The Whimsical Mama

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

Waiting on Wednesday #54: Diplomatic Immunity August 17, 2016

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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:

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Diplomatic Immunity

By: Brodi Ashton

Coming: 6 September 2016

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Summary:

Aspiring reporter Piper Baird decides to write a scathing exposé on the overprivileged students at an elite Washington, DC, school, only for her life to change when she begins to fall for the story’s main subject, in this new realistic contemporary romance from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.

Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity…it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?

Why I’m excited:

I loved Brodi Ashton’s Everneath trilogy. My reviews for Everneath, Everbound, and Evertrue. I loved her writing style, and was eagerly awaiting something new. (I’m excited to read My Lady Jane too!) I was really interested in going into Foreign Policy in high school. Either as an interpreter at the UN or working as a diplomat at the State Department. I went to a class at Georgetown and got to spend quite a lot of time around diplomats and on Embassy Row. I had a blast. I can’t wait to see Brodi’s take on it!

Why I need you to be excited:

Diplomatic intrigues are so fun! Well, in print anyway!

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

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

 

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

Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Seamonster by Amalie Howard

Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols(eARC)

Too Clever Fox, The Little Knife by Leigh Bardugo

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick(eARC)

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Waterfell & Oceanborn by Amalie Howard

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley(ARC)

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The Queen’s Vow by CW Gortner

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan(ARC)

The Jewel by Amy Ewing(eARC)

 

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

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

 

Coming up in September:

lots of family birthdays!

Hubby’s unit’s family day

 

Reviews posted

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

 

Flashback Friday #2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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

*Review & Giveaway* The One by Kiera Cass

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

*Review* Mind Games by Kiersten White

*ARC Review* Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

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

Flashback Friday #3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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

Most visited

 

Blogoversary! (And giveaway!)

 

Goals for August
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Get back on track and stay ahead of schedule


 

 

September releases I’m excited for:

RITES OF PASSAGE!!!!!!

The Jewel

Vampires of Manhattan

SO MANY MORE CAUSE ALL THE BOOKS COME OUT THIS MONTH

 

 

September TBR:
The Young Elites

Vampires of Manhattan

Find Me

Illusions of Fate

THE ORPHAN QUEEN (sampler BUT STILL OMG)

 

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 27 July – 10 August 2014 August 10, 2014

Sooooo…. I haven’t posted in ages and I kinda explained in my last Tot Time Thursday why that’s been the case. I’m spending today getting this week’s posts up and ready at the same time prepping for our first week of home preschool. I intended to start last week, but printer mishaps didn’t let that happen. So, instead of being a week ahead of our school system, we’ll be roughly on the same page with them. I think they start Wednesday, but we’ll be starting tomorrow. Needless to say, it’s been super busy around the house in the last few weeks with me deciding to buckle down and get things organised. Punk’s shown an increase in wanting to read and asking to learn to read. So, we’re giving home preschooling a go! I’ve also been super busy with reading. While working on ALL THE THINGS, I’ve also been listening to audiobooks. I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? I’ve been sitting at the computer lining things up and instead of music, I listened to audiobooks. Hopefully things will be going much more smoothly now or at least soon once we get in a rhythm for working throughout the day. I’ve also decided since I haven’t stayed on top of watching entries and revealing prizes, I’m going to extend my blogoversary giveaway by two weeks so the word has time to get around about the new prizes. Of course, I’m upstairs while I’m working on this and my prize list is written downstairs, so, I’ll add that ASAP later today. So, check back after around 2PM EST to see the list. I’m aiming to have it up after church around the kiddos’ naptime! (: Before I give the lowdown on what we’ve been reading, tell me, how have YOU been? I feel like I haven’t really talked to anyone lately! What are some great things you’ve read lately? What are you looking forward to? (Yes, I will have my Hello, Goodbye post fixed this week as well.) Time, I need more of it!

 

Completed:

The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner (audiobook)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (OMG THIS BOOK!)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (audiobook)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (audiobook, not as good as I hoped)

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan (audiobook, also not as good as I hoped)

 

Currently Reading:

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

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

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

 

 

Read to the Kiddos:
Read to Tiger by S.J. Fore

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach by James Dean & Eric Litwin

The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef by Meomi (Punk squealed with joy when I found this in the new books!)

 


New to my shelf:

 

From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

Something Strange and Deadly and A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry *swoons*

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (audiobook)

A TON of books for the kiddos!

 

*Review* The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory May 19, 2014

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

Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Pub date: 6 September 2006
Publisher:Touchstone, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction
Format: audiobook, via library
Status: Book one of the Tudor Court series

Summary:

“I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known…and I will be Queen of England.”

Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII’s older brother, Arthur, Katherine’s passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match; but when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents — the crusading King and Queen of Spain — have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the very pinnacle of power in England.

Set in the rich beauty of Moorish Spain and the glamour of the Tudor court, The Constant Princess presents a woman whose constancy helps her endure betrayal, poverty, and despair, until the inevitable moment when she steps into the role she has prepared for all her life: Henry VIII’s Queen, Regent, and commander of the English army in their greatest victory against Scotland

My thoughts:

Goodness this has been on my TBR for YEARS. For whatever reason, it has been knocked back and ignored over and over. Finally going on an audiobooks on the ipod in case of travel or kiddos ask binge, I selected The Constant Princess. Sadly, Simon & Schuster had it set up with our online library that it couldn’t be transferred to an ipod, so I requested the cd set from the physical library. I knocked out 3/4 of the book while working on computer things and then finished it the next day during naptime.

I love all things Tudor. I am actually surprised I haven’t read much Tudor lit lately. I did binge The Cousins’ War series last year and just rewatched The White Queen – which is actually what put me in the mood for some Philippa Gregory. The last Cousins’ War won’t be out til the fall and The Constant Princess is the next book I haven’t read.

I will admit that I am more of an Anne Boleyn fan than Catherine of Aragon, mainly because I love Elizabeth I over Mary. It was very fascinating to  finally get in the mind of Catherine though.

I liked that Philippa Gregory put an emphasis on Catherine’s marriage to Arthur. Most of my readings have been at the end of Catherine’s reign during the rise of Anne Boleyn. I liked having the chance to read about a young Catherine. Imagine how different the world would have been if Arthur had lived!

Though I’ve always preferred to read about Anne Boleyn, I have always admired Catherine’s strength through her life.

The youngest daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain had no choice but to be destined for immense strength and greatness. Married and shipped off to a complete stranger in a strange country as a young teenager, Catherine has been groomed her whole life for this opportunity. As a royal princess, she knows she is nothing but a pawn in the struggle for political power.

I likedthat Philippa Gregory chose to follow the line of Catherine and Arthur falling in love during their short marriage. They were paired fantastically, but tragically torn apart.

Arthur was well done. I fell in love with him as Catherine did. Even though I knew how history played out, I still wanted their hopes and dreams to come to pass.

After Arthur’s death, we see more of his father, Henry VII. I’m in the camp of believing he had the princes in the Tower killed and I’ve never cared to read about him. Even in fiction (especially after The White Princess) I find him abhorrent. Plus he turns out to be a creepy old man in this. UGH.

Henry,oh little Prince Henry. I hated the spoiled brat almost as much as I hated his father in The Constant Princess. In the actions taken, Catherine really seals her own fate even though there are circumstances entirely out of her control.

I really didn’t care for the massive skip through time to the end. It did feel a bit awkward even though it does show how things played out. The Constant Princess wasn’t one of m favourites, but it was a relatively quick read. I would suggest starting with a different Philippa Gregory novel if you’re just now venturing into her works. She has much stronger books to read first.

About the author:

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author.

Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.

Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty stricken African country. Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells.

A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website.

 

 
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