Christine reads a smidgen of all genres. She states that after joining the MG staff, she has had the great privilege of expanding her appreciation by speaking with other staff members and customers, all of whom are willing to share their enthusiasm for authors new and old. Christine is also our Fearless Book Discussion Group Leader.
A most wonderful adventure comes to an end in this final volume in the Winternight Trilogy. Vasya Petrovna has journeyed far and wide in the forests of Russia disguised as a boy. Vasya can see and speak with creatures that others no longer can – Domovoi, Chyerti, Lady Midnight, and so many others. This is a story on a grand scale with epic battles, betrayals, sacrifices, heartaches and the love of family. Katherine Arden has done an amazing job of weaving Russian folklore with real people, places and events. You can almost feel the cold of winter and the heat from the firebird. A great series to read while you curl up on the couch with your favorite hot beverage.
What better place than Vermont for a spooky, scary story about secrets, promises, ghosts, hauntings and scarecrows? Ollie is twelve years old, smart and independent. One afternoon she comes upon a distraught woman by the river. Ollie tries to talk her out of throwing a book in the water, but the woman is adamant; Ollie snatches it from her and runs away. She begins to read the strange tale about a promise made with the “smiling man." On a school field trip to a local farm Ollie realizes that the woman she saw is the farm owner. Upon the return trip the bus breaks down. The bus driver warns of being out in large spaces when the evening mist comes, the same notation as in her book. Ollie decides to take her chances going through the woods. She is joined by two classmates. The three must work together to escape from servants of the smiling man. Will the power of friendship, fearlessness, and ingenuity be enough to save them and their classmates? And about that watch... The story is wonderfully written for all ages.
This story has many elements – power struggles, casualties of war, love, steampunk, subterfuge, greater good, magic, witchcraft. Dr. Miles Singer, returned from the war, has hidden the fact that he is still alive from his family. If found out, his magical powers would be bound and subjugated to those of his sister. The dying decree of a man brought in by an enigmatic gentleman to the hospital where Miles practices (Tristan Hunter) sets the course for Miles and Tristan to discover the darkness within returning soldiers, why magical is dying, and where have so many souls gone. I really enjoyed this story and following the characters as they discover one hidden truth after another. This is C.L. Polk’s debut novel and is the beginning of a series. Can’t wait for the next book!
“Life only gives us as much as we can take.” So states Jackie Reed’s friend Helen.
This is a major understatement in the life of Jackie and her two sons, Wade and Connor. A high school boy is killed trying to prevent a carjacking. As the investigation moves forward, the story reveals that everyone involved has dark secrets and has lied to family, friends and the police. Wade is the crux of the story as it becomes clear that he is troubled. Wade becomes the focus of the inquest, which begins to take a tremendous toll on his family. Cyber bullying, intimidation, low self-esteem, over valued sense of worth, unconditional love, all of these powerful emotions are rolled into this compelling mystery. I was compelled to keep reading but yet felt trepidation as to what the next chapter might bring, right down to the very last reveal. Great read!
This book appealed to me for several reasons. I am a mystery fan, enjoy books about lost or stolen artifacts/relics, and who doesn’t enjoy Arthurian legends – especially the search for the Holy Grail? The author has borrowed Anthony Trollope’s imaginary setting of Barsetshire, how I wished it was real. The story has three time lines, 560 – 1888, 1941, and present day. Switching back and forth builds the tension as you follow a long line of monks who pass along their Guardianship of two very special items. Will the protagonist Arthur and his cohorts discover all the hidden clues and discover the treasure? Or, having interpreted the clues, discover the treasure been lost in time? —Christine
High school is hard for some kids. We all know that, but it is especially difficult for Erin Blake. When Erin was three her mother was brutally murdered, but Erin was spared. Fourteen years later and the murder is still unsolved. Erin’s biology teacher, Miss Peters, is helping Erin with a project to see if she can discover the identity of her father. When Miss Peters is murdered, Erin discovers her body. Erin believes the two murders are connected. Along with her BFFs Spam and Lysa she sets about to see if they can discover the identity of the murderer. Erin is intelligent, persistent, and not always likable. She keeps secrets from her friends and her guardian, Rachel, her mother’s best friend who took her in – secrets that put her and her friends in harm’s way. The mystery has a satisfactory ending, but also leaves the door open for further adventures.
This story pulled me in from the very beginning. Lies, betrayal, danger, intrigue—all these pieces of the puzzle unite to tell the tale of Eve Gardiner, an English spy during WW1, and Charlie St. Clair, in 1947 a privileged, pregnant and single American desperate to find her cousin, Rose, who went missing during the last days of WW2. Tediously working through various documents Charlie finds Eve’s name in connection to her cousin. Eve is bitter, a drunk, and less then receptive to Charlie’s request for help in finding Rose. Persistence eventually pays off and the two set off on a journey that takes them from England to the French countryside. Along the way each woman’s story comes to light. The fiction is peppered with real people, places and events; if you are a history buff you may wish to write down some of the names and places to look up afterwards.
The Carson dynasty is cursed, or so some say. The family certainly does have its share of crazies, scoundrels, legends and the entitled.
The story opens and ends with the voice of Cynthia Carson who twenty-five years ago shot her husband in cold blood, absolutely positively. Throughout the story, I really wanted to dislike Cynthia, but she would occasionally surprise the reader. The concentric circle of characters begins with Wylie Wellborn, illegitimate son of Cynthia’s dead husband; her own sons, Robert and Sky; Adam Carson -- grandfather to all three;, Wylie’s sisters and his mother; and finally, Cynthia.
The Carson and Wellborn families both experience heartache and desperation.
None of the book’s characters is without fault, some more than others. How each individual deals with their own demons reveals the complexities of human nature.
The story is set against the backdrop of Mammoth Lakes ski resort, with its fantastic vistas and adrenaline pumping ski runs.
I was intrigued by the complicated families and their histories; the mysteries surrounding who is lurking around the Wellborn home and the theft of ski equipment, bicycles, etc. and who would ultimately survive.
The setting for the story is as much a part of the tale as the characters. The author’s research of 1940’s San Francisco has you walking the streets of Chinatown, and ferrying to the Golden Gate International Exposition. The lead characters are all women--artistic, smart, resourceful and gay. The story begins with the final days of the last surviving member of the circle and the mystery surrounding a heretofore unknown artwork. How and why the artwork comes to be is the magic and the mystery. I enjoyed the story for its interesting characters, the glimpse into the artistic world of Pulp Fiction magazine art. The ending is left for the reader to draw their own conclusion. Mine was hopeful.