The Whimsical Mama

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Top Ten Tuesday #94: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads July 5, 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 Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

This isn’t a pure list as I skipped books from the same series.

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  1. The Prophecy by Erin Rhew (all the books in this trilogy are under a dollar on Amazon!) My reviews for The Prophecy, The Outlanders, and The Fulfillment.

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2. Waterfell by Amalie Howard (This duology is a great quick beachy read!) My reviews for Waterfell and Oceanborn.

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3. Napoleon & Josephine The Sword and The Hummingbird by Gerald & Loretta Hausman. I read this back in high school and fell in love with it!

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4. Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano. The other series I started with book one, but it has over 2k views. Books two and three don’t. This series is fantastic!

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5. Rite of Conquest by Judith Tarr. I stumbled across this at our used bookstore in high school. I absolutely loved it! I should do a reread soon!

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6. In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. While this is the third book, it can easily be read as a standalone. My review of In Defense of the Queen.

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7. The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows. Plus the other Black Knife novellas! I would suggest reading The Orphan Queen first though. SPOILERS and all that. (;

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8. Artemis Fowl The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer. My love for Artemis Fowl goes deep and I finally read the graphic novels last summer.

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9. Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz. Companion to the Blue Bloods series. My review for Blue Bloods

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10. A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris. I adore Rachel and her books. The My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series is so cute and a quick read. My reviews for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, A Tale of Two Centuries, and My Not So Super Sweet Life.

 

What are some of your under 2k rating reads?

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*ARC Review & Blog Tour* The Fulfillment by Erin Rhew October 22, 2015

NEW_eBOOK_FULFILLMENT

***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***

***mild spoilers may follow***


Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 15 October 2015
Publisher: BookFish Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Format: ebook, eARC, provided by the author
Status: Book three of The Fulfillment Series

Summary:

Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality.

Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible.

Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves, while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect.

In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide.

My thoughts:

Another year, another blog tour with Erin! (: It’s so hard to believe that The Fulfillment trilogy has come to an end. It has been one incredible ride and I am sorry to see these characters go! I may ramble for a bit because I just finished and I am at a loss for words. It happens almost every time I finish a series, you think I would be used to it by now! Haha.

My biggest regret with The Fulfillment was not rereading The Prophecy or The Outlanders again before jumping in. I just ran out of time. Life got crazy and cut into reading time! That being said, I KNOW it impacted my reading. There were things I couldn’t for the life of me remember. This was a (basically) one sitting read. I had to run and pick up Punk from pre-k, but I didn’t stop reading at all today. I had started, but got distracted, so I re-read today JUST IN CASE.

We pick back up right where we left off in The Outlanders. (I have to say the absolute best thing about this one was THERE COULD NOT BE A CLIFFHANGER!!! MWAHAHAHA!! Sorry… Erin drove me crazy with the first two and I have taken immense delight in the fact it couldn’t happen again). I am keeping my review major spoiler free, but a few minor ones might slip. I was so happy to be back in Erin’s world again. I’m not sure if it was everything not being 100% fresh or multiple “Mommy! I loves you!” from Bug this morning, but it took me a while to get going. Once I got settled in and things started to pop up in my memory, things just kept rolling and rolling.

I will give Erin major kudos. I had an idea of how things were going to play out (and I was right on most of it), but the way she had twists pop up are done well enough that it makes you question if your suspicions could possibly be right. There were a few, I’m gonna chuck my kindle across the room if this happens moments too. Not gonna lie.

This is so hard without going spoilery! This trilogy really has it all. Magic, romance, fighting. It’s everything you want in a fantasy series. Erin does a fantastic job answering every question that she has presented.

Where the POV were a bit chaotic for me in The Outlanders (my review), I felt in The Fulfillment, Erin was 110% on her game just like in The Prophecy (my review). This time around, each POV change, I felt connected and THERE. It’s been incredible to be able to see these characters grow.

Of the villains, I think The Fulfillment has the absolute best one. I am failing of thinking of the best way to describe how great this one is! (I’m afraid the name will be too spoilery). The next to last battle was my favourite. Even though there is another battle, I feel like that was the pinnacle. (I’m probably being dense and that IS the pinnacle haha).

It was really hard to see what happens to some of the characters. Other characters, it was all I could do to keep from bouncing up and down in the parent pickup car line. One death didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. In a way, it almost felt too convenient and that’s what kept it from getting a 5 star rating. I’m super sad to see these characters go. I’m so honoured that Erin allowed me the chance to be on all three tours. I do feel like a dolt because my review is late. (It’s been a week, folks. It’s been one heck of a week.)

It would be a lie to say everyone got their happily ever after, and I am perfectly okay with that. I like a little real life expectations in my reading. While everything IS tied up neatly with a bow at the end, a hint of the sadness from what the war cost can be felt and I think that’s well done and as it should be. The journey was a great one though! I don’t feel like Erin left anything unanswered. The Prophecy has been fulfilled. *ba dum shh* I totally wouldn’t say no to say, a novella or a few chapters of insight 10 years or so down the road. Just to check in. (;

I would definitely recommend The Fulfillment trilogy to fantasy and young adult fantasy readers. Just make sure you don’t have anything to do. Maybe pick a long weekend or holiday. It’s been an agonising wait between books! You’ll want to read them straight through if you’re anything like me! I’m also super stoked about Erin’s current WIP and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to be on that tour too!

About the Author

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Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. 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.”
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.

Find her online:
Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks
Facebook
Website

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*ARC Review & Blog Tour* The Outlanders by Erin Rhew October 19, 2014



Goodreads

 

 The Outlanders (The Fulfillment Series Book 2)


***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***

***mild spoilers may follow***

***affiliate links are used***

Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 21 October 2014
Publisher: BookFish Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Format: ebook, eARC, provided by the author
Status: Book two of The Fulfillment Series

Summary:

With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.

Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.

 

Sneak Peek:

Everything about Mia felt wrong. The girl, who looked so much like Layla, just happened to be where Samson could find her and came with him to the home of her enemy without any resistance? Whole generations of Ecclesiastics searched for entire lifetimes and never found the Fulfillment, yet Samson encountered two potentials in short succession. She couldn’t pinpoint the reason for her unease, but something tickled the back of her mind, inching toward the surface with painstaking sluggishness.
“I don’t understand why she would just come with you to Etherea.” Layla struggled to keep her voice level and calm to avoid raising Samson’s hackles.
“She didn’t have anywhere else to go. Vance killed her family in Vanguard.”
Layla made a mental note to confirm Samson’s version of the story with the information Nash managed to extract from Mia. “If she’s a Vanguard, why would she come with you to Etherea?”
“You came here,” Samson shot back, his inexplicable protectiveness for the mystery girl heightening her concern.
She treaded with care. “Well, some insane man in a black and purple robe stole my brother, so I didn’t really have a choice.”

 

 

 

My thoughts:

I was offered the chance to be a part of the blog tour for The Outlanders by Erin because I was a part of the blog tour last year for The Prophecy. I was very excited for the chance to review book two!

I reread The Prophecy right before I read The Outlanders so all the events from book one were fresh in my mind. I am very glad I was able to do that because I had forgotten more than I thought!

I was very happy to be back in the wonderful world Erin has created. I was very concerned for a certain prince’s life at the end of The Prophecy and very anxious to see his outcome! Of course, I was also concerned about the kingdoms as a war was on the verge of completely blowing up!

I really enjoyed seeing ALMOST the entire cast back for more adventures. (I won’t reveal who made it and who didn’t in case you haven’t read The Prophecy – go read it! – or in case you don’t remember! Perfect time to get it for 99 cents and refresh!) One of my few complaints is though there were more POV chances, I feel like more depth could’ve been added in some of the scenes. While the action is there and keeps you turning the pages, I kept a sense of things being rushed and not enough time was spent fleshing things out like Erin did in The Prophecy. Because of that feeling, I gave 4 stars compared to The Prophecy’s 5 stars last year.

With a bit more length {C’mon Erin! (; You dind’t HAVE to end on ANOTHER cliffhanger ya know!} and fleshing out, this definitely would’ve been another 5 star read. Both of those are PERSONAL issues, nothing to do with Erin’s characters/world building. I hate cliffhangers. I really do. Erin also knows that. (;

Even though there were many POVs, I still felt short changed (depth & length issue again). After the deep connection with the characters in The Prophecy, I felt like I was on the outside looking in this time. I also REALLY detested one of the new characters. Ugh. I was completely with Layla on that one.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to read The Outlanders. Both are interesting and quick reads, but my kiddos were not cooperative in my reading of The Prophecy last year and was anticipating a similar case again this year. I always tend to have a hard time with tour books cause the kiddos seem to have this sixth sense about tour books. They KNOW mama needs to read this book by a certain time so they go as bonkers as they possibly can. If I hadn’t started The Outlanders so close to bedtime and I didn’t have mama duties, this EASILY would’ve been a one sitting read. Even with my personal preferences, Erin did a fantastic job keeping up the pace and action to keep you wanting more.

I absolutely loved getting to learn more about the history of the kingdoms and Prophecy. I love how Erin laid out more world building in Etherea and introduced the Outlands.I wish she’d been able to reveal the history earlier or have more laid out after it in the book. Not happy with another year long wait with THAT cliffhanger. You’re killing me, Erin!

Overall, Erin has written another great book! She did a great job answering questions from The Prophecy while presenting more questions to keep a reader interested. I was left wanting more as a result of the way Erin presented the story and due to that AWFUL cliffhanger. UGH. STAAAAAAAAHP. I will again say that the length left me a little disappointed. I still recommend giving Erin’s series a look! Both books are quick reads set in an interesting world. Now, let’s have a look at the NEW cover for The Prophecy while I sneak to Erin’s and get her computer so I can see how things are gonna go down in book three! (;

NEW COVER!!! (print copies are in the works!)

About the author:

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Erin Rhew 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.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday #24: Favourite 2013 Reads December 31, 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(ish) Favourite Reads of 2013

 

I read some great books in 2013. I’m looking forward to even better reads in 2014. These are some of my favourites from this year!

 

 

1.The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd.

 

2.Revenants series by Amy Plum.

 

3.Incarnate series by Jodi Meadows ❤

 

4.The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

5.The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. JEM! I need more!

 

6.Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Oh, Jack. ❤

 

7.Waterfell by Amalie Howard.

 

8.The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory

 

9.Everneath series by Brodi Ashton

 

10.The Prophecy by Erin Albert. INCREDIBLE debut

 

11.Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 

12.The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

 

13.Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

 

What were your favourite reads of this year? Fill me in! Let me know about good reads I missed out on!

 

 

 

End of Year Book Survey 2013 December 27, 2013

Since this is my first year blogging, I decided to take part in Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey (all graphics are from her original post! I thought they were awesome and wanted to use them. Thanks, Jaime, for your wonderful creativity!) to see how my first 1/2 year of blogging went as well as my year of reading. I’m excited to look back on 2013. I can’t believe this year is almost over! This time last year I was pregnant and miserable. This year I have two beautiful children running and crawling around the house! (:

 

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Contemporary YA –

I absolutely ADORED Fangirl. It was so close to my freshman year that it was overwhelming. I loved it. Definitely a new favourite!

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic –

I read a lot of dystopian/ Post-apocalyptic this year, but the Legend trilogy had to be my favourite.

Historical Fiction –

This is actually an adult series, but I LOVE Philippa Gregory. I loved this entire series (excluding The Red Queen) and can’t wait to see what The Last Rose will bring to the table in 2014!

Paranormal —

I loved the ending of this trilogy. I do wish we could see more of after the epilogue! (No spoilers for those who haven’t read it!)

Science Fiction —

I’ve never been a fan of Cinderella, but oh man. Marissa Meyer KILLS it with this retelling! Gimme Cress!

Fantasy —


I cannot express how much I loved this trilogy. I am SO sad it’s over. And Cris. Oh, Cris. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let Jodi tell your story! I promise I won’t be mad!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Sorry, just not that into you. Matched was awesome. Crossed and Reached were found wanting.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?


Oh my gosh, guys. This book BLEW MY MIND. I’m not into mermaids. This is not your typical mermaid story. I am SO glad I won this in Amalie’s additional YASH giveaway. PLEASE check this out if you haven’t already!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

See above. I CANNOT push it enough! It was INCREDIBLE!

ALSO:

READ IT! Erin is AMAZING! #TeamWil

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

C’mon guys. Just read this series already. Wow. ❤

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

I loved Amy’s series and I can’t wait for After the End!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the experimentation going on, but man, this book was amazing! Hoping to start Her Dark Curiosity in the next week or so!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Romance has never really been my thing, but oh man. I LOVED this book. Rachel is amazing! (: So glad I was able to read this as an ARC!

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’ve gotta prep for City of Heavenly Fire! So excited! (:

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?


*swoon* I love this dress. I want this dress. I NEEEEEEEEEED this dress. And Cole. I need him too. Smack him around a bit for being so SNEAKY! >.<

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

So I’m cheating a bit. Using a movie pic. But come ON. Finnick is the shiz. WHY Suzanne, WHY?! (And I re-read The Hunger Games trilogy for the movie release. It was not a first time read!)

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Wow. Lauren created such an amazing world. Definitely not a world I would want to live in, but wow. These characters. Read it. Now.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Oh man. Do you know Anderson Cooper’s story? No? Well, check out this book and see what all ONE human being has been through. It will rip your heart out.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Hubby and I listened to this audiobook and I loved it. I can’t believe it took me this long to read it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water. I didn’t have words for the squiggles and dashes across the pages, or the way his fingers stretched across the keys to make my heart race. If I could hear only one thing for the rest of my life, this was what I wanted.” – Jodi Meadows, Incarnate

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest 10pg, “Magnus’s Vow” from City of Bones

Longest completed (read entirely) in 2013 570pgs

Longest completed in 2013 597pgs (I WAS pregnant at the beginning of 2013 lol)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

For reasons. Mary will understand.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).


I ADORE the relationship between Artemis and Holly. Holly and Foaly are pretty epic too. I seriously need to finish this series!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


Again, I LOVE Philippa Gregory. It’s a toss up between The Kingmaker’s Daughter, The White Princess, and The Lady of the Rivers for the favourite of her books this year!

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Incarnate and Infinite have already gotten some cover love, now it’s time for Asunder to shine! I will forever be thankful and grateful for Mary’s recommendation of this FANTASTIC series! Jodi is such a wonderful person and I will promote the heck out of all of her future books because she is a spectacular author! (:

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I’m going to say fantasy. And I mean this loosely. As in combining supernatural/paranormal with it. I did read a large amount of dystopian this year too. I’ll just go with fiction. Yeah, fiction.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Oh goodness. I’ll just make a list instead of covers! Jace from The Mortal Instruments, Jem from The Infernal Devices, Prince Wil from The Prophecy, Lo from Waterfell, Day from Legend, Jules from Revenants, Dossam (Sam) and Cris from Incarnate/New Soul, Jack and Cole from Everneath, Edward IV and Richard III from Cousins’ War (okay, more so from The White Queen on Starz, but still), Levi from Fangirl, and Linden and Gabriel from Chemical Garden. I read a lot of new series this year, don’t hate!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?


Oh wow. This book was AMAZING! (: *grabby hands* for book two! (:

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I am so stoked to see more of the satellite aspect! Marissa’s world is awesome!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

I have loved this series since high school. It was so bittersweet to see it come to an end! I love all of the Jack and Sky action though. Mmmm Jack…. (: I’m totally excited about her new series coming out next year that’s an extension of Blue Bloods

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

OH MAN. The feels. There was one scene that had me blubbering. It was so intense and heart wrenching, I had to go check on my own sweet babies while they were sleeping. Oh… I get chills just thinking about it!

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

This deserved so much more hype for being Megan’s debut novel! Here’s hoping I can help pump up the hype for Her Dark Curiosity.

reading-life-2013

(optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I helped get my lovely Mary’s blog going by spreading the word, but I would have to say The Broke and the Bookish

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?

My review of Waterfell

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

*crickets chirp*

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

All of the ones I read about book piracy. It’s a very polarising topic.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

It was a personal event, but definitely getting to meet up and have lunch with the lovely Jodi Meadows. Best day before my birthday EVAAAAAARRRRRR! Second place goes to the signing with Megan Shepherd! Six hours in the car coming back from the beach to make it in time! (:

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

See above! (:

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Feature and Follow Friday post back in August.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Honestly, all of them! This beginning stuff is hard work!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

My public library! Well, specifically the Children’s library of our library. The kiddos LOVE it! We try to go at least once a week.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I technically completed my Goodreads challenge, but my own personal challenge I haven’t met. I’m not giving myself too much grief though. I did have a baby and newborns are just a bit of a time suck lol.

2014-books

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Yup. It’s the goal. I’m still avoiding all movie things! (: Hubby and I are going to read it together!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Oh, yes. I’m so excited!

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’m very excited about this debut!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

I’m super excited about actually reading this one when it comes out. I know it will be bittersweet as all series endings are, but I’m ready. I think….

I’ve already read an ARC of this masterpiece, but I can’t wait for the book tour and to get my hardback copy and to hang out with Jodi again! (:

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I hope to continue to learn how to balance blogging with being a mama. I love to read and blog, but in all honesty, my kids come first.

Did you read any of the amazing books I read this year? What books do you recommend? 2013 was definitely a great year full of first for me. Tell me about your 2013, I’d love to know! (:

 

Hello December, Goodbye November (Whaaa? Really?) December 1, 2013

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday. I know the holiday weekend isn’t completely over yet, but hope it’s going well! My MIL and FIL came down and we deep fried turkeys and had all the trimmings. Yum. Hubby and I had a date night yesterday, the first in a loooooong while. We also had a white Thanksgiving, did you? Punk LOVED the snow!

Books I read in November (in order of completion)

Sever by Lauren DeStefano. 5 stars (review coming soon)

Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows 5 stars (ebook)

Infinite by Jodi Meadows 5 stars (ARC, teaser review coming next week!)

The Prophecy by Erin Albert 5 stars (eARC)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 5 stars (audiobook)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 5 stars (audiobook)

 

Books with the kiddos:

Kiddos and I reread a ton of books again. Punk has also decided not to take naps in his bed, so he now has to nap in mama and daddy’s bed because he won’t leave Bug alone. He’s decided he loves having mama read to him until he falls asleep. He listened to part of all the books I read this month. (Including Champion by Marie Lu which I’m 3/4 through) We went to the library a few times. Getting back into the habit! (:

 

Coming up in December

  • CHRISTMAS! (:
  • More snow (hopefully!)
  • Family time
  • My uncle and aunt are coming in from New Mexico!!!
  • Hubby’s Guard dinner

Goals for November

  • Survive the holidays
  • Enjoy reading with my kiddos
  • Work on commenting on other blogs. I’m hit and miss with this.
  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.

How was your November? What’s up for December?

 

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

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

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***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

Summary:

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: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/50-our-authors/authors-a/381-erin-albert

Twitter: @ErinAlbertBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-Albert-Books/182769448541270

Website: http://www.erinalbertbooks.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18160774-the-prophecy

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

 

 
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