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Showing posts from 2012

A Fresh Set of Eyes - Liz Strange

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Released July 2012

Liz Strange
MLR Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The second novel in Liz Strange's David Lloyd Investigations series, A Fresh Set of Eyes is loosely based on the true story of the West Memphis Three. In this case, the mother of a boy jailed for a crime she is certain he didn't commit asks David to take another look into the murder that occurred ten years earlier. The three boys arrested for murdering young brothers have always proclaimed their innocence, yet they were arrested and found guilty despite there only be circumstantial evidence.

David looks at the case and agrees the investigation and resulting trial were shoddy at best, and a key witness was never found. Balancing his relationship with his case, David will not stop until he's uncovered the truth.

I liked Missing Daughter, Shattered Family, but I loved A Fresh Set of Eyes. If you've never heard about the West Memphis Three, it's a case worth looking at. There are two cases I've…

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book - Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welch

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Released December 2012

Guy Kawasaki
Shawn Welch
Nononina Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

First off, I'd like to thank the authors for dishing out a moment of truth. I'm members of a few writing forums, and there are so many people will tell a writer that it's easy to publish a book a month if you put your mind to it. While it is possible to self-publish a book a month, it won't be of quality. I've read hundreds of books over the years, and books that were rushed are always obvious.

The authors go on to say that there are bad reasons to write a book, and of all the horrible books I've read, many times, I've had the author tell me that their friends and family members LOVED the stories they tell at parties and urged them to write. It's nice to hear the author list that as a reason NOT to write a book. If you want an honest guide to self-publishing something worthwhile, you need to read APE: How to Publish a Book.

 Each chapter is clearly laid out and …

Magic Moment - Angela Adams

Released December 2012

Angela Adams
Crimson Romance

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Magic Moment shares the tale of Chase Donovan and Laura Roberts. Laura is the bookkeeper at Chase's father's company, until she's interrogated by the FBI, and suddenly resigns. Chase is unaware of any of this until he finds Laura bound and about to be raped and murdered by men who state they're acting on his father's orders. Unwilling to believe his father would be behind such a heinous crime, Chase offers to keep Laura safe while they figure out what is going on.

Soon, Chase realizes that his father may be involved in shady dealings. The only way he can think to keep Laura safe is by having her marry him and announced she's pregnant. Chase knows his father's always wanted a grandchild, and this may be the only way to buy enough time to figure out what is happening.

I have to admit, I liked Magic Moment more than I first thought I would. There were aspects of the story that I …

Broken Promises - Donna M. Zadunajsky

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Released June 2012

Donna M. Zadunajsky

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Broken Promises starts with the first person view of someone, the reader has no clue at this point, who is in a mental institution for some crime, you don't know what really occurred. All the readers knows is that the person did something to free a friend from an abusive relationship.

The story then backtracks to the life of Clare, her daughter, and her abusive, alcoholic husband. When Clare's husband announces he wants to start anew in Naples, Florida, where he's closer to his parents, Clare hopes this will be the start of a new life with the man she loves. These parts are told in the third person, but there are segments when the original narrator jumps back in. His or her identity is not revealed until the end of the book, and that does keep you guessing.

The rest of the story focuses heavily on Clare's relationship with her husband, who is abusive, a drunk, and a cheater - Clare knows all three. Whil…

The Burn Zone - James K. Decker

Released February 2013

James K. Decker
Roc

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

With humankind headed for disaster, an alien race called the Haan helped save everything, but the truth is that they've saved little. Sam Shao discovers the truth when her adoptive father is arrested and leaves behind key to what the Haan are plotting. There's a biological weapon set to go off and kill everyone within the Burn Zone.

Sam and her father have been surrogates to Haan infants for years, so she knows more about this alien race than many. Sam sets off to rescue her dad, but some Haan are hot on her heels and want her silenced. One of the Haan, Nix, is given orders to assassinate her, but he realizes she was his surrogate and acts as her protector instead. It's up to Sam to save the human race, but she's just one young woman, and it may take a miracle.

I've said before that I'm not a huge fan of science fiction. One of my biggest issues is the names that writers always give their…

Capitol Hill - Jayne J. Jones and Alicia M. Long

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Released September 2012

Jayne J. Jones
Alicia M. Long
Beaver's Pond Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

This has to be the most refreshingly honest and funny book I've read in quite some time. Capitol Hill introduces Alison Amundson, a young woman from South Dakota who's landed her dream job as an aide to a senator . Alison's first day as a Capitol Hill staffer doesn't go well when she gets stuck behind a group of students making her late to her first day of work with Senator Anders McDermott III. Things don't get much better from there.

Soon, Alison learns that her $24,000 a year paycheck means she'll be woken at odd hours with requests like "Get me the contact information for Kim Kardashian," all after working 13 hour days. The job is non-stop demands, some achievements, and lots of being blamed, even if she wasn't in the wrong. Yet, when it's announced that the senator is running for president, Alison's job becomes more demanding, a…

The Zen Diet Revolution - Martin and Philippa Faulks

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Released January 2013

Martin Faulks
Philippa Faulks
Watkins Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The Zen Diet Revolution is more than a diet book/self-help guide, it helps you change how and what you eat. Instead of throwing yourself into another diet where you follow a rigid plan and then add things as the weeks pass, you learn how to reduce your food intake, learn to make healthier choices, and feel better about your self in the long run.

Unlike many diet books, you instantly connect with Martin Zen. He's been overweight and struggled through many failed diet attempts before realizing he could use his training in Zen Buddhism to help him success. She shares those tips with the reader. The book also has a handful of recipes you can use, including handy foil pack dinners where clean up is minimal leaving you time to enjoy a favorite Yoga routine, Tai Chi, or whatever exercise works for you.

I happened to read two diet books back to back, so I found myself comparing the two alo…

The S Factor Diet - Lowri Turner

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Released January 2013

Lowri Turner
Watkins Publishing Limited

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

At the time of this review, Amazon does not have a listing for The S Factor Diet. It is available via Amazon UK.

The S Factor Diet takes a look at four critical hormones found within the body that can cause you to gain weight. The hormones are: Adrenals, Dopamine, Leptin, and Serononin. After explaining these hormones, there are self-assessments and then recipes for you to use.This isn't a long, boring guide. I found it very personable and straight to the point. Once I hit the diet plans and recipes, I was eager to get started.

Dessert, especially around my period, is a weakness, I admit it. Chocolate especially, so the serotonin-rich mocha cheesecake was a must try and definitely the right thing! In fact, many of the recipes excited me. I can't really get started until I have enough money to do a true grocery trip to get all of the items I need. Once I do, I'll really be putting th…

Indiscretion - Charles Dubow

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Released February 2013


William Morrow

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Summers in the Hamptons seem like a dream come true for many. Author Harry Winslow and his wife Madeleine are one of the area's power couples - Harry for his talent and Madeleine for her beauty and amazing culinary skills. It's at one of their gatherings that Claire meets Harry, Madeleine, their young son, and Madeleine's best friend Walter Gervais.

The Winslow's embrace Claire openly and draw her into their lives. By the time the summer ends, they're off to Italy on a grant for Harry's next book. Claire, however, doesn't want the summer to end.

Indiscretion is narrated by Walter, a man who knows the story but wasn't there for all of it. I liked that aspect, it drew you into the story but left a bit of mystery with the "what happens next." By the time you reach the conclusion, you've definitely formed a strong bond with the characters and don't see things coming.

What…

Better Than Chocolate - Sheila Roberts

Released October 2012

Sheila Roberts
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Sheila Roberts' Better than Chocolate builds up the setting for what could be a very long, satisfying series. Welcome to Icicle Falls, a quaint town where everyone knows each other, and Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company is one of the towns largest employers. When Samantha Sterling learns her step-father ran the company virtually into the ground, she's floored. Worse, the bank is calling in their note and if she can't come up with the payment by the deadline, she'll lose the company that her great-grandmother founded.

Samantha heads to talk to the new bank manager, Blake Preston, but he's less than helpful. With her sisters help, they decide the key to success is to host a chocolate festival in their town before the deadline hits. It's going to be tough, but Samantha doesn't want to lose everything her family has built and put dozens of workers out of jobs in an already tough economy.

Deborah Reardon's Blue Suede Shoes

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PRESS RELEASE:

Deep in the woods of Wisconsin, Little Mary Martin has been missing for five weeks. Thirty-one year old Clare Paxton opens the door to her childhood friend Derek and his discovery. Little 4-year-old Mary Martin had been missing and all that was left were her articles of clothing and a large pool of blood. Having interrupted her criminal psychology degree for her mother's feigned illness, Clare's unending questioning of her own life's choices is heightened by this tragedy. Clare embroils herself in the investigation because of her personal mistrust of Mary's parents while romantically conflicted with the Chief of Police.

Blue Suede Shoes is an engrossing criminal drama that takes dramatic twists and turns in a small Wisconsin town that has been torn apart by tragedy. Clare, a woman with an unfinished dream of leaving behind her hometown, finds herself drawn into the investigation of a young girl’s murder after her lifelong friend Derek finds a critical cl…

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

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Released October 2012 (Reissue)

Yann Martel
Mariner Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Life of Pi is reissued just in time for the movie release. This story shares the tale of Pi Patel, short for Pisces, a zoo keeper's son. Pi's raised in India, but his father decides to move the family to Canada. When the freighter they're on sinks, Pi finds himself stranded in the ocean on a lifeboat that also carries a orangutan, hyena, zebra, and tiger named Richard Parker. What follows is Pi's account of their journey through shark-infested waters that spans almost a year. 

I admit, I struggled, really struggled with the beginning of Life of Pi. The build up to the shipwreck took too long given the philosophical feel to this novel. I don't do philosophical well I'm afraid, and that's not the authors fault. Once the actual story took place, I was hooked. I loved seeing what happened next. Now that I'm done the book, I can't wait to see the movie, though I admi…

Heron's Cove - Carla Neggers

Released August 2012

Carla Neggers
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Colin Donavan and Emma Sharpe, both FBI agents, first met at the Sisters of Joyful Heart in Maine. Their relationship is blossoming, but Colin, as an undercover agent, heads off on an assignment and disappears. His family is worried and Emma, too, has concerns after receiving a phone call alerting her to his danger. When Colin does return home, Emma wants to relax, but the presence of a Russian jewelry designer changes things. Tatiana Pavlova wants Emma's help because someone wants to steal a prized collection and they'll stop at nothing to achieve their goals.
I had a hard time settling in with this story, and I'm pretty sure I know why. I never read the first book in this series, and I felt like I was tossed into the middle of a relationship. Given that, I highly recommend reading the first book, Saint's Gate, before starting Heron's Cove.
That said, I have always loved Carla Neggers'…

Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader - Bathroom Readers' Institute

Released October 23, 2012

Bathroom Reader

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader books have been a mainstay in many bathrooms for the past two decades. I know, I've visited many friends' and relatives' houses and found one of the books sitting near the toilet. That's what the books are for, informative, often humorous reading in the one place where you have all the quiet you need for reading.

Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader is the latest, lengthy collection of true stories, trivia, and facts you'll be able to tuck away. I learned a lot reading this book, and I spent a good portion of the time laughing out loud too. There is a ton of information presented. You can learn who was originally slated to star in the blockbuster Alien movie series that eventually starred Sigourney Weaver. Find out how many hairs are on the average human's body. Discover exactly how Apple got started and how much some of the compan…

He's No Prince Charming - LuAnn McLane

Released October 2009

LuAnn McLane
Signet

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Most romance readers know that the stories tend to get formulaic. Boy meets girl, discord occurs, boy and girl go their separate ways, then they reunite after deciding they're being ridiculous. He's No Prince Charming tries to avoid that for the most part, and that's what really hooked me.

Dakota Dunn's lived the life most people only dream about. She was a pop star at 16, and now years later, her label's dumped her, and it's time to start anew. She heads to her family's lakeside marina/fishing camp to see if she can come up with what music higher-ups want - an edgier, take no prisoners country sensation.

It's in the fishing retreat that Dakota meets Trace Coleman. He's a former rodeo champ who has a few chips on his shoulders. He's been managing Willow Creek Marina and Fishing Camp and is shocked to find the pop princess in her family's cabin. Sparks fly and Dakota kno…

Before Meds After Meds - Duane Law, L.Ac.

Released September 2012

Duane Law, L.Ac.


Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I think this book review needs to go into a bit of my history. I offer high praise to Duane Law, L.Ac.'s Before Meds After Meds and hope everyone dealing with anxiety or depression gives it a try.

When it comes to anxiety and depression, my take is that most of the medical profession still has a long way to go. Granted, it's been more than ten years for me and I hope doctors have become a little smarter, but my story is pretty clear and very scary. I had my first panic attack in bed when my daughter was two years old. I went to the ER where we were convinced I was having a heart attack and after an EKG showed what I call a "skip a beat," they put me in the ICU saying I was likely correct. I waited 12 hours to have a cardiologist look at me. He said there was nothing wrong and sent me home and told me to see my usual doctor.

I did that and she put me on Toprol XL saying that since I was a stay-h…

Offers from Premier Digital Publishing

This in from Premier Digital Publishing:

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Get the hottest, newest and cold-bloodiest Thriller and Suspense titles that we have to offer at great prices up to 70% off, as well as FREE titles throughout the promo for you to get your cold clutching claws on. We won’t keep you in suspense……

New Book Helps Empower Women Through The Art Of Self-Pleasure

Devi Ward’s debut novel "Shake Your Soul-Song! A Woman's Guide to Self-Empowerment Through The Art of Self-Pleasure” will be released on November 5, 2012.
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 15, 2012) – Devi Ward, an internationally recognized sex expert, personal coach, and dance instructor, announced today that her debut novel "Shake Your Soul-Song! A Woman's Guide to Self-Empowerment Through The Art of Self-Pleasure” will be released on November 5, 2012.
“What I offer to you in this book is medicine,” says Devi Ward. “I share with you the tools that I myself have used and continue to use, to cultivate a deeply aware, intimately connected, and truly loving relationship to my sexuality, sensual pleasure, and the song of my soul.”
“We live in a culture that teaches us to fear, ignore, and repress our sexuality. Women are largely uneducated about their full pleasure-potential, and are discouraged from exploring their own unique style of healthy sensual expression,” says Devi. S…

Love Unscripted - Tina Reber

Released January 2013

Tina Reber
Simon and Schuster

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Love Unscripted was not what I was expecting. First, this is probably the longest romance I've had in a long time. There was no short and sweet speed to Tina Reber's book. At over 700 pages, there was plenty of time to get to know the characters, learn about their fears and strengths, and even meet a number of the minor characters. This is part of a series, so I loved really getting to know Ryan and Taryn. Second, it paints a complete, and pretty detailed image, of the life of a celebrity. I know paparazzi are shameless, but I never thought of how bad fans can be. Yet, when you think about, with celebrities like Adele getting sent death threats against her newborn child, some fans are really that horrid.

Taryn Mitchell is a prosperous business woman. She is a partner in her friend's catering firm, she is part owner of a few wineries, and she owns her own pub in Rhode Island. When Ryan Christe…

Far From Perfect - Barbara Longley

Released October 2012

Barbara Longley
Montlake Romance

Montlake Romance is a new line from Amazon. I recently reviewed Barbara Longley's Far From Perfect for Amazon Vine and wanted to mention it over here. If you enjoy contemporary romance and really love character-driven romances, you need to check this book out. My review appears in Amazon.

The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton

Released October 2012

Kate Morton
Atria Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

To me, The Secret Keeper isn't just another run of the mill offering, this is a truly amazing piece of fiction that kept me guessing, and even then I didn't see the ending coming. It spans decades and shares the story of two women trying to make the most of the hand they've been dealt.

She's just 16 when Laurel Nicolson spies a strange man approach her mother and call her by name. Laurel is horrified when she sees her mother stab and kill that man. Police come and Laurel shares her account, but she leaves out the one detail that the man called her mother by name. This wasn't a random stranger, not the stranger police and family assumed he was.

Fifty years pass and Laurel, now an actress, returns to her family's farm for her ailing mother's 90th birthday. Laurel mother's memory is fading, and she often calls for people she knew long ago and never told her family about. Laurel de…

Help Your Kids Get Better Grades - Gary E. Howard

Released June 2012

Gary E. Howard

Book Review by Jen Beams

As we began our first steps into the world of education, we quickly found that there is no manual for learning. Gary E. Howard has attempted to give one in Help Your Kids Get Better Grades.

The book is perfectly styled for middle school students and some high school freshmen. Therefore, I find the title to be improper. Howard writes his book to a student and so it should be titled as such. Also, school is not all about grades. They are important and they are helpful when it comes to applying to college and to jobs. As I read the book I found that his goals were more centered around organization and learning skills. A letter on a paper will not help you in a college course, only the organization and content you take away from a class will.

Secondly, the book is out of date. Howard states that students should only have three computer skills; to send and receive email, to use a search engine, and to type a report on a…

School Struggles - Dr. Richard Selznick

Released August 2012

Dr. Richard Selznick
Sentient Publications

Book Review by Jen Beams

One of the largest controversies we face today results from the question of; how much help do we need to give our children? At what point do parents step in? When should a child see a psychologist? If a child refuses to learn, is there something wrong with that child? Why can’t he or she just focus in class? Dr. Richard Selznick gives opinions on all of these questions in his book School Struggles.

At first glance, the book appears to be mostly generalizations and broad categories of good kids and bad kids. Dig a little deeper and you find a plea to parents to take action in their child’s learning, for teachers to individualize learning, for each child to be watched carefully so that they do not fall in the “cracks” of our educational system. He gives examples of real situations and snap shots of parents’ and children’s minds. He tells the reader exactly what to take away from the readi…

Operation Snow - John Koster

Released September 2012


Regnery History

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Deep down, Operation Snow is a look at the events leading up to, during, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor. What it comes down to is the author's look at a conspiracy theory that delves into the possibility that Harry Dexter White, a chief monetary expert who apparently was also working as a mole for the Soviets, helped the Soviet Union get Japan to attack the U.S. rather than Russia.

The theory was based partly in an RAF airman's claims that "the war was not exactly as depicted in textbooks" and the experiences of the author's Japanese wife who grew up in the devastation that followed Hiroshima. The author also read many journals and biographies of the key players in this conspiracy. Including Vitalii Pavlov's, second in command of Soviet espionage operations for the NKVD (pre-KGB), book about Operation Snow.

John Koster's Operation Snow does bring up an interesting point, and one…

Live Chat Tonight at 7 p.m. EST **Moved to Monday 11/5

Chat with Dr. Richard Selznick at the Parenting Allies Facebook page tonight. Providing, of course, you have power as many of us in the northeast are being impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

https://www.facebook.com/parentingallis

For more information about Dr. Selznick's books, visit his site or Amazon:




My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northhampton - Karen Vorbeck Williams

Released October 2012

Karen Vorbeck Williams
WheatMark

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

My Enemy's Tears is a fictional account of what transpired between two women in 1600s New England. The Bliss family left everything behind and moved to New England in order to avoid the king's rising taxes. For Mary, her brothers, and her baby sister, this meant giving up a life of relative wealth and starting over in a house that was too small, in a family that struggled to make ends meet among the Puritans.

Eventually, Mary was hired out to the Lyman family where she worked as a maid while receiving the training she needed to become a proper young woman. Soon Mary befriends the Lyman's daughter, Sarah, and the two become close. When Sarah's father and then her mother dies, Mary decides to return home, an act that Sarah takes personally, thus ending their friendship.

Years later, both women are married. Jealousy takes over and one of the women accuses another of witchcraft. What happe…

Within Reach - Sarah Mayberry

Released August 2012

Sarah Mayberry
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

What should be a joyous day turns into a tragedy, and it leaves Angie Bartlett without a best friend and Michael Young without the love of his life.  Trying to raise his children alone isn't easy, so when Angie's studio is broken into, Michael has the perfect solution, she can move into the studio he'd built for his wife, Billie. That way, the children have the"aunt" they adore nearby, she can help out with school and daycare schedules, and she's in a safe location and can focus on her jewelry making.

Neither Angie nor Michael expect to find their friendship expand into something else. One thing is certain, Angie is certain having a fling with her best friend's husband is not okay, and Michael's just as convinced that hooking up with his late-wife's best friend is wrong. Now if they could get their emotions to listen.

Within Reach was a touching book. I did tear up from ti…

Driving the Saudis - Jayne Amelia Larson

Released October 2012

Jayne Amelia Larson
Simon and Schuster

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Actress Jayne Amelia Larson landed a few roles, but not enough to manage the cost of living in California. As a result, she took a job working as a chauffeur thinking it would be a glamorous way to meet Hollywood's elite. She never imagined she'd spend seven weeks driving Saudi royalty around Los Angeles.

What follows is her account of those weeks where she learned a little about their culture, lifestyles, and views of America as she escorted princesses, nannies, servants, and a hairdresser around the city. Her treatment as the only woman among dozens of drivers is also delved into, as clearly Middle Eastern men view women differently.

Driving the Saudis isn't a book I'd typically pick up, but it surprised me. It could have been a tell-all, and at times it does delve into their wasteful spending, etc., but overall it simply offers a personal glimpse into the cultural differences…

We Got to Play Baseball - Gregg Olson and Ocean Palmer

Released December 2011


Strategic Book Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

We Got to Play Baseball is a collection of 60 stories from past and current professional baseball players. Some stories made me chuckle, while others brought tears to my eyes. I admit, things were off to a rocky start with the first couple of stories that annoyed rather than intrigued me. After reading these two stories, I feared everything would be tales of juvenile pranks that I personally felt were too much. However, those two stories ended that type of prank and what followed were the stories I'd expected to find.

There are a number of stories that I could talk about, but a handful really touched me in some way. Probably top of the list is Jeff Brantley's recollection of being underground at Candlestick Park when the San Francisco earthquake hit. He managed to get up to the field to find his wife without realizing in the process the concrete walls had chewed his hands up, and then they still ha…

Missing Daughter, Shattered Family - Liz Strange

Released September 2011

Liz Strange
MLR Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Private investigator David Lloyd finds himself challenged both at home and on the job. His struggles with his partner are a distraction. He wants Jamie to stop being so secretive about their relationship, but Jamie isn't quite ready to come out to his family. It's David's latest case that really is posing problematic. He's become very involved in finding a young woman, Stella, who's disappeared. The police aren't doing much as Stella is an addict and a prostitute, but Stella's mother wants to know what happened to her. David's determined to unravel the truth.

David knows how the police works, he was on the force for years until a homophobic attack left him injured. He got out of the force and now focuses solely on his work as a private detective. As he starts delving into Stella's world, it becomes clear that someone does not want the truth revealed. Vandalisms, threatening…

Sultry With a Twist - Macy Beckett

Released October 2012

Macy Beckett
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Over the years, I've read many new authors and only one has grabbed my attention the way Macy Beckett has. I adored Sultry With a Twist. While the premise isn't dramatically unique, the characters are what makes this romance stand out. I fell in love with the town of Sultry, and I'm so glad that she's returning to the town for future novels. I'd be heartbroken if she left Trey single!

In Sultry With a Twist, June Augustine is about to open her own trendy bar in Austin when she gets some unexpected news. There's an outstanding warrant for her in her former hometown, Sultry, and until that is cleared up, she can't have her liquor license. She's shocked because she's never broken the law. Her only option is to go clear that matter up immediately. When she arrives, the judge, a family friend, informs her she can either serve time in jail or stay in Sultry for a few …

Blood Line - Lynda La Plante

Released October 23, 2012

Lynda La Plante
Bourbon Street Books

Detective Anna Travis struggles to move past her boyfriend's murder. Emotional breakdowns occur without warning, and that can make it hard to focus on her latest case. A court employee's son disappears and he's convinced his son has been murdered. Anna wants Missing Persons to handle the case, but her supervisor, James Langton, urges her to investigate. When a bleached section of carpeting is found under furniture, Anna starts to fear the worst. Finding the body doesn't seem possible, so it's going to take steadfast detecting to unravel the truth.

Blood Line is the first Anna Travis novel I've read, and I think not having read prior books reduced some of the impact I could have felt. I found myself wondering what exactly happened with Anna's boyfriend, and none of it was really summed up other than knowing he'd been murdered.

That aside, I was stunned with the opening. The detail and passion i…

Presenting Readerpedia

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Publishing house Cascada Productions, in collaboration with Green e-Books, has licensed and released the first-ever Readerpedia® edition of an eBook for the Kindle platform. Wayward Son, which takes its readers on an epic sweep through millennia of ancient history, is now even more compelling with Readerpedia®.  




What is Readerpedia®? Readerpedia® is a creative way to enhance your e-Book. At its essence, Readerpedia® is a glossary that is "embedded" and "in context" to your novel. This allows a reader to navigate seamlessly between specific words and their relevancy to the novel. The reader's experience is enhanced due to the author's ability to communicate additional information when necessary.

The Readerpedia® edition of Wayward Son contains over 100 hot links to embedded Readerpedia® entries, containing succinct textual and/or graphical descriptions of the colorful historical people, places, things and events. 

Wayward Son tells the story of Ca…

Spy in a Little Black Dress - Maxine Kenneth

Released October 2, 2012


Grand Central Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Spy in a Little Black Dress is the second novel in the CIA/Jackie Bouvier (Kennedy) series. I missed the first, so I may have missed some backstory, though I don't think I missed too much. What's painted within the book is speculation on what her life may have been like working for the CIA, something I never knew about.

 In Spy in a Little Black Dress, Jackie heads to Cuba where her mission is to check out Fidel Castro, and see exactly what he's like. Her trip isn't quite as easy as it seems when she faces kidnapping, tracking down a murderer, and even trying to solve the mystery behind a treasure she stumbles upon in an old diary. While this seems like a lot to handle, it's just another job for the well-trained CIA operative.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. I did get caught up in her world, as many well-known names make appearances - JFK, Hemingway, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra,…

A Year Up - Gerald Chertavian

Released July 2012

Gerald Chertavian
Viking

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

College graduates in many areas struggle to find jobs after graduation. Facing college loan payments, these young adults find themselves on shaky ground and unemployment rates remain high, and many older, more experienced workers are flooding the market. Students who simply cannot afford college are in a more precarious position as many employers simply won't touch a resume if a college isn't listed. A Year Up is an ingenious program that helps these students learn essential job skills so that they can hit the ground running.

A Year Up discusses how students can get ahead, especially if college is out of reach.  The foundations of this handy guide started with the group, Walk for Opportunity, a workforce development program the author founded in 2000. Instead of being a true self-help guide, Gerald Chertavian's book uses personal accounts of students who have completed the Year Up program. It details…

That Thing Called Love - Susan Andersen

Released August 2012

Susan Andersen
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I'd love to say I adored That Thing Called Love, but the truth is I tossed it aside far too many times. It was a story with a plot that would usually grab me and hold me entranced, but something was lacking. I never really connected with Jenny, Jake, or even Austin. In fact, there were times I thought all three of them needed a smack upside the head. It's been a long time since I struggled to finish a book, but sadly That Thing Called Love took me a while to complete.

Jenny Salazar has been a big sister to Austin since toddlerhood. When Austin's grandparents took her in and gave her a chance, she became a dedicated employee and virtual family member. After they die and leave Jenny as temporary guardian to their grandson, her goals are to file for custody. She never expects Austin's long-absent father to suddenly reappear, but that's exactly what Jake Bradshaw does.

What's worse is that…

Peaches for Father Francis - Joanne Harris

Released October 2012

Joanne Harris
Viking

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I never read Chocolat, nor did I read the follow-up to that book, The Girl with No Shadow. I have, however, watched the movie Chocolat dozens of times, so I know the story well. 

Peaches for Father Francis finds Vianne faced with a challenge. A letter arrives from beyond the grave. Armande Voizin is dead and wants Vianne to return to Lansquenet knowing that the town needs Vianne again. Armande urges Vianne to return to the town and put flowers on her grave and help herself to the peaches from her peach tree. Vianne seems happy with her daughters and Roux living on a houseboat in Paris, but the call of Lansquenet is too much to ignore, so she, Anouk, and Rosette return with Roux opting to stay behind.

Vianne's return is certainly timely, and it's clear the town is not doing well. In the eight years since she left, the "river rats" have left, but in their place came Muslim families who set up a s…