Saturday, February 22, 2020

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

When the depression hit, both Ellie's parents lost their jobs.  The next thing to go was their home.  So they moved up the mountain and started building a home there.  It was slow and they didn't have much but the family of five has each other...

Dutton Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 21st.

Suddenly Ellie starts finding little figures carved from wood.  She thinks she sees someone but they are gone before she can even think of catching them.  She loves the little figurines and hides them away so her little brother won't take them.

Her father is in a coma, a tree hit him.  She tries all kinds of home remedies and whatever else she can think of to make him better.  Her mother and older sister get angry with her odd attempts.  She remembers that the hag at the top of the hill helped him with a different problem so she goes up to find her and chat with her.  The problem is that she's not well either and now Ellie has two patients...

She finds a boy about her age there, he was the one who did the carvings.They work on helping the old woman. As time goes on, she finds out the old lady used to be a nurse in town, that the young man is her grandson, and that her own son has died

Ellie is still trying to find a cure for her daddy.  Then the old woman gets worse.  She can't help them both so far apart, so she moves her with the boy's help and takes her home.  Her mother isn't too excited about that but she accepts it.  It's a hard row to hoe, but they work on it together.  Ellie even gets to keep the puppy she brought back from death.

This is a good read about simpler times.  It's also filled with herbal knowledge.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Mayowa and the Masquerades by Lola Shoneyin, Francis Blake

Mayowa is unhappy to hear they will be going to visit his grandmother.  Especially when he has to leave his computer home...

Cassava Republic Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 14th.

When he gets there, his grandmother introduces him to Denuyi, another boy around his age.  Denuyi teaches him how to play.  The boys chase grasshoppers, dip their feet into a stream, visit piglets, and climb a tree.  He joins in the masquerade parade and dances up a storm.  He's having fun!

And he's doing it without his computer...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Rival Magic by Deva Fagan

Antonia really wants to be a wizard.  But all her reading and learning have not given her enough power to be a good one.  The worst part is that the scullery maid has more power than she has even if she can't quite say the mage words right.  How embarrassing.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 21st.

When their master is accused of treason, they are determined to find out the truth.  The first thing Antonia finds out is that her friend isn't really a friend.  She is of the other party and they are on opposite sides.  But their magic is stronger together, can they get over their differences?  They will need to if they are to survive.  There's an evil man who is petrifying his enemies.  Can they beat him?

There's a lesson to be learned here.  We're all different and have different skills but if we work together it makes us stronger.  We can also accomplish a lot more.

This was enjoyable read and the turnips danced.  What more could you want?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Always on My Mind by Andrea Downing

She's a hippie and he's a cowboy.  She needs a place to stay after Cooper knocks Dave down to size.  He suggest his ranch.  He has a spare bedroom.  She agrees and begins cooking his meals for him.  In time, she's warming his bed.

The author shared a copy of her book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published today so you can grab a copy now.

She finds herself falling in love with him.  He teaches her to ride a horse.  He can be loving but he never tells her he loves her.  He's also made it plain he doesn't want any accidents and suddenly she finds herself pregnant.  She decides to move on.

The ending is sweet and this was a very enjoyable read, even if I wanted to pick them both up and shake them.  They finally got some sense by the end of the book.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Carly knows very little about her aunt.  She disappeared thirty-five years ago.  Is she dead or is she hiding?  She decides to go to the town and see what she can find out.  She even signs on as a night clerk at the same motel...

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

What Carly finds is that several women were killed in this small town.  Different years, just dead bodies to be found and no relationship between the women.  There was one witness who said she saw a salesman go up to the house but she never saw him leave.  Her aunt Viv (years ago) starts watching the salesman that use the motel.

Carly also finds that the motel is haunted.  She sees Betty, another dead woman dumped on the construction site before the motel was built.  She also sees a young boy that died in the swimming pool.  And she can smell the cigarette smoke of a previous night clerk that died from a heart attack.  He eventually shows himself to her, too.  They try to warn her of danger, but she doesn't understand.

With ghosts and killers from the past and in the present, it makes you wonder who is going to win.  It's a suspenseful read, with Viv and Carly sharing chapters.  Pay attention to which one you're reading about or you'll get confused.

The ending was something else.  I'm just glad Carly found herself a boyfriend.

Monday, February 17, 2020

One Minute Out by Mark Greaney

He's on a mission in Croatia but he never expected to find a human trafficking site.  They steal or talk young women into leaving their homes for a better life, but it's a lie.  They get turned into sex slaves...

Berkley sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published February 18th.

Gentry wants to help them but his handlers aren't interested.  Then he finds out that director of the sex trafficking scheme is useful to them and when he insists on helping the women, he's told not to kill the director.  He doesn't like that but he agrees.

Since the agency won't help, he visits a gangster and gets the name of gunman who will.  Gentry is an assassin and these men are killers.  He gathers them together and they start retrieving the girls.  They all have guards, so there's plenty of killing.

This story reminded me of James Bond.  No matter the odds, they keep going.They end up losing some men but they don't stop.

There's a young woman helping Gentry.  Her sister is missing and she's sure that these men have her.  He tries to keep her out of the action but it doesn't take long for the other side to decide her sister is a bargaining chip.  Now they have to be very careful if they want to get her back alive...

This is an action packed tension driven story.  He could die at any time but he doesn't.  I especially liked the ending.  The director is going to wish he never took him on.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

ZooEscape by Rehan Riaz, James Lee Tully

Percy the Hunter is going to find jungle animals he can sell to the zoo.

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

The first animal he catches is a fox.  She thinks about how she can get out of the cage and tells him if he sets her free, she'll help him hunt.  He agrees.

She finds him an elephant, a tiger, a monkey and a hippo.  Then they go to the zoo.  The gates are locked and no one comes to let them in.  Then the animals go into action.  The elephant breaks the gates down.  The monkey finds the keys to the cages and starts letting animals out...

Percy's dream doesn't come true, and I'm glad.  The illustrations are great.  Little ones will have fun with this book.

Make sure you watch the snake.  He gets around and he wasn't even one of the captured animals...

Crocodile's Crossing by Yoeri Slegers

Home isn't home anymore for the crocodile, so he sets out on a journey to find another.  Unfortunately much of the land is already developed and no one wants to share with a great big green fella with sharp teeth.  They run him off.  He keeps looking.

Flyaway Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to review this book (thank you).  It will be published April 14th.

He searches and searches until he runs out of food.  He's also very tired so he lays down to nap.  When he wakes up he's surrounded by mice.  The most amazing part is that they are friendly.  They offer him cheese, which he samples and likes and he asks if it would be OK to build a home there.  They say yes.  He even saves one from drowning, but he's still missing something.  Then he gets another surprise...

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Overruled! Hank Davis (Edited by), Christopher Ruocchio (Edited by)

Court can be a boring place.  Everyone takes an oath and speaks in deference to the judge.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like in the future?  Read this book.

Baen Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

This is a collection of stories from the old masters to the newer sci-fi authors.  I love short stories so this was right up my alley.  The modern lawyers were very interesting.  One had robot aides that helped him win his case.

One man who was found guilty got a mark on his forehead that made him "invisible" to other people.  He'd sneak into places he couldn't go normally, like women's baths.  But once was enough.  No one would wait on him, so he helped himself to what he wanted.  Nobody would talk to him and he had to live that way for a year...

It seems everyone had decent attorneys, so there are interesting legal battles.  Sometimes the judge's ruling was given regrettably.  He had to follow the letter of the law, but he didn't like it.

The stories all have a little kicker in them somewhere.  I didn't find any of them boring.  If you enjoy science fiction/fantasy, you'll enjoy this read.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Australia Burns Volume One (Show Australia Some Love Book 1) by Wild Rose Press Authors

This book is the first in a series of three.  The authors are donating the proceeds to various Australian charities to help them recover from the fires.  This is an anthology of short stories.   The stories are varied.  It ranges from romance to murder and there's even a western in the batch.  They are all worth a read.

Here is a list of the stories:

A Solicitous Wife by Madeleine McDonald
No One Knew by Larry Farmer
Pinochle by Brenda Whiteside
The Tuesday Night Meeting by Peggy Jaeger
911, What's Your Emergency? by D. V. Stone
Tall Tales by Laura Strickland
Fare Gain by Alexandra Christle
The Note by Stephen B. King
Three Ghosts by Julie Howard
Detective Paws and Lip Gloss by Maureen L. Bonatch
The Ring by Margaret Ann Spence
Portrait of a Gunfighter by Hywela Lyn
Six Hours or So by Lisa Wilkes
Prussic Acid by Melody DeBlois

Tall Tales by Laura Strickland is about an old man who uses his tales for extra income.  That one tickled me.  Detective Paws and Lip Gloss by Maureen L. Bonatch was a fun tale to read and even gets her the job she wanted.  I love animals in stories.  And Prussic Acid  by Melody DeBlois is a grisly tale that is finally brought to light.  It's sad but justice prevails.  That's just a sampling of the various tastes of the stories.

There's a prize that will be given away:  
The publisher will give away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway HERE.

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

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

He's eighty-eight and living in an assisted living unit with his friend and roommate, Carl.  He's totally amazed when some young girl climbs into their room in the middle of the night.  When Duffy asks her what she thinks she's doing.  She says she's looking for her grandfather.  Carl never mentioned anything about a granddaughter...

Berkley and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 14th.

Duffy soon figures out the young woman is an alcoholic.  He's been one in the past and he wants to help her.  She doesn't want his help.  They can't hide her in their room.  She says she has no where to go.  Carl asks her where her mother is.  She tells him she died two weeks ago.

They get some help from the cook and find a room they can put her in.  Duffy visits as she goes through the stages of withdrawal.  It's hard but she's trying to clean up.

Then her boss shows up.  He wants her back.  But the grandpas don't want to give her back.  They tell him she's not there.

They have to hide her from the nurses, the boss, and gossipy folk.  It's a chore.  Then they see her boss again.  He tells them she wrecked his truck and she owes him for that.  They agree to meet him to get her clothes and to get her mother's ashes.  That doesn't go as well as it should but they get rid of him finally.

I spent time with both sets of grandparents in my younger life.  Never assume old people are dumb and they are often stronger than you know.  This book is a good example of that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Blue Skies by Anne Bustard

Glory Bea believes in miracles.  Her grandmother plays matchmaker and has matched up thirty-nine couples so far.  Since her father went missing in action in France, she's still waiting for his return...

Simon & Schuster sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).   It will be published on March 1st.

When her father's friend comes to visit, she decides she doesn't like him.  Especially when he starts dating her mother.  She refuses to believe her father isn't coming back.  Maybe he has amnesia.

Then France is sending gifts to thank the US for its help in the war.  She decides her father will be on that train.   He's not.  Her father's friend is the one who finally makes her believe he's not returning.

This is a somber story but it ends with comfort from an unexpected source.  Gory Bea's skies will be blue again...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Ice Cream Man & Other Stories by Sam Pink

These stories are free form.  It's a bit like poetry.  Some don't seem to make sense but I think how you view the stories has to do with where you are in life.  One that seems silly to you might make perfect sense to someone else.

Soft Skull Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published March 3rd.

My favorite read was The Ice Cream Man.  He's on a new job ans establishing his routes.  He's looking forward to his first paycheck.  Then he finds out he has debt to pay off before he gets it.  His customer used to work there.   He calls them to verify that.  They tell him they can discuss it when he returns.  I just love what he does next...

These stories are unusual and a bit odd but they do keep your attention.  It was an interesting read.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Death of a Bean Counter by Sandra Balzo

Maggy loves their coffee house and how successful they are.  But when her partner tries to talk her into selling luxe espresso machines, she's not sold on the idea.  Why take customers away from themselves?  It gets worse when her barista is arrested onn suspicion of murder...

Severn House and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you). It will be published April 7th.

Maggy didn't even know Amy was dating the victim.  Then she finds out she was the last person to see him alive and they had a huge fight before she left.  He surprised her with a marriage proposal, very public, and she said yes rather than embarrass him in the restaurant.  But once they got back to his place, she gave him the ring back.  They'd only been dating three weeks, she wasn't ready to  commit to anything yet.  There were witnesses to their shouting match.  Amy swears she didn't kill him.

Then they learn he was stealing money from his customers at the bank.  That opens up a lot more suspects.  Even his children might have done it because he was going to change his will and give his house and assets to Amy.

Maggie's boyfriend is the sheriff but he's not sharing much with her.  She decides to investigate herself.  But she better be careful...

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Blood Countess by Lana Popvic

This is a fictional story of a woman called Countess Dracula.  She murdered at least 600 women before she was imprisoned.  It's also the story of a girl who became her chambermaid and more...

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

Anna met the Countess almost by accident but they clicked.  She admired the Countess and she felt like they knew each other. The next day, a knight calls at her house and says the Countess wants her for a chambermaid.  Her father won't let her go, he wants more money.  Then a horse kicks him in the head and he dies, so Anna sets out for the castle determined to help her mother and siblings survive.

When she gets there the countess tells her she's already added a chambermaid, so she'll have to work as scullery maid.  That's backbreaking work but it does provide a bit of money.  Eventually she gets to be chambermaid.  The countess lets her share her bed when her husband isn't there.  Anna can't believe the things she does and how much she enjoys hurting people.  She treats her servants as disposable.  She doesn't care if they die.  And Anna has to be careful.  If you disagree with the Countess, you may be the next victim. Can Anna get away alive?

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Star Pig by Delilah S. Dawson, Francesco Gaston (Illustrated by)

In the future you'll want to think seriously before sending your child off to camp.  That's where Vess is headed when their ship hits an asteroid body and disintegrates...

IDW Publishing and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read and review this book (thank you).  It will publish March 10th.

As she watches the other passengers die, she says her final farewells to her family.  But when she wakes up again, she's safe. A gigantic, space-faring water bear has grabbed her and is keeping her alive.  They get rescued by a spaceship but the being it isn't friendly.  As she fights him, she falls and hurts her head.  The water bear (who more closely resembles a pink pig) takes her to the hospital on the next planet, she meets a boy she is immediately taken with.  He offers her and her bear passage home.  She accepts.  But he's not a boy.  He's a shapeshifting alien that wants to eat them!  Will they get away?  Will they ever get to go home?  Read it and see.

This is a graphic novel with vibrant colors and great imaginations for how the aliens will look.  It's a fun read the young adults should enjoy.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Go Get 'em Tiger! by Sabrina Moyle, Eunice Moyle

This is a children's picture book that is full of encouragement.  It's almost like a cheer leading team  on each page!

Abrams Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be pumlished March 10th.

Not everything runs smoothly, life isn't like that.  But you don't give up, you just learn a lesson and move on.

The illustrations are vibrant and the book has more than one good message in it for young readers.  This book was very well done.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Binkle's Time to Fly by Sharmila Collins, Carolina Rabei

Binkle can't wait until he gets his wings!  But when he does, they are damaged.  He can't fly.  So he hides under a leaf.

Flyaway Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 4th.

Two butterflies say they can help him.  They introduce him to spiders and silk worms who work on strengthening his wings.  Other animals give him colors for his wings.  He's afraid to look but the butterflies encourage him.  He's amazed!  He can fly now.

A share of the sales proceeds will go to help research on the author's child's disease.  This book has good lesson about if we all work together, things can be accomplished.  Buy the book for your child and help another.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by Nikki Grimes, Elizabeth Zunon

This is a sweet little tale of a young girl who doesn't want to go to bed.  She thinks there are monsters under her bed, but her Mom chases them all away...

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Edelweiss allowed me to download and read this book.  It has already been published, so you can grab a copy now.

First, she gets up for a glass of water.  Then she gets up to use the bathroom.  When Mom and Dad go to bed, they hear a little voice asking if she can sleep with them.  When she gets in bed all the animals she's imagined crawl in as well.  And everyone goes nighty nite...

The illustrations are colorful and fun.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Rough Justice by Matt Hilton

Tess Grey is a private investigator.  When a plane crashes in the woods killing the pilot and the co-pilot, there's a rumor that a woman was on board and survived.  She's sent to check it out.  She takes her lover with her.  He invites a fellow trying to hide from gun runners.  Who's going to look in the woods for him?

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

They take weapons with them and a bit of backup ammunition because there are bears and other wild animals in the area they'll be in.  They see no sign of the woman.  They talk to the forest service personnel in the area but they say there were no survivors.  Tess doesn't believe them.  As she keeps working on them, the youngest one tells her he can see men in the woods around them on his tracking device.  Tess' lover, Po, heads out to stop them.  He returns with them.  They were after Pinky, who has retired from gun running.  But there are more guns coming...

Two undercover DEA agents are after each other.  One has stolen papers to prove higher ups are dealing in drugs.  The other is trying to stop her.  Tess and the forest rangers are in the way.  So are the town residents.  The one after the papers intends to kill them all...  She didn't realize Tess and her friends can take care of themselves.

There is a lot of killings, mostly in self-defense.  There is justice in the end but the woman who took all the risks isn't there to see it.  I bet Tess will ask a few more questions before taking on another government job...

Monday, February 3, 2020

Changing the Equation by Tonya Bolden

This is a fascinating look at what black women bring to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in America.  They may be immigrants in the past or present but they add to our knowledge.

Abram's sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published March 3rd.

This book is written for young readers so it's much less dry than adult non-fiction.  There are also lots of pictures to help you envision the era and the challenges they faced.

The early pioneers in this field were scorned for wanting to know the sciences since they were women..  They were also felt to be inferior because they were black.  It's hard to go on in schooling when no one likes you and they all keep telling you that you will fail.  Maybe some did but these women ignored the naysayers and even went so far in their education they got P. H. D.'s.

They looked hard at the sciences and took the time they needed to work out the mysteries.  The white men didn't have to work that hard.  The women had to if they wished to succeed.

I found this to be an enjoyable read.  I enjoy reading stories of those who fought the odds and won.  I graduated from college at forty and that took some effort, too.  I was working fulltime, sometimes had night meeting but I took night classes and made the dean's list.  Sometimes you have to fight for what you want.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Magic Required by Obert Skye

When Ozzy's parents are kidnapped, he advertises for a wizard to get them back.  The Wizard he gets, Rin, is sort of hit or miss but he's the applicant.  Ozzy has a special power his parents gave him but it's not very useful.  But Ray, a nasty man, wants to capture Ozzy and steal his blood so he can have those strange powers.  He wants to rule the world!

Shadow Mountain and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on April 7th.

Ozzy is friends with Sigi, Rin's daughter.  They are on the run from Ray.  His thugs show up everywhere.  Ozzy has a mechanical raven that warns him and defends him from trouble.

There's danger everywhere.  The police are trying to protect Ozzy but that's hard to do when he sneaks off.

Ozzy finds out his father is dead but his mother is still missing.  He loses his bird to the thugs that work for Ray.  Rin saves him from Ray but Ray isn't giving up.  They meet in a public place and then Rin does a big magic trick.  Even Ray is caught unaware.

Ozzy finds out where his mother is.  He also finds out he has magic!  Things don't end so well for Ray...

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Light After the War by Anita Abriel

They were on a train going to work camp run by the Nazis.  Vera's mother come up with a plan to save them.  The two girls jump from the train but their mothers don't make it.  For a year they live in a barn.   Then they get brave enough to venture out...

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

This story is based on true historical events.  The author heard this tale from family members and created this tale.

The girls manage to find work.  Vera is working at the US Enbassy while Edith is working for a seamstress.

Vera falls in love with her boss.  Edith loves anyone that loves her and has a busy social life.  Vera wants to marry Anton but he had mumps as a child and is sterile.  She would marry him despite that but he thinks she would resent not having children.

Eventually her father and mother are reunited with her.  She thought they were dead.  Unfortunately, Edith's fiance and mother both died.

Vera marries her new boyfriend and then finds out how jealous he is.  When he shoots her for sitting with some men at the diner and then kills himself, she finds herself pregnant and alone.  She goes to live with her parents.

Despite the travails of being a Jew and losing her husband, Vera has a happy surprise coming that will make her and you both smile.  Her life is going to turn out alright...

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Chronicles Of Agartha - Book 1 The Green Boy by Sherif Guiguis, Isaac Michaan

In a land below our own, there is another world.  There, skin color matters not.  You are recognized by the color of your aura.  Different colors have different personalities.  They have a home for orphans and when you turn fourteen, you are deemed an adult and sent out to make your own way.  Ethan is a Green and the last of his kind.  He goes out in search of any green survivors...

Mr. Michaan sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

There was an awful war before he was born that wiped out the Green.  He's hopeful that maybe there might be a few that hid well enough to survive.  So he heads out to the city.  It's a war zone.  There are big holes in the walls protecting the city.  He finds one friendly family and stays a bit with them.  He doesn't realize the Queen that destroyed the city is looking for him.

He's in grave danger.  Her men are searching for him and she's offered a reward to anyone who turns him in.  With so many after him he's going to get caught.

What she does to him is awful and his friends are going to have to help him recover.

The next story in this series should be even more exciting!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Mrs Bibi's Elephant by Reza Dalvand

Mrs Bibi has a pet elephant and takes it on a walk each day.  It's big but it stays in the house with her.  The children love to play with it but it's a traffic hazard and other people think she should get rid of it.  People don't need pets.

Flying Eye Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

When she's told she must get rid of the elephant, they find neither her or her elephant around.  They also find there are no more smiles or laughter.  People begin bringing home pets.  Some even bring home elephants.  Life begins to seem like normal again.  But will Mrs Bibi and her elephant ever return home?

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Gamayun Tales I by Alexander Utkin

This is a graphic novel of Russian fairy tales.  There are several and they are all great fun to read in this form.

Nobrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 10th.

With talking animals and water spirits, the humans are at a disadvantage.  Surprisingly the humans act in good faith when bargaining, but things backfire on them. 

There's the King of the birds, the Water Spirit and Tyna of the lake along with more tales.  There's the golden chest that turns into a palace.  That's pretty cool, but he opened it at the wrong time and now he can't close it back to a chest...

These tales draw you in and keep you reading.  They are different from other fairy tales I've read.  Having them in graphic form really adds to the story.  I enjoyed this one.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx by Joe Todd-Stanton

Marcy's father tells her tales of all his great adventures.  She listens and enjoys the tales even if they do sort of scare her at night.  She wonders if he's not too old and too fat to do such brave things anymore.  But when he tries to take her in a cave, she refuses to follow him into the dark.

Flying Eye Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 3rd.

When her father goes away on another adventure, she remembers the feathers in his hat will call a big bird.  She climbs on him for a ride and goes to Egypt to visit the Sphinx to get her father back.  On the way she meets another god who knows the Sphinx wants his moon eye.  He gives her his sun eye to use to get her father back.  A big snake is after her father.  Can she save him?

She saves him and herself more than once.  Now she's the adventurer in the family...

With a touch of mythology, the author has created a great story.

Monday, January 27, 2020

A Star is Dead by Elaine Viets

Jessica Gray is not a nice person but she's famous and people love her.  When she comes to a small town performance she makes snarky comments in private.  She also brings in three homeless women as part of her show and embarrasses them on stage.  So when she gets sick in the limo and dies no one is overly sad.  But when it turns out to be murder, it's even messier.  Someone doctored her kale juice with nicotine...

Severn House and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will publish April 7th.

She wouldn't let anyone smoke around her, so they vaped instead.  That gives them plenty of suspects.  Then they find that she's married one of her employees.  He's moving up in suspicions. 

Angela's friend, Mario, is arrested , mostly because he's Cuban.  The cop tells her to stay out of it but she knows Mario didn't do it.

She starts asking questions and some of the answers don't make sense.  Then one evening she almost gets run down in the parking lot.  She must be getting close.  Will she figure it out before they get her?

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Who Speaks for the Damned by C. S. Harris

When a disgraced British nobleman is found dead in the tea gardens, Sebastian decides to investigate.  No one cares that he's dead other than the child he brought with him.   It's hiding on the streets with no idea where to go or what to do.  He and his wife try to find the child but have no luck.  Sebastian pursues the case.  What he learns is disturbing.

Berkley Publishing Group and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you.  It will be published April 7th.

He finds that the man has been treated badly his whole life.  When he and his love eloped, he was accused of kidnapping to save her from scandal.  When she had his baby, her father farmed it out to a wet nurse who used opium to keep the babies quiet and she killed it.

Then his brother commits suicide because the lady he loves was just using him.  He goes to confront her, gets in a fight with her husband, and she ends up dead.  Nicholas is charged for her murder even though he tries to tell them he didn't do it.  They send him away to a prison, where he gets beat and barely survives.  When the ship he's on goes down, he and a jailer end up on an island together.  He leaves the jailer's body after he's disfigured his face and heads to China.  After he's regained his health, he comes back home.

Sebastien thinks one of the men who betrayed him killed him.  Then the four suspects start to die.  Who's killing them?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Long Range by C. J. Box

Joe is heading out with others to check out a grizzly bear attack on a human.  That's unusual unless you get between a sow and her cubs but they need to check it out.  He's suddenly called back in because a woman has been shot.  He flies back to get there sooner, leaving his vehicle parked at the head of the trail.  The judge's wife has been shot...

G P Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 3rd.

It seems the judge knocked his silverware on the foot and bent to pick it up.  His wife came out with a dish of food and got in the bullet's way.  She's in critical condition.  Who wanted to kill the judge and where did they shoot from?

As Joe tries to figure out where the shot came from, the sheriff tells him to leave, they don't need him in the way.  He does figure out where the shooter was but the sheriff is acting on a tip he got and he arrests Joe's friend, Nate.  Nate had been a troublemaker in the past but he's married and has a new child.  He's given up being bad.  The sheriff handcuffs him and takes him in.  They find the gun and bullets on his property.  Joe is sure he's being framed.

Joe keeps following clues.  With the grizzly attack, the judge's wife dying, and someone kidnapping Nate's wife and child, there's plenty going on and no easy answers.  The killers are shocking, more people die and it's not all happily ever after at the end but it's the only outcome you could expect.  Joe gets his man, even if he gets shot up...

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber

They are invited to a big celebration at the Duke's and they accept the invitation.  They'll soon wish they hadn't.  While playing assigned parts in an evening game. one of the Duke's boys takes them down in the cold, dark basement area that used to be the dungeons and now holds the bones of their ancestors.  Only one body is too fresh for that and it appears to be murder...

Berkley Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

The Duchess asks them to investigate.  It appears that someone at the party might be the killer.  The problem is the majority of them are family members so it may be hard to weed out the killer.

They think it might be one lady's husband.  As they try to track him down, they find other family secrets.  Then someone pushes Lady Darby down the stairs.  She doesn't fall but she dislocates her shoulder and she worries about her unborn child.  Her child is fine and her shoulder will heal but who pushed her?

Her husband and brother escort her about to keep her safe.  But it's not very safe as they get closer to the killer. 

This is a tangled web of a story where love has nothing to do with some marriages and where love can destroy others...

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Secrets of the Loon Charles Dayton (Photographs by), Laura Purdie Salas

Have you ever seen a loon?  They are a beautiful bird.  This book has pictures and facts for young ones so they can see how they grow.

The Minnesota Historical Society Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 31st.

You see the baby loons being born.  The first thing they are taught is how to swim.  They ride on their parents backs when they are tired or there's danger near.  They teach them to fish.  As they grow they learn to fly.

They also teach them to be careful around snapping turtles and to dive when they see an eagle.  It's hard work being small when you're young.

Eventually their parents leave them and they go on to develop their own families.

The rear of the book has more facts about these fascinating birds.   They have done a very nice presentation that will appeal to young ones.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Sunshine has returned home to become the new sheriff.  She was surprised to find she'd won the election because she had never entered the race.  It seems her parents entered her...

St Martin's Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

It's her first day on the job and she walks into a huge mess.  A woman claims a man has stolen her rooster, Puff Daddy.  A young girl is missing from school and believes she'll die on her fifteenth birthday, which isn't far away.  Her parents are frantic.  A young disabled boy is missing and the weather is very bad.

If that wasn't bad enough she sees her old boyfriend in town and he looks better than ever.  Then the US Marshalls come to help look for the girl and one of them is a hunk, too.  She's got too much to do to worry about romance.

Her daughter is having trouble at school and the bullies find out her mother's secret and play it on the school's television.  The sheriff's secret is out but almost everyone knew the truth anyway.

This is a hell of a beginning for the new sheriff but she has a way with dealing it all.  She's a refreshing character and I look forward to reading more about her adventures.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hid from Our Eyes : A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming

A woman in a party dress is found in the middle of the road.  She's dead.  She's not wearing any shoes and has no purse.  There's no sign of what killed her.  The case was never closed.

Minotaur Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

In 1972, twenty years later, there's another young woman left in the same way.  One of the suspects was a young man back from Vietnam but this case was also left open.

Russ is the current police chief .  He's called out on another case the same as the last two.  He wants to solve the case and do it before they pass legislation to go with the sheriff's department and shut down their own police department. It gets worse when they realize that he was the suspect in 1972...

They have brought in another war veteran as a suspect but he doesn't believe he did it.

They search for any clues and find none.  The state police are no help.  But the medical examiner says he can't see why she died but he's sent for a full toxicology report and it will be slow to come.

When they get the report, they begin a new search and find an old storage building.  They get a warrant and head out there.  That's where they find their shoes and purses.  More than one family member was involved.

The murderer is unexpected and the deaths were needless.  It causes so much turmoil, Russ resigns from his job as chief.

The next book will let us know how it all worked out for Russ and his family.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Diver's Paradise by Davin Goodwin

Roscoe has retired from being a cop and now lives in the sun in the Caribbean.  He remembers his old partner fondly and they had been talking about visiting.  Then he gets a call from his old precinct telling him that his partner and his wife have been gunned down in their home.  He asks for details but he's not part of them anymore.  It was just a courtesy call.

Oceanview Publishing and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 7th.

Roscoe assumes it has to be tied to an old case they filed.  As he tries to figure it out, more people die.  The killer doesn't care how many he kills.  Anyone associated with the case is being picked off.  When his Wrangler is borrowed by his girlfriend and she ends up in the hospital, he knows the killer is after him.  Will he be able determine who the killer is before he's dead, too?

The final confrontation is very explosive and you aren't sure who is going to win...

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Karim Shamsi-Basha, Irene Latham, Yuko Shimizu (Illustrated by)

Alaa loves Aleppo but war destroys the city.  Most residents flee but he stays behind.  It's not long until he earns the nickname "Cat Man".  He gathers up the pets left behind and takes them home.

G. P. Putman's Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  This book will be published April 14th.

Soon, he has to move to a bigger space.  As people find out about him, they help him set up an account to receive donations to buy animal food.  He moves one more time to get further away from the bombing and he takes in all kinds of animals.  He loves them and cares for them.  In a way, he's like the St. Francis of Aleppo.

This is a true story about the war in Syria.  I admire the bravery of this man.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Moon Is Following Me by JQ Sirls

Everywhere he goes, every window he looks out, the moon is looking back at him.  But no one in his family believes him when he says it's following him..

Fantoria and Edelweiss allowed  me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 1st.

He begins making up stories about the moon and him.  He pretends he's a superhero but that didn't turn out so well.  After a couple more fantasies, he decides the moon is the superhero and he doesn't mind a superhero following him around...

The Lazy Rabbit Startling New Grim Modern Fable About Laziness With A Rabbit, Vole And Fox by Wilkie J. Martin; Illustrated by Tanja Russita

The rabbit and the vole are traveling together through a barren land.  The rabbit wants to stop for the night but the vole says they need wood for a fire to keep them safe from bandits at night.  The vole ends up carrying most of the sticks because the rabbit is lazy.  They start the fire and then the vole starts discussing taking turns sitting up to refresh the fire.  He also suggests they need more wood.  The rabbit says they don't need more wood, they have plenty and he's going to bed.

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

The vole can't get the rabbit to stand watch so he sleeps at two-hour increments and keeps feeding the fire.  But when it starts to rain the fire starts to go out and he's got to go get more wood.  While he's gone, a fox sneaks into camp and takes the rabbit.

It doesn't pay to be lazy...

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Woodshed Mystery (The Boxcar Children: Time to Read, Level 2) by Gertrude Chandler Warner, Shane Clester

Here's another adventure for the Boxcar children.  They live with their Grandfather now and he has a friend that is redoing the old family home for some family members to move in.  They think they saw someone but they can't find him...

Albert Whitman & Company and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you)It will be published April 1st.

They snoop through the house but he's not there.  Then they look in an old woodshed and find evidence of occupation.  But when they bring an adult out, all the evidence is gone!

The woman in the house shows them a secret hideaway, but it's empty, too.  Will they ever find him?

The illustrations take you back in time.  This author's stories are always good.

All In The Same Boat Badass New Grim Modern Fable About Greed Featuring A Rat, A Mouse And A Gerbil by Wilkie J. Martin; illustrated by Tanja Russita

When the boat goes down, the only survivors are a rat, a mouse and a gerbil.  The rat is a bully.  He eats most of the food, drinks the water whenever he wants, and makes the other two sit in the pointy end of the rowboat.  As they get thin, he gets fat...
The Witcherley Book Company and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you.  It has already been published so you van grab a copy now.
He keeps chewing on the rowboat to make wood chips to keep him warm.  They ask him to stop but he doesn't listen.  Then he sneaks over and grabs the mouse for a snack while the gerbil was sleeping.  Then he starts chewing again and soon sprouts a leak.  There's an island they can head for so they start swimming.  The rat gets what he deserves but the gerbil reaches the island safely.
Don't be a bully and don't be piggy!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Blue Bay Mystery (The Boxcar Children: Time to Read, Level 2) Gertrude Chandler Warner (Created by), Shane Clester (Illustrated by)

This is an early reader that allows the younger set to read Chandler's mystery.  They are going out to stay on an island.  They will need to make their own dishes, catch their own food and so on.  Their Grandfather's friend got shipwrecked on it once and they are going to mimic him.

Albert Whitman & Company and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 1st.

They find a bird that talks to them and they are sure someone trained it.  But who?  Then they find a shipwrecked boat and realize there might be someone else on the island.  Can they find him?  If they do, will he be nice or dangerous?

Read it and see.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Case of the Icky Ice Cream by Dosh Archer

Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles are called to the ice cream parlor.  It seems someone exchanged the raspberry syrup with ketchup.   Ketchup tastes awful on ice cream!

Albert Whitman and Co. and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 1st.

They talk to all the employees and don't suspect any of them.   They also look for clues.  What they find is the raspberry syrup in the sink and a trail of ketchup going outside.  The ketchup goes to the curb and stops.  While they wonder if the person got in a car, they find the ice stand across the street was really busy.  They go to ask him if he saw anything.  He says no.  But then they see the ketchup bottle in his trash...

Was he the criminal they were looking for?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Little Pearl by Martin Widmark, Emilia Dziubak (Illustrated by)

Grace is babysitting and telling a tale before bedtime.  It's about the time she lost her brother and how she couldn't find him...

Floris Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on April 7th.

When she goes out again, she slips on the ice and slides down the hill into an icy tunnel.  Imagine her amazement when the bugs that live there are bigger than she is!  They are kind and she's enjoying her visit but she's still trying to find her brother.  First she finds a big crab, who isn't very nice.  As she escapes him, she runs in a cave and finds her brother.  They sneak out and run from the crab.  The other insects join them but the crab is getting too close.  But Grace has an idea.  Will she be able to save them?

The illustrations are well done and the story is fun to read.  This book will be a favorite of the children.   After all, this was how Grace got her pearl...

Monday, January 13, 2020

Hunting Buffalo With Bent Nails by Lawrence Block

I remember Mr. Block as a crime author but he writes non-fiction, too.  He also has a great sense of humor which even comes out in these short essays.  There are book prefaces, author introductions, and a constant hunt for places with the name Buffalo on them.

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

It's like sitting around visiting with old friends.  He's sharing pieces of his life with you.  He talks about his writing and how it went, he talks about authors he's known on the road to writing.  He mentions his father who died young and has a longer essay about his mother, who thought she was more exciting than that.

His humor shows through in his writing and so does his age.  He's no spring chicken but he puts together great books that I enjoy reading.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Block!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

I Am a Promise by Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce

This a picture book for young readers.  It's the story of a young girl who loves to run.  She runs everywhere she goes but she doesn't think anything about it.  It's just fun!

Black Sheep books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thasnk you).  It will be published on February 4th.

Her grandmother tells her she is a promise but she doesn't understand why.  As time goes on, she gets faster and begins to think of racing.  Shelly Ann was the fastest woman in the world in 2012.  She's a six-time Olympic medal winner.

She learned she was a promise for Jamaica and the people who supported her.  She also learned she was a promise to herself to do the best she can.  That's a good lesson for all of us.

Rachel Moss did the illustrations.  When you see Shelly Ann pulling away from the other racers, it was exciting and made me proud.

Do you have a runner in your family?  Maybe they are a promise, too. 

Do whatever you do to the best of your ability and it will give you pride even if you don't win medals...

Nairobi Noir edited by Peter Kimani

These stories take you down into the dark parts of town where you get down and dirty.  You meet prejudice, racism, the moneyed and the poor.  You meet corrupt police, criminals, and the innocent.  These tales don't make you feel better but they do make you glad you live where you do...

Akashic Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published February 4th.

The authors included are:  Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Stanley Gazemba, Ngumi Kibera, Peter Kimani, Winfred Kiunga, Kinyanjui Kombani, Caroline Mose, Kevin Mwachiro, Wanjikũ wa Ngũgĩ, Faith Oneya, Makena Onjerika, Troy Onyango, J.E. Sibi-Okumu, and Rasna Warah.  The oldest writer is eighty-one, the youngest twenty-four.

You read tales from the past to the tales of the present.  Not much has changed.  If you see a crime, get out of the area or you might be the one beaten and arrested if not killed.

This country is not an easy one to live in.  Most of the tales are a bit sordid.  But it keeps you reading to see what is going to happen next. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F C Yee

Genie has been protecting humans from the demons, but now she has a new assignment.  She has to protect the demons from the evil after them.  That might not be so bad, but the number of demons keeps increasing as they run from danger.

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 21st.

Genie with all of her special powers is now working with gods.  Some are nice, some are not, and one she loves.  He's helping protect her from harm.  Even with his help, it's hard to keep her safe.

They go after the monster that is scaring the demons and find out it is the mother of the demon Genie killedi in the first book of this series.  This does not endear her to Mom.  With the gods helping her fight she gets out alive but they are short a god.  Then they discover there is more danger.

They have been trying to select a new ruler for heaven but it's not happened yet.  When they find the source of the danger on this world, they are shocked and surprised.  It was the last god/demon they would have thought would be behind the danger.

The whole story is exciting and full of fantastical fights with secret powers and indestructible weapons.  Get ready to hold onto your seat as you read Book 2 in this series.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Poems to See By by Julian Peters

Poems have always been hard to read and understand to me.  This book has them depicted graphically and that made all the difference in the world.

Plough Publishing House and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 31st.

The graphics make these poems come to life.  The words themselves are a bit dry but when visualized it's so much easier to understand and enjoy.

The book is full of famous poems from years in the past and the added graphics makes them new again.  Mr. Peters has done a great job with this collection.  If you are like me and a bit slow in poetry reading, this will open new doors for you.  Besides the graphics, there is the poem in text.  Whichever way you like to read it, this book will serve you.

Finally, a poetry book I enjoyed!

Short Stories and Flash Fiction Journey from the expected to the unexpected, the natural to the supernatural. Venture into the world of fantasy by Molly Clifford-Nixon

Flash fiction is always fun to read.  In a couple of pages they set up the story and shock you with the ending.  If you haven't read any before, this collection is a good sampling for you.

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

The first story has magic in it and it's a short story.  It was also an interesting read.  Some stories are fantasy, some are ghost stories and most are short enough you need to pay attention or you'll miss the plot.  There is enough variety in the story lines to keep your attention.  All the stories were worth reading.

If you like anthologies, give this one a try.  The author has a good imagination.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

In the Red by Christopher Swiedler

Living on Mars means you have to stay in the dome until you pass tests to let you venture out in space suits.  Michael's first test went badly.  He had a panic attack.  His father has tried to take him again to show him it's not bad but he's too scared to go out.

Harper Collins and Edelweiss allowed me to read this story for review (thank you).  It will be published March 24th. 

Michael went to take another test but the beginner's class is already underway.  He joins the advanced class because the instructor told him he would give him the beginner's certification and he need not do the entire class.  He finds the class easy because he's good at math and he's studied a lot after he failed the first time.  The last test he has to do, he panics again.  He's been figuring out the course in his head when he could have used the equipment they carry.  The instructor is impressed.  Hardly anyone can figure it out in their head in the field.

When he meets his friend, Lilith, she takes him to an area he hasn't been to before and they go out in their suits.  She keeps him from panicking by asking him to solve math questions.  It works!  Then she asks him what the most daring and fun thing he'd like to do.  He says he'd like to visit his Dad at his station he works at.  It's a six hour journey with a sled but off they go.

 They have to hide from the sun and that's hard to do.  There aren't mountains or caves.  Then there's a dust storm.  Then the magnetic field dies.  Conditions are getting worse and worse.  Then Lilith gets hurt.  He thinks he knows the way to go but he has to carry her with him.  When he finally reaches the station, it's abandoned.  What now?

This is an exciting adventure on a planet that is not friendly to humans.  Michael isn't that old but he learns to be a man before the story is over...