Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

This is an interesting look at wishes.  If you could grant wishes, would you?  How careful would you have to be when you made them?  What if you really didn't mean to do what you wished?  How do you recover from making your little brother disappear?

Thomas Dunne Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and is available now.

This story was just bit beyond believable for me.  The story line is good, I enjoyed the characters and I especially liked the small town she found when she decided to leave her past behind.  Rachel is not the strongest young woman.  She has guilt over losing her brother, her father leaving her mother and her mother's suicide.  She's been surviving but she keeps living with that guilt.  In an attempt to leave that behind and move on with her life, she packs up and heads out with no particular destination in mind.  She's heading towards the beach and will try to pick up the pieces there.  Unfortunately, she runs out of gas in a small town and can't go on with her journey right away.  It's the best thing that ever happened to her.

She ends up staying with an old woman who makes pies for the whole town.  It's named Nowhere and that's an appropriate name.  It doesn't take long until Rachel notices people visit Catch at the back door and request certain pies.  Those pies have a magical ingredient baked in them that helps them keep secrets, fall in love, and more.  Rachel's still too scared to tell Catch about her own magic.  She does help her bake pies and deliver them though.  And the male neighbor next door is fascinating.

There's trauma, drama, gossip and more in this story.  There's the knowledge that once you've wished something, you can't change it.  It's like that old adage:  Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

This was a pleasant read and has a positive ending.  It was a bit far-fetched to me but it was enjoyable.  See what you think!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Her Last Breath (Detective Kerri Blasco Book 2) by J.A. Schneider

She awakens in bed with a strange man.  She doesn't know who he is but even hungover she can tell he's not alive with that knife in his chest.  She freaks, knocks over a lamp, cuts her hands and can't find her purse.  She's got asthma and she needs her inhaler.  Instead she passes out from lack of air.

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

Someone arrives and does CPR on her until the medics show up.  He gives her his card and then comes to see her at the hospital.  He works on the floor below and heard the commotion.  He used to be a cop and didn't panic during the emergency.  She's estranged from her husband but when the cops start talking about charging her with murder, she calls him.  He's not fond of this stranger but he tries to mind his own business.

This is tense, stressful tale.  She had been drugged with something that makes you forget at the media event she attended.  Someone is setting her up but who?  She gets so paranoid she doesn't trust her friends, her rescuer, or her husband.  Someone is out to get her.

I had my suspicions but the truth isn't revealed until the end.  Kerri is the only one keeps her from being nailed with a murder charge.  Even her phone had been tampered with.  Kerri just knows it doesn't fit, but how to prove that?

If you couldn't remember, your mind will go nuts trying to.  Poor Mari is blank until it's almost too late.  You start this one, you'll read it until the end.  You might even have trouble taking time to eat.  The storyline holds you and you fear the danger along with Mari.

You read it and tell me what you think.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Guns Across Red River by A A Glynn

Dannehar just stopped in town to get something to eat.  Instead, he gets a gun in his back and the sheriff tells him he'll be spending his night in jail.  Anyone who comes to town with a gun gets that treatment.  Dannehar knows Oskin.  They've both been soldiers and then lawmen after the war.  He goes along with it and gets a good meal out of it.  Then he and the boy he's jailed with work an old trick and he escapes.  That was working great until he gets pinned down by the river by a couple of men in the rocks above him.  They have rifles.  He just has his pistol.  The odds aren't good.

Pioneering Press allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

He's lucky, Oskin has a rifle and takes them out and then joins him.  He's surprised to see him but Oskin was getting antsy about his job as sheriff and the adventuring bug hit him when Dannehar came through.  Dannehar explains he's going to help a negro who saved his life during the war.  He was drowning and he got him out of the river.  They shook hands and then went back to the war:  one on one side and one on the other.  This man needs help because someone is trying to run the Indians and the others in the town out.  

What they find is ugly.  There are bad men on the way to that location, too, and there are gunfights on the way.  When they see a burned out ranch, they run into a good batch of men bracing them.  They think it's over, but there's a black man in the midst of them and he vouches for them.  It seems there's oil in the ground on the Indian side of the river and the driller is determined to get it.  They won't sell, so he'll take it by force.

The action gets hot and the bullets fly but the boys have lots of experience dodging them.  Once the war is over, Dannehar is off to look up a widow he knew in earlier days.  Oskin comes along.  Dannehar's going to get teased all the way there...

This is a very good western.  Give it a try.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Good Behavior: The Letty Dobesh Chronicles by Blake Crouch

Letty has bad habits.  That's why she's been in jail.  She doesn't want to go back, but it's hard to be good.  She likes to drink, she likes drugs and she likes to steal.  Not a good combination, but it works for Letty!

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

This is two short stories and one novella all about Letty.  Letty has a son that she hasn't seen since he was four.  He's almost an adult now and she'd like to see him again.  It costs money to travel, though.

Mr. Crouch's stories always grab you by the gut and sweep you along in his story.  There's nothing boring about his writing.  This compilation is like that, too.

Letty is always for good money quick.  The men she works with are usually people she knows but you can't say she trusts them.  She puts herself in danger for the big jobs and almost loses her life more than once.  Somehow she survives, but she seems to be always set up.  They hire her, tell her what the job is and when she gets in the middle of it she finds out she's to be the bait or she was lied to.  I'm glad she's a tough lady or she'd be dead by now.

If you want to take a quick ride on the wild side, hang out with Letty and Blake for a while...

Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean by Karen Lord

Tales sound different when they come from other parts of the world.  Even across the states when they are gathered from one area you pick up on local legends and beliefs.  The Caribbean has an even greater pot of beliefs to use since it has seen so many different people moving through.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading this, but I'm glad I did.

Peekash Press allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

I didn't know what to make of some of these stories.  I had trouble seeing what the author was trying to show me.  I did find three I want to point out because they touched me.  Ironic endings always grab my attention.

My favorite was the story titled The Ceremony by Elizabeth Jones.  There's a family tradition where the girls must be named one name carried down the family line and they inherit the house and lands when their mother dies.  The current owner does that, but she has a secret.  When the ceremony takes place something unexpected happens.  It's not pleasant but it made me smile.  There's more than one way to break a curse.

Water Under the Bridge by Richard B Lynch is one that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  She's tired of being abused by her mother's boyfriend so she asks for help from a local lady.  She helps her alright.  No one is going to bother her again...

Daddy by Damion Wilson is a strange tale.  She's taking care of Daddy but he's not responding.  When you find out why, it's chilling.

You'll have to let me know which gems in this book stood out to you.  Lands of legends have strange tales.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Cross Trails Marshal by S J Bounds

Valentine Smith rides into town thinking he'll stop here for the night, get a good meal, and sleep in a bed for a change.  He's not pleased when the cattle drive gets close to town because he knows it will be a rowdy night.  He's right...

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

When he gets caught in a scrape, he takes care of it.  Next thing he knows he's been offered the job of marshal at $100 a month.  That's a lot more money he can make in temporary work, so he takes the job.  He knows Cross Trails has two sides of town and they each have their own boss but the bosses are paying his wages.  He also lets them know he's not for sale; he'll just apply the law as it should be.

Cross Trails is growing.  They have nesters on the outskirts and the cowboys with the cattle drive don't like them.  When he finds himself being a target by his bosses, he decides it's time to get serious.

In the middle of all of this turmoil, he meets a very pretty cowgirl that catches his eye.  He doesn't want a woman in his life.  He's not settling down.  When she tells him she loves him, he casts her away and walks out.  It's not until he thinks about it later that he realizes maybe he does care for her.  But he's in a battle for his life and then has no time to worry.  Until one of the bosses takes her hostage...

I like these old fashioned westerns.  Guns seem to be the real justice here.  I also like the romances that are so subtle but still catch your heart a bit. 

Lost Cause (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #1) by J.L. Simpson

Daisy wants to work.  She really would like to be a private investigator but sometimes that can get hairy, so she's just going to search for lost heirs at the moment.  Once she gets some experience, she'll see where to go from there.  At least if she lives through it, she will.

The author kindly shared her ebook with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

If you enjoy Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, you'll  love this series.  Daisy's husband, Paul, has teamed her with his best friend who is a private investigator.  Both men think a few days looking for an heir that doesn't want to be found will be enough to discourage her.  Wrong...

Daisy just seems to bounce off trouble.  She's not shy, follows her impulses and drives Solomon mad!  He's trying to keep her out of trouble and she's like a trouble magnet.  She does investigate well and asks questions he doesn't.  She gets information but she often tries to pursue it in the wrong way.  She's not a large woman and she's attractive enough to get hit on.  When she investigates a school by herself, she almost gets raped.  It doesn't help that Solomon saves her by telling the head of the school she forgot to take her pills and he'll take her back to the "home" she escaped.  How mortifying!

When Solomon won't tell her anything about him, she investigates him.  She finds out his real name and quite a bit more.  He's not happy.  She doesn't care.  My favorite part is how they fight with each other.  They like each other but it's like oil and water.  They are two different types and it shows.

My favorite part of this story is when his case and hers merge and she comes to rescue him.  He fighting for his freedom and she's scared and they both end up badly.  You can bet he'll never hear the end of it.  You can also bet there will be more cases.

I really enjoyed this read.  If you like lots of action, banter back and forth, and camaraderie, You'll like this book.