Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: Jack Templar and The Last Battle by Jeff Gunhus

  jack-templar-and-the-last-battle 

  In the last book of the Jack Templar series, Jack and his friends race to stop Ren Lucre before he launches this Creach army against humankind. But the Lord of the Lesser Creach and the Lord of the Zombies hold the last two Jerusalem Stones Jack needs to have any chance of success. To make matters worse, the Oracle predicts that one of their group will die in the upcoming fight, and Jack discovers betrayal among those he trusts most. Even so, Jack must find the courage to lead his friends into battle. Either they collect the Stones in time to defeat Ren Lucre or die trying. It’s "Do your duty, come what may" no matter the cost. The fate of the world hangs in the balance. amazon add to goodreads

My Thoughts:

As with all great series there's a bitter-sweet feeling when it ends.  On one hand I'm glad to see how things have turned out.  On the other hand I'm sad the adventure is over.  I've loved this series from the first book.  I've become so attached to Jack, Eva, Daniel, Will, T-Rex & Xavier.  They've all changed and grown so much; each of them conquering their own personal demons.  In the end they all stayed true to themselves.  Jack discovered the true value and power in their bond of friendship.  From the beginning chapter to the last epic battle this book was loaded with adventure.  I can't help but hope it will become a series of movies that I can fan-girl over.  I've recommended this series to countless people looking for a great story and EXCEPTIONAL writing.  My daughter, a 7th grader, LOVES this series and tells all her friends about it.  I don't have to tell you what high praise that is!  If you haven't started this series I don't know what more you're waiting for.  Packed full of adventure, witty dialogue and "lol" moments this series is bound to get even a reluctant reader interested.  I can't wait to see what Jeff Gunhus will entertain us with next.  

Excerpt from the book:

The old hag, because that’s what she was now, laughed in a low chugging sound that rattled around in her chest. She held out a hand toward me, clenched into a fist. Slowly, she opened it with her palm up. Resting in her hand was the Jerusalem Stone I’d left her.
“You tried to use it,” I said. “You promised you wouldn’t.”
“And I lied,” the witch hissed. “What? Did you think only the Black Guard could tell lies? Only hunters were allowed to break their vows?”
The fire in the hearth blazed higher as if feeding off her bitterness and anger. In the light, I saw that the hand holding the Stone was curled into a claw. Worse, it was blackened. No, worse than blackened. It was charred as if the Stone had caught fire but she’d refused to let it go.
“What did you try to make it do?” I asked. In my heart, I knew the answer, yet I had to ask. Everything that had happened since walking into the cottage somehow felt out of my control. Like I was on a path I couldn’t get off. And I had a bad feeling the path was leading me somewhere I didn’t want to go.
“Why is it that I’m made to suffer?” she asked, ignoring my question. She took a hobbling step closer. “I was the one who was wronged. You see that, don’t you? Anyone can see that.”
I remembered the dozens of Talib, the small-bodied creatures that had been everywhere the last time we were there. Each one had an identical head grown in the witch’s cauldron. All of them made to look like her murdered son.
“Where are the Talib?” I asked.
She clutched the Jerusalem Stone in her hand, and smoke rose from her fist. The air reeked with a burning smell. “I just wanted … I wanted …,” she whimpered. “I just wanted to take back what those monsters stole from me.”
As she said the words, I looked past her to the wall where the firewood was stacked from floor to ceiling. Only now, I realized it wasn’t firewood at all. It was all the heads of the Talib, rows and rows of bodiless heads, piled up ten or twelve high across the length of the wall, their eyes all open and staring at me.
She noticed me staring and turned toward the heads.
“I tried to bring him back,” she said. “You can see how hard I tried. But the Stone refused to work for me. I knew I should wait until I had three, but I was impatient. I thought one might do it. I thought that one might be enough.”
My body tensed. What she was saying wasn’t far off from my own thoughts. I hoped the reunited Jerusalem Stones would be enough to turn both Eva and Daniel back into their human forms. Shakra, the Lord of the Vampires, had told me it could be done, that she knew the Stones had performed this transformation before. But bringing someone back from the dead? That was entirely different.
“But what happened? Why are they all …all …?”
“Why are all my children without bodies?” the witch asked. “Because the second I tried to use the Stone, somehow all the magic I’d used to bring them alive was gone. The heads just rolled off onto the ground. The bodies, the ones I’d spent so many years gathering, all fell to the ground. Worthless.” She turned as she spoke and stared into the fire, losing herself in the flames. “I should have waited,” she mumbled. “Should have waited to get the other Stones.”
Her hand with the Jerusalem Stone in it fell open again. That terrible smoke stopped. Somehow, I had to get that Stone and get out of there. I was starting to regret coming by myself. “Bella,” I said. “You and I made a pact. You swore on your son’s name that you would return that Stone to me if I was able to get the Stone from the Lord of the Demons. I’m going to unite the five and defeat Ren Lucre for good. Give it to me so that I can continue my quest and make him finally pay for what he did to your son.”
She continued to stare into the fire, but she must have heard me because she answered in a whisper. “But you’ll fail. Just like your father before you. Just like your mother. Traitors, the both of them. In their own way.”
I took a step forward, fighting down an impulse to pull my sword. “Why do you say that? What do you know about them?” The Lord of the Demons had said something similar to me. Said I was a pawn in a game I didn’t even know I was playing. Even Aquinas had hinted there was part of the story about my parents that I didn’t know. I was starting to get a little tired of it all. I wanted answers.
The witch only smiled, pleased that I was upset. “A trade, perhaps? The other Jerusalem Stone for the truth about your parents. About Aquinas. About this fool’s quest you’re on. Give me the Stone and I’ll tell you everything.”
“Whatever you tell me will be lies,” I said.
She lunged toward me, moving faster than I imagined she could. One second she was by the fire, the next she was right in front of me, her face a grotesque sneer. “I might be the only one willing to tell you the truth,” she rasped. “Give me the Stone. Give it to me now.”
I took a quick step back and pulled my sword. “No, you give me the one I left with you,” I said. “Look at the way it’s burned your hand. Look at what trying to use it has done to you. It won’t bring your son back. I’m sorry.”
She jerked back sharply as if I’d slapped her. “You’re sorry?” she asked. “Did you say you’re sorry?”
“Give me the Stone. Please,” I said. “I don’t want to fight you.”
“You don’t have to fight me, Jack,” the witch said, clenching the Stone in her fist again. Black smoke rose from it immediately. She raised both hands over her head as if she was about to throw something at me. “All you have to do is die.”
   
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  jeff-gunhusAuthor Jeff Gunhus Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list. After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.


$25 Blog Tour giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 11/30/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Omega by Lizzie Ford



In a modern world ruled by territorial Greek gods, the human race has been oppressed, exploited and now, nearly destroyed by the constant infighting of gods. 

However, a human girl with the power of a goddess is coming of age. Alessandra is the Oracle of Delphi – the last prophesized – and bears the mark of the double omega. Soon after she turns eighteen, Alessandra is told her destiny: to step between the warring gods and the human race and save her world from certain ruin. 

For the gods, her appearance marks the beginning of the end – their end. They and the Triumvirate – leaders of the human elite – who serve them will stop at nothing to preserve their power. 

Alessandra emerges from the forest where she spent her life hidden from gods and men and immediately plummets into a race against time, gods, and herself to discover who and what she is in a world where everyone she meets has a hidden agenda, and those pulling the strings remain in the shadows.

Before she can determine exactly what kind of savior her world needs, she must first master her power by completing three trials devised by the Triumvirate to enslave her. 

One lone girl stands between warring gods and the people she’s destined to protect, but it’s the battle to understand who she is that she must win first.


My Thoughts:
I love Greek mythology and this particular take on the story of the Oracle is unique and interesting.  Alessandra has been sheltered from the outside world for as long as she can remember.  While this has given her plenty of disadvantages, it has also prepared her for a battle that will decide the fate of humanity.  Alessandra handles her new situation pretty well.  I do think she trusts a little too easily.  It was hard to tell who was really trying to help her and who was trying to use her for their own gains.  I can't wait to read the next book and see what happens.  I look forward to seeing Alessandra's abilities grow as well as her inner strength.  This series is off to a great start!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

From the Power of the Matchmaker series:

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. 

The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?



My Thoughts:
I loved Ms. Pearl's role in this book the best so far.  She was a "hoot"!  I liked Esme & Hunter.  I thought Esme was a little bland at times but I think that's how she was meant to come across.  I got so frustrated with both of them when they were being so stubborn.  Oh how I despised Jon.  I thought he was a control freak.  I really liked how Hunter handled him.  This book had some great banter & funny moments.  I really wanted to find out more about Luke  his story.  I hope that comes along soon.  I recommend this book along with all the books in the series.  They are each so unique.

Recommended for readers 16 & up.  Mild to moderate adult situations & sexual content.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review: The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson


When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. 

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?


My Thoughts:
I usually don't enjoy historical romances. The reason being usually the language puts me off a bit. However I really liked this book. The story was well written and none of it got lost in the language. I loved how Lucy didn't take herself too seriously. She wasn't so worried about propriety that she wouldn't help with the daily tasks of her own life. She was brave & strong willed. She manages to teach Colin how the other half lives. Colin was, at first, your typical "Lord of the Manor." He was more worried about his responsibilities that he was missing out on some important things in life. Then he starts to see some of the simple joys in life. Rachael Anderson always writes well-rounded characters and entertaining stories. Every time I read one of her books I'm left with a light hearted and satisfied feeling. This is a clean, sweet read. I recommend it for readers 14 & up.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

King of the Friend Zone - Promotional Post

King of the Friend Zone 
  The King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed. Esme thinks Jon is paranoid. The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him. When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance. They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other. Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds? amazon 
  Excerpt While everyone around Hunter ate and drank, Hunter swirled the liquid in his glass and watched his friends and family interact with Jon. The man was suave when he wanted to be; Hunter would give him that. He wore the right suits, said the right words, and charmed the right people. What a hero. He was also several inches shorter than Hunter, which meant Esme fit neatly against his shoulder as they stood and spoke with all their guests. Esme looked so content as she reclined against Jon, and Hunter wasn’t the only one who had noticed. The last person who had commented on Jon and Esme within Hunter’s earshot had called them “two peas in a pod” as if there were awards to be won in the category. Well, there weren’t. In that moment, Hunter was very glad he hadn’t been drinking that night, because otherwise he might have gone so far as announcing that fact to everyone. There are no awards for being two peas in a pod, everyone. Oh, and by the way, you should meet this guy when he isn’t trying to impress you. He’s a bit of a prick. But, of course, no one wanted to hear that. No one wanted to hear anything from Hunter tonight except for a glowing toast endorsing the golden couple. He still hadn’t written anything, although he had googled a generic speech and printed it out. It was in his pocket now, but he hadn’t practiced it and reading the prepackaged speech was pretty much out of the question now, thanks to his dyslexia. Reading on the best of days usually didn’t go that well for Hunter, but when he was seething mad? Yeah, that wasn’t happening. So he sat and swirled and watched and tried to imagine what in the world he could say that wouldn’t earn him more frowns than his jeans had already earned him. Then it hit him: Why try? Why not be honest? There wasn’t a face at this party that he hadn’t known for the better part of twenty years—well, except Jon. His smug mug was as new as it was unwelcome in Hunter’s book. But everyone knew Hunter and they’d know if he vomited some fake, glowing speech their direction. So why should he? Why not be honest? The idea grew on Hunter as the night went on and the praise for Jon became more and more abundant. The clincher was when Jon’s best man stood up and gave a speech that proved he’d probably met Esme all of once, and everyone in attendance nodded and beamed as the guy praised Esme in the most generic of terms. According to whatever the best man’s name was, Esme was kind and compassionate and a joy to all those who met her. Seriously? The guy had clearly never been within earshot of Esme when an ice cream truck passed in July playing Christmas music. That would redefine the guy’s definition of “joy to all those around her.” Yet everyone ooohed and ahhhhed and clapped until the guy sat and Jon gave his bestie an appreciative slap on the back with a look that said, Well done. Then everyone in the future wedding party looked at Hunter expectantly. It was his turn. In that moment, Hunter had a choice to make. He could either repeat the same lame puffery the best man had, or he could give the speech that had been building up in him like a sneeze all night. Be nice now and freak out later, or let it all hang out? That was the question. And one quick glance at Jon’s arrogant face gave Hunter his answer.
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  Sheralyn
Author Sheralyn Pratt
Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who's been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn't far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There's a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another's shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn: * She's a wanderer (geographically) * She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal * She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV * She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight
  amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 9/23/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 2, 2016

Review: The Disengagement Ring by Clodagh Murphy


A summer in Tuscany cooking for ultra-cool rock band Walking Wounded is the job of Kate O'Neill's dreams. So when Will Sargent, the band's manager and unrequited love of Kate's life, offers her the position, she jumps at the chance. 

But little does Kate know that the job is all part of a plot concocted by her meddling, eccentric mother, Grace to split Kate from her new fiancé, Brian. Brian has never fit in with the larger-than-life O'Neills, and Grace is hoping that a summer spent living the high life with gorgeous rock stars will bring Kate to her senses and, more importantly, that Will can provide a change of direction for Kate's affections. 

When Will's long-term girlfriend, Tina unexpectedly arrives at the villa and seems determined to make Kate's life a misery, temperatures begin to rise. Will Kate finally stand up to her mother and choose Brian, or will she discover that her feelings for Will are stronger than ever?


My Thoughts:  
This book as hilarious!  I often have "LOL" moments in books, but this book was full of them.  I could absolutely see this book as a movie.  The  O'Neills are a hurricane family in the best & worst ways.  The way they butt into each others lives made for quite the comedy.  Kate needed to find more self-worth.  She was so insecure that she never felt she deserved better.  Will wasn't insecure in the same way Kate was but he always seemed to be taking care of others & never allowed someone to take care of him.  The only thing that I didn't like about the book was that it dragged on a bit.  Kate was so insecure she never would take what people were saying to her seriously.  It was frustrating & I found myself skimming over parts towards the end.  I also wish, at some point, Kate would have confronted Rachel about her egotistical & self-centered actions.  
This book was a fantastic read that will brighten up the gloomiest of days.

Recommended for readers 17 & up.
Contains sexual content, adult situations & language.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Fall of Lord Drayson - Promotional Post

The Fall of Lord Drayson 
  The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson Who is he really? A high and mighty lord or a lowly servant? When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience? Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out? amazon Excerpt He stared at her incredulously, as though she had escaped Bedlam. “Are you in your right mind, woman?” Lucy leaned forward and planted her palms on his bed so that her eyes were level with his. “My name is Lucy Beresford. I have lived in Askern all my life. I’m the sole daughter of a vicar and a seamstress who lived most happily despite their differences in station. When my father passed away, I came here, to this dower house. So yes, I am in my right mind. It is you who are not.” The earl’s jaw clenched, and Lucy took some pleasure at the sight. Perhaps he would come down off his high horse and show at least a small amount of kindness or respect. “I may not know who I am or where I came from,” he finally said, “but at least I do not feel the need to tell tales.” “Tell tales?” Lucy gaped at him. Was he accusing her of telling untruths? Her, of all people? What untruths? How dare he! Lord Drayson glanced down at his fingers, frowning when he spotted grime under his nails. He began to scrape it out as he spoke. “Claiming to be the daughter of a vicar and seamstress is all very romantic, but it cannot possibly be the truth.” “And why not?” she asked. His gaze returned to hers. “In my experience, the daughter of a vicar would behave with more decorum, would know how to make a palatable broth, and would never allow herself to be alone in a room with a man who is not her relative. If there is one thing I know with absolute certainty, it is that you are no relation of mine.” Lucy’s jaw clenched as she fought to control the rage building inside her. Ever so slowly, she pushed herself up to standing and glared down at the earl. “You are correct in thinking I am no ordinary vicar’s daughter. I do not love unconditionally. I show decorum only when I wish to. And I despise those who care for no one but themselves. But I do not tell tales.” He actually chuckled, but it was more of a scoff than a show of humor. “Did you learn those traits from your father?” “Do not speak of my father.” “I would prefer to speak of myself, but you do not seem to share that preference, so perhaps we should speak of your father instead. Where is he, by the by? I would very much like to meet him.” Lucy’s fingers became fists while her conscience became a battleground between all that was good and evil inside her. It was a short battle, with evil making a quick triumph. Ever so slowly, her body still trembling with anger, she lifted her chin. If he was going to accuse her of telling tales, then tell them she would. “Very well, Collins. If you must know, I am your employer. And though you may not remember me, or this house, or your position in it, or the fact that you are perfectly susceptible to coming off a horse, just like any other human, I still expect some kindness and respect from you.” “What on earth are you talking about? What position?” There was not a hint of hesitation in her voice when she answered. “You are a servant in this house.” add to goodreads new   RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
  amazon or paypal $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 9/18/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 
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