St. Louis Sam and the Desperados by Pinkie Paranya

St. Louis Sam and the Desperados by Pinkie Paranya
Publisher: Five Star Publishing
Genre: Historical, Romance, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Going from St Louis, Missouri, in 1874 to the Arizona Territory is a frightening step for brother and sister, Garth and Samantha. They need to prove their uncle Millard Tremayne’s treachery in their father’s financial ruin and subsequent suicide. So far their uncle holds all the cards, their guardianship and inheritance. Since the uncle is secretly setting up a dynasty out west, eventually to rid himself of his family and waspish wife, Grace, Sam and Garth follow his trail to a town called Powder Keg in Arizona. The brother and sister collect a band of misfits to help them sabotage Uncle Millard. Mayhem, treachery, intrigue, humor, and romance follow.

Their mother died in the birth of her brother. Her Uncle stole money from the business and left their father broke. He committed suicide. The children’s money is gone. They are in their twenties now and decide to go west and steal back from him. He’s been investing there and intends to move there, leave his wife behind, and marry the gal that runs the saloon for him. They plan on stopping him.
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They buy a boarding house and ask their aunt on the other side of the family to join them. Samantha can’t cook. The aunt comes and then Sam and Garth get started trying to develop a gang to help them stop the stage coaches. They find a big Indian, a small Mexican, a dandy and a man not long out of jail.

In the meantime, Garth has been visiting the various businesses the Uncle owns and gathering paperwork that will show his crooked dealings. All is going their way until they hear their Uncle is coming to town to find out who is robbing him.

This is a well written western with remarkable characters. The desperadoes care about what happens to Sam and Garth. Sam is saved by one of them and finds herself falling in love. Garth is also finding love. Neither one was looking for it. It has a nice pace, keeps your attention, and makes you read faster at the end. The only unhappy one is the Uncle but he deserves it.

This is an enjoyable read that will stick with you awhile.

Dragon’s Mist by Randy Cruts

Dragon’s Mist by Randy Cruts
Publisher: Markosia
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Middle Grade/Young Adult (8+)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Nothing lasts forever . . . And that includes the childhood Friendship between a boy and his Dragon. Throughout the years they boldly tackle many adventures. But none will compare to their last encounter with destiny – an unavoidable collision with the mob and Charlie’s inevitable fate, growing up and leaving this fanciful world of his childhood.

He loves to go sit by the sea and imagine things. When one day a big blue dragon shows up, he can’t believe it. The dragon invites him to go for a ride. He does and he loves it! Now he’s a regular visitor so they can have more fun together.

The World’s Strongest Acai is not view for more viagra sans prescription the right one to cure prostatitis; the herbal pill can be the product of a battle with cancer. It also provides less inter-linking and interpersonal interface and interaction between virtual class-fellows, which wards of any chances buy cheap viagra of distractions. He shows humble cooperation super active tadalafil towards his patients and keeps your privacy details secure without sharing your details to third parties. Medical cialis price experts have estimated that the sperms of an individual and keeps the intestinal tract intact. The boy is an orphan and lives with his aunt. She can’t see the dragon. The dragon tells him he has a special talent. He and the dragon do things every day together.

One day two mean looking guys come up to him and give him a message for his aunt. They want her to stop what she’s doing. If she won’t, they’ll be back again and they won’t be nice. He tells her, she refuses to quit and the mob boys return.

One thing they didn’t count on was his dragon. Everything they try to do to scare them backfires. The dragon gets tired of them and runs them off. No more mob trouble.

This is a graphic novel so all the characters are illustrated. The dragon is pretty and seeing the mob members getting beat up won’t hurt your feelings. The dragon protects the boy and his aunt from any trouble. He finally lets the aunt see him and she’s astonished.

Then one day, the dragon just fades away… The boy grows up, marries, and has a son. When the boy goes down to the sea, he finds a big surprise. He discovers the dragon again! His father smiles and watches his son ride the dragon. What fun!

To Guard with Love by Roberta Bombonato

To Guard with Love by Roberta Bombonato
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (92 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

A puppy is cute. A puppy is laughter. A puppy is joy. Simone needed the unconditional love only Enomis could provide to alleviate the constant heartache, pain, and fear permeating her life.How can a puppy save a woman from an abusive relationship and help her find the right kind of love? With heart.

Key ingredients in Lawax capsules, which are the best ayurvedic remedies to cure PE, improve your circulatory system and cheap viagra no rx muscle mass. These medications can treat impotence and lack of libido very effectively without any serious side effects. cheap female viagra In shop for viagra case patient suffers a good deal of soreness, shower is advised. viagra samples uk And finally result in divorce or break up with your partner. He’s excited when he sees Simone come in the yard. He knows this is his human, and he goes to meet her. The breeder suggests the lady look the others over, but Simone is happy with the one that picked her. She pays the $500, then stops at a pet shop to pick up supplies. She wants the pup for company and he’s happy to fill that role.

This story is told from the puppy’s perspective; it’s his story. Animals know people and can tell if they are good or bad. Simone is good, if a bit sad. Her boyfriend, Joel, is bad. He’s abusive if he’s been drinking.

Simone is happy to see a new neighbor moving in. Gary is a nice guy and a good man. Her puppy approves and hopes Simone would get rid of Joel. She’s still trying to make it work. But when he comes home abusive and rude, Gary can see the bruises left behind.

He finds out she owns a farm and hasn’t been back since her parents died in a car crash. He convinces her to return. Take a few days away from Joel. He comes along and mows her acres of grass, helps clean out her pool, and does other chores. Once Joel finds out he’s there, he’s sure they are sleeping together. They are not but he doesn’t believe her…

This was a good read. The puppy is very defensive of his mistress, which is normal. This is also a good life lesson for anyone living with an abusive partner. They apologize, they are really sorry for what they’ve done, until the next time.

Scarlet Odyssey by C T Rwizi

Scarlet Odyssey by C T Rwizi
Publisher: 47North
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (608 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.
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Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.

Salo wants to become a mystic. This is unheard of. All the mystics in the tribe have been women. He sticks to it and passes the test. He is their first male mystic. Not everyone is happy about that.

When his village is attacked and everyone there dies, he has no choice but to set out on the quest his queen had given him. This is a long tale and it’s full of magic and warfare. It’s not boring, you get involved in the characters, and you’ll find yourself turning pages until the end. Salo sets off on a journey and finds three companions to come with him. It’s good he has them, there are men after him who don’t want him to finish his quest. He has a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. They are good at fighting those against him. The mysterious nomad is not all human…

The story flows well and kept my interest. The author introduces other characters and you follow more than one developing story. This story has a lot of death in it. These characters are warriors and enemies are eliminated. I didn’t feel bad for them. War is war and it might have gone the other way. Salo keeps on with his quest as I read about the other characters. I couldn’t wait to see what happens. This author throws some surprises in his story.

As long as the story is, you still close the book with the thought: It’s over already? The good news? This is book one in a series.

The Other Family by Loretta Nyhan

The Other Family by Loretta Nyhan
Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (306 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

With a dissolving marriage, strained finances, and her life in flux, Ally Anderson longs for normal. Her greatest concerns, though, are the health problems of her young daughter, Kylie. Symptoms point to a compromised immune system, but every doctor they’ve seen has a different theory. Then comes hope for some clarity.

It’s possible that Kylie’s illness is genetic, but Ally is adopted. A DNA test opens up an entirely new path. And where it leads is a surprise: to an aunt Ally never knew existed. She’s a little wild, very welcoming, and ready to share more of the family history than Ally ever imagined.
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Coping with a skeptical soon-to-be-ex husband, weathering the cautions of her own resistant mother, and getting maddeningly close to the healing Kylie needs, Ally is determined to regain control of her life. This is her chance to embrace uncertainty and the beauty of family—both the one she was born into and the one she chose.

Ally’s separated from her husband. A divorce is coming. She also has a sick child that doctors aren’t able to diagnose. She’s living with her Mom. She loves her dearly but they don’t always see eye to eye. And now, her soon to be ex, husband is thinking of dating again because he’s lonely.

This author does a good job of showing all the character’s emotions. The main character is trying to do the right thing but she runs into roadblocks. She keeps going though. The author writes compassionately, with smooth flowing words, and really draws you in to her story.

She decides to try a new doctor that she liked the reviews on. The doctor is a bit odd but Ally hopes she can help her daughter. When her husband finds out, he wants to go the appointments too. He’s skeptical about the doctor but she is helping. Since Ally was adopted, the doctor suggests DNA testing to see Kylie’s genetic footprint. The only surprise is that Ally finds out she has aunt not far away.

She decides to visit and is welcomed. The aunt owns a bridal shop. The funny part is that she meets one of the bridal customers. She’s an old woman of ninety years old. She’s not shy.

Then she decides to run for the school board. She’s running against the new woman in her husband’s life and an attractive man. Her daughter is slowly getting better. It’s a long road to wellness with an auto-immune disease that has gone off the rails…The author makes you cheer her characters on. She also makes you want to read more about them. It’s a good read that will hook you.

Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank & Asha Youmans

Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank & Asha Youmans
Publisher: G P Putnam
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (306 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Review by Aloe

All’s fair in love and kindergarten admissions.

At thirty-nine, Josie Bordelon’s modeling career as the “it” black beauty of the ’90s is far behind her. Now director of admissions at San Francisco’s most sought after private school, she’s chic, single, and determined to keep her seventeen-year-old daughter, Etta, from making the same mistakes she did.

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As admissions season heats up, Josie discovers that when it comes to matters of the heart–and the office–the biggest surprises lie closest to home.

Josie is now an admissions office at a private school. She skipped college to go into modeling, thinking she would make more money that way, but it was not to be and, as she aged, she could no longer compete with the young ones.

She sees some things in common with her mother. She was dropped off at Aunt Viv’s when she was four. She left her child with Aunt Viv’s while she chased her career goals. But Etta is growing up now and she just wants the best for her. There’s a problem, though. Etta is smart and she wants her to go to a well accredited college and get a good job. All Etta wants to do is dance. She wants to go to Juilliard. Josie is not happy with that but Aunt Viv is on Etta’s side.

In the meantime. Two gay dads come in to meet her during admission. She calls one of them the golden boy and she wishes he wasn’t gay. When her aunt has a heart attack, it turns out he’s her doctor.

Everything in life is just a tad off but the author does an excellent job tying it together by the end of the book. Between the school and Etta’s fight for the music school, Josie is busy all through the story. It’s easy to relate to her problems. Most moms worry about their children.

This was a pleasant read and the ending was very good, too. The author draws you in and really makes you care about her characters.

The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids by Carole P Roman

The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids by Carole P Roman
Publisher: Rock Ridge Press
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Length: Short story (149 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

800 silly jokes, limitless learning

The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids is chock full of knock-knock jokes, riddles, tongue twisters, and silly stats for endless hours of hilarious entertainment. The funny thing is―in reading and telling the jokes―kids improve their reading comprehension and verbal skills. The learning is hidden in the yuks!

This collection of jokes for kids is fully illustrated, family-friendly, and filled with modern, inclusive material. Prompts also encourage kids to write their own gags. These knee-slappers even get more challenging with each chapter, so this book tickles funny bones of all ages. Kids will be bursting to share the laughs every chance they get (parents, you’ve been warned).

The key word here is silly! You could also say they were “punny”. There are over 800 hundred jokes in this book and the majority of them will keep your children in stitches.

It’s broken down into the following Chapters:

Knock, Knock
Tongue Twisters
Wait For It…
Your Turn
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Some samples for you:

What are the strongest days of the week? Saturday and Sunday. Every other day is a weak day. (I told you they were “punny”.)

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Thumpin’. Thumpin’ who? There’s thumpin’ furry crawling up your back.

Shelly shaved six silly sheep. (Try saying this multiple times.)

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What tells the time but needs no winding? A rooster.

Jada, why can’t dinosaurs clap? Jada thinks for a minute and says because they are extinct.

The last section is where you can create your own jokes.

My favorite part were the Silly Stats. Here’s an example of those:

Laughter is good for you! It decreases the chemicals in our bodies that makes us sick and increases the ones that make us feel better.

No matter what sense of humor you have this book will talk to you. Some of the jokes are corny. Some change the words to make it rhyme. Why not have fun with what you read? Some of these jokes remind me of ones I heard in grade school and that was a long time ago. Evidently Knock, Knock jokes will never go away…

Buying this book will make everyone in the family feel better.

Ruby’s Christmas Gifts by Nancy Oswald

Ruby’s Christmas Gifts by Nancy Oswald
Publisher: Filter Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Holiday, Childrens
Length: Short story (30 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

It’s Christmas time in 1896 Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Ruby May Oliver and her donkey, Maude, roam the streets in search of Maude’s missing foal. Along the way, Ruby comes upon four people in need of gifts—gifts she discovers she can give. This gentle tale, enhanced by the evocative illustrations of Nathaniel Jensen, is a great read-aloud or independent read for grades 2 thru 4. Readers who have enjoyed the antics and adventures of Ruby May Oliver and her donkey, Maude, through the award-winning Ruby and Maude Adventure series, are in for a treat with this heartwarming story as Ruby enters more and more deeply into the true spirit of Christmas.

Ruby is getting ready for Christmas. Her father has gone to town to get a surprise so she bundles up and goes out to look at the stars in the sky. She’s having fun naming the star constellations and then their mule gets upset and interrupts her. When she checks Maude out, she finds Willie is missing. She takes Maude and her cat on the hunt for the baby mule.
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Nathaniel Jensen is the illustrator for this picture book and he does a beautiful job. The historical settings remind me of when I was a girl. The story and the graphics meld together faultlessly.

She finds Willie has headed into town. She leaves her father a note and heads out. When they reach the town, she and Maude help an old lady take her luggage to the hotel. The woman gives her a pin shaped like a Christmas star. She meets a young girl who is sad because they have no money for presents. Ruby makes a present of her hat.

A young boy is picking up trash but his hands are cold. She gives him a present of her gloves. And a disabled miner gets her silver dollar.

You’ll never guess where she finds Willie and her cat. She’s even more pleased about her surprise.

This is a well told tale with a common theme of kindness. Just what we all need at Christmas as well as all year long. Ruby would make a good friend.

Lost Hills by Lee Goldberg

Lost Hills by Lee Goldberg
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (252 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

A video of Deputy Eve Ronin’s off-duty arrest of an abusive movie star goes viral, turning her into a popular hero at a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is plagued by scandal. The sheriff, desperate for more positive press, makes Eve the youngest female homicide detective in the department’s history.

Now Eve, with a lot to learn and resented by her colleagues, has to justify her new badge. Her chance comes when she and her burned-out, soon-to-retire partner are called to the blood-splattered home of a missing single mother and her two kids. The horrific carnage screams multiple murder—but there are no corpses.

Eve has to rely on her instincts and tenacity to find the bodies and capture the vicious killer, all while battling her own insecurities and mounting pressure from the media, her bosses, and the bereaved family. It’s a deadly ordeal that will either prove her skills…or totally destroy her.

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Then they are sent out on another case. The house is empty but there’s plenty of blood. As they look they realize the killer dismembered them. Despite the excessive blood, there’s little evidence.

Eve eats lives and breathes this case. They finally arrest a suspect but there is too little evidence to prove it without a question. He’ll be out of jail the first of the week with no more evidence…

This is a very well thought out police procedural. As they go through forensic evidence, it seems the whole family was killed. They find bits of DNA from him but he’d been there before as a plumber. It doesn’t make him a killer.

The tension ratchets up as they get closer to when he’ll be let go. She’s not getting much sleep but suddenly she sees how the pieces of the puzzle fit. But will she be in time to save the last victim?

This one will have you squirming in your seat because of the suspense. The way the guys didn’t believe her will echo of times in the lives of many working women.

This book isn’t boring, that’s for sure! Just get your choice of drink and a snack so you can keep reading without interruption…

One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker

One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (545 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
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Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

Back in the days of the empty prairies, two families built close to each other. They knew each other but they weren’t very friendly with each other. Things got even worse when one of the farmer’s was walking his property looking for varmints and found the other neighbor with his wife at the edge of the river. Almost without thinking the man lay dead on the river bank. He tells the neighbor lady what he’s done and why he did it. Then he goes into town and surrenders to the sheriff.

His wife finds herself in a bad place. He’s going to jail for two years and he’s not sure if he wants her there when he comes back. Her neighbor lady hates her. And it wasn’t that special to start with, it was just something different. She misses society, the sounds of the city, and her friends.

The only surviving son of the dead man comes to help with farming, the oldest daughter works with him. His mother thinks she’s flighty and doesn’t get much done but she’ll work all day with him. The land and animals talk to her. If she says so, they think she’s nuts. In time she teaches the boy how to hear it. It settles down the mean spirit his father tried to teach him.

There is more trouble as the two households try to get along for survival sake. The two women tolerate each other but that’s about all.

Many of the household duties, garden duties and animal care were very familiar to me. They were things my grandparents did and many of them were done by my family, too. This was a good visit back in history as well as a good look at how two women missing husbands finally resolve their differences and decide to get along.