Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Fed-up Cow by Peta Lemon (Goodreads Author), Maria Todoric (Illustrator)

This is a very charming children's picture book.  The author was inspired by a bored looking cow in a field.  The story it inspired is cute and funny and makes a great read for young ones.

The author shared a copy of the book with me for review (thank you).  You can purchase a copy now.

Hilda is bored.  There's nothing to do but chew her cud and wait for another day to go by.  As she watches the other farm animals, she's sure that they are having a better time.  Look at all the sheep.  They even get shorn each year and that's exciting.  Suddenly she's got a great idea.  She'll disguise herself as a sheep.

Even wearing a big white wig doesn't change who she is.  So she decides to be a pig next.  Painting herself pink, she joins them.  It doesn't work out well.  Next she sticks on some chicken feathers but it's cramped in the cage.  Then she comes up with the best idea yet...

It's like a lesson in life.  You are what you are but you can't change it.  You can become better at it, though, and that's what Hilda found out.

The illustrations are whimsical and will make you smile.  Why not sure this with your little ones and make them laugh? 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Keturah by Lisa T Bergren

Their father has died in the West Indies and now Keturah is the oldest in the family.  The farm her father was managing over there hadn't made any money for a couple of years and he had used up their capital trying to improve the farming techniques.  They'll lose the home they are living in if it continues.  So she's going to the West Indies to manage the farm and find a new overseer.  But she's not going alone.  No matter how she tries to talk them out of it, her two sisters come with her...

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

The West Indies is run by men.  They have no respect for women.  If she wants to keep the farm, she needs to marry one of them and let them run it.  Keturah is defiant.  She was married once and he abused her.  She will not let a man tell her what to do again.  When no one will work for her as overseer, she mentions it to one of her Negroes on the farm.  The lady takes her to meet her brother.  He's a freeman and has his own small plot.  She offers him wages, a share of the crops and room and board.  He takes the position.  Now she's pissed off the men even worse.  Negroes are less than women, they treat them like animals.  She's not done doing things her way.  When the overseer gets beat up and Keturah gets threatened, she starts carrying a knife with her.  So do her sisters.  With no law to speak of, you have to protect herself.

The other part of the story is a couple of budding romances.  Keturah's old childhood friend owns the farm next door and they go into a partnership.  He hopes that will keep her safe and that she might come to love him someday.  Her younger sister is being dated by the ship captain that brought them to the islands.  It's not going to be long before all the sisters in this family find their loves.  Keturah is just the first. 

Crook's Hollow by Robert Parker

Someone is trying to kill Thor.  With pure luck he evades death by a piece of farm equipment.  It doesn't take him long to figure out why:  His land is worth money to a developer.  But who is trying to kill him.  Is it his family or his girlfriend's family?  

Black Rose Writing 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.

Remember the tale of the Hatfields and McCoys?  This rivalry is even worse.  The two families in Crook's Hollow hate each other and always have.  That makes things difficult for Thor because his girlfriend is from the other family.  Neither side wants to see them together.  But he loves her and doesn't want to give her up.

This is very twisted tale with lots of people getting killed, all over greed.  Everything that Thor believed in was shattered.  He's always been independent and took care of himself but he's got a long road ahead of him as he recovers from the knowledge of who was trying to kill him and how he was betrayed.  This is truly a tale of horror and will stick with me for a while.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

In Places Hidden (Golden Gate Secrets #1) by Tracie Peterson

Camri is coming to San Francisco to find her brother.  He's not sending his usual letters and no one knows where he is.  She doesn't know how she will find him but she knows she won't leave until she finds out what happened to him...

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

She meets two ladies on the train who are a bit poor, so she offers to take them to her brother's home to stay.  His servants are still there and they make her and her friends feel welcome.  They have no idea where Caleb is either.  

The first thing she discovers is that her money won't last forever, so she asks one of the ladies to check with her uncle and see if she can work in the chocolate factory, too.  She doesn't want a factory job but she needs money for her search and to pay the servants.

What she finds out is that San Francisco is not the cities back east.  There are Irish, Chinese and other cultures there and they are all on the poor side of town.  She meets Caleb's boss, who also doesn't know where Caleb is.  She meets the man who was represented by Caleb in his last case.  She loves his sister who is dying of consumption.  She meets many people familiar with Caleb but no one has any information.

Patrick, the Irishman, is willing to help her look.  While he pursues from other angles, he lets her know her assumptions about people, education and church make her a snob.  It's eye-opening to her and makes her understand that all she believed was not necessarily true.

This story was very enjoyable.  It dealt with some unpleasant topics but that was life back then.  The end of the story is full of hope and I'd read another in this series.  It was a very good read.

A Fistful of Elven Gold by Alex Stewart

Drago is a bounty hunter.  He's a gnome, only two feet nine inches tall, but he's fast and efficient with his sword.  When he goes after someone, he gets them.  The only problem he has is that he sometimes gets underfoot and the bad guy will fall on him.  That ends up with the bad guy being impaled.  But it was self-defense, so he takes his reward and doesn't get nailed for the crime.  All's fine until bounty hunters start showing up dead all over the city...

Baen and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for  review (thank you).  It will be published April 3rd.

I really enjoyed this one.  There are gnomes, goblins, elves, and plenty of danger for everyone.  When he almost gets killed by some goblins, he bargains a contract to go after the goblin sending them.  An elf is willing to pay for the death of the goblin.  Drago is not sure he wants to kill him but he does want to get the goblins off his back so off he goes.

His company on his trip is entertaining and he has friends before he arrives at this destination.  There he meets up with an elf who is on the same mission he is.  He wants to kill the goblin.  Drago decides to work with him, he didn't want to kill a man in cold blood anyway.  Fighting for your life is one thing, but just murdering someone doesn't appeal to him.

Unbeknownst to him, the elf has an alternate agenda and the story gets a lot more complicated before it ends.  All in all, it's a grand quest with fantasy creatures I enjoy and I really loved the story.  I highly recommend this book as a good read.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Amish Teacher's Gift by Rachel J. Good

Ada is a new teacher and she has been hired to teach special needs students.  She's been reading about their needs and how to teach them but school days are drawing near and she's nervous.  She takes care of her seven siblings and one of them is deaf so she has skills.  She just doesn't know how each child will react...

Forever and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 24th.

Josiah has a son who can't hear.  He has terrible tantrums and he's difficult for most people to handle.  Will this young new teacher be able to handle him?  She handles him just fine.  She also discovers he's afraid of his father.  She knows Josiah is a kind father so she tries to find out why he's afraid.

What she finds is that Josiah doesn't know much sign language, which makes communication tough.  As the boy learns more words in school, it gets a bit easier to talk to him.  He likes her brother and that helps, too.  It turns out the young boy doesn't understand what happened to his mother.  He thinks his father took her away.  No, she died from cancer.  Trying to explain her death will take some doing.

While all this is going on, Ada and Josiah are falling in love with each other.  His mourning period isn't over yet but he knows he wants her for his next wife.  Gossip and misunderstandings get involved but they overcome their troubles.

This was a very nice story with romance and several lessons about life.  I enjoyed it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Disappeared by C. J. Box

First the game warden disappeared and then a young English woman does the same.  Joe is asked to go find the young woman and see what's going on.  It's a new governor sending him and he's not anxious to do it but it's best for his future if he says yes.  The only positive thing about it is that he'll get to see his oldest daughter while he's there.  She works for the dude ranch the woman disappeared from.

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

He begins to get the idea there's something funny about this job before he finds out the governor's office has the key's to the game warden's house.  Why would they have that?  

The more people he talks to, the more he finds that there are secrets in this town.  He has a reputation as a straight shooter (talking about his personality, not his gun skills) and he finally hears a few things.  He eventually locates the game warden.  He's been bought off.  Then they find out why he was paid to go away.  It's not a nice thing.

In the meantime, the English woman is still missing.  Then his daughter finds her.  Unfortunately she's with the daughter's boyfriend at his cabin.  He didn't show up for work because he broke his leg.  

Two mysteries were solved but Joe's not done with this case.  He's being hauled off to jail because he kept investigating when he was fired and his daughter is waiting for her boyfriend to heal up so she can kill him.  There will be more to straighten out in the next book.  I'll have to read it to see how it goes! 

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Eelyn is an Aska clan member and she fights against the Riki clan with her father and friend.  They killed her brother and she intends to kill as many of them as she can.  What shocks her is that when they are fighting the current battle, she sees her brother on the Riki side.  He was dead, she saw him.  How could he be fighting for the enemy?

Wednesday Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 24th.

The next time she sees him, she follows him.  He won't acknowledge her and his friend takes her prisoner.  She fought with him but he's bigger than she is and she ends up back in the Riki camp.  It's winter, she can't escape.  As she learns about the people she hates, she begins to realize they are not as different as she wanted to think.  Many of them don't like her but they don't know her either.  The time in their camp changes her mind about many things.

The two tribes have a common enemy and when they attack the Riki village, she fights with them.  Then she wants to visit her tribe and see if anyone is still alive.  Her brother's friend goes with her.  Some are still alive but they want to kill the Riki she's with.  She won't let them.  

I like the message in this story.  People have many things in common.  In this case it was not only personal attributes but a common enemy.  Working together you can conquer many things.  You just have to get over the hump of prejudice and mistrust.

This was a very good read and I enjoyed it a lot.  It's a great fantasy novel.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Warrior By Tira St. James

This is an epic tale of a fictional world where the Queens are the ultimate authority.  Women can make good rulers but they are subject to poor rulers here and there just like men.  There's a lot wrong in this world and it will take someone who is able to think of their feet and can make decisions quickly.  Sina can do that but she's just a princess.  That changes...

The author shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can find a copy on Smashwords.

The story begins with family life in the Royal family.  Sina is tall and lean and wears pants most of the time.  She practices with swords, knives and fists so she can defend herself.  Her twin brother is a samer (homosexual) and some scorn him for that.  Her sister is the future queen.  But again, things change.

When Sina goes to check on nearby villages, she finds that they are not being treated well by the Queen in that area.  It doesn't take long until with the help of her sister and her husband, Sina gets involved in a war.  Her mother has made her the designee for the future queen, and her sister is willing to kill them all to get it back.  She uses people, they use her and she still hates her sister and her mother.

This is a war that effects all the kingdoms and it takes a special skill that Sina has found documented in a lost book in the library at home.  She learns to open gateways and travel between kingdoms in moments instead of days.  With an earthling to show them the ways of war, Sina's warrior ability, and her knowledge of gateways, it's almost like a war of the worlds.  Having some insane people around makes the story more exciting.

While this is a long book, it's busy, interesting and exciting enough to keep you reading.  Read a bit at a time and savor it.  The magic lasts longer that way.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Master Blacke: Tales of the Great Wood by Pete Prown

Her parents went out and didn't come back.  Rue is a pocket mouse and she's an only child.  She goes out to look for them and finds it's easy to harvest food in the forest.  She doesn't know she's in trouble until she sees a fox sizing her up.  She only escapes the fox because a friendly skunk sprays him to make him go away.  Then she takes Rue home with her...

Book Publicity Services and the author shared a copy of this book with me.  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Master Blacke is a raven and he's their school teacher.  This kingdom of small animals has a council and everyone works together for the common good.  There is a conspiracy going on but no one knows it yet.  The area they are in is protected and big predators cannot enter to harm them.  They are fair game if they go beyond the established perimeters of the safe haven.  But things are changing...

This reminds me of Watership Down and the Redwall series.  The animals have their own language, they work hard, and they are willing to fight to keep their safe zone.  

When the mink and her band of predators tell them they are disbanding the safe zone, it doesn't go over well.  But when protestors get eaten and the predators bring them food, some decide it might not be all bad.  It's true that when they nap after eating, there a few less of them when they wake up but they decide it might be fair.  Especially since they'd die if they disagreed.  But not all of them are so weak and wishy washy.

When Rue and her Kestrel friend get kicked out the village, they decide to go for help.  It's dangerous and there are animals on the hunt for them so the story is exciting and busy.  Not everyone survives but this is a full bodied well thought out tale that is a real pleasure to read.  I loved it.  Your young adult reader probably will, too.  It'd make a great gift.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

So Pretty a Problem by Francis Duncan

He's an amateur sleuth but he reminds me of Hercule Poirot.  He's slow and deliberate in his actions and he uses his brain to solve the crime.  The big difference between the two detectives is that Mordecai is a bit of a romantic and sometimes he has to fight his emotions.  He was taking a nap on the beach when his neighbor wakes him with the news she has shot her husband and he's dead...

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 1st.

The victim is an artist who is very talented.  He's working his way up to more notice and more sales but someone has ended his career.  It's definitely not suicide.  The wife has confessed but her story doesn't add up.  When she changes it, it's still not right.  What's she not telling?

This little cove is hiding a lot of secrets.  Neighboring men love the wife, the women love the husband, and although they act attentive and sweet in public, it's not so nice in private.

This is tangled web of mystery where everybody had a part and most of them were around when the murder happened.  It's just trying to determine who the actual killer was that was troubling for Mordecai, but he figures it out.

I find tales like these comforting.  It's like visiting with an old friend and helping them solve a problem.  If you like Agatha Christie, you'll like this story, too. 

The Secret Lab by A.B. Carolan

The trouble all started with the cat.  I could have told them that since I've been living with cats for years but they look so sweet, love to be petted and they purr.  It doesn't take long before you feel fond of them and then watch out.  They're great manipulators.  In this case, the cat is really the innocent one...

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

This is a fun fantasy about kids growing up on a space station. This is unusual but earth has been going by the wayside so the parents brought the children with them.  They are smart, still receive schooling and they know almost too much about the space station.  They begin playing with things.  And when the oldest girl meets the cat who sits on her lap and purrs while she's doing her homework, she doesn't know what secrets the cat will bring to life.

The captain maintains strict control on the station.  She has secrets.  Their livelihood and station improvements are maintained by money from corporations and politicians.  This leads to special interests and strange missions the general public doesn't know about.

This is an interesting tale with a talking cat and the young ones being prominent in the storyline.  It's busy, fast paced and entertaining.  If you like science fiction/fantasy, you will enjoy this book.  Give it a try. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

West by Carys Davies

He's a widower.  He's tired of moping about and sleeping too much in his sorrow.  When he reads about dinosaur bones being found in Kentucky, he decides to go find himself one of those big animals.  It'll be an adventure and then, rejuvenated, he can head for home again.  He asks his sister to watch over his child.  She says no but he talks her into it.  He tells his daughter the trip will probably take two years but he'll be back.  He's wrong.

Scribner and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 24th.

Her father travels alone, asking directions along the way.  He's following the Lewis & Clark trail but it's really only general directions so he seeks aid on the way.  By the time the second winter rolls around, he's worn down, has lost weight and has a young Indian guide.  

Meanwhile, his daughter is on her own for the most part.  Her aunt lives there but she has her own interests and Bess isn't one of them.  Without realizing it, she has attracted the attention of two pedophiles.  She's independent and resourceful which is a good thing.  Her instincts keep her away from them.

The story ends with a sadness and a sense of justice.  The old west was tough and not all survived.  But those that did were strong and stubborn and didn't back down.

Paper, Scissors, Death: Book #1 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series by Joanna Campbell Slan

The story begins with the death of her husband.  She can't believe what the cop is trying to tell her.  He was in good health and still young, how could he die?  They believe it was a heart attack but she doesn't.  But who would have killed him?

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

It gets worse.  Despite living well and having plenty of money to spend, she finds out he was in debt and she will have to liquidate everything.  If that's not bad enough, his mother is trying to take her little girl away from her.  Life is definitely treating her nice right now.

When she finds out he was still sleeping with his old girlfriend, her life topples over again.  Then the lover turns up dead and the cops think she did it.  Could it get worse?  Yes and it does.

This is a well written cozy with a new romance blooming and the main character being threatened with death.  I'd love to read more in this series.  The author give you characters you can like.  The only problem is the murderer is still alive...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Twenty-One Days: A Daniel Pitt Novel by Anne Perry

Daniel is a relatively new attorney and he's trying to save a man from hanging.  He's making an impassioned plea when someone tries to interrupt him.  His boss has sent him a message to leave the case he's on and go to another.  He refuses and finishes his plea.  Then he waits to see what the jury decides.  They find his man not guilty.  Then he runs on to the next case.  He's not so lucky there.

Ballantine Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

This client also says he's not guilty but Daniel isn't so sure that's true.  The man's wife has been killed and he shows no sorrow over it.  He's working with another lawyer who is experienced and has won many cases.  Still, the jury finds the client guilty.  The head of the firm tells the more experienced lawyer to see if there were any mistakes in the proceedings; he tells Daniel to investigate the case.  If he's not guilty, someone else must be.  They have twenty-one days to do it.

What Daniel finds make him question his father, his personal beliefs, and he has to find his moral compass.  There are accusations made in a book the jailed man wrote that are very dangerous.  There is more background about the man that makes him even more vile.  But Daniel meets a woman who can do pathology and she gives him some important clues about the victim.

This was a complex read that I found very satisfying.  Ms. Perry never disappoints me.  I'd like to read more about Daniel.  He's just beginning his career and I can see that it will continue to be very challenging.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver

Kelly is hosting a cooking class in her bed and breakfast to promote her business.  Instead of promoting business, it promoted murder...

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 17th.

When a obnoxious reporter is killing on sacred Indian ground, Kelly's Indian friend is taken into custody.  She knows he didn't do it.  So she and the Silver Sentinels set out to solve the crime through old fashioned fact finding.  

One of the uncommon facts Kelly learns is that the sunken cedars under water are worth big bucks.  The minerals in the water change the color of the wood and it can be carved into unique pieces that sell well.  She has her suspicions about who is harvesting this old protected wood that you need a permit to remove but she can't prove it.  What she doesn't know is how dangerous this quiet community is.

When a man attending the cooking class collapses, they find he has been poisoned by mushrooms.  He was the only one that got the bad ones and a doctor at the scene managed to save him but who wanted to kill him?

There are more questions and not many answers until the end of the book.  I enjoy older people helping solve mysteries.  Kelly was a well developed character and the story was enjoyable.  This was a good cozy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Enne's mother is missing.  She told her if she wasn't back in a month, it would be because she was dead.  It'd been two months and Enne was going to find her or find out what happened to her.  She was all she had left.

Harlequin Teen and Edelweiss let me read me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

She's going to the City of Sin and everything she's read about it makes her want to stay home.  The first thing that happens is that she goes to ask the local police about her mother.  They attempt to retain her and try to question her.  The boy they were harassing before she spoke up tells her to run.  She does but they are after her.  He tells her to dump her luggage and leads her off from the dock.  She has no choice, she follows.

She finds herself joining a bunch of young ones that are gang members.  She only knows one name here and they tell her he'll be back that evening.  She decides to wait since she doesn't know what else to do.  Levi is obnoxious and anxious to get rid of her.  He takes her down a street of prostitutes and other sexual trade to shock her.  It does but she's no shrinking violet.  She's embarrassed but she goes along with him. 

She's entering a world she never imagined existed.  She was going to a finishing school at home and intended to make her debut the following year.  Those skills don't help here.  She learns a lot about herself, she finds herself falling in love with Levi, and she's going to find her destiny here, too.  It's not what she thought it was.  Neither was her mother...

This is a fanciful, exciting read with danger all around.  Just to survive here is a great accomplishment.  As you read, you wonder who is going to die next.  

I enjoyed the suspense and the bits of magic in the tale.  I'm hoping there may be another in this series.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith

This is a tale of World War II.  War makes you doubt how long you'll be alive and many of the soldiers fell in love and wanted to marry.  Many didn't get a happy ever after but some did.  This is the tale of an American soldier and his love and a German soldier and his.  It sounds authentic and made me both happy and sad.

Pantheon and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

Val is working as a farm lady on a farm owned by a local neighbor.  She's asked to deliver eggs to the Americans stationed there.  When she does, she meets Mike.  She drops a dozen eggs and as he tries to help her catch it, the other dozen drop and break also.  That unfortunate first meeting leads to dates and he's interested in marrying her.  But before they get that far, he's reassigned.  She promises to wait for him.  As time goes on, she finds out she's pregnant...

When Mike's plane crashes, they say he's most likely dead.  But there were people who were willing to hide Americans.  And when they are discovered by the Germans, it's a German who doesn't like the war.

It's fascinating look at life behind the lines of war and how unexpected things work out.  I don't like to read war stories but I do like this author.  He does a nice job with this book but I think I'll stick to the No. 1 Detective Agency series.  It doesn't make me want to cry.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Flying at Night by Rebecca L. Brown

Piper's son is a good boy.  He has obsessions with things.  For a while airplanes fascinated him.  Then he moved on to another subject.  He also has some trouble learning but he's passing his grades.  She's trying to train him not to say things too bluntly.  But he doesn't really have a problem.  That's not what the school thinks...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

While they are testing her son, she's not happy about her marriage anymore.  It's like he's never home and all he talks about are his cases.  He's no help at raising their son and now she's working hard to keep the son from being labeled.

The next crisis is when her father has a heart attack.  He's a pilot, runs every day, plays squash, and he collapsed in the steam room.  They initially tell them he's brain dead.  In time, he recovers enough to come home.  But her mother refuses to live with him anymore and arranges a nursing home for him.  When Piper goes there to drop him off, she won't leave him there.  It's an ugly facility and she's not impressed with the staff.  So she brings him home since he can't be alone.

Living with a son who is on the Autism spectrum and a father she hated when she was young is not easy on Piper.  Most of her father's memories are gone.  He's changing from who he used to be.  He also gets along very well with her son.

This is a story of changes in life.  Not only does she learn to love her father, she realizes how much they are alike and it bothers her.  When you've been taught perfection is the only thing acceptable, you have to learn that life doesn't happen that way...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Bermuda Connection (A Nick Randall Novel Book 2) by Robert Rapoza

Nick Randall doesn't know how to stay out of trouble.  He knows he has assassins after him and instead of hiding, he attacks.  He knows how bad the danger is and he's willing to sacrifice himself to save the world.  The only regret he has is that now his two children are involved, too, as well as many of his friends.  How do you overcome overwhelming odds?

The author shared a copy of this book with me for a review (thank you).  I found the first one in the series very interesting and the action doesn't stop in this one either.  You can buy a copy now on Amazon.

This source of power would allow someone to control the world.  There are so many people after it, every time Nick escapes one group he runs into another.  It's like jumping from the frying pan into the fire because the danger level just keeps rising.

With secret military forces, Chinese soldiers, the FBI, and more all vying for the source, it's all Nick and his family and friends can do to stay alive.  The soldiers that try to protect them end up dead.  This is the story of desperate war with unusual participants.  It takes what skills each person has to keep them alive and moving.  They may be injured but they're not down.

This is part science fiction and part war novel.  It's full of action and adventure, and it was a good read.  I don't think the story is over yet but I might be mistaken.  Some of their enemies are dead, so it might calm down.  But this family is not one that doesn't make waves...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Verdict on Crimson Fields (World of Prime #4) by M.C. Planck

Christopher accidentally fell through a portal on Earth is now on a medieval world full of goblins, witches, elves, various religious beliefs, dragons, hobgoblins and more strange creatures.  The one thing they all have in common is that they want to kill him...

Pyr Science Fiction and Fantasy shared an ARC with me to review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

With political plots and many of the characters working at cross purposes (the elves especially), there's plenty of intrigue and magic to hold your attention.  Even if you're killed, magic can bring you back to life.  But only if those wielding the magic can get some rest and renew.

This is a strange new world and Christopher has been introducing earthly weapons to them.  They have dynamite, cannons and more so they are fairly successful at the missions the King sends them on.  But Christopher keeps developing more power all the time and the King is feeling threatened.  Soon his friends must choose which side they will support.  It's not easy.  Some he wins, some he loses.

He's trying to organize another form of government that will be more than just a dictator at the helm.  Not all of them are interested in that.  But he knows there is more danger than even the King coming. 

The pace is fast and the story has lots of action.  This was a good read.  The next book should be even better. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris

Hero slips on the ice and falls on the way home from the poor side of town.  To her dismay, she falls on a body.  Even worse, she knows who the lady is.  Because she was a music teacher for Princess Charlotte, her body is soon confiscated by the Royalty.  But Hero has seen enough to know it wasn't a natural death.  She has a head wound that would bleed profusely and there was no blood to speak of in the snow.  However, the case is closed as accidental death.  Hero and her husband decide to investigate themselves.

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 3rd.

This entire series is very good.  It's set in Victorian times and women have no rights, those rich are hoarding the money and spending it on themselves and won't share with those who need it, sex is vibrant but not discussed and Hero and Sebastian make a good team.  They each have their talents and view cases as assignments and talk about how to approach it.  I wouldn't want them after me.

As always Royal politics and high ranking politicians are manipulating things.  They don't care if the lesser beings in life die or get killed.  If you get in their way, you could end up dead yourself.  Hero and Sebastian are walking a fine line down the middle but if they misstep it could be fatal.  As people around them start dying, you can feel the danger.

The killer is a surprise.  Sebastian puts together her last few days and finds she had been raped as well as burdened by things she learned.  The final confrontation is tension filled and very dramatic.  Justice does prevail but not through a court...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst

This is a rip roaring fantasy tale of the type I really like.  Create unique characters, give them a quest, and let them find friends to help them succeed.  She's a girl made of stone by a master stonemason and he's died some time ago.  Their marks are beginning to wear off and she needs to find another stonemason so they don't turn back into rocks...

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

The big turtle has already frozen in place.  The others are starting to slow down.  Their marks must be made again to keep them alive.  She decides to go to the nearest town and find one.  She's going alone but the birds follow her.  They can help her so she allows them to go along.  After all, it's lonely all by herself.

She finds that people mistake her for a human at first.  Then she finds out everyone has a keeper in the town.  No one's ever owned her and now everyone wants to keep her!

She's twelve years old in size and shape and she was built by a loving father, she doesn't want to be anyone's slave.  She can also think for herself, so she debates over how to get the help she needs without being conquered. There's plenty of action, lots of excitement, and just when it becomes the most intense, she makes a discovery that can save them all.  

This was an excellent read and young adults should be reminded of the excitement of the Harry Potter series.  Buy it, you'll like it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson

Agatha Christie is taking a trip to a tropical island to recuperate from her last excursion and to help her get over her pending divorce.  When someone in secret service asks her to look into the death of man stationed there, she agrees.  She doesn't realize how convoluted and confused the truth will be on this island...

Atria Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

The first thing that happens is there is a suicide on board the ship and she witnesses it.  That's not helping her stress level.  Especially since the woman who was trying to stop her suicide tells her she was sleeping with her husband and it's all her fault.  It sounds way too familiar.

While this author has set the time period in the era of Ms. Christie, he has surrounded her with deeper crimes and atrocities than she normally used in her books.  It took a bit to get into the story but then his words gripped me and I was anxious to see how it would end.

Despite her attempts to determine the murderer, she even gets to spend a night in jail!  Her mind is still good even if her emotional health isn't and she eventually works out what happened.

It's a bit strange to read about her as character in the story but it carries her spirit and the author has a good way with words.  I enjoyed it.  Why don't you try it?

Murder by Mail by Bill Youngblood

A popular dentist is out jogging like he usually does when a black Mercedes pulls up and stops.  The driver calls him by name and then shoots him twice, leaving a newspaper article under his head...

I found this one on Book Review Buzz and the author kindly sent me a copy to read.  You can buy it now on Amazon.

As more deaths appear, it seems the common denominator is that they wrote letters to the editor.  They were a bit controversial but you wouldn't think someone would kill over it.

As the cops weed through the facts and try to determine who would be draining gas tanks and killing, it takes time before they make the connection.

This a well written story with no clue about who the killer is until the end.  I enjoyed the mystery and storyline.  Give it a try.  I bet you won't figure out the killer either. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman

Carol's lived her whole life with a very unusual condition.  She collapses and it's like she's dead.  She's not but there is no sign to indicate life.  Her heartbeat is slow and faint, she doesn't show her breath in a mirror, and those who don't know her secret think she's dead.  Her husband knows and he's too chicken to murder her but if she gets buried alive, who will know?

Del Rey and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

This story is a mix of paranormal, horror, and a touch of love.  It was not what I expected and I had to stretch my imagination while reading it, but it sure kept my attention.  I had to see how it ended...

She hasn't told the people in town of her disability because she doesn't want them to pity her.  Her first love left her because he was fearful about what might happen to her.  So at this point in life, her husband is the only one that knows and he's not telling either.  When she faints outside, he declares her dead and stores her in the cellar until she can be buried.  But Carol has friends...

You can feel the horror of being trapped in your own body and not being able to come back.  She always has before but her mother was alive then.  When you're living with an enemy and don't know it, it's a bad thing.

Her maid sends a message to the man that left her.  He starts back and the action heats up.  He's a man of legend and everyone wants to know how he did what he did.  He won't say.  The husband hires a killer to take him out.  People are dying all over and Carol is waiting to be buried. 

I won't forget this one anytime soon.

Sea Creatures from the Sky by Ricardo Cortés

I asked to review this book because the illustrator is the #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator.  I wanted to see his artwork.  I didn't expect the story to charm me, too.

Black/Sheep/Akashic Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review(thank you).  It has been published.

There is minimal text but the graphics are enchanting.  You feel like you're in the water swimming with the other fish.  Even if you didn't read the story, the images are worth the price of the book.

Now imagine you're a shark and you're looking up through the water.  He talks about the sky but it's not the sky as we know it.  He's talking about the surface of the water.  When he sees a good looking fish and takes the bait, he's pulled up to the surface and gets touched by aliens.  That's what humans are to him.  Luckily they are scientists and he's set free in short order.

I liked the idea of their sky being different than ours.  This was a very cute story that children should enjoy.  Take a look and see what you think.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear

It all started with a missing boy.  There's another war going on and the fathers who served in the last one are trying to protect their boys.  With the help of friends, they get them into government programs where they are protected from being called to serve.  What no one realized was that the government jobs were tampered with...

Harper sent an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published March 27th.

When Joe's parents don't hear from him for a while, they ask Maisie to check on him and see what's going on.  Joe has gone missing and it's not until they find the body that they realize how bad things were.  He's died from a head injury and they don't believe he jumped or fell.  They think someone killed him.  But there's no evidence.  Maisie has her work cut out for her.

In the meantime, she's fearful she may lose the little girl she loves and wants to adopt.  Since Maisie is a widow, she's not viewed as being suitable to adopt.  Along with that worry, another boy goes missing and Maisie is fond of him, too.  She know has another search to do.

The more questions she asks, the more evasive the answers get.  She is beginning to suspect there are some underhanded contracts being handed out and the product used is still being tested; it might be unsafe.  She's right.  She also finds out the murdered boy's mother is related to the gangster that is involved.

War is hell and this book points that out as good men die in the war or at home.  Most want to do their part but not all of them come home.  I don't like reading about war but Ms. Winspear always writes a good mystery so it's worth reading.  It's a good thing that Maisie is smart. 


Lucknow by Annie Hall

Rosie has a young child, a wonderful husband and a nice home.  At least she did until he came home late one night and told her he was leaving her and the child and moving to another country with another woman.  She can't believe it.  But when she gets escorted out of his workplace by security guards he called, she knows it's true...

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

When she calls her parents they tell her there's no room in the house for her, she'd have to live in the caravan behind it.  That's not doable with a small child.  Then her sister calls her and says she'll get her a rental house in the town she lives in.  It's a small town where her grandparent used to live.  She says yes because she has nowhere else to go and her absconding husband is selling the house.

As she settles into city life where everyone knows you and your business, she finds not everyone is kind.  Her sister is trying to run her life.  She has a good lady friend that she works with a couple of days a week.  She has met a man that fascinates her.  But her sister has other plans for her.

I spent part of this book wishing Rosie would stand up for herself.  She finds herself lying to her sister and the new boyfriend her sister has conjured up just so she can work in the shop with her friend.  Hugh was nobody I would have ever dated but he has a large house, lots of money and he wants to continue his bloodline.  He raises cattle and it appears he thinks she has a good bloodline and will make his future children good stock.  He's also very controlling.  That's not for me.

What Rosie finds out is that if you love somebody you have more protection and safety than having material things brings you.  She has a hard decision at the end, but she makes the right choice.  This was a good read.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Foreign Bodies by Martin Edwards

This is a collection of fifteen stories from authors from France, Japan, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere.  They are old stories but they hold up well and still taunt you with the mystery before giving you the answer.

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick up a copy now.

I enjoyed the majority of these stories.  Sometimes the old mysteries are the best.  I didn't recognize many of these authors but the stories were solid and were not easy to figure out.  My favorite story was the last one:  The Puzzle of the Broken Watch.  Sometimes the little ones see more than the adults do...

Give a try.  It's not a long read but it's a rewarding read.  Tell me which story appealed to you the most.