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Showing posts from March, 2010

Fatally Flaky - Diane Mott Davidson (Culinary Mystery)

April 2010 The latest entry in Diane Mott Davidson's long-running Goldy Bear/Schulz culinary mystery series is, I think, one of her better offerings in a while, though there are still things I felt were left out. The past few books, to me, haven't lined up in terms of time frame. While the book series has been going on for 20 years and in that time, the characters have only aged 5 years, so in past books, I've gotten hung up on technology that really shouldn't exist yet. This time, references to  technology were minimal and realistic. Picky I know, but it's something that I can't help but notice. This time around, Goldy is in the height of wedding season. One bride isn't so bad, but the other makes Bridezilla's look innocent. Frequent menu changes are driving Goldy nuts, and she's at her breaking point. When the Bridezilla shows up during the other wedding reception to announce she gave Goldy the

Cake Keeper Cakes - Lauren Chattman (Cookbook)

Released October 2009 Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth It's always been my firm belief that every child should learn how to cook. Beginners can help the adult with measuring, stirring and gathering ingredients. As a child ages, teach fraction based math skills by doubling recipes, chopping is easy for pre-teens and teens. My children are now teens and both can prepare their own meals following any recipe. This is an essential basic life skill that I think too many overlook. Cake Keeper Cakes is great for adults and children. The recipes are easy to follow, I love the addition of color photos, but more than that, children simply love cake so they'll be excited to help in the kitchen. And, cake as an occasional treat is good for the soul. Lauren Chattman has worked as a pastry chef. The book covers the essentials you need for your kitchen, including pans, ingredients and various other equipment. She also includes a breakdown of techniques t

Bedtime Stories - Jean Johnson (Short Stories/Erotic)

Released April 2010 As soon as I glanced at the back cover, I knew I had to read Bedtime Stories . Jean Johnson's anthology takes the fairy tales we know and love and retells them in an erotic fashion. It's not as unusual as some might think, many of the original fairy tales were slightly erotic while others (particularly Brothers Grimm) were quite horrific. I read the Frog Prince with glee. She does a great job turning that story into a story that captures very essence of a blossoming romance without ever seeming trite. I loved this story and think the author did a fabulous job retelling it. The next story, The Courtship of Wali Daad, was new to me and probably will be for most readers. However, it's also very romantic and tells the tale of an older grass cutter who has spent his life saving his coins. He decides to use the money for a random act of kindness and that leads to a richly painted story of matchmaking. After this, I started losin

Chocolate Magic - Zelda Benjamin (Contemporary Romance)

Released April 2010 Chocolatier Chloe Brandeau remains unsure why her aunt chose her over her cousin as the new owner of a run-down apartment complex, but she hopes to live up to her aunt's requests. It's not easy when an area developer, the very rich and handsome Ethan Behar, keeps throwing out offers for the building. She's said no dozens of times, but he refuses to take no for an answer. Trying to keep the aging apartments in good order is tough and Chloe's running out of money. She can't go against her aunt's wishes though. Not to mention the fact that Chloe's friend keeps setting her up on blind dates hoping Chloe might find the man of her dreams. But, the more Ethan hangs around, the more Chloe realizes the man she wants is the man who may only be interested in her because of her property. Chocolate Magic is a charming romance that's not short on chemistry, but like all Avalon romances, the books are gentler and suit

Live to Tell - Wendy Corsi Staub (Suspense)

Released February 23, 2010 Want to be kept on the edge of your seat? Wendy Corsi Staub's latest, Live to Tell , hooks you in and keeps you reading for hours. Best of all, there's a sub-plot that is going to be carried over into her next release. After her husband leaves her for another woman, Lauren Walsh does all she can to keep her family together. When the children's father fails to pick them up as promised for his weekend visitation, Lauren's annoyed and hurt that he doesn't see what he's doing to them. When he doesn't return phone calls or show up for work, her annoyance quickly turns to worry. Meanwhile, Lauren feels that someone is watching her. In fact, she's certain she's seen someone in the shadows of her backyard. She's isolated herself from most of her former friends, so she has to figure out what happened to her ex and figure out if her mind is playing tricks or if her family is in danger. The sto

Lake Magic - Kimberly Fisk (Contemporary Romance)

Released January 2010 Following the tragic death of her fiance, Jenny Beckinsale's found it difficult to pick up and move on. The business they started together is faltering, but Jenny's not willing to give up. After all, the charter plane service sits on land that her family has owned for decades. Jared Worth wants the money he loaned to his friend and that means pushing Jenny into selling the charter service. He expects to walk in to her life and stroll out with a check in hand, but things aren't going as he planned. If she waits any longer, the business will be worthless. But, given her hardheadedness, Jared's not going to let that happen, so he decides to make the most of his portion of the business and turn things around. While Jenny and Jared seemingly can't stand each other, the more time they spend getting to know one another, the more they realize they can't stand being apart. Will the business ruin the friendship they'

They Never Die Quietly - D. M. Annechino (Thriller)

Released February 2010 Here's the thing about D.M. Annechino's They Never Die Quietly ; you can't go into the book expecting a mystery. This is a suspense/thriller, plain and simple. You know who the killer is from the get-go and along the way you gain insight into what makes him tick. The main difference for me is that despite knowing his past, I never liked him. I couldn't find any empathy towards his actions. Detective Sami Rizzo and her partner Al Diaz are assigned to crack the case of a serial killer. Somehow he manages to take women and their children, hold them hostage somewhere before nailing them to a large wooden cross and cutting their hearts out. Readers are introduced to the killer, Simon, from the start. So there are no surprises there. When Sami meets Simon while volunteering to feed the homeless, she is instantly drawn to him. He's charming, attractive and works at a local hospital as a physical therapist. When Si

Currently Reading: They Never Die Quietly

I'm hoping to finish this one today. It's a fascinating, if not pretty creepy, look into the mind of a serial killer. They Never Die Quietly is part of a newer Amazon program that reissues books that never really were noticed by readers/agents/publishers the first time around, but that Amazon editors feel are outstanding reads.

While I was Sick - Off the Beaten Track

Released February 23, 2010 During a good portion of last week, I had a stomach bug that persisted on lasting for a good four days. During this time, I didn't do much reading at all, hence the lack of posts. Instead, I curled up on the sofa and played Heavy Rain (PS3) a new game that, at heart, is an interactive mystery. I like playing games, but I'm of the era where we spent hours playing King's Quest or Leisure Suit Larry point and click games. There were some challenging scenes, but most required you to think fast on your feet and deduce clues along the way. Heavy Rain is the new era of these games. You start the game as Ethan, a family man who's son is about to celebrate a birthday. Along the way, you make Ethan decide what he'll do while his family is out shopping. Does he brush his teeth or skip it? Will he get a jump start on next week's work? All of your choices shape the character's future. Eventually, Ethan and his wife end up at the mal

Repo Men - Eric Garcia (Suspense/Sci-Fi)

Released March 2010 (Reissue) This is not a new book. Repo Men was, in fact, released in 2009 under the title The Repossession Mambo . Now that the story is soon to be released in movie theaters, HarperCollins is reissuing the novel under the movie's title. I've always preferred to read a book first and then see the movie. I like creating my own image of the character. Knowing the movie is coming out later this March, I'm curious to see how well Jude Law really does in the role of Remy, though while reading the book, I don't remember ever coming across the main character's name. The story involves a man who works as a repo agent. In this case, he's not repossessing cars. The story is set in the future when Artiforgs are all the rage. To keep yourself alive, you can opt for artificial organs that are programmable and even remote controlled if you want to spend the extra money. The problem is the organs are expensive and interest r