Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Killer Punch: A Killer Wasps Mystery by Amy Korman

Kristin is looking forward to summer and hanging out with her best buds.  At the moment, the tomato festival is coming up and everyone around is helping out.  The famous TV chef bursts in on the scene and says he'll do the cooking and banishes the other cook.  Then a famous painting disappears off the wall.  The painting is worth six digits, so the owner wants it back.  Kristin knows the local cop isn't going to be much good at locating it, so she calls on her friends.  What they learn is that even their small local town can be a hotbed of cheating and double-dealing.

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.  There are more in the series so if you like to begin with the first book, check it out.

This is light cozy with odd characters.  There are the very rich, the economically challenged, some Italian mafia, a divorce going on that is going to be a fight to the finish, and Kristin's challenged love life.

One of the ladies is sneaking in tomatoes grown in New Jersey, who has better soil.  (That's against the rules.)  The famous chef is trying to bed a young waitress.  Kristin's boyfriend is out of town at a veterinarian education class and the guy with the hot kisses is on the site of the festival.  Then her boyfriend's ex comes to town and she's worried about her.  It's like the picture is a small problem in this world.  But find it they must.  Not only do they find the picture, they also find out that the major new development in town is a breach of contract.  They fumble right along, everyone doing their part and somehow it comes out OK at the end of the story.

Wonder what trouble they'll find in the next book?  And will Sophie ever get all her shoes back?

All My Treasures: A Book of Joy By Jo Witek

When she gets a real pretty porcelain box from her grandmother, this little one wants to fill it with treasures.  But which ones?

Abram Appleseed shared this book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published today so you can grab a copy now.

This is a casebound board book.  That means it looks like a regular oversized picture book but the pages are thicker inside.  The best touch are all the little flaps. With little fingers carefully opening up the flaps they will find treasures to go in the box!

She thinks of adding raindrops, bubbles she blows, treasured memories and more.  All things that give her joy and make her life special.  

Why not think about what you would save?  I have a memory box.  It's just a fancier cardboard box that I have kept things like a post card grandpa drew a stamp on,  a poem my mom wrote for a package one year, ticket stubs and other memories.  When I open and go back through what's in there it makes me smile.  What would save in your box?

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White

This is not a nice orphanage.  The orphans have chores to do, some work in the coal mines, and they only get enough to eat to keep them alive.  When they turn thirteen, they're ejected from the school.  If they are lucky, they can be accepted into a quest academy and begin training.   If not, they go away to another work crew, who knows where.  They don't have much but it's better than nothing.  Anne has Penelope as a friend and they are determined to go on an adventure.  Boy, do they!

Little Brown Book for Children sent me an ARC of this story to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 13th.

This is a fantastic adventure with lots of action, plenty of good versus evil, robots, animated knight's armor and dragons.  With some magic, a riddle and good brain power, Anne gets closer and closer to the truth of who she is.  She has yellow eyes, doesn't remember her parents and doesn't even know what tier she's come from.  She wants to find out who she is but she also is longing for adventure.

When she runs after dog, who got away, she falls off one tier down to another.  The lady she meets there tells her she's come to get her for a quest.  When she asks if she can bring others, the lady says the more the merrier.  She returns to get Pen and gets caught by the matron, who takes the gauntlet she was given and throws her in the dungeon.  Pen gets her out, she retrieves the gauntlet and the book she was reading, and she's ready to go when the gauntlet attaches itself to her hand and attracts a medallion.  This is when all the fun begins!

It's a mighty quest, a brave adventure and new challenges come up every few pages.  I really enjoyed reading this one and can't wait for the next book.  She's in her rightful place now but it doesn't mean the challenge is over...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Annie's dream was to have a cooking show.  She was an excellent cook, incorporated new ingredients to make special taste sensations, and she was taking classes in California to reach her dream.  She's amazed when she does a video of another chef who runs a small cooking stand and the video goes viral.  It's even more amazing when they want her to actually do a show!

William Morrow sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 9th.

Annie doesn't realize that the other chef, who she ends up marrying, is actually undermining her position on the show.  When she finds out she's pregnant, she goes to the set to tell her husband the wonderful news.  The fact that he's in bed with the co-star of the show kills her happy rush and sends her storming out of the trailer.  The next time she wakes up, she's in the hospital.  And she doesn't remember anything.

This would be like one of my worst nightmares.  I don't want to forget the past or lose part of my learning from life experiences.  She doesn't even know what to mourn until she's been through weeks of rehab and brought to her parent's home for recovery.  She's been in a coma for a year...

Her husband has divorced her.  She's lost the baby.  And she doesn't remember that.  When she does, it's almost as bad as if it was happening all over again.

There's an old romantic tie that has never died at home.  He's single again, with a son.  He's also interested in her.  She has to decide whether she should follow her dream of a TV show or whether she should follow her heart.  It's a tough decision.  The author keeps you on your toes until the last few pages.  There's lots of family drama but it's good read.

How Three Brothers Saved the Navy: The Kare Kids Adventures #3 by Charles A. Salter

Their dad is a Captain in the US Navy so the three boys spend their spare time pretending to be part of the Navy, too.  Twelve year old Matt is a Force Recon Marine in his mind with his siblings holding lesser roles.  One is a soccer player, one is good at judo, and the youngest is a good actor.  Those skills will keep them alive...

Outskirts Press sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

When I was young, my boy cousins liked to play war.  I was never fond of it but I also got bored easily if you wouldn't let me read, so I played with them.  That ended when one of them had to get stitches (his brother jumped on him with a stick).  I could recognize the enthusiasm these boys had for a Recon game.  They were practicing for the future.  They just didn't know the future would come so soon!

They see things happening on the abandoned airbase that shouldn't be.  When they go in to see what's going on, they get close to being caught.  When they think they've escaped, they haven't.

This is written for middle grades and has plenty of action as well as a good plot line.  I especially liked reading about the boys using the skills they had to outfox the bad guys.  At least the good guys didn't get hurt like my cousin did.  They managed to complete their Recon with no stitches.

Boys should love this book.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness by David Casarett

Ladarat Patalung is a nurse ethicist.  She checks to see if everyone is doing all that they need to do for the patients.  It's a bit like being an auditor.  She pays attention to treatments, makes sure the patient's emotions are taken into consideration and she watches for discrepancies.  She never expect to be asked to do detective work...

Redhook and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 13th.

This story was set in Thailand and that was a real treat for me.  I enjoyed reading about the differences between Americans and Asians.  The culture there is much different from how I was brought up and their food sounded dreadful to me, but the main character really enjoyed it.  I can imagine what she would think of the food I cook!

Ladarat begins by looking into a woman who brought her dead husband to the hospital in the middle of night to get a death certificate.  It seems someone there had heard of her before and the situation was the same.  As the detective and Ladarat visit, they decide if it wasn't revenge, it must be the insurance the woman is interested in.  The detective points out she might just be a serial killer but since her victims all have the same name, you wonder.

As she is trying to find out more about that case, she finds that there is an odd man in the visitor's waiting room that is not the usual type.  He's a hillman, he speaks to no one, and when questioned he can't say who he is waiting for.  But he's waiting and won't leave.  In time, she finds out why.

Alexander McCall Smith writes about Africa.  Mr. Casarett does a comparable job in his story about Thailand.  The people go about things in a round about way so they don't embarrass anyone or lose face.  They are deliberate, polite and painstaking.  And they will continue until the job is done.

This was a wonderful introduction to this country and to the characters in this book.  Both Ladarat and her assistant seem to have a romantic interest before the end of the story.  I can't wait to read about her next adventure and see how her story continues.  I like her as a character.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Jack Death by M.L. Windsor

Jack and Nadine are neighbors and go to the same school.  They both have big secrets they can't tell.  Jack would prefer to be independent but since he gets bullied all the time it's nice to have a friend around.  Even if she is a girl.

Creston Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 13th.

This is a far out tale of imaginary creatures and a war between good and evil.  There are Blacks and Goldens, there are fixers, and everyone in this world seems to be mixed with some magical or evil being.  The bloodlines have been mixed for years.  The purebred goblins and other carnivorous beings are in a "reserve" where they are separated from the public.  But there is a diabolical plot being carried out and the rock wall that keeps them in is detonated and horror is let loose upon the town.

There's lot of action, lots of unusual characters and you learn Jack and Nadine's secrets.  There will be more to this story.  Jack has no idea what his role in life is to be and Nadine hasn't found out just what magical being she is yet.  I'm sure there will be another book in this series to help flesh all that out.

This is a great story for middle graders because it's a busy story and you don't have time to feel sorry for the folks being eaten.  You find yourself just waiting for the next development...