Sunday, June 16, 2019

Strangers in the Storm: Love and Survival on Mount Rainier by Jared Rund & Diane McKenney

They are hiking Mt. Rainier.  Just the notion sends chills down my spine.  Washington weather changes constantly and the mountain is tall enough it makes some of its own weather.  They pick what they think is a good day and a group of them head out.  They go at night so the glaciers will be frozen and easier to walk on.  As they go, several members of the party turn back. 

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

One climber's new wife doesn't want to go on, so they return to camp.  One man is sick, so he heads back to camp.  Another is to worn to continue, so he he goes back.  Before long, it's just Jared and Diane but they intend to climb to the summit.  Then it begins to snow...

They make the summit but they lose the trail.  This is a story of survival against all the odds.  Especially since they can see no markers for the trail.  It's a whiteout and they're traveling without a guide.  They left their cellphones in camp so they had a light load.  They only have one sleeping bag and no real food, just a few snacks.  He can't remember her name.  Trying to get down is a real chore.  They think they see people but when they get there, they are big rocks.  It's hard to remain positive when you experience so much failure.

They have to go across numerous crevices.  It's a good thing they have the right equipment and Jared was an experienced mountain climber.

This book will hold your attention until the end.  It was a good read that's filled with danger.  If you're not familiar with Mt. Rainier, here is the Wikipedia info on it with several pictures:  click HERE.

It does have a happy ending.

The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett

A best selling author has come to talk about his book at the local library.  He thinks all women desire him and they don't.  He still tries to persuade them by touching and being familiar but he has no success.  He gets in an argument with one man and shuts another man down during the questions after his talk was over.  He's leaving at the same time as Jude so he offers her a ride home since it's raining.  She says OK but then he misbehaves in the car and she gets and walks home.  The next day he's found dead in the car in the parking lot and Jude becomes a suspect.

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

This author always writes good mysteries.  This is another that was a treat to read.

His ex-wife tells the cops that Jude had an affair with the dead man and that was what ended their marriage.  It's not true but the cops aren't sure they believe her.  He was allergic to walnuts and that's what killed him.  The problem is that he didn't eat anything at the library, he just had a glass of wine.  Was that poisoned with walnuts?  The bottle was dropped and broke so no one else could drink any.  How did he encounter the walnuts?

Jude finds herself becoming a high suspect on the list so she starts her own search for the killer.  That ends up getting her a talk from the police about compromising witnesses.  So she asks her next door neighbor to take over.   They'd worked on other cases together.  They also find the answer before the cops do.  The motive for the killing is unusual.

Give Mr. Brett a try, you might be surprised.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Ghost Clause by Howard Norman

They fell in love with the house and purchased it.  The woman selling it was a widow.  In that state old houses had a special clause in the contract that if a ghost bothered them, the seller would have to buy it back.  They just thought it was funny.  After all, the owner knew of no ghosts.  So they married and moved in.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 2nd.

What no one knows is that Simon, the dead husband, still lives there in ghost form.He watches the young couple and their cat, reads books in their library, and sets their burglar alarm off.  He figures he won't be there for forever but he's enjoying this time he's been granted.

The burglar alarm company is losing patience with them, they've got normal marital adjustments to make, and the previous owner visits quite often.  Her husband enjoys those visits.

The kids eventually realize Simon is there but they don't fear him.  

This is really a tale of two marriages.  It's almost mundane but the ghost adds flavor.  The ending was surprising but appropriate.  It's a nice, easy read. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

They are a close family working together to survive.  Their father died from injuries in a railroad accident so their mother works at sewing,  The oldest daughter has gone to be a lady's maid.  The twins have separate duties.  The boy works for the butcher, the girl takes care of the household and the youngest daughter.  When their mother gets very ill and must go the hospital, they almost despair.  They don't have money for the rent, there's no food in the apartment, and now there will be a hospital bill.  But it gets worse...

Multnomah and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 25th.

When Garth tries to steal a loaf of bread to feed his family, he's caught.  When the policeman brings him home and finds out there is no adult in the household, he takes them all to an orphanage.  The girls go in one and the boy in another.  They worry about their mother and Kati frets because Garth has been separated from them.  They try to explain why they are there but the matron doesn't listen.

Laura comes to see her mother and finds the children gone.  After spending some time with her mother, she goes to the children's home to visit with them and get them back home.  The matron tells her she'll have to pay for the meals they've eaten, the clothing they gave them and bed rent.  She doesn't have the money.  But she does know a young attorney who may help.  Unfortunately he's not in and the young man who is is lustful.  She manages to get away but now she's on her own.

When she finds out her family had been sent to Canada, she applies for a job at the home, using a false name.  She gets sent to Canada on the next trip and she tries to find her siblings.  Her lawyer friend came over on the same boat, so he and his partner are willing to help.  

The ending is both happy and sad.  The good news is there will be another book in this series and that one should have a happy ending. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Adopting a Dinosaur by José Carlos Andrés, Ana Sanfelippo

She really, really wants a pet.  She goes through a whole list of them but her parents say no...

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

She finds a big egg and sneaks it home.  It's great fun to watch her try to hide it!  Then the egg hatches and she has a baby dinosaur.

Then she goes out and asks her parents if she could have a baby dinosaur for a pet.  They think that's hysterically funny and when they quit laughing, they tell her yes thinking she will never find one.  Does she have a surprise for them!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Tell Tail Heart by Cate Conte

Maddie is remodeling her grandfather's house into a bigger cafe during the winter months.  She has cats in the cafe and the customers often end up adopting them.  She gets them from the animal rescue group.  Right now she has a very quiet customer who sits in the cafe, orders coffee and a pastry and then writes.  He also pets the cat on his lap.  She lets him do his writing.  Then her sister comes in and tells her he's an author of some renown.  While Maddie is taking that in a lady comes in and the first thing she does is try to claim her cat.  She says it's hers, but she doesn't live on the island and Maddie is not going to give him up.  She asks the lady to leave...

Minotaur and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 25th.

When she goes to visit her sister at the Yacht Club, she's stopped by the police.  She can't go there because they've found a man in the water.   They won't tell her if he's alive or dead.  When he's identified it turns out to be the writer that used her cafe and he was murdered.  She starts snooping about.  Her grandfather is a retired police chief, so he gets in on the action but he tells her nothing except to stay out of it.

The ex-wife the writer was divorcing shows up for his belongings, the writer he had done some books with showed up looking for his manuscript, and the crazy cat lady knew him, too.  Who would have murdered him?  Some of the town members have secrets, too.

This was a good cozy mystery with a few cats and a romance thrown in.  I enjoyed the read.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Natalie Tan is finally going home.  Her mother died unexpectedly and she has to pick up the pieces.  She finds she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant as well as her mother's apartment above it.  She left home because she wanted to take cooking classes and her mother wanted her to go to college.  Now she has an opportunity to open a restaurant and she's going to do it.  But the whole street is gray and lifeless.  Where did the customers go?  Why are the businesses failing?

Berkley Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (Thank you).  This book is being published today.

She visits with the shop owners and listens to their tales of woe.  Then she's given her grandmother's cookbook.  Not only does it have good recipes, it has suggestions for what it will fix.  Eat one dish and develop courage.  Eat another and renew love in a relationship.  She starts feeding the neighbors.  It works for a while but then one falls and breaks his leg, the couple starts arguing again and it looks like it was all for naught. There is a very aggressive realtor trying to talk them into selling.

Natalie also finds a new love interest.  She's still trying to hold the neighborhood together.  And then her restaurant catches fire and burns...

She talks about walking away from the mess and her boyfriend knows that will mean leaving him, so he goes.  You will be amazed about who steps in to help.  Now can she get her love back?

I enjoyed the read.  It has history, romance, and some crotchety old people in it.  What more could you want? 

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Tale Magnolious by Suzanne Nelson

She's an orphan and she hates the home she lives in.  She sneaks out to go town whenever she can.  On this trip she finds they intend to hang an elephant for the death of her trainer.  She knows the elephant isn't guilty, she just knows it.  So she goes up to visit with it and it's kind.  They escape together and run as far as they can in one evening.  They stop to sleep in a barn...

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 18th.

The old man who finds them in the barn isn't very welcoming but he lets them stay.  She sleeps in the barn with the elephant.  She also offers to help him farm.  She has some seeds she stole from the tinker she can plant.  The old man says the dust storms have killed all the other plants.  He rigs up a harness for the elephant and it plows the field.  Then it makes little holes for her to plant her seeds.  The plants grow, she makes a friend from a neighboring farm and they soon discover the Mayor is the one creating the wind storms.  He's a hard man to defeat because everybody in town owes him money (except the old man she lives with) and he can take their farms away from them.

The Mayor is an evil man with plans for the town, his own plans, not from the people who live there.

It comes to a showdown between the Mayor and Nitty, but she has more people on her side than he imagined.

The ending is very exciting and the whole read was fun.  I never knew stealing an elephant could be fun and rewarding!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Whispering in the Wind by Alan Marshall, Shane Maloney, Jack Newnham

Peter lives in a bush hut with Crooked Mick, who is an excellent horseman.  One day, Peter decides to go out and find a princess and rescue her from a dragon.   Mick's OK with that.  He gives Peter a whip that makes a lot of noise if you do it right and that will call Mick if Peter gets in trouble.

Text Classics and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you)  It will be published June 11th.

When Peter starts his journey, a tree talks to him and tells him where the princess lives.  There's danger along the way.  He meets a witch and finds out about a magic leaf.  When he finds it, he gives her one and she changes.  She no longer wants to eat him.  The leaf saves him from a lot of trouble.

He's traveling with a kangaroo who can talk and has a magic pouch.  She can pull anything out of it.  Want dinner?  Want a rope or a sleeping bag?  I'd like to have a pouch like that!

He meets a giant who captures humans and puts them in boxes imprisoning them.  It takes some doing, but he finally gives him the leaf and he lets his prisoners go.

This was first published in 1969 and I enjoy reading the classic stories with no cursing or sex thrown in.

Peter has many more obstacles to conquer before he can save the princess and it's great fun watching him do it.

I really enjoyed reading this one.  With magic, a talking kangaroo, and a magic whip everything finally falls into place and the story ends happily. 

Read it and see what you think.  I loved it.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Root of Magic by Kathleen Benner Duble

Willow knows her brother is sick and the doctors don't know why but she still wishes her mom hadn't started for home in a snow storm.  It's hard to see and it's slick.  Soon they are in trouble.  They've slid right up to the edge of the bridge and their car is about to topple over the edge...

Delacorte Press and Edelweiss allowed me to rad this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 11th.

Luckily, a husband and wife team in a tow truck show up and help them evacuate the car.  It was just in time, too.  The car fell in the river as soon as they backed away.  They take them to a gated community, where they are welcomed at the bed and breakfast.  It's like she knew they were coming.  She's already set a roll-away bed for Wisp in the same room mom and Willow will be sleeping in.

As time goes on, more coincidences happen until Willow begins to believe something else is going on.  When she asks questions, she's told to ask her mom.

When she finds out where the magic comes from, she's amazed.  She even tries it once but decides she doesn't want to live that way.  Neither does Wisp.  But can they get away?  And where will they go?

I enjoyed this read.  There was just enough magic to make it mysterious and deciding to stay or leave was heartrending.  I'll remember this book.

Isabella at the Library by Kate Mahoney-Veitch

Isabella is great storyteller.  She goes to library to sing once a week and then she sits and tells her stuffed animals stories.

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

They are rowing their boat just like the song she just sung but when they get to the island they see a big lion and can't stop there.  Next they see a crocodile!

Isabella has a great imagination, doesn't she?  Soon, her mother and little brother come and get her to take her home.

With more illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills, this is a fun book to read, too.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley

They are serving high tea to Hungarian women in their tea house.  Almost all the women are elderly and polite.  What she notices is that the special teacup she has on display is being used by one of the women.  She doesn't know why.  Then the woman drinking the tea walks quickly back to the bathroom.  When she checks to see how she's doing, she finds her on the floor against the wall dead!

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 30th.

When the emergency personnel and police show up, the tea party ends.  Everybody has to remain to speak to the police.  The detective asks Hana, her mother and her grandmother to sit in on the questioning and interpret the Hungarian the ladies throw into the conversations.  They do but they can't believe one of these guests would commit murder.

Hana finds herself attracted to the detective.  She helps him with the investigation and then discovers he's attracted to her, too.

Together they work on piecing the facts together.  Hana is the biggest help.  When the killer is identified, everyone is shocked.

I really enjoyed the detective and Hana team action and I hope there will be future cases with this team.

Isabella and the Magic Umbrella by Kate Mahoney-Veitch

Isabella is having a tea party outside and it starts to rain.  She runs in for an umbrella.

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

When she opens the umbrella, the rain stops.  When she closes it, it starts raining again.  After testing it several times, she leaves it open and they all have their tea party.  I need one of those umbrellas!

They decide it's magic and a beautiful rainbow blossoms in the sky.

Sarah-Leigh Wills has done the illustrations.  This is another in the Isabella series and they are all charming.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns

Tessa is still grieving her husband's death.  He died in a car accident. When her cop cousin tells her his car had been tampered with, her grief turns to anger.  The cops aren't having luck finding the killer, so she's going to see what she can find out...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 30th.

She starts her investigation by going to work at a pizza shop he did the books for and hung out a lot.  There's no end of suspects there.  She finds some illegal drugs by accident but by the time she goes back for them, they are gone.

As she gets closer to the truth, she gets fired.  She decides to go back and snoop after hours with her girl cousin.  Instead they are kidnapped and almost die.

I was very surprised by the killer.  You just never know...

Isabella and the Woodland Walk by Kate Mahoney-Veitch

Isabella gathers up her favorite stuffed animals and goes for a walk with her mother and little brother and grandfather.  She's leading the dog and having a good time.

The author graciously shared more of this series with me for reviews (thank you).  This book has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Their walk is pretty unremarkable except when the dog sees a squirrel and wants to give chase.  So when Isabella finds a downed tree to sit on, she tells her stuffed animals an exciting tale about another walk in the woods.  The most important thought in the story is how everyone needs to stick together so no one gets lost or in trouble'

The illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills add to the charm of the story and make it an enjoyable read.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Pawful Truth by Miranda James

Charlie Harris has decided to take a class on early medieval history.  He's only going to audit it. He's a bit uncomfortable with students half his age, but he meets another older student so it'not so bad.  He hears the teacher talk to her after class, asking her what the hell she's doing in his class.  Then she asks Charlie to be her study partner.  He declines since he is not a student.

Shortly after that he learns that she has been murdered...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July16th.

When he tells the detective what he heard the teacher say, the teacher becomes a suspect.  As he picks up on the college gossip, it appears the teacher was having affairs.  More discussion leads to a suggestion that his wife, another teacher, might be doing the same.  Her husband sure hates having a French Canadian around her.  He's made public scenes with him twice.  Then he ends up dead.

Did the wife kill him or did one of the two men she was seeing to get info for her next book?

The cops are working hard to get an answer, but Charlie finds it first.  And he is suddenly attacked by the killer and almost dies.  I like who saved him and I bet you will, too. 

Croquette & Empanada by Ana Oncina

This was an interesting read.  It's pretty much all done in cartoon form.  You go on adventures with these two creatures and it's a fun read.

Andrews McMeel Publishing and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has just been published and you can pick up a copy now.

What I liked about it was it is so realistic.  They go to bed at night and one of them hogs the bed.  On another night, she has all the blankets and he has none.  (My husband accuses me of this but it's a lie.)  They go to choose a pet.  She wants a cat, he wants a dog.  They come home with the cat but on  his birthday, he gets the puppy.

I enjoyed reading about these two. Give it a try, I bet you will, too.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling by William Ritter

A Goblin takes a Changeling to the house with the newborn.  He intends to trade him for the real baby.  Unfortunately, he gets distracted and the changeling has mimiced the baby.  He can't tell which is which, so he leaves them both there...

Algonquin Young Readers and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 19th.

Annie knows she only had one child but she's willing to take on two  and love them both equally.  As they grow, they get into a lot of mischief.  But reading a goblin note and then following his map into Oddmire is more than mischief.  They know one of them will die, only the changeling will survive.  They don't know which of them is the changeling, but neither one wants to live without the other.  They'll go together to see what happens. Little do they know their mother is not far behind them.

There's magic, a witch, a little girl who can shapeshift, odd creatures and lots of danger and adventure.  Annie never gives up and neither do the boys.

The ending was a real surprise to me and I loved it.  In fact, I loved this whole book.  I'll be watching for Book 2.

Turning Secrets by Brenda Chapman

A  dead body on a construction site is a young woman.  At first look it looks like suicide.  But Kala thinks it might be murder.

Soon she finds out the woman died some place else and was moved.  Her heart gave out on her from the drugs she took. 

No one saw anything, so this is going to be a hard case to solve.

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

They find she got cheap rent at her apartment because she traded sex for part of the rent.  She seemed to be doing prostitution on the side.  She has babysitters take care of her son while she's out.  Another tenant at another apartment owned by the same man has a similar arrangement.  He gets questioned hard by the cops but while he has sex with them, he swears he didn't kill her.

In the meantime one of her niece's schoolmates is seeing an older man and he's using her for sex and sharing her with others.  First Vanessa goes missing and then Dawn does, too.  Trying to solve a murder and find a missing child all at the same time adds up to no sleep.

What they find at the end is ugly and close to home.  I was surprised to find who was behind it.  This is a book that holds your attention.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Deep River by Karl Marlantes

The Russians are invading Finland and families there are losing loved ones.  Three Koski siblings escape to America.  They go to the wooded land near the Columbia River and begin logging.  They start chopping wood for the steam donkey but it doesn't take them long to move up.  There are a lot of casualties in the woods.  There were widow makers (broken branches way up in the tree that eventually come loose), broken cable lines they use to yard the trees, rolling trees, and falling trees.  Any of these connecting with a body can mean death.  When owners press for faster production, it gets even more dangerous.  Precautions go by the wayside.

Atlantic Monthly Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published on July 2nd.

The three siblings settle in a Finn community on the Washington coast.Their sister is an activist and immediately thinks the loggers are not paid enough.  She thinks they should strike but they just laugh at her.  More money would be nice but having a steady job is better.  She eventually gets involved with the Wobblies.  She's married by then and her husband isn't happy with all her travelling as she goes to the meetings and travels to demonstrations.  She even gets jailed.  But she wants the loggers to share more of the profit of their hard work and she won't give up.  People start calling her a red. And she eventually ends up divorced.

The brothers start building their own saw mills.  At first they work it with just the two of them.  When they have saved enough, they hire more help.

This is a story of hard work and sorrow.  Life was hard for them and a crooked banker doesn't help them, he steals their money.  They lose family members and friends.  But they are stubborn by nature and they keep persevering.  They do what they must.

Set in the early 1900's, it's a fascinating read.  Especially if you're married to third generation Finn.  My husband's father logged until he got enough money to buy a farm.  Reading this book was like visiting relatives in the past.

Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races by K. D. Halbrook, Ilse Gort

She is supposed to be good at jewelry making so she can carry on the family business.  But she daydreams about riding a dragon and loses her concentration.  Then she meets an old woman who helps her make a dragon riding outfit.  She intends to impress the greatest dragon rider around.  She fails and her father is very angry over her actions.  She goes to find the old woman again...

Henry Holt and Company Books For Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

The old woman finds her in the desert and leads her to an oasis.  There she meets the dragon who has bonded with her.  She leads her down into a cavern and the young girl is amazed to find a baby dragon.  Especially sine he really likes her!  Then the old woman tells her he has bonded with her and that's now her dragon.  Hiyyan is both a water dragon and can fly.  His kind are thought to be dangerous and they all have been killed off except these two.

The mother is captured by the dragon champion and the young dragon is sad.  The old woman's health is declining due to the distance between and her dragon.  The young girl and her cousin are going to go to the dragon contest and she'll try to win on her dragon.  She wants him to steal away the old woman's dragon.  It's a good plan but...

With magic, an endangered species, a vindictive dragon champion after her, mean dragons that want to win the race and more, this is an exciting read that keeps your attention the whole way through.  I was rooting for her but the story is not over yet.  There will be more in this wonderful series.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Layover by David Bell

It all started during a layover at the airport.  He meets a pretty lady and wants to get to know her better but she won't tell him anything and keeps sneaking off.  He's supposed to be going on to a job but his dad is there at the meeting and he wants to find his elusive girl...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you),  It will be published July 2nd.

As he follows her and finds her here and there, he knows she's in trouble but she won't tell him what kind.  When he finally gets her to talk, he thinks it's the theft of a ring that has caused all the trouble.  It's more than that...

This starts as two different stories:  a police investigation and his search for his mysterious girl.  As you keep reading, the two stories merge into one.

This story is suspenseful and full of tension as the brother of the missing man gets involved.  He's a violent man. 

It's not until the end that you get the full story and it's complex and sad.  There were reasons for what happened but it doesn't make it better.

This author always holds my attention when I start reading his books.  He writes well.

Murder in Bel-Air by Cara Black

First, Aimée gets phone call from her child's school just as she's about to go on stage for a keynote address.  Her mother never came to pick up her daughter.  She excuses herself from speaking and goes after her daughter.  While she's there, she sees a dead woman being brought out of the convent grounds next door.  When she starts asking questions she finds her mother had befriended this homeless woman and she was the last person they had seen talking to her.  She knows her mother didn't kill her but where is she now?  Is she in trouble again?

Soho Crime and Edelweiss let me read this book for review(thank you).  It will be published on June 4th.

The cops have the dead woman's name and they search the areas she was found for any clues.  They don't find anything but Aimée does.  A bunch of money and a map.  All of a sudden she's in the middle of international intrigue.

Different agencies question her.  She's not sure what side they are on.  Since she's a PI, she finds people they cannot but she's not getting any answers to her questions.  She has to call in favors to learn what's going on.  What she finds is that a lot of people will die.

How can she stop them?  And where is her mother?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

I Really Love You by Tatsuya Miyanishi

Back in the days of dinosaurs, there were many varieties.  Some communicated well, some not at all.  In this story the Tyrannosaurus learns an important lesson:  Listen with your heart, not with your ears...

Museyon and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It's being published today.

A Tapejara offers to lead the Tyrannosaurus to the woods where he should be able to find some food.  It's a long walk and the Tyrannosaurus is getting weak, so the sneaky Tapejara tries to take a bite out of him.  He wasn't trying to help, he was wearing him down.  The Tyrannosaurus slaps him away and continues his food hunt.  He's amazed to see a forest ahead him and it rejuvenates him.

He finds three Homalocephale picking berries in the forest and he grabs them.  They barely make a mouthful and they manage to convince him by their actions to let them go.  They go find food for him and cuddle with him to make him feel better.  When an Albertosaurus shows up, he wants to eat them.  But their big new friend saves them.  Hearts can speak as loud as words.

I've been around people who don't speak the same language I do.  We still understand each other.  It's amazing.  

Liaden Universe Constellation IV by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

This is a series I love.  Sharon and Steve write of a future world where danger hides and life is dangerous but love lives there anyway.  Most of these stories compliment the ones written before by giving you more insight and detail by explaining the past or present.

Baen and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

My favorite is the cook who shares his food with needy children and lives with a beautiful security guard.  She goes off on mission and he awaits her return.  When he finds a nearby bakery, she offers to team up with him.  He does some baking for there and gets 70% of the sale and access to cheaper baking supplies.  All is well until the rest of the team comes back without his lover.  They aren't sure she's dead, they just lost her in battle.  He assumes the worst and quits baking to grieve.  The kids he was training continue to bake but they can't do what he can.  When he goes to a meeting he doesn't want to attend, he finds his lover there.  She's recovering from injuries but he's so glad to have her home again.  You know he'll be back to baking soon.

Most stories are upbeat although there is one sad one in the bunch.

With four novelettes, two novellas, and two short stories, there's much to like in this collection.  These stories stand alone so if you're new to the series, I'm sure you'll still enjoy them if you're a sci fi/fantasy fan.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Broken Sword by Phil Tomkins

This story is historical fiction about the conflict between the English and the French on the east coast in Canada and the northern US.  It is also the tale of Lorcan Travis who emigrated from Ireland to fight for the British.  He thought Indians were brutal savages.  They were but they were more than that...

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

The fighting between the French and English was brutal.  I didn't know much about this history so that made it an interesting read for me.  I also enjoyed watching Lorcan learn the Indians were smart.  After he had distinguished himself fighting, he finds himself assigned to be part of an Indian scouting group.  As he learns the way of Indians he begins to respect them.

Both sides had tribes of Indians helping them.  Most of the Indian tribes were enemies anyway, so it was easy to decide which side they fought on.

Lorcan is working with White Owl, who doesn't like his sword.  He throws it on the ground several times but Lorcan picks it up and puts it back in its sheaf.  Then White Owl breaks the point.  He still puts it away, but in time it earns him the name Broken Sword.

Broken Sword falls in love and marries but he loses her and his stepson to smallpox.  He continues fighting.This is a seven year war and it seems it will never end.

I like reading historical fiction.  It fills in the blanks in my education.  I also have an interest in Indians.  I have Indian relatives.  And, no, they are not dumb.

Paper Son by S. J. Rozan

It all starts when her mother sends her to get a relative out of jail.  She's never heard of him so she asks her mother how she can be so sure of his innocence.  It turns out he's part of her father's side of the family.  To her mother, he wouldn't kill his father because he's from an honorable family.  So off go Lydia and Bill, her partner in the PI business, to see what they can do.

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 2nd.

When they get to Mississippi, they find Jefferson has escaped jail which makes him look even more guilty.  They work on trying to clear him and look for him at the same time.  

There are old rivalries in the small community, someone in the cop shop is leaking information, and one family is blackmailing Jefferson into figuring out mathematically how to find winners in horse races.  

The more they find out, the more confusing it gets.  When they find out the truth, it's still very dangerous for them.  Will they get out of here alive?

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Black Death by M.J. Trow

Kit Marlowe gets a message from a man he doesn't like, and he's not even sure he wants to read it.  But when it says someone is trying to kill him, it gets Kit's curiosity up and he goes to visit.  Unfortunately, he's already died.  The autopsy points to a plant based poison.  Who poisoned him?

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

The Black Plague is killing people in the poor part of town, so they close the theaters to avoid the spread of the disease.  It annoys everyone in the theater business, including Kit.  However it gives him more time to find a murderer.

An old woman is killed as well as a young boy.  The woman was strangled, the boy was drowned.  They don't look like the same killer but Kit thinks it is.  As he gets closer to the killer, he decides to take things in his own hands.  He'll kill him himself.  

This has an unexpected ending where Kit finds he was wrong and almost dies.  It's an exciting and suitable ending.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Season of Darkness by Cora Harrison

Inspector Fields showed Dickens and Collins the body of a young woman pulled from the river.  He never expected Dickens to recognize her and get involved in the case.

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

Dickens helps pay for a house where female orphans are taken in.  He met her there but she didn't stay too long.  She was a little too mouthy and mindful to fit in well and she found another home where she could serve as a servant and she and her friend went there together.  How did she end up strangled in the river?

As Dickens works on the case, the other girl sends him off on another path by pretending there are notes hidden in the dead girl's room.  She figures the dead girl was blackmailing someone and she wants that money.

Dickens persists in his investigation and finds out what Isabella knew.  Now he just has to figure out a few more things and he will have the killer's name.  He soon figures out the notes are not from Isabella.  While he's working this all out, the other girl is putting herself in danger.  Will he be in time to save her?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Dog Made Me Write This Book by Elizabeth Fensham

Eric gets to have a dog for his eighth birthday.  They go to the pound (he thinks of it as a home for orphaned dogs) and he picks out a puppy.  He expects it to be his new best friend but it loves his mom the most.  He's named it Ugly and when he takes it on walks it drags him along.  He's all discouraged about owning a dog...

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

His Grandpa tries to help him and then asks a lady friend of his to give him lessons in how to control his dog.  She doesn't just train Ugly, she trains Eric, too.  But it is slow going and the dog keeps getting in trouble.  His family gives him a time limit to get it down or the dog has to go.  He now loves his dog and the dog loves him.  Will he be able to do it in time? 

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Chestnut Challenge by Tracey Hecht

They are playing a game a lot like checkers and just having fun.  When one of them declares himself champion, a chinchilla comes out of the bushes to challenge the winner.  They play but the chinchilla distracts everyone...

Fabled Films Press sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you).  It has just been published, so you can get a copy now.  I love this series.  The Nocturnals always have message for the young ones.

While everybody is looking away, he moves the chestnuts so he has good plays.  When he's challenged on the placement of the chestnuts, he cries and admits he is no champion, he's a cheat.  He expects them to reject him but you'll be surprised by what they do next. 

Josie Yee's artwork is cool.  Tracey's message is a good one for children.  These stories are always good and this is suitable for Grades 1&2.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Lights Out at the Lighthouse (Hearts Grove Cozy Mystery Book 3) by Danielle Collins

Henrietta is getting ready for a big dance being held by the city as a fundraiser.  She's using antiques from her shop, getting dresses ready to rent out for the night as costumes for the time period, and she even has some customers loaning furniture pieces they've purchased from her in the past.  The Mayor is worried about the turnout but she isn't.

Fairfield Publishing and the author shared this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

When she hears the lighthouse owner has committed suicide, she doesn't believe it.  He was restoring the lighthouse and planning on attending his daughter's wedding.  But the new cop on the job considers it a closed case  She pursues the case herself.

He had a bad finger and couldn't shoot himself with that hand.  He had too much to live for.  She finds out his daughter is the recipient of a $500,000 life insurance policy and that someone was trying to buy his land and building but he wouldn't sell.  Which one would motivate a killer?  Then they found another dead body at the lighthouse.  They don't know who she is...

As she keeps plugging along looking for clues, more damage is done.  She finally figures out who the killer is.  This is the detective's first lesson in solving a case...

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Family Affair (Glock Grannies Cozy Mystery Book 3) by Shannon VanBergen

Nikki is settling in with the Glock Grannies.  She might not be able to scale a chain link fence yet but she's trying.  Hattie shows her how by quickly climbing up and over in seconds.  She tries again , swings her leg over and snags her pants on the fence.  Now she's stuck and they call 911.  How embarrassing!  Imagine a man cutting the pants right at your crotch...

Fairfield Cozies and the author let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There's a lot of humor in these stories.  Sometimes they make me laugh out loud.

There's a murder with the same tattoo as they found on a body three years ago.  That mystery was never solved, so they are determined to solve both cases this time.  One clue they have is that gang members show up after the murders.  Nikki sneaks in with her grandmother to learn what they can.  They don't learn much and just barely escape.  The next time they go back, they find another dead body.  This one is a gang member. 

Then they learn the gang members are hanging out at the tire shop.  Nikki is too scared to talk to them so the Granny who's with her goes in and asks them very direct questions.  They answer them to Nikki's amazement.

When they figure out who the killer is, there's a very dangerous situation before things come back under control.

This is a group of Grannies that don't act like old people.  They are also pretty good detectives.  This was a very good read.  Why don't you give it a try?

Friday, May 24, 2019

Berlin Noir by Thomas Wörtche

These stories are even deeper and meaner than the other two books I read in this series recently.  Even with the wall down, it appears hatred still survives.  These stories are definitely dark enough for noir.

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

There are brand-new stories by: Zoë Beck, Ulrich Woelk, Susanne Saygin, Robert Rescue, Johannes Groschupf, Ute Cohen, Katja Bohnet, Matthias Wittekindt, Kai Hensel, Miron Zownir, Max Annas, Michael Wuliger, and Rob Alef. Translated from German by Lucy Jones.

Of these, more stood out to me than in the previous books.   Several caught my attention:  "Kaddish for Lazar" by Michael Wuliger, "One of These Days" by Robert Rescue, and "Dog Tag Afternoon" by Rob Alef.  The last one noted was the best.  These all came from the Berlin Scenes section of the book.

All the stories were interesting.  Which ones were your favorites?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Milwaukee Noir by Tim Hennessy

Milwaukee is changing.  Old abandoned factories are being rehabilitated or demolished.  Rundown neighborhoods are being refurbished.  These stories are written about the places still in bad shape where people of the same nature (bad) hang out.

Get ready to read dark stories, where people die over nothing and everyone carries a gun or a knife.

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

These are brand-new stories from: Jane Hamilton, Reed Farrel Coleman, Valerie Laken, Matthew J. Prigge, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Vida Cross, Larry Watson, Frank Wheeler Jr., Derrick Harriell, Christi Clancy, James E. Causey, Mary Thorson, Nick Petrie, and Jennifer Morales.

All of the stories were written well and represented noir as they should.  My favorite story was:  "Night Clerk" by Larry Watson.  There's a man at the hotel who came for cancer treatment and was told it wasn't working.  Now he's waiting to die and he just sits in the lobby, looking at nothing and not visiting.  It drives the clerk nuts and he tells him so.  Then the man comes to talk to him and offers to kill anyone he'd like dead.  He picks a professor that derailed his degree and plan to become an author and stole his wife.  The man has him write down where he works and where he hangs out.  The professor does die from a beating and the dying man doesn't come back to the hotel.  He's left him a gift, though.  Never bother a dying man...  This story has a very ironic ending and I like them.

Why don't you give it read and let me know which story you liked?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford

Missy is a young wife in a coma.  She actually died and a spacebeing who was going to DC to help the president finds herself in Kansas with this farm family.  The woman she came to possess survived so she occupied the next available body.  Kansas isn't like DC.  She can barely understand these folks.  She has a mother and father as well as a husband and she doesn't know what to do with any of them...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  The book has been published and you can buy a copy now.

This story is full of humor.  She doesn't understand their jokes or colloquialisms.  They don't pronounce the whole word and that bothers her.  She learns about sex by watching a porn channel in her hotel room.  

Her story keeps you captivated by all that's happening and I didn't stop reading until I got to the end.  She writes a good story.  

Ann Crawford will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble 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! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Prairie Fever by Michael Parker

Prairie fever took their two brothers and their mother was never the same after that.  She spent her life mourning them.   Their father followed all his money making ideas so he was never home.  The two girls grew close and took care of each other.  They went to school with a blanket pinned around them for warmth on the horse.  All was going well until they got a young male teacher.  He's courting the older one and it looks as if they will be married.  She goes off to college with a school debt to pay.  The teacher guaranteed it.

Algonquin Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today so you can grab a copy now.

Then the younger sister asks him if he has a room in his new lodging that she could use for piano lessons.  She lives too far away for the town folk to come to her.  Here she would be on the way home from school.  He gives her a room, she teaches lessons.  Soon he's having fun talking to her.  Her mind travels in a different path than most and he finds it fascinating.  He goes to visit the older sister with a ring in his pocket but when he stops and stares at nothing, she realizes he doesn't love her anymore, he's fallen in love with her sister.  That begins a better than twenty year estrangement between the sisters.  They each go on with their lives, the young one sends odd letters but her older sister doesn't reply.

It seems the two will never resolve problems but a death in the family brings them back together again.  It will take a lot of bridge building to get close but it looks like it just might happen...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Return of the Evening Star by Diane Rios

There are speeding ambulances that run over animals and people.  They take people to the hospital but they don't help them.  They eventually take them out in a boat and dump them overboard.  When family members come to check on them, they become victims, too.  When Chloe and her friends hear of it and witness it, they are determined too stop it. 

Luckily they will have help.  Silas, the StarGazer, is creating an animal army to join them.

She Writes Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book (Thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

Chloe and her friends work on infiltrating the hospital because Chloe's mom is there. So is her friend's brother.   She finds them but how can she help them? Then Silas and the animals show up and even more mayhem happens.  With the animals attacking the staff, they may have a chance.

This is an exciting read with magical animals (a horse who can talk?) and magical people.  There's action on each page and no chance for you to be bored.  The characters were realistic and they made me care about them.  This was a very good read.


Houston Noir by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Reading this book makes Houston sound more violent than it looked.  But I was only there in the daytime.  It's always more dangerous at night...

Akashic Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There are brand-new stories by: Tom Abrahams, Robert Boswell, Sarah Cortez, Anton DiSclafani, Stephanie Jaye Evans, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi, Adrienne Perry, Pia Pico, Reyes Ramirez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Sehba Sarwar, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Larry Watts, and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.

Most of these authors were new to me but they know how to write dark noir stories.

One story that stood out to me was Xitlali Zaragoza, Curandera.  Reyes Ramirez writes a tale of a woman who is a witch doctor.  She helps those who see spirits or who have been cursed get well again.  It's an otherworldly story that caught my attention. 

There is a lot of death in these tales.  There is also a look at different races and how life is for them.  Welcome to Texas.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Bobcat by Katherine Forbes Riley

Laurelie was shy and kept to herself at college but one girl decides she's going to be her friend and soon Laurelie has several girlfriends.  They talk, they drink, they go to parties.  Laurelie isn't really comfortable there but after a few drinks it's OK.  Or it was until she was sexually assaulted.  Then she runs.  She finds another college and she doesn't make friends there.  She's hiding from herself in many ways...

Arcade and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 18th.

Laurelie babysits a young toddler that doesn't talk too well.  She is patient with him and talks him for walks in the woods as well as down to the river to play.  All is well until she sees a bobcat while they are out at a rock in the river.  It's cutting off her way back to the cottage.  Then a hiker shows up and pets it and escorts it away.  She heads home with the little one wondering who he is and where he came from.  

It turns out he's camping in the woods.  He's also got odd senses.  He can smell things and see things she can't.  He's also not sure about people.  But when she and the boy get caught in the rain in the woods, he invites them inside his tent.  He stays away from them.  The dog guards the doorway.  They talk a little bit but not much.

In time, they become friends.  He takes them to see the bobcat's kittens and that's fun.  He has a rapport with animals.  Then he takes her to visit his family.  They're a bit strange, too.  It seems he had a bad virus and there was nothing they could do for it but let it run its course.  That was what gave him the enhanced senses.

All is going well until the boy goes missing.  The boy is unhurt and has found a puppy but the bobcat was seen and that creates a problem with her landlord.

They separate but they both go on.  I liked how the book ended.  And I enjoyed the interaction with the bobcat.  Not all wild animals are evil just be careful...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cowboy Summer by Joanne Kennedy

She's going home to see how her dad is doing.  She's looking at a cool promotion at work and hates to leave, but she loves her father.  She loves the ranch, too, but she's not staying.  Especially since Cade is still next door.  She loved him but she wanted to see more of the world.  In the meantime he married someone else.  And it was a woman she didn't like.  So she'll ignore him.

Sourcebooks Casablanca and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 25th.

When she sees bales stacking up outside the barn, she decides to surprise her father.  Imagine her surprise when she finds herself in the arms of Cade instead!  He still felt good, too.  She immediately backs up and apologizes.  He won't tell her about her dad, just sends her to the house.  Her vibrant father looks like an old man.  She's shocked.  He says he's fine but she can tell he's not.

She helps out on the ranch, sometimes with Cade.  She finds out he's divorced and she gets close to him again.  Of course it doesn't go smoothly.  He lets his ex-wife stay for a day or two since her last beau gave her a black eye.  She comes to surprise him and surprises herself when she meets the ex first.  While all this is going on, they are trying to sell the ranch.  They have a couple looking it over and they are no ranchers.  When things start going wrong on the ranch Cade thinks she's doing it.  She's not but he doesn't believe her.

Between Molly trying to help the romance along and Jess' dad having another heart attack, there is a lot of action and reactions to sort through...

I enjoyed this story.  Why don't you give it a try?