Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Widower's Wife by Cate Holahan

Ana Bacon is presumed dead. She fell over the railing on a cruise with her husband. Now her husband, Tom, is waiting to receive the five million dollar payout from the insurance company. But Ryan, the insurance investigator, has to be sure that it was an accident.

As Ryan investigates something just isn't adding up. He soon suspects murder but now he has to prove it. Meanwhile, in the past, Ana is struggling to keep her family together since her husband has lost his job. And then her husband comes up with a plan. A plan to get them out of there financial situation. Ana isn't thrilled with it but agrees to go along with it. But when the plan fails, Ana is put in danger. Was Ana murdered?

The book alternates between Ana's point of view before the cruise and from Ryan's point of view after the cruise. I was not a big fan of this book. You never really got the backstory on Ryan and there were a lot of obvious clues about what really happened. If you are looking for a really good psychological thriller, I would not recommend this one.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sins of the Father by Winter Austin

In Eider, Iowa recently minted officer Jolie discovers Aussie ex-Marine MP Xavier Hartmann in the park next to a dead body. The deceased is the father of a missing girl. After losing his leg on an IED, Xavier suffers from traumatic brain injury and doesn’t know how he ended there.

With no evidence to arrest him yet, Xavier is free to go but Jolie is charged with keeping an eye on him. Although he harbors secrets of his own, including his motive for coming to Eider in the first place, as she gets to know him, she doesn’t feel he is capable of that kind of killing and her romantic interest in a suspect is definitely a conflict of interest.

When she makes a connection between another missing girl and their current missing girl, she is lead to the former county sheriff, who also happens to be her father. But new evidence points to Xavier. Can she save the man who she knows is innocent and who has captured her heart?

Winter (Born to Die) provides plenty of intrigue and suspense to keep the pages moving at a fast clip. The romance between Xavier and Jolie develops more slowly, and readers should be prepared to read this series in order, as there is a lot of backstory to keep up with. This is Bk. 3 of the McIntire County series.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | December 16, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Fiction 12/27/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Curtain of Death by W.E.B. Griffin
The Midnight Bell by Jack Higgins
Expecting to Die by Lisa Jackson
Wyoming Brave by Diana Palmer
Lord of the Privateers by Stephanie Laurens
The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Getting Inside by Serena Bell

Despite being told her whole life that women can’t play football, Iona Thomas is the new and first female defensive coach of the Seattle Grizzlies, a team in the “Professional Football League.”

Her job is to turn around the recent losses into wins, which includes coaching sexy linebacker Ty Williams, a hot ticket known for playing around. Ty is unsure of having Iona as his coach, not because she is female, but because he finds himself strongly attracted to her and isn’t confident he will be able to keep his hands to himself.

Although Iona insists on keeping the relationship professional, as a scandal will not only ruin her job but will also prove what she is trying to combat, that women in sports are a distraction to players, they can only resist each other for so long. When they are ultimately caught in the act, Iona might be forced to either sacrifice her career or her relationship with Ty, which begs the question, “can women have it all?”

A strong female lead who undermines stereotypes and proves to be both athletic and sexy in Bell’s (Returning Home) series debut is a refreshing change in romance fiction. Readers will root for the success of the Seattle Grizzlies and Ty and Iona’s relationship on and off the field.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | December 23, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How to Build a Museum by Tonya Bolden

It took a century, but the hope for a National Museum of African American History and Culture to be built in our nation's capitol has finally come to pass.

The story of how it all happened is captured by the wonderful Tonya Bolden in How to Build a Museum with her typical fine writing and abundant photographs. Just think: the museum is located on the National Mall, a site that once oversaw holding pens for African slaves about to be sent to the Deep South.

The museum collection includes a whole segregated train car from the 1920's, a shawl worn by Harriet Tubman and much more, driving home fact that African-American history is all of our history. I can't wait to get to DC and see it for myself.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Bookworm Sara, who prefers fiction to real life,  and Amy have corresponded and exchanged books via international mail for years, even though they have never met. After the bookshop where she worked in Sweden closes, Sara takes Amy up on her invitation to visit her in the pathetic, small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa.

When Sara arrives all the way from Sweden, Amy never shows to pick her up. She learns that Amy had actually just passed away, so Sara is driven to the funeral gathering at Amy's house. The townspeople encourage her stay there for two months like was originally planned and was what Amy intended. Everyone treats her with kindness: George, once the local drunk, gives her rides when she needs them; Grace treats her to coffee at her dinner; John waives any fees for groceries at his hardware store; Andy says the beers are on him.

The frustrating part for Sara is none of them will let her pay them back. So she comes up with an idea to repay the people of Broken Wheel: she opens a bookstore in town using Amy's books and bookshelves Amy's nephew Tom had found for her. However, the problem in Broken Wheel is no one reads or cares about books. Sara thinks she can change that. Eventually she does get the right books to the right people, but the time of her VISA is running out and the townspeople go to crazy lengths to get her to stay.

If you find a small town environment with quirky characters appealing, then this book is definitely for you. Featuring a little bit of romance and endearing, yet crazy, characters, readers will quickly warm to Broken Wheel, Iowa.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari; illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Bagram Ibatoulline, illustrator of the haunting new picture book, Coyote Moon, is another gift from the marvelous Russian art school that has given the world so much beauty.

Coyote Moon glows with moon shadow. Its dark, dark images resemble photographs; you can hardly believe they're paintings.

Which artists does Ibatoulline love? The Dutch masters - no surprise there. Ibatoulline was born in Omsk, but the name Bagram points to Tatar background and reflects the endless mix of ethnicities-much like the U.S.-that make up Russia's rich collective society.

He was educated at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute. His first book was Philip Booth's Crossing, named a 2001 Best Book by Publishers Weekly. He is best known for his books with Kate Dicamillo, for example, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

 Ibatoulline now lives in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania, so, a new American. Welcome.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Fiction 12/13/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

The Seventh Plague by James Rollins
Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn
Bryant & May: Strange Tide by Christopher Fowler
Curried Away by Gail Oust

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Edie never thought this day would come. Her old friend, Heather, has shown up at her door. When Edie left home during high school she never wanted to face her past. She tried to make peace with it but with Heather showing up she realizes she hasn't.

Edie is now 33, pregnant and alone when Heather shows up. Edie doesn't trust her or want her around but when she has the baby she becomes depressed and can't take care of herself or the baby. With no one else to turn to, Edie accepts Heather's help. But after awhile Edie starts to become herself again and realizes that Heather has taken over. Edie tells Heather that she is grateful but it is time for her to go.

Heather leaves but Edie can't shake the feeling that Heather isn't truly gone. Edie's life starts to take a turn for the better. She has made a new friend, met a man, and is back in touch with her uncle. But then strange things start to happen. A feeling of being watched and things disturbed around the apartment. Is it Heather or is something else happening?

I really liked this book. The chapters alternate between the past, which is from Heather's point of view and the present, which is Edie's point of view. I thought I had figured out what had happened in the past but I was way off. Definitely worth reading.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur Levine; illustrated by Katie Kath

Just when I think I can’t read another book better than the last, one like this crosses my path. What a dear, beautifully-crafted book!

Little Noah spends glorious summers with his beloved grandparents, singing and splashing, exploring and cooking until one summer, Grandpa begins to lose his mind, and the illustrations of him begin to lose their color.

Grandma and Noah help each other hold on to Grandpa in whatever way is offered for as long as possible.

This story reminds us that love is never lost.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Fiction 12/6/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Island of Glass by Nora Roberts 
Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney
Blood Vow by J.R. Ward
Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs
Brazen by Loren D. Estleman
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
The Christmas Mystery by James Patterson
Black & Blue by James Patterson
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lepena

Anne and Marco have been invited to their next door neighbors house for a birthday dinner. Anne doesn't want to go because the babysitter canceled but Marco insists that their six month old baby, Cora, will be fine alone. Anne agrees after they decide to check on her ever half hour and they have the baby monitor.

They finally finish for the night  and go home. When Anne goes to check on Cora, the baby is gone. The police are called and Detective Rasbach arrives. He suspects the parents right away but they are adamant that they had nothing to do with Cora missing.

As the Detective starts to investigate, secrets start to be revealed. Everyone is hiding something. From the parents to the neighbors to the in-laws, nobody is innocent. Will Cora be found before it is too late?

This was a great read. Trying to figure out what happened to Cora and if the parents did it makes this a suspenseful read. And then halfway through the book a bombshell is revealed. I definitely recommend this one.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lady Liberty’s Holiday by Jen Arena; illustrated by Matt Hunt

In Jen Arena’s new picture book, Lady Liberty’s blue. After 100 years standing in New York Harbor, her arms ache, her neck hurts, and she’s got a cramp in her leg.

Moe the Pigeon recommends a vacation, so off she goes to a variety of places, including the Jersey Shore, St. Louis Arch, and Grand Canyon, to look for America.

Tension rises, however, as the Fourth of July approaches-will Lady Liberty get back in time for the party?

Colorful, comical illustrations offer hilarious “armchair sightseeing” as she races home.

This light-hearted picture book will make you smile, especially at election time, and help you teach U.S. geography to kids.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New Fiction 11/29/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz
The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg
The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell
The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Chasing Shadows by Karen Harper
To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lauren "Lo" Blacklock is a travel journalist. She is finally getting an opportunity to write a big story. She has been invited on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise liner that only has 12 cabins. The first night she meets the woman in the cabin next to hers when she borrows the woman's mascara. That night Lo is convinced the woman was thrown off the liner.

Lo summons security but there is no record of the passenger and no one else saw her. Lo is positive that there was a woman and that she was thrown over. She starts to investigate on her own but soon starts getting messages to leave it alone. Now more determined then ever, Lo will do anything to prove she is right. But will it end in her death?

I really love Ruth Ware! This was another suspenseful book. You are on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what is going on. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like Lo but I changed my mind and was rooting for her.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giant Squid by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

Creepy, mysterious and intriguing, Giant Squid reads like a Hitchcock script. It would be a great read-aloud for older students, perhaps, even, around Halloween.

Did you know there are more close-up photos of Mars' surface-a planet millions of miles away-than of giant squids? "We know more about the behavior of dinosaurs-extinct for 65 million years-than we do a creature that resides in almost all of the world's oceans and is one of the biggest animals on the planet. So elusive is the giant squid that the first time scientists ever saw a living one was in 2006."

Where do we find the finest squid specimens? "Inside enormous sperm whales, whose favorite dinner is giant squid. So many giant squid beaks have been found in sperm whales that it is now believed there are millions of giant squid swimming in the oceans, but they continue to swim through the deep, elusive, mysterious, incognito."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Fiction 11/22/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon
Conclave by Michael Harris
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Blood Riders by Gary Oldman
The Spy by Paolo Coelho
The Operator by Kim Harrison

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

In the vein of the popular "girl" psychological suspense novels as of late (i.e. Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and The Good Girl), comes another page turner that is sure to be a hit among readers of the genre and just might be the "girl" to end all girls

Each chapter alternates stories between two women during different time periods in England. Back "then," there is Emma and her boyfriend Simon who are looking for the perfect flat. Emma has security issues ever since being robbed at gunpoint at their current home. Nothing seems to fit the bill and so the agent finally, but reluctantly, suggests One Folgate Street, built by renowned architect Edward Monkford. This home comes with specific qualifications that won't appeal to most people.

In present day, there is Jane, a single thirty-some woman also looking for the right place to live. Jane carries her own baggage, having been devastated by the recent loss of the daughter she carried to term but had been delivered stillborn. Like Emma, no apartment is exactly right in her budget, so the agent suggests the possibility of One Folgate Street...

Edward, the architect and owner, requires the applicants to fill out a lengthy questionnaire that asks for so much more personal detail than just their rental history. They need to provide answers to personal and moral questions. And not every applicant is approved, but Emma and Jane pass muster.

Both learn of the sinister history of the property involving Edward's wife and child. What's more is that Edward has taken a romantic interest in the women. And what seemed like a state of the art security system in the beginning becomes more of an invasion of privacy. When will the two stories converge, and will the woman fall to the same fate as the previous occupants?

Readers won't know who to trust as Delaney's debut clutches you by the throat and won't let you go until the final, thrilling denouement.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Octopuses One to Ten, by Ellen Jackson

Octopuses One to Ten is a fact-filled, beautifully-illustrated picture book for all ages.

Octopuses near and far are amazing eight-armed superstars! Did you know? An octopus has three hearts and can detach one of its arms? It shakes off, sending the predator chasing it. Five years is all they've got (some live for only 6 months). They live in all seven seas. October 8 is their special day (octo means 8). They have NINE brains-one for each arm, all controlled by the main brain in the head. Octopuses can open a jar and get the crab inside. They can use tools. They hide their den entrances with piles of gathered objects.

Some carry coconut shell halves to use as shelter when attacked. Blanket octopuses have iridescent shimmering skin and webbing between their arms that improves gliding across tropical oceans. Males are 100 times smaller than females.

You don't want to meet a blue-ringed Australian octopus, one of the most poisonous marine animals: its venom kills humans. Pacific striped octopuses mate face-to-face and push their beaks and suckers against one another. They live in groups of 40 and are found along the Pacific coasts of Panama and Nicaragua.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Fiction 11/15/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
No Man's Land by David Baldacci
The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark
Chaos by Patricia Cornwell
Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler
The Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
The Spy by Paul Coelho
Ruler of the Night by David Morrell

Saturday, November 12, 2016

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

In this second entry in the "Under Suspicion" series, producer Laurie Moran and her crew are looking for the next cold case to investigate for her hit TV series. She has some potential possibilities but receives a call from a devastated mother who believes Laurie's show can help her.

Five years ago, Susan's daughter Amanda was to be married at the Crown Victoria resort in Florida but she went missing before the wedding ceremony. The media named her the "runaway bride," and without any evidence of fowl play the case eventually went cold.

Laurie convinces the entire bridal party, including Amanda's former fiance Jeffery who is now married to the maid of honor, Megan, to all meet at the destination wedding spot in Florida for their interviews for the show. This place hits close to home for Laurie, who visited the hotel with her husband Gregory, who was killed.

Laurie and attorney Alex's investigations lead them to a reclusive intern for the photographer who was present that day, but it might be someone much closer to the bride who knows what happened.

This series provides entertaining suspense without a lot of swearing and violence, so it would appeal to a wide audience of readers. Please note that each book in the series centers on a different case so that these can be read in any order.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by Ron Husband

Based on a true story, this is a must-read for anyone set on fathoming the depth of racism in this country. St. Louis’ Reverend John Meachum (1789-1854) led a school for people of color, but in 1847 Missouri passed this law: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows: No person shall keep any school for the instruction of Negroes or mulattoes, reading or writing, in this State.”

Rev. Meachum’s response was a Steamboat School in the middle of the Mississippi River, which was considered federal property, where children were rowed to and taught be Meachum until his death in 1855.

The Meachum home was declared a depot on the Underground Railroad and became “the first site in Missouri to be recognized as part of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Fiction 11/8/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
At the Sign of Triumph by David Weber
Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet

NYPD detective Connelly Reid runs into the waiter (and his crush) from his favorite dinner on the street, but Azariah “Z” Hayes is barely recognizable in his sparkling makeup and heels.

A little flirting ensues, but there is no way Z believes that the straight and narrow cop is gay. Connolly proves him wrong with a sensual kiss that leaves them both reeling.

The chemistry is undeniable, but the fiercely independent Z doesn’t do relationships, and Connelly’s former lovers were all damaged men that used him. When Connelly visits Z’s club where he dances with the Sassy Boyz, he witnesses a potential drug deal going down. Despite his captain’s orders, Connelly and his partner pursue the case, which may take down Z’s closest friends and jeopardize their relationship.  

Readers will be glued to the love story between Z and Connelly while being kept in suspense on the shady dealings going on at Z’s club. Sexy, fully engrossing, and stimulating with empathetic characters, Varlet’s (Fierce & Fabulous) second entry in the Sassy Boyz series hits all the right notes.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | November 4, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sophie's Squash Go to School by Pat Miller and Anne Wilsdorf

Why are bananas never lonely? -- Because they hang out in bunches." This joke is from an excellent 2016 starting-school title called Sophie's Squash Go to School by Pat Miller.

This book is great for children fearful of new beginnings, such as going to school, as well as socializing, and it’s funny, to boot!

Plus, try these other books that are great for starting school:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New Fiction 11/01/2016

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week.  If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the library's catalog.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
The Award by Danielle Steel
A Christmas Message by Anne Perry
Faithful by Alice Hoffman