to finally finish the Matched series. I struggled a lot through it. I was happy to continue the Lunar Chronicles and jump into the Everneath series! I’m anxiously awaiting Everbound from my library!

The kids and I read over 20 books again this month. Think it was closer to 30. We’re still getting back in the groove of going to the library once or twice a week. The NASCAR race was in town recently so we stocked up for the week so we didn’t have to fight the tourists. We ended up not reading many of them. Punky spent the night with my dad and DADDY came home! The kids were ecstatic! We ran out of time to record him reading some stories before he left so he’s on bedtime story duty for a while. Needless to say the kiddos really missed their daddy. We’re all very happy he’s home!

Coming up in September

  • My first e-ARC review (keep an eye out!)
  • A visit from one of our college friends
  • Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows! (Hubby and I now have an agreement for every week he is gone on military duty I get a new book and a bottle of wine! This is his payment for 1 of 3 he owes me for this year’s annual training)
  • (Hopefully) Punk’s second and Ladybug’s first MTSU football game!
  • A friend’s wedding
  • My first 5k
  • Beach with the hubby, kiddos, and my dad
  • Book signing event with Megan Shepherd! (keep an eye out for an event summary and a review!)

September is looking like it’ll be an action packed month! Bring it on!


(Late)Top Ten Tuesday #6: Books with X Setting August 14, 2013

AHHH! I didn’t have time to post yesterday and it drove me batty! My hubby is still away at military training so I’m still pulling single mama duty. Mad props and respect to all the time single parents out there!

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 with X Setting:

So this week I have two sets of eight cause I just couldn’t decide…

World Hidden Inside Our Own
1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
2. The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
3. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
4. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. I know this is more parallel than in our world, but in my little world, it fits!
5. Revenants by Amy Plum
6. Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith
7. Blue Bloods/Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz
8. Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

Futuristic (vague, I know)
1. Legend by Marie Lu
2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (even if she is an evil, evil author! hehe)
3. Matched by Ally Condie
4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
5. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
6. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
8. Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

Do you like any of these books listed? Do you participate in TTT? If so, leave a link! I’d love to read your lists!


Weekly Reading Review #5 August 10, 2013

4 – 10 August 2013

A better reading week this week! True enough, some of the extra reading has been due to rainy weather. No playing outside this week. Hopefully this coming week will change! I’m almost done with organising the school area in our office. I’m planning for next weekend to be done with setting everything up. Depends on how the weather is!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer 4/5 stars. The kids had me too distracted through the end to really enjoy the ending so that hurt my feelings over the end. I’m sure it’ll rise to a 5 after an eventual reread.
What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare 4 stars. Thanks to PulseIt, I got to read this for free! Money can be tight with two kids, plus I want the whole set if they release it as a physical book.
Reached by Ally Condie 4/5 stars. After taking a step back from this series, I read through it much quicker. It still wasn’t as exciting as Matched, but it was better than Crossed .

Read to the kiddos:
Little Rabbit Waits for the Moon by Beth Shoshan 4 stars. My little girl loved this book from her Auntie Mary. She cooed and tried to get the bunny through the whole book.
Ladybug Girl Dresses Up by David Soman 3 stars
Road Work Ahead by Anastasia Suen 3 stars (Punk’s Dolly Book) He loved this! He’s very into “dump tucks” at the moment and loves to point them out wherever we go.
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle 4 stars. I thought this was a sweet book. Especially since Punk is in a phase of asking if the stars and moon can come in at night.
Big Boys Use the Potty Andrea Pinnington. 3 stars
LEGO City: Build this City by Scholastic Inc. 3 stars

Currently Reading:
A Million Suns by Beth Revis (should finish it tonight!)
Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid (will start as soon as I finish AMS)

New to my shelf:
Quite a few DRCs, look for reviews to start soon!

What did you read this week? Anything good? I’m always looking for recs! Give me a shout on Twitter: armywife2310


Bookish Friday Fun August 9, 2013

I used to be obsessed with the various surveys that made their rounds on Xanga, Myspace, and Facebook. Reading through Twitter today, Jamie over at Perpetual Page Turner talked about how she’d hit a blogging slump and came up with this idea from her obsession with the surveys too. So, I thought since I’m just starting out in this big blogging world, I’d do her survey so you could learn a bit more about me.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

I’m glad I checked this one on Goodreads! I was assuming it’d be JK Rowling, but nope! It’s Valerie Tripp (author of numerous American Girl books!)

Best Sequel Ever:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. Perfect ending!

Currently Reading:

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Drink of Choice While Reading:

I generally drink water all the time, but wine in the evenings or coffee in the mornings are always nice!

E-reader or Physical Book?

I always have been and always will be in love with holding the physical book in my hands. My hubby is happy that I have a kindle so even when my book collection explodes with free books on Amazon, we don’t lose that much space in the house! I do love my kindle when it comes to vacations now!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Hmm… probably Ollie from Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. Seriously, because I gave this book a chance my childhood and future were changed FOREVER.

Hidden Gem Book:

For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. It’s about a girl in WWII France who spies for the Resistance. She now lives in the next town over from me!

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Giving Harry Potter a chance.

Just Finished:

Reached by Ally Condie

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Erotica. I don’t mind smut, but I’m not a fan of porn in words.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

All together, Harry Potter at 4100 pages, but individual book is A Storm of Swords at 1177

Major book hangover because of:

If I Should Die by Amy Plum. I NEED MORE JULES!!

Number of Bookcases You Own:

7, I think… I’m remembering from upstairs and they are in the office downstairs.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

I Love You Forever. Seriously. One of my favourites as a kid and I love reading it to my two children now.

Preferred Place To Read:

Curled up on the couch or in bed.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Reading Regret:

Lord of the Rings. I’ve read it once and have failed every time I have attempted a reread. It makes me sad.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

JK Rowling. Seriously, I’m severely in her debt. I will fangirl over her til Judgement Day!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Holy Hannah this is hard. Hmm… Right now, probably Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows! She’s been talking about how mean she’s been to poor Sam, and I’m dying to be his shoulder to cry on (:

Worst Bookish Habit:

It USED to be writing in my books. I don’t count textbooks in this sin. My first few Harry Potter books have theories and wishes and everything written in the margins, are highlighted for spells, dog eared, and all of that. They make me weep now. My most recent has been overdue library books. I’ve been requesting so many and they have different due dates from different libraries, I’m having trouble keeping track of them all even with a calendar AND planner.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

I didn’t want to do the kids’ bookshelf (it’s the only one upstairs) so this is off of my Kindle: Glitches by Marissa Meyer

Your latest book purchase:

Not counting my free books from Amazon so… Code Name Verity and Grave Mercy. Next up to order is The Madman’s Daughter!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I was just thinking of finishing it then BAM! 2am and done. Thankfully, the kids slept in that morning (:

This was fun! If you decide to do this, feel free to leave your link in the comments! I’d love to learn more about you.


Hello August, Goodbye July! August 1, 2013

Hello, Goodbye

Hello, August! I still can’t believe it’s already August. I feel like July just started and we were at the beach! We’ve been back in our house for almost a full month, but the kitchen still isn’t 100% finished. It’s functional, though, so we’re dealing. July was a very busy month in our house, and August is looking to be just as busy. I was hoping to start some preschool things this month, but with the kitchen remodel, the office has been neglected. I now aim to start the first week of September! (If I start before that, great, September is the ultimate start date goal!)

We had a pretty busy reading month. The kiddos and I are starting to get back in our routine of going to the library twice a week. Since Punk spent this past weekend with my step-dad, we didn’t read our weekend books, so we’ll just be going once this week. Which is okay, no need to go to the library when we have a full checkout list and none of them have been finished! For me, I read some great books and I read some mediocre books. With the kids, we read some good books. I’ve greatly enjoyed getting into blogging, and hope that each month gets better. I currently have two reviews planned to be coming soon, one was already planned, one got added today. I’m thinking of adding a few more, depends on how reading this month goes. I may even randomly decide to do one of the kids’ books!

Books I read in July (in order of completion):
Beth Revis – Across the Universe
Marie Lu – Prodigy
Philippa Gregory – The Red Queen see my review here
Ally Condie – Matched
Ally Condie – Crossed
Marissa Meyer – Cinder see my review here

The kids and I read twenty new books this month. If you are interested in our list, feel free to check out my 2013 Challenge list on Goodreads! We read so many books a week, it’s too many to post a giant list each month. I will keep posting our weekly reads in my wrap ups though! You can also see them there.

I finished a few quiet book pages this month, and I’m very pleased with that. I hope that I can finish a few more this month. I would like to get all of the ones I’ve started completed because I have a list a mile long on new ones I want to do as well. A few of the completed ones I think I may redo.

July, you were a good month, with a great vacation getaway with the hubby’s family, full of reading great new books, and as always, time with my wonderful family. Thanks for the memories, and here’s to a wonderful August!

Coming in August

  • Hubby’s annual training with the Army National Guard
  • Hubby’s birthday
  • One of my best friends’ birthdays
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie release
  • Prepping for my first 5k in September!
  • One of my nephews’ birthdays


Just realised that tomorrow, our first deployment ended three years ago! How time flies! Some days it feels like deployment ended yesterday, and here we are two kids and a house purchase later!

What were your favourite things in July? What are you looking forward to in August?


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