Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bubby’s Puddle Pond: A Tortuga’s Tale of the Desert by Carol Hageman

This is a very well done story of a turtle who lives in the desert.  He's got friends and you learn about how they live, what they eat, learn that they hibernate and more.  The illustrations are very whimsical and a delight to see.

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

Not only do you get to watch Bubby grow, you learn the names of his friends.  Everyone is a desert animal of some kind.  It's fun way to learn about a different part of the states and the environment there. 

The author provides more info about the animals and tells you how you could rescue a turtle, too, if you live in Arizona.  What an experience that would be!

That Olde White Magick by Sharon Pape

Kailyn enjoys her magic shop.  She only practices white magic and she deals with a lot of herbs and oils.  Those who believe get more magic than one who don't but her products work for everybody.  Right now she's working on teleporting things.  But when she goes to a public meeting on the new hotel coming to town, she finds that there's been murder done...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Her aunt and another lady discover the body and she is in shock.  Kailyn is right there to take care of her and she ends up in the middle of this mystery. The woman was a board member.  Was she killed because of how she would vote? 

There's no end of suspects.  There's the developer himself, his administrator in town, the board president, her husband she's divorcing, and even the janitor on the list.  It seems Kailyn gevelops more questions as she goes.

Then the vote passes and they begin draining the swamp.  Another body is found...

There's bits of humor with Kailyn's six cats and Merlin hanging around wanting to do spells.  The mystery has substance and Kailyn and her boyfriend wander way too close to death.  It's a good thing there's a bit of magic in the family.  It comes in handy here and there.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween is Murder by Caroline Arnold

They're doing a haunted house tour to raise money for those less fortunate.  The reporter visits them and does a full tour.  The McKinley's are excited to see how the presentation went but the story wasn't shown.  It seems the reporter died sometime after their interview...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours allowed me to read this story for review (thank you).  It has been published now and you can grab a copy on Amazon.

Sara is immediately ready to investigate the death but Sean convinces her that they need to wait and see how she died.  That's not forthcoming because a toxicology has to be done first but Sara is sure she was murdered.  She was too young and vibrant to have killed herself.  She finally convinces Sean to do some snooping.  He's adamant they don't cross the cops.  They're PI's but there are lines they can't cross.

The reporter was murdered.  She was leaving the station for another, everyone seems to be lying about one thing or another, and even when they find the cause of death, it's not clear who the killer is.  One good thing about it, they do have some fingerprints to compare.

It's a good mystery with justice served at the end.  I especially enjoyed the interplay between husband and wife.  Neither wants to hurt the other's feelings but they both press for what they want.  Sounds just like life.

Carolyn will be awarding $15 through PayPal to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter HERE.

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

Good luck and happy reading! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Bella Flora Christmas by Wendy Wax

Everyone is coming home for Christmas.  It's a good thing they have a big house!

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

Kyra was hoping for a nice, peaceful Christmas before she has to move out and let the new tenant move in.  The problem is that she has to make a decision very soon over whether she will let her son act in a movie with his father.  She's not sure she wants to do that and she knows it will cause trouble if she doesn't.

She's trying to act happy but everyone knows she isn't.  More secrets are shared on the back deck in the evenings as they have a drink at the end of the day.  The women say they will support her.  It hurts when the woman he lives with calls and threatens to hurt her family and friends if she doesn't decide in favor.  She doesn't react well to bullying.  Then she finds out her girlfriend that was her only friend after her affair was made public has already had a phone call from her saying she might lose her job.  Those with power like to use it for their advantage.

This is a novella and Kyra struggles through the Christmas activities still dithering over the decision.  Her mother says to do what is best for her child.  She finally decides by the end of the story.

There will be more in this series.  Kyra's story isn't over yet.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie by Anthony Del Col

Years ago I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys I could find.  When I saw this graphic novel available, I had to sample it!

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

The characters are older in this story and they have moved up to the new technology everyone uses now.  The story begins with the boys being questioned about the death of their father; they are being accused of murder!

This is a much more mature case for Nancy and the boys.  The boys have conflict between themselves because of their different personalities but they try to work together to find their father's killer.  He's accused of being corrupt and they don't believe he could have been but it's hard to disprove.

There's more than one death, they get in trouble and find themselves in danger every other page, and the answer seems to be elusive.  Even Nancy's father gets shot!

At the end, they have their father's killer but he was working for a syndicate...  Now they'll be after them in the next book.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

If My Moon Was Your Sun by Andreas Steinhöfel, Nele Palmtag

I've had relatives with dementia.  They managed to live at home with aid but I can understand why it's best to have them in a home that knows how to deal with that issue.  That's what spoke to me about this book and I loved it!

Plough Publishing sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

Max dearly loves his grandfather and cherishes all the times they've spent together.  Now that he's in a home, it's not the same.  But he wants to give his grandfather another good memory before his mind is all gone.  He plans it all out and even manages to pull it off.

He sneaks out of the facility with his grandfather right behind him.  There's lady teacher following along, too.  He takes them by bus to a meadow that lovely green grass, birds and animals, and was private.  They shared a picnic lunch, had some juice and enjoyed the freedom.  Once his grandfather got a bit confused but Max got him back on track.

When the police and his mother show up he knows their trip is over but he doesn't regret it.  I hope his mother learns from this example and takes her father on a few daytrips while he still can.

There is an CD audiobook with music included so after you've read the book, you can listen to the words and hear the musical choices.

This is a lovely book combination and it covers a difficult subject.  Maybe no one in your family will be afflicted with it but letting young ones know what is and how they act will probably help them through life.

After I was done reading it, all I wanted to do was hug Max.

All Aboard! Let's Ride A Train By Nichole Mara, Andrew Kolb

This board book is special!  You need to sit at the table to read it.  You open it up and the pages spread out accordion style...

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It's been published and you can get a copy now.

As you start with the first page, you lift the flap and see the interior of the train.  There are questions about color, hats and the people on the train.  Each page has a flap and you see all sorts of people and animals riding the train.  What a fun way to read and learn at the same time.  I highly recommend this board book.  Wish I would have had one like it when I was little...

Friday, October 27, 2017

Charlie Builds by Bob Bianchini

Charlie is real good at building.  Of course, he has his father to help him so how could it not turn out?

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

This would be a perfect gift for the child of a carpenter.  Even if you just work on household projects, it would be fun to share with your young one.

Charlie builds bridges, skyscrapers, dog houses and more.  But the last page of this board is the sweetest.  He's also building a relationship with his father...

Builda Block by Christopher Franceschelli

This is board book with flaps you can lift.  You learn about the names of construction equipment and it shows how each is used.  If you have someone who likes to play with trucks or construction equipment, this would make a nice gift for them.

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read for review.  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

If you have construction of any kind in your area, this book will explain what the equipment does and gives them the name of it.  They'll recognize an excavator or a crane, a paver and a roller, and more.

Even little hands can open the pages up to see the equipment used.  You might even learn a few terms from it, who knows?  This would be perfect for most little boys and maybe even some tomgirls.  I had my own dump truck and shovel in Tonka Toys when I was growing up...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On To Virginia City by Gordon Landsborough

Drew has been a cowpuncher for a while but when he gets close to Virginia City, he has to go in and wipe the dust out of his throat.  While he's there, he gets caught up in the gold/silver fever that lives in the town.  If he's going to stay here, though, he needs to make some money.  When a man offers him $10 to go keep the Indians away from the train coming in, he heads out with the other men.

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

Drew finds the Indian outnumber the cowboys by a substantial amount.  The cowboys don't want to take them on.  They watch as the Indians attack and see them be rebuffed by the train riders.  Gunfire is exchanged but only the Indians are getting hurt.  So they decide to burn them out.  Drew gets disgusted with the men with him and goes down under the cover of smoke to remove the stumps from the tracks blocking the train.  He almost gets it done and then the wind changes.  Luckily, the train is moving and grabs him on the way by.

Since he's the hero of the hour, the man who hired him decides to take him on as a permanent hand.  It sounds good but he's seen the foreman kill a man in the bar for talking against Shannon (the mine owner).  He also finds out this is not the first time men have invested in stock that Shannon was selling and found themselves penniless afterward.  It appears the mine owner is using his inside knowledge to make a profit.  That makes Drew less than charmed with him.

Add in Shannon's beautiful daughter who flirts with Drew and he almost agrees.  But he's met the dead man's wife and daughter and she attracts him, too.  What to do?

Before the end of the story, he and Shannon's men face off and you're not sure who's going to win.

This a good western where the men with the money always want to make more.  It's not so very different from how things in the world go today.

The Unbreakable Cord by Bobbie Bomar Brown

This story is based on actual events.  It's an example of the best way to react to an impossible situation.  No mother wants to get a phone call telling her that her daughter is in the hospital and they aren't sure she's going to survive...

The author shared a copy of her book with me for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy now.

This is a heartrending tale of immense pain, slow improvement and the desperation of parents.  They've been divorced for years but they are there on each side of the bed holding her hands.  She gets better, then relapses, and trying to be positive can be very hard for everyone.  She was lucky enough to have a family that came closer together and helped give each other support.

The cord in the tile could have been the one between mother and daughter but Ms. Brown is talking about her faith.  She would have fallen apart if she didn't know that God was watching over them.  Natural deaths in the family occurred during the hospital stay and that tore her heart even more.  She's a strong woman, her mother told her so.  And her daughter does recover.  She goes through rehabilitation and manages to get further than the doctors thought that she would.  But if she goes on an airplane, she'll set off the X-ray machines!  She's got metal in her body to hold her together.

All in all, life goes on and the family has survived the crises.  While it's a sad journey, you can look at the pictures and you read about how the daughter has gone on despite her injuries and it gives you a feeling of hope.  Never give up!  And keep your stuffed toy close.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Snowdrift and Other Stories by Georgette Heyer

This is an anthology of romance stories.  I love Georgette Heyer's writing style and while I prefer her mysteries, this set of stories is special, too.  It'd be a great book to read during the Christmas season.  It'll put you in a good mood.

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

The women want to marry someone they love.  The men that populate the stories are all bachelors who don't want to marry at all.  However, they are very good at saving the ladies from difficult situations.  They also seem to fall in love almost overnight but it makes it a good read.  These are all happily ever after stories and each one made me smile.  I need to read a book like this every once in a while.  Why don't you charm yourself with these sweet tales?

Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman, Nancy Freedman

She's sixteen and suffering from pleurisy so she's sent to live with her Uncle in Canada.  Her family thinks the cold dry air there will help her lungs.  No one expected her to fall in love...

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

This is a fictionalized true story about life in Canada in the early days.  The man she loves is a mountie, so they go where they are posted.

This is a tale of a land that hasn't been tamed yet, Indians that suffered from diseases the white man brought and the interactions of natives with the white folk.  While she couldn't speak their language, they communicated well enough.  She learned if you fed one of the children, the whole family would come for tea.  And not just for one day either.

There's a lot of loss in this story.  Children had trouble surviving, the war took some more, and you were never sure if your spouse was going to make it back to you.  Her husband had some supplies he could use to help those sick and injured but if disease came, it was never enough.  Those who came after it ran out and were not happy.  Many died.

But there are also tales of survivors.  Mike and Kathy lost their children to the disease.  But they took in two young ones whose parents had died.  And they got one more child to raise when a young Indian woman died during childbirth.  Life is hard, but you get by if you just keep on keeping on.

This is very realistic with sad and happy moments.  If you want to learn about northern Canada, this will introduce you to the weather, animals, and more.  When her children died, Kathy thought about moving back home to Boston but she found she not only loved Mike, she loved the wild country, too.  I'm glad I live in this day and age.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Better Together: A Book of Family by Barbara Joosse, Anneke Lisberg, Jared Andrew Schorr

This book has pages that flip up to show you more of the illustrations done by Jared Andrew Schorr.

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

First you see an animal alone and realize the poor thing might be in trouble but when you turn up the flap, you see there is family around it and everyone is safe.  This book emphasizes the fact that you should stay close to your family, not wander off by yourself.

The part I liked best was that they used the names for groups of animals.  Like a lot of crows together is a murder of crows.  I also learned something.  There are several names for each group of animals.  I thought there was only one.  You're never too old to learn something new!

Meet Happy Bear

This is board book with pages that slide.  You see one face on the bear, open the book, and another shows...

Abrams Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

Since the illustrations slide, you should probably assist your child in reading this one.

Carles Ballesteros is the illustrator and he creates whimsical creatures.  You have a happy bear, a sad bear, and an angry bear but he keeps being cheered up.  The ending shows him happy with his mother.  It's a cute look at illustrations as well as presentation of the story.  Abrams did a good job with this one.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hand of Vengeance by Marc Alexander

He's a young boy but his mother is drilling names in his head and making him swear he will avenge his father's death.  When he grows into a young man, he heads out to take his revenge on the men who shot him down in their yard...

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Saul has a mentor.  The professor gets a gunman in to train him in how to be a fast and quick shot.  Then he searches down the victims.  Saul is thankful for his help.  It isn't until later that he finds the professor is making money by writing articles about his exploits.

He fights them fair and wins his fights but he's getting tired of killing before he's done.  He's also having trouble with women.  One of them shoots him in the arm so he can't kill again.  He exercises his arm to get motion again but she didn't really slow him down.  He can shoot just as well with his left hand.

When he gets to the last man, he learns the truth about his father.  He decides not to kill him.  This enrages the professor.  It also almost gets Saul killed.  

The ending is very ironic.  I liked it a lot. 

Ghost Ship by James Rollins

This is a Sigma Force short story.  It's about a couple who are taking some time off from their regular duties.  They're trying to relax but it's hard to when you're a mercenary that fights to the death all the time.

William Morrow Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this story for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.

Gary and Seichan have stopped on an Australian island to do some beachfront activities and snorkel and just enjoy the sunshine.  Seichan wanted to stay at their hotel and get a massage and hot rock treatment but he talked her into it.  They both knew something unusual was going on when they were met on the island by a handler.  He wants them to meet the scientist there who has discovered an old sunken ship that has treasure on it.  What they find is the scientist on the beach, dead, the jellyfish got him.  But he knew they were there, he wouldn't have gone into the water without protective gear.  His daughter is missing, too.

Whether this is vacation time or not, they go into work mode and begin to look for the daughter.  They see the daughter down with the ship and the bandits after the treasure.  Then the bandits see them.

This is the story of a hard fought battle with death close at every moment.  Until the end of the story, you don't know who is going to live and who is going to die.

This was a good tale with an ironic ending I liked a lot.  I'll be reading more by this author.  I admire his strong characters, too.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Moonlight Meeting: The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht, Rumur Dowling, Waymond Singleton

I've read several Nocturnal books now and they are enjoyable.  This is a beginning reader and it's even more fun to read!

Fabled Films sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

I like this series because it doesn't have the usual dogs or cats in it.  There's a pangolin, a sugar glider, and a fox.  Singleton's illustrations are great and give you a good idea of what the real animal looks liked.

In this story, a pomelo has fallen from the tree and Tobin, the pangolin, finds it.  He's looking forward to eating it when he's challenged by Bismark, a loud sugar glider.  Whenever a pangolin gets surprised or frightened, he lets air out that smells awful.  That's always good for giggles.

When Bismark comes down and tells Tobin he's a thief, it's his pomelo, there's a stand-off.  Then Dawn, the fox, shows up.  She listens to their story, then cuts the pomelo into thirds and they each have a portion.  She's the smartest and sanest animal in this group.  You can tell she's wise from her decision how to solve this problem.

This was a delightful read with great illustrations.  The story will make your young ones smile and they'll learn more about the animals with the bonus facts at the end.

Bones to Pick: A Brie Hooker Mystery by Linda Lovely

Brie never expected one of her aunts to be killed in an accident.  She was still so lively and running a goat farm, making cheese and selling it.  Now she was gone and just her twin was left.  Brie decides to stay with her remaining aunt and she will help run the farm.  She still might pursue her dream of a vegan restaurant but her aunt needs her now.  Who expected the adult pot bellied pig to dig up a skull buried in the barn during the wake for dead aunt?

Henery Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 24th.

Brie gets irritated by how the Sheriff treats her aunt.  He's snooping through everything.  He's disrespectful, and he suggests it's her husband who's been missing for years who is buried there.  He's right but how did he know?

It doesn't take long to find out that there's been some dirty dealing going on.  The Sheriff and his cronies are going to profit from a development company.  It just happens to be on land that belonged to the dead man.  One woman says it wasn't his signature on the form.  The next thing that happens is that she's dead.  Then her husband commits "suicide".  Anybody who knows anything is disappearing.

When Brie and her girlfriend set the banker up with tracking devices that transmit sound, they hear more than they want to know, including the sheriff shooting him in head.  Then they are discovered.

With killers facing them, it looks like the end of the road...

As strange as it sounds, this was a believable read.  Brie even has two men interested in her and she can't decide which one she likes best.  It's a good thing she had buddies or she probably wouldn't still be alive...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Crooked Desert by Denis Hughes

McCade has seen a lot of things but he's never seen a dying man turned away from the door before.  He can't understand why the woman did that but he's not going to let her get by with it...

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

When he goes back to the cabin, the woman is gone but he takes the man in and tries to make him comfortable.  He knows death is creeping up on him but he visits a bit and the man mentions a woman called Star.  He makes McCade promise him he will save Alan Frazer from the gallows.  He has no idea who Frazer is but, if he's innocent, he'll save him.  By the time the woman returns, the man has died.  So has the man that was threatening her.  She shot him!

The woman is Frazer's daughter.  She tells him her father was framed.  The man holding him in custody is not the law but a big rancher.  He has him hidden.  He wants to stash the woman somewhere safe, so she takes him to a friendly ranch.  The man there has a hidey hole for the women (he has a cook) if there is danger.  Danger arrives in the form of the rancher and they are soon at odds.  The rancher burns down all his buildings.  The house is not made of wood so they leave that alone.  When they leave, they get the women out and hide them in a cave.

As all the gunfights and the search for her father go on, there's something that's just not sitting right with McCade.  He knows there's some other factor that isn't identified yet influencing things.  I was surprised by who the actual killer was.  Despite the body count, McCade is still alive at the end and ready for more adventure.

This was a good western with a deeper plot than usual.  I enjoyed it.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Polar Bear Postman by Seigo Kijima

Two red cranes have lost their child.  They can't find it anywhere.  So they ask the Polar Bear Postman to help in a postcard.  After all, he delivers mail all over.

Museyon and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 1st.

What stood out in this story was the size of the characters.  Whoever was being questioned was larger than normal.  The polar bear questioned predators, friendly families he thought might have taken the baby in, and anyone he ran across but nobody had seen the bird.

Then he gets another postcard.  This is from another crane family and they have an extra child...

This is a short picture book for the very young and they will enjoy the pictures of the animals and be happy to see the young crane be reunited with his family.  Give it a look; I bet you buy it!

Anne of Green Gables by Mariah Marsden

This graphic novel is very well done.  The illustrations show Anne's frustration with her situation in life.  They also show the beauty she sees in nature.  This is an old classic and I'm glad they've created this edition.

Andrews McMeel Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book review (thank you).  It will be published October 24th.

Her story begins when the brother arrives to pick up the child at the train station.  He's come to pick up the boy they wanted for chores.  He finds a red headed girl waiting for him.  There's nothing to be done, he takes her home.  His sister is very upset and says she must go back the next day.  Anne is upset because no one wants her and she's been rejected so much in the past.  When the next day arrives, she gets to stay.  The brother and sister are not much for showing love, but they do care for her.

Her path in life is not easy (somehow it never is) and as she struggles along you watch her mature.  My favorite character in this book is the brother.  He's more loving, supports her and talks his sister into letting her do things she wouldn't.  Everybody needs a champion in their life.

This is a pleasant journey to the past with illustrations that talk to you.  Read it, it'll make you smile.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Black Rider by S J Bounds

An unknown man rides into town and shoots the sheriff in cold blood on the street.  He's wearing all black along with a black mask, so they call him the black rider.  He's been pestering the big rancher who ran all the little ranchers off but this is the first death...

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  The book is available for purchase now.

The deputy has been after the black rider for the rancher's damage but murder of a friend just inspires him to do more.  It doesn't help that the sheriff's son and daughter are his friends, too.  He's in love with the girl but she's interested in another man, so he doesn't tell her.  He deputizes the son.  And then the search begins with ranch hands and most of town.  Especially when the newspaper man gets killed next...

This is a tense tale with more than one criminal involved.  There are two black riders.  The gambler would like to get rid of the new sheriff.  So would the rancher.  With two men and their men coming after him, it's hard to find time to chase the black rider, but he does.

It seems like it would be a simple story, but it's not.  There is skullduggery going on everywhere. And Dan is afraid he's losing his love.  It's a good thing Dan has grit.  He manages to get to the bottom of it.  And he may have a chance at love yet...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Return To Lan Darr by Anderson Atlas

Allan has a dream about Lan Darr that seems way too real.  He decides he needs to return because he thinks they need his help.  All he has to do is find the flower that will take him through the portal...

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

He spends a lot of time on the mountain with his Uncle and his girlfriend.  The problem is that the flowers are in limited supply and not easily found.  When he does acquire them and heads off to Lan Darr, he ends up on the wrong planet first.

If he doesn't want to wait for months, he has to go to another planet to get the flower pollen to get where he wants.  He doesn't realize that the world he's visiting plans to trap him and keep him as a slave.  When he figures it out, it's a challenge to escape!

In the meantime, the monster he thought was sent far, far away has returned and he's on earth looking for him.  He doesn't get him but he gets his Uncle.  And the madwoman who started all the problems has captured his girlfriend and her mother.  Everyone is in trouble.

This author has a way of making absolutely incredible beings seem normal.  They are just another character in the story and you feel sorry for them or angry with them just like any other.  I found it hard to worry about the bad guy in this story but it's a tale well told with lots of tension and challenges for Allan and his Uncle.  At least now no one will believe he was making the stuff up anymore. 

This was another exciting adventure in other worlds with Allan and his various friends.  I enjoyed the read and think you will, too, if you like fantasy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

His Royal Whiskers by Sam Gayton, Sydney Hanson

Here's a tantalizing little read with made-up words, an alchemist trainee and boy who just wanted to have fun.  As always, things don't always work like you planned.  It all started when they tried to put the potion on the warlord and it fell on on the prince instead.  The prince turns into a cat.  And the two partners in crime end up in the dungeon...

Margaret K McElderry and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

The only way they can save their heads is to try to reverse the potion and turn the prince back into a boy.  They have a limited amount of time to do it and it's just not working.  She's the alchemist, he's the brains.  They finally think they might have conquered it, just as the deadline ends.

Life gets even more exciting when they find the Czar dead.  He's sleeping on the prince's cat body and he has no blood left.  Unfortunately, the boy is accused of murder.  Never mind that he's not a vampire.  He was there so he must be guilty.

From here on out the story gets even more fanciful.  The boy is beheaded but he's not dead.  The Czar is trying to raise the dead to head a revolt and kill more people.  The Grim Reaper has been reduced to a pile of bones.  The boy's head travels around.  You never know what you'll encounter in the next chapter.

It was an interesting read and isn't the least bit boring.  If you're willing to suspend disbelief, you can have a good time reading this.

Court of Twilight by Mareth Griffith

She's found a great place to rent.  She has a roommate who loves plants and never goes out if she can help it.  It's in a good area of town, she doesn't mind doing her shopping and the rent is cheap.  So Demi is a bit weird.  Most people are.

Parvus Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

It's when Demi goes missing and she finds an odd man in the flower box that Ivy realizes Demi might be more than a little weird.  The police don't care she's missing.  If anyone is going to find her, it will need to be Ivy.  Where could she have gone?  She decides to check out her computer and cellphone and see what she can find out...

What she finds is that she can see people other people can't.  It's not that they are ghosts; it's that they are other worldly.  They are almost like the fae.  You can't eat their food, you can't touch them or you'll disappear, too, and they have some strange habits.  Each year, someone is chosen as King.  After their year of holding the position ends, someone from the ancient past comes forward and kills the King.  Only one person has ever avoided that responsibility and he won't tell how it happened.  I don't think he even knows how it happened.

Ivy is trying to save Demi.  Everyone says she can't.  Almost by accident, she does.  But at best, all that does is give them another year to try to find a way to keep Demi alive...

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wallace the Brave by Will Henry

This is a whimsical touch from the past.  It's a collection of comic strips about Wallace, who is a typical boy.  He gets in trouble a lot...

Andrews McMeel Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published tomorrow.

Wallace has a friend named Spud, a little brother, and he's friends with a tomboy.  She's really good at throwing things and is a bit of a smart mouth, too.  

My favorite part of the comics was Wallace's interaction with his dad.  His father is willing to discuss silly things and imagine things most adults wouldn't.  It was sweet to watch them together.

It doesn't take too long to read and made me laugh here and there.  I bet middle graders will love it.  What would you do with a muffin left in the room since school let out last?  Wallace gave it to his tomboy and she nailed a wasps nest.  You can guess what happened next...

Sleep No More by P. D. James, Peter Kemp

Here are six tales that look at murder from various angles.  Whether is from revenge, selfish greed, anger or even apathy, these people commit murder and expect to get away with it.  Some do, some don't.  But that doesn't help the victim...

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

They are all a fascinating look at morality, character, and desires.  No one in these stories is very kind or understanding.  P D James saw the world the way it was, there's no sugarcoating here.

The one that got my attention was the tale where Santa Claus got killed.  It's a provocative mystery with lots of players.  Justice was done but not in a court of law.  I like irony in my stories.

If you like P D James, you'll be glad to get this new compilation of some old and some stories.  Give it a read.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bear Hug by Susanna Isern, Betania Zacarias

This is a very sweet story about a young girl who found a baby polar bear...

NubeOcho and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

He's a new baby and she can't find his mother anywhere so she takes him home with her.  He's cold, so she feeds him and then they sleep in her bed together.  She plays with him during the day and all is well until someone has raided the fish for the village.  They accuse her bear.  She knows he didn't do it but she also knows if she doesn't take him into the wild, they will kill him.  She takes him away and tells him he has to stay there and cries all the way home.

The illustrations are lovely and the story has a happy ending.  She gets reunited with her bear and the wolves are the thieves and the village wants the bear back home again.

Why not give your child a white bear to sleep with and read this story to him/her as a bedtime story.  It'd put me to sleep, especially with a bear hug at the end.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seeds of Revenge: A Greenhouse Mystery by Wendy Tyson

Megan is working on farming all year.  If she can sell fresh greens to the various restaurants, she'll be busy all year and have a steady income.  On her way home after leaving samples at the restaurants, she finds a car in the ditch.  The snow is deadly and started late, so she drives carefully looking for the driver.  Sure enough, she finds her.  And that's where her troubles begin...

Henery Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

The driver is a woman who was invited to visit her aunt and set up a shop in town.  When she gets her to her destination, there's a man on the porch chatting with Merry.  Her passenger bolts out of the rig and accosts him.  She tells him to leave, she wants nothing to do with him.  Megan watches until Merry waves her off.  She's not sure what happened but it didn't look good.

It seems the man was the driver's father. She hates him and believes he killed her mother.  She's very vocal about it.  The death was ruled an accident.  No one knows enough about it to take one side or the other.  But someone kills the father and it appears they're going to have to figure out who.

This is the story of a very dysfunctional family.  There are emotional wounds everywhere.  No one in the family line was safe, they all suffered the impact.  There was a previous marriage, and there was also a lover.  The father was not a nice man but someone else in the family isn't either...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Canal Days Calamity: A Dog Days Mystery #2 by Jamie M. Blair

The last thing Cam wanted to was find another dead body.  Her husband won't like this at all...

Midnight Ink and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 8th.

Cam's sister is starting a new business, Cam is heading up the Canal Days celebration, and Cam has her stepdaughter living with her.  When they arrest Andy, her handyman, for the murder, the little mystery solving group she has forms again and they go after the real murderer.

This is a light cozy mystery that was a pleasure to read.  Cam and her husband are separated but they still love each other.  He wants her to stay out of murder cases because it's dangerous.  He's right, she almost gets killed herself.  Between playing politics, trying to keep her mother from running her life, and keeping Canal Days moving forward and getting her sister's business ready for opening, she really shouldn't have time to do much investigating.  It's a good thing she's a snoop...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Gift: The Amish of Hart County by Shelley Shepard Gray

She's making a new start in a new community but the people seem stand-offish.  She wants to find out why but when she does, she'll wish she hadn't.

Avon Inspire and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Susanna hears gunshots while she's on her trip home and tries to hurry her horse along.  One of the shots comes too close, and she's thrown off the carriage.  She almost dies from the exposure, but a man shows up and saves her.  She thinks it was an accident but all of a sudden the family seems to be having a lot of them...

They purchased a farm from a family that was forced to sell.  That's why the community isn't sure about them.  The worst part?  Her savior was the son of the farmer that had to sell and he wants nothing to do with her when he hears her last name.  She's sad but she also knows it's not her family's fault.

Both of them have some growing up to do.  Neil learns some things about his father that he didn't know.  Susanna is busy trying to keep her family safe.  There's one more crisis that happens on Christmas day and it makes their Christmas bittersweet.  But there's hope for the future.

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 ...