The Whimsical Mama

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

Top Ten Tuesday #58: 2015 Anticipated Reads December 2, 2014


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 Anticipated Reads of 2015

1. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

2. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

3. Winter by Marissa Meyer

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

5. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

7.Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

8. A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

10. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord


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



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)


the cage megan shepherdThe Cage


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


A Court of Thorns and Roses


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)


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


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




Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine


Waiting on Wednesday #36: A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd June 25, 2014


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:

A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter #3)

 By: Megan Shepherd

 Coming: 27 January 2015

 Publisher: Balzer+Bray, HarperCollins, HarperTeen


After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.


Why I’m excited:


Continuing with the cover reveal love, today I’m impatiently waiting for this beauty. The cover was revealed last week, but I already had decided to swoon over The Orphan Queen. This week, was decided to be dedicated to another favourite author I love. Megan is such a sweetheart. I got to meet her back in the fall when she came to a neighbouring city’s library. She was entertained with Punk’s “dancing” skills after being cooped up in the car driving home from the beach. I think someone developed a crush on Megan that day! I devoured Madman’s Daughter in preparation for the signing. Then when Her Dark Curiosity came up on EW, I KNEW I had to get my hands on it. I blew through it too. I just love Megan’s retellings. I even got my sister in law to read Madman’s Daughter and she loved it! (: *does happy dance*


Why I need you to be excited:


Again. Like last week, just look at the cover. Look at the covers for the whole trilogy. They’re GORGEOUS. Megan is a spectacular writer and the first two books leave you thirsty for more. I am so excited to see how things are going to go. Plus? It’s set in Scotland. You know how I love Scotland. It’s going to be an amazing ending, I just know! Get excited and get ready for the excitement!!!








Top Ten Tuesday #42: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014 June 10, 2014


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

Top Ten-ish Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014 

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 

The Falconer by Elizabeth May 

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare 

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch 

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton 

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi


Please Be Kind, Rewind: 16-22 February 2014 February 22, 2014

I am finally getting ahead of schedule as far as getting things up on the blog. Yay! I’ve been ahead and paper for a while, but now I’m getting things typed up and scheduled. I have some giveaways planned in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes open! Thanks to a bit of a reading slump and the Olympics, I haven’t been getting much reading done the last few weeks like I would have liked. I just can’t get into any of my ARCs so I decided to jump ship and work on knocking out some books on my TBR. I’m hoping this will lighten up the mood and rekindle that fire to devour every delicious ARC there is in my review pile! I’ve also developed an addiction to The Americans show. I’ve always meant to watch it, but never got around to it. Thanks to a well placed commercial while I had the Sochi Olympics in mind I checked Amazon Prime for it. I’ve been binge watching the first season to prep for the upcoming season. It’s AMAZING. Do you have any good spy book recommendations? It doesn’t matter what era (though the Cold War is always a good one!), just please hook me up!


The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (ARC) 4 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (with the kiddos) 

A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

Read to the Kiddos:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin

Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool by James Dean. 4 stars.

My Farm Friends by Wendell Minor. 4 stars. (Bug’s Imagination Library book)

New to my shelf:

From the library: (all audiobooks) 

Rush by Eve Silver

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan 

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (Punk wants us to read them so I thought it could also be our car book)


Hello February, Goodbye January! February 2, 2014

I hope you’ve had a great start to 2014! I basically took the month off in January and it was nice. After the craziness of the holidays and trying to cram blogging and family obligations all together, it was nice to focus mainly on my family. I love reading and blogging, but my family comes first. Taking a step back really helped me and I think it’ll help me focus and balance things better from now on. I started getting good at working in advance and scheduling, but I’ve got to get even better. I’ve got to get better at taking a step away from the computer, phone, kindle, books, etc when the kiddos want/need me. Books will always be there to be read. My babies won’t always be babies.

Books I read in January (in order of completion)

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Brooke by Veronica Rossi (novella)

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (eARC)

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare (novella)

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (ARC)

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (ARC)

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner (ARC & audiobook)

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Defiance by CJ Redwine


Books with the kiddos:

We read a good amount of books, but not as much as I would’ve liked. We’ll work on that in February! The weather in January has been awful, either frigid or snowing so we haven’t gotten to the library nearly as often as we should’ve. Hopefully February will be a bit more forgiving in the weather department!

Events attended:

  • Jodi Meadows web chat for the #Incarnate read-a-thon
  •  Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine, & Myra McEntire signing in Nashville, TN

Coming up in February

  • 4 year wedding anniversary ❤
  • Family time
  • Dark Days tour
  • These Broken Stars tour

Goals for February

  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.
  • Work on commenting and visiting other blogs
  • Stay ahead of schedule
  • Read more with the kiddos

February releases I’m excited for:

  • Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
  •  Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer (the lovely Mary is getting this signed for hubby as an anniversary present to me! Aren’t they the best?!)
  •  Alienated by Melissa Landers
  • Tremor by Patrick Carman

February TBR:

  • The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
  • Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
  • Mind Games by Kiersten White
  • Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  •  Cress by Marissa Meyer

Challenge Update:

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

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 2/25 (Into the Still Blue and Her Dark Curiosity)

TBR Pile challenge: 6/11-20 {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} (TTEN, Brooke, Vampires Scones & Edmund Herondale, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, and Deception)

Series challenge: 3/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (TTEN, Brooke, ITSB, Her Dark Curiosity, Evertrue)

“Real” Book challenge: 5/21-30 {I have to sign up for this one once I get this post up!} (TTEN, Fire & Flood, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, Deception)

How was your January? What’s up for February? I’m excited about things that are coming up this year. 2014 is definitely looking up to be a great year!


*ARC Review* Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd January 26, 2014

***I was granted permission to read Her Dark Curiosity by the publisher (Harper Teen, Balzer + Bray) in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Harper Teen and Balzer + Bray! Spoilers may be revealed in the review.***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date:28 January 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen, Balzer + Bray
Genre:Young Adult Fiction
Format:eARC via publisher
Status:Book two of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy


To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father’s island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

My thoughts:

Her Dark Curiosity picks up shortly after The Madman’s Daughter ends. Years ago, back when I was a wee high school freshman, we read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I was very excited to see where Megan was going to take this retelling.

Victorian London once again comes vividly to life when Juliet returns and tries to rebuild her life. She’s taken in by the professor who turned her father in to the police for his experimentation. He never intended for Juliet and her mother to suffer as they did and wants to help Juliet in any way he can to make up for what happened. However, time is running out for the recently returned to high society Juliet. The serum her father created is starting to fail. As each day passes, her illness continues to worsen while she secretly works to create a cure. On top of the race to find a cure for herself, there is a serial killer on the loose.

All around town, people are being murdered and the murderer is leaving a calling card – a flower. The murder aspects, I felt, as well as being the distinct differences alluded between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, gave off a Jack the Ripper vibe. I’m not sure if Megan intended that or if it was just me. Either way, the macabre nature of the murders was very well done.

Juliet learns that she is connected to the victims and becomes increasingly concerned. A certain detail on the victims’ bodies brings back things from the island Juliet had hoped were gone forever. Combining the mutilation of the victims’ bodies and consumed with guilt for events that transpired on the island, Juliet is uncertain what is happening and why she is involved.

Juliet, again, is an incredible heroine who shows true strength and determination in order to help herself and others. Despite being extremely clever, she can also be too trusting and quick to jump to action. This almost gets her into all sorts of terrible trouble more than once. On that note, Juliet’s ability to cling to hope even when things are incredibly bleak is very inspiring. She rises to each challenge and refuses to give up.

Megan does a fantastic job of weaving new and old characters together in this incredible sequel. I was VERY excited to see a certain character return. *swoon* I won’t say which character, cause it’s something that concerns Juliet for a while and that she thinks of often. Megan also does a great job at making you continuously guess at who the villain is. Every time a clue pops up and you’re convinced you know who it is, Megan throws in another twist.

Her Dark Curiosity does NOT suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump. As dark and mysterious as The Madman’s Daughter was, Megan manages to take Her Dark Curiosity on to a whole new level with each twist and turn. Even though it should’ve been glaringly obvious, I completely failed to pick up on the clues for the key book for the trilogy ender. I had a suspicion, but I brushed it off. Sadly, if I had kept with it, I would’ve been right! I am so excited about it though. Part of me wants an ARC and for it to be out now and part of me wants a single release and for it to be savored.

Her Dark Curiosity was absolutely spectacular and I think it will be one of 2014’s best. This gothic thriller is definitely one you don’t want to miss! Darkness, mystery, intrigue, romance, excitement, the works are packed in on every single page. Many thanks to Megan for writing this great book and to HarperCollins and Balzer+Bray for granting me permission to read the ARC.I highly recommend this series and hope you check it out!


Please Be Kind, Rewind: 12-25 January 2014 January 25, 2014

After a crazy month (holidays, sickness, life, etc) I am getting back on track! Yay! I’m fulling planning on relaunching everything starting today. I have several signing events coming up in the next few months so keep an eye out for potential giveaways! (: I am ready to get back in the swing of things. I’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished this week during naptime. My dad kept Punk for two nights, so only having one kiddo helped a lot too.


Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd. (eARC) 5 stars

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott. (ARC) 4 stars 

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner. (ARC & audiobook) 4 stars.

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton. 5 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (with the kiddos)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (audiobook)

Defiance by CJ Redwine


Read to the Kiddos:

Little Sisters Are by Beth Norling

Touch and Feel ABC & 123 by DK Publishing

Spot Goes to the Library by Eric Hill (Bug’s Imagination Library)

Baby Sounds by Joy Allen (Bug’s Imagination Library)

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

New to my shelf:

From the library:

Origin by Jessica Khoury 

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick 

Prodigy by Marie Lu (audiobook) 

Champion by Marie Lu (audiobook) 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi  (audiobook)


Defiance by CJ Redwine 

Everbound by Brodi Ashton 

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Unremembered Ch 1-5 sampler by Jessica Brody (ebook)

Annie and Fia: A Mind Games Short Story by Kiersten White (ebook)

HarperCollins: (Thanks so much!)

Frozen by Erin Bowman (ARC)

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (ARC)


A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris (ebook)

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by AG Howard (ebook)


Please Be Kind, Rewind! 22 December 2013 – 4 January 2014 January 4, 2014

Hope you all have had a great holiday season! (: Our Christmas was nice. Stress free for the most part. New Year’s Eve was quiet. Punk spent the night with my mom so it was just me, Bug, and hubby to ring in the new year. Got a big slobbery kiss from Bug after the ball dropped. (: I didn’t get as much reading done as I would’ve liked. We all got sick just before Christmas and then my aunt and uncle came in from New Mexico for the first time in 2 ½ years so we spent much needed quality time with them. I’ll take a poor read tally for that! I’m sick again, so I’m really playing catch up! I had hoped to finish Into the Still Blue yesterday, but a fever prevented that. /: I’m really looking forward to 2014! Three reading challenges are sure to make it an interesting year! Keep an eye out for giveaways. I’m hoping I can start having more for your guys soon! I do have a few planned, but I’m hoping this will play out to where I can do even more!


Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. 4 stars

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. 5 stars.

Brooke by Veronica Rossi. 4 stars

Currently Reading:

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Read to the Kiddos:

We did a lot of reading, but I didn’t keep track of it. /:

New to my shelf:

From the library:

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (audiobook)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (audiobook)

Until I Die by Amy Plum (audiobook)

Die for Me by Amy Plum (audiobook)

If I Should Die by Amy Plum (audiobook)

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner (audiobook)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (audiobook)

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (audiobook)

The Selection by Kiera Cass (audiobook)

Eragon series by Christopher Paolini (audiobooks)

From my Gran (she was clearing off her shelves and I was like OMG! Can I have THESE?!)

Left Behind series (1-13) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins

Lost and Found by Jacqueline Sheehan

Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer


Top Ten Tuesday #24: Favourite 2013 Reads December 31, 2013


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


Top Ten(ish) Favourite Reads of 2013


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



1.The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd.


2.Revenants series by Amy Plum.


3.Incarnate series by Jodi Meadows ❤


4.The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

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


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


7.Waterfell by Amalie Howard.


8.The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory


9.Everneath series by Brodi Ashton


10.The Prophecy by Erin Albert. INCREDIBLE debut


11.Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


12.The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer


13.Legend trilogy by Marie Lu


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




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