Tag Archives: Animals

Lisa Williams Kline. Blue Autumn Cruise. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkids, 2012.

Diana Williams and Stephanie Verra are back in this third book in the Sisters in all Seasons series. This time, the two stepsisters join Stephanie’s extended family on a cruise to the Caymans to celebrate Grammy Verra’s seventy-fifth birthday.

It’s hard for Diana to leave her regular haunts in North Carolina behind, but the islands hold many exciting new adventures. Unfortunately, Stephanie’s annoying cousin Lauren is also on the cruise, and Diana must learn to get along with her as well. The socially adept Stephanie quickly gets tired of mediating between her cousin and her stepsister, while Lauren just wants to videotape her trip and finds it annoying when Diana won’t agree to take part. But when an animal is in trouble on the ship, all three teens band together to help. As usual, each girl learns valuable lessons about herself, the natural world around her, and interacting with others.

Young adults will enjoy this thoughtful addition to a series that follows the difficulties of growing up, going to high school, and learning to get along with new family members.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Kline, Lisa Williams, Novels in Series

Donna Ball. Bone Yard. Mountain City, GA: Blue Merle Publishing, 2012.

Raine Stockton is ready for the quiet life. After the adventures of the past few years, all she wants is to sit back and run her boarding kennel in peace. Well, in as much peace as one can have with two active Australian shepherds, one very regal collie, and a two-and-a-half year old golden retriever. Raine is actually doing very well: she’s expanding her boarding kennel in the mountains of Hansonville, North Carolina to include an indoor training ring. If it would just stop raining, the construction crew could finally pour the concrete and she could get started working with her dogs on agility and obedience in much greater comfort.

But life is going to stay interesting for Raine and her excitable pooches. During an especially wet and muddy day, her retriever, Cisco, digs up a bone from the construction site. When a friend points out that the bone the retriever dug up is a human tibia, Raine prepares herself for the worst– an encounter with her ex-husband, the local sheriff. Soon her backyard is crawling with state police in addition to the sheriff and his men, and when a plastic bag full of remains is discovered, Raine knows that her indoor training ring won’t be built anytime soon. But how could a body be buried here in the first place? The home has been in her family for over a hundred years, which could lead to some awkward questions. On top of the bones, Raine has other problems with both dogs and men– her collie Majesty keeps sneaking off, and handsome Miles Young, a local developer whom she should dislike, is clearly attracted to her. Luckily, her faithful companion Cisco is never very far away, especially when Raine has liver treats.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Ball, Donna, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Donna Ball. Smoky Mountain Tracks. Mountain City, GA: Blue Merle Publishing, 2012.

Raine Stockton, like generations of Stocktons before her, lives in the small (fictional) town of Hansonville, North Carolina. Nestled just on the edge of the stately Nantahala National Forest, Hansonville has gone largely undiscovered by the outside world– it’s still a small town with the same families that have lived there from time out of mind.

While her ancestors may have been livestock farmers, Raine has chosen to focus on a different animal: dogs. In addition to running a small boarding kennel and grooming salon out of her home, she trains her golden retriever, Cisco, in agility and tracking. So she shouldn’t be surprised when deputy sheriff Buck Lawson (who is also unfortunately her ex-husband) calls her up at three o’ clock in the morning to ask for her and Cisco’s help with a manhunt. Angel Winston, the young daughter of a local ne’er-do-well, has been kidnapped and taken deep into the woods. But Cisco is very young and mostly unproven, and instead of finding Angel, he leads the police to an empty cabin with a discarded can of baked beans inside. Heartsick and returning home, Raine inadvertently discovers what her dog did not– the kidnapper, murdered.

Angel is still missing, but the circumstances of her disappearance become more and more bizarre. Could they be related to a wealthy developer’s plans to bring Hansonville into the 21st century? Like Cisco, Raine is stubborn when she smells something funny, and despite Buck’s warnings and her own common sense, she persists in asking troublesome questions. Will Raine and the energetic Cisco sort out the truth before it’s too late?

Check the availability of this first book in the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Ball, Donna, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Donna Ball. The Dead Season. Mountain City, GA: Blue Merle Publishing, 2012.

Raine Stockton and her energetic golden retriever Cisco are back in action in this, the sixth novel in the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries. Their latest adventure opens on a snow-bound Hansonville, North Carolina in January, in the middle of what the locals call “the dead season.” There are no tourists, no holidays to look forward to, and no one feels like venturing very far beyond the cozy heat of his or her wood stove. Raine Stockton is going out of her mind with boredom. So when the director of a local hiking organization for troubled teenagers called New Day Wilderness Program asks her to join his staff temporarily for a winter hike, she can’t resist going along. She and Cisco will be joining Paul Evans, his wife Rachel, a young counselor named Heather, and five teens enrolled in the program as they embark on a trust-building journey into the mountains.

At first, Raine is excited. She’ll get to teach the youngsters about wilderness survival, and Cisco will perform some search and rescue demonstrations. But as the expedition progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that New Day holds some dark and ugly secrets. Paul and Rachel’s approach to team building often seems more cruel than instructive, and Heather is still traumatized by the recent, unexplained death of her boyfriend, a fellow New Day counselor. Cisco brings joy and life to the trail as usual, but when an unexpected blizzard blows in, the tension and the cold both begin to snap. Will anyone get out of the mountains alive? And will Raine end up needing Cisco’s rescue skills in earnest? Join the savvy woman and dog duo as they follow this mystery’s trail to its gripping conclusion.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Ball, Donna, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Suspense/Thriller

Lisa Williams Kline. Wild Horse Spring. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2012.

Fourteen-year old stepsisters Stephanie and Diana bonded last summer, despite having two very different personalities and struggling with their parents’ new marriages. Socially adept but squeamish Stephanie learned to be braver and to take risks during a family vacation at a ranch in the mountains, and outdoorsy but awkward Diana finally reached out to her new sister. But now a whole year has gone by, the first one in which both girls attend the same school. Diana still doesn’t fit in and gets made fun of, while for Stephanie making new friends is effortless. Diana is jealous and hurt and pulls back from their budding relationship.

Stephanie doesn’t understand what makes Diana tick. She’s been sweet and kind to her, just as she is to everyone. But Diana refuses to let her in, retreating into her passion for horses and other animals. Stephanie’s problems don’t stop with Diana: she lives primarily with her mother and her mother’s new husband, along with his 18-year-old son Max. Max calls Stephanie names and drinks behind their parents’ backs. Stephanie yearns to live with her dad Norm and Diana’s mom Lynn, but she’s afraid to ask. When Norm, Lynn, Stephanie, and Diana all go to a beach rental on the Outer Banks for the girls’ spring break, Stephanie hopes she can work up the courage to tell her father what she really thinks, even if it means making things difficult for the adults.

But if Stephanie is considering causing problems, Diana can be counted on to stir up trouble. This time it’s the wild horses that roam Currituck’s beaches: Diana becomes obsessed with them, and keeps running off to find the herds. When she discovers a hurt mare hit by a vehicle, nothing will satisfy her but to find the perpetrator, and Stephanie is once more party to her stepsister’s determination. Will the two be able to overcome the new obstacles in their relationship and find out who injured the horse?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Currituck, Kline, Lisa Williams, Novels in Series

Lisa Williams Kline. Summer of the Wolves. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2012.

Stephanie and Diana are like night and day: blonde Diana loves the outdoors, and gets along with animals better than people. Dark-haired Stephanie is artsy, social, and fashionable. Each regards the other’s world as alien to her own. Unfortunately, Stephanie’s dad and Diana’s mom have just gotten married, and the two new stepsisters are pushed into a “family” vacation at a ranch in the North Carolina mountains. Stephanie is horrified that she’ll be expected to participate in activities like trail riding and white-water rafting, while Diana is angry that she’ll be held back by her stepsister’s reluctance. Stephanie actually wants to be friends, but Diana is so angry that civil interaction is barely possible.

With the family shift weighing down on both of them, the vacation does not start well for the girls. Stephanie nearly falls off a horse, and Diana is even more annoyed when her socially skilled stepsister starts making friends with other children right away. But then Diana discovers the wolves: two part-wolf, part-dog hybrids that a local man keeps for show. Diana’s heart goes out immediately to the skinny, frightened creatures, who are kept in a small pen with little food or water. She determines to free them, and when Stephanie catches wind of her plan, the usually cautious brunette decides to help Diana. Together they free the wolves, but their actions have far-reaching consequences that they didn’t consider. The girls must help those who wish to bring the wolves safely home, realizing along the way that they’re more similar than they thought.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Kline, Lisa Williams, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Faith Hunter. Raven Cursed. New York: Roc, 2012.

The fourth book in the Jane Yellowrock Series, Raven Cursed sees the hardened vampire killer return to her home state of North Carolina. Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker bonded to the soul of a mountain lion called simply Beast, has been living and working in New Orleans for the past few years. At first she was a one-woman operation, hunting down rogue vampires, but lately she’s been working for Leo Pellissier, the vampire master of New Orleans and the entire southeast. While suspicious of her true nature (which Jane hides), the vampires see the value in her hunting down those rogues that threaten their uneasy peace with humans.

What brings Jane back to the Old North State is a vampire parley– a powerful vampire named Lincoln Shaddock wants to form his own clan in Asheville, but has to petition Jane’s boss for the right to do so. Jane is in charge of security, and while she isn’t thrilled, she has reason to hope that the parley will be over quietly and quickly with minimal fuss. But when Jane arrives in Asheville, she finds more than she bargained for: a pair of werewolves out for revenge, a pissed off grindylow, a coven of witches whose leader has gone insane, and something far more dark and dangerous that knows all about Jane. Will Jane and Beast survive their return to the Appalachians? Readers of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and fans of True Blood will be excited to find a modern, gutsy heroine in this supernatural thriller.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Buncombe, Hunter, Faith, Mountains, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Margaret Maron. Shooting at Loons. New York: Mysterious Press, 1994.

Judge Deborah Knott leaves her seat in Colleton County and heads to the Outer Banks in this, the third installment in Maron’s popular Deborah Knott series. Filling in for a temporarily incapacitated judge in Carteret County, Deborah is happy to be away from her nosy, trouble-making family and back in Beaufort, NC– home to her cousins, and the site of many happy girlhood summers. However, her nostalgic memories are rudely banished when she finds Andy Bynum, and old family friend, floating murdered in the surf. Deborah isn’t sure who would want to kill the amicable fisherman, but his death hangs like a pall over what was supposed to be her peaceful ocean getaway.

Andy’s death isn’t the only problem. North Carolina’s so-called Crystal Coast is on the brink of war–with increasing levels of tourism, there is continual tension between the High Tiders, who have been fishing the waters for centuries, conservationists, who want to curtail potentially harmful traditional fishing techniques, and developers, who are looking to get the most out of any land they can buy. Andy Bynum, a local and former poacher who unaccountably founded a conservationist organization, was in the center of the conflict. Deborah isn’t sure who killed him, but it’s a fact that many people wanted the stubborn community leader dead. But who pulled the trigger? Knott must carefully navigate a sea of lawyers, judges, greedy developers, tight-lipped locals, and unexpected old friends to find the killer.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1994, Carteret, Coast, Maron, Margaret, Mystery, Novels in Series

Maggie Bishop. One Shot Too Many. Banner Elk, NC: Ingalls Publishing Group, 2011.

Jemma Chase, the CSI-obsessed heroine of Murder at Blue Falls and Perfect for Framing, is back in this latest installment in Bishop’s Appalachian Adventure series.

When Scott Barker dies suddenly at a photography club meeting held at Jemma’s ranch, Blue Falls, the investigator-wannabe can barely contain her enthusiasm. Of course it’s terrible that Scott is dead, but the chance to be at the center of another investigation (and interact with handsome Detective Tucker) is too exciting. When it turns out that Barker was poisoned, the case gets even more interesting, as the killer has to be one of the amateur photographers present at the club meeting. Unfortunately, Tucker wants Jemma to stay out of the way this time, in an effort to protect both her safety and his reputation. But when the detective kisses another woman, Jemma begins to wonder if her safety is really what’s foremost in his mind.

Return to Blue Falls for another exciting murder mystery, filled with the usual suspects, intriguing new characters, and plenty of illicit activity for Jemma and Detective Tucker to unravel.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Bishop, Maggie, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series, Romance/Relationship, Watauga

R. K. Hardy. The Cheetah Diaries. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2012.

Fifteen-year-old Kenya Taymore is definitely a cat person. This is important, because her veterinarian father owns and operates a big cat rescue sanctuary high in the North Carolina mountains. All of the cats (six tigers, one jaguar, one panther, three leopards, a puma, and assorted ocelots, servals, and margays) are enclosed in spacious habitats designed to mimic their native surroundings as closely as possible. The only cat allowed free range is Kenya’s cheetah, Shaka, whom she raised from a kitten. Shaka is special: Kenya’s mother, a brilliant writer, passed away just over a year before due to cancer. That’s when Shaka entered Kenya’s life, a helpless kitten. Kenya knows that treating a wild animal like a house pet was wrong, but having a constant companion in Shaka helped her survive the initial stages of her grief.

Now Kenya is starting her sophomore year in high school and feeling her mother’s absence acutely. The majority of faculty and students at her school are deeply religious, and because of this often use Christian doctrine as a basis for their lessons. Kenya, who has grown up in a household that embraces atheism and science, hates being asked to pray or listening to Creationism presented as a valid alternative to Evolution. She begins to rebel in small ways, one of which is befriending the new English teacher, Mr. Draper. Mr. Draper supports Kenya’s ambitions as a budding poet, and he lends her books that have been banned from the school library. Meanwhile, other teachers and students become increasingly fixated on Kenya. Some attempt to force Christianity on her, while others claim that the scratches she gets from working with large cats are failed attempts at suicide. But Kenya slowly begins to realize the situation is far bigger than her problems at school, and by then it’s nearly too late– everything she holds dear is threatened.

R.K. Hardy’s second work of fiction, aimed at young adults, provides an interesting combination of his opinions on the presence of religion  in education and how to care for rehabilitated wildlife. The author includes a note in the back, expressing the hope that readers will check out organizations such as Carolina Tiger Rescue, which is a clear inspiration for the Taymore’s sanctuary.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Hardy, R. K., Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places