Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Release - Solomon's Song - Roberta Kells Dorr

Dear Readers,

As the Author description on the back says " Before Francine Rivers and Angela Elwell  Hunt, there was Roberta Kells Dorr."  They are now re-releasing several of her novels including Solomon's Song.

This book is about Solomon at a very young age.  He is the beloved son of King David and yet not guaranteed the throne.  His mother will do just about anything to make that happen and that includes making sure he doesn't marry the lowly shepherdess he has fallen in love with.

There has been a few books written about the beautiful woman that the Song of Solomon was penned for.  Who was she that make the wisest man to ever live write such a love letter?  Speculation has lead many to think it was a woman of his youth that he was not allowed to marry.  Now whether or not that is true, it makes the fiction writers very excited as those are the ideas that make for great fiction.

With a nod to Romeo and Juliet and all star-crossed lovers, the fiction writers run with the idea and pen books for us to enjoy.  If you didn't get a chance to read this one the first time around, now is your chance to learn about Solomon before he became king.

Happy Reading.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Releases - Dec 23 - 28

Dear Readers,

The holidays are in a hold pattern.  With two major holidays happening a week apart it can make things over whelming.  We actually opened presents later this year with my kids, due to work schedules etc... we decided to wait until the weekend after Christmas.  Which work great for us and made for a little less hectic schedule.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Here are some new titles for using that gift card on.

Happy Reading,

Shadowed by Grace - Cara C. Putman - The story of the Monument Men - Rachel takes her newspaper's assignment in Italy to find a father she never knew.  While there her story gets her involved with Monument Men and their quest to save works of art and monuments from the Third Reich.

Beowulf - Ronie Kendig - Timbrel and her explosive detection dog are on a mission of their lives.  In Afghanistan Beowulf hits on a false positive and when Timbrel fights to prove him right it brings her face to face with her past.

The Vicar's Wife - Katharine Swartz - Jane is a city girl, so when her British born husband decides to relocate their family to a crumbly vicarage in a remote village in Britain, to say the least, Jane is not happy.  That is until she finds an old shopping list from the vicar's wife.

Game, Set, and Murder - Elizabeth Flynn - A Mystery for D.I. Costello - On the first day of Wimbledon and there is a dead body on court 19.  Much loved player turned coach is murdered, but no one can understand who would want him dead.

The Quaker and The Rebel - Mary Ellis - Civil War Heroines series - Emily tries to continue her parents Underground Railroad efforts, even while serving as a governess to a slave owner's children.  Alexander is the doctor's handsome nephew who finds Emily attractive, but doesn't have time to pursue her because of his secret work for the South.

With Autumn's Return - Amanda Cabot - Westward Winds #3 - Cheyenne Wyoming is not as excited about their new doctor as Elizabeth hoped.  Lady Doctors especially.  The wealthiest of residents are her biggest threat and she may have to team up with her neighbor to save the life of one of her patients, even at the risk of her heart.

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Release - No One to Trust - Lynette Eason

Dear Readers,

Lynette Eason established herself as a contender in the Romantic Suspense category a few short years ago.  Since then she has released 6 books with No One to Trust being her 7th book.  Her fans are always waiting for her books to hit the shelves and with the new series releasing they were ready to meet new characters and follow their stories.

The new series Hidden Identity starts out with the story of Summer who wakes up on morning with three strange men in her bedroom and a missing husband.  It turns out that her husband may not be who he said he was.  It seems his identity is  just a cover for a darker secret life.  One that she knows nothing about. 

Who can she trust?  Will she ever find the answers to her husband really is?  Why did he marry her only to discard her? 

Fast paced tale of lies and deceit, Lynette keeps you turning pages until you finally figure out who the bad guys are.  She has found a home in this genre and hopefully will stay for many years to come.

Happy Reading

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tracie Peterson/Kimberly Woodhouse

Dear Readers,
Tracie Peterson is an author that I don't read often.  It really has nothing to do with her writing, which is very good, but because she is so easy to recommend.  She writes on the same level with every book she publishes, whether she is writing on her own or if she joins with another author and writes along side them.
In All Things Hidden Tracie teams up with Kimberley Woodhouse.   Kimberley has written a few fiction books, but she is best known for her two book series she did with her daughter, Kayla.  They were contemporary mysteries, so a bit different than what she has written with Tracie.
We return to one of Tracie's favorite places to write about, the Alaskan frontier.   I don't believe it will be a series as I don't see a series title. This is an interesting read about Alaska and how during the depression President Roosevelt had the great idea of sending families to Alaska to help settle the frontier there.  Families that had lost everything and needed a fresh start.  The problem was there was very little preparation and it almost became a great disaster. 
Gwyn loves Alaska almost as much as she hates change, but change is coming to their quiet valley, Matanuska.  Gwyn's father Harold is excited about the chance to have new families in the area and has begun the push for a hospital so they will be able to care for the families that are coming. 
Along with the good families that really do want to settle the valley and have a second chance, come the few bad seeds.  Families that demand things are done a certain way or fear the natives of the area.  They sow some unrest in the settlement and may cause the whole thing to fall apart.   Will Harold, Gwyn and a few others be able to save the new town or will a killer among them ruin everything?
I was reading this gentle little tale in between times of reading a very emotionally difficult to read book.  It was fun to learn a little bit of what it was like in Alaska during the depression, but also how hard it was to get any supplies to Anchorage and then on to Matanuska.  It was fascinating to see what people though of as important.  Not things we think of a important, but just the basics. 
Those settlers had to work hard to get ready for winter and that included building their own houses, but also there had to be some way to help them get enough food to survive the winter months, vegetables and meat which had to be canned or dried.  It truly was a community effort to get this little town up and running.
Like I said this was just a lovely little read and a great way to spend some quiet time in a completely different state and time.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Dear Readers,

No review or releases today, just a wish for a happy day spent with family and friends.

Rest, relax and remember why we celebrate this season of love.

Happy Reading &

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Release - The Sinner's Garden - William Sirls

Dear Readers,

Those that read The Reason by William Sirls have eagerly awaited his next release.  We want to see if this is an author to add to our must read list.  The Sinner's Garden has finally hit the shelves and now we have quickly added the book to our Christmas lists with hopes it will be under the tree for us.

Andy Kemp was disfigured by an abusive father and has built a wall that no one seems to be able to penetrate.  When his Uncle, newly released from prison, announces he wants to mentor Andy they start a strange journey together because Andy says  he hears strange music coming from his ear phones his Uncle is sure Andy is hearing the voice of God.

Across town the police are investigating a strange break in.  Who ever broke in left thousands of dollars in gift cards.  When the investigation continues, there is the discovery of a strange garden and the gardener in charge.

William has the ability to tell a interesting, wonderful story that mixes the normal with the super natural with very little difficulty.  His characters are just average humans that make the story worth reading and even make you slightly jealous of what they experience. 

I am looking forward to a chance to get this one read to find out if it as good as the first.

Happy Reading

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Releases - December 16 - 21

Dear Readers,

The last big push is coming.  A week is upon us.  Do you have all your gifts?  Here are a few more ideas for those last minute gift ideas.

Happy Reading

A Match Made in Texas - Karen Witemeyer/Mary Connealy/Regina Jennings/Carol Cox - Four lovely funny romantic stories that will warm your heart. 

Dare to Love Again - Julie Lessman - Allison McClare is independent woman until she decides to explore the Barbary Coast.  Nick is stuck teaching her self defense, but who is defending themselves from whom?

Sabrina's Man - Gilbert Morris - #2 Western Justice series - Sabrina is tracking down the outlaw who kidnapped her younger sister.  She doesn't want any help, but she is going to need it from ex-criminal Waco Smith.

Solomon's Song - Roberta Kells Dorr - Solomon was once just a boy falling in love with a beautiful shepherdess.  His mother wants the throne for him and won't allow him to marry her. 

Sinner's Garden - William Sirls - Andy's life was never the same after his abusive father disfigured him.  Some one is breaking into houses and leaving gift cards instead of taking something.  Who is behind these break ins and who is the gardener of the secret garden Andy finds?

Friday, December 20, 2013

New Release - Sabrina's Man - Gilbert Morris

Dear Readers,

There is one genre of fiction that I get asked about that I have no answers for, Westerns.  There are very few good westerns out there and even fewer in the past couple of years.  The authors that were writing them have gone off to write other genres or have stopped writing altogether.  Expect one, Gilbert Morris.

Gilbert has over 6.5 million books in print and continues to release books a couple times a year, thankfully some of those are westerns and with book #2 in his Western Justice series, Sabrina's Man, Gilbert has made his western readers happy once again.

Sabrina thinks money will keep her happy and safe, that is until outlaw Trey LeBeau kidnaps her younger sister and no one seems to be able to catch him.  Sabrina takes matters into her own hands and teams up with reformed ex-criminal Waco Smith.  They travel west looking for Sabrina's sister and finding out that their unlikely union my spark more than the return of Marianne.

I have no idea how long ago it was that I read my first Gilbert book, but I do know it was one of the Winslow series, which went on to have over 40 books in the series.  I think of all of Gilberts book I have read I have not read any of his westerns.  Let me say this about the book, as soon I as I got a copy in, there were a couple of librarians looking for it because they are always looking for westerns for their male readers. 

Take time to travel back to America's past where rugged men and the women that stood beside them help make our country strong.

Happy Reading

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Charles Martin

Dear Readers,
Here is another one of those books that I saved reading until my book club read it.  Unwritten by Charles Martin.  I so enjoyed this book that I read it all in one day.  Of course the snow was flying, the temps were down and the book is a good story.
The two main characters are very flawed humans.  Neither one wanted to go on.  Sunday is a man who walked away from society years ago when he lost someone very close to him. That was when he decided he no longer wanted to get hurt.  Katie is a star, she is the Queen of the silver screen and she is tired of it.  There are too many secrets from her past and she is ready to leave it all. 
When these two hurting people are "put together like on a blind date" by the local priest, they find more than just a kindred spirit, but also healing.
I am not going to go on too long as this book has been out for a while and you have probably heard it all, but I have loved every one of Charles Martin's books. I have one thing to say to the person who told Charles that he writes like a girl...  "I for one am glad he does and I hope he never quits."  Don't read them if you don't like them. 
Happy Reading

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Release - All Things Hidden - Tracie Peterson/Kimberley Woodhouse

Dear Readers,

Reading a Tracie Peterson book is like coming home.  She is consistent, comfortable, and interesting to read.  She invites you into her home and tells you a lovely story of America's history.  Whether she is telling you about the settling of the west, or her favorite, Alaska, you will learn something new about our countries history.

In All Things Hidden, Tracie joins up with Kimberly Woodhouse, who is a well published author herself.  I personally have only read the series she wrote with her daughter and so didn't know a lot about her historical writing. 

Gwyn does not like change and when she finds out that change is coming to their little community in Alaska, she is not excited.  Her father on the other hand can hardly wait for the challenge.  Together they get ready to welcome the new neighbors.

All+Things+HiddenJeremiah flees Chicago in disgrace and with the threat of jail time because of the death of one of his patience.  When he arrives in Alaska to help with the new hospital and clinic, he does not tell anyone his secret.  They are so glad to see him, he just sets to work. 

So secrets, love and a new settlement keeps this book moving right along and is a easy recommendation for any fans of Tracie Peterson or historical fiction.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Release - A Simple Christmas - Melody Carlson

Dear Readers,

For some readers, reading a Melody Carlson Christmas book is almost as much a tradition as putting up the Christmas tree.  I have been asked here at the store as early as August when they will be arriving in the store.  She has written a different every year for the last several and they have all gone very well. 

A Simple Christmas Wish is no different.  I had customers eager to take the book home and to start getting into the holiday spirit as soon as it was on the shelf.

Rachel and her niece, Holly, are spending the holidays in the last place on the planet she expected to be, Amish country.  With family secrets leading her on, Rachel and Holly need to find out what has been hidden.  With a new love blossoming, Rachel knows she will do anything to make sure Holly has the family she needs.

There is something about a story about an orphan at Christmas that seems to strike a cord with everyone.  We all want to see them find a family that will love them and make sure they only have perfect Christmases after that.  A crackling fire, a cup of hot chocolate, lights on the tree to read by and this book sets the perfect atmosphere for a peaceful holiday night.

Happy Reading

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Releases - Nov. 25 -Dec. 13

Dear Readers,

Christmas is rapidly approaching.  With Thanksgiving being the last Thursday in November this year, it seems to have made the shopping season more frantic.   Here are some the newest titles to come in.  Hopefully they will give you ideas for that hard to shop for reader on your list.

Happy Reading

Tempest's Course - Lynette Sowell - Quilts of Love series - Kelly Frost is invited to restore a priceless Mariner's Quilt in Massachusetts.  While there she discovers a diary that reveals centuries old secrets about her family.

The Amish Miracle - Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis - 3 Amish novellas to pass the dark winter nights.  Always Beautiful - Beth Wiseman - Becky worries about her weight, when God gives her a miracle, Becky isn't sure she likes the results.  Always His Providence - Ruth Reid - Rosa may loose her farm because of back taxes, but she is to proud to ask for help.  Always in My Heart - Mary Ellis - Hope is asking God for a son, but not a baby, but the son she gave up 15 years ago.

The Painted Table - Suzanne Field - Saffee watched her mother move into mental illness as a child.  As her mother continued her decent into madness, she becomes obsessed with a family heirloom.  Saffee has now inherited the table which she never wants to see again. 

Carolina Gold - Dorothy Love - Charlotte is trying to survive after the Civil war.  One way is to try cultivating the Carolina Gold rice and to also take on the tutoring of her neighbor's daughters.  Just as things start looking up, Nicholas tries to prove he own her plantation. 

No One to Trust - Lynette Eason - #1 Hidden Identity - Summer wakes up with 3 strange men in her bedroom looking for her husband.  She has no idea who her husband is any more and is not sure who she can trust.

All Things Hidden - Tracie Peterson/Kimberley Woodhouse - Gwyn loves being a nurse for her father and hates change.  Their little town is about to have major changes to it and she isn't sure she is ready for it.

The Dancing Master - Julie Klassen - Regency romance - Alec is hoping for a fresh start for himself and his family in remote Devonshire as a dance teacher.  Julia's mother has an unwritten rule against dancing in their small village.  Both families have secrets that just don't want to stay hidden.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Release - The Dancing Master - Julie Klassen

Dear Readers,

Julie Klassen's books are a great pleasure to read.  They are a gentle story that helps you relax and just enjoy the peaceful ride through the English countryside.  She write Regency romances and each one has made me want to visit that time of history, and I am a huge fan of running water, electricity and woman being able to do what they want. 

The+Dancing+MasterIn the Dancing Master, Alec has moved his mother and sister into his Uncle's house in the little village of Beaworthy in remote Devonshire.  His father has recently passed away and a scandal has chased them out of London.  Hoping to set up his practice as a dancing master once settled runs into a small snag when he finds out that dancing is forbidden in Beaworthy. 

Julia is ready to leave her home.  To get as far away from her mother who only seems to see the bad things that Julia does.  She knows she must marry, but is looking for someone who does not live in the area or is willing to take her away.  Alec is not it.  But there is something that they are both hiding, will it hurt their budding attraction.

Here the snow is blowing, the wind is up and all I want to do is stay home and read a good book.  Julie's books are the perfect for that.  Especially when she sets them in the spring time.  So pull up a chair, grab a warm blanket and a hot cup of tea and enjoy.

Happy Reading

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Brennan Manning/Greg Garrett

Dear Readers,
In April of 2013 the world lost a Ragamuffin.  Brennan Manning went on to glory and yet his legacy lives on,  in the books he had written and one that he dreamed of writing.  The Prodigal by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett is a fiction title that Brennan dreamed of writing to reach those who for any number of reasons didn’t or wouldn’t read his Ragamuffin Gospel book.  He wanted to bring God’s grace to all in the world and this book just gives him another avenue to do that.
The Prodigal is a retelling of the Biblical story of the Prodigal son.  It goes more into what happens after the son returns and what life will look like then.  What happened when the neighbors found out he was back?  We all know the older brother’s reaction, but there are others to consider as this story is our own story many times over.
Jack Chishom is on top of his world.  He is a pastor of a mega-church, thousands listen to his sermons every Sunday.  The media has labeled him the people’s pastor.  He has it all which includes a loving wife and a beautiful daughter.  That is until he throws it all away with one night of betrayal in Mexico.  When the media finds out he first denies and then deflects.  He doesn’t ask for forgiveness and instead returns to the scene of the crime and decides to drown himself in the bottom of a bottle.  That is where his father finds him and says “Come home.”
There was nothing unpredictable about this story.  In fact making Jack a pastor made it easy for Greg to give the “sermons” that are included throughout the story, but it does work well.  This book is not written for those who are not struggling with their faith, but for those that are struggling where God is in the troubles, and for those that don’t know Him at all.  It is a book that I will gladly share with readers that need that encouragement.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Release - Carolina Gold - Dorothy Love

Dear Readers,

Civil war era books have been popular since Gone with the Wind hit the silver screens.  With the anniversary of the war happening this genre is even more popular.

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love is set as the war ends and Charlotte Fraser has to decide what to do to make sure the family plantation, Fairhaven, stay afloat.  With no males to help her make decisions and the war has changed everything.  She decides to continue to cultivate their new strain of rice called Carolina Gold. 

She also takes over tutoring of her neighbor's young daughters.  Nicholas is recently widowed and is struggling to find his way.  When things look like more than a friendship might develop, Nicholas files a claim that he might be the rightful owner of Fairhaven.   What shameful secrets are hidden in her family's past?

Dorothy is known for her strong characters.  While reading her books you feel like you could be friends with the heroines and of course their enemies become your enemies.  Which makes for fantastic reading.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Release - Merry Humbug Christmas - Sandra D. Bricker

Dear Readers,

Most of us look forward to Christmas all year round, usually for various reasons.  There are a few people out there that do not look forward to Christmas, also for various reasons.  Sometimes it is fun to look at what great lengths people will go to avoid a holiday they find annoying, to busy, or to painful to celebrate.

Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra D. Bricker has two stories between the covers about different people trying to avoid the holidays (sort of).  With humor and fun Sandra reminds us all that the holidays are not always brightness and happiness for everyone, but also they are not all about us either. 

Merry+Humbug+Christmas%3A+Two+Tales+of+Holiday+RomanceIn the first story "Once Upon a Jingle Bells" Joss snow heads on a Bah! Humbug  Riviera cruise to avoid any sense of Christmas.  The problems arise when she is booked on the wrong cruise, a 12 days of Christmas extravaganza.  What is she going to do?  Until she meets a kindred soul and then the games begin.

Story #2 is "It Came Upon a Midnight Deer."  Reese feels guilty for abandoning Joss on their annual anti-Christmas cruise, but her engagement has trumped everything else.  Reese is going to meet her fiancĂ©'s family which is nerve racking enough, but when the hit a deer close to the cabin everything seems to go down hill.

So whether you are a fan of Christmas or not, these two delightful stories will quickly put you into that warm and cozy holiday feeling we all long for.  Even if we don't know it.

Happy Reading

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Releases Christmas books - 2013 - Part 2

Dear Readers,

I am not sure if this is a good thing or a problem.  More Christmas book titles which required a second list.  So many titles to try to read before the season is over.  Of course reading a Christmas book in January is aloud and it helps continue the feeling of the season into the new year.

Happy Reading

Twice Loved - Wanda Brunstetter - Christmas 1945 - Can two lonely and hurting people help each other find love again.  Bev is a new widow with a young daughter and finds a job at Dan's used toy shop.  He has vowed to never love again after his wife passes away.

A Pioneer Christmas - Lauraine Snelling, Margaret Brownley, Kathleen Fuller and more - 9 stories in one.  Each one is set in a different state or territory of America.  From the Mountains of North Carolina, the woods of Michigan, the plains of Oklahoma and the deserts of Arizona,  Christmas wasn't always about presents, but home, family and love.

Silver Bells - Deborah Raney - Rob and Michelle feel an attraction to each other, but office policy forbids them from dating.  Until a small Christmas miracle changes everything.

Mistletoe Memories - Jennifer Allee, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson and Gina Welborn - 4 in 1 -Stephan Yost is a carpenter who vows to give Annaliese a home for Christmas, Marianne is thankful she never had children, until Ezekiel begs her to give an orphan a home for the holidays.  Olympia's only home was the orphanage and Theodore has plans to tear it down.  Joy is determined to keep the home for foster kids open, but that means asking modern day Scrooge, Evan, for help.

Plantation Christmas - Sylvia Barney, Lorraine Beatty, Cynthia Leavelle, Virginia Vaughan - 4 in 1 -Marilyn's world is completely reversed when she meets her daughter's future father-in-law.  Meredith is seeking inspiration for her writing and peace from her past, but finds help from the local history buff instead.  Devon and Sandra's twins are sure their parents are still in love and just need a special present to show them the way.  Wreath is a wedding planner even though she has given up on romance and love. 

Songs of Christmas -  Katherine Spencer - Thomas Kinkade's Cape Light - Lillian's beloved Ezra's health is failing and it taking Lillian's holiday spirit with it.  Will a storm change that all?  Amanda is at loose ends, but will a music director job lead to answers?

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Release - An Amish Miracle - Beth Wisemen, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis

Dear Readers,

An Amish Miracle is 3 in 1 book.  3 well know Amish authors got together and wrote a lovely story.  Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid and Mary Ellis put together a book that can be used to pass those long cold dark winter nights.  It is 3 stories that will warm your heart with the hope.

An+Amish+MiracleBeth's story, Always Beautiful, tells us the story of Becky who struggles with self image.  She feels she is over weight and therefore unattractive and can't find a husband.  When God grants her greatest wish, the results may not be what she expects.

In Always His Providence we enter the story of Rosa who will need to learn the tough lesson of pride and how harmful it can be to us. Is she going to loose her house because she is to stubborn to ask for help?

Mary Ellis has us walk along side Hope as she longs to meet the child she gave up when she was a teenager in Always in My Heart.  When her husband wishes for a son, Hope struggles with the sorrow she carries for a child no one knows she carried.

Whether you are looking for a gift for someone on your Christmas list or just need a gentle story to curl up with during this busy holiday season, An Amish Miracle fits that bill very nicely

Happy Reading

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Judy Christie

Dear Readers,
Sweet Olive by Judy Christie is the sweet story of Camille Gardner.  She is trying to work her way into the corporate offices of her uncle's oil company.   She has been his "landman" for years and she wants to set down roots, big roots somewhere and work at an art gallery. 
Uncle Scott promises this is the last time she will need to go out and sign land owners to the leases of their mineral rights.  After that he tells Camille she will be able to come work in Houston and never have to travel again.  The problem is, the last job is in Sweet Olive, Louisiana, the place where she had spent the worse month of her life. 
Camille plans on getting in, getting the signatures she needs and getting out.  Of course she is not planning on falling in love with the community of Sweet Olive and a wonderful, quirky artist who lives there. 
This is very much a story of slowing down, breathing once and while and following your dreams.  There is a bit of the 'evil' corporate giant in the storyline, but it is not aimed at everyone.  Of course when you are talking mineral rights and drilling you have to have a bad guy.  What better bad guy than a huge gas company that is looking to endanger the local water and to get the mineral rights as cheaply as possible.
I had to stop this book twice because of deadlines I had on a couple other books, but I kept going back to it, because it was the kind of story that made me want to finish it.  I loved the story line, but it was mostly the wonderful characters that Judy created that made me want to move to Sweet Olive and take up art of some sort or another.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Release - The Painted Table - Suzanne Field

Dear Readers,

The Painted Table by Suzanne Field takes on a topic not many people like to talk about or read about.  One of the characters of the novel suffers from mental illness and when you bring up the subject, people right away cringe and then stubble over themselves because they seldom know what to say or do.  Suzanne wants to encourage families that have suffered through mental illness and to offer them hope.

The+Painted+TableSaffee watched her mother slide into mental illness.  An century old table became part of her slide as she obsessively paints and repaints the table.  Fearing the same future, Saffee must confront her mother's illness and the story behind the table.

The Painted Table gives a small glimpse into what it was like living with someone who is slipping closer and closer to insanity.  It is a life that is never stable, you are always guessing what is right or wrong and sometime what was right one minute is not right the next.  Saffee's character reveals the effects of that home life has on a child as they grow up. 

This will not be an easy read, but it will be informative.

Happy Reading

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Releases - Christmas Books - 2013

Dear Readers,

The official start of the holiday shopping has hit.  We have been getting Christmas shoppers in for a few weeks now, but even those wait until Thanksgiving to even think about starting are out and about in the stores. 

It can be a frantic time of year and to take the time to relax and refresh with a wonderful Christmas story is such a blessing.  I have included below the new titles that are available at the store.

Happy Reading

Merry Humbug - Sandra Bricker - 2 in 1 -Once upon a Jingle Bell - Joss is avoiding Christmas at all cost, so she books a cruise.  The problem is the cruise is the 12 days of Christmas holiday extravaganza. It Came upon a Midnight Deer - Reese' abandons her best friend to meet her new fiance's family.  After hitting a deer on the way to the reunion, everything continues down hill.

The Dawn of Christmas - Cindy Woodsmall - Sadie finds Levi in a field badly hurt.  They seem to be kindred heart in avoid marring as their families want them to.  But things begin to change as the weather moves towards winter.

Christmas at Harmony - Ann. H. Gabhart - Heather needs a place of refuge.  Stories she has heard of the Shaker village makes her know she will be taken care of, but she can't believe they will take her baby away.

A Simple Christmas Wish - Melody Carlson -Melody's Christmas novellas are looked forward to every year.  A young girl who needs a home. A woman searches for a home for her heart.  One Christmas that is all seems possible.

Love Finds you in Frost Minnesota - Judy Baer - Jack Frost is determined to reclaim his family's land, even if the town residence of Frost live there. Merry Noel Blake is just as determined to turn her new home town into a Christmas destination spot.

The Christmas Gift for Rose - Tricia Goyer - Inspired by a true story - Rose leave the man she loves because he sided with the Englisch during the war only to discover she is an Elglischer herself.

Love Finds you in the City at Christmas - Roth Logan Herne/Anna Schmidt - 2 holiday romances in one - Red Kettle Christmas- 1947 Mike and Karen's paths cross at the Macy's day parade. Manhattan Miracle - Max, newly returned from the Middle East has come home to spend the holidays with his family.

The Christmas Visitor - Linda Byler - After the sudden loose of her husband, Ruth isn't sure how they will survive.  Then boxes of food and gifts begin to arrive.  Who is behind all the generosity.

An Amish Family Christmas - Murray Pura -  Micah goes against the Ordung and becomes a medic in the war in Afghanistan.  When he returns he is shunned. Will other tragedies unity the community or tear them farther apart?

Annie's Christmas Wish - Barbara Cameron - Quilts of Lancaster County - Will the draw of the excitement and glamor of New York draw Annie away from the man she loves?

The Christmas Quilt - Vannetta Chapman - Quilts of Love - Annie is determined to finish her crib quilt for her friend Leah before the baby is born.  But as she works on each piece she finds out some times a quilt holds an far greater meaning.

Peace - Shelley Shepard Gray -  A Crittenden County Christmas Novel - Beth knows a relationship with DEA agent Chris will never work.  Amish women do not marry Englischer men.  But they can't deny the attraction they feel for each other.

Friday, November 29, 2013

New Release - Christmas at Harmony Hill - Ann H. Gabhart

Dear Readers,

Christmas is in the air.  Time to break out the Christmas books.  It is the only holiday where there are whole books meant to be read only during this time of year.  I know you can read them anytime, but it always seems strange to read them in July.

Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann H. Gabhart  is the first of the Christmas novellas to arrive in the store.  Set once again in the Shaker village that Ann is known for writing wonderful book about, this is a story about the joy of Christmas and the forgiveness that it brings.

For those of you that have been reading and following Ann's Shaker series this is a must read.  It is a gentle book that sets the mood for a peaceful and quiet Christmas.  It also reminds us of what is really important about this busy season.

Happy Reading

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book of the Year 2013 - The Outcast - Jolina Petersheim

Dear Readers,
Goodness I feel like it was only a few short weeks ago that I pick the 2012 book of the year.   I have had several of them once again that have shown the possibility to be the book of the year, but the one I picked was partly because I read it in a day.  I started it on a Sunday morning and finished it by that evening. 
The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim was one of those books that made me want to turn pages and not lay it down, but it wasn't a fast paced book, it was one that just told a story that refused to be laid down.  It also made me interested in reading Jolina's next book,  The Midwife that releases in the summer of 2014.
Jolina PetersheimAs most of you who read my blog off and on know, Amish fiction is not my favorite genre, but that didn't really seem to matter in this book.  Then again, it is not your typical Amish fiction.  The subtitle on the book is "a modern retelling of the Scarlet Letter" and that is more of what this book is about than another Amish book.  Yes the main characters are Amish, but this story could and does happen in various forms around the world. 
I guess that is one thing I look for in the book I pick, it has to be something different.  It may tell a familiar story, but it needs to do it in a new and fresh way.  The Outcast was that.  I know originally the cover is what attracted my attention, but what lies between the lovely covers is what makes me pick this book for 2013.
Happy Reading.
P.S. Runners up include - Though Mountains Move - Julie Cantrell,  Secrets over Sweet Tea - Denise Hildreth Jones, Snow on the Tulips - Liz Tolsma, Burning Sky - Lori Benton, The Hero's Lot - Patrick Carr, Every Waking Moment - Chris Fabry.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Release - The Prodigal - Brennen Manning/Greg Garrett

Dear Readers,

Brennan Manning passed away in April of 2012.  I have no idea if this book was in the works before or after his death.  I do know by reading the author acknowledgments that Greg and Brennan had meet and talked about this project, but I don't know how far they got.

The Prodigal by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett is a story of the power of grace and forgiveness. Jack Chisholm is at the top of his career.  He leads a mega church, published several books and has a slogan that works for getting people to do anything, "We have got to do better."   The only problem is, he has no idea what grace and forgiveness is and God is about to show him how that all works. 

After one night of indiscretion he finds out how quickly the top becomes the bottom.  As he looses everything, his job, his royalties to his books and most importantly his family, Jack hit bottom with no where to go.  He tries to drown himself in the bottle and figures he has nothing else to loose, until he gets a visit from his father who tells him, "Come Home."

Anyone who has read anything by Brennan knows that he spoke, wrote and preached on grace and forgiveness all the time.   We must all find grace and forgiveness and must learn how to live it.  Grace very seldom is learn when you have everything, it is usually learned when you have lost everything.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Release - An Open Heart - Karry Kraus

Dear Readers,

For those looking for Medical mysteries, this has been you lucky couple of months, first Richard Mabry released a book and now Harry Kraus has released a new one called An Open Heart.  I actually started reading medical mysteries because of Harry.  I enjoy his writing style and the mystery involved are always interesting.

Dr. Jace Rawlings patients are waking up from surgery to accuse him of a murder that is going to happen yet.  They predict the deaths of people around Jace  and point the suspicion at him.  Those that are really guilty of the murders and controversy swirling around Jace will do anything to make sure he isn't able to figure out the truth. 

In the mean time he is trying to get a heart surgery program running in Kenyan and the problems at home seem determined to follow him there.  Will the clinic survive the controversy?

That maybe why I so enjoy Harry's books, he doesn't always follow the 'norm' in writing his fiction.  Who else would think of a mystery that has a murder that hasn't happened yet, but people are accusing you of it.  How very interesting.  Of course the medical element always adds to the storyline, even if I have no idea what they are talking about some of the time.

Happy Reading

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Releases November 18-23

Dear Readers,

In spite of the best efforts by stores everywhere, Thanksgiving is coming and we need to take time to give thanks for our many blessings.  I say that stores are trying to get rid of Thanksgiving because to me retail seems to find Thanksgiving as more of an annoyance instead of something that should be celebrated. 

I love Thanksgiving because there is no pressure to get to 20 parties in 4 days or to make sure you have the perfect gift.  You can just spend the day with family and friends, eating way to much good food, watching (hopefully) good football and not having to hurry off to somewhere else. 

I hope you have a wonderful blessed Thanksgiving and enjoy sometime with family, friends and maybe a good book.

Happy Reading,

Elusive Hope - MaryLu Tyndall - #2 Escape to Paradise - Magnolia never wanted to move to Brazil, she just wants her old life back.  Hayden follows his father to Brazil, vowing to find the man he believes killed his mother. 

An Open Heart - Harry Kraus - Jace Rawling's heart patients are waking up and predicting that he is going to murder the people around him.  How can that be?  How can he stop this for effecting the new clinic he just opened in Kenya?

The Prodigal - Brennan Manning/Greg Garrett - A book that continues Brennan's teaching even though he has passed from this life to glory.  Jack is at the top of his career and when he falls he falls a long ways.  One night cost him everything until he is told to "come home." 

Friday, November 22, 2013

New Release - Heart of the Country - Rene Gutteridge/John Ward

Dear Readers,

So people love to read the book after seeing the movie and some people would rather read the book first.  I am of the second camp.  Of course I am also of the camp that I have never liked the movie better than the book, maybe as well as the book, but never better than. 

bakerbookstore.comHeart of the Country is the novelization of the movie of the same title.  Faith and Luke have it all, he is a raising star in the investment world and she is a singer who is settling beautifully in to married life.  What more could one couple want? 

It all comes crashing down when it is revealed that Luke is involved in a Ponzi scheme.  Faith returns home to a place she turned her back on years ago and Luke must ask for help from his own family.  They are both prodigals returning to a place of love, forgiveness and family.

The DVD for the movie is releasing on December 3 so if you prefer to read the book first you have time, not much, but a few days.  If you are one who likes to read the book after the fact you don't have long to wait. 

Happy Reading

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Angela Hunt

Dear Readers,
I put off reading The Offering by Angela Hunt as my book club was going to read the book for November.   I have enjoyed many of Angela's books, but the note in the back said she has written 115 books, well I have to say I have not read them all.
The Offering is about Amanda and her want of a house and a way to pay for her daughter's music education.  With her husband Gideon being in the military and her only able to work part time that just doesn't seem possible right now.  When she meets an expectant mother and finds out she is a gestational carrier, Amanda believes she has found the answer to their problems.
The+OfferingAmanda goes home, does some research and decides that this is a great way to earn money.   She loved being pregnant and here is a chance for her to help her family with no cost to them.  The baby's parents will pay for everything including clothes, doctor visits and even a maid if she needs one.  How hard can this be?
Our discussion last night was quite lively and I don't think we ever came to a conclusion on whether we are all for or against, but we did talk about it.  It was fun because we have an interesting mix of ladies.  Because one couple in the group had adopted kids and most of them are related to people who have adopted, it made for an interesting aspect of the story.
One lady related how a relative was unable to have children and how hard that was on the wife.  Now when this was happening, science hadn't gotten as far as it has now so IVF wasn't available, but the woman said she had thought about carrying a child for the relative but knew she would never had been able to give the child up at the end.
This is a topic where Angela doesn't really give you the answers to your questions, she lets you decide whether you find it morally ok or not.  She does touch on the frozen embryos and what happens to the ones that are not used, which is a whole different topic and could fill another whole book. 
One thing I did find interesting, we all struggled with the main character and I am sure Angela wrote her that way on purpose, we didn't like her.  It didn't take away from us liking the book and the topic, but it made for another discussion on why she did what she did. 
Happy Reading

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Release - Elusive Hope - MaryLu Tyndall

Dear Readers,

Book #2 in the Escape to Paradise, Elusive Hope continues the story of the colony started in Brazil by those who were loyal to the South during the Civil War.  There really was a colony that was started in Brazil, not quite in the area that MaryLu describes but close.  It is one of those things that you can look up on line and find out more about their story.

Hayden has been trying to track down his scoundrel of a father and he believes he may have finally found him in South America.  He has vowed revenge against the man whom Hayden believes killed hi mother. 

Magnolia did not sign up for the move to Brazil, her father made the choice to escape the turmoil after the Civil War.  She misses everything she believes she deserves - pretty dresses, handsome suitors and slaves to wait on her every whim.  Looking for a way out Magnolia sees Hayden as a chance to get back to the South she loves.

MaryLu is known for writing historical romances about little known subjects in America's history, but she also loves to write about the South.  She gives you an enchanting story of love in spite of the couple best efforts to not fall in love with each other.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Release - The First Phone Call from Heaven - Mitch Albom

Dear Readers,

The First Phone Call from HeavenAround here I am not sure if Mitch Albom is best known for his Detroit new columns or his best selling books or his play he wrote about Ernie Harwell the voice of the Detroit Tigers.  So when his new book The First Phone Call from Heaven hit the shelves there was more than one person looking for it.

What if you received a phone call from a loved one, someone that had past away?  What would your reaction be?  Sully Harding has returned to Coldwater Michigan on the same day as those first phone calls started coming through.  While the world takes notice, Sully is doubtful an sets out to prove that the calls are just a cruel joke from a very sick mind. 

Mitch has a folksy way of telling a story that makes you want to believe it is real.  The characters of his stories make us want to be a better person.  And sooner or later it seems like everyone is reading his books and talking about them.  They are the type of book that seems to draw a wide variety of readers and that is what makes them so interesting, you can have a conversation with your co-worker, a family member or that stranger that rides the bus with you. 

The books raise questions that beg a discussion and sooner or later you need to find someone to talk it through.  But that is what makes the story even better and last longer, the chance to work through the high points.

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Releases - Nov. 11 - 16

Dear Readers,

As I start this list for the books that have arrived in the store this week, it is raining/snowing around here.  It just seems early for snow, but I have been reassured that it is very normal for Michigan to get snow in Nov.  I just know that I am not ready for cold, wind and snow.  It just makes me want to curl up with a good book and not poke my nose out again until spring.

Happy Reading

The First Phone Call From Heaven - Mitch Albom - On the same morning that Sully Harding is released from prison is the same day the first phone calls start happening.  Phone calls from people to their loved ones.  Which doesn't sound so unusual except the one that is calling is dead.  Sully sets out to prove it is all faked by some with a sick sense of humor.

Plain Peace - Beth Wiseman - #6 in the Daughters of Promise series - Anna should have the pick of eligible young men in their community, but because her grandfather set in place rules to be followed, no one dares court her.  That is until Jacob comes to town and decides it is worth the risk.

Kiss of Revenge - Debbie Viguie - #3 in the Kiss series - Susan and her friends are preparing for their most important battle with the vampire Richelieu.  (from the backcover)

Friday, November 15, 2013

New Release - Kiss of Revenge - Debbie Viguie

Dear Readers,

I don't know if I have mentioned it, but I am not that into Vampire books.  I have never read the Twilight books and I have only read a couple of Anne Rice's books, as good as those are.  It isn't something I really enjoy reading as most of them are really creepy and I am not really into horror.  Dracula was evil personified and some have taken that to a new level.  There are interesting ones out there, but mostly they are just gory.

That is until I was asked to read book #1 in the Kiss trilogy by Debbie Viguie, Kiss of Night.  I flew through the book and could hardly wait for book #2 Kiss of Death, but then book #3 has been a little wait, but thankfully Kiss of Revenge is finally in our hands and we can fight along side Susan and Wendy and their little band that stands between the Vampires and world domination.

From what I understood, Debbie started this series with the thought, could a vampire be saved.  Can something so evil actually become a believer?  With the answer being yes, Debbie wrote a couple of very interesting characters into her books.  One being a monk who was a vampire and a one who was fighting for humans, Raphael.  It made for some thought-provoking reading. 

Susan and Wendy are ready to fulfill their destiny.  They need to fight Richelieu and his growing band of vampires for supremacy of the world.  The vampires are ready to take over and make humans their slaves and the only thing that stands between them is a little group that stands divided right now.  Can they discover the secret of the cross before it is to late?

These books have been great fun to read.  They are fast paced, with great characters and a story line that leaves you wanting to turn the page as quickly as possible.  I really wish there was more in the series, but thankfully Debbie has loads of other books that are just as good to read.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shawn Hoffman

Dear Readers,
Samson by Shawn Hoffman was one of the toughest books I have read in a long time.  It wasn't because of the writing, it was the subject matter.  Shawn takes the stories of several different Jews who were sentenced to Auschwitz during World War II and compiles them into one man's story. 
Now there really was an Olympic Boxer who, because he was a Jew, was sent to Auschwitz where he was noticed by not only the commandant of Auschwitz but also Doctor Mengele.  As really happened, in this story he and his family are threatened with death if he loses his weekly fights, but they will receive extra rations and maybe even freedom if he continues to win.
I will tell you right now this book is not for the faint of heart.  I have had to lay it aside a couple of times and read something lighter because of man's inhumanity to man.  The stories that are shared makes this a book that can haunt your dreams and you sometimes have to step away from it to remember that God is still in control.
Because Samson's story is more than one person's story it sometimes gets a bit overwhelming.  It makes it unbearable sometimes, but that people actually survived these horrors is amazing to me.  How did they not just lay down and die of a broken heart when they understood what was happening to their loved ones in the gas chambers and other places in the camp. 
Stories like these have often made me wonder about the men and women that were in charge of the camp and how they dealt with the awfulness they were doing to the people inside their prison walls.  Samson gives a brief glimpse of things the soldiers that guarded the prisoners went through themselves and what they did to dis-associate themselves from what they did.  Now I don't think they are any more right, but sometimes for the guards it was do what was commanded or end up in the gas chambers yourself.
This is not an easy read, this is not a book to read if you are struggling with depression yourself, but it is a good read to get a small picture of what life was like in a death camp.  
Happy Reading 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Release - Rest Not in Peace - Mel Starr

Dear Readers,

I have read the other 5 books in the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon series.  They are an interesting read about life and crime in medieval England.  Because of the very different perspective on both of those it has made the series very interesting.  Book #6 Rest Not in Peace by Mel Starr just hit our shelves and I am going to have to add it to the 'to be read' list.

Hugh de Singleton practices medicine in a time when there was very little to go on.  They didn't know a lot about the human body and the best way to put someone to sleep for surgery was a stiff drink.  After reading about some of the things they did to try to make some one healthy again, I had decided I will stay in the is century, of course the living conditions are also something I would not like.  I like electricity and running water. 

Master Hugh finds himself asked once again to solve a mystery for Lord Gilbert.  Sir Henry Burley needs help sleeping and Hugh is asked to mix him a sleeping potion.  When Sir Henry heads to bed he seems perfectly healthy, but the next morning he is dead.  So not only does Hugh have to find the real killer, he needs to prove his is innocent.

Once again Hugh needs to solve a crime without using any modern tools.  No finger prints, no incriminating emails or phone calls, no way of telling who is telling the truth or lying.  He needs to just go on instinct and hopefully before he is thrown in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

I love walking along side Hugh as he tries to figure out the clues.  Mel makes sure we get the clues with Hugh to see if we can solve the puzzle before Hugh does.  It is the 'old fashion' way of doing things, but it is a refreshing way to solve crimes.  Well at least in between the covers of a good book.

Happy Reading.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Release - Sweet Olive - Judy Christie

Dear Readers,

Sweet Olive is the newest release of Judy Christie.  She live in Louisiana and that comes through in her fiction books as she sets many of her stories there.  Which of course gives her books a good southern flair.

In Sweet Olive Camille agrees to one last assignment from her uncle for his natural gas company.  All she has to do is get the population of the area to agree to give up their mineral rights and the use of their water to drill for natural gas.  Sound simple?  It is not something that Camille likes to do, but she feels obligated to her Uncle. 

The only problem is the town she needs to go to is Samford, Louisiana, the one place on earth she hoped to never return to.  A place where she has spent the worse month of her life.  But one she gets the meetings behind her she can move on to the art gallery job that is waiting for her.

Reading about the south and their warm weather is the perfect way to make those raw fall days that we are experiencing in Michigan right now, go by much faster.  Reading a lovely story to go along with it helps matters even more. 

So pull up a chair, pour some sweet tea and relax, let the winds howl it doesn't matter you are going to be in Louisiana.

Happy reading,

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Releases - November 4 - 9

Dear Readers,

Goodness we are half was through November and the holidays are lurking in the back ground.  I am not ready for them yet and still there are so many titles that I would love to share as gifts with people.  There are a few more titles to make that list even longer.

Happy Reading

Stones for Bread - Christa Parrish - Liesl's world is all about bread.  Her heritage, her job, her life.  That is until those who surround her start interfering.  The troubled teen her head baker brings in, the waitress who summits her recipe to a cooking show, and the flour guys who thinks he can win her affection.

Amanda Weds a Good Man - Naomi King = #1 One Big Happy Family - Amanda is ready to marry Wyman after being a widow for 4 years.  The problem comes when they try to blend their two families together in a house that is just to small.

Autumn Grace - Marianne Ellis - #2 Amish Seasons - Ruth loves her church and community, but struggles with the rules  When give a chance to teach in a community nearby, she jumps at the chance, but who would have guessed she would find love there.

Rest Not in Peace - Mel Starr - #6 Chronicles of Hugh De Singleton Surgeon - Master Hugh is once again mixed up in the middle of murder, but this time his is one of the suspects.

Friday, November 8, 2013

New Release - Aloha Rose - Lisa Carter

Dear Readers,

The Quilt has been a major presence in America's history.  It was something that immigrants carried over with them, sometimes being the only thing they escaped their homeland with.  It has helped slaves escape their owners, it has told stories in its stitching and it is a treasure possession in many families.

Because of this Abingdon Press decided to do a series based on the quilt in America and the many different stories that are attached to it.  Quilts of Love series has meet with great success.  There are many readers that are always waiting for the next one to come out.  So far I believe there are 12 of them in print with many more to come.  They are each written by a different author and they cover America almost from when we were first discovered to modern times.  Each of them tell a beautiful story of us as a country.

Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter is the November release and takes on a journey with Laney as she tries to figure out who her birth family is.  The only clue she has is the quilt she was wrapped in when found as an infant.  It is a Hawai'ian quilt - red rose snowflake on a white back ground.  It leads her to start her search on the main island when she runs into Kai.  He has figured her for a gold digger and fights her every move.  He is determined to not let her succeed.

I am amazed at how many different stories that can be written with a quilt as the center and no two are alike.  They also release a new Christmas story for a special holiday read.  As popular as quilting itself is right now I believe this series will continue to do well for quite awhile.

Happy Reading

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Katherine Reay

Dear Readers,

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay is a book that I didn't know what I was getting into when I first started.  When I realized the book was written completely in letter form, I thought it was going to be tough slugging through it.  I have read other books in this form or diary form and I don't usually enjoy them because they don't always flow well.  This one is well worth the read, I enjoyed it and really related to the character even though her life and age are completely different from mine (while I was on vacation I read it in one day).

Samantha (Sam) is an orphan who has been in and out of the system for years.  She has learned to deflect everyone from her life and from knowing her better.  She makes her friends in the books she reads.  Austin, Dickens, the Bronte sisters to name a few.  She thinks it is working for her until she is forced once again back to the home because she loses her job because she does not relate well to others.  So true and it is a harsh realty for her to learn.  

Sam accepts a scholarship from a foundation that is willing to pay her tuition to a grad school, even if the degree isn't quite what she thought she would be doing, journalism.  But while learning how to write she has to learn more about herself and to trust people with her story.  

Sam is a real 3D character.  She has flaws, she has beautiful gifts to give others and she longs to be loved by a true family.  A forever love.  What she learns along the way is something we can all relate to.  She hides behind masks and refuses to let anyone in.  She figures if she hurts someone first then she is safe, but of course that means she never is open enough to trust anyone either. 

I really could go on and on about this book, but I might give some of the storyline away and it is something you need to discover for yourself.  I will say though that with her first novel, Kathleen does a great job of making you want to meet her characters and love them just for who they are.  I am excited to see what she does with her next book.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Release - Samson - Shawn Hoffman

Dear Readers,

Books come across my desk almost everyday that I think to myself, 'I want to read that.'  Some of them do get read and others fall through the cracks.  I hate admit that I don't get them all read, but I sure do try hard. Of course that is half the fun, trying to read them all.

Samson by Shawn Hoffman is one that as soon as I heard about it, it went on my 'to be read' list.  The storyline caught my attention right away.  It is the story of Samson Abrams who along with his family are sent to Auschwitz.  While he is there he is recognized as a former boxing champ and is then forced to box for the entertainment of the officers.  If he wins, his family gets extra rations, if he looses they go to the gas chambers. 

Based on true stories that have come out of Auschwitz, it is a story that makes you wonder about human nature and how we can be so cruel to each other.  Reading books about WWII is hard enough because you know what happens, but reading about the families as they arrived at Hell on Earth makes my heart hurt.  They had no idea what they were facing and yet hoped against hope that they would be treated humanly. 

I will say here that I am reading it, I just got it started the other day at work, and there will be a review soon, but so far I am having a hard time reading it because of how awful things are.  I have to come up for breath once and a while to remember that things are o.k. here.  Not an easy read, but one that reminds you how evil people can be.

Happy Reading.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Release -15 Minutes - Karen Kingsbury

Dear Readers,

Many many years ago, ok not that many, I read my first Karen Kingsbury book.  I loved that she took on a relevant issue and showed that we could survive what the world hands us, whether we think we can or not.

15 Minutes is her newest and she once again takes on an issue that well to put it bluntly will never deal with in this scale, but yet we all will have to deal with sooner or later. 

Zack is an overnight success.  He tried out for and won a place on the reality show, 15 minutes.  He becomes a darling on the show because of he good looks and Elvis like sound.  He vowed to not let the fame compromise his beliefs or his relationship with Reese, whom he plans on marring.  But little bit by little bit his choices are leading him down a bad path.

Fifteen+MinutesReese, Zack's high school sweetheart, wonders if she can  trust Zack and their relationship.  She sees him slipping away and when a job offer comes in she thinks of taking it, even though it would take her half way around the world.

Everyday choices that will effect the rest of your life.  Now most of us will never be on the national stage, but everyday we are asked to stand by our beliefs or to change them just a bit to fit in with what others ask us to do.  It is easy to look at a star and think they should behave better, when we are really not acting any better ourselves.

Happy Reading

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Releases - Oct. 28 - Nov. 2

Dear Readers,

It is November already, which means the holiday season is just around the corner.  We have a radio station which is already playing 24 hours of Christmas music.  I am not ready for any of that.  In fact the view from my desk includes a lovely view of Christmas boxed cards. *Sigh*

As snow starts to fly, it is just wonderful to sit down and relax with a great book.

Happy Reading

Sweet Olive - Judy Christie - Camille has one finally job to finish for the oil company that her family owns.  She is ready to move on to her real passion of running an art gallery, but first she has to return to the town that was the scene of the worst week of her life.

The Bargain - Stephanie Reed - #1 Plain City Peace - The 70's in an Amish community was very different from the rest of America.  But the Englisher world crashes into Betsie's life in more ways than one.  She just wants to return to Plain City and marry Charlie Yoder.

Samson - Shawn Hoffman - Based on actual events that happened during WWII at the Auschwitz death camp.  When Samson Abrams reaches Auschwitz he is recognized as a former  boxer.  He is then forced to box for the officers entertainment.  Win and you get more rations, lose and you go to the gas chambers.

Fifteen Minutes - Karen Kingsbury - Zack is on the edge of having it all.  But will it cost him everything to have it.  His sweetheart back home is not sure about their relationship anymore and then an offer comes from half way around the world.  Chandra has experience with what Zack is dealing with and wants to help him find his way.  

Dear Mr. Knightley - Katherine Reay - Sam hides in her books, she only friends lie between the pages of the classics like Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare.  The problem is she lives in the real world.  When a mentor offers a free passage to college she finds out what it means to really be loved and how to be a friend.