The Whimsical Mama

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

Top Ten Tuesday #96: Top Ten Books Set Outside the US July 19, 2016

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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 Set Outside the US

I decided to go with actual locations other than fantastical realms for this week.

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  1. Die for Me by Amy Plum. Oh, Paris. I love you.

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2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This book only strengthened by desire to visit Prague!

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3. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. Historical (fantasy) England, but England nonetheless!

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4. Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. Various locations around Europe, South America, and even Tartarus.

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5. The Falconer trilogy by Elizabeth May. Victorian Scotland!

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6. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. England and Scotland (with visitors from other nations too)

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7. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Ireland, England, Russia, and some other locations too!

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8. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Scotland and France!

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9. His Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers. Duchy of Brittany and France.

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10. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Beijing, France, Africa, the Moon.

 

Where have books taken you?

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday #91: Mid-Late 2016 Anticipated Releases June 14, 2016

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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 Mid-Late 2016 Anticipated Releases (AKA What I currently have preordered for the rest of the year)

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  1. Catalyst: A Rogue One Story. I don’t know anything about it other than it plays into the new Star Wars movie. I preordered it on faith. Hoping it won’t disappoint!

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2. Gemina by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. Honestly, I still haven’t gotten to Illuminae, but I went ahead and preordered this on faith (plus to make the casualty list!) The idea of being written in file/report format fascinates me. I’ve just decided to wait til closer to October to binge both of the books.

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3. Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer. I have to be honest again. I would MUCH rather one of my favourite authors be writing about Captain America or the Winter Soldier, but I am pretty excited for this book!

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4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling. Seriously? Have you seen my Harry Potter collection? Did you honestly think this wouldn’t make the list? I can’t wait for the movie!

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5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne. Surrounded by controversy to be sure. I’m in #TeamCanon. I fully take this as 100% continuation of the Harry Potter story. Yes, I’m disappointed I can’t make it to London to see it this summer, but they’re releasing the screenplay AND it will most likely tour/expand. I’m excited. I would also love to see this come out on video. #KeeptheSecrets

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6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (Illustrated edition). Wow. In 2007, I could have only dreamed that there would be THREE new Harry Potter books in one year. YES! Chamber of Secrets was my least favourite in the series, but I’m super excited to see the illustrations!

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7. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. I definitely have this preordered, but since I will have to reread the whole series to be ready, I’m kinda thinking I’ll wait on reading until the final book comes out. With so many incredible things to read, re-reads get harder and harder to work in with multiple books!

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8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love the Grishaverse. I haven’t read Six of Crows yet cause I decided that I would preorder and then binge the duology together. Same reasons as above with Empire of Storms! I know they’re companion series, but I like the refresher!

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9. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. Let’s face it. She writes it, I read and buy it. (: The plot for this one sounds incredible. I only wish it would be out BEFORE I head to my first beach trip this summer. Ah, well. It’ll be a great thing to come home to though!

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10. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I’m actually currently reading this ARC thanks to Mary. It’s great so far and I’m pleased with my decision to preorder the first day it was up! I adored An Ember in the Ashes. It was easily a favourite of 2015! I’m excited to see where Elias an Laia’s story goes.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #77: Summer 2015 TBR June 16, 2015

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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 on My Fall TBR

Here’s what I’ve selected on previous TBR lists: Winter 2013 6/10 Fall2013 3/10 Spring TBR 2014 6/11  Summer 2014 3/10 Fall 2014 2/10 Winter 2014 6/10 Spring 2015 5/10

affiliate links used

1. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
3. The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
4. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
5. Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols
6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
7. The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory
8. The Hunter’s Moon by OR Melling
9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
10. The Archived by Victoria SchwabWhat are you planning on reading this summer?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #56: Sequels I Need Right Now November 18, 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 Sequels I Need RIGHT NOW

1. The Orphan Queen 2 by Jodi Meadows


2. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer


3. Snow Like Ashes 2 by Sara Raasch


4. The Jewel 2 by Amy Ewing


5. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas


6. The Young Elites 2 by Marie Lu


7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


8. The Falconer 2 by Elizabeth May


9. Vampires of Manhattan 2 by Melissa de la Cruz


10. The Ring and the Crown 2 by Melissa de la Cruz

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 19 October – 15 November 2014 November 15, 2014

It’s been a long while and I apologise. Just when I was ready to get back in the thick of things after taking a bit of time away from blogging to focus on a summer of fun with my kiddos, the news breaks of a certain author stalking a fellow blogger. Well, needless to say it left a bitter taste in my mouth and killed my returning enthusiasm to jump back in the blogging life. My first priority is the safety of my family. We like our privacy which is why I don’t post pictures of my kiddos or use their real names around here or on Twitter. My Instagram is private and I even use their nicknames their. An author showing up on a blogger’s doorstep is a terrifying thought. It really made me think about giving it up. I was out of the habit and it would be easy to walk away. I don’t post negative reviews, but there was part of me that thought better safe than sorry. You know? But after much consideration, I’ve decided to stick with it. Cautiously, mind you, but stick with it.

I didn’t get everything read that I wanted before YALLFest, but I got the main things read. There’s time for the rest! As for YALLFest, I had a BLAST and hope I get to go again next year. I have some books by YALLFest authors that I’m planning to giveaway. The downside is, they aren’t signed, but HEY! Free books! I haven’t decided when I’m going to have the giveaway, but keep an eye out!

I’ve also taken up crocheting. I’ve wanted to learn for quite a while, and as a birthday treat to myself, I bought some hooks & yarn and set to it! If you check out Whimsical Mama Designs on Facebook, you can see a few things I’ve made so far that are for sale! I have several more things to add to the album. I’ve fallen quite in love with it. A nice way to relax and be productive at the same time! (: The kiddos love picking out new hats on Pinterest for mommy to make. Santa’s elf is quite busy! (; If you check it out and you see something you’d like, let me know! I’d be happy to work with you. (:

Since I went to YALLFest, I didn’t do NaNo this year. I also have lots of research to do for my next WIP. If you see my list of library books at the end, it’s not hard to guess the setting! I’m very excited about it as it’s an idea I’ve held dear for a quite a while and want to sit down and write. Other than that, I’m staying mum!

Punk & Bug are getting super excited about the holidays and it’s making me excited too. I love seeing their excitement! We watch the reindeer on ReindeerCam.com. Punk wants to know all the things about reindeer now.

Thank you to all the readers who have been checking back diligently to see if a new post has come up! You are a huge part of why I have decided to stick with it. I’ve also decided to post the backdated things I have typed up but took down from the schedule. Reviews and such have been adjusted so they’ll be going up starting tomorrow. (Hopefully, if I don’t get caught up working on the scarf I’m crocheting!)

***affiliate links are used below***

 

Completed:
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets (Kindle Single) (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) by Laini Taylor

 

 

Currently Reading:

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

 

Read with the Kiddos:
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana (My First I Can Read)  by James Dean

 

New to My Shelf:
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy)by Marie Rutkoski

In the Shadows by Kiersten White & Jim di Bartolo

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements) by Jennifer Armentrout

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass)by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

The Maze Runner Series (Maze Runner)by James Dashner

Prodigy: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor & Jim di Bartolo

 

From the Library:
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis

The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day by Elie Wiesel

The Box from Braunau: In Search of My Father’s War

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma by Jacky Davis & David Soman

Meet the Adelies (Happy Feet)

Biscuit Loves the Library (My First I Can Read)

The Greedy Python (The World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle

The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

Splat the Cat: Good Night, Sleep Tight (I Can Read Book 1)

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle

Big Bear, Little Bear (Disney/Pixar Brave) (Step into Reading)

When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families

Binding Their Wounds: America’s Assault on Its Veterans

The Buchenwald Report

My Father’s Secret War

Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World War II

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #54: Characters I Would Be For Hallowe’en October 28, 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:

Top Ten Characters I Would Be For Hallowe’en

1-3 Bellatrix Lestrange, Lily Potter, Hermione Granger Harry Potter by JK Rowling
4. Celaena Sardothien Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
5. Alina The Grisha Trilogy
6. Captain Holly Short Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
7. Lucy Pevensie The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
8. Katniss The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
9. Cinder Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
10. Bug’s bookish choice! Ladybug Girl Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis & David Soman

 

*ARC Review* Perfect Lies by Kiersten White July 14, 2014

***I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to HarperTeen!***   

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

Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Pub date: 18 February 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal
Format: ARC provided by the publisher
Status: Book two of the Mind Games duology

Summary:
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie’s visions of the future can’t show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia’s first love, Fia knows he’s hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other – but that may not be enough to save them.

 

My thoughts:
I received an ARC of Perfect Lies with an ARC of Taken from HarperCollins. I was excited because it sounded like a great read, plus it was a short book. 

Right off, I liked Perfect Lies more than Mind Games. Not sure why, it just felt a little more put together even though it also felt more chaotic. I will say I don’t feel like things were wrapped up at the end.

Annie really blossomed in Perfect Lies and I loved it. I loved watching her realise she didn’t have to rely on Fia to function. I enjoyed her interaction with Cole. Their development in Perfect Lies was the best of the characters.

Fia really frustrated me. Her stream of consciousness was a whole bunch of crazy. It felt like the closer we got to THE event, the more unhinged she became. Her interactions with James were just off. With perfect instincts, I think she failed on that one. Ugh. I did love her interactions with Pixie, but much like Pixie, I found Fia to be very overwhelming. 

The action and pace felt much more intense than Mind Games and one detail really kept you wondering until about 3/4 through the book. I was relieved how that played out, which really kinda surprised me.

The world building  continued to be nonexistent and it actually did bother me a bit this time around because the actions that were taken made no sense to me because we never saw what the world was like.

 The snark was just as good, if not better though. I love me some snark! It just wasn’t enough to boost over the things that were lacking.

 I did enjoy reading this duology, and Kiersten’s style has intrigued me enough  to check out some of her other works. I still recommend this duology because it’s a quick read and provides enough enjoyment to be worth the time. I’m undecided if I’ll reread this in the future. Maybe if I need quick reads to fill the time.

About the author:

Hi! I’m the New York Times best-selling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. I also give the most awkward hugs in the world. You should probably opt for one of my books over one of my hugs, but then again, maybe you like awkward hugs.

As for me, I like writing flirting scenes, and fighting scenes, and sometimes I write scenes that fall somewhere in between the two, but only if I can’t avoid it.

 

*Review* Mind Games by Kiersten White July 13, 2014

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

Rating: 3 1/4 stars
Pub date: 19 February 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal
Format: hardcover, personal copy, signed
Status: Book one of the Mind Games duology

Summary:
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

 

My thoughts:

I was nervous going into Mind Games. I ordered it to go along with my ARC of Perfect Lies that came as a surprise from Harper. I’d been excited about Mind Games and Perfect Lies and took a leap of faith when I asked Mary to get them personalised during the Dark Days tour. I was supposed to go, but things fell through and I wasn’t able to go.

I didn’t enjoy Mind Games as much as I’d hoped, but enough to be happy I got it personalised.

It was nice to have a relatively short read. It took me longer than expected to read because life interfered and it almost forced me to put it down because a super stressful week did not jive with such a dark book. Thankfully, I woke up in a better mindset the night after I had decided to put Mind Games down and I knocked it out during the kids’ naptime.

I enjoyed Annie’s POV much more than Fia’s. Both as a stream of consciousness felt rather chaotic, especially with jumping between past and present as well as between sisters. Close attention HAD to be paid to chapter endings/beginnings. I got confused a few times when I got careless with reading.

Orphaned and taken in to an elite school, the girls are already a bit unstable. Annie is blind, plus sees visions. Fia has been in charge of watching out for her older sister since the accident that stole Annie’s sight. The school continues to destroy Fia. To make matters worse, James enters the scene.

From the beginning, things go from bad to worse for the girls. Fia is forced to commit murder and Annie is held hostage to ensure Fia cooperates.

For being under 240 pages, a lot of action goes down and the ending does leave you curious for more. The writing style is not one I cared for. The stream of consciousness of a lot of mental ramblings was overwhelming at times. Too much crazy from Fia. WAY TOO MUCH CRAZY.

While a lot happens in a short amount of time, there is minimal world building. We don’t know anything about the outside world or even really anything about the school where they live. Not too thrilled with that, but this is so character driven that I’ll let it slide. If this was more than a duology, it would be a major issue.

As such a short book, I can recommend it. It’s a fast read (don’t take my logged time as a testament to that since I went days without reading). I’m interested enough to continue on to book two. If it was more than a duology, I don’t know if I would commit, but two short books, I can get behind this story.

About the author:

Hi! I’m the New York Times best-selling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. I also give the most awkward hugs in the world. You should probably opt for one of my books over one of my hugs, but then again, maybe you like awkward hugs.

As for me, I like writing flirting scenes, and fighting scenes, and sometimes I write scenes that fall somewhere in between the two, but only if I can’t avoid it

 

 
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