Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Almanack by Martine Bailey

Tabitha is hurrying home because her mother needs her.  She's devastated to find that she died before she got there.  The worst part is that when she examines her body, she finds it was not a natural death, it was murder.  The doctor disagrees and says she drowned, but Tabitha knows better.  She intends to find her murderer.  But the people in their town aren't very willing to work with her.  She had been a prostitute to make enough money to stay alive while she was in London and they've heard about it...

Severn House and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 1st.

She visits those who will talk to her, searching for the truth.  She finds out more than she wanted to know and now has to fear for her own life and the lives of those she loves.  She told everyone Bess was her baby, but she wasn't.  Her new love is a special man but she doesn't know him that well and wonders about what he isn't telling her.  When he becomes a target for vengeance, she is determined to save him.

Set back in 1752, everyone believes in superstitions.  Gossip is rampant, reputations are shattered easily, and with people dying, Tabitha begins to think that someone is poisoning them.  She and her new love are the only ones that believe that.  Everyone just blows her off.  Can she solve the murders soon enough to save her own life?  Can she save her love from hanging?

Tabitha is fighting an uphill battle but she doesn't give up.  She's been independent for some time, so she can take care of herself.  But she's not as strong as her opponent.  You don't know who is going to win until the last pages of the book...

You really feel like you're living in that era as you read this; it sounds authentic.  It's an intriguing mystery.

Benice: An Adventure of Love and Friendship by Metin Karayaka, Rohan Daniel Eason (Illustrated by)

He's an odd looking fisherman in his village but he always catches the biggest fish.  He looks more like a pirate than a fisherman.  Levand asks him to teach him to fish so he will learn how he catches such big fish.  That's not all he learns!

Yunka Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published and you can grab a copy now.

He tells Levand his name is Ben Ice and that he can read the currents in the ocean and that's how he finds the fish.  It doesn't take long for him to become friends with him.  And when Ben is going on adventure, he invites Levand to go with him.  He leaves his aunt and his sisters behind and goes but he doesn't realize what kind of trip it will be.  Ben used to be a pirate alright and now that he's on the open sea, he becomes one again.

Levand is treated like a pawn when they meet up with the pirates again.  He's put in the dungeon, but he develops two friends there.  Pirates don't have many friends.  Ben has been searching for an elixir for his wife and he knows it went down on a ship.  He joins up with another pirate to get the boxes that contain it.  Someone has been there before him, the boxes of treasure are empty, but he's the only one who knows where the elixir is hidden.  Before he can find it, the other pirates attack.

This is a tale of love and loss and pirates that will stick with you a while.  I had to read it because it was about pirates and I'm fond of those types of stories.  It was a good read and I enjoyed it. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Little Girls by Nicholas Aflleje, Sarah Delaine, Ashley Lanni, Adam Wollet

Sam and her father have lived in many different places and she's getting tired of trying to learn a new language and attempting to make friends at different schools.  They are are in Ethiopia now and nobody wants anything to do with her.  They call her names.  When she sees them harassing another girl, she goes over and tells them to leave her alone.  They claim they can beat her up because there are more of them but she calls their bluff and they leave.  That's how she meets Lielet.  They become friends.

Image Comics invited me to review this graphic novel (thank you).  It will be published today.

They visit each other, hang out together and Sam learns more about Ethiopia.  She even learns about the monster who lives in the woods.  They decide they are going to try to find him.  That's not a good idea.  This monster eats people.  But they feel strong together.

The monster is big and ugly and nobody I'd want chasing me.  They work on how they will find him and how they can stop him.  It's a good thing they have brains.  It's the only thing that's keeping them alive.

The illustrations are very good and the story lends itself well to graphic novel form.  This is one I will remember for a while.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Silent Footsteps by Jo Bannister

Hazel Best is a constable, so when she sees a young man she's already put in jail once getting argumentative with a man on transit, she steps in.  He's drawn a knife and she gets his attention and then asks for the knife.  He hesitates but he gives it to her.  As they all get off at the next stop, the man she saved thanks her for her help.  She assumes that's the end of that but she's so wrong...

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

First she finds flowers on her porch.  Then candy.  She finds the man again and tells him if he's trying to thank her through presents to please stop.  She can't accept things like that.  He tells her it wasn't him.  Then she starts getting envelopes of pictures.  Of her.  She doesn't see anyone watching her, so it spooks her.

Then the young man who harassed the man is found dead.  His gang blames it on the rival gang but they don't kill people.  Whoever attacked him did if from behind and then continued beating him.  It was a crime of passion.

Next is a female journalist that freelanced articles.  That leads Hazel to a businessman known for doing dirty business.  He says he never killed anybody.

As she tries to make sense of these crimes, her stalker is working his way up to frenzy.

This is a good mystery with a hidden killer in the midst of their small community.  Despite having friends who try to keep her safe, she's not.  And now she has to defend them... 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Trailblazer by Michelle Diener

Tally River got stuck on a ghost ship.  They were going to check it out and someone opened fire on them.  They killed her partner and the ship she was on escaped to stay alive.  No one has come back yet so she's searching out the ship looking for food and blankets and other necessities.  When she finds an odd pebble like thing she picks it up and it sinks into her skin.  She's no longer alone.  She doesn't know what they are but they protect her and make her stronger.  She won't tell anyone about it.

This is a Goddess Fish Blog Tour and the author shared a copy of this book with me.  It has been published so you can grab a copy of it now.

When she's rescued they think she has mental problems from her time on the vacant ship and they send her on a new assignment.  There she meets Ben.  She knows he's deadly and that he's not what he's telling them he is.  She also is attracted to him.

With a traitor, war going on, and people trying to kill them because they saw something they shouldn't, there's plenty of action and lots of danger.

This author writes a good tale with intrigue and love and a very real danger.  Tally is their target and Ben tries to protect her but she does a pretty good job on her own.  You won't be bored and this is a good space tale.  The author keeps the tension up throughout the story and when the warring party begins killing it's own, it makes it even more complicated.  You won't be bored.

Michelle Diener will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N 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!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

Poe was an orphan, so was Call.  They'd grown up together and as time went on they fell in love with each other.  They are on the dredge digging up gold for the Admiral.  When they get to the turnaround point, they intend to leave the dredge and run.  They don't know what they will find and they may die but it's better than living in the Outpost.  Plans go awry when the raiders board them and they kill Call.  She makes up her mind that she will take revenge on them...

Dutton Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It was published a couple of days ago and you can grab a copy now.

She begins by armoring the last dredge.  She doesn't want more people to die.  She still can't figure out why the Admiral wants all the gold.  Or why the raiders want it.  But she intends to kill as many raiders as she can to get even.  

The Admiral sends her out on the dredge for the last gold haul.  She tells him she will go only if he makes her captain of the dredge.  He doesn't like it but he agrees.  It doesn't take long until she finds out there is traitor on her team.  Things are sabotaged, the shoot out with the raiders results in casualties.  The worst part is the team member next to her is shot and killed but he's shot by someone on board.  Who?

Poe is starting to fall in love again and feels guilty about that and isn't sure she can trust him.  When the traitor makes it possible for the raiders to get on board, it really turns into a mess.  

The more you read the more it looks impossible for Poe to get out of the situation alive.  But she's resourceful, her friends really are her friends, and I'd read another book in this series to see how it all works out in the long run.

This is written for young adults but it's exciting enough to hold an adult's attention.  Sometimes trying to find your dream takes a long time...

The Green Soldier by J. Edward Gore

This is an historical account of the Civil War with fictional characters.  The author gives you authentic emotions and conflicted characters that draw you into the story and make you worry about them.  

The author and Goddess Fish Blog shared this book with me (thank you).  It will be published March 29th.

This war had brothers and fathers and sons all fighting, sometimes against each other.  Some thought slavery was bad, some thought they were better off on a farm working.  Many viewed them as animals but, while John had no experience with slaves, he found himself helping one and he was a person just like us.  

Much of this story is sad.  There are war casualties, sickness problems, desertions, and more as they keep fighting.  John keeps up with the troops and kills who he must.  He stutters and he wasn't able to speak to warn his friend of the bayonet coming at him.  He felt like he had killed him personally.  But he has found himself a girlfriend in his travels and tries to think about the future not dwell on the past.

It's a bit hard to read because of the war but it gives you good insight to the conditions they fought in and how hard it was to survive.  There's a good history lesson here.

J. Edward Gore will be awarding a $25 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!

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.

Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrated by)

Suzy is tired of boring summers.  Then she finds out there is a retired circus performer living in her area.  She also finds that her Uncle ...