Monday, December 31, 2018

"Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Cat Magic"
by Lydia Sherrer

This is a novella in the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus series featuring Sir Edgar Allan Kipling.” He is the magical feline companion of Lily Singer, a human wizard who is employed as a library Archivist.

This tale was told from Sir Kipling’s point of view (or Kip, as he is often called). He takes his responsibilities of protecting his human and her belongings very seriously. When Lily has left for a few days on a trip where she cannot bring Kip along with her, he finds himself in the midst of a small adventure protecting the Library from a few evil beings determined to steal something from the magical portion of the Library. Clearly they didn’t realize that while the wizard may be gone, Sir Edward Allan Kipling is more than capable of protecting things in her absence.

I really enjoyed this story. While it is not the first book in the series, as a standalone novella it does a very good job of introducing us to the characters in the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus series. It does not matter if this is the first book in the series that you have read or not. This book makes for a good introduction point for readers who are new to the series.

It was a fun adventure tale told from the cat’s perspective and very easily explains many of the reasons behind many of their feline behaviors as well as this particular cat’s thought processes and his magical abilities. I thought it was a very enjoyable book and am looking forward to reading more of the books in this series. I believe others will enjoy reading it too.

Monday, December 24, 2018

"Batgirl at Super Hero High" by Lisa Yee

Barbara Gorden, the daughter of Commissioner Gorden has secretly longed to attend Super Hero High with her best friend Supergirl. The problem is, though Barbara is extremely smart and capable, she doesn’t possess any super powers. How can she be a superhero without any sort of special abilities?

But when Supergirl is named the “Hero of the Month” she makes it known that she couldn’t have done it without the help of Batgirl. It was then that Barbara realizes that while she has no powers of her own, she creates all sorts of tech that can help her do the job that she longs to do. She could be a hero and attend Super Hero High herself. But there is one more problem that she would have to overcome before that can happen. Her father. He knows how dangerous being a crime fighter is and doesn’t want to allow his daughter to be constantly in the line of fire. Can she find a way to change his mind and convince him that being a superhero is what she is truly meant to do?

I realize that this book is meant for much younger readers than I am, but it is still an enjoyable story with a very inspiring message for younger readers. It does have a few fun moments that I think are directed at older folks who happen to be reading it with their kids. If you have ever seen any of the Batman TV show episodes from the 1960’s, you’ll enjoy the subtle references to the show. Those references are not so overwhelming as to confuse younger readers who may not have ever seen them, but are merely something that amused me when they popped up in the text.

I have read a couple of the Super Hero High Books so far, and I think that many will appreciate them, especially younger girls who are looking for something inspiring to read as well as those who enjoy comic book stories, They are quick, easy to read chapter books that I believe many will enjoy. Recommended.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"Parallax Book Three:
Silent Crossings" by Marina Landry

Since the death of her husband several years earlier, Rebeka Patin has been working to aid the resistance fighters in secret; her name known to the UPG and the rebels only as Bluray. Under this identity, she has successfully managed to help a great number of people without anyone realizing who the seemingly empty-headed young party planner to the rich and powerful truly was.

But all of her hard work to protect both her identity and that of her family members becomes almost certainly undone when she stumbles upon something she wasn’t meant to be in the middle of, and finds herself accidentally injured and taken along with a man who is desperately wanted by the UPG as he escapes to Earth on his own mission to aid the rebels.

Beka needs to find a way to get back to the station without suspicion being put upon her and she needs to do it quickly. But when she and Jon manage to get lost in the woods while trying to hide from the UPG officers seeking them, can they find their way to a friendly town that has a doctor who is able to treat Beka’s injuries without getting caught and before they starve to death?

I very much enjoyed reading this book, just as I have the previous two in the series. The story that Ms. Landry has woven is quite captivating and has held my interest completely. This time around she did not leave us with a cliffhanger for an ending, but instead has given us a very interesting preview to tease us with for her next book. This has been a very entertaining science fiction series so far and I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

Monday, December 17, 2018

"Miss Kane's Christmas"
by Caroline Mickelson

Carol Claus, the daughter of Santa, is about to follow a tradition among her family where the children of Santa Claus spend some time away from the North Pole living and working among normal humans. She has taken a position as an au pair for a family of three to help out while the children are on winter break and their father must work. Ben is writing a book about why it is a bad thing to perpetuate the myth of Santa among children during their younger years and part of Carol’s mission is to change his mind and help him to once again find the joy and love of the holiday again.

This was a very sweet little tale that evokes all the joy the holiday can bring while showing a hint of the sadness and disappointment among children and adults who deny themselves and others the enjoyment that we all deserve to experience during the holiday season. I greatly enjoyed this one and believe that others will as well. Recommended.

Monday, December 10, 2018

"Trudy, Madly, Deeply" by Wendy Delaney

Charmaine has been helping her uncle out by working part time in his Cafe and making deliveries for him as needed, but has been looking for and trying to find a better job of her own. She hasn’t been having much luck as far too many people in the small town she lives in can’t seem to see her as anything but a part time waitress at Duke’s and haven’t been willing to give her much of a chance to become something more than that.

At least they haven’t until the Prosecutor convinces her Deputy Prosecutor to interview Char on the spot while she sat in on the interview with them. After proving herself to him and explaining the wide variety of skills and experience she possessed, Char is hired on a thirty day trial basis.

This was the first book of the Working Stiffs mystery series. As a murder mystery, it was a bit more lighthearted than a number of others I have read in the past, but for me that only added to my enjoyment. (It is a cozy mystery after all.) Char has a tendency to try too hard at her job and sometimes seems to overstep her authority. It sometimes leads her to jump to conclusions and put her in positions where she could find herself in trouble, but she can’t seem to help herself. She is not a detective or a police officer, yet she seems determined to prove herself to her new employers by solving the question of who is causing some questionable deaths at the hospital even before there is officially a case!

I enjoyed reading this book. It was very well written and well edited. The characters make you truly feel for them and hope that everything will work out well for them. If you like cozy mysteries, give this one a chance. Recommended.

Monday, December 3, 2018

"Parallax Book Two: Turning Points"
by Marina Landry

Tomas Quaid is a soldier in the United People’s Guard. He has spent the past year stationed on the space colony and is now heading to his next assignment on the planet Earth where he and his team will be surveying a tract of land and improving prison security. But he also has a secret, one that if discovered by the other soldiers in the UPG will surely get him killed.

When the new commander of the prison arrives, he has brought his daughter with him to play hostess and entertain the officers at dinners. It is a role she is accustomed to filling, even if it is not one that she particularly enjoys. She does like to take walks by herself in the evenings, though her father does not like her walking around unaccompanied. After witnessing something unusual and potentially compromising to his secret agenda, Lidia begins requesting Quaid as her escort on her walks, much to his annoyance.

This was the second book in the Parallax series, and I found it to be just as enjoyable as the first book. There are some interesting twists that take place as Quaid and Lidia begin to get to know more about each other and build a slow friendship. But can they ever actually trust each other completely? Will it ever really be safe enough for them to be completely open and honest with each other?

Ms. Landry has done an excellent job telling a story about two people on opposite sides of warring nations who are trying to learn to trust not only each other, but also themselves. This book held my interest all the way through and left me wanting to know what will happen next. The world she created in book one of the series is expanded on in this book. My only complaint about it is that it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, leaving me to wait impatiently for the chance to read the next book in the series. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for it as I really do want to know what happens next.

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...