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Showing posts from November, 2012

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…