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Showing posts from September, 2011

Heartstrings and Diamond Rings - Jane Graves

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Released October 2011

Jane Graves
Hachette Book Group

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Alison Carter is sick of failed relationships. After her latest beau suggests they add her friend to their bed, Alison gives up. She decides to spend some money and rely in the services of a highly-recommended matchmaking service.

Brandon Scott's grandmother died leaving him in control of her matchmaking business. Brandon knows real estate, not dating, but he needs the money to make a down payment on an old warehouse. He knows the area is prime for apartments. He decides to play role of matchmaker and collect as much money as possible before anyone realizes he's a fraud. What he doesn't expect is to find himself falling in love with his very first client.

Now that Brandon has fallen for Alison, he's stuck. If he admits he's a fraud, he'll lose his money. If he continues setting her up on matches, he may lose the only woman who's ever set his heartstrings humming.

Heartstrings a…

I Used to Know That: Geography - Will Williams

Released June 2011

Reader's Digest

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

My teens sat on the front deck with me as I started reading I Used to Know That: Geography. While my husband and kids are know-it-all's when it comes to geography, my days of a travel agent help me out some, but all of the Eastern European countries baffle me. I simply know too little about them to be even close to accurate at guessing their locations, capitals or physical features. This good is a godsend for anyone who struggles to know some of these important facts.

I Used to Know That: Geography is broken into helpful sections that include each continent, rivers, oceans, maps, population counts and other important facts. We spent hours drilling each other on the capitals of countries throughout the world or even those in the United States. We struggled to name the ten largest seas. While they guessed Black Sea, it is on the list but in the tenth spot, South China Sea is in fact the largest. I'm still not con…

Heart of Evil - Heather Graham

Released July 2011

Heather Graham
Harlequin

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I'd like to say I cared about the characters in Heart of Evil or that they drew me into the story, but quite honestly this is the first time I've really disliked one of Heather Graham's books. If I hadn't been reading it for review, I wouldn't have finished it. As is, it took me two months to finally reach the ending, and that really is disappointing.

Following her father's death, Ashley Donegal of Donegal Plantation, is in charge of this year's Civil War reenactment. She never imagines the event will end up with her finding the body of one of the reenactment's actors. When other people disappear, it becomes clear there is a deranged killer on the loose, one who is targeting those closest to Donegal Plantation.

Jake Mallory is being plagued by horrific dreams involving Ashley, a woman he once loved. When he the Krewe of Hunters, a special crimes investigations unit that looks into p…

Plugging Into Real Worship - Andrew P. Logan, Sr.

Released January 2007

Xulon Press

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

In Plugging Into Real Worship, Pastor Andrew Logan explains the importance of regular worship.  Many know that my experiences as of late stink quite frankly. I worked for a church daycare as a teen and loved that pastor, he was down to earth and treated everyone with respect. I remember going to a service in another church and learning that the pastor "welcomed" each new female member of his church in a very intimate way, as a teen I was horrified to learn that he'd slept with most everyone in the church over the age of 18. As an adult, I've sampled a few churches and they seem very high school cliquey. It's a major turn-off.

The last time I went, my husband had been forced to work overtime for four weekends in a row and, at the time, we had one car making it hard for me to drive five miles to the church. After his four weeks of mandatory OT, we went to church. The pastor's wife sat in front of us…

Long Trail Home - Vickie McDonough

Released October 2011

Vickie McDonough
Moody Publishers

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Abandoned by her immoral father at the age of 12, Annie is overjoyed when she comes across The Wilcox School for the Blind. She fakes her blindness in order to finally have a loving home. Seven years later, Annie hides the truth from everyone except the woman who took her in because if the truth came out, they could lose everything they've established over the years. Caring for the blind children is all that matters to these two women.

Riley Morgan left his home after his younger brother's death to fight in the war. Knowledge that his fiancee was awaiting his return kept him going. He hasn't been home in years and is shocked when he learns Native Americans slaughtered his parents and destroyed much of the only home he's ever known. Wounded, he heads off to visit his fiancee only to learn while he was at war she married another man. He ends up at the Wilcox School for the Blind where he …

Vampire Art Now - Jasmine Becket-Griffith & Matthew David Becket

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Released September 2011

Jasmine Becket-Griffith
HarperCollins

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I can't draw. I'm great at doodles, but ask me to draw a person and trust in the fact that you'll get someone with hands the size of their head, legs that are misshapen with knees the size of a bread loaf and eyes that look seriously deformed. Yet, art fascinates me. I adore Monet and Renoir, basically anything to do with the Impressionists.

Given that, I eagerly dove into Vampire Art Now because while some of it is rather grotesque and frightening, it's art. (I must apologize to my daughter who was engrossed in her history homework when I walked in and showed her the images of some very creepy looking dolls, thus making her jump about four feet in and air as she screamed. Sorry I laughed, but the look on your face was hilarious.) For anyone who buys this book, they're in Chapter 4: Graveyard Grotesque.

In a world fascinated with vampires, Vampire Art Now is going to impress …

The Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian

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Released October 2011

Chris Bohjalian
Crown

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I grew up on a steady diet of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Eventually, I progressed to a local horror author Joe Citro. I've read Chris Bohjalian's newspaper column for years and read Midwives years ago, though I'm not sure if I liked how things panned out. I've laughed at some of his stories and been deeply touched by others. Given that, I wasn't sure if he could pull off horror.

The Night Strangers is a story that really hits home, mainly because I live two miles from the lake where the plane crashes. I have National Guard planes regularly flying over my house for training, we see coast guard helicopters from our back yard when they're either performing their job or training and we line up well with Plattsburgh's airport and see those planes fly overhead year round.  Just down the road near a golf course in Milton, there are a number of geese who make their summer home in a small pond…

What I'm Currently Reading

One of the books I'm currently reading (I always have more than one book going at a time) is taking me a little longer than I planned. Mainly because I'm halfway through the story and still haven't decided if I really like it.

I've been a fan of Chris Bohjalian's Burlington Free Press column for years. His daughter Grace was born shortly after my son. I remember spending countless Sunday mornings reading his column eagerly as I nodded and agreed with his take on parenting vs. mine. Our kids are now learning to drive at almost the same time, the only difference is while my son wasn't in a hurry to learn to drive, my 15-year-old daughter was begging to get her permit the same day she turned 15. Thank God it was Labor Day and offices were closed!

I admit I like The Night Strangers so far but I'm also struggling because I just don't get it. There are things going on that leave me baffled as to how some people can be so blind, but I don't want to stop r…

Borders Going Out of Business Sale

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For anyone with a Borders in their area, the final week of the going out of business sale is in full swing. I went into our Burlington, Vermont, location yesterday and was amazed to find a CD I'd been looking for for $4. Needless to say, I was extremely happy. Everything, including the furnishings, are priced at 70 to 90 percent off. Our location had tons of books left.

As for the CD, Seasick Steve is a blues musician I came across on the BBC show Top Gear. He was on showing off the guitar he made from old hub caps. He's quite fascinating and has one of the saddest stories I think I've ever heard, so I'm happy he's gaining a following.

The Surgeon's Surprise Twins - Jacqueline Diamond

Released October 2011

Jacqueline Diamond
Harlequin

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Bailey Wayne's pregnancy is advancing faster than she expected. Since agreeing to be a surrogate for her older sister, Bailey's been forced to pay her medical bills because her sister and brother-in-law are waiting to finish a huge deal before they have cash flow. In exchange, they're letting Bailey live rent-free in an investment property.

Bailey is shocked when Dr. Owen Tartikoff shows up at her house planning to move in. He's co-owner but sharing the house with a doctor who goes out of his way to be miserable to his staff isn't Bailey's idea of fun. Unfortunately, she has no other option, she can't afford rent and her bank account is drained leaving her without cash for medical appointments either.

Owen has his own secrets. His brother and sister-in-law never told Bailey that they asked him to donate sperm. When he agreed, he didn't know a surrogate was involved. The more …

Everything We Ever Wanted - Sara Shepard

Released October 2011

Sara Shepard

Harper Collins

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth for the Amazon Vine Program

I've read a few of my daughter's "Pretty Little Liars" books, and find Sara Shepard  to be very good at creating characters I either love or hate. That's the thing, I expected to feel passionately about the characters in Everything We Ever Wanted and it simply fell short.

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family living in Philadelphia. The story switches back and forth between the different characters' points of view, but it's easy to keep track of who is speaking.

Sylvie Bates-McAllister's grandfather founded Swithin School and now she heads their board. When she receives a 9 p.m. phone call informing her that her adopted son Scott is suspected of leading a hazing incident that killed a young boy, Sylvie's world is ripped out from under her. She immediately calls her other son, Charles, to relay the news and ask for a famil…

Two I Didn't Finish for Reasons I'll Explain

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I'd expected a quiet summer with a son preparing to narrow down his college options and a daughter finding work babysitting. That didn't happen, nor did the promises that they'd do the majority of the housework and laundry so that I had more time to work. I've been working a lot for sites like Populis Creates, Wikio and Demand Studios, as well as writing and editing for a few companies on Amazon MTurk and setting up a writing team for a new editorial position with an online web directory.

Given that, I have two books I'd started reading and meant to finish so that I could get the reviews posted, but the publishing companies took the ebooks down this week and I've only half read them. I thought I had 60 days, but apparently they'd only given me a 30 day license, so my bad.

Given that, I'd like to promote them anyway.


Jill Marie Landis writes romance novels and I've always loved Come Spring and Summer Moon. I was eager to read her new mystery Mai Tai …