Book Review – In the Land of Cotton

In the Land of Cotton
Written by: Martha A. Taylor
Published by: Outskirts Press
Date: April 6, 2009
Pages: 270
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-1432734718

In the Land of Cotton will open your eyes, educate you and touch your heart; a story of civil rights, racial intolerance and a life long love.”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES
SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND
Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.
Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha’s natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone’s life changed forever.
Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times – a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.
The year was 1956.”

In the Land of Cotton is absolutely fantastic! From page one I was hooked! When I first read the synopsis for In the Land of Cotton I was really intrigued but I hadn’t realized that it was based on Martha A. Taylor’s life as she grew up in the Deep Southern United States, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Here I am, trying to write the review and I am somewhat at a loss for words; it is really difficult to express how much this story moved me and educated me. So much more than a memoir, this story grabs the reader and shares, through Martha’s experiences, what was going on, in and around her small world (politics, civil rights, war, wages, etc.) while she was growing up. The reader may well feel like they’ve opened a time capsule. Thoroughly researched and well documented, In the Land of Cotton will open your eyes, make you ask questions and captivate you with its honesty and humanity. I was really amazed and saddened by how little I knew about the civil rights movement and the civil unrest that was the cause of so much hardship, death, fear and hate in the 1950’s – 1960’s. Martha had a very close and taboo relationship (because of race) with the Boyd family; the reader will see the world through her eyes. I fell in love with Martha and Silas’ love story and I felt so torn for them — living in a society that would not tolerate them being together because they had different skin colours; Martha – white and Silas – black. This is Martha’s story and the story of a nation as it struggles with racial intolerance and discrimination.
The foreword is written by Clifton Dobbins the 3rd and the prologue summarizes & concludes many of the topics covered in the course of the story. Thank you Martha, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story with us!
I can not recommend this book highly enough; everyone should read this story! I smiled, I laughed and I sobbed my eyes out and…I can’t really say much more without ruining the story, other than to say that I absolutely LOVED this book!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

Find out where to buy this book.

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Martha A. Taylor for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Black Jack

Black Jack,
Book 2
Written by: Jean Holloway
Published by: PHE Ink
Date: May 14th, 2009
Pages: 294
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-0982447505

“Black Jack is a darkly seductive erotic thriller; a page-turner that keeps you riveted from beginning to end!”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“Lead Homicide Detective Shevaughn Robinson has gone from the cop everyone, including herself, doubted to the “golden child” of the Portsborough Police Department with a record of sensational arrests and closed cases. But when Helene Elliott is found dead from an apparent suicide, her family insists it was murder and pressures the Portsborough Police Department to take on the investigation. Detective Robinson is assigned to the case at a time when she is struggling to strike a balance between her personal and professional life following the death of Tony O’Brien, the love of her life. Elliott’s case awakens a complicated relationship with Terri Becker who harbors resentment towards Shevaughn for the death of Eric Becker, the serial killer dubbed Ace of Hearts. Was the Elliott death a suicide or the work of a cold-blooded predator? Will life throw Shevaughn another unexpected blow? And will Shevaughn’s attempts to move forward inadvertently lead death to her front door yet again? Black Jack is the sequel to Jean Holloway’s acclaimed debut novel, Ace of Hearts. Buckle up and follow Shevaughn as she moves closer to solving the Elliott murder, unknowing rekindling old grudges and awakening sinister spirits. Get ready, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

I’ve been looking forward to reading Black Jack, ever since I’ve had the privilege of reading and reviewing book 1, Ace of Hearts. I was really curious to see how this story would play out, I wondered who the new characters would be and how the new storyline would tie into the first book. Boy oh boy, are you in for a treat! The story picks up just a few short years after Ace of Hearts ended. Shevaughn Robinson (Von to her friends) feels pretty good about her role as lead homicide detective. With work going so well, she can almost forget the pain and sadness of Ace of Hearts. When Von is called to the scene of a homicide and she begins investigating an elderly woman’s death, she can’t stop some of the memories from flooding back as similarities remind her of Eric Becker, the notorious Ace of Hearts serial killer and violent rapist. Black Jack is not for the squeamish; the characters and the fast-paced story line is gritty, authentic and at times, quite graphic. It’s an absolute must, that you read Ace of Hearts (book 1) and then Black Jack (book 2)! I found myself having compassion for some of the sinister characters in the story, almost against my will. Jean Holloway is, in my opinion, a master story-teller; she has an amazing gift and she’s not afraid to use it. With exciting twist and turns, a cold-blooded killer and fast-paced action, this seductive thriller will pull you in and keep you guessing.
I very highly recommend this book to all thriller and erotic thriller fans!
***Some graphic sexual content***

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

My review of Ace of Hearts (Book 1).

Read more about Black Jack.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Jean Holloway for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Chosen by Desire (ARC)

Chosen by DesireChosen by Desire,
Book 2 in The Guardians of Destiny Series
Written by: Kate Perry
Published by: Forever
Date: October 1st, 2009
Pages: 368
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0446541015
(Available NOW!)

Top Pick

Chosen by Desire is a mouth-watering paranormal romance guaranteed to make you blush; a fast-paced story that pulses with action, emotion and luscious, sensual romance”

Bookish and devoted to her work, Carrie Woods is the last person who you could imagine as a thief; yet here she is, stealing ancient texts and scrolls from a Chinese monastery for her research project. Terrified by her criminal behavior, Carrie is doubly shocked when a monk seems catches her attention. With steely determination, Carrie clutches her bag of stolen goodies even closer to her and carries on her way. Maximillian Prescott knew by her nervous movements that the blond woman had something that didn’t belong to her. In his monk robe he felt that it should be someone elses job to find out what she had taken; unfortunately, Max’s master had other plans. As Max re-joins the outside world he lures the unsuspecting Carrie into a trap; needing to know exactly what she has stolen from the monastery, Max becomes her employer, which puts Carrie in his home, right where he wants her.

I have enjoyed both books in this fantastic series and if anything, book 2 is even better! I loved this story and I adored all the piping-hot sensuality and sexual tension that surrounds Max and Carrie, when they are together. Max is gorgeous, gruff, domineering and guarded while Carrie is open, honest (except for the latest misstep) and generous to a fault; they compliment each other well and I fell in love with their story. There is sizzling erotic bedroom (and other places) scenes; they are descriptive and sexy HOT, HOT, HOT! I enjoyed the witty banter between Carrie and Max as well as the relationship between Carrie & her mother and Carrie & Gabe, from Book 1 in the series.
I very highly recommend this book to Kate Perry fans and to all paranormal romance lovers!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Chosen by Desire.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Haunted

HauntedHaunted
Written by: Barbara Haworth-Attard
Published by: Harper Trophy Canada
(HarperCollins Canada)
Date: August 18th, 2009
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0002008211

Top Pick

Product Description – From Amazon.ca
“Dee is feeding the chickens the morning that bones are discovered on the mountain. Something doesn’t feel right–and her feeling is confirmed when local police show her a ring that they found with the bones, a ring belonging to Mary Ann Simpson, who disappeared four years earlier. Other girls, Dee learns, have disappeared too, unusual for a small town nestled in the shadow of the Bruce Peninsula’s rugged escarpment, the “mountain” that Dee loves.
Like her Gran, Dee has “the Sight,” an ability not only to see spirits from the afterlife but also to experience their deaths–a quality that becomes more horrifying as the story takes darker turns. While trying to help with the investigation, Dee is drawn into a deepening mystery that soon strikes terrifyingly close to home.”

Haunted is one of my favourite books of 2009! Barbara Haworth-Attard  is the author of more than 13 children’s books and she is a Canadian author. While reading the story about 14-year-old Defiance or “Dee” as she is known to her friends, I was immediately taken in by the convincing, evocative tale. Set in the early 1900’s, Haunted takes the reader on a journey through history, into the realm of the supernatural. Dee’s “gift” allows her to see and feel good and evil in many forms. As a reader, I am very sceptical about “ghost stories”, but I have to admit that I was blown-away by the outstanding writing and skilful telling of Haunted; I cannot say enough great things about it! The story flows smoothly with mesmerizing tension that builds slowly with bursts of emotion and tension so thick that you could cut it with a knife; there is a suspenseful pull that keeps the reader tuned into the story and makes this book VERY difficult to put down. I really enjoyed the build up and the pace of the story; it changed momentum often and heightened moments to the point where I felt MY heart pounding with fear for the characters as they were endangered by the murderer. Each of the characters are unique and all too human…even those in a ghostly form. The forest/mountain setting was used very imaginatively by the author to enhance the atmosphere and the mood of the story. I must commend Barbara Haworth-Attard on her writing skills and her ability to bring the story of Haunted, to life. I know that I haven’t talked very much about the story itself, but I don’t want to say too much and ruin it for you; suffice it to say that I simply loved this book and enjoyed every single minute that I spent reading it! This is NOT a story for children, though it will be enjoyed  by YA readers and adult fiction readers.
I very highly recommend it!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Haunted.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Tall, Dark & Fangsome (ARC)

Tall, Dark & FangsomeTall, Dark & Fangsome
Immortality Bites, Book #5
Written by: Michelle Rowen
Published by: Forever
Date: September 2009
Pages: 352
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0446505857
(Available NOW!)

Top Pick

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Sarah Dearly’s vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn’t obey his orders. That includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.
Making things worse are Sarah’s growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side . . . but is it for real? Will Sarah’s dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally live happily ever after with Thierry . . . forever?”

Tall, Dark & Fangsome is something else; in a good way of course! Set in Toronto, Ontario this story has the appearance of a contemporary romance novel…until you start reading. I haven’t read books 1-4, but this final volume in the Immortality Bites series is a winner in my books! There are so many colourful, well-developed characters in this story that it was hard to choose a favourite. With a fast-paced, action-filled plot the reader is going to have a really hard time putting the book down. There is a wealth of romance in this story even though there isn’t any graphic sexual content; there are some super-HOT, romantic moments that sizzle. Sarah Dearly was turned into a vampire by Thierry de Bennicoeur in one of the earlier books so one could say that she has “grown into her fangs” by book 5. Her life seems to be confrontation after confrontation but Sarah does her best to persevere through it all with scathing wit, sarcastic humour and a deadly sense of purpose. Thierry and Sarah have a strong connection to one another despite the fact that Sarah was forced to end their relationship in an attempt to protect everyone she loves. With a cast of humans, vampires, demons, vampire hunters and a nightwalker, the reader is guaranteed a good time. Hold on to your seats and prepare yourself for a paranormal romance that will take you for one WILD ride.
I very highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Tall, Dark & Fangsome.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Reviews – Modern Classics, Book 1 & 2

Modern Classics, Book 1modern classics book 1
Written by: Donna Hay
Published by: Ecco
Date: 2002
Pages: 192
Format: Trade Paperback
(Trimsize: 8×12)
ISBN: 978-0060095246

Top Pick

Modern Classics, Book 1 includes recipes in the following categories: soup, salads, vegetables, roasts & simmers, pasta, noodles & rice, savoury pies & savoury tarts.

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 1:

Potato, Bacon & Leak Soup
Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Thai Beef Salad
Spinach and Cheddar Soufflé
Basic Gravy
Roast Pork Loin
Roast Leg of Lamb
Bacon & Egg Pies
Fettuccine Carbonara
And so much more…

~~~

Modern Classics, Book 2modern classics book 2
Written by: Donna Hay
Published by: Ecco
Date: 2003
Pages: 192
Format: Trade Paperback
(Trimsize: 8×12)
ISBN: 978-0060525897

Top Pick

Modern Classics, Book 2 includes recipes in the following categories: cookies, biscuits, small cakes, cakes, desserts, hot puddings, pies & tarts.

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 2:

Shortbread Biscuits
Chocolate Brownie
Melting Moments
Lemon Slice
Mango Cakes
Scones
Apple and Cinnamon Tea Cake
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Summer Trifle
Poached Summer Fruits
Lemon Soufflé
Christmas Pudding
Berry Tartlets
Tiramisu
And so much more…

Donna Hay has written more then 17, award-winning cookbooks and she is the editor of the donna hay magazine; it has more than 300,000 Australian readers, has subscribers in 82 countries around the world and it is a top-selling international food magazine. Donna’s cookbooks are beautifully presented with many, large, full-colour, elegant photographs of the respective dishes; the photographs really motivate the reader to get out there and start cooking! Both of these cookbooks have a wonderful variety of mouth-watering recipes inside; theres something for everyone. The cooking instructions for each recipe are very concise and this is perfect for the experienced cook. At the same time, these succinct instructions might cause a few problems for the beginner cook who might prefer more step-by-step instructions until they can get the hang of things. I still recommend that cooks with all levels of expertise, buy these cookbooks, but the less-experienced cooks may want to save these fine books for a few weeks, until they’ve become a little more comfortable in and around the kitchen. For experienced cooks, these books are the answer! I firmly believe that you can never have too many cookbooks; if you don’t have the space to store a vast cookbook collection, I highly recommend that you add these modern classics to your small list of must-haves…you won’t be disappointed. At the back of each of the cookbooks there is a list of tools that you will need (and pictures of the tools), a detailed glossary and a helpful index. These classic, but fresh recipes are sure to please the most discerning guests and keep your guests coming back for more .
I very highly recommend these cookbooks to anyone who loves to cook!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Modern Classics, Book 1 or Modern Classics, Book 2.
Find out where to buy: Book 1 or Book 2.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.donnahay.com.au/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.harpercollins.com/imprints/index.aspx?imprintid=517997

A special thanks to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of each of these cookbooks to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Fear the Worst

Fear the Worst
Written by: Linwood Barclay
Published by: Doubleday CanadaFear the Worst
Date: August 11th, 2009
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0385668026

Top Pick

Fear the Worst is a heart-pounding thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end; this book is a sure-fire hit!”

Product Description – From Amazon.ca
“Seventeen-year-old Sydney Blake’s summer is shaping up to be typical for a teenager: she’s spending it with her father, and she has landed a part-time job at a local hotel. One night, Syd fails to come home from her shift, and her father Tim is a bit alarmed. However, that alarm turns to full-on panic after he visits the Just Inn Time hotel and the manager claims that Syd has never worked there. Grilling his daughter’s friends for clues leads Tim nowhere — except to threats against his life — and as he frantically chases every lead, he can’t help but wonder if Syd is even still alive. Despite a growing list of unanswered questions, all Tim knows for certain is that he must continue searching for his daughter — no matter how high the stakes become.”

Fear the Worst is one heck of a ride and it comes from the Canadian, #1 Internationally Bestselling Author of Too Close To Home; I’ve never read it and if Fear the worst is any indication, it is probably phenomenal! I cannot say enough positive things about this book; it’s high-adrenaline, fast-paced and has a lot of fantastic plots twists that surprised the heck out of me…in the very best of ways. This story is painstakingly-weaved to keep the reader guessing and I, as a sceptic, still didn’t see any of the major plot twists coming which increased my interest in the story and clearly demonstrated the Author’s skill for writing awesome thrillers! I seriously couldn’t put this book down and I really didn’t want it to end; it’s a page turner so if at all possible, you’ll want to set a few hours aside for uninterrupted reading. All of the characters are well developed and felt all too human. Tim Blake’s love for his daughter Sydney, is a big part the story’s focus and also on the attempted search and rescue of his child from terrible cruelties and who knows what else if he can’t find her quickly enough. In the race against time, criminals (who are also searching for Syd) and the authorities, Tim pulls out all the stops and reveals the genuine depths of a father’s love. This story is very realistic, gritty and aggressive; there is some swearing and graphic violence that may offend some readers but these essential elements enhance the story immensely.
I very highly recommend this book to all thriller fans and to anyone who wants to try something exciting and new!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Fear the Worst.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.linwoodbarclay.com/news.html

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.doubledaycanada.ca/

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy