Sunday, May 29, 2016

Love: The Lion by Frederic Brremaud

Love and life in the jungle is not an easy thing.  Mr. Breemaud tells you story of an animal without any words.  The illustrations make the story speak to you.

Magnetic Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this graphic novel for review (thank you).  It will be published July 12th.  There are early novels in this series you can catch up while you wait for this issue.

The story begins with a young lion and his family.  His father bosses everyone in the family around and he has no patience for his son.  As the lion grows, so does his hunting ability.  Soon he has a family of his own.

You see all the animals of the jungle and the plains in this story and learn how they are inter-related.  Sometimes the victims kill their predators.  Or a bigger predator might kill a smaller one.  The cats are fearless.

This story shows the cycle of life and it's a bit sad at the end.  Of course, so is life in the human world.  

These books are worth reading just so you get to see the luscious illustrations.  They draw you in...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

NUN BUT THE BRAVE: A Giulia Driscoll Mystery by Alice Loweecey

Giulia is at work when her sister-in-law stumbles in and collapses on her.  She's drugged and unconscious when she hits the floor.  They take her to the hospital and then Giulia goes to meet her client.  The client has a missing sister that the police think is probably dead or ran off to start a new life.  Giulia agrees to take the case.  And she wonders if her sister-in-law's odd drug combination is related to two deaths of young girls.  It's been a busy morning...

Henery Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 12th.

Giulia is an ex-nun and being a private eye sometimes conflicts with that.  Every now and again you have to lie or do something that goes against your moral grain.  But she's still a good PI, she just visits the confessional more often.

This was an interesting case for Giulia.  It involves survivalists, drugs, free love and more.  She goes undercover to find out more and almost gets too close and too involved.  It's a dangerous place for ex-nuns.

I enjoy reading about her relationship with her cop husband.  She's pregnant now and the bit of drugs she got involved with scared her for good reason.  I don't think she's going to hesitate on doing her job, though.  Giulia always gets her "man" or "woman"! 

The Bull Rider's Bride By Vickie McDonough

Dusty is home.  His bullriding days are over and he's trying to figure out where to go in life.  His twin wants him to stay home and help care for Mom but he's not in good enough shape to ranch.  He also doesn't have the money to buy a herd.  He tries not to panic as he thinks about a way to be useful again.

Serenade Books allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

This series is a light read with romance intertwined.  When the therapist for his mother comes in, he's astonished to see it's his old girlfriend.  He left her behind when he went bullriding and winning rodeos.  He never forgot her though.  She's also never forgotten him.  They're parting was at a bad time.  Her brother died in their barn, her father banned them from his farm and her life, and they both aren't sure if it's safe even now to try to resurrect their love.

They needn't worry, love comes naturally and sometimes you just can't fight it.  This is a sweet tale with a happy ending and was a good read, too.  This family grows on you.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers

Brine floated in on a boat with a piece of starshell in her hand.  She didn't know where she came from or who she was.  The local mage takes her in to get control of the starshell and to have a servant.  She now spends her time cooking and cleaning.  The mage has an apprentice but he's not very nice.  They seem to fight all the time.  No one is very happy but they are getting along.  Then the mage decides the apprentice will marry the daughter of a rich man and he'll give Brine to the man as a gift during the wedding ceremony.  Peter doesn't want to marry anyone.  Brine doesn't want to be someone else's servant.  All they can do is run away.

Macmillan Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 5th.

Brine and Peter throw themselves in a boat and row away from the island.  They row so far they don't even know where they are.  As they sit and wonder what to do next, a boat hails them and comes to pick them up.  The problem is that the rescuers are pirates...

The captain of the boat is female.  She's nice enough when she wants to be but she's only interested in her own welfare.  She's not as bad as the mage she thinks she killed who shows up again.

There are all kinds of monsters in this story.  Birds who will eat you, invisible bears, a magical north where you can see the world, and more.  The mage is very, very dangerous and uses Peter for his own purposes.  It doesn't look like anyone will get out alive but they do.  They have a very usual prize acquired at the very end of the story that could lead to another story in this world.  I'll have to watch and see if there if there is sequel.

The story starts a bit slow, but when it picks up it races to the end.  There's lots of action and a good batch of fantasy in the tale.  I can see a young one starting to read this tale and then not wanting to quit.

Black Jack Ketchum #1 by Brian Schirmer

Black Jack Ketchum was a real person and, as this graphic novel points out, he was the stuff of legends.  Nobody knows for sure how many of the crimes he was accused of were really his.  This is the world you enter when you start reading this novel...

Image Comics allowed me to read and review this book (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Jack wasn't really named Jack.  His name was Tom.  He began working as a cowboy but he wasn't making much.  It didn't take him long to get dragged into a life of crime.  His brother ran a gang.  But nobody knows the true story of Tom/Jack.  This novel is bit surreal and dream-like.  There's what we know, what we suspect and what might have happened.

In this tale, Jack has a few friends and a lot of enemies.  He even has a doppelgänger that he thinks is guilty of many of the crimes.  This is an interesting way to take a look at the old west.  I'm not sure about the monsters but the rest of the story seemed real enough.  I can say this is the only way I'd ever want to meet Black Jack...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Amelia is fourteen.  She's been taking care of the service station for a while now while her mother is ill.  She also takes care of her sister and brother.  But when her mother dies, she has a problem.  She's not of age, and they will put them in foster care and most likely separate them.  She can't let that happen...

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 5th.

Amelia goes to talk to her mother's lawyer.  He's a nice man and he's willing to help her but he's anxious about losing his license if he does too much.  Amelia perseveres and goes back to the station and her family.

By pure accident, a man gets thrown out of a truck right in front of her station.  He's drunk, looks like a hobo and stinks.  She gets a brilliant idea.  Her father is unknown.  He can pretend he's her father!

If that wasn't enough to keep her busy building her story, the rich man in town who owns all the other Standard station wants hers.  She won't sell.  And, all of a sudden, bad things start to happen.  Vandalism, shots fired and more.

This is set in an earlier time period when things were more laid back.  Amelia still has her challenges but the attorney shows up with her birth certificates listing her father as the man who is staying with them.  That settles the do-gooders down for a bit.

There are ups and downs all through this story.  Amelia loses a lot.  She also gains a lot.  She has no idea how much the community supports her until the worst that can happen did.  I enjoyed the feel of the good ole days and was happy to see Amelia smile again.

Rat Run: An Scottish police procedural by Caro Ramsay

Anderson is still pretty much out of it.  He's suffering PTSD from a previous case where he watched a woman burn to death and he's back at work but he's changed.  He's more empathetic towards the victims and he almost wants to avoid the heart of the trouble.  Costello has no patience with him.  She has a job to do and she will do it, with or without him.  She's rather do it with him.

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 1st.

This village has an unsolved mystery that is 20 years old.  They have a man in jail but he denies doing the crime.  He says he was just trying to help her.  When it's the death of a young mother and her babies, there's no sympathy.  Now they've found more bones and they are in a sinkhole, not too far away.  It's just a foot but it tells tales.

You have the local characters, the odd ones here and there that like living in a pretty isolated place, and you have the gossip.  While Anderson focuses on a young woman and her children, Costello is interviewing people and trying to figure out where that foot came from.

The secrets are deep and it takes a lot of digging.  When they try to make sense about what they are finding, it doesn't make sense.  There is a lot of action, more murders and the fallout after the facts are discovered will change the entire village.  I was surprised by the murderer's motive.

All in all, it was a good read.  I'm still not sure what will happen with Anderson.  Guess I'll have to read another in this series and find out.

The last line in the book is a treasure.  It's very ironic.  I like that.