Friday, February 23, 2018

The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn by Frank Kelso

Nigel is a spoiled thirteen year old boy whose mother favors him.  He doesn't do chores,  just lazes around.  His family is from Wales and they are coming over to the states to convert the Indians.  It didn't turn out any better than it did for the Whitman family in Washington.  The Indians slaughter them and the only reason Nigel makes it because he hides...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

Since Nigel can't even cook for himself, he's in bad shape.  When he finds both his parents dead, the wagon burned and his sisters missing, he has no idea what to do.  When he hears horses, he's afraid the Indians are returning but it's a muleskinner.  He and his partner take Nigel with them because he'd die on the prairie.  When they get to town, they consider leaving him at the orphanage but it's so awful they decide to keep him.

Nigel begins by asking to ride a horse.  He's told he can walk.  He does get to ride a bit but he's not allowed to be lazy.  If he doesn't do what he's told, he doesn't eat.  It might only be beans but he's a growing boy and he's always hungry.  Next up, he's told to run instead of walking.  He's also taught how to cook and how to set up camp.  He's toughening up and getting in shape but then the muleskinner throws him another curve.  He says he has to stay with the Indians while he makes a long trip with the mules.  Nigel hates Indians!  Pascal tells him not all Indians are his enemy.

This is a tale of a young man coming of age with the help of Pascal, a defrocked priest, and an Indian family.  He learns a lot from everyone even if he's tired of being given tasks and he even finds out about sex while with the Indians.  He almost dies of mortification as his Indian mother explains birth control to him.

I like Nigel.  He's tough and won't give up.  There will be more in this series.  This is the authentic old west in a story told well.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Widow 1881 by Sara Dahmen

She's a widow who never had a love match and she gets involved with the brother of her sister's husband.  It's not meant to be a long term relationship but when she finds out she's pregnant, she knows she has to leave town.  She can't live with all the gossip and shame.  So she goes to be a housekeeper in the Dakotas...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  You can grab a copy now.

She's a neat trim lady wearing mourning clothes when she arrives at her new job.  He tells her she'll have to get sturdier clothing because the work she will be doing will ruin her clothes.  She also has to get sturdier shoes.  No fancy stuff in this town.

She makes a few female friends but some people are standoffish.  When he founds out how young she is, he has her go stay with a Indian lady he's friends with.  That causes talk in town, too.  As she continues to work for him, she finds she's attracted to him.  However, she believes in love so she backs off since he has another interest.  She has a cowboy walking her home at night, so he thinks she's sweet on him.  They're both wrong.

This is an authentic depiction of the old west days and how much work everyone had to do.  The romance is sweet and smolders a bit before it catches fire but when it does, it makes for a lovely ending.

I really enjoyed reading this story.  If you've read any mail order bride books in the past and liked them, you'll love this one.

Sara Dahmen will be awarding a set of American-made pure maple wooden spoons from the author's kitchenware line (www.housekeepercrockery), valued at $60 (international) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter HERE.

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

Happy reading and good luck! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Goldfisch Volume 1 Manga (English) by Nana Yaa

This story reminded me of King Midas and his golden touch.  This young boy steals an artifact that talks to him.  It tells him to drink it.  He does and now everything he touches turns to gold.  It doesn't turn out any better for him than it did for the King...

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

His father is an adventurer who is often away.  When he finds a treasure map, he uses it and ends up what could be a curse on him.  He meets a girl about his age and she wants to find artifacts too, so they team up.

They fight to escape those adults hunting the same, they run into creatures who want to destroy them, and even witches can't help his curse or restore his twin to life.  They have an idea of what to do but the hunters are still on their trail and intend to steal their artifacts away from them.

I still can't get used to reading a book from back to front.  It just feels unnatural.  But the graphics are lovely, you can sympathize with the characters and I enjoyed this read.  There will be more in the series, so start with this one and get ready to read the next one!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Devil's Revolver by V. S. McGrath

This is a tale of the old west with dark magic intertwined.  It makes for an interesting if unsettling read...

Brain Mill Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

The old west fascinates me because it was a rugged life where death was handed out regularly.  Add in a pistol that only works for the person it has bonded with that can kill without bullets and you have a big reason for why people are dying.  Everyone wants that pistol.  The fact that you get another year older every time you use it doesn't seem to matter to warlocks and the like.

Hettie's job is to take care of her younger sister.  She talks to dead people and to people no one can see.  They're not sure how magical she is because she hasn't been tested yet but she's not normal.  Then men from her father's past show up at the ranch.  They kill her mother and father and try to kill her and abduct her little sister.  When she wakes up, she heads out after her sister.  She doesn't feel right but she's going to do what she promised and take care of her sister.  She's the only family she has left.

Just about everybody in this story lies to her.  No one is what they seem to be, not even her father.  When she finds out her "uncle" (no blood relation) has the pistol, she steals it from him.  When her friend tells her she's the only one that can open the box because it was her father's gun, she tries.  She pricked her finger on the case and gets some blood on the gun and suddenly the pistol is bonded to her!

There's death and dying and secret operatives and speculators and dirty Pinkerton agents, a cowboy gang, werewolves, vampires and more in this story.

Trust me, you won't be bored.

Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Volume 2 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, Julius M Gopez

Kenton is the Grand Mastrell of the Sand Masters, mostly because everyone else is dead.  He's trying to work on alliances with other leaders but it's not going well.  Not only that, there are assassins after him...

Dynamite Entertainment and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

The artwork is fabulous.  It's hard to tell who is safe and who is dangerous.  Everyone has bodyguards.  Even the friendly folks have their own agendas.

The story is full of action, there are monsters and madness, and the skill Kenton has to use the sand in defense is fascinating.  I easily read this book in a couple hours because I wanted to know what happened and the artwork drew me in.

If you like graphic novels, you'll love this one.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Harper and the Night Forest by Cerrie Burnell, Laura Ellen Anderson

Would you like to take a ride on a magic flying umbrella?  Would you enjoy being able to play music that does magical things?  Harper does...

Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 20th.

Harper has friends in her apartment house and they go on adventures together.  Her parents are away right now and she wants to help the Wild Conductor catch the Ice Raven.  He thinks that will help him get his job back.  But it's not that straight forward.  

It seems the Ice Raven is part of a fairy tale and the tale is unfinished.  Can she and her friends help complete the fairy tale?  And what do about the Wild Conductor is a problem, too.

This is a fun fantasy read and it takes everyone working together to come up with a solution.  There's even a magic bike that flies through the air.  What more could you want?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Master Key by Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (Translated by)

This is the story of an apartment house in Japan for women only.  Most of the inhabitants moved in during war days and didn't think they'd be there long.  Years later most of them are still there and stay in their little apartments from habit and for safety.  The story begins and ends with death...

Pushkin Vertigo and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 27th.

They are burying a little boy in the basement of the building.  This incident is tied to a kidnapping.  Practically everyone in this apartment house has a story and something they are hiding.  The chapters are little vignettes of their lives.  None of it seems to be related until you get to the end of the story where it all comes together.  The common thread is the theft of the master key.  It disappears twice during this story.

This tale is a bit dry and sad but it is a good look at a piece of life in Japan.  It was interesting and informative with a bit of mystery throughout the book.  Have you been to Japan?  This book will take you there.