Monday, April 30, 2012

New Releases April 23 -28

Dear Readers,

I just found out that a friend of mine and local author is coming to the store.  I have already read the book that she will be signing on that date and it is good, really good.  I can hardly wait to share it with you all.  For now put June 16th on your calendar between 10 -1 to meet Tracy Groot and to pick up an autographed copy of her new book Flame of Resistance

Happy Reading.

Paradise Calling - Ilze Henderson - Now every step could be their last as they learn the implications of this extraordinary discovery for the human race and the power it holds to change even their own hearts.

Harvest of Rubies - Tessa Afshar - Sarah is struggling to find her worth in a man's world.  Can a scribe working in the queen's court ever truly find happiness and love.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ann Tatlock

Dear Readers,
If you are looking for a gentle story that has a powerful story to tell, try anything by Ann Tatlock.  She faces issues head on, but while gently nudging her characters to decisions that may not always be the easiest, but it is where they need to go.
Travelers Rest, Ann Tatlock, 978-0-7642-0810-2Traveler's Gift is no different.  Jane has loved Seth since they were in school together.  They became engaged and he was sent to Iraq with his National Guard unit.  Jane's only prayer is that he will return to her soon and they can start their life together. 
Seth does return, but only after a sniper's rifle take away any chance of a normal life.  He is paralyzed from the neck down.   He thinks his life is over and that he has no chance at happiness now.    Jane sees it differently and is determined to prove her love to Seth and her willingness to make their life together work in spite of this new obstacle. 
What would you do if this happened to you?   Is it an easy answer for you?  Do you stay or do you run the other direction?  Jane receives lots and lots of advice from several different sources.   Some try to tell her what to do and some just try to help her make a decision on her own, by pointing out all the challenges she would face.  I honestly couldn’t answer the question for myself.  One of the conversations points out that the answer maybe be different when you are engaged or if you were married.  I thought that was an interesting point to the story.  Either way I really don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here.  I can’t of course tell you what happens as that would give the whole story away, but I found this entire book fascinating for the thoughts and questions it raised. 
Here is a small side note, not long ago I had a conversation with someone about something close to this.  This person is engaged and said that they would not stay if they were not married.  I will tell you straight out, that answer really bothered me.   Our conversation at the time did not involve a person who was paralyzed, but it was an illness.   So some things were different, but I did find it a bit ironic that I had just talked to someone about this. 
Happy Reading

P.S. This book is available at Baker Book House or online by request at

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Releases April 16 - 21

Dear Readers,

Over the past few weeks, I have had many chances to read several books that are only in manuscript form.  Some I have gotten in e-form, but most come in hard copies that make it a bit of a trick to read.  Some are packaged all nice in a binder of some sort and others come in loose leaf form.  The loose leaf ones always make it more interesting to read.  I have a system down, but every once and a while I get mixed up and end up reading backwards.  I know that sounds hard to do, but I manage to do it.  It is usually when I am reading late at night and am a bit tired.  Let me tell you when you are already tired and suddenly the story seems to be going backwards...  my oh my that is confusing.  LOL  I guess that is why they put them in book form. 

Happy Reading
Cowgirl Trail - Susan Page Davis - A Morgan family saga - A young woman determined to save the family ranch, a devastating loss and an answer to prayer as shot are fired.

Trauma Plan - Candace Calvert - #1 Grace Medical - Riley just wants to be an ER nurse again, but the powers that be won't let her.  Instead she finds herself trying to prove herself at a controversial clinic.  Wull it prove to be a good choice or a place that may cost her more than she is willing to give?

Amelia's Journey - Martha Rogers - For Ben Haynes it is love at first sight, but can a Boston socialite firnd true happiness with a cowboy from Kansas?

Heaven Help Helen Sloane - J.R. Lucas - Helen is in for one interesting year, just take a look at her journal...

Love's Tangled Web - Keren Franklin - A picture-perfect marriage, a little harmless flirting, two sisters, with lifelong resentments.  The ultimate betrayal.

Where Lilacs still Bloom - Jane Kirkpatrick - Based on the life of Hulda Klager and the plant hybridization she did.  Her Washington State gardens still exsist today filled with flowers that people can still get cuttings from.

A Stand-Up Guy - Michael Synder - This Pull no punches book, looks at how the truth hurts.. and heals... is for anyone who recognizes the wisdom of learning to tell the right truth at the right time.

Relentless Pursuit - Kathy Herman - #3 secrets of Roux River Bayou - Sax is trying to find his sister her left behind 11 years ago.  When fear of a terriost in the area makes the area his sister was last listed unsafe, he knows he needs to continue the search to regain peace.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Julie Klassen

Dear Readers,
This review is one that is easy to write.  Most of you who follow my blog know my feelings on Julie Klassen.  I really, really like her books. To be perfectly honest I didn't expect to, regency romance is not a favorite of mine, but these stories... well what else do I say about them.
Maid of Fairbourne Hall is her most recent release and was just a joy to read.  I usually read them Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The, Julie Klassen, 978-0-7642-0709-9after a high intensity book or if I am on vacation.  They are perfect for that.  This one is no different. 
Margaret does not love her new step-father.  He is trying to force her to marry his nephew.  Then she overhears him telling his nephew that he needs to get Margaret to marry him any way possible, good or bad.  She knows it is time to do something about it.  
Margaret decides to disappear and hide away until she receives the inheritance from her aunt.  Then she will be able to support herself and will no longer be forced to live with or marry anyone.   The only problem is that when she flees her home, she really has no plan except to get out.  How will she support herself, where will she live, who can she trust?  It all looks just a bit overwhelming until Joan suggests she take a job as a maid somewhere.  How hard can that be? 
Once again Julie delivers a book with a great deal of humor, but also with a bit of insight into what it was like to live as a maid.  She includes little quotes at the beginning of each chapter that come from different publications of the day.  It is amazing what people believed or expected about and from their work staff.  I have over the years read several books where an aristocrat hides out as a maid to escape from some evil person.  According to the first quote in the book, only one person ever did it in actuality.  So much for the romance of it all. 
Happy Reading

P.S. This book is available at Baker Book House or online by request at

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Releases April 9 - 14

Dear Readers,
Some weeks, what I write here is easy, an author is coming or some other important event is coming up.  This week it has been a bit harder.  My calendar is full and that means I focus on the next thing and don't look at other things that need to be done also.  One of the things that I don't need to keep focused on is my reading habit.  I am teaching a couple of different workshops in the next month and I am a judge for a Christian Fiction Award. 
All fun and exciting things, but they all take time and focus.  They also have a slightly different focus on fiction.  One of the workshops is about reviews of good fiction books and what I see as new or exciting trends in Christian fiction.  Of course that is mostly guess work as it is kind of like predicting the future.  But it is fun to talk about because some of what I talk about can be what I would like to see.    
The second workshop is for new authors.  It means I am talking about what as a fiction buyer/reader look for in a book.  What makes a book stand out from the others.   I have talked about this subject a couple of times now and each time I do, I learn something new from the audience because of the questions they ask.   I have to say, that since having the chance to meet authors and talk to them, I have an even bigger respect for them and the hard work they put into their writing.
To keep this from being to long, I will wait for a later date to talk about the judge experience
Happy Reading.

The Fiddler - Beverly Lewis -Bev will be in our store Sept. 14th. Watch for the chance to have dinner with Bev.  Home to Hickory Hollow #1- Amelia "Amy" DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love.  When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, she goes to find help and meets someone who will change her life forever.

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club - Wanda Brunstetter - Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot.

Lady Anne's Quest - Susan Page Davis - Prairie Dreams #2 - As Anne begins to see Dad differently.  Will she soon be envisioning a new life in America?

Harriet Beamer takes the Bus - Joyce Magnin - Harriet agrees that she will move in with her son and daughter-in-law insist, but she will make the move her way.  Across country on public transportation.

The Surrender - Gilbert Morris - The Last Cavaliers #3 - Robert E. Lee and his neighbor Morgan head off to fight the war together.

A Love Forbidden - Kathleen Morgan - Heart of the Rockies #2 - Shiloh is so excited to start her new job teaching the Ute Indian children.  Then reality set in and she is caught between the Utes, the Indian agent and the US goverment.

Submerged - Dani Pettrey - #1 in Alaskan Courage - Bailey was never going to return to her greatest mistake.  An aunt's death and her inheritance changes all of that.  Now Bailey must face not only her past, but a murder also.

My Stubborn Heart - Becky Wade - Kate is burned out at work, has sworn off men and needs an adventure.  When her Aunt askes her to help restore the old family home, Kate jumps at the chance.

Travelers Rest - Ann Tatlock - All Jane dreams of is marring the love of her life, but a stray bullet changes her dreams forever.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rachel Hauck

Dear Readers,
There was something about The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck that drew my attention right away.  I don’t know if it was just a great cover or if it was the plotline that was talked about on the back cover.   I have read several different books by Rachel and have liked the ones I have read, but it has been a while and I thought it is about time to read another one. 
The Wedding Dress by Rachel HauckCharlotte has the gift of finding the perfect dress for every bride that comes into her shop.   She has a thriving business thanks to an anonymous gift that helped her get her feet on the ground and get rolling.  Of course it didn’t hurt that a former Miss Alabama asked her to do her dress. The rest, they say, is history.  Her little wedding dress shop started doing well and Charlotte thought she was all set for the rest of her life.
That is until she meet Tim and in a whirlwind started dating him and then became engaged to him.  Excited to join a big family that had siblings, nephews and nieces, parents etc… Charlotte said yes.  Now with only 2 months to her own wedding she still hasn’t picked a dress for herself. To be honest she hasn’t even really looked.  She hasn’t addressed the invites, which of course means she hasn’t sent them either.  Why is that? 
This story is so much more than just a love story between Tim and Rachel.  It is the story of God’s love for each of us as his child and how he wants the best for us.  That includes who we marry.  He is involved in every part of our lives.   I think there are times that we think our everyday lives are just our own and God doesn’t really bother himself with the little details, but he does.  He really does want to know everything about us.
I really enjoyed this gentle little tale.  It kept my interest the whole book.  It was just a plain and simple delight to read and now recommend to others.
Happy Reading

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Releases April 2 - 7

Dear Readers,

I have a very full week this week.  First on Tuesday is the stores spring librarians' day.  Many already know the details of that day, but incase you don't know, it is a day for church and public librarians to come and learn about the releases of the last 6 months.  I do reviews several different times during the day and we offer extra discounts for them.  Over all we have a very very fun day.

The second thing is Irene Hannon is coming ot visit on Thursday.  I am looking forward to meeting her.  She writes romantic suspense books along the lines of Dee Henderson.  She has filled that gap left when Dee took a break.  Her book's characters are from the front lines of fighting terrist, drug wars and crime.  Irene has put a face on the men and women that everyday fight and sacrifice to keep us all safe. 

Come join me and Irene at the store on Thursday April 12 at 7:00 p.m. 

Happy Reading

Legacy Road - Graham Garrison - Can the Legacy of a hometown hero help Wes mend his relationship with his father?

Garden of Madness - Tracy L. Higley - What happened in Babylon during the 7 years King Nebuchandnezzar lived as a wild beast? Who was in charge?  Princess Tia finds herself in the middle of mystery and intrigue.

As One Devil to Another - Richard Platt - Enter into this chilling and diabolical tale, one that reveals the very tricks and strategies of Hell.  Will remind you of Screwtape letters.

Uncommon Grace - Serena B. Miller - Two very different people find themselves attracted to each other.  Is Grace willing to give up her new farm to save herself from a love that can not be.  Is Levi willing to give up his Amish ways to have the woman he loves?

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek - Jane Myers Perrine - The matchmakers of Butternut Creek is alive and well and they have set their sights on the new pastor and then a returning vetern.

Eyes of Justice - Lis Wiehl/April Henry - #3 of the Triple Threat Series - When one of their own is murdered the remaining members of Triple Threat go into over drive to find the killer

Thunder and Rain - Charles Martin - Samantha and her daughter need a place to hide.  Ty and his son seem to have the ideal place, but it may cost them all more than they are willing to give.

A Wandering Heart - Thomas Kincade/Katherine Spencer - #3 in the Angel Island series - The movie star Charlotte and the local fisherman Colin have an instant and undeniable attraction to each other.  But their worlds are very different and can true love over come all obstacles?

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning - Olivia Newport - Get swept away into the world of Chicago's high society with Lucy Banning as she tries to not be forced into a mold that just doesn't fit.

The Ride of Her Life - Lorna Seilstad - Lake Manawa Summers #3 - Come spend the summer at Lake Manawa with Lilly as she makes a new life for herself and her 6 year old son.
P.S. These books are available at Baker Book House or by request at

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Jonathan C. Leicht

Dear Readers,
Every once in a while I read a book that is totally different than anything else I have read.  Behemoth by Jonathan C. Leicht was that type of book.  The impression I got from the book is that Jonathan wanted to point out flaws in the evolution theory, but in spite of some of the preaching in it, it has a fun little plot line.
What if dinosaurs still actually walked the planet?  What if the only reason we don’t know this is because we don’t believe the natives in Africa that there are behemoths still wandering the jungles?  Would the discovery of dinosaurs actually set the whole evolutionary belief on its ear? 
BehemothJim Thompson finds 3 of the elephants on a game preserve slaughtered in a very violent way.  For something to kill an elephant in that manner, it would have to be something very big.   No animal that Jim knows of could kill in that way.  Jim needs to discover what it is before it wipes out his elephant herd.   His journey of discovery leads him to answers that he finds hard to believe.
To be honest I just wasn’t so sure how much I would like the book, but since I got a chance to get it for free to read and review I thought I would take a chance with it.  I am glad I did.  It was a fun little read that once I set aside some big flaws in the reasoning behind us not knowing the dinosaurs were there, I really did enjoy it.  
Happy Reading.
P.S.  Right now I can only find this book in electronic form.  Sorry, but I was asked to review this book by Nelson and needed to put the review on my blog. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

T.L. Higley

Dear Readers,
I really enjoy reading T.L. Higley’s books.  I always learn something about the culture she writes about.  Pompeii is her most recent book, but I put off reading it until it was closer to when my book club was going to read it.  I am so glad I got a chance to read it and I can’t wait to discuss it with the ladies as they all have different views of the book and what they liked and didn’t like. 
Product DetailsOf course this is set in Pompeii just before the mountain erupts on them all.  In some ways I don’t like that as I do know how the book will end.  Then Vesuvius does blow and destroy the town.  It kills thousands of people.  Pompeii was a beautiful playground for the idle rich back in the time of the Roman Empire.   Because of the way the disaster happened, we have been able to see a lot about the Roman life which we may never have learned otherwise.  Things, people, and animals were all preserved in the ash that poured out of the mountain, waiting for us to find years later. 
Ariella runs from an owner who used her for his own perverted pleasure.  She trades her life as a woman for that of a young boy learning the gladiator trade.  She has learned not to trust anyone with her life and plans except herself.  
Cato has fled Rome in disgrace.  His plans for his political future are in ashes behind him.  He vows to not be drawn into the politics of Pompeii, he just wants to run and own his vineyard and grow good grapes and make great wine.  That is until he meets the guy who is charge of Pompeii. Cato realizes that Maius runs the city through threats, blackmail and extortion.  Cato’s sense of justice rises to the surface and he is faced with the choice on whether the gods led him here just for this reason.
I found out lots about Roman life I really didn’t know, but there were other things I read that I already knew.  The corruption and greed of the ruling class in the Roman Empire was great.  The little guys had no way to get out from under their thumbs.  The way the rich pursued any and all avenues of entertainment was amazing.  Because they had someone or something to do their work for them, they were just bored and looking for a new way to be excited by something.   It all was just a little chilling if you want to draw parallels between Rome and the USA.  I had to remind myself a couple of times that no this was not a book about modern times, as close as it seemed sometimes. 
Happy Reading.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Releases March 26 - 31

Dear Readers,
When we as a store were talking about doing a remodel, one thing we all agreed on was - no author visits this year as we didn't feel we could do them justice.   So in the spirit of the decision the fiction department is bringing in its second author in two months. 
Irene Hannon will be in our store next week Thursday April 12th at 7:00 P.M.  She will be speaking and then signing her books. 
Irene entered the Christian market to fill a niche that was left open when Dee Henderson took a break from writing.  She writes romantic suspense that is action packed with a lovely mix of romance.   Both the series she is working on now and her first one keep your attention and leaving you wanting to read the next book.
Her first series. Heroes of Quantico, includes the titles Against All Odds – hostage rescue, An Eye for an Eye – tracking a sniper, In Harm’s Way -an abducted child.  They all follow experiences of agents with the FBI. 
Her second series, Guardians of Justice, will conclude in August with the release of Lethal Legacy, book #3.  Book #1, Fatal Judgment and book #2, Deadly Pursuit once again plunge readers into the world of law enforcement.  You meet characters that are ex-military but now stand on the lines of saving people from criminals. 
I can’t tell you how much fun it is to listen to an author.  To hear about their writing experiences and to understand why they write what they write. 
Happy Reading 

Missing - Shelley Shepard Gray - The Secrets of Crittenden County #1 - Can two young people survive the suspicions of the friends and neighbors when tragedy strikes a close knit Amish community?

Prayer and Pawprints - Diann Hunt - Tales from Grace Chapel Inn - Two special dogs join the citizens of Acorn Hill.

Empty Nest - Pam Hanson/ Barbara Andrews - Tales from Grace Chapel Inn - Spring is in the air and with it comes the arrival of a dreamy poet that drives everyone crazy.

The Chase - Diann Mills - To the FBI it's a cold case.  To Kariss it's a hot story... a story that needs to be told.

Special Delivery - Kathi Macias - Freedom Series #2 - Mara and Josh's story continues in this sequel to Deliver Me from Evil. 

Need You Now - Beth Wiseman - When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene move their teens from Houston to Round Top, Texas.  Small town life has a whole set of it's own problems.

Brush of Angel's Wings - Beth Reid - He doesn't plan to stay Amish.  She doesn't have a plan.  Then an angel draws their hearts toward God...and each other.

Heart of Glass - Jill Marie Landis - Irish Angel #3 - Will Colin's hovering darkness ever lift?  And can Kate's persistent love and faith transform their uncertian future?