Sunday, July 24, 2016

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

Madeline does not like to read.  She has trouble with the words, others make fun of her, and she can just do without reading.  That isn't true in school or in life.  She tries.  She really tries and all she gets is hearts that say try harder.  She wants a star...

Peachtree Publishers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

This book is close to my heart.  I've been reading since age three and I've helped others learn to read by reading together, letting them read to me and finding them books that they will enjoy.  This book talks about a new way to help children learn and it's even more special.

Since Madeline can't read well enough to get a star, her mother takes her to the library.  The librarian asks to come with her and takes her to a room where everyone is reading.  She's amazed to see that they are reading to dogs!  When the librarian introduces her to Bonnie, a big white dog, she finds that Bonnie doesn't give her dirty looks, squint at her, or comment.  She just waits.  She'll let her try a word more than once.  And she can pet Bonnie as she's reading which helps her calm down.  Soon, she even gets a star!

Bonnie has one more surprise for Madeline.  I like that one best.

Machinations by Hayley Stone

Rhona is a warrior.  She's smart, fearless, and battle worn.  The world she lives in is tired and worn out, but she refuses to give up.  The machines have become their enemy and they want to kill all the humans.  She's on a mission to kill them first.

Hydra and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 26th.

The author begins the story by killing the main character.  That doesn't sound like a good start but don't worry.  She knew there was a good chance of that happening and she had DNA set aside so she could be cloned.  The problem is that when she awakens, she knows she's not what she was before but she doesn't know why.  What she remembers and what she doesn't is hard to deal with.  She also is not sure if they are all valid memories or parts of dreams.  And her lover from the past wants nothing to do with her.  He lost Rhona, has grieved seriously over her, and he doesn't want to open his heart and get hurt again.  Besides, she's not the real thing.

They don't have a lot of time to get her adjusted and back into the fold because the machines are coming after them hard.  Someone is trying to kill Rhona in the facility.  She doesn't know why but she knows she has to be alert.

This is a bit like a space opera.  We're here on earth but it's not an earth we've seen and I hope we never do.  Humans have leached the land, destroyed nature and natural elements, and there's really nothing to live for except other humans.  The machines want to remove the humans so nothing worse happens.  You can't really blame them.  There's a lot of gun battles and death in the story but there's still hope at the end.  The machines won't give up but neither will the humans.  There could be a sequel if the author is so inclined.  I enjoyed this read.  Sci/Fi can be a great read and this one is.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

Grace had a good job, loved her little sister with Down's syndrome and enjoyed her life.  When her sister starts waltzing in the park with no partner, she thinks it's special that she learned to dance like that.  When a man walks towards her, she gets up to defend her.  But he just bows and then dances with Millie.  He touches her heart when he does that.  Then he asks her out on a date.  She should have said no...

St. Martin's Press sent me a copy an early reader's edition of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published August 9th.

This book scared me.  It's so plausible it's chilling.

Grace is charmed by Jack and he's so loving and caring.  He builds her her dream house for a wedding gift and they go to Thailand on their honeymoon.  She's thrilled to have found her love, she'd almost given up on the idea.  But Jack has secrets.  He's movie star pretty and they depict a perfect marriage but what happens at home is another story.

He doesn't even come home on their wedding night.  She's all dressed up when she leaves the bathroom but he's gone.  He tells the hotel staff that she has mental problems.  Then he begins locking her out on the patio all day while he does his thing.  He's not only a controller.  He's eats fear.  He wants her scared, he gets his jollies from that.

Every time she tries to escape, he locks her in for days.  He takes away her visits to Millie.  He forgets to feed her.  And if she defies him enough, he locks her in the basement.  He's playing mind games with her and he's winning.  There is only one way out for her.  And she's not thinking suicide.

This is a tense, suspenseful read that I couldn't put down.  It has a nice ironic ending, too.  Give it a try, you won't be bored.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Warship Jolly Roger by Sylvain Runberg, Miquel Montlló

The prisoners have broken out and while those who instigated it are dead and many others have been recaptured, the prisoner the president is most afraid of has escaped.  He should be afraid.  He railroaded Munro into prison for war crimes when he was following orders...

Magnetic Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 9th.

This a graphic novel with luscious artwork by Miquel Montllo.  Sylvain Runberg has written a story that resembles a Star Wars scene.  It's a nasty world in the future where those with money and power rule and scapegoats are created when necessary.

Munro takes three other prisoners with him.  It's escape or go in front of a firing squad, so they decide to take their chances.  Munro takes charge but everyone has important things to do if they are going to stay alive.

Starships in the sky with doublecrossers everywhere makes the story exciting.  Thirteen is young man who doesn't talk but has an owl drone who is deadly.  The girl is only along for the ride because Munro won't let her go.  And the other man is a con man who kills so there are no witnesses.  This mismatched team works well together.

They kidnap the president, Munro destroys his face, and then he sets him free in a pod.  The president then kills his son.  If he thought Munro was a problem before, I can guarantee you he will be now.

I'm going to have to read this next book in this series and see who wins.

The Angels' Share (The Bourbon Kings #2) by J.R. Ward

The King of Bourbon is dead.  Who will replace him?

NAL sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you). It will be published July 26th.  If you haven't read the first one in the series, you might consider doing that for continuity.  This book can be read as a standalone, though.

When you are living in a family of wealth, finding out you're broke can be a big shock.  It seems dad was spending money faster than he was making it.  He took out debt and then backed it with the family's assets.  The only good thing is that he's dead; now they can blame all the law violations on him.  Unfortunately, it turns out he was murdered instead of a suicide.  That's good news, though.  Then they can collect his life insurance.  Guess what?  He let the policy lapse six months ago...

This family has secrets, big secrets.  Lane finds that his father's assistant who committed suicide after his father's death has a child.  That child looks just like him.

Edward is trying to drink himself to death.  After all, he was tortured and physically disabled while being held captive overseas and his father was the one who told the terrorists where to find him.  But he refused to pay the ransom.  He lost his ability to work with horses and his opportunity for love.  Why not give up?

Max has his own business and he's doing pretty well.  He's found a new woman to be interested in.

The sister is getting married to a monster so she will have the money she's used to.  He makes her sign a pre-nup so she can't get any of his.  She sells her wedding diamond and puts the proceeds in a safe deposit box for her daughter.  She knows the man she married will kill her.  But maybe she can kill him first...

Lane takes over the business and continues to work on his divorce.  He has a new love that helps him calm down and deal with life.  He also finds that he has some of his father's characteristics.  He will get the results he wants even if he has to purchase some and blackmail others.  But he's doesn't overuse these tactics and wouldn't use them at all if he wasn't desperate.

I enjoyed this read a lot more than the first book.  That one was just too depressing.  This one has bad spots and I feel real bad for one character but I bet there will be another book in this series.  I'll have to read that one, too, because the author has captured my interest. Someone has to find a happy ending in this family.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, a new baby is left in the woods.  It's said to be a sacrifice to the witch so their homes will be safe, but those leaving the baby behind assume animals get it.  Little do they know there is a witch...

Algonquin Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 9th.

The witch takes the babies to the free cities where families are happy to adopt them.  She thinks she's saving the babies but she doesn't know that someone in the city that sacrifices them lives off sorrow.  She tortures people, affects the weather and does all she can to fill her black heart.  She hides behind a nun's veil but she's pure evil.

I really enjoyed this story.  There is good and evil, magic, and even love in the story.  When Xan feeds the child the starlight to keep her nourished only she doesn't notice how late it's getting.  Before she notices, she's fed the baby moonlight and that changes everything.  She can't put her out for adoption, she's going to have to raise her herself and show her to use magic.  Good idea, but it doesn't work out.  The girl finds her magic at age 5 and doesn't understand a thing about controlling it.  Xan puts a spell on her to slow her down and allow her some maturity first.

Meanwhile, the girl's mother is in a tower as a prisoner of the nun who loves sorrow.  She's learned enough not to feed the nun and she's learned some magic from the years of being alone.  That will come in handy.

The young man that didn't want to leave the baby in the woods has changed his profession.  He's a carpenter now.  He's also married and his baby will be the next one that will go in the woods.  He's made up his mind that he's going first and he will kill the witch.  His uncle sends the nun after him as an assassin.

With all that going on, don't forget the bog monster and the perfectly tiny dragon.  They have their parts in this story, too.

This is an excellent fantasy read that I loved.  Why don't you give it a try?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

H.A.L.F.: The Makers by Natalie Wright

Could you go to an alien world and fit in? Would you like to be used as a test subject for the gray ones?  What's worse, your boyfriend got left behind.  What hope do you have for survival?  This author gives us a story that answers some of those questions.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  You can find a copy on Amazon now.

Erika is seventeen and is learning about love.  She has a special relationship with Tex, a hybrid human and robot.  She loves Jack who got left behind.  And she appreciates Ian, another male friend.  When she regains consciousness after the kidnapping, she is in a dark place and unable to move.  She eventually realizes that Ian is there.  But Tex and the doctor who created him are not.  They're all prisoners and the jailer is another gray one but much smaller and part human.  It only does what it's told.  It has no choice.

This is a complex sci fi story with lots of different components.  They've been taken into the future through time travel.  The aliens inject them with a virus that can kill them.  They give Erika the antidote but not Ian.  So her first quest is to get the medicine before Ian dies.

While she's working on that, the queen of the grays is working on Tex.  She wants him for new breeding stock.  He desires her sexually and she shows him how they connect telepathically and have a hive mentality.  If he joins her, he'll be revered as her mate and will be part of their community.  But he's been with humans for a long time and he's confused.

Jack is back on earth fighting to release the military soldier who ordered his death.  Life is complicated on earth, too.  

This is a busy story with multiple plots that keeps you reading.  This is the second in this series I've read so far and I haven't been disappointed with either.  I hope the next will tie the story up, but there's more danger coming.  This earth of the future is very dangerous from its own occupants to the predators in space...

Natalie Wright will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via RAFFLECOPTER during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the your their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE.  

Happy reading and good luck!