Thursday, May 31, 2012

Austin Boyd

Dear Readers,
I waited to write this blog review about Austin Boyd’s book Nobody’s Child until after my book club met.  I was very interested in what the book club had to say.  I was curious as to whether they liked it and what they had to say about it.  They were mostly in favor of the book, they had a couple of points they either disagreed with or found down right funny.  Over all we decided it was a good book and would recommend it to others.
The subject of the book is the harvesting, buying and selling of human eggs.  It is something that is very much in the news suddenly.  In fact I watched a news story this morning about a lady who is an American citizen who was impregnated by eggs and sperm in a foreign country.   Neither the country the donations came from nor the USA recognizes these children as citizen of their country.  The parents are caught in between the law and what medicine can do for them right now. 
With that news story, suddenly this book becomes more relevant than ever.  These are things that we as Christians will need to know about and choose  on the right and wrong of it all.  I know that the discussion we had last night was pretty interesting, but I don’t think we decided anything.
Laura Ann believes the only way she can save her family farm is to sell her eggs.  She is not proud of this choice, but feels pushed into it by circumstances.  Through several strange twists she meets one of the mothers helped by her donation and suddenly her choice comes home and she knows that she now has children out there that she will never know or meet. 
This is one of those gray issues that seem to be ok at first glance, but as I did more looking into it and the effects on the woman who donate and the children born as a result, it might not be so gray.  I can’t give you an answer to what you should think, but this book will at least start you deciding for yourself.  Austin also includes several websites, books and papers that you can visit and read to help you understand it all.
Happy Reading

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

New Releases May 21 - 26

Dear Readers,

The demolition has begun.  We have the entire contents of the store pushed into 1/3 of the floor space.  We are crunched together and eagerly awaiting the first "new" thing goes up.  Of course we know that they are going to work on the restrooms first so they can knock down the old ones.  (We refused to use port-a-pots for the summer)  So we are excited to see those go up.

From the perspective of having lived through this at home and work several times, I know once it kicks into gear it will go very quickly.  Every day will bring changes.  Things go so very quickly when the professionals take over and do things on their pace.  They know what they are doing and it shows. 

I don't know if I could even keep up with the updates, but I will let you know when major things happen.  That way you may have some idea of what is happen over here and how we are all faring. 

Happy Reading

Rebel - Linda Winsor - #3 the Brides of Alba - Merlin is Dead!  The succession of the throne is undecided and the church is on the defensive.  Throw in a bit of romance and it is the making of a great conclusion to this series.

Mary Magdalene - Diana Wallis Taylor - If you haven't read one of Diana's books, this would be a great plase to start.  A woman of mystery and intrigue of the Bible.

The Director's Cut - Janice Thompson - #3 in the Backstage Pass series - Tia is used to calling the shots, but she can't get the people in her life to listen like her stars do.

Waiting for Sunrise - Eva Marie Everson - #2 Ceder Key Novel - Sometimes finding your future means making peace with your past.  Eva's books are wonderful summer reads.

Two Testaments - Elizabeth Musser - #2 Secrets of the Cross - (book one was on last week's list) The tinderbox of broken political and racial relations in the 1960s France and Algeria provide of chaos for what is brewing.

The Next Target - Nikki Arana - Ausia has to ask herself , " How much will she rish to stay true to herself, her faith and the lives of the women she serves?"

Oil - Jeff Nesbit - A new breed of terrorish threatens to sift the balance of world power and shatter the fragile peace in the Middle East.

Following your Heart - Jerry S. Eicher - #2 Fields of Home - Can an Englisha girl find true happiness among the Amish?

Hope Springs - Kim Cash Tate - Hope SPrings is the epitome of small town life - a place filled with quiet streets, where families have been friends for generations, a place where not a lot changes... until now.

The Bruise Brothers - Joe Jankowski - Lawrenceville is looking at it's first football State Finals in 30 years, but will the Bruszynski brothers be able to deliver a win just like their father did?

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

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer Read ideas part I

Dear Readers,

I have such a nice long list for summer reads this year and I think it could have been even longer if I included the ones that will be releasing during the summer months.  Enjoy

Lasting Impression – Tamara Alexander - #1 Belmont Mansion – Historical romance, set in Nashville just after the Civil War ends.  Against the beautiful backdrop of a national treasure a novel with danger, mystery and love.

Into the Free – Julie Cantrell – Millie longs to run from home and the gyspies that come to town every year seem the perfect answer to her problems.

Wonderland Creek – Lynn Austin – Do you know what a traveling library is?  This book explores that and what life is like in the Ozarks during the depression.

Nobody’s Child – Austin Boyd – When Laura Ann sells her eggs for money she has no idea the repercussion that could happen.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall- Julie Klassen – Margaret needs to get away from her step father and his nephew, fast.  She goes into hiding in probably the worst possible place, her former beau’s house.

Cooking the Books – Bonnie Calhoun – Who knew that books could be so dangerous?  Sloane Templeton didn’t until she inherits her mother’s bookstore.

Need You Now – Beth Wiseman – Brad and Darlene move their family to a safe small town.  The problem is that even small towns have dangers in them.  Not only dangers for their kids, but dangers to their marriage. 

Trauma Plan – Candace Calvert - #1 Grace Medical – Dr. jack Travis is fighting to keep his clinic open.  Will Riley Hale be an answer to his prayers?

Words Spoken True – Ann Gabhart – Politics, immigration, and the media. Sound familiar on this is set in the 1800’s in Louisville

The Rose on Winslow Street – Elizabeth Camden – Libby and her father didn’t expect to have to fight for their own house, but when Michael and his family move in and claim it as their own, fight they must.  That isn’t a problem except Michael is a distraction.

Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club – Wanda Brunstetter – A very unlikely group of quilters show up for the first quilting class.  Are they all there for the same thing?

River’s Call – Melody Carlson - #2 Inn at Shining Waters – It is now the 60’s and Lauren is confused, brokenhearted and misguided.  She hopes her grandmother can help her.
Gone to Ground – Brandilyn Collins – 5 women in 2 years are murdered.  3 women think they know who the murderer is, but they each think it is someone different.

Flame of Resistance – Tracy Groot – Releases in July – Takes the story of Rahab and sets it in France during WWII.  Join the French resistance while the make their strikes for their freedom.

Captive Heart – Dale Cramer - #2 in the Paradise Valley series – If you read book one you will want to read this one. 

Chasing Mona Lisa – Tricia Goyer/Mike Yorkey – As the Allies rush to liberate France, the Nazis try to take as much of the countries treasure with them, including the national treasure of the Mona Lisa.

Echoes of Titanic – Mindy Starns Clark/John Campbell Clark – Is Kelsey’s grandmother actually who she says she is?  If not who is she really and why did she hid her true identity.

P.S. these books are all available at Baker Book House or by request on

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Robert Liparulo

Dear Readers,
I almost didn’t read The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo.  I have read several of his before and even though I really enjoyed the story itself, the ends have left something to be desired.  I am not sure what made me decide to read this, but I did and I am happy to say the ending is much better for this one. I will admit there were a couple of times I was worried because Robert had such a big build up I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to tie it all together.
The idea behind the book is that there was a 13th tribe of Israel that was cursed to roam the world forever after worshiping the golden calf.  Now they weren’t a 13th tribe before that, they were just made into the tribe as punishment.   Ever since then they have tried to earn God’s forgiveness by being vigilantes for God.  They make it their job to rid the world of all sinners that deserve to die.
It is harder to go into more detail than this as it really is a bit of a complicated storyline.  There are many threads to the story and they each develop well together but also by themselves.  It isn’t so complicated that you get confused by everything that is going on, but it does keep you on your toes.  I will admit I got confused as to who was who a couple of times, but it didn’t really take away from the book or make me frustrated. 
The 13th Tribe, Robert LiparuloIt was fun to read a story that was about someone racing to save the world, but you know it isn’t so that he can stop the world from coming to an end.   Except for the ‘super natural' part of the story this is really just a good action adventure book.
Happy Reading

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Releases May 14th - 19th

Dear Readers,

Below I have a quote from a friend of mine's blog.  Josh also works here at the store with me and he has started a blog that if you are a writer or even a want-to-be writer would be a good one to follow.  In his post from last week he talked about Indie bookstores. 
         But are all bookstores equal?

While all bookstores carry books (this being the working definition of a bookstore), sadly not all bookstores are equal. You can probably walk into any bookstore and find the book that you’ve been wanting to read, but when you walk into a really good bookstore, you’ll find the book that you didn’t even know about, the book that you’ll soon love, and the book that you’ll see on the bestseller lists in a month and be able to say with pride that you read it before it was popular. Why is this? Because a really good bookstore is staffed by really good people.

Believe it or not, most bookstore employees never become billionaires by selling books. If you were thinking about becoming one solely for the money, consider your bubble to be well and truly burst. No, the reason people work in bookstores is because we love books. We love reading them, talking about them, and selling them to complete strangers because we are sure that they love the same things.

Josh got it right, this is why I work at a bookstore. 

If you want to read all of Josh's blogpost, you can follow this link.

Happy Reading,
Skip Rock Shallows - Jan Watson - Lilly is ready to take on her new internship in Skip Rock, Kentucky.  Her beau wants her to join him in Boston, but Lilly's heart is with the people she knows and understands.

Stardust - Carol Stewart - Georgia buys the rundown Stardust motel in hopes of breathing new life into it and her own life.

Murder in Miami - Noel Hynd - #2 the Cuban Trilogy - U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra travel to Miami to speak to a recent Cuban defector who could be a key part of her investigation.  Will Alexandra be able to escape with her faith? her life?

The River Rose - Gilbert Morris - #2 the Water Wheel novels - Can the steamboat, The Helena Rose be the answer to all of Jeanne's problems or just bring new ones along.

Galmorous Illusions - Lisa T. Bergren - #1 The Grand Tour Series - Cora is invited to take the "Grand Tour" with the trip intended to finish her education and refinement.  But will she learn more than she wanted to know?  Set in Europe in 1913. 

Two Crosses - Elizabeth Musser - #1 Secrets of the Cross - Gabriella travels to a village in France to finish her university studies.  While there she gets involved in the Algerian war for independence.

P.S. These books are available at the store or by request on

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Becky Wade

Dear Readers,
I am sure that I have mentioned that one of my perks for this job is the chance to read books before they release.  It is a fun perk that has its good and bad sides.  I love having the chance to find out for you what is coming and if it is going to be worth your time and money to read.   It also helps me discover new authors that I can get excited about and share with you. 
Becky Wade Is a new author from Baker Publishing group.   Her book, My Stubborn Heart, was not completely what I expected.  It is in the romance genre and yes that is what it fits, but it is a little bit more than that.  It is also about looking for and finding the reason that God may have led you somewhere.  Sometimes it is not what we always expect.
Kate has agreed to accompany her grandmother to renovate the family home in Redbud, Pennsylvania.  Gran wants to return the house to its former grandeur and Becky is very excited about the project.  Chapel Bluff has been in the family since 1820.  It should have been a job that could overwhelm anyone and yet Kate can hardly wait to get started.
My Stubborn Heart, Becky Wade, 978-0-7642-0974-1Matt has had it all.  He was on top of the world, he was a star in the NHL, he had a wife he loved and he had the world by the tail.  Then his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer and his world crumbles.   After his wife passes, he retires from hockey and goes and hides from the world.   He does odd jobs here and there to keep busy and that is what brought him to Kate’s doorstep. 
What neither one of them knew was God brought them together for a completely different reason.    Matt needed a friend and Kate was going to help him by being that friend. 
So I am sure you can figure out the romance part of this story, but don’t let that keep you from reading this book.  Like I said earlier, it is a romance, but so much more than that.  It is about answered prayer and how the answer is not always exactly what we ask for. 
The prologue is actually what got me reading.  I had a couple different books I could have started here on lunch and was looking through them all.  Becky has such a different take on her prologue that it got me interested in the book, but it was the last tiny paragraph that really caught my attention.  “Funny thing about prayers, God hears them.  But you just never know if, when, or how he’s going to answer them.”  How true, how true and I guess that is what makes life so very interesting. 
Happy Reading.

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Releases May 7 - 12

Dear Readers,

This past Saturday I will have competed in the Grand Rapids River Bank Run.  It is a 25k run, which in American means 15.5 miles.  That is something I never thought I would do.  Really.  Running and I get along much better when someone else is doing it or I am all finished.  Then I like it.
It is amazing to me what I have done in these last couple of years.  I have found myself over and over saying “it isn’t something I thought I could do.”   The things I am doing are all fun exciting things and now that I started I don’t want them to end.  I am enjoying this new confidence that I have gotten and I will say this freely.  It is a God thing, because without him I wouldn’t be able to do any of it.
How about you?  Anything interesting happening that you never thought would be something you would do?  Care to share?

Touching the Sky - Tracie Peterson - #2 in the Land of the Lone Star series - Her heart is caught between the man she love and the sister she's desperate to protect.

Short-straw Bride - Karen Witemeyer - Meredith decides to take a risk to help someone who helped her years ago.  With the debt paid costing her more than she was able to pay with Travis be able to rescue her again.

Love in Disguise - Carol Cox - Ellie's first assignment for Pinkerton Dectective Agency is in Arizona.  She needs to figure out how is stealing the silver shipments. 

Wedding Bells - Janice Hanna - Lottie has big plans to help Gilbert save his ranch, the problem is the single guys in town sabotaged them and not is turning out the way it should.

Wildflowers from Winter - Katie Ganshert - Bethany returns to her home town to lend support to a long lost friend.  What she finds instead is a way to make peace with her strange childhood her had.

The Bride wore Blue - Mona Hodgson - #3 in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek - Headed toward a fresh start, but tethered by her past, Vivian longs to break free and find forgiveness and love.

The Widow of Saunders Creek - Tracey Bateman - Corrie knows she doesn't want to live without her husband, Jarrod.  She moves back to his family farm and starts believing she sees and hear his spirit every where.  Is it really Jarrod's ghost or something much more sinister?

Flame of Resistance - Tracy Groot -  If you read one book this year, read this one.  Set during WWII with the French resistance playing center stage.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Katie Ganshert

Dear Readers,
With the job I have I try very hard to read books by any and all new authors.  It can give me a good feel of their writing style, but also an idea of what type of readers to recommend them to.   
So when Stuart, the rep for Waterbrook, mentioned new author Katie Ganshert's book Wildflowers from Winter, he told me right away that he was getting me a copy as soon as it became available (I have trained him well :-).
Bethany is achieving her dream   She lives and works in Chicago.  She has a job at a prestigious architect firm.  She has no attachments that tie her back to Peaks, Iowa.  Well, her mother does call and interrupt her life once in a while, but Bethany is willing to put up with that as long as she never ever has to go back again.
That is until the phone call that tells her that her best friend from when she was growing up has had a great tragedy in her life.  Bethany's mother tells her she should come home and at least visit with Robin and lend moral support.   
Bethany's Chicago life spirals out of control and she finds herself back in Peaks to live.  She is now forced to face her past in ways she is just not ready to. With the love and support of new friends and family will she be able to come to terms with her life's defining moments?
I had a bit of a hard time getting started in the book.  Bethany herself is a character that is a bit harder to like.  Her personality is rough and she doesn't open up to new people.  If she was a real person, I may not have gotten to know her as I probably would have not wanted to take the time required.  Once I got to know her better and the storyline developed it was a good read.   
Katie is a new author who I will watch and see what she comes up with next.
Happy Reading
P.S. This book is available at Baker Book House or by request at

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Used Fiction

Dear Readers,
I had a usual project this past week.  I worked in the used fiction department to get it ready to be moved at least one time if not more in the next several weeks of the remodel.  What that means is I got to go through the entire used fiction department picking out the books we wanted to keep on the shelves during the summer and which ones we wanted to store and or donate.  It was so fun.
I found different books on the shelves that I didn’t know we had and I found books that I knew we had several of.  It was interesting to look at old covers and see how those have changed over the years.  Until just a few years ago, covers were all hand drawn art work.  Some of them quite good, but others made Joel, the guy helping me, and I laugh right out loud.  (Sorry, but it is true)
I started telling you this to let you know that our used fiction department looks very different.  It is smaller and doesn’t have even half the books in it that it right now.   No worries though, all it really means is when we restart the department later this year we will be starting fresh and new.  Well not new “new” books, but books that you all have been holding on to waiting to sell them to us. 
So I am asking you to bear with us during this time of transition, we will get through it together. 
Happy Reading

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Releases April 30 - May 5

Dear Readers,

The remodel of Baker Book House has slowly gotten started.  Like any other large project it has taken a little bit to get in motion, but now it is starting to move right along.    We are in the process of moving the used book department, which contains over 90,000 used books.  Most of which are very heavy, I know I have been helping them move them and go home at the end of the day very tired. 
The fun thing about moving the books is the chance to see what people have written about over the years.  Some of it is very important to know and understand, Bible commentaries and studies of Prayer etc.., but then there are others that are very dated and I really don’t see who would be interested in that topic any more.   A book about woman’s place in the home really did make most of us laugh right out loud. 
There are old classics that we get request for all the time or beloved authors that someone read years ago and happen to just stumble on that certain book.  I love being able to visit with customers who have found that type of book back there and personally  I was able to buy a book for my mom a few years ago.  That was very exciting as it was from one of her favorite authors and she had never read it before. 
Used books are a wonderful thing to be able to share with others, but they are not the easiest thing to move. 
Happy Reading.

Darkroom - Joshua Graham - Xandra is on a journey to find out the truth behind her father and her family.  She finds her mother's journal that talks of many things including surviving the fall of Saigon.

After All - Deborah Raney - A Hanover Falls novel - After her husband's death, Susan discovered a secret to his grave.  Will she ever get over something that puts her entire marriage in question?

Hannah's Joy - Marta Perry - #6 Pleasant Valley - Hannah is trying to find her place in the world.  Is the Mennonite community she returned to or is it in the world she came from?

Wish You Were Here - Beth K. Vogt - Allison is suppose to get married in 5 days.  So why is she kissing her grooms brother?  Is she marring the wrong guy? 

The Telling - Mike Duran - Zeph is a prophet who has with drawn from society.  Now he is investigating his own murder and trying to close the 9th gate of hell. 

The Prairie Romance - Hake/Miller/Coleman/Davis/Ford - 9 historical romances from America's great plains.

The Soul Saver - Dineen Miller - Lexie starts her day off with a face she is suppose to meet that day.  What happens when she and her family are the mission?

A Sister's Forgiveness - Anna Schmidt - In a moment two families are torn apart.  Tessa and Sadie were  best friends besides being cousins.  Will either family survive after the death of one of them?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dani Pettrey

Dear Readers,
There has been one author that hasn't written in the past few years that I still get asked about.  Dee Henderson.  So far I have had to say "no she isn't writing anything new" but she has been mentoring several new authors with great results.  Lynette Eason is one and now you can add Dani Pettrey to the list.   
Submerged, Dani Pettrey, 978-0-7642-0982-6Dani's first book Submerged just released and if you are/were a Dee Henderson fan I recommend this book.  It has the feel of Dee's O'Malley series and I am almost certain who the next two characters of her series are going to be (that is not a bad thing, just fun to watch their storyline develop).
The setting for Submerged is Yancy, Alaska which gives it a dramatic backdrop.  One of the main characters actually sounds better suited to be set in Hawaii, but it does work with how Dani writes them. That is probably the two things that I liked the most about the book, the rich setting and fun characters.   
Bailey left town as quickly as she could after high school and has not been back since.  She has avoided the town even though the only family she knows still lives there.  When Aunt Agnes is killed in a plane crash, Bailey knows she must return to town to put her aunt's affairs in order.  She wants to make sure she sees as few people as possible and just get in and get out.  That is until the bodies start mounting and her aunt's death might not have been the accident that the authorities thought at first.  Bailey may be the only one who can put all the answers together, but will she stay long enough to find them?
Romantic suspense has been one of those categories that the readers have been asking about, but the publishers have been not able to fill until just recently.  Dani will be one of those authors that those readers will be able to enjoy for years to come. 
Happy Reading

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Family Fiction

Dear Readers,
I am going to shamelessly promote myself a minute.  To say that I am a wee bit excited about this happening is not even close. 
I am a published author now.  Who would have thunk it.  :-D
I was asked many months ago to write for Family Fiction magazine.  It is a neat little magazine that I have been following since I found them.  They promote new books with author interviews and lovely emails/Facebook notices.  Their goal is to let readers know about good Christian fiction. 
They have a sister magazine called Family Fiction Edge with their focus being suspense, thriller and speculative fiction. 
Anyways back to my news.  Here is the link to follow off to my column if you are interested in reading it.  I would love to hear from you if you know of a library or bookstore that I could feature in my column.  Thank you for all your support.
Happy Reading
Your Source for Christian Fiction
P.S.  There is also a very nice interview about Tracy Groot in this edition.