Weekly Wrap Up: October 28th through November 3rd 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

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

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Black Diamond Fall

The Storyteller's Throne

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):

The Wizard’s Gift—review here

The Wizard's Gift by Michael Waller

Black Diamond Fall—review here

Black Diamond Fall

Kiss Me at Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review here

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

The Storyteller’s Throne—review here

The Storyteller's Throne

The Rain Watcher—review here

The Rain Watcher

A Nanny for Harry—review here

A Nanny for Harry

Stripped Down—review here

Stripped Down

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

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

The Night Before

You Are The Everything

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

Deadly Cage—Tom Howard (No Amazon/Email page yet)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

 Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

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The Wizard’s Gift by Michael Waller

The Wizard's Gift

4 Stars

Publisher:  RABT Book Tours

Date of publication: June 29th, 2012

Genre: Fantasy

Where you can find The Wizard’s Gift: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

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.


My review:

The Wizard’s Gift starts off with an ancient wizard leaving a gift to the men (and women) of the region where he lived. Telling the King of the area that the battle-ax was a good luck talisman, the wizard goes off to die in an enchanted land. The people with whom the battle-ax (and a few books) were left with came to revere and worship the gift. All was well for centuries until one of the priests of The Wizard’s Gift decides to sell out his people to a wizard king. It is there where the story begins. 4 men set off on a quest. One on his own and three together. The single man is determined to find the wizard king. He wants to make him pay for killing his King and razing his city. The other 3 men are also in pursuit of the wizard king. They want The Wizard’s Gift back in their city. It is their quest that is chronicled. A newly minted King, a retired Captain of the Palace Guard, and the High Priest of Bianmares. One of those three men has the destiny to fulfill. Can he survive to fulfill it?

I am going to warn you all, this book starts off slow. There were a few times where I almost DNF’d it because I was getting frustrated at how slow the plot goes. If you read this book, keep soldiering on. The plot gains speed after Caran Tuith buries his father. This is also a longer book, about 321 pages. Usually, I can read a book that length within a couple of days. But, I have been sick and couldn’t concentrate on the book long enough to read it. So, it took me 3-4 days to read it.

My only complaint about the book was that the formatting was wonky. I went from a larger font type to small font type. Also, at one point in the book, there were lines between each paragraph. Which stopped after a couple of chapters. It did get annoying after a while. That did affect how I rated the book.

Other than my complaint about the formatting, I loved the book. The characters were complex and well fleshed out. The author did a fantastic job of character building with them. I connected with everyone but King Premendis and Strantor. I didn’t like him. What they did to Caran Tuith’s father and people were unforgivable.

The world building was awesome in this book. The author took his time building up each area. I had no problem seeing The Wastelands and its inhabitants. Or Bianmares. Or where the mountain men lived.

The plotlines were the same way. Vivid and descriptive. I did have an issue with some of the bigger words but it was nothing that a highlight on my Kindle could solve. I loved that there were no storylines left up in the air. The author also did a great job at bringing all the storylines together at the end of the book.

Speaking of the ending, it was insane!! From the escape from The Wastelands to what Bataan did. I am hoping that the author is going to write a sequel to this book. Because I would 100% read it.


I gave The Wizard’s Gift a 4-star rating. This was a fantastic read. The character and world building were amazing. I did have an issue with the formatting and that did affect my review.

I would give The Wizard’s Gift an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild violence. There is no language. There are no triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Wizard’s Gift. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank RABT Book Tours for allowing me to read and review The Wizard’s Gift.

All opinions stated in this review of The Wizard’s Gift are mine.

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


Have you read The Wizard’s Gift?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

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!!

WWW Wednesday: October 24th, 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:

Personal: Two out of my three kids have been sick. On top of it, I am getting sick with the same thing. Yay…not.

Reading: Because of my kids being sick, I have fallen behind on review and reading. I also restructured my review schedule. I noticed that I had some blog tours coming up that I hadn’t read the books for. That took me about 1 1/2 days to do. Hopefully, once everything is settled (kids + me being sick), I can catch up on writing reviews.


What I am currently reading:

Stripped Down

click on the picture for Amazon link

His best friend’s hot older sister.
Her younger brother’s annoying sidekick.
And one forbidden kiss in high school…

It was complicated back then. It’s even more so now.

Because former mean girl Sloane rolls back in town to find Rick stripping at a charity event like he was born with biceps.
And single dad Rick is her landlord.
And her brother will murder him if he has sex with her.

But sometimes you have to strip it all down to see what was there all along…


What I finished reading:

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Click on the picture for Amazon link

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting right now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First, he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .


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

A Nanny for Harry

JUGGLING ON EMPTY? WHO’S YOUR NANNY?
Kali Miller hasn’t even given birth to baby Harry when doctor-husband Matt ‘helpfully’ hires a live-in nanny. Britta is svelte, blonde and beguiling, and Swedish enough to make any new mother insecure, especially one who looks and feels as ginormous post-delivery as she did the day before. But a nanny means Kali can go back to work at her law firm where she is desperate to make partner. The Millers’ seaside house will be nice and clean; their meals healthy and fresh, and Harry well looked after. It’s the only option, really, for career women like Kali.

But Britta’s idea of cooking is fiskpinnar (fish sticks) in the microwave. She leaves blonde hairballs between the sofa cushions and has cute, broken-English convos with Matt, leaving the dirty diapers and other chores for Kali. The only thing Britta has in common with those super-nannies that all Kali’s friends seem to have is that she’ll probably never quit. And of course, Harry adores her!

As Kali’s life becomes increasingly frenetic —not helped by a disgruntled client out to get her for a deal gone bad—she starts losing her grip on reality. The top brass at her firm now views her more as a potential liability, than partnership material. And Matt seems to have some mysterious ‘history’ with Harry’s nanny. Just who is this Britta Edvardsson? And what does she want with Matt… and little Harry?

The Storyteller's Throne Grace was born a storyteller with a beautifully brilliant mind. Trauma twisted her reality into a tale of darkness. Now, at eighteen, Grace has found herself on the shores of a shadow world created to heal a generation. A world whose purpose is to release our emotions from the bonds of youth.

But she is not alone. It’s a world inhabited by others, those working on their own hearts and one other like herself. An amazing and yet afflicted empath and musician by the name of Kai that Grace feels inexplicably drawn to.

Will she be able to handle the suppressed memories of her youth? Accept the vulnerability necessary to explore her own heart and that of another? Fulfill the true purpose it seems she is destined to serve?

Come along with Grace as she learns to uncover her past, harness her gift, open her heart to love and embrace her future.

Black Diamond Fall

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.

The Wizard's Gift

The last of an ancient group of wizards leaves 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.


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!!

Weekly Wrap Up: September 9th through September 15th

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

In the Mood Fur Love

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

The Ancient Nine

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

Drawn to the Marquess—review here

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

 

The Ancient Nine—review coming September 24th

The Ancient Nine

Worldwielder—review here

Worldwielder

I Do Not Trust You—review here

I Do Not Trust You

 

Lies—review here

Lies

Dead Girl’s Don’t Love—review here

Dead Girls Don't Love

Carbon Replacements—review here

Carbon Replacements (The McAllister Justice Series #4)

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

Rend (Riven, #2)

Perfectly Inappropriate

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

 

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

The Perfect Liar

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

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Musical Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday