Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Time Crawlers by Vayun Sayal

Time Crawlers is a collection of six interesting, entertaining, and different stories based in a variety of familiar (yet unfamiliar) settings and time periods on Earth. Each and every one of the stories is a winner! They can be read one at a time, quickly, between tasks or savored as a whole in one sitting.

Several of the stories use an interview-style format which proves very entertaining. The title tale, Time Crawlers, is presented in this way. Others are a straightforward telling.

The first third of the book is Nark-Astra, a tale of magical revenge, intervention, and redemption between opposing kings. (I love the names Sayal has used for his characters. For me, they are quite exotic and intriguing. I like discovering how they are pronounced.)

As mentioned earlier, the stories are set in various time periods, some in distant future times with technology advanced beyond what we generally know today. Others, like Genie are a modern day encounter with a genie and her lamp. Quite fun!

I recommend this book for readers that enjoy the short story format featuring science fiction and fantasy with a twist! I will definitely be looking for more tales from Mr. Varun Sayal.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Murder in the Apple Orchard (Pet Portraits Cozy Mystery, #9) by Sandi Scott

You can almost smell the apples and pumpkin spice!

Fall has come to the area and the Kaye sisters, Georgie and Aleta, make a trip to an apple-picking farm. As select apples and chat about Halloween costume ideas, the body of a young man is discovered hanging in the barn. He is Tony Beaumont, the fiancé of Veronica Slute, the daughter of the owner of the farm, Xabat Slute.

Although it appears a suicide, Georgie’s ex-husband, Detective Stan Toon of the Chicago Police Department is requested by the small local department to help in the proper investigation of the death. But Georgie notices some suspicious marks on the body and is convinced Tony was murdered. That and Maggie Hoffentop, a new crime scene photographer that is being a little too possessive of Stan’s attention keep the sisters on the hand to keep an eye on things.

Murder in the Apple Orchard is another cute and cozy mystery in the Pet Portraits Mystery series by Sandi Scott. As with all the books in the series, the dialogue is snappy and the characters sassy and fun. The mysteries will not strain your brain, just entertain. I recommend this book and this series to the cozy mystery lover and those that appreciate an amateur sleuth of a more mature age and outlook.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Creatures of the Night (The Horror Diaries #11 – 15) by Heather Beck

This was my introduction to the short scary world of Heather Beck and it was fun. This particular collection of spooky tales is part of her Horror Diaries series currently consisting of 24 horror stories for the middle grade age group.

Each of the stories featured here were scary but not too horrific for the younger set. Each one featured a different creature and regular people dealing with the unnatural circumstances. I can easily see me pulling these stories out in the future to read aloud to grandchildren having a sleepover.

Other reviewers have compared them to the R.L. Stine books from their own youth or that of their children and although I agree, with each coming in at under 50 pages, I think they would have been more attractive to my reluctant (or too busy) readers in the family than the longer Goosebumps.

I recommend these stories for the middle grade age group and parents who, like me, had a reader in the family that needed coaxing to complete their reading. I personally enjoyed reading one a night leading up to Halloween and have already sought out an additional handful to read in the future (Halloween or not!)

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.