Friday, December 15, 2017

If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar

This story focuses on a particular hospital floor where those who need constant care live.  Most of them are unconscious or have other problems (like not being able to communicate) and the nurses keep them hydrated, medicated, clean and visit with them to encourage them.  One person in the story did it to himself by drinking too much.  The other is a young, pregnant woman who was run down by a car and is in a coma.  Their stories are sad.

Harper and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

Frank is working getting his eyes to blink so he can say yes or no.  His daughter is visiting him and he loves seeing her.  He has exceptional hearing so he can hear what the people say to the woman in the coma.  He even learns about who put her there.  But he can't tell anyone...

As we learn about Frank and Cassie's past, one of the nurses on the floor finds herself getting emotionally tied to them.  She talks to Frank all the time even if he doesn't answer.  She's lost all the babies she's carried so she's anxious for Cassie to live long enough to have her child.  She tries to be kind to all the relatives and offer them moral support.  She does a good job but she doesn't know the killer is visiting the hospital and Cassie's future is in that person's hands.

In ways, this was creepy to read.  Life and death can't be taken for granted.  There's one semi-crazy person in the batch that does evil things to protect the one they love.  The climax is frightening and deadly.

I'll be thinking about this one for a long time.  It disturbed me but was very believable.  Read it.  I bet it does the same thing to you.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Historically Dead by Greta McKennan

Daria is making historically correct gowns for two older ladies that competing to win the grand prize on a national TV show.  She's also doing the curtains and other sewing assignments as required.  The TV crew is a bit of a pain, but she keeps soldiering on and gets most of it all done.  All she has left are the curtains and a few more dresses.  When she goes in the office the researcher uses to ask about curtain patterns, she finds him dead on the floor.  She calls 911 and waits.  When she finds out he was hit in the head and it was not a natural death, it worries her.  No one was in the house who didn't belong.  Who killed him?

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 19th.

This cozy mystery has one older lady who isn't quite all there and her sister, who seems to be made of steel.  There's a rumor that the more rigid one burned down her house and her husband both.  She doesn't regret his death.  It was arson, but did she do it?  She said she stayed in a local hotel because they had a fight.  Was that all she did? And then there's the boy that disappeared years ago.  No one ever proved him dead and his fluffy aunt still thinks he'll return.

Daria finds out the researcher had a secret he was going to reveal and it would expose the local hero as a traitor.  His assistant knows this secret, too, and she begs him to stay safe.  Then her newspaper reporter she's fond of disappears along with the assistant and she's afraid they are dead.

The story is busy, has lots of action, and ends violently.  This one won't bore you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Devil's Song by Lauren Stahl

Kate is an up-and-coming prosecutor who is trying hard to show her own worth.  Others think her dad got her the position and she intends to prove them wrong.  She has an excellent record.  And she's real excited about this new case.  She doesn't realize how close to home it's going to come...

Kaylie Jones Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 2nd.

Kate carries a secret from the past in her heart and head.  She soon starts to see similarities between the current killings and her near death experience as a child.  The women all have red hair and they've all been shaved to make them look childish. She thinks her predator is out of jail but he's not.  He's dead.  So who's killing them?

Someone is drugging Kate and messing with her mind.  Her cousin who was her best friend is now distant and detached even though she's living with her.  The more she searches for the truth, the more twisted the tale gets.

You have drug addicts, crazy people, blackmail and corruption cases all over the place and the people she's trying to track aren't where they are supposed to be.  Kate finds herself in an impossible place and it looks hopeless.

This story is exciting and realistic.  While Kate survives and it looks like she may have found a love interest, you can tell her father is in trouble.  He's a judge and she's always admired him.  She'll probably be protecting him in the next book in this series.

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit

This tale is written for young readers.  It's full of silly stories where the children's big ideas backfire on them.  It's written well and you even laugh as you see how they carry out their goals.

Dover Publications and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Their mother has died, their father is having a hard time earning enough money to keep them in their home and they are trying to come up with ways to make money.  After all, father sold their silverware and other things from the house already and their allowances have disappeared.  Just what could they do?

They try all sorts of schemes that are hairbrained and silly and they manage to get by without doing any damage.  They do get in a bit of trouble.

The ending is great!  They feel sorry for their poor Indian uncle, so they give him they money they have left since their last great scheme.  That turns their fortune around.  You'll need to read the book to see how but it's a fun read.  Give it a try.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Royal Rabbits Of London by Santa Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore

Shylo is a small rabbit who's not very good at physical activities.  His siblings tease him.  His oldest brother is the worse.  But he has a secret friend that believes in him.  He's an old rabbit with lots of scars and lots of tales...

Aladdin and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

When his brother follows him into the woods, he decides to shake him off by running through the woods and hiding.  He manages that, but he finds himself in a bad place.  The log he hid in is housing rats and they are making plans to take pictures of the Queen in Buckingham Palace while she's wearing her night gown.  Those will sell and make them famous.  (Like paparazzi but more along the lines of paparatzy.)

Shylo escapes and tells the old rabbit about it.  Since he's a retired Royal Rabbit, he tells him he must go warn the Royal Rabbits at the palace about the plot.  Shylo doesn't want to but he's the only one can.  The old rabbit tells him all the secret codes, where to go and who to talk to and tells him he may not be the strongest or bravest, but he needs to use his head to accomplish his goals.

I enjoy stories about animals and this one was a very good read.  Shylo finds himself in some very bad situations but he keeps his head and manages to stay out of trouble.  The Queen's corgis even play a role in this story.

It's an exciting tale filled with danger that ends well for the good guys.  Middle graders should love this story.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

She works for the CIA and works on detecting spies.  She's married, has children and life is good.  At least it is until she finds out her husband is a Russian sleeper.  She should turn him in but she can't.  She loves him...

Ballantine Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

When she talks to him about it, he admits it.  Her world falls apart.  It just gets worse.  She tries to protect him and then the Russians begin to blackmail her into being an inside person in the CIA.  She does something that won't damage much, but the threats escalate.

This is a cat and mouse world with death hovering around the edges.  She believes in him but I'm not sure she should.  They live through this crisis but I don't think her troubles are over yet.

With lots of suspense and tension throughout the story, this author keeps you reading.  It's a scary look at how things can turn out even with the best of intentions.  Who do you trust?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This is the story of a woman who is mixing prescription pills with alcohol and gradually losing her mind.  She's suffered such a devastating loss she can't put her life back together again.  She's a bit like Humpty Dumpty.  She's created her own little, safe place and it's not good for her but she can't change...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

All she really does now is play chess, drink wine, take her pills when she remembers, and look out her windows at the neighbors and what they do.  She uses her camera with the telephoto lense to see into the houses or yards.  She's a snoop.  When she witnesses murder, she becomes a worried snoop.  No one believes her...

This is a suspenseful psychological read with only part of the facts revealed at the beginning.  As it goes along, she begins to doubt herself.  She could have hallucinated.  Maybe she forgot some of what she did.  How else could someone post things on her account and take a picture of her sleeping in her bed?  The answer to that is disturbing.

The cops believe that she believes what she's telling them but there's no proof.  The missing woman was not who she assumed she was.  No one else witnessed the murder.  And she has mental problems.  It's no comfort to her to find out she was right.  Now it's a fight for her life... 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Mr. Backman approaches his stories from a different angle.  You never know exactly what you're going to get when you begin them but he keeps you reading!

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

It begins with a father telling his son a story at Christmas in which he admits he's taken a life.  But the rest of the story is about making a deal with death...

The man finds out he has cancer and he may die.  He meets a five year old girl in the hospital and they become friends.  He doesn't want her to die.  But he can't trade his death for hers.  What he has to do makes him assess his life and his relationships with his family.

It's a story that makes you think.  It even has a message about how to make your life mean more.

Every time I read this author's work, I find myself thinking about the story days later.  This is a novella so here's your chance to quickly see how his words weave into your brain.

Ella Bella Ballerina and The Magic Toyshop by James Mayhew

This is a sweet story of a little girl who wants to be a ballerina and has a good imagination.  It reminds me a bit of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales.

Barron's Educational Series and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

When her teacher plays her music box, Ella Bella is transfixed by the music.  When the teacher explains the story the song is telling, she finds herself being transported into the Magic Toyshop.  She sees wonderful toys that are animated and isn't sure which one she would pick if she could.  The best ones are the two cancan dancers.  He and she are in love.  And when some visiting customers see them, they tell the proprietor they'll be back the next day to buy them.  Since two couples want them, he will only sell them each one.  The toys are devastated.  They don't want to be separated.

Luckily, Ella Bella has an idea...

The graphics look old timey, the story has a happy ending and your own child's imagination will be filled with thoughts of their own personal magic store.  Share it with them for Christmas, it'd make a perfect gift.

Friday, December 8, 2017

For Better or Worse by Donna Huston Murray

The title says for better or worse, but most of the people in this story are on the "worst" side of marriage.  It makes for good reading, though.

This author and Net Galley shared this book with me to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 10th.

Ginger is at her daughter's home helping them with some updates to the house.  The first thing she sees is a bag of bricks thrown out of the third floor window next door!  Then she hears what she thinks are shots.  While she's debating calling the cops, she meets Eric who lives next door with his grandmother.  He says she's eccentric and she does crazy things.  When he finds her at the bottom of the stairs, he takes her to the hospital with her fighting him the whole way.  Then the doctor suggests he murdered her...

She meets the other neighbors and ends up babysitting for two couples.  She also finds herself being stalked by one of the husbands.  He thinks she's after him but she has no idea why.

With abusive husbands, a suggestion of murder and a child the mother doesn't seem to love, Ginger has plenty of work to do trying to make things better.  She manages in her own way and things do settle down.  I'm sure she'll find more trouble in the next book.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd

His sister has just married and left on her honeymoon and Ian doesn't know what to do with himself.  He decides to go for a drive.  He doesn't know where he'll end up but maybe it will get him out of this helpless feeling of no place to call home.  Instead, he drives up to a standing car with a woman in distress.  The driver has been shot and killed...

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

He begins sorting things out and working on the case even though he's not been assigned.  Scotland Yard finally sets him up as their local contact.  Then another man is found shot through the heart.  Who would kill these folks who had no enemies?

As he searches through the past, he finds that a book seems to connect them all.  It's an antique book about apples.  He can see no significance in it but it seems everyone who touches it ends up dead.  As he keeps tying the webs together, he finds there probably is a good reason. The killer was someone who surprised me.  

This mother-son team writes excellent mysteries and this is another in the series that pleases.  I'd like to see Ian find a love interest but he's a very good detective and interesting fellow even now.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Long Arm of the Law by Martin Edwards

This is classic collection of short stories done by well established authors.  I recognized some names and knew I'd enjoy reading this book.  I was right.

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 2nd.

There's a lot of brainwork involved in these stories.  There aren't many clues, most of them have alibis, and they all appear to be unfortunate accidents or suicide.  Never underestimate the detectives.  They didn't get to the rank that they did by being stupid.

My favorites here were done by authors I read long ago and they still stand up to the test of time:

The Silence of P C Hirley by Edgar Wallace.
The Undoing of Mr Dawes by Gerald Verner.
The Chief Witness by John Creasey.

There's deducting of the best quality and some bluffing in these stories and they're great fun to read.  Give it a try!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scones and Scoundrels by Molly MacRae

The Highland Bookshop is doing pretty well now.  With scones selling next door, hot tea or coffee available and her friends, Janet is content.  When one of her friend gets a well-known author to come and sign books at her shop, she's enthused and anticipates good sales.  What she gets is murder...

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 2nd.

Daphne, the celebrated author, lives in a cabin in the woods and has never returned to her hometown until now.  She's not a nice a person.  She can either be hot or cold in personality, likes to be sarcastic and nasty, and she leads people on.  Most everyone doesn't like her.

One of the first things she does is suggest the locals might like her help in solving an open murder case.  They don't want it and tell her so.  She still pokes her nose into everything.  In time, she becomes the next victim.  It's hard to feel sorry for her.  Then a missing man shows up murdered.  Who in the small town could be killing them?  There are no strangers there.

I had no suspects in mind because the man that was killed was on my list and he's been killed, too.  I was totally amazed at the real killer.  They acted normal and sane until they showed their true colors.  It's a close thing for Janet and her friends...

Stories for the 12 Days of Christmas by Linda Mansfield

Here's an anthology that can be read during the Christmas season and it will make you happy.  The stories are light, some make you laugh, and you share the characters emotions.

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

All of the stories are realistic and relate to Christmas.  None are long so you could easily read one story a night out loud.  I read the whole thing in one evening because I love short stories.

I have to tell you that the one that was my favorite had to do with a Christmas pageant that didn't work out quite like it was supposed to.  Any story that includes a "flaming ass" as an ending makes me smile.  It's not cussing, it's a happening and you'll need to read the story to understand the reference.

This could easily be your lunch break read as you approach Christmas.  Give it a try and see if she makes you laugh.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Every Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlay

When the little girls spy their cat up on the neighbor's roof, they immediately rush the house to get it back.  Zach goes out to see what's going on and ends up getting involved in their lives...

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

Their mother is hot on their heels reminding them they are not to go anywhere without checking in with her first.  Zach is attracted but he doesn't want any commitments.  That's the way it always starts, isn't it?

You have the kitten and a dog in the story but they don't play a large part.  The majority of the plot is watching the two main characters dancing around each other and trying not to fall in love.  It's hard to ignore him when your two children love him.  

Her ex-father-in-law provides some conflict in the story.  He wants to take the children away from her.  Zach isn't going to stand for that.  He doesn't tell her about the conversation and she says he's lying by omission.  It takes a while before the misunderstanding is ironed out.

This is a pleasant romance with a happy ending.  The sex was a bit more graphic than I like but it fit in with the story.  Two people who have spent their lives alone without a lot of love now have family, friends and a devoted love.  What more could you want?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Someone is killing the survivors of an old cult.  The building was burned down but a courageous cop saved the children.  Now the children are dying...

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

When a beautiful young woman comes into their detective agency and tells them the woman who died by jumping from a cliff in the San Juan Islands didn't commit suicide, she was scared and running from danger.  She was from the children in the barn and she was doing a series of paintings.  The last one she painted she did it on her cabin wall.  She burned the cabin before her jump.

The reason they listen to her is because the main PI is another survivor from the cult deaths.  He is intrigued by her story.  Every survivor believes the man that charmed them into following him did not really die in a boat fire.  Is he back?  What does he want?

There are a lot of threads that need to be tied before they manage to get to the truth.  Virginia has found love and she's the next target.  She'll need her PI before they are done with the investigation.

The bad news is that the original scoundrel is still alive.  There will be another in this series I'm sure.  

This author always writes an exciting novel with lot of suspense and tension.  Once I start reading, I keep reading until the book is done.  If you haven't tasted her work yet, do.  You won't regret it.

Secrets of the Home Wood: The Sacrifice by Julie Whitley

Every one knows you need to stay out of the home woods.  Ever since his father got lost in there for a bit, it's been forbidden.  But when Jonathan's mother and father fight, she leaves to "think".  When his father finds out she didn't make it to the neighbors, he knows she must have gone too far in the woods and he goes after her.  He doesn't know that Jonathan is right behind him...

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.

This author creates an imaginary world that felt very real.  It has the spirit of Watership Down, has several groups of creatures that are intelligent and for the most part peace-loving.  To get there, you have to take cover in an old tree that has been split by lightening.  You get sleepy and when you wake up, you're in the other world.

While the boy and his father are there looking for the mother, they get involved with a pending war.  One group of warriors wants to conquer the other two races and dominate them all.  If they're not careful, they may end up being victims, too.

The story flows well, not all their plans work, and it takes a bit of magic to make it all work out.  It's an exciting read and I found myself caring about all the creatures as well as the human characters.  The best part is the happy ending.  Not everyone makes it but those who do make the most of it.  That's a good approach to life.

I really enjoyed this one.  Why don't you give a read and see what you think?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

She has an usual power.  She can hide in shadows, weave them into something solid and even has a relationship with her own shadow.  It's her best friend.  After all, her parents are afraid of her...

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

Emmeline has been hidden in the house away from the eyes of the neighbors.  She's not taken to any functions and they limit their visitors.  But she gets bored, so she sneaks out to play with shadows and then she gets in trouble.  When more visitors are announced, she's told she must be on her best behavior.  It's hard to be good when you're favorite thing to do is eavesdrop.  What she doesn't expect is that they will bring a young ghost girl with them.  She finds her...

The worst thing ever happens, she's being sent away by her parents to another kingdom where they will "cure" her.  She doesn't want to be cured, so she runs.

Nothing is as it seems in this story.  There's a Queen who seeks the magic the children have and she "eats" it, leaving them with nothing.  She then plants them in her garden.  The family she runs into after leaving home is kind and willing to share what they have.  But the guard comes after her and soon everyone is on the run.

This read is full of fright.  Anyone with a magical power is sought for the Queen.  Hiding is very hard to do even if you hide your magic.  Here's a suspenseful look at the world of magic and the greed of a magic eater.  Not even her shadow can be trusted...

Friday, December 1, 2017

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

What if the man you married was a chameleon?  If he could change his spots to fit his present world and make his truth the "real" truth?    What if you didn't realize that until it was too late?

Atria Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23, 2018.

Reading this book echoed the current news headlines about men abusing women.  It's currently very topical and just as disturbing as the news.

James and Sophie met in college and married.  James had secrets from his college days he didn't share with her.  He even had current secrets.  His affair comes to light and as he tries to salvage his career and marriage, it turns to a charge of rape.  Sophie believes he didn't rape her but she still feels betrayed by his affair.  It turns out James sometimes takes what he wants...

The intriguing part of this story is how a young woman who was raped by James has remade her life and changed her name.  She's also the prosecutor on this case.  She argues well, but he gets off.  Then Sophie finds out the truth...

What goes around, comes around and James is going to find that out up close and personal.  There's lots of drama, a good deal of background, and some disgusting facts in this case but it's quite pertinent to today's situations.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland by Ellen Datlow

If you thought Alice and the Jabberwocky were strange enough in the original tale, you'll have a lot more odd characters to think about now...

Tor Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 12th.

These tales are dark and some of them are horror tales but my favorite ones were the ones that were just a bit odd.  

My favorites were:
Mercury by Prya Sharma
All the King's Men by Jeffrey Ford (starring Humpty Dumpty)
The Flame After the Candle by Cathrynne M Valente (a bunch of short tales used to make a whole)
Moon Memory and Madness by Katherine Vaz

None of the tales are usual, none are boring and many made me go:  "Oh!"  The writer's words flow well and they will entertain you.  

I'd recommend you don't read this one late in the evening...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Soldier's Curse by Thomas Keneally, Meg Keneally


This book was fascinating.  It's set in New South Wales and is a prison camp for English prisoners.  One of them is a man who worked as a legal clerk and then forged a certificate to work as a lawyer.  He's found out and after serving time in more than one facility, he finds himself here.  The good news is that he gets chosen to work as a clerk for the commander and he doesn't have to do the other ugly jobs.  The bad news is there's an assistant to the commander that doesn't like him.  It doesn't take long for a crisis to arrive after the commander goes looking for a river that is rumored to be large enough to be useful...

Atria Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 12th.

This is well told tale of a man who didn't have opportunity and made his own.  He has trouble keeping his mouth shut and he gets punished for that.  He still believes in justice even if he is in jail.  He and the housekeeper get to be special friends and share a cup of tea in the mornings.  There's a young Irish soldier that sometimes keeps them company and they both enjoy his humor.

The assistant commander shows his sadistic side when having someone disciplined.  They only give 35 lashes for wrong doing but he makes it 100.  And when he deems the soldier is not hitting him hard enough, he takes the lash and adds even more.  The lashed man dies...

When the commander's wife dies, everything goes to pieces.  Especially since she was poisoned.  The housekeeper is accused of it since she served her the tea.  Hugh doesn't believe she did it and tries to prove it but his documents that would make the assistant commander not look good get confiscated and burned.  He doesn't give up though.

The story has lots of detail and moves a bit slowly but it takes you inside the story and you feel you know the people.  I'd read more about this character.  He's intriguing.
 

Murder in the Family by Faith Martin

The job Hillary has now is a promotion but she's bored.  Supervising and pushing paper is not her thing.  She doesn't mind training new officers but she'd rather be doing investigations than paperwork.  When she gets her wish and is sent back to investigations, she finds they are replacing her with the cop that tried to put her in jail for her dead husband's crime.  She's not happy, but she doesn't have time to think about it.  She gets assigned a new murder case right away...

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

Hillary finds the victim is a fifteen-year old boy.  Someone has stabbed him with gardening shears that were in the shed where he was located.  It's a lonely sad death.  Why kill him?

It takes time for that question to be answered.  He wasn't involved in drugs, he wasn't stealing and he didn't seem to have other bad habits.  But most people referred to him as sly.  And he had money he had no way to earn.  Just what was he doing?

It turns out this little community had some secrets.  The young man had a camera and he liked to take pictures.  He even got an award for one of them.  But the other pictures he took were of things people did and didn't want other people to know.

This is a look at the darker side of life and it's not pleasant.  Hillary does find out who the murderer is.  But she's got another problem.  She's got two men who are interested in her.  She wasn't sure if she wanted one, but two is too many.  I wonder what will happen in the next book...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mrs. Claus: Not the Fairy Tale They Say edited by Rhonda Parrish

This Mrs. Claus is not that smiley nice lady that hands out apple cider and cookies (or milk if you choose).  These ladies (if you can call them that) are more dangerous than they are sweet.  These fantasy tales are great fun to read.  Want to get in the mood for Christmas?  Read these tales to learn what not to do.

World Weaver Press sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

Red to Hide the Blood by Hayley Stone, which is the last story in this anthology, was one of my favorites.  The best one in my opinion was the first story:  Wight Christmas by Laura VanArendonk Baugh.  This Mrs. Santa has a heritage that stands her in good stead even if wights are out and about.  I love strong women stories.

None of these stories are bad, I enjoyed them all.  Why not give it a read and tell me which stories touched you?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

They were lucky enough to grow up in a home where their father allowed them freedoms other women weren't allowed to have.  They even went to college in a day and age when women didn't.  They were supposed to get married, have children, and attend functions and entertain for their husband.  These women wanted to travel and they did...

Bethany House provided me with a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

This story moves through the present and the past.  Their memories of the past show you how they matured and how they survived several crises.  Victorian women were second class citizens and their husbands owned all their money.  They had dreams of traveling to ancient historic sites and even finding artifacts that would support their religious beliefs.  If they married, that wouldn't happen.  The oldest woman told her boyfriend she would not marry him.  His mother tried to talk her into it but she could see he only wanted her money.

She and her sister live through bad seas, desert storms and dangerous sheiks, each time saying it was the grace of God they were still alive.  I enjoyed reading about their traveling and the problems they encountered.  I also enjoyed the romances that grew in time.  There was a bit more Christianity than I would have preferred but it didn't harm the tale.  Their approach was very different from others in that time period.  They even rehabilitated those who tried to steal from them or those who ran from the orphanage.  Life wasn't perfect but they made it work.  That's about all we can do and we might as well have fun with it!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mosquitoes Don't Bite Me by Pendred Noyce

Nala is very lucky.  Mosquitoes don't bite her.  I wish I had that skill, they love me...

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

I learned things reading this book.  Nala's father was a Kenyan and whatever is protecting her from mosquitoes must have come from his heritage.  Her mother is in a wheelchair now after an accident, so she doubts she'll ever see her father soon.  Then a scientist finds out about her skill and he wants to study her.  Her mother allows her to participate.  She can't believe it when they want her to go with them to Kenya and meet her father and other relatives to find the common denominator to stop mosquito bites.  They get malaria from bites and zika is a new concern.

While she's staying at the hotel in Kenya, she's kidnapped!  The man who took her wants free medicine from the drug company for Kenyan families.  His daughter died because he couldn't afford the medicine.  She tries to help him but it doesn't turn out like she thought it would.

This is fiction but the facts about drug costs, death and conditions in Kenya are accurate.  Reading this story will help young ones understand world issues and that all things are not equal.  Even here in the states, young ones can die if the drug costs too much.  Good health shouldn't be only available if you have enough money.  

This read is a bit sad but it offers hope at the end of the story.  Reading this will open your eyes to the challenges we have world wide.  It's very well done.

Altered to Death: A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery by Christina Freeburn

Faith is gathering historical information for a scrapbook that will be displayed in the historical museum.  When she has an opportunity to visit a long abandoned home that had belonged to the first family in town, she's happy.  She's sure she can find some cool things for her scrapbook.  It's what the work crew finds that creates the most excitement, though.  They've dug up a dead body...

Henery Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 28th.

Everything about this family is a secret.  They left town suddenly.  No one remembers much and no one volunteers anything.  But a dead man means someone has to answer.  

Her fiance is the local cop and he wants her to stay out of the case.  She's still on the hunt for local history.  She certainly doesn't expect to find what she does.  Secret diaries, illegitimate children, more deaths, and secrets buried for years don't make your life easier.  Especially when some of the people involved are crazy.

There's plenty of action, a messed up mystery, and surprises all around by the time the case has been closed.  At least it looks like Faith and Ted are finally going to get to the altar.  The next book should be even more fun.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Honey Moon Dog Daze by Sofi Benitez

Honey is looking for a way to earn money.  She decides to try dog walking.  She gets her girlfriend who is neighbor of hers to go into business with her.  But it's harder than it looks...

Rabbit Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

I love dogs so I had to read this one.  The first dog they get under contract is a St. Bernard.  They are young girls and this dog is bigger than both of them.  When they go to the door to talk to the owner, they almost run away because the dog is taller than they are!  But he's fairly well mannered and after a test walk, they agree to take him on.

Their next challenge is a group of three Corgis.  Trying to hang onto all three and not get caught up in leashes or tripped is challenge!

Then Titus' sister decides to copy their business.  She's got more customers and she lords it over them.  The fun part is that she often ends up on her face or her bottom because the dogs are stronger than she is.  It's when they both end up on the same street and the dogs decide to play in a mud puddle, they decide they might be friends.

There's a side story about a foster girl looking for a permanent home and working at the animal shelter that's sweet and ends well.

My favorite part is the name of their business:  Sleepy Hollow Howlers.  This was a great read.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Harry Moon Halloween Nightmares by Mark Andrew Poe

Harry might have overcome Titus' bullying but they aren't friends.  There's talent night competition for Halloween and Titus is determined to win it!

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

This book is even more fun than the last one.  In this one, Harry gets a rabbit he can pull out of his top hat.  It's even more special because the rabbit is magic and he can fly!  The practice performance makes it look like Harry will win it but Titus is determined...

When the show is over, Harry gets disqualified because no one can answer how the rabbit did it.  But he's a good sport and goes to the big party Titus' father is putting on.  It's a good thing he did...

This one is exciting, Titus needs Harry's help, and it all ends well.  Sometimes you're only enemies because you don't know each other well or you're jealous.  It's better to be friends.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Harry Moon Wand Paper Scissors by Mark Andrew Poe

Harry Moon's town has a bully.  He likes to pick on Harry.  Little does he know that Harry has magical powers...

Rabbit Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

This series would be great for middle graders.  The stories are exciting and there are puns and jokes interspersed in the chapters.  After all, Harry Moon gets teased because the older boys mooned the younger ones when they were going by on the bus to go to the away game.  Now they call him "Hairy Moon" and laugh.

When Harry was born, his mother was visited by a man who told her he was special.  He meant in a magical way.  Harry is thirteen and he's noticed a few things but he needs something more to fight Titus' bullying.  The man at the magic shop gives him a wand.  He has to choose the right one and he does.  But his magic won't work for bad, it will only do good.  Harry has to find another way to get around Titus. His dad even makes up t-shirts for everyone that say "Do No Evil".  Harry's solution is a good one. 

This is fun read with a good message for children.  I have enjoyed this whole series.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ludlow Lost by Kate Robinson Dunne

This is a fun middle school read.  It's fantasy filled with creatures humans don't believe in...

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

He's kidnapped by a fairy, two goblins take him and the fairy to a boat filled with them and a banshee is the captain.  It's not looking good for Ludlow.

He has several adventures on board as he adjusts to life at sea and to hearing a banshee wail.  Both are awful but he can used to the sea.  Not so with the other noise...

He's lucky enough to make friends with a mermaid but the fairy says she's the one telling the banshee about his plans.  He doesn't believe it and you'll find out he's right later in the story.  Even the goblins aren't all real goblins.

This was a great read and I'd read more in this series.  Ludlow still has a lot to learn about other worldly creatures.