Saturday, August 31, 2019

Lumberjanes Ghost Cabin by Mariko Tamaki

The Lumberjanes are back at camp for the summer.  They are earning new scout badges and renewing friendships.  They are told about a ghost cabin in the woods, so they decide to find it...

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).   It has been published so you can get the next story about them now.

Molly and Mal are good friends and because Molly is sad at the idea of going home, Mal suggests they look for that cabin.  They find it and it does have ghosts.  Ghosts of Lumberjanes of the past.  One ghost asks them for help.  She doesn't want to stay in the cabin anymore, she wants to travel.  But the others don't want her to leave, so there is a conflict. 

First they have to find the Spector's Seal and then the live Lumberjanes would need to say her wish.  They determine where it is:  in the pond.  The girl who is afraid of water says she'll scuba dive to find it.

Will she really be brave enough to do that?  Will the ghost Lumberjanes let the girl leave who wants to?

The story includes illustrations by Brooklyn Allen and they add to the story. This was a fun middle grade read.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The House at the End of the Road by Kari Rust

There's an old house at the end of Grandma's road.  When the two siblings and their cousin walk down, it looks vacant.  When the cousin throws a rock at a window, they see a ghost looking at them.  They tell Grandma about the ghost and she tells them that's just the old man who lives there.

Owlkids Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

Grandma goes with them and they visit the old man.  His house is filled with a treasure trove of fun things for children.  The attic has board games.  There are books and old records.  They have a good time visiting and often go back.  But one day the house is put up for sale.  He's sick and in a home and they will sell the house to pay for his care.  Their summer is coming to an end but they will never forget that old man and the fun they had visiting...

Thursday, August 29, 2019

I Want a Dog by Jon Agee

She really really wants a dog, so she goes to the animal shelter.  He shows her all kinds of animals.  Finally she stops him and asks if he has any dogs.

Dial Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review(thank you).  It will be published September 24th.

He tells her no, he doesn't have a dog.  That's why he was showing her an aardvark, lizard, goose and more.  He begs her not to leave, he has one more to show her.  She says OK.  He bring it out expecting her to turn that animal down, too.  She looks it over and says yes.

You'll never guess what she picks!

This is good picture book for any child who likes animals.  I just hope they don't bring strange ones home...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Tale of the Tiger Slippers by Jan Brett

He's a hard worker so his mother makes him slippers to wear to save his feet from getting sore.  He builds her a house and soon gets orders for more.  As time goes on, he gets enough money to build his own house and take a bride.

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review(thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

He continues to wear the slippers until someone points out how old and worn they are.  Then he tries to get rid of them but they keep coming back.  It's his cub who gives him the best idea on what to do with them.

This is a beautiful picture book.  Jan Brett's art never disappoints you and the story is fun to read.  Why not share this fun book with your little one?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Searching for Edgar's Five Dancers by Efren O'Brien

Santa Fe is an artist's community.  It's an old town with lots of adobe buildings.  It's also where this story is set.

Hitler's men are stripping Jews of their wealth.  They call many of the paintings degenerate and burn them or send them to art dealers for resale.  Many got hidden in mines.  But there is an art dealer who is helping them in Santa Fe.  He has no choice.  They will kill his family members if he doesn't cooperate.

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

Quinn had been a cop in Albuquerque but was let go.  Now he's a private eye with a partner.  He's hired to find a painting:  Five Dancing Women by Degas.  As he attempts to find that, he finds that there are spies in town, trying to find out what's going on at Los Alamos.  They are trying to harness nuclear power but no one knows how.  Then Quinn finds out some cops are involved in the painting smuggling.  It gets worse.

He's having dinner with a female spy when someone shoots through the restaurant window and kills her.  There are two attempts to kill him. Will he break the case or will he get killed first?

This well written, reads fast, and you can't be sure of the outcome.  It's an exciting read.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

When the soldiers began gathering up all the Jews in Germany, several brave souls risked their lives to smuggle out the children.  They began with orphans but soon parents were sending their children away to keep them safe.  Most parents didn't survive.  This is a fictional look at an ugly part of history.

Harper sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th.

I admired the bravery of one lady.  She got in deadly danger but managed to be released because she was not a Jew.  She's unable to carry a child to full term, so she's determined to save all she can. 

The young man in the story sneaks out the window and runs across roofs to escape the Gestapo.  He manages to stay safe by hiding beneath the candy shop his father used to own.  He takes his little brother down to catch the train but he intends to come back to take care of his sick mother.  The girl he likes gets him on the train, too.  His mother's neighbors will help her.

Imagine moving 600 children at one time!  They crossed a few borders to get on the fairy and their paperwork had to be shown.  When the girl accepted a picnic basket from a woman, she thought it was sandwiches for them.  When she gets on board, she finds it is a baby.  She has to keep her hid. Their adventures are many and it's no easy trip but they manage to make it.

This is an intense read but it sounds very authentic.  This was an awful time in our history and I hope nothing like it happens again.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Star Shepherd by Dan Haring, MarcyKate Connolly

His father is a Star Shepherd.  He uses special goggles to watch for falling stars.  On this world, the stars came from the ancient elders hearts and it held the dark monsters back.  There were stories of giant mechanical men who hung them in the sky but Kyro and his father never saw one.  What they do is retrieve the fallen stars, put them in a new casing and then catapulting them back to their spot in the sky.  But now someone or something is stealing them before they can get there.  What's worse is whole constellations are falling.  They are being cut out of the sky.  Who could be doing that?

Sourcebooks Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th.

His father goes to the Council for help.  They think he's seeings things again and refuse to respond.  So his father heads out by himself leaving Kyro to watch the stars.   He was only supposed to be gone a few days but he doesn't return.  Then he gets a summon from the council for his father.  He goes in his place and finds no one believes him and they call his father a traitor and terminate him.  He has no money for passage on the way home so he and his dog hide in a shipping container.  When his dog makes a noise, he's discovered and is taken to the captain as a stowaway.

There's a lot of excitement in this story.  What will the captain do to him?  Will he find his father?  Can he survive attacks by the dark things?  Can he stop the stars from falling?  Keep reading and you will find out.

I enjoyed this young adult fantasy read and think you will too.  Give it a try.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Ice Cold Heart: A Monkeewrench Novel by P. J. Tracy

They haven't had a murder for months because the weather is so cold.  But that changes when someone's wife goes missing and she's found in her friends house dead.

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you.  It will be published September 10th.

This killer is sadistic and enjoys watching his victims die.  They look for clues but find none.  Then the physic that warned them of the murder ends up dead and some of the same tape was used on her.  They know they are looking for a monster, they just don't realize how long he's been active...

They find an art show that depicts women in sadistic positions so they ask to speak to the artist.  They are told he's sickly and doesn't take calls or visitors.  They also check out a club that that lets people meet who have deviant sexual interests.  The first dead woman was into bondage and they think she met her killer there.

Then one of the Monkeewrench Gang saves a lady from dying on a park bench in the cold and finds she's part of a group looking into war criminals.  She thinks the killer may be a man from her past who ran a prison in the war in Yugoslavia.  He did things like that there.

It's hard to find a man who knows how to hide.  With the help of the Monkeewrench Gang, Petra who was his victim long ago and two cop teams they manage.  But will they be in time to save his new victims?

The action and tension in the story never let up.  Don't start it late in the day, you'll be up all night...

Friday, August 23, 2019

Julian Fox: The Dream Guardian by E.J. Miranda

Julian finds himself in an unknown place.  He was dreaming but it has become real.  How could that happen?

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

He finds he has been chosen as a Guardian.  He must fight the Defilers that want to destroy all dreams.  As he fights them he learns their history and finds they all have died broken, without hope and unhappy.  They want to destroy others happiness.

He finds he can be hurt in the battles but he can heal in the magical water in the palace.  He still has some sign of the injury when he wakes up at home but he hides it.

He has a girlfriend who wants him for his money.  Then he meets one of the Arch keepers and falls in love.  His old girlfriend doesn't want to give up her dream of having all the money she wants to spend...

Julian finds the hidden sword in a contest, so it's his to use.  Unfortunately that means all the Defilers are after him.

The author keeps her characters busy all the way through the book.  Each Defiler has a deadly hidden talent for killing and Julian has learned not to let them touch him, if possible.

The story flows well and is interesting so it keeps your attention.  This is just the first one in a series and I'd read another.  The story premise has promise.

E.J. Miranda will be awarding a 1st prize: $50 Amazon e-giftcard, and a 2nd prize: $40 Amazon e-giftcard, to two randomly drawn winners 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!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Ancient Fall Legend of Rhyme, Book 7 by Jaime Lee Mann

This story is intriguing because it has a message in it we should listen to.  The story is fantasy but the message is not.

Blue Moon Publishers and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th.

Asher and Ariana are alone.  The land they wanted to go back to, Coraira, has died.  Now they are in a land of ice and snow.  As they find friends from the past, they stick together.  Even their enemies have changed.  They got help for their mental problems and now want to help not harm.

The earth is changing.  There are fires everywhere.  Even the oceans aren't safe.  As they talk about what to do, a plant covered giantess rises and she's Earth and she's at the point of destruction because humans have been misusing and abusing her for so long.

Can they figure out a way to save her and themselves?  Is everyone really friendly like they say?

This ties up a lot of loose ends from the prior books in this series.  It also hands the characters quite a task.  Will they succeed?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Up Down Inside Out by JooHee Yoon

This book is full of sayings I've heard or said at various times in my life.

Enchanted Lion Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th. 

Ms. Yoon's illustrations visually aid a young one's understanding of a saying.  It can also help you understand the most esoteric of the sayings.

It was fun to read.  I enjoyed it.  Give it a try, I bet you'll enjoy it too.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Green Children of Woolpit by J. Anderson Coats

Agnes is helping with the harvest when she hears someone calling.  No one else hears it so she goes to check it out.  She finds two children in the wolf pit.  They are green tinted, which makes them odd.  She goes to get help and another girl who used to be her friend listens and then takes credit for finding them herself.  They bring them to Agnes's home because they took Agnes in when she was abandoned, so they think they may take these two.  They do.  They also don't notice they are green.  They are being charmed...

Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th.

Soon the girl says her name is Agnes, too.  Her mother has no problem with that even if the original Agnes doesn't like it.  Then the girl tells her she is really royalty.  When she was abandoned on the stoop she should have been a princess in the world below.  She offers to take her there and Agnes goes.  She shouldn't have.  It's a trick.

Once she gets among the fairies, she's put to work.  Now she's replacing the one that escaped.  Can she outwit the King?  Will she ever get back home?

This is an interesting fantasy that makes you wonder how it's going to turn out.  It kept my attention.  Never trust fairies...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah

Dr. David Livingstone spent the last years of his life looking for the head of the Nile River.  He had purchased slaves to go with him (he freed them after he bought them) and he had various nationalities in the mix.  Not all of them got along, but the majority respected the doctor.  When he became ill and died, they decided to take him to the coast so he could be buried at home.  That was 1,500 miles away.

Scribner sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th.

The description of getting his body ready for the journey is detailed and a little morbid.  They've lost members of their party to illnesses in the past but as they travel, they find themselves losing people to accidents.  But are they really accidents?

Many of the tribes they run across on their way ask for goods in exchange for their traverse.  Before long they have no goods and no food.  When they find a generous chief, they are thankful.

Not everyone makes it.  And not everybody lives happily ever after, but it's better than being a slave.

While this is a fictional account, it reads like living history.  Life was hard back then, even harder than now.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Dreaded Groak by Peta Lemon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Pixie and the Green Book Mystery by Coraline Grace

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

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

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

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

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

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

Can you figure it out before the end?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

More to the Story by Hena Khan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 12, 2019

Rich and Gone by W.F. Ranew

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

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

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

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

W.F. Ranew will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter HERE.

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

Happy reading and good luck! 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 9, 2019

Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay

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

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

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

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

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

This is a good read with an exciting ending.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

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

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

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

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

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

This was a good read.  Give it a try.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Alex and The Colony by D.S. Samra

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 4, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Body Broker by Daniel M. Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muddy Waters by Candace J. Carter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Book of Rather Strange Animals by Caleb Compton

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...