Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Home in The Woods by Eliza Wheeler

This is a well illustrated picture book that talks about a family that is displaced by the father's death.  They move into a tar shack in the woods That's run down and deserted.  With a little hard work, things start looking better.

Nancy Paulsen Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

They plant a garden, hunt and fish. and harvest the fruit trees there.  Mom cans with her daughter's help.  She also works a bit to have money for what they can't grow or harvest.

This story is set during the days of the depression, but my mom and I canned at home.  We had a big garden with lettuce always growing for salads.  We had five apple trees (different types), a huge pear tree, and wild fruit trees down by our creek.  We harvested it all.  My Uncle had cows and pigs and we bought halves of them.  We raised chickens.  We didn't buy a lot at the store, so this story resonates with me.

The illustrations are great and the story is uplifting.  They miss the father but they are too busy to dwell on it.

Things have changed but sometimes I miss the old times.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Murder in the Balcony by Margaret Dumas

Nora is settling into her new life as the manager of the Palace movie theater that shows vintage movies.  She and her husband are separated but she does have the company of Trixie, the theater ghost.

Henery Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 24th.

It's a quiet neighborhood with a few shops.  They have their theater regulars but no large crowds.  She's working on ideas of how to bring more folks in.  Then one of her employee's boyfriend is murdered.  Nora finds herself questioning how it happened.  The more she learns, the more she wonders what he knew.

There is a real estate vendor who wants to buy up all the buildings and demolish them to make new stores with living units above them.  Nora doesn't want to sell.  Lisa across the street doesn't either.  Then someone tries to burn Lisa out. 

When she hosts a big meeting at the theater, someone falls from the balcony.  She dies in the hospital.  She was another real estate agent.  What's going on?

As Nora looks for clues, her husband files for divorce and her theater almost burns down.   Will she survive?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

She's lost her brother and her fiancĂ© in the war.  Now she's a surplus woman.  So many men have died there are more women than men.  She and her mother don't get along so she moves out and gets her own room.  It has to be cheap and she doesn't get much to eat, but she can shut her door and be alone and that counts for something.

Viking and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

She works at an insurance office typing.  Her wages are low but the peace and quiet is worth it.  Violet is drawn into a society of broderers—women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral.  She starts out as a learner and then teaches others the stitches as they arrive to join their efforts.

She finds herself drawn to one of the bellringers.  He's married, he's older than her, and his wife is suffering the loss of their son and has given up on life.  He's not available but she wishes he was.

She continues her independent life, makes some friends, finds someone to stay with her mother, and eventually finds a moment alone with Arthur.  They agree they can't see each other anymore.

Then she develops another challenge.  She's an unwed mother.  That means she has to move and she loses her job.  But she's up to the challenge...

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Tale of Witchwood Park by S.W. Develin

Emily didn't return to school, and Kendra is heartbroken.  She was her only real friend.  Now Kendra waits alone after school until her mother comes to pick her up.  Only a troll comes out of the forbidden woods one day before she arrives.  He asks Kendra (the shy one), Jimmy (the bully) and Daniel (the outcast) to come on a magical quest to overcome an evil queen who has killed the forests and towns that once existed.  He says no one will notice they are gone and they'll return home soon. 

Author Buzz and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Since they will be going in the forbidden woods, Kendra says yes.  Maybe she can find Emily.  Jimmy says yes because anything is better than going home.  Daniel goes along because he was invited and nobody invites him to do anything.

The rest of this trip is magical and haunting.  There's action all the way through.  It's a fairly short read and I can see young readers enjoying this book.  I'm no kid and I enjoyed it.  How could you not when Daniel turns into a dragon when they need him to be one?

This is an exciting read that will hold a child's attention.  If they like fantasy, they will love this book.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield

This family has been on Santa's naughty list for two years in a row.  If it happens a third time, they stay there permanently.  The head elf puts them on the naughty list again, but Santa asks him to tell them the three requirements to get off the list and asks him to help them.  He warns the girl but forgets the steps.

Well-Spoken Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Santa sends the elf to the South Pole to work with his brother, Reverse Santa, to make the family get along better.

Can you imagine going along in an old pickup towed by penguins?  That's Reverse Sannta's mode of transportation.  The first thing he does is kill their phones, their TV, radios and any other electric equipment that lets them ignore their family.  They actually put up the Christmas tree because there's nothing else to do. It takes a few more steps to get the family back on track but Reverse Santa and the elf are up to it.

This is a humorous read that is silly but fun to read.  You could read it aloud to your family this Christmas season.

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

Longmire is back on the job despite his vicious encounter in Mexico.  He has a limp and still has pain but working is better than just sitting around.  He's asked to help find a shepherd that's in high country and hasn't checked in like normal.  He's also alerted to a custody battle over a little boy.

Viking and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

I've rad most of this series so I'm always Glad to see new one out.  Walt Longmire is a good sheriff who can make quick and hard decisions when he needs to.

He finds the missing shepherd hanging from a tree.  He also found a big wolf up there.  It had sampled the dead man's feet.  The local environmental forces are examining a dead sheep, taking DNA from it to see if the wolf killed it.  The news picks it up as a wolf kill and everyone wants to take out the predator.

It turns out the shepherd didn't kill himself, it was murder.But he didn't know many people.  Who could have done it?

As Longmire tries to figure it out, he comes down with some health problems from his previous attack. 

The murder is tied to a family secret and it's ugly.  Justice prevails but not in traditional ways.

This was another good read.  Mr. Johnson has never disappointed me.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

I Love My Dragon by Howard McWilliam, Jodi Moore

This little boy grew up with a dragon in his crib.  I grew up with a cat in mine.  A dragon is much more exciting!

Flashlight Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is available for sale now.

Mr. Howard McWilliam draws great illustrations with a whimsical dragon that acts a bit like a dog.  How can you not have fun with a constant companion that's willing to play with you?  He even likes swimming!

Ms. Jodi Moore writes a very charming story that will make little ones smile.

Isn't it time to introduce your child to a dragon?