Tuesday, March 26, 2019

American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Her mother died shortly after her birth.  Her father was a bit standoffish because she had her mother's same blue eyes and it made him sad.  She grew up without a lot of love to sustain her but she certainly grew up as her own woman...

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

Alice smoked, drank, cussed, wore suggestive clothing and did things no lady would do.  She was as fearless as her father.  But more than anything, she has to be strong.  Her life is not an easy one.  She gets involved in politics and works with her father.  She has a good mind and she can see the issues he's facing.  They talk about solutions and ways to do things.  She admires and loves him but she wants to get married to be able to have her own life.  That's her downfall.

She marries.  He runs around on her.  She wants to divorce him but she can't.  It will undermine her father's career path.  So she stays and they keep some space between each other.  He's also in politics so he has his own campaign to run.  She tries to support him but his beliefs are different than the Roosevelt's, so she campaigns for her father's friends.  They separate even more.

While she's fighting political wars and supporting causes she believes in, she does outrageous things no woman should be allowed to do (in male and female opinion both).  Then she falls in love.  He's married, she's married, they have to hide their affection and any meetings they have.  From here it gets even more complicated...

Alice was outgoing, outspoken and stubborn.  She was admired by some and hated by others but she wasn't easy to ignore.  She was also more like her father than she realized.  This is the story of her life in fictional form.  It kept me reading...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Finding Lord Farlisle by Cassandra Dean

He's finally made his way home only to find the house locked up and unoccupied.  Since he's trying to recover from his past few years, he's just as happy not to see his family.  He decides to stay there while he puts himself back together...

Goddess Fish Blog Tours and the author shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Alexandra has heard the gossip downtown about how the locked up household has lights in it at night and they think the maid of long ago is haunting it.  She's a ghost hunter.  She's also a friend of the family that owns the house.  She's home alone so she decides to go check it out.  She still has a key she got a long time ago from a boy who lived there and died a in shipwreck.  She wishes the house didn't bring so many memories back.  She still grieves over that boy.

She's getting ready to settle in for the evening when she hears footsteps.  She was sure there was no one in the house.  Is it the ghost?

It's a ghost from the past but not the one she expected to find.  She finds the library door opening and when her eyes adjust to the change in brightness, she recognizes him.  He's her lost love.  But he doesn't know her at all...

Can they find the love they thought they lost?  They both have changed and they have to adjust to that.  Is their love strong enough to get them through this?

Cassandra Dean 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, March 24, 2019

Kangaroos and Killings (Flight Risk #8) by Susan Harper

Kendall and Pauline decide to visit Australia next.  They intend to see the sights and visit the wild animals (safely) but they don't realize that the tour guide and guests had a wild human in the group.

The author graciously shared this ebook with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

They have a location that supposed to one of the beauties of Australia, so they go on a tour that will take you there.  The guide knows the roads well but he's not as well versed on the animals.  He's also a bit overbearing.  But no one expected to wake up in the morning and find him dead of snake bites.  How could those snakes have gotten in his tent?  They were warned to keep their tents closed and to check before they laid down.  He was an experience outback guide.  He knew better.  So how?

Next the jeep breaks down as they are going for help and they get lost in the outback.  They're out of water and food, and it's getting harder to walk in the heat of the day as well as being very dangerous in the night.  Then Pauline's little dog disappears.  She's distraught and doesn't want to leave but they need to go and leave without it.

Kendall keeps investigating until she gets to the identity of killer.  But the killer has already killed once, once more won't matter...

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Dragon Assassin: Twin Fury (Dragon Assassin) by Arthur Slade

She's training to become an assassin with her brother.  Their parents and other siblings have died and they're all alone, so this was a reasonable choice for them.  Assassins can always get work.  She was at the top of the class and on her to graduating with honors.  Then her brother blinded her in one eye while training.  Was it an accident or not?

Mr. Slade graciously shared a copy of this ebook with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and more in this series are coming.

This was a quick read as it's part of a serial novel, but it was exciting all the way through.  Carmen is not as good as she was before since the loss of her eye but she's determined to pass.  Her teacher tells her she came up short of points to graduate but if she could steal a swan's egg, he'd give her credit for that.  The black swans are eight to ten tall and they have deadly beaks.  How can she sneak in and take an egg from them?

She finds one that has rolled out of a nest and grabs it.  Before she can get away safely, a swan sees her and comes after her.  She gets knocked of the cliff edge...

She has even more adventures before the end of this book.  This is a good series and if people would quit trying to kill her, her life would be easier.  The next installment in this story should be interesting...

Friday, March 22, 2019

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

Tiger gets in a fight with her mother on the phone and she curses at her before she hangs up.  She figure she'll go home and they'll discuss it and then make up again.  It's just her and her mom in her life and she loves her mother, she'd just like to have a bit more freedom.  Then she finds out her mother died that afternoon...

Delacorte Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 9th.

This is being advertised as a young adult book but it's a bit hard to take.  She doesn't know who her father is, is an only child, and she gets taken into foster care. She's scared.  She finds out they move her from one home to another depending on vacancies and her behavior.  She's lost without her mom, they did everything together.  All she wants to do is sleep.  At first, they don't let her go back to school.  When she goes back, everyone treats her differently.  She fits in nowhere and it's like she's in darkness and knows no way forward.

This is a pretty intimate look at foster homes, which was chilling to me.  Being orphaned and having lost direction in life would make it even harder.

Then she finds out she has a dad, but he's in jail.  She also has a half-sister and she agrees to take guardianship of Tiger.  But that doesn't work out like planned either.

Tiger gets in more trouble, her sister disappears and it appears she's going to be in juvenile jail for her offenses.  But despite all this trouble, things are looking brighter at the end.  She has her sister back and her new friends rally around.  There's hope for the future...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Last Dream of her Mortal Soul by K Bird Lincoln

She's come home from Japan.  Her father is still unconscious but she's brought him with her.  She's been summoned back to help solve a murder by the head of the Portland Kind.  First she stops to see her sister but she doesn't want to visit her.  She has her boyfriend over and they're spending their time in bed.  He's not who she'd like her sister to hang with but she really has no say over it.  She meets him and then takes her leave.

World Weaver 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.

This is the final book in this series about the Portland Hafu.  Every one of the books draws you in.  The characters are distinctive, there are new powers revealed, and there's always plenty of challenges and action.  This one lives up to that just like the others did.

Koi is still growing and developing the powers she's discovered in herself.  It's hard with no teachers but she works on it.  Someone is after the members of the Hafu.  They are killing them whenever they have the chance.  Can Koi help solve the mystery and stop the killing?  As her friends die, she makes up her mind to do what it takes.  If it kills her, it doesn't matter.  She's the only person that can do it.

The ghost of her father talks to her.  He's still alive but just barely.  She needs his advice.

The story is exciting and kept my attention all through the series.  If you like mythical fantasy, you'll enjoy this series.  I did! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander

Libraries have always been my friend.  The books are treasures to me and I was always afraid of running out of things to read.  But the one at home was nowhere near as exciting as this one!

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 30th.

Lenora's parents on vacation and have left her with a nanny.  All the nanny wants to do is shop.  Soon, Lenora is bored, bored and bored.  Then the nanny takes her to the library.  She sneaks away from her and goes looking for the children's section.  What she finds instead is huge hidden library filled with librarians and customers and tons of books.  She loves it!

When she's stopped and asked what she's doing there, she explains she'd like to work there.  That wouldn't be boring!  The head librarian give her a brief interview and says she'll hire her.  She can start as the Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.  Her job is to work the reference desk and answer customer's questions.  She can also tidy up the room in between customers.

The questions are fascinating.  She has to look or visit to get the answers.  And she has some man with a black bowler hat who's trying to disrupt the library and steal some of the books.

I really enjoyed this one.  It's written for middle graders, has plenty of action and it didn't take long for me to start admiring Lenora.  She does what she needs to do and protects the books and patrons.  She has conversations with whales, penguins and ants.  I don't think she's going to bored any longer...

Manufactured Witches by Michelle Rene

He's a young man riding the rails and hoping to find work here and there.  He's an orphan.  He knows riding the train can be dangerous but he has no choice.  He has no animal to ride.  He barely has enough to feed himself.  When he gets off at this town that looks to be big enough he might get a job, he finds a young girl chained to a tree outside a store.  He asks her why she's there.  She doesn't want to speak but he's persistent.  She says her father says she's a witch and she won't get to leave the tree until she changes her behavior.  He think that's awful.

Black Rose Writing and the author shared her book with me for revew (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

It doesn't take long before the young man has made enemies.  He's not sure how he's going to help the young girl when a negro woman comes up and offers her shelter.  She also offers it to the young man.  They both accept, the chain is broken and the girl goes to the wagon.  Her father shows up and says he'll come to retrieve her, she can't just steal his daughter.  She says she's not stealing her, she offering her sanctuary.  He doesn't believe her.

She takes the two back to her home and they meet the other residents.  Most are young children.  They are not really witches, they just have a power of some kind that others don't and that's why they get labelled that way.  The lady that took them home can control weather.  They use their powers where they are needed.  Every one gets fed and has a place to sleep.  Nat doesn't have a secret power but he gains one before the end of the story.

This was a very good read.  It's about odd people becoming a team and working together to make a home.  When it comes to stand off with town's people, they don't run.  They have a few truths to share with them, too.

It's a bit sad but it's also hopeful for the future and they all love each other.  They'll make it and I'm glad.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Veil Removed by Michelle Cox

Clive and Henrietta are on their honeymoon.  They had big plans but when his father dies, they have to leave them all behind and return for the funeral.  It's even more saddening when Clive begins to believe his father's death was no accident.  He's pretty sure someone pushed him in front of the train where he "fell".  The police don't believe him though and don't intend to any investigation.  But Clive will.

She Writes Press and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 30th.

He tries to keep Henrietta out of it but that's nigh on to impossible.  She likes to investigate, too, and this death hit close to home.

There are plenty of suspects.  His business partner had the most to gain or lose.  He had business dealings with lots of people.  But when Clive finds a letter that tells him he was being blackmailed, he couldn't figure out by whom.  Unfortunately, when his father first immigrated over here, he paid for protection for his business.  He was paying the mob and they never want to give up their hold on someone.

The pace picks up when Clive finally realizes what happened.  He leaves Henrietta home and sneaks out to go confront the man.  When she finds the note he got, she goes there.  But he never got that note, it's a trap for her.

Henrietta's sister was raped and now she's fallen woman.  Her mother wants her to get married and keep a low profile so she doesn't shame the family.  Henrietta talks her into going to school, unheard of in that day and age.  Since she has such trouble with men, she's thinking of becoming a nun.  But she finds she loves the custodian of the school.  Will there be any happiness for her?

These stories are intriguing and full of drama.  It's a good read and I will be watching for the next book in this series.

Didi Dodo Future Spy: Recipe for Disaster by Tom Angleberger

His Super Secret Fudge Sauce ingredient and recipe are missing.  When he's called the cops and is despairing over having his cookies done in time for competition, in comes Didi Dodo on roller skates.  After flipping over the front counter and landing in the cookie dough, she tells him she's come to save him and find his recipe!

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Koko can't tell her what the secret ingredient is because he doesn't know.  It was part of the recipe that is missing.  But Didi isn't discouraged.  She has resources she can use to identify the smell and get the content defined and she's going to the competition to see who else wins the contest because they would most likely be the thief.  

Get ready for lots of hairy action and messes everywhere.  Traveling by roller skates is dangerous.  So is the mall cop.  But it makes for a fun story...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Tales of Japan: Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic by Chronicle Books, Illustrated by Kotaro Chiba

This book is filled with short stories that intrigue your interest and introduce you to monsters, unusual magic and more.  I enjoy reading fairy tales from other lands and this is a very nice collection with beautiful artwork.

Chronicle Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you) and it will be published April 23.

From a monster with no face and a goblin with no body, I found each tale satisfying.  There are even ghosts included.  There is humor hidden in some of the stories.  There's a message in others.  You have fifteen tales to read here and they're well worth the time.  If you like fairy tales, you need to read these.

Beast Rider by Tony Johnson and Maria Elena Fontanot De Rhoads

His brother has gone to the states to get a good job and send money home.  Manuel misses him.  His home life is simple and he's happy there but he wants to join his brother.  He doesn't know how long and dangerous the journey is...

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published March 19th.

He works and prepares to go.  He's going to hitch a ride on the train which everyone calls the Beast.  The train kills many of them, they have to jump on when it's traveling or they'll be picked up by the guards.  He doesn't want to miss but it's his only way out and he jumps.  He just barely makes it.

This is not a pleasant story.  It's realistic.  They steal his goods on the train.  He gets beat up by a gang who almost leaves him for dead.  He finds more kind people than I would have thought were in the world.  But it's a long ways to the states...

He eventually gets to his brother who is in Los Angeles.  What he finds is that it is hard to get work without papers.  LA is big, noisy and never quiet.  His dreams led him here but he's not sure this is the place for him.  As he visits with an old Japanese man, his dreams start to change...

This story shows you how hard it is to sneak in another country, how dangerous it can be, and how life doesn't run smoothly just because you got here.  It's a taste of the real thing.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

She was visiting her best friend.  They went to a party and she met him there.  Jo had her eye on him but he liked her best.  They dated a bit.  In time they got married.  He moved her to a safe place in England but he's still going out on jobs.  He finally goes into business with his brother and they soon have lots of money.  He plans to retire and stay home with his wife and baby.  They've married for years and she loves her young son and she's in love with Ian.  He has PSTD and she's had a couple of bad injuries and has her own problems.

Park Row sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It was published March 5th.

Ian has fought many wars and to kill his memories, he drink Vodka.  He's not a pleasant drunk and his basement is full weapons.  He acts like the war is coming after him and he has survival supplies in the basement.  This bothers her.

She prefers to keep Charlie with her because she's not sure if he will be safe with his father.  He's gone so much, it's almost like they aren't married.  And Jo talks about him negatively.  She still loves him but she's having her own mind troubles.  She begins writing therapy and when the therapist wants to put her in the hospital she just leaves.

After he's made enough to come home, hopefully for good, she's waiting for him.  It's an ugly moment and will be something she'll never forget.  But she doesn't regret being part of it.

Her brain was as damaged as his.  There's no happy ever after here.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

No Country for Old Gnomes: The Tales of Pell by Kevin Hearne; Delilah S. Dawson

The halflings have started a war against the gnomes.  They're bombing their homes, killing random families, and attempting to run them out of their homes.  They are also winning.  The only ones brave enough to resist are the children.  They begin their quest to stop it by starting out to visit the men in charge...

Del Rey and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 16th.

As the gnome begins his journey, a girl gnome with witch powers joins him.  Then he comes across an almost sheep-like person who is also journeying and trying to stay away from the halflings.  And, without planning it, they even end up with halfling helping them.  The halfling comes with a gryphon so they're a formidable enemy.  It seems one halfling is set on stealing gnome homes to sell on another world level.  They intend to stop him.  But he has spies everywhere and one King on his side. With this batch of misfits, will they manage to conquer him?

It's a great fantasy with lots of action.  There are sad parts but there is only one casualty on the quest team.  I'd like to see them all survive but his sacrifice has made him a hero and his father can now be very proud of him.

I'd be interesting in seeing how it all goes for them down the line.  That makes it a good book to me.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

When his younger brother takes the carriage and careens out onto the roadway at high speed, James shouts at him to slow down but he doesn't hear him.  When Walter hits the bridge, he also hits another carriage and both fly off the bridge.  James races down on his horse and sees his brother and his friend have not been injured.  The other carriage had a young woman in it and she's been injured.  The driver and his companion are recovering but she's not moving.  James demands that she be relinquished to him so he can take her home and have the doctor see her.  The men try not to give her up but he takes her anyway.  He doesn't know how much trouble he's just brought upon himself...

Macmillon Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 16th.

When she wakes up, she doesn't know her name or anything about herself.  She also doesn't remember what happened to her.  As they try to help her remember the past, they find themselves meeting some shady characters.  They must have been used in the kidnapping or why would they be interested in her?

There are lots of characters, some good and some bad.  James and the young woman are falling love.  But they are trying to kill her now and he has to find somewhere to hide her.  He tries but she's found anyway.

When her identity is revealed, she's still not remembering them.  It's only when she visits a warehouse that part of it is coming back to her.

I was totally surprised to find who the mastermind of the plot was.  It ties it together and solves the mystery but it's not happy ever after for all.

The story reads like an old classic mystery novel and I enjoyed it.  Just watch out for that dagger... 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Star Marque Rising by Shami Stovall

Welcome to a world where space travel is common, there are superhumans, cyborgs, enhanced humans and defects, and the superhumans run the government.  Clevon is an enhanced male who has learned to a warrior.  He has other skills, too, but not too many are on the right side of the law.  He fights a battle that could end badly for him but he sees it as the only way out of the hell hole he's in...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tour let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

When he wins the fight in his cage match, he's approached by a lady who wants someone like him on her team.  She's a Commodore, has a large space ship, and she wants him to fly a fighter in her quest to stop the rebellion.  He wants off the world he's on and he agrees.

This is a real space opera.  They go from planet to planet, meet with dignitaries, fight off enemies, and continue advancing her career and helping her win her goal to be one of the governors on a planet.  The fact that people have to die to get her there doesn't bother her.  When she is set to perform the ultimate betrayal, he fights with her.  They each get injured but she gets away and is set to do the dirty work.  Now he has to work to save the ones she wants to kill...

This is fast paced, she has lots of secrets and she doesn't share them, she intends to prove she's as good as superhuman, and she has no intention of stopping.

It's almost like Star Wars but there is no noble cause here.  The author writes well, the action is constant, and I read it in one day.  Anyone who likes sci-fi should enjoy this read.  And there's most likely another book coming...

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter the drawing 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! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe by Evan James

They've moved to an island and are fixing up a house for them to use as a retreat.  A place for the family to visit and recharge when life gets too heavy.  Life is being a bit heavy for everyone right now...

Atria Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 26th.

There's not much of a plot in this story.  It's more like a psychological profile of all the characters.  You read about what influences them, why they are trying to make changes, and how they all interact.  The author talks a lot about how each of them feel, revealing depression and fearfulness, and just general unhappiness.

This isn't the most positive read but the characters are interesting.  I'd like to have more of story than a psychoanalyst report but that's me.  If you like knowing what's driving the characters and how they can change, you'll enjoy the story.  And Mr. Widdicombe does get happier...

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica has an opportunity to collect a very rare butterfly and bring it to her museum at home.  She's going to stay on an island with the family that lives there and Stoker's brother is going to accompany her.  Stocker wants to go, too, but his brother tells him to say home...

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It was published yesterday.  

Veronica is told she will have to act as his fiance during the stay so they don't scandalize the family.  She's not much worried about her reputation but she agrees.  It's hard for her, though.  He works on trying to charm her and get her in his bed but she turns him down.  She's in love with Stoker but isn't sure what to do about it.  Neither does he.  So they investigate together and remain friends.  She's not surprised when he shows up on their journey and goes to the island with them.

There's a mystery here, too.  Three years ago, Malcolm married a young woman.  She disappeared on her wedding day.  Did she run, did the sea get her, or was she murdered?  No one knows but Veronica wants to find out.

The family is odd, has strange habits and even has odd motivations.  Malcolm's little sister has a poison garden.  The housekeeper is weird.  Malcolm has become a recluse.  Whatever secrets are hidden here are hidden deep.

As they search the buildings, the outside, priest holes and caves, they find nothing.  But then Malcolm goes missing...

This is a tense dramatic tale with romance stitched in.  I love this series and am glad that Stoker and Veronica have admitted they love each other.  They're already on to the next case but maybe one day they'll have enough time talk about their future...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen

This graphic novel does three important things.  It teaches you about nature, about grief, and about how to fix fix arguments.  Talking about how you feel is a good way to communicate but you must listen, too.

Oni Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 16th.

Willow gets tired of her big sister telling her what to do.  She has a temper, she misses her mother, and she convinces herself she doesn't care about what her sister thinks.  She gets in a fight at school.  No one is sure what to do about helping her, and she doesn't want to accept help.  She decides to run away.

As she's picking her way through the woods with her dog, she finds another little girl.  She has eight sisters and she's run away, too.  As they talk to each other, Willow begins to understand that she will need to curb her temper and to stop taking offense over little thing.  Then she works on helping Pilu find her home again.

Willow is starting to open up and understand herself which is necessary for her relationships to be successful.  Pilu learns her mother missed her and why she wasn't paying attention to her.  All of the characters are on the road to recovery.  I'm sure they'll have more things to learn on the way.

The graphics are great and very whimsical.  I enjoyed this tale.

When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb, Merrilee Liddiard

Charley's mother has taught him that being different isn't bad.  He understands that when he applies it to himself but he has a bit of a hard time when he meets his first handicapped person...

Beaming Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Emma has two different legs, one longer than the other and no hands.  The first thing he says is that she's weird but his mother talks to him about how he's learned being different is OK and tells him that's rude.  He apologizes to Emma, who did get her feelings hurt and they play together at the park.  She does things differently but she still does a lot of activities he likes.  It doesn't take long for a wonderful friendship to build.

Here's a good way to teach your young one about a good life skill.  Handicapped people have feelings, too. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway

Cady is living with her dad and they are both homeless.  When her mother died, he started drinking and he's never stopped.  They lost the house, most of their goods, and only have each other.  They live in his van.  But everything changes once he gets arrested.  She's been in foster homes before while he sobered up and met conditions, but this time she gets sent to her aunt that she has never met.  It's her mom's sister.  As they look each other over, neither is too sure how this is going to work out, but it's what her dad wanted...

Balzer & Bray and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 16th.

She finds her aunt lives in the old family home and the room she gets used to be her mother's.  She lost her mom when she was little so she hopes she might some clues left in the house about who she was and what she liked.  The first thing she has to do is adjust to living indoors!

She's fascinated to find that her aunt runs a pie store.  She sells pie in her shop and ships it to those who use their pies in their restaurants and stores.  She's not doing too badly but things are getting tight.  Cady wants to be a chef later in life and she likes working in the pie store.  She even talks her aunt into serving some more pie flavors.  

As they get further behind in paying bills, it looks like they will have to give it all up.  But Cady's not through developing a plan yet...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Snapshot of Murder: A Kate Shackleton Mystery by Frances Brody

Kate likes photography and belongs to a photography club.  They decide to do some traveling together as a club activity.  The first place they go is to an opening of a Bronte Museum.  Seven go.  Only six come home...

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 9th.

In the midst of the ceremony when everyone is crushed together in a crowd, the president of the club falls over dead.  It's no accident or health problem, he's been stabbed.  But by whom?

The cops won't let them go home, so they stay where they had taken rooms and answer cop questions.  Kate has some of her own.  She knows the wife's first love has returned after months of rehabilitation for his war injuries.  She knows a young man from the paper loves her but he's way too young to be a real love interest.  And before she gets back home, Kate learns another of her secrets.

The mystery and the characters were interesting and kept me reading but how the author tied up the ending was just a little too neat.  See what you think and let me know.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Murder from Scratch: A Sally Solari Mystery by Leslie Karst

Sally is very busy running the restaurant she inherited, trying to keep her employees happy and working well together, and just taking care of regular duties.  When her father asks her to take in her cousin whose mother had just died, she feels a bit resentful.  She's blind and will need to have someone around to tour the house, learn where everything is and help around town.  How's she going to be able to do all that in addition to running a restaurant?

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 9th.

Evelyn may be blind but she learns new surroundings quickly and settles into a routine with Sally.  She manages on her own when Sally works.  She also confides in Sally and tells her she doesn't think her mother committed suicide as the cops think.  Things are out of place.  She keeps everything she uses in the same place so she can find it again.  Several things were out of place and she thinks there was someone else there.  She was at her girlfriend's home and wasn't home then.  Even the suicide note was addressed to her full name and her mother never called her that. Sally finds herself agreeing with her and they begin to do some investigating themselves.

There are several people who become suspects.  Her old boss thinks she took recipes from his restaurant with her.  She fired another cook and Rachel hasn't forgotten that.  Max is her friend or is he?

Sally searches until she finds a motive but she makes the mistake of getting too close to the killer...

Daniela the Pirate by Susanna Isern

Blac Croc is the most feared ship on the sea.  It's filled with pirates and they will steal all your goods.  Everyone tries to stay away from it.  Except Daniela.  She wants to find them and join as a pirate!

NubeOcho and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

This story made me feel good.  I've been a tomboy all my life and today is International Women's day so it fits the mood of this story.

She finds the ship and tells the Captain and his crew that she wants to be a pirate, too.  They all laugh.  She pushes the idea until the Captain tells her she'll have to pass tests to prove she'd make a good pirate.  She's up to the challenge.  He gives her various tasks and she passes them all with a flair the other pirates admire.  But the captain isn't impressed.  He says a pirate ship doesn't take women, sorry.  

The ending is the best part of the story.  This story is a good example of presenting yourself well and persisting.  If you try hard, you can get what you want in most cases.

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Door at the End of the World by Caroline Carlson

Lucy's boss has disappeared.  She was going to visit another gatekeeper and she never returned.  Lucy isn't supposed to leave her post nor is she to use the gate.  But she's afraid her gatekeeper is in trouble.  It gets even worse when a boy enters her world by accident.  He doesn't know how he got there.  And she needs to get him back home but the key got stuck in the lock and now the door won't open...

HarperCollins and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 9th.

Lucy goes to find help but unfortunately she ends up held at headquarters.  By accident she finds out what the division head has planned.  And she has herself, the boy from another world, and a young girl smuggler to try to stop it from happening.

They run from world to world, almost get eaten by an animal that's worse than the Tasmanian devil, and the director and her henchmen want to kill them before they ruin her plans.

It's amazing that they live through all the things they do but they manage.  These worlds are magical and unusual (you can lose things without knowing it).  The doors are dangerous.  And nobody is on their side.  But they keep on trying.

I enjoyed this tale.  I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and there's plenty of action all the way through.  Middle graders should love this story.  I did.

The Lost Horse by Mark Nicholas

One day at the art museum, they find the bronze horse gone from its place by the man.  It's too heavy to lift easily.  So who took it and where did it go?  It went where it was needed...

Tate 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.

This is precious fantasy tale about a lonely young girl who lives in large, tall building all by herself.  She wishes she had a horse and one day she finds he comes to her.  He stays a while, too, and she's so very happy.  They go on walks together, she gets to ride him, and he loves being bathed and groomed.  He even snuggles with her.  

As time passes, the bronze man comes to find him.  They all visit together but she knows she's going to lose the horse and it makes her sad.  But the man takes her back with them...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Unquiet Heart by Kaite Welsh

Sarah has been an embarrassment to her parents.  They hold a good position in society and scandal is bad.  She refuses to marry and wants to go to medical school.  They send her to school to remove her from the household but still harp on her getting married.  They think a woman should just be a wife.  She doesn't.  She wants become a doctor and live on her own!

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on May 7th.

Sarah had been raped.  The doctors saw her in such trauma, they did a hysterectomy on her.  So her parents think of her as blighted.  Finding her a husband won't be easy but her aunt manages to find a young man who would marry her.  Sarah doesn't want to marry.  She wants to be a doctor.  But she can't complain too loudly or they will put her back in a sanitarium.  Being a woman at this point in life means conforming, not being different.

Then her future husband is accused of murder.  She doesn't want to marry him, but she also knows he's no killer.  Everyone assumes she's wrong.  But she's not, and she's out to prove it.

As she deals more with him, she finds out he's a nice man.  But she's afraid she's in love with another man.  While she struggles with finding the killer, which man is really her love interest, and trying to still maintain her own freedom, she gets closer to the killer and possibly her own death...

I enjoyed the characters and the challenges Sarah faces.  I'd read another in this series.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Last Stone by Mark Bowden

This story is especially chilling because it's non-fiction.  Two young girls are taken from a mall and never come home again.  They were 10 and 12.  And it took 40 years before their killer had to pay for his crime.  No one will ever know the complete truth...

Atlantic Monthly Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 2nd.

The story begins with a cop looking into cold case files.  As he reads the old records, he decides to talk to someone new.  A young man told police he had seen them talking to man but then they found out his confession was a lie.  They ignored him after that.  But this cop isn't going to.

He visits him in jail and finds out bits and pieces that begin to go together in a big old puzzle.  The young man was a chronic liar, did drugs and booze, and even raped children.  But he claims he didn't kill them.

What the detectives find is that he was himself was abused by his father.  It turns out the whole family is a hotbed of incest and other abuse.  As the man tries to convince them that other family members did the bad things and he was only an observer, they test his stories and find out that's all they are is stories.

Each of the detectives thinks the girls died at the hand of the man in jail but they each have a different version of the truth.  As the man finishes his life in jail, he alone knows what really happened and you can bet he won't tell you...

This tale is sad but it sure points out how dysfunctional families can grow warped children.  Evil is stamped through the entire family. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson by Quinn Sosna-Spear

Walter lives to invent.  It's more fun than school, he watches his projects come to life and he thinks he might want to work with the biggest inventor around.  His father had worked with him.  One of his inventions took his life, though, and Walter's mom doesn't want him to invent things.  She doesn't want to lose him, too.  But his other choice is to be a mortician like she is and he doesn't want to do that...

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on April 2nd.

When his mother makes him destroy all his inventions, he decides to leave home and find the inventor his father worked for.  He takes the family hearse, goes to pick up the one friend he has at school (she even decides to with him), and off they go.  They have several problems along the way.  With no money to speak of, they eat sparingly, only sleep when they have to, and inadvertently run into trouble.  There are cave people who look for magic rock and they stop to sleep right at one of their entrances.  Walter gets taken prisoner.  It takes some doing to get out of there.  The car falls over the cliff and they have no ride, so they are sent on their way with an invention his father made that travels through stone.  Once there, they make their goodbyes and continue on their journey.  The girl is looking forward to seeing the best doctor around.  Walter wants to meet the inventor.  But nothing turns out like they planned.

This is a good inventive story but it's a bit sad.  I wouldn't recommend it for someone under the age of 12.  Everyone learns a lesson in this story.  All in all, it was a good read.

Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles by Thomas Lennon

Ronan's parents are in jail because someone stole an ancient mummy from them before they could transport it to the facility that protects artifacts.  The authorities accuse them of selling it and jail them.  Ronan knows they didn't and he wants to prove them innocent..  So he applies to the secret garda.  They are an Irish police force that try to keep the wee folks from creating trouble.  There are leprechauns, elves, trolls, and a whole lot more to deal with.  Can an awkward small young man with defective eyesight have any hope of winning?  He's determined to do so for his parents.

Amulet Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Ronan has all sorts of dangerous adventures with his boss, who has taken him as an apprentice.  He tries hard, stumbles into a solution here and there but never worries about himself.  He's saving others.  He even sees the man he suspects got the mummy but the man keeps on the move and he can't ask him about it.

With lots of odd little monsters, plenty of action and puns and silliness spread throughout the story, I'm sure any young adults would enjoy this story.  It was an excellent read that kept my attention and made me laugh and I'm a lot older that that!

There's an ironic twist at the end that lets you know there will be more to come.  I want to read what happens next, it's a very good read.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Pip the Gnome and the Forest Feast by Admar Kwant

Pip is a little gnome who lives in the forest.  He picks the favorite food of his friends and feeds it to them.  They love him for doing that.

Floris Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 2nd.

The illustrations are charming, the story is sweet and calming and it would make a good bedtime story book for small ones.

When Pip has fed everyone else, he has nothing for himself.  But all the animals he fed know he likes berries, so they each go pick one and share it with him.  Now everyone has something to eat!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Witch's Kind by Louisa Morgan

Barrie goes out to ring the bell for her dog.  When it hears the bell, it returns home and it's time for a meal.  But it takes while for him to show up.  And, when he turns up, he's carrying a baby in a blanket...

Redhook Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 19th.

This story has some interesting factors in it.  Barrie's family has a special infinity with water; it tells them secrets and helps them see the future.  The child the dog retrieved has ears and gills behind that; it appears to be alien.  And the man she envisioned as her husband for life left her.  She lost the baby she was carrying.  It would have been fine but her husband came back.  And he's no good, through and through.

She keeps hats on the baby, buries the baby's mother, and loves it like it was her own.  She and her aunt live together.  They raise crops on the farm and sell the produce and goods they produce from it.

There are people looking for her husband.  His story of his time in the service is all a lie.  She wants nothing to do with him and tells him so.  Then he steals her baby because he can sell it.  Never anger a witch...

Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy by Joshua S. Levy

Spacecraft has made space travel the same as going by car.  There are various planets being occupied by either humans or aliens.  The humans keep to themselves.  Students still have to go to school.  But no one was anticipating being invaded...

Carolrhoda Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 5th.

When aliens attack the ship they take classes in and then board and take them prisoners, there's nothing they can do but go.  The aliens outnumber them and don't hesitate to shoot.  But not everybody goes quietly.

Jack and his friends escape but when they try to rescue the others from the aliens, they get caught again.  They don't give up.  Jack has a secret weapon his father left for him.  It's another ship but it needs special fuel and they have to find some on the planet they are on before they can leave.  That's quite an adventure.  Then they have to get far away enough from the planet to use full speed.  There are tons of enemy ships and their ship has no fire power.  What can they do?

Even the ending leaves you full (and them) full of questions.  What happened while they were incarcerated?  Where will they go next?

It's an exciting read with lots of odd creatures, aliens, and other dangers to be conquered or evaded to escape.  You know the aliens aren't done yet.  I expect there will be a sequel to this book to show the answers to the questions you're left with.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Who Slays the Wicked by C. S. Harris

Sebastian is asked to work on another case.  He would have even if they had not asked.  The victim was married to his niece and he wants it resolved soon.  He worries that maybe she might have killed him.  He was a very evil man and he can't understand why she married him.

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 2nd.

The more he searches, the more people he finds dead.  Who would have killed them all?  Everyone he speaks to is holding some truth back and won't come clean.  Hero tries to help him but she can't get too involved because it's dangerous.

There's a fortune teller, some Russian diplomats,  and several people with money involved.  There's more than one killer.  What he finds is a political plot, illegal activities, and more than one evil man.  He's still not sure if the killer was male or female but the closer he gets, the more dangerous it gets.  He's in more than one fight, he almost gets killed, and even when he identifies the killer, it's a fight to the end.

I've read this entire series and enjoy them.  There's a lot going on and it takes a bit to finish the book, but they're always good.  This one was well worth the read.

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter Diane Magras

Drest has saved her family and the Lord of the castle but the Uncle has declared his nephew dead due to her hand so he can take over the kingdom.  He's put a huge price on her head, too.  Even villagers would kill her for that much money.  She has no choice but to run.  She does but she intends to stand her ground, fight back and tell her story.  She's from a warrior family but they don't kill unless it is necessary.

Kathy Dawson Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 5th.

This is the second book in a series but I missed the first book.  It was easy to pick up the story line and I had no trouble reading it as a stand alone.

The Lord is young man but he's been wounded by a knight.  Drest saved him and has taken him to a healer.  He's slow to recuperate and they rest at home longer than they should.  When they find the soldiers are coming, her father sends her and the Lord to the woods to hide.

It's a good thing she was taught about warrior ways because she needs those skills.  She has more than one knight attempting to catch her for the reward.  The soldiers want to kill her and the Lord both.  It's a long hard attempt to hide when the Lord needs help walking and people are preying on them everywhere.  She tries to go back to their original home but finds that's a trap.  She almost dies on the beach.  Will the family survive?

This was an exciting good read and I enjoyed it.  I know middle graders will love it, too.

A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore

Sophie is taken with the ideas of monsters.  She knows she's one because of the blood tumor on her face.  She wasn't born with it, it came later and she's sure it's from a witch's curse.

Edelweiss and Shadow Mountain allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 5th.

Sadie starts by looking for a good witch to remove the curse.  She meets a nearby neighbor lady she's sure is a good witch.  She uses herbs for healing and makes delicious cookies.  She memorizes the monster book and finds them in school and in the people around her.  She wants to be more human so her mother will continue to love her.  Unfortunately, her blood tumor isn't getting smaller and her mother wants her to have surgery to remove it.

When their car failed them on the drive home, a man on a motorcycle stopped to help.  He has a scar, too, but it doesn't bother her.  She just thinks he might be a modern version of a myth and might be trying to take her mother away.  When she actually talks to him, she finds that he can offer her some on her to deal with the tumor.  After all, he's had a lot of experience since he got injured in the war.  He lost a lot of his friends when he came back home.  She listens but she's not sure that will work for her.

As she finds who really loves her and who her friends are, she also learns about compassion.  She has a final choice where she can be selfish or help.  She makes the right decision.

This is a great read for children that are different.  Don't let that difference define you...