Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro

Ms. Shapiro words pour like water from a creek telling the story of a woman having a midlife crisis.  She's lost the child she was bearing and she wanted to have one so badly.  Her husband says they still can.  If necessary, they can adopt.  She's not sure about that.  She's not sure about her life at all at this stage...

Catapult Book sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

Emily is getting close to her fortieth birthday when she inherits an old camp that a relative has left her.  She and her husband have big plans to refurbish and bring it to life again but they didn't realize how derelict it had gotten.  They begin work on it but there's so much more to do.  Maybe this wasn't a good idea.

Emily is shocked when she finds someone living in one of the cabins.  Stella is young.  She swims in the lake and drinks wine and is enjoying her time in the cabin.  She was supposed to have a female friend with her but she went on to school, so she's alone.  Emily visits with her and likes her.

From this chance meeting, Emily finds she's attracted to Stella.  She's confused.  She's kissed Stella and enjoyed it but she loves her husband.  Where will she go from here?

There's more trauma and more soul searching for Emily to go through.  Who will she choose?

You never know what a summer off might bring...

Monday, April 29, 2019

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Tyler rescues the sole survivor on a derelict ship.  It slows him down enough that when he gets back to the station, everyone has already picked their crews and he gets the dregs.  He was #1 in the class and should have gotten first pick, but he wasn't there.  He's even more astonished when he finds out the girl he saved was over 200 years old.  She was frozen in space and survived but now she's in a world she doesn't know with people she's never met before...

Knopf Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published May 7th.

Her name is Aurora and she has unusual powers.  She didn't before but something has changed.  She doesn't even realize how powerful she is and she doesn't remember what she did either.  The others around her do.

When Tyler and his crew go to head out on assignment, she stows aboard their ship.  When they find her she tells them the captain told her to go with them.

Before long, they find out two different parties want Aurora.  She doesn't want to go with either of them.  And, in short order, Tyler goes from a straight dedicated commander to a thief.  Aurora becomes a killer.  And if Tyler and his crew don't run fast, all of them will be killed.  They saw something that they shouldn't.

With odd characters, strange places and lots of danger all around, this is an exciting story to read.  I haven't decided what Aurora really is yet but I know who she loves.  What they find out is that there is great danger on the planet Aurora used to live on and it's looking to take over other worlds.  The powers to be are being quiet about it, but everyone could lose themselves if this being succeeds.

It will be interesting to see how the authors continue this story.  Being on the run isn't the safest life...

Sunday, April 28, 2019

A Plain Vanilla Murder (China Bayles Mystery #27) by Susan Wittig Albert

China and Ruby Wilcox are putting on a class about vanilla.  It's well attended and both of them feel good about the presentation.  China is friends with the police chief, who is very pregnant.  When the chief finds out a botany professor has been killed, it doesn't take long for her to determine it wasn't suicide as everyone would like to think.  China is good at listening to local gossip and ferreting out the truth so she's anxious to help the chief solve this crime.

Persevero Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

They find the professor isn't a very nice man.  He sleeps with students, was involved in an accident where one student died, seems to be importing rare orchids and selling them using his work space he created without permission using grant money.  He has lots of people who hate him from his ex-wife to the people he works with, to the families of the girls he sleeps with.  Who hated him enough to kill him?

Learning about vanilla was interesting and it was easy to dislike the man who died.  When the killer is determined, you almost want to spare them.  They suffered a very bad hurt and they just hurt him back.  Ms. Albert makes you care about her characters and writes good mysteries.  See if you can guess who the murderer is before the end...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Dagger Before Me by Jeanne M. Dams

Dorothy and Alan are back again.  Dorothy is getting cabin fever and wants to do some traveling.  Alan has been reading an old history book and suggests she might want to go see some of the buildings mentioned in there.  She's amenable to that suggestion and they do that for a while.  Then they get an invitation to come and stay for the baptizing of a young son and become his godparents.  That sounds good to them, the father of the child was someone Alan knew long ago, and Dorothy has never seen that part of the country.  No one expected what came next...

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

The first disaster they find is that the dagger that is supposed to be part of the ceremony is missing.  It's a family heirloom and it's always used when baptizing the next male heir to the house and grounds.  Without it, they can't baptize the baby or they'll lose that inheritance.  Who would have taken it from the cupboards?  Where did it go?

If that wasn't bad enough, a woman is found dead in the hotel.  She's been stabbed by a dagger but not the missing one; she's been exposed to smoke inhalation; and, she's been poisoned.  She had just informed the father of the baby that she was his mother.  Which probably means he can't inherit that property.  

What a mess Dorothy and Alan have found.  They try to help the young father because the police like the father as a suspect.  Dorothy finds the dagger outside in the snow.  Alan discovers the lawyer he's been using has been embezzling.  How does this all add up?

The killer is a shock.  Ms. Dams always writes a good mystery and this is another of them.  I really enjoy the team of Dorothy and Alan.  They make good investigators.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Switchback by Danika Stone

It's a class requirement that they go on an overnight hike in the mountains.  Vale does mind hiking but hates her classmates, except Ash.  Ash gets along with the classmates but has never hiked.  They team together for the mountain hike.  She can help him hike, he can keep the bullies away from her.  It's all going as it should until they stay to pick up some trash left by the bullies and then find themselves alone.  The rest of the kids and the teachers have gone on without them.  They had been counted as being part of the group but left it to make the area pristine again.  Now they are alone and don't know where to go...

Macmillan's Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on May 28th.

They start out on the trail thinking it won't take long to catch up again but they never see the others again.  As they walk along it starts to get dark and begins raining.  Vale knows how to make a shelter and they work on that.  No one brought any matches so they can't start a fire.  Then Vale remembers a technique she read about and uses gum wrappers and a battery to get it started.  

She had to get the fire started because not only was it cold and wet, when she went out to go to the bathroom, she saw deer going through camp and a mountain lion leaped out of their tree to take one down.  She didn't want him coming to visit them during the night.

There's snow in the morning and the trail is buried.  It's getting more dangerous for them by the day.  Especially since now they are in bear territory and it's grizzly bears they have to fear.  They have no food or water so they find water first.

They learn just how far they can go.  Elements can be cruel and so can animals.  Will they finally find help or will they die in the mountains?  It could go either way...

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Fair Game by Annette Dashofy

Zoe is at the county fair.  She has a horse to show in competition and she's working as staff on the ambulance as well.  With a bossy friend, her old 4-H teacher and an old crush from the past, life is little complicated.  It gets more complicated when a murder shows up...

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

They have a missing woman at the fair.  Her husband can't locate her and she's not answering her phone.  Pete, Zoe's boyfriend, is trying to trace her movements and locate her.  When he does, she's dead.  It looks like it was an accident except her head was hit and falling down in bushes at the roadside won't do that.  Was it murder?

Then a body is found in one of the demolition buses.  It's the famous judge they brought in for the fair and he won't be judging anything anymore. He had several enemies and it's hard to find who would have had access to him and would know him locally.  He was from here but it was years ago.  He still had an enemy, though.

As Zoe and Pete work on the case, they get closer to the truth all the time.  The problem is that while this is going on, Zoe is trying to unite a father and son who have just found each other. His mother doesn't want him to have anything to do with his father.  Zoe soon finds out why.

This is an interesting tale with lots of drama thrown in.  The ending is special.  Pete has a surprise for Zoe.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Ethereal Squadron by Shami Stovall

She came from a family of sorcerers.  She has magic and can use her powers to help her in the war that she's fighting in.  Her father thought she was worthless.  She leaves home and joins the Ethereal Squad.  They don't take women, so she has dressed as man and tries to act like one.  Only the doctor knows she's a woman.  The war is going as expected with both sides winning and losing.  The sorcerers they are fighting against have come up with a new weapon that is deadly to all.  Even the ones who have survived beheading can be killed the fog that creeps up from canisters.  Now she has a new assignment.  Sneak into enemy territory and find out what it is...

Goddess Fish Blog Tours and the author graciously shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  The book has been published and is available now for purchase.

Geist lost her team of men to the fog.  Now the commander wants her to lead another team in.  She's not as close to those men.  Many of them have secrets just like her.  And she has to learn to trust them.  Just like they have to learn to trust her.

They have illusion they can use, she can be invisible and she can kill people with her bare hands.  The others all have talents that are very useful.  But it's a small group entering the compound that the enemy uses a base.  There are a lot more of them.

If that wasn't dangerous enough, Geist has fallen in love with a German defector.  He loves her, too.  But they can't do anything about it.  The others think she's a man and she doesn't want them to know she isn't.  Even worse, this compound has her father in it.  She's sure he'll recognize her.

Will there ever be peace or will the fog kill everyone?  Can her team succeed against great odds?  And what will happen when they find out she's female?

This was a very good read with lots of action.  The warfare is not gentle but I enjoyed the magic and the character interactions.

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble 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, April 23, 2019

The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

Ailsa has inherited the home she grew up in.  She only inherited half, her father owns the other half.  But he's been missing for years.  She's trying to get him declared dead so she can sell the house.  But the house doesn't intend to let her go...

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 23rd.

It's a manor house in Scotland that is fairly isolated.  Her nearest neighbor is a mile away.  She has her half-sister with her but the house is still a bit creepy.  Doors slam when there's no one there, she hears things she can't identify, and there's a locked door none of the keys fit.

Her boyfriend is a journalist and won't take the time to come and stay with her.  She's sensing a breakup.  She has some new friends but she doesn't know who's really a friend and who is just acting like it.

Ailsa doesn't know it but there is a lot of old history here from her parents.  When she gets the door open to the attic room, she finds lots of pictures from the past and starts making some connections.  These connections are disturbing and also dangerous.

The facts are slowly dished out throughout the story and keep you reading.  While unpleasant things were happening, I was anxious to find out what was going on.  At the end, the matter is settled and it looks like new romance is in her life.  Somehow I don't think her adventures are over.  The journalist in her is a fact finder and she'll keep doing it...

Monday, April 22, 2019

F is for Fairy by Rhonda Parrish

This is an anthology of fairy stories.  Some have the flavor of old tales, some are wicked, some are good, and some are very modern, but none of them are boring.  I love reading about fairies.  They are fantasy but I still love the idea.  I want good fairies, though, not wicked ones.

Library Thing and the publisher, Poise and Pen Publishing allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 7th.

There is a story for every letter of the alphabet so there's plenty of reading matter.  All the stories are varied and well-written.  I enjoyed them all but one stands out as my favorite:  M by Rachel M. Thompson.

Her tale is about a princess her father is ready to marry her off.  She doesn't want to marry a dumb man, so they go through a series of mind tests: riddles and the like.  She's surprised when an owl talks to her but she listens to him and finds some princes are cheating,  She exposes them and they leave in disgrace.  When she finally meets a prince she likes, she realizes it's the owl in human form.  He becomes her choice.  He's fairy, so they have to compromise on how life will go on, but marry they do,  and they live happily ever after.

The ending subtitle for this story is:  M is for Maturity.

I liked the fact that she chose the man she wanted and lived happily ever after.  So what he was a fairy, it just makes it a bit more interesting.

I'm sure you'll find a story or two that you like especially well, too.  There are all kinds for all tastes.  Give it a try, it was a good fantasy read.

Galloglass by Scarlett Thomas

Effie Truelove and her school friends Lexy, Wolf, Maximilian, and Raven know that there is going to be a major event at Midwinter.  It's supposed to be a festival but the Diberi are back again and still trying to destroy their world.  They have to learn how to use their magic to stop them.  They already know some of their powers but Effie hasn't found all of hers yet.  No one can help her, she has to find it herself...

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review.  It will be published May 21st.

Effie travels the other world to visit the shops and have a good lunch.  She has a test to take to see just what kind of magic she has.  As a result of the test, they take her into custody and talk about banning her from the other world or maybe just killing her now because what she was was bad.  She escapes and then talks to those in her world who also had nothing nice to say about her classification.  Only her friends stick with her.

Raven is a witch and is searching for her familiar.  Wolf is looking for his sister.  Lexy is being abused by the guest at their house, and she's afraid to tell anyone because then her mother won't get the prize she's been hoping for.  Max has his own quest going.  And Effie is trying to figure out how to get into the flow, making her magic strong.

Everyone is fighting the Diberi and oblivion is looming.  Will they get it together in time to save their world?

This is an exciting read and it looks like another adventure might be on it's own way in another book. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Leyla by Galia Bernstein

Leyla is a baby monkey.  She's a bit of an introvert though and her big family intimidates her.  One day she gets mad enough to run away...

Abrams Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published May 21st.

Leyla runs until she can't hear them any more and then goes on to a clearing.  She's alone.  There's no one there and no one to check on her or feed her or anything.  Then she notices a lizard.  She had stumbled over a rock and hurt her foot so she asked him it he would kiss it to make it better, but he said he was busy.  She asked busy doing what since he was just sitting there.  He said he was busy doing nothing and then shows her how.  It's relaxing and renewing for her.  When she's done doing nothing, she goes back home.  So many monkeys there kiss her foot, they almost lose her!  But now she knows how to draw within herself and get some rest.  She can even go to the forest if she needs to for peace and quiet.

The illustrations are great.  Leyla is quite a character and all the animals are nice.  This would make a good bedtime story for young ones.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Windy Day by Tony Sandoval

She's making a kite.  She loves flying it on a windy day.  She asks her brother if he wants to come along but he's busy with something else and he says no.  As she walks through the woods she feels like someone is watching her but she can't see them.  Just as she gets her kite nice and high, a pirate cloud appears.  They'll steal her kite but there's no way to stop them...

Lion Forge and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book (thank you).  It will be published May 14.

They grab the kite, and run down the string to get her!  They're goblins and they eat children.  She's scared.  But when a big wolf dog comes out of the forest to her aid, she has hope.  

This is a story of a developing friendship.  I enjoyed it.  My dog protected me when I was young so I can relate.

Isabella and the Candy Floss Clouds by Kate Mahoney-Veitch

Isabella has a great imagination!  She's riding in car on her way to visit her Nanny and admires the big white fluffy clouds in the air.  In no time at all, she and her animals are in the ckouds and they've turned into pink candy floss...

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

They eat the candy and play in it.  She's having fun until it gets soggy.  Then she moves to a clean spot and the animals lick the mess off her.  As she looks at them in the clouds, she sees all the shapes of the clouds.  There's a star, a heart and more.  Just as she reaches the end of the story, they reach her Nanny's.

Ms. Wills' illustrations add to the story's charm and young reader's will love this story.  Candy clouds, how could you not love it?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught

Someone stole the money from Jesse's Dad's desk at the school.  Since he was responsible for it, he assumes the blame.  Jesse knows he didn't do it.  So she decides to figure out who did.

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

Jesse has her dog, Sam-Sam, a Pomeranian, and a new friend she's acquired to help her.  Sam-Sam is not learning to locate bombs as she would like.  Her Mom is in the service and she has a bomb sniffing dog so Jesse wanted to imitate her.  She uses bacon for Sam-Sam but he still doesn't get that he's supposed to dig the plastic container up.  She keeps on working on it.

She and Springer begin gathering information to find out who the real thief is.  It's hard for them to do because the school has bullies that won't let them alone.  They already gave Springer a black eye.  Jesse can pretty well defend herself but she'd rather not confront them.  They say mean things about them both.   They were going to fight them in the hallway but Jesse had water bottles with her and she hit them with them dropping water all over them.  She ended up in the principle's office for it but she defended herself.

Nothing is done about the bullies, she has to find the real thief herself, and then a big wind storm flattens her house and most others in her neighborhood.  She saves her aunt but she was really hunting for her dog.  Her aunt wasn't supposed to be home but she skipped her nail appointment.  When she finds Sam-Sam, he goes over to the neighbors and shows the rescue crew where those folks were trapped.  They take both Jesse and Sam-Sam around the neighborhood rescuing people until the rescue dogs finally show up.

It takes a lot of effort but she does identify the thief.  The school even finally deals with the bullies.  Jesse might be handicapped but she's capable of taking care of herself.  And Springer helps because he can talk her down when she gets fretful.  I think we have a good team going here.

This was a busy story with lots of confrontations and lots of excitement.  It's a very good read. 


Isabella at Gymnastics by Kate Mahoney-Veitch

Isabella is a girl of my heart,  I, too, loved books when I was little (still do) and I had a stuffed animal, too.  Just one.  My panda bear went everywhere with me.  I love her batch of toys!

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

She takes some of her stuffed animals with her when she goes to the gym and lets them watch her exercise.  Then she takes them home and tells them a story about them exercising in the gym.  When one falls off the balance beams because it was pushed, she makes the other one apologize.  She's raising her toys right!

Ms Wills' illustrations are charming and add to the sweetness of the story.  This is a great series for little ones.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dead Extra by Sean Carswell

Jack was reported as killed in action and they had a funeral service at home.  He was actually missing in action and when he arrives home everyone thinks he's a ghost.  He's no ghost and he is broken hearted to find out his wife has died thinking he was dead.  Then her twin tells him it was no accident like the cops said.  It was murder.

Jack begins by reading a book she wrote.  His father put her in an asylum because she was drinking and running around after Jack's supposed death.  She writes about the awful the conditions, the work all must do and how they are really slaves working without wages.  She gets out by making a deal but it's for more than she bargained for.  She was to play an instrument that she was good at, doing a strip tease at the same time.  She finishes and gets ready to leave, they give her a drink and while she's unconscious, they rape her. 

He begins digging into the case.  He used to be a cop so he knows how to investigate.  He keeps getting warned to stay out of it but he's not listening.  They killed his wife and he wants justice.

Can he find the killer and avenge his wife or will he be dead just like she is?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Swimming for Sunlight by Allie Larkin

Katie's life is falling apart.  She's had two miscarriages and now her husband wants a divorce.  Meeting his girlfriend at the lawyer's office doesn't make her feel better.  She's so sure she's a failure.  So she moves back to Florida with her dog, Bark, to live at her grandmother's house.  Nan has always been a source of comfort for her.  She loved her even when her own mother didn't seem to.  But she's changed, tool.

Atria Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 23rd.

Nan has lost weight, got her hair cut short and looks years younger.  She still offers comfort and love but she's busy now.  She cooks healthy food (Katie doesn't like it, Nan is vegan now) and she exercises.  She's also playing mermaid just like she and her friends did years ago.

Katie's skills are in sewing so she goes to talk to the tailor she used to work for.  He offer her job before she asks, so now she can earn some money on her own.  As she meets her grandmother's friends, she finds they are still the ones she had before.  She knows Nan has a boyfriend (grandfather has been dead for many years), but she doesn't know who it is.

When she finds her ex-husband is married again and the lady is remodeling the house, it upsets her.  She had the house the way she wanted it, now it's being changed and looks awful.  Not only that but his new wife is pregnant.  She couldn't have any with him and he's replaced her with a woman could.

Between feeling like the divorce must be her fault and remembering her father dying while they were swimming together makes her feel like a failure.  It almost takes a miracle for her to understand that bad things in life happen and you have to keep moving forward.  Sometimes it's no one's fault.

The story ends with her coming into her own and developing a new love interest.  Sometimes life is hard.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters

Edgar Allan Poe is young at the start of this story.  He's looking forward to going to college and getting away from his adopted father but he can't go unless his father pays.  His father wants him to stop writing poetry and settle down into a working life.  He's driven to write poetry.  It's his passion in life.  His adopted father would cut it off totally if he could.

Amulet Books shared this book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Edgar has a young woman he loves and he asks her to wait for him to return to college.  She agrees.  Then he meets his muse.  She's a dark woman that leaves soot wherever she goes.  She encourages his writing.  She wants him to let her be seen.  He's not sure about that.

His muse is a hit at college.  The boys there think she's great.  But when he comes home, his father goes after her with his rifle.  He shoots her and Edgar is afraid she'll die...  She does, but she comes back again.

This is fantasy novel with the muse being a girl who is turning into a raven.  The boy and his father hate each other.  Life is tough for Edgar.  (It was in real life, too.)  This is an interesting read about a well-known author and his muses.  Most people don't have live muses but Edgar wasn't like most people.  I found the story intriguing.  Why don't you give it try?


Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants (Questioneers #2) by Andrea Beaty

Ada likes science.  She learns what she can and then she experiments.  Her brother isn't very happy when she experiments with his tennis shoes.  She was testing the way hot and cold worked on smells.  Hot made it smell worse.  Before she can go on to another test, her girlfriend shows up and tells her that her Uncle was wearing his helium pants and the guy holding the rope lost it and now he's floating around town.  Can Ada help get him back down?

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

The firemen try to come to the rescue but he's just out of reach of their tallest ladders.  Ada finally comes up with an idea but she's no good at getting the tennis balls where she wants them.  Will she able to save him or will he float out to space?

Science is exciting with Ada!

Monday, April 15, 2019

An Officer's Vow by Penny Hampson

Nate was injured in the war and as he heads home, he feels he has nothing to live for.  He's not much of a man anymore since his leg gives out on him, and he doesn't want his father to feel pity for him.  While he's wallowing in these bad thoughts, his horse suddenly spooks and he manages to lose his seat and, of course, he falls on his bad leg.  As he tries to recover from the fall, he finds a young female attempting to care for him.  It seems she was in the bushes and spooked the horse and she's worried she injured him.  He tells her it was a war injury and if she helps him get up he'll continue his journey.  He asks why she's out there all alone.  She tells him and he takes her with him...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published.

It seems Lottie's father has died and the boy she was hoping to marry died in the war, so his younger brother intends to marry her and then steal all the money her father left her.  He's distasteful, grabs parts of her body, and then she finds he plans to sell her to a brothel to get rid of her.  So she runs.

Nate intends to keep her safe.  He can't do that too well with a bad leg but he can take her home and with his father and the staff she will be protected.  That's if they make it there.

The rejected suitor is after her so he can have her money.  If they weren't having enough trouble hiding, the Duke gets  involved and his help leads them into a dangerous situation.  They've become a team.

I enjoyed this story.  It has lots of adventures, the Duke is almost more of an enemy than a friend and the romance bounces back and forth.  Neither one has said they love the other so it gets all confusing.  But it ends well.  For a while there, I wasn't sure... 

Tamamo the Fox Maiden: and Other Asian Stories Kel McDonald, Kate Ashwin, Lucy Bellwood

I like reading Asian fairy tales.  They can be sweet and they can be as evil as a demon or god.  This collection is full of fantastic tales that I will remember at odd moments.

Iron Circus Comics and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will publish today.

This graphic novel makes it easy for you to see the story as well as read about it.  All the stories are good.  There's even one about Mulan in this collection.

Many of the tales are short so you get a lot of stories .  My favorite was about a man who helped an animal escape a trap.  The animal was magical and came to thank him.  He told it he needed no thanks but she's determined to help him.  The problem is her help is a bit awkward.  She turns into a teapot and he sells her in his booth downtown.  Then the new owner decides to make tea (What else do you do with a teapot?)  and she manages to hold it together until he puts her on the fire to boil.  She changes form and leaves fast and he comes to complain.  She apologizes to him.  The man she's trying to help offered his money back and more.  But the "teapot" owner says it's OK.  And then the man comes up with an idea to make money and use her talents for good.  Soon they are both having fun.

Magic abounds in these pages.  With demons, emperor's who are as bad demons, and monsters on every corner, you never know how it's going to turn out.  You could be eaten or you could be aided by the creature you meet.  That's what makes them fun to read.

Why not have a read and then tell me which story was your favorite?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Dreamtime: First Fantastic Collection (Completely Fractured Fiction Book 1) by Mark Le Dain

What caught my eye on this anthology was the fact that it was a mix of types of stories and it compared to the Twilight Zone.  I loved that program.  This book truly had stories that would have been welcome on the show.

There are 19 tales here.  They make you wonder if perhaps what you're reading might be a glimpse into the future.  Some are intriguing.  What if you had to live within your carbon footprint or else there are consequences?

Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing let me read this book for review.  It will be published April 15th.

How about if you could clone yourself?  Look at all the work you could get done then.  Or maybe you'd want to live in a world where there's market for everything, including your life...

All the stories are fascinating and hold your attention.  They are set in the future and some sound reasonable.  Some aren't very nice at all.  But you'll read them all.

Why not enter the Twilight Zone and see if you come out OK on the other side.

The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Kira lived in the woods, all alone.  She did what she had to to survive but she doesn't remember a lot of what happened.  A search and rescue group found her and Cady adopts her.  She loves her family she's been adopted into but she's not good at human interaction.  She doesn't like small talk or talking with other people.  She doesn't make friends easily.  And she's frustrated that she doesn't remember her beginnings but Cady thinks that's good.  Why remember bad things?  Now she's part of Cady's search and rescue team.

Freeform and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 7th.

When Cady's father shows up and asks her to help him find a missing child, she doesn't want to.  She hasn't forgiven him for not saving her boyfriend at the time he went missing.  He couldn't but that doesn't matter.  She's still holding a grudge.  Kira wants to help.  She remembers being young and lost in the woods and she wants to save the girl from some of things she endured.  They end up going.  With four dogs and handlers they can cover a lot of ground.

This turns into more than a rescue hunt.  Cady's father is dying and he hasn't told her yet.  Kira ends up having nightmares and recalling her unknown childhood.  They find a piece of the jacket the girl was wearing so they know they are on track.  Kira and an unlikely friend she's made find a cave she was in and the jacket she was wearing but no child.  They continue searching and finding more life truths on the way.

I found this story haunting.  I enjoyed reading it but it'll stick with me a while.  I spent a lot of time in the woods when I was child so I could relate to Kira's memories.  At least I didn't get hurt when I was there.  You'll think about this one every now and then...

Saturday, April 13, 2019

When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex by Toni, Buzzeo

Sue was shy and did a lot of things by herself.  She soon find that she could find things as she walked.  Things people or animals dropped.  She never knew just what she'd find.  And when she grew up and became a paleontologist, she finds her biggest treasure...

Abrams Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published May 14th.

Diana Sudyka's illustrations are spot on.  You can feel the wild wide open spaces and the sun beating down.  Sue noticed some bones in an odd place while on a dig.  The others were gone and she did a bit of snooping on her own.  What she found was a spectacular specimen, bigger and more complete than any other one found.  She ensured her place in history.

Way out on the Washington coast we had a dig going on by the state university.  My husband and I and a friend from Texas walked to the site and looked around.  They even did a little show while we were there.  The weather had brought sand up on the beach and had covered a village that had existed there for hundreds of years.  The artifacts they found still looked new and showed how they lived and what they ate.  It was fascinating.  I can see why Sue got hooked on finding things...

Friday, April 12, 2019

Evie and the Strawberry Patch Rescue by Stefanie Dahle

Evie is a Strawberry Fairy who lives in teapot and raises strawberries in her yard.  When it begins raining, she's happy because it waters the strawberries.  But then it doesn't stop and soon her yard is flooding.  She has to find new quarters for winter but where?

Floris Books shared this book me to read for review (thank you).  It will be published May 14th.

As she searches for a drier place, she finds a small birdhouse that has fallen and been forgotten.  It's in a nice location, so she gets it set up, cleaned up, and then she's ready to move.  She even moves her strawberries.  She has lots of friends to help so it's not a big job for her.  But then her berries still won't grow.  What has she forgotten?

This book is in vibrant colors and beautifully illustrated.  The story is cute and Evie does remember what she forgot.  This is a sweet story for young ones. 

It hits home for me because I used an old chicken house as a make believe home for me when I was young.  It takes work to restore an old building and make it ready for reuse.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry, Mónica Armiño

Wolves form packs and the packs are independent.  They share no love for the other packs and they have no desire to share their food.  That means when another pack is coming on your ground they are coming to fight you and kill you to acquire your home.  Wander doesn't understand about that but his father does.  They go home and they get ready for an attack.  It comes and when it's over, he's the only out of his pack that is still alive.  He does find another survivor but they attack again and kill him.  He's on his own and his home isn't his anymore.

Life is tough when you're a wolf.  People shoot you, even an elk can kill you instead of you killing it if you don't do it right.  He's hardly big enough to take one on, but he's got to eat.  He used to be named Swift but now he changes his name to Wander.  Because he'll have to wander to find another safe home.

Green Willow Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 7th.

He's a young wolf but he knows how to hunt and what to hunt.  He doesn't tangle with skunks or porcupines.  But big game is almost too big and one elk hurts him.  He limps along and keeps looking for a safe place or for friends to hang out with.

The two wolves he find aren't interested in him and they prefer eating tame animals, like sheep or a calf.  He's watching when the rancher shows up and kills them both.  Then he leaves quietly.

He has found one female about his age that he'd like to hook up.  She's not so sure about him.  But when she's in the area he planned to settle in, he makes friends with her.  Maybe he's finally found a new home and companion...

The Heart's Necessities: Life in Poetry by Jane Tyson Clement with Becca Stevens

This is poetry that grabs your soul.  There's no rhyme, it's easy to read, and it's almost other worldly.  She saw nature and things differently.  Becca is now making songs from poems and that's a very worthy tribute for a wonderful poet.

Plough Publishing sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It was published April 8th, so you can grab a copy now.

There are photos of her as a child and through out her life.  She wanted to get rid of the bad things in the world and she found religion didn't talk to her the way it did her parents.  She joined the Quakers for a while.  Even got a job there, teaching.  When she got married, she married happily and had a good life.

This is a combination of her poetry as the years go by and a biography of her life, too.  I had never heard of her before but now she feels like an old friend.

Here's a good chance to read some read some unique poetry and about a unique life.  She found her heart's necessities.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds by Jeremy Lachlan

Everybody has always hated Jane.  They blame her and her father for closing the gateway to other worlds.  She was too young to remember and her father is hardly able to breathe for himself so he can't fill her in.  She takes care of him and has only one friend.  She's the young girl of her landlords.  They don't want her to play with Jane but she's a pyromaniac and it's easier to ignore her.  Jane's mother got left behind in the manor.  She wants to rescue her.

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

When Jane gets hurt or upset, she can cause earthquakes.  She just has to touch the earth and it will happen.  She doesn't know where she got this strange power but the people in the town think she's evil because of it.

The last earthquake she caused at a festival was large, and she sees her father going in the manor.  It's been closed for years, so she runs after him.  She finds that the manor has all kinds of guards and the boss is immortal.  That's not good news.  There are doors everywhere and she has no idea where to go.  She starts out on her trail and meets a boy named Hickory.  He's been stuck in the manor for hundreds of years but he hasn't aged.  He acts like her friend and keeps her safe from the guards but it's only because he wants to turn her in himself and get the reward.  He's not really her friend.

Another bounty hunter claims her and continues the journey.  They get on a train and she finds her father.  He tries to ignore her but it doesn't work.  She's so happy to see him back to normal.  There's a young girl who joins them but she doesn't say much.  Her father explains what happened to him and his wife when they were here before.

Jane learns many secrets before the story is over and not many of them make her happy.

This story is full of action and surprises and it keeps you going.  Young adults will love the magical part of the story and all the action.  The next book in this series should be good, too.

An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber

She thought she had left her past behind her.  She's married, expecting a baby, and enjoying her new relationship.  Her previous husband had been abusive and controlling.  He'd also been involved with body snatchers.  Not all the victims brought in for dissecting were dead before meeting the body snatchers.  Some got that way after meeting them.  It's a despicable practice but it pays pretty well.  Now there is another body, here where she is living now, and her past is being gossiped about...

Berkley Prime Crime sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

It had taken Lady Darby a long time to develop friends here and now she will find out who are her real friends and who is not.  That's a little hard for her because she still feels guilty over what her husband made her do.  She was illustrating an anatomy book for him.  He made her look at the dead bodies and examine the parts he wanted illustrations on.

Her husband tries to reassure her but it doesn't work.  He finally yells at her and tells her she needs to hold her head high and fight back.  She wasn't the one acquiring or killing the victims.

The killings start with young Italian boys.  Then sons of moneyed families start being killed, all in the same manner.

She and Sebastian Gage (her husband) decide to see if they can figure out who the killer is.  His father doesn't like his wife.  He thinks his son could have done better.  But before this story is over, he begins to understand just what she went through and is trying to make amends.

I was surprised by the identity of the killer.  I saw no direct connection to victims.  It takes a lot of questioning and smart minds to make all the connections.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Riverland by Fran Wilde

When their parents fight, they gather in the oldest one's bedroom and both sisters hide under the bed.  They have pillows and blankets and they feel safe there.  But one day, everything changes...

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

They consider their father a troll and their mother a witch.  Anything can set their father off and he's often talking about sending them away.  Their mother is loving but she gets angry, too.  So the bed get used a lot in the evenings while they still battle away downstairs.

One day, they find water under the bed.  A portal has opened and the younger jumps in the river fist, so the older has to follow.  They find another world.  One their grandmother and mother have visited but have forgotten.  It's an interesting world.  A heron asks them for help to save this world.  They just want to get back home.  There's a snake lady that only wants to use them to access their world.  She's friends with the nightmare horses there.  There are baby birds being born that are dreams in their world.  Finding themselves in a mostly unfriendly world of odd creatures is one thing but being asked to save their world and the new world they've found is overwhelming.  How can they do that?  And how can they get back home again?

As they attempt to answer these questions, things get worse at home and their father breaks a glass witch ball and makes things worse in both worlds.

Here's a land of fantasy, danger, and excitement.  You follow the young girls who are trying to help both worlds and hope they will be able to return home.  It's not the least bit boring and it keeps you glued to the pages until the end.  Could you save two worlds?

Diggin' Up The Dirt by Tonya Kappes

Sheriff Kenni Lowery has a dead body to work on, a new deputy to train, and the loss of her deputy and boyfriend to a neighboring city as the new Sheriff there.  If that wasn't stress enough, now her boyfriend wants their parents to meet.

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

The parents meeting was peaceful at first but then they got on the subject of religion.  One's Catholic and other one is Baptist.  Her mother doesn't want her to marry Finn because of his religion.  The parties quickly depart leaving a mess for Kenni.  While she's still worrying about that, her Mom goes out on her morning walk and finds a dead woman.

As she tries to find out what happened, her dead Poppa comes back as a ghost to help her.  He gives her good clues and plays with her dog, Duke.  Duke helps too by being there and listening to her troubles.

As she pursues her cases  (she has burglaries to deal with now), the mothers get together and even find some common ground.  When she finds them laughing together, she's surprised.

It's a good mystery that keep you looking for clues and disregarding some found in past.  The old lady next door wanted that house for her son and she gave her trouble.  Anything that put a leaf over the fence, she cut off.  She called the cops all the time.  Was she a killer?

She does find the killer but it wasn't anyone I suspected.  She's not out of the woods on her friendship with a Baptist, but she's working on it.  The next book will probably be even more fun!

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Wobbly Waitress by Lisa Stickley

They headed out to the zoo but decided to stop at Zoo Cafe.  Zoo animals comprised the staff and they kept the place clean and did their jobs well.  The only problem was that she had the hickups and couldn't hold the plates on the way to the table.  They fell out of her hands and dirtied shoes shirts and one lady's head.  The patrons decide to help her get over them.

Tate sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 9th.

They decide to scare her.  Scare her they did.  It helped a bit with her hiccups and she's able to serve everyone properly. 

Has anyone tried to scare you to stop hiccups?  I find holding my breath will make mine quit and it's a lot quieter.

Oh Bear by Melissa Nelson Green

Bear is so excited.  He got a pretty yellow kite and he doesn't wait, he starts flying it right away. It goes high as he runs.  Then he circled around and headed through the woods.  It was fine and good fun until this kite got caught in a tree.  How would he get it down?

Tate Books sent me a copy of this to be reviewed (thank you)  It will be published April 9th.

Bear is lucky enough to have a bird friend who gets the kite out of the tree but she takes off with it.  When he sees it again, it's part of her nest.  He lives right next door to the nest, so he can watch the children grow and see how safe her home with the kite addition.

He doesn't feel sad about losing the kite.  He had his fun.  And now he has new bird friends who visit with him.  Friends are better than kites...

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Woman in the Blue Cloak by Deon Meyer


Finding a naked dead body is frightening.  When a busload of tourists see her they tell the bus driver he has to call the police.  He doesn't want to because it will slow the trip down but they are insistent and the women all stand around to hide the body and pray for the woman.  When the police arrive, they are stumped about who she is.  With no clothing and no purse or phone, they just have the body.  She's been bleached and was evidently dead from a hit on the head.  But she's also been moved, so there is no evidence at the site.  They have their work cut out for them.

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

They find she is an American who has been living in a hotel.  She's an art expert who was trying to find a missing painting.  It's rumored it has been painted by Rembrant's best student but no one knows where it is.

She knows which family inherited it, so she looks the family up and traces down the children (who are adults now) and talks to them about the picture.  When she finally locates it, she goes to see it in person.  Not long after that she's dead body on display to the world.

The police talk to the hotel staff and work on finding her car.  They try to trace her movements.  Will they find the murderer?  

The story is full of art restoration facts as well as details about the murder.  This was a good read.

I Smile For Grandpa by Kathryn Harrison

This is the story of a young boy who loves his grandfather and is his buddy.  As grandpa gets older, he starts to lose his memory.  The boy's parents explained dementia to the boy and told him it was nothing to be fearful about.  They also told him to let the things go that he has forgotten unless it's something like his name.

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

My grandmother had dementia and she was disabled.  I stayed with her when my aunt and her family went on vacation.  She saw things from the past, always forgot who I was, and told tales of long ago and far away.  One day she was telling me what everyone was getting for Christmas and when I told not to tell me what Jo Ann was getting (I didn't want to know about present early), she asked me:  "Don't you like Jo Ann?  She's a nice girl."  That almost made me cry.  Otherwise, we got along fine.  I just listened and agreed for the most part.  Life changes as people grow older.

The boy in this book used to play soccer with his grandpa and he went on camping trips with them.  But as he forgets more things, he can't do those anymore.  So the boy plays soccer by himself with his grandfather watching.  And he remembers his grandfather whistling while camping and his big smile he'd have for his grandson and that keeps him company when they go camping.

He just reminds his grandpa that he's his buddy and they still whistle and love each other.  That's what counts.

This is lovely book and an easy way to explain dementia to a small one.  Even if no one in your family has it, you might meet someone in public that does.  It will help them not be frightened.

The closeness between grandfather and grandson is sweet and undeniable.  This was a great read.