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Showing posts from March, 2013

Three Graves Full - Jamie Mason

Released February 2013

Jamie Mason
Gallery Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

As a human, I never like sympathizing with a killer, but that's exactly what happens with Three Graves Full.

The story revolves around Jason Getty, a man who has a secret. He killed a man and buried him in his yard. Things go south for Jason when he hires a landscaping team to clean up his yard, making sure they stay far away from the area where the body is buried. Jason never expects what they find. There are two more bodies buried on his property. Bodies he had no idea were there.

Soon police are scouring his house and yard looking for evidence. Jason's fear begins to overtake him. Meanwhile, there's a young woman who is also dealing with the disappearance of her fiance, and Tessa, the police dog brought in to sniff out clues. Each character has an important place in this story.

I loved the beginning of Three Graves Full. I was drawn immediately to the characters, particularly Jason. Once h…

The Clover House - Henriette Lazaridis Power

Released April 2013

Henriette Lazaridis Power
Ballantine Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The Clover House takes place both in present day and in the 1940s. Switches from one era to the other flow seamlessly, so there's no confusion to be found in this Henriette Lazaridis Power's debut novel.

Calliope Notaris Brown is saddened to learn that her cherished uncle died. She's inherited his belongings, so she must fly to Greece and start sorting through boxes of his treasures. She's never had a close relationship with her mother, so the trip to Greece is not high on her list. Having her mother continually pushing her to leave things. The truth about her mother's life is to be found in those things, and if revealed, nothing will ever be the same.

Clio Notaris grew up in Greece, the oldest of four children. They're a well-off family, but World War II changes everything.

The setting for The Clover House really drew me in. I've never been to Greece, though it…

Cyberstorm - Matthew Mather

Released March 2013

Matthew Mather

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

There's been a lot of talk about the new book by Matthew Mather, Cyberstorm. I'm not a huge techie, though my son is, and by default I hear him talk about his college courses where they are learning to "out hack the hackers." I know the dangers of computer hacking, and I also know there are some benefits to teaching hacking at the same time.

Cyberstorm poses a "what if" situation. Mike Mitchell has the same problems as many people. His in-laws aren't fond of him, his wife seems distant and he fears she's having an affair, but at the same time, he has a lot going right. He adores his toddler, he has great friends, and he lives in the heart of New York City. Things take a drastic turn for the worst when a cyber attack shuts down the Internet. With no power, no water, and dwindling food supplies, all in the heart of the Northeast's largest snowstorm, Mike, his family, and his neighbo…

Evidence of Life - Barbara Taylor Sissel

Released March 26, 2013

Barbara Taylor Sissel
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

 Abby Bennett expects to see her husband and daughter head off on their camping trip, have a week to herself, and then have a welcome back feast prepared for them the following weekend. Instead, she gets a cryptic call from her sobbing daughter a day later and knows something isn't right. The problem is Abby has no idea where Nick and Lindsey were going, if it wasn't their usual spot.

Flooding hit a Texan town, and its feared that Nick and Lindsey were swept up by flood waters. No one's found their car yet, and Abby keeps getting calls from someone who whispers or doesn't talk at all. Abby becomes the only person convinced that her family is out there somewhere and in desperate need of her help.

Evidence of Life is a very gripping, emotional story. I can't imagine the pain of losing both your husband or daughter in the blink of an eye. I was truly rooting for Abby and found myself…

The Dark Pool - J.E. Fishman

Released February 2013

J.E. Fishman
StoneHouse Ink

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The Dark Pool is a suspenseful story surrounding the lives of three men. Antwon Meeps, a talented high school basketball player, finds himself in a lot of trouble when he's accused of a rape he didn't commit. Hauled off to jail and questioned, he receives help from a stranger. He has no idea how that stranger is about to change his life.

Shoog Clay, Antwon's coach, is offered the chance to coach at a college level. He's determined to stay with his high school kids in the Bronx, however. Though certain people do not like hearing no.

Then there's The Mean, a hedge fund manager. The Mean made a risky investment and his only salvation lies in Shoog Clay's answer.

What none of them know is that there are some shady Wall Street characters betting on the outcome of their situations. These men will stop at nothing to make sure that things go their way, even if it means taking lives to get…

I'll Be Seeing You - Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan

Released May 28, 2013

Suzanne Hayes
Loretta Nyhan
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I'll Be Seeing You is a book that stands out. It's unique and certainly captivating. I won't call it a romance, though there are romantic aspects. It's a tearjerker and definitely worth reading.

Authors Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan never met while writing this book. That's part of what makes it so intriguing. They each chose a character, wives with soldiers heading off to fight during WWII, and then emailed each other letters back and forth based on the thoughts, hopes, dreams, and fears of their characters. Those letters became the heart and soul of this novel.

Rita Vincenzo is a 40-something in Iowa. Her husband and son both head off to fight in WWII together. This leaves Rita fearful for the safety of both and also lonely as her entire family went away in one shot. She has her friends, but it's the friendship she strikes up with another wife, Glory Whitehall, that rea…

Enter to Win James Rollins' Latest Thriller - Bloodline

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Looking for something unique to read? How about if that new book was free? Now is your chance to win a copy of James Rollins' Bloodline. Click here to enter.





From the Publisher: In a thrilling masterwork that will make you rethink your perceptions of life and death, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins takes you to the edge of medicine, genetics, and technology, revealing the next evolutionary leap forward: immortality.
Galilee, 1025. Infiltrating an ancient citadel, a Templar knight uncovers a holy treasure long hidden within the fortress's labyrinth: the Bachal Isu — the staff of Jesus Christ — a priceless icon that holds a mysterious and terrifying power that promises to change humankind forever.
A millennium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast of the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a young pregnant American woman. Commander Gray Pierce is enlisted for a covert rescue mission into the African jungle. The woman is no rich tourist: she's Aman…

99 Cent Book Deal!

Head to Amazon to pick up your copy of Matthew Mather's Cyberstorm. I've been coughing up a storm thanks to a chest cold that progressed into acute bronchitis and haven't read it yet, but I'm hearing from others that the book is amazing.

It's 99 cents, so you can have a great read for very little money!

Severed Threads - Kaylin McFarren

Released August 2012

Kaylin McFarren

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

After her father's tragic death, Rachel Lyons moves on, taking an office job dealing in Asian antiques. She never expects to run into the man who last saw her father alive, Chase Cohen. He needs funding to take on a mission recovering an ancient vessel, and the foundation Rachel works for is his last hope. With the help of a Dr. Ying, he hopes Rachel will see past her father's tragic death and allow him to do his job.

That's not the only thing on Rachel's plate. Her brother's gotten himself tied up with mobsters. Rachel's only hope for saving her brother lies in taking a priceless artifact from the wreckage that Chase is trying to salvage.

I'd love to say that Severed Threads wowed me, but it feel short. I liked the story and chemistry between Rachel and Chase, but when her brother's story was added it seemed like overkill. I found myself far too eager to skip over his scenes, but I c…

The Ivy League Chronicles: 9 Squares - E.K. Prescott, Ph.D.

THE IVY LEAGUE CHRONICLES 9 SQUARES by E.K. Prescott, Ph.D.

WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?
The year is 1923, and Richard Wikki, a former detective from Scotland Yard and now a professor at the prestigious Yale University in New Haven, CT, misses his days of crime solving. Maize Judson has enrolled at Yale with hopes of becoming an investigative journalist. When Maize and her friend find a skeleton buried in the sand at the beach with a mysterious amulet wrapped around its fingers, she and Richard set out to solve a murder. But Richard soon finds himself following well-planted illusionary clues, and as he continues to investigate, a series of events shake the depths of his philosophical, religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as his perspective on life…forever.

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK UNIQUE?
Although a fictional mystery, The Ivy League Chronicles:9 Squares by E.K. Prescott, Ph.D., is filled with historical facts and events that were very real in New Haven, CT in the 1920’s. The book explores the t…

Holding On For Dear Life - James Campbell

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Released January 2013

James Campbell

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

In 2008, three weeks before his wedding day, James Campbell received a call that would change both his and his fiancee's life. While attending a dog race, she suffered a stroke. Given her age, the last thing they expected was to face a disease thought of as being for older men and women, not 30-somethings. Holding On For Dear Life is a compilation of James' blog updates on Julie's recovery.

 First, if you can make it through this book, at least the first half dozen of so chapters without crying, I'm surprised. In the middle of my son's college's parking lot, I read with tears running down my face and not a Kleenex in sight. It's heartrending.

American readers may not recognize some of the celebrities or terms used by the author. I have an advantage because my mom is from Yorkshire. Many of the celebrities appear on BBC America from time to time. When he talks about Richard Hammond, you lik…

The Explorer - James Smythe

Released January 2013

James Smythe
Harper Voyager

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Imagine joining astronauts on a voyage into space. Cormac Easton, a journalist, is given that chance when he's chosen to write about the mission from a unique vantage point. Things do not go as planned when the crew wake up from their pods to find their captain dead. One by one, others in the mission die leaving Cormac completely alone.

I don't always like sci-fi, but The Explorer wowed me. I can't imagine being alone in space, having no idea how to change my situation, and knowing that eventually you'll run out of food, fuel, and air. On that level, this book is completely terrifying.

The book starts out with Cormac alone, so it's not a big surprise. From that point out, it flips back and forth as you learn the fate of each crew member. It also views the innermost psyche as Cormac comes to terms with events that happened before and during his space voyage. You get to know what he'…

Home by Dark - Marta Perry

Released December 2012

Marta Perry
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Leaving her Amish family wasn't easy, but Rachel Weaver Mason is back in Deer Run, taking over the house her late mother-in-law left her. Rachel left her Amish community to marry the man she thought she loved, but now she's a penniless widow with nothing more than the house she's inherited. Rachel would love to have her parents welcome her and her young daughter back, but the Amish customs dictate otherwise.

Rachel's younger brother does become part of her life, but it's clear that something is troubling him. When he shows up at her house convinced that someone is following him, Rachel agrees to drive him home. She too sees a strange man lurking in the bushes and starts to worry that his missing friend may not simply be off exploring the non-Amish world. Trusting in Colin MacDonald, a man she's known since childhood, Rachel hopes she can keep herself, her daughter, and her brother safe …

That Night on Thistle Lane - Carla Neggers

Released February 2013

Carla Neggers
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

As a small town librarian, Phoebe O'Dunn spends a lot of time focusing on her work and not seeking adventures. When she stumbles on a hidden cache of costumes in the library attic, she knows two of the dresses will be perfect for her sisters. There's an upcoming masquerade ball and Phoebe isn't attending, but she wants her sisters to have a great time.

Eventually, Phoebe changes her mind and decides to dress up for the ball too. Hoping no one will recognize her, she attends the ball in full costume and catches the eye of a dashing swashbuckler. The pair turn heads, and Phoebe leaves before anyone figures out who she is. Her dance partner really wants to find her, however, and enlists the help of his friend.

At heart, That Night on Thistle Lane is a retelling of the Cinderella story, but there's a twist. There is a mystery at hand that the reader is privy to along the way. There's a myster…

Scattered Letters - Reshunniece Kline

Released January 2013

Reshunniece Kline

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

After her father is murdered and then her mother is found dead, ten-year-old Bellina Al-Asma finds herself heading from Switzerland to New York. In New York, she must live with an alcoholic aunt, Michelle Hosset. Bellina doesn't know she has an aunt, and her idyllic life turns upside down in her aunt's care.

In her new home, she quickly learns that her aunt expects her to earn her keep. Forbidden to attend school, Bellina is stuck in a home she quickly starts to despise. As her aunt drinks excessively, abuses her, leaves messes everywhere, and forces Bellina to then clean up vomit and other messes, Bellina longs for the life she had with her mother and father in Geneva.

Eventually, Bellina starts sneaking out and finds companionship with a neighbor, Ms. Hickens. Soon, Bellina discovers a long-hidden family secret that changes the way she views life and her circumstances.

Scattered Letters is a refreshing st…

The Witness - Naomi Kryske

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Released July 2012

Naomi Kyrske
Dunham Books

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

You have no idea how hard I'm kicking myself for not picking The Witness up earlier. The Witness is one of the most riveting police procedural novels I've read. I was captivated by Jenny and the detectives and officers working hard to keep her safe.

Scotland Yard detectives never expected to find a victim alive. After finding Jennifer Jeffries wrapped up in a carpet, the victim in a line of brutal rapes and murders, they thought for sure she was dead. Then the lead detective, Colin Sinclair, finds a pulse. As London's doctors work tirelessly to save her life, Colin hopes for the best. She's their only chance at finding the killer and bringing justice for the families.

Jenny does survive, but she's been cut apart, raped, beaten, and left with tremendous physical and emotional scars. She identifies her attacker, and now faces the biggest challenge of her life, she must remain in police custody, …

A Coruna, Spain, Travel Guide - David Hoffman

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Released January 2013

David's Been Here


Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

My full review appears on Amazon, but I did want to point out a new series of travel guides and accessories from David's Been Here.

Items include luggage scales, anyone traveling needs to own one, sleep masks, travel pillows, passport holders/wallets, and something I thinks is incredibly well designed, the toiletry bag that had individual pockets and compartments to make sure everything is stored safely.