Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

This a cute picture book for small ones; it has no words...

Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House, sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's currently for sale in your local bookstore.  

Mr. Raschka has a real talent for doing illustrations that express emotions.  You can see Daisy napping, playing fetch, playing with her ball with exuberance and enthusiasm written all over her face.

When they go to the park and another bigger dog joins in the fun, it all goes awry when the big dog pops the ball.  Then you see Daisy express depression and sorrow over the loss of her toy.  However, when they return to the park, the owner of the big dog has purchased another ball for Daisy and all is well again.

Even the very small will be able to follow along with this story.  And it'd be fun for read aloud because you could just turn the pages and let the children tell you the story.

Why not check it out and see what you think?  I bet you take a copy home with you.

Happy reading.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy

Vivienne found herself feeling unsure while at the dock waiting for the boat to evacuate the island.  It was so small and she wanted to keep her children safe.  When she decides to stay on the island of Guernsey, her decision will change her life...

Voice, an imprint of Hyperion, sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It has now been published and you can get a copy at your local bookstore.

Vivienne's husband is in the war, but their marriage was over before he left.  His unfaithfulness had broken it in two.  Vivienne is on her own, with two daughters and a mother-in-law.  She's hoping she made the right decision.  But when the Germans move in to the abandoned house next door, she's fearful.

Occupied Guernsey now has new rules and the people who stayed behind begin to change.  War touches whole families, even those who stay behind.  Soldiers feel conflicted about what they must do and how it offends their conscience.  Good people find themselves in bad situations.

For a while, Vivienne takes comfort in the arms of a German, but then the reality of the situation hits her and she must make a difficult decision.

This has the flavor and taste of how war impacts people and how it influences their lives.  The author does a nice job of showing how merciless people must be to survive and how innocent people can trigger events that become cataclysmic.  There are no easy answers during war and sometimes grabbing a slice of comfort is the best you will get.

If you would like my ARC of this book, please leave a comment here on my blog and email at info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to read it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Last Witness by Joel Goldman

Lou is flabbergasted when they haul his friend Blue out of the tavern Blue owns saying he's committed murder.  The only thing worse is that one of the arresting officers is Harry, the cop he thinks of as his father...

The author sent me a copy of his ebook for review (thank you).  I've read his work before and it's good, so I was looking forward to reading this story, too.  I wasn't disappointed.  You can purchase a copy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Blue used to be a cop but ended up resigning when he shot an unarmed woman during a drug raid.  His ex-partner, Harry, still thinks he got a get out of jail free card and resents him.  Lou has his office above the bar and is operating on his own after his last office job almost cost him his life.  Blue says he didn't do it, so Lou is representing him and pitting himself against Harry.  You can feel the conflict and torment of the characters, as well the hurt because they fighting each other.

The victim had blackmail material on EVERYBODY.  He was a major slimeball that enjoyed having a form of control over his enemies.  Everyone Lou talks to wants his or her file destroyed.  This is a can of worms where someone took has removed the lid; there can be no happy ending here when everyone's life and happiness is being threatened.

There's action, violence, psychological suspense and more in the pages of this book.  I read it quickly and enjoyed it.  Why not give it a try yourself?  Just takes a minute to download it and you can follow Lou through the sludge in his town as he looks for the murderer.

Happy reading.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne

God banished Lucifer to hell.  Now he's on earth and attempting to destroy it to get even with God...

Dutton sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was just published the 21st of this month and you can get a copy at your local bookstore.

I wasn't sure how much I'd like reading this book since it included angels who are spirits and occupy human bodies and it included a war with God, but the story is vivid and lively. The special agent the author creates, Bernadette Callahan, works for the "Section" which is almost as secretive and odd as the angels...

Batty LaLaurie is a religious historian, and Callahan nabs him to help her with her case.  She's going after a serial killer, but she finds that there are some religious factors involved that she can't interpret.  Batty tries to help, but they just keep getting in deeper and deeper.

Here is a link to the YouTube video that gives you a small excerpt of the story to entice your interest:  The Paradise Prophecy .

There is plenty of action, multiple plots, and it has a totally unexpected ending.  I found I enjoyed reading this book a lot.  Why not give it a try yourself?

If you'd like my ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name AND address and why you'd like to read the book.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott

Sam made love to his pregnant wife and then went to work as usual.  Suddenly Lucy calls him and tells him to get out of the building and come down to her on the street.  As he goes out the door, the building explodes!

Hachette Books provided me with an ARC of this book to review (thank you).  It was published July 1st, so you can get a copy at your local bookstore now.

Sam attempts to save his wife from the thug who was holding her hostage in the car outside the building, but he escapes.  And then Sam is gathered up by the CIA (his employer) to talk about what just happened.  He also gets accused of being a traitor.

Sam is a good man trying to make a difference in a world gone violent and mean.  Now they are accusing him of being a traitor.  Or even worse, suggesting that Lucy might be a traitor.

Sam Capra has a problem.  He has a big problem.  They don't want him to go after Lucy or his child.  They are monitoring him to make sure he doesn't escape.  They are threatening to kill him if doesn't stop trying.  And he's NOT going to stop trying to get his wife and child back.

Mr. Abbott has written a story of corruption across all levels.  Everyone that Sam has trusted and believed in is not his friend.  What he finds out during his search for his son will destroy his faith in the power of good and ruin his life.  But he doesn't back down.

This is a thriller with no end of bad, violent people who are trying to make money from sex slaves to assassinations to weapon running.  Sam has to negotiate through them to find his wife.  Adrenaline is actually a location in the story, but your adrenaline will be working while you read this story.

Fast paced and filled with ugly truths, this story will leave you thinking of what if it's true???

If you'd like to race through this story like I did, grab yourself a copy at your local bookstore.  Or you can enter the contest to win my ARC by commenting here on the blog and sending an email to info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to win it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Borgia Betrayal by Sara Poole

It's summer of 1493 and Francesca is the Pope's food taster and court poisoner...

St. Martin's Griffin sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in June and is available at your local bookstore now.

Since Francesca lives in the court, she lives in the luxurious style of the Pope with servants to help check the food and maintain the security of the Pope and his children.  That's enough to keep Francesca busy.  However, she finds out that the madman who killed her father is back in the city, and she is bound and determined to avenge her father's death.

The author does a nice job of bringing the time period alive in her story.  Slaves and servants have no value to the rich; they're expendable.  The poor have no way to raise themselves from their squalor due to an established "class" system.  And evil happens on the streets just like now.

Ms. Poole draws you into the characters lives and makes you care about what happens to them.  It's hard to know who is right, who is wrong, and what the right course of action is, but Francesca does her best.  And you're right there with her, hoping she lives through it.

I thought this book might be a bit dry and boring, but it sure wasn't.  It was a very enjoyable read.  Why not get yourself a copy and "taste" it yourself?

Happy reading.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bloodline by Mark Billingham

Why would a domestic murder victim have a piece of an X-ray in her hand?

Mulholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Company, sent me an ARC of this book for review.  It was published mid-July, so you can find a copy in your local bookstore now.

This is a police procedural with a creepy twist to it.  I really enjoyed Mr. Billingham's writing style, and his story is very realistic.  When Thorne finds he's facing a serial killer, the chase is on and it will hold you in your seat until you reach the end of story.

The victim's mother had been murdered by Raymond Garvey.  The bad news is Raymond Garvey is dead now.  So who is the killer and what does an X-ray have to do with the case?  Garvey had no family, no children.  Thorne is driven to find a common denominator, but there just aren't enough clues...

The story has a good pace, was originally published in the UK so it has a British flavor, and Thorne is an enjoyable character.  He works hard, is diligent, and worries about who might die next.

Why not find your favorite armchair and follow Thorne through on his adventures?

If you'd like my ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email at info at with your name AND address for mailing.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Sorceress's Orc by Elaine Corvidae

She was teaching a class at the university as she usually does when the school was suddenly attacked by clickers.  Vervain fends them off in her classroom, but Malachite is missing...

I won this book in a contest sponsored by the author and I'm very glad I got it.  If you enjoy fantasy and romance, I'm sure you'll enjoy reading this book.  I liked it so well, I have already ordered another one written by this author.  And I'm keeping my copy of this book for my personal library.

Ms. Corvidae creates a fantasy world where magic is distrusted and suspected of evil.  Her main character, Vervain, is a magic teacher in middle age and she has powers.  She chose to leave her family farm and pursue magic and hasn't seen her family since.  She has been assigned an Orc as a guardian.  Riyu is huge, powerful, and odd-looking, but what surprises Vervain the most is his intelligence.

They leave the college with an entourage to make them appear to be escorting a rich girl to her destination.  In reality, they are attempting to rescue Malachite.

The two main characters are each strong in their own way and while Riyu continually tries to protect Vervain, in many ways she prefers to take care of herself.  This naturally creates a bit of conflict.  There is also the issue of different nationalities having cultural differences.  Add in some respect and a bit of love and it becomes even more complex...

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to reading more of her work.  I highly recommend this book - why not give a try it try yourself? You can find her book here: Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | Trade Paperback | Online Serial

Happy reading.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Iron House by John Hart

He was an orphan, but he was tough.  He took the blame to save his younger brother from a murder charge and ran...

Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's Press, sent me an ARC of this book for review.  It went on sale in mid-July, so you can snag a copy at your local bookstore now.

The author says he got discouraged writing this book and almost gave up.  Boy, am I glad he didn't!  This is an amazing read.  I kept reading to see what was going to happen next.  Mr. Hart's writing style is hard hitting and holds no punches.  The plot is complex and the connections are hard to believe, but it's plausible.  And it sounds real.

Michael ran from the orphanage and fell into the hands of a mob leader.  He became an assassin.  Then he fell in love.  The old man tells him he will set him free to let him start a new life, but the old man is dying.  Soon, the old man's son is after him and people around him start dying.  He has two vulnerabilities:  his girlfriend who carries his baby and his little brother.  The mob intends to kill them both.

In some ways, it's like a game of charades.  Nobody is what they seem, there are connections Michael didn't know about, and most people have alternate agendas he's not familiar with. 

It's fast paced, full of action and violence, and I struggled to try to formulate an ending myself, but I sure couldn't see one.  Mr. Hart did a very nice job of tying the pieces back together again.  Not everyone lives happily ever after, but those who do live are moving on and getting on with their lives.

I don't think anyone would be disappointed in this book.  It's well written and I recommend it.

If you would like my ARC (which has a different cover), please leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info at with your name AND address to be entered in the contest.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 22, 2011

You'll Like It Here (Everyone Does) by Ruth White

They don't really look alien, but they are...

Delacorte Press sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's written for ages 9-12 and was published in June.  Your local bookstore should have a copy for you.

The Blue family is living happily ever after in the old farmhouse in the country.  Everything is fine until one day the youngest one's hair turns blue - then their cover is blown!

This story has a taste of a "A Wrinkle in Time".  This family has a magic carriage that can travel to destinations through the use of logistics.  The family tries to find a place like the earth they just left, but the alternate world is bit different.  Very different to be exact.

If your young adult likes reading fantasy, about alternate worlds, or adventure, this is a good story for them.  The author is Newbery Honor Winner and this is a well-constructed tale also.  Why not give it read?

Happy reading.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finding Kate Huntley by Theresa Ragan

A strange noise rouses Kate from her slumber and she freaks out to see her father being attacked on deck of the sloop.  His last words to her were:  "Trust no one."  She takes his words to heart...

I'm part of Menage a Blog and chose this book as one I would read for the event.  You can purchase a copy of it on Amazon or Smashwords.

Kate is living in Haiti as a rough, tough, almost ragamuffin free spirit who has "friends" but is independent and has no connections with anyone.  So when a good looking young man comes looking for her, she knows it means danger.  And she believes that totally, despite anything he has to say.  
When things happen and they are suddenly trying to kill them both, Jack begins to understand she may have a point.

This is a fast paced story full of danger with a detailed conspiracy based on greed and the love of money.  Who dies along the way doesn't matter as long as the protagonists have the life style they want with money to spend as they wish.

This was a very good read, not the least bit boring.  If you'd like to find out what happened to Kate's father and how things end up for her, buy yourself a copy of this ebook or here's an even better way:

Leave a comment here on my blog with your email included and you will win a free copy of this ebook.  What could be easier?

Happy reading! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Perfect Copy by Judith Gaines

This story will keep you awake at night thinking:  "What if.."

I am participating in Menage a Blog, and chose this book to "taste" this author.  It's a thriller and I was sure I would enjoy reading it, plus it has an added almost science fiction side to that really enhanced the story line.  You can pick up a copy at Smashwords or on Amazon as an ebook.

Brina lost her husband and son in an ugly accident that scarred her for life.  When she was hired to take of a child who didn't speak and was easily upset, she was more than willing to care for Roman.  She was still a mother even if her child had died.  She realizes that Matthew scientifically created Roman for the black market, so she tries to shower him with love to show him another side of humans.

The excitement all starts with the death of Matthew.  A park ranger tells her he's found him dead.  Was it an accident or was it murder?  Who would have killed Matthew?  Why would anyone want to kill Matthew?  The search for the answer to the questions sets the stage for the fear and trauma that follow.

This author does an excellent job of describing the snowbound cabin they occupy and the monsters inside and outside the building.  Bri is determined to protect Roman, but the odds aren't in her favor.

If you want a fast read that make you catch your breath as you live the nightmare that Bri faces, this book is for you.  It's a twisted tale that doesn't end happily ever after.  It ends realistically though.  And I greatly enjoyed the read.

Here is the best part:  If you leave a comment here on my blog with your email address, you'll get a link to the book for free.  Isn't that a deal?  Just comment below.  And read a good book!

Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FREE AUDIO BOOK: The First Day of School Forever, R L Stine

Macmillan saw my review and offered to let me give away an audio book edition of this story.  That's very generous of them and I hope someone will take advantage of their offer!

Here's a link to where you can listen to their audio "tease" to see if they entice to get a copy for yourself:  Listen here

You can also refer to my original blog review here:  Review

Don't miss out on your chance to read or hear Mr. Stine's new scary story!

Leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info at with your name AND address and why you'd like to win.  I'll choose one lucky individual from the entries.

Happy reading!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

It's bad enough to be a plane crash victim, but when you are in unexplored territory meeting natives that haven't seen white men or women before and may be cannibals it's even scarier!

Harper sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in May, so you will be able to find a copy in your local bookstore now.  The subtitle of this book is:  The Epic True Story of a Plane Crash into the Stone Age.

They were going on a recreational flight to lift morale when their pilot made a deadly mistake.  With uncharted valleys and lots of fog in New Guinea and it was easy to get  disoriented.

After the crash and the resulting fire, only three people survived.  Two were badly injured, the third had minor injuries.  They had no food or water and no one knew where they crashed.  However, they didn't give up.

The amazing thing about this story is that it got so little attention in the rest of world.  It took a long time for them to get supplies dropped to them and then it took a lot of effort to retrieve them.  They had to take their chances with the natives.  This is a story of survival, and it's riveting.

The author built this story based on a diary, witnesses, and one survivor's account.  His account of the tragedy and triumph of the two men and one woman and the soldiers who rescued them is well written and keeps your attention.  You learn a little more about those who fought in World War II.  And you admire them...

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to read it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller

His wife and child died while he was in the war.  When he returned he was a bit lost, so he decided to write a book about the history of the local churches.  However, the note from Mary about her brother's suicide suddenly took him in another direction...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sent me an ARC of this book to review (thank you).  It was published the 5th of July, so you can purchase a copy at your local bookstore now.

The author chose to write about the soldiers of the Great War.  Many died in battle and many came home wounded in both body and spirit.  I almost expected the story to be a bit dry and slow, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Ms. Speller imbibes her characters with life.  They may be reserved, but they have strong emotions and will persevere.  She describes the war only to the extent that it ties to her story line and she does a piece at a time.  Her clues to the mystery are like bread crumbs.  You never know when one is going to show and many times the search is futile.

The main character finds himself discovering more about his friend than he knew while he was alive, which is a bit discerning.  He also finds that many of the people he wants to talk to are dead before he gets there.  Perhaps there is a conspiracy?

The mystery is complex and unpleasant and the connection between all the people is murky.  The author leads you through the tale until she finally shows you the solution.  She surprised me with it.  Maybe you should read it and see if you can figure it out before the end.  It's a very good read.

I am giving away my ARC.  If you'd like to win it, leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to read it.  I will be picking a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Witches by Cheryl Christian

Here's a wonderful book for Halloween, a night when witches are about...

Star Bright Books and Net Galley shared this ebook with me for review (thank you).  The book will be published in mid-August in paperback form.  Wish Williams illustrated the story and the colorful witches are marvelous.

This beautiful picture book is for the young ones.  The author has her witches at home preparing for the evening, then going out to trick or treat.  It's a simple, happy story that will make them smile.  They may even want to dress as a witch for Halloween, too!

Why not make one of your treats for Halloween a copy of this book?

Happy reading.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Small Medium Large by Emily Jenkins

The colorful illustrations in this book help demonstrate the point of the story.  It's cute!

Star Bright Books and Net Galley gave me a copy of this in ebook form for review.  It will be published in hardcover and softcover in the middle of August.

This picture book teaches sizes.  It also teaches some fun words for the bigger sizes.  The author shows how many small, medium and large beings it takes to equal the size of the bigger ones, almost like filling a glass to the brim.  Children will learn perspective and depth by watching how many of what size make the comparison complete.

I really liked how it was presented and how it teaches without being obvious about it.  The illustrations are colorful and it's fun to read.  You could even make up your own shapes and let them practice with the various sizes to see if they can duplicate what was shown in the book.  Have some fun with your children!

Happy reading.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Dragon in the Volcano by Kate Klimo

Everyone has a pet dragon that can shape shift into a sheepdog, right???

Random House sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's the 4th in the Dragon Keepers series and they are all good fun to read.  You can buy this one at your local bookstore right now.

Jesse and Daisy knew that Emmy's garage was getting a bit small for her as she keeps growing, but they never expected her to take off and try to find her own shelter.  The only saving grace was that she left them a trail of socks, sort of like Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs.

They check in with their odd babysitter before they leave, and she gives them something to take along on their trip.  They have no idea what it is and she offers no explanation, just tells them they will know when it is time to use it.  So, with a bit of magic, they take off on their quest of locating Emmy.

What they discover is fantasy at its best.  If your child has any imagination at all, they'll find this book great fun.  It's fast paced, has danger, and Jesse and Daisy fight enemies and make new friends.  It's for ages 8-12.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watch Me Die by Lee Goldberg

He's bored and wants a little more excitement in his life.  Sitting in a security shack and watching cars and cameras isn't cutting it.  So a chance to play private investigator sounds intriguing...

Mr. Goldberg sent me a copy of this for review (thank you).  It was previously published as The Man With the Iron On Badge, but it has been republished under this title and with a new cover.

One thing Mr.Goldberg seems to do in his stories is take quiet, unassuming men into abnormal situations.  The experiences always change the men into something else; sometimes bad, sometimes good but they change.  This author imagines situations that would never occur to me. I'm always anxious to see just what he's come up with for the new story.  And I haven't been disappointed yet.

This begins innocently enough:  A resident of the complex he provides security for asks him to follow his wife during his off hours and find out where she goes and what she's doing.  Harvey is no ball of fire, but he'd love to emulate Travis McGee and get a boat and the babes that McGee does.  So he decides this is his perfect opportunity to get started in the field.  Of course, he buy real cheap supplies from the money the husband has given him and doesn't know what he's doing, but how hard can it be?

Harvey is actually headed down a road to horror, but he doesn't understand this yet.  The horror started years ago and is still tangible and the people involved all have ties to each other.  And Harvey walks into the middle of it with no knowledge about the cause, danger or consequences.

This is a fast paced story with all kinds of secrets that finally come to light as Harvey continues his investigation.  Mr. Goldberg grabs your attention and drags you down the black hole to the solution of the case.  It also has a very ironic ending.  

Why not get yourself a copy and see if you could have imagined this ending?  I sure couldn't...

Happy reading.

How to Get a Job by Me The Boss, Sally Lloyd-Jones, Sue Heap

Is your little one already thinking about his or her career?  Here is a cute book for them!

Schwartz & Wade Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It is currently available at your local bookstore for purchase.

I was very disappointed to read:  Sitting in your chair eating cookies is not a job.  Oh, why not?  I'd love that job, just give me a book to go with my cookies!

This is written for ages 4-8, and the brief discussions of types of jobs available and what you do in that profession are cute, simple and fun to read.  "The Boss" even does an interview example and says it's not appropriate to sit on the boss' lap.  (Another disappointment to me.)

It's a fun way to learn about job types and may lead the child to read more about some of the jobs offered as examples.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mistress of the Storm by M L Welsh

Verity is not very happy when her grandmother she's never met before moves in and takes over her attic room, displacing her.  What a witch!

David Fickling Books (a division of Random House) sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's currently in the market and you can get a copy at your local bookstore.

Verity is different from her youngest sister and wonders if any man will ever be interested in such a "Plain Jane".  But when she finds a strange man crying in the library and he gives her an ancient red book, her life changes and she doesn't have time to worry about that anymore...

This story is full of action, danger, and skulduggery and reads quickly.  Verity doesn't understand exactly what she is up against, but she must stop it.  The setting is a small sea village in the UK that makes it almost eerie to begin with and the various troubles floating under the surface of normal all come to a boiling point with the arrival of Verity's grandmother.

Why not jump into this adventure and see how you would have acted under such adverse conditions.  I was rooting for Verity all the way through the story.

Happy reading!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's the First Day of School...Forever! R L Stine

It's like having the same dream, over and over again.  Unfortunately, it's his life, not a dream...

Feiwel & Friends of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  Mr. Stine has written dozens of books for young readers.  This one is currently available at your local bookstore.

Artie wakes up and falls out of bed, hitting his head hard.  His day does NOT get better.  When he has the same experience the next day and everyone insists it's still the first day of school, he knows something is wrong.  He also knows he going to try to make some changes.  Not that that helps...

This story has an ironic punch line but I won't give it away.  Why not pick up a copy for yourself and check it out?

Or, you can leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to win my ARC.  I'll be picking a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Original Sin: A Sally Sin Adventure By Beth McMullan

Sally has never mentioned to her husband that she was a spy in the past.  After all she's retired and out of the game.  But you're never really out of the game...

Hyperion and Net Galley provided me with an ebook for review (thank you).  This book is just being published and is available at your local bookstore.

Sally (or Lucy as she is now called) is being a stay at home mom at this point in her life, and she's happy with that.  But when her old boss drops back into her life and lets her know a rogue agent didn't die like they thought, her memories return to her past adventures.

The story is fast-paced, full of action/adventure and filled with danger.  Sally can't decide if Ian hates her or loves her, but she knows he's dangerous.  Of course, her boss is, too.

There's more involved in this plot than is first apparent.  As you make your way through the story you start to see the different depths of the tale and you learn that's it not just a case of good versus evil.  The good is not all good and the evil is not all evil.

It's a tantalizing tale that could easily have a sequel.  I'll be keeping an eye out for it.  Ms. McMullan has created a very interesting character in Sally, and I'd like to know about her.

Why not get yourself a copy and see where this female spy can take you?

Happy reading.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Die Lover Die by various authors

Imagine a whole pack of authors writing a short story together...  Doesn't it sound a lot like trying to herd cats?

This is an ebook that Lee Goldberg shared with me.  You can buy a copy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Here is a list of the authors:  Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider, Stephen Gallagher,  Lee Goldberg, Joel Goldman, Ed Gorman, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Vicki Hendricks, Naomi Hirahara, Paul Levine, Harry Shannon, and Dave Zeltserman.

I've read books where each author has written another chapter in the story, but this is the first time where authors only contribute a few sentences.  This had the potential to be choppy and bit hard to read, but you don't find that in this two part story.

The story has a good flow; you can't tell where one author stops and another starts.  You also can't tell who is writing what - the story has it's own flavor and I didn't "taste" any of the authors.

That said, the story begins with a woman on the run and everyone she meets is trying to kill her.  It's fast paced, has a good flow to the story, and you almost hold your breath to see what is going to happen next. I enjoyed this read; the main female character is tough and hardcore and she needs to be to survive.

I had fun matching up the authors to their sections of the story after I was through reading it.  Why don't you pick up a copy and see what you think of this style and if you can actually find what your favorite author wrote before you cheat and look at the back.  I'll be amazed if you can point it out.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D Beil

Father Julian hires the Blazers to help him authenticate a painting and an autographed baseball.  Who knew what kind of mess it would turn into?

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's the third story in The Red Blazer Girls series, and the first one I've read.  You can pick up a copy at your local bookstore now.

Livvy is still around and manages to break Sophie's nose during swimming practice.  Sophie has a celebrity crush that Raf doesn't much appreciate.  And the mystery of the painting's identity is larger than anticipated with many different facets involved.

It will keep the young one's attention and entertain them with the tale of Sophie's well intentioned but often silly escapades.  Don't forget the others out in the series.  It's written for ages 10 and up.  

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S Perl

She wants a dog.  She wants a dog very badly.  Does she want one enough to pretend an orange juice container is a "dog" and care for it?

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's currently available for sale at your local bookstore.

This story really touched me.  The author has a real talent for making her characters come to life and revealing how grandparents and grandchildren develop a relationship.

Zelly is adjusting to her grandfather living with them; he's a bit weird.  But he notices that she really, really wants a dog.  So he gives her an OJ bottle and tells her to treat it like she would a pet; take it for walks, feed it, clean up its poop, etc.  Soon the whole family is reminding her of her duties to OJ.

This is a fun story to read, not boring in the least.  And pretty soon you're beginning to worry that maybe Zelly isn't mature enough for a dog.  Just keep reading, she has a few more adventures up her sleeve...

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Justice by Karen Robards

Jess is in a witness protection program and supposed to be maintaining a low profile, but it's hard to do when you win an important court case...

Simon & Schuster provided me with an egalley of this book for review (thank you).  It's currently for sale in your local bookstore.

This is a provocative story.  Mark, the FBI agent Jess is afraid she loves, is back in this story.  Jess is undercover because she was the sole survivor of an "accident" that killed the First Lady and is a protected witness.  However, this court case puts her back on the front page and the press makes the connection between her and her past.  Then someone attempts to kill her.  Is it from her past or is it from the present court case?

Money is the largest player in this story.  Those who have it want to keep it and get more.  No one's life is important to them.

The plot is complicated and has some unusual touches, which makes it even more fun to read.  I can guarantee you won't be bored and I had trouble setting the book down.  I wanted to read straight through until the end!

This was my first taste of this author, and I will be watching for more by her.  She writes well.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long Gone by Alafair Burke

After being laid off for months, Alice finally finds a perfect job.  At least it was shaping up that way until her employer got murdered in the art galley...

HarperCollins Publishers sent me an ARC of this book for review.  It is being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Alice's family is a family of secrets.  Some are not so well hidden, but we don't talk about them.  It's how all these secrets tie together and come back to haunt them that makes the core of this story.

The plot is complex, people from all walks of life get involved, and it doesn't have a particularly happy ending.  But it will keep you glued to the story as you watch the pieces unfold and see the consequences of actions done without much thought.

I bet it won't take you too long to read this book.  And, if you'd like my ARC, comment here on the blog and then email me at info at with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to read it.

Happy reading.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks are splitting up for vacations.  How will they handle these smaller groups and new responsibilities?

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published and is the third book in the series.  I read the first two some time ago, and was pleased to get to visit with the children again.

The Penderwicks are just as endearing as they were in the first two books.  Everyone is growing up, but their challenges aren't over yet!  Their father has married again and he and his new wife and her small child go on their honeymoon.  Rosalind goes to stay with a friend at the beach and get some rest from supervising the younger ones.  That leaves Skye as OAP (oldest available Penderwick).  Skye is much better at math and science than babysitting...

Jeffrey comes along, too, at the last minute.  Skye's note on what she needs to do gets wet and can't be read.  Aunt Claire, who was to help with the care of the children, sprains her ankle.  And this all happens by the end of Day One!

This is a rollicking good story with typical kid's shenanigans and dog adventures and a real surprise for Jeffrey.  This book made me laugh and cry both.  Why not give it a try yourself?  And, if you haven't read the others, check them out.  You'll grow to love these characters.

Happy reading!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lexie by Audrey Coloumbis

Lexie is looking forward to going to the beach cottage with her Dad.  It'll be a whole week with just the two of them.  But then she finds out he's invited someone else...

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  The author is a Newbery Honor winner.  Julia Denos is the illustrator.  This book is currently for sale at your local bookstore.

Lexie doesn't want to meet her Dad's friend or her two boys.  How could he do this to her?  And it's even worse.  He intends to MARRY her!

This is a cute story of a girl who has to adjust to a small boy who is real messy, a boy about her age who is different, and how her Dad interacts with his new love.  She's not sure she likes sharing, but she knows she has to accept it.

Why not share Lexie's lessons with another child in a similar situation?  It may make them feel less alone.

Happy reading.

Eeny Up Above! Jane Yolen, Kathryn Brown (Illustrated by)

Eeny is a mole.  Her sisters are very happy in their home but Eeny is more adventuress.  She goes up and samples all of the seasons of the y...