Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Joe and Dulcie have kittens.  Joe is very much the proud papa but he wants to get back to his investigative work.  He stays home like a good boy until murder happens, then he goes back on the hunt.

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 15th.

The cats always dominate this series and I find it fun to read.  Joe and his buddies are very protective of their humans and they also want to stop crime and help the police chief.  He's not aware they speak to humans yet, but he accepts their phone calls and wishes he knew who the informers were...

When Joe heads out to the crime scene, he doesn't realize the two male kittens are following him.  By the time he finds out, they're almost in trouble.  Trying to send them home does no good.  They're determined to be involved!

With two boys and a girl, Dulcie is plenty busy taking care of kittens.  But investigating is in her blood, too.  Soon she's in on the hunt.

It starts with car thefts and graduates to murder.  One of the thieves gets identified but the finger prints on him do not match with the prints of the man Wilma has identified.  What's going on?

It's mix of crime from the past and in the present and it doesn't take too long for the combined crime fighting team to take them down.

Having cats use a telephone is a bit much, but there are a lot fun cat antics and people bonding going on, too, so it's OK.  If you like cats, you'll enjoy this series.

Blacksmith's Christmas Bride (Sweet Town Clean Historical Western Romance Book 9) by Sarah Christian

Therese would really enjoy being able to go on adventures and have fun.  Unfortunately, her mother is ill and she has to run their hotel with almost no help from her father.  He's good at telling her what to do and is contemplating her future.  All she can do is live from day to day and try not to get too tired.

The author shared this ebook with me for a review (thank you).  The book has been published and you can get a copy now.

She's friends with the blacksmith but he never seems to see her as a woman.  Still, having a good friend is what she needs if she's going to keep her sanity and the hotel running.  As they dance around each other and try to decide how they really feel about each other, her father is trying to arrange a marriage for her.  He picks one of their countrymen who needs a wife and is rich.  Therese has no desire to marry him but she can't say no to meeting him.

When Hunter finds out about it, he's upset.  He tries to run off the other suitor and that just makes Therese angry.  But before things get worse, a snow storm hits.  Therese and Hunter agree to take food stuff out to the outlying cabins to help the folks that can't get to town.  Of course, the other man says he's going along, too.  But he gets lost.

Therese gets her adventure and very nearly dies from the exposure to the cold.  She also finds her love and that's the best part of the story.

This was a very pleasant read and I enjoyed it a lot.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Moon Princess by Barbara Laban

Sienna is unhappy.  Her mother is missing (everyone else thinks she's dead) and now her father wants to move her to Shanghai.  It's bad enough she's lost her Mom, now she's going to lose all her friends.  She has no choice and he's grieving her Mom, so she goes without too much protest.  After all, that's where her mother went missing...

Chicken House and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you). It will be published July 25th.

The first person they meet is the housekeeper, Ling.  Her father spends so much time working he doesn't realize that Ling isn't very nice to his daughter.  She feeds her traditional Chinese food that poor folks eat, won't let her go out, makes her learn the Chinese alphabet, and punishes her for any little thing.  She manages to ask her Dad if she can go out with the cook on her shopping trip and he says yes.  Ling isn't happy but she can't stop her.  That's when she meets Feng.

You see, Sienna has an invisible dog named Rufus to keep her company.  He comes and goes, he's very opinionated, and he has no patience with her.  She loves his company but she likes her alone time, too.

When she talks to Feng, he tells her he used to have one, too.  His was a small dragon.  Before the story is over, there are more animal friends involved.  This story requires a vibrant imagination but I have one so it was no problem.  My pets were real but I depended on them as much as these children do.

This is a grand adventure that mixes myths and superstition with current events and culminates in an exciting tale with good ending.  I enjoyed this read.  It's written for middle graders.  Anyone who likes fantasy will like this story.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

She's been looking forward to being a witch her whole life.  Now they are being tested at graduation time.  The testing machine goes nuts and the school head determines it's because she's not good enough to be a witch yet.  She tells her she's an apprentice.  She also assigns her to a little town out in the boonies that hasn't had a witch for a long time.  She thinks she can do no harm there...

Chicken House and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 25th.

Arianwyn starts her new career trying to get snotlings out of someone's home.  That doesn't go well.  Arianwyn doesn't have a lot of self-confidence and not all her spells work, so she's cautious and only stuns them.  But when another one runs out, she uses a stronger spell and it doesn't work.  It destroys the nest and sends the remaining snotlings out into the house.  A big mess is made, one of the children gets bit, and the mother is now her mortal enemy.  Not a great start...

My favorite part of the book is how she makes friends with the odd creatures of the woods.  She has a Moon Hare that she saved and healed that won't leave her.  She makes friends a little blue fey, and she has a secret glyph she knows that has some significance, but she doesn't know what or why.

As the story goes along, the monsters get bigger and meaner, her powers get stronger and she fights for right.  It doesn't help that her enemy from school comes to town to live with the Mayor.  She messes up spells, sets things lose she shouldn't, and lies about it saying Arainwyn did it.

This is written for middle school children but I really enjoyed it.  I wouldn't mind reading more about Arainwyn.  She's survived and done well so far.  What will her new challenges be?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Know a Secret: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen

Maura is called to a homicide scene and knows that it must be bad.  No one is looking well when she arrives.  It is odd when the dead woman has no eyes.  She's holding them in her hands...

Ballantine Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 15th.

Men and women both are turning up dead.  Their poses are odd, it's like they are trying to send a message.  But what kind of message?

It takes time to develop relationships between these people from other walks in life.  What they find is that they went to a local day care facility when they were young.  They were also part of a case of child abuse case.  The son who drove the schoolbus that picked the kids up was accused of murder as well as sexual misconduct.  He's just been released from jail when these killings began.  They question him but Jane is beginning to think he really might have been innocent.  

This is a very twisted tale that shows how early in life evil can show itself and how it affects their lives.  The people involved were "different", but not in a good way.  I couldn't believe who was helping the killer.

Get ready to read an awful sequence of events in the cop's world.  At the end, there's still one guilty party free but Jane has a long memory...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud by Katie Harnett

He's a small raincloud that separated from the others.  He looks around through the city for someone to be friends with.  What he finds is everyone loves the sun and doesn't want to have anything to do with him.  Then he notices a little girl...

Flying Eye Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 15th.

There's a small grumpy girl walking home beneath him.  She doesn't pay attention to him.  She's too busy being crabby.  She ignores everybody around her, speaks to no one and slams into her flower shop.  He follows her.  She still ignores him.  But he wants to make her smile.

This is a cute amusing tale that will make you smile when you see what he does to make her feel better.  There is always a special friend or two in your life.  You just have to find them.  This may not be a usual relationship, but they are special friends now.  And the little girl is smiling more.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

They are flying back to England when their pilot has a heart attack.  When Fred comes to, he's bruised and no longer in the plane.  He hopes the others got out because the plane is burning up...

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review.  It will be published September 12th.

Lila and Max, sister and brother, and Con a young snobby girl also survived.  But they have nothing but the clothing they are wearing.  No weapons, no food, no water.  And they don't teach you jungle survival in school.  They do have two intellectual weapons though:  Fred read every explorer book he could find and has a good background in survival hints learned from that and Lila's mother is biologist and she knows a lot about bugs and plants.  That much will keep them alive but how will they get out?

This is a grand adventure.  There are all kinds of dangers in the jungle.  Keeping five year old Max out of trouble is a real challenge.  Food is scarce, and what they do find to eat is nothing they've eaten before.  They find an old shelter and take refuge there for a few days.  Then Fred puts a raft together and tries to take them down the river.  

The children face challenges that frighten them and they are afraid they will not be successful but if they want to survive, they have to overcome those feelings.  They find a lone survivor in a forgotten city and stay with him for a while.  They promise they will keep him and his city a secret.  But then Max gets sick and things get real serious.

This is an exciting tale that keeps your attention and makes you wonder how Fred can be so brave.  I think it was all those books he read...

Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron

It's 1968 and Leah is a middle school student.  When one of the teachers retires, the new teacher begins to be chatted about before her arrival.  It's rumored she talks funny, has odd hair, lives in the quarter and more.  It takes a while before Lisa realizes they mean she's black...

PR by the Book and Spark Press let me read an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Lisa's parents each have their own opinions.  Her father is a lawyer and he will represent colored people.  Her mother has the opinion of the community that they are lesser beings and a bit stupid.  Lisa finds herself siding with her father but she won't tell her mother that.  Her mother tells her things and then tells her not to tell her father.  Soon the secrets she's carrying are going to cause trouble for her.

The mean boys who bully Lisa (she was born with a cleft palate and has a flat nose on one side) are tickled to have a teacher to torment.  The teacher attempt to ignore them but the hounding is getting to her.

Lisa finds it hard to stand up for herself but she does defend the teacher.  That just gets her in more trouble.  Her mother makes problems for her by assuming things about the teacher.  If Lisa is going to handle this, she has to grow up fast.  She does.  And she's not keeping secrets anymore.

The sad part is that being different in any way invites rude comments and bullying even in this day and age.  My mother raised me to welcome any new person as a friend.  Color, religion, or politics didn't matter.  I know that's unusual but I think life would be better for everyone if we could just agree to get along.

Just remember to be like Lisa and stand up for what you believe in.  It's not easy but you can do it.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Sorina has a special power.  She can create illusions that appear real.  She's also part of the Gomorrah Festival and works in the freak show.  She has no eyes but she can see.  It's unfortunate she can't see what's going on around her until it's almost too late...

Harlequin Teen and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 25th.

If Sorina has a problem, she can go the proprietor of the show.  He's her father and she loves him.  He adopted her when she small and he's always protected her.  So when one of her illusions is murdered, she talks to him.  They decide it was where they were doing their show and must have been one of the locals.  They moved on.

But the next town they stop in they lose her illusion of a little brother.  He drowns and he's always been deathly afraid of water.  He's also too young to have climbed into the place he died.  Who's killing her family?

The story is ripe with details and insight to how magic works in this world.  The bad part is that no matter how many questions she asks, she's not getting closer to any answers.  Then she starts putting the local tragedies together with the deaths of her illusions and she starts to realize the deadly truth...

This story will stick with you after you set it down as read.  It's a twisted tale that somehow ends up with a sad/happy ending and you know Sorina is going to be OK.  So is the rest of her family, but she's lost something on the way to understanding.  Ms. Foody made me care about her.  If you like magic, you'll like this story.

The Boy Who Lived In Pudding Lane by Sarah Addington

This is a tale of how Santa Claus came to be.  We meet him as a young child who liked to give Christmas gifts and that sets the course of his life...

Grafton and Scratch Publishers and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 12th.

Those of you who know your nursery rhymes will meet all kinds of old friends in this tale.  There's Jack and Jill, Mary who's quite contrary and many many more.  When Mrs. Claus keeps having twins after Santa's birth, he wants to give them presents like the other children get but there is no money.  So he starts spending time in their workshed and soon as created all kinds of handmade toys.  When he's ready to deliver them, he falls asleep on the roof where he meant to sneak them in the house.  His parents can't find him and notify the town crier so everyone is out searching for him.  That means there is a big crowd when he comes down the chimney and hands out his presents.  And that starts his new career...

The most fun was watching how the author added nursery rhyme characters to the story.  If you have a little one who likes fairy tales or likes Mother Goose, they'll enjoy this tale as well.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tracker's Canyon by Pam Withers

Tristan's father has disappeared.  They can't find any evidence except where his rope had broken.  No pack, no body, no nothing.  Tristan doesn't want to believe he's dead.  He learned tracking from his father and how to climb canyons and rappel down them.  He doesn't want to give up on his dad.  But he can't go back alone.  And he has to take care of his mother now.  She fell to pieces when her husband disappeared...

Dundurn and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 15th.

Tristan finally gets a chance to go on a trip to the canyon where he lost his dad.  What he doesn't realize is that someone in the group is a potential killer...

The truth has been twisted by one person into a lie and a personal vendetta.  He's not sure who it is or why they are after him but he had to be very careful about everything he does on this trip.  He keeps finding hints of his father's presence and he's trying hard to find him as they go along. When he finds his father's bootprint next to where he was sleeping, he's especially eager to continue the hunt.  But he's in more danger than his father is.

This is a very suspenseful read with three people in dangerous country and death on the horizon.  It takes quick thinking and using the things his father taught him to keep Tristan safe.  I read this story straight through because I couldn't wait to see how it ended.  I wouldn't be surprised if you did, too.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller

This is the story of a boy who can find lost things.  The only lost thing he can't bring back is his father but he chooses to believe he's still alive somewhere and may come home someday.  There's magic and wonder in the story because his mother has a magic book that makes her bakery special.  But then someone steals the book..

G P Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 8th.

This is a unique story.  The boy doesn't talk because he can't form his words well and people laugh at him.  So he's silent but he looks and observes.  His mother is going to lose the shop if the magic book doesn't return and he's never lived anywhere else.  He even helps with the baking.  His dad is still lost so he's going to find this book.

He finds it was thrown in the trash and pages are missing.  He chases after the pages and meets people that would scare me.  He just takes them in stride, asks his questions and keeps on collecting pages.  You meet people who live in tunnels under the city.  You meet a man who lost his wife and is determined to take up hang gliding.  You meet an old woman who barely stays alive by collecting cans and bottles and recycling them.  And you meet a young girl who sees nothing wrong with the boy.  Before his journey comes to an end, he's even talking again.

The story has remnants of sorrow but there's an overall positive theme.  Don't give up, you can still have a good life.  That's an important lesson.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Motor Crush Vol. #1 by Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart

Domino Swift is an orphan.  Her father owns a garage and she races motorcycles.  She does this to win Crush, which makes her cycle faster.  She also inhales it herself to make her reflexes faster.

Image Comics sent me a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.

If you've ever seen the movie "Mad Max", you'll find this graphic story similar.  Domino is another road warrior and nothing scares her.  That is, nothing scared her until they showed her a friend of hers who had stolen some Crush being punished.  They force fed him some Crush and it blew up his body.  And she uses it in her inhaler?

It seems that while she looks human, she's not.  She is being pestered by a man who wants her to rise to her full potential.  She doesn't want to but then he threatens her father.

This series is fast and unusual.  I'm not quite sure where the authors are going with it but the illustrations are colorful and the characters are outrageous.  I'd read more about Domino.  I think she's going to find her way by bits and pieces...

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb

This is the first book in a new trilogy by Ms. Hobb.  As usual, her words tantalize you and make you care about her characters.  Fitz is living his life as a gentleman farmer and no longer fights for the king.  His wolf has died and he misses him.  The Fool moved on and he hasn't heard from him.  He's a bit hurt by that.  But he has Molly, so he's content.  It doesn't last...

Del Ray sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

This is a long book but you never get bored.  There's intrigue, politics and more games being played behind the scenes.  Just when everything was going well, trouble comes again.  A young woman comes with a message but before she can tell him, she disappears from the room she was asked to wait in and no one sees her again.  One of Fitz's friends falls down the steps and almost kills himself so they must all work on healing him.  And Fitz's wife becomes pregnant.  She's too old to have a baby but she's having one.  He's afraid she's losing her mind.  When he has to deliver the baby after an overlong pregnancy, he thinks maybe he's losing his.  The child is very, very small.  But she's alive and she's not handicapped, she's just little.

One of the messengers finally gets to him and tells him the Fool had a son and the bad men are determined to kill him.  Fitz tries to find the son but has no luck.  There's lots of skullduggery, Fitz has travel through the rocks that almost led to his death in the past, and he finds the Fool again but doesn't recognize him at first.

The book ends with a disaster for Fitz.  He's lost Molly to old age but he still has family.  And those who try to hurt them will have to answer to him...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hunting Hour: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima

Mattie and her dog, Robo, are called out to look for a missing junior high girl.  They find her.  She's dead.  But the search for her killer gets really complicated.  The thirteen year old girl was sleeping with high school guys.  The father has no alibi.  There are sex offenders in the area.  How many more suspects will turn up?

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 8th.

The relationship between Mattie and her dog is special.  It makes reading the author's mysteries even more enjoyable.  I also enjoy Mattie's almost romance.  She's been abused in her past and has trouble trusting men.  She also has trouble letting her painful past go.  But she's working on it.

As they keep tracking down answers about the people in the suspect line, another girl is abducted.  This one Mattie knows well, it's her boyfriend's youngest girl.  She is determined to get her back alive it it's at all possible.

There's emotional trauma everywhere, Mattie has trouble setting aside her own emotional problems when the cases seem to similar to her experiences, Cole is going nuts because his daughter is missing and he should have been there when she came home, and the whole time all this playing out, they keep investigating.  There's an old man who has paranoia problems (he's not taking his medicine) and they suspect him for a while because the girl has been in his truck.  She went there to pet his dog but didn't tell her dad about it.  He's the one that ultimately helps them find the girl.  He reports he heard the deer screaming but Robo smells her scent further down the road.  Off they go, they are going to find Sophie!

This was a fascinating mystery with a lot of psychological factors thrown in.  I enjoy Ms. Mizushima's writing and how she shapes her stories.  She also makes her characters human.  If you haven't read her work before, give it a try.  I bet you'll follow this series, too.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand

His woman got killed trying to help him with a case.  He's struggling to get his head on straight.  He feels guilty.  He didn't ask her to but if he had a different job, she might not have died.  He quits the police force and goes to work as a stone mason.  If you work hard enough, you're too tired to think.  That's the theory anyway.

Goddess Fish Promotions and the author provided me with a copy of this book for review (thank you).  This is a blog tour and there are prizes mentioned at the end of the post.

A good friend suggests he go stay in someone else's summer house.  It's winter now and sitting vacant, it's be a change of scenery and maybe he can work his way through his grief.  The first thing that happens is a neighbor asks for his help.  Her maintenance man she uses is out of town and her faucet is leaking.  He agrees to look it.  He helps her with that issue and with a fallen tree.  But the tree was no accident.  Someone cut it down...  He's wondering who and how but not for long.  The next morning the police are they think he's killed his neighbor!

She had an ex-boyfriend that was abusive and is in town now.  The guy from the garage was playing with her butt and he had a few words with him.  Now she's been killed on the edge of the property he's using.  He didn't do it but the cops aren't sure. He begins to investigate and finds he really doesn't know anything at all.

When you weave your way through the tangled web of this mystery, you'll be surprised to find out who the spider is.  The killer wasn't someone I ever suspected.  The author does a good job of baiting you as the tale goes on.  I like it when the killer is someone I didn't suspect.

Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  You can enter HERE.

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

Happy reading and good luck! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's Edge by Patti Callahan Henry

Piper isn't real enthused about this summer.  She's at the family beach house and has a list of things to do before the rest of the group arrives.  She has to make beds, buy food, and get the house ready in general.  That's not bad but when they all get here, she has to babysit the other woman's children.  Ugh!

Berkley sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.

This is the story of two families that were friends and stayed at the house in the summer.  The two daughters became Summer Sisters and developed a very close relationship.  Still all that came to an end when Lainey's mother developed drinking and drug problems.  One day she just disappears.  And Lainey has been looking for her since...

Bonny went on to become a doctor, following her dream.  What she didn't expect was to find Lainey's brother in the emergency room barely alive.  She's treating him,  then goes on to another man and he dies as he's talking to her.  She can't figure out why.  Then she suddenly realizes she was so shook up about seeing Owen, she didn't check his chart.  She double medicated him.  She's then suspended.

Bonny's life was going south anyway.  Her marriage only works as long as she's what her husband wants his wife to be.  She was applying for another job in another town.  She decides to go back to the summer house with her daughter and asks Lainey to come, too.

Once there, memories from the past resurface and old hurts come alive again.  While Bonny decides what to do with her life, Lainey is still fussing about her missing mother.  They come close to losing one of Lainey's children, but he's found visiting an old lady.  The old lady tells Lainey she knew her mother...

Even at the end of this story, you're not quite sure how it's all going to end.  Just like in life, things keep evolving.  Bonny has a vision of where she wants to be and she's going to make it work.  


Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman

Connor was forced to leave Ireland when he foolishly feel in love with a lady who had a title.  She used him and then threw him aside and her father sent him away to America.  He has four brothers he wants to bring over to America and the only way he can do that is to earn money.  His boss has died, so now he's going to indenture himself to earn enough.  He certainly didn't expect a young woman to buy his contract...

Tyndale House Publishers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 3rd.

Isabella knows that times are tough and the only way she'll be able to pay her carpenter is if the crops do well.  Despite their bad luck lately, she has faith things will get better.

What Connor discovers is that her father is bad shape.  He was hurt in the house fire rescuing his daughter-in-law.  He also finds his son was killed not long ago.  He gets busy making lumber and fixing what can be salvaged.  He also tries to stay away from Isabella.  He's been there and done that and he's not going to get whipped or hung over her.  It's hard to stay away from your boss...

With highway men, night terrors, and slavery, there's plenty going on in the story and it really feels like you're living back in that era.  Someone wants their property and he's doing his best to get it.  Connor likes Isabella too much to back away.  He starts protecting her and then he has killers after him.

This was a great read with lots of history, some insight on slavery, and it was nice to see the bad guys lose and the good guys win.  It's also nice to see that Connor found a way to open his heart to love again.  Happy ever after makes me smile.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Tough Case to Crack (A Nuts About Nuts Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Cindy Bell

Kerri is getting her new shop ready to open.  She got a good deal on the location.  It's on the main street in the small town and should be a great opportunity.  No one told her the previous owner had been murdered until she had purchased it.  He got killed at home, so it wasn't as bad as him being killed in the shop, but...

InstaFreebies and the author allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

Kerri and Natalie, her new employee, are working hard at getting everything in order.  When she notices the floor isn't really sturdy, she works with a crowbar to lift the bad boards.  The problem is that she finds money under the floorboards.  A lot of money.  The newpaper reporter is there when she finds it and he calls the police.  She sees her grand opening being stalemated by a police investigation.  She decides to investigate by herself and Steve, the reporter, volunteers to help.

The Kerri's grandfather comes to town unannounced.  She's always enjoyed her time with him but she doesn't know him well.  He tells her it's time for that to change.  And, boy, does it!

She finds the town holds some secrets and nobody wants to share them.  Of course, her grandfather has secrets, too, so she should be used to it.  There are love affairs, illegal activities and people willing to kill for money.  When her handiman turns up strangled in her store while she was out to lunch, she really starts hunting for the killer.  But she isn't prepared when she does find the murderer...

Monstress, Vol. 2 TP by Marjorie Liu

This is a collection of Monstress #7-12.  I like reading compilations like this because you get more of the story in one place.  When I was younger, it just killed me to wait a month for the next issue...

Image Comics allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Sana Taleda did the artwork and that alone makes it worth the price of the book.  The illustrations are luscious (even the graphic death scenes) and it adds to the story line.

Maika is determined to find out why she's part monster and just exactly who she is.  What she finds out is that everyone is after her and none of them want her alive.

This is a fantasy story that goes beyond the earth.  There are gods, creatures of the sea, witches, cat and fox people and more in the story.  She visits a forbidden island and sees more people die.  Yet she keeps searching.  The worst part is the closer she gets to the answer, the more questions she has and the more danger she faces.

This is a haunting read that stays with you after you've finished the book...

Sana Takeda

Friday, July 7, 2017

Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low

Everyone lives in the city.  There's a section for the high born, a section for the low born, and the middle where both sets can mix.  There's a rumor there used to a blue sky and roads that went places but no one inside the city has seen them.  The queen keeps them drugged and sated so they are easy to rule.

World Weaver Press and the author shared an ARC with me of this book (thank you).  It will be published August 11th.

Vaun is the prince.  He can go anywhere, do anything, and get away with it.  He spends his time smoking, drinking and breathing the dust and sleeping with whomever looks good that night.  He's married because the queen demanded it but he's never slept with her.  He left her locked in the tower at the queen's residence but his sister has sent her to live with him.  He ignores her and goes on with his own life style.

The dust that keeps everyone in line is pixie dust.  Now someone is trying to produce the same thing, but it's killing people.  Vaun is trying to figure out what's going on but no one will tell him.  Not even the woman he's so fond of who used to be his assistant.  She wants to but she's bound.

Vaun finds his magic coming alive after the he stops drugging himself up through everything he eats and drinks.  That's dangerous if anyone finds out.

There's treachery everywhere.  The big families in the high don't like each much and they will mess things up for the others.  When the people in the low section of town start dying from bad drugs and bad trips on the drugs, they could care less.

The story ends with an unexpected death and that lets you know the story is really just beginning.  I'll be watching for the next book in this series.  I'm interesting in seeing what happens to Vaun and his sister as well as his lover.  Ms. Low has me hooked on her tale.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

George and the Stolen Sunny Spot by Kristin Bauer Ganoung

George has a special sunny spot that he sleeps in on the nice afternoons. The empty house next door is quiet, he does his chores first and then he takes his nap on the porch.  But all that is about to change.

Prairie Land Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

I love cats and my brother's name is George.  I had to read this book.

George patrols the farm.  He keeps the mice and gopher count down, he eats grasshoppers and crickets so the garden grows well, and he discourages other animals from settling in.  He's surprised to see his human get so excited when this couple comes to visit but he doesn't realize it's going to change his life.

They decide to rent the place next door and, while they don't have children yet, they have a young cat and TWO dogs!  How awful!

I enjoyed this story because George hates the little cat because it takes his sunny spot, hates the dogs because they chase him, and hates everybody because his routines have changed.  When George decides to use psychology on the kitten, it backfires.  The mangy coyote is in the area and he's going after the kitten.  George goes to the rescue.  In the process, he finds out he still has things to learn and it's good idea to have a friend as backup in a fight.  No one gets hurt too badly and the two cats start to talk to each other and life gets better.  Even the dogs accept George.  Now he has a sunny spot and a friend to share it with!  He's also got a new girlfriend.  Life couldn't be better...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Beyond Absolution: A mystery set in 1920s Ireland by Cora Harrison

When a young boy says that the priest in the confessional didn't speak to him, they check to see what's going on.  He's dead but it's not from natural causes...

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 1st.

Reverend Mother Aquina has known this priest and his brother from childhood.  Father Dominic often stepped over the line and held masses that the republicans could attend.  He visited picket lines.  Even the bishop had tried to reprimand him but it hadn't worked.  Now he's dead.  Did the republicans kill him?  After all the church is attended by members of the other side.  Reverend Mother thinks not.  She does suspect a local business owner who was there and not a member of the church.  When she begins to ask questions about him, she finds out he's not what he seemed to be...

With two warring factions involved with the characters of the story, it gets complex and becomes hard to weed out true facts.  Some things are assumptions, some are just blaming the other side, and some are highly suspicious.

Before the story is through, they've found wrongdoers all around and the murderer is no one you'd ever suspect.  You can feel the tension and the stress of the time.  This was an interesting read.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

Georgiana's love has gone away on another secret assignment and she plans to go visit Italy and be with her girlfriend who is having a baby.  She calls in to see the Queen first because she's part of the Royal Family and she wishes to give up her right to be queen to she can marry Darcy.  She needs parliament permission and the Queen is going to ask for that.  As soon as she assures the Queen she really truly loves Darcy, the Queen is content and will ask.  However, when she finds Georgiana is on her way to Italy, she gives her an assignment.

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 1st.

The Queen wants her to go to a house party.  Her son and that dreadful Mrs. Simpson will be there.  She's afraid they are going to try for a secret marriage and she wants to stop it.  Georgiana doesn't know how she would stop it, but she would go and see what she could find out.

What she finds out is that there's more than one spy in the house.  There's also political pressuring going on trying to make the prince side with the Germans.  Even worse, her mother is there, too, and she has incriminating pictures she wants to find to stop blackmail.  With so many irons in the fire, it makes even being in the vicinity dangerous.  Then she finds out Darcy, her love, is playing a gardener here.  She can't talk to him but they meet secretly.

Then people start dying...  Her mother is accused of the murder.  They are dealing with a local policeman who wants to end the case quickly.  He won't let anyone leave the house.  The tension builds quickly...

Set in a time when Mussolini and Hitler were still alive, the story moves along a bit slowly but picks up as more shenanigans go on. Everybody has secrets.  But the killer is caught at the end.  I hope Darcy and Georgiana marry soon.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis

Pepper is getting a new dress and it's going to be custom made.  That means she gets to pick her own fabric for the dress...

Tundra Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 1st.

For some, sewing your own clothes has become a lost art.  I've done it before and it has it's challenges but it's fun to sew something unique that reflects your own taste.  Pepper has never chosen fabric before, so as the dressmaker (who is male) shows her various fabrics and tells her where the designs come from, she determines that they just aren't her.

The illustrations are bright and clear, the author not only shows various fabric but also shows the pattern.  The dressmaker shows supreme patience and then, since he's listened to all that Pepper has had to say about her style, he takes her into his fabric room and shows her the one he thinks might be her.  It is!  It's not a fabric I ever wore but we're all unique and have own sense of style.  Why not read the book and tell me which fabric is your favorite?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Continental Crimes by Martin Edwards

This is an anthology of classic crime stories.  All were written long ago, some have never been published and I didn't recognize most of the authors.  Agatha Christie caught my eye.  I enjoy short stories, so I dug into this one with anticipation.

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  it will be published August 1st.

The stories range from a headless body in the backyard to a man washed up from the sea.  When a man dies and no one cares, it's unusual.  Mr. Fortune even makes an appearance and I find him amusing.  

The stories are varied, none of them use modern techniques but they determine the murderers.  In the days depicted, they had to use their little grey cells like Mr. Poirot said.

I found myself consuming the stories and enjoying the majority of them.  If you like tastes of crime from the other side of pond, you'll enjoy this book.  Give it a try! 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Away With the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne is anxious for her lover to return home.  He's buying silk and wasn't quite sure how long it would take but she's starting to be concerned.  She doesn't have time to worry about it though because she has a new case.  Why would someone murder an author who loves fairies?

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 1st.

Phryne does her usual snooping, using what staff she has and hiring more when needed.  She finds most of the people in the apartments have secrets of some sort.  The author was a snoop.  She was also willing to blackmail people for income.  That was her downfall.

With the investigation ongoing, Phryne notices that some Chinese are trying to hurt her, even kill her.  She's not happy with that.  And when she finds out that her lover is being held by a pirate for ransom, she's not going to sit around and wait for that to happen.  She's going after him herself...

With the two stories cob-webbing the pages, she finds the killer and manages to get her lover back.  Not without some distress but overall it worked out.  I wonder what Phryne's next case will be?