Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Though This Be Madness by Penny Richards

Lily Long is back again.  She has a new assignment.  The only problem is that she has to partner with Cade and they don't like each other.  But an assignment is an assignment.  Posing as a married couple will be difficult but they will do it.

Kensington Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

I enjoyed the first novel I read about Lily.  She's an interesting character.  After her husband left her and stole all her money she has no desire to have anything more to do with men.  But she's a pretty good actress and she'll act like she and Cade have a relationship.  

He's not any happier about it than she is.  If he hadn't gotten drunk and in a bar fight, he'd be allowed to work alone.  But he's still on probation and Lily needs more training.  It's his burden to live with.  As if that's not enough, a young boy he befriended comes along on the trip following and he has to take care of him, too.

What they are investigating is whether the wife of the household is really crazy or if she is just being put away to remove her from her money.  What they find is a hot bed of problems.  As they start talking to the servants and members of the family, they notice that the attorney is a sexual predator.  The doctor isn't really a doctor.  And most of the men aren't what they seem.

It's a dangerous game being played in the name of greed and not everyone gets out alive.  This story was also a very good read and Cade and Lily are finding they enjoy working together.  Even the young boy helps with the case.  This isn't a conventional story and I like it!

One Good Thing (Ten Beach Road #5) by Wendy Wax

Each evening they go out and sit on the deck and watch the sunset go down.  They have a drink, talk about their days and, as their mother requests, they each pick out a good thing that came from that day.  When there's emotional trauma and disasters everywhere, it's hard to find that good thing...

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

From financial disaster to a husband who walked off with a younger woman and took all her money with him to a young man defying his father and driving his love off to a popular singer who is having a comeback and wants their mother to travel with him, there's plenty of strife, emotional trauma and troubled times in this household.  Some things get solved, some don't.  What stays the same is the fact that they are there for each other, they're still fighting and they are still moving forward.

There's lots of drama, lots of love, and a sense of family and undying loyalty.  There's a bit of sad along with a lot of happy and you feel the women will come out on the top.  Their story isn't done yet, so watch for the next book in this series.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape

She was a witch in training when tragedy struck and took both her mother and her grandmother.  Now she owns the magic shop but doesn't have all the skills she needs yet to be a sorceress.  When she goes to her lawyer's office to sign the final papers on the shop, she finds him dead...

Kensington Books/Lyrical Underground and Net Galley allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published May 2nd.

The magic was low key until Kailyn does the spell to find her familiar.  Her other relatives have cat familiars but hers is unexpected.  She summoned Merlin!  As you can guess, this spices up the story.  Her aunt takes him in and spoils him with food and modern conveniences.  He spouts magic here and there and creates even more problems for Kailyn.

The cops eventually arrest the lawyer's wife for murder.  She's Kailyn's friend and she knows she didn't do it.  It looks like she's going to have to prove that, though.  Not only is she unskilled in magic, she's not the best private eye either.

When she finally identifies the killer, she's got another problem.  He finds her first and covers all three of them with a gun.  He plans to kill them, too...

I enjoyed the touch of magic, Kailyn's crazy aunt, Merlin, and the cats.  This was a fun book to read and I'll be looking for more in this series.  Give it a try, it's a very good cozy.

The Door in the Alley (The Explorers #1) by Adrienne Kress


The story starts with a pig out by itself wearing a small black cap.  You don't usually see a pig in the city and you never see one wearing a hat.  While Sebastian is still trying to figure it out, a man comes out to capture it and somehow Sebastian gets involved.  It gets even worse when he goes in the door that says:  The Explorers.

Delacorte Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 25th.

This is a nonsensical story with footnotes, illustrations and strange situations all the way through it.  Middle graders will love it.  I found it great fun to read and can't wait for the next book to come out.

Sebastian finds a young girl who is on the run in the alley the Explorer's club is on.  She's been ejected from the club and is crying.  She wants to find her grandfather but the clue she needs is in the club.  Sebastian takes her home with him and agrees to help her.  He's a math and science genius and he needs his brain skills to figure out the key.  They end up in big danger, each saving the other from destruction, and the story gets more exciting the further you go.

There's cliff hanger ending which makes you look forward to the next book in the series.  You can tell your kids they won't be bored reading it!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What the Dead Leave Behind by Rosemary Simpson

When her father marries again, she's not really surprised.  He's still young enough to want a woman in his life.  But why did he pick the one he did?

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 25th.

Prudence has her wedding coming up and is looking forward to being married.  She might not love him but he is her friend and has been since childhood.  When a blizzard shows up and he dies in the storm, she's stunned.  Her father died earlier.  The doctor says it was heart failure.  She's suspects her new stepmother may have helped that long.  After all, she's been doctoring Prudence with laudanum.  What did she use on her father?

This story moves along slowly and gave me more detail than I needed.  When she finds that her future husband died with a card in his hand it means nothing to her.  But it means a lot to his best friend.  It means it was no accident.  Together, they work on the case.  Prudence learned a lot from her father and Geoffrey used to be a Pinkerton agent.  They are making progress but Prudence is finding things out about her father that she wishes she didn't know.  He was bought off on a few cases because he needed the money to care for her mother whom he loved deeply.  He quit after her death.

Prudence has to sneak around to look for evidence.  Doors are locked and she has to find hidden keys.  The Judge has left her clues hidden in secret places.  All the old help has been let go and anyone who helps her gets hurt or dies.  Prudence is in danger but she refuses to give up.

I found it fitting that those who flaunted the law and didn't abide by it were killed by men following the same rules.  Things were covered too well to prove murder but murder was done.  And now the murderers have paid...

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.