Injoy's Blogs + Book Reviews

I'm a voracious reader of almost all genres. I write book reviews for goodreads, NetGalley, Amazon & my own page InJoyful Book Reviews. I have several other facebook pages where I am sole administrator. I stay busy even though I'm retired. I'm a 68 year old grandmother of four from two adult children. I'm happily married & relocated from Washington State to Arizona.

 

 Reviews PublishedFrequently Auto-ApprovedChallenge ParticipantProfessional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge200 Book Reviews

 

 

 

 

Billy Go to Bed by Pamela Malcolm

Billy Go to Bed - Pamela Malcolm

Billy Go to Bed by Pamela Malcolm is a cleverly written and illustrated children's story for ages three to nine. It is a fun to read story and my favorite little boy asked me to read it again and again. For that reason, I gave it five stars. It is a good book to read for any child that might not want to go to bed.

 

Billy stalls going to bed and finds various excuses to come back downstairs to interrupt his parents with his reasons for not staying in bed. Finally they become impatient and demand that he stay in bed. He then sees "aliens" outside his window and is initially afraid but discovers they are friendly and want him to visit their planet which has all sort of good things for children to do. The next thing he knows is his Mother is waking him to get ready for school. He realizes he can visit the friendly aliens in his sleep any time he wants.

 

I received a .pdf copy from the author in a promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Go-Bed-Bedtime-children-ebook/dp/B01GDH7WFY

Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl

Tiny Infinities - J.H. Diehl Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl is a promising book about Alice, her troubled mother and her meeting an unusual new friend, Harriet. It's a middle-grade novel with unique observations about family relationships, friendship and Alice's determination to prove herself in all ways. It's written for ages eight to twelve. I gave it five stars because it kept my full attention, start to finish. "What I love most about backstroke is, it proves a person doesn't need to be looking straight ahead to know exactly where she's going." The police left after Piper's parents claimed her from Alice's house. Her father was disgruntled. "He shut our front door, looking irritated and tired, as if he'd just put up with watching ten awful TV ads in a row, and now we were back to a show he didn't like anyway." Alice met Harriet and was discussing how her parents met and she got her name from the dog. "But talking about Alice was like walking back over to that corner in my head and finding the box jammed full of mad, sad, and panic." Alice's father is leaving. She is frustrated and upset. "Again the words came out madder than I expected, as if my voice had picked a mood without consulting me." I received a complimentary Advanced Reader's Copy from Chronicle Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review. Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Tiny-Infinities-J-H-Diehl/dp/1452163359 It is in pre-order status until May 8, 2018. I could not leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.

Road Kill: A Serial Killer Novella (Terror Collection) by Shawn Raiford

Road Kill: A Serial Killer Novella-Terror Collection (Kindle Single) - Shawn Raiford Road Kill: A Serial Killer Novella (Terror Collection) by Shawn Raiford is an novella about Ana who is not a victim. She's tired and wants to sleep. It was graphically written and a difficult story to read. The subject matter was creepy and it needs editing for grammar. It left me feeling disturbed and depressed. I gave it almost four stars. "Ana had gone to psychologists to help her with her anger management problem. Her doctor always told her, 'Words are just sound traveling through the air and cannot physically harm you. It's up to you how you react to them.' Ana understood the doctor but words also had meaning to people. To her." I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review. Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Kill-Serial-Novella-Collection-ebook/dp/B0192DPJU6

Three Lives Of Mary by David M. Kelly

Three Lives Of Mary - David M. Kelly Three Lives Of Mary by David M. Kelly is a mesmerizing story of a cybot named Mary. Along with her husband Ben, she looks for habitable planets. It is an entertaining, fast reading book. I gave it five stars. I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review. "Mary gasped as her legs were ripped from under her and she slammed face down into the ground. Several tendril-like vines wrapped around her arms and legs and she instinctively pulled against them. Thorn-like bristles clawed at her burnished skin as the vines coiled tighter around her despite her struggles." Mary discusses her feelings about Ben and changes he had made. "They'd seen so much together, it was hard to remember when it had been different. Mary still thought of Ben as he was when they were first married. He'd always been easy going, with an almost endless joy of life in general. But after they became CySaps he'd become more intolerant and obsessed with the latest technology. Sometimes Mary wondered if the gain of extended lifespans was worth the sacrifice." Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Three-Lives-Mary-David-Kelly-ebook/dp/B01LWAQVIH

Burning Through Their Eyes by Eugene Knigh

Burning Through Their Eyes - Eugene Knight

Burning Through Their Eyes by Eugene Knight is a thriller/science fiction book that was a fast, interesting book to read. I was mesmerized. I gave it four stars only because of the grammatical errors, typos and homonyms. This did not reflect on the quality of the author's writing.

 

Toby, his wife and twin sons have their life interrupted by a kidnapping of one of their infant sons. It's related to his job at the University that is controlled by the NSA. It's a disturbing story about mind manipulation.

 

I received a complimentary copy from Createspace and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1544691130

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book written by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Diana Toledano

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book: Book 1 - Alice Kuipers, Diana Toledano
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book written by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Diana Toledano is a children's book written for ages four to eight years.
 
Polly loves words and writing stories and lists. She believes amazing things happen in threes. Her mother is expecting another baby, so her three-year-old sister, Anna (the sparkle princess) moved into Polly's room. She's not happy about it.
 
Her father is a contractor and always has a project going in the house. Polly's new magic book allows her to make things happen that she writes. She's imaginative and creative. It is a fun story to read. I gave it five stars.
 
I received an Advanced Reading Copy from Chronicle Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.
 
It is in pre-order status until May 18, 2018 so I could not leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
 
Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Polly-Diamond-Magic-Book/dp/1452152322

An Inuit Folk Tale, Fish-Boy As told by Vanita Oelschlager

Fish-Boy: An Inuit Folk Tale - Mike Blanc, Vanita Oelschlager
An Inuit Folk Tale, Fish-Boy As told by Vanita Oelschlager with art by Mike Blanc is a charming children's story written for grades one to four. It also covers multi-cultural information. I gave it four stars.
 
"Soon we will go to the two island the white trader calls 'Diomedes.' They lie between our land and the big land where the fathers of our fathers' fathers' fathers came from."
 
I received a complimentary copy from Vanita Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.
 
This book is in pre-order status until May 1, 2018 so I could not leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Played to Death, A Scott Drayco Mystery by BV Lawson

Played to Death - B.V. Lawson

Played to Death, A Scott Drayco Mystery by BV Lawson is an intriguing, page-turning book. It's a Shamus Award Finalist and Named Best Mystery in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I gave it five stars. Drayco was driving his vintage Oldsmobile Starfire near Chesapeake Bay. The scenery was not to his liking. He arrived at the Opera House he had inherited. He wanted to have a quick turnover sale. He's a crime consultant and considering retirement. He finds a dead body on stage and becomes a suspect in the murder. He has chromesthesia, "a type of sunesthesia where people hear sounds as colors, shapes, and textures." "He was accustomed to death, to corpses, to depravity. Drayco and his colleagues lived those nightmares by day, so others didn't have to dream them at night." The wife of the man whose body Drayco found is described like this: "There was something noble about Nanette. A dignity formed through years of wondering where her husband was, or with whom, and learning to hold her head up regardless. An innate strength, a will to persevere, no matter how brambled the journey." The Sheriff mentioned a victim had no enemies. "Drayco had yet to meet a person without enemies. Maybe not the murderous kind, but the type to take one word or one oversight, no matter how small and sharpen it into a blade of ill will." Drayco was talking to Yeagle about a case. "'I’m not here on a witch hunt, Earl. I only want the truth.' Yeagle snorted. 'Whose truth? Tends to vary, depending upon your point of view, doesn't it? Truth is worse than a moving target because it changes shapes.' Yeagle pointed toward the door. 'I think you should leave now.'" Drayco was talking to Deputy Nelia Tyler whose husband has multiple sclerosis. "Being a primary caregiver was a soul-sucking task. The physical and emotional demands chipped away at your sanity as slowly as melting ice on a glacier." Darcie Spier is interacting with Drayco and says: "'Why, I think you're jealous. That's why you're asking me these questions.' "'I call jealousy the dandelion emotion. Innocent looking, until it morphs from sunny yellow to a gossamer skeleton. And impossible to stop from destroying your yard once it spreads.'" I thought that was an excellent description of jealousy. I received a complimentary copy from the author and Barnes & Noble. That did not change my opinion for this review. Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LPUX7OA

The Crimson Meniscus, 7 Mind-Blowing Sci-Fi Stories from the Bubble by Jason Werbeloff

The Crimson Meniscus: 7 Mind-Blowing Sci-Fi Stories from the Bubble (The Bubble Chronicles Book 1) - Jason Werbeloff

The Crimson Meniscus, 7 Mind-Blowing Sci-Fi Stories from the Bubble by Jason Werbeloff did not disappoint. I've enjoyed this author's writing for a while and although some of it is a touch creepy, it's nevertheless intriguing. I gave it five stars.

 

Manufacturing Margaret is an intriguing science fiction/futuristic story about an android named Margaret.

 

"But my speech routines aren't programmed to express such thoughts. Instead, I find myself blurting my only programmed response to these situations. 'Please note that all activities in this cab are recorded.'"

 

Margaret drives a cab and observes thousands of humans. "I fly over Canal Street, parallel to the river, as though my grav motors are propelled by the spirits of the humans coursing through the thoroughfare below. From up here they look like an army of blood cells pumping through an artery."

 

Margaret discusses her increasing consciousness. "It's strange to think that everyone, everything, had a first moment of awareness. A point before which nothing was, and after which nothing would ever be the same."

 

Investing Isobella begins on a puzzling note. "'Look,' he says, 'I'm not going to lie to you, Paul. There's a risk. Sure.'

 

Jono Falanges slicks back his hair--his fingers leave track marks through the grease. He interlaces his hands behind his head. Stretches.

 

He knows I'm waiting with a thundering heart. Knows he has my full attention. I'm a desperate man."

 

It is a creepy tale indeed.

 

Oscillating Olaf tries to remain in an erotic dream but is interrupted by a phone call. He then has a sense of deju vu when the Roach called. Everything is going wrong. "My jaw was so tight, my teeth sang." He was learning to oscillate between two phases simultaneously. He was receiving messages from the future. A nice surprise twist at the end.

 

Patenting Peter is married to Cassandra who has what he called 'Lizard Eyes'. "Her gaze tore off me like a waxing strip. Landed on the frayed edge of the fedora on my head." She hated when he wore his father's hat.

 

His neighbor, Misaki with whom he had been flirting over the past few months as she came to borrow items arrived to borrow milk. He grabbed her wrist. "In the confusion, Misaki dropped the milk, which erupted in an ic spray over my naked feet. It took every fiber of my masculinity not to squeal."

 

Severing Sidney is an intriguing story about Geppetto's daughter Simona's merging with Neville. It's hauntingly poignant.

 

Aborting Andromeda is a twisted tale that is unusual to say the least. Christian works for the post-natal abortion clinic. A lovely surprise ending.

 

Defragmenting Daniel is a mesmerizing, yet somewhat creepy book. I gave it five stars.

"After six years working in the Organ Farm, Daniel still didn’t know why it was green – the Rejek they pumped through the organs. They’d said something in class about photosynthesis. All Daniel knew for sure was that after you ran Rejek through an organ, it was good for transplant."

 

Even those who work with harvesting organs have had many of their own taken away. "The knee was cybernetic, and you’d think it wouldn’t mind the cold. But ever since they’d harvested it when Daniel was nine, winters had been difficult. It was summer now, but the cold air in Administration wasn’t helping."

 

Daniel changed after they removed a segment of his brain. "He counted the full 49 seconds this time. Didn't feel the icy jets on his back. Daniel stood resolute against the arti spray. Even as the tears streaked down his cheeks, his mind tucked into itself. Numbed within a crease of a fold of a distant dream."

 

I received a complimentary copy from the author. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073PNRHK3

Dawn Girl by Leslie Wolfe

Dawn Girl - Leslie Wolfe

Dawn Girl: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller by Leslie Wolfe is a chilling suspense-filled book. While it did have disturbing scenes, they advanced the storyline. I gave it five stars.

 

FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett searches for who she believes to be a serial killer. She has secrets of her own.

 

Detective Gary Michowsky is assigned to the murder of the young woman found on the beach. "'We're not concerned with footprints, I guess,' Michowsky muttered, looking at the foot-print covered sand. He watched for a few seconds how the ocean breeze carried specks of sand to and from their crime scene, eroding, altering everything. Nature was the perfect forensic countermeasure, especially there, on the beach."

 

Doc Rizza was the coroner who arrived to determine time and cause of death. After scanning her fingerprints, they learned she was not in the system. Her name was Sonya Weaver and they found her from a "missing person" report filed five days earlier.

 

"The killer was a psychopath, no doubt, but even for a psychopath, what kind of brain would concoct such an elevated recipe for torture?"

 

In meeting with the family of a missing girl, Tess and Detective Michowsky witnessed an exchange between the parents and the one girl remaining at home. "A moment of silence developed, one of those uncomfortable, disturbing scenes quite common for troubled, dysfunctional families."

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Girl-Gripping-Serial-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01I0X2YR0

Crochet Bathroom Accessories, Give Your Bathroom Some Color and Personality with Crochet by Dorothy Wilks

Crochet: Crochet Bathroom Accessories. Give Your Bathroom Some Color and Personality with Crochet - Dorothy Wilks

Crochet Bathroom Accessories, Give Your Bathroom Some Color and Personality with Crochet by Dorothy Wilks gives clear directions on making bathroom accessories. Examples are:  Ribbed Shell Toilet Paper Hanger, Ribs and Stripes Toilet Tissue Cover, Flowers and Vine Toilet Paper Cover and Hanging Laundry. These items could add personality to a bathroom.

 

I gave it almost four stars because the directions are well written. The patterns are a bit old-fashioned. This is not for someone just beginning to crochet.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Amazon. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Crochet-Bathroom-Accessories-Color-Personality-ebook/dp/B011N13CNG

Cherry Grove: A Short Story from the Bayou Boogaloo by CL Lucas

Cherry Grove: A Short Story from the Bayou Boogaloo - CL Lucas, CL Lucas

Cherry Grove: A Short Story from the Bayou Boogaloo by CL Lucas is a fast, but disturbing read. It's about a young sailor who will later become the Sheriff of New Iberia, Louisiana. He's on leave in the Philippines. He's looking for a hooker. It's a good thing he finds one who doesn't speak English.

 

I gave it three stars.

 

I received a complimentary kindle copy from Amazon. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Cherry-Grove-Short-Story-Boogaloo-ebook/dp/B00M3OZN0I

 

The Solar Eclipse 2017, Where and How the Best Place to View It by Wolfgang Held

The Solar Eclipse of 2017: Where and How to Best View It - Wolfgang Held

The Solar Eclipse 2017, Where and How the Best Place to View It by Wolfgang Held is an interesting synopsis of people's past beliefs about solar eclipses. It is documentary style writing and a bit dry but includes a lot of interesting facts. I gave it almost four stars.

 

This is the first total solar eclipse which will be visible from the mainland United States since 1979.

 

"Yet why are still affected just as strongly today, in a time when everyone understands the astronomical details to a greater or lesser extent and everything be explained? It is because, in the same way as an earthquake, the secure foundation of our existence is suddenly called into question for a short period of time: in this instance, the certainty that the Sun shines during the day."

 

The book cautions individual observing the eclipse to protect their eyes properly or their retinas could be permanently damaged. There is no warning since the retina doesn't experience pain. The damage may occur hours later. Protective glasses made of aluminized mylar film or welding filter glass.

 

I received a complimentary copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Eclipse-2017-Where-Best-ebook/dp/B00QPHQS80

Auschwitz: A Short History by Ben Stevens

Auschwitz: A Short History - Ben Stevens

Auschwitz: A Short History by Ben Stevens is a documentary style story. I gave it four stars because it was a straightforward account of history.

 

It is sad to remember the atrocities that took place. There were the "Einsatzgruppen - paramilitary 'death squads' who followed the regular German army into occupied territory before 'cleansing' it of anyone deemed racially or politically 'undesirable'. Previously, this had consisted chiefly of Einsatzgruppen soldier shooting unarmed men, women and children in the back of the head, or machine-gunning them in large groups, before hurling their bodies into deep trenches." There were 33,771 people killed in a massacre in Kiev in September 1941.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS53R46

The Spring Cleaning Murders, An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell

The Spring Cleaning Murders - Dorothy Cannell

The Spring Cleaning Murders, An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell is a quick cozy mystery to read. Because it kept me guessing, I gave it four stars.

 

Ellie's family meets a new housekeeper, Mrs. Large. "'Morning, all.' Her voice was deep and gruff and--as might be expected--she was definitely a big woman. A good six-feet tall, with a long lugubrious face and a plodding walk."

 

Ellie is thinking about the loved ones in her life: "the heart has many nooks and crannies, each of which can only be filled by certain people."

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Random House Publishing Group-Alibi and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Cleaning-Murders-Haskell-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KE61LTI

The Sixth Victim (A Constance Piper Mystery) by Tessa Harris

The Sixth Victim (A Constance Piper Mystery) - Tessa Harris

The Sixth Victim (A Constance Piper Mystery) by Tessa Harris is brilliantly written and a fast, mesmerizing book to read. I gave it five stars because this author made me feel as if I were on the foggy, frightening streets.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Kensington Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Sixth-Victim-Constance-Piper-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01LJKQGX4