The Whimsical Mama

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

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

 

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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 New Series I Want to Read

affiliate links used – book titles; covers lead to Goodreads

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

2.

the cage megan shepherdThe Cage

3.

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

4.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

Atlantia

9.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

10.

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

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Hello September, Goodbye July & August! September 7, 2014

Due to a goof and lapse in blogging, this month says goodbye to TWO months! Haha. I can’t believe it’s September. Wow. This year just keeps flying by. I’m happy for some cooler temperatures to be coming soon (hopefully! I live in the South and things have been super hot lately!) Life’s been changing quickly around our house and it’s taking some time to get adjusted to and a schedule worked out. Thank you SO MUCH to those who have stuck around with me through this summer and drop in blogging. I still have to announce my blogoversary winners, so keep an eye out in your inbox cause you might just be my winners! (: Still hoping I can go to YALLFEST in November and if I do, there will be signed giveaways in the future! (: I hope you’re doing well! Fill me in! How was your summer?!

 

Books I read in July & August (in order of completion)

Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Seamonster by Amalie Howard

Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols(eARC)

Too Clever Fox, The Little Knife by Leigh Bardugo

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick(eARC)

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Waterfell & Oceanborn by Amalie Howard

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley(ARC)

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The Queen’s Vow by CW Gortner

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan(ARC)

The Jewel by Amy Ewing(eARC)

 

Books with the kiddos: (I mostly kept track!)

all the Pete books! Other than that, I didn’t really do well keeping track! OOPS!

 

Coming up in September:

lots of family birthdays!

Hubby’s unit’s family day

 

Reviews posted

Tot Time Thursday #2: Pete the Cat Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

 

Flashback Friday #2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

*Mini Review & Giveaway* The Prince & The Guard by Kiera Cass

*Review & Giveaway* The One by Kiera Cass

*Blog Tour & Review* 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

*Review* Mind Games by Kiersten White

*ARC Review* Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Tot Time Thursday #3: Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses

Flashback Friday #3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Flashback Friday #4: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Most visited

 

Blogoversary! (And giveaway!)

 

Goals for August
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Get back on track and stay ahead of schedule


 

 

September releases I’m excited for:

RITES OF PASSAGE!!!!!!

The Jewel

Vampires of Manhattan

SO MANY MORE CAUSE ALL THE BOOKS COME OUT THIS MONTH

 

 

September TBR:
The Young Elites

Vampires of Manhattan

Find Me

Illusions of Fate

THE ORPHAN QUEEN (sampler BUT STILL OMG)

 

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 19/25 (Perfect Couple, Kiss of Broken Glass, Poisoned Apples – DNF not counting in total, Rites of Passage, The Jewel)

TBR Pile challenge: 54/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising, Seamonster, Oceanborn, The Queen’s Vow, Open Road Summer, If I Stay, Where She Went, Salvage)

Series challenge: 14/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (Grisha, Aquarathi )

Real” Book challenge: 33/21-30 (Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising, Waterfell, Oceanborn, Rites of Passage, Open Road Summer)

How was your July & August? What’s up for September?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #46: Characters I Want with Me on a Desert Island July 22, 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 Characters I Want with Me on a Desert Island

Two weeks in a row this has been super easy and super challenging all at the same time!

 

1. Katniss, The Hunger Games. I’m betting she’ll be on a lot of lists today. But let’s face it, she’s an incredible hunter and on a desert island, you need all the help you can get as far as food is concerned.

2. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter. With all of her random knowledge? She’s definitely a good girl to have in a stick spot!

3. Alina, Grisha. The Sun Summoner? Yes, please. Light when we need it!

4. Magnus, The Mortal Instruments/The Bane Chronicles/The Infernal Devices. A witch and a warlock? We SHOULD have it made!

5. Mal, Grisha. Essentially a perfect tracker? Score!

6. Fia, Mind Games. Perfect instincts? We’ll take them!

7. Tarver, These Broken Stars. Okay. He’s totally some eye candy. BUT he’s a decorated solider and good in a tight spot so it’s a win-win. Plus he’s been stranded on an essentially uninhabited planet so he’s got experience!

8. Logan, Defiance. Inventor of all the awesome things and eye candy. We need it and he’ll probably be able to invent it!

9. Roar, Under the Never Sky. Superhuman hearing abilities? I definitely think that would come in handy on a desert island. Doesn’t hurt that he’s some eye candy too!.

10. Drill, Rites of Passage. Badass drill sergeant? Mmmm. I’ll take him any day of the week! Scouting and survival skills will be handy too!

11. Nerissa, The Aquarathi. Shape shifting don’t want to mess with her sea alien? Well. We’ve got fishing covered! (: Plus. She’d be super awesome to hang out with!

12. Sam, Incarnate. We totally need a musician that can play all the things. I’m sure he’ll have some sort of instrument with him! Plus, again, EYE CANDY.

 

Blogoversary! (And giveaway!) July 10, 2014

I am so blown away that it’s my blogoversary! Okay, it was actually yesterday. You know how in my confessions on Top Ten Tuesday mentioned either way ahead or scrambling on posts? Well, this week has been a scrambling one. I scheduled ahead for vacation, but only through the day we came home. I know, I know.  This year has been an incredible experience. Chock full of hard work and numerous rewards. I’ve said before, but I’ll say it again. This blog is older than a year old. I started blogging in 2011. Aspirations of becoming like Julie in Julie&Julia. That FAILED. Juggling a newborn and a new blog idea while hubby had a travel job just didn’t work. So this sat unused for ages. Then Mary started getting her blog off the ground. I debated jumping back in the blogging world for a long time before I actually committed. This time around, I was juggling a toddler AND a newborn, but hubby no longer traveled with work. Finally, I took the plunge and I never looked back.

The Whimsical Mama would never have been possible without all the support Mary’s given me. She is seriously my number one supporter in ALL THE THINGS. If you don’t know her, she blogs over at Mary Had a Little Book Blog. You should check it out. It’s incredible. Just like her! Mary and I go way back to my freshman year of college. Books have always been a big thing in our friendship and I love how close we are on and off the net. Still sucks that we live so far apart! Mary, you’re the best and I LOVE YOU!

This also wouldn’t be possible without you, dear reader. There are times when I feel like I’m blogging and talking to a wall, but when I see pages views and visitor numbers, it makes my heart soar. I could seriously talk to a wall about books, but knowing that someone, somewhere is checking out The Whimsical Mama, it reassures me that I’m doing the right thing. Thank you for sticking around even though I don’t get to do a lot of giveaways. I am happy that I’m going to be able to do more giveaways now. It’s killed me not to be able to share book love other than just publicity.

Thank you to all the publishers & publicists who have taken a chance on me. Especially Cassie McGinty at Disney Hyperion. She deals with my emails a lot and is always AWESOME! (: I’m so thankful for the opportunities you’ve given this lil ole blogger mama to share the book love. 

OBVIOUSLY ALL THE LOVE goes to the authors too. Let’s face it. They’re the true reason we’re here. Without their hard work, we wouldn’t have anything to gush about! I’ve had the chance to interact with one of my favourite authors (Melissa de la Cruz) and meet and build relationships with so many others. I love you all so much. Major shout out to Amalie Howard and Jodi Meadows. Last summer, many a night, there were hours long chats with Jodi, Mary, and Alex. So many fun times! Jodi took the time to drive down to meet me for lunch when I was up in the Northern VA area. She’s incredible. She’s a lovely lady and incredible author. Read her books. DO IT. Like I said yesterday, I stumbled across Amalie and I’m so happy I did. She’s super awesome and super talented. We haven’t had the chance to meet in person yet, but it will happen and it will be EPIC. I will forever more shout the recommendations about their books. Fo’ sho’.

Now, for the time we’ve all been waiting for! GIVEAWAY TIME! I have a ton of giveaways scheduled for this month and next, but this one is special for my blogoversary (plus the Infinite ARC giveaway). This is going to be a level giveaway. First up is a young adult book of choice (up to $15) from Book Depository! For every 300 entries, I’ll reveal another prize and add another winner. Prizes will be first come first serve if more than one is revealed. *** Prize #2 has been unlocked!!*** ARC of 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen! (US ONLY) If you don’t follow my giveaway guidelines, I will disqualify you. Don’t make me do it, please. I’ve had to disqualify people from every giveaway I’ve hosted thus far and it’s so disheartening.

 

Giveaway!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (and only open to the countries where Book Depository delivers to) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 10th 2014 (12am EST) through August 10th 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Winner(s) have 48 (FORTY-EIGHT) hours to respond to email/tweet. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (: For every 300 entries, I’ll add another prize & winner! Prizes will be revealed at each level! (Book Depository prize ONLY IS International all other prizes are US ONLY. Sorry!)

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Don’t forget about these giveaways!

 

Kiera Cass Giveaway!

This giveaway is open to US only ( Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 6th 2014 (12am EST) through July 20th 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (: For every 100 entries, I will add another winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jodi Meadows Giveaway!

This giveaway is open to US only ( Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 1st 2014 (12am EST) through July 31st 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 29 June – 5 July 2014 July 5, 2014

I’ve been quiet this week cause we’ve been on vacation and I made sure I had everything set up before we left. Staying at my hubby’s family’s beach cottage and there’s no wi-fi. Great to unplug for a bit, but also a bit inconvenient when it comes to blogging life. Hopefully everything I planned on reading gets read this week! Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July holiday if you’re a reader from the US! Don’t forget the giveaways I have going on! My Not So Super Sweet Life ebook by Rachel Harris giveaway, Infinite ARC by Jodi Meadows giveaway, and one starts tomorrow for an ebook copy of The Prince or The Guard by Kiera Cass! (:


Planned Beach Reads/Completed:

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris (ARC)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski(ARC)

Seamonster by Amalie Howard

 


Currently Reading:

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

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (paperback & audiobook) 

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


 

Read to the Kiddos: (Didn’t really keep track and haven’t decided what books we’re taking)

Pete the Cat Too Cool for School

Ladybug Girl Says Good Night


New to my shelf:

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (YALLFEST prep, clearance sale!)

The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare (clearance sale!)

Pete the Cat Too Cool For School by James Dean (trip bribery!)

Ladybug Girl Says Good Night by David Soman & Jacky Davis (trip bribery!)

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard


From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

 

From Angie’s giveaway (Thank you soooo much!):

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (ARC) 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians 1-5 by Rick Riordan

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak 

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson 

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Of Triton by Anna Banks (signed!)

 

Hello July, Goodbye June 2014! Plus a giveaway! July 1, 2014

No way is it already July. No. Way. June was a hectic month in our household. Hubby was gone to school 90% of the month. That left me juggling all the household things plus the blog. I thought I’d gotten far enough ahead that I was okay, but it ended up being not quite far enough. No worries. I am working hard to get a good amount ahead. I have reviews scheduled through the middle of September. Of those books, I’ve read through the middle of August. There are a few release week reviews I have scheduled. Now to transition that from paper to computer! July. I still can’t believe it. Wow. I’ve hit it. Well, in a week, but I’ve done it. I’ve been blogging for a solid year now! (Bookwise, this blog is actually about 3 1/2 years old!) This has been an incredible year. Full of ups and downs for sure, but I’ve had a blast on this journey. I’ve made some great friends and met a lot of awesome authors! Here’s to another year of blogging! Cheers! Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end and keep an eye out for LOTS of upcoming giveaways! (:

 

Books I read in June (in order of completion)

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

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Mind GamesPerfect Lie by Kiersten White

Taken & Stolen by Erin Bowman

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (audiobook & paperback)

Frozen by Erin Bowman

Shadow and Bone, The Tailor, & The Witch of Duza by Leigh Bardugo

 

Books with the kiddos: (I mostly kept track!)

Pete the Cat Play Ball! by James Dean

Pete the Cat Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

Pete the Cat Pete at the Beach by James Dean

Pete the Cat Too Cool For School by James Dean

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean

Pete the Cat a Pet for Pete

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Pete the Cat and His Four Buttons

 

Coming up in June

17 First Kisses Blog Tour

Punk’s birthday party

Trip to VA

BLOGOVERSARY!

 

Reviews posted

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Elite by Kiera Cass

 

Most visited

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Bag Reads

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

 

Goals for July
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Stay ahead of schedule

post everyday this month

 

 

July releases I’m excited for:

Oceanborn by Amalie Howard (Oh hells yeah! I need MOAR Lo!)

On the Fence by Kasie West

Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris

July TBR:
Oceanborn by Amalie Howard 

Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris 

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

 

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 15/25 (Perfect Lies, Cinderella’s Dress, Frozen)

TBR Pile challenge: 45/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (City of Heavenly Fire, Mind Games, Perfect Lies, Taken, Stolen, Frozen, Shadow & Bone, Clockwork Angel)

Series challenge: 13/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (The Mortal Instruments, Taken)

Real” Book challenge: 33/21-30 (City of Heavenly Fire, Mind Games, Perfect Lies, Taken, Frozen, Shadow & Bone, Clockwork Angel)

How was your June? What’s up for July?

 

GIVEAWAY NEWS!!!

I’m kicking off my blogoversary celebration now. I’ll have giveaways going up constantly on the blog and on Twitter so make sure you keep your eye out! (:

GIVEAWAY!!

Up for grabs in this first giveaway is an ARC of Infinite by the lovely Jodi Meadows.

This giveaway is open to US only (Sorry international readers! I promise I will one day have giveaways for you too!) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 1st 2014 (12am EST) through July 31st 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Review & Giveaway* Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier May 25, 2014

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

Rating: 3 stars
Pub date: 10 May 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt, Macmillan 
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: paperback, personal copy &audiobook, via library
Status: Book one of the Ruby Red trilogy

Summary:

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.


My thoughts:
Oh, where do I even begin? I bought this on a whim and it’s been sitting in the TBR for a while. I’ve been on an audiobook kick lately and went through my TBR to see what books I had that the library had on audio. I got the whole trilogy in one swoop from the online library. I figured that way I would have it on hand to binge it. This was a good/bad decision

While the kiddos watched their morning shows & played and I do things around the house, I listen to audiobooks. So that’s when I listened to this on audio. If I had a moment to relax, I picked up my physical copy. I read much faster on my own than listening to an audiobook. I wish I had read it all in the physical form over the audio. I really wasn’t a fan of the narrator’s voice. It really took away from the story for me. It wasn’t enough to deter me from pushing through though.

I enjoyed Gwen’s narration as a character. I definitely related to the snarky personality. She’s smart, but you get the sense she doesn’t want to flaunt it because of her cousin, Charlotte. I didn’t care for Charlotte on any level. She’s a spoiled brat who reminds me a lot of a certain someone I know.

I’m undecided on Gideon. He has his good and bad moments, but I just can’t get a feel for him. I’m leaving judgement until later for now.

I really enjoyed the time travel aspect. I love a good time travel read and this series has some great potential. It feels a bit simplified. The characters all interact through the time travel and I feel that would be too great a risk for changing history, but if you don’t think about it too seriously, it works. The amount of time allowed to travel or the things Gwen and Gideon do don’t make much sense, but I’m hoping things will be explained in book 2.

It feels like it’s closer to the younger side of young adult than appealing to adults who read young adult. Not sure if it’s the actual written style or the translation style. More on that in a moment.

The action was decent enough. It was a fairly quick read. Some things felt a bit off, but it’s a translation, so things probably don’t move as fluidly in English as it did in the original German. I don’t speak/read German, so I can’t test that theory!

How the gene started or is passed down isn’t clear or explained either. Hopefully that’s something else that’s explained in book 2 also! 

Ruby Red wasn’t a bad read. It wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t that great. I highly doubt I will ever reread the series and as such, I have a copy to giveaway! It was interesting enough to intrigue me to read books two and three, but this is a one and done read for me. My copy is in basically pristine condition. Hubby says it doesn’t even look like I read it. The giveaway will run for two weeks, so make sure to get your entries in! (:

About the author:

Kerstin Gier is the bestselling author of the Ruby Red trilogy, as well as several popular novels for adults.

GIVEAWAY 

This giveaway is open to US only (Sorry international readers! I promise I will one day have giveaways for you too!) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open May 25th 2014 (12am EST) through June 8th 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

 

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