Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mark Hitchcock/Alton Gansky

Dear Readers,
I have read many of Alton Gansky’s books.  Each one I have read has been an adventure and an interesting read.  I think my favorites are still the Madison Glenn series, but several of the others have been very good also. 
8 Minutes to… Digital Winter by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky was not high on my list to read and yet it was one I kind of kept looking at.  The story line intrigued me even though I knew it was going to have an end times slant to it.
book title frontAmerica’s military and government are put on high alert when power girds around the country start going off.  Both coasts are experiencing blackouts and major cities all over are starting lose power.  When the power comes back on with little or no explanation, they start to think the danger has maybe passed.  But who or what caused it?
When the power goes out again it is across the world.  Who has the ability to do that?  What terrorist group has the technology to wipe out power across the board?  Jeremy of Cyber Command is put on the job to find it out.  The problem is, with little or no power how do you find a cyber-attacker? 
I am not sure I could put a finger on what I like the most about this book, but the characters are interesting and believable.  The story line is something that has been talked about many different times and ways in America.  Our power grid is vulnerable to attack.  In recent weeks we have all watched as a huge chunk of New England went without power for days on end.   It was a struggle for them even with the rest of the country able to support them in different ways.  Can you imagine what it would be like if the entire country, if not world, was suddenly thrown back to the 1900’s?  There are very few people that would be prepared for something like that.  Where would we get food?  Gas?  How about jobs?  Would we still have them?   I work in a bookstore; I can’t say that it would be my top priority to get here each day. 
I guess that is why I liked this book; it made me think through things that may never happen, but what if?
Happy Reading

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Releases

Dear Readers,

Thanksgiving has past and the Advent season is upon us.  It is always difficult for me to find the time to relax and just enjoy the season.  Sometimes I feel like I am running from one thing to the next through out the holidays.  I have to just say no to things and rest in the peace that is Christmas.  The problem is all the things/parties are with people I want to see and visit with.  Who do you say no to?

Happy Reading

Two Destinies - Nancy Musser - #3 of the Secrets of the Cross - It is now 1994 and the story of France and Algeria continues. 
The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek - Jane Myers Perrine - Gussie is the next victim in the sights of the matchmakers.
Material Witness - Vanette Chapman - #2 a Shipshewana Amish Mystery - (from the back cover) Buggies, Quilts and a cold-blooded murder.  It's just another day in Shipshewana.
Betrayal - Robin Lee Hatcher - #2 in Where the Heart Lives series - Even though Julia never wanted to marry again, she may have to, to save her ranch.
The Dean's Witch - Elizabeth Goudge - originally released in 1960 - An unlikely friendship leads to a spiritual awakening.
The Crossroads - W. Paul Young - Anthony is offered a gift from Jesus.  He will be able to heal one person and one person only. 
Come to the Table - Neta Jackson - #2 SouledOut Sisters - Kat is just learning that even deeds done with the best intentions can be a bad idea.
Fire of the Raging Dragon - #2 Pacific Rim Series - When President Surber's decision to go to war becomes personal can he stick to his choice to send his daughter into danger?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Serena Miller

Dear Readers,
By the cover I wasn’t sure I was going to like Serena B. Miller’s newest book, A Promise to Love.  It looks much more like a romance than the Measure of Katie Calloway and I was worried she may have slipped that way more.  In some ways she did, but it is so much a part of the story that it doesn’t take away from the really good story she has written.
Once again her story is set in Michigan when lumber was king and the great pine forests we had were a big commodity.  Ingrid is a new immigrant from Sweden.  She was supposed to meet her brother in Detroit after he worked in a lumber camp to earn money so they could buy farm land and make a go of it in their newly adopted country.   When he doesn’t show up she decides to head to the Saginaw area in hopes of finding him. 
A Promise to LoveJoshua is reeling from the loss of his wife.  On the day that he is cleared of murder charges, his in-laws try to take his children away. The only way he can keep them is to find a mother for them and Ingrid volunteers for the job.  It looks like a relationship of convenience only, but Ingrid was hoping for more.
Once again Serena writes a historical story that includes a strong love story, but that is the nature of the story here.  You cannot have the story she wrote without the romance to it.  The historical part of the story was also very interesting and I even went and looked up some of the facts of the story that I didn’t know.  I had no idea that something like what she mentions happened in Michigan.  It was very interesting.  I am not going to say what it was as it would take away your pleasure of reading the story.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Christmas Releases

Dear Readers,
As hard as this is to believe for me, Thanksgiving is this week Thursday.  Yikes, I am so not ready for the holidays at all, but coming they are.
So this week’s list is my annual Christmas book list.  I read my one Christmas book for the year.  I can’t say I won’t read any of the others, but right now I read The Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs.  The review for that was on the blog this past Thursday if you are interested in reading it. 
I will admit there are several others that sound good, but as I always say about Christmas novellas, they are way too short.  So whether I read another one or not I don’t know, but Happy Holidays and as always…
Happy Reading

A Merry Little Christmas – Anita Higman – Sometimes love comes when you are least ready for it
The Christmas Pony – Melody Carlson – Lucy knows there is no way she will be getting a pony for Christmas that is until a few miracles begin to happen.
The Ghost of Christmas Present – Scott Abbot and Amy Maude Swinton – Patrick is desperate to save his son.  He needs heart surgery to save him, but Patrick can’t afford it and his late wife’s father is trying to take Braden away.
Prayers of a Stranger – Davis Bunn – (from the back cover) While visiting the Holy Land, Amanda answers the prayers of a stranger and begins an amazing Christmas journey.
The Christmas Star- Ace Collins – (from the back cover) can the broken heart of a child be healed by an unexpected Christmas letter?
Christmas Roses – Amanda Cabot - Celia doesn’t plan to marry again.  She had a good marriage the first time, but it was a marriage of convenience.  She dreams of the love she reads about in books, not a man who marries her for what she can do for him.
Christmas at Holly Hill – Martha Rogers – A Winds Across the Prairie Holiday Novel – Clayton returns home after serving his time, but will he be able to regain their trust?
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas – Jennifer Allee – Quilts of Love series – Can an old quilt actually lead to a great treasure? 
Susanna’s Christmas Wish – Jerry S. Eicher – Susanne is trying to be a good wife, but the return of her old flame is making it very difficult.
A Sweethaven Christmas – Courtney Walsh – The holidays are just not going according to plan.  When a woman claiming to be Lila’s sister shows up, Lila is going to find out more about her family that she ever wanted to know.
Christmas Traditions of Grace Chapel Inn – Sunni Jeffers/Pam Hanson/Barbara Andrews – Grace Chapel Inn Series - 3 little novellas in this book capture a sense of Christmas past.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Liz Curtis Higgs

Dear Readers,
I usually read one Christmas Novella every year.  It is usually one that someone asks me to read. They are not my favorite genre mostly because they are not long enough.   A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs has that problem.  It is a delightful Christmas book that is just not long enough.
I love Liz’s books.  Fiction, non- fiction it doesn't matter, I love her writing style.  She has a beautiful way of delivering a punch that is given in such a gentle matter that you don’t always notice you have learned something.
 Meg is heartbroken that she will not be spending Christmas Day with her parents, but her brother’s cruel treatment of her had become intolerable.  She just wanted to get back to Edinburgh into her beloved townhouse and relax.  A chance to have a peaceful Christmas instead of one filled with the tension of her parents’ home.
A Wreath of Snow by Higgs, Liz CurtisSo starts this little book with a message of forgiveness.  It doesn’t last long, but it was such a joy to read and put me in the Christmas spirit, which for early October that is not a good thing.   This book is just a story of what the true meaning of Christmas is; the story of forgiveness, the story of family and the story of hope. 
You can enjoy this book and get into the Christmas spirit early or you can wait until a lovely snow fall, wrap up in a quilt with a cup of hot chocolate and disappear for a little while into Scotland in 1894.
Happy Reading

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Releases Nov. 5 - 10

Dear Readers,

I don't know how else to say this, but we had the best time on Wednesday the 7th.  Ted's visit was such a wonderful time.

Ted himself is such a gracious person.  He took time to visit with everyone who came out to see him.  He shook hands, gave hugs and posed for pictures with any and all.  He shared his plans for the his next project and listened to why different books were favorites.

There were about 300 people there and everyone seemed to be content.  I had a chance to visit with almost all of you and nobody seemed bothered after having waited (for some of you up to 3 hours).  I want to thank you all for that.

I can't wait to host other authors in our new store.  If you have any ideas of who we should host give me shout.

Happy Reading

Not many releases today, ok how about just one.  Ted Dekker's Sanctuary.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kristen Heitzmann

Dear Readers,
Kristen Heitzmann has long been a favorite author of mine.  She has written several books with Baker Publishing Group and a couple with Multinomah/Waterbrook.  The last two were not going Breath of Dawn, The, Kristen Heitzmann, 978-0-7642-1042-6to be my favorite, but they were interesting reads.  The Breath of Dawn is Kristen’s newest and she is back writing in the style that made me like her in the first place.
Favorite characters from The Rush of Wings and Still of the Night are back.  I didn’t find myself having to read those two stories again as Kristen does such a good job catching you up on their storylines.  But it is always fun to visit with old friends again.
Quinn Reilly is on the run.  She continues moving and hoping that the man she put behind bars will not be able to find her when he is released.  She ruined his plans of duping Quinn’s father’s church out of thousands and thousands of dollars.  He vowed revenge and got out early on good behavior.
Morgan is recovering from the loss of his high school sweetheart.  Recovering is using that word loosely.  He has been hiding out from life and his job at his brother’s ranch.  The only person who seems to be able to life his spirits at all is his young daughter.  That is until he meets Quinn, maybe there is a second chance on love, but Quinn comes with lots and lots of baggage. 
Romantic suspense is what Kristen writes best and she once again proves that you can write a good mystery, add a little romance and you find yourself enjoying a fun little read.   I for one am glad that Kristen is back writing what I like her for best.
Happy Reading.

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Releases, New Store, Author Visit.

Dear Readers,
This is being sent to you from my new desk in our newly opened, remodeled store.   We have the new store smell with fresh paint, new carpet and a completely new store front.  We have windows, we have a cafĂ© called Icons so the smell of coffee is in the air along with the smell of lots and lots of good food (This isn’t fair as now I am always hungry).  The used books are not completely back, but they are gaining ground and it is nice to have them back here at the store again. 
We have new hours 7 – 11 Monday – Friday and 9-11 on Saturday.   We have Wi-Fi, we have a fireplace, we have a conference room that you or your church/business can rent and have a lovely place to meet.  We have a stage area, which will be put to good use already on Wednesday of this week with the visit of Ted Dekker.  Did I mention the windows?  (We here at the store are very excited about the windows) 
All in all it has been a long time since we have felt somewhat normal, and really don’t yet, but we can start settling in, get used to our new digs and enjoy having our new store feel like home.   Stop by and I would love to show you around our new digs. 
Happy Reading

The Bridge - Karen Kingsbury - (from the front flap) - A Love storey set against the struggle of the American bookstore.

Isle of Shadows - Tracy L. Higley - formerly titled Shadow of Colossus  - Tessa serves at the whim of her current patron.  His sudden death has Tessa longing for her freedom.

To Far to Say Far Enough - Nancy Rue - As everything seems to be falling in place, Allison thinks her job is finished until a nudge from God tells her to go another mile.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lynn Austin

Dear Readers
I am pretty sure I don’t have anything new to say about Lynn Austin.   She has been writing for many years now and I think I have read everything she has written.   Many of them are favorites and I am sure she will continue to add to that list for years to come.
All Things New is her latest release and once again shows off Lynn’s strength in her research and wonderfully written characters.  She writes about a difficult time in America’s history with honesty and such a different point of view.  Just as she has written several WWII books that are not even set in the theater of the war but teach us so much about that time, this one is set after the war.
Josephine and her family watch the war ending from a window in a family home in Richmond Virginia.  The Union soldiers march past the window and they all know that their lives have changed forever.   Do they stay in Richmond or return to their plantation?  Being a bitterly defeated country, it was not a safe place to be.  
Josephine’s mother decides to head back home to make the best of it.  One of the problems is, mother expects everything to continue on the same way, and nothing is the same.  No longer do they have slaves to run things or to even plant and take care of the garden to grow food.  Everything has changed and not everyone is willing to change with it.
I found this an interesting read because it pointed out some things that happened in the south after the war that I had never really thought about.  The owning of slaves went back generations and as evil and awful at it is, in the way of thinking of the plantation owners it was okay.  The North wasAll Things New, Lynn Austin, 978-0-7642-0897-3 asking them to change everything, even their economic structure and expected them to do it immediately. 
With all those factors happening along with the families reeling from the loss of fathers, husbands, and brothers, the North was asking a lot from them.  It is not a wonder that it gave birth to such things as the KKK and an influx of carpetbaggers.   I am not saying what they did was right, but it did give me a bit of understanding.
I will just add, if you are already a fan of Lynn’s you have probably already read this, if you have never read one of Lynn’s books this is a great place to start.
Happy Reading
P.S.  This book is available by request at bakerbookstore.com