Sunday, November 19, 2017

Accessories to Die For by Paula Paul

This story was set in Santa Fe.  I live in New Mexico, have visited Santa Fe and I know about their Old World charm.  I had to read this book.

Alibi and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Irene used to be an assistant district attorney in New York, but her mother has asked her to come home.  She's fearful of dying alone.  Irene's mother frustrates her but she understands her need for company.  She comes and she sets up a high end second hand store for recycled designer duds.  It's a successful business.  She hires a young man who charms the women who come in the store and is a great salesman.  

Juanita sits on the Plaza and sells her jewelry.  It's all made in the Indian way and is lovely to see.  She's friends with Irene.  Her son is missing and she's trying to find him.  She knows he needs her.  Then the cops charge him with murder and she gets even more desperate to save him.

You have drug trafficking, antique jewelry being stolen and sold in France at auctions, Indian versus American ideas of right and wrong, and Irene is in the middle.  She's conflicted because she knows she has to report some of what she's heard but she doesn't want to make things worse.  And her boyfriend is another attorney and he's representing the other side.  Then she finds out her mother was dating one of the killers.

You learn about the beautiful Indian jewelry, the different tribes, and how fragile life is when you live on the fringe.  You certainly won't be bored!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Somebody at the Door: British Library Crime Classics by Raymond Postgate

Gossip can kill.  If only people minded their own business and not everyone else's.

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

This story wanders around a bit.  You hear about other characters before you get to the meat of the story.  A man dies at home.  His wife finally calls the doctor.  The doctor isn't sure if the death was natural or not, so another doctor is called in.  The second doctor said someone had used mustard gas to kill him.  The unfortunate part of the tale is how many people hated him.  This man had no compassion for anyone.  No one was sparing any on him either.

The Inspector has to look at all those on the train with him to try to determine if he was infected then.  There are facts, there are coincidences and with so many that could be guilty, it's hard to nail down who was most motivated.  At the end, he finally does.  I was surprised.  Usually I have an idea of the murderer, but not in this story.  The writer weaves his magic and only shows his cards at the end.

This was a good mystery.  I like to see the older novels come to life again.  They are still good reads.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Chained: A Kate Turner DVM Mystery #3 by Eileen Brady

When Kate visits a dog owner to examine a cut on the dog, the owner shows her an old bone the dog brought home with him.  The tone changes when Kate tells her the bone is human...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Kate visits several homes to take care of their animals and she picks up gossip on the way.  When the body is identified as a high school student who disappeared ten years ago, his family asks her to look into it.  She takes some photos, finds out who is in the pictures and then she goes looking for them so she can ask nosy questions.  Her cop friend wants her to stop.  Her "once" boyfriend comes home from a dig in Africa and helps her investigate.

Between the stories she hears (someone has to be lying), the lack of evidence, and two men interested in her, she's not sure where she's going.

This was a good read.  I had no idea who the real villain was and Kate's savior that keeps her alive at the final confrontation was a surprise, too.  Now if she'll just pick her man, she'll have it made. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne is off for a holiday, taking her girls, her companion Dot and the dog, Molly.  They are going to do some swimming, eating out when they like, and just generally do some relaxing.  When they arrive at their destination, she finds that the staff that wasn't to meet her is gone.  The back door was open, their furniture is gone, and there's no note or no sign of them...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

They search the house and grounds but find no one.  Luckily Ruth has been learning to cook so she finds a cookbook in the library, buys supplies, and begins doing meals.  They met a fish boy on the way into town.  Three local lads were harassing him and Phryne put a stop to that.  They soon get a big fish as a thanks from the boy.

Phryne begins hiring local help.  She has good luck with the young boy and girl who join her staff.  She even finds some extra food to send home for the families.  She has a good heart even if she makes a bad enemy.

As they continue to wonder about the Johnson's, an old lady across the street dies.  Was it natural or not?  And why did the Johnson's furniture go to a company that said there was never an order for pickup?  What else did that trucking do?  And why are there rumors about a hidden pirate treasure?

This author always adds some strange content to her stories.  Odd people abound and Phryne has to make sense out of small hints and her own intuition.  The good news is that everything works out for the better at the end of the story.  The girls are maturing, the locals respect Phryne, and her boyfriend will be arriving shortly.  What more could you want?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Curtain: British Library Crime Classics by Alan Melville

The play was going well until the scheduled shooting ending up being too real...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Inspector Wilson of Scotland is in the audience and he's quick to take action.  When they go to find the actor who fired the shot, he's hung himself in his dressing room.  Everyone is sure the case is already over.  One actor shoots another and then commits suicide.  But Inspector Wilson is not so sure.

I enjoyed reading about the relationship of Wilson and his son.  It was entertaining for him to see a bullet hole in the curtain and the location of the bullet and watch him create a totally different solution to the murder.

It was also fun at the end that the crime he and his son had pieced together was all pure fiction.  It's not often you see a Scotland Yard lad have to admit he was wrong.

This is an amusing read that shows you just how imaginative authors can be.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz is a thief, a very good one.  She smuggles things in that aren't allowed.  She has to know every nook and cranny of the bubble towns that have been created on the moon to do it.  She does.  Her father wishes she didn't do what she does but she's trying to earn enough money to buy a suit to work outside.  They're very expensive.  When she's offered a large sum of money to stop the harvesters that bring in rock, she says no at first.  But when she hears the money being offered, she changes her mind...

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

I read The Martian and this writer's words resonate with me.  He talks about impossible things (at least so far) and he makes it very believable.  His stories are full of suspense and huge challenges for the characters.  No matter how many pages there are in the story, you won't skip a thing and you'll be unwilling to put it down and do something else.  His stories are mesmerizing.

Jazz had enemies, friends, and some she's not sure of.  When she goes to do her dirty deed, she makes a mistake and suddenly she's on the run.  When she goes to visit the man that hired her, she finds him and his bodyguard dead.  She runs down the other man she met while at his house and when she breaks in his room, she finds the killer instead.  I told you, it's not boring.

This a conspiracy within a conspiracy and it takes a lot of questions and some brave action to try to save the world she lives in.  At the end, she makes another mistake and almost kills everyone on the planet.  Can she reverse this?

You'll keep reading until you know...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Not Safe After Dark by Peter Robinson

This an anthology of short stories that has a few Inspector Banks stories thrown in.  I'd read about the Inspector in the past and that was what motivated me to read this book.  The author writes good mystery stories and this was a pleasure to read.

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Mr. Robinson can tie up a mystery in a short story in not too many pages.  I admire an author that can write a complete tale concisely and succinctly in short form without excess words.  All the stories are enjoyable.  I got so busy reading I didn't note the stories I liked best but I did write down a couple as I was getting started:  Anna Said and Some Land in Florida touched me.  Many other stories did, too.

When a book has good mysteries with good characters, I get lost in the stories.  Why don't you get a copy of this and read it and tell me which stories you liked?

The Splendid Baron Submarine by Eric Bower

W. B. Baron tells his class about his summer adventure when his teacher calls on him.   She tells him his story is fantasy and puts him in the corner in his dunce hat.  As he sits there, he tells the mouse who lives there the whole story.  Once you read this book, you'll understand why his teacher thought he was lying...

Amberjack Publishing and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It's being published tomorrow.

This is a perfect read for middle graders.  There are silly inventions that make things big or shrink them small, there's killer monkeys, there's an airplane and submarine, and there's a treasure to be recovered.

The Barons are told that the Vice President needs this treasure to save the country.  They undergo great adventures, near death, and hazardous inventions to get the treasure.  Then they find out the Vice President is a fake and they are to be killed.  The good news is that the mistake they made with their make it big invention shows up at the right time.

There's plenty for your imagination to chew on here and you might encourage your child to write their own story and create their own adventure.  Maybe they'll come up with an even more outrageous story!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Death of Anton: British Library Crime Classics by Alan Melville

Carey's Circus is in town and everyone is excited to go see the wonders, especially the seven Bengal tigers!  Detective Inspector Minto is there because his niece is getting married.  He's not too enthused about her potential mate but he loses interest in him when they find the lion tamer in the tiger cage dead.  Everyone thinks the cats mauled him but it was bullets that took his life...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Anton figured out something he shouldn't have and he paid for it with his life.  When Minto starts asking questions he knows he has several possible murderers.  But when he discovers why he was murdered, it limits the possibilities.  

What's worse, as he keeps searching for clues, he finds that the proposed bridegroom is not really selling vacuum cleaners...  

His brother heard the killer's confession of the crime but he cannot disclose who it was.  His niece is going to hate him for stopping for wedding.  And if he's not careful, he might get eaten by a tiger...

This is story of greedy bad men who are willing to kill to keep their profits.  More than one person is hurt because they suspect something.  But, in the end, Minto solves the case.  He also ends the circus but that's just a side note.  That wasn't their biggest enterprise.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton

This is a very cute story about a dachshund.  He's a sweet happy fellow who lives in a bookstore and reads a book as he eats his meals.  He also likes to go for walks...

Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Wiener dogs are well-known as long dogs with short legs.  That doesn't do anything to slow down their enthusiastic lives.  His problem appears when he goes on walks.  He doesn't realize how long he is.

When he finds the trouble he's caused he even goes and bites the offending animal.  He's quite to surprised to find it's his own rear end!

His handlers go back to the library and start reading books for solutions.  They find one.  And then they can go walks safely.  Everybody's happy now...

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

She has a choice.  She can either marry the old man her father chose or go to the convent.  She doesn't want to marry and she doesn't want to go to the convent either.  So she dresses herself as a boy and decides to go traveling...

Del Rey sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

This author's words resonate in my soul.  What she writes talks to me.  She uses some traditional fairy tale characters but changes the story enough to make it new.  She also doesn't make anyone very nice.  There's lots of danger and her main characters just barely survive, but it makes for a good story.

This girl is friends with the frost demon and while they have a symbiotic relationship, they aren't that close.  He has saved her life and he's also falling in love with her but he can't.  She's human and he's not.  That relationship is what will keep her alive.

She finds bandits in the woods and she recovers the girls they stole.  Her only place of refuge is Moscow and she gets there just ahead of the bandits.  What she doesn't know is that one of the Prince's friends is false.  And when she finds out, it's almost too late to save herself...

It's a gripping tale that holds on hard to you, the reader.  I read it in one evening and I'd read another by this author.  She writes excellent tales!  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

West from the Cradle by Brigid Amos

Gold fever is a disease.  When men hear of a discovery, their imaginations run wild and they will pick up and leave where they are to go make their fortune.  The fact that many die on the way and not everyone is lucky enough to find gold doesn't slow them down.  Neither does the fact that men will kill you to get your gold.  When a boy signs on as a helper with the local shop owner, he doesn't realize what he's getting into...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me the opportunity to read and review this book (thank you).  You can buy a copy now.

The first unfortunate thing that happened was that their wagon master got killed at one of the ferry crossings.  The man he is traveling with is elected the new wagon master.  However, it's not a smooth transition.  One man in the group doesn't like him and makes their life difficult.

This is a very realistic tale of how difficult the travel was and how many ways you can die.  Due to lack of food and unsafe water, people got ill and didn't make it as far as California.  They had Indians to contend with (most were peaceful) and the cowboys were deadly.  There was gambling, alcohol, and a lack of womenfolk. A lot of lawbreaking was done because most cities had no sheriff.

When the man he's traveling with dies from an illness, Travis manages to survive.  But now he's on his own and he's quite young.  His life gets even more exciting before the end of the book.  This isn't the end of the story, though.  Watch for another story to come on how Travis does in the next stage of his life.

Brigid Amos will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  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!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Prince Who Was Just Himself by Silke Schnee, Heike Sistig (Illustrator), Erna Albertz (Translator)

This book is special.  The lead character is the youngest prince who is different from the others.  He has Down Syndrome.  But no one finds fault with that.  He's too happy and too loving for people to ignore.

Plough Publishing sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

When an evil knight comes to attack their castle and conquer their King, the princes ride out to meet him.  He has an ugly scar on his face.  While his brothers are ready to fight to defend the kingdom, the little prince rides up close and touches his face asking if the scar hurts.  The knight is taken aback.  No one has ever been nice to him.  Then the prince hugs him and it's all over.  He might not have understood the danger he was in but he treated everyone the same.  How can you not love a child that loves you?

It was nice to see a book about a disease that doesn't get talked about much.  This is a positive look at living with a Down Syndrome child.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr

When you're single, parents have expectations.  Christmas time is coming up and when two women are introduced to each other they begin chatting about how difficult time with parents can be.  Robyn likes creative men.  They may not amount to much but she loves their randomness and how they don't worry about the future.  Sidney is a lawyer in her father's firm and while she's dating a lawyer, she doesn't want to talk law all of the Christmas holiday.  After a few drinks, they decide to switch boyfriends for the holiday and quiet the parents down.  They can always say it didn't work out later.  What could go wrong?

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

This a light read about women messing with the wrong thing.  When the parents accept both substitute men as suitable mates, both women are despairing.  There's lots of humor used during the home visits.  I can't imagine trying to pass someone off as my boyfriend if he's not.  The worst part?  The man Robyn gets is the one she had a terrible crush on in school.

As you can guess, this doesn't work out well.  But the author does her magic and suddenly the women have some serious thoughts about their lives and what they really want.  I really liked the ending.  This is the perfect book to read right before Christmas.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Deadly Dance: A British police procedural by Hilary Bonner

This is psychological game playing at the maximum speed.  The police are pursuing three killers.  The deeper they go, the less they see...

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

This is a really creepy story.  The killers have their own chapters and talk about the problems they have in trying to establish normal relationships.  One is a pedophile, one kills his wife, and one kills his homosexual lover.  Reading the chapters from the killer's point-of-view is chilling and overwhelming both.  There's confusion, a bit of sorrow, and worry about being caught.

The police are looking everywhere, going through old police records, and interviewing anyone that might know something.  This is a sordid tale with a smart killer.  As Vogel begins to put together the pieces, he realizes these killers are all part of one man's mind.  The split personality is why the murders are different.  He has one more thing to discover and when he does, it's almost too late.

This is a spooky story that kept me glued to my chair while they hunted for the killer.  The ending is chilling.  I'd read more about this detective.  He's dedicated and smart and doesn't give up.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Escape Claws by Linda Reilly

Lara returns to her hometown and her aunt after a sixteen year interval.  She loves her aunt who raised her but she was living in Boston and loved her life there, too.  Now her aunt is having knee problems and is referred to as the local cat lady.  A friend of Lara's calls and says she should come home and see what can be done to help the aunt.

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 26th, so watch for it.  It's a good read.

I have a soft spot for cats so they normally will draw me into a story.  The cat she sees at her aunts is the one she had as a child.  It would be too old to survive but she still sees it.  Then she finds out her aunt can't see it.  Lara has a ghostly friend to help her through this mystery.

Blue leads her across the property where she finds a dead body.  He's the man who planned to evict every business downtown to redevelop the area.  He even wanted part of her aunt's land and she said no.  Now he's dead there...

There are more suspects than there is population in the town!  Only one person mourns him, his niece.  He was nice to her.  So how do you figure out who the killer is?

I enjoyed the cats, watched Lara try to decide where she should live, and had no idea who the killer was until the end.  I liked this cozy mystery and will read more in the series.

My Little Cities by Jennifer Adams, Greg Pizzoli

This board book series is a wonderful rhyming way to take a sneak peek at cities that are old friends or you haven't met yet.  The illustrations are colorful and fun to look at.  You see the major points of the cities and you get an idea of the wonders that await you.  Let your little one imagine travelling!

Abrams/Chronicle Books sent me copies of these books to read for review (thank you).  They have been published and are available now.

Paris shows you a well-known bookstore and the Eiffel Tower as well as discusses the weather.

London has doubledecker buses, Big Ben, and changing of the guard as well as rain.

New York has the statue of Liberty, ball games and lots of lights.

San Francisco has the Golden Gate, dragon parades, quiet benches to sit on and sea lions to feed.

Of all these, the San Francisco book touched my heart.  I've visited there a few times and I love that city.  This book points out all the good things you can see.

Why don't you visit these cities with your little one?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Something Evil Comes: A Forensic Mystery by A.J. Cross

The body of a young man is found in an old crypt.  No one from the church has a key.  Thieves were the ones who discovered it.  Dr. Kate is puzzled by the damage to his throat.  Who killed him and how did they place him there?

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

The older detective thinks he was into drugs.  Kate doesn't.  But she finds he is a black sheep.  He is from a moneyed family but he dances to a different drummer.  There was some thought about him being gay, maybe sex was the cause of the murder.  No matter what they guess, they aren't getting any further on the case.  The chief is getting static from the mayor and they are under pressure to find the killer.

Add in a priest who doesn't always act like one and seems to enjoy is younger choir members more than he should, questionable behavior on the parent's part, and an old parishioner who commits suicide at his wife's nursing home (why would he do that?) right after having a nice chat with Kate.  There's something more going on than they can see.

It comes down to a desperate stand off at the end and the killer was someone I was surprised to find was involved.  I had a lot of suspects but the killer wasn't one of them.  Let me know if you figure it out early! 

The Dragon Seller: A Tale of Love and Dragons by F.G. Ferrario

This is a wonderful tale about dragons that was intriguing and entertaining.  Dragons are bred and raised by humans and they are smaller in size so they can be tamed to be a pet or they can defend you against danger.  It's when he agrees to act as a courier and bring an egg to a buyer that he finds himself in the middle of trouble...

The author sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy on Amazon.

What happens is that hired killers come after the seller.  He's got the goods, so they are after him, too.  They beat him and leave with what they think was the egg.  He grabs the whiskey bottle and sneaks away from them.  When he calls the buyer to tell him about, the buyer is on the run, too.

Things continue to go wrong.  He meets a woman he could love but she has a boyfriend.  He hatches the new dragon and it grows larger than any others he has.  Then the dragon gets stolen...

There are chapters on the types of dragons he's raising and it tells you their characteristics and what they eat (it's fruit, not people).

He's created the ultimate fantasy dragon world and I really enjoyed the story.  I liked it well enough I have just ordered my own copy for my library.  With all the books I read, that's kudos to the author for a book well done that I would read again.

Friday, November 3, 2017

How the Finch Stole Christmas by J.R. Ripley

He's not a nice man.  He took over the Christmas Village, changed it to his name, let the staff go, and is not honoring the contract signed for Christmas ornaments that Amy has.  No one in town likes him.  But when he's found hanging in the attic, Amy is sure it's not suicide...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

Amy knows her girlfriend didn't kill him.  She's not sure who did though.  He had too many enemies to randomly pick one out.  Then she finds out the person whom the property had been willed to had also hung herself, she begins to think this was a long-term plan.  After all, the lady had arthritis so badly she couldn't have hung herself.

She and the Police Chief are clashing again.  He wants to mark them suicide and go on but he can't.  He resents her sticking her nose in it.  She keeps nosing...

The only sour note for me was a fight between Amy and her boyfriend.  Amy should have been more reasonable.  I'm sure things will get straightened out in the next book but they had a sweet romance and I didn't want any bumps in the road.

When Santa almost kills Amy, she knows she's too close to the truth...

Riddles that Kill: A Paranormal Mystery (Legends of Treasure Book 3) by Lois D. Brown

For now, Maria and Rod are going their separate ways.  He cares for her but he's not sure about her visions.  She is still reliving the undercover mission she was involved with in Tehran in her nightmares.  She's a complex creature.  Her problem is she still loves him...

The author shared a copy of her book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published now and you can grab a copy on Amazon.

Maria is part Indian and sees people from the past and helps them move on.  She can sometimes communicate with them which is something most people don't do.  She also looks like she's talking to herself when she does it.

She's the police chief in her small hometown now and she has a very good friend who has three children.  They go down to wade and search for tadpoles in the small local river and run into a drunk couple.  They're just wearing underclothes, are high, and the man makes inappropriate comments to Maria.  Suddenly he has a knife up to the throat of the oldest boy.  Luckily help arrives in time.  He goes to jail but escapes.  

When Justin is kidnapped, she thinks it might be escapee who took him but she doesn't know for sure.  Finding a note that is a riddle and gives her a time limit on solving it to get Justin back makes things even worse.

What I found interesting is that the riddle is tied to a treasure that is supposedly buried in a hiding place and the riddle will help you find it.  People are still trying to find that treasure.  It seems each year another person dies while hunting for it.  In this story, they want Maria to find it.  All she wants is to get Justin back.

The story is well paced, the author's words flow well, and the suspense will keep you reading.  This was a good read. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith

Precious and Botswana are back again.  She's still doing her detective work with her partner.  You couldn't find an odder pair.  Precious likes to think things over and figure out a plan of attack.  Mma Makutsi trusts her own instincts and attacks right away.  She also is very easily offended.  Of course, Precious can be accused of that too.  How they manage to solve a crime is a bit of a mystery in itself.

Pantheon and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

A salewoman was fired from a store she had worked at for six years.  Her boss says a customer complained about her being rude.  This was the first complaint against her but he still fired her.  Her sister doesn't think she was rude.  Precious is given the case and lets her assistant go forward with the case.

In the meantime, she was visiting with another woman who showed her a picture that included a woman with her same last name.  She knows of no relatives, so she's anxious to find her but not sure if she should.  She visits her friend who always has good fruitcake and while eating more than her fair share of that, she asks her opinion.  She takes her advice.

The firing was bogus.  The woman she finally locates is her sister.  And she has her own crisis when she thinks her sister is older than she is.  She loses faith in her father.  But that gets explained before the story is over.

These are always slow paced mysteries with more action between the characters than the plot.  It makes them pleasant to read when you can pick up on a way of life a long way away from us.  I really enjoy this series.

Tales from the Rim by Bonnie Milani

Here we have two fantasy stories that are out of this world.  The first one is set in a bar and it's not an upper class bar...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy it now.

The bartender is a Lupan and he's a bad ass.  That's why people in his bar behave.  The guards are on to him, though.  They think he's the one killing slavers.  So they bring a slaver in the bar with a young woman.  His new help he hired is very interested in the slave.  It turns out the young man who is a thief for a living and got hurt bad by the guard is her son and the slave is her daughter.  This makes the bar situation even more dangerous.  It seems there's no way out for him so before he dies he's going to take a few people with him...

The next story is even more interesting.  There's a young girl who is trying to get classified as a woman.  The best way to do that is to sleep with a man.  But this is a planet of women, where do you find a man?  When she finds one, she has competition.  Good thing she has her friend Sam.  Incidentally, he's a spider, a big one.  Most of the planet is occupied by the Silkies.  Come to find out, there's a huge conspiracy going on and they are trying to railroad her mother.  She and Sam try to find the truth and then attempt to get the queen of the spiders to listen to them.  She's ready to mate, she doesn't want to listen.  This one has an even more exciting ending.

I've always enjoyed reading stories like this and I'm glad I've found this author.  I'll be looking for more of her work.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Alive in Shape and Color by Lawrence Block

Sixteen famous paintings and the stories they created are the basis for this anthology.  When I took Creative Expression in high school that was one of the ways our teacher had us write stories.  She'd put up about twenty pictures and she'd say, "Take a look at them and write the story you see."  It always amazed me when someone chose the same picture and had a totally different vision than I did.  Some of the visions in this book are amazing, too.

Pegasus Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

My favorite story is "A Significant Find" by Jeffrey Deaver.  Some people will do anything to get even.

I also enjoyed "The Great Wave" by S J Rozan.  Part of it is that I love that painting and part of it is I understand how awful it is to be controlled by someone.

None of the stories are bad, there are several good stories.  Stories talk to me more than artwork does so I found this to be a good read.  You'll not only see interesting artwork, you'll have interesting stories to enjoy.

Hooks & Eyes: Part 1 of The Ambition & Destiny Series by VL McBeath

This is the story of a widow back in Victorian days.  She has two children and she's living with her aunt.  She decides to get a job so she will have some spending money to use for her children's clothes and shoes.  Her aunt isn't sure she approves but she allows it.  Before the story is done, she's going to regret that decision.

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick up a copy now.

I never would have made it in this day and age.  Doing what my husband told me doesn't sit right with me.  In our household, duties are negotiated.  Back then, you had no choice.  You couldn't raise children on your own, women didn't make enough money.  That's still a bit true today, which is a shame.

Mary begins work in a shop where they make hooks and eyes.  She's good at it and does it proficiently to get bonuses.  She uses the money for new shoes and clothes for her little ones.  The owner of the shop has his eye on her and he's interested in her.  Her aunt thinks he just wants a companion, but he offers marriage despite her two children.  She says yes after a long engagement.  They are happy in the beginning.

Life goes on.  Mary loses some babies, her husband is always working late, and things get tense between them.  Her oldest son is going to work for a toolmaker and neither of them want him to do that.  He walks out anyway.  It will be interesting to see if he gets back together with his mother in the next book in the series.  He has his eye on a girl she wishes he wouldn't marry, so I'm not hopeful.  But only the author knows for sure...