Sunday, May 19, 2019

Return of the Evening Star by Diane Rios

There are speeding ambulances that run over animals and people.  They take people to the hospital but they don't help them.  They eventually take them out in a boat and dump them overboard.  When family members come to check on them, they become victims, too.  When Chloe and her friends hear of it and witness it, they are determined too stop it. 

Luckily they will have help.  Silas, the StarGazer, is creating an animal army to join them.

She Writes Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book (Thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

Chloe and her friends work on infiltrating the hospital because Chloe's mom is there. So is her friend's brother.   She finds them but how can she help them? Then Silas and the animals show up and even more mayhem happens.  With the animals attacking the staff, they may have a chance.

This is an exciting read with magical animals (a horse who can talk?) and magical people.  There's action on each page and no chance for you to be bored.  The characters were realistic and they made me care about them.  This was a very good read.


Houston Noir by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Reading this book makes Houston sound more violent than it looked.  But I was only there in the daytime.  It's always more dangerous at night...

Akashic Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There are brand-new stories by: Tom Abrahams, Robert Boswell, Sarah Cortez, Anton DiSclafani, Stephanie Jaye Evans, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi, Adrienne Perry, Pia Pico, Reyes Ramirez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Sehba Sarwar, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Larry Watts, and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.

Most of these authors were new to me but they know how to write dark noir stories.

One story that stood out to me was Xitlali Zaragoza, Curandera.  Reyes Ramirez writes a tale of a woman who is a witch doctor.  She helps those who see spirits or who have been cursed get well again.  It's an otherworldly story that caught my attention. 

There is a lot of death in these tales.  There is also a look at different races and how life is for them.  Welcome to Texas.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Bobcat by Katherine Forbes Riley

Laurelie was shy and kept to herself at college but one girl decides she's going to be her friend and soon Laurelie has several girlfriends.  They talk, they drink, they go to parties.  Laurelie isn't really comfortable there but after a few drinks it's OK.  Or it was until she was sexually assaulted.  Then she runs.  She finds another college and she doesn't make friends there.  She's hiding from herself in many ways...

Arcade and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 18th.

Laurelie babysits a young toddler that doesn't talk too well.  She is patient with him and talks him for walks in the woods as well as down to the river to play.  All is well until she sees a bobcat while they are out at a rock in the river.  It's cutting off her way back to the cottage.  Then a hiker shows up and pets it and escorts it away.  She heads home with the little one wondering who he is and where he came from.  

It turns out he's camping in the woods.  He's also got odd senses.  He can smell things and see things she can't.  He's also not sure about people.  But when she and the boy get caught in the rain in the woods, he invites them inside his tent.  He stays away from them.  The dog guards the doorway.  They talk a little bit but not much.

In time, they become friends.  He takes them to see the bobcat's kittens and that's fun.  He has a rapport with animals.  Then he takes her to visit his family.  They're a bit strange, too.  It seems he had a bad virus and there was nothing they could do for it but let it run its course.  That was what gave him the enhanced senses.

All is going well until the boy goes missing.  The boy is unhurt and has found a puppy but the bobcat was seen and that creates a problem with her landlord.

They separate but they both go on.  I liked how the book ended.  And I enjoyed the interaction with the bobcat.  Not all wild animals are evil just be careful...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cowboy Summer by Joanne Kennedy

She's going home to see how her dad is doing.  She's looking at a cool promotion at work and hates to leave, but she loves her father.  She loves the ranch, too, but she's not staying.  Especially since Cade is still next door.  She loved him but she wanted to see more of the world.  In the meantime he married someone else.  And it was a woman she didn't like.  So she'll ignore him.

Sourcebooks Casablanca and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 25th.

When she sees bales stacking up outside the barn, she decides to surprise her father.  Imagine her surprise when she finds herself in the arms of Cade instead!  He still felt good, too.  She immediately backs up and apologizes.  He won't tell her about her dad, just sends her to the house.  Her vibrant father looks like an old man.  She's shocked.  He says he's fine but she can tell he's not.

She helps out on the ranch, sometimes with Cade.  She finds out he's divorced and she gets close to him again.  Of course it doesn't go smoothly.  He lets his ex-wife stay for a day or two since her last beau gave her a black eye.  She comes to surprise him and surprises herself when she meets the ex first.  While all this is going on, they are trying to sell the ranch.  They have a couple looking it over and they are no ranchers.  When things start going wrong on the ranch Cade thinks she's doing it.  She's not but he doesn't believe her.

Between Molly trying to help the romance along and Jess' dad having another heart attack, there is a lot of action and reactions to sort through...

I enjoyed this story.  Why don't you give it a try? 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Curse of Greg by Chris Rylander

Greg doesn't have much luck and nothing turns out quite like he planned but he still keeps trying.   Right now the council has sent them out to find monsters and make friends with them.  The first one isn't acting friendly and one of his team kills him.  Then he makes friends with a stone troll. This troll tells him about an elf plan to take over the world.  He talks to the council about it but they take no action.  So he and his team, including the troll, head out to see if it's true and to stop them if it is.

G P Putman's Sons Books for Young Readers  and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on June 18.

Magic is seeping back into the land.  It's bringing the monsters out and killing new technology.  The dwarves think it's OK because they can use the magic and they think it will bring peace in the land.  The elves want to stop it and keep a bit for themselves so they can rule the world.  Neither side will compromise and it's hard to tell which idea is best.

When Greg and his crew get attacked on their trip, he ends up as the elves prisoner.  He meets his old elf friend and he's a bit standoffish but soon they are playing chess again and chatting.  He tells him his plans and that he believes the dwarves are wrong.  

When rival elves show up to fight, that's just one more factor to consider in the proposed rebellion.  What's the right thing to do?  Can Greg be part of the solution?

I can't wait to read the next book in this series!   

Make Your Own Damn Cheese by John A Chuback, MD

Earl is a mouse who is unhappy with the maze he's in.  It's nice and quiet, he gets fed cheese every now and again, but it's boring.  He finally finds a way out under the structure he's housed in and he tries to tunnel to freedom with no success.  Then he meets an old mouse...

PR by the Book shared a copy of this book with me for a review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

The first old mouse shares some knowledge with him and finds he's an excellent student so he asks him if he would like to meet his friends.  They are knowledgeable, too.  Earl says yes.  They tell him there is no way out of the maze but that's OK.  You just have to learn how to understand, navigate and master the 3 mazes of success.

They give him ways to do it and he understands and is thankful.  They also reveal one more thing that was a real surprise to Earl and to me.

Not only does he give you hints in how to be successful in life, he gives you a surprise.

This is a fairly easy read with good hints for life.  Give it a try.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Cutting Room by Ashley Dyer

They have a serial killer who goes after young men and uses their body parts to make artistic displays.  He even alerts the cops when a new one goes up.  He obviously wants attention.  But who would be so wicked?

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 28th.  

This is a creepy story because body parts are used and while the artwork spoke to others, it was just gross to me.  The cops have to use DNA to identify slices of brain and hearts.  The detectives want to find him badly but one of them is afraid it might be Adam Black.  She doesn't explain that he is her estranged brother she hasn't seen for years.  She hopes he's not the killer.

With that on her mind and trying to protect her partner who has flashbacks to  his injury in the past, she's busy.  But she doesn't give up.

There are more deaths and more displays.  The hunt grows more desperate.  When she finally finds a clue, she realizes her brother is in danger.  

The final confrontation is dramatic, dangerous, and you aren't sure how many will die before it ends.

One thing I can say with confidence:  You won't be bored!