Monday, February 27, 2017

Journey by Stephen H. Foreman

He's a Mexican that has been raised by the Comanches.  He lives alone, hunts and leads a quiet life.  When he finds a woman in bad condition who is having a baby, he assists her.  She dies before the baby is born.  What's he going to do with a newborn?

Skyhorse Publishing and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

It takes a bit for the pieces to fall into place here.  You meet a young boy in London who is good at being a thief.  When he gets in trouble, he heads for the states.  He's an indentured servant who learns about the slave business.  He takes to it like a fish takes to water and soon he's rich enough to buy the firm he used to work for.  He does have a slave revolt and there are more to come, so he moves himself and his slaves to New Mexico.  He'll become a land owner there and be very influential over future development.  While this is happening, he loses his woman and his child.  He's not worried, he'll find another.

The baby is given to an Indian woman who still has breast milk and she takes care of her like her mother would.  Reuben functions as her father.  Everyone is doing fine until Journey gets older and sees a mountain lion trying to kill a colt.  She and the colt's mother protect him.  His mother gets killed and he fixates on Journey.  She takes care of his wounds and keeps him well fed at home.  Then the slave owner says it's his horse and he'll take it back or hang for her for horse theft.  They don't have the money so she says she'll work for him six months.

The mountain lion is like another character in this book.  He's old, has tricks and has been successful for a long time.  There might be a reward for him but he's not above taking out humans, too.

When the slave owner realizes that Journey is his grand-daughter things go south.  His behavior is offensive and nasty in general.  The ending surprised me.  Just remember things really weren't very nice in the old west.

Camp So-and-So by McCoy, Mary

Twenty-five campers, five cabins.  Not all of them will come back alive...

CarolRhoda Lab and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 1st.

This is an odd story.  It has an unusual plot.  The students are picked after they have been looked over to see that they would be a good fit for the camp.  They think they are coming to learn about the theater and how to present themselves.  What they don't know is that as soon as they arrive, they become part of the act.  There are stage hands, a stage manager, and an opposing team on the other of the lake.  No one appears to really be running things.  The food supplies are scarce.  And when one of the counselors is found dead in a cabin, they know they've run into a nightmare.

Each cabin has their own problems.  The challenges are not easy to overcome and while some rise to the challenge, some give up.  They've become entertainment for an elite group and it's awful.

The more they find out, the less they know for sure.  It's a strange tale that makes you suspend your rational belief and makes you hope you never have to deal with these people.

One thing I know for sure.  These girls won't be going to camp again ever.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Painted Gun by Bradley Spinelli

He needs some work.  What he chose to do after being fired as a journalist paid good for a while but then the internet took off and anyone with a computer could look up information that he used to get through connections.  Now his debts were past due and he takes on a case he's not sure he wants to because he needs the money.  He'll be sorry...

Akashic Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published March 7th.

He knew the guy that referred the case to him but they weren't exactly friends.  The money sounds good so he says yes.  Then he gets a special delivery from him that is a painting.  The funny part about is that the man in the painting looks like him.  He never posed for anyone.  He doesn't know the artist.  How could she have seen him in those private moments to paint a picture?

The answer to that is complex.  Without really doing anything, he finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy.  There are Guatemalans, the FBI, and the CIA involved.  He's being framed by experts.  As people start dying around him, he finds out they are planting guns he used at the gun range as the killing weapon.  The more questions he asks, the more he needs to answers to.  And that mysterious woman who says she loves him intrigues him, too.  How can someone love him who never met him?

This is convoluted noir-like story set in the present day.  Lots of people die, lots are being manipulated and it's hard for Itchy to stay ahead of them.  It's an intriguing read.  Give it a try. 

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner, David Catrow (Illustrations)

This book introduces God to your child.  It's an easy way to let them know they are not alone in the world.  Besides you, there is someone else who watches over them.

Waterbrook sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published the 28th of February.

To show the beauty of the book, visit this trailer.

I like the fact that they point out how we are all unique and each have our own talents.  This little girl is very good at artistic endeavors and the illustrations show the lovely colors and her creations.  Mine is more the written word but my first love is reading.  What's your child's special talent?

Learn about God and learn how you fit in the world and you'll be a happier person.  This little black girl has that down!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

He was adopted by the King but the advisors don't recognize him as a prince.  They treat him as a puppet and won't give him anything to do or any responsibility.  He hates that so he decides he'll go on a quest to win a wish.  He needs a partner, though.

St. Martin's Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

Wishes are tricky things.  You have to be careful how you ask and just what exactly you ask for.  As he and the imprisoned princess who would be Queen of her kingdom head out, they know what they want.  But as they go through the quest they learn that you have to ask for your heart's desire in a way that won't come back to bite you.

This a world of fantasy with lots of challenges, a changing landscape, and a whole lot of danger from all sides.  The two stick together and work on making a successful mission by winning the wishes but it's not easy.  Others are just as desperate to get them and the other contestants are deadly.  Even the ones there and not participating in the quest are dangerous.

Then they find out only one person gets to return to their world.  They both want to go back.  They both also want their wishes.  

The story is exciting, very busy, and there are lots of other side characters that draw your attention.  I read this story in one day and I loved how it turned out.  There were a few misunderstandings but it ends on a happy note.  I really enjoyed this read!  It's an especially good read.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Executioner Weeps by Frédéric Dard

He felt like she threw herself in front of his car.  He was driving back to his room late at night and she jumped in front of him just like a deer would.  He couldn't stop.  When he turns her over, he finds that she is still alive...

Pushkin Vertigo and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

He takes her back to the place he's staying and they get a doctor for her.  The doctor says she wasn't hurt badly and should be fine but she can't remember anything.  She doesn't know her name, if she was married, or where she came from.

Mr. Dard writes succinctly and without a lot of detail but his stories make you sit up and pay attention.  This could easily be made into a play that would shock you.

He comes up her first name.  He buys her another violin to replace the one he drove over.  He buys her clothes and soon they fall in love.  She still doesn't remember much.  She remembers the room she practiced her violin in.  He's caught between wanting to know and being afraid of finding out.

When his artwork can be shown in the US, he has to see if he can get her a visa to leave the country.  She has no passport or visa with her.  What he does when he gets to the city is see if he can find out about her past.  He should have just left it alone.

The ending is unusual and unexpected.  It's an ironic twist that will pop into my mind here and there in the future.  Mr. Dard wrote strong stories that capture you and make their point.  If you haven't read him yet, you should.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood

It's a school to teach them magic but they are also taught deportment.  They learn to be submissive, hold their tongues, and do what they are told.  Well, most do.  Chantel is not one of them...

Katherine Tegan Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 21st.

I like all of Ms. Blackwood's books.  She writes a good story with plenty of challenges for her characters and they're fun to read.  This one was also very enjoyable and a great read.

Chantel does well with the magic lessons but doesn't always curtsy and sit quietly.  Miss Ellicott gets quite upset over this but it doesn't get better.  Another thing that Chantel does is ask too many questions. (I still do that.)

The city is walled up to protect them from the marauders.  The wall is kept secure by the group of sorceresses. When the sorceresses go missing, Miss Ellicott along with them, Chantel decides to go ask where they went along with a few other questions.  Imagine her astonishment when only one man in the council can hear her talk.  The others ignore her.  This is not a good start...

When she almost gets eaten by a fiend, she finds a strange way out of the castle and ends up on the other side of the wall.  There she meets a young boy who informs her he is not a marauder, he's a member of one of the tribes on the other side of the wall.  He answers her questions and she begins to wonder if the King and his friends are actually protecting them or just trying to acquire more wealth.

As things develop, her snake familiar suddenly grows into a dragon and her life changes.  It's exciting, full of battles, the old queens and kings come to life again and help her in her quest and it's a thrilling read.

I think all ages can read this book and enjoy it but the young ones will eat it up.  This is an epic adventure that I'll remember for a long time.