The Whimsical Mama

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

Top Ten Tuesday #100: Top Ten Books With X Setting (Settings I Want to Visit) August 16, 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 With X Setting (Settings I Want to Visit)

1.Russia – Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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2. Edinburgh – The Falconer by Elizabeth May

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3. Ireland – Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

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4. London – Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

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5. Paris – Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

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6. Prague – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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7. Romania – And I Darken by Kiersten White

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8. Middle East – The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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9. San Diego – Waterfell by Amalie Howard

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10. China – Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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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?

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday #45: The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May June 15, 2016

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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:

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The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer Trilogy #2)

By: Elizabeth May

Coming: 21 June 2016 (US)/ 19 November 2015 (UK)

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Summary:

The second book in the Falconer trilogy is packed with surprises and suspense.

Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the portal that she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes up in the fae world, trapped and tortured by the evil Lonnrach. With the help of an unexpected ally, Aileana re-enters the human world, only to find everything irrevocably changed. Edinburgh has been destroyed, and the few human survivors are living in an uneasy truce with the fae, while both worlds are in danger of disappearing altogether. Aileana holds the key to saving both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing that might be her life.

Rich with imaginative detail, action, fae lore, and romance, The Vanishing Throne is a thrilling sequel to The Falconer.

Why I’m excited:

I absolutely loved The Falconer when I read it. I featured it on Waiting on Wednesday and I have also posted a review. It was easily a favourite read of 2014. I was so excited about The Vanishing Throne and disappointed when the release dates were pushed back and so far apart as far as UK/US. It released back in November in the UK, but I just haven’t had a chance to get it yet. And with my lull in blogging and it coming out next week, I thought it would be the perfect feature! I can’t wait to do a reread and then read later this summer!

Why I need you to be excited:

I think this is as great under the radar fantasy. The Falconer was a quick read and though I hate them, it ended on a spectacular cliffhanger that leaves you panting for more! It’s going to be a fast paced ride of a second book!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #90: If You Like Underrated Fantasy Books, Try These September 29, 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 Underrated Fantasy Books to Try

I’m all about some fantasy, and these are some of my favourite underrated reads.

affiliate links used

1. Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore


2. Waterfell by Amalie Howard


3. Chronicles of Faerie by OR Melling


4. The Falconer by Elizabeth May


5. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows


6. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows


7. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White


8. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer


9. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


10. Everneath by Brodi Ashton

 

Top Ten Tuesday #61: Books Santa Can Put Under the Tree December 23, 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 Santa Can Put Under the Tree

T’was the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house… blah blah blah. Santa, could you please leave these under the tree? 🙂

1. This Shattered World by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner


2. The Falconer by Elizabeth May


3. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor


4. The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory


5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu


6. Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley


7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith


8. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer


9. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


10. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

 

Top Ten Tuesday #52: Places I Want to Visit October 14, 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 Places I Want to Visit

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I have been to lots of places. Literally and metaphorically. I have been blessed with chances to travel the world. These are places (real & fictional) that I would love to visit/visit again!

1. Scotland. I’ve been to Scotland. I would go back in a hot minute. The Falconer by Elizabeth May DOES NOT HELP THIS DESIRE. OH MAN. I can haz Edinburgh plz?

2. Hogwarts. Um. DUH. I’m STILL convinced my Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail. Definitely being carried by an owl as unreliable as Errol.

3. Russia. The Grishaverse isn’t *technically* Russia, but c’mon. As heavy as the Russian theme is, I want to go. *FYI, Russia has loooooong been on my to travel to list, but now I have a series to say influenced it too!*

4. Cinque Terre & Florence, Italy. I’ve been to Italy. It’s awesome. Every time I read Blue Bloods though, I want to go back to Europe. Especially Cinque Terre & Florence. Yes.

5. Manhattan. Again, I’ve been to NYC, but after every Blue Bloods reread, I want to go and thoroughly explore NYC/Manhattan.

 

6. Cair Paravel. Seriously. What kid doesn’t want to go to Narnia?

7. Rivendell. Hubby would agree with me on this one. (: He does judge me for liking the movies over the books though. Read them once. Never again!

8. Tara. I’ve been to Ireland, really don’t remember it cause I got sick. /: However, I ADORE Artemis Fowl and want to go back to Ireland and see Artemis & Holly’s stomping grounds.

9. Prague. Honesty moment. I haven’t read Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet. It’s on the immediate TBR. I know it takes place in Prague, and I’ve always wanted to go… SO. It’s a legit want to go cause of a book. (;

10. La Jolla/San Diego/Waterfell. Yes, please. Thank you, Waterfell! A major plus would be if Lo is there too. (; Amirite, Amalie?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #43: Summer TBR June 17, 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 on My Summer TBR

I’m starting to do better about my TBR lists (Winter 6/10Fall3/10)! I read 6/11 books from my Spring TBR. I’m such a mood driven reader that it sometimes proves difficult to stick to a reading plan. I think I have a good mix of books for this summer so hopefully I can get closer to actually finishing this time! (:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I think it’s time to read it. I stumbled across a spoiler, but I think I’m in a mindset to handle it.

Frozen by Erin Bowman (I actually started this yesterday so GO ME!) I received an ARC of this and a finished set of Taken and Frozen from HarperCollins. I HATE that I put it off until now. LOVE.

Panic by Lauren Oliver. Another season TBR for this… hopefully summer is the time! 

As You Turn Away by Molli Moran. Ugh. It keeps slipping through the cracks. MUST READ.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I’ve been sorta in a mood for contemporaries so Katie and Jennifer Echols are on the radar.

On the Fence by Kasie West. I have an ARC and like I said above, kinda in a contemporary mood.

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings. I KNOW. This should’ve been read age go, but ya know. 

Oceanborn by Amalie Howard. Amalie told me to check the acknowledgements, so I’m super intrigued. Plus, Lo. I neeeeeeds him.

Deception by CJ Redwine. CJ sent me a signed copy, and I’m so excited to read it and my ARC of Deliverance in one go. Mmmm Logan.

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley. I sent this to my kindle THE DAY it went up and then haven’t read it yet. *sigh* Now would be the perfect time to read it while hubby’s at a military school himself haha! (: LOVE Joy!

Tell me, what’s on your Summer TBR? In case you’re interested, these are the reviews to the books I completed from my Spring TBR: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman, After the End by Amy Plum, Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston, and The Falconer by Elizabeth May

 

*ARC Review* The Falconer by Elizabeth May May 5, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Chronicle Books!***   

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

Rating:5 stars
Pub date:6 May 2014
Publisher:Chronicle Books
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format:ARC provided by the publisher
Status:Book one of The Falconer series

Summary:

Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

My thoughts:

I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across Elizabeth May on Twitter last summer, but I’m glad it happened. It was before The Falconer came out in the UK and ages before ARCs were due out here. I mulled over the idea of preordering a UK copy, but talked myself out of it. Boy, that was a mistake. Luckily, I scored an e-ARC on Edelweiss. Second mistake was waiting til a month before the release date to read it. At least my review is going up just a day before the release date so you don’t have to wait long to get your hands on this great book!

The Falconer is the full monty for me. Kickass heroine, historical fiction, snarkiness, swoon worthy guys, steampunk goodies, and chock full of Scottish faery lore. Plus it takes place in one of my favourite cities EVAR. Not just ever, completely favourite EVAR. I absolutely love Edinburgh. I could rant and rave about my love for Edinburgh for ages.

The Falconer opens a little over a year after our heroine Aileana’s mother was murdered in front of her by a faery. She had long believed the tales of the fae to be false, but finds herself thrust into the middle of a long struggle between the fae and humans. She also reenters society surrounded by the gossip that she is the one who murdered her mother.  A lot to handle for a prim and proper Victorian debutante.

I think Elizabeth did a fantastic job on character growth with Aileana. She shows growth on two fronts. The Falconer is in first person, so we get to see Aileana’s inner monologue comparing herself past and present. We also get to see how she grows once she realises what she was born to be – the Falconer. There is a large emphasis on character development and I absolutely love it. I love when an author takes equal care of fleshing out a character as well as having an ever deepening intriguing plot. I love human characters who drive the plot as much as the plot can move itself.

Along with a kickass main character, she is supported by strong secondary characters. Since we are limited to seeing them through Aileana’s eyes, we only get to see so much of their development, but they are fleshed out magnificently. Best friend Charlotte struggles with her beliefs as they’re surrounded by rumours and she also has everything she thinks she knows is true shattered. I can’t wait to see what her involvement will be in two. She has plenty room to grow. Kiaran is one surprise after another. My feelings for him mirrored Aileana’s (which probably results from interpreting it through her perspective). I laughed, I growled, I gasped, I teared up. I’m so excited to see where the action picks up in two!

Derrick is a bit of comic relief, or so it feels to me. I adored Derrick even when Aileana got rather annoyed with him. I’m hoping with him we will get to see more pixie action in two!

I loved the grounding effect Gavin had on Aileana. I think they are well suited together. Despite being an important character, I feel like he didn’t fully reach his potential. I think this means he will have plenty of growth in two. I have a feeling he will play a much larger role as well. I’m excited about that!

The world building was truly spectacular. Having been to Edinburgh, it was easy for me to visualise exactly where the action was going down, but the way Elizabeth paints the picture, it’s easy to see Edinburgh the way she wants you to see it. I loved the addition of steampunk. I haven’t read much steampunk, but this was easy technology to understand. It also added depth to the story.

It was fascinating and eerie to read the ending battle scene as a full moon and total eclipse was about to occur. Haha. The eclipse plays a huge role in the ending cliffhanger and I think having one happen while I read it added a lot to my experience.

I will have to admit to not knowing as much faery lore of my ancestral home as I would like (I plan on rectifying this soon thanks to The Falconer!). I really enjoyed getting to see how faeries were shown to be like humans in that not all are strictly good or bad. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are human though! It is a struggle for Aileana to remember that. While being a faery lore novel, I feel that the interaction between the fae and Aileana is nothing to what it will be in book two after the action building and cliffhanger ending!

The action scenes were executed beautifully. I’m never a fan of cliffhangers in a new series because I hate waiting for the next installment. Let me tell you how this one hit me — I’m totally ordering the UK version of two so I don’t have to wait as long to see what happens! The action kept building through the whole book and by the end, I was squirming in my seat because I couldn’t be still because it felt like I was there. Elizabeth did such an incredible job.I definitely think she’s one of my new favourite authors! I highly recommend this fantastic debut series if you are a fan of historical fiction, steampunk fiction, or faery lore.

About the author

 

Elizabeth May currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her husband. THE FALCONER is her début novel.

For more information, follow her on Twitter @_ElizabethMay or visit her website www.elizabethmaywrites.com

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday #27: The Falconer by Elizabeth May April 23, 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 Falconer (The Falconer #1)

 

By: Elizabeth May

 

Coming: 6 May 2014

 

Publisher: Chronicle Books

 

Summary:
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

 

 

Why I’m excited:

Oh. Man. When I first came across Elizabeth May on Twitter, I really contemplated ordering The Falconer in the British edition. I decided to wait until the US edition came closer to releasing and hoped to score an ARC. I did. I’ve actually already finished it, but I still wanted to showcase it on WoW. I must confess, I like the UK cover better and will probably order the UK version over the US. I am also planning on ordering the UK version of the second book. Not making the same mistake twice!

Why I need you to be excited:

It’s such a great book. It sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the end. It only lets you go because there aren’t anymore pages to be read. Swoon worthy guys. A kickass heroine. Murder. Mystery. It’s amazing. It’s a fast read. It will leave you wanting more. There are faeries and steampunk Edinburgh. It’s fascinating. It’s screaming to be read. Do yourself a favour and check it out! 

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 13 – 19 April 2014 April 19, 2014

Wow. Another great week! (: I knocked out three books, two of which were ARCs! (: Two of them were great, and the other wasn’t the best. Now I’m at a loss on what I want to read next, haha. I have reviews lined up all the way through the middle of June now. I’m super happy with that. Now, maybe, if I have a hit the wall moment like I did in January, it won’t completely kill my momentum. I’m really enjoying not worrying about any kind of schedule as far as reading. I also went through my eARCs this week and culled the ones I’m not interested in anymore or attempted and they weren’t as great as I was hoping. That helped A LOT. I don’t feel as stressed per se. I wasn’t stressed, but I was just worried about disappointing people for not reading ALL THE BOOKS. Now, I’m not and I’m much happier and knocking through books quicker. I have more giveaways coming up soon, so if you didn’t win the signed copy of Incarnate, never fear! (:

Completed:
The Falconer by Elizabeth May (ARC) 5 stars.

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols (ARC) 5 stars

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (audiobook)3 stars.




Currently Reading:

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

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

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (audiobook)

 

 


Read to the Kiddos:

Breathe by Scott Magoon

Pinkalicious The Pinkerrific Playdate  by Victoria Kann

Spot Loves His Grandma by Eric Hill

Spot Loves His Mommy by Eric Hill

Cleo on the Move by Stella Blackstone

All the Ways I Love You by Dorothea DePrisco

Emergency! by Margaret Mayo

Thomas’ 123 Book by Wilbert Awdry


New to my shelf:

Breathe by Scott Magoon (Many thanks to Scott and SimonKids!)

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore (Thanks Hyperion Teens!)


From the library:
Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage by Tanya Biank

Undaunted by Tanya Biank

 

 
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