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Showing posts from July, 2012

A Sweethaven Homecoming - Courtney Walsh

Released August 2012

Courtney Walsh
Guideposts

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The continuation of the Sweethaven series shares Meghan's story. When the Nashville star learns her ex has leaked nude photos of her to the press and filed for sole custody of their twins, Meghan's forced to return home to fight for her children. It's bad enough she discovers this on a national television show, but worse is that her new album's been released and her manager urges her to let Nick take the kids so that she can focus on her career. But, she's a fighter. This means facing her past, the present, and her future and waging war against the only man she's ever loved.

A Sweethaven Homecoming does catch the reader up with other characters in the series. You'll find out if Tom and Lila's marriage will last. Discover what happens with Campell now that she's found her father and grandfather in one shot. And, you'll also see if Meghan and Jane can move past the death …

Lakeside Family - Lisa Jordan

Released August 2012

Lisa Jordan
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Almost 10 years after giving birth to her daughter, Josie Peretti must track down the child's father. It's not an easy task knowing he wanted nothing to do with them, but Hannah has leukemia and none of Josie's family is a match for a bone marrow transplant. She just wants Nick to get tested and move on, and becomes increasingly frustrated when he makes it clear he plans to be part of their lives.

Nick Brennan never knew he had a daughter. His mother kept him from ever knowing. He's missed the first 10 years of Hannah's life and he will not let that happen again, even if Josie is trying her hardest to keep him at arms length. He only hopes he has the strength and patience to turn Josie around.


Lakeside Family is a tender Christian romance from Harlequin's Love Inspired line. It can get a little preachy at times, especially as Nick and Josie try to overcome past hurt. Despite that, their lo…

I Couldn't Love You More - Jillian Medoff

Released May 2012

Jillian Medoff
Five Spot

The full review for I Couldn't Love You More appears at Amazon. In a nutshell, it takes a while to settle in and get to the main plot, but once it does it's an amazing read.




Desperate Housedogs - Sparkle Abbey

Released October 2011

Sparkle Abbey
Bell Bridge Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Pet therapist Caro Lamont is with one of her clients, Kevin Blackstone, trying to uncover why his German Shepherds have suddenly taken to growling and barking at things in the backyard. When they escape and attack a landscaper, Caro is baffled, but thankfully the landscaper doesn't take any legal action. Later, Kevin is murdered and Caro, as the last known person to have seen him, becomes a suspect.

Not wanting her good name to be dragged through the mud again, Caro decides to do a little sleuthing of her own. She soon realizes she has a steadfast alibi, but her alibi moves her friend to the top of the list of suspects. Caro can't have that. As the homicide detective keeps telling her to butt out, Caro simply doesn't listen and keeps learning more about the goings-on in Kevin's neighborhood, and with any luck, her novice sleuthing won't really land her in a tough spot.

Desperate Hou…

A City of Broken Glass - Rebecca Cantrell

Released July 2012

Rebecca Cantrell
Tor/Forge

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Hannah Vogel is in Poland with Anton, her adopted son, covering the St. Martin festival. Her stories have put her in trouble before, but she's honest and determined to share news of all that goes on in the 1930s. She soon learns that thousands of Jews were shipped to Poland from Germany, and she heads to the stables where these thousands are being held. There she finds a familiar face, the woman, the wife of Hannah's friend Paul, is about to give birth and tells Hannah that she had to leave her two-year-old daughter locked in a closet. When the woman and infant die, Hannah keeps her promise and starts searching for someone in Germany who can get to their house and rescue the child.

Meanwhile, Hannah's former lover returns after two years. Lars is back and he saves Hannah when she's taken by two SS officers and driven across the border. Now that she's in Germany, Hannah and Lars must save t…

Little Night - Luanne Rice

Released June 2012

Luanne Rice
Pamela Dorman Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I'd heard from a few friends that Luanne Rice's latest book was awful when compared to her previous books. I admit, that led to my hesitation to start reading Little Night. I love Ms. Rice's novels, but friends were saying this book is darker and depressing. I wish now that I hadn't listened to them.

Clare Burke and her sister Anne were always close. With a father who was happier drinking and fooling around with other women, the two learned to depend on each other. When Anne marries a controlling, abusive man, he pulls Anne away from her family. Not willing to lose her sister to an abuser, Clare makes one attempt to save Anne, and almost succeeds, only he shows up right as Anne agrees to leave him. He attacks Anne, Clare attacks him with a burning log, and Anne supports her husband sending Anne to jail for two years.

Just shy of years later, the sisters have never spoken again. One aftern…

Bone Wires - Michael Shean

Released July 19, 2012

Michael Shean
Curiosity Quills

Book Review by Jen Beams


I went into this book expecting a simple and quick James Patterson-style murder mystery. Michael Shean wrote much more than that.

The story takes us forward in time to a setting similar to that of George Orwell’s 1984, where advertisements cover the world, surveillance is everywhere, and business has nearly taken over the world. It begins as a simple, but twisted homicide investigation in which victims are found dead with their spines carved out of them. This is just the “sexy case” detective Daniel Gray needs to advance in his career and receive all the technological perks that come with the next level badge. This simple investigation slowly evolves in to a complicated mess of corruption and danger in which Gray himself is a key pawn.

I was impressed with Shean’s realistic imagination of the future. It wasn’t too far-fetched but instead gave a believable take on where technology and capitalism are taking us…

Threat of Darkness - Valerie Hansen

Released June 2012

Valerie Hansen
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

After saving a toddler's life, Samantha Rochard never expects to find herself in danger. Her work as both a nurse and child advocate does put her in some intense situations, but someone wants Sam to give a package that the toddler's caregiver supposedly slipped her. Sam doesn't have the package, and she has no idea what her attacker is talking about.

Years earlier, John Waltham broke Sam's heart when she left. She soon discovers he's back and he's determined to work as lead detective on her case. He won't let anything happen to the woman he loved.

Per the cover blurb, the main aspect of the story involves a young boy that Sam is trying to protect from his abusive, "powerful" father. That is a sub-plot, it's not the main plot. As that's the storyline I was eager to read about, I was disappointed with how it seems thrown in at the last minute.

I'd love to say tha…

A Knitter's Home Companion Video

I'm working on the review for A Knitter's Home Companion. In the meantime, here's a video for inspiration.

Night Journey - Goldie Browning

Released September 2011

Goldie Browning
Storyteller Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

A weekend away at her brother-in-law's wedding seems perfect for Emma Fuller. When she and her husband, Zan, return, she'll begin undergoing infertility treatments. She doesn't know they're staying in a haunted hotel, and she certainly doesn't expect to have ghosts targeting her. It seems she's not a stranger to this hotel that was formerly a hospital for cancer patients. When an accident puts her in a coma, she's sent back to the 1930s where she's pregnant and trapped in another woman's body. Meanwhile, Zan must protect her today because some shady professionals will do anything to procure Emma's heart for the daughter of a popular senator. Time's running out for both Zan and Emma.

The premise behind Night Journey is truly appealing, especially to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance. I loved Zan and Emma's story, and admit that once the story…

My Dead Friend Sarah - Peter Rosch

Released April 2012

CreateSpace

Book Review by Jen Beams


The story of a man attempting to save the life of a stranger who appeared in his reoccurring dreams in which she was kidnapped and tortured to death makes a thrilling, mystery novel. At least, it should.

Peter Rosch’s My Dead Friend Sarah has great potential but was executed differently than advertised. This story does make for a great emotional account of the struggles of alcoholism as faced by the main
character, Max. When Max, a recovering alcoholic, finds, literally, the girl of his dreams, he decides the best way to protect her is to pursue a “friendly” relationship with her. Although he has promised never to lie again, he keeps the dream and his stalker-like ambitions from his wife, friends, and family. He fails to inform the woman, Sarah, that he’s been dreaming of her death for the past few years. We hear from Sarah’s point of view as she mistakenly falls in love with Max, however most of the story was around Max’s strug…

Movement of Stillness - Jacqui Derbecker

Released November 2011

Jacqui Derbecker
Balboa Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I dove into Movement of Stillness hoping to keep an open mind. This is not my usual forte, and given that I do believe in ghosts, I can see where automatic writing could be a possibility, so I'm not a skeptic when it comes to ghosts, but I'm not as trusting of psychics. I've seen the inner workings of a so-called local psychic's business, and it was clearly a sham; so when it comes to psychics, I will say I'm a skeptic. Given that, I think your interest in Movement of Stillness is dependent on your beliefs.

Movement of Stillness is a self-help guide written by Jacqui Derbecker, but this isn't your typical writing. She channeled the spirit of Edgar Cayce. If you're unfamiliar with Edgar Cayce, he was a psychic and founder of the Association for Research and Enlightenment. During readings, he would go into a trance, and never remember what was said after. He'd also often us…

Free Books from 7/7 to 7/8

Free This Weekend! Saturday 7/7 & Sunday 7/8


What do murder, multi-million dollar real estate deals, and Faberge' Eggs have to do with each other? Find out in The Deal!

Everything about Jonah Gray screams success - expensive clothes, a Park Avenue penthouse, and a seven-figure income. A cutthroat, rainmaking New York city commercial real estate broker, Jonah craves opulence and power. He beds models, romps the globe on the weekends and sees the world as his for the taking. Jonah Gray has it all. Or at least he had it all.

When a friend presents Jonah with the deal of a lifetime, Jonah jumps at the chance. All Jonah has to do is act quickly, invest half a billion dollars in prime NY office buildings, and collect a huge payoff. But this golden opportunity is anything but. Within days of signing on, Jonah is mysteriously thrust into the epicenter of an international and personal scandal. Forced to explore a whole new territory where he can trust no one, and where danger, death…

2012 Christy Award Nominees

2012 CHRISTY AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED (Some nominees have been reviewed by Roundtable Reviews, others are in the works and links will be added when available.)
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers) Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing)
CONTEMPORARY SERIES, SEQUELS, AND NOVELLAS The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (Harvest House Publishers) Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen (B&H Publishing Group) The Touch by Randall Wallace (Tyndale House Publishers)
CONTEMPORARY STANDALONE Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes (Tyndale House Publishers) Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Words by Ginny Yttrup (B&H Publishing Group)
FIRST NOVEL An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon (Zondervan) Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola (Barbour Publishing) Words by Ginny Yttrup (B&H Publishin…

Cooking from the Farmers Market - Jodi Liano

Released June 2012

Weldon Owen

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I love spring and summer because I can get out into my garden and start eating fresh fruits and vegetables again. This year has led to a glut of blackberries, our vines have never done so well. Having a cookbook to inspire me with new ideas and things to try is even better.

Jodi Liano's Cooking from the Farmers Market taps into the best parts of summer. The book starts with a grid of the different types of produce you'll find at the farmers market and gives an idea of when to look for the items. Some of them will vary depending on the weather and the location.

When looking through cookbooks, there are two things I look for: lots of pictures and recipes that sound unique and nothing like I've come across before. Both of these were hits with Jodi Liano's cookbook. The pictures had my mouth watering, and then as glancing through I found a number of recipes I'm dying to try. One of them is on the menu tonig…

White Lies - Jeremy Bates

Released May 2012

Jeremy Bates
Oceanview Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
On her way to start a new job in the Cascade Mountains, Katrina Burton makes a rash decision and picks up a hitchhiker in the pouring rain. She knows it's risky, but he looks young and chilled to the bones. When his drunken behavior is too much for her to take, she tells a lie to get him out of her car. She never expects to find that he's a co-worker, and he's not happy with the way she treated him.
To exact his revenge, he decides to put Katrina on the spot by getting her to throw a party for all the teachers at the cabin he is certain she does not have. Both he and Katrina never expect that her one lie will lead to a night of murder and desperation.
White Lies is a good read, but had Katrina been a smart person making wise choices, like I'd hope of a single woman, the premise would never had carried. Katrina really is as clueless as they come. I'd like to think that every woman out th…

Susan Mallery Speaks to Librarians about the Appeal of Romance

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New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery was asked to speak this summer at the American Library Association national conference in Anaheim, California, on a panel called “Isn’t It Romantic?” Mallery’s latest book, SUMMER NIGHTS (Fool’s Gold book 8) is dedicated to librarians who have done so much to introduce readers to her books. This is the speech she prepared.

The appeal in romance is that our books offer readers a celebration of community. Romances are all about connecting. Sure the boy-meets-girl part is fun and exciting, but often what really brings a reader back again and again are the connections made within the novel.
Most romances happen in a larger context of relationships. Families and friends play an important role. We want to experience falling in love with a hunky guy, but we also want a sense of belonging. The most popular books feature a cast of usually likeable, sometimes annoying, generally realistic characters who are amazingly like people we know. Or people…