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 bakerbookstore.com
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?