Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Most Dangerous Place (Jack Swyteck #13) by James Grippando

When Jack goes to meet an old school buddy at the airport, he thought he'd be the only one there for them.  However the police show up and arrest his friend's wife.  For murder long ago...

Harper sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published February 21st.

Isa says she's innocent but Jack knows she's holding something back.  They returned to the states for their little girl's ear surgery.  No one knew this case was pending.  As he begins to dig in the case, he finds bribery, lies, rape and more.  There were wicked men in Isa's earlier life and they are still around.

He gets stuck working with a less honorable attorney.  His friend gets arrested, too.  And no one wants to tell the whole truth.  The truth is not pleasant; it's even sordid.  Jack isn't sure their marriage will survive this crisis.

It's a fascinating read with lots of courtroom activity.  People from the past appear like ghosts.  And Jack comes very close to dying.  The one creating all the fear and making demands during the case liked to control things and had enough money and power to do so.  The culprit surprised me but not Isa.

This one will keep you guessing until the end.  Even the assistant district attorney isn't playing fair. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

A BRAND NEW ADDRESS (INTERVENUS Book 1) by Kathleen Rowland

The second ice age is taking over the earth.  Mars was colonized but nuclear war killed that planet and the people there.  The next planet due to be explored is Venus.  But only a select few are going on an exploratory trip to the planet.  One of the ships gets taken out by debris, another was shot and transformed the crew became a form of gel.  Will the others make it?

The author sent me a free copy of her book to review (thank you).  This book is available for purchase on Amazon now.

This is good sci/fi with lots of interesting technology.  Yardley is female and has created a greenhouse that can grow vegetables even though the world is frozen.  Marchand is an ice boat specialist who races across the frozen surfaces and steals food and goods from the great BotGen.  BotGen is a monster corporation who wants to control and own everything.  As is true in the world today, those with the money have power and if they want to misuse it, who can say anything against it?

It appears there are other people on Venus.  Maybe they are aliens but who knows?  What the corporate manager wants it to take them all out and take over what they've developed.  That's wrong but who's going to know?

All that's in their way are the four survivors of the other space ship.  And things are going to get real dangerous, real fast.

This is the first book in this series and it's an entertaining read.  There's a couple of romances developing.  Marchand is all tied up in the mission.  Yardley doesn't want to go too far too fast.  If I were them, I think I'd take advantage of what time they have.  After all, who knows how long it will last?  Maybe the next book will give you a clue... 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Great Troll Rescue by Tom Percival

Imagine all your favorite fairy tale characters as children who play together.  This story has Jack, Red, and Rapunzel in it.  They've just welcomed Anansi to the group.  Anansi has a problem.  His family has been turned into trolls and he needs help fixing them!

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 7th.

This is a cute story for young ones.  As they start out on their adventure, Red falls down a cliff and ends up in the middle of a huntsman picnic meal.  He's nice enough and shows her how to get to her group.  But he works for a nasty witch.  Unfortunately, they need something from that nasty witch to help heal Anansi's relatives.

With dragons, magic, other monsters being held captive by the witch (including Anansi's mother) the tale is exciting and fantastic.  It's a good thing that Red has a quick mind or things might have turned out very differently.

This was a fun tale to read and has plenty of action to keep little one's attention.  I bet there will be more in this series, too.  I'll be watching for them.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Cheltenham Square Murder: A British Library Crime Classic by John Bude

The Cheltenham Square is a flat u-shaped neighborhood with lots of odd characters and lots of gossip.  They all have their little idiosyncrasies and many of them don't like certain ones on the square but one never expected murder...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 7th.

It took several unrelated incidents to lead up to murder.  A hundred year old tree was cut down.  A woman leaves her husband.  The husband moves because he's going under after being swindled by a neighbor.  All this makes the crime plausible.

One neighbor is visiting the other in a study that faces the street.  The windows are open.  When the owner gets up to pour them each a whiskey, he hears an odd sound.  Turning around, he finds the visitor dead.  He's been shot with an arrow and was instantly killed.

There are five archery people on the square.  They try to figure the angle of the shot and determine it must have come from the vacant house.  But with no one living there and no one seeing anything, it's a hard crime to solve.

Before the story is over, the surviving neighbor man is killed, too.  It takes a lot of investigation and a lot of legwork before they get a clue about what might have happened.  They're almost too late to catch the killer but they do.

Living in this square was like living in a small town.  Everybody knows everybody else's business.  But some clues lead to dead ends.  It took some brainwork to solve this crime.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Doll's Eye by Marina Cohen

Hadley doesn't like the house they've moved to, doesn't like the fact that her mother has remarried and doesn't like her new little brother or father.  There's nothing wrong with them.  She just liked her friends at home and having her mother all to herself.  She wishes it could go back to that.

Roaring Brook Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 28th.

What Hadley doesn't know is that her house has a kobold.  The housekeeper tells her the story of such a house demon and says if you catch it, you can ask for a wish.  The problem is that you will have to pay for it in an undetermined way.  There's also the catch that you have to wish in just the right way or you might get what you wished for but not what you wanted.  If you don't believe that, just read this story.

When she wishes half of the family away, she wants them back.  But she doesn't know how to get them back.

With a mix of fantasy and legend, the author taunts you with horror.  I wished for many things when I was young and I'm glad I didn't get them.  This poor girl got her wish and couldn't unwish it.  You won't forget this one easily if you read it.  Don't let a child who has nightmares read it.  It'll make it worse.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The 12.30 from Croydon: British Library Crime Classics by Freeman Wills Crofts

They're making an emergency trip to Paris.  The old man's daughter was injured in an accident and the family is on the way to her bedside.  When they arrive, her husband gets word that it's not a serious accident and she's well.  But the old man has died on the airplane flight.  Even worse, it's not from old age...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 7th.

The fascinating part of this read is that the story is from the killer's point-of-view.  He's losing his business due to bad economic times and he needs money.  Not only that but he has a bad case of love of a woman who isn't sure about him.  He wants her, he wants his inheritance to impress her and save his business, and he's willing to do what he must to get it.  After all, his uncle is an old man going downhill.  Helping him down the slope might be the right thing to do.

From here, we go through all his thoughts, all his actions so carefully thought out and carried out, and when he emerges from the end of the tunnel, he acts shocked at the death and is happy to see it ruled accidental death.  They think his uncle killed himself.  Perfect!

Except it doesn't stay that way.  When the butler tries to blackmail him, he kills him too.  Scotland Yard was already on the case looking into things.  They deal with the second death as a matter of more of the same.  The killer still thinks he's clear of danger.  But the cops are smarter than he is...

This is very much a police procedural and it was fascinating to see how many clues were left behind.  You know the saying: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."  Alas, his plans did.

Heart of Gold (The Clockwork Mysteries #2) by Lilliana Rose

Vickie has decided to be a private investigator.  The only way her doctor husband, George, is willing to let her do that is if she takes self-defense lessons.  He doesn't want her to get hurt doing her work.  Unfortunately, she gets hurt anyway...

Book Buzz and the author shared a copy of this ebook with me for review (thank you).  It will be published February 7th.

This steampunk story takes you back to Victorian times.  Vickie and her girlfriend are taking lessons from a good looking young man.  The girlfriend is looking at him as a potential mate.  Vickie feels there's something not quite right about him.  When she practices a self-defense hit on the bag, it reaches further than she imagined and he falls down and doesn't get back up again.  As she attempts to see if he's breathing, she hears a tick in him instead of a heartbeat.  Her girlfriend and her husband tell her she must be mistaken.  But when he stops her foot with his hand and sprains it, that makes her more determined then ever to prove he's an automation.  She should have paid more attention to his master, Dr. Quinn.

The story itself is intriguing and enjoyable to read.  There's more sex in this story than I would prefer to see.  I like sensual books, not spicy reads.  But for those who want some of both, this is an excellent read.  I can tell that Vickie's cases will never be boring.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Captain Hawkins by L. Peter Alesso

Hawkins was an ex-Marine.  He got in a bad position with his troops and got shot to pieces protecting them.  They managed to save him but he's not in active service anymore.  When the boy from next door asks him to help save the local hospital he says no.  When the boy then asks how to do it himself, he decides if he's going to keep his honor, he's going to have to do it.

This story reminds of space opera.  It's sci-fi with lots of technology, space travel, new worlds and old wars.  It's a fascinating read that is similar to the Star Wars trilogy.  There are very different characters but it's a deep space adventure with lots of action.

When Hawkins get the hospital defense system back up, he finds himself being railroaded into jail as a rebel supporter.  He was simply protecting the hospital but they want him out of the way.  He's a hometown hero and perceived as dangerous on the political front.  Putting him in prison is a mistake.  The prison official is sadistic and loves to torture his prisoners for made up reasons.  Hawkins doesn't plan to stay there...

With a prison break, some rebel friends and other skilled men, he nabs one of the enemies war planes.  This is where the story really picks up pace.  There's danger everywhere and he's on the run but he also has his eye on the doctor he met at the hospital.  Even if life is short, he's still looking for love.

This is the first book in this series and it will keep you reading.  It's not too technical, it's very busy, and there are politics involved.  (When aren't there?)  Somehow I don't see Hawkins settling down very soon, so I'm sure this series will continue to be action packed and full of adventure.  Why don't you try it and see?

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter HERE.

Encourage your readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

Happy reading and good luck!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Palette For Murder: An Aurora Anderson Mystery by Sybil Johnson

When Rory checks on one of her neighbors she sure doesn't expect to find her dead...

Henery Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 31st.

This is a cozy mystery with a bit romance for Rory.  Her girlfriend is always trying to set up her up on dates and she decides to accept this one.  He's a doctor who works for Doctors Without Borders and he's cute and personable.  She also likes the local detective and he's just recently single after breaking up with his girlfriend.  She really wasn't anxious to meet him again over another dead body.

There's discussion of it being a burglary gone bad, but Rory doesn't think so.  When she finds out a homeless man she's helped that is now in the hospital was seen there, she's also sure he didn't do it.  But why would he be visiting her neighbor?

Lots of people didn't like her neighbor so there were plenty of suspects.  As random things begin to tie together, the killer is identified.  Unfortunately, the killer was closer to Rory than she expected and she almost doesn't survive this adventure.  She does though and she has a new adventure in front of her.  She's going to go on a date with the detective!

There's plenty of action and a lot of mystery in this story to keep you reading. It's a good read.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Vicious Circle by C. J. Box

Joe Picket is is looking for a missing man.  He doesn't know why he left his camp site leaving all the food, beer and guns behind.  But he knows it must be serious.  Someone must be after him.  When he goes up in a plane with a heat sensor and other officials, they find the man a long ways from camp.  Unfortunately they lead his killers directly to his location...

Penguin Group let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published March 21st.

There's a family in town that Joe has had trouble with before.  The youngest one has just gotten out of jail and he's pretty sure the dead man overheard something in the bar they were in that got him killed.  If he didn't know for sure, the death of the bartender tends to confirm the fact that he and his friends were up to something.  That something is to get revenge on Joe.

This is like a family of rattlesnakes.  They feel unjustly accused, take everything as a slight and believe that Joe killed in cold blood even if it was self-defense.  Nothing will stop them from the vicious circle they travel in.

With a crooked cop, someone running the show from far away, a meth head killer and more, there's plenty of action.  It amazed me that more people didn't get killed before this story was over.  They attempted to kill Joe's daughters and wife, burned his house down, and were after Joe himself.

There's tension all through the story.  You aren't sure how it's going to turn out or who will be still be standing but you keep reading.  I hope the next book in this series is a bit calmer.  I hate holding my breath while reading.

The Big L Hotel by Sjoerd Kuyper

What do you do when you're winning your soccer championship and see your father collapse on the sidelines?  After he's in the hospital, you take over running the hotel, that's what.

Myrick Marketing and Media and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Kos is thirteen and he has two older sisters and one younger one.  His plans of the running the hotel don't pan out but neither do theirs.  It's especially bad when the debt collectors show up and they only have a number of days to make enough money to meet the debt.  It's hard to do that without paying guests.

This is written for middle grade students and it's a silly read.  The youngest girl puts a box on her skateboard and scoots up and down the bar serving drinks.  The older girls have just acquired boyfriends.  Their cook is an odd guy.  Everybody has quirks, that's what makes you laugh.

When the youngest girl comes back from beach, she brings up a soccer team who needs a place to stay.  They have no money but their coach will pay, so they let them stay.  His middle sister falls in love with one of them.

Kos is trying to let his own love know he cares but he doesn't know how to do it.  Everything he tries backfires.  He even gets all gussied to try to win a beauty contest with a prize of $5,000.  (They owe $7,000.)  That doesn't work either.

With all that's going wrong, it looks like they'll lose the hotel but when everyone comes together and works on saving it, they manage to come up with the money.  All's well that ends well but it's quite a trip getting there!

The Truth About Mud (Mangleblood Rose Series Book 1) by Christina L. Rozelle

I love reading fantasy and this one is about trolls.  Fane and Thistle are young, they are good friends and they do dangerous things together.  That makes for a good story!

The author and instaFreebies let me read this book for review (thank you).  You can grab a copy on Amazon.

Thistle wants to learn to fight like the boys but girls aren't allowed to.  Every time the King catches her, he flips her out of the arena.  It's a good thing trolls bounce.

They also wear mud.  It keeps the stink down.  (Seems like it would be just the opposite.  Maybe that's just a human trait.)  It seems there is a bit more to the mud then any of us know.  The crow said so.

The crow steals Thistle's medallion that was her grandmother's.  It's all she had left of her and she's determined to get it back.  The crow take it to the other side of the river.  It's forbidden territory over there.  How can they retrieve it?

They eavesdrop, find a secret passage and get on the other side but it's different over there.  Very, very different.

This is the beginning of a new series and it's a fun read.  I'd read the next book, too.  The story is just getting started and it's shaping up into an interesting tale. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Hill by Karen Bass

Jared awakens in a downed jet.  He was flying in his father's private jet for his annual visit.  Now he's in trouble.  The pilot is bleeding, they're down in a swamp and he can't get cellphone service.  He has no idea what to do...

Myrick Marketing and Media and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Kyle is the first on the scene and helps Jared get the pilot out of the plane.  They cover him with a blanket and then go for help.  That's where the first problem crops up.  Kyle wants to go his camp where his grandmother and father are and Jared wants to go up a hill to get cell phone reception.  Jared is used to getting what he wants and he heads up the hill by himself.  Kyle tells him his grandmother has warned him about staying away from the hill but Jared doesn't listen.  Finally, Kyle follows him.  They should have listened to grandma.

This tale is set in Canada.  When you get out in the middle of nowhere in Canada, it really is.  Jared has no sense of direction, has never even been camping and hates being in the position he is now.  Kyle is angry that Jared won't listen and knows that he's being looked down on because he's an Indian.  They have plenty of time to discuss those issues and find each other's hot buttons on the trail.  The problem is that they are not alone.

From the top of the hill where there is still no cell phone service, they can no longer see the swamp, the plane, or his grandparents camping spot.  They didn't just go up a hill; they moved to another time.  The worst part?  The time they are in has a monster in it.

They have to figure out how to get back to the right spot in time and how to stay alive while doing it.  It turns even more critical when they find the wall between them and the current time is coming down and they have to find a way to capture the monster before he moves into the world they live in.

There's myth, legend, shapeshifting and coming of age all wrapped together in this story.  I have some Yakima Indian relatives, so the storyline drew me in.  I have camped in the woods and had closer contact than I wanted with a bear.  I sure wouldn't want to meet the monster in this story...

Cara's Kindness by Kristi Yamaguchi

You've heard of paying it forward, haven't you?  Where you do something nice and then ask the person you helped to pass it on to someone else who needs help.  Cara has this down.

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

This is a sweet little picture book that John Lee illustrated.  You can tell by the cover the animals are whimsical and big-eyed.

Cara the cat helps Darby the dog.  He's not sure about skating but she helps him out onto the floor and he finds out skating is fun!  She tells Darby to pass it on.

Darby is having lunch when he hears a polar bear cub's stomach growling on the other bench.  He offers to share his lunch.  The polar bear cub retrieves the monkey's ball in turn.  And on on it goes with everyone much, much happier than they were before.

The especially nice part is when the last one helped writes some music for Cara's routine.  She just couldn't find the right music but he did.

Here's a nice read that helps children see that being kind is a good thing.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sunrise Canyon by Janet Dailey

Kira is caring for her cousin's little girl and running a horse therapy ranch.  Her grandfather helps and she's been mostly successful in her attempts to teach responsibility, team work, and chores.  She still feel badly about the traffic accident that killed her cousin but she's trying to move on.  Then her grandfather comes home with the father of the child.  Is her world going to fall apart?

Zebra and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 28th. 

Ms. Daily has been writing romances for years and it's been a while since I've read one.  She hasn't lost her touch.  She's incorporated current events and realistic situations.  That makes her stories more believable than most.

Kira is surprised by how Jake looks.  Her grandfather found him in jail and bailed him out.  Jake didn't want to come back to the ranch because his memories almost destroy him.  But grandpa isn't taking no, and he owes him.  He plans to go back and earn enough money to pay him back and leave.  It's a good idea but he had no idea how much he would love his young daughter.

Jake has PTSD.  He gets out of control and he doesn't like being around other people.  When he's recruited to help with the young adults and the horses, he's not happy about it.  The fact that his daughter takes him around and shows him how to feed the horses doesn't help any.  

Jake's answer to everything has been to run.  When things get too bad, he moves on.  Kira knows about his problems and wants to help him.  He doesn't want help.  He doesn't want love and he doesn't want to burdened with a daughter.  At least that's what he thinks.

This is a light romance with a bit of therapy for everyone.  I enjoyed watching the kids develop as well as Jake.  It ends well for almost all and I enjoyed that.  Your life is what you make of it so make it good!

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Henrietta is an orphan girl teaching students at the orphanage.  She's nothing special but there is something strange about her.  When her emotions come into play, she can produce fire.  She can use it as a weapon.  She can set herself on fire but it doesn't burn her or hurt her.  But she can't let anybody know that.  It's dangerous to have the skill and dangerous to show it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review (thank you).  It has been published.

This is a fascinating fantasy with sorcerers and magicians, the Ancients who are otherworldly monsters, and a sorcerer's school.  When a sorcerer discovers she's the one behind all the small fires at the school, he takes her away.  She's going to sorcerer's school.  She won't go without her friend, so the sorcerer takes him, too, even if he is unclean.

They think she fulfills a prophecy.  She's not even sure what her skills are.  As she learns she finds out the outer world has its share of problems, too.  Not all the sorcerers are nice.  Even her classmates are against her because she's a girl and because she has power.  She meets a magician who tells her she's partly magician, too, because her father was.  They'll kill her if they find out.  And find out, they do.

There is a magnificent battle with an ancient one and she and her unclean friend fight together with the sorcerers to stop him.  This one is stopped but not without other deaths.  And there are six more so it's not over yet.  Henrietta also has found out her father isn't dead.  I don't even want to imagine what he's turned into.

This is the first book in the Kingdom of Fire Series.  It's exciting, eventful and keeps your attention to the end.  I'm sure the others will be new stories at the same pace.  Read this one and see what you think.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Classic Nursery Rhymes Retold by Joe Rhatigan, Carolina Farias

The Itsy Bitsy Spider is a classic rhyme that I learned in grade school and learned how to mimic a teapot (the nun's idea of a water spout) and the fallen spider while saying the short rhyme.  When I saw this book, I had to read it again and see how they handled it.  This is a lovely book.

Moondance Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 13th.

The illustrations in this book are outstanding!  So very bright and colorful with whimsical characters.  It was almost more fun to look over the illustrations than to read the simple rhymes.  This would be the perfect gift for any young child to enjoy.  

The rhymes are short and sweet and, if you're not reading it as a bedtime story, you might show your little one how much fun it is to fly.  The worm in this book loves it when the bees carry him along in flight.  

This is a special little book and not just because it held a rhyme from my childhood.  Each page made me smile and there are insects galore shown off here.  They're all cute and fun to look at it.  Just look at that cover.  Who wouldn't like this book?

Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy

He's young black foal born into a herd of mustangs.  His mother feeds and protects him but he still manages to get in trouble.

The author sent me a copy of this ebook to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy on Amazon.

The black colt sees a cougar take down his father so he knows those are dangerous.  He's even seen another colt fall to a bear.  He knows it's a dangerous world out there but he hasn't yet met up with the most dangerous animal of all:  humans.

He and his friend get separated from the herd.  The younger horse dies from starvation (still needed his mother's milk) and it takes a while for the black colt to find the herd again but he does.  Then the humans come down and snag him from the herd.

He's going up for auction and he passes through a series of owners after that.  My favorite part of the story is how a man who saved him from a trap and a fiery death is found by horse when he's had a car accident.  Karma exists.  The good you do can come back to you.

Anyone who likes horses will enjoy this tale.  It's hard to gain the trust of a wild animal.  It takes time.  But when you get it, you'll be glad you did. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A. H. Richardson

Jorie is brought to her aunt's house from the convent she was being raised in.  She doesn't know much about her aunt but she's smart, willing to learn and wants to please her.  She's very happy to find that a boy her age is living next door with his grandfather.  Now she'll have a playmate!

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

She's warned to stay away from the Tarn.  It's like a big pond but it doesn't have fish in it and nobody knows how deep it is.  It fascinates her, though.  It attracts Rufus, too.  What they don't know is how much it figures into the adventure they're going to have...

Jorie has a necklace from her mother.  It's unusual.  So is the book hidden under floorboards in her bedroom.  It's written in an old language she can hardly speak but when she utters the words she's sounded out, magic happens!  Her bedroom window has been painted shut and she can't open it.  When she says the words out loud, it opens for her.  When she says it again and wants the window shut, it happens.  Poor Rufus thinks she's off her rocker.  That can't be true.  So she shows him!

With shape-changers, dragons and odd beings, the story is busy and entertaining.  When Jorie explores and finds herself in another world by using the Tarn, she's both scared and exhilarated.  She visits a bit, finds out about a quest she needs to complete, and then goes back to get Rufus.

It's a death defying quest and it's only because she's the child with the hair of fire (red) that she can accomplish it.  She needs to find all three stones and keep them away from the bad dragon who wants to control the world.  It's no easy task.  Rupert gets bit by a poisonous butterfly while protecting her.

This is fast tale about a magical world that sounds like a lot of fun.  I wouldn't like to meet that oversized poisonous butterfly, but the baby dragon sounds like fun.  This is great for middle school children or for anyone who loves a good fantasy read.  (That's me.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

This is an odd tale.  It begins with two women telling the story of their lives.  They have separate chapters, their stories are piecemeal, and none of these families are normal.  It seems dysfunctional families breed more dysfunctional people.  However, the tale draws you in and makes you want to see where the author is going with her story.

Berkley Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 7th.

Quinn's story begins as a young girl.  She has a boyfriend she sneaks out to see and she finally makes love with him.  She doesn't regret that but she regrets running into hunters on the way home.  She barely survives her time with them and now she's infertile.  But she doesn't tell anyone that.  Her mother arranges her marriage with a young man who owns a farm.  But Quinn will never be the same.

You know something odd is going on when Dahlia's story talks about constantly being on the run.  They live a transient life, she gets almost no schooling, everything is cash paid under the table and her mother won't tell her why.

As the mother's history starts to come out, it's of a life lived hard with terrible consequences.  There's a lot to make you think about and wonder about how you would react given the awful circumstances.  After reading this one, I'm very thankful for my family and how I was brought up.  Quinn wasn't the nicest person but she did what she had to.  Thank goodness I didn't have to do anything like that.

After all, Dahlia's a good daughter but whose daughter is she?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry

Lee's aunt is in her sixties but she hasn't slowed down a bit.  She wants to bid on the contents of a storage shed.  They decide to invest up to $500, half and half.  They've never done this before but they know that you can find treasures in the boxes you can't open.  You can also find a lot of junk.  What they find puts a murderer on their trail...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 31st.

This was a very interesting mystery.  There's old Russian history, a former KGB agent involved, a chef involved and more.  Lee becomes interesting in what's going on when she takes the horse from an old carousel to be repainted and brought back to glory.  That was her treasure from the storage unit.  But when someone takes her horse apart in the shop and a man gets killed right outside it, she knows she's just stepped into trouble.

They know where the goods in the storage locker where originally kept.  When they visit there, the find out about the old Russian that lived there and his daughter.  What secret were they keeping?

With Pete's help (and his advice to not get involved), she and her aunt start searching.  Lee has visions and can see the future or the past.  She'd really rather not see either but it helps during this case.  Even her cat helps.  There are crazy people, greedy people, and just plain misguided people involved in this adventure.  I'm happy to report they all live through it and it's a charming cozy mystery that is a joy to read.  I'm going to read more in this series.  It's a good one.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lost & Found (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #2) by J.L. Simpson

Daisy is back and ready for her next adventure.  She's not real thrilled to be asked to solve a dognapping.  She's afraid of dogs.  But they don't have any cases and money is money, so why not?  There are good reasons why not but she doesn't find out about them until she's deep in the case...

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

Nothing is as simple as it looks.  Daisy heads out to visit other dog breeders and to see what gossip she can pick up and who might have stolen the dog.  While she's on her mission, Solomon gets a call that his ex-wife is in jail and he needs to come after the little girl.  He has no idea at the time that would lead him into even more trouble.  After all, he didn't expect to find a dead nude body in his ex-wife's bed!  He and the police are both looking into the murder.

It gets even more exciting when the two cases merge together.  Between trying to find a nanny for the little girl, trying to keep Daisy out of trouble, and running into an old friend/enemy Solomon is pretty busy.  Daisy has troubles of her own.  She and Solomon find her client dead.  The poodle is still missing.  And the crime is big and deadly.

She and Solomon and almost don't survive this encounter.  They are just getting around to being friends, too.  Of course, Solomon has two women after him at the time, so he's not lacking attention.

This one was even more ambitious than the first case and the author made me laugh again.  Daisy fumbles more than she catches the ball but she's not dumb.  She gets by where others might fail.  This is a fun series to read.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bone Box by Faye Kellerman

Rina is just going for a walk.  Winter hasn't set in yet and she's taking colorful fall pictures.  She has lots of insects and animals.  Now she's doing trees.  When she steps in carefully to do a close up of an intriguing piece of tree bark, she steps on something that crunches.  She thinks it was a branch but she steps back and looks, it was a human finger bone.  Someone is buried by the tree...

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity  to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 28th.

Rina calls her husband and what's starts as one body in the woods escalates into more bodies.  It's determined they were buried there before the trail was put in.  Do they have a serial killer on their hands?

The pathologist can't do much with just bones.  They find an earring and a bit of hair.  Then they start looking at missing persons.  It doesn't take them long to find out that the people buried had a connection with the local colleges.  They were not all from the same school.  One was male in the process of becoming a woman.  The case almost spans ten years.  It appears someone at the college must be the killer but who?

Rina and Peter work together to solve this crime.  Rina works at the college so she's got an inside.  Peter is a seasoned police detective and has friends he can call on.  Tyler is a trainee working with Peter and he's got computer skills.  They make a mean team.  

The closer they get to the truth, the more Rina is in danger.  This one holds your attention and gets pretty tense before it's over.  Rina learns something about herself, too.  Ms. Kellerman never spares you any emotional trauma.  That's what gives her books flavor.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Zoe has a routine for work days.  She goes the same way all the time, has her favorite seats and reads while on the underground.  She likes where she lives, so she commutes.  All is well until she looks at an ad in the back of the paper and finds they have escort services, dates and more listed.  That's not what bothers her; it's her picture staring back at her that's scary.  She didn't put that ad in; who did?  And why?

Berkley Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 21st.  

This author has a way of getting under my skin.  She creates insidious crimes that make you shiver.  She maintains the pace and the tension from the beginning of the story to the end.  And I'll most likely read her next book, too.

When Zoe notices another person in the old ads that she's seen before, she begins to realize it's not just happening to her.  The original police officer is very interested in the case but she's not assigned to it.  The new officer is not as concerned but he soon has reason to be.

Someone is creating these ads and men are paying for details.  Some are raped and assaulted.  Two of them end up dead.  Zoe has good reason to be worried.  Soon she can't even trust the man she's living with.  She has no idea who's after her but she doesn't want to get hurt.

This is a very twisted tale.  The person running the website is someone very close to her.  It comes to a death threat up close and personal.  What's most chilling is even though one person is dead, the original perpetrator is still on the loose.  This story is over but it's not finished... 

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

Her parents threw her out when she got pregnant by a German soldier.  She went to a home for unwed mothers and they took her baby away from her because he looked Jewish.  She has no one, no money, no home.  She gets a job at the train station doing maintenance and sleeps in a cubby-hole.  It works.  Until she hears a sound she'll never forget...

Mira and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 21st.

What she hears is babies crying in a boxcar.  She goes out to check on them and finds them on the floor of the boxcar, most not even dressed.  Several are already dead.  She sees a live one that has knitted shoes on his feet and she pulls him out of the car and takes him in with her.  He reminds her of her lost baby.  She knows she'll have to flee because the soldiers and a dog have found her tracks.  She has no time to take anything with her, she just runs through the woods.

This is a sad tale all the way around.  It's based on facts the author found and wove into a story.  The story is fictional but it feels all too real.  It wasn't safe to be Jewish in the days of Hitler's rule.

Noa is found in the woods almost frozen to death and brought back to the circus visiting the area.  They aren't very welcoming.  They don't want any trouble either.  But the owner of the circus assigns her to trapeze work and tells the other trapeze artist to train her.

The two women clash.  Noa is looking for a mother, Astrid doesn't want competition.  Theo, the baby, is in the middle.

The dangers in the book are real and you can feel their fear.  It also made my heart hurt to see all the loss they had to accept.  Grabbing even a moment of happiness is almost impossible.

The ending is very interesting and tied the whole story line together.  It was well worth the read but you won't be smiling much.

The Piper by Charles Todd

Hamish is now alone in the old cabin where he and his grandmother lived.  He'd been out and got caught in the rain but now he's in, making a fire, and has changed his clothes.  He thinks he hears something but isn't sure.  His dog is sure, so he goes back out into the night.

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

He finds a young man on the beach who has been badly injured.  He was hit in the head with a club and looks on the verge of death.  Hamish takes the boy back to his cabin and cleans up his wound.  He's a piper and when he comes to he's worried about the pipes but Hamish shows him they are in there with him.

When he awakens the next morning he's surprised to find the boy and his pipes gone.  He must have been scared by the incident but why would he run?  Hamish goes to look for him but this time he finds his body and there are already cops at the scene.  They accuse Hamish of his murder but he lets them search his cabin and there's nothing to tie him to the crime.

This is a short story that is done very well.  When Hamish lets it be known around the neighborhood that he has some interesting information about the murder, he's setting himself up as bait.  The bait gets taken but when he's attacked from three sides, it's almost too much.  I never guessed who the murderer was.  It was a twist of irony at the end.  This story is well worth reading. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd-Stanton

This is the beginning of a new series for young ones.  Arthur is one of the lesser known Brownstone's but he's just as brave as the others.  He sets out on a quest to find the person who his village needs to restart their fire so they don't freeze.  He finds more than that person...

Nobrow Publishing and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 14th.

Arthur has always been a bit fanciful.  He hangs out in the woods and deals with the fairies and goblins and the village thinks of him as playing with demons.  When a huge dog comes to town and kills people, puts out their fire and ruins homes, it's almost hopeless.  But Arthur dares hope and starts off his journey.

The illustrations show who he encounters along the way and the trip is hazardous.  It gets even worse before it's over.  But Arthur is up for the challenge and his kindness and ways of doing things pay him back by rescues and helping him complete his quest.

I can't wait to see what other adventures the Professor's relatives have had!

Forgotten Boxes by Becki Willis

Charity is surprised to learn that she has inherited her aunt's house.  She'd only met her a few times and didn't know her well.  She just happened to be the only surviving relative.  She begins by cleaning out the house.  What she didn't know was how many surprises she would find...

Clear Creek Publishers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

This is a sweet tale and not just because of the maple syrup discussion.  There's sadness intertwined but life is like that.

When Charity finds her uncle's suit with a bullet hole and blood on the shirt still in the closet, she's devastated.  He died 30 years ago, why would her aunt keep that?  Then she finds a bag of packages in the garage.  They should have been delivered but weren't.  Why is that?

She also runs into a big man in the local shop who is restocking the maple syrup.  She asks him which one is best.  This is the sweet part of the tale.  He explains the grades, so they are all the best, it's what taste or use you're looking for.  She picks one up and he gives her a small of gift of one he thinks is the best.  As soon as she eats it, she thinks so, too.  

When she runs into Tarn again, the sparks keep flying.  He ends up kissing her and leaves with her phone number.  But he doesn't call.  She decides to start delivering the packages without knowing it will lead her back to him.

The first package lost gave the man who ordered it true love.

The second package reminds the woman of her loss.

The third and fourth packages relate to her uncle's murder and they almost get her killed.

The story moves well, the people feel real, and it has a happy ending.  This has the tone of writing from some of the classic tales I've read.  I like that.  It'll probably also make you try maple syrup from Vermont...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gilded Cage by Vic James

This is a dark tale about the misuse of magic.  There are the "haves" and "have nots" in this world just like in the world we live now, but those with "skills" are vindictive and mean.  They are also the ruling class and the other unfortunates are slaves.  They only have to serve for ten years but not all of them survive them.  This not a nice world.

Del Rey and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on February 14th.

The various characters in this book each have their own chapters.  You get the story from all sides.  The skilled and the slaves both have their say.  The story is put together well and the plot stays together.  The author even made me care about some of the characters; others I learned to hate.  I  didn't enjoy reading this as much as I expected.  There's too much bad happening.  I wanted a lighter read and this does not qualify for that.

One thing that really sent a shiver up my spine is the fact that the skilled can use mind control on you.  That scares me.  Imagine doing something you don't want to do because they made you...

I do think that young adult readers will enjoy it.  It's a well told tale, but just a bit too dark for me.  That might just be my age talking.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica is pleased to get an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club which is exclusively women.  That means women with independent natures and curiosity and a means to do what they wish.  She thinks sharing ideas there will be fascinating.  What she finds when she arrives is that one of the ladies wishes to speak to her privately.  Once they begin talking, she realizes she's talking to one of the Queen's daughters.  It's her half-sister, but they don't speak of that.  The family does not recognize Veronica but they are willing to ask for her assistance.  There's a man scheduled to be hung in a week or so and the Queen's daughter wants Veronica to prove he was not the murderer...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you can grab a copy now.  This is the second book in this series and if you've missed the first, I'd recommend starting there.

When the uppercrust gets involved in things like murder, it can be very hard to reopen a case and determine the truth.  That's why Veronica gets asked.  Closed doors don't stop her.  She's also very intelligent and knows how to play people to get her answers.

She has her partner, Stoker, and together they make a formidable pair.  He's strong, has been in the war and is warrior strong, and they've been busy cataloging the collections housed in an old mansion.  They'll work from there and see what they can find.

What they find is tangled relationships from marriages of conveniences to husbands who prefer men for sex partners to a secret building where orgies are held.  The Victorians were stiff on the outside but they had a wild side, too.

When the killer is finally brought to light, it almost results in death for both of them.  You can almost taste the danger as the author sets the scene.

I enjoyed the repartee between Veronica and Stoker.  I'm wondering if they will actually become a couple down the line.  And that uppercrust connection with Veronica worked out quite well in this story.  But it's a tenuous connection and who knows what the next book will bring? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman

Alex Delaware is surprised when he gets a call from an old woman.  She knows of his work and wants to chat with him.  He can't imagine what he can do for her but she's almost 100 and doesn't go out anymore so he visits her.

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

She lives in an odd forgotten part of an old hotel in the Hollywood area and is pretty much the only tenant in that section.  Sometimes the cottages get overnight guests but not often.  She's content there.  Alex can tell by her household goods and the rent she pays that she's fairly well off.  What she talks about with him is if genetics can have an influence over whether a person is good or bad.  If the ancestors were bad, would the grandchildren be?  It's not expressed in quite that manner but she alludes to it.  He asks her just what her question is and who she might be talking about but she told him she was tired and asked him to return the next day and she would tell him more.  When he returns, she's dead.  Unfortunately, it's not from natural causes.

He contacts Miles and they begin looking into the case.  Almost everyone she knew is dead.  She has no family and no one particularly close to her.  To find the truth they will have to go back years.  She once was a girlfriend to a crook...

This tale finds relatives of the men she associated with all over everywhere.  Dead bodies start showing up regularly, too.  There was a theft and nobody wants to share the wealth.  While they piece together the story, they find some ugly tales on the way and have no sympathy for the bad guys.  There's an overwhelming feel of greed which turns into murder.  The worst part is that it wasn't what they thought it was.  So much bad happened and there was no reward.  It was very ironic and justice won again.

Alex and Miles make a good team and I enjoy reading about them.  I'll be watching for the next book.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Traveling Light by Lynne Branard

Alissa (Al to her friends) decides on the spur of the moment to bid on a storage unit.  She saw a TV show where the lucky folks found antiques and the like in theirs.  She knows she won't be that lucky but she also thinks there might be something of interest in there.  There was...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on January 10th so you can grab a copy then.

What Al finds is someone's ashes.  She has his name, his previous location, and now a desire to take him home.  She doesn't know anything about him and really doesn't care.  She just thinks that a man from New Mexico would rather be set free there instead of where he ended up.  After all, her life is boring and it's the same thing day in and day out.  Why not go on an adventure?

Al ends up making friends along the way.  A waitress in one small town hitches a ride with her.  Then they run into her old boyfriend.  As Al's life gets more complicated, she finally feels like she's really living.  She helps as she can.  Blossom causes her a few problems by creating a Facebook page for her.  Al's crush from her younger years is divorced and would like to see her again.  She says OK, when she gets back.

The real theme here is to just live.  Follow your passion, do things because you want to and never give up.  Al's dad is marrying a woman younger than she is.  Her crush is still not a good boyfriend but she finds out soon enough to give him up.  She sells her inheritance, the newspaper, because she doesn't want to do that anymore than her father does.  And when someone comes to visit her where she's restoring a boat she bought, her life starts to look a lot brighter.  Al finally knows what she wants to do...

Saturday, January 7, 2017

It's a Mystery, Pig Face! Wendy McLeod MacKnight

Tracy just got back from the worst vacation ever.  They went to the beach for a couple of weeks and her little brother was allergic to everything!  She got stuck trying to entertain him.  Thank goodness she's home now and can ditch him and hang out with Ralph, her best bud.  It doesn't quite turn out that way...

Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 7th.

Tracy and Ralph go sit on a bench by the track to discuss what they will do with the rest of the summer.  They're very glad to be back together.  Summer is more fun with a friend.  But this summer is different from the others.  Tracy goes to pick up Ralph's gum wrapper and finds a bag hidden under the bench.  When she looks in it, it has over $1500 in it!  Here's Tracy's first misstep:  She decides to hide the money, ask who lost it, and then give it back to them so she and Ralph can be heroes.  Bad choice...

Her brother has followed her so now she has to include him in future activities.  There's a new boy next door that she has a crush on and Ralph doesn't appreciate that.  Jasmine, a girl who likes to bully her anyway, is hanging out with the new boy and doesn't want her around either.  As she snoops around and asks questions, she finds out things she didn't want to know.

Before the end of the story, she's offended almost everyone in the story.  She's also saved her brother and written off the good looking boy next door.  And she finds that her neighbor next door that she never really liked isn't all that bad.

She almost lost everything this summer but she's grown up some.  She's also learned that all people are vulnerable in some way and that good friends are something you don't want to lose.  Best of all, I think she's not going to call her little brother, Lester, Pig Face anymore.

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 ...