Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Known: A Bone Secrets Novel by Kendra Elliot

Chris can smell smoke.  He shouldn't be able to, it's a snowy day in the Cascade mountains and the cabins are a long way from each other.  It also doesn't smell like a regular wood fire.  It's something worse...

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

What Chris finds is a burnt down cabin with people taking cover in an old Suburban parked there.  It's a young teenager and her mother.  Her mother has been sick, they're both cold, and they have no idea why the cabin burned.  He can smell other death there but he takes them home with him first.  They need to get warmed up and he can help them with that as well as calm them down.  He'll go back later to find out who died since they didn't think anyone else was there.

Ms. Elliot characters both have a history that is filled with trauma.  Chris was held captive and tortured, along with others, by a madman.  Gianna was involved in a car accident where both her parents died and she doesn't remember anything about it.  They are both older and functioning well now but there are cracks in both facades they show the world.

Chris has a super protective streak.  Gianna is a medical examiner and is a "fix it now" person.  Chris is a "do it when it's right" person.  They clash and they mesh together both.  There is someone after Gianna and Chris and his family will not let that happen.

This is a tight and suspenseful story that keeps you on your toes.  It's almost all action, with a little time for a growing romance.  It plays with your emotions but it ends happily ever after.  That's a good thing for these two who have had such a hard life.  Read it, it'll keep you going.

Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt, Ross Collins (Illustrated by)

A nasty witch has stolen Mabel's baby sister and she's on a quest to retrieve her.  Since it's Mabel, you know that this story will be filled with adventure!

Viking Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It's being published today.

This is a wild ragtime adventure for Mabel and her friends.  She begins alone in a wardrobe she doesn't recognize and meets some strange animals that force her out of the room.  She knows she must go to the Forbidden City to find her sister, so she starts asking around trying to find out where it is and who might take her there.

The story is written for middle graders and Mabel has more adventures than you can shake a stick at.  She's brave, determined and willing to offer anything to get her back.  There are imaginary creatures, real creature with human traits and madcap antics all over the place.

The ending is very ironic and I like it.  This busy story will be great fun for someone who hasn't quite decided if they like reading or not.  They might even read it more than once.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver

Finding someone beat to death with a ball-peen hammer is an ugly crime scene.  But this victim isn't the only one...

Grand Central Publishing and Edelweiss let me read an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It is going to be published March 8th.  This is the newest in the Lincoln Rhyme series and I haven't been disappointed by any of the books in this series.  If you haven't read the earlier ones, give yourself a treat and do so.

This author messes with my mind.  Not only does he create monsters in the men or women that Lincoln is hunting, he has two or three central plots going on at the same time, and there's always personal trauma of some kind in the police force.

Lincoln ends up with a new intern, a woman who is facing a life in a wheelchair and is very interested in his type of forensic work.  She's an excellent new character that adds another element to the team Lincoln works with.  He's no longer part of NYPD, but he is taking on a civil case to help a woman whose husband died in an escalator failure.

Amelia was following a suspect when the escalator incident happened and she had to drop that and go to the man's rescue.  Unfortunately, he couldn't be saved.  When it's determined that it was no accident, it becomes murder.  But how do you find someone who leaves no trace of himself at the scene?

They know a lot about what was on his shoes, a general description of what he looks like, that he likes to work with wood and does carpentry of some kind and probably lives in the Queens area.  But there are no finger prints, no DNA, nothing to match to a person.

I had no idea who was really behind all these murders.  It surprised me when I found out.  Amelia's old boyfriend is out of jail and wants to renew their romance.  She's not sure about that but she'd like to believe in his innocence.  But is he really innocent?

The story is very busy, there's a lot of suspense, the murders are ugly, and it kept my attention to the end.  I'm ready for the next Lincoln Rhyme mystery now.  Serve it up, Mr. Deaver.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rain Dogs: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel by Adrian McKinty

Sean never has an easy time of it but this case is a real bear.  Why would someone have killed the young journalist?  Surely she didn't climb to the top of the castle and jump.  It would be hard to do since there was a security guard, and she didn't like heights.  Besides, the one shoe she was wearing was on the wrong foot...

Seventh Street Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

Sean walks on both sides of the law.  He may be a cop but he's also Irish and knows players on all sides.  He checks his car each day for bombs.  He frets about his girlfriend having left him.  He's an emotional mess that shows no emotion and does what he needs to do.  Sometimes in spite of the law.

He's checking out the murder scene and wants to see all those who visited the castle that day.  He finds that the local Finnish delegation over checking out the possibility of business development had been there.  They are the ultimate bigwigs and he gets into trouble for bothering them.  His instinct tells him there's more to them than just business.  He's right.

There are old secrets, new secrets, and more in this story.  Sean's boss gets blown up.  Sean finds a bomb under his car, too.  He's been in danger before and still plowed ahead.  That's what he does in this story, too.

There's help from an unknown agency, an old friend isn't anymore, and his girlfriend is pregnant.  After all the drama is over, Sean is back together with his girlfriend.  For now.  I'll have to read the next book and see how that goes.  He's not going to back off from investigating so it should be interesting.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mutt's Promise by Julie Salamon, Jill Weber (Illustrated by)

She's been on her own for a while now and is traveling past the farm when she hears an animal fight going on.  It's a hen being attacked by some weaselly looking thing and she goes to the hen's rescue.  When the attacker has run off, the owner comes out and checks over the chicken.  He needs to tend its wounds, so he gives the dog a pat and goes in the house with the chicken.  When the dog doesn't leave, he feeds her.  And he calls her Mutt.

Dial Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

If you have had dogs or like dogs, this book will appeal to you.  Mutt is pregnant but doesn't know it.  She finds out when birthing time is near.  She has four puppies.  The young son of the transient workers loves Mutt and thinks all her puppies are special.  He even names them.  His favorite is the runt of the litter; he calls her Luna.  But transients move on.  The owner of the farm can't afford to feed them all, so he offers the puppies for free once they are old enough.  

One little girl is taken with the two almost matching female puppies.  Her parents said one but they change to two after discussion.  They're both named Happy, one in English and the other in Spanish.  The little girl knows both languages and she's very happy with her new playmates.

The remaining puppies don't have such a good time.  The man that comes after them isn't kind, he's not even nice.  The owner wants them gone, so he lets him take them.  Then he worries after the fact.  So does Mutt.  She didn't like that man.

The pups have many more adventures before they finally settle down.  Life is tough when you're on the run.  You can't trust everybody.  But you can be lucky...

One Wish by Michelle Harrison

Tanya can see fairies.  Nobody believes her, not even her mother.  But she can.  And they aren't nice to her.  They are supposed to be her guardians but if she does something they disapprove of, they punish her.  Since no one believes her, she knows it would do no good to complain or ask for help.  Poor Tanya!

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

Ms. Harrison always writes books filled with magic and makes them interesting and exciting.  She's got a great imagination and just draws me in and fills me up with her tale.  This one is very good and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Tanya sees a fairy stealing things at the local restaurant.  She chases her and finds out that there is a young boy that protects the fairy.  He can see them, too!  She tries to be friends with him but he's a bit standoffish.  She persists and he invites to come to his place.  It's a trailer in the woods where he lives with his dad.  His dad is gone at the moment and she visits and chats about various things.  The fairy comes over and plays with her hair and bites her neck.  She decides to leave.  When she does, she has trouble remembering anything about him and their time together.  But she decides to return the next day and see if she can find him again.

She does.  She also sees a lot more than she wants to.  Her life changes when she gets involved in an old grudge with magical overtones.  Hers was not the only stolen memory.

There are madcap characters in this story.  There's a hag in the water on the way to the castle that would like to eat you.  There's a shadow running at large.  There are two insane old ladies that live in another world.  There's a crazy man trying to raise the dead.  And the boy's dad is now a frog.  With all the excitement going on, you're sure not to be bored.

This was a great read!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

She just wants to run her bakery but it's not to be.  The Timekeeper has come looking for her.  Her father has died and it's time for the magic to move on to another.  She knew this was possible but was sure one of her three stepbrothers would be the chosen one.  It was not and they are not happy about that.  She's just a female and a young one at that.  But she's the chosen one and will now be the Lady with the power.

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

It starts a bit slow while Keri learns her new role and how to be a leader.  She has to go through the appointment process, try to make her stepbrothers her allies rather than her enemies, and she has trouble that she never even knew existed.  Their protective mist that keeps their country safe from the warring factions around them is coming undone.  Soon, they will be visible.  That can't happen or they will lose their peace and some of them their lives.

The only advantage that Keri has is that the Doorkeeper and the Bookkeeper who are her assistants are her very good friends.  They all have a touch of magic and they will have to learn how to use that to keep their home safe.

With magic, wizards, dragons, warriors and treachery from within as well as outside, Keri has her work cut out for her.  The tale takes a bit to get going but it's then "off to the races".  Most of the time Keri is winging it and hoping she's making the right decisions.  I've been there in life.  I just wish I'd had some of her magic.  Or maybe not.

It takes hard work on all sides by her supporting characters to overcome a direct attack from the wizard next door.  It's a good thing they got the King's attention because he corrects the wizard, but it's bad thing because the King comes after them!

This was a good read.  It's a grand adventure and everyone has to pull together to make it work.  Keri has more work to do but at least the mist is working again.  Who knows what new adventures might come to her?