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Showing posts from August, 2015

Earmuffs for Everyone by Meghan McCarthy

Release Date - January 2015

Meghan McCarthy
Paula Wiseman Books

Book Review by Bob Walch

If you live in earmuff country and use them to keep warm during cold winters, this book may be of interest. You’ll learn more than you probably wish to know about these ear protectors and their supposed inventor (Chester Greenwood).
Of course, you will also discover that Charles Greenwood really didn’t invent earmuffs (but that’s another story), but the folks up in Maine pretend he did, so they have a special day in his honor. Oh well, what else is there to do in Maine? Right?
This picture book is rather bizarre but still fun if you are looking for a rambling tale about ear warmers and how they came to pass. While most adults would probably elect to “pass” on this volume, many youngsters like silly stories; hence they find this book appealing. It certainly is silly (some might actually call it dumb), but if it gets a child to read and laugh a bit, it can’t be all bad now, can it?

So, if earmuffs a…

What Doesn't Kill Her by Carla Norton

Release Date - July 2015

Carla Norton
Minotaur Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

It's been years since Reeve LeClaire was kidnapped and held captive by Daryl Wayne Flint. She's now in her early 20s and in college, but her world is shaken when she learns Flint escaped. She's certain he'll soon stalk his next victim, and after being his captive for so long, she's convinced she's the only one who knows his patterns enough to be able to stop him.

Thus begins a chase to find and put an end to Flint. With the support of the FBI and the former FBI agent who investigated her case, Reeve has a solid support team backing her, but they still lack the insight Reeve has into Flint's mind.

What Doesn't Kill Her is mostly a suspense novel, but there is a touch of romance that I'm pretty sure will be a little more prevalent in future Reeve LeClaire novels. I actually was hooked from the start. Reeve is tough, takes no grief, and though she's young and has som…

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

Release Date - July 30, 2015

Debbie Howells
Kensington

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Many years ago, I sat down with a copy of book that was coming out later that summer and I fell completely in love. That book was Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones.  Having a murder mystery told from the deceased victim's POV was a new and refreshing take for me. Enter The Bones of You, a new book by British author Debbie Howells. This had that same poignancy.

The story begins with Rosie Anderson, a teen who vanishes, reflecting on her final moments. It then flips to a family friend, Kate, whose daughter is the same age as Rosie. Kate is shocked and becomes wrapped up in Rosie's disappearance and murder. The more Kate spends time with Rosie's mother, the more she becomes involved in solving this horrific crime.

Along the way, there are other characters and voices. Rosie's younger sister has a few chapters. There are also characters like Rosie's abusive father, the boy she'd …

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Release Date - August 25, 2015

Kristan Higgins
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Now that her ex-husband has become a father, Jenny Tate is tired of being his and his new wife's buddy. Packing up and leaving the city to open her bridal boutique in her hometown is exactly what she needs. Maybe her hunky neighbor Leo is another thing she needs. A fling with no strings sounds perfect.

While Jenny is starting over, her sister Rachel is in a state of turmoil. Having her sister back is wonderful, but learning her husband is having an affair while Rachel stays at home with their triplets shatters Rachel's world. She might also need to take a step back and examine what she really wants from her life and her marriage.

There's a bit of a romantic aspect to If You Only Knew, but it goes far beyond that. It's really two women's looks at their pasts, their presents, and their futures. I immediately liked Jenny, and her pairing with Leo was ideal. He has his own past to c…

Book News: Library of Congress National Book Festival Announcement

More Than 175 Authors to Participate in Library of Congress National Book Festival

The 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival will be the most expansive one in its 15-year history, with more than 175 authors, poets and illustrators in its 18 pavilions and programs.
The festival is Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (doors open at 9). The event is free and open to the public.

The theme of the festival is “I cannot live without books,” which is a quote from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend John Adams in 1815 following the third president’s sale of his personal library to the Library of Congress. Jefferson sold his 6,487 books to replenish the Library that was burned by the British during the War of 1812.

The festival website is www.loc.gov/bookfest. Author schedules and other information can be found there.

Following are the pavilions and presenters in each of them:

YOUNG PEOPLE’S AUTHORS:

Children

One Among Us by Paige Dearth

Release Date - December 2014

Paige Dearth
Amazon Digital Services

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth


I'll start by saying I hated so many characters in One Among Us. In a story that seems ripped from the headlines, this book had me wanting to climb into the pages and castrate many of the characters found in the book.

Maggie Clarke is just 11 years old when she's kidnapped and thrown into a sex trafficking ring. The innocent young girl is brutally raped by numerous men, kept prisoner with a number of other girls and boys, and badly abused, both mentally and physically. As weeks turn into months and months turn into years, Maggie fears she may never return to her loving family.

That's the plot. The story can be graphic at times, though with every page, I know how much truth there is to it, because I've seen the headlines and caught news stories involving abuse of very young girls and boys. It disgusts and horrifies me.

Paige Dearth is a survivor of molestation by a family me…

The Doctor's Accidental Family by Jacqueline Diamond

Release Date - September 2015

Jacqueline Diamond
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Dr. Nick Davis, a single dad, is still adjusting to his new life in Safe Harbor, especially now that he's found his cousin is working in the same hospital. The two do not get along. When he sees Zady Moore, his cousin's nurse, he can't help but feel a spark. The problem is Zady's been burned and she's not about to fall for the womanizing charmer her boss has told her all about. Who would want a man who walked away from his son?

The truth is that Nick wants nothing more than to gain custody of his son, but his in-laws make it tough. When he's offered a chance to bring his young son home, he's determined to make it happen, but he needs help. Asking Zady to become his housemate seems like the perfect solution, especially after she's asked to care for her young god-daughter for a month. The two can work together to care for the children. Can their hearts, however, surv…

Back to School Giveaway

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Preorder Never Said, a gripping new YA novel, and be entered to win a $200 gift card!

Never Said by Award-Winning Author Carol Lynch Williams For as long as she can remember, Sarah’s family life has revolved around her twin sister, Annie—the pretty one, the social one, the girl who can do anything. The person everyone seems to wish Sarah—with her crippling shyness—could simply become. When Annie suddenly chops off her hair, quits beauty pageants, and gains weight, the focus changes—Annie is still the star of the family, but for all the wrong reasons. Sarah knows something has happened, but she too is caught in her own spiral after her boyfriend breaks up with her and starts hanging out with one of Annie’s old friends. Annie is intent on keeping her painful secret safe. But when she and Sarah start spending time together again for the first time in years, walls start to break on both sides … and words that had been left unsaid could change everything.

Preorder now and send your…

Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Release Date - July 2015

Sarah Bannan
St. Martin's Griffin

Release Date - July 2015

Face it. High school for the majority sucked. I remember one girl telling me she was going to kill me if I ever talked to her boyfriend again. I had another, a supposed best friend, create a secret vote for "pig of the year" after she got mad with me for whatever reason. With her it could have been anything from my parents were nicer to she was jealous that I was wearing name brands and she wasn't.

Fast forward 30 years and imagine what it would be like with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and a myriad of other social media apps and sites. I cannot even begin to imagine. That's the topic in Weightless, the debut novel by Sarah Bannan.

The unnamed narrators are fascinated by the new girl, a New Jersey teen who's been uprooted to a small Alabama town. Carolyn is gorgeous, and it's not long before she captures the attention of the high school quarterback. The problem is that Shan…

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Release Date - August 4, 2015

Jennifer McMahon
Doubleday

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Piper and her sister Margot spent much of their childhood hanging out at their friend Amy's family's motel. Their friendship abruptly ended when the girls discovered a dark secret at the Tower Motel. Each moved on, but now they're about to be thrown together with one simple message "29 Rooms."

When police find Amy, her husband, and her son dead, Margot calls Piper with the shocking news that Amy killed them all before killing herself. Only Amy's daughter managed to stay hidden and avoid being brutally murdered. Piper returns to her hometown to help Margot make sense of Amy's actions and deal with the secret that they've kept for far too many years.

The Night Sister is told from a number of viewpoints and eras. First, there is Rose, Amy's Mother, and aunt Sylvie, who also spent much time playing at the motel. They seemed to have a very happy childhood, until Sylv…

Broken Promise: A Thriller by Linwood Barclay

Release Date - July 28, 2015

Linwood Barclay
NAL

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I cannot think of a more intriguing premise from the number of books I've read this year. In Broken Promise, reporter/editor David Harwood returns to his childhood home after disliking his new life in Boston. He moved there to accept an editing job, but his long hours away from his son are wearing thin. Back in his hometown, he is back with the local paper, but soon has a lot of time on his hands when the company closes its doors.

While running an errand for his mother, David visits his cousin, a woman who lost her baby a year earlier, and finds her cradling a baby. She claims an angel in white brought this baby to her door. When the child's mother is found murdered, David agrees to investigate and find out if his cousin is a mentally imbalanced killer or if there is something far more sinister going on in Promise Falls.

Love the plot. I won't argue that. What I didn't love is how many othe…