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Showing posts from November, 2013

Book News: From Martin to Despallier by Ramus Dahlqvist

On February 25, 1836, just one day after sending his famous "Victory or Death" letter, Colonel William B. Travis sent another letter from the Alamo. He wrote to Major-General Sam Houston, Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army, citing his men for bravery. He wrote: "Charles Despallier and Robert Brown gallantly sallied out and set fire to houses which afforded the enemy shelter, in the face of the enemy fire." Until now, young Charles remained but a name in the list of the Immortal 32.
From Martin to Despallier takes you on a journey through four hundred years of colonization, invasions, revolutions, and secret treaties. Charles never visited France, nor did his father Bernard ever see the shores of his ancestors' native land, the ancient region of Normandy.  Starting off as clerks and mariners in France, then colonists in Haiti, and military men in Louisiana, the Martins changed their surname. Now known as Despallier, they became rebels and U.S. fr…

The Surprise Dad by Jacqueline Diamond

Release Date - January 2013

Jacqueline Diamond
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

After her sister's death, Adrienne Cavill became her nephew's guardian. That little boy is everything to Adrienne, and news that his deadbeat father is coming back to town has Adriennne on high alert.

Wade Hunter only learned he was a father when his former girlfriend went into labor. He showed up at the hospital only to have her kick him out and threaten to charge him with abuse, something this new police officer didn't need on his record. Over the years, he paid child support, but he's always wanted to see his son. When he learns his ex is now dead, he's back in town and ready to become a father.

Soon, Adrienne and Wade are testing the waters to see how they can both raise the boy without stepping on each others' toes.

The Surprise Dad takes place around the holidays. I loved having the time period match the current season, though with the January release, readers will be g…

Win Your Own Copy of F. Paul Wilson's Dark City

Just in time for the holidays, win a copy of F. Paul Wilson's Dark City (A Repairman Jack: Early Years) novel.

Entering is easy.

1. Post a comment on this page or on the Dark City review by December 1st, 11:59 p.m. EST. Comments are moderated, so don't worry if it doesn't automatically appear. Make sure you check back on December 2nd to see if you are a winner. Winners will be given 24 hours to email me with a mailing address. If I do not get a response within the 24 hour period, I will select another winner.

2. For your safety, do not post your contact information online. If people do post contact information in a post, I do not have a way to edit posts, so I will not approve the comment.

3. The winner will be chosen at random. Winner must reside within the United States or Canada. Book is shipped from the publisher.


Dark City (Repairman Jack: Early Years) by F. Paul Wilson

Release Date - October 2013

F. Paul Wilson
Tor

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Dark City is the second book in the Repairman Jack: Early Years trilogy. I have a long history with F. Paul Wilson novels. Growing up, my Mom was a huge fan and read and reread The Keep on what seemed like a monthly basis. F. Paul Wilson had another series, the Repairman Jack series, that was also a mainstay in our home.

A year or so ago, I read the young adult series that introduced Jack as a youngster. The Early Years trilogy takes a step forward in time and introduces Jack in his early 20s. Dark City finds Jack trying to stay out of the way of a Dominican gang who is intent on making Jack pay for hurting one of them. He's also desperately trying to save his friend's bar, all while trying to keep a very low profile.

I've seen Dark City classified as both a horror and a fantasy. I don't really agree with either take. What this book is is a fascinating character study. Jack is the reason to re…

Just What Kind of Mother Are You by Paula Daly

Release Date - September 2013

Paula Daly
Grove Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I actually received this book to review through Amazon. However, the site felt my first review contained an offensive word. Had they really read the context, they'd understand there was no offense intended, but since they wouldn't post it, I am putting it here instead.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? threw me at first. Somehow, I missed the author was British. This isn't a bad thing. I find that British mysteries tend to capture the emotional side better, without glossing things over. There are great American mystery writers, but a lot of the books I have try so hard to bring everything to a happily ever after, that they lose the authenticity of the story. Paula Daly's debut novel blew me away.

Lisa Kallisto's world is shattered when her friend's daughter (Lucinda) disappears. Lisa blames herself because Lucinda was supposed to be with them for an overnight, but Lisa'…

Book News: The Water Daughter by Marta Gottfried

Atlanta, GA, November 18, 2013 – An immortal, mythical man instructs a young woman through  ancient alchemical formulas in “The Water Daughter,” a New Age super-fiction by Marta Gottfried  Wiley.  As one of the Illuminati, St. Germain removes the mental and spiritual blockages built up throughout  this woman’s lifetime. He then initiates her into the higher realms of knowledge and secrets, by  discovering the water of life.  The New Age knowledge within “The Water Daughter” is in depth, but written in an easy-to-read,  conversational style. Her mentor examines gravity, molecules, and the holistic world view of mind,  body and spirit.  “Because we use only 10% of our minds, I believe anything is possible,” the author says. “The beauty of it is that there are spiritual laws that can be learned.”  This book is an attempt to explore the hidden potential of man’s enlightenment through fiction. Marta Wiley’s extensive educational and personal experiences are evident. Each chapt…

Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney

Release Date - September 2013

Ellen Cooney
Publerati

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Thanksgiving is a book that is going to stick with me for some time. I liked that each chapter was its own short story. There were times when the main character's story didn't pull me in as well as others, but the separation of time periods made it easy to put the book down, refresh, and then pick it back up.

 The book begins in 1662. Patience Morley is newly married, pregnant, and her relationship with her in-laws seems tedious at best. It's clear that while the couple were forced to marry, Caleb's father is not thrilled by this pairing. This is the start of the Massachusetts' Morley's that become the focal point of Thanksgiving.

Each chapter moves forward about a decade in time, working all the way up to present day. Along the way, the family lore is passed from one generation to the next. Families, particularly the woman telling each chapter, are all busy getting ready for Th…

Science, Statistics, and Skepticism - Fourat Janabi

Release Date - May 2013

Fourat Janabi
CreateSpace

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Science, Statistics, and Skepticism is a tough book to review. It's very short, just 89 pages, but the price is well suited for a book of that size, so I definitely feel that readers get their money's worth. That said, I can't see this book appealing to a large market. It's highly specialized and based a lot of opinion and statistics that are already out there if you know where to look.

In Science, Statistics, and Skepticism, the author points out many situations where the statistics used to prove certain cases are flawed. He discusses whether GMO foods are really bad for  you, if vaccines are truly linked to autism, and whether or not climate change is affecting our world. This is only a small sampling.

That said, there are definitely times where I agree with the author. The increasing number of measles outbreaks, 159 in the U.S. as of August, this year is alarming. Polio is also on the ri…

The Trial of Dr. Kate by Michael E. Glasscock III

Release Date - October 2013

Michael E. Glasscock III
Greenleaf Book Group Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Dr. Kate Marlow's impending trial has the town of Round Rock buzzing. Lillian Johnson, a young woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, was found dead in her wheelchair from a barbiturate overdose, and the needle next to her had Dr. Kate's fingerprints on it. Dr. Kate has no memory of the events, and that's not helping with her murder defense.

Journalist Shenandoah Coleman, a long-time friend of Kate, plans to cover the trial and unravel the truth. Shenandoah is certain Kate would never intentionally kill a patient. Someone wants Shenandoah out of town, however. Being sent clear messages like having all four tires slashed and getting run off the road, Shenandoah needs to stay on her toes to discover the truth and avoid harm.

This is the second book in the Round Rock series by Michael Glasscock III. The first novel, Little Joe, was a solid read, but The Trial of Dr…

Little Joe by Michael Glasscock III

Release Date - June 2013

Michael Glasscock III
Greenleaf Book Group Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I admit to being pleasantly surprised by Little Joe, the first in the Round Rock series. Little Joe Stout and his parents are in the middle of a move when their car goes off the road. Little Joe's parents die, and he's left with minor injuries. Filled with grief and shock, Little Joe is sent to his maternal grandparents' farm.

At the farm, the boy's grandparents seem unprepared to raise a nine-year-old boy. The trio struggle with grief, new responsibilities, and forming an unconventional family unit. Things seem far harder on Little Joe who is thrown into a new world of rules unlike those he was raised to follow, chores that take up much of his free time, and grandparents who try their hardest but still seem not to have a clue on how to be a parent to a young boy.

I wasn't sure what to make of Little Joe as I started reading. It seemed to me that his grandparents…

The Founding Fathers Cookbook

Release Date - October 29, 2013

Founding Fathers
Andrews McMeel Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Founding Fathers are restaurants located in Maryland and Washington D.C. The goal is for all foods served within the restaurant to come directly from the farm to the diners' tables. Menu items vary, but there are delicious appetizers like Maine lobster Devil-ish Eggs to Low Country Shrimp and Grits.

The Founding Fathers Cookbook takes some of the best recipes from the restaurants and makes them available for anyone to make at home. The cookbook starts with a little about the restaurants and delves into pantry supplies to keep on hand. Recipes are broken down into these categories:

Pickles, Seasonings, and SaucesStarters and Snacks (Find the aforementioned Devil-ish Eggs recipe in here)Fresh Garden SaladsSandwiches and BurgersSignatures (Find Low Country Shrimp and Grits here)Fresh CatchesHandmade Pasta (Not all of the recipes use homemade pasta, so that threw me off a little)Fr…

Temptation Bay by Anna Sullivan

Release Date - December 2013

Anna Sullivan
Hatchette Book Group

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Temptation Bay, A Windfall Island Novel, is the first in a new series set in Maine. It's no secret that I love Maine. I love the people, the scenery, and the foods. Anna Sullivan's new novel captures the magic of Maine.

Charter pilot Maggie Solomon loves the island she calls home. She had a bit of a tough upbringing with a military father who disliked her independent nature. She never expects to find herself falling for a man who drives her crazy. Especially when that same man really won't tell anyone why he's come to their island.

Dexter Keegan is on Windfall Island to research the kidnapping of an infant decades ago. The missing infant's ancestors believe she may have survived an explosion that officials believed killed the infant. Dexter's case involves determining if the infant did in fact survive and if she may have left heirs. If she did survive, anyone heirs are…

A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

Release Date - October 29, 2013

Susan Mallery
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

It's Evie Stryker's turn for finding true love in the charming town of Fool's Gold. Evie grew up never fitting in with her older brothers, and she certainly never felt much in the way of affection from her mother. Following an injury, Evie is back in Fool's Gold, with no intentions on sticking around. She gets a little more than she bargained for when the head of the dance studio she's working at takes off. There are just weeks to the annual Christmas presentation and Evie doesn't know a thing about the production.

Evie has another struggle to deal with. Her mom wants to make amends, and Evie isn't sure she's read or willing. Add in the attraction to her brother Rafe's business partner, Dante Jefferson, and Evie quickly finds her life being turned upside down.

There are two things I love about the Fool's Gold series. First, I adore getting to see how couples f…

Night Tide by Michael Sherer

Release Date - September 2013

Michael Sherer
Cutter Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Blake Sanders is not having the best of days. Smelling gas and watching the homeowner run back into the house just as it explodes, isn't a great start. Things get worse when he learns his former best friend is out of jail and may be gunning for him.That's a lot for any man to deal with, but it gets even better when he reaches home and finds Keeley Radcliffe on his doorstep.

Keeley's sister was killed in the same event that put Blake's former best friend in jail. She's convinced there is more to the story and wants Blake to find out what really happened 20 years ago. He immediately refuses. Later, at a dinner with a friend and his friend's parents, Blake is stunned when gunmen approach the home and shoot his friend while his friend's supposedly loving parents flee. When the parents' disappearance and events from 20 years ago seem to link up, Blake has no choice bu…