Friday, December 28, 2012

Julie Klassen

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Releases Dec. 17 - 22

Dear Readers, 

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

Happy Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Randy Alcorn

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Releases Dec. 10- 15

Dear Readers,

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

Happy Reading

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

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

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

Illusion - Frank Peretti - Out in softcover now.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Robert Whitlow

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

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

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Releases December 3 - 15

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Favorite Book for 2012

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Releases Nov. 26 - Dec. 1

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

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

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