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Weekly Wrap-Up: November 4th through November 10th 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

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

Exposed Fury

You Are The Everything

Dragon's Shadow

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Lakes of Mars

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

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

Dragon’s Shadow—review here

Dragon's Shadow by Allison Morse

An Unlikely Setup—review here

An Unlikely Setup by Margaret Watson

Dragonfire—review here

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Spirit of Prophecy—review here

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Pandemonium—review here

Pandemonium

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

One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations #1)

The Escape Room

The Liar's Child

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

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

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

book review · Non ARC · Self published

Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves

Lakes of Mars

4 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: September 4th, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Where you can find Lakes of Mars: Goodreads (will update as soon as it is available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble)

Goodreads synopsis:

Aaron Sheridan doesn’t want to live anymore. His entire family had just died in a shuttle crash and he’d been the one flying it. Unable to deal with the guilt, he signs up for the Fleet expecting a fatal deployment to the Rim War, but instead ends up at their most prestigious command school, Corinth Station.

Initially, he’s detached from the brutality of his instructors and the Machiavellian tactics of the other students there, but after he sticks up for his only friend he makes himself a target of the most feared cadet on the station, Caelus Erik. Unsure of whom to trust and worried that anything he does will make others on his flight team targets as well, Aaron retreats deeper and deeper inside himself. However, when he discovers that officer training is not the station’s only purpose, it becomes increasingly clear that risking everything is the safest thing he can do.

Contains: Strong language and some violence


My review:

I am not sure how this book ended up in my TBR. I couldn’t find the email from the author/publisher requesting a review. I also couldn’t find it on my NetGalley shelf. So mysterious. So very mysterious. But it ended up on my Kindle, I am glad that it did because it was a great read!!

Aaron is determined to kill himself. After a shuttle crash that killed his family (he was flying), he doesn’t have a reason to live. He figures the best way to do that is to sign up for the Fleet and be deployed to the Rim War. That doesn’t happen. Instead, he is sent to renown command school. The school was like nothing he had ever seen. Aaron is soon questioning everything as plots and schemes are uncovered. Unsure of who he can trust, he withdraws into himself. During that time, Aaron discovers that the station serves a double purpose. Gathering the few people he can trust, Aaron decides that he needs to risk everything to expose what is going on.

I felt bad for Aaron. The guilt he was living with was unbearable. He needed someone, other than his best friend, to tell him that the accident wasn’t his fault. And therapy. He needed tons of that. As the book went on, I did question if he was reading into things wrong. The author did a fantastic job at making me, the reader, question Aaron’s sanity. I did think that he was losing it at one point in the book. His dreams were creepy. It was after Sebastian’s death that I stopped questioning Aaron’s sanity. I then started questioning what the heck was going on at that station. I also felt that he showed true courage at the end of the book.

I loved the science fiction angle of the Lake of Mars. I had no issue imagining Mars being terraformed or people colonizing it. Same with Saturn. I was fascinated with what was going on in the station and where the other cadets were from. Even the lessons taught were fascinating. Why? Because I had no issue picturing it actually happening.

What I didn’t care for was the violence exhibited in the book. Aaron and the other cadet whaled on each other. That played a big part of Aaron’s distrust of everyone. How can you trust people who turn on you? Even the instructors were in on it.

There is drug use in this book also. I was a little disturbed at how easily the kids in the book were able to get drugs and use them. The adults running the station turned their heads or contributed to it. There was an explanation about why the adults didn’t do anything and it disgusted me. Talk about self-serving.

The end of the book was insane and bloody. I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen when the shuttle landed. I also wasn’t expecting what was revealed when things were out in the open. My mouth dropped. Talk about a plot twist. It came out of nowhere. I was as stunned as Aaron was. I am hoping that the author will be writing a book 2. The end of the book made me think that.


I gave Lake of Mars a 4-star rating. This was a well-written book with relatable characters. I did have an issue with the violence in the book as well as the drug use. But other than that, I enjoyed reading the book.

I would give Lake of Mars an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is some quick kissing scenes but nothing that raised my eyebrows. There is violence. Some of it graphic. There is language. There are trigger warnings. They are drug use, extreme violence, the death of parents. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Lake of Mars. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a mention of the triggers.


I would like to thank the mysterious person who put this book on my Kindle for allowing me to read and review Lakes of Mars.

All opinions stated in this review of Lakes of Mars are mine.

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


Have you read Lakes of Mars?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

ARC · book review · NetGalley · Non ARC · Polis Books · RABT Book Tours · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: October 31st, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Personal: I got the plague. Miss R, Miss B, and BK shared their nasty cold with me. Mr. Z, somehow, lucked out and didn’t get it. The kid has a great immune system. Luckily, I am feeling better today. We took the kids out trunk or treating at our local minor league baseball teams stadium. It was insane. There had to over 1,000 people there. We have a tradition in my family where I make a spooky meal and dessert. I am making mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in a crescent roll with black olive slices for eyes/mouth) and gingerbread skeletons (from a kit that I got at Aldi’s). After that, we are heading to a neighborhood by the elementary school to go trick or treating. Then, tomorrow, I take down the decorations for Halloween and put up the ones for Thanksgiving. Fun!!!

Reading: I did almost catch up over the weekend with writing reviews. Reading, not so much. I have struggled with finishing the last couple of books that I have read. I usually can finish a book within 2 days. It has been stretched out to 3-4 days because of this darn cold. I start reading and bam, I am asleep with the Kindle on my face. I am hoping that once I feel better, I can catch back up again. On a brighter note, I did catch up on my blog tours. They are all written and scheduled. Yay!!


What I am currently reading:

The Wizard's Gift

click on the picture for Amazon link

The last of an ancient group of wizards leave a gift to the newly arrived race of men. It is revered and cared for by a line of priests until it is stolen, and the high priest and his sovereign murdered by a king who believes himself destined to be a great wizard. But from ancient writings, the high priest had discovered that the gift is not benevolent as was thought. This forces the son of the high priest unexpectedly elevated to his father’s position, and the young prince who is equally suddenly king, into a race to find the gift before it can be used as that may cause the destruction of the world. Accompanied by the retired captain of the palace guard they hope to speed their journey by crossing the Wasteland, a seeming desert, which is fabled to be populated by monsters, and from which no visitor has ever returned. In the course of their adventures, they are hunted by dog-faced men and captured by slavers, but the young prince truly becomes a king, and the priest discovers that he has a destiny that goes beyond the bounds of his world. 

This is one of the books that I mentioned that I am struggling to finish because of my darn cold. I like it but it started off slow. The author took that time to do some wonderful character and world building. But still. It crept. But, I am at a point in the book where it is starting to pick up.


What I finished reading:

Black Diamond Fall

Click on the picture for Amazon link

From the acclaimed author of CLARA’S HEART and CLOUDLAND comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead located on one of the outer campuses.

Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. Some feel that Flanders left on his own accord and is deliberately out of touch. Others, including detectives Nick Jenkins and Helen Kennedy, suspect that harm may have come to him. As the search for Luc Flanders widens and intensifies, suspicions about several different people, including his Middlebury College roommates and ex-girlfriend arise. Unfortunately, Sam Solomon an older man with whom Luc has been having a secret relationship, cannot prove his whereabouts during the hours when the younger man may have disappeared and Solomon, too, comes under suspicion. 

BLACK DIAMOND FALL is at once a lush, evocative literary novel, a portrait of love between a younger and older man, and a riveting mystery that could only come from the mind of acclaimed writer Joseph Olshan.

This was the other book that I struggled finishing. Not because of the book. Because of this stupid cold. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a suspenseful read. I was a bit surprised at the end. My review for this book should be up tomorrow.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

Pandemonium

Jackson Armstrong is blessed with an extraordinary memory and a young son who loves him. He is also cursed with a compulsion to gamble that has cost him nearly everything. While chasing another big win, Jackson is killed in a car theft gone wrong and finds himself trapped in Pandemonium, a hellish, urban netherworld where demons rule over man. 

Before long, Jackson begins having visions of a mysterious portal. Convinced his visions are the key to escaping Pandemonium and returning home to his son, Jackson forms an unlikely alliance with Lilith, a mysterious demon who has an agenda all her own. As the two are relentlessly pursued by an evil older than time itself, they must navigate their way across a brutal, fantastical landscape and find the portal before it closes forever. 

Pandemonium is a dark fantasy adventure that will take readers to the depths of a richly imagined hell unlike any they have experienced before. 

I was drawn in by the cover first and the blurb second. I am hoping that this is going to be a good read!!

Lakes of Mars

Aaron Sheridan doesn’t want to live anymore. His entire family had just died in a shuttle crash and he’d been the one flying it. Unable to deal with the guilt, he signs up for the Fleet expecting a fatal deployment to the Rim War, but instead ends up at their most prestigious command school, Corinth Station.

Initially, he’s detached from the brutality of his instructors and the Machiavellian tactics of the other students there, but after he sticks up for his only friend he makes himself a target of the most feared cadet on the station, Caelus Erik. Unsure of whom to trust and worried that anything he does will make others on his flight team targets as well, Aaron retreats deeper and deeper inside himself. However, when he discovers that officer training is not the station’s only purpose, it becomes increasingly clear that risking everything is the safest thing he can do.

Contains: Strong language and some violence

I am trying to rev up my science fiction reading. So when I was approached to review this book, I accepted. I am hoping that this is going to be a good read!!

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

What if your past came back to haunt you and stalked the present until it became your worst nightmare? What would you do if you discovered you’re engaged to a murderous psychopath about to go serial? 

J.J. Hughes explores the lengths to which we will go, to keep the past from overshadowing the present and destroying the future. Spirit of Prophecy is a highly original, cutting-edge, metaphysical crime mystery with a breathtaking paranormal twist.

Years ago, a terrible atrocity occurred in Apache Indian territory in New Mexico, and now the players take up their positions to execute a horrific revenge. If you liked A.G. Riddle’s The Atlantis Gene you’ll love this. 

Evil awakens, and Rosetta Barrett, a psychic detective, must settle old scores and heal ancient wounds. She has the highest international security clearance with the Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services [EPIS], but she can’t tell her family or the courts what she really does. Divorce was hell. She lost custody of her children because of her paranormal beliefs, and now she’s fighting to get them back. 

Prominent American event rider, Juliet Jermaine, loses her Olympic horse, Gothic, and his rider, Isabella, also dies in a horrific unprovoked road rage attack. Barrett is investigating Isabella’s murder. She has a suspect but gathering sufficient evidence to nail a conviction is proving elusive. 

If Rosetta fails to convict the criminal and end the horrific cycle of revenge and retribution, the past is set to explode into the present with dire and explosive consequences.

Time is running out…

Read Spirit of Prophecy and get onboard a metaphysical rollercoaster from the future to the past and back!

Visit the author’s website and get to know J.J. Hughes and her work.
www.moneymagnet.global/booksbyjjhughes

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

I had reviewed the previous book in this series and enjoyed it. I am hoping that I like this one too.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · Del Ray · Dragonfly Press · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · Random House Publishing Group · Sourcebooks Fire · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press · Text Publishing · The Wild Rose Press

Weekly Wrap Up: September 16th through September 22nd

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

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

Our Life in the Forest

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)

 

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

I Hate You, I Love You

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Bright Ruin—review coming October 9th, 2018

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

Our Life in the Forest—review coming October 25th, 2018

Our Life in the Forest

Swagger—review here

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review coming September 25th, 2018

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

I Hate You, I Love You—review coming October 9th, 2018

I Hate You, I Love You

In the Mood Fur Love—review coming October 2nd

In the Mood Fur Love

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

After the Fire

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)

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

Lakes of Mars

Exposed Fury

Dragon's Shadow

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday