Showing posts from 2011

Need You Now - James Grippando

January 2012

James Grippando

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The toughest part of this review really is just how much of the plot to give away to present the plot. There are lots of layers involved that the book jacket doesn't touch upon, but the book jacket really doesn't go into the full implications of the story at hand either and that makes it tough.

Things start with Abe Cushman and Gerry Collins. Cushman is a NASDAQ chairman who is arrested for a massive Ponzi scheme that nets him billions of dollars. Rather than face jail, he commits suicide. Cushman was like a father to Gerry Collins and Gerry now has very some very angry investors on his hands. Gerry also winds up dead, but his death is at the hands of a murderer.

Three years pass, financial advisor Patrick Lloyd is in Switzerland to supposedly meet the Bank of Switzerland's managing director, though he cannot imagine why they want to meet with a Wall Street newbie.This begins a nightmarish quest to unravel whe…

Balancing Act - Patricia Davids

Released August 2011

Patricia Davids

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

After a crash on snowy roads leaves ballerina Cheryl Steele with a broken foot, she has no choice but to recuperate while her ballet director recasts her starring role in a ballet version of Alice in Wonderland. During her recovery, Cheryl agrees to help with her rescuer's twin daughters. There's one problem, Cheryl's back in a town she left long ago due to a troubled childhood. If Sam Hardin learns her real identity, he may not look as kindly upon having her as a house guest.

Meanwhile, Sam's five-year-old twins are hoping that Cheryl decides she loves them all so much that she never wants to leave. When things don't look to be working in their favor, they decided to try to force the adults in their lives to realize they were meant to be a family.

Balancing Act is a cute, quick romance. During the busy holidays when a quick read is the best option, Patricia Davids story is both heartwarming …

The Bentleys Buy a Buick - Pamela Morsi

Released August 2011

Pamela Morsi

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

One thing jumped out at me the minute I started reading The Bentleys Buy a Buick. This isn't your ordinary romance. The hero and heroine are a happily married couple with a home, business and loving son. There's no development of a new relationship to get past. If you've always read romances and wished you could see what happened after the couple married, here's your chance.

After years of being a stay-at-home mom, Erica Bentley's back at work. She learns quickly that gossip rules the office and that the demands of working, parenting and keeping house are not as easily balanced as one might hope. Her husband, Tom, is equally busy running his auto garage that specializes in classic cars. He has a bigger problem on his plate. He learns his best friend is having an affair, and Tom is torn between telling the man's wife or hoping the man comes to his senses before he has to fire him and let the trut…

Angry Birds: Bad Piggies' Egg Recipes: Various

Released December 2011

Rovio Mobile

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

There's no doubt that Angry Birds have become an incredibly popular game, leading to a line of stuffed toys, apparel and other goods. Now comes a cookbook that features the one thing the piggies covet -- eggs.

This whimsical cookbook is filled with egg recipes. Recipes range from breakfast dishes to omelets suitable for lunch of dinner. With 40 recipes in all, there are dishes to suit every taste and budget. I admit, I wasn't sold on a cookbook that features nothing but egg recipes, but then I came across one that is so simple, yet so delicious that I realized there's more to this cookbook than I was expecting.

This recipe is very simple and involves pouring a couple teaspoons of heavy cream into a greased custard cup , even a muffin tin will do, and then breaking an egg into it. Sprinkle the top of the egg with salt, pepper, chives and cheese and bake until the yolk is set. It's so easy, yet so incredibl…

Good Girls Don't - Victoria Dahl

Released September 2011

Victoria Dahl

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

After her family's pub and brewery is burglarized, Tessa Donovan can't help but notice Detective Luke Asher. Her brothers may warn her off him, but Tessa finds Luke to be irresistible. He can't be all bad can he?

Luke isn't fond of his co-workers thinking he's the father of his partner's soon-to-be born child, but he's not about to turn his back on her either. He knows that Tessa's brothers think he's scum, but he's determined to make things work with Tessa, even if it means sneaking around behind their backs. As things heat up with Tessa, he starts to wonder if he'll ever be able to win their trust.

Meanwhile, there's a case to solve. Someone stole the brewery computers and it's up to Luke to find out who took them and why.

Good Girls Don't hooked me from the start. It's obvious that Tessa's brothers are hugely overprotective, and there is a reaso…

Getting Lucky - Kayla Perrin

Released August 2011

Kayla Perrin
Harlequin Spice

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Apparently, this is part of a series, and somehow I missed that. Being part of a series might explain why I struggled to like any of the characters. In a nutshell, you have three best friends, all have suffered bad relationships or breakups and aren't quite sure what to do next. I've read Kayla Perrin before and really liked her writing style and storylines, so I'm surprised that Getting Lucky turned out to be a huge dud for me.

Annelise is five months pregnant and madly in love. However, she's been in a bad relationship before and isn't ready for marriage, even if the baby's daddy is. With her happiness, she's upset her friends are miserable. Soon, she has a brilliant idea.She invites her friends to Mexico for a week of R & R. What they don't know is that she's arranged to have two male friends "surprisingly" meet up and hopefully hook up with her friends. I…

The Detective's Accidental Baby - Jacqueline Diamond

Released February 2012

Jacqueline Diamond

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The next entry into the Safe Harbor Medical romance series focuses on nurse Erica Benford. Readers of this series know Erica best as Owen Tartikoff's (The Surgeon's Surprise Twins) scrub nurse.

The last thing Erica wants is a child in her life, but a one-night stand with a hunky detective leads to an accidental pregnancy after the condom breaks. Erica decides the best thing to do is to go through the pregnancy and put the child up for adoption.

Sherlock "Lock" Vaughn grew up in foster care after his adoptive parents proved to be duds. He's not about to let strangers raise his child. He's determined to prove to Erica that he'll make a great single dad. Proving this is tougher than it seems, however, because Erica is equally determined to prove that his ideas of parenthood are nothing like the reality.

Lock has a few ties to characters from past Safe Harbor books too. He and his…

Happy Haulidays Winner Announced

Congratulations to Jennifer Miler, blogger for Where the Best Books Are. She and one of her readers won Chronicle Book's Happy Hauliday's Contest.

For those who didn't win, enter "haulidays" when checking out and earn free shipping and up to a 35% discount.

What Happened to Hannah - Mary Kay McComas

Released February 2012

Mary Kay McComas
William Morrow

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing What Happened to Hannah for Amazon Vine. Loveswept romance fans may recognize the author's name. She's back with a full-length novel that really made an impression. Check out the full review here.

The Forgetful Lady - Jacqueline Diamond

Released December 2010 (Reissue)

Jacqueline Diamond

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

 The Forgetful Lady is not a new novel. Jacqueline Diamond wrote it back in 1984. It was then reprinted in 1986. Because this is a Regency-era romance, it doesn't feel dated. Women were treated differently back then often having little say in their choice of spouse. If you take a look at your own family's genealogy, as I have, it's refreshing to know that women's rights have come so far. One of my husband's distant relatives had to marry her older sister's older husband in the early 1800s when her sister died in childbirth with their 12th child. Letter's that others documented make it clear she was unhappy marrying a man 20 years her senior and becoming an instant-mom to nieces and nephews ranging in age from infancy to late teens, but she couldn't go against her father's wishes. It was just a way of life back then.

Within Jacqueline Diamond's novel, the heroine Lady…

Last Chance to Win $500 in Free Books from Chronicle Books

The final day to enter to win Chronicle Books' Happy Haul-idays contest is today. You have until 11:59 pm EST to enter. Do so by posting a message here:

Good luck to all who have entered!

A Town Called Valentine - Emma Cane

Released February 2012

Emma Cane
Avon Books

Reviewed for Vine by Tracy Farnsworth

Full review is available at Amazon:

Fall From Pride - Karen Harper

Released July 26, 2011

Karen Harper

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Fall From Pride is a gripping romantic suspense, but it almost has a strong mystery/suspense storyline that makes me think mystery readers will enjoy it.  It's also the first book in Karen Harper's "A Home Valley Amish" series. I'm thrilled there will be two more stories because I'm curious to see how the author resolves a few things in future novels.

Sarah Kauffman loves painting and her series of Amish quilt square paintings done on the side of local barns is drawing attention. However, when an arsonist burns down one of the barns, arson investigator Nate MacKenzie heads into Amish country to investigate. When a second barn burns to the ground, it becomes clear that someone holds a grudge, but is that grudge with the Amish or with Sarah?

Nate being an Englisher and Sarah being Amish poses a problem in terms of their developing any kind of relationship. If Sarah and Nate decide to test …

The Last Icon - Steven Travers

Released November 15, 2011

Tom Seaver
Steven Travers
Taylor Trade

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Many baseball fans know the name Tom Seaver. I won't call myself a MLB fan, but I grew up with a brother who followed the Red Sox almost religiously and later married another die-hard fan. For virtually all of my life, like it or not, I've been immersed in baseball since I was a young child. Tom Seaver really played for the Mets. While his career ended with the Red Sox, he was a Met's player from 1967 to 1977. What follows in The Last Icon is a look at Seaver's childhood, college years and progression into a very long run in MLB.

There are things in The Last Icon that really kind of shocked me. It's hard not to pay attention to the salaries some athletes make.  In comparison, Seaver was one of the lowest paid I've come across. Author Steven Travers, also a MLB player, lists Seaver's salary over the 20 years he was with the Mets, Reds, White Sox and Red Sox and it ca…

Craving Perfect - Liz Fichera

Released July 25, 2011

Liz Fichera
Carina Press

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

It's short and sweet, but I really did enjoy Craving Perfect. At under 300 pages, it takes little time to read this romance, but I like quick stories, especially in the busy holiday season. I think many readers will understand the main character, Grace Mills, she's not perfect but really wants to be. Anyone, teen or adult who's ever muttered "I wish I looked like her..." has been in Grace's shoes.

Grace Mills, owner of a popular bakery/coffee shop, is tired of having big feet and an extra 30 pounds that just won't go away. She wants to catch the eye of the gym hottie, Max, but falling off the treadmill isn't the best way to do it. Humiliated, she heads home to hide out for a few days before trying again. What she doesn't know is that she has caught the eye of Carlos, one of the gym's employees, and he just wishes she would notice him and not that arrogant Max who does …

Freebies from Oceanview Publishing

Oceanview Publishing is offering three e-books for free. Head to Amazon and grab your free Kindle downloads ASAP.

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books

With the holidays approaching faster than many of us would like, it's time for Chronicle Books "Happy Haul-idays" contest. For those who didn't hear of this amazing festivity last year, Chronicle awards one lucky reader and one lucky book review blogger with the chance to win $500 in books. This year, they're adding a third winner - the blogger chooses a favorite charity to receive $500 in free books.

Most children and adults love books, so if you're anything like me, the thought of $500 in free books is enough to make me giddy! However, I learned about 10 years ago that not every child receives encouragement to read. My neighbor's son was 10 years old and had bounced from school to school without learning how to read more than toddler books. His reading and spelling skills were atrocious. By spending a lot of time in our house surrounded by books, he discovered Gary Paulsen's books and developed a passion for reading. The Children's Literacy Foun…

The Bull Rider's Secret - Marin Thomas

Released July 2011


Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Brody Murphy's secret is what keeps him on the move. He doesn't call any specific place home and he's as happy as he can be traveling from rodeo to rodeo. His winnings provide him with just enough cash to move to the next location. He never expects to befriend a teen boy and end up working for the boy's mother.

When Kat's ranch hands walk off the job because they refuse to take orders from a woman, she fears she could lose her job as the ranch foreman. Hoping to keep up with her duties, she offers Brody a job. She never expects to fall in love with him, however, and he's not exactly the staying kind.

The Bull Rider's Secret is a short and sweet romance that takes little time to read but leaves you happy you spent time with Brody, Kat and her son. There's some conflict, but it doesn't mask the growing attraction between Kat and Brody. Over all, this is a fun read that most Harlequin fans will …

Until There Was You - Kristan Higgins

Released November 2011

Kristan Higgins

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

In high school, Posey Osterhagen fell head over heels for the high school bad boy, Liam Murphy, until the day he completely ruined her prom. Though the pair never even dated, the things Liam said stuck with Posey. Now he's back in town with a daughter in tow and Posey fears she'll fall for him all over again. Staying away from him would be so much easier if her parents hadn't opened their arms and German restaurant to both Liam and his daughter.

The harder Posey tries to avoid Liam, the more she finds herself spending time with him and falling all over again. Now he's a widower, and he definitely puts his daughter first, so even if things fell into place, would Liam even want someone like Posey in his life?

Until There Was You is not a bad read, but I don't know that it's one of my favorites by Higgins. The chemistry between Liam and Posey works well. I loved the many of the minor chara…

People Still Live in Cashtown Corners - Tony Burgess

Released October 2011

Chizine Publications

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

People Still Live in Cashtown Corners... Bob Clark is the quiet, likable owner of a self-serve station in Cashtown Corners. He and his helper, Jeremy, provide townspeople with gas and a friendly smile. That is until the day Bob snaps and decides that killing people is the only way to ease an uneasiness deep within.

This is not an easy book to read. It's dark and gripping, but weirdly the author opens up painting a serene picture of a quiet town and the reader gets to know the main character first. Once that bond is formed and you're involved in his life, you learn he's a serial killer. It's definitely disturbing liking a serial killer.

Then I reached the crime scene photos and became confused. I wondered if I somehow mistook the "fiction" novel for being a true crime book. The pictures are convincing and had me fooled. Kudos to the author for taking a fictional story and making it seem inc…

Busy Reading

I know posts are behind, but I've been busy writing an e-book about senior homes for a client and that's involved reading a lot of material on laws, choosing senior homes, etc.

I am slowly working my way through a book that's rather disturbing. In this book, the "hero" is a kindly gas station owner who discovers a passion for murder. As the murderer starts out as someone you like, it's definitely an unusual read that I, so far, highly recommend.

The Wonder of Your Love - Beth Wiseman

Released October 2011

Beth Wiseman
Thomas Nelson

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The last thing Katie Ann Stolzfus wants is to be confronted by her deceased husband's mistress. Yet, that's exactly what happens. Katie Ann is trying to raise her newborn son without help of the infant's father and having the mistress in the picture is not comforting. Falling in love is the last thing she wants or needs.

Eli Detweiler raised his children alone after his wife died in childbirth. He's in Canaan, Colorado, for a wedding and feels an immediate attraction to Katie Ann. With his relatives and Katie's neighbor rooting for this mismatched couple to fall in love, can Eli convince them that he's raised his family and simply wants to travel the world now.

The more time Eli and Katie Ann spend together, the more they realize that maybe the plans they've made are not what God has in store.

I liked most of the characters. There is one in particular who I felt came off as abrasiv…

Lethal - Sandra Brown

Released October 2011

Sandra Brown
Grand Central Publishing

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

If you haven't read any reviews for Lethal yet, avoid Amazon's reviews. I made that mistake before starting the book and two give away major plot twists.

I loved the premise behind Sandra Brown's latest. Lethal follows the drama and mystery surrounding a warehouse shooting. Lee Coburn is suspected of killing seven men at a trucking company and is on the run. Police, FBI agents and a mysterious entity known only as "The Bookeeper" all want him found.

Honor Gillette, a widow, is preparing cupcakes for her father-in-law's birthday celebration when her four-year-old daughter announces there is a sick man outside. Honor goes to investigate and finds Lee. He takes both Honor and her daughter hostage. Her husband hid something of great value before his death, and the car accident that took his life may not have been an accident at all. Honor feels as though she has no choice but …

Significant Changes to the NEC 2011 - Jim Dollard and Michael Johnston

Released August 2010

Delmar Cengage Learning

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Significant Changes to the NEC 2011 highlights all major changes in the National Electrical Code. The format of this reference guide makes it easy to find exactly what you need when you need it. Everything is laid out to be as simple as possible with color photographs, quick summaries and then detailed sections that cover each change in as much detail as possible. At the top of the page is a quick symbol that categorizes the change whether it is a new entry, relocated entry, revision or deletion.

For example, one of the changes regards Locking and Indicating (225.52 C and D). A shaded box presents the language of that code and below that is a box that summarizes what the change entails. To the left is a longer section that details the importance of that change. In this case, the change allows an electrician to "lock" disconnects in an "open position without the use of a special locking de…

From Ashes to Honor - Loree Lough

Released September 2011

Loree Lough
Abingdon Press

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

In the Bible, it says "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." That plays a pretty important part in From Ashes to Honor. I don't like giving reviews that have spoilers, but to really review this book, I have to start by saying that anyone reading this book expecting a Christian romance is going to be sadly disappointed. The book's ending is as far from an expected ending in a romance as is humanly possible.

From Ashes to Honor is the first book in the First Responder series. It's well-written and I liked many of the characters, but by the end I was really disgusted. Up until that point, I'd been led to believe I was reading a romance, but I don't know if I could qualify it that way at the end. It's extremely realistic and sad at the same time.

Mercy Samara is a NYC counselor and sees her share of the fall out after 9/11. One of her patients, police officer Austin Finley i…

Heartstrings and Diamond Rings - Jane Graves

Released October 2011

Jane Graves
Hachette Book Group

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Alison Carter is sick of failed relationships. After her latest beau suggests they add her friend to their bed, Alison gives up. She decides to spend some money and rely in the services of a highly-recommended matchmaking service.

Brandon Scott's grandmother died leaving him in control of her matchmaking business. Brandon knows real estate, not dating, but he needs the money to make a down payment on an old warehouse. He knows the area is prime for apartments. He decides to play role of matchmaker and collect as much money as possible before anyone realizes he's a fraud. What he doesn't expect is to find himself falling in love with his very first client.

Now that Brandon has fallen for Alison, he's stuck. If he admits he's a fraud, he'll lose his money. If he continues setting her up on matches, he may lose the only woman who's ever set his heartstrings humming.

Heartstrings a…

I Used to Know That: Geography - Will Williams

Released June 2011

Reader's Digest

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

My teens sat on the front deck with me as I started reading I Used to Know That: Geography. While my husband and kids are know-it-all's when it comes to geography, my days of a travel agent help me out some, but all of the Eastern European countries baffle me. I simply know too little about them to be even close to accurate at guessing their locations, capitals or physical features. This good is a godsend for anyone who struggles to know some of these important facts.

I Used to Know That: Geography is broken into helpful sections that include each continent, rivers, oceans, maps, population counts and other important facts. We spent hours drilling each other on the capitals of countries throughout the world or even those in the United States. We struggled to name the ten largest seas. While they guessed Black Sea, it is on the list but in the tenth spot, South China Sea is in fact the largest. I'm still not con…

Heart of Evil - Heather Graham

Released July 2011

Heather Graham

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I'd like to say I cared about the characters in Heart of Evil or that they drew me into the story, but quite honestly this is the first time I've really disliked one of Heather Graham's books. If I hadn't been reading it for review, I wouldn't have finished it. As is, it took me two months to finally reach the ending, and that really is disappointing.

Following her father's death, Ashley Donegal of Donegal Plantation, is in charge of this year's Civil War reenactment. She never imagines the event will end up with her finding the body of one of the reenactment's actors. When other people disappear, it becomes clear there is a deranged killer on the loose, one who is targeting those closest to Donegal Plantation.

Jake Mallory is being plagued by horrific dreams involving Ashley, a woman he once loved. When he the Krewe of Hunters, a special crimes investigations unit that looks into p…

Plugging Into Real Worship - Andrew P. Logan, Sr.

Released January 2007

Xulon Press

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

In Plugging Into Real Worship, Pastor Andrew Logan explains the importance of regular worship.  Many know that my experiences as of late stink quite frankly. I worked for a church daycare as a teen and loved that pastor, he was down to earth and treated everyone with respect. I remember going to a service in another church and learning that the pastor "welcomed" each new female member of his church in a very intimate way, as a teen I was horrified to learn that he'd slept with most everyone in the church over the age of 18. As an adult, I've sampled a few churches and they seem very high school cliquey. It's a major turn-off.

The last time I went, my husband had been forced to work overtime for four weekends in a row and, at the time, we had one car making it hard for me to drive five miles to the church. After his four weeks of mandatory OT, we went to church. The pastor's wife sat in front of us…

Long Trail Home - Vickie McDonough

Released October 2011

Vickie McDonough
Moody Publishers

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Abandoned by her immoral father at the age of 12, Annie is overjoyed when she comes across The Wilcox School for the Blind. She fakes her blindness in order to finally have a loving home. Seven years later, Annie hides the truth from everyone except the woman who took her in because if the truth came out, they could lose everything they've established over the years. Caring for the blind children is all that matters to these two women.

Riley Morgan left his home after his younger brother's death to fight in the war. Knowledge that his fiancee was awaiting his return kept him going. He hasn't been home in years and is shocked when he learns Native Americans slaughtered his parents and destroyed much of the only home he's ever known. Wounded, he heads off to visit his fiancee only to learn while he was at war she married another man. He ends up at the Wilcox School for the Blind where he …

Vampire Art Now - Jasmine Becket-Griffith & Matthew David Becket

Released September 2011

Jasmine Becket-Griffith

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I can't draw. I'm great at doodles, but ask me to draw a person and trust in the fact that you'll get someone with hands the size of their head, legs that are misshapen with knees the size of a bread loaf and eyes that look seriously deformed. Yet, art fascinates me. I adore Monet and Renoir, basically anything to do with the Impressionists.

Given that, I eagerly dove into Vampire Art Now because while some of it is rather grotesque and frightening, it's art. (I must apologize to my daughter who was engrossed in her history homework when I walked in and showed her the images of some very creepy looking dolls, thus making her jump about four feet in and air as she screamed. Sorry I laughed, but the look on your face was hilarious.) For anyone who buys this book, they're in Chapter 4: Graveyard Grotesque.

In a world fascinated with vampires, Vampire Art Now is going to impress …

The Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian

Released October 2011

Chris Bohjalian

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I grew up on a steady diet of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Eventually, I progressed to a local horror author Joe Citro. I've read Chris Bohjalian's newspaper column for years and read Midwives years ago, though I'm not sure if I liked how things panned out. I've laughed at some of his stories and been deeply touched by others. Given that, I wasn't sure if he could pull off horror.

The Night Strangers is a story that really hits home, mainly because I live two miles from the lake where the plane crashes. I have National Guard planes regularly flying over my house for training, we see coast guard helicopters from our back yard when they're either performing their job or training and we line up well with Plattsburgh's airport and see those planes fly overhead year round.  Just down the road near a golf course in Milton, there are a number of geese who make their summer home in a small pond…

What I'm Currently Reading

One of the books I'm currently reading (I always have more than one book going at a time) is taking me a little longer than I planned. Mainly because I'm halfway through the story and still haven't decided if I really like it.

I've been a fan of Chris Bohjalian's Burlington Free Press column for years. His daughter Grace was born shortly after my son. I remember spending countless Sunday mornings reading his column eagerly as I nodded and agreed with his take on parenting vs. mine. Our kids are now learning to drive at almost the same time, the only difference is while my son wasn't in a hurry to learn to drive, my 15-year-old daughter was begging to get her permit the same day she turned 15. Thank God it was Labor Day and offices were closed!

I admit I like The Night Strangers so far but I'm also struggling because I just don't get it. There are things going on that leave me baffled as to how some people can be so blind, but I don't want to stop r…

Borders Going Out of Business Sale

For anyone with a Borders in their area, the final week of the going out of business sale is in full swing. I went into our Burlington, Vermont, location yesterday and was amazed to find a CD I'd been looking for for $4. Needless to say, I was extremely happy. Everything, including the furnishings, are priced at 70 to 90 percent off. Our location had tons of books left.

As for the CD, Seasick Steve is a blues musician I came across on the BBC show Top Gear. He was on showing off the guitar he made from old hub caps. He's quite fascinating and has one of the saddest stories I think I've ever heard, so I'm happy he's gaining a following.

The Surgeon's Surprise Twins - Jacqueline Diamond

Released October 2011

Jacqueline Diamond

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Bailey Wayne's pregnancy is advancing faster than she expected. Since agreeing to be a surrogate for her older sister, Bailey's been forced to pay her medical bills because her sister and brother-in-law are waiting to finish a huge deal before they have cash flow. In exchange, they're letting Bailey live rent-free in an investment property.

Bailey is shocked when Dr. Owen Tartikoff shows up at her house planning to move in. He's co-owner but sharing the house with a doctor who goes out of his way to be miserable to his staff isn't Bailey's idea of fun. Unfortunately, she has no other option, she can't afford rent and her bank account is drained leaving her without cash for medical appointments either.

Owen has his own secrets. His brother and sister-in-law never told Bailey that they asked him to donate sperm. When he agreed, he didn't know a surrogate was involved. The more …

Everything We Ever Wanted - Sara Shepard

Released October 2011

Sara Shepard

Harper Collins

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth for the Amazon Vine Program

I've read a few of my daughter's "Pretty Little Liars" books, and find Sara Shepard  to be very good at creating characters I either love or hate. That's the thing, I expected to feel passionately about the characters in Everything We Ever Wanted and it simply fell short.

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family living in Philadelphia. The story switches back and forth between the different characters' points of view, but it's easy to keep track of who is speaking.

Sylvie Bates-McAllister's grandfather founded Swithin School and now she heads their board. When she receives a 9 p.m. phone call informing her that her adopted son Scott is suspected of leading a hazing incident that killed a young boy, Sylvie's world is ripped out from under her. She immediately calls her other son, Charles, to relay the news and ask for a famil…

Two I Didn't Finish for Reasons I'll Explain

I'd expected a quiet summer with a son preparing to narrow down his college options and a daughter finding work babysitting. That didn't happen, nor did the promises that they'd do the majority of the housework and laundry so that I had more time to work. I've been working a lot for sites like Populis Creates, Wikio and Demand Studios, as well as writing and editing for a few companies on Amazon MTurk and setting up a writing team for a new editorial position with an online web directory.

Given that, I have two books I'd started reading and meant to finish so that I could get the reviews posted, but the publishing companies took the ebooks down this week and I've only half read them. I thought I had 60 days, but apparently they'd only given me a 30 day license, so my bad.

Given that, I'd like to promote them anyway.

Jill Marie Landis writes romance novels and I've always loved Come Spring and Summer Moon. I was eager to read her new mystery Mai Tai …

Lake Eden Cookbook - Joanne Fluke

Released October 2011

Joanne Fluke

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Fans of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson cozy mysteries rejoice because the Lake Eden Cookbook is being released on October 1st. The hardcover book contains favorite recipes from every book and a few new ones.

Even if you've never read the series, this is a cookbook first and foremost, but there's a story mixed into the pages. Every recipe has a history in Lake Eden and the characters stories, including a few secrets, are revealed along the way. Learn about Winnie's trip to the morgue or Andrea's first attempt at making Hannah's lemon meringue pie.

There are new recipes within the book. A sampling of them includes:

Razzle Dazzle Baked Brie
Bourbon Brownies
Herb's Herb Biscuits
Hannah's Chicken Salad
Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie

As usual, I went for one of the more absurd recipes to give it a shot. A couple years ago, I made Pork and Beans bread thinking there was no way it would be ed…

1105 Yakima Street - Debbie Macomber

Released September 2011

Debbie Macomber

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Debbie Macomber's latest Cedar Cove novel catches readers up with a few characters from previous entries. There's actually a few different stories going on in 1105 Yakima Street, but after a few chapters, I had no problem keeping track of the different plots. There's also a summary of the characters and relationships in the opening of the book to offer some guidance along the way. I've read some of the Cedar Cove series, but not all of it, so I relied heavily on that summary.

Things start off with Rachel Peyton leaving her husband Bruce and her step-daughter behind. Rachel's pregnant and Jolene's animosity and Bruce's unwillingness to take action have caused Rachel unneeded stress. Her blood pressure puts the baby at risk, so walking away is the best thing for Rachel and her unborn child. Bruce isn't quite as willing to let go, but Jolene is thrilled that she's won.


Playing Dirty - Susan Anderson


Released August 2011

Susan Andersen

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Ava Spencer suffered the utmost in humiliation when Cade Gallari made it clear he'd only slept with "the fat girl" as part of a bet. Now she's 10 years smarter and she's not about to fall to his charms again. She owns a mansion where he needs to film his latest documentary and she needs the money, but she will handle this as the business transaction it is and nothing more.

Unfortunately, Ava finds herself struggling to resist his charms. Cade wants to show Ava that he's truly sorry for his actions of the past, but he isn't sure what to do to get her to believe he never meant to hurt her. As his passion for Ava grows, he finds himself desperate to get her to forgive him so that they can have the future they deserve.

There is definite sizzle between Ava and Cade. I did, at times, find her rather whiny. She was overweight as a teen and cannot move on with her life. Per the book, she&…