Thursday, April 28, 2016

Body and Bone by L S Hawker

Nessa is married, has a son, and also does a successful blog and radio show.  When her husband relapses on drugs again, she kicks him out of the house and out of her life.  It hurts, but she won't let her past revisit again and she won't have drugs around her son.  Then she finds out he's missing and presumed dead.  The cops think she's killed him...

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 3rd.

This book is chilling.  Some is stalking her, sending posts from her that are not hers but a false email address, even posts nude pictures and about her problems from the past.  She doesn't know who is after her but she finds drugs in a package mailed to her, in her house, and even photos of her son.  When she finds out her husband is dead, she believes this stalker killed him.  There's one cop that doesn't.  He intends to nail her for murder.

Her life falls apart.  The radio talk show and the blog are affected by all this information that is being decimated about her.  Her husband is dead and she is grieving him.  She's getting a reputation of crying wolf.  She finally makes up her mind to find out who killed John and clear herself.  When she finds a microchip under her coffee table that shows her how they could hear her, she knows this is a very serious thing.  The cops still view her with suspicion, so it's up to her to fix it.

The finale on this story is terrifying.  The stalker was the last person I would have suspected or even thought of.  Nessa is facing death and she's still fighting.   I'm glad this book was fiction.  It hit a little close to reality to please me. 

Dexter the Very Good Goat by Jean Malone, Jia Min Lin

Have you ever been around a goat?  Did you ever find a good one?  They're unique individual characters with their own odd personalities!

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

Dexter has very long horns and is a bigger build than the other goats.  He's very proud of his looks.  He's also well behaved.  If someone grabs his horns and shakes his head, he might happen to butt them but that's in self-defense.  He has no bad behaviors but he has a fear.  He doesn't like having his hooves clipped!

When they arrive with the tools, he escapes and runs away.  They patiently go after him and eventually back him into corner.  They do his hooves (and it doesn't hurt at all) and then he's free to go.  Until next time he has to have it done again...

Ms. Jia Min Lin's illustrations are very sweet and Ms. Malone's tale matches that.  Why not have a visit with Dexter yourself?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Melody of Murder: A Cotswold murder mystery by Stella Cameron

Alex is looking through the graveyard by the church trying to decide where she'd like to put a bench in memory of the loss of her child.  She hears music and a beautiful voice and thinks about going in to see who's in the church using the piano.  She hesitates disturbing the singer.  And then the music stops...

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 15th.

Not only has the music stopped, the girl playing it has stopped too, permanently.  She hates to be the one to find another dead body but all she can do is call for help.  Now she'll have to deal with the police again.  Maybe not if it was a natural death.  It was not...

That was the first death.  There is another before the end of the story.

This is the story of a young man who is a piano virtuoso whose father plans to make money from performances.  His very father is very controlling and tells him he knows best.  He knows best for the whole family, evidently.  He moves them from London to this small village so they won't be influenced by outside sources and so there will be even more practicing.  The father also allows his girlfriend to come visit on weekends.  His sister joins them in their evenings out so he doesn't really get any time alone with his girlfriend.  He doesn't like that.

The whole family and their associates are weird.  Nobody works with folks with big egos without some of it rubbing off on them.  They think it's someone from the family that is murdering the victims but who?

The sad part is that the father is really the one responsible for what happened.  His total control over emotions and well being has warped the family.  I didn't find the ending satisfying.  I did enjoy reading about Alex and Toby's romance.  They are still dancing around each other without making any commitments but they are happy together.  If Alex lets the Inspector get too close, he's going to want to date her also, so she's being careful.  Who knows what the author will do in the next book?

The September Letters by Maeve Binchy

It was just a chance meeting at an airport bar while waiting for their flights.  They were an older couple who were minding their business until the younger couples' argument got violent.  When the woman breaks her drink glass and attempts to go after the man she's fighting with, they and the bar attendant step in.  When he's gone and she's had her cry, they chat a bit and then part to go their ways.  They share addresses and suggest they write once a year to stay in touch and to see if things are alright...

Edelweiss and Vintage Books gave me the opportunity to read this short story for review (thank you).  It will be published May 8th.

Ms. Binchy writes about common life and real people.  She sees into their souls and she never elevates them or makes them better than they are.  Consequently, it's like you are actually meeting the person, defects and all.  I enjoy stories like that.

In this story, the young woman was being led on by the man.  He gave her the standard song and dance about a wife that didn't understand him or his needs.  He promised marriage.  He lied.  They broke up in the bar and she went on without him.  For a while...

It's funny what people will do.  After that big scene and the knowledge he was never going to get divorced, she took him back.  She told the couple that, in her letters.  The barman never said anything about her personal life, just told her about how he and his wife were going to start a bed and breakfast.  The couple talked about what they were doing, traveling mostly.

As the years go on, the girl finally wises up and gets rid of the lover with no future.  When she finds another man and is building a new future together, the woman from the couple admits that she, too, was lying.  In that bar at the airport, more than one heart was breaking...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Somebody Stop Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Ivy is quite a piece of work.  She turns around anything you say and makes it different.  She'll look you straight in eye and lie.  She creates tales about where she's going and she sneaks out at night.  If she didn't call everyone dearie all the time they might notice this about her...

Greenwillow Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 31st.

Ivy has been taken in by the couple who sell undertakers' services.  They have her read poetry that fits the moment of death.  These are not sweetness and light poetry, this is dark and deep poetry.  Then they give her a glass of warm milk and she naps for a bit for a bit.  There's a reason for that but Ivy doesn't cotton to it until it's almost too late.

Ivy is wearing a diamond that kills people.  She's only half-dead, so she heals other people as well as herself.  This is a handy talent in this story.

When she sees Rebecca in the diamond's glow alive even though everyone thinks she is dead, she's bound and determined to help her.  She's in another world, one adjacent to our world.  Ivy can travel between them but doesn't know enough to really help.  She doesn't falter though.

If you're going to read this book, you need to leave reality behind and tromp along with Ivy through the known and the unknown.  She's not the nicest character but she is interesting and there is humor interspersed here and there in the story.  

Ivy's story is not done yet.  This silly child never knows when to give up.

I Wanna be a Great Big Dinosaur by Heath McKenzie

We all have dreams.  Did you ever dream of being a dinosaur?  I always wanted to be a dragon...

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky sent me a copy of this picture book for review (thank you).  It will be published in May.

If you have child who loves to act out what he/she reads, this is an ideal book for them.  The dinosaur is giving the little boy guidance into how to act like one.  After all, he's made himself a tail like one.  Now he gets to learn how to roar and how to stomp his feet.  Let your child do that, too.  The dino only eats meat, but the boy shows him all kinds of other food that is available.  The ending has a nice little twist, too.  The dinosaur wants the child to show him how to be a boy...

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Lost Compass by Joel Ross

This is the second book in the Fog Diver series and I wasn't about to miss it.  The first one was fantastic and I wanted to know how this troupe of junkyard kids handled the rest of their journey.  This read was just as exciting as the last one!

HarperCollins and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 24th.  

Chess is the fog diver and he's managed to stay alive so far.  The driftsharks try to get him but he's just a bit too fast for them.  That doesn't make it any less dangerous...

They are headed for Port Oro where there are no junkyards and the people live free and even have enough to eat.  When they land it's both less than they expected and more than what they expected.  They even have an elevator in the main building.  But the fog is there, too.  They save Mrs. E, but then they want a favor in return.  They want Chess to find the compass that will help eliminate the fog.  To do it, he has go three stories below the building into the deep basement area.  Who knows what lives down there?

Mr. Ross always puts lots of danger in his stories.  People die here and there.  Besides driftsharks, there are tick tocks here.  The bad man is still after Chess.  How can Chess find something when he doesn't even know what it looks like?  No one knows what the compass is...

This is a busy read with loads of action and I enjoyed it even more than the first one.  Mr. Ross writes a great tale and keeps you reading by constantly creating a new challenge for the crew.  That's my kind of book.  I especially liked the ending.  It's very ironic.