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Play It Again [Paperback]

Tracy Krauss
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2011
Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music. Play It Again is the much anticipated prequel to Tracy's debut novel And the Beat Goes On. Find out where Mark Graham's journey began in this, the story of his parents. About the Author: Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher by profession, and a prolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English - all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, Canada, where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. Publisher's website: http://www.sbpra.com/TracyKrauss

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revisit the 80's Dec 17 2011
By Janet Sketchley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
In the 1980's, a one-night stand between a conservative accountant and a free-spirited younger woman may have been love at first sight, but neither can admit the possibility. Nor can they stop thinking about one another.

Play it Again is a romance, without the suspense that readers of author Tracy Krauss may expect from her previous novels. There's still plenty of tension and some elements of danger. It's very much a relationship story, and a coming-to-faith story.

There's a fair bit of mild profanity, enough to put the novel into the "edgy Christian fiction" category. There isn't a lot of sexual content, and it's discreetly "off-camera."

The basics of the faith are clearly presented in small portions as the characters themselves begin searching--after readers have watched them dig themselves into messes and have developed sympathy for them. And although the gospel message is very clear, I never felt readers were being preached at.

[Review copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair review.]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down Sept. 17 2013
Format:Paperback
I literally could not put this book down. I read it in one sitting with a break only to grab a mug of tea.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of love and forgiveness. April 3 2012
By Tom Blubaugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tracy has done a masterful job of weaving this story into my mind. I became very attached to the characters. Not just the protagonist, but all of them. It is an edgy story, but not out of line for the characters. Some of them reminded me of me when I was in my twenties. I wanted to punch Russ in the nose more than once and have a man-to-man talk with him. I fell in love with Deanie. She became my daughter. I wanted to protect her. Dorothy reminded me of my own mother. I understood the frustration Russ felt whenever she questioned him. It was difficult for me to put the book down and go to sleep. I've got her sequel, And the Beat Goes On, on my list to read. Great writing, Tracy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story! Feb. 20 2012
By Donna M. Basinow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've gotta tell you, Play It Again is definitely a story worth reading. Yeah, it takes you through some rough scenes, but life isn't always sweet and easy. And the path we choose to follow isn't either.

Ms. Krauss did a great job of making the characters real - so real that I thoroughly disliked Russ through much of the story. Deanie on the other hand is definitely someone I could be friends with. She's so real, so willing to take on the world and accept her own faults and just deal with things as they come.

Play It Again is a wonderful story with a whole lot of life lessons within those pages! And the real message is laid out plain and simple for all to see - that yes, salvation is for all, that it's not about who we are, but about who He is.

This is one of the best gospel messages I have read in a story!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play It Again... Gladly Feb. 9 2012
By Teric Darken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Play It Again, Author Tracy Krauss' jazz-infused prequel to And the Beat Goes On. Each chapter jumped out at me as a musical movement: the pages coming to life with their true-to-form dialogue, vivid imagery, and complicated situations. Whether inside a smokey bar, enjoying each soul-filled note that saxophonist Jack and his jazz band belt out, feeling the strain between Deanie and Russ along their uphill climb via their non-traditional relationship, or simply yearning for Russ' son, Mark, to finally receive the mother and grandfather that he always longed for, Play It Again is a page turner - each chapter paced at just the right rhythm to keep the reader yearning for another encore.

What I especially enjoyed out of this read was the honesty: the author paints vivid pictures of real-life scenery and situations while upholding a very real, redemptive theme. Her works categorized by some as "Edgy Christian Fiction," Tracy Krauss doesn't shy away from placing an expletive where one could expect to find one in an emotional scene - and those scenes deal with all the passion, tension, angst and joy that we've all experienced while traversing through every day life. That redemptive theme is far from preachy: amidst the musical notes ringing out through life's circumstances - tunes of passionate yearnings, of strained relationships, of where-do-I-go-from-here - that redemptive chord is gentle, invitational, and as logical as the next sultry note emitting from the sax in complimenting the harmonic melody. This is real life.

Play It Again... Gladly.

Teric Darken
Author: Wickflicker, KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Play It Again Jan. 21 2012
By Carol A. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Being highly sensitive means that I experience whatever I do on multiple levels at the same time--sort of like a surround sound experience. Even reading a book--it isn't just print on a page. I see the print, yes, but I feel the atmosphere of each and every scene. I hear not only the words of conversation, but sense the emotions beneath the words, hear and feel the percussion of music or the smells, tension and bustle of the kitchen. Recently, I lifted the cover of a newly acquired book, Play It Again. Cigarette smoke curled up out of its pages, clung to my hair, wrapped itself around my shoulders and tickled my nose till I sneezed. I'm allergic to cigarette smoke--the smell of stale liquor makes me gag. I don't like jazz, and I really don't like sultry jazz. I hadn't considered the impact content might have when I agreed to read the novel with a view to writing a review. Hmmm, would I be able to do it? I knew the author, Tracy Krauss, classified herself as "Edgy Christian." I wondered what she meant by that. Now that I knew, I slipped into Holy Spirit so I could quit coughing and dove back into the story to see what Jesus was up to--these were His kind of people! The kind he left 99 righteous ones to find! This was going to be good.

Krauss captures the smoky bar scene, the lifestyle of those who struggle to make a living by their music, and the consequences of the loose morals and the lifestyle, of a variety of individuals you might meet on any given day of the week. I appreciated the accuracy and consistency of her characters. It wasn't long before I was pulling for the good guys, wanting to stuff a reality muffin down the bad guys, and tell the jerks to grow up! I told you I experience books, I don't just read! The author's timing and sequencing of events were very effective. She let her characters live and let you bond with them so that you wanted good things to happen for them. To that end, Christ was not brought into the story line in any real way that would result in change until well into the story! When He came, He made a difference! I appreciated the gentleness and lack of condemnation with which He came--the characters who brought Him into play were not preachy; they didn't push Him on anyone. In the end...well you judge for yourself!

So what about "edgy?" Well, there were loose morals--and you saw the consequences of loose morals without whitewash. There were cuss words--nothing any 7th grader hasn't already heard. To be honest, I was so into the story that the cussing blew right by me. It was not stand out offensive, no throwing it out like bird seed! The story seemed very "now" to me...this could be many people's story. And many people need the hope that they too could have a happy ending. Many need to be reminded that there is a light at the end of their tunnel if they are willing to accept it.

I would not recommend "Play It Again" to people who have left that kind of scene, who have learned that they need to avoid it because of the strong pull it has for them--much as I would not offer wine to a recovering alcoholic. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels they want something better of life but don't know where to find that "better."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a read again book Dec 11 2011
By Yvonne Pat Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A Review of Play it Again
By
Tracy Krauss

This book is hot property, and grabs your interest from page one. The reader gets a glimpse of tension between two brothers, Russ and Ken, both poles apart in personality, Russ being the reserved professional nice boy, every parent's dream child as opposed to Ken, who loves the bottled stuff a bit too much and who from a child was always getting into trouble needing to be rescued by his younger brother. That there is marital problems between Ken and his wife becomes evident during the early exchanges. Tracy Krauss is good at scene setting and this is revealed in the opening chapter, piquing my interest to find out how the story would unravel.
But Russ, nursing the wounds from a sham marriage that produced an angelic son Mark, and bitter memories, has virtually cut himself off from pleasurable entertainment, devoting himself to his work and the care and upbringing of his son. He is therefore a most unlikely candidate to fall for a girl several years his junior who turns out to be an ex rock and roll singer and part time groupie with her former band members. When Deanie is drawn to the handsome albeit stuffy accountant, and tries to be friendly, she's reels under the weight of the acerbic judgmental response she receives from Russ.
That should have been a warning to her to move on and ignore this extremely rude and unlikeable man. Little did she know that a casual one night stand would end up entangling her in horrendous emotional complications, familial dysfunctions and danger that almost cost her life.
The story is set against the background of the 1980s musical scene, when jazz bands and rock and roll groups were the order of the day. I would have liked to have gotten a glimpse of some of the musical titles of the era, but that omission did not detract from the story.
Countless persons have had their lives completely turned around by God when they least thought it would happen. Play it Again is written with this thought in mind, and qualifies as a Christian novel, as this theme underlines the story. The main characters, Russ and Deanie are rescued from their lives of despair and degradation when they finally surrender them to the God of heaven.
A fast paced read, a believable story identifiable with everyday life with strong memorable characters.
A highly recommended read.
Yvonne Pat Wright Author of From Spice to Eternity
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