Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

This book will tweak your heart. It's the tale of a family that has secrets.

Their mother has always been cold to the two girls and nothing they did impressed her. Their father was always loving and served as a buffer zone between the family members.

As the girls grow older and develop their own careers, one with a family and one that travels the world taking photos, they find they still don't know anything about their mother.

Mother sits outside in the garden in the cold and won't come in. She simply says it's not cold and comes in when she feels like it. Their father tells them to let her be.

But this fragile family unit really falls apart when the father dies. They don't even know how to speak to each other.

However, mother can't be left at home alone. She's too forgetful and sometimes sounds like she has Alzheimers. The oldest daughter puts her in a nursing home. The youngest daughter comes back to take care of her and takes her home.

They don't understand their mother and they aren't doing well in their own personal lives because they don't understand themselves either.

They make up their minds to make their mother do what their father asked the mother to do - tell them the whole story. And what a fairy tale it is...

This was a very enjoyable read, even if you might need some kleenex in a few places. This book is now available at bookstores.

If you would like my copy of this ARC, which was provided by St. Martin's Press, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take the spaces out. I'll pick in a winner in about a week.

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

BUY THIS BOOK! I received my copy of Ted Dekkers new book from Hachette Book Group, it's published by their Center Street devision.

There is a sadistic vicious killer who is murdering beautiful young women because he loves them. He has killed six victims and delights in leaving behind a handwritten note and a bridal veil.

Special agent Brad Raines is always one step behind. In an attempt to understand the killer's motivation, he visits the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private home for gifted, mentally ill residents. He's hoping they can help him stop this monster. But each person there is fighting their own monsters and most have talents that conflict with their illnesses.

He's amazed to find that they ARE helpful and he's beginning to understand the killer's game. But he's also very attracted to Paradise, one of the mentally ill. Brad begins to wonder if he isn't mentally ill himself. And the killer is still finding victims...

This book will keep you glued to your chair as you walk in and out of the reality of mental illness and try to find a killer who is as insane as those in the Center. Let Ted Dekker take you for a ride.

This book is now available at your local bookstores.

She Dared by Ed Butts

Subtitle: True Stories of Heroines, Scoundrels, and Renegades. Illustrator is Heather Collins. Published by Tundra Books, who provided me this book for review.

Written for young adults, these stories are about brave women who stood up for what they believed in. They were living in a man's world and had no power of their own. Some had husbands who promoted their causes and some took on the male role and lived their lives as a man. They fought in the civil war and even spied on the other side. One woman became a great con artist, another a bankrobber. Amazing tales!

This is Canadian history, so it was all new to me. I really enjoyed the read.

While the book itself is entertaining, it is also a good resource to find a person to write a paper on. More research on the person would need to be done, but none of these women are boring!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Ninth Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Little Brown sent me an ARC of this book for review. Since Patterson's name is on it, I knew it would be fast paced and thrilling.

I first found this series when a person who follows my blog and requests books asked me if I had read the Women's Murder Club series. When I told her no, she sent me copies of the earlier books to read. So when I saw this one come up for review, I nabbed it!

I've grown fond of Detective Lindsay Boxer, even though she does have the usual human frailties. She's an effecient, effective cop and fiercely protects those she loves.

She ends up in tangled mess in this book. There's a jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children.

Lindsay and the other Women's Murder Club members are emotionally traumatized by the children's murders. Even the hardened male cops have a problem with it. But the killer is very elusive and knows how to hide himself from discovery.

In the meantime, she has the other two crimes to work on as well.

Get ready to sit down and consume a book. I doubt you'll put it down until you've read the whole thing.

This book will be on the bookstore shelves at the end of April.

If you'd like my ARC of this book, leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take out the spaces) and tell me your name and address and why you'd like to get this book. I'll keep the drawing open about a week.

Remember the Alibi by Elizabeth Daniels Squire

Imagine a woman who is good at solving mysteries, but who can't remember anything. No, really!

This is a Peaches Dann mystery, and Peaches definitely has a memory problem. But she also seems to find herself in the middle of murder mysteries.

The story begins with what appears to be a series of suicides - all using sleeping pills. But each of the suicide notes seem to be almost the same. Suddenly it appears it may be a serial killer. Especially when the dead people seem to have withdrawn all their money right before they died...

Then Peaches finds out that her father may be the next victim and all her family and friends turn into suspects. Who of those people she knows could do such a thing?

It's a bit like a cozy mystery, but it romps along quickly and you keep rooting for Peaches, who does have her challenges.

This book was provided by Five Star Sleuths. This is the second book in this series. If you like good light mysteries, try Peaches Dann.

I am giving away this review copy. If you'd like it, leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (leave the spaces out) with your name and address and why you'd like the book.

Stories at the Door by Jan Andrews

Tundra Books provided me with a copy of this book for review. The illustrator is Francis Blake, and the illustrations are colorful, fanciful and pleasing to the eye. Young ones should have great fun looking at the characters and commenting about the way they look and act.

This book contains six stories that just "show up at the door". They come out of nowhere, and they entertain you! Silly and funny, they are old tales being retold with a little twist to them to make them sound a bit new. They're short and could be read as bedtime tales. But most children will want to keep reading once they begin this book. You want to see who shows up at the door next!

The stories within are exaggerated and sometimes fantastical, so your child may have some questions about the stories. Others will read them and wish they, too, could have experienced it.

A fun read for intermediate readers. Check your local bookstores and libraries for a copy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta

This book is scary - it reminds me of something Stephen King would write.

It starts out tamely enough. A beautiful woman attends a funeral and sees the video Eric Shaw has made to celebrate the life of a woman who died. She approaches Eric and asks him to make film in tribute to the life of her father-in-law, who is failing and will be passing soon. He's not too enthused until she tells him how much she'll pay for it. Then he commits.

There is a strange bottle of water with supposedly magic powers, Eric starts seeing visions, the old man tells him the river was really cold, and he hasn't even left home yet.

When he gets to Campbell Bradford's rural hometown, it gets even stranger. The more research he does, the more he begins to believe there is a long lost evil remaining in the area. He wants to stop it, but it wants to kill him...

This is a gripping story and will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. It was a very good read.

Little Brown sent me the ARC I read. The book will be published June 9th. (My birthday!)

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info @ bookfaerie.com with your name and address and why you'd like to read it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Putting It Back Together by Rhonda M Lawson

Dr. Alex White has gone back home to treat the children who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Her decision to move back to New Orleans ends up breaking up her engagement and leaving the man she's still in love with in Houston. She hopes home will heal her heart and that someday she may actually get paid for the medical services she provides.

At home, she runs into her old boyfriend. He has a wife that sleeps around on him and he wants a divorce, but his wife doesn't. He also has a son that his wife uses as a bargaining chip. And Alexis doesn't want to fall back in love with him at this point in her life.

Before she found Reggie again, she was already dating Jamal. Jamal wants to marry her badly.

Alexis has to forgive herself for things that have happened in the past and determine what her heart is trying to tell her...

Rhonda Larson provided this book for my review.

If you'd like my copy, please leave a message here on the blog and then email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take out the spaces) and give me your name and address and tell me why. I'll choose a winner in about a week.

The Tea Shop Girls by Laura Schaefer

Annie Green is a young teenager who knows how to make a GOOD cup of tea. Her grandmother taught her how to do it just right. When she asks if she can help her grandmother in her tea shop, she's hired - with no pay. Louisa is running the shop by herself since her husband's death, and it is getting harder and harder for her to pay the bills. That's no problem, Annie will rescue her! After all, she has her Teashop Girls to help.

Old tea ads, recipes, tea history and stories are interspersed in the book between chapters. They make a nice little break and are intertwined in the story itself.

To add to problems Annie is trying to fix, there is a young man working at the shop that she has a crush on. He has ideas, too, but are they the right ones for the shop?

Young adult girls should relate well to the characters and their problems - it's what puberty is all about. The author's writing is smooth and flows well, it will hold the reader's attention.

Laura Schaefer sent me this ARC for review.

If you would like my copy of this book, please leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (remove the spaces) giving me your name and address and telling me why you want it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Out at Night by Susan Arnout Smith

Grace Descanso returns in this thriller by Smith. This is the sequel to The Timer Game, and it's a fast read because it's action packed. The Book Report sent me this copy to review.

Professor Bartholomew is a bit eccentric and a lot strange, but he didn't deserve to die in a soy field with a hole in his chest, shot by a crossbow, and set on fire. The only message he is able to send before his death is Grace's name. And she doesn't even know him - he just attended one of her lectures.

The FBI is involved, and she's forced to join in the investigation to avoid becoming the main suspect. She's a crime scene tech, so she can add to the investigation.

Suddenly there is suspicion that the genetically altered soy crops might not be safe. When they determine who the potential victims would be, it becomes a nightmare for the world - not just for Grace and the FBI.

It's a race to get the facts and try to stop the planned the fatal action planned. You'll be on pins and needles until you get to the last page and see how it all turns out.

This is a very good thriller, suspense novel. It's currently available for sale in stores.

Grease Town by Ann Towell

This book brings the history of the past alive. When Titus Sullivan stows away on his brother's wagon as he leaves to go stay with another relative and work in the oil fields, he has no idea that the new life he's going to has so many conflicts or challenges for the folks who live in Oil Springs, Ontario.

No one is rich in Oil Springs. The work is hard, everyone is fighting to keep their jobs and earn what they can. Add to that mix prejudice and resentment and it can turn volatile.

Titus meets a boy near his age, and he becomes friends with Moses. Then he notices that Moses is treated differently than he is - because he's black. He finds out most of the blacks have migrated to Canada to avoid slavery. But they are paid less than the white folks. From the white men's point of view, they are stealing their jobs.

When trouble arrives, Titus learns just how deadly men can turn against someone who isn't like them.

This book is written for a young adult. It reads smoothly and even if you suspicion not all will be well in Oil Springs, you can't stop reading.

Tundra Books provided me with a copy to read. The book is currently available in stores.

Monday, April 5, 2010

That Hungarian's In My Kitchen by Linda F Radke

Subtitle: 125 Hungarian American Kosher Recipes. Five Star Publications printed this and provided the copy for review.

The majority of the recipes in this cookbook are easy to make and done in a quantity to feed large families. They are Jewish recipes, but they sure made my mouth water.

I had to copy out a few simple ones for me to try: Salmon patties, crepes, and a mouthwatering chocolate cherry slices recipe. However, there are a lot more goodies in there.

There is a small chapter about Hungary, some family photographs, and the rest is all about food. Soups, meats, casseroles, noodles and rice, pancakes, vegetables, salads, bread desserts, cakes, pies, cookies, candy and more. All the recipes came from a Weiss fmaily member, friend or relative. Some originated in Hungary, some American recipes got altered, some Hungarian recipes got altered, but they all sound tasty!

If would like to have my review copy of this book, just leave a comment here on my blog, and then email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take out the spaces) and give me your name and address and tell me why you'd enjoy it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

The Painted Wall and Other Strange Tales by Michael Bedard

This is a delightful fairy tale book of stories told long before the Brothers Grimm started making them up. They are selected and adapted from the Liao-Chai which was written by a scholar in China, Pu Sung-ling. He used oral and written sources and gathered together almost five hundred stories.

The Painted Wall is 109 pages and contains only a few of these tales, but they're fascinating. Ghosts, fox fairies and other wordly creatures walk through these stories very comfortably.

This would be an excellent book for read aloud (let the children act out the parts). They are also short enough for storytelling.

Tundra published this book, and it's a real treasure. I highly recommend it.