The Whimsical Mama

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

Top Ten Tuesday #90: If You Like Underrated Fantasy Books, Try These September 29, 2015

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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 Underrated Fantasy Books to Try

I’m all about some fantasy, and these are some of my favourite underrated reads.

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1. Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore


2. Waterfell by Amalie Howard


3. Chronicles of Faerie by OR Melling


4. The Falconer by Elizabeth May


5. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows


6. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows


7. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White


8. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer


9. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


10. Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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Have You Seen This? April 12, 2015

Thanks to the fabulous Book Addict’s Guide and Andi’s ABCs, Have You Seen This is a feature created for bloggers to complete their book collections be it ARCs or foreign editions. Once a month, a new linky is posted to allow bloggers a chance to share their wishlist. I don’t have a set list of books up to trade yet, but I am willing to trade &/ pay shipping for books! (: Please contact me on Twitter @armywife2310 or email : french_eleve07 at yahoo dot com.

ARCS:

Incarnate and Asunder by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen and The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

The Start of You and Me, Open Road Summer, When We Collided by Emery Lord

The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd

Snow Like Ashes and Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Taken by Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

This Shattered World and These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

Legend by Marie Lu

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Foreign Editions:

Original UK Hardcovers of Harry Potter 5-7 by JK Rowling

Any UK editions of Victoria Schwab books

Thanks in advance! (:

 

Armchair BEA: Day 1 Introductions May 26, 2014

Today marks the start of Armchair BEA week which runs along side BEA in New York City. Last year, I hadn’t started blogging yet so I had no idea what BEA was until the end of the year. Then the excitement started building as authors started announcing they were coming. There was just no way for me to be able to attend this year, and I was so happy when I stumbled across Armchair BEA on Twitter. A way to connect with other bloggers and still get a small amount of the BEA experience?! Count me in!

 

Introductions

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

I am Maura. I’m blogging from Northeast TN. I’m a stay at home mama to my two kiddos: Punk (3 years old) and Ladybug (1 year old). I’ve been blogging since 2010 off and on, but the book oriented side of The Whimsical Mama launched officially in July 2013. I originally wanted to do a cooking blog like Julie/Julia, but that didn’t stick. Newborn baby and not cooking new things consistently killed that one! After helping Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) get her blog some recognition, I decided I ought to give blogging a try again. Books and writing have always been my favourite outlets!

 

2. What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . 

I generally read fantasy the most. Harry Potter got me addicted to reading and I’ve never turned my back on my fantasy beginnings. I love to read because I love to escape daily life. I always have. Growing up in a small town in the foothills of the Appalachians, I loved to go anywhere but home. I’ve always loved to travel and reading helped those adventures and were much cheaper than actual trips!  Because I love to escape in books, I tend not to turn to contemporaries because they are too close to real life for me. I am learning to appreciate them though!

 

3. Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online. 

The Whimsical Mama is just that – whimsical – I mainly read young adult, but read a lot of children’s books and life is pretty whimsical with two toddlers running around! The Whimsical Mama, I hope, reflects a lot of my daily life. You can find me as @armywife2310 on Twitter. Maura T on Goodreads, armywife2310 on Pinterest. Yes, as you can see, I’m very proud of being an Army wife! (:

 

4. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

Hmmm this is a hard one that’s required a good bit of thought. Since I started blogging in the latter half of 2013, I don’t have reviews for all the great things I read. Pre-blogging, my favourite 2013 read would probably be Clockwork Princess or Legend or Die for Me. I really can’t pick! Once I started blogging, my favourite 2013 read was Infinite by the oh so incredibly wonderfully talented Jodi Meadows. Yup. Yup. Yup. Now, let’s see. My favourite read so far of 2014. By far it has been The Impossible Knife of Memory. Again, Army pride is showing through with that pick! (:

 

5. What book would you love to see as a movie? 

I have three off the top of my head that as long as they were done correctly, I would love to see on the big screen. If they’re going to be mangled, I can live without them being turned to movies. The Legend trilogy, the Incarnate/Newsoul trilogy, and the Revenants trilogy. Those were three incredible trilogies that, I feel, would be great on screen.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #34: Most Unique Books I’ve Read April 8, 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 Most Unique Books I’ve Read

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. This is one of the most unique books I’ve read as far as historical fiction goes. It was an alternate reality changing during the 100 Years War between England and France. It also has magic as a common place occurrence. It was really interesting!

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. I’ve never read a book from someone inside of Hitler’s circle during his rise to power in Germany. It was really interesting to see the beginning of his rise. I enjoyed watching Gretchen (the main character) question everything that Hitler said was true to figure out things herself about what was starting to happen in Germany.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I thought it was extremely interesting to read a book narrated by Death. It’s a perspective I’ve never read before and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t always nice when he spoiled something that was upcoming, but I learned to take it in stride. Plus Roger Allam as Death in the audiobook was SUPERB! It was also the first book (that I recall) reading from the German perspective of World War II.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I’ve always been interested in King Richard III, but have never researched him as much as I would like. I was really intrigued by Philippa Gregory focusing on Anne Neville, who became Richard’s queen. I knew virtually nothing about her before I read it and then did a bit of research on her after I finished. I loved Aneurin Barnard and Faye Marsay’s portrayals of Richard and Anne in The White Queen.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. (You should’ve KNOWN Jodi would make the list!) Reincarnation. Wow. As far as immortality goes, I’ve always been drawn to vampire stories. I’ve never really thought about reincarnation as an option for immortality in a story, but Jodi does an incredible job with it! Plus her characters are top notch. *swoons for Cris*

Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Time rips and time travel? Yes, please! Myra also has a killer cast of incredible characters. I absolutely loved what she did with the idea of time bleeding together.

The Shadow Children series by Margaret Petersen Haddox. A dystopian without the post-apocalyptic events. Definitely a Big Brother type of government. Population control. In a world where it’s HIGHLY illegal to have more than two children, there’s a whole underground world of Shadow Children (illegal “extra” children). I never finished the series, but thinking about it for this list makes me want to go back and see what happened!

Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. I love a good vampire book. Darren Shan takes a different approach to vampires and how vampires are turned. (No sparkly vampires here!) Another series I’ve only read part way through. That’s the thing that sucks about “outgrowing” a reading level before a series is finished!

Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown. Oh, conspiracies. Things you thought couldn’t possible exist really do. They are so ridiculous formulaic, but I can’t help but love every story. Angels & Demons is my favourite!

Those are my top unique books! So some of them are series, but it works! (: Tell me, what unique books have you read? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

*ARC Review* Infinite by Jodi Meadows March 20, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotations may change between ARC and publication. Many thanks to Jodi and HarperCollins!***

Rating:5 stars
Pub date: 28 January 2014
Publisher:Katherine Tegen Books a HarperCollins Imprint
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:ARC via author & publisher
Status:Book three of the Incarnate/Newsoul series

Summary:

DESTRUCTION
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT
Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE
The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

My thoughts:

Honesty moment. I read this ARC in November. I was so overwhelmed by its perfection and beauty that I was incapable of writing my review then. Since I was passing it along to Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) and Alex (Peace, Love, and Fangirl), I just wrote down a synopsis in the format I wanted for my review. I even went ahead and scheduled it for January, closer to the release day. I knew I would have it done by then. Life happened and along comes January and my most embarrassing blogger moment. My notes went up. I’d never completed my review. OOPS! Thankfully, before too many people saw it, Jodi let me know when she checked out my “review” Oh, I was MORTIFIED. Thank you, Jodi, for not going postal on me! (:

I was so surprised when Jodi handed me the coveted Infinite ARC at the end of October when we met up for lunch. I was already losing it that I was getting to have lunch and hang out with one of my favourite authors. I really don’t know how I held myself together! Jodi is a super awesome person and if you ever have the chance to go to an event, DO NOT hesitate!

It’s such a bittersweet moment when you’re faced with reading the conclusion to a beloved series. I left Infinite in my TBR pile for a few weeks because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Then the time came. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, but I was ready to read. And after reading, I was ready to fangirl EVERYWHERE. Now it’s time to fangirl and give my final review of the Incarnate/New Soul series.

Infinite was hands down my favourite of the trilogy. It was simply superb. Jodi time and again ripped out my heart and stitched it back together. Bringing back Cris? *dies* Sam and Ana drama? *dies* Sam and Ana makeouts? *dies* The feels. Oh, the feels. I can’t even begin to talk about the feels!

Right from the beginning, Ana & Sam are in danger. That’s to be expected with the way things ended in Asunder. Ana’s been exiled and Sam is going with her. An earthquake strikes as soon as the Year of Souls begins. Sam is hurt (of course, he can’t escape chapter one before Jodi starts being mean!) and Ana helps bandage up his hand.

“It’s probably smart to get away from Range. I’m glad you’re coming with me.”

“I’ll always go anywhere with you.”

Ana and Sam, pg 11

Um. OMG. ❤

The danger increases from the beginning. Jodi does such a fantastic job with everything. The thing she does the best, as she has in the previous books, is develop Ana and Sam’s relationship. From their chance encounter in the woods in Incarnate until the epilogue at the end of Infinite, Jodi continues to add layer after layer of depth to their relationship. Not only are they eventually a couple, but they are great friends. A good relationship needs love and friendship and Jodi gets Ana and Sam spot on! Not only are they talented musical duo, they also prove that they can be accomplished burglars in Infinite.

“So I take it you’ve broken into a lot of private archive rooms?”

Snow quieted his reply, keeping it from carrying. “I admit to nothing except that Stef is a bad influence.”

I snorted. “You can’t fool me. I know better than to assume it’s all Stef corrupting you.”

“But you know her well enough to realise that most of the trouble I’ve gotten into is her fault, right?” He flashed me a look of boyish innocence.

– Ana & Sam, pg 62

Oh, Stef. Always a bad influence!

Another relationship Jodi does well is Stef and Sam. They are the best of friends and it’s an easy friendship, but also a friendship that continues to build. I loved getting to see how their friendship began in Phoenix Overture and it adds so much more insight into the relationship in the rest of the trilogy. Stef also is a great friend and ally to Ana and that relationship continues to build too. I love Stef. Jodi also throws in a bit of humour at Stef’s expense by showing that her technology is not infallible.

“Can’t you take back control?” Whit asked.

If I had more time, and a data console. My SED just isn’t powerful enough.”

“Stef’s Everything Device isn’t everything after all?” Whit teased.

Stef glared, and no one laughed.

– Whit and Stef, pg 98

Don’t mess with Stef’s ego!

While the group is searching for a way to destroy Janan, they run into trouble and in the nick of time the sylph come to the rescue led by Cris. YAY CRIS! Oh, I love Cris. I still wish he would ‘fess up his story to Jodi. I need more Cris! I really loved getting to learn the back story of the sylph. My heart really went out to them. I wanted to cuddle with them (but not get burned, thanks) and tell them it would be okay. Fine, you caught me, I really only want to cuddle with Cris, but you catch my drift. Sylph = screwed unless Ana helps to redeem them. (No extra pressure on Ana, right?)

I was really excited to finally discover why the dragons hate Sam and are always bent on killing him in every other life. Jodi did a great job with the dragons. (: It would’ve been nice to see more banter between them and Ana! Oh, Acid Breath! I also really enjoyed the role the dragons played in the great battle.

Speaking of battle… there’s an epic battle at the end. Of course, right? We KNEW this is where we were heading. How could it not? Battle = death. Death = what Jodi does best by torturing her characters and readers. Amirite? Things hit the fan. Big time. Loved characters die (I cried, a lot), options are offered, and choices are made. Jodi is definitely evil and a true artist at her craft. You’ll have to read it to see just how evil she is and how it all comes together in the end. Does everyone get a Happily Ever After? Does Acid Breath eat Sam? Do Ana and Sam finally, you know? (;

For me, Infinite was the perfect ending to this glorious trilogy. I am so sad that it’s over, but I am happy to have been a part of this ride. I highly HIGHLY recommend this incredible series. Jodi is forever and always on my read ANYTHING she writes list. PS Be sure to check out her brand spanking new series Orphan Queen when it comes out in 2015. You better believe I will pimp it out just like I do Incarnate!

 

About the author

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen). Visit her at www.jodimeadows.com

*A Kippy is a cat

I said I pimp out Incarnate, right? Well, that’s fortunate for you, dear reader, because I happen to have a SIGNED copy of Incarnate just waiting to be won and devoured. This giveaway is open to US only (Sorry international readers! I promise I will one day have giveaways for you too!) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open March 20th 2014 (12am) through April 10th 2014 (12am). 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! (:

GIVEAWAY LINK!!!

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