Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Hat by C. S. Boyack

Lizzie is just trying to stay alive.  She's working two jobs to pay for her apartment.  She was staying with her grandmother but she had a stroke.  She moved into the apartment with a roommate who didn't stay.  And now her grandmother has died and her uncle is cleaning out her second hand shop.  She asks if she can have something to remember her grandmother by and he hands her a small item and tells her to leave.  She sneaks a box out of his truck and gets out of there...

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

This story really appealed to me.  When I was young, I'd look at people sitting on their porch by the river and wish I could trade places for a day.  That whimsical part of my mind loved this story.

What Lizzie finds is an old brown fedora in the box.  For fun, she tries it on.  It changes her life...

Imagine if you had a hat that could transport you to a safe place?  Or help you learn how to play a musical instrument?  Or help you recover a kidnapped baby?  Lizzie found all of that when she wore the hat.  The best part was that the hat could change shapes, textures and styles to match her outfit.  The hat was a bit insulted to find people didn't wear hats much anymore.  But he and Lizzie make a good team.

There's lots of action, the bad guys lose, and Lizzie's life has a new focus.  This was a very enjoyable read.  I'm rooting for Lizzie!

The Magic Chair Murder: A 1920s English mystery by Diane Janes

Frances is on the board of the Robert Barnaby Society.  They are staying at the hotel with "The Magic Chair" that is part of the Barnaby legend.  A lady is to speak about the tale and the chair the next day, but she's missing.  When she's found, she's dead...

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

Frances teams up with Tom and starts looking into things.  She had talked to her the night before and doesn't believe it was suicide as the police do.

It turns out the society is hotbed of intrigue, has been hiding an affair, and even has a guy who is a stalker.  It's not a group I'd like to be involved in!  As it is, her snooping gets her into trouble with the group.

They determine she was going to deliver some controversial information during her talk the next day.  They take a look at everyone in the group and her past.  As they sift through the facts they get closer to the killer.

Even more disconcerting, Frances finds herself falling for Ted.  Then she calls about the case and finds out he's married.  Things aren't easy for Frances, whose husband left her for another woman.

This was an interesting and entertaining mystery that I enjoyed.  I'd read more in this series.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Theo Paxstone and the Dragon of Adyron by James Turner

He's a mechanic at the local steam mech repair shop.  He has books about a brave knight and dreams of becoming one himself.   The fact that he's an orphan and poor has nothing to do with it.  He's brave (almost) and has his dreams.  While he focuses on being a hero, he's building himself his own steam machine.  It looks odd and has his own engineering in the design so it's experimental for the most part.  He hasn't run it yet.  But he will soon...

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

With dragons and witches, knights and knaves, and a conspiracy against the king, this was a fun read.  It's got just the right amount of steampunk, gives you characters to love and hate, and you get to watch Theo grow up right before your eyes.

When a dragon sets the royal tournament ablaze, Theo sees a way to realize his dreams.  He'll slay the dragon and everyone will admire him.  The fact that the dragon is huge is just coincidental.  There must be some way to kill it.

He joins an old knight that gets around in a wheelchair and his squire.  His machine was disabled in the disaster so they use Theo's unit.  The knight even purchases Theo to go on the quest with him.

What Theo learns is that nobody is who they say they are and most have secrets.  It's a good thing he's a tough kid or he wouldn't have made it.

This was a very good read.  I admire Mr. Turner's world building and would read more in this series.

The Falling of the Moon (Moonfall Mayhem Series) by A. E. Decker

This is a good buy.  It's all three books in this series in one volume.  All three were good reads for those like fantasy and magic.  There are plots within plots and this third book puts some of the pieces together for you.  I wouldn't mind reading more about these characters.  Oh, and watch out for the flying cat with wings...

World Weaver Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will published March 20th.

In "Into the Moonless Night", Ascot is determined to find Catch again.  He believes he's the golden one and is going to fulfill the prophecy.  He might die but it's his responsibility.  Ascot doesn't agree.  She thinks he could use help.

These stories include shape shifting, a witch that has a cauliflower house instead of a gingerbread one, a tall thin man that used to be a dog, the cat that can fly, a wolf and more odd characters before the quest is over.  Those that start as enemies even become friends.  When you have to overcome the ones holding all the power, you work together if you want to or not.

There's plenty of action, lots of surprises, and you finally learn what all this has been leading up to.  My favorite part is watching Ascot try to protect Catch while he tries to protect her.  The ending makes me think there may be more in this series.  If so, I'll read it.

I've already reviewed the first two books, so here are the links to those reviews:

The Falling of the Moon
The Meddlers of Moonshine

Give the whole series a try if you like fantasy.  They're a fun read.  The wolf is my favorite animal in the series. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hearts Entwined by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

This is a collection of sweet romance stories with a Christian touch to them.  There are four novellas and there's not a bad one in the batch.  I started this book and read straight through to the end.  It has variety and all are pleasantly written.

Bethany House sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

The Love Knot has a young woman who has moved away from home and become self-sufficient who gets a letter from her little sister.  The sister says she's made a mistake and she's sending her a package to take of by train.  What she finds is her old love and a baby.  The baby was her sister's mistake...

The Tangled Ties That Bind begins with an angry mother buffalo and two people up trees to get away from her.  While he's happy to see his love again, it's not the best way to say hi again.  Then she tells him she's going away to school.  He doesn't like that, so he follows her...

Bound and Determined is my favorite story.  How could you not like a story that has camels in it?  Not only that, both the main characters are strong willed and neither one of them backs down.  I'm a bit like that, so it made the story enjoyable to me.

Tried and True is the story of a young woman who knows who she loves but she's from a rich family and he's poor.  She tells him she doesn't care about money.  He's sure she will if she doesn't have any.  So she dresses down, goes to work in a mill, and ties knots on the vine by the door to his apartment.  He'll just have to change his mind...

This was a very good read and was just the thing to lift my low spirits from the weather.  Why don't you give it try? 

The Pajama Frame: A Madison Night Mystery by Diane Vallere

She's established a business by buying retro clothing and furniture and decor and offering it to customers.  She'll even help them decorate.  When she finds a friend of hers left her an old pajama factory, she's overwhelmed.  She doesn't know what to do with it.  And she can't even get in it because it was the scene of a crime years ago and is still padlocked.  Even worse, there's lots of gossip about what happened all those years ago.  Is this a blessing or a curse?

Henery Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.  

Madison is approached by protestors and the historical society when she goes to visit the property.  Then the cops show up.  Madison also has a conflict of interest with the cop.  They used to be enemies, now they are almost friends, and she's finding him attractive.  But her boyfriend is in California.  She's conflicted over that as well as the murder.

Two more people die in the present day before she works out who the killer is.  And when she does, she finds the killer in the same building she's in.  She can't hide.  Can she stay alive?

The story moves along well, the romance is interesting and I'm sure there will be more in this series.  It's a good cozy read.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Reluctant Fortune-Teller by Keziah Frost

Norbert has spent most of his life in the background.  He's not forceful, he was an accountant, and he's a widower.  His only joy in life is the chihuahua that his aunt left him.  He's behind in his bills and he has to get food from the local food bank to carry him through the month.  When one of the members of a woman's club sees his visit the food bank, she tells the others in the group.  It isn't long until their unofficial leader decides to take him in hand and get him better suited financially.  She has the perfect idea.  He can be a fortune teller using what the cards tell him.  He scoffs.  She leaves him books to read about it...

Park Row and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 6th.

While Norbert is skeptical about fortune reading, he does need money.  And from observing people all his life, he's learned things.  Another handy resource for him are the Reader's Digests he reads.  Others brush them off as not important but it helps him save the life of one client.  He also finds that often he just has to make them think about their situations and they can find their own solutions.  All is going well until he starts to get harassed for being a fraud.  And then a young woman goes missing after his discussion with her...

I spent a lot of my growing up time with my grandparents.  They had a lot of knowledge, a lot of memories, and may be a bit weird to young ones but they think you are, too.  Books like these take me back to those days.

The people in this story change; they change for the better.  Norbert has something to live for now and people enjoy having their fortunes told.  After all, if you can help them see their way forward how could they be upset? 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Inky the Octopus by Erin Guendelsberger, David Leonard

Inky has recovered from his injury.  He likes his friends in the tank and the aquarium is clean and they get a lot of human visitors, but it's just not the same as freedom...

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 3rd.

They have a lid on the tank but one day, it's left a bit loose.  Inky invites his friend to go with but he says no, so Inky sneaks out on his own.  He finds a drain he can use and suddenly he shoots out of the other end of the drain in the ocean!  Inky got his wish!

The fun part of this story is that it is based on a true incident.  An octopus did escape and return to the ocean.  The fact that they can collapse their bodies is how they get through small spaces.  I found myself rooting for Inky.

The graphics are big and colorful and the story will make you smile.  What more could you want?

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn by Frank Kelso

Nigel is a spoiled thirteen year old boy whose mother favors him.  He doesn't do chores,  just lazes around.  His family is from Wales and they are coming over to the states to convert the Indians.  It didn't turn out any better than it did for the Whitman family in Washington.  The Indians slaughter them and the only reason Nigel makes it because he hides...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

Since Nigel can't even cook for himself, he's in bad shape.  When he finds both his parents dead, the wagon burned and his sisters missing, he has no idea what to do.  When he hears horses, he's afraid the Indians are returning but it's a muleskinner.  He and his partner take Nigel with them because he'd die on the prairie.  When they get to town, they consider leaving him at the orphanage but it's so awful they decide to keep him.

Nigel begins by asking to ride a horse.  He's told he can walk.  He does get to ride a bit but he's not allowed to be lazy.  If he doesn't do what he's told, he doesn't eat.  It might only be beans but he's a growing boy and he's always hungry.  Next up, he's told to run instead of walking.  He's also taught how to cook and how to set up camp.  He's toughening up and getting in shape but then the muleskinner throws him another curve.  He says he has to stay with the Indians while he makes a long trip with the mules.  Nigel hates Indians!  Pascal tells him not all Indians are his enemy.

This is a tale of a young man coming of age with the help of Pascal, a defrocked priest, and an Indian family.  He learns a lot from everyone even if he's tired of being given tasks and he even finds out about sex while with the Indians.  He almost dies of mortification as his Indian mother explains birth control to him.

I like Nigel.  He's tough and won't give up.  There will be more in this series.  This is the authentic old west in a story told well.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Widow 1881 by Sara Dahmen

She's a widow who never had a love match and she gets involved with the brother of her sister's husband.  It's not meant to be a long term relationship but when she finds out she's pregnant, she knows she has to leave town.  She can't live with all the gossip and shame.  So she goes to be a housekeeper in the Dakotas...

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

She's a neat trim lady wearing mourning clothes when she arrives at her new job.  He tells her she'll have to get sturdier clothing because the work she will be doing will ruin her clothes.  She also has to get sturdier shoes.  No fancy stuff in this town.

She makes a few female friends but some people are standoffish.  When he founds out how young she is, he has her go stay with a Indian lady he's friends with.  That causes talk in town, too.  As she continues to work for him, she finds she's attracted to him.  However, she believes in love so she backs off since he has another interest.  She has a cowboy walking her home at night, so he thinks she's sweet on him.  They're both wrong.

This is an authentic depiction of the old west days and how much work everyone had to do.  The romance is sweet and smolders a bit before it catches fire but when it does, it makes for a lovely ending.

I really enjoyed reading this story.  If you've read any mail order bride books in the past and liked them, you'll love this one.

Sara Dahmen will be awarding a set of American-made pure maple wooden spoons from the author's kitchenware line (www.housekeepercrockery), valued at $60 (international) 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, February 21, 2018

Goldfisch Volume 1 Manga (English) by Nana Yaa

This story reminded me of King Midas and his golden touch.  This young boy steals an artifact that talks to him.  It tells him to drink it.  He does and now everything he touches turns to gold.  It doesn't turn out any better for him than it did for the King...

Diamond Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

His father is an adventurer who is often away.  When he finds a treasure map, he uses it and ends up what could be a curse on him.  He meets a girl about his age and she wants to find artifacts too, so they team up.

They fight to escape those adults hunting the same, they run into creatures who want to destroy them, and even witches can't help his curse or restore his twin to life.  They have an idea of what to do but the hunters are still on their trail and intend to steal their artifacts away from them.

I still can't get used to reading a book from back to front.  It just feels unnatural.  But the graphics are lovely, you can sympathize with the characters and I enjoyed this read.  There will be more in the series, so start with this one and get ready to read the next one!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Devil's Revolver by V. S. McGrath

This is a tale of the old west with dark magic intertwined.  It makes for an interesting if unsettling read...

Brain Mill Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

The old west fascinates me because it was a rugged life where death was handed out regularly.  Add in a pistol that only works for the person it has bonded with that can kill without bullets and you have a big reason for why people are dying.  Everyone wants that pistol.  The fact that you get another year older every time you use it doesn't seem to matter to warlocks and the like.

Hettie's job is to take care of her younger sister.  She talks to dead people and to people no one can see.  They're not sure how magical she is because she hasn't been tested yet but she's not normal.  Then men from her father's past show up at the ranch.  They kill her mother and father and try to kill her and abduct her little sister.  When she wakes up, she heads out after her sister.  She doesn't feel right but she's going to do what she promised and take care of her sister.  She's the only family she has left.

Just about everybody in this story lies to her.  No one is what they seem to be, not even her father.  When she finds out her "uncle" (no blood relation) has the pistol, she steals it from him.  When her friend tells her she's the only one that can open the box because it was her father's gun, she tries.  She pricked her finger on the case and gets some blood on the gun and suddenly the pistol is bonded to her!

There's death and dying and secret operatives and speculators and dirty Pinkerton agents, a cowboy gang, werewolves, vampires and more in this story.

Trust me, you won't be bored.

Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Volume 2 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, Julius M Gopez

Kenton is the Grand Mastrell of the Sand Masters, mostly because everyone else is dead.  He's trying to work on alliances with other leaders but it's not going well.  Not only that, there are assassins after him...

Dynamite Entertainment and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

The artwork is fabulous.  It's hard to tell who is safe and who is dangerous.  Everyone has bodyguards.  Even the friendly folks have their own agendas.

The story is full of action, there are monsters and madness, and the skill Kenton has to use the sand in defense is fascinating.  I easily read this book in a couple hours because I wanted to know what happened and the artwork drew me in.

If you like graphic novels, you'll love this one.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Harper and the Night Forest by Cerrie Burnell, Laura Ellen Anderson

Would you like to take a ride on a magic flying umbrella?  Would you enjoy being able to play music that does magical things?  Harper does...

Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 20th.

Harper has friends in her apartment house and they go on adventures together.  Her parents are away right now and she wants to help the Wild Conductor catch the Ice Raven.  He thinks that will help him get his job back.  But it's not that straight forward.  

It seems the Ice Raven is part of a fairy tale and the tale is unfinished.  Can she and her friends help complete the fairy tale?  And what do about the Wild Conductor is a problem, too.

This is a fun fantasy read and it takes everyone working together to come up with a solution.  There's even a magic bike that flies through the air.  What more could you want?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Master Key by Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (Translated by)

This is the story of an apartment house in Japan for women only.  Most of the inhabitants moved in during war days and didn't think they'd be there long.  Years later most of them are still there and stay in their little apartments from habit and for safety.  The story begins and ends with death...

Pushkin Vertigo and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 27th.

They are burying a little boy in the basement of the building.  This incident is tied to a kidnapping.  Practically everyone in this apartment house has a story and something they are hiding.  The chapters are little vignettes of their lives.  None of it seems to be related until you get to the end of the story where it all comes together.  The common thread is the theft of the master key.  It disappears twice during this story.

This tale is a bit dry and sad but it is a good look at a piece of life in Japan.  It was interesting and informative with a bit of mystery throughout the book.  Have you been to Japan?  This book will take you there. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

There's an old girl's school on the outskirts of the city.  When Fiona finds out they are going to rebuild it, she's horrified.  Her sister was killed and her body was left near Idlewild.  It haunts her to think of it operating again.  She's almost obsessed with the death of her sister.  Her killer is in jail but it doesn't make Fiona feel better.  She convinces her boss to let her write an article about it and begins to do some research on it...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will published March 20th.

Fiona is dating a cop.  He tries to get her to let go of the pain of her sister's death but she can't. She talks to the son of the woman who is going to refurbish the school and he offers her a tour.  As she tours, the contractors interrupt them.  They've found a body in the well.  Now Fiona really has something to investigate.  The girl is unknown, the body has been there since the early 1950's, it's a cold cold case and the police don't have the resources to do much investigation.  There's nothing to identify the body.  But Fiona is relentless.  She's going to research and find out who it is.  She does but it doesn't help her figure out she died.

The girls that attended this school were sent because they were illegitimate, were hard to control, or had mental problems.  If you didn't fit in the box, they sent you here to a new box where you wouldn't be embarrassing.  The dead girl was an orphan.  She'd had a hard sad life and Fiona can't let her die alone.

Another thing the school and even the police had in common was secrets.  As those are revealed, the story gets more complicated and intricate.

This is a tense story with lots of drama and unexpected outcomes.  I found it intriguing and interesting.  It's well worth a read.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lost Books and Old Bones: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton

She's an American who is working in a Scottish bookstore.  She loves her job, has friends and life is good.  Until a new friend she made is found dead behind the bookstore...

Minotaur Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published April 34rd.

Delaney likes the medical students she's met but it leads into a murder case.  She finds an old case from the past has something to do with the current events and she tries to make sense of it.  

The history of the old crime is fascinating, if a bit gruesome.  It's also true.  The author does a good of building her story from those facts.

There's a murdering doctor on the loose, everybody has some sort of secret, there are rumored affairs, and it's hard to weed out what's true and what's a lie.  The biggest lie is right in front of them but they can't see it.

The ending is exciting and Delaney almost loses her life.  I wouldn't have guessed who the murderer was and I was glad to see them brought to justice.  Especially since there was a wrong-doing long ago that got straightened out and a current plan thwarted.

If you like bits of history and books, this book is fun to read.  If you like a good mystery, this one fits that bill, too.  It was well worth my time and I enjoyed it.

Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

It's time for her twin brother to become the "Chosen One".  He'll be the new ruler for the kingdom.  Marabel really doesn't care about that, but she would like to be recognized as a member of the family instead of always standing in her brother's shadow.  It's not his fault, he tries to include her.  It's her father who thinks she unimportant.  Then her aunt comes to the event and kidnaps him!

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.  It's a very good read.

When she tries to run after them she finds every exit at the castle blocked.  The evil beings in the other kingdom are guarding the doors.  A dragon at one, a giant at another and more of the like.  Her father is just going to send a messenger to his sister demanding the return of his son.  Marabel is ready to mount a rescue force and go after him, so he locks her in her room.  It's not looking good.

This is an enchanting tale.  Marabel is not willing to sit by and do nothing.  Her maid comes up with a way out of the castle.  The unicorn they have in their stable comes with them.  She meets up with a fairy, an ogre, giants and a dragon and more before she's through with her journey.  

Here's fantasy at its best.  She's trying to stop a war and save her brother and while she works at that she also finds her destiny.  This was a very satisfying read.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury

I was expecting a tale of young girl growing up in Alaska and competing in the dog sled races.  Alaska can be cold and deadly and I thought it'd be a bit about survival, too.  What is, though, is really a horror story...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 20th.

Tracy learned survival skills from her mother and she still follows those rules.  But she doesn't understand that she's almost more wild that the animals she traps.  She runs with her dogs and spends time in the woods alone.  Her mom is gone now and that's where she takes comfort.  But she has a secret she doesn't share with everyone.

This is about a young girl coming of age and trying things out along the way.  She's sexually attracted by a young woman who is trying to escape the man who raped her.  The young women is pretending to be a man, but Tracy knows she's not.  Tracy also plans to race the dogs this year.  They haven't done the races since her mother died.

While she worries about the man she saw in the woods, she starts having hallucinations and suddenly she's gone too far with her knife and the wrong person lays at her feet. The wild inside Tracy has taken over.  The girl in her is fading away...

Tweet Hearts by Susan Reagan

Need a Valentine's Day gift suggestion?  Here's one for the little one in your life.

Robin Corey Books sent me a copy of this board book for review.  It has been published and would work very nicely for a gift.  It's special because it has a pop up at the end of the book that says "I love you."

Here are two birds tweeting themselves through the numbers from 10 to 1 as well as showing a lot of hearts. It's sweet and easy to read and those little fingers will be able to handle this book.

Books are better than candy; they last longer.  Why not share this sweet board book with your little one?

Happy reading.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Flicker of Old Dreams by Susan Henderson

She works in her father's mortuary.  Her mother died when she was born.  She and her father love each other but neither has a warm relationship with the other.  She has a better relationship with dead people than she has with live people...

HarperCollins and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 13th.

Mary is almost thirty and really hasn't even had a date yet.  She's a little too odd for the small town she lives in.  Everyone knows how she lives and what she does.  Who wants to be a mortician?

When the woman next door is fading from life, her son comes back to town.  He'd been involved in the grain accident where his older brother died and no one has ever forgiven him.  Mary tries to avoid him but he needs information on how to handle the future burial, so she has to deal with him.  Her father tells her to avoid him.  Despite all that good advice, she finds herself getting closer to him.

The dead are almost alive in this story and the living are almost dead.  Mary has to make a big decision about her future.  Will she stay in this town until she dies, too?  Or will she pursue the dreams she had in past?

Most people make those decisions earlier in life but Mary is a bit slow in growing.  Now she can see a reason why she might want to dream...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Anna still misses her parents.  First her father committed suicide, then a year later her mother did.  She's devastated and can't understand why her mother would leave her alone.  Anna is now a mother of her own and she wishes her mother was still here.  Be careful what you wish for...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 13th.

Anna thinks she sees her mother around, out of the corner of her eye, standing in the shadows when she walks by.  When she tells her boyfriend about it, he tells it is part of grief and part of postpartum.  She still thinks she sees her.

When she gets a threatening note, she goes to visit the police.  The cop she talked to is a civilian now and he can't take on the case, but she's got his interest.  He decides to look into and see if he can find something concrete that would reopen the case.

This author always works in personal relationships that are a bit off kilter in her stories.  It's not just a mystery, there's more than that going on.

Eventually, she finds out it wasn't just suicide; it was murder.  Anna thinks it's her father coming after her and her child and her mother, who faked her suicide.  Then she finds out the dead body was her father's.  So who is after them now?

With relationships going sideways, mixed up feelings in Anna, and the fear her mother inspires in her about what happened keeps your attention and makes you wonder how a perfectly normal family could have found themselves in this situation.  You won't forget this one easily.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano, John Brownjohn (Translated by)

Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily.  She plans to drink herself to death.  Nothing in life interests her anymore.  Then the young man who did odd jobs for her ends up dead.  Nastily dead.  She now has a new interest...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 6th.

Since she found the body, the police look at her as a suspect.  At last one of the supervisors shows up and after a few questions, let's her go.  She begins by asking about the dead man and interviewing those he worked for.  Most were quite polite but one company owner throws her out.  She pesters him everywhere and they aren't friends.  But she keeps digging.

She even has a romance going.  It's not going far and he's trying to keep his distance but he's drawn to her even if he is a police supervisor.  She delights in telling her sisters about him.  Then she finds he has another girlfriend...

When she finally figures out the killer, she confronts him in her home.  That wasn't a good choice.

With greed, hot blooded Italians and more in the story, it's amusing and fun to read even though it's a mystery.  I'd read another book about Auntie Poldi just to see how it turns out with her romance...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs

They're watching a water parade of pretty boats and displays from the widows walk on a big house.  When one of the guests topples over the railing and falls, they think he has been hit by a cannon from one of the boats.  No, it's worse than that.  He's got an arrow in him...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 6th.

This is a cozy mystery set in a tea shop with lots of discussion of tea flavors and food.  The rear of the book has some yummy sounding recipes for you.

Theodosia is asked to look into the murder by the owner of the home.  She says she will but she knows the police won't want her to.  It's especially hard since she's dating one of them.  But she asks questions and gets answers and then shares them with the police.  The senior police officer doesn't like her interference but he does get more info from her than he did in his own interviews.  It gets even more dangerous when someone appears to be on her tail.  She gets a rock thrown her window at work, the young man working for her gets hit by a car taking out the garbage, and she's still investigating.

This was a good read with multiple suspects and not many clues.  I liked it.  Why don't you give it a try?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Guardian Angels and Other Monsters by Daniel H. Wilson

This is an interesting group of short stories that tantalize your mind.  They're fantasy but they are close enough to reality to scare you a bit...

Vintage and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 6th.

The description on Edelweiss said:  "In “All Kinds of Proof,” a down-and-out drunk makes the unlikeliest of friends when he is hired to train a mail-carrying robot; in “Blood Memory,” a mother confronts the dangerous reality that her daughter will never assimilate in this world after she was the first child born through a teleportation device; in “The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever,” a physicist rushes home to be with his daughter after he hears reports of an atmospheric anomaly which he knows to be a sign of the end of the earth; in “Miss Gloria,” a robot comes back to life in many different forms in a quest to save a young girl. Guardian Angels and Other Monsters displays the depth and breadth of Daniel H. Wilson’s vision and examines how artificial intelligence both saves and destroys humanity."

Blood Memory is haunting and will stick in my mind for a while.  The Blue Afternoon... is about the end of our world.  Miss Gloria is an intriguing story that could have been longer; I enjoyed it.

None of these will bore you and they're nothing like anything I've read before.  I admire this man's mind and his words will stick with you. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

These Little Piggies Go to the Beach by Amy E. Sklansky, Christine Davenier

This story has the same rhythm and rhyme as the original nursery rhyme "This Little Piggy", but this time they are going to the beach.

MoonDance Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 6th.

The illustrations are whimsical and the story is cute.  There are calamities at the beach but they adjust and enjoy their day anyway.  I liked how the story was put together and the piggies played just like young siblings do.  Here's a fun story to read to your little ones!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Wonderful Baron Doppelganger Device by Eric Bower, Agnieszka Grochalska

His parents are inventors and they create some doozie inventions!  When he tells his class about the inventions and the adventures they have, his teacher thinks he is lying.  He spends most of his time in the corner with the dunce hat on...

Amberjack Publishing and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 6th.

This is written for middle grade readers and is silly enough to give them some laughs.  It will probably make them wish they had some of these devices to play with, too!

The Doppleganger Device can change anyone or anything into a copy of someone else.  But, if they try to change the real person, it will turn their skin inside out.  That doesn't sound pleasant, does it?

When WB meets a new boy at school, he's hoping for a new friend.  BW seems to like him and all is going well until the day of the fair.  Rose gets accused of making an exploding pie and she's WB's friend so he's worried about her.  He goes for walk and wakes up on a freight train.  He doesn't know how he got there but he's got to get off and go home!

He makes it home and then finds out he has a real problem.  He's already there...  Who got hold of the Doppleganger Device?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Exiled Otherkin by D. Lieber

She's been banished from the Fae world by her stepmother after her father's death.  It's not fair but it's a rule she can enforce.  The stepmother even has her old boyfriend escort  her out of faerieland.  She has a mean streak and likes to bury the knife deep.

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

The first thing that happens is Ember discovers her magic is gone and she has to hide her ears.  Then she happens upon an alley fight and defends the underdog.  When he's safe, she plans to move on.  But he follows her.  He follows her through the whole story...

Even though her stepmother has thrown her out of the faerie kingdom, she has Ember followed.  She'd prefer to see her dead.  All she does is make Ember mad.

When Ember and Reilly join a group of traveling faeries and develop their own talents to make an act to make some money.  There's a really interesting twist in the tale at this point that adds some romantic conflict to the story.

There's lots of action, Ember learns to trust again, and it has an exciting ending.  I enjoyed this read.  It was a very good fantasy tale.  Read it and see what you think.

D. Lieber will be awarding a fancy homemade bookmark (US ONLY) 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! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

UNEASY PREY: A Zoe Chambers Mystery by Annette Dashofy

Zoe is part of the ambulance crew and when they go out on a call, she recognizes the address.  This elderly lady has fallen before and needed help.  The problem this time is that she is beyond help.  They try to keep her alive and she tells them she didn't fall, she was pushed.  When she dies at the hospital it turns into murder.  They also think they know who the killers are.  They have some burglars that steal from old people that they haven't found yet.  This might have been a burglary gone wrong.

Henery Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 27th.

This is a story of family needs and money.  People get desperate and desperate people do bad things.  It's sad when need exceeds love but it does happen. Zoe almost dies in this adventure.  I never imagined the killer would turn out to be it was. 

Zoe and Pete love each other but they are still working out where they will live.  When a reporter is in town working on the story, she flirts with Pete.  Zoe doesn't like that.  With that in the background, a thirteen year old boy who keeps getting in trouble for fighting, and looking for the killer both of them have plenty to do.

It's a good mystery but the story is a bit sad.  None of the people involved needed to die.  Sometimes life isn't fair. 

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

This is a novel about a young family who is moving to Philadelphia to learn a new trade and try to leave behind the pain of their baby son's death.  All is going well.  Uncle Fred takes them in and he intends to leave the business to their father upon his death.  They make friends at school and at home.  There is a war going on but they aren't affected by it yet.  Then the Spanish Flu comes to town and their father gets called to war ...

Berkley shared an ARC of this book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

The flu spreads from family to family and no one is safe.  Uncle Fred is an undertaker and he soon has no place to store the bodies coming in.  They try to take to food to those who are ill (some do survive) and when the older daughter finds a baby in a house of death, she takes him home.  She thinks they can adopt them and then they won't miss Henry so much.  It's a good idea but it creates a circle that brings pain at the end.

The author writes the story well and you feel the emotions of the characters.  It's a sad tale with death on every corner.  But people are resilient and those who survive come back to life and love after the sorrowful event.  

I especially liked watching the girls grow up.  They each became their own person and are strong in their own way.  I certainly hope they all get to live happily ever after.  They deserve it after the tragedy in their earlier lives.

You feel like you've lived through this moment in history when you read this book.  I won't forget it soon.