Monday, August 25, 2014

Off the Bookshelf: LADY OF RESOURCES by Shelley Adina

The fifth book in Shelley Adina's Magnificent Devices series is just as much fun as the previous four -- even if she does shift the focus from Lady Claire to the Mopsies.

What can I say? Lots of fun, and opening lots of doors for more stories, and the ability to keep adventuring with characters you've come to love. What more could a reader want?

This time, Lizzie is the heroine. Five years have passed since Claire met and saved the life of Baron Zeppelin and had the opportunities of her dreams handed to her as a reward. The Mopsies, twin sisters Lizzie and Maggie, have profited as well. They are now well-rounded, educated young ladies, graduating from their form at school at the same time Claire is graduating from the university.

Into their life comes a somewhat shady, wealthy man who offers Lizzie answers to some rather large questions from her past: How did she and her sister, at age 5, end up in the Thames with no memories before that night? Where did they come from? Who are their parents? When Lizzie meets the man, strange and disturbing memories start haunting her dreams. She gains some answers and her true identity, but to her dismay she may be forced to leave Maggie behind.

Fear not, all is not lost. Lady Claire comes to the rescue, and the girls' resourcefulness and cleverness and common sense attitudes stand them in good stead. The next book is Maggie's adventure, as she also has a chance to learn who she really is, where she fits into the world and society. Keep reading!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Off the Bookshelf: BRILLIANT DEVICES, by Shelley Adina

The fourth book in Shelley Adina's Steampunk adventures of Lady Claire starts off with a bang -- the ramshackle airship she is traveling in has major mechanical problems.

No fears. Lady Claire and her band of intrepid companions fix the problem with more ingenuity and brilliance and head off -- finally -- to civilization. There are chores to take care of, including that pesky problem of letting the world know, once again, that she isn't dead. In Edmonton, Claire and company are reunited with their noble, powerful friends and continue on their planned route -- which includes a trip far north to diamond mines and Eskimo (excuse me, Esquimaux) villages.

But all is not well. Sabotage and assassination attempts and social reform all congeal together into an explosive mess. Readers get to meet semi-historical characters, and Claire is caught between two young men determined to win her heart. Plus there's the fun and heartbreak of rough-and-ready Alice trying to learn to fit into high society while struggling to find her father, who vanished years ago.

The only downer in this story? The note from the author that she plans to start writing the adventures of Claire's alley mice companions. (Waaaah!) Never fear, the Lady is still in the stories, she just isn't on camera all the time. Let's hope that the Mopsies are just as clever, independent and full of adventure as their intrepid guardian. (Have I mentioned I really love this series?)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Off the Bookshelf: CONCEALED IN DEATH, by JD Robb

It's my birthday -- okay, it WAS my birthday -- and I bought myself a present. And as a reward for finishing a big revision project and getting my next Quarry Hall book to my publisher on time.

CONCEALED IN DEATH, the latest Eve Dallas book in paper.

Roarke is renovating an old building that was a sanctuary for runaway and troubled youth -- to create a new, better kind of shelter. Because that's just the kind of guy he is, after all the things he and Eve have gone through, learning the brutal secrets of their childhoods. Of course, he gets to take the ceremonial swing with the sledgehammer to start gutting the building. Inside the wall are two bodies, wrapped in plastic. By the time the crime scene team is through investigating, twelve bodies have been found. All young girls. Of course, Lt. Eve Dallas is called in to lead the investigation.

I love this series, and I have to admit, it's the characters, the interplay, the relationships, the inside jokes, the growth in people's personalities ... it's great fun going back and seeing what "old friends" have been up to.

Now I need to get really busy and crush down this craving for the next book in the series, which comes out in hardback soon. I'm trying to be good, and economical, and wait until it comes out in paper. Besides, I have 100+ print books waiting to be read and more than that in e-book format. There's never enough time for books! Make time for this one, though.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Off the Bookshelf: MAGNIFICENT DEVICES by Shelley Adina

Today we're exploring the 3rd book in Shelley Adina's Magnificent Devices series .... appropriately titled MAGNIFICENT DEVICES.

Lady Claire and her ragamuffin charges have fled to America with friends to escape quite a few debacles that ended book two -- starting with breaking her engagement to Lord James. Claire has to get out of there, to escape a man who is a misogynist, thief, liar, cheat, and all around egotistical, self-righteous bully.

Escaping to the wild west of America isn't exactly the escape she wants. The adventurers in their magnificent airship run into pirates -- also in an airship. Claire escapes death, and is presumed dead more than once. Just when she's escaped the frying pan of enemies and thieves and desperados who will stop at nothing for their own profit, she finds she's landed in the fire -- and clutches -- of some old enemies.

Non-stop action, Claire's common sense approach to solving problems, and sometimes being a little too noble for her own good ... major fun. I wish I didn't have books on deadlines and a day job. Otherwise I'd just sit and read until I've devoured the whole series!

Do start at the beginning. You don't want to miss a moment -- especially since the author builds on what happened in previous books to bring about the latest quandary for our intrepid heroine and her no-nonsense, unsinkable, daring companions.