The Whimsical Mama

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Goodbye May – September, Hello October! October 1, 2015

Filed under: Books,Hello Goodbye Monthly Review — Maura @ 12:05 am
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I really can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by! It’s really kinda ridiculous. Totally meant to update May in June. That didn’t happen. Summer was HECTIC. Hoping autumn will be a bit more forgiving and laid back haha. I had a great summer and got a good amount of reading done. For a quick summer recap: In May, I did a down and back trip to Nashville with my friend Lauren to see Sarah J Maas on her ACOTAR tour. AMAZING. Talked publishing and books for hours with the incredible Lizzy Mason. One of hubby’s cousins got married and it was super awesome to get to see part of his family! In June, our English Mastiff, Maggie, was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Her back left leg is limp and drags. She has good days and bad days. There’s no treatment or cure. She’s learned to compensate for the weakness. We’re enjoying her every minute that we can. We know that sooner, rather than later, that we’re going to have to put her down. She’s super excited to be an indoor dog again though! June also brought hubby’s Annual Training with the National Guard. Maggie got sick THE DAY BEFORE he had to leave. It’s always something, I’m telling ya! July brought two beach trips. The kiddos and I went to Northern VA to visit hubby’s side of the family for the Fourth of July at the family cottage on the Potomac. SO MUCH FUN! Bug kept trying to figure out a way to get the newest baby in the family home. HER BABY. Haha. I celebrated my second book blogging anniversary, without actually doing anything. Oops! We also went to the beach with my mom and step-dad. The kiddos love the beach. I am super proud that I made the 6 1/2 hour and 8 hour beach drives solo with the kiddos. We also said goodbye to my 94 year old great-grandmother in July. It was hard. August brought Hubby’s 30th birthday! We also went to the fair with my (ex)step-dad. The kids had such a blast. Bug wanted to ride the BIG rides so bad and was quite upset she was too young. She loved the carousel and the pony rides though. Punk loved the animal exhibits. Punk also started pre-k this year. It hit me hard that I now have a school age kid! He’s loving it and I love that he’s loving it. I’m really enjoying the chance to have some one on one time with Bug. There are some days that she cries and doesn’t want to take Bubby to school. There are others that she cries because she doesn’t want to go pick him up! She’s sitting in my lap now as I work on this post haha. September was a bit more relaxed. Hubby’s unit had family day and we also went to an MTSU home game. That was a looooong day! Five hour drive down and back after a full day of fun! Now it’s on to October! I love October. Autumn is in full swing. My birthday is this month and so is HALLOWE’EN! How was your summer?

affiliate links used

Books I read in May-September (in order of completion)
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test Book 2) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance (A Goddess Test Novel) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Legacy (The Goddess Queen / The Lovestruck Goddess / Goddess of the Underworld / God of Thieves / God of Darkness (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel by VE Schwab
Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 4) by Cassandra Clare
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
The Hidden Prince (Orphan Queen Novella 1) by Jodi Meadows
The Queen: A Novella by Kiera Cass
The Evil We Love (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 5) by Cassandra Clare
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Vicious by VE Schwab
Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 6) by Cassandra Clare
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: A Throne of Glass Novella by Sarah J Maas
Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life by James Dean
The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series Book 1) by Sarah J Maas
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass series Book 2) by Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass series Book 3) by Sarah J Maas
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass series) by Sarah J Maas
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Bitter of Tongue (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 7) by Cassandra Clare
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Glowing Knight (Orphan Queen Book 2) by Jodi Meadows

Coming up in October:

My birthday!

Punk’s class’s field trip to the corn maze

Hallowe’en!

Punk’s school’s fall festival

Goals for October

Stay ahead of schedule

Learn to successfully juggle two blogs

Spend time focused on the kiddos

Catch up on review writing

BALANCE

October releases I’m excited for:
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
The Rose Society (A Young Elites Novel) by Marie Lu

October TBR:
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer
The Fulfillment (The Fulfillment Series) by Erin Rhew

Challenge Update:

2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge books completed:
A book with 500+ pages: Brazen by Katherine Longshore
A book turned into a movie: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
A book published in 2015: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
A book with a number in the title: The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series
An author under thirty: Vicious by VE Schwab
A book with non-human characters: This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel
A funny book: Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
A book by a female author: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
A book with a one word title: Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
A book of short stories: The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
A book set in a different country: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
A popular author’s first book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A book a friend recommended: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
A Pulitzer Prize book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A book based on a true story: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
A book that scares you: The Fault in Our Stars
A memoir: Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
A book read in one day: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
A book set somewhere you want to visit: A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter) by Megan Shepherd
A book with bad reviews: (either love or hate this one!) The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A trilogy: The Hunger Games Trilogy
A book from your childhood: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
A book with a love triangle: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)
A book set in high school: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
A book with a colour in the title: The Red Tent: A Novel
A book that made you cry: The Assassin and the Empire: A Throne of Glass Novella (Throne of Glass series Book 1)
A book with magic: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
A graphic novel: Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
A book by an author you’ve never read: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A book set in your (college’s) hometown: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
A banned book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
A book turned into a TV show: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

How was your summer? What’s up for October?

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Please Be Kind, Rewind: 19 April – 16 May 2015 May 16, 2015

Filed under: Books,Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 11:45 pm
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Oops! I’ve been slacking in my weekly updates. Gotta get better! Anyway, I’ve had a rather busy month! Hope you all have been doing well! I’m still excited to be back in the swing of blogging and I’m super excited to be working on my Read It Before You See It feature. I’ve been knocking out some books so I can binge some movies! I have a feeling if I can keep knocking books out, I’ll be able to have a super movie marathon while hubby is at annual training this summer! What are some of your favourite page to screen adaptations? I have a huge list, but I’m always looking for more suggestions! (: I’m also excited by how many trades I’ll have coming in too! In case you’ve missed the trading on Twitter, check out #booksfortrade! I’ve also been busy with #boutofbooks this week too. So much fun trying to out do my normal reading amount. Not that hard, to be honest haha. My reading amount varies greatly from week to week. I had a blast in Nashville at the Sarah J Maas signing!

Got my May package from my Secret Sister today! It’s so awesome and I’ll have a write up of April AND May up next week. (: My Sister is the best! Our poor mailman delivered five packages today. He walks our route, so he drove up to the house to drop off the boxes after he walked our block. Sorry, Mr. Mailman! I’ll have lots of books rolling in! (:

affiliate links used

Completed:
Frozen by Erin Bowman (reread)
Forged by Erin Bowman
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
The Artemis Fowl #2: Arctic Incident Graphic Novel 1st (first) Edition by Colfer, Eoin (2009)
Artemis Fowl The Eternity Code Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception Graphic Novel (Artemis Fowl (Graphic Novels)) by Eoin Colfer
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (audiobook)
The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney (audiobook)

Completed for #boutofbooks
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (audiobook)
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout (audiobook)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (audiobook)
The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter (audiobook)
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (audiobook)

Currently Reading:
The Love Dare by Stephen & Anna Kendrick
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh ARC
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

New to My Shelf:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh ARC
Illuminae by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ARC
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel ARC

From my Secret Sister!
The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, Book 1) by Diane Haeger
The Queen’s Mistake: In the Court of Henry VIII (Henry VIII’s Court) by Diane Haeger
The Queen’s Rival: In the Court of Henry VIII (Henry VIII’s Court) by Diane Haeger
The Love Dare by Stephen & Anna Kendrick
The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab OMG SO FREAKING EXCITED!

Trades: (Thank you SO much everyone!)
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios ARC
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Gameboard of the Gods: Age of X by Richelle Mead
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd ARC
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd ARC
Unleashed by Sophie Jordan ARC
This Shattered World by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner ARC

Like audiobooks? Check this out! (: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

 

*Review* Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols June 9, 2014

***I was given a signed copy to celebrate the paperback release in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Jennifer!***   

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

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 July 2013
Publisher: MTV books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: paperback, personal copy, signed & provided by the author
Status: standalone

Summary:
From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

 

My thoughts:

To celebrate the release of the paperback edition, Jennifer gave away a few signed copies in exchange for honest reviews. I was lucky enough to get a copy. Luck would have it that it arrived right after I finished Biggest Flirts. In the mood for some more contemporary, I jumped right in. Take not that back to back contemporaries is extremely uncommon and should speak VOLUMES about Jennifer’s talent.

I was immediately sucked into the wonderfulness that is Nashvegas (Nashville to all those uncool cats). I LOVE Nashville. Love, love, LOVE. You don’t even understand how much I love Nashville. Jennifer made me so freaking homesick for Middle Tennessee. Every page made my heartache for Nashville. I also enjoyed every page. Just remember that. By the way, I spent the first 18 years of my life in East Tennessee. I only spent 3 1/2 ish years in Middle Tennessee. I. Love. Middle. Tennessee. I BLEED MTSU blue. I freaking LOVE the Nashville Predators. LOVE NASHVILLE. (Have I gotten my love of Middle Tennessee across yet? lol)

Ah, music. I love books with musicians. Like I said in my Biggest Flirts review, I’m a musician and I married a musician. I could easily relate to Bailey on that level. I wasn’t forced into the business or forced to give it up like her though. I could never imagine doing that to my children. Even though as a parent, I wasn’t thirlled with the sneaking into bars/going behind her parents’ back, but my hear sang for joy when she played. And the non parent part supported her in her ventures to do whatever it took to find herself.

I can totally relate to Bailey’s punk style rebellion. That was my freshman year of college. Punk style clothes, dorm room, and music. I did it to push a few boundaries and to see if I could get away with it. I did. Haha.

I was blown away by Sam. Of course, I was into the musician side of him. I just – wow. I felt like he could walk off the page at any moment. The commitment issues because of his parents? I get that. His passion to go after what he wants? Yes, please! He did have his moments when I could’ve choked him, but that made him more realistic for me. It made him human. His flaws made him believable.

They are supported by a great cast of secondary characters. I really liked Bailey’s grandpa. Pulling the parental card on the parentals was great. I loved Ace. He was the perfect addition to the dynamic of the group. Everyone needs that friend that keeps everyone grounded. I didn’t like Charlotte, but I believe that’s the point.

Just like Biggest Flirts, I fell in love with the world Jennifer created. It was great to be back in Nashville even if it was only in my imagination. I still won’t say I’m a contemporary fan, but I will say I’m quickly becoming a Jennifer Echols fan! I totally recommend this to contemporary and non contemporary fans alike! This was such a quick and enjoyable read! I’m so glad Jennifer gave me a chance to read and review it.

Playlist: (I couldn’t get these songs out of my head while I read!)

Dirty Little Secret” – All American Rejects

I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift

Remember When” – Alan Jackson

Whiskey Lullaby” – Alison Krauss & Brad Paisley

My Best Friend’s Girl“- The Cars

Pompeii” – Bastille

Light Up the Sky” – The Afters

Somewhere I Belong” – Linkin Park

Overprotected” – Britney Spears

Five Feet High & Rising“- Johnny Cash

Done” – The Band Perry

Broken” – Lifehouse

Best Day of My Life” – American Authors

Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane

Dancing Away with My Heart” – Lady Antebellum

Cocaine Blues” – Johnny Cash

About the author:

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

GIVEAWAY!!! Check out my twitter account @armywife2310 for a swag giveaway! (:

 

*Review* Evertrue by Brodi Ashton March 13, 2014

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date:
8 January 2014
Publisher:
HarperCollins, Balzer+Bray
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology
Format:
hardcover, personal copy, signed
Status:
Book three of the Everneath trilogy

Summary:

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself… which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?


In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

My thoughts:

After an excruciating wait, the conclusionhas arrived for Brodi Ashton’s incredible trilogy. Evertrue picks up where Everbound leaves off. Nikki has successfully rescued Jack from the Tunnels of the Everneath and they are now trying to sort out the aftermath of Cole’s betrayal and deception. Oh, Cole. I still can’t go there. Sneaky devil.

Nikki and Jack decide that the Everneath must be destroyed – a Herculean task if there ever was one. Brodi does a nice job weaving in numerous elements of Greek mythology. Hercules was incapable of telling good from evil in all things and to me, Cole has always been blind to it, like his morality is gone.

I love a good redemption and as much as I swore I would NEVER let Cole weasel his way back into my heart, it happened. I tried to resist, but the things Brodi does to him… Man, I am GLAD I am not Nikki. Never dear, there are lots of scoundrel motives with angelic moments.

Jack also still has a hold on my heart. Not many guys would go through all of the things he does for the girl they love. Jack is simply incredible and I love that he has his bright and dark moments. Brodi is definitely on the Evil Authors Are Evil list with Jodi Meadows!

Over and over, Brodi does a fantastic job of amping up the dangers and action. I had some things figured out due to it being in first person, but others, Brodi definitely kept me guessing.

I’m still reeling with everything Nikki dealt with in the series. She definitely is one strong girl! I do not envy her situation or choices though. Cole or Jack? Definitely not a choice I would want to make. I really admire the lengths she was willing to go to protect the ones she loved.

I am very pleased with how things wrapped up. My one complaint for the series would be wanting to know more about the other members of the band. We had a glimpse into Cole’s thought line in Neverfall, but I would love to know more about the band.

I am happy to recommend Evertrue and the whole Everneath series. It’s a fantastic read. It’s great for a mythology lover, but not so heavy in the mythology that if you don’t have the background you won’t understand it. Brodi does such a great job with taking the Persephone myth and making it her own. I’m sad the series is over, but I’m glad I had the chance to read it!

About the author

I write Young Adult novels. I eat cinnamon bears. I love me some Diet Coke.


My debut book EVERNEATH (the first in a trilogy) comes out Winter 2012 with Balzer and Bray (Harper Collins).


I’m represented by Michael Bourret at Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #29: Popular Authors I’ve Never Read March 4, 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 Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

Veronica Roth (Divergent trilogy) – I started Divergent yesterday, but I’ve never COMPLETED anything by Veronica (yet).

Victoria Schwab (The Archived series, Vicious) – I won a copy of The Archived a few weeks ago and all of her books have been on my TBR for ages, I just haven’t gotten to them yet!

Neil Gaiman (whoa… too many to list) I’ve meant to start so many of his books it’s kinda ridiculous.

Orson Scott Card (Ender’s series and others) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m one of THOSE book nerds who has never touched Ender’s Game other than ordering a copy when the movie was in theatres.

Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me trilogy) I KNOW, I KNOW. Shatter Me has been promoted to my immediate TBR pile so… SOON.

Julie Kagawa (Iron Fey books) – I started one and was too intrigued by Jodi Meadow’s book at the time. I started both by reading a few chapters to see which I would read first. Jodi’s won out and I never made it back to Julie. I will remedy this!

Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity & Rose Under Fire, others) I ordered Code Name Verity at the end of last summer, but still haven’t read it. I know, shame on me.

John Green (ALL the feels apparently) I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever pick up any of his works. Just not something I normally read, but maybe.

Cynthia Hand (Unearthly trilogy) I have the entire trilogy (signed) on my shelves and I still haven’t touched them. I really need to though!

Gayle Forman (If I Stay, etc) I’ve heard so many great things about her books, but I just haven’t gotten to them. Hopefully one day!

What popular authors have slipped your list so far? Feel free to leave your link, I’d love to read your lists! (: Happy Tuesday!

 

 
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