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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Girl in the Water - Nancy Fox-Kilgore




Released May 2013

Nancy Fox-Kilgore

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Girl in the Water recounts Nancy Fox-Kilgore's life. She was raised in a loving family home, but there was a hidden secret. Her older sister abused her for pretty much as long as she could remember. Incidents ranged from tying her to a chair and taping her eyes open in the bright sun to using the door to tear off a few of Nancy's toenails. This abuse went on for years, never one stopped by their parents.

This has to be one of the saddest stories I've read in a while. I hate child abuse in any situation but to have the parents turn a blind eye is disgusting. That makes it so much worse. The author brings up the point, however, that bullying often starts at home. I think that is clearly true. Many cases I've seen in my children's school has been parents verbally or physically abusing their child, but I go back to a girl I knew in high school whose brother was molesting her and no one did a thing. In fact, when she tried to tell, people in the school laughed at her. I hope she's okay today, but she moved away after it came out and that was the last I ever heard of her.

Read Girl in the Water and learn something from it. Bullying laws are changing and it's getting easier for children to ask for help. However, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

With or Without You: A Memoir - Domenica Ruta



Released February 26, 2013

Domenica Ruta
Spiegel and Grau

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

To really love With or Without You, I think you need that connection that ties you to the author. That prime reason that the life of a child growing up in a druggie household has appeal with the reader. I can't imagine such a life and felt sad that the author never left, that her father never got her out, and that her mother thought that was such a cool way to live. I'm a parent, so I look at it from that stance. If I knew my child was in a household where drugs were being abused, or that said child was using drugs, I would move heaven and earth to get them out of that situation. I know that's not always the case in today's world, but it angers me that so many sit by and let it continue. To that end, this book had great emotional appeal.

The writing certainly draws the reader in. I certainly felt emotional reading about this girl who grew into a pretty messed up woman, before realizing she needed help. That's when I really connected. My aunt died after years of alcoholism and despite my pleas, she never quit. I don't think she ever really tried to keep the promises she made me. Watching her dying, that was the most painful thing I've watched. I'd rather give birth than go through that again.

With or Without You is definitely a story that sticks with you. While I found the memoir easy to walk away from to do other things, I kept thinking about this girl and all the others out there in her shoes. If this book changes just one person's life, and I hope it does, it will be well worth it.




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Asian Pickles: Japan - Karen Solomon



Released December 2012

Karen Solomon
Ten Speed Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Asian Pickles: Japan is quickly earning its place in my collection of cookbooks. I've only tested one recipe, but it's that one recipe that drew me to the book - Pickled Ginger. I love pickled ginger. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it's the sweet, tangy slices of ginger served with sushi as a palate cleanser. I adore it and making it at home simply makes sense.

This is the recipe I focused on for my first test, but there are others I want to attempt.  Pickled Asian Pear with Lemon will be the next one.There are recipes for pickled plums, a variety of cucumber recipes, seaweed, eggplant, and even a tempting wasabi carrots.

At just under $3, I can't think of a reason to bypass Asian Pickles: Japan. It's a great collection of recipes that go very well with Japanese cuisine.


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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Babyland - Holly Chamberlain



Released July 2005

Holly Chamberlain
Kensington

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I have very mixed feelings on Babyland. The heroine, Anna Traulsen, is engaged to marry a wealthy businessman. The couple do not want children, so Anna is shocked when she discovers she's pregnant, no thanks to failed birth control. She reveals the news to her fiance, expecting him to flip, but he acts delighted instead.

Anna isn't sure she wants to become a mother. Add in morning sickness, the thought that her career as an event planner may become affected, and the knowledge that she loves, but isn't really in love with her significant other. Her life is suddenly complicated and she's not sure what to do.

Babyland is a chick lit story in theory, but it's not always light and comical, and I'm going to bet that throws many readers off. It takes time to warm up to Anna's character because she does spend a whole lot of time complaining about her circumstances. She does change along the way, and once that happens, I really settled in and loved the story.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Escape Diaries - Juliet Rosetti



Released December 2012

Juliet Rosetti
Loveswept

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Mazie Maguire knows one thing, she didn't kill her husband. Though she's been spending time in jail for a crime she didn't commit, and continually dodges poisoning attempts by her former mother-in-law,  she's now on the run trying to prove her innocence.

With the public cheering her on, and even helping her escape capture from time to time, Mazie doesn't have a lot of time to unravel the clues and solve the case.

The Escape Diaries is a really fun read. Mazie's likeable, her former MIL is a horror, and then the romantic interest she meets while on the lam certainly creates the potential for a memorable romance. This is apparently the first in a series, so I can't wait to see what Mazie gets into next.






Monday, February 4, 2013

The Baby Jackpot - Jacqueline Diamond



Released March 2013

Jacqueline Diamond
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The latest book in the Safe Harbor Medical Series features Dr. Cole Rattigan and his nurse Stacy Layne. Stacy's long admired her boss, but she never expects to have a one-night affair with him that leaves her pregnant.

After a somewhat bitter divorce, her husband left her for his high school sweetheart, Stacy decided to donate some of her eggs to the hospital's fertility program and she's still coming down from the hormone injections. She's not just pregnant, she's pregnant with triplets.

Cole wants more than anything to prove to Stacy that he's not walking away, but she has her mind set on adoption. What can he do to prove to her that not all men are like her ex?

The Baby Jackpot is another fun addition to the Safe Harbor series. Jacqueline Diamond keeps creating likeable characters and a town that I'd love to be part of. And, that's not just because year-round warm weather sounds really good when you're into day whatever of below zero nights and highs in the single digits.

This book did set up a few potential avenues for future books too. I'd love to see what happens with Stacy's "nemesis," the woman her ex left her for. I'd also like to see some of Stacy's friends find their own happily ever after. Most of all, I really want to have a glimpse into Stacy and Cole's life down the road, once the triplets are born.


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