Monday, September 30, 2013

Darkness First by James Hayman





The doctor was closing her office up when she notices a young woman standing back in the dark.  When she makes no move to come inside, Emily goes out and brings her in.  She's afraid she's pregnant and wants to abort the baby.  Em is concerned about her bruises and wants to get the cops involved.  The young woman runs and Em runs after her.  When she hears her scream, she runs faster.  As she gets on the park grounds, the killer runs Em down with his car...

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It is being published tomorrow, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

When Maggie's father calls her and invites her to visit for the weekend, he also mentions that Em is in the hospital after being hit by a car.  Maggie's dad won't tell her why he wants to talk and she hasn't visited for a while, so she decides to go and see how Em is doing at the same time.

When she finds out drugs were involved in the case and it was no accident, she asks to be added to the case.  She's part of the police force in Portland, ME, and Em's her good friend.  The detective leading the case isn't sure he wants her, but he agrees to let her be part of the team until Tuesday.

This story would make a great movie.  There's an obvious suspect, a romance between Maggie Savage and her work partner McCabe, her father has cancer and the real killer is totally unknown.  He leaves no forensic evidence, uses a false name and anybody who has contact with him dies.  How do you find a ghost?

The real heroine of the story is Tabitha.  11 years old, fat, and not too pretty, she's the sole survivor of her family and has the pills and money her sister stole.  She doesn't know what was in the package, but when she finds the bad man coming after it, she manages to escape and stays tough.

It's a good mystery with plenty of suspense, terror and tension during the cat and mouse hunt for the drugs.  I really liked this one.  It was an excellent read.

Happy reading.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cross and Burn by Val McDermid

Last time I read about Tony and Carol, she had walked away from him, her job, her previous life and threw herself into her grief.  The loss of her brother and his wife was too much to take and she blamed Tony for not understanding the felon well enough to stop him.  Life goes on, no matter how sad it is.

Atlantic Monthly Press and Edelweiss allowed me to download and read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published October 22nd, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Ms. McDermid writes excellent books.  This story was over 400 pages and I managed to read it in a single day.  Her stories are tight, and filled with lives of her characters as well as the crime investigation.  It's part police procedural and part psychological analysis.  The story flows well, it keeps your attention and her killers are always creepy.

Since Carol walked away from her job, Paula is now working for a new boss.  That's not going too well because Fielding wants the case closed and accepts the evidence found without asking why it might be there.  That's how Tony ends up in jail.

Tony's friends know he's not a murderer and he'd never abuse the women in that manner.  But proving it might be hard to do.  The worst part is that the victims look a lot like Carol and she might be in danger.

This book ends with some hope for the future for all parties but the killer.  I liked that.  I also liked introduction of a dog to Carol's life.  She needs a friend.

Happy reading.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Black Dog by Stephen Booth

A young woman goes missing and is reported to the police.  When she's not located quickly, the affluent parents start pestering the police.  Despite canvasing the neighborhood and searching all the grounds, the police don't locate her.  An old man taking a walk with a dog finds her shoe.  It doesn't take long to find her body then... 

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will be published October 8th, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is the first book in the series about Cooper and Fry by Mr. Booth.  The story is set in Derbyshire, England, and the villages there are small and keep to themselves.  I thought Amish people hid secrets well, but I see English villages can be quiet and stubborn as well.

While the cops are the focus of the story, I enjoyed reading about Harry.  He's 78, has a military stance even at that age, and he only answers questions asked.  He won't lie, but he won't volunteer anything.  You know he knows something, but he's not telling.

The story is a bit slow because the author introduces you to members of the village as well as his police characters.  The research on the crime moves slowly because everyone is keeping secrets and not telling all they know.  And the two cops are wary of each other.

The ending surprised me a bit.  I was looking in the right direction but didn't suspect the actual killer or the reason why.

This was a good read.  Make sure to have some coffee or tea ready when you start because you can't read it fast.  It's finely detailed and really makes you feel like you live in the area and know those people.  I enjoyed the story.  I also hope to find some more adventures from these two cops.  They have their own baggage and approach things differently, but they make a good team.

Happy reading.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Anton and Cecil - Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin

Anton and Cecil are typical siblings.  They're related, but they're not like each other.  Cecil is a big Tuxedo cat that loves to eat, and likes adventuring on the sea.  Anton, gray and slim, loves staying home and listening to sea shanties in the tavern.  So guess who gets catnapped and taken to sea?  It isn't Cecil...

Algonquin Books and Net Galley let me download a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 8th, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is a sweet book written for middle graders that features cats.  I'm a cat person so I knew it would work for me.  The cats' adventures make the story interesting for both boys and girls.

Cecil goes out with the local fisherman and enjoys his day trips.  When he gets up late one morning and finds out Anton has been "impressed" and gone out on a sea going vessel.  He's the second cat that has vanished from the dock.  The first was a little girl cat that pirates snatched.  Can Cecil find his brother?

Anton has more than one adventure in his time at sea.  He's forced to kill a rat almost the same size as he is, gets captured by pirates, is sold at an auction and makes friends with a mouse.

It's not a boring story.  It reminded me a bit of the "Incredible Journey", a story I read at about the age this one is targeting.  This story is not just for the young, I had a real good time reading it.  If you like animal adventures, you'll really enjoy it.  Try it, you'll like it.

Happy reading.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

DANNY’S DOODLES: THE JELLY BEAN EXPERIMENT by David A. Adler (Giveaway)

Does your child like to read the Cam Jansen series?  If so, here's a new character by the same author that will make them smile.

Sourcebooks sent me an ARC of this story for review and for their blog tour (thank you).  It's being published this month, so you should be able to find a copy at your local bookstore now.

Danny is a pretty straight kid.  He tries to follow the rules, get good grades, participate in sports and do as his parents say.  He does well at it.  But now there is a new kid on his block and he's, well, he's weird.  He wears two different colors socks, he defies the no gum in school rule, and he likes to do experiments.  He manages to get Danny to participate in his experiment.  He might not have if Danny had known the experiment was going to be weird, too. Have you ever had to carry around a pound of jelly beans in your pockets???  Danny hadn't either.  And now, Calvin won't let him eat any!

This is a fun story for all children but I think most boys would get a real kick out of it.  Weird Calvin can read people and pick up on the non-verbal signs people show.  He's very good at determining pitches and the school's ball team needs that help.  His Mom cooks good food even if she's weird, too.  And Calvin Waffle is endearing.  He's real different, but he means well.  Haven't we all known someone in life like that at one time?

Why not read a silly story with some laughs and have some fun with your children?  Laughing is good for you!

Sourcebooks has allowed me to give away a copy of this book.  If you'd like to win it, leave a comment on this post, follow my blog, and email me at info at bookfaerie.com with your name and address and why you'd like it.  I'll pick a winner in a few days.

Best of luck to you and happy reading.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Mr. Bruchac normally writes about Native Americans.  The thought of how Indians would respond to a disaster that devastated whites intrigued me.  Would they be better equipped to survive or not?

Tu Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to download this ebook for review (thank you).  It was published September 17th, so get yourself a copy now.

I've read Mr. Bruchac's work before and his stories are all good.  I found this one to be exceptional because he has created a world in the future where almost everything has been genetically modified, even the people.

A large cloud comes in and covers the earth and all technology quit working.  That plot has been presented before but I like the way this author handled it.  Not only did equipment quit working, those people who had been enhanced died.  The only survivors of those elite folks were the ones who had not completed the full restoration of eternal life.  The four that are left are referred to as "The Ones" and they rule the part of the earth they live in.  They have military-like squads that enforce their rules and everyone else has a job they do for the common good and for the Ones.  As always, dictators are not kind people.  Irritate them and you're dead.  Admit you care about someone and they will use them for leverage and kill them if you don't obey.

In the midst of this chaos is Lozen, a seventeen year old Apache girl who is good at hunting.  Now she hunts the modified animals that hunt anyone outside the protective walls of their prison.  Her goal is to escape with her remaining family members.  It's impossible, but she's going to do it.

It was fascinating to read about Lozen's Apache culture influencing her present activities and how many of her assignments bring her closer to her heritage.  She's a strong, determined young woman and it was a pleasure to read her story.  I'd love to see a sequel.  I'm also buying my own copy of this book for my library.  I can read it again easily and see what I might have missed the first time.

Happy reading.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Price of Innocence by Lisa Black

Theresa and Frank, her cop cousin, are exiting a building when it blows up and throws them both across the parking lot.  That's not the last explosion that Theresa experiences in this story...

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to download a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 1, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is an interesting title for this book.  No one in this story is really innocent.

Reading this story is like having a chemistry lesson.  There's discussion of what caused the explosion, the chemicals used and how they are similar to ingredients used for making meth.  The building they were in housed evidence files and belongings for old cases for both Cleveland's cases and the FBI.  Nobody should have been making meth there.

What bothers Theresa is that she gets called out on another case, this one is suicide, and the cop that assists her there is killed in the driveway.  She was in the house examining the victim and comes out to find him dead.  She's a forensic scientist, but it freaks her out to find a cop she's just met dead.  Especially when she finds out the bullet had ricin in it.  They wanted to make sure that cop was dead.

As the deaths go on, Theresa finally pieces together the one thing they have in common:  They all went to college together.  And, no big surprise, they had an explosion there and someone died.  But why is someone trying to kill everyone that knew each other and profited from selling meth then?  After all, that was 25 years ago.

This is a complex case and I thought I knew who the killer was, but I was only half right.  Theresa comes close to being a victim herself.  I felt bad for her; she solved the case but she also suffers some personal loss doing so.  Nothing is ever easy in life.

Why not give this one a read and see if you can find the killer(s) better than I did?

Happy reading.

Dr. Seuss out now in ebook form!

RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO PUBLISH DR. SEUSS’S CLASSICS AS EBOOKS FOR THE FIRST TIME

41 Dr. Seuss Ebooks to be released in September, October, November 2013, beginning September 24

New York, NY, September 4, 2013—Random House Children’s Books, the longtime publishing home of the beloved and bestselling Dr. Seuss books in their print editions (www.seussville.com), will now also publish these stories as ebooks beginning on September 24 and continuing throughout November, marking the first time they have been available in this format. This landmark publishing event was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books, and Susan Brandt, President, Licensing & Marketing, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

Dr. Seuss’s books have sold more than 600 million print book copies worldwide. On Tuesday, September 24, fifteen of his classics will make their debut as ebooks, among them many enduring and widely read favorites: The Cat in the Hat; Green Eggs and Ham; Oh, the Places You’ll Go!; Horton Hears a Who!; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; Dr. Seuss’s ABC; Fox in Socks; Hop on Pop; Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; The Cat in the Hat Comes Back; The Foot Book; There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; and The Lorax.
Each of the forthcoming Random House Children’s Books ebooks will preserve Dr. Seuss’s original layouts and the beloved illustrations from their print editions. They also will be published simultaneously as Read & Listen editions that feature brand-new audio recordings of the full text.

“Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises have been publishing partners for decades. I am so pleased to announce the start of an exciting new chapter in our long and thriving relationship, as we embark on expanding the Dr. Seuss reading experience together with ebooks,” says Marcus. “We are delighted that today’s parents, their children, and educators can now add Dr. Seuss’s classics to their digital bookshelves, joining the cherished hardcovers that we have all grown up with.”
               
“The introduction of ebook editions to the Dr. Seuss canon is an exciting milestone that we know will enhance Dr. Seuss’s legacy,” says Brandt. “When Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat more than fifty years ago, he revolutionized the way children learn to read. Today, we celebrate that his impact on reading will thrive for generations to come with these new ebooks.”

The titles to be released as Random House Children’s Books ebooks on Tuesday, October 22, are I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!; Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!; The Cat’s Quizzer; The Shape of Me and Other Stuff; Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book; Happy Birthday to You!; Horton Hatches the Egg; How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories; The Sneetches and Other Stories; Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories; And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street; I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories; If I Ran the Circus; If I Ran the Zoo; On Beyond Zebra!; The King’s Stilts; and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.

The ebooks to be released on Tuesday, November 5, are Oh Say Can You Say?; Bartholomew and the Oobleck; Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?; Hunches in Bunches; I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew; McElligot’s Pool; The Butter Battle Book; and You’re Only Old Once!

The remarkable library of books that Dr. Seuss created has a lasting appeal, and classics such as The Cat in the Hat; Oh, the Places You’ll Go!; and The Lorax continue to top the bestseller lists decades after their original publication. Millions of people across the country celebrate Dr. Seuss annually on his birthday, March 2. This year marked the 75th anniversary of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Dr. Seuss’s second published children’s book, as well as the 50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s ABC.

About Dr. Seuss
Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is quite simply one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books for children. Though Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit Seussville.com (www.Seussville.com).

Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House is the longtime home of the beloved and bestselling Dr. Seuss books, which continue to make learning to read fun for millions of children everywhere. The company’s Web site, kids@random (www.randomhousekids.com) offers an array of activities, games, and educational resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

About Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P.
The primary focus of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., is to protect the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into ancillary areas. This effort is a strategic part of the overall mission to nurture and safeguard the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would “round out the edges.” That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Audrey S. Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, heads Dr. Seuss Enterprises as CEO.

I still prefer print but these are a cool option for travel or for those who prefer ebooks.  Just read!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee

Are you feeling like reading a book that will creep you out?  Who's evil, who's good, and is the world ending?  No one really knows...

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to download this ebook for review (thank you).  It was published September 7th, so you can find a copy of it at your local bookstore now.

Mercy and her brother, Gospel, live in a broken world.  War has destroyed it, there is less population all the time, and now their mother has died.  It almost seems hopeless to Mercy, but she still has her brother, they still have food and they still have a couple of neighbors.  Then it gets even worse.

There are spirits that take over the dead bodies of humans and Mom becomes this angel (?) that tells Mercy she must kill the machine to stop the fog that is eating up the world.  Mercy has no idea what machine might still be around.  Everything is broken, doesn't work, and no one keeps them anymore.

This story is very creepy.  You know the machine the Angel is referring to is the Minister, a small preaching animal that changes shapes but is mechanical in nature.  Minister can fog the human's mind, so they don't recognize it as a machine.  But is the Angel telling the truth?  Or is what the Minister says the truth?  Both are urging the children to kill the other one.  What should Mercy do?

I have to say the ending reminded me of the story "The Lady or the Tiger".  When you get to the very end, the final word in the book is "Amen." and you have no idea how it really ended.  That's just as well, I like happy endings.  Now I'm free to think that's what happened.

Give it a try; you won't be bored.

Happy reading.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How To Be A Cat by Nikki McClure

This is a most delightful children's picture book about cats.  It was sure to be a hit with me because I'm a cat person, but it's also well done and very attractive.  Good job, Ms. McClure!

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

The illustrations are done in black and white with just a touch of blue for color.  It's a very distinctive presentation and the story is about the habits of cats.  The kitten is being taught by Mom in how to do things cat-like.

This would be an excellent book to share with a young one that has a cat in the family or is going to get one.  Reading this book made me want to pet both of them.

It's a delightful book with simple art, simple text, and it's a pleasure to read.  Why not make your young one smile and give them a copy of this book?

Happy reading.

Lighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles

Imagine a world gone to hell, even worse than the one we live in now.  You are assigned jobs.  If you don't do it well, you will be downgraded or perhaps killed.  You get one bottle of water a day.  Money is hard to come by, and no one cares if you live or die.

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published October 8th.

This is a dark, dreary tale of young girl trying to escape her fate and the man she meets on a rooftop one night while playing chameleon and pretending she belongs there.  He helps her stay alive and lets her keep her dream of going to Lighthouse Island, where there is plenty to eat and drink and life is good.  Most think it's propaganda, but Nadia believes.

I found this one almost too dark for me.  It's a tale of survival in bad times, fear all around you, and no real hope for the future: Take the time you have, enjoy what you've got and hope for better.  Their struggles are still ongoing, but they haven't given up.  There may be more to this tale in a sequel; it seemed to end with some hints towards another book.

Happy reading.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bertie Plays the Blues: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (7) by Alexander McCall Smith

Can you imagine a little boy putting himself up for auction on eBay?  Bertie is pretty frustrated with his home life and wants to pick his own perfect family.  At six, who wouldn't?

Anchor Paperback and Edelweiss allowed me to download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  On sale date is October 8th, so you can get a copy soon at your local bookstore. 

This is the first 44 Scotland Street novel I've read.  I really enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and wanted to "taste" this one.  It has a bit of the flavor of Maeve Binchy.  She writes about people on a bus, people in a village and others in like circumstances.  Mr. Smith has chosen a Scottish apartment building and the odd characters that populate that.

Not having the background of the previous books, it took me a bit to figure out who all the players were in the story.  Mr. Smith offers small character studies and includes Scottish ways and culture in the analysis.

Bertie trying to sell himself on eBay was amusing.  So was watching Matthew and Elspeth trying to take of their new triplets.  Having a bit of a romantic nature, I really enjoyed the tale of Angus and Domencia and their engagement.  Angus thinks he knows what's going to happen, but affairs of the heart can be strange.

This was a good read.  I think it would been better if I followed the series and was more familiar with the characters.  If you want a comfortable pleasant read with a few life challenges, this series is for you.  Why not give a try?

Happy reading.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

You've heard of pet rocks, right?  How about a pet squash?

Random House Children's Books sent me a copy of this picture book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Children develop attachments to things.  I have an old panda bear, missing one eye and it's tail, and it has no hair left.  That was the bear of my  childhood that went to bed with me each night.  I have that and I also have a leopard spotted blanket that became my "sit outside blanket" in my hope chest.  Sophie's squash won't last as long as my "attachments" have!

This is a sweet little story of a girl that decides this squash is just the right size to be her baby.  She uses a black marker to put a face on it and calls it Bernice.  Everything is fine for a while, but a squash only lasts so long.

When she visits the farmer's market again and asks what squash need, he tells her fresh air, good soil, and lots of love.  So Sophie buries her squash.  And is pleasantly surprised in the spring when Bernice pops green leaves through the ground...

Anne Wilsdorf's illustrations are simple, peaceful and easily convey Sophie's feeling for her baby squash.

I found this to be a cute read with plenty of charm.  Little ones should enjoy this story, and the ending is special, too.  Check it out.

Happy reading.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Song of the Quarkbeast: The Chronicles of Kazam, Book 2 by Jasper Fforde

Jennifer has lost her sorcerer master and is now managing the staff of Kazam Mystical Arts Management.  She's calm, has good common sense, and is smart enough to recognize a trap when she sees one.  When she's challenged by competitor to build half a bridge with the winner taking all, she doesn't want to do it but she has to.

HMH Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It was published September 3rd, so you should be able to find it at your local bookstore now.

The King is greedy, Blix wants to be the Royal Sorcerer (and eventually the King), and they both want to see Kazam go away.  Kazam does things right; that would be an impediment in the world they foresee.

Jennifer has a variety of sorcerers working for her.  Some are very strong, one can see the future, one is a good finder, and much more.  But she immediately runs into a problem when her two most experienced active sorcerers are turned into stone when a project backfires.  That's an ugly kettle of soup, let me tell you.  

Then Blix gets most of the rest of her staff put in jail for crimes committed long ago.  She knew her boss accepted them with no questions asked, but Blix is willing to do all he can stop them from winning.

There's only one thing that is going to cause his plot to come undone, and it's not anything he can control.  It pleased me to see how Mr. Fforde came up with a unique answer to the question:  How do we stop Blix and the evil king?

The best part is that this is just Book 2.  There will be another.  I'm hoping Jennifer will get her boss back soon.  She's doing a fine job, but she misses him.  Guess we'll have to keep reading to see, right?

Happy reading.

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

Olivia's life has gone to hell.  Her mother is gone, her father is only interested in his music and the concerts he holds, her grandmother loves her but is very old, and now they are living in the concert hall storage rooms to save money.   How could it be any worse?

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to download an ebook for this story for review (thank you).  The book was published at the end of August, so you can grab a copy at your local bookstore now.

I enjoy everything that Claire Legrand writes.  Her stories are lovely and magical and always leave me uplifted at the end.  This one didn't disappoint me.

Olivia finds the reason it is so cold in the concert hall is because there are ghosts there.  Ghosts that can't move on without help.  They are tied to the concert hall because there is an "anchor" there for them; something that meant something real special to them.  Unfortunately, ghosts don't hold on to their memories so they don't know what the item is.  The only way for Olivia to learn is to let them "possess" her and take her through the story of the end of their life.

The only reason Olivia has the strength to do this is because she has a boy friend that is willing to do it with her.  He's the usher at the concert hall and likes her.  He doesn't want to do it, but he will for her.  We all need friends like that.

The story is bit mystical, magical and deals with personal grief over the loss of her mother as well conflicts with her father and the pending loss of the concert hall.

I found it a good read with plenty of friendship (even with the ghosts) and people rallying around Olivia.  By the end, she's even willing to try to forgive her father for his part in her mother's disappearance from her life.  There could easily be a sequel to this story to see how well Olivia does at returning to the real world and being reunited with her father.  I wonder if Ms. Legrand has one planned?

Happy reading.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sleep With the Lights On by Maggie Shayne

Ms. Shayne has an interesting mind.  She always comes up some odd, unique concept to work into her stories.  She's done it again in this book.  Nothing is ever normal in her books.

Harlequin and Net Galley allowed me to download an ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published September 24th, so check with your local bookstore then.

Rachel writes about the power of positive thinking and has made a lot of money from it.  She doesn't believe it, she just writes about it.  She's blind, her brother is missing, and she's frustrated with the police.  When she steps out in front of a car because she's too caught up in thought, she gets hit and meets Mason, a cop.  She has no idea how this is going to impact her life.  Mason donates her corneas from his brother so she can see again.

Mason's older brother is a monster.  He has no desire to be but his mind controls him.  He calls the bad part his "rat".  He's murdering young men and dumping them in a lake on property that he and Mason own.  When he finds himself being tempted to attack his own son, he does what he can to save his own young one:  he commits suicide.

Mason has a dilemma.  He can't show the suicide note or the evidence to other officers or the survivors will be twice as devastated.  So he hides it.  And he gives away his brother's organs to try to undo some of the evil.  Unfortunately, that's not how it works.  Those that got organs seem to have a bit of the "rat" in them, too.

This is a tension filled story with grisly remembrances of past murders and no clue to the current killer.  If his brother is dead, who's out there now?  And why are they targeting Rachel?   Even worse, could the bad part of his brother actually still be alive?

Reading this one will keep you awake at night.  It does give you some food for thought, too.  Trust me, you won't be bored.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Earthfall by Mark Walden

Sam has a metal plate in his head from surgery when he was younger.  He had bad headaches and seizures and the plate helped him.  It also helps him when a UFO settles over London and turns everyone else into mindless "walkers" that do what they are ordered by the "drones".  Is Sam the only one not affected?

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It was published at the end of August, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

This story reminds me of a video game.  There are explosions, monsters, tunnels, guns, and action all over the place.  Sam and his friends are fighting the Hive and they're aren't enough of them to beat the bad guys.  Warriors don't give up and that's what Sam's team is.  If death bothers your young one, this is not a book for them.  I imagine most boys would think this book is cool because there's no pussyfooting around; this is all action, danger and you either win or die.

This is the first in the series and I'm wondering what Mr. Walden has planned for the next book.  Sam seems to have an immunity to the drone's poison; they hurt him, it started to be infected, and then it healed.  Everybody else died.  There are several ways it could go, so I think readers will want to read the whole series.  After all, this game has gone up to a more difficult level now...

Happy reading.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Shadows by Paula Weston

Gaby has been having almost erotic nightmares about a man she doesn't even know.  She doesn't understand where these dreams are coming from and wishes they would just go away.  Then she's sitting in bar with a girlfriend and sees him across the room.  That's right, the man of her dreams is real...

Tundra Books invited me to be part of their blog tour on this book and sent me a copy of the book to read for review (thank you).  The book has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

I've read stories about fallen angels and demons before, but this story is truly different.  There's no standard formula here, the author has added a unique problem for Gaby, and she doesn't know who to trust.

Gaby thinks she is just a human grieving the death of her twin brother.  She hasn't gotten over it even though it's been a year since his death.  Then Rafe shows up and thinks she lying when she doesn't recognize him.  It just keeps getting more complicated as it goes along.

Someone has washed Gaby's memory.  She has skills for fighting that she's not aware of.  She doesn't know which batch of angels are on her side or if any are.  She is so confused and alone.  The worst part is the way they test her; they think shock will bring her memory back.  Wrong...

This is a busy story with many subplots strewn through it.  Being the first in the series, this one wets your appetite for the next one.  Will Gaby ever recover her memory?  Will she end up sleeping with Rafe?  Will she even survive?

Happy reading.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nowhere Safe by Nancy Bush

September, a lady cop, finds herself alone on this case.  Her twin is working at another department and has a love interest, so he's not there for her like he used to be.  She's a strong, independent woman and is fine on her own, but this case hits close to home...

Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It is being published this month, so check at your local bookstore for a copy.  If you haven't read the others in this series, check them out.  They can be read as stand alone stories, but I've enjoyed them all and think you will, too.

When September gets a call about a nude man tied to a flagpole, she thinks it's just another nut case of some kind.  When she finds out it's her ex-stepbrother, it makes it much more personal.  He won't say anything about his attacker or what the note on him meant, but September knows there is more to the story than what he has said.

The killer has an instinct that lets "it" sense when a man is a pedophile.  The victims have either already committed the crime or are leaning that way.  The killer is getting even and saving other children from the abuse.

This is a tense story with September not saying too much to her ex-stepmother, trying to solve the crime with the little staff they have in the cop shop, and trying to decide if she should move in with Jake or not.  There are unexpected twists and turns all through the story and the interactions between all the characters makes the story even more interesting.  This is a great suspense series, why don't you give it a try?

Happy reading.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gone With The Woof by Laurien Berenson

Being a ghost writer for a distinguished dog breeder should be almost fun, shouldn't it?  After all, she is raising Standard Poodles and loves them; he raised Irish Setters.  What she didn't expect was to get involved with murder...

 Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It's being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is a Melanie Travis mystery and I'm a sucker for stories with animals in them.  Ms. Berenson writes cozy mysteries, and they are light, full of family relationships, and her main character is always the one that solves the crime.

In this story, being a ghost writer for Edward should be interesting because he's an impertinent rascally-like fellow who should have some tales to tell.  Imagine her surprise when she finds he wants to write about his love conquests.  He was a love 'em and leave 'em type guy.  She's horrified.

Before she can quit, his obnoxious son gets killed.  When she finds out he had a pregnant girlfriend and wasn't going to wed her, she realizes he's a chip off the old block and just like his father.  She's not sorry he died, but she can't let them charge his pregnant girlfriend for his murder.  So Melanie is on the case again.

With dogs, disgruntled girlfriends, and Melanie and her family in this mix, this story keeps busy and amuses you as Melanie "detects."

Happy reading.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones

If it isn't bad enough being orphaned and left at the workhouse, imagine being a freak covered with hair all over...

Candlewick and Net Galley allowed me to read an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  The book will be out on September 23rd, so watch for it at your local bookstore.

Freak shows and carnivals fascinate me even if I've never really seen anything but a few rides in my life.  The stories about them usually include abuse, jealousy, and outrageous acts.  While this story involved a "freak", it is more the tale of Wild Boy and how he comes to understand who he is and why he's OK the way he is.

Wild Boy is picked up from the orphanage as an oddity for the carnival.  The owner is a mean drunk who is willing to beat up anyone that doesn't follow his orders.  He pays no one any money to perform.  They're lucky to get food.

All Wild Boy has known in his life is abuse.  He wants to escape but he has no where to go.  Then murder happens and he and the young acrobat are accused of the crime.  They HAVE to go on the run and they are determined to find the real murderer.  That's harder to do than you might think.

With odd characters, lots of conflicts and mortal danger, you won't be bored reading this story.  I was also impressed by Wild Boy's method of reading people and picking up clues.  This young man reminds me of Sherlock Holmes, but he's more fun to follow.  I'm hoping we get to see him to more in a sequel.

Happy reading.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks

"If ever a chill entered her soul, or the hope suddenly drained from her heart, she knew a bogle was to blame."  How would you like to be ten years old and used for bogle bait?

HMH Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will was published September 3rd, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

I'm so very glad I didn't read this book when I was young.  I had a very bad fear of the dark (due to a night thief that killed our chickens) and imagining a bogle in the attic would have done me in.  As it is, reading this story still gave me a chill.  Bogles hide in dark place like chimneys or wells or sewer pipes and eat children.  Young tasty morsels, you know.

When children begin to go missing, Alfred is called in.  He's the bogle catcher and he has a little assistant named Birdie.  She has a beautiful voice and can draw the monsters out of their lair.  Alfred kills them.  But neither of them can hesitate or make a mistake or the bogle will get Birdie.  This is a scary job, but it's much safer than some jobs in Old London.  At least, that's what Birdie tells herself.  And Alfred has raised her and she doesn't want to leave him.

All is going well in their lives until they meet up with a "toff" lady that wants to observe their work and write a paper on it.  She gets a bit more involved in their life than they would wish, but it's good they have her when they meet a doctor that thinks bogles are demons and he can control them.

This story shows how ugly things were back in Old London time, how little money some folks had, and how important love is.  It's a busy story with lots of thrills and chills, and it kept me glued to it until the finish.  I'm sure young readers will enjoy it and it's suitable for adults, too.

Watch out for bogles.

Happy reading.

Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman

Bernie is coming out of the restaurant heading back to the job when she watches Joe Leaphorn walk to his vehicle.  Someone with a gun exits the car next to him and shoots him directly in the face...

Harper and Edelweiss allowed me to download a copy of an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published the first of October, so make a note to check with your local bookstore then.
 
Anne is Tony Hillerman's daughter and I wanted to see how she did at writing a mystery with her father's characters.  I was delighted to see it was almost exactly like her father's style.  If anything, she added a bit more Indian history and culture to the tale with a more complex mystery.  I was pleased.

Bernie and Jim both work hard on this case.  Leaphorn was a mentor to them as well as a very good friend and they're afraid he'll die.  They will not let his shooter get away.

As usual, there is  a lot of side steps and gentle questions while dealing with the natives and the hoity toity white folks.

My only disappointment was that I was suspicious of the killer from the very beginning.  Maybe that's just because I'm cynical.  No one else seemed to think the person was odd.  I challenge you to read this mystery and then let me know if you suspected the same person or if it was a surprise to you as it was to Chee.  Go ahead, prove me wrong.  You'll get a good read out of it on the way.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cooper and the Enchanted Metal Detector by Adam Osterweil

I'll tell you a secret:  I think Cooper is the enchanted one in this story...

Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC and Net Galley allowed me to download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  It was published the first of May and is available in hardcover or ebook form.

Cooper and his Mom sell antiques in their old barn.  The property has been in the family for years.  His Mom knows antiques (studies on them all the time) and Cooper sets the prices.  They make enough to survive, but that's about it.

Cooper's specialty is prying his way into garage sales early.  He pretends he has a missing cat and asks for one special item he can lay eyes on from the door.  It makes all those in line furious, but he doesn't care.

His life changes when an old woman asks him to throw out an old metal detector when he takes his garage sale find home.  He doesn't know how to use it, but it still seems to have life in it, so he takes it home to play with.

There's one thing you need to know about Cooper.  Things talk to him.  His bike, his metal detector and more all have conversations with him and complain about being left alone outside or dropped.  His metal detector even has a face on it, like a smiley face.

He's amazed to find that where they live is on an old battlefield and he finds artifacts that amaze him.  The problem is that others have an interest in them, too.  Will he and his Mom be able to keep their farm?  You'll have to read the book to see how it's resolved.

Happy reading.

Corroded: Book Three of The St. Croix Chronicles Karina Cooper

Cherry is back.  She's further in debt to the Veil and hasn't completed any of their missions satisfactorily, but she's still a collector.

Carina Press and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will be published September 23rd, so check for it at your local bookstore then.

A collector is a bit like a bounty hunter and while Cherry can't succeed in that field as a girl, she makes herself up like a boy and has developed some fighting skills that will protect her.  That's still not enough with the gangs out and Jack the Ripper around.  And she also has a collector that killed her husband that she intends to take revenge on.  If she can catch him...

In the meantime, her time at the Midnight Menagerie is getting more dangerous and her friends are either being killed or punished for protecting her.

Cherry uses opium and Ms. Cooper writes her stories in a foggy, slow sense that makes you feel like you are too.  I'm always optimistic things will get better for Ms. St. Croix, but they never do.  The end of this story confused me a bit.  I'm sure the next book will give us more details about what exactly happened.  Until then, Cherry's bad luck is holding.  She needs to make a change in her life or it won't be a long one.  I'm sure the author has plans for her; we just have to wait until the next book.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Hope is twelve and lives in a community of inventors.  Since the last world war, all technology was destroyed and they must invent their own to make their world better.  The only problem is that none of Hope's inventions work...

Random House Children's Books and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published September 24th, so watch for a copy at your local bookstore.

What Hope has learned to do is forbidden.  There is compressed air left in crevices and low spots that is deadly; the bombs used have not totally dissipated.  If you breath the air, it will kill you.  But Hope has learned how to jump in it from above, use the compressed air to slow her fall, and hold her breath long enough to get out.  It's dangerous, forbidden and she may not make it through if she doesn't take a big enough breath before she hits it.

When bandits from a neighboring town take over theirs and demand all the medicinal plant they have, things get bad fast.  Hope's father gets shot, important people get sick and need the medicine, and the bandits don't care.  They intend to take it all.  They've even threatened to shoot more people.

Hope sneaks out with a friend and has very little time to go after help but her knowledge of the compressed air might help.  The problem is that the bandits are desperate, too.

This is a fast paced story filled with suspense and danger.  It reads fast and it is a well built tale that catches your attention and keeps it all the way through.  This should interest most young adult readers.  (Or older ones, like me.)

Happy reading.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Tumble Through Time by Callie Hutton

Anna runs back to the apartment to find something she forgot and finds out something she that ruined her life:  Her fiance entwined with her roommate on the couch, both nude.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours shared an ebook of this story with me for review (thank you).  This book is available wherever you buy ebooks.

I'm always fascinated by the idea of travelling back in time and trying to live in the era you land in.  In this case, Anna goes back to the 1870's.  Women have no rights, they are to be protected by their man, and they don't have jobs either.  Needless to say, Anna does not take this sitting down.  She ends up getting fired from the jobs she does acquire because she doesn't act like a lady (in 1870).  Shooting a man trying to coerce her into his bed in the hotel just isn't condoned.

The sheriff attempts to help her, thinking she's fleeing her past.  When she finally tries to tell him where she's from, he thinks she's crazy.  It's even worse when they find themselves falling love.  Who knows how long she's going to be there or when she's going back?

The tale of a modern day woman in western days was fun to read.  The romance made my heart pitter-patter.  And I was despairing over the ending of the story when the author found a unique solution to the time travel situation.  I really enjoyed this book and recommend you give it a read, too.


Callie will be awarding an Ebook copy of Emma’s Journey to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a grand prize of a $25 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Also, an autographed copy of either: A Run For Love, An Angel in the Mail, or Emma’s Journey with a custom made bookmark will be awarded to a randomly drawn host (US ONLY).

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  Blog Tour 

Happy reading.