Weekly Wrap Up: June 30th through July 6th, 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

An Unorthodox Match

A Highlander Walks into a Bar

29 Seconds

Books with pending reviews:

29 Seconds—review coming September 10th, 2019

The Truth Behind the Lie—review coming August 27th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—review here

Raze—review here

The Shadowverse—review here

We Went to the Woods—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Dark Alpha’s Redemption

Christmas Angels

Followers

The Wives

Email Haul:

Red Dawn Rising

Dirty Cooking

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Under the Skin—Excerpt

She’s a Spitfire—Excerpt

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—Blog Tour

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Toxic Toffee—from Kensington Books

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

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The Shadowverse by John-Clement Gallo

The Shadowverse: A YA Sci-Fi Superhero Adventure by [Gallo, John-Clement, Gallo, Francesca]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: November 20th, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy, Christian

Where you can find The Shadowverse: Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

Regarded as “captivating” and “one-of-a-kind,” The Shadowverse is a Science-Fiction Superhero thriller with hints of the Young Adult genre. It is a story of destiny—that no matter who you are, where you are, or what your past is like, you can always achieve greatness. 

Johnny Sparks longs for a greater purpose. After an encounter with a mysterious stranger, he and his friends are imbued with incredible powers—at last giving his life meaning. 

But this dream soon disintegrates once one of the friends is taken by an alien warlord named Titan. In a rescue effort, the remaining group is sent across the galaxy in search of the only possible aid—an ancient, immortal warrior missing for centuries. 

To succeed, the team must join forces to reclaim their friend and stop a sinister scheme devised against humanity by Titan and his empire. The conflict for the soul of the universe is set in motion, but even if the group prevails, they risk losing what it means to be human.


First Line:

There was only darkness.

The Shadowverse by John-Clement Gallo

My Review

While I like science fiction, I have been moving away reading it. They all seemed to follow the same plotline, and I was getting bored reading them. So, when the author of The Shadowverse approached me to review his book, I almost didn’t accept it. But there was something about the blurb that made me think twice. I am glad that I did because this was a fantastic read!!

The Shadowverse was an interesting combination of science fiction, fantasy, and Christian literature. I have read this combination before, and it fell flat. But not The Shadowverse. The author was able to meld all three genres’ together wonderfully. I loved it.

I did like the plotline of The Shadowverse, but there were times where I found that it got choppy. Like when the author went into Rose/Adira’s background. Her backstory didn’t meld well into the main story. There were other, smaller instances, but Rose’s stood out the most in the book. Other than that, I did like the plotline. It was fast paced and well written.

The characters in The Shadowverse was some of the more unique ones that I have read in a book. What I liked the most about these characters was that the author was able to make me feel pity and sympathy for the main bad guys (Titan and Solis). Of course, that sympathy waned throughout the book. But still.

The main plotline was interesting. I enjoyed seeing the kids learning about their powers. They did everything that I expected kids that age to do if they found out that they had powers. I enjoyed seeing the different planets that the kids visited as they tracked down Titan. I also enjoyed seeing their interactions with Sonovan. And the training. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with that!!

The last battle, between The Shadowforce and Titan, was epic. The aftermath of the fight was heartbreaking. My heart was in my throat when during those scenes. The aftermath of the fight was heartbreaking. I cried right along with Johnny and Sam. I also needed to know who Z was. The clue given at the end of the book makes me wonder if the answer was right under my nose!!!


I would give The Shadowverse an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Shadowverse.  I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Weekly Wrap Up: June 23rd through June 29th 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

The Shadowverse

The Truth Behind the Lie

The Bridge of Little Jeremy

Dark Matter

Books with pending reviews:

We Are All Good People Here—review coming August 6th, 2019

The Year I Left—review coming August 20th, 2019

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—review coming July 16th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

The Bridge of Little Jeremy—review here

Dark Matter—review here

Rouge Most Wanted—review here

Kingdom of Exiles—review here

Once Upon a Bad Boy—review here

Twisted Family Values—review here

The Rumor—review here

NetGalley Haul:

As Long as We Both Shall Live

T-Minus

Email Haul:

Aelia

The Red Death

Disorder

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Styx and Stones: Cover Reveal, Release Blitz and Blog Tour dates end of August/beginning of September

Every Love—Blog tour date July 22nd, 2019

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Goodreads—Book Giveaway For Fallen (Deep Ops, #2)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


#1—-I Have A Secret (Sloane Monroe: Book 3)

I Have a Secret (Sloane Monroe Book 3) by [Bradshaw, Cheryl]

This whole series rocked but I loved this book. Sloane was on her A-game, trying to figure out who killed a former classmate at her 20-year reunion cruise.


#2 Curse of the Kingsman

Curse of the Kingsmans by [Somerville, Ethan, Daniels, Emma]

This was a dark romance set in Restoration London. I loved it because it showed that not everyone is defined by their past.


#3 The Shepherd

The Shepherd: A Shepherd Thriller by [Cross, Ethan]

This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved seeing the typical bad guy vs good guy played out the way it did in this book.


#4 Children of Another God

Children of Another God (Broken World Book 1) by [Southwell, T C]

This was a fantastic fantasy book that I picked up when I got my first Kindle.


#5 New Blood

New Blood (Thoroughbred Breeders Book 1) by [Meunier, Christine]

A sweet Christian romance that included horse racing. I loved it!!


#6 Daughters of the Storm

Daughters of the Storm by [Wilkins, Kim]

I loved this book because it had strong female characters. Bluebell and her sisters were badasses!!


#7 Murder in Mind (Sloane Monroe: Book 2)

Murder in Mind (Sloane Monroe Book 2) by [Bradshaw, Cheryl]

Yes, another Sloane Monroe mystery. This book was fantastic. It pitted Sloane against the serial killer who killed her sister. I was on edge for the entire book!!


#8  Dark Sonata

Dark Sonata by [Black, F.R]

Loved this book. It was a dark romance with a twist.


#9 Desolate – The Complete Trilogy

Desolate - The Complete Trilogy by [Brumm, Robert]

This series was the series that started my love for dystopia. It was fantastic. Not for anyone under 17, though. It has a ton of graphic violence that could be disturbing to some people


#10 Nobody’s Darling

Nobody's Darling by [Medeiros, Teresa]

I love anything by Teresa Medeiros. But this book was something special. Billy and Esmerelda’s romance was beautiful.

Weekly Wrap-Up: January 6th through January 12th 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Last Letter
Katie's Highlander (Highlander Protector, #3)
Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks, #1)
Game On (Aces Hockey, #8)
For Baby and Me (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 4)
Life Rewritten (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 3)
Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)
One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations #1)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Katie’s Highlander—review coming January 22nd, 2019

Katie's Highlander (Highlander Protector, #3)

Ice Hot—review coming March 5th, 2019

Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks, #1)

Game On—review coming January 15th, 2019

Game On (Aces Hockey, #8)

For Baby and Me—review coming January 11th, 2019

For Baby and Me (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 4)

Life Rewritten—review coming January 10th, 2019

Life Rewritten (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 3)

Can’t Stand the Heat—review coming January 9th, 2019

Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)

One Tough Cowboy—review coming February 1st, 2019

One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations #1)

The Escape Room—review coming August 6th, 2019

The Escape Room

The Liar’s Child—review coming March 12th, 2019

The Liar's Child

The Military Wife—review coming February 10th, 2019

The Military Wife (A Heart of a Hero, #1)

The Night Before—review coming May 14th, 2019

The Night Before

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Life Rewritten—review here

Life Rewritten (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 3)

Can’t Stand the Heat—review here

Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)

White Stag—review here

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

An Anonymous Girl—review here

An Anonymous Girl

Forgiving Keven—review here

Forgiving Keven (The Kennedy Boys, #7)

Deadly Cage—review here

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

The Woman in the Lake

Breaking His Rules

Breaking His Rules

The Night Window

The Night Window (Jane Hawk #5)

The Soul of Power

The Soul of Power

Smitten by the Brit

Smitten by the Brit (Sometimes in Love, #2)

Inspection

Inspection: A Novel

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

The Queen's Opal (Stone Bearers, #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly-Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope: Book 9) by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Christian

Series: Christmas Hope

The Christmas Shoes—Book 1

The Christmas Blessing—Book 2

The Christmas Hope—Book 3

The Christmas Promise—Book 4

The Christmas Secret—Book 5

The Christmas Note—Book 6

The Christmas Light—Book 7

The Christmas Town—Book 8

The Christmas Star—Book 9

Where you can find The Christmas Star: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers’ hearts.


My review:

It seems like I am reading and reviewing a lot of Christmas books lately. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I like reading books that put me in the holiday mood. Especially when it is the middle of October, in the mid to high 80’s and as humid as it is in mid-August. So, yes, I enjoyed reading The Christmas Star.

The Christmas Star is a cute second chance romance, even though it isn’t billed as one. Amy is volunteering at an after-school program called Glory’s Place. It is there that she meets Maddie, an adorable 7-year-old who has spent her entire life in foster care. Gabriel is a custodian at a local elementary school. He knows Maddie from school and has become fast friends with her. Maddie is not so subtle about them meeting. And when they do, surprise doesn’t even cover what they both felt. See, Amy and Gabriel were married and had gotten divorced. They try to stay apart but life keeps throwing them together. What will happen to them? Will they rekindle their romance? Or will they go their separate ways?


What I Liked About The Christmas Star:

What did I like about The Christmas Star? Hmmm, let me think for a minute. I liked reading this book and finding myself smiling during certain scenes. Mainly the ones with Maddie in them. I loved that little girl. I liked most of the characters. I liked that it was set during Christmas (duh…lol). I also liked that it was a second chance romance, even though it wasn’t billed as one. But, what I liked the most, is that there was no sex in this book at all. It was 100% a clean book. I also liked that this book was a Christian book. I liked that Christianity was discussed but not pushed down my throat.

To Recap:

  1. Certain scenes made me smile
  2. Most of the characters
  3. It was set during Christmas
  4. A second chance romance
  5. Zero sex. Not even kissing!!
  6. A Christian book but didn’t overwhelm me as I read it.

What I Disliked About The Christmas Star:

There were things that I didn’t like about this book. I was confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended. There were two explanations. One was dumbed down to a 7-year-old (I wasn’t a good husband). The other one was when Gabriel was thinking about the past (I was a bad husband and I drank too much). I figured Gabriel drank too much but what else happened? I also didn’t like that Lauren and Travis’s story took over the book. That is something I cannot stand when I am reading a series of books. Those characters and that storyline should have been regulated to the background. I also didn’t like how happy Amy’s parents were about certain things that happened at the end of the book. Even though Gabe talked to them for 5 hours, it still struck a chord on my BS meter. And the last thing: The adoption. I know people who have adopted out of foster care before and it took months (even uncontested). There were so many hurdles that they had to jump through it wasn’t even funny. So to have one go through in under a month didn’t ring true to me.

To Recap:

  1. Confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended
  2. Lauren and Travis’s relationship being one of the main storylines
  3. How happy Amy’s parents were about what happened at the end of the book
  4. The adoption. Not a realistic situation

What I rated the book and why:

I gave The Christmas Star a 3-star rating. I enjoyed reading the book and thought it was a sweet story. I loved that it was set around Christmas. I also liked this book was 100% clean. There was no sex. Don’t get me wrong, I loved me some sex but in this case, the book didn’t need it. But there were some things that I didn’t like about this book. The main thing, which affected the rating, was the adoption at the end of the book. It was not realistic. My other reasons were what I felt personally about certain things in the book and listed above.

I would give The Christmas Star an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is no language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Christmas Star. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends


Other stuff:

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Christmas Star.

All opinions stated in this review of The Christmas Star are mine.

I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read The Christmas Star?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Crimson Cage by Thomas Howard

4 Stars

Publisher: Lulu.com

Date of Publication: September 27th, 2017

Genre: Christian, Thriller, General Fiction

Number of pages: 198

POV: 3rd person

Series: Cage Series

Caged Light – Book 1 (review here)

Crimson Cage – Book 2

Where you can find Crimson Cage: Amazon | Lulu.com

Books synopsis (from Amazon):

Some legends are born, others are forged in the crucible of fire. For Detective Wyatt Cage, fighting a demonic crime lord was just the beginning. Plunged deep inside of a world he barely believed existed, he is swept into a fight against possibly the greatest general ever to be born of HellÕs army to rescue countless children from a fate worse than death. Failure in this attempt will unleash HellÕs might upon the world in a war unlike any other. Along his dark road, Wyatt will discover two things his true lineage and something he never knew he was missing, his son. However, his fight in the realm where nightmare and reality are one may just cost Wyatt his life as he knows it.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “Crimson Cage by Thomas Howard”