I wish this Texas cold would go away, but at least it gives me time to read (when I'm not trying to sleep it off). Here's this weeks books, with links to reviews on gather as usual:
Historical novel: Freedom's Sword by J.R. Tomlin: It's odd how word-choice can influence reading, and the choice to use ancient or modern words in a historical novel must be a difficult one. I sometimes found the mix distracting in this novel, but that probably says more about me than anything else. The story of Andrew de Moray escaping an English jail and raising rebellion among the Scots was particularly interesting to me since my family visited Avoch when I was a kid. The love interest didn't inspire me as much as the battles, but I did enjoy the book. One to read with a 3-star balanced, full, smooth-flavored coffee
Paranormal police procedural: A Game of Blood, by Julie Ann Dawson: This one successfully combines the genres in a really intriguing tale. Cop chases very suave, very dark and evil stranger. Suave stranger chases... well, you'd have to read it, preferably with a 5-star bold, dark, intense coffee.
Humor: The Albuquerque Turkey, by John Vorhaus: With a name like that it's got to be humor. Con-men conned. Multiple layers. Great voice. Fun characters. Vegas. A plot that keeps you guessing till the final page. What more could you want? Drink a 2-star bright, light, easy-drinking coffee and try not to spill it when you laugh.
Fantasy: The Forgotten Echo, by Jen Wylie: In this delightful short story that I rather think is part of a set, the author creates a really nice mythology, starting with a young woman leaving a supermarket--wrong place, wrong time. It's a quick read, just time for lunch with a 1-star mild, light, crisp coffee. You could shop for more in the series before going back to work.
Children's fiction: Journals of the Big Mouth Bass: Keeping Secrets, by Debbie Sue Bass Williamson: This one's a really enjoyable story of growing up 1960's California. Real-world events and realistic childhood disasters are all retold through the journal of a nine-year-old girl trying not to be such a blabbermouth. She writes her secrets to God, occasionally forgets and tells them to her parents, makes a first friend, and learns that sometimes everyone will be better off if you don't let big brother keep his latest hair-brained scheme untold. Not sure if you can drink coffee while reading to kids, but if you do, choose a 1-star light, mild and crisp again.
Drama: The Butcher of Leningrad, by Tom Hunter: Dark things are happening in the sewers of Leningrad and this author spares no punches in describing the horrors facing orphans there. The writing's dark and foreign, but the story comes to life when young Galina enters the stage, recapturing the reader's interest and inspiring the protagonist to maybe even become someone you might like. This one probably needs a 5-star bold, dark, intense coffee.