Saturday, April 22, 2017

Solomon's Bell (Genie Chronicles #2) by Michelle Lowery Combs

Ginn's enemies have moved away from town but that doesn't mean they are gone.  She's been doing a lot of reading in the library in the lamp and with that the sudden instant boy girlfriend issue with her brother, she thinks she knows what she will have to do to save her family.  Having a golem in town isn't a good thing.

World Weaver Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

In this story, Ginn, her boyfriend, and her new foster sister go back to 16th century Prague.  Unfortunately, nothing is settled there either.  There is conflict in the city between those with magic and those without.  A magician has created a fake bell and is trying to steal the Emporer's real bell.  Ginn needs the bell to save her family.  

Things get complicated fast.  Her new foster sister gives her up as a djinn.  The guardian from the lamp is there as a young man and doesn't know her at all.  She's going to have to figure out how to get them out of this mess and restore her lamp and save her family.  No stress at all.

This is another fascinating look at magic and mythology from the past.  Ginn uses what she knows, what she guesses at and the help of friends to fix things.  Both books in this series are good reads and younger readers may be meeting djinns (genies) and golems (mud people) for the first time.  They expand your imagination and are enjoyable reading.  What more could you want? 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Heir to the Lamp (Genie Chronicles #1) by Michelle Lowery Combs

All she wants to do is win her basketball game.  She's been fouled and has the opportunity to make her free throws and win.  But her last throw doesn't go in the basket.  She goes back to the locker room full of despair but mumbles on the way in that she wished they'd won the game.  Everyone coming in the door after her tells her how marvelous her game was and how happy they are they won.  They won?  But they lost!

World Weaver Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

The main character is a thirteen year old adopted girl.  She has great parents, siblings of all races, and life is good.  But nothing this fantastic has happened to her before.  It's a good thing she has a grandma that is willing to fill her in.  It seems her parents were a bit different.  Her mother was djinn.  There's a magic lamp and a journal her mother wrote.  She has much to learn about her heritage.  The problem is that there are new people in town and they are after her.  Having a djinn as a slave is real handy.  You can command them to use their magic for your purposes.  It's a good thing she has a secret weapon.  She has the guardian of the lamp as an ally.

There's action, adventure, and new worlds to explore in this story.  The words flow well, the story is interesting and it was fun to watch the magic.  Even more, she learns if her new "almost" boyfriend is a friend or foe.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Make Me: Book Four of The Demon Underground Series by Parker Blue

Val made the mistake of falling in love with Shade.  She slept with him and lost not only her virginity but her powers.  Now all she has left is Lola, the part of her that is a Succubus.  She can control male vampires with that but not female.  She's called the Slayer and she's feared but she isn't what she was before...

BelleBooks and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

Since Val works with both vampires and demons, the chances of her getting killed are good.  Especially since she's trying to create peace between not only them but humans, too.  She's also got two books which has spells she can use to help but Jack isn't teaching much and he's not teaching her fast.  He was the keeper of the books in the past and he hates to give them up.  Then there's the fact that everyone else wants them...

In the battle over the spell books, Micah and Gwen get kidnapped and a mage demon demands the books.  As they try to find time to create a counter play, Shade ends up being taken as hostage by the female vampire leader.  Val just isn't having any luck.  How can she save everybody without someone ending up dead?  She can't...

I don't normally read vampire or demon stories but Val and her antics really appeal to me.  She's only 18, doesn't know enough about the immortal enemies she's fighting to be successful but she never gives up.  She protects those she loves.  The ending in this book wasn't very satisfying so I hope I get to read the next in the series.  It may not be possible in the world of vampire and demons but I still like "happy ever after" endings.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson

This is a very nice compilation of the stories of twelve pioneer women that refused to give up.  The odds aren't good, they've lost everything dear to them, but they have the grit and determination to keep on going when it would be easier to give up and die.  Here are twelve women you can admire.

Shadow Mountain and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

This is the type of history book I would have died for back in school.  It's like living history and I couldn't wait to read the next story.

A black slave gets married, has children and is living happily every after until her owner dies.  Then the family is all sold separately.  She never gives up on finding her daughter and they finally reunite sixty years later!

I was amazed to see that a Native American woman made speaking out politically her life's mission.  She'd probably be at Standing Rock right now.

The most intriguing to me was the girl who dressed as a man became the most daring stagecoach driver of the time.  She could handle more horses, was fearless against outlaws and got her freight and people through without mishap.  It wasn't until she died that they learned she was female.  That's amazing.

There are more stories and none of these women were shrinking violets.  They learned to stand up for themselves, fight against the establishment, and achieve their goals.  These things are helpful in life.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

William Johnson was a Yale student who joined a hunt for dinosaur bones because of a bet.  He and another schoolmate got in argument and the other student declared him not brave enough to make the trip.  He added that he would pay him a thousand dollars if he did it.  That was enough incentive for Johnson.  He went down asked to sign up.  And was told no...

Harper and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 23rd.

Johnson pesters the professor until he agrees to let him come if he's a photographer.  He lies and says he is and then works harder than he worked in school to get proficient and be able to fulfill his duties.  He starts his journey as a young naive too-trusting man.  His professor won't tell him where they are going or anything about the journey.  He questions him about anyone he speaks to.  He tells tales about another professor who does the same kind of work.  And then he deserts him in one town and goes on by himself with the rest of the crew.

While he's sitting in the restaurant feeling sorry for himself, he's told that the professor would like to speak to him.  It's the other professor.  And he'd be happy to take Johnson on his expedition.  Johnson agrees.  What other choice does he have?  The problem is that this professor is no more honest than the other one.

Johnson finds himself in Indian country.  They make friends with the local Crow Indians but the Sioux will be going through and they hate white men.  He almost succeeds in getting out with the crew but he and two more are sent back to get more boxes.  By that time, the Sioux have arrived.  They get the boxes, his crew mate is killed as they escape and his guide dies a few days later.  He arrives in Deadwood and plans to send a telegraph to his father.  There's no telegraph.  There's not even a sheriff.  (The last one got killed.)

This is a fictional account that reads almost like a western but the people were real.  Johnson learns about how easy it is to get killed by a gunman, almost gets hoodwinked by a woman, and has more trouble with both professors.

What was fascinating to me was that they found brontosaurus teeth in their dig.  The year was 1876 and I didn't realize we had paleontologists around the states then.

You learn about excavating fossils, Indian wars and white man's wrongs and how wild and wicked some western "towns" were.  This was an interesting look back at history and it wasn't boring in the least.  It was a very good read.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner

This graphic novel reminded me of the Wiley Coyote series.  The fox in this story has the same kind of luck.  No matter how hard he tries to get a chicken out of the barnyard for a meal, he ends up eating turnips instead.  You actually start to feel sorry for him even if you don't want him eating the chickens...

First Second Books and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 20th.

The wolf gets shot at every time he tries to get in so he trains the fox in how to growl, act aggressively and fight for what he wants.  The problem is that every time he does that, nobody cares.  The chickens still beat him up!  So the wolf comes up with another idea.  Let's steal some eggs and raise the chicks until they are big enough for a snack.  The fox manages that by leaving the hen with some small turnips.  Then he finds out he has to hatch the eggs by sitting on them and keeping them warm.  He's always screaming no, he won't do it.  And he always ends up doing it.

Can you guess what happens next?  The chicks call him Mommy.  He tells them he's not, he's a big bad fox.  They think he's joking.  You won't believe what happens next.

This is a very cute book with precious water color illustrations and I know you'll end up rooting for the fox before you're done.  He'll do anything to save his chicks!

Murder in the Dark: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries #16 by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne isn't sure she wants to go to a big party at Christmas but when she gets a note warning her not to come, she makes up her mind.  She's going!

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 2nd.

She knows the "golden" couple who are hosting the event.  They've rented a house, have a big blowout planned with lots of booze and drugs, and lots of people.  Once she's arrived, she starts getting notes left where she can find them with riddles on them.  She has to figure out where the next note will be be.  She knows she may be in danger but she doesn't back off.

This is an intriguing tale.  The guest are all outrageous in their behavior.  Phryne adds another conquest to her list.  Two children are missing.  There is more than one threatening party.  Murder is within reach.  And the only one who can stop it is Phryne.

She finds one missing child and keep searching for the second.  She also searching for the potential murderer.  The problem is that he is searching for her, too...

There's lot of action, plenty of misunderstandings and confusion and when it gets settled at the end it's amazing, but everything works out.  I was also amazed by who ordered the killing.  Ms. Greenwood is very inventive and I like it.