Monday, May 30, 2011

New Releases May 16- 28

Dear Readers,

I know I missed last week for new releases.  I wanted to get you my summer reading ideas to you before Memorial Day weekend.  With that being the unoffical start of summer and of course who would want to go on vacation with out a good book. 

I pray you are having a good holiday weekend.  My son and his girlfriend are in town.  It is always nice to spend time with family.  I would like to say it has been a relaxing weekend, but we had lots of plans including going to our small town parade, lots of tractors, firetrucks and children.  I love that kind of parade, it is just so fun to watch as I know about half the people in the parade, including three little girls that are the cutest in the parade. :-)

Happy Reading

Kaydie - Penny Zeller - #2 in Mountian Skies series
The Ambition - Lee Strobel
She Makes it look Easy - MaryBeth Whalen
Bridge to a Distant Star - Carolyn Williford
Thief - Linda Windsor - sequel to Healer
A Vision of Lucy - Margaret Brownley
Havaiian Crossroads - Linda Lee Chaikin
Broken Wings - Carla Stewart
Spring for Susannah - Catherine Richmond
A Reluctant Queen - Joan Wolf

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lee Strobel

Dear Readers,
I am always interested when an best selling non-fiction author decides to write fiction.  Some of them are pretty good at it and some are, well, not.  Lee Strobel in the latest non-fiction author to venture into the fiction market.  I am sure some of it has to do with his daughter writing and having success in the fiction market. 
Most of you are probably most familiar with Lee's books A Case for Christ, A Case for Faith and several more.  He wrote them to show what he discovered when he set out to prove that his wife's new found faith was just a crutch for her and he wanted her to go back to the life he had enjoyed with her before that.  That part of his story is somewhat in this book, but it is not a huge part that distracts from the storyline itself.  He actually weaves it into the story quite well.
The Ambition by Lee is set in Chicago and dives into the steamier side of politics and the justice system.   Lee is a former editor for the Chicago Tribune so he does know what he is writing about.  He writes a story about the corruption that is a problem in the justice system of Chicago. He writes how the Mob still is able to get whatever they want to happen in the courts.  Bribery, threats, and blackmail are all part of the normal everyday activities in the court system.   Throw in a soon to be vacant seat for the Senate and it actually sounds like something that we just heard about on the nightly news. 
Garry Strider is trying to do his job for the Chicago Examiner.  He is an investigative reporter and he can't wait to find out what Eric Snow and his mega church is hiding.  To sweeten the deal, Eric Snow is in the running for the Senate seat soon to vacated by a guy who was caught in tax evasion and several other crimes.  No one can be that clean without some sort of skeleton in the closet.  But is there anything to find?  Is there something else going on behind the scenes that no one else knows is connected?. 
Over all I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't a big secret as to what was going to happen.  Which in a crime book is not that fun for me to read.  I love to see if I can figure out the who-dun-it before all is revealed.  It does fit with the style of book Lee wrote and he actually happens to avoid a couple big pit falls for new authors and I liked that. 
If you have been looking for a book about cops and the mob or if you are a huge fan of Lee's then this book is for you.  I do recommend it, but I might wait until he has had a chance to perfect his craft a little bit.
Happy reading

Friday, May 20, 2011

TIm Downs

Dear Readers,
The Nick of Time by Tim Downs is the 6th Bug Man book.  I remember when I read Shoofly Pie right after it came out.  I kept thinking "This is something I have been looking for in the Christian Fiction market."  They are a good fun read with a mystery mixed in. 
Nick Polchak is a know-it-all when it comes to bugs.  Ask him, he will tell you, but when it comes to humans he is very confused by us all.  Then when it comes to females he is completely lost. Maybe that explains the way he is acting the week before his wedding.
When a friend calls and asks Nick to come and help him with a mystery, Nick, of course, says yes.  Alena, his fiancĂ©e', is confused by him thinking this is a good idea.  She is not happy, but in typical Nick fashion, he doesn't understand the problem. 
Ok anything else I would say would actually take away from the book and I most certainly don't want to do that, so you will have to read it if you want to know what happens.
If you have been reading the Bug Man series this is a great next edition, but if you haven't make sure you start at Shoofly Pie and treat yourself to a wonderful series.
I think besides the great humor and interesting mysteries the thing I like the most about this series is "watching" Nick become more and more human.  It is not a journey he has been making willingly, but it is happening and yes it has been funny.  He still isn't sure he is human, but he is actually able to act like one once in a while. In his own strange way I am sure he loves Alena, but of course then why would he run off the week before his wedding?
Happy Reading.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tracie Peterson Visit

Dear Readers,
I wanted to mention the very exciting visit we have here at the story next week.  Tracie Peterson is visiting here at Baker.  I can not remember the last time Tracie has done a book-signing or visit here in Michigan.  Hope Rekindled, , bpg9780764206146
Where My Heart Belongs, , bpg9780764203619I know some of you noticed that I have not done any reviews of Tracie's books.  That is not because they are not good, in fact just the opposite is true.  They are so good and so consistent that they are easy to recommend all the time. 

Tracie has been one of my favorite authors to recommend when someone is looking for a good historical fiction.  Personally any of her series that have been set in Alaska are still some of my favorites.  I wish I could tell you that I have read them all, but that would be a lie, but I can recommend them to you as I have yet to find one I haven't liked. 
Tracie's contemporary titles are still on my list of must reads.  Whether they are out of print or not, they are well worth getting your hands on. 
Well I could go on and on, but I will keep it short.  If you haven't had a chance to meet Tracie, come on Friday May 20th at 7:00p.m. and meet one of the leading ladies of Christian Fiction.
Happy Reading.

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Releases May 9-14

Dear Readers,

Spring is finally arriving here in Michigan.  It was 70 this past weekend and you can tell.  Everywhere you look people are outside.  Walking, biking, and sitting on porches enjoying the wonderful weather.  It is weeks like this we in Michigan are almost ready to forgive Mother Nature for the past 4 or 5 months.  Not quite yet, but close.  It will take a couple more weeks of this before there is forgiveness, but we will get over the past winter and truly enjoy our months of summer. 

There are several authors on the list week that I can hardly wait till I get a chance to read.  They are on my list and I just need a couple nights where I can just sit and read. 

Happy Reading

Chasing Sunsets - Eva Marie Everson
Martha - Diana Wallis Taylor
Sweetest Thing - Elizabeth Musser
Hope Rekindled - Tracie Peterson - #3 in the Striking a Match series
The Lady of Bolton Hill - Elizabeth Camden
The Fisherman -Larry Huntsperger - Re-cover
The Seraph Seal - Leonard Sweet/Lori Wagner
The Soldier's Cross - Abigail J. Hartman

Friday, May 13, 2011

MIndy Starns Clark

Dear Readers,
Mindy Starns Clark has been one of my favorite authors since I read her Million Dollar Mysteries.  (See earlier review) The Amish Midwife is her latest. 

It has a  bit of mystery to it, but also an interesting tale of family and pasts that people would like to stay hidden.  Lexi Jaeger (yes I notice that is my last name;-) was adopted.  She has always known that, but she wants to learn her story. 
Just before her father passes he shares a box that they recieved with her from Lexi's birth family.  It doesn't offer many clues as to where she is from or why they gave her up.  The only other clues she has is a family friend that tells her she came from Pennsylvania. 
With very little information, but a want to find her "kin," Lexi sets off to Lancaster county to see if she can find her birth family.  There are many road blocks, with the family involved being the biggest. 
book title front 
Lexi isn't sure she will ever figure it out, but she is determed to find out as much as she can.  When help comes from an unexpected sorce, Lexi starts getting answers to long unanswered questions.
As most of us know that the Amish live by using the "forgive and forget" belief.  We all got to experience this as we watched the horrible murders of the Amish girls a couple of years ago.  I have often wondered about that and how it works in different circumstances.  Does that mean they don't believe in jail or pressing charges? 
In this book Mindy approaches the issue a bit.  There are people that know the answers to the questions that Lexi keeps asking, but they are not telling.  They seem to have only a couple of answers to her questions.  Either " It is not my place to tell." or "Forgive and Forget."  Neither answer helps Lexi in her very real need to know who her parents are.  Is either answer a good one in this case?  I found myself thinking it wasn't.  You can read the story and let me know what you thought.  If I go any farther with this thinking I will giving half the story away and that is no fun.
So instead let me just say...
Happy Reading

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Releases May 2 -7

Dear Readers,

I hope you were able to enjoy Mother's Day yesterday.  Whether you are a mom or not, we all have a Mom.  I don't know what your relationship is like with your mom, but I have a very goood relationship with my mom.  It wasn't always true, but she knew it was that "this to shall pass."  She waited lovingly on the sidelines, always praying and knowing that God would take care of me.   I am thankful for her and the many ways she has blessed me.

Several really good titles for you to enjoy.  Couple new authors who I am excited about.  Hope you get a chance to read them all

Happy Reading
The Art of Romance - Kaye Dacus
Deep Trouble - Mary Connealy
Indelible - Kristen Heitzmann
The Fine Art of Insincerity - Angela Hunt
Died in the Wool - Elizabeth Ludwig & Janelle Mowery - Hometown Mysteries
When Sparrows Fall - Meg Moseley
Too Rich for a Bride - Mona Hodgson

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meg Moseley

Dear Readers,
Sometimes I get handed/mailed books by reps of the publishing house.  Their job is to sell me the book and to do so with the best possible spin they can.  Some are very good at it and some not so much.  It doesn't really matter as I usually try to form my own opinion by reading it.  I do take into consideration what they say, but I try not to let what they say color what I am reading.
When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley is one the rep got right.  It is a very well written novel by a new author who I have high hopes for.  The story itself reminded me a bit of a Linda Nichols or an Ann Tatlock book.  It was just a good read. 
Miranda dreams of freedom.  Freedom to raise her children as she wants, freedom to take pictures and sell them to help her family, freedom to make her own decisions.
Jack is a bachelor after his wife left.  He knows little or nothing about raising children, so when his late brother's son, Timothy, calls to tell him he is the guardian of him and his siblings, Jack is a bit surprised and bewildered.  He was estranged from his brother before he passed away and is slightly surprised that Carl's widow would name him guardian.
Two very hurting and broken people who need each other are thrust together when Miranda asks God for a sign that he doesn't want her to move with the abusive church she has belonged to.   Jack comes to help with the kids while Miranda is recovering from a fall.  He is shocked to find a family that is barely in the 20th century let alone the 21st.  They dress in large baggy dresses for the girls and the boys all wear button shirts and khaki pants or jeans.  Woman are subservient to the men and are not even allowed to vote.  Jack believes it is his mission to 'save' the family even if they don't want him to.
The problem is the secrets they are both keeping.  Will it be something that they can overcome?  Can they learn to trust each other enough to share the secrets with one another?  Or will their secrets destroy their budding relationship?
I read this over the beginning of the week and enjoyed every minute of it.  I found myself getting frustrated with Miranda, but also understanding where she came from.  Jack is a quirky funny guy and I think everyone should have someone like him in their lives.  He is self dubbed a 'seeker of the truth'  even when he was unwilling to share his own 'truth' with anyone.  Of course the children are lovable and I wanted to take them all home with me.  Martha was maybe my favorite, but then again the archangels were to cute to ever stay mad at (You will have to read the book to find out why they are named that;-).   
Mostly I just want to say this is just one of those books that you can just sit and enjoy, so treat yourself to a good book and pull up your rocker and read to your hearts content.

Happy Reading

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Releases April 25 - 30

Dear Readers,

My Daffodils and Hyacinths are up and blooming so brillantly.  They are a couple of my favorite flowers.  Daffodils because they just look so happy and hyacinths because they smell like heaven.  They are wonderful ways to greet the new spring season.  I know last week I was talking snow, this week it is rain and lots of it.  Right now I can hear it pouring on the roof of the store.  Great for the plants, rotten for everything else, well except curling up with a good book.

Happy Reading

Against the Wind - Bodie and Brock Thoene - #2 in the Zion Diaries
The Promise of an Angel - Ruth Reid
The Blue Bottle Club/Without a Trace - Penolope Stokes & Colleen Coble
Plain Promise/Quaker Summer - Beth Wiseman & Lisa Samson
 -Two in one books.  Blue Bottle Club is one of my favorite books.