Thursday, December 29, 2011

Elizabeth Camden

Dear Readers,
Elizabeth Camden is new to the fiction market.  Her first book, The Lady of Bolton Hill released this year in June.  It has done very well for a first book of an unknown author.  I haven't had a chance to Rose of Winslow Street, The, Elizabeth Camden, 978-0-7642-0895-9read it, so when I had a chance to read her second book, The Rose of Winslow Street, I quickly took it (they are not a series).
Lady of Bolton Hill, The, Elizabeth Camden, 978-0-7642-0894-2Libby, short for Liberty, and her father recieve notice that someone has moved into their house and claimed the house is theirs, not the Sawyer's.   Michael has brought his family all the way from Romania and lays claim to the house because it belonged to his long lost uncle.  He needs a safe place to start over, but gives very little reason why, he just plows ahead to provide for his sons and sister.  This does not win him any friends.   
When an unlikely friendship developes between Libby and Michael, her father feels betrayed, but Libby finds herself accepted and loved by Michael and his whole family.  Michael knows that his uncle wanted him to have the house for a reason, but he can't figure out why.  When they are kicked out of the house by the courts, Michael begins to wonder if he will ever understand why his uncle left him the house.   
I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this book, but I really did enjoy it completely.  It is a sweet little romance with a bit of a mystery to it.  It is not a complicated mystery and it isn't even the main storyline, but it does make the book more interesting.  Elizabeth also adds a couple different things to the book that make this not just a "regular" historical romance.  She actually gives Libby the inablility to read.  So even though she is a very talented artist, she is looked at as stupid because of her inablility.  Which is just an different approach to a character.  
This book would be a perfect read for those longer winter nights, when all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate.
Happy Reading

P.S. Elizabeth's books are available at Baker Book House or by request at

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Releases Dec. 19 - 24th

Dear Readers,

Christmas has past.  Most parties are over and many people are already focused on New Years and what they will be doing that day. 

If you are reading this on Dec. 26th at 9:00 am EST I am at my last Christmas party.  My family is opening presents this morning and then having a birthday celebration for my son.  He turns 25 this year.  My how times flies. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year will be filled with thousands of blessings.

Happy Reading

The Sound of Red Returning - Sue Duffy
The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson - Don Reid
Love Blooms in Winter - Lori Copeland

P.S. These books are available at Baker Book House or by request at

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Releases Dec. 12 - 17th

Dear Readers,

Some of you already know this, due to a housefire we rebuilt our house a few years ago.  One of the things I wanted in the house was plenty of room for family to come visist.   So we put in a finished basement (my husband did that work) and a loft and a large kitchen/dining/living area.  Plenty of room for all. 

Because of all this room we started a tradition with our kids, grown and moved out and grandkids.  One night of the holiday season they all come and sleep over night.  We open presents that evening if it works out or like last year and again this year we open them in the morning.  We watch movies until it is time for the grandkids to head to bed and then the adults play video games until the wee hours of the morning.  We eat to much and drink hot coco and wassel.  We laugh and joke and just generally have a great time. 

The first time I asked about it I wasn't sure the kids would be on board, but they ask every year to do it again.  This year we were a bit worried about fitting it in with Christmas being on Sunday and my work schedule and two of the kids having started new jobs.  Would we be able to fit it all in?  So this year it will be Christmas night we will be staying up until the wee hours and enjoying each other's company, then opening presents the next morning.  I can hardly wait.

Thank you for sharing some of my favorite holiday memories and traditions.  I pray you have a great and wonderful holiday. 

Happy Reading

The Shadow of Your Smile - Susan May Warren
Unhallowed Ground - Mel Starr
A Darkly Hidden Truth - Donna Fletcher Crow

Friday, December 16, 2011

Beth Webb Hart

Dear Readers,
Sometimes I wonder if I like Beth Webb Hart's book only because they are all set in South Carolina.  Of course I start reading them and remember that I like them because they are good.   
Sunrise on the Battery is once again set in Beth's beloved Charleston.  I have never heard her actually say that, but the way she writes about the city you can tell it is her favorite city in the world.  I can't disagree with her as I love Charleston and never get to spend enough time there whSunrise on the Battery, , n9781595542007en we do visit.  
On Christmas Eve Mary Lynn prays that her husband will find faith.  Little does she know how that will change her life forever.  Jackson and her are considered "come-yas" in Charleston,  which means they are not old money, but someone who has made their money recently.   
Things are looking up for them, they are getting asked to the right parties and to join the right country club.  Life is good.  Their daughters are doing well in school, they are excelling in many different fields and it looks like they will get into the right college.  So why does Mary Lynn think Jackson needs to know Jesus?  That is the question Mary Lynn asks herself when things start getting a bit crazy around her house.
I don't often find myself jealous of people in a book, but this book opens with the family celebrating Christmas in Charleston and it is a lovely warm day.  Mary Lynn goes out on a run and it is considered chilly because it is in the 50's.  Of course here in Michigan it is hanging around freezing and it is cold, windy and rainy/sleeting.  Then the day after Christmas they leave on a vacation to England.  Sigh.  
Oh well as I read more of the book I got less jealous as I read about all the hoops they are jumping through to be one of the crowd.  That I didn't and don't envy at all.  In fact as I read about it, I came to the conclusion that I would never fit in because I found most of the stuff they were talking about a waste of time.  So I guess I will never be one of them. 
I guess I will just have to stick to reading good books about it and then I can remember to thank God that he has me just where I should be.
 Happy Reading

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book of the Year 2011

Dear Readers
It is that time of year again.  I feel like I just wrote a blog on my favorite book for 2010 and here it is already December and I haven't written the one for this year.  I have known for quite a while which book I was going to pick and I bet over half of you already know who the winner is, but I still want to announce it for those who don't know and of course for the prestige that goes with this award.  (Haha.)Love Amid the Ashes: A Novel, , r9780800734077
Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews is this year's winner.  It is the one book that I kept comparing the other books to when I thought about the book of the year.  It was the one book this year that just completely caught my attention.  There are so many good books that release every year, but I am always looking for that one book that just stands out from the crowd for me.   
For those of you who don't remember this is a telling of the story of the book of Job.  It is a bit different from some of the traditional thinking of Bible scholars, but that doesn't take away from the story.  In fact when I have talked to different people who have read the book it seems to make it even more interesting to them.  They had the same experience as I did, it made us want to read the Bible story and to look into the whos and whys and thoughts on Job and his story.
The bookclub that I belong to just read and discussed this book and we as a group really enjoyed the book.  It doesn't happen often that we all like a book, which makes for a lively discussion, but we did.  What was so interesting is the many different reasons we liked the book.  Some because of BIblical content, some just because it is a really good story and some because it made them really dig deeper in to the Bible story.  We had a wonderful conversation that actually lead into many different threads and even at one point wandered away from Job into even deeper topics.  That was so interesting.  
I know that Mesu is working on her next book, Love's Sacred Song, which is about the Song of Solomon and the woman who inspired that book of the Bible.  It is due to release in March of next year.  I also happen to know she is working on a third book, but for the life of me I can't remember the topic of that one.  This means that she is going to be releasing good books for years to come.  
Happy Reading

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Releases Dec. 5-10

Dear Readers,

One of the things we used to do for Christmas is something I missed a lot.  When the kids were little the church we belong to had the children's Christmas program on Christmas morning.  Now over all it made for a very very busy morning as the kids had to be to church early.  ( Now you understand why we did stockings on the Sunday before)  But putting that aside, it is a wonderful tradition.  Who better to have in the front of church on Christmas morning than children. 

They had all the traditional parts of the typical Christmas play.  Little ones singing Away in the Manger, Mary and Joseph, and shepherds in bath robes.  They ended it with the singing of the Hallelujah chorus with the choir, but anyone in the audience could join in if they wished.  Which is how those services should end.  It never failed to bring tears to my eyes.

This program led to one of my family's favorite Christmas memory.  Stay with me on this, my son who is now 24 was all of 3 or 4 and was one of the young ones singing.  The song was Come on Ring those Bells and the kids were suppose to shake their little jingle bells.  Well we could see Brian was getting angry and we could not figure out why.  Well when he finally made it to our seat we asked him what was wrong and much to our surprise he flings the bells down and says "My stupid bells don't work." 

Ok how do you in a church full of people keep from falling out of your pew from laughter.  We to this day have a set of bells on the tree that don't work, just because of that little story.

Sorry this is so long
Happy Reading

Smitten by Colleen Coble/Kristin Billerbeck/Diann Hunt/Denise Hunter
The Rose of Winslow Street – Elizabeth Camden
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall – Julie Klassen
Summer of Promise – Amanda Cabot
The Keeper – Suzanne Woods Fisher
The Captive Heart – Dale Cramer
Chasing Mona Lisa – Tricia Goyer/Mike Yorkey

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Ideas for... Her

Dear Readers,

For me this list is actually harder to write than the guy list I released earliy.  There are so many good books that release every year the trick is to not make the list to long.   Any reader no matter the genre they enjoy most should be able to put several books on their list.  Which of course makes it so much easier for us shoppers. 

Of course there is the problem of having read it already.  So that is where I try to make my list fit.  These books are newer releases, most with in the last 3 months.   There are a couple that may be older than that, but they are books that I feel are worth bringing up again.  

Don't forget to check the List for Him for ideas also.

Happy Shopping

Wonderland Creek - Lynn Austin
Love Amid the Ashes - Mesu Andrews
To Die For - Sandra Byrd
A Lasting Impression - Tamera Alexander
Lonestar Angel - Colleen Coble
Tall, Dark, and Determined - Kelly Eileen Hake
Longing - Karen Kingsbury
A Sound Among the Trees - Susan Meissner
Attracted to Fire - DiAnn Mills
The River Queen - Gilbert Morris
Forsaking All Others - Allison Pittman
Valley of Dreams - Lauraine Snelling

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Penelope Stoks

Dear Readers,
The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes orginally released in 1999.  It didn't have a great cover, but hidden inside was a fantastic story.  It was one of those books that I kept recommending even after it went out of print.   
That is why I am happy to report that Blue Bottle is once again available.  I am not sure how long Thomas Nelson will be offering it, but if you haven't read it before, grab it now or put it on your Christmas wish list while you have the chance.
Product Image for Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. StokesOne Christmas day in 1929 four teenage girls wrote down their hopes and dreams for their own futures.  They put them all in a unique blue bottle and then hid it in the rafters of the house.  The next day life continues and they forget that the bottle is waiting for their return.
Years later, reporter Brenna Delaney is given the bottle and she sets out to find the girls and to see how their lives really turned out. 
That was what made this book so very interesting, each girl had some very specific dreams for herself, and yet God had other ideas.  Were they better? Sometimes yes, and sometimes it was harder than expected, but isn't that true about real life.  It is never what we planned out, but it always gets us to where God plans us to be.  
Happy Reading

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Releases November 28- December 3

Dear Readers,

One of the traditions that we have at our house that is a bit different than anyone elses is when Santa brings the stuff for the stockings.  This is a tradition we got from my husbands family so I have no claim to this idea.  Santa has so many houses to go to on Christmas eve, he goes to some very special houses on the Sunday before Christmas. 

So the Sunday before Christmas is when we opened stockings at our house.  Which turned out to be one of the best things we did.  It was a lot less pressure on that morning.  The kids had a time to enjoy the presents they recieved in the stocking and as parents we didn't have to rush off to Christmas service which as most you experience is quite full. 

We still do this tradition with our adutl children and grandkids.  It does make it a bit busier as now they come in for the morning and have breakfast with us before headed off to their own churches, but it is such a wonderful time for the family.  It is a time that we all take time to just enjoy each others company and laugh.  It is actually one of my favorite times during the holiday. 

Happy Reading

The Resurrection of Nat Turner - The Witnesses - Sharon Ewell Foster
H2O - Austin Boyd/Brannon Hallingsworth
Love finds you in Annapolis, Maryland - Roseanna M. White
Love finds you in Folly Beach, South Carolina - Loree Lough

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas ideas for... Him

Dear Readers,

I did a list for you called gift ideas for him/her last year.  I had a few people comment that they liked the list and it gave them some ideas.  So I thought I would try it again.  

Remember these book are not just for men.  I have read most of them and enjoyed them completely, I just know (as you all do) that there is a small difference (;-) between what woman like to read and what men like to read.  So ladies don't hesitate to put these book on your list.

The Joshua Covenant - David and Diane Munson
Courageous - Randy Alcorn
Pattern of Wounds - J. Mark Bertrand
Book of Dreams - Davis Bunn
The Guardian - Robbie Cheuvront/Erik Reed
Third Starlighter - Byran Davis
Forbidden - Ted Dekker/Tosca Lee
Day of War - Cliff Graham
Targets Down - Bob Hamer
The Queen - Steven James
Wolfsbane - Ronie Kendig
The Bone House - Stephen Lawhead
Night of the Living Dead Christian - Matt Mikaltos
The Tehran Initiative - Joel Rosenberg