WWW Wednesday: August 8th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted bySam 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?

So, I am back from vacation. It was a good time. Relaxing at times. Got to see family that we haven’t seen in a couple of years. Surprisingly, I didn’t do a lot of reading. I was too busy. Next week, BFA for WoW rolls out. Yay!!!


What I am currently reading:

Incognito

(click on the picture for Amazon link)

A new adult STANDALONE college romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis.

A troubled popstar forced into hiding… A sweet small-town girl overcoming tragedy… And the kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime.

Dakota’s dreams of attending Juilliard were shattered the night tragedy struck her family. It’s one year later, and she’s now enrolled at a local university trying to piece her life back together.

Shawn is one of the world’s most famous faces, having lived under a spotlight since his star exploded when he was fourteen. Now jaded by an industry forcing him to perform music he no longer enjoys, he craves normalcy and the opportunity to rediscover his muse. When a crazy stalker gets too close, and death threats start mounting, Shawn’s management team comes up with a plan—one which will allow him to work on his latest album while staying incognito on a college campus.

Romance is the last thing on Dakota’s mind, but after she crosses paths with a hot, prickly cutie with rock-hard abs and smoldering good looks, she can’t shake him from her thoughts.

Shawn can’t afford to bring any girl into his fucked-up life, but the gorgeous blonde with the sad blue eyes captivates him in a way no girl ever has, and he finds himself falling hard and fast. 

But outside forces are conspiring against them. 

When danger draws closer, and secrets are revealed, will their love survive?

I started this last night and am only a chapter into it. So far, it seems good but its hard to judge from one chapter. A typical NA romance. But sometimes you need typical. Be on the lookout for my review of Incognito within the next couple of weeks (maybe earlier if I can get through my backlog of reviews).


What I finished reading:

Deliverers (Mud, Rocks, and Trees #6)

(click on the picture for Amazon link)

“Our pride rules the empire now.” A new era has begun in Tzoladia! But lions are not the only things prowling the streets. The brash young ruler has inherited an empire full of divisions, intrigue, assassins, and disease. Have the last days arrived? Where are The Deliverers?

Brina matches wits with the ruthless and brutal Bladar. Amanki fights the faceless and deadly blue sickness. Moshoi battles the restless and all-consuming desires of his own heart. Three Seals. Three Deliverers. One last chance. Will anyone escape Tzoladia alive?

This book blew me away. It was the last book in the Mud, Rocks, and Trees series. I can’t get over what happened in the book. Talk about mind blown. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of weeks.


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

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2)Foundryside (Founders, #1)Strange CircumstancesMaybe for You (Whiskey and Weddings, #3)

The Last Straw: I was intrigued by the blurb. Lately, I have been drawn to mystery/crime books. I usually read those on my own time but I decided to accept the request to review. I am hoping that I enjoy this book!! My review should be within a couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for it!!

Foundryside: I am a huge fantasy fan. A huge one. So when I read the blurb and saw the cover of this book, I needed to read it. I am hoping that it lives up to my mental hype. This book will be published on August 21st, 2018. So be on the lookout for my review on or after that date.

Strange Circumstances: Fate: I am a big fan of Weston Kincade. But I am not a fan of short story anthologies. So, we’ll see. Will I like it or not? Be on the lookout for my review.

Maybe for You: I like romance novels. So when the publisher sent me the email link for this book, I jumped on it. Plus, I loved the cover!! This book won’t be published until August 28th, so be on the lookout for my review either on or after that date.


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!!

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The Emperor’s Doom (formally Visionaries) by R.A. Denny

5 Stars

Publisher: Self Published

Date of publication: January 15th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees

Refugees – Book 1 (review here)

Seekers – Book 2 (review here)

Captives – Book 3 (review here)

Warriors – Book 4 (review here)

Visionaries – Book 5

Where you can find Visionaries: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“The only thing keeping that seal around his neck is his head. Heads are easily removed.”

Time is running out. Tzoladia is under siege. Heads will roll.

As the prophecy unfolds, young people dream and old men see visions. Emperor Zoltov’s forces move to exterminate the “Subhumans.” Risky alliances are formed as Metlan’s ambition propels him into places of mystery and murder. Brina and Amanki sail through a sea filled with enchantment and betrayal. Moshoi is dazzled by treasure as he faces the horrors of an evil empire. All forces converge on Tzoladia. Time for a showdown. Will mud, rocks, and trees come together at last?

Who will lose their heads?

My review:

The plot of Visionaries was excellent. Tzoladia is under siege. Brina and Amanki are sailing on a sea of myth. What they find while sailing will change everything. Moshoi has been pushed aside by his father so that Tuka can take credit for everything. Jealousy is consuming him. Will he let it get the better of him? Metlan is on shaky ground with several people that he wants alliances with. But, can he rise to the occasion when called upon? What will happen when Brina, Amanki, and Moshoi meet? Will they be able to recover the missing seals and fulfill the prophecy?

I don’t know where to begin with this review. So much happened in this book. I don’t want to get into too much because there are some serious spoilers. So, I will gloss over everything.

Brina came into her own in this book. If she had any doubt, she did a great job of not showing it. I do like how she was willing to follow Amanki anywhere and when his ship got taken, she did. Speaking of that, her budding romance with Amanki was adorable. But it is going to turn into a triangle because she still has feelings for Metlan.

Amanki got crapped on in this book. I felt bad for him. He ended up in situations that had me shaking my head and wondering if he would come out of them alive. Somehow he did. It was through those trials that I got a good feeling about why Baskrod chose him as the leader. I am looking forward to seeing how he fits into that role in the next book. I am also looking forward to seeing where his romance with Brina goes.

I felt awful for Moshoi. He was thrust into the background by his abusive father and forced to watch as Tuka becomes the figurehead of a revolution. His relationship with Tuka suffered because of that. On the other hand, he did become involved in a plot that changes the entire book. I was shocked when I realized what was happening. Then I did a fist pump because he was involved in ends up helping people.

I was a bit iffy with Metlan. While I understood why he was doing what he was doing, I felt that he was underhanded about things. I did admire when he took charge of the refugees from the Mesmeringa Forest. But, I was sickened at him not doing anything. He knew that Amanki was his twin and he sat there. I understand that a rescue was going to happen but still. I also couldn’t tell what he felt for Brina or if he had any feelings for her.

The Christian angle of the book was wonderfully written. It wasn’t heavy-handed. Unlike some Christian books. You knew that it was there but it wasn’t shoved in your face every other sentence. Which made it a very pleasurable read for me.

I enjoyed how the plotline unrolled. The intensity from the other books did not slow down in this one. Instead, this book kept up and added to the fast pace. I am certain that book 6 will be explosive. There are twists in the plotline that definitely took me by surprise. The Island of the Dolls and who Amanki and Brina rescued from there is a huge one. That person is going to be a big part of the next book.

The fantasy angle of the book was superbly written too. I couldn’t get enough of the different races that appeared in the book. The world building that the author did was superb. This world was like an onion. When one layer was peeled back, another appeared. Loved it!!!

I very rarely don’t find anything that I do not like when I am reading books. This is one such case. I could not find anything that bothered or annoyed me. So, that makes this book a keeper in my eyes.

The end of the book was a cliffhanger. Normally, I don’t like cliffhangers. I think that they ruin the book. But, in this case, it didn’t. It only pumped me up to read book 6.

What I liked about Visionaries:

A) The storylines.

B) Brina coming into her own in the book

C) The entire book

What I disliked about Visionaries:

A) Nothing!!!

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

There are no trigger warnings in Visionaries.

I would reread Visionaries. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Visionaries.

All opinions stated in this review of Visionaries are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

WWW Wednesday: June 6th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading. Also, I will let y’all know what has gone on in my life this past week.

What has been going on in my life:

The short version: It’s the last week of school for my older kids and Miss R had her last day on Friday. Saturday, Miss B, and BK went to Carowinds. There her band performed for judges. Kinda like an American Idol for middle school band, I guess. Sunday, I fell off my front porch and severely sprained my ankle. Put it this way, my ankle is still swollen and it’s Wednesday. It has put a damper on my plans this week. Can’t drive, can’t walk. Fun times. Thursday, I have Mr. Z’s award ceremony. Friday is the last day of school. But, Miss B starts summer school on Monday. Same time, the same place. So more waking up at 5:30. Yay…lol.

So, here’s what I have been up to reading-wise this past week:

What I am currently reading:

 

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)

LOVE IS THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF ALL

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance—and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory. . .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius—Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms? 

I am not too sure about this book. While I like the era its set in, I am not liking the main characters. But, I am only a couple of chapters in, so we’ll see how I end up liking it.


What I finished reading:

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow’s Quest

Mirrored Kingdoms: The Shadow's Quest

When twelve-year-old orphan Matthew injured his ankle on a school trip, little did he know that taking shelter in a cave would lead him to a strange land, drawn by a blinding light, where nothing was familiar. 
Taken in by a farming family, Matthew slowly adjusted to their peculiar ways and their strange customs and he set out on a quest to discover the truth of where he was and how he’d got there. 
As he struggled to understand the mysteries of this new land, Matthew had to face his fears and strive on through a journey of hope, danger and adventure and he finds an important sense of loyalty to the family that took him in. 
This would become a journey that would ultimately change his life….forever.

I actually really enjoyed this book. When I first checked out the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I almost didn’t accept the author’s request for review. But, I form my own opinions of books and I accepted the request. It was actually pretty good. My review will be coming up within the next couple of weeks, so be out on the lookout for it.


What I am reading next:

Not Her DaughterEvery Time You Go AwayVisionaries (Mud, Rocks and Trees, #5)Malevolent Sadness: A Paranormal Suspense ThrillerTo Kill an Assassin: The Priors, Part 2

Not Her DaughterI was approached by the publisher to review this book. I can’t wait to read it.

Everytime You Go Away: Another book where I was approached by the publisher to review. And another book that I can’t wait to review. Looks good!!

Visionaries: This is a series that I have been reviewing. If y’all have a chance, check it out. It is fantastic and I can’t wait to read it!!

Malevolent Sadness: This was an author request review. While I am looking forward to reading it, I am on the fence because it is book 2. So, we’ll see how it is.

To Kill an Assassin, The Priors: Part 2: I have reviewed for this author before and his books are fantastic. Part 1 of this book was a wild ride. Again, another book that I can’t wait to review.

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?

The Emperor’s Visions (formerly Warriors) by R.A. Denny

The Emperor's Visions (Tales of Tzoladia Book 4) by [Denny, R.A.]

4 Stars

Publisher: self-published

Date of publication: October 18th, 2017

Genre: fantasy, young adult, Christian fiction

Series: Mud Rocks and Trees

Refugees – Book 1 (review here)

Seekers – Book 2 (review here)

Captives – Book 3 (review here)

Warriors – Book 4

Visionaries – Book 5

Where you can find Warriors: Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“The only thing keeping that seal around his neck is his head. Heads are easily removed.”
Time is running out. Tzoladia is under siege. Heads will roll.

As the prophecy unfolds, Emperor Zoltov’s military forces take action to exterminate the “Subhumans.” Leaders form risky alliances.  Metlan’s ambition propels him into places of mystery and murder. Brina and Amanki sail through a sea filled with enchantment and betrayal. Moshoi is dazzled by treasure as he faces the horrors of an evil empire. All forces converge on Tzoladia for a showdown.

Will mud, rocks, and trees come together and prevail? Who will lose their heads?

My review:

When R.A. approached me to review Warriors, I was pretty stoked. I have loved every book in this series. Usually, I expect some sort of lull in a series. A book that isn’t up to par with the rest of the book. Not with this series. Each book has been fantastic and Warriors continues with the excellence.

Warriors picks up shortly after the events of Captives. Amanki is a foot soldier in the Tzoladian Army. Brina is a slave and is being used by the leader of the Sparaggi Tribe. Tuka is working for the emperor. He is also a spy for a local resistance group. Metlan is now the king of the Samalitans. He also holds Brina’s seal. Somehow, they all must meet up and bring the seals together.

Amanki is on the front lines of a war that he didn’t ask to be in. Fighting for an emperor that wants him dead. I liked that he still held on to his faith, even when events happened that made him question it. He grew in this book. He became more of a leader.

I was a little put off by Brina at the beginning of Warriors. There was a point in the book where I did question whether she was going to continue with her quest. She did redeem herself in my eyes after the battle when she aided Amanki. If she gets her seal back from Metlan, what it will do. If Amanki’s can call a leviathan, then what will hers call?? I also figured out what was going to happen between her and Metlan before it happened.

Tuka had it rough. He was spying on the emperor for a group of rebels within the palace. He was being pressured to assassinate the emperor because he was the closest to him. He also was supposed to help Burlem find out who ordered the killing of the women and children of his tribe. At one point, I didn’t know what was going to happen to him. I thought that he was going to do one thing and ended up doing another. Put it this way, I am glad that he met Samuel.

Metlan got on my nerves. I know that he had to prove that he was worthy of being a king but still. He played Brina. But, I am wondering if he did have feelings for her. And what he did was more of a political attempt to get the Karsonians to behave. Guess I’ll have to see. I am also wondering where Pergassi is and if she is still alive.

There are a couple of twists in the plot. One that I saw coming. One came out of left field. With the one I saw coming, the author dropped enough hints in the earlier books. So when Baskrod revealed it to Metlan, I wasn’t surprised. The other one, though, took me completely by surprise. I kick myself because I should have seen it coming.

The Christian element of the book was well written. Adon was discussed, praised and it was mentioned but it didn’t take over the book. Which is great for someone who wants to read a religious-themed but doesn’t want to feel it being forced down your throat.

I thought that the fantasy aspect of the book was very well written also. I love to read fantasy but I have found some of the books can be dull and repetitive. Warriors was a refreshing change from that.

The character and world building in this book were over the top. The author took an already great world/characters and added more depth to them. I am looking forward to seeing how much more she adds to the world/characters in the next book. I enjoy reading a book where I can picture the characters and the world. It makes it so much more interesting to read.

The end of Warriors was a mess. I won’t go into it other than to say it was sort of cliffhanger. But, things look to going in the right direction (finally!!) for Brina, Tuka, Amanki, and Metlan.

What I liked about Warriors:

A) Amazing world/character building

B) Fast paced original storyline

C) The plot twists

What I disliked about Warriors:

A) Metlan. Player going to play (cue in Taylor Swift here)

B) Pressure on Tuka.

C) The battle scene with Amanki and Kishar. And then the one with Amanki and Jacob

I was a bit torn on what rating to give Warriors. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to give it a Tween or a Young Teen rating. For the sake of the review, I would say Young Teen rating. There is violence. There is no sex but there is a couple of scenes where Metlan and Brina kiss. Again, nothing graphic. No language.

There are no trigger warnings in the book.

I would recommend this book to family and friends. I would reread this book.

I would like to thank R.A. Denny for allowing me to read and review Warriors.

All opinions stated in this review of Warriors are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Emperor’s War (formerly Captives) by R.A. Denny

The Emperor's War (Tales of Tzoladia Book 3) by [Denny, R.A.]

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of Publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees

Refugees – Book 1 (review here)

Seekers – Book 2 (review here)

Captives – Book 3

Warriors – Book 4

Where you can find Captives: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Let the battle begin! The vast Tzoladian army clashes with the Karsonian confederation in the valley of Mt. Sarmos. But the stakes are higher than a mere fight for power between countries. As the cruel emperor intensifies his persecution of the “subhumans,” the three chosen youths make tough choices that will decide the fate of the world.

Amanki is a soldier fighting for an empire that wants him dead. After losing her freedom and her seal, Brina faces the ruthless leader of the Sparaggi tribes. Tuka is surrounded by intrigue. Plots of assassination abound.

Thrown into circumstances they never would have chosen or even imagined, the teens must adapt or die. Have they forgotten their true mission?

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “The Emperor’s War (formerly Captives) by R.A. Denny”

The Emperor’s Trap (formerly Seekers) by R.A. Denny

The Emperor's Trap (Tales of Tzoladia Book 2) by [Denny, R.A.]

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Number of pages: 238

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees

Refugees – Book 1 (review here)

Seekers – Book 2

Captives – Book 3

Warriors – Book 4

Where you can find Seekers: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

I can see the future, but it’s muddy.  A dream led me to Baskrod when I was a small boy. A dream showed me the emperor’s mad ravings in his throne room. And a recurring dream reveals that I will ride a lion into the city of Tzoladia at the head of a victorious procession.

But what if I’m wrong?

Prophecies, dreams, and signs are easy to misinterpret. Why else would the wise men of the Society of the Word hide in caves, carry swords, and employ spies? I thought they would know where to find the other deliverers.

But nobody knows what has happened to Brina and Moshoi.  For all I know, the emperor may already have them in his trap.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “The Emperor’s Trap (formerly Seekers) by R.A. Denny”

The Emperor’s Harvest (formerly Refugees) by R .A. Denny

The Emperor's Harvest (Tales of Tzoladia Book 1) by [Denny, R.A.]

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: April 9th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Number of pages: 288

POV: Alternating 1st and 3rd person

Series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees

Refugees – Book 1

Where you can find Refugees: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

I love to listen to Baskrod’s stories. He describes warlike men with natural armor who hibernate in rocky caves and peaceful people who soar through the air in a forest of giant trees. His tales are full of foreboding dreams and ancient prophecies; royal palaces and strange creatures. My brother laughs at me. He says that the old fisherman makes it all up. But everything Baskrod has ever predicted has come true. So I have always believed his stories.

UNTIL NOW

Baskrod appears to have gone mad. He claims that the emperor is sending a murderous horde of evil men to destroy our village. “They will drink your blood!” he yells, wide-eyed while standing in the marketplace waving his trident. He repeatedly begs me to escape with him. But it is harvest time, and I must stay to help my family in the fields. Anyway, the emperor has no reason to turn against us. We pay our tribute.

If only we had listened to Baskrod.

The emperor planned his own harvest. His reapers were ax-wielding horsemen. And they were not harvesting crops. They harvested my people.

Now I am the sole survivor from my village. Baskrod claims that the one God has chosen me. He says I must travel to the distant capital of Tzoladia to save the world. Maybe Baskrod is right. Maybe it is my destiny. But I’m nobody. How can I save the world?

Continue reading “The Emperor’s Harvest (formerly Refugees) by R .A. Denny”