The Whimsical Mama

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

Contemporary Beach Reading Recommendations June 30, 2016

I’ve always made it clear that I’m not that big of a contemporary fan. However, these are some great reads I highly recommend. I came up with my own selections after reading Jamie’s post. I also have featured non-fiction adult and non-contemporary young adult posts. Keep an eye out for my post with adult recommendations next week!

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  1. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Mary recommended this to me when Bloomsbury was looking to share this fantastic debut. Knowing I’m not a contemporary fan, she knows when there are books that I’ll enjoy. She hit a home run with this one! Emery is now on my auto-buy list. Review here.

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2. When We Collided by Emery Lord. I’m telling you, Emery is a fantastic author. Her books completely wrap you up and you don’t want to stop until you’re done reading.

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3. The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord. I will shamelessly plug Emery’s books forever! Review here.

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4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Super quick and funny read! Review here.

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5. Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley. Have you ever turned down a dare? What’s the most extreme dare you’ve ever done? Review here.

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6. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen. Cute and funny debut! Review here.

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7. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. I love Middle Tennesse. It holds such a special place in my heart! Review here.

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8. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols. Oh, marching band. I miss you like WHOA. Review here.

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9. Love Story by Jennifer Echols. Creative writing and horses = BLISS! Review here.

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10. Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. Sheer brilliance! Review here.

All of these are light and quick reads. There are some heavy moments in them, but they’re all great beach reads!

 

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Please Be Kind, Rewind: 17 – 30 May 2015 May 30, 2015

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 11:45 pm
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More good reading weeks! We also got to spend some time with hubby’s family Memorial Day weekend. One of his cousins got married and we traveled to Knoxville to celebrate. It was an absolute blast and we wish them many years of happiness! ❤ I’m buckling down and getting caught up on blog work. I would like to get far enough ahead that I only have to sit down maybe once a week or so to work on the blog. I’m going to take it slow again this summer, but I’m also sticking to my schedule. Hoping if I can get enough work done in the next two weeks, I’ll be ready! Hubby’s military schedule is all shades of crazy this summer, so it’ll mostly be me and the kiddos on our own. Sucks, but it is what it is.

 affiliate links used below

Completed:

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

The Heir by Kiera Cass

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Nothing but Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Currently Reading:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

New to My Shelf:
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
Finding the Worm by Mark Goldblatt(Both Goldblatt books were sent by Cassie McGinty for a review! I haven’t decided if the reviews will go up here or on Voyages of the Backyard Explorers yet! Maybe BOTH! haha)

From Mary: (She’s the bestest best friend ever)

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefanoARC (My TBR may just fly out the window for this one! <3)
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth WeinARC
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski(She surprised me with a finished copy! Also got my ARC signed <3)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell(Take THAT USPS! I STILL HAVE IT!)

Trades: (Thanks, SO MUCH!)

Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversARC
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne BlankmanARC
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine KuderickARC
The Fall by Bethany GriffinARC
Doll Bones by Holly BlackARC
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
All Fall Down by Ally CarterARC
The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan
A Cold Legacy by Megan ShepherdARC (My collection is complete now!)
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan SpoonerARC
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Clariel by Garth NixARC

 

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

 

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!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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! (:

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*ARC Review* These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner March 10, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
10 December2013
Publisher:
Disney Hyperion
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance
Format:
ARC borrowed from Mary, audiobook via library
Status:
Book one of the Starbound series

******AS ALWAYS WITH MY REVIEWS THERE MAY BE MILD SPOILERS******

Summary:

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My thoughts:

Though part of my reading was done by reading an ARC, it was a borrowed copy from the lovely Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) and not directly from Disney Hyperion. I also did part of my reading listening to the spectacularly done audiobook.

I had wanted to read TBS since I first heard about it last summer when I started blogging, but as a newbie blogger, I didn’t stand a chance. I resigned myself to wait and snag a copy from the library. Lovely Mary to the rescue! She surprised me by shipping her copy to me (I have the best friends ever!) After finishing Under the Never Sky in a binge series read, I was at a loss on what to read next. Mary appealed to the Army wife, military loving part of me and suggested I fall in love with soldier Tarver. I’m glad she did.

I really enjoyed the dual first person point of view. It really fit for this novel. In a survival situation, it was nice to be able to see what was going on in both Lilac’s and Tarver’s minds. I used to be very against multiple points of view, but after reading several well done multi views, I’ve been persuaded to at least give them a chance. On paper, the voices are wonderful and seamless transitions. The audio? Even. Better. It was so great. ********I think I enjoyed the audiobook better than reading the physical book. That NEVER happens!*********

Now, while I enjoyed this novel, it didn’t blow me out of the water like I was hoping. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a fantastic read. I just wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the amazingness. Maybe if I’d listened to the whole thing it might’ve hit the mark. Maybe not. There were a few spots that were very predictable and that always docks points in my book.

Since it was a shipwreck on a seemlingly abandoned, unoccupied planet, it gave Aime and Megan PLENTY of leg room to develop Lilac and Tarver individually, as a survival pair, and as a couple. It also gave them plenty of room for world building. In the vast expanse of the universe, anything is possible. I was really impressed with the dynamic levels that were cultivated and expanded on characters and world building.

As with a favourite couple of mine – Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, first impressions aren’t necessarily true. Tarver likes to come off as a simple soldier from a simple background who was thrust into greatness. Only part of that is the case. Lilac, as the only child of the richest man of the universe comes off as a spoiled little rich girl. Though she is pampered and very rich, Lilac is so much more than that.

Through their time on the not so abandoned planet, they learn that there is a deeper level to each person. First comes friendship, then comes love. I let out a huge sigh of relief that there was no insta-love in this situation. I may have bailed if that had been the case. I really enjoyed their relationship development and I’m looking forward to seeing more in the rest of the series. Now, the following books are companions, so it’s not guaranteed that they’ll be in them much, but if they are, it will be good to see them!

While this was an entertaining story, it wasn’t one that demanded to be read in one sitting. It’s very much a story that CAN be read in one sitting. Don’t think I’m knocking it any. It just wasn’t a heart racing, MUST READ THIS NOW type of flow. It was one that is able to be devoured but also savoured. It gives you a lot to think about. Not being a time demanding read was nice. With two young kids, it’s hard to read demanding books. This one worked nicely with the demands of mamahood and reviewer life. I recommend this to sci-fi and romance lovers. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. Again, the sequel is a companion, not a true story continuing sequel. Many thanks to Disney Hyperion for giving the ARC to Mary so she was able to share it with me!

About the authors

Amie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in the Starbound trilogy, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

 

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

 

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

 

 

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

 

 

 
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