Monday, September 30, 2019

The Princess Beard: The Tales of Pell by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson

She's a princess who is in a tower under a spell.  She wouldn't marry the man the King wanted her to so that's her punishment.  When she awakens, she finds her fingernails and toenails are all extremely long, as is her hair.  She first cuts her nails and then her long hair.  She decides to leave her beard alone.  It makes a good disguise...

Del Rey and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 8th.

She heads out away from the tower.  The next town has a diner in it and she goes in to eat.  There she meets some pirates and asks to join them.  The captain is a parrot.  Besides his regular crew, he has a centaur on board.  He can do magic with food.  Doesn't sound like much but blocking cannons with sticky frosting is useful...

They are looking for treasure.  Patrol boats are looking for them.  So are monsters from the deep.  I think the scariest part is when they meet these nice folks who clean them all up, massage them, and then when they go back to the hot springs they get dropped into a soup pot.  The nice folks are cannibals!  Can they escape?

It's a busy tale with all kinds of outlandish things in it, but it's great fun to read.  You won't be bored!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories Martin Edwards (Edited by)

I love reading anthologies and mystery stories are the best.  These are old English mysteries and they have their own flavor.  I enjoy them.

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

These are not sweet stories.  Even with a policeman at the gathering, death happens.  Christmas is not always a happy event when there are family problems.  Most of the time it does not end in death but these characters are too far gone in their hatred or quest for revenge to care.

My favorite is about a bookseller who robs on the side.  He dresses himself and his accomplices in Santa outfits to go to the department store to steal the jewels. They fit in but the robbery doesn't go down easily.  One is taken into custody right off the bat.  He was to set off a fire bomb, which he did.  But he was seen.  Then another man was seen by the boss and that turns into a shootout with another member of the team going down.  The mastermind escapes with the jewels and he's confident he's safe.  But one little thing has given him away...

Many of the stories are ironic.  As they say, crime doesn't pay.  These stories show you why.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Straight Outta Deadwood by David Boop (Edited by)

This anthology is full of stories of horror.  There are many different characters, such as vampires, witches, people who come back from the dead and more.

Baen and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

You'll learn why Doc Holiday laughed as he was dying.  There's a man who takes pictures of dead family members so they can remember them.  He hangs some of them in his shop as examples.  Then he noticed the dead aren't there anymore.  He goes back to take more pictures and finds the dead children alive again.  He's not allowed to leave this time...  And watch out for the new schoolmarm.  She's not going to let anyone run off with her students.  Not even an undead ex-teacher...

All of them are different, most are scary, and I found the tales satisfying.  They might be monsters but they still have a sense of right and wrong.  If they don't, the humans better be ready to do battle with them...

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Bike Thief: The Adventures of Jack Cannon Kid Detective by Brett Ermilio

Jack's Grandfather and Father are both inventors.  His Dad has a day job and experiments in the evening.  Jack wants to be a detective.  When he hears bicycles are being stolen, he gets his team together.  It was just going to be him and Teddy but his little sister demands to be included.  She's really smart and has a scientific mind, so he lets her in.  Then the girl across the street that he has a crush on joins too.  Now he has a good sized team. 

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

They begin their surveillance and it features his cousin who is a bully at school.  He's a good suspect but it's not him.  Then he wants to join their team.  Jack says OK but that leads to his cousin inviting his neighbor girl to the upcoming dance.  Jack was trying to get brave enough to ask her but he hadn't made it yet.  Then he runs into a schoolmate from the past who says she's always had a crush on him, so he invites her so he can watch the other two.

He's going to give up detecting because he failed but his Granddad gives him another case and he solves it so he keep detecting.  He sets up a sting using his cousin's father's expensive bike as bait.  They bite.  They follow them and they find a major operation going on.  Can kids take it down?

This is a good story for young adult readers.  It's exciting, there is danger, and it takes brains to survive.  Give it a try.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

Books that aren't finished reside in a library in hell.  The librarian there has to make sure the characters don't escape.  Claire is the current librarian and when a hero gets away, she has to follow him and bring him back.  She takes her assistant who is a muse and Leto, a demon that showed up right before she was leaving...

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

They have to travel by raven to where's he's gone, taking the head of the Arcane division of the library with them.  Their travels are full of danger because they have angels after them, one member of the group will betray her, and she finds she's related to the demon.  Even hell has conspiracies...

Their enemies burn the book the hero was in and it disables him.  The demon becomes more human as days go on, they fight monsters and angels, and then Claire has to go back and save her library.

Will she manage to do it?

This is a good read and young readers as well as adults should enjoy it if they enjoy fantasy.  I sure did!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Passengers by John Marrs

The day of automatic cars has come.  Now you can choose what level of control you want to have.    The newest ones are fully automated.  You just choose where you want to go and it takes you there.  Then there's the day it gets hacked...

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

There are a variety of passengers heading to various destinations.  Then the controls they use on the car quit functioning as well as their cellphones.  They are all told they are going to a new destination and have two and a half hours before they die.  One will go free, the others will die.

Libby is on jury duty and she doesn't like how that is going.  They don't give you enough information and always want you to find the humans at fault.  It gets worse when the hacker takes over and tells them they have to decide who is going to die and who will live.  To show his power, he has an old man tell them his name, how he earned his medals and that he's on the way to the doctor before he got hijacked.  Then the hacker blows his car up.  Everyone in the jury room was upset and doesn't want to go on, but they have no choice.  The worst part is that social media will be given a vote, too.

As cars are attacked by crowds, the car and the passenger are destroyed as well as those around the car.  The hacker has no conscience.  He kills when he wishes.

Nobody riding in the cars have any secrets.  He knows the pregnant mother has her dead husband in the trunk of the car.  He knows the man married to another passenger has a duplicate family.  Soon they have an awful time trying to determine who to keep alive...

Who would you choose?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Merry Murder by Kate Kingsbury

The Pennyfoot Hotel is all dressed up for Christmas.  They have lots of guests and all is going well until they find an unknown dead man in the laundry room.  Cecily wants to keep it quiet so the guests won't leave.  That's harder than you would imagine.

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

When the old man they are using as receptionist at the front counter remembers a message he forgot to give her, he shouts it across the room and alerts most of the guests about the murder.  So much for secrecy.

The policeman they have in their district is a bit lazy, and when he finds a note in the man's pocket with a signature, he's sure he's found the killer.  Cecily disagrees.  The maid is fifteen and very shy and withdrawn.  It would be totally out-of-character for her.  But when they go to her room, she's not there.  Nor are any of her belongings.

The cop looks for the young lady.  Cecily looks for the killer.  She's eventually successful in her quest but then she finds herself alone in the room with the killer, who has a nasty knife.  This could go either way...

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Circus Comes to the Village by Yutaka Kobayashi

Yamo and Mirado are good friends.  They work in the fields harvesting yams and wheat.  Yamo's older brother is gone to war as Mirado's father has, too.  They worry about them but they keep working.  

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

The circus is great fun.  They ride the rides and then watch the performances.  When a beautiful singer comes out and music begins to play, Mirado plays his flute along with them.  They invite him up on the stage and he joins them.

The next day, as they get ready to move on, they invite Mirado with them.  His grandmother says he can go, so he says goodbye to Yamo and heads out for a new life.

When it starts to snow everyone smiles.  This means better crops the next year.  Next year, everything will change for them as the last two pages show...

The Story of Pink Bunny by Valda Locke

The pink bunny just sits around and looks pretty all day like any soft toy would, doesn't she?

Austin Macauley Publishers sent me an ebook to read and review (thank you).  The book has been published so you can get it now.

There are rumors about the pink bunny, so they decide to spy on her.  Could she really be a doctor?

She gets up at five, makes breakfast for everyone, and then goes on to teach ballet to young students.  Then she heads on to the hospital.   She has a little car in the shape of a carrot!  She's going in for surgery but gets called in for an emergency.  She helps the small cat and does it lovingly.Then she heads into surgery for her main case.  She teaches another class about the new technique she is using.

By the time the bear and the rabbit report what they saw, everyone's attitude changes.  Even Katie changes and Pink Bunny is now allowed to sleep on the bed, too.  Who would have guessed what a busy life she has...

Sunday, September 22, 2019

White Christmas Wedding by Celeste Winters

A wedding in a barn?  You betcha!  She and her girlfriend hung out in the barn while growing up.  Now her girlfriend is being a wedding planner and she's getting married.  It's perfect!

Howard Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on October 1st.

There are last minute fights, new relationships looming and problems with the snow and the careful plans they made.

The original vehicle that was to pick up those flying in died on the freeway.  Vehicle number two had hauled trees and it smelled like it but it got them to the farm.  The horses ate a lot of the flowers on the wedding aisle and the door didn't get shut and the whole barn is full of snow.  While this sounds like a disaster, it reunites a married couple who had been growing apart.

The story has moments of drama but being snowed in makes everyone come to realize who they love and it's a happy ending.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Murder at Whitby Abbey by Cassandra Clark

Hildegard is still doing penance for her misconduct, so the abbot sends her on a winter journey to the Whitby Abbey to buy a relic that will increase the amount of tourists they receive at their abbbey.  More tourists means more money for the abbey expenses.

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

When she examines the hair clipping from the saint, she thinks it's horse hair so she's not disappointed when another abbey gets it.  Then she finds a group ready to leave and they tell her they've won the bid and have the relic.  It seems if you pay enough anyone can have the relic...

Then there are two murders.  Hildegard and her monks are trying to find the guilty party.  The others in the abbey try to convince her it was unfortunate accidents but she knows better.  She's a nun but she has her share of trouble with the men at the abbey.  She's attacked by two of them in separate incidents.  Then she goes into a construction area with scaffolding just to think.  One of those men was hiding there and comes after her again.  She climbs a ladder to the scaffolding to try to reach safety.  He follows her with the intent to have his way with her and then kill her...

The ending is very exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The murderer was very devious and greedy.  You won't be bored with this one.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Molten Mud Murder by Sara E. Johnson

Alexa is in New Zealand and when they find a man stuck in a molten mud hole, she volunteers to help them solve the crime.  She's a Forensics expert, with a specialty in teeth identification.  Since the face has been eaten away, the teeth may be the only way to identify him.  They don't want her help but when the man they usually use is called home for a baby's birth, they give her a temporary contract.

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

They move into investigative mode.  They search his car and find condoms.  They talk to his wife when she and the children return from a trip.  She's on birth control pills so he may have been having an affair.  They are trying to determine why he was at that site.  He evidently went there to meet someone, who hit him in the head with a rock and then stuffed him in the molten mud.  It looks like a Maori revenge but it doesn't mean a Maori did it.

Alexa finds herself getting involved in the investigation.  She's reminded that's not part of her job, but she's enjoying being involved in it.  At least she is until she almost gets killed for her questioning...

Thursday, September 19, 2019

A House of Ghosts: A Gripping Murder Mystery Set in a Haunted House by W. C. Ryan

Two intelligence officers are sent to a spiritual gathering to look for a spy.  The meeting is to be held on an island at Blackwater Abbey.  The owner of the abbey is also the owner of a munitions company and someone has been photographing his plans and sharing them with the Germans.  But who would do that?

Arcade and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

They have two seance experts there to help them make contact with the sons they lost in th war.  Donovan is pretending to be injured and is being a gentleman's helper.  Kate is hanging out with her parents.  She can see ghosts and there are plenty at the abbey.

They find everyone there has secrets of some kind.  As they snoop and search for clues, a storm sets in so no one can leave the island.  The first seance was a success.  They got to visit with a dead son.  Since they are stuck on the island they decide to have another.

Before they do there is a murder.  The doctor is knifed to death.  They blame the mentally unstable soldier who staying there, but Donovan knows he didn't do it.  He would have slit his throat, not hit him with so many stab wounds.

Donovan uses the secret pathways in the abbey to find the killer.  He finds where someone has been sleeping.  From there he can clearly hear the conversation on the floor above and he realizes who the spy must be.

There's a dramatic ending that will make you read faster and hope the right people are dying.  The last seance blows up and goes out of control.  More ghosts appear.  It soon all comes to a head and you'll be relieved to set the book down  There's a lot of suspense in the final scenes.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Where Are You Moosehead? by Andy Stonehouse

Lily takes her two stuffed animals everywhere with her.  They are like her security blanket.  She loves Rosie Bear and Moosehead.

Publishing Push and the author shared a copy of this book with me to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you get a copy now.

One morning, Lily wakes up to find she only has Rosie.  What happened to Moosehead?  She looks all over the house, everywhere she had gone yesterday.  She sees no sign of him, so she goes back in her bedroom.  Luckily, she gets a little help there.  A friendly spider comes to her aid.

Can you guess where they found Moosehead?

This has charming illustrations to go with the cute story.  This is sure to become a favorite.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Home in The Woods by Eliza Wheeler

This is a well illustrated picture book that talks about a family that is displaced by the father's death.  They move into a tar shack in the woods That's run down and deserted.  With a little hard work, things start looking better.

Nancy Paulsen Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

They plant a garden, hunt and fish. and harvest the fruit trees there.  Mom cans with her daughter's help.  She also works a bit to have money for what they can't grow or harvest.

This story is set during the days of the depression, but my mom and I canned at home.  We had a big garden with lettuce always growing for salads.  We had five apple trees (different types), a huge pear tree, and wild fruit trees down by our creek.  We harvested it all.  My Uncle had cows and pigs and we bought halves of them.  We raised chickens.  We didn't buy a lot at the store, so this story resonates with me.

The illustrations are great and the story is uplifting.  They miss the father but they are too busy to dwell on it.

Things have changed but sometimes I miss the old times.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Murder in the Balcony by Margaret Dumas

Nora is settling into her new life as the manager of the Palace movie theater that shows vintage movies.  She and her husband are separated but she does have the company of Trixie, the theater ghost.

Henery Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 24th.

It's a quiet neighborhood with a few shops.  They have their theater regulars but no large crowds.  She's working on ideas of how to bring more folks in.  Then one of her employee's boyfriend is murdered.  Nora finds herself questioning how it happened.  The more she learns, the more she wonders what he knew.

There is a real estate vendor who wants to buy up all the buildings and demolish them to make new stores with living units above them.  Nora doesn't want to sell.  Lisa across the street doesn't either.  Then someone tries to burn Lisa out. 

When she hosts a big meeting at the theater, someone falls from the balcony.  She dies in the hospital.  She was another real estate agent.  What's going on?

As Nora looks for clues, her husband files for divorce and her theater almost burns down.   Will she survive?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

She's lost her brother and her fiancé in the war.  Now she's a surplus woman.  So many men have died there are more women than men.  She and her mother don't get along so she moves out and gets her own room.  It has to be cheap and she doesn't get much to eat, but she can shut her door and be alone and that counts for something.

Viking and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

She works at an insurance office typing.  Her wages are low but the peace and quiet is worth it.  Violet is drawn into a society of broderers—women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral.  She starts out as a learner and then teaches others the stitches as they arrive to join their efforts.

She finds herself drawn to one of the bellringers.  He's married, he's older than her, and his wife is suffering the loss of their son and has given up on life.  He's not available but she wishes he was.

She continues her independent life, makes some friends, finds someone to stay with her mother, and eventually finds a moment alone with Arthur.  They agree they can't see each other anymore.

Then she develops another challenge.  She's an unwed mother.  That means she has to move and she loses her job.  But she's up to the challenge...

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Tale of Witchwood Park by S.W. Develin

Emily didn't return to school, and Kendra is heartbroken.  She was her only real friend.  Now Kendra waits alone after school until her mother comes to pick her up.  Only a troll comes out of the forbidden woods one day before she arrives.  He asks Kendra (the shy one), Jimmy (the bully) and Daniel (the outcast) to come on a magical quest to overcome an evil queen who has killed the forests and towns that once existed.  He says no one will notice they are gone and they'll return home soon. 

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

Since they will be going in the forbidden woods, Kendra says yes.  Maybe she can find Emily.  Jimmy says yes because anything is better than going home.  Daniel goes along because he was invited and nobody invites him to do anything.

The rest of this trip is magical and haunting.  There's action all the way through.  It's a fairly short read and I can see young readers enjoying this book.  I'm no kid and I enjoyed it.  How could you not when Daniel turns into a dragon when they need him to be one?

This is an exciting read that will hold a child's attention.  If they like fantasy, they will love this book.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield

This family has been on Santa's naughty list for two years in a row.  If it happens a third time, they stay there permanently.  The head elf puts them on the naughty list again, but Santa asks him to tell them the three requirements to get off the list and asks him to help them.  He warns the girl but forgets the steps.

Well-Spoken Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Santa sends the elf to the South Pole to work with his brother, Reverse Santa, to make the family get along better.

Can you imagine going along in an old pickup towed by penguins?  That's Reverse Sannta's mode of transportation.  The first thing he does is kill their phones, their TV, radios and any other electric equipment that lets them ignore their family.  They actually put up the Christmas tree because there's nothing else to do. It takes a few more steps to get the family back on track but Reverse Santa and the elf are up to it.

This is a humorous read that is silly but fun to read.  You could read it aloud to your family this Christmas season.

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

Longmire is back on the job despite his vicious encounter in Mexico.  He has a limp and still has pain but working is better than just sitting around.  He's asked to help find a shepherd that's in high country and hasn't checked in like normal.  He's also alerted to a custody battle over a little boy.

Viking and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

I've rad most of this series so I'm always Glad to see new one out.  Walt Longmire is a good sheriff who can make quick and hard decisions when he needs to.

He finds the missing shepherd hanging from a tree.  He also found a big wolf up there.  It had sampled the dead man's feet.  The local environmental forces are examining a dead sheep, taking DNA from it to see if the wolf killed it.  The news picks it up as a wolf kill and everyone wants to take out the predator.

It turns out the shepherd didn't kill himself, it was murder.But he didn't know many people.  Who could have done it?

As Longmire tries to figure it out, he comes down with some health problems from his previous attack. 

The murder is tied to a family secret and it's ugly.  Justice prevails but not in traditional ways.

This was another good read.  Mr. Johnson has never disappointed me.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

I Love My Dragon by Howard McWilliam, Jodi Moore

This little boy grew up with a dragon in his crib.  I grew up with a cat in mine.  A dragon is much more exciting!

Flashlight Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is available for sale now.

Mr. Howard McWilliam draws great illustrations with a whimsical dragon that acts a bit like a dog.  How can you not have fun with a constant companion that's willing to play with you?  He even likes swimming!

Ms. Jodi Moore writes a very charming story that will make little ones smile.

Isn't it time to introduce your child to a dragon?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

Sophie has returned home since her husband succumbed to illness.  She plans to open her big house as a safe place for young women to board while schooling.  She's an Obstetrician herself and she knows how the men treat the women trying to enter what they consider "their" field.  She's friends with Anna, her cousin, who is another doctor.  They still have their struggles with some male doctors, but they can stand up for themselves.

Berkley Books invited me to read this book and partipate in the blog tour (thank you).  It is being published today.

Anna is married to Jack, a Detective-Sergeant in the police force.  He's working on cases he can use the doctor's help on.  They have a serial killer who deliver women's babies and slashes them internally so they die in pain.  Who could be so fiendish?  They have suspects but no proof.  They  are also looking for a missing woman and hope they have some insight on that.

The women find connections and search for the truth.  Their suspect tries to destroy them but the judge doesn't believe her lies.

This is a long story but it kept me glued to the book.  There's something happening on every page.

The doctor's discover a woman was the killer and they search for truth.  They find it...  

This is a chilling story that holds your attention all the way through.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

The Bronte sisters hear of a missing woman and they know the nanny there.  They find a lot of blood but no sign of the missing woman.  They decide to investigate.

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

They find that the man she married is a monster.  His first wife committed suicide to get away from him.  Might he have killed his second wife?

This is a well thought out mystery with the sisters sharing what they've found out.  They each have their own strengths.  Some are braver than others.  And they clash frequently, just like siblings do.  They press at the case, talking to family members, friends, and to anyone that knew her.  They sometimes have to pretend they have been sent by an attorney to get answers.  Women don't investigate...

They finally think they know what happened so they go to confront the suspected party.  They just want to get the children out of there alive.

The ending is dangerous and a bit sad but the mystery is solved and the overall outcome is good.  I enjoyed this tale of the Bronte sisters and would read more in this series.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Last Seance: Tales of the Supernatural by Agatha Christie

I've been reading Agatha Christie my whole life.  She was in Grandma and Grandpa's bookcase, so when I stayed with them, I'd read her stories.  Sitting down to read this one was like going home again.  I even have that old bookcase myself now.  They gave it and the books to me.  I was not disappointed in these stories.

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 24th.

There are twenty stories included in this anthology.  You get to visit with Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple in a few.  Some I had read before but most were new to me.  These are old stories so they move at a slower pace and the clues are hidden well.  There were no bad stories.

The story that caught my attention most was The Last Seance.  The ending was unsuspected and shocking.

I read it all in one sitting.  You could read a couple of stories a day and savor them.  I'm too avid a reader to do that.

This book is great for Agatha Christie fans or for anyone who enjoys creepy tales.  I enjoyed it, why don't you give it a try?

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Sea of Japan by Keita Nagano

I read books like these to learn about the country and their customs.  I did learn a lot.  Mr. Nagano's words draw you in and make you care about his characters.  Since I'm in love with the Pacific coastline, I decided to visit the Sea of Japan.

Lindsey is an English teacher who has found temporary placement in a Japanese school.  She got reprimanded in her old school, so she's starting fresh.  The first thing she finds is that she's in a fishing town and they have very good sushi.  As time goes on she begins working in a sushi restaurant where she is taught how to do it right.  It's harder than it looks.

Then she gets into an argument with the coach because he's been hitting the students.  They both decide to resign.  That gives her time to become a fisherwoman by helping the man who owns the boat.  They do well.  Her Grandfather is a fisherman and she's been out on his boat.  But they fish differently in Japan.  She learns as she works with him.

There are battles over fishing rights, the quantity that can be caught, trouble getting the cities to cooperate and more.  Her old boyfriend shows up and he works with a big compny.  She asks him to help her save the fishing community.  He says he will but he lies. Her fisherman is not happy that she's hanging out with him.  He's fallen in love with her. Things get worse instead of better but she's determined to fix it.

The characters are full bodied and feel real.  Lindsey might not get everything she wanted but she does well.  I found myself cheering her on.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Running Wild by Austin Stevens

This is a man who loves wild animals.  He knows they are dangerous and that they can be deadly but while he respects them, he wants to know more about them and pushes the limits.

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

He started with snakes.  (Spiders and snakes bother me.)  He even loves handling highly poisonous snakes.  He plays with pythons and even caught and tagged an anaconda, who almost drowned him. He lived in a cage with poisonous snakes for 107 days.  He hardly had space to walk and some of them slept with him at night.  (Not for me!)  This record still stands today.

When he took off exploring by himself, he ran into an elephant who was looking for love and wanted no competition.  Even though he was in a vehicle he barely got away.

Then there was the time a rhino treed him and there's a poisonous snake above him in the tree.  I think death was following him that day.  

He's been nearly sent to his death by snake bite but the venom didn't make it into his hand.  One of the big cats thought about eating him.

He was curiosity driven and he learned a lot about animals in his career.  I still think he's nuts for risking his life so many times.  This account won't bore you.

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Elephants and the Chocolate Cake by Balachander Vijayakumar

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Elephants and the Leaking Tap by Balachander Vijayakumar

This picture book series for children features three elephants.  They are easy to tell apart because one has a blue trunk, one has yellow feet and one has purple ears.  Janani Balachander is the illustrator and her graphics are charming.

Publishing Push and the author graciously shared a copy of this book with me for review.  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

They have a leak in their sink and want to get it fixed.  Repairs that worked on them don't work for that.  One remembers that someone fixed a leak in the past but he can't remember what they called what they did.  He did remember it started with a "p".  By asking those whose professions begin with a "p"  about it, they learn several job titles and skills.  It's not until they see a van go by that they find the right person. 

Can you guess who it is?

This is a delightful read with cute characters and teaches the child about careers, too.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers by Anna James, Paola Escobar

Tilly's father died and her mother disappeared so she's living with her grandparents.  They own a huge bookshop and she has plenty to read.  She doesn't have many friends so she finds herself wishing she could visit with her book characters.  She likes both Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland.  (I'd leave Alice alone if it were me.)  Nothing surprises her more than when they turn up in the shop one day...

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

She enjoys visiting with both of them.  They can even take her into their story, which is really exciting.  She's noticed that both her grandparents have book character visits and she finds out it's a family trait.

She finds out the man who argued with her grandfather is part of the big library where all th souces books are protected.  They have the original editions with no changes.  But the man is mean and now he's after Tilly.  This makes things difficult because Tilly is looking for her mother.

This is a well thought out fantasy with lots of plot twists.  Will Tilly find her Mother?  Will the mean man go away?

It kept me reading and I enjoyed it a lot.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen

Everybody in this world wants to be a main character in a book.  If they get to Fable they will be taught skills that will enhance their chances of getting chosen.

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

Indira desperately wants to be a character.  Her older brother wasn't chosen and she's hoping she can include him in her book.  She gets to Fable but her advisor tells her she's been failing all the classes.  She knows she's done the work but her homework pages are blank.  She figures the paper her advisor gave must have a spell on it.  Then she finds out more about her, none of it good.  The other advisors want proof.  Getting proof is dangerous but she heads out to find it.  What she finds is a horrible plot to take her place in a book.  You see, her advisor was an unfinished character and she'd lied about her name to get the job.  The advisor doesn't care if she destroys two worlds to get what she wants.

Can Indira stop her?  Who will help her?  Can she stop the spell and save her classmates that "disappeared"?  That's a lot of "if's".  But Indiri has been doing well in her classes and she'll just have to wing it like she usually does.

This was a fun read with main characters, side characters, and those that would do cameo spots.  Indira is just a side character so how can she be a hero?  With magic, and special tools  there's a lot of mischief that can be done.  It's good that Indira is trying to stop that.

What a great read for middle schoolers who like fantasy tales!

Monday, September 2, 2019

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Jørgen Moe, Tiina Nunnally

I've read many fairytales since I've been collecting and selling books.  These tales sometimes sound familiar but many are new tales to me.  None are very long.  They would be good stories to read aloud but some are a bit scary so don't make them bedtime stories.

University of Minnesota Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this story for review (thank you).  It will be published September 17th.

Most of these stories involve a good person who runs into a bad person.  There are a lot of troll stories.  There are talking animals.  There are thieves.  There is a Cinderella-like story.

My favorite character was Ash Lad.  His two older brothers tell the King he's said outrageous statement.  So the King tells Ash to do it.  If he succeeds, he'll get the princess and half the kingdom.  He does it but his brothers have come up with another impossible chore for him.  After many trials and tribulations, he finishes the tasks and gets the princess and half the kingdom.  Then he gets even with his brothers... He wins so many kingdoms and princesses that he must be exhausted keeping up with them!

They are all good stories.  The kings all think they are sly, but they are not.  Some of the characters fool trolls.  Some of the trolls have more than one head.  There are a lot heads lopped off in these stories.

I found the stories entertaining even if a bit bloody in spots.  And Nunnally’s informative Translator’s Note places the tales in a biographical, historical, and literary context for the twenty-first century.

This is not just folktales; it's history.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Cog by Greg van Eekhout, Beatrice Blue (Illustrated by)

Cog is a robot.  He looks like a boy and he's an advanced robot so, in many ways, he acts like a boy, too.  When he sees a small dog in the middle of the street and a car is coming, he goes to move the dog.  The dog is safe but he's hit.  When he wakes up he's no longer home with Gina and that's when the troubles start.
HarperCollins and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 1st.

Cog has something different in his brain and the corporation wants it.  They plan to take his brain out.  He meets his sister, a dog robot, and a trash can robot.  Together they escape and steal a talking car.  The company is after them.  He goes home and Gina isn't there any more.  Now his goal is to get Gina and then escape.

There's lots of action and excitement in this story.  His sister has been taught to fight so she's handy.  When it looks like they will get caught, they switch their brains around and confuse the scientists.  He finds out Gina has a chip in her that forces her to what the company man tells her.

The ending was a good surprise and it was a good read.  Young adults should enjoy the tale.

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 ...