Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna (Book 2) by Robert B Sloan

Hamelin really wants to find his parents but his guides on his quest tell him he has other things he has to do that take more priority than that.  He listens and follows their guidance.  He meets a young man looking for a jewel, a princess that is looking for her sister, and he gets a pair of gloves that give him strength and more.  Off they go...

12 Gates Publishing sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

This is a middle grade adventure that contains bits of magic and interesting beasts and plenty of danger.  This is the second book in the series and the pace picks up here.

Hamelin needs his eagle friend to get where he needs to go and to give him hints on how to handle the next crisis.  Sometimes he's there and sometimes he's not.  Hamelin has his gloves, his male friend has shoes that help him walk faster and hold him secure on the ground, and the princess has a scarf that lets her see far away.  With those tools, they have a chance of saving the princess and the jewel.  The man who has her isn't willing to give her up, though.

There are clashes, attempts at murder and more but they persist and are rewarded.  The next story will probably cover the attempt for Hamelin to be rejoined with his parents.  However, the captor has learned he's alive and he has other plans for him...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, the Cave, and the Footbridge (Hamelin Stoop, #1)

They are running and their trackers are getting closer.  They can't let them have the baby.  The father runs and throws the blanket off the cliff into the raging river below.  The trackers are very sorry they lost the main prize, but they take them into custody.  Only the mother knows what really happened to the child...

The publisher sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

This book sets the pace for the new series.  You learn about the hidden world as well as the world the boy child lives in.  You watch him grow.  And you learn about the intrigue going on in both worlds.  The dictator in the underworld wants a male that is a mix of the two worlds for his boss.  When he lost the baby he wanted, he demands his parents have another.  When the baby is a girl, he kills it and demands another...

The young boy is having his own adventures in the other world.  An eagle led him to a cave but he was too scared to cross the footbridge.  He knows he must, but he has to wait until he's called again.  This book ends with him bracing himself for his quest.

There's much more to be fleshed out but it's an enjoyable read despite the evil dictator.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

They live on an island and keep the lighthouse's light burning during storms or fog and for late night navigation.  It seems like the family would be insulated against unfortunate or bad situations but that's not true.  For a family with four children, there's enough heart ache to fill the whole lighthouse.  They have secrets...

Harper and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 4th.

The story begins with a young girl who has gotten herself in trouble by spray painting a dragonfly on the nursing home's fence.  She has to do community service to make up for it and it happens to be fixing the graffiti and other maintenance work at the home is her punishment.  She can do that; it's not bad labor.  But she never expects to meet an old blind woman who has a tale to tell.  Especially when that tale comes around to answering some of her own questions...

Lives get mixed up, some get lost, and the survivors still have questions in their minds.  When the old lady's brother goes missing and they find several of her father's journals, she asks Morgan to read them to her.  She does and it contains the core of the story.  There's still one journal missing but it's found before the end of the story.  

After the secrets have been told, Morgan has a new life ahead of her.  She's learned a lot from the tales the old woman has shared with her.  She even learns more of her own background.  She's pretty centered in life now and will carry on the tradition of the women from the lighthouse: Be strong, be tough, be true to yourself.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Betwixters: Once Upon a Time by Laura C. Cantu

Not everyone can see fairies.  It takes someone with a bit of Merlin's blood in them.  The three oddballs at school that hang out together have that power...

Winterwolf Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 1st.

The fairy that shows up in our world got there by accident.  She manages to get in reach of a portal that whisked her through.  But she ends up in the forest, where her enemies roam.  The only thing that saves her is the fact that the neighborhood bully has driven the trio into the woods.  He intends to beat them up, it's the only place they can escape him.  They've been forbidden to enter there but they are getting away from harm.  Or are they?

The man that lives in the forest is an enemy to the fairies.  He is also an enemy to the children.  They survive their first visit but when they find the fairy and have to work on getting her back to her portal, they get into an even more dangerous situation.  It's not just the old man looking for them.  There's a big shadow wolf...

There's lots of excitement, worries all around and even when they get her back, the story isn't done yet.  This is the first in a series that looks like it will be good fun to read.  I'd be worried about that big monster if it was me...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Death Around the Bend: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 3 by T E Kinsey

Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, are staying at Lord Riddlethorpe's country estate.  They've come to watch a car race and plan to participate in the race.  After all, they know how to drive.  Now they want to see how feels to have all that power under their feet.  Unfortunately, they lose the toss of the coin and the men go first.  It's a good thing because there is an accident.  Or was it an accident?

Thomas & Mercer and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

It seems one of the brake lines was cut and that was what caused the accident as he powered around the turn.  When he hit the tree, it was deadly for him.  They tell the inspector that they don't believe it was an accident.  He just declares it one and walks away.

Lady Hardcastle and Flo decide to look into it themselves.  There are dozens of servants, lots of guests and lots of secrets in this household.  The more they learn, the more questions they have.  It's not until they find out about an incident that happened when the long-time girlfriends were in school that they get a clue about who might be the killer.

There's a budding romance, one going into full bloom and lots of skullduggery going on around the edges of the household.  

Lady H and Flo manage to get to the truth, but it looks like it might kill them...

This is an interesting and fun read.  I enjoyed it.

It's Hard to Swim (Ellie the Wienerdog series) Life's Little Lessons by Ellie the Wienerdog - Lesson #2 by K.J. Hales

Ellie is back again and this book is even cuter than the last one.  This time, they are taking her down to the lake to swim.  Ellie has a really good imagination...

Open Door Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It's been published, so you can grab a copy now.

Ellie purple with orange accents.  She has huge eyes.  And she's afraid of the water.  She imagines all kinds of hazards and dangers.  She thinks dogs should just stay with their feet planted on the ground.  After all, no one trains fish to sit!

Ellie's people put her in a safety vest before they put her in the water.  She finds out it can be FUN to swim.  She also finds out you can do more than you think you can, you just have to try.  That's a life skill all of us can use.

I'd buy this book just for the illustrations but the story line is good, too.  You can go far in life, just try!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jack Ferrington and the School for Swabbies by Clint Perry

Jack is excited to be going into middle school at the Pirate School.  He'll be one of the Fighting Eels now.  He's planning on taking cannon lessons.  However, everything doesn't work as planned.

FlyRockit Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  How could I miss a pirate book?  You can grab a copy for you now.

This is great fun.  Jack gets in trouble as soon as he steps on board.  He has to take another math class and he hates it.  The bully from last year is still in their class, and now he has to mentor an excitable first grader during lunch.  Of course, with Anne Bonny starting and ending their classes with a muzzle shot, it made it a bit better.

When Max gets out of hand at lunch, Jack finds himself having to commit to coming down after school to clean it up.  He's irritated at Max and now the boat is ready to take the children back to the ship they are taught on.  He can't find him and they leave without him.  They don't appear to be concerned but Jack is.  He's skipping classes, getting his friends to help and they look everywhere for Max...

What Jack doesn't know is that Teach has a special relationship with Max and he is testing Jack.  I really liked the mischievous behavior of all and the way the story ended.  Any little pirate you might have in your household will love reading this book.  After all, there's a food fight in it.  


It's Hard to be Good (Ellie the Wienerdog series) Life's Little Lessons by Ellie the Wienerdog - Lesson #1 by K.J. Hales

Ellie is the cutest little wiener dog!  She's illustrated in bright colors, her antics are perfectly dog-like, and this story is cute.  There's a lesson in the story but it's put across gently.

Open Door Press and Net Galley shared an ebook of this story with me.  It has been published so can grab a copy now.

Ellie loves being told she's a good dog.  Her reactions will make you laugh.  She can't help sniffing all the good smells in the house, though.  And when she gets a noseful of ham smells, and a sandwich lying on the table, can she resist?

She almost gives into temptation but, when she doesn't, she gets a reward.  That's how life ought to be for people, too.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Equus by Rhonda Parrish

When I discovered this book, I knew I had to read it.  I like horses, I like magic, and I like fantasy.  Here it is all wrapped in one anthology collection.  Oh, I also like short stories!

World Weaver Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published July 18th.

There are unicorns, kelpies, pegasus and knitting in these stories.  One woman knits her way to the stars where she can ride with the horses.  In Rue the Day, the young man aiding the woman unicorn rider rapes her so she can't ride anymore.  Unfortunately, it just makes her unicorn mad and he pays for his offense.

My favorite read in this book was Ladie's Day.  They're at the races and her sister and another woman are planning on their horse to win the same race.  She's the ugly duckling compared to her sister but she likes the young man that's friends with her sister's date.  Then she finds out from a vision that her sister has magicked her horse and he's the judge who checks the animals for drugs or magic...

All the stories in this collection are good.  Each author has a completely different take on where the animals live and how they behave.  It makes the stories surprising and unique.  If you like fantasy, magic, or horses, you'll love this book.  Tell me what story touched you. 
 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Pirate's Children by Michael Lloyd

Eleanor has been raising her younger siblings ever since her father never returned.  They are living with their aunt who sees they have all they need but is short on love.  Life goes on.  Then the aunt dies and when her will is read, their life changes.  They not only have money, they have a ship...

Publishing Push and the author provided me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  I loved the story so much this one is going in my library.  You can get a copy for your own library now since it has been published.

I've always had a soft spot for pirates.  I know they aren't nice people but they were brave, fought against the odds, and even had romances.  I also love reading about young ones having great adventures and accomplishing things even adults can't do.  This story is an excellent combination of those attributes and it keeps you reading.

The ship is in disrepair but it belonged to their father.  They also find out their father isn't dead, he's being held prisoner.  Eleanor decides she's going to save him.  Don't try to tell her that's not a good idea, she won't listen.  She does have one bad habit.  She seems to pick up strays.  Before long she has a squad of children who are learning to work aboard the ship.  She also has a captain she found in the debtor's prison.  She has part of her father's crew from the past.  And now she's ready to go on her adventure.

Luckily, the butler had been in the last war and he teaches them all how to use a sword and fire a gun and how to fight.  The cook sneaks aboard the ship to watch over the little ones and keep them in good food.  She also teaches the cursing parrot bible sayings, which makes his pirate mad.

With this odd lot, including a dog, on board, they set out for the Caribbean.  They meet pirates of all kinds, find the situation almost hopeless, but Eleanor doesn't give up.  The ship's captain would like to stop her but he knows she won't quit, so he helps her.  

This was a very good read and the ending is perfect.  The facts about the pirates are accurate while the battles in the story were fictional.  It's good, clean fun and young adults will find it fascinating.  I know I did.

Body of the Crime by Jennifer Chase

Finding a dead body is never a pleasant thing to do but when you realize it's connected to murders in the past of a serial killer, it's even more chilling.

JEC Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Kate is here on a new job.  She's left her past behind and wants to move on from an abusive relationship.  However, he's not willing to let her go...  She's assigned to work with the forensic doctor (who prefers to be called Chip) on trying to profile the killer.

The most chilling part of this story is that there are three killers in the area.  One after Kate, one after Chip and one after both of them.  They're getting too close to the truth.

Once you start this book, it will be hard to put it down again until you've finished.  It moves at a fast pace, they come close to death several times, and it takes teamwork to survive.  There are casualties along the way.  You'd have to be tough to live in this world!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fox by Kelly Oliver

She wakes up partially nude behind a dumpster at the bar.  She doesn't remember much after she met this nice intern who bought her two specialty drinks.  She was waiting for Jack but he didn't show up on time.  She decides the intern must have slipped her a mickey but she hasn't been raped.  Something worse happened...

JKS Communications and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

Jessica has an interesting female friend who has a variety of defensive skills, rides a motorcyle, and is always there for her.  She calls her.  When she faints in her presence, she wakes up in the hospital.  That's when she finds out she wasn't raped.  So why is she so sore down there?

There's an interesting mix in this story.  Jack is her friend and would like to be more.  Her girlfriend is Russian and has connections to the Russian Mafia.  The intern is making his own money by illegally acquiring eggs from females he deems to be of better genetic quality, and it gets all tangled up real soon.

I enjoyed the Russian tough guys, Jack's willingness to do anything to help Jessica, and even the subplot was interesting.  It was a nasty subject to read about but the crime is solved.  The best part is that Jack and Jessica have been through enough to realize they do love each other.  I like happy endings.

The Map That Leads to You by J P Monninger

Heather has just graduated from college and now is going on a trip across Europe for one wild ride of freedom before she settles down to her working life.  She has her two best friends with her, what could go wrong?

St. Martin's Press sent me an ARC of this to review (thank you).  It has been published now, so you can buy a copy now.

This story looks deeply into the women's characters.  The happy go lucky girls are forced to look a bit deeper in their souls and determine what they really want and how they really want to live after college.

One gets rolled by the man she went home with and ends up having to leave early.  One falls in love with an Australian sheep rancher.  (Who would have guessed she would do that!)  Heather finds her love and finally commits to him.  He also tells her he loves her.  She plans to take him to meet his parents and thinks marriage is in her future, too.  But when the plane leaves, he's no longer around.  Nor is he in contact and all his social media has gone away.  What's going on?

I suspected early on what the problem was but it made it no less heartbreaking to find out I was right.  I sincerely believe it's better to have loved than lost but it doesn't make it less painful.  I'd like to see a sequel to this book and read more about Heather.  She has a rocky road ahead of her.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bring Her Home by David Bell

First he lost his wife.  She fell, hit her head and died.  Now his daughter was missing...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 11th.

Bill worked hard, felt he had a happy family, and misses his wife dreadfully.  He can't lose his daughter, too!

The story starts with a report that she is badly beaten and in the hospital.  His sister comes and stays with him and they take turns staying in the room with the girl.  Then he and his sister begin to wonder if that is really Summer under all those bandages.  It turns out to be her friend.  However, the other parents have already buried a body.  Whose was that?  It turns out there three girls involved and Summer is still missing.

As Bill frantically tries to find his daughter, he comes crossways with the cop investigating the case.  He doesn't take his advice, butts in where he isn't wanted, and he's searching for answers he can't find.  He accuses the boys in the school, wonders if his wife was having an affair with a neighbor, and almost loses his mind during this search.

What he learns will change his world.  He thought he had trouble understanding women but that's not his only problem.  There are ironic twists and turns to this tale.  The story ends well but not everything is happy ever after.  Most of life isn't.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

When she goes hiking and never comes home, her husband can't understand it.  There's no body, just a broken cellphone and a hiking shoe to be found.  They have to wait a year to get a death certificate.  As he waits, he learns that as much as he loved his wife, he didn't know her...

Spiegel & Grau and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 11th.

His daughter starts having visions of her mother.  He can't believe it because that would mean she left him on purpose.  But it makes him start looking into past and what he finds astonishes him.  She was another person in her past.  Maybe she's making herself into another person in the present.

It seems she was fearless as she grew up and she hung out with anyone she wanted to.  She would betray those that loved her, steal money to live on, and keep moving.  As you trace her past you find out devastating secrets.  There's one that was hidden too long and should have been recognized long ago.  The ending is interesting and ironic.  Everyone is going on with their lives but they've all changed...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett

There's a virus.  It's spreading to every occupied world.  There's a very minuscule chance of survival.  She never expected to.  When she has lived through it, she finds everyone else on the ranch has turned to dust.  Is she the only left on this world?

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

When everything else is gone, what do you do?  You gather food and then look for others.  While you're doing that you have plenty of time to think about the past.  How you were never good enough for your stepmother.  How you stepped away from the man you lived with when you lost your baby.  If it makes no difference now about where you go, where would you want to go?  She decides she wants to go back to earth, back to her home town.

She meets an ex-priest and a scientist whose mind is a bit messed up.  When they find a space ship, they beg passage.  He will allow them to board but he's just going to the capital center, not all the way to earth.  She decides that's closer than where she is now.

There are communities that are being run by dictatorship.  A home where everyone is dressed in old fashion clothes and they're pretending to live in another era.  A community that has no women and wants to acquire the ones on the spaceship.  There's lots of room for thought in the situations the author creates for her characters.

I liked the ending.  It was dramatic, people died, but the right ones lived and life will go on.  Sometimes that's all you can do.  This was a better than usual apocalyptic novel.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dying for Dinner Rolls (The Chubby Chicks Club #1) by Lois Lavrisa

Cat and her friends are at the meeting of The Chubby Chicks when they find they need dinner rolls.  One of them goes home to bring some that she'd bought earlier that morning.  When she doesn't return, they go looking for her.  They certainly didn't expect to find her dead.  And the investigating cops are calling suicide.  Cat doesn't think so.

Instafreebies and the author allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy now.

Cat and Annie Mae head out to do some investigating on their own.  They have a cop club member but he's not on the case and can't help out.  It's a good thing he's on their speed dial though...

They're dumpster diving trying to find anything tied to the murder when someone sets it on fire!  They get kicked out of a grocery store, and almost get run over by a vehicle that comes up the curb.  And that's all on the first day!

I enjoyed the camaraderie between the friends, the out-of-the-box reasoning that Cat uses to help solve the mystery and she does survive in this first book.  Who knows what will happen in the next one?  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

She's been his editor for years and can't wait to get his new detective novel to read.  As she anxiously reads the document, she gets to the end and realizes the last chapters are missing.  He never turns in a manuscript until it's complete.  What's going on?

Harper and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Not only is part of the manuscript missing, the author is dead.  They said he committed suicide but she doesn't believe that.  He had lots of meetings and trips scheduled for the future.  You don't just give up all at once like that.  The more people she talks to, the more she feels that way.  But she's the only one...

This is a murder mystery within a murder mystery.  The mystery novels the author wrote contained people from the author's life.  The author was not a nice man so there were plenty of suspects.

I found the overlapping stories a bit confusing.  It was hard to differentiate what was part of the novel and what was part of his life.  I was also surprised by murderer.  The editor is offered an awful choice and she chooses justice.  She almost loses her life by that choice.

Almost everybody in this book loses something.  It's not a happy read but it is an interesting mystery.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBride

Long ago, as a young boy, he asked his parents to stop at the local rest stop so he could visit the bathroom.  When he's doing his business, a sexual predator finds him and tries to take him.  He escapes, but he can't find his family.  The car and the caravan where there, but they were not.  He hides in the caravan until the predator goes away.  In the end, he goes into foster care...

Harper Collins and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It's been published so you can buy a copy now.

Callum had become a cop.  He had no idea that the current case he was investigating would go all the way back to that day in his life when he was abandoned.  He's also not popular at the cop shop because he covered for his girlfriend (another cop) and has been thrown in with a bunch of misfits.  They might not be the usual cops but they do solve crimes.

This is a sad read.  The further they go, the more bodies they find.  They had a major suspect and he ran from them and drowned.  There was evidence at his apartment.  But Callum doesn't think that's the end of it.  He thinks two people were involved.

He confirms this by accident and narrowly misses losing his life.  The killer was totally unexpected and his motives were odd.  His mind was unbalanced. I had no clue who the killer was until it was too late for Callum to escape.  I would have been in the same trouble he was.  An intelligent killer is hard to find but sometimes they're too smart for their own good.  This one got overconfident.

It as was a good read if a bit depressing.  All those people who died were chosen for their looks or sexual desire.  They didn't deserve to die.

You read it and let me know if you figure out who the murderer is before you get to the climax.  I sure didn't...

Friday, June 9, 2017

Nemesis Rides The Trail by S J Bounds

When a young woman is brought to the cattle drive, the trail boss knows there will be problems.  She's young and shapely even if she's dressed like a man.  It doesn't take long to prove him right.

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  You can grab a copy now.

Jo McQueen and her family were ravaged and her parents killed before the Preacher and his men moved on their way.  They were outlaws that took what they wanted anywhere they could.  McQueen intends to make them pay.  This cattle drive is heading in the direction they took.

The first trouble happens when Pike, who likes women, comes over and invites her to share his blankets.  He tries to grab her to pull her close for a kiss and she only misses scarring him because he fell over his own feet.  Her knife would have taken his nose off.  Since she was a good shot, too, she gets the point across she wants nothing to do with men.

She intends to track down the men (who all have red hair) and shoot them for what they did to her and her parents.  Unfortunately, when rustlers come in and try to steal the herd, the first one she finds falls off his horse and gets drug to death.  She's sad she didn't get her vengeance, but there's one down.  She takes his horse.

She's rough and tough but the local sheriff has her come and stay with he and his wife and his wife asks the deputy to help her in her quest.  He's big, can handle most trouble, but he's simple.  She agrees.  It's nice to have back up.

She's still trying to avenge her parents.  She finds them but it doesn't turn out like she thought.  I really enjoyed this read.  Jo has a new life beginning by the end of the book.

MatchUp by Lee Child

This one was a real find for me.  It has some of my favorite authors in it with amazing combinations.  This was an excellent read.

Simon and Schuster and Net Galley allowed me to read this one for review (thank you).  It will be published June 13th.

Mr. Child asked various authors to participate in writing a short story with another author.  They could chose which of their characters to use.  Some of the women even knew who they'd like to work with.  Each story in this group is great.  Some of witty, some punny; all are full of tension and suspense.  This is one anthology where I can say I enjoyed every one of the stories.

Here is the list of stories:

-Lee Coburn and Joe Pickett in “Honor & …” by Sandra Brown and C.J. Box
-Tony Hill and Roy Grace in “Footloose” by Val McDermid and Peter James
-Temperance Brennan and Jack Reacher in “Faking a Murderer” by Kathy Reichs and Lee Child
-Jamie Fraser and Cotton Malone in “Past Prologue” by Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry
-Liz Sansborough and Rambo in “Rambo on Their Minds” by Gayle Lynds and David Morrell
-Jeffrey Tolliver and Joe Pritchard in “Short Story” by Karin Slaughter and Michael Koryta
-Harper Connelly and Ty Hauck in “Dig Here” by Charlaine Harris and Andrew Gross
-Regan Pescoli and Lucas Davenport in “Deserves to be Dead” by Lisa Jackson and John Sandford
-Lucan Thorne and Lilliane in “Midnight Flame” by Lara Adrian and Christopher Rice
-Bennie Rosato and John Corey in “Getaway” by Lisa Scottoline and Nelson DeMille
-Ali Reynolds and Bravo Shaw in “Taking the Veil” by J.A. Jance and Eric Van Lustbader 


As you can see, there are some pretty powerful characters and authors here.  You recognize the teamwork when you see the stories.  This is almost like getting a birthday present for me.  Favorite authors with brand new short stories.  How could I not like it? 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Little Tails in the Savannah by Frédéric Brrémaud, Federico Bertolucci (Illustrator), Mike Kennedy (Translator)

These are always a fun read.  The puppy and the squirrel are done in black and what comic strips, the country being visited is in full color.

Lion Forge and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 30th.

The illustrations are always lush and rich with color.  This is a pleasant way to learn about the animals of the Savannah and enjoy the artwork at the same time.

They fly in a cardboard airplane, are careful around the predators and visit a flying squirrel uncle.  They're a joy to read and it's easy to learn along the way.  Young ones will love this series.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Her name is Sunday Night.  She ran from an abusive past and chose the day she was found as her name.  She's built a new life but it's not like anyone else's.  She lives on island that is accessible only by boat.  She has a squirrel for a pet.  And she likes it that way.  But when a grandmother asks her to find her missing granddaughter, Sunnie agrees.  She feels a connection to the young missing girl...

Random House Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 11th.

This is a creepy story of people who want to kill the Muslims in the states and send a message they are not wanted here.  A young man who is sadistic and cruel leads the group and he's got the girl that survived the bombing.  He's honing her to be part of his network by torturing her.

Sunnie chases the clues from the past to the present and gets close to catching him but never succeeds.  She's killing off the ones sent to kill her but that doesn't save the girl.  When the bombers have all been disposed of, the grandmother takes her off the case.  She doesn't want her to pursue the enemy far enough to get the granddaughter killed.  But trying to stop Sunnie from following through is impossible.

There's more than one crazy person in the scheme and the ending is take down is a major operation.  I didn't find the ending satisfying but I did find Sunnie interesting.  I'd be interesting in reading the next book and seeing what kind of case she gets then.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Gork, the Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson

Gork's earliest memories are being raised by his spaceship computer on earth.  When he's three, his grandfather comes down to pick him up and take him to the planet they live on.  He's going to teach him how to be a dragon...

Knopf and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 11th.

It's hard to be respected when your horns are only two inches tall and you've got a gentle heart.  His stats don't look good in the mean categories and they call him Weak Sauce.  His overall rating is Snacklicious.  He has to work hard to stay alive.  And now it's mating season.

He has his heart set on mating with the prettiest dragon but the dragon that runs the school is her father and he hates him and has forbidden it.  Nevertheless, Gork persists.  But his grandfather is messing with him and things start happening to his body.

Between body changes in Gork, his grandfather working with a mind transfer machine, and his goal of getting of his girl, life gets real busy.  He's fighting, competing, and trying to heal all at the same time.  Then he finds himself back on earth...

His grandfather was no friend of his.  It's a good thing he listened to the professor in his class.  His knowledge is what saves Gork.

The story is busy and intriguing.  I had no idea where this tale was going.  I enjoyed the ending, too.  Read it; it'll keep your attention.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The State Counsellor: A Fandorin Mystery by Boris Akunin

Fandorin finds himself accused of murder.  Someone had imitated him and killed the new Governor General of Siberia.  It doesn't take long before they realize it was not him.  But who was it and how did he know the Governor General would be on that train?

Mysterious Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 4th.

This is a tale of the princes, politics, political favors and positions of power versus the Resistance.  Those at the top want the resisters to go away.  Those at the bottom use bombs, weapons and their brains to steal money or assassinate their enemies.

Fandorin finds himself in the middle of more than one power play by the politicians. He knows someone in the establishment is feeding information to the Resistance but he can't figure out who.  As time goes on, more people die, more money is stolen and more people gain and lose power.  Soon Fandorin is on his own, his benefactor has been removed from office.  He doesn't stop looking for the traitor.

Crooked officials are everywhere.  There are more killings, several positions open up and new people are happy to fill them.  By the end of the story, the whole political system in Moscow has changed.  So has Fandorin.  Life in Moscow will go on but it will do it without Fandorin.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo by Ian Stansel

This is the tale of two battling brothers.  They both work with horses, Frank is married but Silas isn't, and they couldn't be more different from each other if they were strangers.  They play mean tricks on each other, fight when they have too much to drink, and Frank even shot Silas once.  Now they aren't speaking to each other anymore, so why is Frank on his porch?

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 4th.

Lena loves Frank and has stuck with him through good times and bad.  She took care of his father while he was dying of cancer.  When his father didn't recognize him, it shattered his world.  Now he finds out he's got the same disease.  He asks his brother for an impossible thing: To kill him before he gets bad.  Silas doesn't want to, but his brother tells him if he ever loved him to pull the trigger.  Silas does.  Then he gets on his horse and rides away.

Lena climbs on her own horse and heads off on his trail.  This is set in present day but there are plenty of woods and greenery on the coast and the horses take them places cars can't go.

As they traverse the countryside, you get the backstory of the cowboys and by the time Lena catches up to take her revenge, she realizes what must have happened.  She doesn't kill Silas.  

The ending is sad but not unforeseen.  Life was never easy for the Van Loy family.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Can You Find My Robot's Arm? by Chihiro Takeuchi


When the robot wakes in the morning, his arm is gone.  He and his friend spend most of the day looking for it.

Tundra Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 4th.

The illustrations are what makes this story work.  The robot tries different things for arms but none of them seem to work.  The black and white illustrations are striking.

They search inside and outside the house, visit the park and a candy shop and more but they end up coming home and using an usual tool for an arm.  The story will make your young smile and it's a treat for your eyes, too.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Dog Night at the Story Zoo by Dan Bar-el


Most dogs have a tale to tell but these dogs get to do it in front of the zoo animals.  The only caveat is that the story has to be about them.  Have they got a lot to tell!

Tundra Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 4th.

There's a dog that likes to fetch.  (I have a Bengal cat that likes to fetch.  She'll make your arm fall off.)  His fetching finally finds him an owner.

There's a bulldog that doesn't want to be judged by his looks.  A bloodhound who suddenly lost his sense of smell.  A yappie poodle that finds a perfect home with an older lady.

Each animal tells its tale with illustrations that show you how it all turned out.  It's a fun easy read for young ones.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

Eighteen years ago, Sophie went missing.  All they found was a lone tennis shoe on the pier.  The pier was damaged and no one was supposed to go out on it but they all did.  It was quiet place for the underage to drink and chat.  It was also a deadly place...

Harper and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 4th.

This is written in diary form.  You get Sophie's side of the story and Frankie's side, too.  

Frankie is approached by Sophie's brother.  He phones her and tells her they have found the other tennis shoe and there is enough DNA in the shoe to prove or disprove Sophie's death.  He asks her to come and help him find out the truth.  Frankie goes.  She left there eighteen years ago and doesn't want to go back, but she does want to find out what happened.

This is a twisted tale.  Frankie compartmentalizes her memories.  Some of her boxes will have to be reopened.  When they are, it's like she opened Pandora's box...

The ending is stunning and appropriate.  Justice is finally served.  How it was served was ironic.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History by Paul Andrew Hutton

This is a very comprehensive collection of facts about the Apaches, the military and the Mexicans.  Trying to corral the Indians on a reservation was almost impossible.  They were nomads and moved where the crops grew, the game was plentiful and the weather acceptable.  The white man just wanted to get them out of the area he wanted to develop.  The Indians wouldn't leave.  War ensued...

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  The book has been published and you can grab a copy now.

I was familiar with Geronimo because I live in southern NM and they have a museum for him in Truth or Consequences, a highway that is a scenic route and called Geronimo's trail and a lookout above Kingston that states Geronimo hid in the hills there with his band.  What I didn't realize was how far he ranged.

The Indians are from various tribes; some are enemies, some are friends.  They have their own code of conduct and they refused to honor map lines that designated states and cities.  The leaders who sent the military after them changed often.  One moment they got a gracious offer to stay in one location, then it was rescinded and other terms applied.  Some of them only wanted to eliminate the Indians.  There were lies told, massacres, and barbarian acts by both the Indians and the white man.  This is not a history to be proud of.

The story of the Captive Boy wasn't one I was familiar with.  Geronimo blamed him for all his problems but Geronimo was really the cause of them.  He'd promise things and then break his promise being no better than the soldiers he was dealing with.

The Apache Kid was another new Indian to me.  He disappeared and nobody knows what really happened to him.  Cochise is part of the story, too.

This is a well-put-together document with facts from everywhere.  The bibliography and notes at the end of the story are several pages.  You could pick one Indian from this group and write a term paper on him.  There are also pictures to make them real to you.  Their history is sad but factual.  If you're not familiar with Indian history, this will open your eyes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ultimatum by Anders de la Motte

Everybody has secrets but these secrets threaten livelihoods, promotions, marriage and more.  It's all balanced like a house of cards but all that has to happen is one card falls and they all go down...

Atria Books sent me an ARC of this story to read for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

This is an intense read with death thrown in here and there.  The men involved are politicians and policemen and they use the secrets they know to blackmail the others in the department.  They don't mind stepping on someone as they rise to power.  They also don't mind killing the ones standing in the way.

The suspense keeps building throughout the story and you begin to wonder if anyone will still be standing by the end.  The plot is complicated, the stories are interwoven and strangers become accomplices. Justice flies out a window.  Soon, you're rooting for the good guys even if they're thieves or worse.  This police world is corrupt.

I was taken back by the identity of the killer.  That was a very devious touch Mr. De La Motte and I liked it.  Especially when they paid for their crimes.

There are survivors and for the most part, all were characters I cared about and hoped they'd survive.  It's not exactly happy ever after but they'll live and life will go on.  Reading this made me think about what extremes people will go to for money and power...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Treasure Hunting Mysteries: A Collection of Short Stories by Lois D. Brown

This is an anthology of stories about searching for riches.  As is usual, it's greed driving the people looking for it.  They aren't nice folks and it's always tempting to kill off some of the team so the shares get bigger.  Even when they find it, it may not be what they expected...

The author and InstaFreebies gave me an ebook to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy on Amazon now.

From the assayer who is taken on a hunt and finds not only gold but trouble and ends up divorcing his wife (who was more in love with the gold than she was in love with him) to the man who finds a forgotten canyon and learns first hand why he should leave Montezuma's fortune alone, you will find Ms. Brown's stories entertaining and ironic.  They are short reads so you can pick it up and put it down.  I read the whole book in one session because it was interesting.  She gives you a feel for the desert country and its dangers, especially the human ones.  It's a good read, try it. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Last Gig by Norman Green

Al was never real close to her father.  He was gone a lot in military service and he was not a loving dad.  What he taught her were survival skills for the streets.  No man was going to take advantage of his daughter.  She learned those skills and added more to her repertoire as time progressed.  Right now, she's one mean machine.

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you). The book has been published and you can grab a copy now.

She's working for an ex-cop that's an "ex" because he walked back and forth over the line of legal.  She repossesses cars, plays pool well enough to win $20 a game (or more), and she does whatever detective work of all kinds.  She'll follow men or women having affairs, find missing money and who took it, and anything else that sounds interesting.  But when a high roller comes in and asks her to take his case and look for a thief in his midst, she's not too enthused.  Then she finds out his son died six months ago, right at the time the loads were getting hijacked.  She thinks they may be related.  She knows so when a bunch of toughs rough her up.  They're planning on raping her but someone interceded, saving her.  They tell her to back off the case.  All she does is get more determined...

The story is complex and high tension all the way through.  More than one major player is brought to his knees by Al.  She's near death for most of the story.  But she's a tough woman.  Her father taught her well. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Last Train by Michael Pronko

He works for the Tokyo police department following white collar crime.  He likes that.  He can work alone, even nap at his desk, and it's satisfying to prove where and how they were stealing.  Unfortunately, he can also speak English so he gets drawn into any investigation that has to do with American foreigners.  This time it's suicide.  Or is it?

Raked Gravel Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 31st.

With the various characters all having names that sound similar, it takes a bit of concentration to keep up with the plot.  You also get a personal tour of the night clubs and their hostesses.  I've always found Japanese people dignified and quiet for the most part.  Evidently the tone changes at night!

The dead man was hit by an express train.  It was thought that he either jumped or fell in front of it.  Hiroshi doesn't think so.  The man worked in an investment firm and was going on to a new position in another location soon.  Why jump?  If he has any doubts, the train driver tells him he knows he was thrown.  Than it becomes who and why?

Even worse, they find there are more deaths of the same sort and it looks like it's all one killer.  It appears to be one of the hostesses from one of the clubs.

This is a tale of revenge against actions a long time ago.  The killer is very good at what she does and she is in excellent physical condition.  She even grabs one of the cops.

The ending is shocking.  It's also ironic.  It will make you look back at the story with new eyes.  Her motivation is not what you thought it was...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crazy About Cats by Owen Davey

I love cats so I couldn't let a chance go by without reviewing this book.  It's full of facts about big cats as well as small and all of them are wild.

Flying Eye Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published the first of June.

With tidbits on each page and big illustrations, you can see spots, stripes, and other distinguishing marks on the different breeds.  The tiger is the biggest but the other big cats all have their own specialties.  The lion is a strong predator.  The cheetah runs the fastest.  There's a fishing cat that has webbed feet.  You'll find something you don't know in here even if you are a fan of big cats.

I especially liked the pages where the author shows you the size of the cats and how they relate to each other.  You won't want to be a small cat around a big one.  They might eat you!

This is a fun way to learn about the cats without having to leave the comfort of your home.  Why not dip into the book and see how many things you learn on the way?

Raisins and Almonds by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne has her eye on a young man.  He dances well, he's handsome and he has an eye for her.  Her lover is away on business so she's free and planning to fill her bed with him.  Then it appears he's being summoned away.  To her surprise, his father wants to see her, not his son...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 6th.

He asks Phryne to investigate a death.  A woman has been charged with the murder but she's his tenant and he knows she wouldn't have done it.  After she thinks it over and names her price, she does what he wants.  In almost no time, she's decided the woman is innocent also.  The cop doesn't want to admit it but his evidence is almost non-existent.  It's just that she was too calm about the death.

She finds herself drawn into the Jewish world.  The history of Jews involves years of persecution.  Now the various Jewish factions are splitting into their own special interest groups.  There are plans to fund guns, get back riches lost and get even for past insults.  Knowing nothing of Jewish customs, I found it interesting but a little off topic for me.  I prefer sticking to the murder investigation.

The murderer was a surprise.  It appeared that Phryne's young man was going to die along with several others before the confrontation was over but an old Rabbi suddenly appears and upsets the balance.

This one was not as satisfying to me as her past adventures but it was a good read.  Ms. Greenwood always manages to teach me some new things along the way by doing a good job of research for her story base.  Give it a try!