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Showing posts from September, 2012

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…

NO HOPE, NO CHANGE: Lack of Enthusiasm Challenges Presidential Campaigns

FOUR YEARS AFTER “HOPE AND CHANGE”, LACK OF ENTHUSIASM AND EXCITEMENT CHALLENGES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS
“It’s time for a new political party,” according to John F. Kimberling, author of WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS
“An interesting book and a fascinating idea...” — Warren Christopher, 63rd U.S. Secretary of State
While the presidential election is just a few weeks away and both major presidential campaigns are trying every effort to capture the vote, people are increasingly asking: where is the enthusiasm? Last month’s nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found that Americans have a negative view of both candidates, and that only 12% of Americans believe either candidate have what it takes to be president. Given this dearth of voter confidence in the persons they are choosing to lead their country, the question must be asked: what do voters want or need from their leaders? Or even more specific, what does the country need?
John F. Kimberling has the answer: a new political party. “The …

Midnight Alley - Miles Corwin

Released April 2012

Miles Corwin
Oceanview Publishing

Book review by Tracy Farnsworth

Midnight Alley is the second book in the Ash Levine series, and my introduction to this character. The book opens with Ash and his ex heading out on a romantic weekend away, hopefully to rekindle things before divorce is the final option. Nothing goes Ash's way when he gets a call from his boss that he's needed to drop his vacation plans and return to L.A. to investigate a double murder.

This is a pressing case because one of the victims is the son of a councilman who has little positive to say about the LAPD's investigative skills. The other had just returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East. The LAPD wants to prove him wrong and find out who would kill a boy who seems to have gotten his life together while in the military. Solving the case isn't as easy as it seems. Ash soon finds the case may go far beyond the boundaries of California.

I'd heard lots of good things about Mi…

Wisdom Rising II - Vaishali

Released June 2012

Vaishali
Purple Haze Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Wisdom Rising II: The Ultimate Guide to Self-healing, Personal Growth, and Life Management surprised me. There seems to be an influx of self-help guides out there, and I've been sent quite a few in recent months. I was expecting the same-old, same-old and instead found myself drawn in with the very personable tone.

This is a book for anyone who wants to improve their physical and mental health. It you're tired of feeling like the world is out of control and there's nothing you can do, you need to pick this book up. Changing your outlook on life really starts with you. What others say or do only impacts you if you let it and that's one of the key points in this book. Take charge of your life and find improvements almost instantly.

There are over 30 chapters, and each one is packed with useful information and plenty of pop culture references to help drive points home. I can't stand shock joc…

Beverly Hills Book Awards Debuts with Cache

Focusing on Exceptional Presentation of Print Books
Sold in the United States

The inaugural Beverly Hills Book Awards is now open for submissions through January 31, 2013. The Winners and Finalists will be announced March 15, 2013. Beverly Hills is synonymous with excellence, the best of the best.
Submission guidelines allow nominations of any English language printed books available for sale in the United States.
The competition is judged by publishing industry leaders including publishers, editors, writers and book cover designers. Books are judged for overall excellence in book presentation, including cover design, interior layout, and aesthetic components that are all key to an overall outstanding printed book. Fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance and many other genres are eligible for consideration.

“Why the Beverly Hills Book Awards? After decades in the publishing industry and listening to our colleagues talk about the ever-growing challenges when promoting books, w…

A.K.C. Star Puppy: A Positive Behavioral Approach to Puppy Training - Mary Burch

Released August 2012

Mary Burch
Direct Book Service

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

You've seen plenty of books on training your puppy, but I think A.K.C Star Puppy is one of the best books on the subject. We brought a new Rat Terrier puppy into our home this summer, and I've tested lots of books and advice on training. Our puppy is a smart little guy and he picks up things almost instantly, and that's made training fun and rewarding.

One thing that sets A.K.C. Star Puppy apart is the friendly, almost conversational tone. This guide isn't just a "do-it-this-way"-type guide, it gives real accounts in how the training rule can be useful and how it works. Everything is presented with the honesty you need, training takes time and repetition. It also starts with an important look into the dog breeds and how to choose the one that best fits your family. In our case, we knew Rat Terriers needed plenty of activity, and as my teens walked a walking/jogging partner, he …

Free Books Through October 1st

Starting tomorrow and running until October 1st Premier Digital Publishing is hosting an End of September Thriller Promotion on our titles. Check out the list below and visit http://www.premierdigitalpublishing.com/ to get a FREE Chris Wiltz eBook!
Chris WIltz – (Neal Rafferty New Orleans Mystery Series)
A Diamond Before You Die – Free AMZ KDP – Sept. 21 & Sept. 22 – reg. 4.99 The Killing Circle – Free AMZ KDP – Sept. 23 & Sept. 24 – reg. 2.99 The Emerald Lizard – Free AMZ KDP – Sept. 25 & Sept. 26 – 4.99 Shoot The Money – Free AMZ KDP – Sept. 27 & Sept. 28 – 4.99 Glass House – Free AMZ KDP – Sept. 29 & 30 – 4.

Sweet Laurel Falls - Raeanne Thayne

Released October 2011

Raeanne Thayne
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Sweet Laurel Falls is the third book in the Hope's Crossing series. In this sweet romance, Maura McKnight-Parker is reeling from her younger daughter's tragic death. While she'd like to curl up, she does have an older daughter, Sage, who needs her. When Sage shows up with a man from Maura's past and announces she's found her dad, Maura's life is turned upside down. Sage is angry that Maura never told her, and Maura's caught up in a past she'd rather forget.

Jackson Lange walked out when Maura was a teenager and broke her heart. Maura never had the chance to tell him she was pregnant. Almost 20 years later, she's not sure where to go from her, but she can't deny Sage the chance to get to know her father. Being together, however, is bringing up feelings that Maura thought had died long ago.

Jack left 20 years ago to escape his father's control of both his family and t…

Nightwatcher - Wendy Corsi Staub

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Released September 2012

Wendy Corsi Staub
HarperCollins

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

September is Kiss and Teal month. The goal is to make women aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to contact your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

BloatingDifficulty eating/feeling full quicklyPelvic or abdominal painUrinary issues (frequent or sudden urination) In Nightwatcher, September 11th hits, but not without a shocking revelation. While many in NYC mourned, one madman was out murdering innocent women. His sights are set on Allison Taylor, whether she knows it or not.

Allison is busy supporting her neighbor, Mack MacKenna, a man whose wife was in one of the towers before it collapsed. Mack is beyond himself with grief and will take any help he can get from Allison to see if his wife is possibly still aliv

More than ten years have softened the impact of the horrific events of September 11th. I'm thankful for that, but even so, I still felt that shock reading of the tow…

Realm of the Unknown - James McPike

November 2012

James McPike

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

At the scene of a brutal murder in the Middle East, Vince Ramsey, Ritual Investigator for the Ministry, comes across a pendant in a buried skeletal hand. Knowing little about this pendant, he heads to the local museum to discuss the pendant with the director of the Antiquities Department. There he meets an attractive woman, April, who is assistant to the director, and learns the pendant is much older than first imagined.

Teaming up with April, Vince sets off on a quest to uncover the significance of this pendant. It soon becomes clear that people are willing to kill to get their hands on this item, and it's up to Vince to keep both himself and April safe while trying to solve the murder.

At first, I wasn't sure where Realm of the Unknown was headed. It starts in the past and then jumps to present day. Usually, this trips me up, but the distinction between past and present was clear. The introduction to Ramsey's cha…

Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex - Edited by Ellen Datlow

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Open Road is offering a reissue of a sci-fi/fantasy anthology for those who are fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey type novel.



From the publisher:

It¹s time for fifty shades of green: master anthologist Ellen Datlow pushes the limits with genre-bending science fiction stories from authors such as Joyce Carol Oats, Neil Gaimon, and Richard Christian Matheson ­ who surprise and delight in their explorations on themes such as gender, fetishism and sexuality, from a human and alien perspective. 


Alien Sex; Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex; and Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers are being released as ebooks for the first time this week. Upon its print release, Publishers Weekly wrote, ³a provocative read not just for science fiction fans but for all those who sometimes feel that the opposite sex is just too strange to be from the same planet.²


Introducing Paula Priamos, Author of The Shyster’s Daughter: A Memoir

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Roundtable Reviews doesn't often have guest bloggers, but it's due time we started adding them! Welcome to Paula Priamos, author of The Shyster's Daughter: A Memoir. Details about the book follow her post.


I was raised in and out of courtrooms all throughout Southern California. In his day, my father represented white collar criminals, murderers, rapists and the occasional politician caught literally red handed with his pants down in a very public park. But years spent distorting and working around the truth as a criminal defense lawyer turned my father into a criminal himself. He was disbarred for what the State Review Board called “committing acts of moral turpitude,” a generous term for embezzlement. In my memoir, The Shyster’s Daughter, I defend the man, my father, who spent his entire career defending others.
The book begins with the last time I spoke to him. He called to tell me he’d just cheated death. A gunman in a ski mask approached the driver’s side door …

One Mountain Away - Emilie Richards

Released August 2012

Emilie Richards
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

She grew up in a poverty-stricken farm, raised by her grandmother, but after her grandmother dies, Charlotte Hale left her home and her drunken, no-good dad and to start life anew. She built a thriving real estate development firm and made enemies in the process, including her own daughter who Charlotte alienated when her her daughter had a child in her teens.

Eleven years have passed. Charlotte's ready to make amends with the world, especially her daughter and ex-husband, after receiving tragic news. The question becomes: is the world ready to forgive Charlotte? She certainly hopes to change opinions, and not by throwing money at past issues, she plans to undo all of her wrongs of the past through hard work and dedication.

One Mountain Away is a very touching book. It's not hard to see why so many hate Charlotte based solely on her past, but the reader sees a gentler, kinder Charlotte, so you root fo…

Are Books Doomed to Extinction?

Publishers Must Innovate to Save the Book as We Know It,
Says Best-Selling Author

Michael Levin says he can see the writing on the iPad.

“Unless something changes, books as we know them are doomed, and not simply because people prefer to read on their iPads or Kindles.” says Levin, (www.BusinessGhost.com), a New York Times best-selling author, as well as editor, publisher, co-writer and ghostwriter.

“You’ll see the major publishing houses starting to go away in three to five years,” Levin says. “Their business model is in free fall. Already, we’re seeing books becoming shorter, cheaper, and diminishing in quality. You’ll soon see fewer really good authors bothering to write books, because books are no longer a meaningful source of revenue.”
Levin points to several developments he says foreshadow a sad ending for books:
• Attention spans are diminishing. Three-fourths of teachers said their students’ attention spans are shorter than ever, according to a poll released in June. B…

Ponderables™ 100 Breakthroughs That Changed History Who Did What When

Introducing an exciting new series of beautifully designed illustrated essential histories from Shelter Harbor Press

Ours is a very material world, have you ever wondered what it is made of, what it is deep down? If so you are not alone, and centuries of pondering have come up with a great many answers over the years.

The thoughts and deeds of great thinkers always make great stories. Each story relates a confounding puzzle, a “ponderable”, a weighty problem that became a discovery and changed the way we understand the world and our place in it.

Our high-tech, inter-connected world is built on these Ponderables™, growing, changing step-by-step into an ever clearer picture of reality.

Ponderables™ is a new series of beautifully designed illustrated books tackling some of the oldest most important subjects in history. Beginning with The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table, Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers, and The Universe: An Illustrated History of A…

What Would Our Founding Fathers Do?

“The New Founders” Book Explores How Our Country’s Founders Would Handle Today’s Polarized Washington


Los Angeles, Calif. (August 29, 2012) — If he were alive today, what would George Washington think about the United States of America? What would the likes of Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton and the Adams cousins say and do about the state of our nation? These compelling questions and more are tackled in The New Founders, a new novel written by Joseph Connor and Michael Duncan, with a Foreword by Dick Morris. (Published by Dunham Books). The book will be available in both trade paperback and ebook formats.
In The New Founders, authors Connor and Duncan bring the father of our country back to life in modern day America. With a blend of humor, intrigue and imagination, The New Founders takes readers of all ages on an adventure with the Founding Fathers as present day people. In the book, six unsuspecting Americans are drawn together in Philadelphia. While touring Ind…

The ADD Myth - Martha Burge

Released September 2012

Martha Burge
Conari Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The first line of The ADD Myth caught my attention. In this line, the author, a mother of two children diagnosed with ADHD and a woman who holds a BA in psychology, states: "I know I have very few standing beside me in my stance that there is no such thing as ADHD." That's all it took to win me over. I have been saying for years that ADHD is a cop-out of sorts. I don't disagree that there are children out there who do act differently than other children, but why is that a bad thing? If we all walked around acting and behaving as others our age, the world would become a boring place.

In The ADD Myth, Martha Burge examines who our culture's solution to these children who behave differently is to keep them drugged. It's wrong, and I'm thrilled to see the author take this very personal, honest approach. Her arguments are sound, and I think many readers may be shocked to discover …

The Line Between Here and Gone - Andrea Kane

Released July 2012

Andrea Kane
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Andrea Gleason's become desperate to save the life of her newborn who needs a bone marrow transplant. Doing what any desperate mom would do to save her child, Andrea contacts Forensic Instincts to find the father of her newborn child. Andrea's infant is dying and the only hope now is to find the father and find out if he is a match.

The team at Forensic Instinct know they have to help her, but they never expected the case to become so dangerous and take so many turns. The clock is ticking and with each passing day the infant's health deteriorates more and more. Will they find the father in time?

The Line Between Here and Gone is an edge-of-your-seat suspense. There are romantic trysts within the novel, but I didn't find they were essential to the storyline. I think had I read the other books in the series, the hook ups would have been more intriguing. Bottom line is that I wanted to see if Andrea&#…

Fix Your Relationship in One Minute - Jay Fleming-Smith

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E-book 'Fix Your Relationship In ONE Minute' offers advice to women who ask themselves:
"Should I stay or should I go?" Insightful author, Jay Fleming-Smith, offers readers life-changing tips on how to recognize true love.
See the Chapter 1 video below about the emotional roller coaster of dating an indecisive man.


Fix Your Relationship in ONE Minutehelps women get on the right track to true love, offering up answers to the top recurring questions in today's relationships. It will show readers why they need to avoid or leave unsuitable men, how to analyze themselves (and not him), how to tweak their own actions and how not to make the same emotional mistakes in the future. This book will help women find their next and hopefully final love partner in crime.  CHAPTER 1 VIDEO: The emotional roller coaster of dating an indecisive man. What to do when he can't say "I love you". Should she stay or should she go? 



Advice excerpt from ‘Fix Your Rel…

Willow Springs: A Destiny Novel - Toni Blake

Released July 2012

Toni Blake
Avon

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I wanted to love Willow Springs. In the end, however, I just liked it. Would I keep my copy, not really. I found I didn't really like the heroine. She made weak choices throughout much of the book and came off as a nag the rest of the time. Logan's not any better.

Amy Bright and Logan Whitaker have been buddies for as long as they can remember. As one of the local firefighters, Logan's life changes when he can't save a local couple during a fire. He quits his job, takes to the bottle, and is quite happy to live life as a recluse. Amy hopes she can get Logan to return to the land of the living. A drunken kiss changes Amy's world, and she begins to wonder if she and Logan could possibly have a future together.

Logan's embarrassed that he kissed Amy while drunk. That action makes him realize he needs to sober up and find a new career. While joining Amy in the town, he spies the long-missing sister o…

A Knitter's Home Companion - Michelle Edwards

Released March 2011

Michelle Edwards

Abrams

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Fall's quickly coming and that leads to long, chilly winters for many of us. Knitting is a hobby I've been considering taking up in the winter months when it's hard to go outside for more than a few minutes at a time. If you're like me, A Knitter's Home Companion, is a great read.

Michelle Edward's book contains reflections on what started her interest in knitting, her interest in getting her daughter's involved, and patterns for some of the mittens, blankets, and socks she makes. It's going to appeal to someone who has a basic knowledge of knitting, but I didn't find the actual patterns useful without knowing how to knit. Thankfully, there are websites and videos you can find online if you're at that stage.

This isn't quite a "how-to" book, instead it's a collection of patterns, recipes, and insight into knitting and even life. I do love to cook, and o…

Small-Space Container Gardens - Fern Richardson

Released March 2012

Fern Richardson
Timber Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

While Small-Space Container Gardens was a spring release, I think there is benefit to the book year-round. It's for this reason that I wanted to bring the book up now.

Many think of fall as the end of the gardening season, but this doesn't have to be the case. Many plants successfully negotiate the transition from being outside on patios and becoming part of your in-home houseplants. You can have fresh herbs year-round when you container garden.

Fern Richardson, author of the Life on the Balcony blog, shares her tips on creating colorful, beneficial patio gardens using containers. You should start your container gardens in the spring, so you can use the winter to plan ahead. Unless you live in the warmer states, and then year-round container gardening is possible. Should you happen to get frosty nights from time to time, you can easily bring your plants inside for a nice or cover them to prevent an…