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Showing posts from December, 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…