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Death of a Songbird

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Death of a Songbird (The Birdwatcher’s Mysteries – 2) by Christine Goff

4 stars

 

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In desperate need of respite, Lark Drummond accompanies her friend, Rachel Stanhope, on a birding expedition. But their relaxing afternoon takes an gruesome turn when Lark witnesses her business partner’s malevolent murder through her spotting scope. With the help of their birdwatching club, she sets out to figure out whodunit. However, as more information surfaces, it soon becomes apparent that this case is much more menacing than they originally bargained for.

 

Lark Drummond has a silent partner, Ester Mills that helps run the Colorado Drummond Hotel. But things are going to get sticky when Lark learns that she has bird watching convention going on, two maids out sick, and that Ester just cancelled her coffee order. To get a breath of fresh air, Lark goes out bird watching with Rachel Stanhope and sees Ester being murdered. It is now up to Lark to figure out who did it and why.

 

There is a lot going on in this story. The main part was about the coffee. It’s amazing how things can affect the environment and when I read about shade grown vs. full-sun grown coffee it made me thing about where I was getting my coffee from. Of course there are the bird references which just add to the story too.

 

This is a cute little mystery with bird watching as a main theme. I love all the information that you get from reading Death of a Songbird. It was just like A Rant of Ravens, just the extra little bits that make the story better.

 

If you like the quick, cozy mysteries make sure to check out the Birdwatcher’s Mystery series. They are great books with lots of extra information and a great location.

For more information on Death of a Songbird or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Christine Goff’s website.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Flame Tree Road

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Flame Tree Road by Shona Patel

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) 1870s India. In a tiny village where society is ruled by a caste system and women are defined solely by marriage, young Biren Roy dreams of forging a new destiny. When his mother suffers the fate of widowhood—shunned by her loved ones and forced to live in solitary penance—Biren devotes his life to effecting change.

Biren’s passionate spirit blossoms as wildly as the blazing flame trees of his homeland. With a law degree, he goes to work for the government to pioneer academic equality for girls. But in a place governed by age-old conventions, progress comes at a price, and soon Biren becomes a stranger among his own countrymen.

Just when his vision for the future begins to look hopeless, he meets Maya, the independent-minded daughter of a local educator, and his soul is reignited. It is in her love that Biren finally finds his home, and in her heart that he finds the hope for a new world.

Biren Roy is a young boy that grows up in rural India in the late 1800’s. There he learns of how sons are prized and daughters are dreaded. He also sees what happens to his mother when she becomes a widow. She is basically forced away from her family and treated as though she is dead. When he goes to school, Biren starts learning about British beliefs and he starts realizing the inequity women have in Indian culture.

Biren then goes to Cambridge to further his education and become a lawyer to fight for women’s rights. He meets Estelle and sees how she fights the social norms but dressing in men’s clothing and attending classes disguised as a man. When Biren returns to India he learns that he is going to basically be a middle man between the Indian’s and British governments. This and his ideas of how women should be treated don’t win him any favors and he starts to lose hope of ever changing traditional beliefs.

I have to say that I liked this story. It’s so heartbreaking and angering to know that just because a woman becomes a widow she is basically nothing to her family. But sadly women usually are looked down on throughout the years. I love how this fired Biren to stand up and create a change. He doesn’t always have a easy path and does lose his drive, but he does keep fighting.

It was interesting learning about Indian custom and how much of a difference there was between Indiana and British governments. I liked Biren. You couldn’t help cheering him on and Estelle was such an inspiration. I have to say that the ending is sad and makes you wonder about what really happened.

This is a good book and I recommend it for anyone. You will learn more about Indian culture and will encourage Biren to keep going.

For more information on Flame Tree Road or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Shona Patel’s website.

I received this book for free from MIRA in exchange for an honest review.

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Exile (Guy Erma – 3) by Sally Ann Melia

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Thank God!

13-year-old Teodor has found a way to escape from kidnap, how long before he is safely home?

13-year-old Guy Erma has run away from everything he has even known and no longer knows what the future holds.

They escaped through dark tunnels and back alleys but they also discovered a hidden terror that now threatens their entire planet.

Two boys as different as two boys might be. Their adventure has forged an unexpected friendship, but do they really trust each other?

Dare they share their darkest, deepest secrets?

During the fight at the end of Hunter, Guy realizes that his opponent is not wearing body armor. He also realizes that he is fighting the kidnapped prince Teodor. Make a split second decision, Guy helps Teodor escape. The boys have to stay on their toes to escape the dome elite who are under the control of Chart Segat, the one responsible for Teodor’s kidnapping.

But things are going from bad to worse. In the beginning of Kidnap we are learn about the Sas Darona plague and poison pills. One of the pills has disappeared. While the boys are running they unknowingly stumble upon its hiding spot. Now, Karl Valvanchi needs to find the boys and find the poison pill before it is detonated.

This is an action packed race against time. I love the interaction between Guy and Teodor. Although they come from different backgrounds they have common goals and could easily be friends. I really liked Karl. I would like to learn more about him since everyone seems to look down on him. But he seems to be the one true person that really wants to and can help out with finding Teodor and the poison pill.

The Guy Erma series is great, action packed books. It’s hard to put them down and I admit that it is almost disappointing when you get to the end. I would love to learn more about this world and some of the characters. I really hope that there will be more to come from Sally Ann Melia whether it is more on Guy Erma or other books.

For more information on Exile or other books in the Guy Erma series or to purchase Exile make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Sally Ann Melia’s website.

I received this book for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Blood Ties

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Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Homicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she’s cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. Naval Intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer… he’s the killer’s son.

Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear’s father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women–and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years. Blood Ties is an elegant and frightening thriller from Nicholas Guild.

Ellen is on the case of a serial killers that inflicts pain on his victims then dumps their bodies. With the help of her partner Sam, they both learn as this killer keeps them on their feet with no evidence left behind. Ellen then things she has found the killer but when she confronts Stephen she learns that it is really his father, Walter.

Stephen goes on to tell her about his poor family life. But when he finds a body in his father’s car he finds some of his mother’s belongings and goes on the run. Several years later he is living with some people that basically raised him when he returns home to find them brutally murdered. Trying to hide from his father he goes into the Navy.

Ellen, Sam, and Stephen must work together to stop Walter. Things take a turn for the worse when they learn there is a lot more than Walter hunting Stephen down, he may have had help all along.

This is an amazing story. Although you learn shortly into the book that the killer is Stephen’s dad, that in no way stops the story, it makes it all the better. You can’t help but feel sorry for Stephen. He is wrapped up in guilt about leaving the woman’s body when he was 12 but you can understand why. And Walter, major creepy.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t want to put it down and I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. This is a great thriller that needs to be in everyone’s collection. Make sure to get Blood Ties.

For more information on Blood Ties or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Nicholas Guild’s website.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Calves in the Mud Room by Jerome Brown

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Wade Summers wants nothing more than to go on his date tonight with high school hottie Glory Schoonover.

Unfortunately, a fierce February blizzard has blown in and a couple of first-time heifers are calving early. Way too early.

And Wade’s never delivered a calf all by himself before. (His grandfather was always there to show him the way).

Simmering under the teenage hormones and unexpected birthing is a conflicted son who finally confronts the abuse of his shady stepfather and a betrayal by his somewhat disengaged mother.

Kirkus Reviews called this coming-of-age story “An exciting, elegant debut.”

It’s rough around the edges, full of brute hardship, raw strength, and pure heart.

Wade doesn’t have the best home life. Both his mother and step-father are alcoholics and don’t want to have anything to do with Wade and his younger siblings. They live on a farm that his grandfather ran but since his passing it’s been up to Wade. This is another thing that his step-father doesn’t want to deal with.

Today is the day that Wade is supposed to take Glory Schoonover to the Valentine’s dance. Everything seems to be going his way until he has to resort to using his late grandfather’s pickup, cows are caving way early, and everything else seems to be going to hell. He wants to have the attitude that he is just going to go to the dance for him but he knows better and goes to work helping the cows. After that he tries to meet up with Glory but she has all ready gone to the dance. Although Wade rushes to get there things go from bad to worse.

I felt bad for Wade but I have to say that he is a great kid for all that he is going through you can still see how responsible he is. I grew up on a farm and I understand exactly what Wade goes through. I’ve also been in his shoes regarding a similar situation to Glory. Although things don’t work out it is true that they were not meant to and something better is on the way.

This is more of a short story on a teenager trying to figure out what to do in his life. But I really liked it and would like to read more about Wade.

This is a great story and I think you should add it to your list. It’s one worth reading and will make you want to read more from Jerome Brown.

For more information on Calves in the Mud Room or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Jerome Brown’s website.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

The Gods of Laki

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The Gods of Laki by Chris Angus

5 stars

 

(Excerpt from Goodreads) A race to unveil the secret of Laki, a volcano on the southern shores of Iceland, pits our heroes—a sixteen-year-old Viking girl from the tenth century, a German geologist from World War II, and a former Secret Service agent protecting a female volcanologist—against evil forces with a plan to cause an eruption using explosives, altering the global climate through the release and forcing the price of oil to skyrocket.

Everyone and everything on Laki is in danger, including the possibility of ever unraveling the mysteries of the place, as it faces burial beneath a carpet of lava flows. Caught underground by the fracturing physical breakup of Laki, everyone finds themselves ensnared by Laki itself—an unseen, implacable foe that seems everything but a benign presence. Every move they make appears to be guided and controlled by an intelligence that permeates the netherworld.

Only gradually, through all the conflict between the various factions, does everyone begin to realize that it is Laki itself that has always been in charge.

 

Laki is a volcano on the southern shores of Iceland. Through history there have been two serious eruptions. Some people are trying to set it off again to turn events in their favor. We start with a 16 year old Viking girl, Runa, and a small group has come to the land of fire and ice to find a new home. While there they find that the volcano has healing properties and is very dangerous at the same time.

Then we meet Fritz Kraus, a German geologist is studying Laki when he is brought into a scheme to cause an eruption to help the Germans win World War II. Finally we come to present day with former Secret Service Agent Ryan Baldwin. Senator Shelby Graham has asked Ryan to go to Iceland and protect his daughter Samantha. Samantha has done everything in her power to keep away from her controlling father and is very independent and quick to tell Ryan what she thinks about being babysat.

Samantha has stirred up a hornets nest with the Iranians that have brought money into the failing Icelandic economy. But things take a turn for the worse when someone tries to kill Samantha and Ryan a couple times, someone tries to revive the Germans plan to cause a volcanic eruption to turn the worlds market. Plus when a Viking tomb is disturbed there may be more to the Gods of Laki than initially though by the Viking.

This is a great read! I instantly got sucked in with Runa’s story and it just goes from there. There are many twists and turns and just when you think you might know what is going on off you go in another direction. I can’t say enough good things about this book or I will start giving away the entire story. Get this book! You will NOT be disappointed.

For more information on The Gods of Laki or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Chris Angus’ website.

I received this book for free from Sara at Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Eliza Bluebell

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Eliza Bluebell by AJ York

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In the picture postcard village of Blossom Brook, Eliza Bluebell arrives changing the lives of the locals forever. With the help of her playful shadow, Eliza transforms an empty shop on the High Street into the heart and soul of the village. Find out how and read this fantastical story about friendship, butterflies and fairy cakes.

Reading this story is a truly magical and uplifting experience that should not be missed. Read it today!

Watch the trailer! http://youtu.be/l3hMVd05EsI

Eliza is a special person that just shows up in Blossom Brook one day. With the help of her shadow she fixes up a run down store. Everyone initially disregards it because it is a tea room but after they come in something magical happens. Eliza always seems to have just what everyone wants or needs. Through gentle suggestion she helps a young girl apologize to her best friend and helps a young man broaden his experiences with baking.

I really liked this book. It is a short story that would be perfect for bedtime. Eliza is magical and with the help of her shadow she helps the residents of Blossom Brook. I have to say one of my favorite characters was Popeye and how things turned out for him.

This story is filled with magic and would make anyone, young or old, ready to read more books from AJ York.

For more information on Eliza Bluebell or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and A.J. York’s website.

I received this story for free in exchange for an honest review.

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