Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Dreaded Groak by Peta Lemon

Hazel the rat (who is a boy) has been told by his mother that he needs to find his own place.  He's old enough to be a man now.  Hazel doesn't think so and doesn't want to leave but his mother help him pack and sends him off with these words of advice:  Beware of the dreaded Groak.

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

Hazel fearfully rushes to his brother's house and knocks on the door.  His brother hides.  He doesn't want him living with him.  Then he runs into the bully of small animals and he steals his pack which had all his food.  Then it begins to rain...

He builds himself a little shelter with fallen twigs and leaves and that works for a while.  But the rain doesn't let up and it washes his shelter away.  He takes shelter under a big leaf.  Then he realizes he's not alone.  The dreaded Groak is there, too.  Will he eat him?

Then he notices the Groak looks sad.  They talk and he finds out the Groak is nice.  Before the rain stops they are friends.  They even become roommates.  Just because someone said he was mean didn't make it true.  He was different looking but that didn't mean you had to afraid of him.

Learn from their personality and actions, don't assume.

The illustrations are great and this is a good story for beginning readers.  I really enjoyed reading it and it has a good message.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Pixie and the Green Book Mystery by Coraline Grace

Pixie goes to school one day all decked out in apple designs.  When she gets to school, she decide she's too "applely" and feels embarrassed.  Her Mom fixes that by taking her to the library after school.

The author graciously shared a copy of her book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There's a strange man at the counter, not the usual librarian.  When she goes in the Children's Section, she finds one book glowing and she immediately goes to it and opens it.  What she finds is Cinderella in the Alice in Wonderland story.  What's going on?

I love books and enjoyed the magic and the book characters involved.  Pixie has to help the book characters and has to avoid the strange man to make things right.  Will she make it?

Friday, August 16, 2019

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

The Lincoln school is primarily an Indian school.  The children there have been separated from their parents.  The rational is that they can learn the ways of white people and fit in better.  In truth they become slaves to the school principal and any sign of Indian ways is beat out of them.  There are two white boys there, too.  They are orphans.  This story is about them.

Atria Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

Odie, the youngest white boy annoys the lady who runs the school, so he spends a lot of time in the quiet room (more like solitary).  Mrs Frost is talking about hiring the boys to work on her farm and they would live with her.  Hope shines out of their eyes until a tornado goes through and kills her.  Her little daughter comes to the orphanage and the lady that runs the school (nicknamed The Black Witch) decides to raise her as her own.

When the sadistic teacher who likes to use a strap on the boys backs takes Odie out by the quarry he knows he intends to kill him.  He tries to run and falls off the edge but he lands on a ledge not too far down.  The teacher comes to look and Odie grabs the strap hanging down and pulls.  The teacher falls...

He tells his brother and they decide to run.  They know where a boat is.  They sneak the little girl out and away and Mose, a big strong Indian joins them.  They head out to their aunt in St. Louis.  They have many adventures along the way.

The tale of their journey on the water is fascinating.  They meet good and bad people.  They have the Black Witch after them.  They are lucky to get away and lucky to stay alive.

You'll never look at a river the same way anymore.  If you've traveled it before, you'll find the tale comforting and frightful both.  Give it a try.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

She's assigned to a murder case and is told to team with the new man.  He's an experienced cop but he's been sent to their department as punishment.  She doesn't like him much but she's got to work with him.  The murders are horrors.  The bodies are missing hands, some missing legs, and there is a little chestnut man at each murder site.

Harper sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

 The killings have been going on for years as they look back at records.  The two cops often go off on their own hunts for info but when they compare, they get closer to the killer.

This tale is intense.  I found myself setting it down for a bit and doing something else.  Of course, I was back reading again after five minutes.  It's intriguing even if the crimes are horrifying.  The details are given with a bald forensic analysis that makes your skin crawl.  It's hard to believe there are people in the world that are so mean. 

The worst part is the killer is someone close to them...

Can you figure it out before the end?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

More to the Story by Hena Khan

This story centers around Jameela.  It's the story of a family of four girls and their parents.  They are Muslims living in Georgia.  They are also Americans.  Jameela dreams of being a jounalist like her grandfather.  He won awards, she wants to, too.  She works on the school newspaper but she and the editor don't get along.  They've both been warned they have to and they are trying.  She's learning how to control her temper.

Salaam Reads, a division of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, sent me an ARC  of this to read for review (thank you).It will be published September 3rd.

When her younger Sister, Bisma, complains about a bump on her neck, Jameela tells her not to worry.  But when it gets worse and they take her to a doctor, it turns out to be serious.  Their father is overseas working and the women have to deal with it alone.  When they find out it's cancer everyone is devastated.  Surgery is scheduled.

Jameela is writing stories for the newspaper and has started a special blog about her sister's illness.  She's also making friends with a new boy that is like part of the family.  

Jameela learns just how strong she can be when times get tough.  She also learns to apologize and how to work with her editor.  

This was a serious read about growing up and shouldering responsibilities.  Jameela does good job of it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

A group of six young men and women went for their annual ride through a scary tunnel.  Only one came out and he was unconscious.  He gets arrested for murder.  He doesn't remember what happened but he knows he didn't kill them.  The police can find no bodies but there wasn't anywhere they could go.  He ends up in jail while they investigate.

Hanover Square Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

Robin's wife went missing three years ago.  They loved each other deeply and he couldn't understand it.  He kept hoping that she would still call or come home.  When Matt, the young man in jail, calls him and tells him he needs his help and his wife was the one who gave him his number, he doesn't believe him.  Then he gives him a key phrase only she could have known.  He goes to see the young man.  He agrees to help Matt if he will tell him more about his wife.  Matt says he will tell him all he knows if Robin will just help him get out of jail.

Robin begins looking into things and the town folk aren't happy.  They want him to go away.  He even gets beat up in an alley.  He does solve the mystery though.  The truth is sordid and sick.  What happened to his wife is very sad.  Most important, Matt wasn't guilty.  But the other five were...

Monday, August 12, 2019

Rich and Gone by W.F. Ranew

Woody is an investor.  He has talked his wife and friends into investing.  The problem is it is a Ponzi scheme and he's stealing the money.  Then he suddenly disappears.

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

The private eye used to be a cop and has been hired by the wife to track her missing husband down.  He's done so much dirt to everyone in his life, there's a good potential he's a murder victim.  Or he could have run.  The money is in foreign depositories under anonymous names so Woody had enough money to fund his lifestyle.  But did he really get away?

This is a well written mystery.  If the PI didn't have various friends to help him, he wouldn't have been able to solve this case.  As he weeds through the clues you get on his side.  I was especially surprised at the ending.  Karma showed up for Woody...

W.F. Ranew will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC 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.  

Happy reading and good luck! 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother can play the harp and make it talk to the listeners.  They both can sing beautifully.  They could be bards but they want to be warriors and are training for that.  Then they are chosen for a spy mission before they finish their training.  Maybe this is a test...

Ace and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

The ancient harp that must be played at the coronation of the new King has been stolen.  Their assignment is to find it.

This is a magical fantasy read that flows well and makes you feel like you are part of the story.

Brocc is her brother but he's part fae.  After staying with the druids for a while, he sneaks off to visit the witch lady in the woods.  He thinks she might know where the harp is.  She doesn't but she sets him off on another trail into the woods.  He finds a wall there with no door but he hears someone singing on the other side.  He begins finishing stanzas and soon he sees a crack in the wall he can get access through.  When he enters he finds himself in fairy land.

This story is complex.  There are unusual creatures, a dog that listens to the woman and does what she says, an enemy of Liobhan's becomes her friend, her brother finds love, and the chosen King is someone most people have forgotten about.

I enjoyed this read a lot more than I thought I would.  If you like fantasy and magic, you'll like this book.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Theodora has been traveling with her treasure-hunting father for years but he always leaves her in the hotel if he thinks there's any danger.  It's disappointing to get so close and get left behind.  He takes Huck with him, the boy he's taken in and raised.  Then one day Huck disappears.  He and Theodora were caught in a flagrant act.  Theodora thinks he left without a goodbye and she's heartbroken.

Simon Pulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

On this trip, she runs into Huck again.  He tells her that her father went off on his own and never returned.  Huck came to the hotel looking for him.  They decide to go to the next meeting point to see if he's there.  He's not, so Theodora starts reading his journal, looking for clues.She finds out it's got ciphers in it and she has to determine which kind it is to read it.  Once she does she starts following her father's trail.  He's after the true ring of Vlad, the Impaler, also known as Dracula.

There's lots of excitement, action, and confrontations with another organization that's also after the ring.  Theodora is smart and she puts things together that her father doesn't.  This has a very surprising ending.  It kept me glued to my seat reading.  I think it'll do the same to you if you enjoy fantasy and intrigue.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay

Lindsay's life is going great she's working at the library and getting married to the man of her dreams.  Then she helps a patron of the library check out gardening books so he can help his roses survive the drought they are going through.  The next time he comes in, he brings her some of his roses.  She tells him thank you but it's not really appropriate for him to do that and to please stop.

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

Then he comes back again and just watches her.  When she goes to her office to work, he moves so he can still see her.  She calls the police chief who is a friend of hers and she escorts him from the library and bans him from returning.  He complains to the Mayor and he rescinds the ban and tells the ladies they can't do that.  After all, he's just flirting.  What harm is there in that?

Her soon-to-be husband gets his friends to escort her so she's never alone.  He changes his work schedule so he can take her back and forth to work.  Then one lunch hour at a restaurant, his wife comes in and accuses her of stealing her husband.  Sully gets involved in the argument and threatens the man stalking his girlfriend.  Then the man is found dead at the back door of the library.  He's been shot and Sully's pistol is found in the bushes next to him.  Lindsay knows Sully didn't do it.  So who did and how did they get his gun?

This is an interesting mystery with danger close to Lindsay.  It also shows how women can be tormented by men and other men find nothing wrong with that.  That's changing, slowly.  I'm glad.

This is a good read with an exciting ending.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

Ellie has been out walking when she finds the barn the harpmaker lives in.  He has the most beautiful harps.  He invites her in to see them and, on a whim, makes a gift to her of one he's made from cherry wood.  The cherry matches her socks.  Her husband makes her return it. So Dan puts it upstairs and tells her she can practice there.

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Dan is different.  He takes walks, counts the animals he sees, doesn't care so much about money, and leads a simple life.  Clive, her husband is all about money and manipulation.  He loves her, but he will break something she loves if she doesn't do what he wants.

As she learns to play the harp, she begins to admire Dan.  He sees wonder everywhere.  He makes Celtic harps and his sister sells them for him.  She takes harp lessons from his girlfriend.  He hasn't seen his girlfriend for a long time so he calls and asks if she's still his girlfriend.  She says no.  Then Ellie finds out he has a son no one told him about.  To get even the old girlfriend calls her husband and tells him about the harp lessons and how much time she spends with Dan.  Clive gets insanely angry and won't even speak to her.  She spends of her time at Dan's upstairs practicing on the harp but he doesn't believe her.  His way of getting even is awful with consequences for all of them.

This is a mellow read with Ellie and Dan's friendship growing.  Clive is lethal and the ending is harrowing.    Ellie finally stands up for herself and I was glad to see that.  

This was a good read.  Give it a try.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Alex and The Colony by D.S. Samra

Alex has not had good luck with his family.  When they went downtown shopping, he got separated from his mother and no one has seen her since.  Now his father has an infection and there is nothing left to cure it.  He's going to die, too.  But he tells Alex he'll have to take over the colony of people.  He doesn't want to, but he doesn't have much choice.  Climate change has killed many but their colony has survived. Now the weather is storming and there's a huge earthquake...

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

When they recover from the storm, they find themselves on a new planet.  The only source of food they've found so far are fish.  They find they are all young adults, no adults made it.  They have lost one young man in the woods already, so they are cautious at gathering food.  Alex leads a group in the woods to hunt and almost becomes another victim.  There's a banshee living in the woods.

Then he gets caught in  a net and is captured by ogres.  They are huge and they like to fight their prisoners.  His little group is the last one to fight. He's taught them to fight together.  He has an elf on his team, as well as a dog he's befriended.  The dwarf is a good fighter.  They manage to win their battle, but they are still prisoners and there will be another harder fight tomorrow.  Then the shaman comes in the night and leads them out and away.  The dwarf takes them through a tunnel in the mountain to where the other humans have been incarcerated.

The elves, gnomes, dwarves, and humans unite but they are going against ogres, goblins, and trolls.   They are bigger so the little guys will have to be smarter.

Alex Finds he's part of a prediction. He's survived so far but he has a long way to go...  

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

This is a story of a broken family that finally comes together again when it's almost too late.  It begins with a mother who has lost her favorite child.  The boys (Dad included) went on a fishing trip.  He loads up the car for the trip back and then finds the eldest son has disappeared.  No one can find him.  Then her husband dies not long afterward.  She's lonely and grieving so she starts a fashion business and does very well with it.  But there are more problems coming...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

Genevieve is always dressed perfectly, has her makeup on and her hair done nicely.  She's a lady and acts like one.  Then Clark, the son she didn't like, comes to visit and leaves his young daughter with her.  His wife had committed suicide and he can't take of her alone.  Neither granddaughter or grandmother want to be with each other but they adjust.  Emma wants her to love her but Genevieve has tucked her heart away.  If you don't love, you won't hurt.

Genevieve has big plans for Emma but when she gets pregnant at the end of her senior year at high school, she demands she abort the baby so her plans won't be ruined.  When Emma refuses, she kicks her out of the house and out of her life.  So it's quite a shock when she calls and asks Emma to come back.  It seems she  has cancer now and wants her to spend her last summer with her.  Emma doesn't want to but her daughter, Riley, does.  So they go.

It was interesting to see how this all played out.  There was plenty of family drama, a few lies, and a closeness neither of them expected.  This was a study in family relationships and while it's not all happy ever after at least the air has been cleared.  And Emma has found love again...

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Matthew Venn goes to his father's funeral but he doesn't go in.  He's been banned from this church because he dared speak against it as a teen.  Even his parents kicked him out of the house.  He's a detective now and has married but it's to a man and that's another piece of damning evidence against him.  He can't worry about that now.  He's just been called about a murder down at the beach.

Minotaur Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).It will be published September 3rd.

The man has been stabbed to death.  Little does Matthew know just how deep this murder will take him into his past.  There are ties to the church he left, to the business his husband runs, and to the moneyed people of the village.  Many of the questions asked are met with answers that don't sound right but it takes him a bit to put it all together.  

This is a good mystery with a lot of players.  I was surprised at the actual killer.  An interesting touch was that two women with Down's Syndrome ended up being kidnapped and he's looking for them, too.  The first one he finds says the man asked her a lot of questions but she didn't know what he was talking about.  When you find out, it's disgusting.

There's much to learn about life in these pages.  This story will stick with you for a while.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-el, Kelly Pousette (Illustrated by)

Duane is a polar bear and he loves living in the very, very far North.  He finds great fun in sliding on ice.  He also likes to make friends.  One day, while checking out an old shipwreck, he finds an owl in the captain's library.  He's a wise old owl and makes a good friend.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

Next he runs into a musk ox he names Handsome because he likes to admire himself in the water's reflection. 

He's confused by the next animal that talks to him.  It sound like there are a lot of them but he can't see them.  When he tells his owl friend, he's given some blue powder to throw at the sound and he finds it's an arctic fox!  This fox gets him in a lot of trouble but he likes her anyway.

He continues making friends, gets to eat good food, and has fun playing with them.  He's no longer lonely and neither are they.

I enjoyed watching the animals interactions.  They act almost like people.  This is a fun fantasy read.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Body Broker by Daniel M. Ford

He lives in a houseboat now.  He's been in the Navy, used to be a cop and now he's a private investigator.  He works when he needs to and he needs to right now.  So when a cop buddy calls and asks him to help a woman he can't, he takes the job.

Santa Fe Writer's Project and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st.

Jack talks to the mother.  Her son is missing but he's 18 and the police only search for minors.  Jack agrees to look for him and starts gathering facts.  After checking with teachers and talking to students, he goes to visit the father.  He gets in a tussle with the bodyguards and leaves quickly.  When the receptionist calls and says she'd like to speak to him, he agrees to meet her, thinking he might get some information.  Instead he gets beat up by the bodyguards...

Then he meets a motorcycle gang that runs drugs.  All while trying to find an 18 year old boy...

He discovers one of the professors at the college is selling drugs at the school.  With all the drug connections, he turns that over to the police.  But he still hasn't found the missing boy.

He continues his search, has a few more problems with the biker gang, including a death threat.  Will he live long enough to find the missing boy?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Grim, Grit, and Gasoline (Dieselpunk & Decopunk Fairy Tales) by Rhonda Parrish

This is an anthology of new original stories written loosely based on Grimms fairy tales.  They are all unique and fun to read.  I really enjoyed this collection.

World Weaver Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd. I'm keeping this one for my personal library.

It features stories by Zannier Alejandra, Alicia K. Anderson, Jack Bates, Patrick Bollivar, Sara Cleto, Amanda C. Davis, Jennifer R. Donohue, Juliet Harper, Blake Jessop, A.A. Medina, Lizz Donnelly, Nellie Neves, Wendy Nikel, Brian Trent, Alena Van Arendonk, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Sarah Van Goethem, and Robert E. Vardeman.

I really enjoyed the story of two women who beat the devil at his own game.  Another one I won't forget soon had a talking plane.

This collection is a winner.  If you like fantasy, you'll like this book.

Muddy Waters by Candace J. Carter

Henry "Whispering" Smith is a range detective for the Colorado Plateau Cattlemen's Association.  He picks up rustlers who try to steal cattle.  He's good at his job.  Buy when he gets a call that his father has cancer, he decides to go home for a while.  He and his father parted in a fight and he's not eager to see him but he doesn't want to have regrets later.

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

When he arrives in town he finds an old friend there.  He'd picked him up for rustling in the past but Aubrey saved his life when his partner in crime tried to kill Smith.  Neither one holds a grudge and they enjoy visiting again.

Aubrey asks him to go on a ride with him and takes him to a long forgotten pasture land.  He shows him the cows in the pasture and indicates that two are missing.  He states he's not rustling anymore and that he suspects it's the family from the slaughter house he works at that is thinning the herd.  He's afraid he will be blamed for it because of his past.  Henry agrees to look into it.

When he goes back to the pasture, he finds Aubrey, dead.  Was it the slaughter house boys, someone trying to find the lost treasure that's rumored to be on the farm, or someone else who is the killer?

When Henry is searching for answers, someone is setting him for murder.  The youngest of the slaughter house boys is found dead and the killer used Henry's pistol to kill him.  He can't remember when he saw it last,  It was in his truck and now he has become a suspect.

When he figures who the killer must have been, it gets deadly.  With more than one person gunning for him, will he get out alive?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Book of Rather Strange Animals by Caleb Compton

The subtitle of this book is "Highlighting the Wonders of Evolution and the Extraordinary Diversity of Life".   That's a perfect description of the contents of the book.  Each animal or fish discussed gets a short paragraph telling you all about them.  I recognized a lot of them but I learned a lot, too.  I wasn't up on the animals of the deep.  I also learned that some fish are really scary.  The way they eat is disgusting!

There are a lot of animals listed but you don't get bored.  Just about everyone of them is odd in some way.  Mr. Compton kept me reading.

The ones I knew about I learned from books I read or found out about them on Facebook.  There are science and nature pages you can follow and I've learned a lot from them.  Now, reading this book I learned more.

The author shared a copy of his book with me for review (thank you).  I'm glad he did.  It's a good natural history resource and also shows you which ones are becoming endangered species.  Logging is not good for our land and that's reflected in this book.

You can get a copy of this book now, it's out.  Why don't you see how many you recognize?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

Vita's Grandfather's castle was stolen from him by a real estate tycoon.  She and her mother go to visit and try to right this wrong.  Vita loves her Grandpa but he's sure looking old and sad.  He misses his wife and his castle.  Her Mom talks to lawyers and reads legal papers trying to make it better but no luck there...

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader's sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (than you).  It will be published August 27th.

Vita decides to go visit this tycoon and ask him to make it right.  He's having a party but he takes time to talk to her.  He just laughs at her.  She'll have to work around it a different way.

She sees a thief stealing but says nothing about it.  Then she helps Vita escape to pay her back.  She'd be handy for breaking into tthe castle but she says no.  Vita goes on looking for more team members.  After all, her Grandpa told her there is an emerald necklace hidden in the castle.  She thinks that might help him get his castle back.  

She meets two boys from the circus that will be perfect for the job.  One can almost fly and one is excellent with dogs.

With the thief finally agreeing to join them, they make a formidable team.  Their quest is worthy but it's a lot of work and filled with danger.

There's a lot of action and excitement in this story.  I enjoyed it enough I'm going to buy a copy for my personal library.  Ms. Rundell's tales talk to me!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Magnificent Mrs. Mayhew by Milly Johnson

Sophie has lived her life by hiding emotion and being "what she should be".  She was taught that by her family, through her schooling, and now by her husband and his political aid.  When she lost her baby and her ability to have more, she never cried in public.But one thing she can't tolerate:  Her husband having affairs.  He's running for PM but he still can't behave.  When his latest liaison becomes public, John and Len want her to join him in an interview where she says she never got over her son's death and that's why she turned cold and he had to find relief otherwise.  They want her to cry. too.

Simon & Schuster Gallery Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Sophie can't stand it anymore and instead of following the script, she tells John just what she thinks of him.  Then she packs her suitcase and sneaks out of the house over a back wall and heads out.  She's not sure where she's going but she refuses to be a trophy wife anymore.

She travels back to the village she went to school in and tries to find a place to stay.  Everything is full and she ends up staying in the alms house by the vicar.  She's dyed her hair black, got it cut, and is wearing casual clothes as well as pretending she's French.  She doesn't want to be found.

She stays there long enough to fall in love with the vicar and his son, with his sister becoming her best friend.  Then his separated wife comes home.  She decides it's time to go back and settle things with John one way or the other.

Once she's home the whole family shows up, all of them critical with her.  They're not prepared for the new Sophie.  She tells them exactly what she thinks of them, even John.  That leaves her with one place to go...

Monday, July 29, 2019

Fight for the Blue Planet by Derek Corney

There are aliens planning to invade the earth for its water.  The adults have no idea they are out there and the children only find out when they get a strange visitor.  The alien that visits them has their planet in danger, too, and they think if they join forces they may overcome the invading force.  Will the children join them?  They say yes.

The author shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

This is a very exciting read for young readers.  The oldest boy receives the ability to become invisible. The youngest boy can shapeshift.  The girl can transport herself and others.  They'll need to use these tricks to stay alive when they meet the warring aliens.

The younger boy can be as big as T-Rex or as small as a mouse.  The sister can move from danger to a place of safety.  Being invisible means the older boy can spy on them and steal their weapons.  It's still dangerous.

This is an entertaining read with lots going on and the winning side changing frequently.  Who wins in the end?  You'll need to read it to see.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4) by Steve Cavanagh

This is the story of a young boy who killed animals and when he got older, his victims became human.  He was very intelligent and he enjoyed killing...

Flatiron Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published August 13th.

He takes joy in killing and setting someone else up for the murders.  It's not until Flynn agrees to represent the movie star that has been accused of murder that he begins to search not only this murder but other murders in the past. 

The killer wants to be on the jury and he's willing to kill anyone in his way.  As jurors disappear, get run over, etc., he finds himself there.

As Flynn puts his defense together, he's working with the FBI, and he finds that the killer has been around a long time and has killed a lot of people.  He eventually determines the killer is on the jury.  He has to convince the judge of it, next.  What he doesn't know is that the killer has a cop friend.

This is a tension filled read with danger everywhere.  Cops beat Flynn up and then intend to take him out.  The killer is going after him, too.  Until you reach the end of the book, you're not real sure who's going to win...

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Wall Street financiers see huge amounts of money float around.  They're paid well but with temptation right in front of them it's hard not to get greedy.  Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam call themselves the Circle and they've been squirreling money away.  When another emplyee finds out about it they have to decide what to do.

St Martin's Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published July 30th.

They decide Wendy must commit suicide and they help her on her way.  Her mother and her only friend at the firm don't think it was suicide, but they have no way to prove it.  Then Sara, Wendy's friend gets fired from her job.  Someone messed with her spreadsheets.  Now she's unemployable in that field.  Then they hear she's died.

When the group of employees meet in an unfinished building and are told to go to the 90th floor for an escape room exercise, no one wants to it but they have no choice.  They climb in the elevator, the doors shut and lock.  They find they cannot regulate the elevator and the doors won't open.  Suddenly the message changes in the screen in the elevator.  They make the discovery this is their escape room.

As they look for clues they find them but they make no sense.  The elevator gets hotter than hell, then turns into the arctic.  Then the elevator falls and injuries abound.  The biggest danger is Jules' gun.  When he loses it, people die.

What I found most interesting was who was torturing them so.  Sometimes Karma wins.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Big Chance Cowboy by Teri Anne Stanley

Adam came home from the war filled with guilt and sorrow.  He had lost his dog and some of the soldiers on his team when a bomb went off unexpectedly.  That was what his bomb dog was for but they were both tired and it was in a building.  He still feels he was at fault.  So he moves back home and lives on the farm his grandfather owns.  It needs a lot of work and keeps his mind off his troubles.

Sourcebooks Casablanca and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 27th.

Lizzy has come back home to get away from the man she had been living with.  He was a mistake.  Now she has an idea of how to get more people to visit their town and build it back up again.  She's also acquired a big dog on the way back.  Her mother is not happy, she's not a fan of dogs.

Adam and Lizzy were close before he went in the service.  Now they can hardly talk to each other.  He's not very sociable now and people bother him.  She doesn't let that bother her.  She takes her dog over and asks him if he would train her in dog handling.  He doesn't want to but he says yes.

She's not forceful enough with her commands.  She also has to keep the dog in the position she commanded before she frees him from the command.  Adam lets her leave the dog with him.He puts him in the kennels in the barn but he howls so loud he gives up and lets him in the house.

Then wounded vets start moving in.  He wants to help them so they get to stay.  In their own way, they help him heal. too.  Soon he has more dogs to train and he teaches his vets how to train them.

Lizzy finds the farm next door that she want to rehab has a pit set up for dog fighting and a sick dog in it.  She calls Adam and with the injured mother dog and all the puppies his farm is filling up.  But he's still planning on leaving this town behind.

Can Lizzie change his mind?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Froggy Picks a Pumpkin by Jonathan London, Frank Remkiewicz (Illustrated by)

Froggy can't wait to pick a pumpkin.  He can already taste the pumpkin pie!

Viking Books For Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 27th.

They are giving prizes for the biggest, smallest, and prettiest pumpkin.  There are all kinds of pumpkins and Freddy checks them all out.  He chooses a big one but when he goes to carry it up, he drops it.  It's a big mess on the ground.  So much for a prize for him.  But they surprise him by giving him a ribbon for the ugliest pumpkin...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Missing Money: Money Monsters by Okeoma Moronu Schreiner

Kai got some money as gifts during the Chinese New Year.  His father takes him to the bank to deposit it but a monster ate it!

The author and PR by the Book shared an ARC of this book with me (thank you).  It's been published and you can get a copy now.

After his sister was put to bed that night he has a talk with his mom and dad.  He tells them about the monster that ate his money.  His mother explains that it was an ATM machine that holds the money for the bank.  She goes on to explain an armored would pick it up and deliver it to the bank.  It was still his money.  She showed him how to check on it and told him it would earn interest in the bank.  His dad even gives him his own ATM card.

Kai can quit worrying, his money is safe.

There are discussion questions at the back of the book to be sure the reader understood the concepts.  This an easy reader that teaches a young one about life. It's handled well and Sandhya Prabhat's illustrations are bright and cheerful.  It's nicely done.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Snoozie, Sunny, and So-So by Dafna Ben-Zvi, Ofra Amit, Annette Appel

Snoozie is a cat and Sunny is a dog.  They are best friends who play together and enjoy life.

Enchanted Lion and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 26th.

One day, while out on their walk, they meet So-So.  He's small and timid.  He has no friends, no one to talk to and he feels so-so.  He's afraid of everything, even them!

Eventually they convince him they are no danger and then they go on a walk together.  They are fun to be around.  They show him places he hasn't seen before, and now he's talking and being a lot more cheerful.  

It makes everybody's world better when you have friends!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Vanishing in the Haight by Max Tomlinson

Colleen Hayes killed her husband for molesting their daughter and went to jail.  She's now an ex-con who is acting like a private investigator.  The case she's given is a cold case that is over 10 years old.  The older man is dying and he wants to know who killed his oldest daughter.

Oceanview Publishing and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 20th.

She begins asking questions.  As she stirs up attention to what she's looking into she's warned off by the cops.  She doesn't back down.  Then a retired cop she talked to and was going to give her a copy of his original police report doesn't make the meeting with her and is missing.  He's found.  Dead.  Now she's more determined than ever.

She talks to anybody who knew the dead woman and begins to put together an idea of what she thinks happened.  The only problem is that now the killer is on her trail...

With cops trying to kill her and the real killer after her, she has a lot of trouble.  There's more death but the lid comes off the case.  What's exposed is distasteful.  But even the big will fall.

I have to say that I liked the justice the wife of the retired cop dispensed.  She knew who killed him and she took care of it...

Sunday, July 21, 2019

This Poison Will Remain by Fred Vargas

Someone is killing little old men with spider poison.  Who and why?

Penguin Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 20th.

Commissaire Adamsberg is on the case and he begins by looking into their backgrounds for a common denominator.  He find they were from the same orphanage.  As more men die, he has to find out why.  When he talks to the orphanage director's son, he finds there was a wild group of boys who put brown recluse spiders in the clothing or bedding of other children.  Many were wounded badly.  But they don't appear to be the killer.

This is a long roundabout investigation which finally discovers the common denominator.  He even figures out how it is done.  But he doesn't want to imprison the killer.  No matter, she'll turn herself in at another local police station.

This story is filled with horrible things.  What people will do to each other is disgusting.  The men deserved to pay for their crimes but what a way to go...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Hidden Things by Jamie Mason

Nothing worked the way Jonathan planned it.  She brought the painting, the loose cannons showed up and so did the guy that was supposed to take them down.  They'd have to arrange to meet again and he'd ask for more money.  But the shooter also shot the woman who had brought the painting, so Jonathan ran, with the down payment and the painting...

Gallery Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published 8-13.

When Jonathan surfaces again, he's changed his identity.  He's now John married to a woman and has a stepdaughter.  They don't know the painting is stolen. so Mom puts it up in the entry way.  He has a camera there so he can make sure no one is trying to steal it.

All's well until the high school girl is followed home by a predator.  She gets away but the cops want the camera footage.  They get and they get a piece of the the stolen painting, too.  The incident goes viral and those still looking for the picture are now on his tail...

This group of players show no mercy to anyone.  The hunt is hard and the daughter gets involved.  It's hard to feel sympathy for those who die.  It ends as it should and nobody got by without some bruises and regrets.  This is a good example of why crime doesn't pay...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Poppy and Sam and the Mole Mystery by Cathon

Poppy and Sam drop in to visit mole.  He's all sad because he's lost his pink glasses.  They are going to help him fund them.

Owlkids Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 13th.

As they go back to places he's been that morning, they find all kinds of things but not his glasses.  (Let your child look over the pictures and see how many things they can find before they read about it.)

When they finally find the glasses, they also have others claiming what they've picked up so far.  So they set up a lost and found and everything goes home with someone.  Everybody is in a good mood by the end.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Killer Edition by Lorna Barrett

Trixie really doesn't have a lot to do since hiring Pixie as assistant manager.  She does an excellent job and Trixie finds herself with lots of spare time.  She decides to apply for the local animal-rescue board and participate in the big bake off competition.  They're good ideas but neither one comes out as planned...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 13th.

When she's visiting a friend at a romance bookstore, she hears an argument between her fried and the neighbor next door.  Vera is upset that a tree limb has been removed without her permission.  The other woman said it was in her side of of the fence and shaded her garden too much.  Then she asks Vera to leave.  She does, in a huff.

Later Vera is found dead in the garden in question.  She appears to have been strangled and the had a pitchfork run through her.  Trixie calls it in.  The store owner goes in for questioning.  It was her pitchfork and her garden.  Trixie doesn't think she could have done it, but who would?

Then she finds out about underhanded dealings at the shelter.  While she's looking into that, she's also looking into Vera's death.  She's setting herself up for death even if she doesn't realize it.

Everything comes to a head at the bake off.

I like this series.  They are good cozy mysteries.  Give 'em a try!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Loyal One by Shelley Shepard Gray

Katie's mother has signed the house over to her and moved near her son and his wife and children.  She wants to remodel the house into a bed and breakfast but her mother was a hoarder and they will have to clean out the house first.  She's embarrassed and doesn't want to show anyone, but she has to.  She chooses Harley because he remodels houses.  They used to be good friends until he overheard her talking to someone about his girlfriend at the time.  They broke up not long after that but he didn't appreciate her comments and she felt guilty.  She hoped he would work with her now, she'd pay him for his work.  He says yes.

Gallery Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 13th.

He's shocked that the interior of the house is all walkways but he agrees to help clean it out and then remodel.  He mentions inviting their other friends over to help and Katie has a fit!  She doesn't want them to see it.  He doesn't agree with her but it's her decision. He then tells her he'll bring his little brother or they'll never get it finished.  She says OK.

The boys take the old furniture and stacks of paper and ruined clothes out to the dumpster.  She works in her mother's room, which was full.  While she's in there, she hears the friends down below and thinks Harley invited them over.  She orders everyone out, including Harley, and then has a good cry.  Harley's brother, Kyle, calms her down and assures her Harley never even talked to them, they just dropped in.  In a few days she has a crowd helping here and there.  They've begged to help.  She and Harley still haven't gotten over their communication problem.  

With misunderstandings (his old girlfriend wants him back) it takes a while but they both realize they are in love.

I like reading about the Amish.  They live in a simpler world but they can still face problems.  This was a good read.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Accidental Veterinarian Tales from a Pet Practice by Philipp Schott

This is an inside look at a vet's practice.  Mr. Schott writes of the changes in medicine and techniques over the years.  He explains that many of the animal diseases are similar to human diseases.  as the years go by, he gets more and more into high tech.  I learned that they did procedures on animals that I just recently had done to me (MRI).  It's amazing.

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

There are tales of the animals he met, mostly dogs and cats.  He found some dog owners wouldn't listen to him when he suggested getting a smaller dog next time.  But what caught my attention was when he discussed treating a full grown ostrich.  An animal like that could kill you.  What if it didn't like what the vet was doing?

He tells you about being bitten, about a dog that liked to eat rocks, and many more animal tales.  Being a vet isn't always a boring job...

Monday, July 15, 2019

Singapore Sapphire by A. M. Stuart

Harriet Gordon has gone to live with her brother in Singapore.  Her husband and son died from typhus and she wants to start over.  She also teaches at her brother's school and is trying to do some secretarial work on the side.  When her typewriter at work gives up, she goes back to the home of the man she's using her secretarial skills for.  She finds her typewriter where she left it and the man she was working is dead on the floor in the same room...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 6th.

This is a well written historical mystery.  The mystery is complicated.  People are not what they seem.  Greed is the driving factor in this death and the ones to come.

Someone is making fake Buddhas that look authentic, someone has stolen rubies and a large sapphire during mining operations and now they are cashing them in, a bit at a time in another location.  As people become redundent, they become dead.  

Harriet gets involved in the investigation, mostly because a young boy's father is involved.  The smugglers are killers and offer no one any sympathy.  Will the cops come in time to save her or will Harriet die, too?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

Georgie and Darcy are finally on their honeymoon.  The houseboat they were in was nice but it got a bit boring.  Darcy tells her he has a surprise for her:  they are going to Kenya!  It happens to be work related but she doesn't figure that out right away.  She's on a mission for the Queen so she can't complain much.

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 6th.

They stay with a friend and enjoy their walks and tours.  They are warned about ants, snakes, cheetas, lions and elephants.  They go to a party that's more dangerous than the animals.  There's alcohol, drugs, and wife swapping going on.  They refuse to participate and go their rooms early.  When they attempt to leave in the morning, they find a car in the middle of the road still running.  Darcy yells for the owner, shuts it off and then makes a dreadful discovery.  He finds the man's dead body.  He's been ravaged by animals.  Unfortunately, he died of a knife wound, so it was murder...

Georgie had to fight him off at the party, he was lusting after her, so she's not too heartbroken about it.  But she wonders who could have done it.  After all it must have been someone from the party.  No one else lives very close.

As they investigate the death, they find out someone is trying to kill them.  First they open a window that was shut and leave meat at foot of the bed, hoping a cheetah will come in.  Then they put meat in their tent and invite a lion in.

This case is turning dangerous so they had best find the killer soon!

I always enjoy Ms. Bowen's mysteries.  She does a good job with them.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Magical Secret of the Crystal Kingdom: A Fantasy World of Unicorns, Dragons and other Magical Animals by P.S. Nicholls

This story is written for young readers who have a good imagination.  It's full of magic and shapeshifting as well as danger.  I'm not young but this author kept my attention.

The author and Publishing Push gave me the opportunity to read this story for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Rose has been adopted and she loves her adoptive parents but she wonders about her real parents.  They are now living in the house her parents owned.  A local neighbor tells her that her parents were killed in a traffic accident.  She doesn't believe him.

When she and her friends visit a cave, she can see the crystals glow and she digs up one to prove it.  Then the others dig where she tells them and they find their own.  They are sleeping outside in sleeping bags so that's where they hide the crystals.  At bedtime they find themselves being transformed into animals.  Rose turn into a pink pony that can fly.  Her brother becomes a dragon, and all the others are other animals.  Then they find themselves in the Crystal Kingdom.  It's a lovely place but the Queen next door is determined to take them down.  Anyone she captures turns gray and becomes evil.

Will she win the battle?  Will Rose find her real parents?

These questions are answered in the book.  I found it a good read.  Young readers should enjoy it!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Gumshoe Rock by Rob Leininger

Mort has been in the uncomfortable position of receiving body parts of dead people.  The cases have settled down now and he's looking into an embezzlement case.  That should be safe enough but it's not.  The boss at the local IRS office has gone missing.  He knows this because his replacement had to brag to him about it.  As they ask questions about the embezzlement case and return to Lucy's car, there is a skull on the driver's seat.  It's bare bone, has some dead monster ants on it, and he can tell that's his old IRS boss.  Once again he's in the limelight as a finder of lost body parts...

Oceanview Publishing and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 6th.

This story is like the detectives of the '50's.  Mort defends himself well, his lady sidekick is someone he loves, and their investigation is tough.  They have an older female as part of the team.  She's called Ma and she has lots of connections as well as illegal activity tricks.  Together, they solve things.

It seem the man who embezzled the money was blackmailed by the dead IRS agent.  Checking the IRS agent out leads to several bank accounts with various names.  He wasn't just blackmailing one individual.

Mort ends up in a fight with a man with a knife.  He wins but he's made a dangerous enemy.

The reason the IRS man was killed is ridiculous.  Mort and Lucy find themselves in the hands of the killers.  It's a fight to the very end... 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories, Stephen Bentley, and others

This anthology of stories is stunning.  They are good mysteries of all sorts.  Most are fairly short but they almost all surprise you.  It's not too often the investigator dies but no one is safe in these stories.

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

What surprised me was that I found all the stories to be good.  Most collections have a few that are so-so to me.  Not true in this case.

The other authors are: Greg Alldredge, Kelly Artieri, L. Lee Kane, Michael Spinelli, Robbie Cheadle, Kay Castaneda, Justin Bauer, Aly Locatelli, S. Lee.

There are a lot of stories included and they also share where to find a list of books written by the authors who contributed.

A bit of author biography is also included.  All in all, it was nicely put together and there are little story treats everywhere.  In some ways it's like raiding a box of chocolates.