The Whimsical Mama

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

Top Ten Tuesday #101: Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet August 23, 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:

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

  1. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

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2. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

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3. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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4. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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5. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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6. The Book of Dreams by OR Melling

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7. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

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8. Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

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9. Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

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10. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

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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.

 

 

 

 

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

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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: 12 – 18 April 2015 April 18, 2015

I am so happy to be back in the swing of blogging! It feels so great! I’m doing some work on a Read It Before You See It type post. I know it’s not original by any means. Just something I’d like to do. Maybe have some guest posts? I have a list drawn up and some recent ones to whip up into posts as I get through the planning stage. I think I may do a giveaway or two with it if there’s some interest! I’m pretty excited about it. (: I had a lot of great input for recommendations this week! Thank you to everyone who made suggestions! I appreciate them!

I’m super excited/sad about Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman releasing this week. I’m excited cause I’m binge rereading the first two and I can’t wait to see how things end. I’m also sad cause I DON’T WANT IT TO END!!!! I NEEEEEEEEED more Gray in my life. This can’t be the end!

affiliate links used

Completed:
These Broken Stars (Starbound)by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Taken by Erin Bowman

Currently Reading:
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor)
Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House, No. 4)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Frozen (Taken) by Erin Bowman

Read with the Kiddos:

 we were bad again this week. /:

New to My Shelf:
Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
ARC Landry Park by Bethany HagenThanks for the trade Emma! (:

From the Library:

lots of audiobooks to start on my Read It Before You See It feature (just a sampling!)
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival (Hardcover) by Maziar Bahari
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

 

Top Ten Tuesday #61: Books Santa Can Put Under the Tree December 23, 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 Books Santa Can Put Under the Tree

T’was the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house… blah blah blah. Santa, could you please leave these under the tree? 🙂

1. This Shattered World by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner


2. The Falconer by Elizabeth May


3. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor


4. The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory


5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu


6. Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley


7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith


8. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer


9. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


10. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 21 September – 11 October 2014 October 11, 2014

It’s been a while, and I apologise. Blogging lately has felt more like a job/duty than being fun. So. Instead of putting out crap, I continued to take a step back. It’s probably hurt me from getting ARCs, but I’ll deal. Relaxing/spending time focused on my family this summer apparently wasn’t enough of a break of sorts. I have been doing a lot of reading now that I’m over my slump and I have a lot more to read between now and YALLFest. Yup. That’s right. This girl is going to YALLFest for her birthday present! WOOT! I am SO flipping excited. I am hoping to get some books signed to giveaway here. I’ll keep you updated on that! Hubby is supposed to be going with me and I’m going to get him to stand in line with me with the extra books. (: I am very behind on all things blogging, but I feel like I’m ready to start facing the challenge. Hopefully things are back on course!

***I am giving being an affiliate with Amazon a try. 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 ***

 

Completed:

Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz

The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory

The Transfer by Veronica Roth

The Traitor by Veronica Roth

The Initiate by Veronica Roth

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

 

Currently Reading:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas 

 

 

Read to the Kiddos:

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

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Little Pink Pup

Pouch!

Possum come a-knocking at the door

Ladybug Girl Who Can Play? by David Soman & Jacky Davis

 

 

 

New to my shelf:

Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley (ARC, Tea Time giveaway)

The Invisible by Amalia Kahaney (ARC, Tea Time giveaway)

Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano (ARC, author giveaway)

All of Baby Nose to Toes (Bug’s Imagination Library book)



From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

 

*Review & Mini Review* Taken & Stolen by Erin Boman September 21, 2014

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

***I received a finished paperback from HarperTeen & Alison Linsow, I decided to review on my own. Being provided with a copy in no way swayed my opinion.***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 April 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery (MALE NARRATOR)
Format: paperback provided by HarperTeen & Alison Linsow
Status: book one of the Taken trilogy

Summary:

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

 

 

My thoughts:

I’m pretty sure that I have Jodi Meadows to thank for Taken getting on my to read radar. She’s recommended some great ones to me. How it didn’t get read until now is a mystery. SO. GOOD. The cover is gorgeous. I would love to have prints in my office. When i was surprised by a paperback of Taken and a finished hardcover of Frozen after receiving an ARC, I knew it was time to read. I finally found time to fit it in.

I was instantly intrigued because the narrator is male. Definitely nice to read in a different perspecive than normal. I was also excited because I was jumping into another dystopian setting. I love dystopians! I know, I know. You’re thinking, ugh, just another dystopian. No. NOT just another dystopian.

Though it’s only in for a short while, I loved the relationship between Gray and Blaine. Orphaned young, they’ve only had each other and have an easy relationship. I developed a theory quickly about the Heist and I was right. Some people may be turned off from the seeming predictability, but I think Erin wrote it that way intentionally. Even though it’s in Gray’s perspective, I felt it was set up for the reader to figure things out a step ahead of Gray so it was easier to see how his choices were made by his personality.

I also liked watching the relationship develop between Emma and Gray. Emma is a strong female character to keep Gray on his toes and grounded at the same time. I’m undecided on the romance side of their relationship. It kinda feels like she has the hots for Blaine and Gray has the hots for Emma. We’ll see though.

I loved Erin’s world building. She gives enough detail and background without it being overwhelming. There is still enough left unexplained to keep you guessing and interested in continuing reading to see how everything is going to end up.

Gray is followed over the Wall by Emma. Gray is determined to find the answers to his questions. And answers he finds. Everything he thought he had an idea of being the truth is no where remotely close.

Along his journey, he meets a host of other great characters. No one is who they really seem to be and it’s hard to know who to trust. I liked Emma, but I came to like Bree too. I’m interested in learning her back story in Stolen.

I’m excited to be able to dive right into Frozen. Yes, this is another dystopian. However, that shouldn’t take away from the appeal. It’s a fantastic and quick read that will leave you wanting more. Give it a shot!

 

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 4 February 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery
Format:
ebook, personal copy
Status: novella companion of the Taken trilogy (Bree’s POV)

Summary:

Before Gray Weathersby uncovered the truth about Claysoot and the Laicos Project, a girl named Bree came of age in the coastal settlement of Saltwater—and made her own surprising journey to the world beyond its borders. In Stolen, discover the story of Bree’s life before she was Snatched from her home, before she joined the rebellion, and before she met a boy named Gray…

 

 

My thoughts:

It feels like I’m reviewing novellas more frequently and that’s not my intention. I was on the fence about reviewing Stolen, but decided to do a mini review because it’s from a different perspective than the rest of the trilogy.

I was drawn to Bree for her fierce bravery and determination. She definitely gives Gray a run for his money in cockiness and snark. Oh, the snark that they exchange! Superb!

I liked being able to see inside another walled city. Chronologically, Stolen takes place before Taken, but I recommend reading it after. It was interesting to see a community where the boys are taken plus some of the girls.

The events of Stolen really make Bree’s behaviour in Taken clearer. It’s really heartbreaking and made me far more sympathetic towards her.

Again, Erin sets the scene beautifully and this is a super quick read. It makes me look forward to seeing Bree’s character blossom even more in Frozen and Forged.

About the author:

Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger. She is the author of TAKEN, FROZEN, and FORGED (4/14/15) from HarperTeen. VENGEANCE ROAD is forthcoming from HMH in fall 2015.

 

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! (:

 

*Blog Tour & ARC Review* Remember Me by Romily Bernard September 18, 2014

Remember Me (Find Me #2)

by Romily Bernard

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: September 23rd 2014

Read an excerpt

Synopsis:

In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?
Wick had thought her troubles were over.
But she should’ve known better.
Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.
The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.
Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed! The paperback of Find Me is on sale simultaneously, and a digital original novella from Romily, featuring Griff, is on sale just a few weeks before! 

I am struggling right now! Reading Find Me and Remember Me back to back, I’m overwhelmed. It’s one thing seeing inside the hacking world in a movie. Entirely different getting inside a hacker’s head. Whoa.
I’m normally all about me some dystopian &/ fantasy and not really ip for contemporary cause I’m not into real life and romance scene. Yes, I’m  reading a contemporary, but I’m still escaping. I know minimal things of the world of Wick and exploring it has been great!
Right from the beginning, Romily hooks you all over again. Just like Find Me, Remember Me is easily a one sitting read. Unless, of course, you’re a mama of two tots and scrambling to find time to read because your precious two hours of reading a day doesn’t happen. STOP FIGHTING NAPS PUNK AND BUG! >.< Anyway…
One major difference this time around is how much darker things are. Find Me was dark, but Remember Me takes it to a whole other level. Wick is dealing with murders on top of all the other things (fallout from Todd, her dad being in prison, being adopted, etc.) With so much more going on, and not being able to read consistently, I did have to occasionally back up a few chapters to refresh. I think it was a combination of so much going on, reading Find Me and straight into Remember Me, and mommy brain. The struggle is REAL.
Speaking of struggle, that’s a big think Wick and Griff do. After finally getting together in Find Me, they have to fight for their relationship in Remember Me. They struggle with their lives and their romance the entire book. I loved the gritty honesty of life and not a fairytale like romance like in most contemporary YA. I can get both sides of the coin (Wick & Griff), but I also got a bit annoyed with Griff for REASONS (aka SPOILERS lol).
With a new job also comes a new character in Milo. He’s just… well, Milo. Haha. I prefer Griff’s brand of shady over Milo’s, but I also like Milo’s snark over Griff’s moodiness. I know novellas are becoming a played out hot mess, but I would love to see more Milo (*hint hint* Romily *hint hint*)!
I think Romily does a great job avoiding the sophomore slump with Remember Me. It’s full of twists and turns, and of course completely unexpected revelations. It builds on the events of Find Me, sets up for the trilogy finale of Trust Me, and shines on its own. A great read beginning to end and I highly recommend it.




 

 




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Follow the FFBC Remember Me Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.
So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed. 

Win (1) of (2) signed paperbacks of Find Me + Remember Me by Romily Bernard (US Only)

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #49: Authors I’ve Only Read One Book by and Want to Read More September 16, 2014

b301e-toptentuesday

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 Authors I’ve Only Read One Book By

1. CJ Redwine (Defiance)

2. Aimee Carter (Pawn)

3. Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)

4. & 5. Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner (These Broken Stars)

6. OR Melling (The Summer King)

7. Sophie Jordan (Uninvited)

8. Joy Hensley (Rites of Passage)

9. Michelle Diener (In Defense of the Queen)

10. Victoria Scott (Fire & Flood)

 

 
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