Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dance of the Bones: A J. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker Novel by J. A. Jance

It was a murder many years ago, but it is still tied with current events.  People will do anything for money...

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 8th, so you don't have long to wait.

I've been reading Ms. Jance's books for a long time.  She writes a good mystery, I like the Indian traditions she shares and she really makes her characters feel like long time friends.  Anything she writes is well worth reading.

This is really a tale of an avarice-filled female who is beautiful and knows it.  Her web of deceit has victims everywhere.  An older man, his partner, a boyfriend, a border patrolman and Indian children are all impacted by her.  Some deserved it, some were just in the way.

It takes several people to untangle this web of deceit and people are dying as time passes by.  The story is fast paced, there's action on almost every page, and the Indian history that is interwoven was fascinating.  Story telling is a tradition among Native Americans and this story is almost parallel to the tales being woven.  I felt bad for all those that died but I was happy about the ones who survived.  Now they just have to live with the awful experiences they've been through.

Mister Max: The Book of Kings: Mister Max 3 by Cynthia Voigt, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrated by)

Mister Max has determined where his parents are located and that they need help.  But how can a boy of twelve help a King and Queen of a foreign country?

Knopf Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 8th, so watch for a copy then.

This whole series has been fun to read.  Max's parents are part of a theatrical group.  They are also spies.  Max dresses up as an older boy to run his solution business.  That way he makes some extra money to help his grandmother.  He's also learning to paint.  But he always seems to be saving someone in each book in this series.

This time he uses subterfuge to pretend he's a painter.  He wants to sneak in the palace and meet the King.  He borrows a dog, which is an attractive nuisance for other people.  The King's children are quite taken with the dog and Max gets commissioned to teach the oldest girl to draw.  He does get his audience with the King.  And the King even decides to support the idea.  Max's friend who is a Baron will go along with Max.  They fill out their group with his grandmother (as cook) and a business man who is going to share economic development ideas with them.  At the last minute, the painter jumps aboard.  He might not have invited but he's going too.  Anything to get away from the lady who wants to marry him!

This is an exciting adventure with lots of action, danger and fast thinking on Max's part.  He even has to play dead at one point.  There are some surprises in this book.  I think it's Max's best adventure yet.  Why don't you give a read and tell me what you think?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Smoked by Mari Mancusi

Emmy is being held captive in a government lab.  She's not alone, Scarlet is there with her.  But Trinity wants her dragon back, so they mount a rescue attempt.

Sourcebooks Fire and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st, so all you who are waiting for the final book in the series can grab it then.  If you haven't been reading the series, you can still enjoy this book.  I did.

Connor and Caleb are twins, but they are not always on the same side.  They also are both in love with Trinity.  When you add a dragon war to that combo, it gets tense real fast.

When Emmy is rescued, she has a secret.  She hides away for a couple of months before she returns home.  No one knows why she hid away except Scarlet.  Emmy had two eggs hatch in the cave.  She makes Scarlet promise to kill them.  She does, so Emmy will go away.  Then she hides the babies in a far away outbuilding.

When Caleb and Scarlet planned an impromptu meeting of the babies and Mom during a public filming of Emmy's birthday party, it goes way wrong.  Connor turns into the dragon hunter again and goes after the babies.  He kills one, the other one gets away.  And he's suddenly facing a whole building of enemies.

This is a complex story with time travel, a Nether world, dragons and hybrids, and evil as well as good people.  I feared the ending would not be happy but it mostly is.  It's a very interesting finale to a high stress series.  I doubt anyone who reads it will be disappointed.

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, make a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name and address.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Resist (Resistance, #2) by Tracy Lawson

Tommy and Careen are on the run.  They've found out the truth about the antidote and they don't want to take it anymore.  When they meet members of the Resistance, they're more than willing to join them.

PR by the Book sent me an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.  This is the second book in the series.

Careen is eighteen and hasn't met as many disillusioned and apathetic people as I have.  She thinks she's helping when says things but many of them backfire.  After all, she has price on her head now for murder, even though she never murdered anyone.  And she thinks that helping the people with food will be a benefit.  It was until the food warehouses were shut down.  While she's despairing with how her attempts to help are received, she also finds out the members of the Resistance don't mind if people die.  That means those in control are losing control.  All she can think of is the dead people; they are looking at the cost of war.

Tommy has fallen in love with her.  Unfortunately, one of the Resistance men has, too.  It creates a conflict at home.  Tommy gets jealous of how much time she spends with other Resistance members.  And Careen doesn't know how to handle the conflict that she feels when two men want her for their own.

Soon she will have bigger problems and less to worry about.  Especially if they begin drugging her again...

This is an exciting busy series about a world out of control with an insane manager.  You won't be bored when you read about it.

Counteract (Resistance, #1) by Tracy Lawson

Careen is good responsible student who does what she's told.  She's also living in a world I never want to see here.  Big Brother has nothing over the "god who would be", a man who believes he can run the country and control the people and have everything he wants...

PR by the Book sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense is "protecting" the public.  They are doing this by shutting down concerts, sporting events, social media, no cash transactions, no driver's licenses or travel, and they have also shut down grocery stores.  After all they could be targets for terrorists.  You'll get your groceries from the OCSD, use your debit card so they can track you, and you will do what you are told.  To ensure that, they announce airborne chemical weapons and give you a tube with a liquid that will protect you.  You only need to take it when it is announced as time and you only use three drops.  Their famous saying is that:  "It's a small price to pay."

Suddenly everyone goes lackadaisical.  No one is working; no one is going to school. It suddenly looks like everyone has "taken a trip but never left the farm" as one of the songs I listened to growing up said.  There's a good reason for that.  The "god who would be" is drugging them with hallucinogens. 

Careen knows a boy (or thinks she does) and tries to get him to help her.   She just wants to feel safe.  It will be a long time before she feels safe...

This is the first book in this series.  I will be reviewing the second book next.  Things don't get better for Careen...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica chases butterflies.  Don't laugh.  She's traveled all over the world and is good enough at it she gets paid for her specimens.  She's come home to care for her aunt, who was in declining health.  As she attends the funeral, she's already planning her next trip.  That all goes awry when she finds someone destroying the house.  She tries to fight him off, he tries to abduct her, and it's only when the strange man at the funeral comes to her rescue that things right themselves.  When the man says she needs to go to London with him, she's OK with that.  She was already packed after all.

Penguin Books sent me a copy of this book to review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st, so you don't have to wait long to get a copy.

Ms. Raybourn has created a great character.  Veronica Speedwell is smart, fiesty, and unafraid.  She even has the gall to consider herself smarter and better than most men.  She's already had some sexual encounters in her travels so she's hard to intimidate.  She likes being independent and pursuing her own goals; she needs no one else.

When the strange man tells her he knew her mother, she's anxious to get some details.  She grew up with two "aunts" who were really just caretakers.  She has no idea about her past and would like to learn more.  Unfortunately, the man who offered to tell her more later delivers her to a friend of his and says he'll be back the next day.  He doesn't even survive that night.

The man he has settled her with is big and strong and as opinionated as she is.  He didn't want her there but he owed the man.  So he lets her in.  He's a taxidermist and he's working on an elephant at the moment.  When they find out that the man has been killed, they go on the run.

This is an exciting and fascinating tale.  Neither character is traditional; neither one trusts the other.  But to stay alive, they keep on the move and take shelter where they can.  No one is telling the truth.  No one is really on their side.  They have to learn to trust each other.

The mystery at the core of this story was unusual.  I wasn't expecting the political upper class to get involved.  I really liked how the two odd characters became a team by the end of the story.  I also see more potential for future stories, and I can't wait.  I want to read more about this feisty couple.

The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell

What if you've lost all direction in your life and you're not sure you even like who you are now?  How do you start over?

Penguin Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st.

When Genevieve found out her husband was having an affair, her marriage was over.  She had to admit it was really over a long time ago but they were both still going through the motions.  She was in a boring job, had a boring life and now she had nothing.  What was she to do?  She had one opportunity:  She could go to Paris and take over her Uncle's locksmith business. She had spent a lovely summer with her Uncle Dave and his wife.  He'd taught her how to pick locks, how to clean them up, the inner workings and even how to make keys.  If she didn't continue the business, she could at least finish up the jobs he had going.  She packs up and heads out after talking to her cousin.

She can't speak much French, doesn't know anyone, and is just barely getting settled in when people being to call.  They're curious, they need her help, and it isn't long until they like her.  She has no chance to sleep in, any job turns into almost all day event, she's learning to eat and drink new things, and she's enjoying herself for the first time in a long time. However, Paris holds some secrets for her and when she digs deep enough she finds them.  Now she has to decide how to handle that knowledge.

This reads almost like a cozy.  There are alternative chapters where our main character is telling her story and where her mother is telling hers.  They're identified by year, so it wasn't hard to tell which character is which.  The story is mellow with touches of red for danger in the era her mother was here.  What happened in Paris stayed in Paris, but it also touched life in America.  Now Paris is touching an American...