Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Are you ready for a grand adventure with an impetuous young woman who has many skills that suit an adventurer?  She reminds me of a female Indiana Jones, but she's prettier.

First Second Books and Net Galley let me download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published August 27th, so keep an eye out for it.  I've got it written on my list so I'll remember to pick it up for my personal library.  I loved it!

This is a graphic novel and reads like a comic book.  I find this type of book appealing even though there is not room for a lot of text or a long story.  The form fits this story quite well because Delilah's skills are in the form of action.  She's either fighting or escaping but she doesn't spend much time sitting still.

The Turkish Lieutenant tickles me.  He starts out by trying to capture or kill Delilah.  After she saves his life about three times, he decides maybe he should just stick with her since he now has a price on his own head.  Then he decides he wants to settle down and bids her goodbye as she heads out on a ship.  As time goes on, he realizes he misses his exciting life and his beautiful companion.  She's agreed to travel with him again if he finds her, but can he find a woman who drifts like the wind and fears nothing?

I enjoyed this read.  It's a mix of all those action movies my husband likes to watch and I really enjoyed having a formidable female as a heroine.

Happy reading.

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

Max and his parents are going to India to set up a theater for the Maharaja.  The whole family is excited, packs their bags, and gets ready to head to sea.  Max goes for one last painting lesson, then bicycles down to the dock.  When he can't find the ship, he gets concerned and checks with the harbormaster.  He's told the ship he's seeking was never in port, nor are any of them going to India.  But they do have a message from his parents.  Apparently his parents have left without him!

Alfred A Knopf and Net Galley allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th, so watch for it at your local bookstore.

Max is lucky enough to have his grandmother living next door, so he returns home to surprise her with the news.  Part of the reason he was being allowed to go on this trip is because he is twelve and is learning to be independent, but being independent isn't much fun when you have no earnings.  Max's first goal is to find a job.  He's having no luck in his search when a job finds him.  A young lost child who doesn't talk much finds him and wants him to take him to his Mom.

This is an easy tale with various twists and turns.  Max doesn't locate his parents (another book is coming, I'm sure), but he makes new friends, solves problems, and generally has a good time doing it.  He has a theatrical background and dresses for the various parts:  a dogcatcher, a British gentleman, and even a female maid.  It's all in good fun and everyone is satisfied with his solutions.  Now if he could just find his parents...

Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mouse House Tales by Susan Pearson

Mouse decides she needs a home and asks the other animals how to build one.  They suggest their homes to her, but she doesn't think of them are for her.  Instead she wants to build a house.  And, boy, does she get a lot of help!

Blue Apple Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

This is a beginner's chapter book that well suited for very young readers.  The chapters are short and the stories are sweet.

Once she gets her house built, she starts hearing noises in it at night.  It takes her team of animals that helped her build the house to figure out how to capture the thief.  When she finds it's another mouse, she invites the young mouse to live with her.  She also decides that was just what she needed to make her house a home.

Amanda Shepherd has made delightful illustrations for these stories.  I can see a child reading these stories more than once.  They would also make good bedtime stories.  

Happy reading.

Desperate Magic by Rebecca York

Willow was left behind when her sister Rowan fled the protective village she lived in.  She didn't want to stay there, but she couldn't leave.  The people of the village shunned her.  It was a lonely life with no real future ahead of her.

Carina Press and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It was published July 1st, so you can find a copy of the book now.

I've read Ms. York's work before and I enjoy her style of writing.  She writes a very good fantasy story and this one involves dragons.

Willow is watching a dragon fly near the protective fence when she decides to try to escape once more.  The dragon aids her attempt and she finally gets outside the magic fence.  From there, she's going to locate her sister, who has been calling for her help telepathically. When she finds a good looking man going the same way she is, she decides to travel with him.  The woods are dangerous and the way is long, so she agrees.  

Cullendor is a dragon shifter and he wants to learn enough about humans to take over the kingdom she's heading for.  Her sister is married to the King, but Cullendor is sure he can beat him in a fight and acquire the kingdom.  What he didn't plan on was how Willow would affect him.  She teaches him that human females are not at all like dragon females.  She also teaches him about love.

The story is fairly predictable and you know early how it's going to end, but it's a good read and I liked it a lot.  I like fairy tales with happy endings.  Why not get a copy and read it yourself?  Finishing a book with a smile on your face is a good thing!

Happy reading.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree

Do you like fireflies?  You need to read this book!

Blue Apple Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this children's picture book (thank you).  It has been published, so check for a copy at your local bookstore.

This is a delightful picture book with illustrations by Betsy Snyder.  A little girl goes out on a night with fireflies and captures some in jar.  Before the end of the evening, she lets them go and waves goodbye.  The pictures and story are both charming.  If you have fireflies in your area, you might start this as a new family tradition at your home.

The last two pages in the book have facts about fireflies.  I learned a couple of things reading the little balloons of information.  Maybe you will, too.

If you're not fortunate enough to have fireflies in your life (like where I live), read this book, view the illustrations, and imagine...

Happy reading.

Treecat Wars by David Weber, Jane M. Lindskold

A new world that has cats with six legs that can communicate with their person grabbed my attention as I read their synopsis.  I'm a cat person; I had to read this book.  This is the third book in this series and concludes the trilogy.  I had no trouble reading this as a stand alone book but it you like reading the books in order, grab them all and get started.

Baen Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  This book will be published in October, so go ahead and read the others while waiting.

Stephanie has her own treecat.  They bonded while fighting forest fires to save both human settlements and the treecat's homes.  The fires are out, life is settling down, and Stephanie has a love interest.  When the opportunity to go school on another developing plant arises, she's torn.  She doesn't want to leave Anders but she also doesn't want to miss this opportunity.  Anders sends her on her way, trying to ignore the pain in his heart.

Stephanie and Karl do well in the classes while Jessica and Anders try to figure out what is going on with the treecats.  It seems the various "tribes" of cats don't want to share their land with those burnt out.  It's mostly a matter of how much food there is, but there is one rogue in the mix who is willing to start a war.  In addition to trying to help the treecats, Anders finds himself starting to fall in love with Jessica.  Could things get anymore complicated?

This was interesting tale with a fascinating new world and a new breed of cats.  I enjoyed the tale and wish the author would write one more in this series.  I'd like to see where Stephanie goes from here.  I also have the feeling that she might hook up with Karl.  I guess I can "write" my ending to the series if the author doesn't.

Happy reading.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Under the Ice by Rachel A. Qitsualik

What drew me in to read this story is that Ms. Qitsualik is sharing a tale from the Inuit people of the arctic.  Folk tales of other cultures have always fascinated me.  This story is very different from anything I've read before.

Inhabit Media and Net Galley allowed me to download this story and read it for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  This is written for those in the middle grades.

Grandmother is tired and hungry and has little patience for her grandchild.  He begs and begs for food, but it's winter and there is nothing to hunt and very little food remaining.  Everyone is hungry, not just him.  As he nags again, she gets angry and makes a wish that the qallupaluit would take him.  She's not serious, she's just angry.  But the underseas creatures hear her and claim the boy.

The illustrations show you first hand what the qallupaluit look like and I sure wouldn't want to be carted off by them!  The boy, however, is happy there.  He has plenty of food, they are good to him, and he enjoys playing with them.  When the hunters come to rescue him, he doesn't want to go back.

Eventually the hunters do capture him by using hunting skills to sneak up on him and they return him to camp.  He doesn't live with his grandmother, though, he lives with the man and woman who helped recover him.  There is no more said about grandma, but I'm sure she was remorseful for her angry words.

The illustrations really make this book stand out and I'm afraid I was rooting for the qallupaluit; I wanted them to keep him!  According to the tale, he became a great hunter.  Maybe he visited with the qallupaluit while he was hunting...

Happy reading.

A Clockwork Heart, Book Two in The Chronicles of Light and Shadow by Liesel Schwarz

Elle is trying to settle into her new role as the Oracle.  It's a strange, dangerous, and unknown territory but she's coping with it.  Marsh has given up his warlock powers because he loves Elle and wants to spend his life with her.  While Elle still wants to fly airships, Marsh is bored at home waiting for her.  They also have a big fight before she heads out on her next charter trip.

Random House/Del Rey and Net Galley let me download a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published August 13th, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  You also might want to check out the first one in this series.  This story is a stand alone, but you would better understand the nuances of the second story if you read the earlier story first.

Elle is depressed and upset about the fight, and her pilot turns airship around to go back home.  She and Marsh need to make up and talk about how to deal with their differences.  But when she arrives home, Marsh isn't there.  She doesn't know it at the time, but the White Witch has him and plans to keep him.

I like the steampunk machinery and the story was good but the ending about killed me.  The author leaves you hanging; Elle saves Marsh, but it does no good.  He's still taken from her.  I know it's a set up for the next book but I hate cliff hangers.  I prefer having each book self-contained and the story completed for the main characters.  This one doesn't end like that.  But it does ensure I will be watching for the next book in the series.  Especially since an old nemesis of Elle's is still alive and well and now enhanced...

Happy reading.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Scribbles and Ink, the Contest by Ethan Long

Scribbles and Ink find out about a contest they can enter.  All they have to do is draw a dinosaur.  The fact that neither of them has seen one shouldn't be a problem, should it?

Blue Apple Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It's been published so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

I love this series.  The stories are cute, the characters are sweet and when things don't work out quite like planned, they still have fun.  There are several in this series.  Pick up more than one for your young one.

As they attempt to draw a dinosaur for the contest you get a slightly misshapen dino and a big egg; it has a dino in it, you see.  When their drawings come to life, it's "oh my" time!

These are suitable for the very small children because there isn't a lot of text and the stories are fun.  The clean simple illustrations also grab your eye and will keep the child reading.

You should hang out with Scribbles and Ink for a while.  They're fun to have around!

Happy reading.

The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel by Faye Kellerman

There's a bad smell coming from the apartment, a very bad smell.  There's also something growling and roaring on the other side of the door.  The cops aren't going in alone; they have the big animal unit with them and will let them go first.  Who would have imagined an apartment unit in LA having a Bengal Tiger in it?

Edelweiss and William Morrow allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be in the stores on August 6th, so grab this new one in the series then.

Ms. Kellerman always writes a story with lots of characters and more than one thing happening.  In this story, Gabe is in love and sneaking around to see his love.  That causes Peter problems even while he's trying to solve this case.

The dead man in the apartment was murdered but the tiger wasn't involved.  He'd been hit in the head and then shot.  He was not a nice man, so there are plenty of suspects.  And plenty of deadly animals in more than one apartment.  As Peter tries to weed through ugly facts and strange practices to find the killer, he also is bothered by Gabe's behavior.

This is an intense case about a man that no one loves who has lots of money and strange sexual desires.  If he hadn't been murdered, no one would care that he's dead.  The dead man was more of a beast than the tiger.

With wild animals, murder, lust and more in this story, it keeps you reading.  Why not get a copy and see how Decker and Lazarus weather this storm in their life?  You won't be bored.

Happy reading.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell

All the villages had a monster.  The monster would tear through town scaring the residents, knocking a few things about, and then return to its cave.  That kept the tourists coming, they could sell trinkets with the monster's picture or form, and all was well.  But poor Stoker-on-Avon is out of luck.  Their monster is depressed and hardly leaves his cave.  He certainly isn't "scaring" the town or its inhabitants.

Top Shelf Products and Net Galley let me download this story as an ebook (thank you).  It will be published the 6th of August and is a graphic novel.

I really liked this tale.  The graphics portray this dragon as small, out of shape, and really down at the mouth.  He's so pathetic.  The story is cute.  The monsters are really fairly tame, but there is one who is not.  When the professor tries to spruce him to get his license to practice back, it takes some real inventiveness to inspire him.  Rayburn decides to go visit his friend, Noodles.  They graduated together.  Of course, his name isn't Noodles anymore.

While they are chatting and discussing his problem, Noodles asks Rayburn who's guarding his village.  When he finds out no one is, he tells him about Murk who likes to destroy villages.

Rayburn is still down and out, but when he thinks he has lost his friend, he finally comes to life and goes after Murk in revenge.

This is a simple tale, but I think many of us get like Rayburn.  We lose our joy in life, our motivation, and our enthusiasm.  It sometimes takes a life changing moment to propel us forward.  I hope we all have as a good an ending as Rayburn does!

Happy reading.

Backstage Cat by Harriet Ziefert

The lead actress in the play has a cat that she takes with her everywhere, including work.  All goes well until the day the door to her make up room isn't quite shut...

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

Once the cat is out, he's not going back in that stuffy room.  There's so much more to see in the building.  He'll just ignore the silly staff running after her.

This is written for ages 4-8 and gives a child a good look at the backstage area of a play.  They even learn about the catwalk.  Going on a tour with Simon was fun.  Why don't you get a copy and let your little ones tour the stage area, too?

Happy reading.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bean Dog and Nugget, The Ball, The Cookie by Charise Mericle Harper

Here we have a pair of little graphic novel books that are really silly and just right for the very young to read.  The text is simple, the graphics are almost readable by themselves, and Bean Dog and Nugget sound just like kids.

Random House Children's Books sent me a copy of these for review (thank you).  They are now available at your local bookstore for purchase.

The Cookie is based on the two characters tricking each other.  It involves an invisible doughnut and a real cookie.  Nugget keeps tricking Bean Dog; Bean Dog gets even.

The Ball begins with Bean Dog and his shiny new ball.  When Nugget wants to play, he says no, but relents.  Unfortunately, the ball bounces in the bush.  They have to become Ninja's to recover it.

If you have a reluctant reader, this would be a real good series to start them with.  The story is a bit silly and the characters are, too.  Once a child finds out how easy it is to read, they are usually ready to move on to another fun book.  Reading is a necessary skill in life; teach them early.

Happy reading.

Land of The Silver Dragon by Alys Clare

Lassair is an apprentice healer and isn't too concerned when she hears a peddler's horror story about a red haired giant that trashed a house and killed the occupant.  After all, peddlers usually enhanced their tales to draw attention and sell more of their wares.  But then she hears the name of the dead woman and realizes it is her aunt...

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to download this story and read it for review (thank you).  It will be published the first of August, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is a fairy tale that really drew me in.  Lassair's family has a secret.  It's been handed down, the secret is divided between two people, and it's very dangerous.  Lassair knows nothing about it, but she knows this giant is trying to find something in all her family members homes and he's not beyond killing anyone in his way.

There's a story from the past, another family across the sea is involved, and Lassair must stand up to the challenge of protecting the treasure.  It has a good fight involved before it's resolved, at least temporarily.  There is a moment in this book I know will be relevant in the next book.  You'll have to see if you find it.  

The author weaves a good tale, her words flow well, and I really enjoyed this read.  I know there is more to come because Lassair and her love are separated.  I suspect there will also be future challenges from the evil man she set free.  

I'm going to be watching for next book because I loved reading this one.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Squish #5: Game On! by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

Squish is back again, this time playing video games!

Random House Children's Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and is the fifth in the series.  If your child hasn't met Squish yet, it's written for ages 7-10 and is done in graphic form.  Kids love it!

Squish is playing a new video game and levelling up.  His friends are ahead of him and he's determined to catch them up and pass them by.  Unfortunately, while he's doing a good job of that, he's letting his schoolwork go by the wayside.

Will the teacher let him fix his bad grade?  Can he wean himself away from the video game?  You'll need to read the book to see.

Happy reading. 

Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman

She's determined to marry Arthur.  He's a good match, he says he loves her, and even if he is a bit wishy-washy he should do as a husband.  If he isn't strong enough to stand up to his father and marry her, then she's going to entice him to steal away in the night and accomplish the fact by elopement.  If only the Earl would get out of her way!

The author sent me a copy of this book when I won it at a giveaway, and I'm so glad she did (thank you)!  It has been published and it's very good romance novel.  It's rated PG, which I appreciate, and I enjoyed it.  The first one in this series was Secrets of a Wedding Night and I'm sure that one was a hoot to read, too.

Jordan was only playing guardian while her sister and his friend were on their honeymoon.  He has a beautiful French mistress and has no need for the young lady to do anything but behave properly.  Yeah, good luck with that.  Annie is strong-willed, very determined, and has low self-worth, so she's going to take what she can get and that appears to be Arthur.  When the Earl keeps fetching her home and interrupting her dates, she gets frustrated.  It's even worse when he takes her home with him and incarcerates her in his household.  It's not near the city and all visitors must get past the butler.  But she doesn't give up hope.

The more Jordan tries to contain her and the more she gets away makes him realize she's more interesting than he'd originally thought.  Since it's a long honeymoon, they have plenty of time to get to know each other.  The developing romance is tit for tat, and made me laugh.  This was going to be an interesting marriage.

If you enjoy light romances and lots of banter, this book is for you.  I'm keeping my copy for my personal library.  I like re-reading good books.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grasshopper Magic by Lynne Jonell

Abner is afraid to give a speech for the whole town, so his sister comes up with a way for him to learn to be brave.  Their housekeeper makes roasted grasshoppers and tells them they are delicious.  Tate challenges him to eat one...

Random House Children's Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and is available at your local bookstore now.  It's also available as an ebook.  This is for readers ages 6-9.

This is the third book in the Magical Mix-Ups series.  Where their house is located is on a magical wellspring.  Unusual extraordinary things can happen when they least expect it.  I mean, a lawnmower got out of control in the past so they should expect sudden surprises, shouldn't they?

In this case, Abner dared to eat the grasshopper to show he wasn't scared.  Then he jumped off the porch and went up in the air almost taller than the trees.  He scared himself to death!  It wasn't just him.  Soon his siblings join him.  After the charm has worn off, they swear off grasshoppers.  But then they get company...

This series is a light fun read with silly happenings.  Maybe your child can come up with some other imaginative ideas for magical occurrences.  If a grasshopper can make you jump, does eating a chicken make you cluck or fly?

Happy reading.

Countdown City by Ben H Winters

Hank Palance has only 77 more days to go before the world ends.  Everyone in his world is a bit strange by now.  They are doing the items on their bucket list, getting drunk or drugged up and not caring, running away, killing themselves or anything else panic might inspire.  When his babysitter from his youth asks him to find her husband, he's not even sure where to begin or why he might be gone.  She swears he loves her and would never leave willingly, but he's gone...

Quirk Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  The first book was The Last Policeman and I have reviewed that one too, see here: Last Policeman.  This book has been published and you can check with your local bookstore for a copy.  Also, it can be read as stand alone.

I liked this book better than the first one.  Maybe it's because it took me a bit to get my head around the idea of finding out death is inevitable and how people were responding to it.  By this book, I knew the premise and it was easier to accept.

Mr. Winters has created an interesting mystery:  where has Brett gone and why?  And why is no one offering any real information to help find him?  He has to get his sister involved even if she is involved with this anarchist college group to try to figure out the case.  The more he learns, the more confused he gets.  When he learns the answer even more of his world shatters.  What little bit of the past he was holding onto broke into pieces again.

Poor Hank Palace.  And he has another book to star in since this a trilogy.  I wonder what Mr. Winters will do him next...

Happy reading.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School by Barbara Park

Junie B is a special character.  Ms. Park has created a spunky little girl who gets in trouble because she's boisterous and determined not to be put down by anyone.  As she has gone through first grade she has learned some rules and ways to do things and now she's going to share them with you...

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

The kids go back to school in August here, so this book is just in time for any young ones not too enthused about it.  Junie B makes school sound like fun!

This complete guide begins with what you need to take to school with you and includes important hints about how to get along (no butting people in the stomach with your head and no burying your report card) and other useful tips to make your school day better.

Take the stress out of going back to school by sharing this book with your young ones.  It will make them smile.

Happy reading.

Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle by Mary J MacLeod

Imagine a small island with an aged doctor, one nurse, lots of snow, and completely cut off from everywhere.  Now imagine living there and being the nurse.  That's it, you've got the memoir figured out!

Skyhorse Publishing sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's been published by Arcade Publishing, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

I found this story charming.  The author is an English nurse who wants to live the quiet life with her family.  When they visit the island and enjoy their time there, they decide to relocate.  What they do after they get there is the tale told in this book.  From finding a place to live, struggling to understand what English the residents had and learning how the folks of the isle responded to crisis is great fun to read about.  

One of my favorite parts is the resident who never uses the correct word for what she's trying to impart.  She gets close, but it's not quite right and some make you laugh.  My grandfather on my father's side did that.  He immigrated from Czechoslovakia and he had two mispronounced words.  He depreciated everything you did instead of appreciated it.  And while others had anniversaries, he and his wife had another university.  The worst part is you can't laugh at them when they do that.  This author had to face that, too.

Moving to the island led this family to a simpler, more meaningful life.  Both of them held good, important jobs to the islanders and they welcomed them into their hearts.  This story will make you laugh and cry, but it's a well written tale about a life many will envy.  Why not give it a read and see what you think?  I think you'll like it.

Happy reading.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monster Hide and Seek by Bill Scollon

Did you like Disney's Pixar Monsters University movie?  Here's a board book to visit those characters again!

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

My favorite part of this story is that the monsters glow in the dark!  This would be a great bedtime story.  Get the child settled and then read a story or two to them.  Turn the light off, let them find the monsters and identify them, and then kiss them goodnight and sneak out of the room.

I find these monsters delightful.  They are odd looking, have interesting names and one hides in the library.  What's not to like?

Get a copy and make it a bedtime staple.  Your young one will thank you for it.

Happy reading.

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

They are young prostitutes from all walks of life.  What they have in common is their grave site and the fact that their murders have never been solved.

Harper Books sent me a copy of the ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It's being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

If you like true crime, this book will fascinate you.  There is no marvelous revelation of the killer in this story.  It's just the sordid facts about how these women got into prostitution and how they died (at least as much as anyone knows about that).  They were not forced into it; they chose to do it to make some money to improve their life.  That it ended in death is sad.

Five bodies on Gilgo Beach, each buried at different times and in different locations on the beach.  They all advertised on Craig's list.  When the economy got bad and they had no jobs, they did what they could to survive.  Unfortunately, they didn't survive.

The identity of the killer is not clear.  There are suspects but no proof.  I feel for these victims and their families.  There is one caveat that keeps me from despairing over this case.  There is no limitation on murder.  Some day, the murderer will make a mistake or confess.  I can't see someone living with this their whole life.  Only the future will tell.

Stay safe out there, folks.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

King Cecil the Sea Horse adapted by Tish Rabe

One of my favorite characters comes back in this story.  Remember the Cat in the Hat?  He's back and he's taking two young ones on a trip to the ocean to talk about babysitting.  That's right, babysitting.

Random House Children's Books shared a copy of this Little Golden Book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check in the children's books section of your local bookstore for a copy.

Golden Books have always been fun, but it's great to see old characters brought back to life in new stories.

The Cat in the Hat shrinks himself and the two youngsters and they visit King Cecil under the sea.  King Cecil happens to be carrying the sea horse babies in his pouch.  Soon they are hatching and the children get to see how many babies a sea horse has; it's amazing!

This is cute little story with some facts and some imagination mixed in and little ones will enjoy the story.  Did you know sea horses have hundreds of babies?  They do.

Happy reading.

Into the Dark by Rick Mofina

Claire is a psychologist and the sole survivor of her family.  She wants to help troubled women rebuild their lives just like she's rebuilt her own.  What she doesn't realize is that her life with her husband is teetering on its own foundation...

Harlequin Mira shared an ARC of this book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Tanner is the detective following five cold case files and trying to determine who the killer is.  He's widowed and raising his little girl and he hates being away from her, but he wants to stop the killer.

When one of Claire's patients goes missing, Tanner wonders if she might not be the next victim...

Mr. Mofina writes a creepy little story.  You know who the killer is before long, and how he can be so "normal" while also being a monster is chilling.  He's perfect; he's also not who he said he was.  Humans have many masks; this killer has more than most.

The author kept me turning pages, I worried about Claire, and I finished this book in one evening.  You should read it; you won't be bored.

Happy reading.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Riverbend by Tess Thompson

Annie got away from her abusive boyfriend the only way she could; she set him up.  While he's beating her, she puts a packet of drugs in his pocket and when the police take him away, he goes to jail.  She's pregnant and she runs.  But is she safe?

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me a copy of this ebook to read for review (thank you).  It's available now from where ebooks are sold.

Annie has always loved to cook and now has her own restaurant which is a very successful business.  She has a nice circle of friends in this town and they all take care of each other.  When she gets a nice big write up in a national magazine, she's thrilled.  At least she was until she gets a call from Marco letting her know he's out of jail and coming after her.

There's no place safe except the new home being built by a recluse.  When he overhears the conversation and how much danger Annie and her son are in, he invites them to stay.  He's been hurt badly and has anxiety attacks if anyone touches him, but he can't see a woman and her son being in danger and not respond.

There is a lot of psychological analysis in this story.  Why women stay with abusers, how someone gets over a tragedy that guts them, and how the people around you respond to danger.  Some of the things that happened in the story were almost unbelievable, but it ended well.  There was danger present and they handled it.  My favorite part was watching Annie and the recluse trying to handle their mutual attraction and not infringe on the other's boundaries.  Overall, this a good tale and makes a nice evening read.

Tess will be awarding an ebook of Caramel and Magnolias at each stop to a randomly drawn commenter, along with a grand prize of a paperback of Riversong, the first book in The River Valley Collection (Paperback - US ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

Remember that if you follow the tour and comment in more than one location, you'll have better chances of winning.  Here's the link to other reviewer's blogs. 

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ARTIFACT, A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery by Gigi Pandian

When Jaya reads in the paper that her lover from the past has been killed on an archeologist dig, she finds herself more upset than she expected.  Had she really cared for him enough to feel this badly?  It gets even more confusing when she gets a package from the dead man containing an artifact...

Henery Press and Net Galley allowed me download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published August 6th, so watch for it.  If you like adventures, you'll want to read this one.

Jaya goes to the local university to see if anyone can identify this anklet with a ruby in it that is missing several stones.  It turns out to be a bracelet you wear further up your arm and it's part of a stolen treasure.  If this isn't hard enough to swallow, Jaya's apartment gets overturned by someone trying to steal it.

Jaya decides to go the dig to get some answers.  This is a convoluted tale with Indian and English history tied into it as well as more than one thief and now a murderer, too.  Jaya ends up with a romance conflict, has no idea who she can really trust because everyone has secrets, and I found it to be an exciting tale with a wonderful ending.  I don't think Jaya story is done yet, though.  I expect there to be more in this series.

Why don't you get a copy of the book and go hunting artifacts yourself?

Happy reading.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Will in Scarlet by Matthew Cody

Will is a member of nobility and can't wait for his father to come home from his quest with the king.  While he's gone, Will and his mother have stayed with his Uncle.  He admires his Uncle and loves him, as well as the old Knight that is mentoring him.  When the castle is seiged and his Uncle is killed, he is sent through a secret tunnel to travel to his father.  Unfortunately, he gets pursued and gets lost in the forest.  What will he do now?

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  This book will be available on October 8th, so make a note on your TBR list.

The forest Will is lost in is Sherwood Forest, and this is a tale of how the gang of Merry Men got started and how Marian got involved with them.  Marian is passing herself off as "Much", a young boy.  Will is not sharing the fact that he is nobility and adopts the name Will Scarlett.  The fact that they both have secrets brings them closer together.

This story is full of action and accurately portrays how the feudal system worked.  The poor were permanently poor and worked the land.  The royalty took the crops and the money from them for themselves.  Will is disturbed to find the situation the same everywhere, including the land owned by his Uncle.  This sense of wrong leads him to fight to avenge his Uncle's death, but makes him abandon his former life.

Marian has a similar problem.  Her parents are both dead, she has no wish to be bound to a horny old man, so she skips out of her home into the night and becomes a boy.  

I felt empathy for both characters and enjoyed this story.  It's like a prequel to Robin Hood and his tale.  That would be a good follow up story for your reader.  Why not send your young one for a walk in Sherwood Forest?

Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shifty Magic by Judy Teel

She's a private investigator in a world filled with paranormals.  She scans as human, but she has some paranormal powers.  That's what kept her alive in this messed up world.  And it may be what gets her killed, too.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me a copy of this ebook to read for review (thank you).  You can check wherever electronic books are sold to get a copy.  This is the first in a new series and I'm already looking forward to reading more.

Addison goes out to find her cat to bring him for the night and instead finds a girl circled by three vampires who intend to show her a good time for $1,000.  Addison takes down the vamps, but gets no thanks from the girl.  She also finds herself with one vampire escaped, a session with the cops, and an audience with the vampire leader of the High Church group.  This is not a good thing.

Soon, she's being approached to work with the FBI in the hunt for rogue vampires.  If that's not bad enough, Cooper Daine is back around and she's trying to stay away from him.  He might be a were, but he's all too attractive and sexy.

The story was an interesting look at vampires, illegal activity, and even old gods.  It held my interest all the way through and I enjoyed the flirting between the two main characters.

This story isn't done; it's just beginning.  It will be fun to see how the author fleshes out the story over time.

The author is going to give away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter.  Enter here

Be sure to visit the other blogs and comment for more chances.  Do that here

Happy reading and good luck! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Defective by Joan Hall Hovey

When Melanie wakes up in the hospital, she's blind.  She had been driving to work when she got hit by a van, and now she can't see...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tour shared a copy of this ebook with me for review (thank you).  You can pick up a copy of it anywhere ebooks are sold.

Melanie takes this loss in stride.  She can do nothing about it, so she adjusts her life to fit it.  She can only give the detective a vague description of the van because it seemed to come out of nowhere and he's concerned for her.  He's worked with her on a previous case, and he's fond of her.

When disabled women begin dying and Matt discovers there seems to be a pattern to these deaths, he begins to worry about Melanie.  He gets even more concerned when she decides to open a home office.  Melanie is sure she can protect herself because she now has a dog and she also has a receptionist.  She won't be alone with anyone.  But she forgets to use her own good sense...

This is a fast paced story with psychological overtones.  I was getting worried about Melanie before I got to the end of the story.  The author was good at making me care about her characters.

It's a good read, why not get yourself a copy and see what you think?

Also, the author is giving away a prize.  You need to leave comments on the blog posts to be eligible.  Joan will award one randomly drawn commenter a $50 gift certificate for sunglasses at Sunglasses Shack (US/Canada only).

Be sure to visit all the blog posts and comment to get more chances for the prize.  Here's the LINK

Happy reading.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar

She knows someone has been in her house, touching her things, eating her food.  Her in-laws think she's losing her mind from grief; they threaten to take her child away.  She needs to get over her phobia now!

Atria/Emily Bestler Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published on the 25th of June, so check with your local bookstore for a copy then.

Kate has had a lot of sadness in her life.  First her parents died on her wedding day, then her husband is murdered.  She's waiting for the next blow and getting more and more paranoid by the day.  The bad part is that it is affecting her child.  She won't let him do anything that isn't controlled.  She's even rigged up a metal cage in their bedroom area so no one can break in at night.

When her mother-in-law threatens to take her son away from her, she knows she must get hold of herself and try to fight the phobia away.  She meets a man named Jago who is determined to help her conquer her fear.  She's developing an interest in him romantically, so she enjoys being "trained" by him to meet her fears.

This story is a real mind-bender.   It's creepy, the murder's reasons are steeped in insanity, and it's also believable.  Something like this could happen.  It kept me on the edge of my seat.  I had to finish this story in one night or I wouldn't be able to sleep.  Of course, then I still couldn't go right to sleep.  That's what a good book will do to you.

Why don't you get a copy and see if you think Kate is crazy?  

Happy reading.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain

He's lost his parents and now lives with grandfather.  Grandpa is trying to find a job and Thomas thinks he's found a perfect one for him:  A librarian for the Guardians, Inc.

Cutebot Studios and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It's due to be published on November 30th, so make a note.  This is a new series and I don't think you'll want to miss it.

What Thomas finds out is that the Guardians weren't that interested in his Grandfather.  They wanted him!  That ad he read in the paper contained old languages and he had a talent that allowed him to read it.  He was a cypher and they needed one in their war with evil.  There are strange ugly creatures from the other world that want to take over our world.

Thomas isn't real sure about all this, but he's willing to serve and see how it goes.  The more he learns, the less he knows.  Then the creatures end up at Grandpa's house and he almost gets killed.  The Guardians save him, but his Grandfather is captured.

There's lots of action, the gargoyles come to life, his school principal is an Asian god, and now his Grandfather is fighting for the wrong side.  What's Thomas to do?  He has to keep learning and keep fighting for the good of his world, and it's going to more than one book to solve this problem.

This is written for middle graders and has plenty to hold their attention.  I think they'll enjoy odd characters and the excitement in the story.  Why not share a copy with your young one and see what they think?

Happy reading.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Bad Day for Romance by Sophie Littlefield

Stella is getting ready for a wedding.  No, not hers.  She's being a bridesmaid in her best friend's wedding.  Then she finds out her boyfriend is in the hospital because he got in a fight with the sheriff (her other romantic interest) and won't be available for the rehearsal party.  What next?

Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Net Galley allowed me to read the ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published September 2nd and it's a very good read.

What happens next is another participant in the wedding gets accused of murder.  Dear old Stella is going to have to do something about that or the whole wedding is going to fall apart.

Part of the fun of this story is not just watching Stella do detective work and getting into to trouble with the sheriff but watching her try to work out her romantic life.  BJ is safe and sane, very calm and not very flamboyant.  "Goat", the sheriff, is hot and cold, meek and mild, and has a strong personality.  She finds them both attractive, but who would she want to spend her life with?

I was so caught up in the romance I don't even remember who the murderer was.  I'd say Ms. Littlefield got my attention; romance usually isn't my thing.  

This was a good read all around.  The characters are odd, funny, and good people for the most part.  The murder got sorted out and Stella got her romance sorted out, too.  There are earlier books in this series if you haven't read them yet.  You can also read this as a stand-alone if you don't like reading a series.  If you have, you won't want to miss this one!

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 ...