Sunday, August 30, 2015

Summer at Hideaway Key by Barbara Davis

This story reminds me a quote: "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." (Alfred Lord Tennyson)  Lily Mae spent her life protecting the people she loved.  The problem was that left her with no one to love her.  But there was someone who did...

NAL Accent sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

The tale begins with the present day Lily coming home for her father's funeral.  She and her mother get along as they usually do, not at all.   It's only when the will is read that her mother shows any emotion.  She does not want Lily to get the seaside cottage at Hideaway Key.  Her father willed it to her.  Her mother forbids her from accepting it.  That works just like it usually does.  Lily leaves right away to go to the forbidden cottage.  It's hers and her mother can't tell her what to do.

What she finds is a dilapidated run-down cottage by the sea.  The location is breath taking, the sea is calming.  However, she can't hardly get in the house; it's filled with boxes.  Why on earth would there be so many boxes left behind?  She knew that the house had belonged to her mother's older sister.  Her mother won't even allow her name to be said around her.  Why is there such hate?  What is the family secret that's so awful?  Then she finds the diaries.  They're from Lily Mae.  And what they tell is devastating.

Lily Mae and her little sister, Caroline, were taken to the poor farm and dropped off by their mother.  Their father was dead.  Her mother said she'd be back, but take care of Caroline.  Lily Mae did that, at deep personal cost.

This is heavy emotional read with sadness all over for Lily Mae.  She gives up everything to keep people safe.  What the present Lily can't understand is how her mother could know all this about her sister and not want to talk about her.

Lily is going places in life, she's a fashion designer.  She has no time for love or even really for friends but she finds both at the cottage.  Will she keep throwing her opportunities away or will she stop and follow her own dreams?  She looks at her aunt's and her mother's choices and works on making her own.

This would make a good Lifetime movie.  There's drama, love, tears, ugly secrets and a child in the middle of it all.  The story kept me reading.  The ending is bitter sweet.  Try it and tell me what you think.

The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon by Lowell H. Press

Reminiscent of Watership Down, this is a tale of mice.  They, too, have warriors, a King, and can be called into a life of service.  Sommer and his brother Nesbit would prefer not to.  But when you're summoned you have no choice.

Parker Mills Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th, so you can grab a copy then.

The story begins with the guard coming for more mice for their army.  They pick Sommer, who is older and stronger.  Nesbit gets a bit too mouthy and is asking to many personal questions, so he's to be sent to the Forest of Lost Life.  As soon as the guards leave, another mouse attacks their father and becomes the new leader of Long Meadow.  A cat carries the mouse body away with him so the new leader is going to blame the death on the cat.  That's not the only evil afoot.

The King is talking about pending war and keeps sending mice into the kitchen on a quest for the highly desired cheese.  That will stop the pending war.  What is actually doing is taking out any potential leaders in the various mousegroups.  This King doesn't care if the other mice starve.  He just wants anything he can hoard and he takes most of their food.  He wants no retaliation.  He also has a huge mouse that can defend him.  

Nesbit finds out there is no pending war; it's a lie.  He wants to find his brother and share that news.  But his brother is on the quest for the cheese and the odds aren't good for survival.

I liked the story.  It takes teamwork to make a difference and they managed to create an odd one.  Desperation will do that to people as well as with mice.  It's a fight to the end but it has a happy ending.  Are you ready to be a mouse?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dance of the Bones: A J. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker Novel by J. A. Jance

It was a murder many years ago, but it is still tied with current events.  People will do anything for money...

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 8th, so you don't have long to wait.

I've been reading Ms. Jance's books for a long time.  She writes a good mystery, I like the Indian traditions she shares and she really makes her characters feel like long time friends.  Anything she writes is well worth reading.

This is really a tale of an avarice-filled female who is beautiful and knows it.  Her web of deceit has victims everywhere.  An older man, his partner, a boyfriend, a border patrolman and Indian children are all impacted by her.  Some deserved it, some were just in the way.

It takes several people to untangle this web of deceit and people are dying as time passes by.  The story is fast paced, there's action on almost every page, and the Indian history that is interwoven was fascinating.  Story telling is a tradition among Native Americans and this story is almost parallel to the tales being woven.  I felt bad for all those that died but I was happy about the ones who survived.  Now they just have to live with the awful experiences they've been through.

Mister Max: The Book of Kings: Mister Max 3 by Cynthia Voigt, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrated by)

Mister Max has determined where his parents are located and that they need help.  But how can a boy of twelve help a King and Queen of a foreign country?

Knopf Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 8th, so watch for a copy then.

This whole series has been fun to read.  Max's parents are part of a theatrical group.  They are also spies.  Max dresses up as an older boy to run his solution business.  That way he makes some extra money to help his grandmother.  He's also learning to paint.  But he always seems to be saving someone in each book in this series.

This time he uses subterfuge to pretend he's a painter.  He wants to sneak in the palace and meet the King.  He borrows a dog, which is an attractive nuisance for other people.  The King's children are quite taken with the dog and Max gets commissioned to teach the oldest girl to draw.  He does get his audience with the King.  And the King even decides to support the idea.  Max's friend who is a Baron will go along with Max.  They fill out their group with his grandmother (as cook) and a business man who is going to share economic development ideas with them.  At the last minute, the painter jumps aboard.  He might not have invited but he's going too.  Anything to get away from the lady who wants to marry him!

This is an exciting adventure with lots of action, danger and fast thinking on Max's part.  He even has to play dead at one point.  There are some surprises in this book.  I think it's Max's best adventure yet.  Why don't you give a read and tell me what you think?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Smoked by Mari Mancusi

Emmy is being held captive in a government lab.  She's not alone, Scarlet is there with her.  But Trinity wants her dragon back, so they mount a rescue attempt.

Sourcebooks Fire and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st, so all you who are waiting for the final book in the series can grab it then.  If you haven't been reading the series, you can still enjoy this book.  I did.

Connor and Caleb are twins, but they are not always on the same side.  They also are both in love with Trinity.  When you add a dragon war to that combo, it gets tense real fast.

When Emmy is rescued, she has a secret.  She hides away for a couple of months before she returns home.  No one knows why she hid away except Scarlet.  Emmy had two eggs hatch in the cave.  She makes Scarlet promise to kill them.  She does, so Emmy will go away.  Then she hides the babies in a far away outbuilding.

When Caleb and Scarlet planned an impromptu meeting of the babies and Mom during a public filming of Emmy's birthday party, it goes way wrong.  Connor turns into the dragon hunter again and goes after the babies.  He kills one, the other one gets away.  And he's suddenly facing a whole building of enemies.

This is a complex story with time travel, a Nether world, dragons and hybrids, and evil as well as good people.  I feared the ending would not be happy but it mostly is.  It's a very interesting finale to a high stress series.  I doubt anyone who reads it will be disappointed.

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, make a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name and address.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Resist (Resistance, #2) by Tracy Lawson

Tommy and Careen are on the run.  They've found out the truth about the antidote and they don't want to take it anymore.  When they meet members of the Resistance, they're more than willing to join them.

PR by the Book sent me an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.  This is the second book in the series.

Careen is eighteen and hasn't met as many disillusioned and apathetic people as I have.  She thinks she's helping when says things but many of them backfire.  After all, she has price on her head now for murder, even though she never murdered anyone.  And she thinks that helping the people with food will be a benefit.  It was until the food warehouses were shut down.  While she's despairing with how her attempts to help are received, she also finds out the members of the Resistance don't mind if people die.  That means those in control are losing control.  All she can think of is the dead people; they are looking at the cost of war.

Tommy has fallen in love with her.  Unfortunately, one of the Resistance men has, too.  It creates a conflict at home.  Tommy gets jealous of how much time she spends with other Resistance members.  And Careen doesn't know how to handle the conflict that she feels when two men want her for their own.

Soon she will have bigger problems and less to worry about.  Especially if they begin drugging her again...

This is an exciting busy series about a world out of control with an insane manager.  You won't be bored when you read about it.

Counteract (Resistance, #1) by Tracy Lawson

Careen is good responsible student who does what she's told.  She's also living in a world I never want to see here.  Big Brother has nothing over the "god who would be", a man who believes he can run the country and control the people and have everything he wants...

PR by the Book sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense is "protecting" the public.  They are doing this by shutting down concerts, sporting events, social media, no cash transactions, no driver's licenses or travel, and they have also shut down grocery stores.  After all they could be targets for terrorists.  You'll get your groceries from the OCSD, use your debit card so they can track you, and you will do what you are told.  To ensure that, they announce airborne chemical weapons and give you a tube with a liquid that will protect you.  You only need to take it when it is announced as time and you only use three drops.  Their famous saying is that:  "It's a small price to pay."

Suddenly everyone goes lackadaisical.  No one is working; no one is going to school. It suddenly looks like everyone has "taken a trip but never left the farm" as one of the songs I listened to growing up said.  There's a good reason for that.  The "god who would be" is drugging them with hallucinogens. 

Careen knows a boy (or thinks she does) and tries to get him to help her.   She just wants to feel safe.  It will be a long time before she feels safe...

This is the first book in this series.  I will be reviewing the second book next.  Things don't get better for Careen...