The Whimsical Mama

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

Secret Sister March Unwrapped April 9, 2015

affiliate links used

Last Monday, I received a glorious package from my Secret Sister, James Bond. The awesomeness and gratitude could NOT be fully shown in 140 characters on Twitter, so I decided to do a full unwrap on the blog. This will focus on my goodies. An in depth unwrap on the kiddos’ goodies can be found on Backyard Explorers.

When I opened the front door to see if the mail had gone by, Punk spotted our giant box first.

IMG_7137Bug was still napping, so we just opened the top to peek in.

IMG_7138Once Bug woke up, we dug in! I was SO overwhelmed by my Sister’s generosity. She is the sweetest for including the kiddos!

IMG_7140Now! To show off my goodies!

IMG_7141Isn’t she the BEST?! I am still so overwhelmed. Punk has tried to claim my hot chocolate, but I say it’s ALL MINE!

IMG_7142I’m on a huge Tudors kick right now. My Sis and I read Gilt by Katherine Longshore together and discussed it via letters. So much fun! Well, after finishing Gilt, I continued on to Tarnish and Brazen. While on this binge, I posted my Tudors era collection (Including the Cousins’ War series)

IMG_7049Tudor collection consists of:
The Other Boleyn GirlThe Secret Diary of Anne BoleynQueen Jezebel: A Catherine de’ Medici NovelThe Tudors: Season 1Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544 (The Royal Diaries)Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France 1553 (The Royal Diaries)Mary, Bloody MaryDoomed Queen Anne: A Young Royals BookBeware, Princess ElizabethAnne of the Thousand Days / Mary, Queen of ScotsGiltElizabeth: The Struggle for the ThroneElizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, QueensElizabeth ILady JaneThe Other Boleyn GirlThe Boleyn InheritanceI did forget my DVD of Elizabeth (Spotlight Series)OOPS! I also have a few Philippa Gregory books on my kindle, but until they’re also in my physical collection, they don’t count (;

My sister very generously passed on some of her Philippa Gregory goodies to help flesh out my collection a bit more

IMG_7143
The Other Queen
The Red Queen (The Cousin’s War)
The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins’ War)
The White Queen (The Cousins’ War)

Don’t worry about The White Queen not being the show cover! I don’t mind having multiple copies of favourites! (: I haven’t gotten to The Other Queen yet in my reading, so I’m pretty excited for it while I’m on my Tudor binge! (:

I was SO excited to see This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel in this month’s box! (: I have been dying to get my hands on this December 2014 release! It is definitely a top priority after my Tudor binge!

IMG_7144I am a huge hoarder – I mean collector of bookmarks. When I saw this adorable yarn ball and crochet hook bookmark by Craft’ed, I wanted it hardcore! I was so happy to see it! Aren’t the owls adorable? Can’t wait to use them!

IMG_7145In her letter, my Sis said she planned this month’s box as a royal theme and every queen needs to be pampered! The soap and bath salts smell awesome and I can’t wait to try the face mask. (: And chapstick. Oh. Man. It’s awesome and Bug keeps trying to pilfer it.

IMG_7148I am a HUGE Nashville Predators fan and have been wanting some regular post earrings to compliment my dangly ones. So happy to have these in my life for some post season play! Woohoo Preds clenching a playoffs spot.

IMG_7147My Sis is SO talented! She knit me a washcloth and some mug mats. The mats have hearts in them! LOVE! And I’ve already used one. (: IMG_7149IMG_7156Mug mat in use with my White Queen mug! (:

I am including the big bear with mine, because he was sent for me, but Bug has confiscated him for her own. He’s so soft! I can’t really blame her for stealing him!

IMG_7150I am so excited for my new reads! Thank you so much my dear Sister! I love and appreciate all of the goodies you shared with us! ❤

IMG_7155

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Advertisements
 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 16 November 2014 – 4 April 2015 April 4, 2015

Filed under: Book Review,Books,Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 11:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It feels good to be back! After a break for summer, then drama stirring every time I was ready to jump back in, I was afraid I might just hang up my blogger hat. The idea to start a blog for some of the adventures with the kiddos has sparked the desire to fully jump back in the YA blogging world too. I can’t let drama get me down from about what I’m passionate!

Instead of trying to do a FULL recap from NOVEMBER until now, I’ll just let my reading speak for itself and start back with recaps next week. I will recount as best as I can remember on books I’ve gotten. No hope on library books except for what I have on hand now though. I will still include books I get/read with the kiddos, but there will no longer be Tot Time Thursday reviews/posts. All things children’s lit, homeschooling, etc will be over on our new blog Voyages of the Backyard Explorers!

affiliate links used below

Completed: (Starting in November til today)

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano
No Intention of Dying by Lauren DeStefano
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy by Kady Cross
Die Once More by Amy Plum
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

Read with the Kiddos
Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma
City Adventures #1: Help Is On The Way! (Lego Reader)
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero (Christy Ottaviano Books)
Ninja!
Bitty Baby and Me
What Is a Princess? (Disney Princess) (Step into Reading)
Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River
Tiny Toons Adventure: Happy Birthday, Babs!
Luke Goes to Bat
The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School (Penguin Young Readers, L2)
Potty (Leslie Patricelli board books)
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, No. 1)
On the Night You Were Born
The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House, No. 2)
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story
Murray’s First Book of Words (Sesame Street First Board Books)

Currently Reading:
Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House, No. 3)
Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House, No. 4)

New to Our Shelves:
From My OTSP Secret Sisters (last round and current round)
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
Twisted Fate
The Last Apprentice (Revenge of the Witch)
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins’ War)
The White Queen (The Cousins’ War)
The Red Queen (The Cousin’s War)
This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel

From Mary:
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Giveaways/Book Swaps/ARCs
Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Let the Sky Fall
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story
Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book #2)
Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
Rebellion by Stephanie Diaz

Library:
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
The Artemis Fowl #2: Arctic Incident Graphic Novel 1st (first) Edition by Colfer, Eoin (2009)
Artemis Fowl The Eternity Code Graphic Novel
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception Graphic Novel (Artemis Fowl (Graphic Novels))
Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion)
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor)
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Purchased:
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor)
Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor)
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Juliet Immortal
Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose)
The Scorpio Races
Red Riding Hood
Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns

How’ve you been lately? Read anything good recently? Have you checked out our new blog extension yet? Tot Time Thursday now has its own blog at Voyages of the Backyard Explorers!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #67: Spring 2015 TBR March 17, 2015

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 Books on My 2015 Spring TBR

 Previous TBR posts (Winter 2013 6/10 Fall2013 3/10 Spring TBR 2014 6/11 Summer 2014 3/10  Fall 2014 2/10) After not doing well at all with my Fall 2014 TBR, I did much better with my Winter 2014. I read 6/10. True enough, I did have an extra month! Now for the books I plan to read this spring!

affiliate links used

1. Gilt by Katherine Longshore

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

3. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

5. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

6. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

7. Forged by Erin Bowman

8. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

9. The Body Electric by Beth Revis

10. Chronicles of Faerie: The Hunter’s Moon by O.R. Melling

What are you planning to read this Spring? Anything I should take note of for this summer?

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!! (:

 

Waiting on Wednesday #34: Brazen by Katherine Longshore June 11, 2014

eb176-newwow

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:

Brazen

 

By: Katherine Longshore

 

Coming: 12 June 2014

 

Publisher: Penguin Viking

 

Summary:
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Why I’m excited:

If you know me pretty well, you know how obsessed I am with all things Tudors/Cousin’s War era England. OF COURSE I’m going to be excited about a YA Tudor novel! I’m also excited to read about a Howard. If it’s the branch I think, she’s a relation to Anne Boleyn! I’m so excited!

Why I need you to be excited:

Tudor history, duh! It’s a wonderful time of England to study and it’s chock full of drama, murder, mystery, intrigue, etc. A novel set in this time period is obviously gonna rock! (: 

 

*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.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: