Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Release - The Amish Seamstress - Mindy Starns Clark/Leslie Gould

Dear Readers,

Mindy Starns Clark has been a favorite author of mine since I read her Million Dollar Mystery series.  In fact her Amish series with Leslie is one of the few Amish books I have read with out being asked to by someone.  I have found them interesting with a bit of a a mystery to them and a lovely blend of the Amish community and the English world.

In The Amish Seamstress  Mindy and Leslie continue the Women of Lancaster county series.  Izzy his very content with her life.  She loves to take care of her elderly parents and while taking care of them, she has quietly sews and has become quite a seamstress.  They share her stories with her while the evenings pass.

The problems arise when Zed Bayer comes back to town.  Izzy once loved him, but he is not the spouse her family wanted for her.  Now Izzy has to chose between her life and what she feels she drawn to.  What path is God calling her to follow?

Like I said I have been enjoying this series.  I think mostly because it actually has had issues that effect the women of the series could and have been issues I have struggled with or could also relate to.  Which of couse is what makes the story that much more interesting.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Release - The Icing on the Cake - Janice Thompson

Dear  Readers,

Janice Thompson is one of my guilty pleasure books.  They are fun, cute and just adorable.  I don't always have time to read them all.  (Sadly as much as I want to read every book I don't have time)  But this series has been just plain and simply a pleasure to read. Jancie continues her Weddings by Design series with the lovely covered The Icing on the Cake.

Scarlet Lindsey agrees to take over her cranky Aunt's cake decorating business.  It leads her along paths that she really didn't expect to follow including on to a national television cake competition.  When a friend's handsome brother rolls into town, Scarlet isn't sure her heart will be safe.

This is one of the books that is like that favorite chick flick.  You want to just curl up with a bowl of popcorn and a favorite drink and enjoy.  Then share it with you friends so you can talk about it and remember that a romantic story is always best when shared.

Happy Reading

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Releases July 22 - 27

Dear Readers,

Several titles that will be a joy to bring on a beach trip or two.  As I type this the weather outside is better for fall than the end of July so maybe I should suggest a cup of tea and a quilt by the fire instead, but either way enjoy the list.

Happy Reading

The Icing on the Cake - Janice Thompson - #2 Weddings by Design - (from the back cover) - Fan favorite Janice Thompson is back with more wit, more weddings, and more of what you love best--bridal-business drama laced with laughs.

Jasmine - Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver - #3 Song of the River - Jasmine leaves the safety of her home for a life of fame.  When tragedy sets of events that creates new opportunities and danger

Whispers from the Shadows - Roseanna White - #2 Culper Ring series - Once again Roseanna takes us back to a young USA.  Gwyneth flees England to save her life, but with the two countries at war again is she really safe?

Beneath the Dover Sky - Murray Pura - #2 The Danfords of Lancashire - For fans of Downton Abbey - As the country recovers from WWI Europe is once again pushed to towards unrest as a man named Adolf Hitler starts causing trouble. 

The Amish Seamstress - Mindy Starns Clark/Leslie Gould - #4 in the Women of Lancaster county - Izzy is content with her life, sewing and taking care of her elderly parents, until lost love Zed Bayer comes back.

Misery Loves Company - Rene Gutteridge - Juliet has been unable to  leave her house since her husband's death, when she finally does leave, she is kidnapped.    

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Steven James

Dear Readers,
This past 4th of July weekend I was looking forward to lots of quiet time.  My family is training for a bike ride across Iowa in a few weeks and I was going to have several hours all to myself.  So imagine my happiness when The King by Steven James arrived that week.  I read it in two days, mostly because it is fast paced and you really are not going to want to lay it down until you know what happens to all the bad guys.
The KingOnce again Steven takes us to the very dark side of human nature.  To titles his books “thrillers” does seem quite right.  There should be a  genre titled “won’t sleep until the back guys are dead or in prison.”  I can think of a couple authors I would put in that genre, but definitely Steven’s Patrick Bowers series. 
Basque is back and if that statement makes no sense, you need to start with the Pawn and make your way to The King.  It is worth the trip.  If you are not a fan of thrillers this is definitely not the series for you. 
Patrick is in a race to save his family and the country once again.  When the two women he loves more than anything in the world are threatened by an old enemy, Patrick makes it his sole job to track Basque down and to make sure that he can hurt no one ever again.
Fast paced, a page turner and one that keep you wondering how it could get any worse to the very end, this is Steven James at his best and most enjoyable.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lauraine Snelling

Dear Readers,
I am happy to let you all know that we are going to have a very special visitor next month.  Lauraine Snelling is coming to our store!  She has not been in the West Michigan in over 5 years and we are so excited to be able to host her here at Baker.  She will be at our store on August 22 at 7:00 p.m. 
Wake+the+DawnShe will be promoting her new book Wake the Dawn releasing on August 20th.  It is a contemporary novel set in Minnesota during a winter storm.  Ben is trying to recover from an accident that cost him the love of his life.  The problem is he is trying to recover through the bottle.
While driving his last patrol before the storm hits, Ben and his canine partner Bo discover a baby.  Ben rushes to get the baby to the nearest clinic before the storms get worse.  Trapped in the small clinic with Esther is trying to give the best care she can on a very limited budget.  They both have to face their past, will they be able to help each other with their futures.
Not only is Lauraine releasing this wonderful contemporary stand alone, in October she is releasing the much awaited prequel to her Red River of the North series with Untamed Heart.  The story of Ingeborg and how she decides to come to live in Red River.
Ingeborg is certain she is going to be an old maid.  Her mother suggests that she moved to America and start a new life for herself, but how will Ingeborg ever afford the trip across the ocean?
With two fantastic books to talk about, Lauraine will have a lot to share with us readers, come join us while Lauraine shares about her books and has a time of Q & A so you can ask those questions you have wanted to ask her about her books.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Michele Phoenix

Dear Readers,
I have found a new favorite author and her name is Michele Phoenix.  I so enjoyed Tangled Ashes, her first book, that I really looked forward to reading her newest release In Broken Places.  All I can say is if you haven’t read either one of these books, pull up a chair and start now.
In Broken Places you meet Shelby and you will want to hug her right away.  Of course she won’t let you as she has some pretty thick walls built up around her heart and life.  Her and her brother,Trey, survived years of emotional abuse, and now have moved into adulthood with the idea of making it through life without anyone else hurting them.
When their father, who has been out of their lives for years, passes away, he leaves everything he owns including a step-sister neither one of them knew about.   Shelby isn’t sure she can adopt Shayla until she meets the little 4 year old, then she knows she has to.   Shelby’s biggest fear is that she will turn into her father and to keep from doing that, she accepts a job in Germany and heads off with her new daughter to a new country and new job.  To say that her stress level is a bit high may be a little understatement.
I am not sure what Michele does but her characters make you feel like you are right with them as they are experiencing the abuse.  She has a way of turning a phrase that makes you see things differently.  She makes her stories your own experience, which makes the moment you close the cover of the story one of the saddest moments of your day.
Happy Reading

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Releases - July 15 - 20

Dear Readers,
The heat has set in for the dog days of summer.   People say it isn’t the heat it is the humidity, well in west Michigan we have both in July and August.  It is my favorite time of year.  I love the heat with or without humidity, I love sitting outside until late at night watching the fireflies and the stars coming out.  I love sitting on my front porch reading and this week there a several titles that will lend themselves well to that summer evening reading.
Happy Reading
Dark Road Home – Elizabeth Ludwig - #2 Edge of Freedom – Ana’s memories of Ireland are not ones she wants to remember.  She suffered burns in the fire that killed her family and is struggling with her anger at God.  She meets a kindred spirit in Eoghan, but he has anger issues for a different reason.
The Letters – Suzanne Woods Fisher - #1 The Inn at Eagle Hill – When Rose turns her home into a bed and breakfast she expected trouble from her mother-in-law and church order, but not her customers pouring the trouble out to her.
On Distant Shores – Sarah Sundin - #2 Wings of the Nightingale – (from the back of the book) Caught between the war raging around them and the battles within, two souls long for peace and a love that remains true.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Julianna Deering

Dear Readers,
Rules+of+MurderThere is nothing like a lighthearted mystery to while away the summer hours.  Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering fits that bill to a T, but not only is it a lovely mystery, it is set in England.  So with two of my favorite things to read, I was in Heaven.  This is not a great mystery and it is not a thriller by any stretch of the imagination, but I totally enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the next book or two in the series.
Drew is a rich kid who is kind of at loose ends.  He is set to inherit his late father’s business and yet has no interest in helping his step-father.  He returns home to find that there is a party going on and yet he doesn’t really care for it either, especially when he finds out that there are 3 American girls who have been invited to spend a little time before embarking on a trip through Europe. 
Madeline is stopping by Fathering Place to visit with her Uncle Mason who is more like a father before setting out on a tour of Europe.  While there she has a chance to make Drew’s acquaintance and is finding that there is much more to like about England than its lovely countryside.  Unhappily, while getting to know each other, they make the grisly discovery of a murdered body.   Shortly after, Drew’s mother is also killed and Drew knows he needs to figure out who is the murderer and why they are killing.
If you were going to put a definition in the Webster’s Dictionary of what a perfect summer read would be you could easily put this book's picture next to it.  It is light and yet engaging, it is easy to pick back up when you have to lay it down and it makes you want to pick it up again.  It is over all just a charming read.  If you haven’t heard of Julianna Deerling it isn’t because this is her first novel, it is just her first one under this pen name.  I personally a looking forward to more good works from her.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Release - Rene Gutteridge

Dear Readers,
It has been a couple years since I have read a new Rene Gutteridge book  Misery Love Company is her latest release and is written right in her wheel house.  Rene was one of the first authors I found in the Christian Market that was writing good mysteries that were focused on the mystery instead of the romance of a couple of her characters.
Juliet finally ventures out of her house for the first time after her husband’s death.   She needs to stop  at a local grocery store and while there recognizes a favorite author.  That is all she remembers when she wakes up in strange room that changes how she views many things she thought of as true.
Already I am hooked into thinking, who is this mysterious stranger that would kidnap her out of a grocery store.  What about this kidnapping would change everything she knows about her life and her husband’s death.  What an interesting idea for a book. 
I can’t say this is a good beach read because I think it will make you keep turning pages as fast as you can, but it sure will make you want to know who-done-it.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Release - Colleen Coble

Dear Readers,
I have enjoyed reading Colleen Coble’s books since I discovered her Rock Harbor series.  With them set in a fictional town in the UP, it was just a natural read for me.  Since then she has written more books that I have space to list.  She has written historical and contemporary books, but all of them with a bit of a mystery to them.

Rosemary Cottage is book #2 in the Hope Beach series.  Tidewater Inn is book #1.  It is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and I am sure that is why I like the series. Listening to her and how she got to travel to the Outer Banks to do her research made me think I need to become an author so I can travel around to places I wanted to visit just for the sake of research of course. ;-)

For whatever reason you decide to pick up this series it is a great read.  Amy Lange heads to the Rosemary Cottage to mourn the loss of her brother.  While visiting she wants to investigate her brother’s death, even with others saying it was a tragic surfing accident. 

Coast Guard Officer Curtis Ireland has his own secrets and even though he is willing to help Amy, he doesn’t want to let anyone know who his niece’s father is for fear of losing her also.

There is nothing like a mystery with a handsome military guy thrown in, to make a visit to the beach a little more exciting. 

Happy Reading

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Releases July 8 -13

Dear Readers,
Some really good titles this week.  A good mixture of murder and mayhem and love and romance.  Just about anyone should be able to find a title on this list.  Well ok the is no fantasy/sci fi, which is a bummer, but otherwise...
Happy Reading.
Lead Me Home - Stacy Hawkins - #2 Winds of Change series - Shiloh is seeking her own identity.  Being a Pastor's wife and a mother is sometimes just not enough.  The opportunity to teach high school music  offers her to find herself but also a chance to mentor a student in ways Shiloh never thought she would.
Rosemary Cottage - Colleen Coble - #2 A Hope Beach Novel - Amy needs to mourn the lost of her brother, but she also wants answers to why he disappeared.  Curtis has secrets of his own, like who is the father of his late sister's child.  Will two hurting people be able to help each other heal?
Into the Whirlwind - Elizabeth Camden - Mollie's future looks bright until the Chicago fire destroys everything in her beloved city.  Zach is a force to be reckoned with and one of the city's most powerful citizens.  Will Mollie be able to resist him or will she accept him for himself?
Rules of Murder - Julianna Deering - #1 A Drew Farthering Mystery - Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie. Drew Fathering loves a good mystery, but when the mystery is his step-mother's death he isn't so sure he wants to know the answers.
A Simple Change - Judith Miller - #2 Home to Amana - Jancey needs to decide to stay in Kansas City or move to the Amana Colonies with her parents.  Her mother is ill and she may never see her again if Jancey doesn't move with them.  But a move

Thursday, July 11, 2013

BIlly Coffey

Dear Readers,
How does a small town react when a little girl starts painting pictures that seem to help someone win the lottery?  What if she says she only paints what the Rainbow Man tells her?  Who would believe what she says and who would think she was either crazy or of the devil?
This is the premise of When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey.  An interesting book that has you second guessing whose side you are actually on and wondering if God would actually use a little girl to get the pastor of the town’s attention. 
Reverend Goggins, Reggie to everyone during the week, is comfortable in his role in town.  He is the spiritual shepherd, he tries to do what is right, he sits with Mable while Barney does his errands, he believes his is doing all he should be as a pastor.  That is until little Leah comes to town and paints a picture that causes quite a stir in town.  Suddenly everyone is Barney’s best friend; they all want a piece of the magic…
Billy’s writing style is easy to read, so while being slower paced, the story draws you along and you want to continue reading and follow it along to the end.  I am not sure what I was expecting when I started this book, but the outline I got when the company rep and a hint about it from the publisher themselves really intrigued me.  It made me want to read it and once I got started I had no problem being involved with the story. 
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Release - Denise Hunter

Dear Readers,
Some books you know are just meant to be read in the middle of a hot summer vacation.  Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter is one of those books.  (I guess the middle of a winter snow storm would be great also, but who wants to think of that now?) 
Madison is going to fulfill a dream of her brother’s, winning the annual regatta.  Which sounds easy enough, but Madison doesn’t know how to sail and since her twin brother drowned she has never wanted to before.
The best person to learn from is the infamous Beckett O’Reilly, and Madison is willing to put up with him to achieve her goal.  Becket has already lost his heart year ago to Madison; even she can’t deny the chemistry between them is electrifying
So pull up a comfortable chair with your toes in the sand, a cold iced tea next to you and some sunscreen and enjoy a book meant for the summer reading weather.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Release - Robert Whitlow

Dear Readers,
There is nothing better on a long summer evening than being able to open a new book that you know will be an interesting read.  Robert Whitlow is one of those authors that give you that type of book, one that will keep your interest until the very end.
He usually writes books about being a lawyer and a case or two that deals with that.  In The Living Room, not only is the law world involved, his main character is an author also, which adds a bit of a twist for him. 
Amy Clark had quit her job to become a fun time author, but that is not paying the bills right now and so when her former employer ask her to come back to help out while one of the secretaries is on maturity leave, Amy agrees to go back to work.  But there is more going on than she bargained for and is soon deeply involved in a very high stakes case. 
I love reading these books over a weekend or on vacation because I can just sink into the storyline and not worry about time or anything else that might demand my attention.  If you haven’t read a Robert Whitlow book before, this would be a great way to start, if you have had the pleasure, then you are going to enjoy the new one.
Happy Reading

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Releases July 1 -6

Dear Readers,
Two of my favorite authors have books on the list this week, Steven James and Robert Whitlow.  They both write mysteries, but one writes straight mysteries and the other write thrillers.   Their writing styles are very different, one writing more of a south genre style while the other is fast paced, action packed forget to breathe type books.  They are both so very different, but worth the read.
Happy Reading
The King - Steven James - The Bowers Files - Patrick is ready to settle into a new job at the Academy.  His wedding to Lien-hua is coming up soon.  His relationship with Tessa is going great.  Then a demon from the past raises his ugly head and Patrick is forced into a life or death race.
The Living Room - Robert Whitlow - Amy has a secret, she calls it the living room.  It is where she goes while she sleeps to dream and receive rest.  When her dreams and reality collide, Amy needs to stop dreaming and act to prevent tragedy.

Barefoot Summer - Denise Hunter - Madison wants to fulfill her late twin brother's dream and she will do just about anything to make it happen.  Even teaming up with Beckett O'Reilly to learn how to sale.

A Vow for Always - Wanda Brunstetter - #6 A Lancaster County Saga - With Luke's memory returning, will he return in time to save his home and past life?

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Release -Wil Mara

Dear Readers,
Conspiracy theories are the best for fiction writers.  They take the idea that something other than what is presented as fact and run with that idea.  The assassination of JFK is a great example of this.  There are tons of books written on it, whether fiction or non-fiction it seems loads of people have an opinion on what really happened.
Frame 232 by Wil Mara has waded into the waters of the conspiracy with a different perspective on it.  Sheila inherits everything when her mother passes.  While sorting through the items she finds a safe-deposit key that leads to the discovery that her mother may have known more about who killed John F. Kennedy. 
There is nothing like a good conspiracy to make for an interesting read.  Wil writes about where he got the idea for this book, and makes sure we understand it is a work of fiction, but you can also see where he still has questions about the official Warren Commission’s answers to what happened.  If you are one that likes to puzzle over different answers and what is real, faked, or hidden, the JFK assassination makes for a wonderful read.
Happy Reading

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Patrick Carr

Dear Readers,
I absolutely LOVE spec/sci fi/fantasy.  Whether in books, in movies, or on TV, a well written spec story is one of my favorite genres.  I find it fascinating that an author/writer can up with something of which no parts exist anywhere.  Ok granted they usually use humans in the storyline somewhere, but there are whole worlds, creature and languages that they have to come up with and when they are good, they are so worth it.   Good ones make you want to go on that adventure, who of us haven’t wished we could walk alongside Bilbo because of the way J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the story? 
Heroes Lot is book #2 in The Staff and the Stone series by Patrick Carr.  I am not sure what I would say makes a great spec fiction writer, but obviously being a high school teacher is a good idea.   That is what Patrick does in his “other” life and it seems to be working for him.
A Cast of Stones come out just a few short months ago and I can’t seem to keep it on the shelves here at the store.  If you haven’t already started the series you will want to start with that one, otherwise this book is going to be very confusing.  You may want to stop reading this review also as it will give away a few details of the first book.
Errol and his loyal supporters are back and looking to help the kingdom select the next king as Rodran is on his death bed.  Evil forces are moving to take over the kingdom as the veil is going to fall when he is dead.  When Luis and Martin cast to find out the name of the heir apparent they cause more problems for Errol and find no answers to the problems. 
When Errol is found guilty of hanging out with and being friends with the herb women, he has a compulsion put on him to find Valen and kill him.  Errol realizes it is a death sentence and must choose wisely who will go with him.
Now most of what I just said you will remember from the first book because Patrick set up book #2 very well.  It was so very easy to move right into the story even though it had been a little while since I had read book #1.  I can hardly stand to wait for book #3 which is due out next year, but wait I must (bummer).
Happy Reading

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Release - Lorena McCourtney

Dear Readers,
There is something about a good mystery that I totally enjoy.  Add a little humor to it and it becomes the perfect vacation book for me.  Lorena McCourtney has been one of those authors that I just love to read for that reason.  She writes a good mystery and then adds a bit of lightness to it. 
In Dolled Up to Die, book #2 in the Cate Kincaid Files, we once again follow along as Cate learns more and more about being a private detective.  When she races out to what she thinks is a triple homicide, she does wonder why the cops are not called, well that is until she gets there and finds out that none of the victims have human DNA.  Who would want to shoot 3 dolls and whose human DNA is involved?
Now you can understand the humor that is mixed into the storylines.   Yes, we have a murder, but it is of 3 dolls.  Wait there is a human included somewhere, but no one knows who it is or why they are involved.  So you go from laughing about the dolls to finding out that there is something very serious and knowing Lorena, back again.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Relase - Steven James

Dear Readers,
The King by Steven James, not to be confused with King by R.J. Larson released yesterday.  They are two very very different books, one I would be willing to share with teens, this one not so much.  Not because it is a poorly written book, just the opposite, but because it is a thriller and an edge of your seat, gruesome, thriller at that. 
Opening MovesThe King is the 6th book in the Bowers Files series.  If you haven’t read them, you will want to do that first and they lay the ground work for this book.  Don’t worry they are all worth reading.  They are fast paced, don’t lay it down until you are done reading them, but maybe don’t read them in the dark.
Patrick, his fiancĂ©e Lien-hua and his step-daughter Tessa are ready to settle into a quieter life at the FBI academy.  The only problem is a killer rises again, seeking revenge against Patrick and everything he hold dear. 
This is not a book that you pick up to pass a little time, this is one of those that once you get started you cannot get to the last page fast enough.  Once you get there you will be able to breathe again.
Happy Reading

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Releases June 24 - 29

Dear Readers,

Goodness where did June go?  We are off and running in the month of July already.  With a holiday weekend on the way, vacations starting and general warm temps, it is the perfect time to settle in with a good summer read.

Happy Reading

Dolled Up to Die - Lorena McCourtney - #2 Cate Kincade Files - Cate is learning so much about being a private investigator.  The new rule is, first make sure that all the victims have human DNA.  Who would shoot 3 dolls? and when human DNA is found, they need to find their victim.

Hero's Lot - Patrick Carr - #2 the Staff and the Sword - Errol is back and once again at odds with the enclave.  This time his enemies think they have found a way to get rid of him for good.  They put a complusion on him to go kill Valon.  (Longer review coming on Thursday July 4th)

Lydia's Hope - Marta Perry - #1 The Lost Sisters of Pleasant Valley - 3 sisters separated when their parents are killed in a tragic car accident.  Lydia finds out about her sisters and longs to be reunited with them. 
The Names of Our Tears - P.L. Gaus - An Amish-Country Mystery - When more than one Amish girl confesses to being coerced to be a drug mule, Sheriff Bruce Robertson knows he has to change his investigation, especially when one of the girls ends up dead. 
The Outcast - Jolina Petersheim - A modern retelling of the Scarlet Letter - Rachel is shunned by her Old Order Mennonite community because she refuses to name the father of her child.  Her brother-in-law is the one who has the final say on it, but he is hiding secrets of his own.  Will they come to light and change everything forever?
In Golden Splendor - Michael K. Reynolds - An Heirs of Ireland Novel - Seamus is an U.S. Army deserter.  He is hiding in the Rocky Mountain wilderness until he finds purpose in the scatter remains of a stagecoach accident.  He needs to find the beautiful woman in a photo he finds.