Friday, December 28, 2012

Julie Klassen

Dear Readers,
Julie Klassen has become one of those authors that you expect good books from.  She is so consistent, she has become a favorite just because she is easy to recommend.  The Tutor’s Daughter proves my point.  The day the book hit the shelves here at the bookstore, readers were in to pick it up.  They knew it was good and they didn’t have to wait for me to read it to tell them so.
The Tutor's DaughterWhen Emma and her father move to Ebbington Manor in Cornwall, they figure they will have a quiet time teaching two of the younger sons on the manor.  They know the family because they taught the older boys at their boarding school and are excited for the chance to teach the younger two.  How hard can it be?
When Emma gets a threatening note, the stakes go up.  Is she really a threat to someone that doesn’t want her in the house or is it just a prank of an adolescent boy who has a crush on her.  Emma is determined not to be pushed around by a coward, but what will is cost her?
The regency romance is not dead.  In fact it is alive and well in Julie Klassen’s world and she loves sharing that with us.  She writes a wonderful story that keeps readers' attention, adds a bit of mystery just to make it a bit more interesting and then throws in a lovely love story for good measure.  
Happy Reading

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Releases Dec. 17 - 22

Dear Readers, 

I hope that you have had a great Christmas.  Here are a few ideas to help you spend that gift card you got as a gift. 

Happy Reading

The Hunted Hare - Fay Sampson - The House of Hare has become a place of pilgrimages, but is it a place of life or death.

Resurrect - David E. Stevens - Josh Logan is offered a chance to start over.  He will need to walk away from family, friends and his own name.  Is the price to high to pay to help his goverment?

A Hero's Throne - Ross Lawhead - #2 the Ancient Earth Trilogy - Beneath the streets of England exsists a different world.  One meant to protect our world, but it has fallen to an evil force.

An Angel by Her Side - Ruth Reid - #3 Heaven on Earth - Katie is sure she will never find love again.  Seth is only in town to help his brother and can't afford to fall in love. 

'Til Grits Do Us Part - Jennifer Rogers Spinola - Shiloh thought it was all going to be perfect.  Then her past comes calling again.

Path of Freedom - Jennifer Hudson Taylor - Quilts of Love series - Each quilt tells a story - Flora and Bruce don't know how much they will be risking when they agree to embark on the Underground Railroad.

Waiting for Morning - Margaret Brownley - #3 The Brides of Last Chance Ranch - Molly takes care of her brother.  When she is offered a chance to work for ownership of her own ranch, she jumps at it. 

The River Palace - Gilbert Morris - #3 Water Wheel Series - Gage and Dennis become unlikely allies after the Civil War.  Their adventures teams them up with gypsies and a river boat named Queen of Bohemia.

Secretly Smitten - Colleen Coble/Kristin Billerbeck/Diann Hunt/Denise Hunter - Who do the forgotten dog tags in Grandma's Attic belong to?  Tess, Claire and Zoe decide to find out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Randy Alcorn

Dear Readers,
I have long “blamed” Randy Alcorn’s book Dominion for me having my job here at Baker.  I read it 15 years ago and it sold me on how good Christian fiction can be.  I started shopping for fiction books at Baker and because at the time I didn’t have a blog, this is one that I have never reviewed any of this series on my blog.  So when Waterbrook offered me a chance for a free copy of Deadline for a review I took it.
Deadline, Dominion and Deception as a very interesting series that Randy wrote over several years.   I read them out of order by reading Dominion first, but that really didn’t make much difference and I went back for Deadline as soon as I got a chance.  I recommend them in order just so you won’t know the answer to the mystery of the book before.
Deadline by Alcorn, RandyDeadline first released in 1994, and is still a strong seller here in the store.   It is a good murder mystery, with a twist.  I don’t really want to tell you what that twist is, but if you have ever read his book In Light of Heaven you will know what it is.  (Small hint, In Light… came into being because so many people were asking Randy about his view of Heaven found in Deadline and Dominion)
Jake is an award-winning journalist.  When two of his closest friends are killed in a car accident, which he survived, Jake knows he has to find their killer.  He doesn’t know that he was the intended target and the killer is still on his trail. 
I enjoyed the mystery of this book, but I also loved the characters that Randy created.  Randy has a gift for making the characters in the book someone you want to hang out with or help.  His bad guys are usually not someone you personally want to have to deal with and that is what makes his book so fun to read.
Happy Reading

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Releases Dec. 10- 15

Dear Readers,

It is only one week to Christmas and I am always glad to see new fiction that I can help people purchase for that reader in their lives.  I have had several experiences with a spouse or family member of a reader come in wanting to buy them a book and having no idea what to buy because they have no idea what they have read already.  It is so nice to say, "This book came out this week, I am sure they haven't read it yet."  That is especially nice when they are such good books.

Happy Reading

The Tutor's Daughter - Julie Klassen - Once again Julie delivers a beautiful regency romance.  Emma and her father go to teach at a family home.  Everything seems to be going ok until suddenly Emma's life seems to be at risk.

To Honor and Trust - Tracie Peterson/Judith Miller - #3 Bridal Veil Island - Callie is torn between what to do.  Should she continue as a governess or join her parents on the mission field?

Vanished - Irene Hannon - #1 A Private Justice series - Moira gets lost one night and hits a person along the road.  When she wakes up later there is no evidence of the accident, but she remembers it, even the guy who stopped and promised to call 911

Illusion - Frank Peretti - Out in softcover now.

Choices of the Heart - Laurie Alice Eakes - #3 in Midwives series - Esther comes from a long line of Midwives so when a scandal threatens her, she flees to Virginia.

The Delemma of Charlotte Farrow - Olivia Newport - As the world's fair on 1893 heads to Chicago, Charlotte's world falls apart.

Waiting for Spring - Amanda Cabot - #2 Westward Winds - Will Charlotte be able to guard her heart against Barrett who thinks she holds the key to his future.

The Lessons - Suzanne Woods Fisher - #3 Stoney Ridge Seasons - Mary Kate wants to leave her quiet community behind and find adventure. 

Though Mountains Fall - Dale Cramer - #3 The Daughters of Caleb Bender - The awaited conclusion to Dale's series about Caleb and his family after they flee the USA for religious freedom in Mexico.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Robert Whitlow

Dear Readers,
I am almost to the point on this review for The Choice by Robert Whitlow of saying, forget writing a review and just say, “Read it, it is a good book.”  I have started and reworked this review several times now.  It has nothing to do with how good the book is, but everything to do with how much I want to tell you about the story.   I don’t want to give too much away, but I want you to understand how interesting this book is.
The Choice starts in 1974.  Roe v Wade has just become the law of the land and Sandy is facing the choice.  She finds out she is pregnant and with her being only in high school, she can now decide for herself if she wants to keep the baby, adopt it out or abort it. She isn’t sure what she will do, but she does know that she doesn’t think abortion is right. 
Skip ahead 30 years and Sandy has lived with her choice since then.  For better or worse she made a choice and has learned to deal with the repercussions of it.  She is now teaching school and a pregnant teenager comes to her and asks for her help.  As a public school teacher Sandy is caught

between what she can do and what she believes.  She isn’t sure she is ready to go as far as God seems to be asking her to go.
That gives you a general idea of what the book is about without giving too much away.  I hope anyways.  But because of what this topic is about, it was interesting to look behind the scenes of the battle between the pro-life and pro-choice forces.  They each have an agenda that they wanted to be the policy of the land and sometimes will stop at nothing to make that happen.   It was interesting to watch them manipulate the facts just so they would say what the group wanted them to say.
In normal Robert Whitlow fashion there is not only a good contemporary storyline, there is also a lawyer/trial part to the story.  I can safely say that if you liked Robert’s other books you will enjoy this one.
Happy Reading

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Releases December 3 - 15

Dear Readers,
For fantasy geeks everywhere December 15th is circled on their calendars.   The Hobbit releases to the theaters that night at midnight.  This much beloved book by J.R.R. Tolkien is the one I have been waiting for since I had watched the Return of the King (for the umpth time). 
I will even admit that I am going to the midnight release of the movie.  The Hobbit is one of those must read books.  A wonderful fantasy that opened up a world that though fiction, seemed real.
Suddenly there was another world, one filled with Hobbits, Dwarfs and magic.  A place of great happiness and great turmoil.  A place where heroes were born and we all wanted a chance to prove our worth.
If you haven’t read the Hobbit yet come join the adventure, if you have read it, see you at midnight.
Happy Reading

Gardennias for Breakfast - Robin Jones Gunn - New cover - Abby remembers learning from her Grandmother, but when her daughter gets a chance to sit at her Great-Grandmothers knee, the experiences isn't as good.

An Amish Kitchen - Beth Wiseman, Kelly Long, Amy Clipston - 3 in 1 - Fern has a green thumb, but can knowing plants lead to love?  When love knocks on Hannah's door she has to decide whether to trust Stephen or not.  When Eve's house is destoyed, she is forced to move in with her mother and their relationship is strained to put it in the most positive light.

Strong and Stubborn - Kelly Eileen Hake - #3 Husbands for Hire - Wanted 1 3 Godfearing men... oject marriage and joint ownership of a sawmill.  Naomi is the last of the three ladies looking for a man and Michael seems to fit the bill.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Favorite Book for 2012

Dear Readers,
Announcing the Favorite book of the year nominees.
Judge by J.R. Larson - Prophet could also easily go here.  With good fantasy like this coming to the market more and more readers will find Christian fiction
Into the Free - Julie Cantrell - I just loved learning about Millie.  Nothing stopped her from doing what she wanted to do.
Flame of Resistance - Tracy Groot - This book has generated more conversations that just about any other book I have read.
Opening Moves - Steven James - The prequel to the Patrick Bowers.  This one kept me up at night.  If you haven't read this series, it is very very good.
Envelope please
The winner is... The Flame of Resistance - If you have not had a chance to read it, put it on your Christmas list and then make sure you read it.   It is a book that I am hearing back from both male and female readers, young and old, that are reading it and enjoying it. 
I just had a very interesting conversation with a customer in the store about the book.  She grew up in the Netherlands during WWII.  She was 5 towards the end of it and so didn’t remember much, but she was surprised how hard it was for her to read as it did remind her of certain things she thought she wouldn’t have understood or remember.  But she has started talking to family members about different things their families had gone through during the war.  It has really opened up a new way to connect with family members.
That is what I think fiction books can do in ways non-fiction can’t.  Not only did this book entertain us, it taught us about what life really was like during a time most of us were not alive to experience or lived across the ocean in safety.
Happy Reading

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Releases Nov. 26 - Dec. 1

Dear Readers,
I just spent a weekend in the first of many Christmas parties.  This one was for my in laws.  There are several generations represented and is over all a chaotic and noisy, but fun.    Some of the people, because of distance and business, this is the only time of year we see them.   It is nice to catch up and exclaim over how big the kids are getting. (I remember hating that as a kid) Over food and laughter the family is once again celebrated.
Happy Reading
Heroes Proved - Oliver North - Americans are told that the threat of terrorist attacks has been eliminated, that is until a quite day in 2032.

Chasing the Wind - Pamela Binnings Ewen - What you do and don't do effects others.  Amalise finds that out in a book set in 1974.

1000 Sleepless Nights - Michael King - can a family torn apart by hurt be brought back together?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mark Hitchcock/Alton Gansky

Dear Readers,
I have read many of Alton Gansky’s books.  Each one I have read has been an adventure and an interesting read.  I think my favorites are still the Madison Glenn series, but several of the others have been very good also. 
8 Minutes to… Digital Winter by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky was not high on my list to read and yet it was one I kind of kept looking at.  The story line intrigued me even though I knew it was going to have an end times slant to it.
book title frontAmerica’s military and government are put on high alert when power girds around the country start going off.  Both coasts are experiencing blackouts and major cities all over are starting lose power.  When the power comes back on with little or no explanation, they start to think the danger has maybe passed.  But who or what caused it?
When the power goes out again it is across the world.  Who has the ability to do that?  What terrorist group has the technology to wipe out power across the board?  Jeremy of Cyber Command is put on the job to find it out.  The problem is, with little or no power how do you find a cyber-attacker? 
I am not sure I could put a finger on what I like the most about this book, but the characters are interesting and believable.  The story line is something that has been talked about many different times and ways in America.  Our power grid is vulnerable to attack.  In recent weeks we have all watched as a huge chunk of New England went without power for days on end.   It was a struggle for them even with the rest of the country able to support them in different ways.  Can you imagine what it would be like if the entire country, if not world, was suddenly thrown back to the 1900’s?  There are very few people that would be prepared for something like that.  Where would we get food?  Gas?  How about jobs?  Would we still have them?   I work in a bookstore; I can’t say that it would be my top priority to get here each day. 
I guess that is why I liked this book; it made me think through things that may never happen, but what if?
Happy Reading

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Releases

Dear Readers,

Thanksgiving has past and the Advent season is upon us.  It is always difficult for me to find the time to relax and just enjoy the season.  Sometimes I feel like I am running from one thing to the next through out the holidays.  I have to just say no to things and rest in the peace that is Christmas.  The problem is all the things/parties are with people I want to see and visit with.  Who do you say no to?

Happy Reading

Two Destinies - Nancy Musser - #3 of the Secrets of the Cross - It is now 1994 and the story of France and Algeria continues. 
The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek - Jane Myers Perrine - Gussie is the next victim in the sights of the matchmakers.
Material Witness - Vanette Chapman - #2 a Shipshewana Amish Mystery - (from the back cover) Buggies, Quilts and a cold-blooded murder.  It's just another day in Shipshewana.
Betrayal - Robin Lee Hatcher - #2 in Where the Heart Lives series - Even though Julia never wanted to marry again, she may have to, to save her ranch.
The Dean's Witch - Elizabeth Goudge - originally released in 1960 - An unlikely friendship leads to a spiritual awakening.
The Crossroads - W. Paul Young - Anthony is offered a gift from Jesus.  He will be able to heal one person and one person only. 
Come to the Table - Neta Jackson - #2 SouledOut Sisters - Kat is just learning that even deeds done with the best intentions can be a bad idea.
Fire of the Raging Dragon - #2 Pacific Rim Series - When President Surber's decision to go to war becomes personal can he stick to his choice to send his daughter into danger?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Serena Miller

Dear Readers,
By the cover I wasn’t sure I was going to like Serena B. Miller’s newest book, A Promise to Love.  It looks much more like a romance than the Measure of Katie Calloway and I was worried she may have slipped that way more.  In some ways she did, but it is so much a part of the story that it doesn’t take away from the really good story she has written.
Once again her story is set in Michigan when lumber was king and the great pine forests we had were a big commodity.  Ingrid is a new immigrant from Sweden.  She was supposed to meet her brother in Detroit after he worked in a lumber camp to earn money so they could buy farm land and make a go of it in their newly adopted country.   When he doesn’t show up she decides to head to the Saginaw area in hopes of finding him. 
A Promise to LoveJoshua is reeling from the loss of his wife.  On the day that he is cleared of murder charges, his in-laws try to take his children away. The only way he can keep them is to find a mother for them and Ingrid volunteers for the job.  It looks like a relationship of convenience only, but Ingrid was hoping for more.
Once again Serena writes a historical story that includes a strong love story, but that is the nature of the story here.  You cannot have the story she wrote without the romance to it.  The historical part of the story was also very interesting and I even went and looked up some of the facts of the story that I didn’t know.  I had no idea that something like what she mentions happened in Michigan.  It was very interesting.  I am not going to say what it was as it would take away your pleasure of reading the story.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Christmas Releases

Dear Readers,
As hard as this is to believe for me, Thanksgiving is this week Thursday.  Yikes, I am so not ready for the holidays at all, but coming they are.
So this week’s list is my annual Christmas book list.  I read my one Christmas book for the year.  I can’t say I won’t read any of the others, but right now I read The Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs.  The review for that was on the blog this past Thursday if you are interested in reading it. 
I will admit there are several others that sound good, but as I always say about Christmas novellas, they are way too short.  So whether I read another one or not I don’t know, but Happy Holidays and as always…
Happy Reading

A Merry Little Christmas – Anita Higman – Sometimes love comes when you are least ready for it
The Christmas Pony – Melody Carlson – Lucy knows there is no way she will be getting a pony for Christmas that is until a few miracles begin to happen.
The Ghost of Christmas Present – Scott Abbot and Amy Maude Swinton – Patrick is desperate to save his son.  He needs heart surgery to save him, but Patrick can’t afford it and his late wife’s father is trying to take Braden away.
Prayers of a Stranger – Davis Bunn – (from the back cover) While visiting the Holy Land, Amanda answers the prayers of a stranger and begins an amazing Christmas journey.
The Christmas Star- Ace Collins – (from the back cover) can the broken heart of a child be healed by an unexpected Christmas letter?
Christmas Roses – Amanda Cabot - Celia doesn’t plan to marry again.  She had a good marriage the first time, but it was a marriage of convenience.  She dreams of the love she reads about in books, not a man who marries her for what she can do for him.
Christmas at Holly Hill – Martha Rogers – A Winds Across the Prairie Holiday Novel – Clayton returns home after serving his time, but will he be able to regain their trust?
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas – Jennifer Allee – Quilts of Love series – Can an old quilt actually lead to a great treasure? 
Susanna’s Christmas Wish – Jerry S. Eicher – Susanne is trying to be a good wife, but the return of her old flame is making it very difficult.
A Sweethaven Christmas – Courtney Walsh – The holidays are just not going according to plan.  When a woman claiming to be Lila’s sister shows up, Lila is going to find out more about her family that she ever wanted to know.
Christmas Traditions of Grace Chapel Inn – Sunni Jeffers/Pam Hanson/Barbara Andrews – Grace Chapel Inn Series - 3 little novellas in this book capture a sense of Christmas past.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Liz Curtis Higgs

Dear Readers,
I usually read one Christmas Novella every year.  It is usually one that someone asks me to read. They are not my favorite genre mostly because they are not long enough.   A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs has that problem.  It is a delightful Christmas book that is just not long enough.
I love Liz’s books.  Fiction, non- fiction it doesn't matter, I love her writing style.  She has a beautiful way of delivering a punch that is given in such a gentle matter that you don’t always notice you have learned something.
 Meg is heartbroken that she will not be spending Christmas Day with her parents, but her brother’s cruel treatment of her had become intolerable.  She just wanted to get back to Edinburgh into her beloved townhouse and relax.  A chance to have a peaceful Christmas instead of one filled with the tension of her parents’ home.
A Wreath of Snow by Higgs, Liz CurtisSo starts this little book with a message of forgiveness.  It doesn’t last long, but it was such a joy to read and put me in the Christmas spirit, which for early October that is not a good thing.   This book is just a story of what the true meaning of Christmas is; the story of forgiveness, the story of family and the story of hope. 
You can enjoy this book and get into the Christmas spirit early or you can wait until a lovely snow fall, wrap up in a quilt with a cup of hot chocolate and disappear for a little while into Scotland in 1894.
Happy Reading

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Releases Nov. 5 - 10

Dear Readers,

I don't know how else to say this, but we had the best time on Wednesday the 7th.  Ted's visit was such a wonderful time.

Ted himself is such a gracious person.  He took time to visit with everyone who came out to see him.  He shook hands, gave hugs and posed for pictures with any and all.  He shared his plans for the his next project and listened to why different books were favorites.

There were about 300 people there and everyone seemed to be content.  I had a chance to visit with almost all of you and nobody seemed bothered after having waited (for some of you up to 3 hours).  I want to thank you all for that.

I can't wait to host other authors in our new store.  If you have any ideas of who we should host give me shout.

Happy Reading

Not many releases today, ok how about just one.  Ted Dekker's Sanctuary.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kristen Heitzmann

Dear Readers,
Kristen Heitzmann has long been a favorite author of mine.  She has written several books with Baker Publishing Group and a couple with Multinomah/Waterbrook.  The last two were not going Breath of Dawn, The, Kristen Heitzmann, 978-0-7642-1042-6to be my favorite, but they were interesting reads.  The Breath of Dawn is Kristen’s newest and she is back writing in the style that made me like her in the first place.
Favorite characters from The Rush of Wings and Still of the Night are back.  I didn’t find myself having to read those two stories again as Kristen does such a good job catching you up on their storylines.  But it is always fun to visit with old friends again.
Quinn Reilly is on the run.  She continues moving and hoping that the man she put behind bars will not be able to find her when he is released.  She ruined his plans of duping Quinn’s father’s church out of thousands and thousands of dollars.  He vowed revenge and got out early on good behavior.
Morgan is recovering from the loss of his high school sweetheart.  Recovering is using that word loosely.  He has been hiding out from life and his job at his brother’s ranch.  The only person who seems to be able to life his spirits at all is his young daughter.  That is until he meets Quinn, maybe there is a second chance on love, but Quinn comes with lots and lots of baggage. 
Romantic suspense is what Kristen writes best and she once again proves that you can write a good mystery, add a little romance and you find yourself enjoying a fun little read.   I for one am glad that Kristen is back writing what I like her for best.
Happy Reading.

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Releases, New Store, Author Visit.

Dear Readers,
This is being sent to you from my new desk in our newly opened, remodeled store.   We have the new store smell with fresh paint, new carpet and a completely new store front.  We have windows, we have a cafĂ© called Icons so the smell of coffee is in the air along with the smell of lots and lots of good food (This isn’t fair as now I am always hungry).  The used books are not completely back, but they are gaining ground and it is nice to have them back here at the store again. 
We have new hours 7 – 11 Monday – Friday and 9-11 on Saturday.   We have Wi-Fi, we have a fireplace, we have a conference room that you or your church/business can rent and have a lovely place to meet.  We have a stage area, which will be put to good use already on Wednesday of this week with the visit of Ted Dekker.  Did I mention the windows?  (We here at the store are very excited about the windows) 
All in all it has been a long time since we have felt somewhat normal, and really don’t yet, but we can start settling in, get used to our new digs and enjoy having our new store feel like home.   Stop by and I would love to show you around our new digs. 
Happy Reading

The Bridge - Karen Kingsbury - (from the front flap) - A Love storey set against the struggle of the American bookstore.

Isle of Shadows - Tracy L. Higley - formerly titled Shadow of Colossus  - Tessa serves at the whim of her current patron.  His sudden death has Tessa longing for her freedom.

To Far to Say Far Enough - Nancy Rue - As everything seems to be falling in place, Allison thinks her job is finished until a nudge from God tells her to go another mile.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lynn Austin

Dear Readers
I am pretty sure I don’t have anything new to say about Lynn Austin.   She has been writing for many years now and I think I have read everything she has written.   Many of them are favorites and I am sure she will continue to add to that list for years to come.
All Things New is her latest release and once again shows off Lynn’s strength in her research and wonderfully written characters.  She writes about a difficult time in America’s history with honesty and such a different point of view.  Just as she has written several WWII books that are not even set in the theater of the war but teach us so much about that time, this one is set after the war.
Josephine and her family watch the war ending from a window in a family home in Richmond Virginia.  The Union soldiers march past the window and they all know that their lives have changed forever.   Do they stay in Richmond or return to their plantation?  Being a bitterly defeated country, it was not a safe place to be.  
Josephine’s mother decides to head back home to make the best of it.  One of the problems is, mother expects everything to continue on the same way, and nothing is the same.  No longer do they have slaves to run things or to even plant and take care of the garden to grow food.  Everything has changed and not everyone is willing to change with it.
I found this an interesting read because it pointed out some things that happened in the south after the war that I had never really thought about.  The owning of slaves went back generations and as evil and awful at it is, in the way of thinking of the plantation owners it was okay.  The North wasAll Things New, Lynn Austin, 978-0-7642-0897-3 asking them to change everything, even their economic structure and expected them to do it immediately. 
With all those factors happening along with the families reeling from the loss of fathers, husbands, and brothers, the North was asking a lot from them.  It is not a wonder that it gave birth to such things as the KKK and an influx of carpetbaggers.   I am not saying what they did was right, but it did give me a bit of understanding.
I will just add, if you are already a fan of Lynn’s you have probably already read this, if you have never read one of Lynn’s books this is a great place to start.
Happy Reading
P.S.  This book is available by request at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ted Dekker

Dear Readers,
Ted Dekker is going to be in our store next week Wednesday.  I can hardly wait as not only is a favorite author of mine going to be visiting; it will be a chance to show off our newly remodeled store.  Most of you know that we are closed this week so we can move our books from the old part of the store to new part of the store.  But on November 5th we will open at 7:00A.M. with a beautiful and fresh new look. 
The Sanctuary is Ted’s book that he will be promoting on his visit.  I recommend that you read The Priest Graveyard first to learn Renee and Danny’s history.  Once you have that read and understood then this book will be easier to read.  Now you could read this one without the first as Ted does a great job of reminding us all of the storyline, but there are some holes in the storyline that you may or may not understand if you haven’t read Priest’s Graveyard.  (If you haven’t read Priest yet then don’t read any farther in this review as it will give away the ending)
Danny is serving time for crimes he didn’t commit.  To save Renee he admitted to them so she wouldn’t have to go to prison.  Renee is trying to survive on her own and to overcome her fear of well everything.  They both get caught up in a game a person bent on revenge.  One who believes in an eye for an eye.  If either one of the goofs up in anyway, the other one dies. 
I wasn’t sure what to make of this book by Dekker.  It is very different for him.  He leaves out the creep factor and puts in more moral dilemmas.  I couldn’t put my finger on the thing in the book that was intriguing me the most.  I finally figured it out close to the end when one of the characters was talking about what was happening and I thought “Hey this is what it would be like in a world without grace.”  It is a world of the Old Testament, a world where works are what mattered and they were not all judge the same by an imperfect god. 
Without going to deep into the storyline, I wonder if that is what Ted had in mind for this story.  What would it be like to live in a world where there was no forgiveness and that the only reason anyone obeyed the laws was because they were afraid of the consequences of not obeying.  Yet some of those rules were subjective.   
I am glad I got a chance to read this book before visiting with him.  I have a couple of questions I would love to ask him and the storyline.  You also have a chance to “Share dinner with Ted.”  All you need to do is go to Baker Book House’s Facebook page and share the announcement of Ted visiting our store.  Once you do that you will be entered to win dinner with Ted. 
Happy Reading
P.S. Don't forget that Ted will be in our store on November 7th from 7 - 9. 

P.S.S. This book is available at our store or by request on our website.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Remodel 2012 - nearing the end

Dear Readers,

Today is the start of the moving at our store.  We are in the home stretch of the remodel.  Our store is closed through the week and will re-open on Nov. 5th, just in time to have Ted Dekker here on the 7th.  I am not sure what I am more excited about, Ted's visit or the new store.

We here at the store are ready to be done with the remodel.  As many of you know from your own remodels either at home or work, they are lots of work, time, energy and patience.  I think here we are about out of the last two.  But, to borrow a clique, we can see the light on the end of the tunnel.

If you need to get a hold of the store we will be checking phone messages and emails throughout the day and will contact you to fill your order or at least to let you know what is happening with any order you have here.

Give us some call if you have any questions, otherwise we will see you in November.

Happy Reading 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Steven James

Dear Readers,
2012 should go down as a banner year.  We got 2 books from Steven James.  First was the prequel to the Patrick Bowers series “Opening Moves.”   Secondly is his new series “Jevin Banks Novels,” with Placebo being the first one.
Jevin Banks is trying to recover from the murder/suicide of his wife and twin boys.   He is trying to get on with his life, trying to move on, but he is struggling.   He isn’t sure how to put it behind him and move on as his friend Xavier suggests.   Jevin wonders how you move on from something that changes your life in ways you never planned on.
Jevin works for the Entertainment Films Network doing exposes’ exposing corruption and greed.   By request of the Network Jevin is going to branch out and do more of the investigative reporting.  So he is going to take on Lawson Research Center and Dr. William Tanbyrn.   The good doctor claims to have solid research in mind to mind communication. 
That gives you a bit of a feel for the book.  If you are looking for the next Patrick Bowers series this is not it.  Don’t get me wrong it is still very good, but it just is not as creepy as Patrick’s series.  There are some really good discussions again that Steven is getting to be known for.  There are wonderful quirky characters; I think Xavier is one of my favorite characters that Steven has written.   There is nothing like a good discussion on conspiracy theories.   But the gore and just plain darkness of the other series are not present here.  
I really would and am having a hard time putting my finger on what to call this book.  It isn’t really a straight mystery, it is not a thriller, it is not really paranormal and yet it has elements of them all.  Maybe what I am trying to say is, if you liked Steven’s other books for the mystery and puzzle of it, this is the perfect book for you.  If you just like a good mystery then this is also a good book.  
Happy Reading

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Releases Oct. 15-20

Dear Readers,

I have two very important announcements this week.  First is that the week of Oct. 29th - Nov.3rd the store will be closed so that on November 5th we will reopen in our brand new store front.  Our new hours that day will be 7 A.M. with a full service cafe' and a wonderful new seating area to relax.  We will also have Wi-Fi, a staging area that we can host authors and muscians.  Which leads me right to my second announcement.

Ted Dekker is going to be in the store on November 7th from 7 - 9p.m.  This is his first visit to West Michigan in several years and I am excited to say the least. 

You also have a chance to 'Share a Dinner with Ted.'  If you go to our Facebook page and share our phote of Ted you will be eligable to win supper with Ted.  You will have a chance to talk to him with out a crowd of other fans in the area. 

If you have any questions please contact me at the store.

Happy Reading

Josiah for President - Martha Bolton - Mark Stedman decides that what this country really needs to run it is a man with loads of common sense and strong faith.

Sofia's Secret - Sharlene MacLaren - #3 River of Hope series - Sofia has not had it easy since her parents death, raising her younger brother, but when she is attack things get even tougher. 

Lovelier than Daybreak - Rosslyn Elliott - The Saddler's Legacy #3 - From the back cover - "a story" based on teh Westerville Whiskey War in 1875. 

Soul's Gate - James L. Rubart - #1 Wellspring Novel - What if you could battle for a person's soul inside their soul?  Reece used to be able to do that and God is calling him to do it again.

A Marriage of the Heart - Kelly Long - Three Amish Novellas - A Perfect Secret - Rose  Bender is betrothed to Luke - safe and secure Luke.  That is until she learns a secret about him,  Christmas Candle - Anna takes over her Aunt's midwife practice and Christmas night proves to be a busy night,  A Marriage of the Heart - Abigail longs to leave her fathers sad home and marries the first guy that asks.

The Memory Jar - Tricia Goyer - #1 Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors - (from the back)  Can this kind and gentle man break down Sarah's wall and will she risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

To Whisper her Name - Tamera Alexander - #1 Belle Meade Plantation - (from the back) - Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loves, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

William Sirls

Dear Readers,
The Reason by William Sirls is a debut novel and in some ways you can see that in the writing.  Some of it is very predictable and yet there was something about this book that was very appealing and drew me in.  I did enjoy reading it for the story part of it and the questions it addressed like ‘where is God when bad things happen?’
Pastor Jim and his wife Shirley shepherd a small church in a small Michigan town.  Not much excitement happens in this little town until the cross in the lawn of St. Thomas church is hit by lightning.  As Pastor Jim wonders how his little church will be able to repair the cross he hears “only believe.” 
The Reason, William SirlsWhen Brooke finds out that her young son, Alex, has leukemia , she is also told the words, ‘Only believe.’  Pastor Jim gives her the Bible verse in Luke 8:50, which reads ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and (he) will be made well.’  So she believes that God has taken care of Alex and he will get better. 
The list of characters goes on and they are all commanded to “only believe.”  Each must step out in faith to follow God’s command to them.  For some it is harder than others, but believe they must and sometimes to believe you must give up control of things in your life that you think without your help won’t get done. 
During a question and answer time in the back, William is asked  “what else would he like readers to know about this book.”  His answer is interesting.  He says “I would like them to only believe that everything in this book could happen.”  I do, I really do believe in miracles, and in a fiction story miracles are great, but too many make the story predictable and that is where I have a problem with the storyline.  I knew how it was going to end before it really got started.  Bummer, but I also think that this book is well worth a read.  (Strange sounding isn’t it?)
Happy Reading

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Releases Oct. 8 -13

Dear Readers,

Long list this week, so I will keep this part short.  Several very good titles including Debbie Viguie' and Steven James' new series. 

Happy Reading

Where the Trail Ends - Melanie Dobson - An American Tapestry - After surviving the Oregon Trail, Samantha is determined to make a life for her and her brother, but will love be denied her?

Kiss of Death - Debbie Viguie' - #2 - The Kiss Trilogy - Back hot on the trail of Rachelieu, Susan, Wendy, Gabriel and Raphel need to find a way to defeat the powerful vampire and his bid to take over the world.

Gideon's Call - Peter Leavell - Based on true events Gedeon's Call immerses readers int he slave culture of the South. 

Every Breathe You Take - M.K. Gilroy - Kristen goes undercover to find out who killed the son of a billionaire. 

Love finds you in Mackinaw Island Michigan - Melanie Dobson - Set on beautiful Mackinaw Island, Elena is torn between duty to family and the love of her life.

Take the Trophy and Run - Gail Sattler- #1 A Bloomfield Novel - Amber's one claim to fame with the Bloomfield Garden Club is her garden gnome, Gnorman.  When he is gnome-napped she sets out to find him and the club's irreplaceable trophy.

Rebecca's Rose - Jennifer Beckstrand - #1 Forever After in Apple Lake - Rebecca takes care of her family, feeling trapped at times.  But a promise to her best friend just might mean freedom for her.

Queen of the Waves - Janice Thompson - An American Tapestry novel - Jacqueline loves the gardener, the only way they can be together is if someone takes over her name and life.  So she pays Tessa to board the Titanic and enjoy everything the ship has to offer.

A Change of Fortune - Jen Turano - Lady Eliza has lost everything, her famly, her fiance', and her faith.  When she looses her fortune that is when she draws the line in the sand and get her fortune back.

Courting Cate - Leslie Gould - #1 The Courtships of Lancaster County - Cate Miller must marry before her younger sister can.  But her temper and sharp tongue make that difficult.

The Air We Breathe - Christa Parrish - Molly doesn't go outside.  Trapped in the town museum that her and her mother call home, she has no hope of ever finding happiness. 

The Breath of Dawn - Kristen Heitzmann - Morgan is living for his daughter only.  Quinn wants to only protect herself from the man she put in jail 4 years ago.  Can they help each other with their problems?

Placebo - Steven James - #1 A Jevin Banks Novel - A new series, a new main character, but a still a good Steven James book.  Jevin Banks uncovers a conspiracy involving the pharmaceutical companines. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Elizabeth Camden

Dear Readers,
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden is her third book in as many years.  She kind of surprised most readers with her romantic suspense historical stories.  I personally wasn’t really expecting to like her books, but like them I do.
In her other two books you get hints of both Christian Bane and “the Professor.”  This is the book where their stories come to light along with who they are and why their stories are important to us.  The story is set in Boston in the 1890’s during the height of the Opium trade here in America.  Opium was a drug of choice for most pharmacists and doctors of that time.  
Bane, as he is known by those who work with him, has made it his life’s mission to stop not only the illegal importing of opium, but also the prescribing of opium all together.   He knows the damage it can do even if used completely innocently.   That puts him in the sights of the person who is doing the most trading in Opium, Bane’s old mentor, the Professor.  
Against the Tide, Elizabeth Camden, 978-0-7642-1023-5Lydia has never met anyone so infuriating as Bane, but also he is someone who she is very much attracted to.  She wants and needs security and Bane knows that as long as the Professor is hunting him it is something he cannot offer Lydia. 
Once again Elizabeth writes and interesting story about America’s history that I don’t know much about.  I am sure some of it was taught in class at one point or another, but I also feel that the large Opium trade and use was not something that most history teachers are probably willing to teach about. Either way I found this a nice little read.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Michael Morris

Dear Readers,
Michael Morris released a couple of fiction books about 10 years ago.  I read them both and really enjoyed them.  I knew I had found an author I was going to look forward to reading again.  I just didn't know it was going to be so long until his next one, Man in the Blue Moon, came out.
I think the thing I love the most about Michael's writing is his ability to place the readers right next to his characters.  As I was reading the story, I could almost feel the hot humid weather of the Florida summer.  I could smell the smells from the swamp area he was talking about.  I got tired alongside of the family while they were cutting down trees.  That bone weary tired that happens only when you are working hard in hot weather.  I love books that can do that.
The story is set in Florida during WWI.  To be honest the book has very little to do with the war, I only mention it for a time reference.  The story is about Ella who is struggling to hold onto her family's home and land after her husband ran off.  He had mortgage the land to the local banker who is, to say it mildly, slightly corrupt.  He wants her land in order to sell it to a revival pastor. 
When Lanier shows up in the most unlikely way, Ella has to decide if she trusts him or not.  He has an idea for saving the land, but will they be able to get the money in time to save it? 
This is one of those stories that you just kind of immerse yourself in.  You are along as a witness to what happens, so that maybe at some point you will share the story with someone else.  The funny thing about stories that are set in the Deep South during the hottest months of the year, they move at a slower pace and yet that is what makes them so good. 
Happy Reading

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Releases Oct. 1 - 6

Dear Readers,
I had a totally different blog post prepared for this week until I found out some very exciting news.   We will be hosting Ted Dekker here in our new store on November 7th at 7:00 P.M.  This is the first time he has been in West Michigan for several years. 
I have only met him once before when he had just released book one of the Martyrs Series.  It was a pleasure to meet him and to get a chance to visit with him.  At the time he wasn’t as well-known as he is now and I had about a ½ hour of just asking him some questions about his writing and what he had planned for the future.  He talked a bit about a strange series that he was thinking of writing about a guy who falls asleep in our world and wakes up in a completely  different reality.  Sound familiar?   
If you have never meet Ted, here is your chance.  He is very interesting to speak to and you will have a chance to pick up his new book The Sanctuary that night also.  It releases the Tuesday night the week before he is here. 
There will be more details to follow.
Happy Reading

Judge - R.J. Larson - #2 Books of the Infinite - Ela is off to tell her home land of the Infinites wrath and Kein is off on his own mission from the Infinite.  Being a servant of the Infinite can really try a couple in love.
Darkness Rising - Lisa Wiehl - #2 in East Salem Novel - From the front cover - Secrets and murder, angels and demons.  Welcome to East Salem.
Twice a Bride - Mona Hodgson - #4 The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek - From the back cover - Love lost doesn't mean love lost forever.
A Wreath of Snow - Liz Curtis Higgs - A Victorian Christmas novella that will make a perfect read on Christmas Eve with gently falling snow and a cup of hot chocolate.

Material Witness - Vannetta Chapman - #2 A Shipshewana Amish Mystery - With the biggest crowds in town for the Fall Crafter's Fair, Shipshewana has a kiler on the loose.

Sugar Fork - Walt Larimore - The Randolph family struggles to survive after the lose of their wife and mother.

Naomi's Christmas - Marta Perry - #7 Pleasant Valley - Naomi's life is turning upside down.  After taking care of her father and siblings for years, she finds out her fathre is going to remarry and he needs Naomi to move out.  What new opportunities will come Naomi's way?

A Lady in the Making - Susan Page Davis - #3 Prairie Dreams - Mllie wants to turn over a new life.  but her half-brother isn't quite ready to have her start over.

Accidentally Amish - Olivia Newport - #1 Valley of Choice - When Annie needs to get away from her scheming business partner, she moves into an Amish community and it changes everything she believes about herself.

The Yellow Packard - Ace Collins - Can a car actually bring bad luck?  When George buys the car he doesn't think so, until his baby girl is kidnapped and the car stolen. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Debbie Viguie'

Dear Readers,
Before I started this review on Kiss of Death by Debbie Viguie’, I reread my post on book one of the series.  I didn’t really want to just repeat what I said about that book.  I think one of the interesting things about this series is this book is really a different story.   The main characters and story line are there, but this time Debbie takes us to where the story begins.  Prague in 1198.
I have to admit that I was much more interested in the history storyline than the contemporary one.  I think that is because the contemporary one is setting up for book #3 – Kiss of Revenge that releases next year and no that won’t be soon enough. On the other hand the historical story line gives the background of why things are happening and the characters involved.   
Once again we find Susan, Wendy and David fighting alongside the vampires Raphael, Gabriel and Paul.  When they find out that Richelieu is stealing all the relics that are rumored to have any of Christ’s blood on it they know they have to stop him before he reaches his goal to rule the world. 
I found myself reading this book with the same emotions that Carissa was struggling with.  She owed her life to a monster.  Without his help she would have been dead, but how could she trust or help him when she knew what he was and what he did.  How can I really like these characters?  They are not “normal,” and yet I found myself liking them.  It is a strange place to find myself. 
I am really enjoying this series, but I do so like Debbie’s writing.  I have read a couple of her other books that we don’t carry here at the store and her style is one that makes me want to continue reading. 
Happy Reading
P.S. This book is available in the store or by request at
P.S.S.  I recieved an ARC copy from the company for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dee Henderson

Dear Readers,
Dee Henderson was and is the queen of romantic suspense.  In fact I think the entire genre is considered “Dee Henderson” like.  I know people that have re-read the O’Malley series several times, each time enjoying it more and more.  To say this book is eagerly awaited is just a bit of an understatement. 
Full Disclosure, Dee Henderson, 978-0-7642-1089-1Full Disclosure is Dee’s first book in 5 years.  There was a time when people had just figured she was no longer writing.  I loved being able to tell people that I knew liked her books that she had another one coming.  The best part of it is Full Disclosure is book one of a series.  (Yeah!)
Ann is a cop’s cop.  She is very good at what she does and is able to use her skill in a way that it helps lots and lots of police departments around the country.  This is how FBI agent, Paul Falcon meets her; a case comes across her desk that seems to intersect with a case the FBI has been working on. 
After meeting her and working with her a bit, Paul realizes that he wants to get to know her more.  There are so many things he doesn’t know or understand about Ann, but wants to learn.  Why is she so secretive about her past?  Why does she know so many important people, including a former Vice President?  Paul is beginning to wonder if her secrets will keep them apart.
I really enjoyed reading this book.   I was worried, needlessly, that Dee may have lost a step in her writing.  There is nothing to worry about, if anything she has gotten better.  I loved her characters and the plot lines that she had for them.  I wanted to know more about each one of them and am looking forward to her next book in the series.  No I don’t know when that will be, but hopefully soon.
Happy Reading

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Releases Sept. 24 - 29

Dear Readers,
We are one week from our full librarian’s day.  It is a day we sponsor here at the store to help church librarians save a little money and to learn about the new books that have come out in the last 6 months. 
I know I have mentioned this day before and how much I enjoy it.  As silly as it sounds I do love that day.  We have fun and lots of laughter.  I get a chance to see some librarians that I only get to see twice a year.  It is a chance to catch up and visit.  To find out the state of their churches and what can we as a store do to help them. 
Over all it is just a good day.  If you know of a church librarian let them know about our day and if you are one yourself, come join us.
Happy Reading

Double Blind - Brandilyn Collins - Lisa agrees to be part of a test group for those that suffer from depression.  But is it worth the risk?

Beside Two Rivers - Rita Gerlach - #2 Daughters of the Potomac series - Darcy moves along a path where family secrets are slowly revealed.  Will those secrets keep her from finding happiness?

A Texan's Choice - Shelley Gray - #3 the Heart of a Hero series - Sometimes Heroes are disguised as gunslingers and sometimes the most unlikely dreams really can come true.

Brink of Chaos - Tim LaHaye/Craig Parshall - #3 the End Series - Joshua is in Isreal helping them set up their 7 year plan.  Is their plan the same as God's?

Free from Guilt - Pat Simmons - #3 the Jamieson Legacy - God's desire is that everyone should be saved... including Cameron Jamieson.

Greenwood and Archer - Marlene Banks - 1921 - sequel to Son of a Preacherman - After the race riots end in Tulsa, the Greenwood District needs to rebuild.  But who will stand firm in trying to keep the mob out?