31 August 2010

Well Said: Old Houses in England

"It seems that there's a ghost," Nigel Smith-Thompson said with the air of a man who doesn't believe in such things. "Don't all old houses in England have a ghost?" Jace asked."

You know me lassies, I am a sucker for an old house, a ghost, and maybe some romance. Happy last day of August! I have my fingers crossed for a drop in temperature.

30 August 2010

Always the Baker, Never the Bride | Book Review

Authoress: Sandra D. Bricker
Pages: @288 pages Publisher: Abingdon Press
Scheduled release date: September 1, 2010
Genre: Romance | Christian Fiction

My summary: A lively cast of characters comes together to convert a historic downtown Atlanta hotel into a wedding hot-spot. The brood includes: an angry Italian chef, a goth sous-baker, three Southern Belles, two dueling parents, and an auntie with dementia who keeps escaping in a ball-gown and tiara. In the middle of this is, one super hot GQ widower/hotel owner (Jackson) and a never married diabetic baker (Emma). What a recipe!

My say: Always the Baker, Never the Bride is like a frosted cupcake with sprinkles.

The cake is the story. Soft, light, and fully flavored it has everything you can ask for; a good pace, great characters, and a story line that is more than just boy meets girl.
The creamy delicious frosting is the attraction and tension. Emma and the Jackson were a delight to read.
The light coating of candy sprinkles is the faith. It added to the story without ever feeling preachy or overpowering.

My verdict: Try this cutie! Did I mention the recipes and weddings tips that follow every chapter?

My star rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My kiddie-o-meter: No sex, violence, drugs, drinking, or social commentary make this one safe for even the youngest readers.

My cover thoughts: Isn't it just pretty? It works with the story and catches your attention.

My final say: Cake or cupcake?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

29 August 2010

News Flash: Buy the Books a House

We all dream of big beautiful libraries we can get lost in, right? Well a couple in Minnesota decided they needed an entire home of library. They purchased the house next door, joined the two houses together, and filled the new house/side with a gorgeous giant library. Sounds over the top, but it really is quite dreamy. Check it out here.

What do you think? Smart or too much?

{Credit: This was brought to my attention by the addictive Hooked on Houses}

28 August 2010

Roving Reader: World Shaking?

This beautiful steampunk cover keeps catching my attention.
But I'm curious, have you heard anything about it?
The Roving Reader was created by GMR at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. It features eye catching covers captured via cell phone.

News Flash: Book Garden

A garden of discarded books? This has to be the most innovative and creative use of unwanted books I have ever heard of. Check it out here.
{Credit: This was brought to my attention by the adorable Happiness Is...}

27 August 2010

Well Said: Peace Treaty

"He's from the other side. Our union - him and me - well, it was meant to be a peace treaty of sorts, but it was a mistake from the beginning."
My thoughts: Vamps possibly battling witches?
Can you say, "vamp diet cheat"?

25 August 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': Meridian Deux

Kim (The Book Butterfly) totally made my night when her Waiting on Wednesday informed me of Wildcat Fireflies. The sequel to Meridian is due out some time next year. Meridian was one of those books I unexpectedly fell in love with. While I'm not crazy about this cover (does her neck look funny to you?) I can not wait to find out what Meridian and Ten are up to.
Click here to read my review of Meridian by Amber Kizer.

24 August 2010

Well Said: Magic

"I don't believe it," Quince says with absolute certainty.

"He jams his hands into his jean pockets and leans back against a locker, lifting one heavy biker boot to pound on the gray metal door. He looks me right in the eye as he says, "Love is already the strongest magic in the world." The laughter drains right out of me."

"But he doesn't know my world. There are magical forces he can never understand, and love is not at the top of the list."
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (Fins, #1)

23 August 2010

Tyger Tyger | Review

Authoress: Kersten Hamilton
Publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 320
Scheduled release date: November 15, 2010
Goodreads: Tyger Tyger
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Folklore

My summary: Everything was perfect until a long lost orphan hottie appears in their lives. Now Teagan and her little brother are seeing things. What follows is an action-packed race for answers and safety.
My say: Run, don't walk, to Tyger Tyger. Yes it is THAT good! It has mythology, folklore, an ancient curse, attraction, and a fairytalesque quest. I could not put it down. It swiftly captured me and held me hostage. My only regret was that it had to end. I can not wait for the next book.
Plot: Fresh
Characters: Earnest
Story: Beguiling

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Despite some slightly choppy dialogue in the beginning, I fell in love with this story and all the little intricacies. I need more and I need a signed hardcover.

My recommendation: If you enjoyed The Puzzle Ring, you must try the edgier Tyger Tyger.

My cautionary note: This one ends well but leaves the ending open and ready for another takeoff. Keep that in mind.

My cover thoughts: The sirenic cover is pretty dead-on.

My favorite thing: Kersten blends faith and folklore brilliantly and effortlessly. Rarely, if ever, have I read a book capable of that. It should honestly appeal to people of faith and non-faith.

My favorite line: "When I meet someone who says they're not "much for books," I can guarantee that they haven't met the right book yet."

My love-the-love: The moment Finn and Teagan actually look at each other for the first time is STILL in my mind. But Kersten doesn't rush things. She lets the reader feel their pull and their doubts. Finn and Tea are still coming to terms with their magnetic and almost electric attraction and affection when the novel ends.

My kiddie-o-meter: While there is no sex, there is plenty of goblin violence, a couple of minor curse words, and some downright scary critters. Making this one best suited for tweens and/or teens that don't jump at shadows.

My notes: Want to see Kersten's playlist for her characters? Visit Lost for Words. This is the song she picked for Finn and Teagan. Knowing what I know of them now, I can tell you it is pretty darn accurate.

My final say: It was so nice to spend some time with characters who have a strong sense of family. You just don't see enough of that these days, ya know?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

20 August 2010

First Words: Well, Well, Well

"Well, well, well," said a distinctly masculine voice from behind me. "If it isn't Susannah Simon." Look, I won't lie to you. When a cute guy talks to me - and you could tell from this guy's voice that he was easy on the eyes; it was in the self-confidence of those well, well, wells, the caressing way he said my name -I pay attention. I can't help it. I'm a sixteen year-old-girl, after all."- Haunted by Meg Cabot
I can not believe it. I'm finally going to start my first Meg Cabot. I know I know, I shouldn't start in the middle of a series but I can't help my self. It sounds so good.

Well Said: Burning

"The anger burning in my throat settled back down into a dull ache as Delaney burst on scene, followed by half the house. Essence's eyes locked with mine."
Ooo I love the way this one is shrouded in mystery.

18 August 2010

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall | Book Review Mini

Pages: 160 Publisher: Houghton Miffline Harcourt | Clarion Books
Scheduled release: September 6, 2010
Genre: Children's Fiction | Ghosts

My summary: Poor Florence, the orphan, is about to meet her long lost distant uncle, auntie, and dead malicious cousin. Think Secret Garden with ghosts.
My say: The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall was surprisingly good. It moved swiftly and kept me engaged; especially the parts when Florence is used like a puppet by her ghostly shadow. While more mature audiences may find the tale too innocent, I believe tweens will love this ghost story with a lesson on spoiled children and jealousy.
My recommendation: Channel your inner tween or purchase this for the tween in your life. This would be a great book to share with ghost fans or even around Halloween.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My final say: What is about huge old homes that always sucks me in?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

Contest Winners: Roast Mortem

Sorry for the delay darlings! Here are the winners of my Roast Mortem contest: Jenny Girl of Jenny Loves to Read & LibraryPat! Congratulations gals! You have both won a signed hardcover of Roast Mortem! I will be contacting you both via email. The winners were selected with help from Random.org. Thanks again to the lovely Cleo for making this contest possible.

To learn more about Cleo, the book, or her series visit CoffehouseMystery.com.
Click here to order Roast Mortem on Amazon.
Click here to visit Roast Mortem on Goodreads.

{Photo credit: Art by Rokoroko)

17 August 2010

Contest Reminder: Roast Mortem

Hey sweet peas! I sure have missed you. I wanted to stop by and remind everyone that today is the last day to enter to win a signed hardcover of Roast Mortem. Check it out!

Well Said: Cowardly

"I knew the unabashed truth - I was a coward. A coward with a degree in math and computer science who liked chocolate éclairs, doing the Sunday crossword puzzle in The Washington Post and leading a really boring, tedious life. I wasn't at all equipped to deal with the fact that my best friend had vanished, people were pulling guns on me and talking about superterrorists. I felt like crying."
No One Lives Twice by Julie Moffett (A Lexi Carmichael Mystery)

13 August 2010

First Words: Numbers

"When I was little, everyone who knew me thought I was odd. I never wanted to play with dolls and I didn't enroll in ballet or gymnastics. Instead my paramount interest was numbers."
A Lexi Carmichael Mystery

12 August 2010

Whimsy Update: It's Time

Today is my going-away work party.
Tomorrow is my last day at work.
Saturday is my 34th birthday.
Sunday it is home to our new cottage in a new city.
Monday the unpacking begins.
So much exciting change that it may take me several days to post and/or respond to emails and/or comments.
BUT I will be around. I am a blog addict after all.
*wink wink wave*

11 August 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': Spun

The minute by pal Wendy from itsJUSTme told me about this one, I knew it would be my next Waiting on Wednesday...
(Book 3 in her Sugar Maple series)
Scheduled release date: November 2, 2010
Click here to read my reviews of Casting Spells or Laced with Magic
Goodreads blurb: "Chloe is always losing things-but an entire town? Just when she was about to settle down in Sugar Maple with her soul-mate Luke MacKenzie, her Fae enemy Isadora strikes, and her new hometown is gone. Even the Book of Spells, her lifeline to magick, can't help her now. Just in the nick of time, her friend Janice roars up in Chloe's ancient Buick with Penny the cat and her yarn stash in tow. If she is going to save her home she has to go back to Salem, where family secrets and centuries- old feuds pull her into the fight of her life."

10 August 2010

Well Said: A Goblin Named Fear

I know I featured this one last Friday, but I didn't think the
banana intro did it justice...
"Something here smells like...old magic. Who are you people?" He turned to Teagan again. "You look so familiar. I think I'll take you with me. Fear likes to play with the pretty ones."
Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars #1) by Kersten Hamilton

09 August 2010

Contest Winners: A Mermaid and a Psychic

Good morning dearies! How was your weekend? Spot any delicious books?
Today, I am happy to announce 2 winners:

You won my gently used ARC of The Forbidden Sea

Congratulations ladies! I will be contacting you both via email
. The winners were selected with help from Random.org. Please stay tuned and continue to check my right hand sidebar for more upcoming contests.
{Photo source: Daekazu}

08 August 2010

Eureka! Hunger Games Ts

The lovely Sweet Lady Jess over at Live, Laugh, Love just informed me that Hot Topic is carrying Hunger Games t-shirts. * squeal* I see a trip to the mall in my very near future. The only question is:
Which should I pick?

Whimsy Update: Cinderella Says

Check out the adorable pre-birthday present I received today...
The wall plaque quote reads:
"One shoe can change your life" - Cinderella
Available at Kirkland's

06 August 2010

News Flash: I'm gonna knock you out

Wanna see your favorite YA fictional characters duke it out? In honor of the upcoming release of Mockingjay, the brilliant Heather Zundel is putting together a show down. Bloggers will battle bloggers as their chosen characters go toe-to-toe. Then we the public will read the battles and choose the winners. Now tell me that doesn't sound downright amazing?
Click here for more information.

{Photo note: Unknown source featuring
Anna Popplewell}

First Words: Banana

Please, Teagan Wylltson's fingers curled in American Sign Language as she spoke. "Trade sweater for banana?"
Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars #1) by Kersten Hamilton

Sounds like Teagan had a very cool pre-goblin job working at a zoo or something. What I am really wondering is if the title has anything to do with the 1794 poem Tyger by William Blake, "Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright. In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"

05 August 2010

The Goddess of Fried Okra | Book Review

Authoress: Jean Brashear
Tagline: "Sometimes...a detour is the only way home."
Pages: @242 Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Genre: Adult Fiction | Drama

My summary: After the loss of her sister, Pea is lost. In desperation (and on the advice of a psychic) she heads to New Mexico determined to find her sister reincarnated. What she finds instead is a home, purpose, redemption, strength, family, and possibly even love.

My say: The Goddess of Fried Okra...reminded me of Billie Letts. Billie writes these beautiful character driven stories where the lost souls find peace and home in each other. That is exactly the journey you embark upon with Pea/Eudora.
Jean weaves a menagerie of flawed eccentric lovable characters together. There is no great revelations or riveting story line. But there is fantastic characters that you root for, smile with, and enjoy watching them develop and grow. The kind you wish you could invite over for sweet tea and pie.
However, the best part of this story is the advice these characters share with each other. These are the kind of quotes I could see taping to a mirror or becoming a mantra.

My favorite quotes:
  • "I might not know every step of my journey, but standing still wouldn't accomplish a thing."
  • "Sometimes you just had to take a step, whatever the direction, and see what happened."
  • "The big lesson in having children is just how little in life you can really control."
  • "Life seldom gives us do-overs. We have to make the best of the time we're given."
  • "Love or hate, sisters know each other like nobody else."
  • "Sometimes you just have to take the leap and see where the road leads."
  • "If people love you, they love you. If they don't, you can't make them. It's their loss."

My verdict: While it isn't a story for everyone (it is character driven and very pro-female) it is an endearing journey that is worth the ride.

My star rating: 4 out of 5 stars; This story about finding peace, forgiving your self, and overcoming your past was impossible to put down.

My warning: There is no happily-ever-after in this one. It has an open-ending that is left to interpretation. But the reader is left satisfied and proud of Eudora's journey and transformation.

My kiddie-o-meter: This tale is definitely for grown girls. There is mentions to sex, infidelity, sexuality, religion, gambling, teenage pregnancy, and abuse.

My cover thoughts: Oddly enough, the cover fits. It represents the desolate road and her determination to channel her inner warrior and become the kind of fierce woman she has always looked up to.

My final say: I couldn't help thinking of Where the Heart Is while reading this. Have you ever read the novel or seen the film?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com