Saturday, September 29, 2012

Joanne Bischof

Dear Readers.
Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof is a beginning in a couple of different ways.  It starts a new series titled The Cadence of Grace Series, and it is Joanne’s first novel.   It is set in the midst of the Appalachian hills and is a gentle tale of a young lady put in a situation not of her choosing.  
Be Still My Soul: A Novel (The Cadence of Grace)Lonnie is shy and very innocent.  After being walked home one night by a neighbor her father sees him stealing a kiss from her and believes that worse has happened.  He forces a marriage that neither one of the couple is ready for, Lonnie because she is not prepared and Gideon because he is not grown up enough to take responsibility for his actions.  He feels he should have more time to live and enjoy himself before he settles down. 
Too much detail will give away the story line and I don’t want to do that.  Just know that this is not a story that will shake you or make you turn pages faster and faster.  It is just a life story told in the style of the mountain people.  It has a conclusion and we are in no hurry to get there.  Don’t let that scare you away from it as it is a good read, just know that it is that way.
I did have one complaint and this might just be a personal thing, but there is no time reference in the story.  I am not sure if it is considered historical or not.   In some ways it made it difficult for me to put things in the correct spots in history and time, but again it is just something that bothered me and I wanted you to know it before you start it. 
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

R.J. Larson

Dear Readers,
Just last year I was excitedly talking about a new fantasy author.  R.J. Larson started her series with a bang with Prophet.  While reading I kept thinking I would not be able to get my hands on the next book fast enough.  I was right, it took too long for Judge to come out and it didn’t take me long enough to read it.  I wanted the story to go on for a few more pages.  Ok maybe more than a few, maybe Lord of the Rings length would be good.
Judge doesn’t pick up right where Prophet leaves off, but it is close.  Kein receives a calling from Infinite.  He doesn’t want to go as he was on vacation and is planning on spending time with Ela.Judge, R. J. Larson, 978-0-7642-0972-7  But go he does, it sometimes doesn’t pay to have a Prophet for a girlfriend. 
Ela is called back to her home city.  The excitement of seeing her family is tempered by the message that she must deliver.  Repent or Infinite will destroy the city.  It is not a message that will be well received in the city, especially by those she offended when she was getting started.
I really wasn’t sure if I would like book 2 better than book one.  You just never know with new authors, but I did.  All of my favorites were back and a few new ones.  You will have to read to find out who Prill is, but she quickly became a favorite of mine.  She is just so normal.   I am not sure I could have been as brave as her, but I sure do like to think I could be.
I know many of you have been waiting for this release.  Enjoy.
Happy Reading
P.S.  I still want a destroyer.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Releases Sept. 17 - 22

Dear Readers,

One of my favorite authors has a release this week.  Susan Meissner's books are ones that I recommend over and over to readers.  For someone looking for a contemporary she is great for that.  Someone looking for a historical she fits that bill also.  She has a great mixture of both in her books and it makes for a good read.
The Girl in the Glass is not only a good read, it is set in part in Florence Italy.  That country is on my bucket list to visit.  Under the Tuscan Sun is one of my favorite movies.  I would hate to admit how many times I have actually watched it, but every time I catch it on TV I watch it. 
I have found it amusing that the catch phrase “stay-cation” became a new thing.  Fiction readers have known for years how to take a stay-vation.   
Happy Reading

Tangled Ashes - Miche'le Phoenix - 50 years later the things that happened in the Meunier manor are still effecting all who live there.

Borders of the Heart - Chris Fabry - From the back of the book - Every life has a turning point where one choice changes everything.  Once that line is crossed, there's no going back.  I thought that described the book beautifully with out giving to much away.

His Love Endures Forever - Beth Wiseman - #2 A Land of Canaan Novel - A baby changes everything.  For Danielle even more so when the baby's father walks away from them both.  She has no where to turn until her friend Levi offers to help. 

A Sweethaven Homecoming - Courtney Walsh - Maghan thought she had moved on with her life, but a ex-husband's plans short circuit her own.

Autumn Tales - Grace Chapel Inn - The Three sisters of Grace Chapel Inn are about to learn that Autumn can be a season of surprises

Christmas Traditions - Grace Chapel Inn - As the Howard sisters celebrate Christmas morning, they reminisce about Christmases past.

The Girl in the Glass - Susan Meissner - Meg has always dreamed of a trip to Florence Italy.  Long promised to her from her father.  So when airline tickets arrive, she assumes dad will meet her there and flies off to meet him.

A Season for Tending - Cindy Woodsmall - #1 Amish Vines and Orchards - Can two very unlikely people join teams and help each other's business survive.  But is there more to their relationship?

Nowhere to Run - Amy Wallace - #2 Place of Refuge Series - Ashley flees her home because of a stalker.  She is hoping ot find refuge in a quiet Mennonite community, but danger follows her there.

Heart Made New - Kelly Irvin - #2 teh Bliss Creek Amish - Annie is in love with David, but he feels unable to marry her while he battle Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  But no matter what she does, she can't get him out of her heart

A Love Surrendered - Julie Lessman - #3 Winds of Change - She's hoping to find her first true love.  He is hoping to forget his.  Will her secret come between them?

Deployed - Mel Odom - #1 Called to Serve - Marine Bekah and Militia leader Daud's worlds collide.  Will they be able to put their differences aside to fight a common enemy?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cindy Woodsmall

Dear Readers,
I am not a big fan of Amish fiction.  I am sure you can tell by the number of Amish fiction books I review in proportion to how many exist out there.  I believe there is good Amish fiction and bad Amish fiction just as there is in any genre of fiction.  I have read some really good Amish fiction and some really bad Amish fiction, but I still usually do it by request as opposed to just picking it up on my own.  A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall was by request and yet I am glad I read it.  It is the beginning of Cindy's new series - Amish Vines and Orchards.
A Season for Tending: Book One in the Amish Vines and Orchards SeriesRhonda has a special gift.  One she doesn’t want, but it is just part of who she is.  She has a gift of knowing things before they happen or knowing things about people that they wouldn’t want others to know.   It makes for a lonely and friendless life in her Old Order Amish community.  But she has her plants and her little business and she is content with her life.
When Leah turns up in Rhoda's garden it opens a door that neither one of them expected to be there.  Leah's family farm needs help.  They are having cash problems and some of their apple crop is ruined by a pest.  They are looking for a way to sell and make money from those apples.  Rhoda thinks she can help, but there seems to be so many secrets that she isn't sure she wants to get involved with the King family.
Interesting characters and a bit different storyline and Cindy tells a good Amish story.  Again I wouldn't be reading hundreds of them, but I did enjoy this one. 
 Happy Reading

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beverly Lewis visit

Just a reminder today.  Beverly Lewis will be joining us on tonight at LaGrave CRC in downtown Grand Rapids.  It starts at 7:00 p.m. 
Bridesmaid, The, Beverly Lewis, 978-0-7642-0978-9If you have never heard Beverly speak she is very interesting and just lovely to listen to.  I had to laugh when one of the husbands of a fan of hers said "I don't read much Amish fiction, but after listening to Beverly explain some of the things about them, I just might start." 

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Releases Sept. 10 - 15

Dear Readers,
On the list below is the book, River of Mercy by B.J. Hoff.  It is the third book of a series that was interrupted about 2 years ago.  B.J.'s husband had health issues and she took a break from writing.  Which meant the edits were on hold until she was able to return.
I know several of you have patiently waited for this book and were here in the morning of the book release to pick up your copy.  It says a lot about an author when people are willing to wait that long for the conclusion to a series.  I know it was worth the wait.
Happy Reading

Walk with Me - Annie Weld - a Pilgrims Progress for married people.  Join Peter and Celeste as they travel to the King's City and find out that traveling together is harder than they thought.
Baroness - Susan May Warren - Coming of age during the roaring twenties, Lilly and Rosie seem to have everything they want, except freedom.
Beyond the Storm - Carolyn Zane - Quilts of Love - After a tornado changes things in her home town, Abigail starts collecting patches of material she finds around town hoping to quilt together her community
River of Mercy - B.J. Hoff - #3 the Riverhaven Years - Long awaited conclusion to the RiverHaven Series.  Who will Rachel marry?

A Promise to Love - Serena B. MIller - Ingrid just wants to find her brother.  She needs a way to survive.  When she proposes marriage to Joshua, she hopes to solve all of their problems.  Set in Michigan in 1871

When A Heart Stops - Lynette Eason - #2 Deadly Reunion series - Serena is use to death, she works with it everyday, but something about this murder scene is a bit more eerie.

A Flight of Fancy - Laurie Alice Eakes - #2 the Daughters of Bainbridge House - Her head is in the Clouds.  His feet are planted firmly on the ground.  Can love cover the distance?

Twice Promised - Maggie Brendan - #2 The Blue Willow Brides - Two mail order brides arrive in Central City Colorado for an unspecting groom

No Safe Harbour - Elizabeth Ludwig - #1 Edge of Freedom - Cara comes to America hoping to find a brother she thought dead.   Can she trust the man that her brother warned her about?

All Thing New - Lynn Austin - Josephine was raised in a privileged life.  The Civil War changes all that.  Will she and her famly be able to adjust to their new lifestyle?

Against the Tide - Elizabeth Camden - Lydia has carved a nice life out for herself.  Working as a tranlator for the U.S. Navy. That is until Alexander Banebridge ask for her help.

A Home in Drayton Valley - Kim Vogel Sawyer - Tarsie and her friends Joss and Mary are just trying to make a better lives for themselves and their children.  But when tragedy strikes they thrown together in ways no one wanted.

You Don't Know Me - Susan May Warren - #3  A Deep Haven Novel - Annalise has a secret that has put her whole family at resisk.  Does she run again or trust her family with the secret?

The Trouble with Cowboys - Denise Hunter - #3 A Big Sky Romance - When Annie excepts the assignment of a column for the lovelorn, it turns out to be harder than she expected.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Steven James

Dear Readers,
Opening Moves by Steven James should come with a warning on it.  It may cause sleeplessness and/or nightmares.   It also should contain the warning that if you have a busy weekend coming up don’t start the book as it may cause you to miss something important, like work, a business meeting or breathing.
Written as the prequel to the Patrick Bowers series, Opening Moves joins Patrick as he starts his career in Milwaukee.   He is a detective and a new case has come to him.  Someone is honoring Jeffery Dahmer.  The problem is the person who did the crime claims he only did it because his wife was kidnapped and the real criminal threatened to kill her.  Is he telling the truth?  What about these other crimes that are surfacing?  Are they the same person or are there two killers on the loose with similar MO’s?
Ok that is enough about the storyline as I don’t want to spoil anything for any of you.  I so loved this book.  It was right in Steven’s pocket of writing.  It is the creepy crime scene with a criminal that is evil beyond belief.  There are times when I read books like this that I wonder if someone could actually do this to a fellow human, then I read the evidence from actual criminals…  That is the stuff of nightmares. 
I have always enjoyed the discussions that Steven writes into his books.  Not only does he write a good crime story, he has his characters wrestling larger moral dilemmas.  One of those discussions in the book has generated lots of discussion here at the store.  What has been interesting is that as more and more fellow employees finish the book they have join the discussion also.  That makes for a good book.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beverly Lewis

Dear Readers,
There is very little I can say about a Beverly Lewis book that you don't probably know.   The Bridesmaid is the much anticipated second book in the Hickory Hollow series.   Publishers Weekly is quoted as saying “If there’s anything (Beverly) Lewis is better at than writing Amish novels, it’s hooking readers to find out what happens in the rest of the series.”   I agree, you find yourself caught up in the life of an Amish person and/or their community, and Bev makes her characters come to Bridesmaid, The, Beverly Lewis, 978-0-7642-0978-9life and you want them to be part of your life also.
Joanna Kurtz seems to be proving the adage “always a bridesmaid, never the bride” true.  At 24 she is rapidly become a spinster in her community.   Her younger sister has suitors to spare, but not Joanna.  But Joanna has a couple of secrets, one being her love of writing.  She hopes to be published someday, but that is not something her Amish community would be pleased with.  Her other secret is her suitor from afar. 
Eben hopes to marry Joanna soon, he just can’t seem to get away long enough for that to happen.  Family issues keep him home and unable to court Joanna as he wishes.   He isn’t sure he will ever be able to and is thinking he will lose her. 
Beverly once again brings you along on a gentle sweet story that you want to continue reading.  She is able to make the reader just slow down, relax and enjoy the time spent in a community that is different than the one most of us live in.
To celebrate the release of her newest, Beverly is doing a book tour.  Baker Book Store is hosting her at LaGrave CRC in Grand Rapids MI on Sept. 21st at 7:00p.m.  The church's address is 107 LaGrave Ave, Grand Rapids MI 49503.  Call the store if you have any questions or need help with directions.  I am looking forward to hearing Bev speak again.  She is a wonderful story teller and is just a pleasure to listen to.   Hope to see you there.
Happy Reading

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Releases Sept. 3 - 8

Dear Readers,

My oh my, after worrying about whether I would have enough reviews to post I have more than enough.  Over the next couple of weeks there will be a couple of reviews a week.  I get a chance to read books early and then wait until their releases to post a review.  I really don't like reading a review for anything, book, movie, music... before they are available to read or see.  I get excited to read a new book, and then find out it isn't out for several weeks, how disappointing.  Besides that I usually forget about it by the time it does release. 
Anyways, that is why I try not to review a book much more than a week early and I really try not to review it until the week it comes to the store.  Now you know.
Happy Reading

The River - Michael Neale - a book with allegory leanings.  Gabriel at 4 sees his father die.  Years later he is led back to the River. 

Trinity - Ronie Kendig - #1 a Breed Apart - Heath Daniels just wants to be back in the field.  He was retired because of a brain injury in Afghanistan.  The Breed Apart organization gives him that chance when they hire him to find Darci.

The Shadow on the Quilt - Stephanie Grace Whitson - #2 The Quilt Chronicles - Juliana's perfect life falls apart when scandel hits her and her husband.  Cass longs to help, but feels that society would frown on that.

The 13:Fall - Robbie Cheuvront/ Erik Reed - Book #1 - Chaos is at America's Doorstep.  Jonathan and Megan are called to the White House to find out about a prophet who is predicting the fall of the USA.

Saving Gideon - Amy Lillard - Gideon never wants to love again, but Avery finds her way into his heart.  As feelings grow can they over come their differences.

Found - Shelley Shepard Gray - #3 The Secrets of Crittenden County - When Deborah's friend is question about her brother's death, she wonders how the only person she trust could be the one who betrayed her the most.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mesu Andrews

Dear Readers,
How is it that no matter how hard you try, good books fall through the cracks and don’t get read.  Love’s Sacred Song by Mesu Andrews is one of those books.  I meant to read it right after a came out as I was so excited to see it.  Her first book was the one I picked for my favorite last year which made me want to read this one.  Things just kept coming up and I never got a chance to read it.  Thankfully that has changed.
I can remember wondering about what type of woman it would take to make Solomon write such a beautiful love poem to her.  Solomon is rich beyond belief, has more wives than days of the year and is considered by most to be the wisest man to ever live.  So why was that one woman the one he wrote about?
When Israel’s beloved Warrior King dies, his son Solomon inherits a kingdom that is at peace outside its borders, but there is turmoil inside.  The northern tribes feel like they have been insulted and are ready to march on Jerusalem.   Arialah’s father, Jehoshaphat, is sure that he has the solution.  His daughter as a treaty bride, but what does a simple shepherd’s daughter know about living in the royal palace?
I know I have mentioned this before, I love these books that put faces on people from the Bible.  Love's Sacred Song, Mesu Andrews, 978-0-8007-3408-4Sometimes we forget those in the Bible had real needs and wants.  They were people who had faults and problems, even when they were a King and very wise.   What was Solomon like as a young man?  What was it like to step into his father’s shoes after he passed away?  What was it like to be king when you knew your brothers wanted you dead?  
I could go on and as with the other Biblical fiction I know this is not a factual story, just one based on the stories the Bible tells us and the speculation based on some historical facts.  But it does help me remember that they are after all human.
Happy Reading

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Releases August 27 - September 1

Dear Readers,
I can hardly believe it but it is Sept. already.  In fact this post will release on Labor Day.  Schools in our area start tomorrow.  I feel like summer went by faster than ever.  I don't know if that is because I was busier than usual or if it was because over half of it was taken up planning and taking vacation.  Whichever it was, but I know personally I am not ready to give up these lovely days we have been having. 
Part of that is because I love the slower pace of summer.  The longer days, the relaxed way everyone seems to enjoy things.  It is all great reasons not to want to give up on summer yet, but I think for me this year it is because I haven't gotten all my summer reading done.  In a couple of days there will be a review of a book that was on my spring reading list and I just got it read a couple days ago.  Ugh, I hate that and yet it is a wonder problem.  So many good books to read and not enough time to read them all.
Happy Reading.

Opening Moves - Steven James - Prequel to the Patrick Bowers series - (Now you know what I was doing all weekend.)  Steven with Patrick has taken us to some of the darkest parts of humanity, now we will see how Patrick got his start. 

A Duke's Promise - Jamie Carie - #3 a Forgotten Castles - Alexandria and Gabriel are on the trail ofher parents.  They were last seen in Italy and the marble caves, but will a powerful duke keep them from discovering where her parents are?

The Sons of Jude - Brandt Dodson - Detectives Frank and Andy have what looks like ordinary case of someone in the wrong place at the wrong time.  That is until they start their investigation and things take a turn.

Unconditional - Eva Marie Everson - Based on the screenplay - Samatha's perfect life comes to an end when her husband is killed.  She loses her faith and the will to live until a chance encounter with an old friend teachers her there is more to life than fairytale endings.

The Reason - William Sirls - Sometimes you just have to believe. 

The Spirit Well - Stephen Lawhead - #3 in a Bright Empires - As the search for the map intesifies, Kit is wondering if the true treasure isn't the map.

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