Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Assault by Brian Falkner

The year is 2030 and aliens have taken over the earth...

Random House sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

A young team of soldiers has been genetically modified to appear as the Bzadians do.  They are to infiltrate the troops and find out just what they are doing at their home base in Australia.  While the mission itself is fraught with danger and the other side is just as determined to win as they are, they have one more complication.  Someone within the group is a traitor...

They have trained together for a long time and it's hard for Chisnall to believe someone on his team could be doing that.  He knows it's true however.  So the battle to get inside and find out the Bzadians' secrets is even more complicated than usual.

This is a story of war with five teen soldiers and two seasoned troopers they meet up with later.  Not all get out alive.  And some of their beliefs will be shaken by the end.  No one really wins in war and that's true in this story, too.

The story moves well and the author keeps you interested in the story.  Most young adult males will enjoy this story as Mr. Falkner weaves his tale of war in the future.

Happy reading.    

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Water Witch by Juliet Dark

I enjoy fantasy tales.  With witches, faes, elves, demons, succubus, incubus, and fallen angels, there are enough paranormal forms to give this tale a unique taste and some odd twists.

Ballantine Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will go on sale February 13th, so watch for it at your local bookstore.

Callie is half-witch and half-fey and has not found her powers yet.  She's just given up her relationship with an incubus because he's sucking the life out of her.  Her fae friends are getting her help to discover how just what her powers are.  And her enemies (which includes her grandmother) are trying to close the last gate between the fairy world and our world.  Callie is a busy girl.

Callie is friends with the otherworldly folk and has no desire to see the gate closed.  Most will have to return home because they can't survive in our world without being able to renew themselves with the gold energy of the other world.  However, can an unknown power be enough to stop them?  And will she want to pay the price she must to succeed?

Why not follow Callie and see how she reacts and what happens as she struggles to find herself and her love?  I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.

Happy reading.   

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Revenge of the Mad Scientist by Lara Nance

Lady Arabella Trunkett was not about to let anyone kidnap her father and get away with it.  He had left her a clue and since no one would believe her assertation that the knife used on his staff member was a plant to shove them off course, she was going to have to do this herself.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog allowed me to read this ebook for review for this tour (thank you).  You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other places ebooks are sold.

Lady Arabella has own business and has been independent since she got left at the altar eight years ago.  She's determined and fearless and doesn't hesitate to pack up and go look for an airship.  She is accompanied by her young male companion she saved from an orphanage and her butler.  She doesn't really want that much company, but she's happy have them later in the story.

This is mix of steampunk and fantasy.  Lady Arabella has a number of adventures, some more dangerous than others.  She also has the misfortune to run into the man who left her at the altar.  The fact that there's still some attraction left between them doesn't make either one of them happy.

This is an adventure that has highs and lows but you can't stop reading.  Somehow Lady Arabella ends up on top despite the odds.  But her quest is not over.  Now someone has stolen the captain of the ship (her old love) and she's not going to let them get by with that!

I enjoyed this story a lot and have already purchased the next book in this series.  I have to see where Arabella goes from here.  You don't need to worry about being bored; she goes where no man dares to go, much less a woman! 

Lara will be awarding an autographed original map of Arabella's steampunk world to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a $50 Amazon gift card and an original steampunk necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Also a steampunk necklace will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

If people sign up for her newsletter on her website from Jan 29 - Feb 3, they will be entered for an autographed copy of her book as well as an original steampunk necklace.

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

Happy reading!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Dash of Magic: A Bliss Novel by Kathryn Littlewood

Here's a quirky little tale filled with magic, fun, and family that middle graders will love to read.  I had a great time reading it, too!

Katherine Tegin Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this story in ebook form (thank you).  It was published January 23rd, so you can grab a copy now.

Rosemary Bliss HAS to get the family cookbook back from her evil Aunt Lily.  Lily is using it for fame and fortune, and the Bliss family used it to keep their home town happy and healthy.  It's real gray at home, both weather-wise and attitude-wise, so they need to get the book back.

Stealing it isn't an option (even if that's how Lily acquired it), so Rosemary challenges her to a baking contest.  The problem is that she doesn't have the family recipes anymore and her aunt will probably beat her.  The winner of the contest will get to keep the book.  Can Rosemary hope to win?  With a little help from her family and friends, Rosemary gives it her all...

Some of the ingredients are crazy and how they acquire them is crazy, too.  It makes for a fun read.

Happy reading.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Killing Hour by Paul Cleave

If you're of a sensitive nature, don't read this book.  It will give you nightmares.

Edelweiss and Atria allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will be published April 23rd so check with your local bookstore then for a copy.

The idea of a man who wakes up with no memory and is covered with blood intrigued me.  There were lots of things you could do with that beginning, but I never expected to walk the road Mr. Cleave took us down.  We might have left the woods but we were never really out of the dark...

Charlie didn't murder the two women who were dead. He had been in their houses, had a beer with them, and talked to them, but he was saving them.  So how did they end up dead and with evidence that looks like he was the killer?

Throw in Charlie's ex-wife (he has to kidnap for her safety) and a drugged up contract killer and you have a real mess.  Nowhere is safe.  No punishment ugly enough.  And Cyril never dies, he just keeps coming back.

I had to set this down and then pick it up later.  It's not a calm, easy book read.  It's a gut-wrenching story that made me shiver.  Don't read this if violence bothers you; that's a major part of the story.  And don't read it at night unless you don't like sleeping.    

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dying Light (Logan McRae, Book 2) by Stuart MacBride

Rosie Williams is a dead prostitute, down by the docks.  Not the best way to start your morning, but not unusual for McRae.  Being beat to death is an unpleasant way to die.  When another prostitute shows up dead, it suddenly looks like this might be a serial killer.  If that's not enough to keep him busy, someone is screwing doors shut and burning down the home and occupants inside.  The first one is an abandoned warehouse with transients inside, but then it progresses to residential units.

Edelweiss and Harper Books allowed me to download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It was published in October, so you can buy a copy at your local bookstore now.

This gritty police procedural is set in Scotland during the summer.  It should be a pleasant time for residents, but it's deadly this year.  There is more than one killer out there and their motivations are totally different.  Trying to prove anything is hard.  Especially when one of the people picked up on a sting while monitoring the prostitute district turns out to be a council member.

McRae has been demoted due to the last case he was on.  He's in a loser division with a boss that grabs all the glory.  He's also driven to solve his cases.

This is not a pleasant story.  It's a hard look at the mean side of a city that is driven by greed, political power and insanity.  Solving a case doesn't always make you feel better.

Happy reading.   

Friday, January 25, 2013

Space Magic by David D Levine

When you open the cover on this book, you are entering a world of fantasy.  The stories in this collection travel in time, have weird creatures and hold a touch of dystopian woven in them.  There are none alike and all entertain. 

Book View Cafe and Library Thing gave me the opportunity read this ebook for review (thank you).  You can buy it now here:  Space Magic The individual stories are available, too, if you'd prefer to just taste the work.  I enjoyed reading them all.

My favorite (which should surprise no one) is The Ecology of Faerie.  This is not a nice story, but it charmed me.  The faerie was evil and the girl in the story figured out how to get rid of her.  Be careful of creatures who walk in the night...

I also enjoyed Zauberschrift.  It's about the death of a wizard and the bad things that are happening to the village.  When the failed apprentice is called back by his sister, he never expects to find what he does.

There is a mix of space stories, ghosts, paranormal and more in this selection of stories.  They all had an ironic touch, which I like.  They're not boring.

Mr. Levine has a good imagination and you feel he's lived in these worlds he creates.  It's a good read, why not snag a copy?

Happy reading. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Chronicles of the Dragon Sisters by Peter Quatrine

Twin sisters Eva and Jane have grown apart since their mother's disappearance.  Eva knows Mom is dead; Jane believe she's still alive.  Eva knows their mother would not have deserted them; therefore, she must be dead.

The author offered me a copy of his ebook to read and review (thank you).  This ebook is on Amazon and you can grab a copy now.

The girls and their father are moving to a new home and trying to make a new start.  The outside of the home looks awful, but it's kept up quite well inside.  There are dragon statues guarding the front door and dragon decorations all through the house.  

The thing that catches Jane's attention (and mine) is that there is a huge library in the house.  It becomes her favorite room as soon as she sees it.  Eva would rather play video games so Jane can hang out in the library all she wants.  That's all fine until they discover a secret passage way that changes their lives forever.

This is a fantasy with all sorts of creatures hanging about.  Most of them are invisible to others, but the twins can see them.  They can also be hurt by them.  If you take a walk with the twins in the story, you'll meet a talking tree, a spider that can turn half human, dragons, the Fae-ree Queen, and more.  You'll watch the girls begin to trust each other again.  And you'll be looking forward to the next book in the series to see if they are successful in their quest to save their mother...

You can see Peter's artwork and get more information on this series at Peter's Blog

Happy reading.   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Red Death Over China by L. Ron Hubbard

I collect old pulp magazines.  This story was written for the 1937 issue of War Birds.  I also listened to audio tapes from the past for the old radio shows.  They're a hoot to listen to since technology has changed so much.  I was looking forward to listening to this audio book, and I wasn't disappointed.

Galaxy Press and Library Thing allowed me the opportunity to review this audio book (thank you).  It is for sale now and is two hours long and unabridged.  It has two other short stories as well as the main novella.

I could tell from listening to the stories that Mr. Hubbard had been in the far east and had experience with flying.  Looking up his biography on the internet confirmed that.  

Mr. Hubbard's tales are full of action and danger in foreign lands.  Death is a partner with the people in his stories.

Each tale has to do with war in some way.  The first is tale of fighting in China, the second is about a pilot testing planes, and the third is a war in Africa.  They were all good, but the highlight was the first tale.  We meet a soldier who cares about nothing:  not danger, not war, nor the deaths of his fellow soldiers.  He just takes the plane where he's instructed and returns, with uninterested eyes and an apathetic attitude.  Until one day things change...

The voices and sound effects were done well and you don't have to listen to those old commercials from the radio days.  If you enjoy listening to audio books, you'll like this one.  If you haven't started listening to them yet, this is a good place to start.  They're short, they're well written and you can sit in chair and visit another land.  Why not give the audio book a try?

Happy reading.    

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke

Brigid and her father liked to walk in the forest.  It was almost magical there and she could find pretty flowers to take home.  One flower she chose to pick caused her problems, though.  The Faerie Queen appears and asks her who gave her permission to take the flower.  She answers her and is allowed to leave the woods, but is told the Queen will be back to get a favor...

Ms. Clarke and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me a copy of this ebook to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.  You can grab a copy on Amazon.

Brigid has no idea the village will begin to shun her because she had contact with the Faerie Queen.  She tries to tell them she hasn't changed but no one listens.  The faeries steal children and women from the village.  She might be a danger to them.

When Brigid finally turns seventeen, her mother presses her to marry the local miller, assuring her that he loves her.  Connell never expresses that in words and Brigid is not sure.  However, it may be the only way she can gain acceptance in the village.  She finally agrees to marry and then Connell disappears on a trip to the next town!

Faeries lie.  They can also take on glamor.  And they lust after Brigid because she is beautiful and has a touch of faerie in her.  When Connell returns and he's turned more romantic she's thrilled.  She doesn't realize it's not Connell...

This is a visit to the faerie world you won't forget quickly.  Brigid learns a lot about faeries and discovers she really does love steadfast, sincere Connell.  She has to defy the Faerie Queen to save him.  Will she survive?  You'll need to read the book to find out.

I enjoyed this read a lot.  Brigid has her problems, but I still was rooting for her.  She reminded me of me.

Adrienne will be awarding winner's choice of a Kindle touch, Nook Simple Touch, or a $100 Apple gift card, and one crystal Faerie necklace similar to what Brigid wore to the Faerie ball to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: Goddess Fish Blog

Happy reading.      

Monday, January 21, 2013

Romance of the 3 Djinn by J A Pak

This is a fantasy story that can be read by young adults and adults both.  I enjoyed the tale and think you will, too.

The author provided me with a copy of her ebook as a gift and I'm reviewing it because I like the way Ms. Pak's words flow.  You can buy a copy on Amazon or Smashwords now.  It comes in ebook form or print.

The author's words lilt across the page, drawing you into the story of Esmene and her search for someone like her.  When she discovers a boy she's drawn to that has eyes like hers, she thinks she's found love.  What she has found is her heritage.  She's part Djinn (as is he) and while she's lived on earth for sixteen years, she has a past she didn't even know existed.

The story includes time travel, unusual worlds, two men who love her, and war in the Djinn world.  I had trouble envisioning a happy ending, but I was content with how the author handled it.

Be careful.  It's really not safe to fall in love with a Djinn.

Happy reading.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Stonecutter by Camilla Läckberg (author), Steven T. Murray (Translator)

There are a lot of puzzle pieces to this story.  It takes a bit of reading to see how they all connect together.  One thing that stuck with me was how one pebble dropped in the great pool of life could affect so many people.  While the story begins with the death of a child, it actually began years before with a very spoiled manipulative young woman who was determined to get what she wanted...

Free Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will be published February 5th, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Patrik and Ericka have just had a child.  While Patrik feels a bit guilty about it, he's glad he has a job to go and can get away from the crying baby for a while.  When he gets called to a crime scene with a young girl caught on a lobster pot, he thinks of his own young daughter and hopes nothing like that would ever happen to her.  What shocks him is that he recognizes the dead child.  She's one of his neighbors...

The tale just gets more tangled from here on out.  There are several suspects, but no one can prove anything.  As people are questioned, other crimes come to light and other people die.  This is a messy case with roots back to great grandma, but no one will ever know because the people who understand what happened and why won't talk.

While this story isn't boring, it is ruthless and mean.  Some couples reconcile, some are broken apart forever, and some end up dead.  The worst part is that it's a good look at a cross-section of life and is realistic.  Life is hard and sometimes it is cruel.  This story will stick in your mind for a while.

Happy reading.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

Violet's father is an optometrist.  She's perfectly happy with where they live and how life is going, so she's not happy to hear they are moving because of a job opportunity for him.  Especially when she finds out they are moving to a town named "Perfect".  Who would name a town that and why?  If it's true, she'll have to make sure to brush her hair and wear clean clothes each day and that doesn't sound like fun.  But she has no choice...

Ms. Duggan sent me a copy of her book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy on Amazon.  It comes in paperback or ebook form, your choice.

When they arrive in Perfect, two brothers meet them and welcome them to town.  They also bring some tea to make them feel at home.  That's not all it makes them feel...

This is a very interesting little tale about a town that has been remade by two brothers who want everything perfect.  They are using a tea to remove any individual will from people.  The tea is wonderful, it tastes like anything you like to drink or eat.  But Violet can see it changing her parents.  She's not drinking as much of it and gets in trouble at school for picking up her pencil before she's told to.  She also keeps seeing another child out of the corner of her eye but she loses him when she tries to follow.  When she finally meets Boy, she begins to find out the secrets of the town and the brothers running it.

It reminded me a bit of when Alice fell down the rabbit hole.  We have the two Mad Tea Hatters and other various characters that have something in common with Alice's acquaintances in that odd little world.

I enjoyed this read.  It's good flight of fancy and fun to read both.  Why not give it a try yourself?

Happy reading.   

Friday, January 18, 2013

Merciless by Lori Armstrong

Mercy Gunderson is not a person to mess with.  She's a Black Ops army-sniper-turned-FBI-agent and she's tough and relentless.

Touchstone and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to review an ebook of this story (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy at your local bookstore now.

Mercy is near an Indian Reservation and her first real assignment is to investigate a local Indian girl's death.  She has a "partner" who is teaching her FBI skills and they are both stymied by the fact the dead girl was staked like a vampire.  Mercy is also struck by the fact that no one seems particularly concerned about the young woman's death.  Then add in the fact that one of her shirt tail relatives was her last boyfriend and things really start getting sticky.

This is a mix of visions, emotions, and good detective work despite the fact that no one will talk to her about the connections she knows must be there.  What makes the case more difficult is that now the killer is coming after her and her family.  When one of her family is killed, she's determined to stop the psychotic killer.  That's when her special op instinct kicks in and it becomes a matter of life and death in the woods.

The story grabs you in the first few pages and you keep reading until you're done.  The author pulls no punches and keeps it gritty and absorbing until the end.  Everyone had secrets, it's just that some are more deadly than others.  It has the feel of authenticity and I liked Mercy's solution.  Why not read this book and see what you think?

Happy reading.   

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beneath the Abbey Wall by A. D. Scott

There is a black bundle on the steps by the abbey; a hand extends from it.  No one can guess the ramifications of this woman's murder; it makes for a very interesting tale.

Atria Books and Edelweiss allowed me to download this ebook for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Mrs. Smart was invaluable in the newspaper office and no one there could believe she was dead.  One of the staff was so devastated, he left and took up residence at the local pub.

This is a mix of past and present troubles with secrets that have been undisclosed for years.  The story is set in Scotland and the author describes the area well.  She was born there, so she shares her impressions of the land.  You have the murdered woman, tinkers (gypsies), two men, and an Indian servant as beneficiaries in her will.  No one is without sin in some form or another.  And they are all intertwined with Mrs. Smart's life and death.

It's a good read.  The kicker is the ending.  After all the investigative work, the answer chosen is not the right one.  You'll have to read it to find out the ironic answer.  You'll especially enjoy it if you like in-depth mysteries. 

Happy reading.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Alpine Xanadu: An Emma Lord Mystery by Mary Daheim

Emma and Milo are back and Alpine has another murder.  Emma wasn't sad to see him dead, but she didn't like the talk that said she might be the murderer...

Ballantine Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will be published at the end of January, so watch for a copy then.  If you've been reading this series, this book keeps the action going.

Emma and the Sheriff are dating and are very serious about each other.  Unfortunately, crime keeps the Sheriff busy and Emma's reporting keeps her busy, so they don't see as much of each as they would like.  The Sheriff's daughter keeps coming home to him with mental health issues, and that doesn't help either.  Will their love survive these difficulties?

When Wayne Eriks is found dead next to his van, everyone assumes he died from electrical shock.  The autopsy shows otherwise and what was an accident turns into murder.

This is a small town set in rural Washington and the people in the town all know each other and protect each other.  Trying to find the murderer is a sensitive issue and even when they identify the murderer, do they want to charge him? 

This is a light mystery that reads quickly and I found myself hoping Milo and Emma could create a life together.  Their sometimes rocky confrontations reminded me of my husband and myself.  I enjoyed this read, why don't you give a try?

Happy reading.    

Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrated by)

Suzy is tired of boring summers.  Then she finds out there is a retired circus performer living in her area.  She also finds that her Uncle ...