The Whimsical Mama

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

Waiting on Wednesday #88: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee April 12, 2017

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

By: Mackenzi Lee

Coming: 20 June 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary:

When lifelong friends Monty and Percy embark on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe, they stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris’s glittering finery to the haunted, sinking islands of Venice–along the way fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other.

Why I’m excited:

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 

 

Adult Fiction Beach Reading Recommendations July 7, 2016

Jamie’s post about beach reads really made me think about some reads I’ve loved while I read at the beach, or during a long car ride. Hubs and I really enjoy listening to audiobooks instead of trying to surf radio channels. I’ve already featured non-contemporary young adult reads, non-fiction adult reads, and contemporary young adult reads. Now for the adult fiction reads we’ve enjoyed!

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  1. World War Z by Max Brooks. Hubs and I listened to the audiobook of this. It was FANTASTIC. Multi-person performance. MUCH better than the movie too.

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2. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I read this while I was traveling in Italy & Greece in 2007. It was so neat to travel almost identically along to places Robert Langdon explored in Italy!

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3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I read this in France in 2006. It was an experience exploring Paris and reading this at the same time!

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4. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. Anything by Philippa Gregory is a great read! (excluding The Red Queen, but that’s a different story lol).

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5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. So much better than the movie!

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6. In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. Technically the third book in the series, Michelle Diener wrote these books to be read as standalones. Minimal advantage comes from reading the previous books. Review here.

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7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I didn’t finish the first time I attempted to read, I read it between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I think I was expecting too much of Twilight influence and it was anything but. My second attempt was actually at the beach and I flew through it. I enjoyed it much better than the Twilight series.

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8. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. I’m not big on Christian lit, but I have loved the Left Behind series for years. I still really need to finish it! haha.

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9. Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. A hysterical historical fiction. I should actually do a re-read soon.

I don’t really read much adult fiction! Haha. There’s also a whole slew of Star Wars novels that I love too.

 

 

 

 

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?

 

Non-Contemporary Young Adult Beach Reads June 20, 2016

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When I read Jamie’s post about non-contemporary young adult beach reads, I knew it was the perfect post for me to share my own recommendations. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary reads. I do recommend Emery Lord and Jennifer Echols though if you are looking for good contemporary authors.

These are all quick reads. They aren’t heavily detailed in world building (no Tolkien style writing here!) but the character development is great.

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  1. The Wrath and the Dawn is a delicious quick historical fantasy. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and Renee Ahdieh is a brilliant story teller. Just make sure you take the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, with you!

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2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a little heavier on the world building, but this trilogy is still a fantastic read. It’s always great to read about a badass girl who can take care of herself! Plus there’s a super steamy romance that’s perfect for beach reading. Don’t forget to take along The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss.

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3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. In my opinion, The Infernal Devices is the superior series in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter realm. On audio or physical reading, this trilogy is a fantastic quick binge.

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4. Legend by Marie Lu. This was actually a beach read for me a few summers ago. I devoured Legend and Prodigy at the beach and it left me panting for Champion. This dystopian is a brilliant page turner.

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5. A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano is a middle grade novel, but that doesn’t take anything away from its brilliance. I devoured this read in one sitting, even though it wasn’t at the beach, but at home. I do think this would be a quick beach read though!

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6. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. I’m always a glutton for a good read involving Greek mythology. This series by Aimee Carter is a super quick binge that’s light, dark, and romantic all in one!

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7. Die for Me by Amy Plum. A swoony Frenchman? Yes, please! I adore Paris, so even visiting through reading is great. Throw in relaxing by the ocean and it’s PERFECTION.

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8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. While I still need to read the last book, this is a fantastic fantasy. Plus it’ll make you want to ditch the beach and head to Prague!

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9. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Yep. Melissa de la Cruz’s drama filled series with fallen angels as vampires series makes the list. The fantasy aspect is light and almost contemporary in presentation, it makes it a great, light beachy read.

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10. Waterfell by Amalie Howard. Alien mermaids? Colour me intrigued! What makes this such a great read for the beach is that it takes place at the beach! This is a light world building fantasy as it mostly takes place in San Diego. The realm of Waterfell is a super interesting idea though. Make sure you have Oceanborn to read too!

What are some of your favourite non-contemporary beach reads? Keep an eye out the next few weeks for more beach reading recommendations!

 

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 12-18 October 2014 October 18, 2014

I am on a roll on reading this week! MAYBE at this rate I can read all the books I’m wanting to read before YALLFest. MAYBE. If the kids keep cooperating. All the reading means not a lot of working on the blog. Everything I read this week was a physical/ebook except for Crown of Midnight. It’s my audiobook read. I am definitely going to reread this series ASAP cause I know I’m not getting the full experience on audio! I’m working hard to get back on track, but I probably won’t be completely back to 100% until after YALLFest. I have about 20 books I need/want to read, Hubby has drill, Bug has a doctor’s appointment, Hallowe’en festivities, AND my birthday are all between now and then. SO. Needless to say. It’s a hopping time! I wouldn’t have it any other way though. I love this time of year!

***I am now an Amazon affiliate. I would appreciate it if you’d consider buying the books through my links if they’re available. (: Helping me helps YOU! October Featured Books or you can click on the book covers.  THANK YOU!!***

 

Completed:

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz


The Prophecy by Erin Albert Rhew


The Outlanders by Erin Albert Rhew (Go ahead and pre-order! Only $2.99!)


Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz


Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz


Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

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Currently Reading:


Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

 

 


Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

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Read to the Kiddos:


Pete the Cat: Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

New to my shelf:


The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (Punk’s Imagination Library book, got it last week and forgot to add it!)



From the library:


Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas


Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

 

Top Ten Tuesday #52: Places I Want to Visit October 14, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Places I Want to Visit

affiliate links used

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 14-20 September 2014 September 20, 2014

An even better reading week! YAY! I am loving being on a roll. Now, if only I could get completely caught back up and ahead on blogging. That would be fantastic! Working a music festival this weekend and I’m SO excited. Rhythm and Roots is always a blast with great music and it gets bigger and better EVERY YEAR!!! (:

 

Completed:

Remember Me by Romily Bernard (eARC)

 Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz

 

Currently Reading:

Revelation by Melissa de la Cruz

 

 

 

 

Read to the Kiddos:
Chick Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. 

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr (Bug’s current favourite!)

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Joffe Numeroffe 

That’s Not My Meerkat by Fiona Watt

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin & James Dean

R is for Race: A Stock Car Alphabet by Brad Herzog

Alphaprints: ABC by Roger Priddy

 
New to my shelf:

 

From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

We got in a bunch of requested books from the library so we are HAPPY! (:

 

*Book Blitz & Guest Post* Love, Lucy by April Lindner May 12, 2014

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I’m excited to be a part of the book blast for Love, Lucy by April Lindner today! I’m excited to be a part of this blast because I absolutely adore Italy. I had the chance to go in 2007 and have been dying to go back ever since. Lucy’s top ten favourite things about Italy (with pictures!) totally isn’t helping matters any! (:

 

Love Lucy Cover

 

Release date: 27 January 2015 (such a long wait for a read I know will be great!)

 

Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown)

 

Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance

 

Status: Standalone

 

Summary:

 

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

Inspired by E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View.

 
The Top Ten Things I Love About Italy

 

By Lucy Sommersworth

 

 

 


10. Train stations. They make my heart beat a little bit faster. I especially love the departure signs lit up with the names of exotic cities. They make me want to pick a destination at random—Venice or Milan or Naples, basically any place I’ve never been before—and just jump on, trusting that some kind of wonderful adventure will be waiting for me when I hop off. I would do it too except for the fact that Charlene, the friend I’m traveling with, likes schedules and order. I could never talk her into doing something that reckless.

9. The language. Italian is so lush and musical. Not that I can speak it, exactly. I took Italian in high school, and I can remember just enough to say basic things like excuse me and I would like the Spaghetti Bolognese, please. But even just reading the street signs out loud makes me feel like a different version of myself—more worldly and glamorous. And even the most ordinary words, the ones that mean ATM or supermarket—sound glorious in Italian.

8. Italian men. What can I say? I’ve always had a thing for dark brown eyes.

7. Window shopping. I could do it all day long. Window displays are different in Italy, quirkier and more colorful. I especially love the sparkling little jewelry stores on the Ponte Vecchio, the funky clothing store displays, and store windows full of colorful, exotic treats—marzipan fruit, and candied rose and violet petals.

6. Sidewalk cafes. Nobody minds if you linger forever over a single cappuccino, just soaking in the atmosphere and watching the people pass by.

5. Gelato. After a few hours, walking around Florence can make a person exhausted. Luckily, wherever you turn, there’s a glass storefront gleaming with refreshing gelato—a miniature rainbow-colored mountain range of it: raspberry, mango, lemon, dark chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio—and all of it amazing.

4. Street Performers. Though Charlene insists they’re just begging and we shouldn’t give them our money, I can’t help myself. I love them all: street musicians, the people who draw chalk masterpieces in the street, the folks who dress up as statues and pose for tourists. I’ve even got a soft spot for mimes!

3. Riding on a Vespa. Please don’t tell my mom, okay? She would have a panic attack if she knew.

2. Pretending I’m Audrey Hepburn. Roman Holiday is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the reason I wanted to go to Italy in the first place. Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Ann, who has grown deathly bored with having to give speeches and act stiff and regal. On a stop in Rome she runs away, and wanders through the city pretending to be a commoner. Of course she falls in love with Gregory Peck. Like her, he’s pretending, acting like a nice, ordinary guy who just wants to show her around Rome, when really he’s a reporter with ulterior motives. He recognizes her, and plans to write a tell-all story about her for his newspaper.

I won’t spoil the ending. I’ll just add that if you’re planning a trip to Rome, you need to see Roman Holiday first. And then, if you happen to meet a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger, maybe you can get him take you on a Roman Holiday tour, and you can pretend to be Audrey Hepburn the way I did.

1. The amazing people I met along the way. Swapping stories with other backpackers about our travels and misadventures. Vacation flirtations with dark-eyed strangers. And, just maybe, experiencing a real summer romance.

 


 

About April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.


 


 

The Giveaway

This blast includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon eGiftcard to ONE winner. The giveaway is open to anyone who can accept Amazon eGiftcards from the U.S. store. The giveaway ends on May 26, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. May the odds be ever in your favour! (:

Just enter in the Rafflcopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Review* A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris March 23, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
6 August2013
Publisher:
Entangled Teen
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Historical Fiction
Format:
ebook, won in giveaway
Status:
Book two My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century companion series

Summary:

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.


With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

My thoughts:

I’ve been dying to get my hands on this ever since I finished My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century in the fall. My library didn’t have a copy and we’ve been on a tight budget, so I’ve been waiting impatiently. The book gods then smiled down on me and I won an e-book copy. YAY! Commence reading, flailing, and fangirling!

I love Rachel. She’s such a sweetheart and an incredible writer. She’s firmly on my read everything she ever writes list. For reals.

Rachel does a fantastic job with characters. She creates such believable and loveable characters. I haven’t had trouble relating to a single character yet!

After the spunky Cat returns from Italy, she leaves behind her 16th century ancestor, Alessandra in a world she feels even more disconnected from. She’s everything her time calls for – polite, demure, proper, etc. She’s also everything her time isn’t ready for in a young woman – equality driven, passionate, and outspoken (even if only in her mind). She wants more than her time can offer – a loveless marriage. She misses her cousin and wants more adventure in her life.

As luck would have it, once again, fate intervenes in the Angeli family, and Alessandra is thrust into the 21st century. Talk about a culture shock! Alessandra is at an utter loss and it’s hysterical watching prim and proper Alessandra navigate our world that is chock full of impropriety.

Alessandra has two wonderful people to come to her rescue. Dear cousin Cat schools her on the 21st century world at home and yummy Austin makes it a challenge to bring her out of her shell.

First impressions prove to be wrong between Alessandra and Austin and it was fun to read their banter and watch their relationship blossom. Things also blossom between heartbroken Cat and new guy Lucas. I can’t wait to see how things continue to develop in My Not So Super Sweet Life!

Alessandra gets her wish to act on stage and she does a fantastic job at it. She gets the star role of Juliet in an acting showcase. Time is running out, but she asks for more time so she can have her chance to shine on stage. After she completes her stellar performance, she realises she doesn’t want to go back to a joyless boring life. Alessandra is faced with a choice. Leave her 16th century family behind or leave Cat, Austin, and the 21st century behind. Whichever she chooses, she will never see the other again.

The ending is superb. I really don’t know how Rachel continues to deliver so completely time and time again. I’ve never been a big romance/contemporary reader, but if it comes from Rachel, I’ll read it AND recommend it like crazy! I really can’t wait to get my hands on the third companion of this series, My Not So Super Sweet Life! I need it NOW!

About the author

Author of fun & flirty romance about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings and strong families are a staple of all my books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.


I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch countless hours of reality television with my amazing husband. I write YA, NA, and Adult romance and LOVE talking with readers!

 

Hello March, Goodbye February! (A bit late!) March 9, 2014

Wow. March. And the start of the second week too! February blew by and I didn’t get as much accomplished as I had hoped. I was busy working on things for my family and for my daughter’s birthday. I had meant to get more done in the last two weeks, but I took time and focused on my kiddos. I have everything written up, I just have to type it out and get it scheduled to come up soon. I have some giveaways planned so keep an eye out! (:

Books I read in February (in order of completion)

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

Books with the kiddos:

We read a lot, as usual. And as usual, I was terrible about keeping a good list. I do have an idea mulling around for the blog concerning the kiddos and books. It may start up in April if I do decide to go through with it!

Coming up in March

Bug’s birthday!

Girls Gone Sci Fi tour!

Hubby’s military class

Goals for March (same as last month, need to work better!0

Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.

Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Stay ahead of schedule

Read more with the kiddos

March releases I’m excited for:

Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

March TBR:

Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard

I haven’t decided what else I want to get to this month. We’ll see where the reading spirit takes me!

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with three challenges officially; I still need to sign up for a fourth.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 4/25 (Uninvited and Cruel Beauty)

TBR Pile challenge: 8/11-20 {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} (The Little Android and A Tale of Two Centuries)

Series challenge: 4/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (A Tale of Two Centuries)

Real” Book challenge: 7/21-30 {I have to sign up for this one once I get this post up!} (What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Ring & the Crown)

How was your February? What’s up for March?

 

 
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