30 April 2010

First Words: Host

"I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes. I had been warned." - The Host

29 April 2010

Yackety-yak: Good-bye Apathy!

My oh my am I happy! After days of reading apathy, I turned to you (my readers) for book help. What did I get in return? Oodles of amazing suggestions, support, kind words, and feedback. Thank you thank you thank you! The Host broke my dry spell. I was so book thirsty, I drank that giant novel in 24 hours. Birthmarked is hopefully waiting for me at home and I have 3 more dystopians in route to me. I can not thank you all enough.
*group hug*

Check back Saturday for my review of The Host.

28 April 2010

Mini Contest Winners: Dark Divine Nail Polish

Top of the morning ladies! Today I have 3 winners to announce. The winners of my Dark Divine Nail Polish Mini Contest are: Adriana from Loves to Read, The1stdaughter from There's A Book, and Erin.
Congratulations ladies! You will each receive a purplish lip liner, a pack of purple gum, and a bottle of The Dark Divine nail polish. I will be contacting the three of you for your mailing addresses.
Thank you to everyone who entered and submitted their suggestions for Grace, Jude, and Daniel. The winners were selected with help from Random.org. Please stay tuned and continue to check my right-hand sidebar for more upcoming contests.

Click here to read my review of The Dark Divine.
A giant thanks to Nisa for providing me with the amazing nail polish.

27 April 2010

Yackety-yak: Something Dystopian

My dear sweet readers: I have hit a horrible reading funk. Nothing seems to tickle my fancy. I think I need something exciting and action packed to pluck me from the clutches of this wicked reading apathy. Consequently, I am considering something dystopian (à la Hunger Games). Please please please recommend something to me...
{IMAGE CREDIT: Jennifer Government by Max Barry}

26 April 2010

Evil Under the Sun | Book Review

Authoress: Agatha Christie
Length: 220 (Hardcover)
Original Publication Date: 1941
Goodreads: Evil Under the Sun
The LOST Connection: Sawyer is reading this book in Season 3 Episode 14 before being interrupted by Nikki.

My summary: Murder, intrigue, and propriety mingle and sizzle in the summer heat at the Jolly Roger Hotel on Smuggler's Island Leathercombe Bay. Thank goodness detective Hercule Poirot just happened to be vacationing there when a dead body turns up.

My say: Now that I have read my first Agatha Christie, I see why she is so loved. The story is ripe with colorful characters, plots twists, and mystery.

My whodunit verdict: I had my theories. I even kept a diagram of the characters and possible motives. But the mystery alluded me up to the very end.

My star rating: 4 out 5 of stars; Evil Under the Sun is a beguiling tale I am proud to add to my home library.

My kiddie-o-meter: Despite being modest by today's standards, the story does contain murder, infidelity, and many more adult themes.

My LOST observations:
  • Arlena Stuart captures the hearts of many men just like Kate.
  • Arlena and Nikki Fernandez are strikingly similar. But (because I refuse to spoil the book) all I will say is that they are both actresses with poor taste in men.

From book to film to wii: Two thumbs down on both the film and the wii game. They both kind of hurt.

My final say: Have you read any Agatha Christie? If so, do you prefer Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

Evil Under the Sun is my 6th entry in the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 
hosted by Book Chick City and my 3rd entry in the LOST Books Challenge.

23 April 2010

Blogger Spotlight: Just for Being You

Bloggyland can be a dog-eat-dog world sometimes. So today I would like to spotlight one of my most amazing and faithful followers. We do not always agree on books, but she consistently shows me support. Even when my contests are (for financial reasons) limited to the U.S. and Canada. So without further ado, I would like to present Cherry Mischievous of the UK. Cherry please visit the Book Depository, pick a book under ten dollars, and I will order it for you. Thank you again for just for being you. Paranormal fans make sure to check out Cherry Mischievous. She rocks the casbah! *insert The Clash and dance*

First Words: Revenge?

"A month before Christmas, I saw a ghost."
Page 1 Sentence 1

22 April 2010

Yackety-yak: Words of experience

In my heart, I am still a baby blogger; new, young, bright eyed and bushy tailed.
So it always blows me away and fills me with joy when bloggers look-up to me or seek my advice.
Today I added an advice section to my review policy...
  • Find your own voice. (This brilliance comes from the ultra wise and experienced Story Siren. Make sure to click on the link.)
  • Just keep doing what you love and it will show. (This second bit of brilliance also comes from The Story Siren. She advised me of this when I was first starting out and I have never forgotten it. In fact, it has become my mantra.)
  • Do not be afraid to try new things. Your blog does not have to be like everyone else's. In fact, I prefer blogs that blaze their own trails.
  • Be kind to authors. These books (for better or for worse) are their babies and they each carry the author's blood, sweat, and tears.
  • Be considerate. We are all here because we share a common love for books. We are a dying breed. Spread some love to your fellow book lovers.
  • Give credit where credit is due. If you repost something you found on another blog, link back.
What advice would you give a new blogger or book blogger?

Yackety-yak: Crazes

I find it simply impossible to resist a good mystery right now. That got me thinking...
Do you ever go through reading phases i.e. periods of time when you can not get enough of one of your favorite genres? If so, what is your most recent craze?
{PHOTO CREDIT: Emma Peel in The Avengers. I have never seen it, but I'm thinking I should try it.}

21 April 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': Little Blog on the Prairie

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell releases May 11, 2010.
Doesn't it sound perfectly adorable?
I can not wait to check it out.
What book are you anxiously waiting for?

20 April 2010

The Husband Tree | Book Review

Series: Montana Marriages Book 2
Authoress: Mary Connealy
Authoress tagline: "Romantic Comedy with Cowboys"
Pages: 320 pages Publisher: Barbour
Available formats: Kindle, Paperback
Goodreads: The Husband Tree
Genre: Christian Fiction & Western | Romance

My summary: Belle swears off men after burying her third useless husband. Silas is all too familiar with feminine wiles and he doesn't trust women further than he can toss'em. Both have given up on marriage. But when a cattle drive forces them to work together, love begins to bloom in the unlikely saucy pair.

My say: Mary Connealy's characters don't feel like characters; they feel like friends. The kind you ache for when they hurt and cheer for when they succeed. She paints the old west with such clarity and description you'll wonder if she is a time traveler. But the part that kept me up in to the wee hours of the morning, was the romance. The longing and desire was so thick you could slice it.

Plot: Believable
Characters: Spunky
Writing: Playful

My character take: Sassy Belle and sexy Silas stayed with me well after reading The Husband Tree. This is how I image Silas:


My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars and so far my favorite in the Montana Marriages series. Book three, Wildflower Bride, is due out next month. Click here for my review of Montana Rose.

My final say: Hurry up May. I have to know what happens to poor Wade and Glowing Sun (who absolutely reminded me of Naomi Wheeler in Into the West)!


19 April 2010

1, 2, 3 Header Update & Winner

1. So my sweets, what do you think of my new header? It is everything I wished for; a bit retro, a bit whimsical, and of course a bit book. After I came up with the design, a friend/web designer (and Mr. Whimsy) helped me bring it to life. It isn't perfect and there is a very good chance I may have to adjust the typewriter, but the elements are totally moi. Input welcome!

2. The winner of my gently used ARC copy of The Girl Who Chased the Moon is Stacy from A Novel Source. Hip hip hooray Stacy! The Girl Who Chased the Moon is one of my favorite books and I hope you love it as much as I do. Thank you to everyone who entered.

3. Have you seen How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) featuring Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, and Marilyn Monroe. My little sister and I watched it recently and loved it. It is cute, fun, and the costumes will make you go ga-ga. Lauren Bacall is deliciously mischievous. Definitely check it out!

Thank you to Pump Up Your Book Promotions for making this contest possible.

17 April 2010

Cookbook Review: Clara's Kitchen

Authoress: Clara Cannucciari with Christopher Cannucciari
Length: 184 pages; Mini hardcover

My say: Clara is a gem. No seriously a gem. If I ever meet her grandson Christopher I plan to tell him, "You did a beautiful thing by giving us a bit of your grandmother. Thank you."

My recommendation: Folks that enjoy memoirs, history, and tips on living well during "thin times" will enjoy this one.

Vegetarian Friendly? Absolutely. Meat was scarce during the Great Depression so most of the recipes and tips are meat free.

My favorite quotes & tips & bits:
  • "You think you know about recycling? We invented it. We had to. We were desperate."
  • "Things were much simpler back then, and we were stronger for it."
  • "If you take better care of things, you can hold on to them longer."
  • "It wasn't easy back then. But the lessons I learned, when money was tight and hard work and creativity was all we had, I have carried with me my entire life."
  • "Today everything seems to happen so fast and it's hard to sit back and appreciate things."
  • "Back then, you didn't buy whole books, you bought chapters."
My ratings:
  • Recipe rating: 3 stars; Due to the time period the recipes are very simple.
  • Ingredients rating: 5 stars; All the ingredients are cheap and easy to find.
  • Story rating: 5 stars; This book is all about story. It's chock-full of pictures, stories, and tips entitled, "Take It From Me."
  • Overall star rating: 4 stars
If you would like to learn more about Clara visit Depression Cooking on YouTube.com.


16 April 2010

Free Read: 21 Lucky Shorts

Lisa Rusczyk (a very cool independently published author) is offering her book of shorts stories for $0.99 for the Amazon Kindle OR for FREE as a Scribd PDF.
Click here to purchase 21 Lucky Shorts for your Kindle.
Click here to read or download a PDF of 21 Lucky Shorts for FREE.
Click here to visit my review of Sam The Night Person by Lisa Rusczyk.

First Words: Dirt and Chickens

"Belle Tanner pitched dirt right on Anthony's handsome, worthless face."
The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy is soooo good it has been robbing me of sleep.
"Stealing eggs is a lot harder than stealing the whole chicken."
The Shifter by Janice Hardy is next on my agenda.

15 April 2010

Book of a Thousand Days | Book Review and Contest

Authoress: Shannon Hale
Length: 306 (Paperback)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA Fiction | Fantasy | Fairy Tale
Preface: This is Shannon Hale's remake of Maid Maleen (a Grimm Fairy Tale).

My summary: When Lady Saren is sentenced to seven years in a tower for refusing her betrothed, her maid Dashti bravely chooses to accompany her. What follows is a truly heroic fairy tale written from the eyes of a very unlikely heroine; the maid.

My say: Shannon Hale completely captured me from the very first page. From the moment I opened Dashti's diary, I felt as though I too was sitting in a dark tower watching the bricks seal me in. Dashti's desperation and courage bounces off the pages.

Plot: Engrossing
Story: Enchanting
Writing: Lyrical

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My favorite quote: "Smell is the voice of the soul..."

My cover thoughts: It is the hardcover (of Dashti holding her journal) that steals my vote. The paperback cover (of the silky haired girl) simply does not capture the essence of this fable.

My kiddie-o-meter: While there is no sex nor foul language, this is not one of your Disney fairy tales. The characters are occasionally faced with very real, raw, and cruel adversaries. The mentions of war, death, and nudity are all handled very well and feel essential to the time period and story.

My contest: If you are a resident of the U.S. or Canada and would like to win my gently used signed paperback copy of Book of a Thousand Days, please comment with your email address below. A winner will be announced May 31st.

My notes: Visit Shannon Hale's web site to read the first few chapters.

My final say: Try (just try) to put this book down once you have started it.

A huge thanks to Lizzy at Cornucopia of Reviews
for making this review and contest possible.

14 April 2010

News Flash: More Nikki Heat?

Castle producers have just announced that my favorite make-believe mystery writer (Mr. Richard Castle) will be releasing a second Nikki Heat book. The sequel is scheduled to release this coming September and be approximately 240 pages long. No cover is available at this time. Will you be reading Naked Heat? (Goodreads link)

Click here to read my 4 star review of Mr. Castle's first book Heat Wave.

Silent Auction and Wrecked?

Silent Auction by Jane K. Cleland (on Goodreads)
Wrecked by Carol Higgins Clark (on Goodreads)

Doesn't the Wrecked cover remind you of LOST?
Silent Auction is an antiques mystery? Count me in!
Have you heard anything about these two?
What new releases are you wondering about?

13 April 2010

Well Said: Evil Under the Sun

"It is romantic, yes," agreed Hercule Poirot. "It is peaceful. The sun shines. The sea is blue. But you forget, Miss Brewster, there is evil everywhere under the sun." - Agatha Christie Evil Under the Sun (first published in 1941)

Fun note: I found a Wii game based on the book! I daresay, I can not wait to try it. Poor Mr. Whimsy. *wink wink*

12 April 2010

Labor Day | Book Review Mini

Book: Labor Day
Authoress: Joyce Maynard
Length: 241 pages
Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary
Goodreads: Labor Day
My summary: Journey back to the summer that changed Henry's life. The summer Henry and his mother spent one long holiday weekend with an escaped convict.

My say: Labor Day, like life, is hard to summarize. It is a beautiful often painful recollection and reflection. I laughed and cried as Henry took me back. This is the kind of story that will haunt you well after you have read it. Maynard tackles subjects that are painful but striking and real. All from the perspective of a young man discovering his body and the real meaning of life, love, and pain.

Story: Beautiful
Characters: Damaged
Plot: Compelling
Writing: Haunting

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My cover thoughts: Perfect in it's simplicity.

My kiddie-o-meter: Despite being written from the perspective of a young boy, this is not a book for younger teens. It features strong sexuality, infidelity, and infertility.

My favorite quote: "There was so much to remember, sometimes the best thing was to forget."

My final say: This book hurts but it hurts good.

This review was originally posted on a secondary blog I had for a hot minute. Forgive if you have seen this already. A giant thank you to Nely at All About {n} for making this review possible.

11 April 2010

Whimsy Update: Sunday Serenade

Oh my beauties! If you have a moment to spare, please do pop over to A Novel Source.

The lovely Stacy has an interview with yours truly for her Sunday Serenade!

10 April 2010

Yackety-yak: What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." - Shakespeare

My lovelies, I need your opinions...

What do you think of taglines (i.e. slogans) that go with or under a blog header, title, or name? Are they necessary? Do they help new visitors know what a particular site is about? Or do you simply trust the content to convey the goal of a web site or blog?

I am desperately trying to determine if I need a slogan and if so what it should say. It should contain the words "whimsical" or "fanciful" and convey that I review books. Does my title sufficiently do that? Do you have any ideas? Do you like or dislike my current catchphrase, "Literary reviews of my whimsical escapes"?

Any and all opinions are welcome. However, please do be gentle. I am quite the sensitive nelly, ya know. *wink wink*