Friday, May 31, 2013

New Release - Cindy Thomson

Dear Readers,
I love that historical novels are a chance to peek into the everyday lives of those who lived in that period.  They have a bit of history to them that are just not part of the “normal” teaching of a history class.  It is the daily lives of the working Joe and Josephine and their experiences of that time.
Grace’s Pictures by Cindy Thomson is a chance to live in the life of a young lady who has come to America from Ireland and is now trying to earn enough money to bring her mother over also.  It was a very common practice to send a family member or two and once they got established and earned some money, they would send for the next one. 
Grace%27s+PicturesGrace is having trouble raising money for her mother’s ticket.  She is hoping that her little Brownie camera will help.  She decides to walk around New York and see what pictures she can take.  While in the park she snaps a picture of what turns out to be the leader of one of the local gangs.  They want the picture, her camera and even herself if that is what it takes to get it.
New York City in the 1900’s was a wonderful, beautiful, dangerous place to be.  The place was teaming with life, foreign languages spoken, neighborhoods and people growing and surviving on new immigrant’s hard work.  What an exciting time to live there!   Cindy opens a bit of that world for us to view and learn a bit more about that time.
Happy Reading

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Reading list 2013 part II

The Winnowing Season – Cindy Woodsmall - #2 Amish Vines and Orchards – As Rhonda struggles to establish her and her new business in Maine, Jacob needs to fulfill a debt from his past.

Invisible – Ginny Yttrup – We are all created in God’s Image.  What does that really mean?  Ellyn, Twila and Sabina find out the answer might not be what they thought.

Truth Stained Lies – Terri Blackstock - #1 Moonlighters Series – As a blogger Cathy was pretty insulated from the stories she writes about, until someone decides to bring it home.

Though My Heart is Torn – Joanne Bischof - #2 Cadence of Grace – Just as Gideon and Lonnie are finding happiness, another woman claims to be Gideon’s wife.

Rescue Team – Candace Calvert – #2 Grace Medical - Kate is tired of running, she is planning on staying at Austin Grace Memorial permanent.  Wes offers a life line to those who need one.  Wes and Kate start getting closer until a missing person case opens old wounds.
Swept Away – Mary Connealy - #1 Trouble in Texas – When Ruthy is swept off the wagon train in a dangerous river crossing, she thinks it has saved her.  But her rescuer, Luke, may prove even more dangerous.

Secretly Smitten – Colleen Coble/Kristen Billerbeck/Diann Hunter/Denise Hunter - #2 in the Smitten series – There is a secret in Grandma’s attic and Ress, Clare and Zoe are determined to figure it out.

Undeniably Yours – Becky Wade – When Meg’s dad dies, she returns to Texas with the idea of closing the horse farm.  Bo has put his heart and soul into the farm and hopes to save it through a daring bet.

Message on the Quilt – Stephanie Whitson -#3 Quilt Chronicles – Noah Shaw is a gifted speaker, but has never felt comfortable any one place. He settles in Nebraska to find answers to the stories his Grandmother’s quilts.

Beyond the Valley – Rita Gerlach - #3 Daughters of the Potomac – After Sarah Carr’s husband drowns, his family has her kidnapped and sent to the Colonies for a life of servitude.  Will she ever find real love again?

Wounds – Alton Gansky – A serial killer is on the loose and the bodies are piling up.  Dr. Ellis Poe may have the solution but prefers his books and classes to actually helping.

Wishing on Willows – Katie Genshert – Robin doesn’t have much to remember her late husband by, but Willow Tree CafĂ© is one of them.  When Ian comes to town and threatens to pull it down to put up condos, he is in for a fight.

Iscariot – Tosca Lee – If you think you know Judas Iscariot’s entire story, this book may change your mind.  Was he actually the devil in human form as some think or was he a very misguided human trying to do what he thought was right.

Love at Any Cost – Julie Lessman - #1 The Heart of San Francisco – Cassidy is an heiress without a fortune.  Jamie is looking to marry an heiress; little does he expect to fall in love along the way.

Vanished – Irene Hannon - #1 Private Justice – While lost on a back road during a thunderstorm, Moira is sure she has hit someone.  When the police arrive they can find no evidence of an accident or a body.  Did Moira just imagine it? 

Moon over Edisto – Beth Hart – Edisto is where their family fell apart, When Mary Ellen and Julia are confronted with their past they have to find healing for their fractured family.

Last Chance for Justice – Kathi Macias - #1 A Bloomfield Novel – Lynn is still recovering from her husband’s death.  She is called to settle her brother’s estate, what she finds instead is a longstanding mystery.

UnWritten – Charles Martin – Father Steady Capri knows how to help others, but helping Katie Quinn maybe beyond even his abilities.  When he shows her how to start a new life, she must come to terms with the past first. 
Dance – Dan Walsh/Gary Smalley - #1 The Restoration series – Marilyn is tired of the game.  She no longer wants to be the perfect wife, she wants to be herself.  So she leaves her upscale neighborhood to go it alone.  Will her husband be able to win her back after all this time?

Ring of Secrets – Roseanna White – Winter Reeves is an America Patriot, but she can’t tell anyone as she is part of spy ring.  Bennet Lane is determined to uncover the spy ring that is feeding General Washington the information about the British army.

Dead Lawyers Tell no Tales – Randy Singer – Landon owes a lot to Harry.  Harry was willing to take a chance on Landon after he got out of prison.  Now Harry is dead and Landon needs to find the killer before more lawyers end up dead.

Moonlight Masquerade – Ruth Axtell – A Regency Romance – Rees Phillips is sent to prove whether Lady Celine is loyal to Britain or her home land of France.

Grave Consequences – Lisa Bergren - #2 Grand Tour series – Cora’s tour of the continent has taken some unexpected turns.  An unseen enemy and forbidden love puts everyone at risk.

Paint Chips – Susie Finkbeiner – Local author takes on the subject of human trafficking here in Grand Rapids MI.

That Certain Summer – Irene Hannon – Irene departs from her usual genre to write a contemporary tale about two sisters who were never close.  When their mother has a stroke Karen and Val are drawn back together where they can find healing and forgiveness.

  • There are so many more good books on the shelves; I just couldn’t list them all.  I had already had two on my desk that aren’t on the list and more coming every day.  Please feel free to contact me for ideas.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Release - Melody Carlson

Dear Readers,
Daphne’s dream job at the New York Times is not at all what she expected.  After writing one too many stories about a wedding, she is ready to give up on the Big Apple.  So when her eccentric Aunt passes away and leaves her a sizable estate, Daphne sees is as a way out of the big city and back to small town life.  The problem is her aunt had very specific terms that Daphne has to follow to inherit, and that includes Aunt Dee’s cats.
Lock Stock and Over a Barrel is Melody Carlson’s newest book and the first in the Dear Daphne series.  Melody is one of the most prolific writers
in the CBA market; she has sold over 6 million books in both adult and teens.  I have read her books for years.  I would like to say I have read them all, but there is no way I could.  She just has so many available for readers. 
I have been enjoying she newest adventure in writing and that is the humor she has been putting in her books.  I am not even sure humor is the right word, it might actually be quirkiness, but then again I am not sure that is even a word.  But whichever word you use, it has added a nice dimension to Melody’s writing that I am enjoying a great deal.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Release - Irene Hannon

Dear Readers,
Irene Hannon is well known for her romantic suspense books she writes.  That Certain Summer is not a romantic suspense; it is just a contemporary story of two very different sisters trying to find their way back to each other.
Karen stayed home to take care of their aging mother.  Val moved away for many reasons, not the least of them being the secret she carries, one she vows no one will find out about.   When mom suffers a stroke, Val knows she has to come home even though she has vowed to never return.
Whether your sister is your best friend or you don’t have a sister, you will enjoy Irene’s writing style and the very human characters she writes about. 
Happy Reading

Monday, May 27, 2013

New Releases - May 20 - 25

Dear Readers,
Today is the official kickoff to summer.   It is time to move outside and enjoy the weather we have been waiting for.  Time for grilling, baseball and hanging out at the pool. 

It also means that publishing houses are releasing all the books they plan for your summer reading list.  There are some really good ones on this list, ones that are on my have to read list, and I am sure that list will not get any shorter.
Happy Reading  

Wounds - Alton Gansky - Every week another body is found.  They are all clues in a game of mass murder the police can not afford to lose.  Dr. Ellis Poe holds the answer but he refuses to be bother with anything except his books and classes.  Will he help before the number of bodies rise?

Last Chance for Justice - Kathi Macias - A Bloomfield Novel - Lynn's only sibling passes away.  Because she is his only living relative she goes to set his affairs in order.  When her daughter agrees to go along, Rachel is glad for the help.  Rachel attracks the attention of the local male population, while Lynn finds herself caught up in a long ago mystery.

Gone South - Meg Moseley - Tish has a chance to buy her great x3 Grandparents house in Noble Alabama.  She is sure this is a gift from God, but when the town's people are less than welcoming, she is beginning to doubt that she did the right thing.

Follow the Heart - Kaye Dacus - The Great Exhibition - Kate and Christopher's father loses everything on a railroad speculation.  When they are shipped over to England with the orders to marry money, neither sees this as a great chance to find love.  Their hearts call them to a gardener and a governess, but will they follow their hearts or their father's orders.

The Offering - Angela Hunt - Amanda always dreamed of a large family.  When she and her husband can't afford more children, she decides to become a gestational carrier.  Two years after surrendering the child she spots him and realizes he looks just like he.  Could she have given away her own child?
The Face of the Earth - Deborah Raney - When Mitchell's wife doesn't return as expected from a conference, Mitchell is left in the dark as to what happened to her.  Jill's best friend, Shelley joins the search.  As days and weeks stretch out, they become closer, but will they be able to keep their feelings in check while looking for Jill?

Unwritten - Charles Martin - Father Steady Capri knows how to help others, but helping Katie Quinn maybe beyond even his abilities.  When he shows her how to start a new life, she must come to terms with the past first. 

Deadly Devotion - Sandra Orchard - #1 Post Aster Secrets - Kate knows Daisy's death was not a suicide.  Tom knows that there are some people that don't approve of his new job.  Will they be able to work together to find Daisy's killer? 

Claudia - The Wife of Pontius Pilate - Diana Wallis Taylor - An unwitting player in the Easter story, Claudia was just the wife of Pontius Pilate.  She was use to just making the best of things, that is until she started hearing about the Rabbi Jesus.

Fearless - Mike Dellosso - Amy and Jim agree to take in the mysterious little girl who suddenly appears in the middle of a house fire.  All they really know about her is that she has a very special gift.  But that gift might not be a blessing when it leads the into contact with a serial killer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Release - Deborah Raney

Dear Readers,
Deborah Raney has a way of writing a story that wraps you up in the character’s lives.  It doesn’t matter that you never really met them before, you find yourself thinking “I kind of wish I lived in that neighborhood or town so I could get to know these people better. 
The+Face+of+the+EarthThe Face of the Earth is Deborah’s latest release and from reading the back cover I can already see that it is going to be an interesting read.   Mitchell’s wife sets of for home after leaving a message.  Hours go by and he becomes more and more frantic.  When those hours turn to days he is left searching by himself.  That is except for Jill’s best friend, Shelley.  As their search stretches out, they become close than they expected to.
Doesn’t that storyline make you want to join in on the search for Jill and find out what happened to her?
Happy Reading

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Readers 2013

Dear Readers,

So the summer reading list got a bit out of hand.  It ended up being 4 pages long.  Oops, but it just goes to show you how many great books are available now.  I am releasing the books in two list, one this week and one next week. 


Happy Reading

Summer Readers 2013

Love in A Broken Vessel – Mesu Andrews – What do you do if God calls you to marry a prostitute?  If you are Hosea you obey.  The re-telling of the Hosea and Gomer story from the Bible.

Always the Baker finally the Bride – Sandra Bricker – Emma Rae and Jackson are already to marry, that is until Jackson decides to sell Tanglewood.

Roses have Thorns – Sandra Byrd – A Novel of Elizabeth I – 17 year old Elin is thrust into the monarchy that is Queen Elizabeth.  What will it cost her?  Her Marriage?  Her Life?

Cast of Stones – Patrick Carr - #1 – The Staff and the Sword – Errol is the most unlikely of heroes, but when it is discover he has unusual gift, he needs to figure out who he really is.  Book #2, A Heroes Lot is due out in July.

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker – Jennifer Chiaverini – Elizabeth is the dressmaker for the president’s wife.  For an insider look at the Lincoln household this is a great book for that.

Not By Sight – Kathy Herman - #1 in Ozark Mountain Trilogy – After seeing a little girl that looks like her missing sister, Abby has to find out if it is her or not.

Tangled Ashes – Michele Phoenix – Marshall is looking to finish the renovations on Lamorlaye and retreat back to America to lose himself in the bottle once again.  But he doesn’t expect to have a quirky group of owners and workers that help him work through his past.

In Broken Places – Michele Phoenix – Shelby lives a safe life, she likes it that way.  When she becomes legal guardian to Shayla a 4 year old with her own secret, life changes quickly.  Shelby hopes a move to Germany will keep them both safe.

Guardian – Beverly Lewis - #3 in the Home to Hickory Hollows series – Secret Keeper book #4 is releasing in Sept. – Jodi finds a little girl alongside of the road.  No one reports her missing and the little girl knows no English.  Who could she be and why is no one missing her?

Stress Test – Richard Mabry – Matt thought he was going to a more normal life, until he is kidnapped and then charged with murder.  Sandra doesn’t trust doctors, but she believes Matt is innocent.

An Unholy Communion – Donna Crow - #3 in the Monastery Mysteries – When a dead body lands at Felicity’s feet, the police are quick to say it is a suicide.  The wife of the victim is positive it isn’t and Felicity and Anthony set out to prove it was murder.

Rules of Murder – Julia Deering - Releases in August – #1 A Drew Farthering Mystery – I know it doesn’t come out until August, but I so enjoy the advanced copy; I just had to put it on the list.  Kind of a Downton Abbey with a twist.  When not one but two dead bodies turn up at a house party, Drew decides to solve the mystery with a little help from his friend Nick and love interest Madeline.

Soul Saver – Dineen Miller – Lexie usually knows whom God wants her to reach out to because of the face she has sculpted.  But when that face is a local pastor it turns out that not only is his soul on the line, but so is Lexie’s marriage.

One Good Thing – Kevin Milne - Nathan has always kept stones in his pocket with each good deed, he moves a stone to the other pocket.  When Nathan passes away, his wife finds out things about him that make no sense.  Who is the girl that Madeline refers to as “our little girl?”

When A Secret Kills – Lynette Eason - #3 in the Deadly Reunions – Jillian is tired of running so she returns home to put a killer behind bars before he can kill her.

Sovereign– Ted Dekker/Tosca Lee - #3 in Books of Mortals -  For those that have read the first two, nothing more needs to be said.  Releases in June. 

Offering – Angela Hunt –Amanda wanted lots and lots of kids, only they can’t afford more.  She decides to be a gestational carrier for a childless couple would be a wonderful gift, that is until years later she sees the child and wonders if she gave up her own child.

Sweet Mercy – Ann Tatlock – When Eve’s father loses his job a Ford Motor company, the offer to run her Uncle’s Lodge seems God-sent, but there is more than meets the eye about this Ballroom and Lodge.  Set during the Depression

Sinners and the Sea – Rebecca Kanner – The story of Noah told from the perspective of his wife.  Now this book is not going to be for everyone.  There are issues that make it not appropriate for church libraries.  (See me if you have questions)

Talon – Ronnie Kendig - #2 A Breed Apart –Dane swore he would never work with a woman, but now he needs to team up with Aspen to find the truth.  Along with the help of a tracking dog, they must work against elements and extremists.

Stealing the Preacher – Karen Witemeyer – Crockett was headed to an interview for a Pastor’s position and it kidnapped of the train by an outlaw who make him a present for his daughter, who has requested a preacher for their little abandoned church.

Slow Moon Raising – Eve Marie Everson - #3 Cedar Key Novel – Claybourne Home has been a place of rest and healing.  But it also has a secret that is slowing killing the family.

Scent of Lilacs – Ann Gabhart - #1 Heart of Hollyhill – recover of a book that released in ’05. A coming of age book set in the summer of 1964.  Not only is the country in turmoil, Jocie is as she tries to find answers about he life, family and self.

Duchess – Susan May Warren #3 Daughters of Fortune – Roxy Price is a star in the era of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  She has everything that she has always long for.  That is until Black Friday and she loses everything. 

It Happened at the Fair – Deeanne Gist- Cullen is looking to sell his newest invention at the Chicago’s World Fair.  The noise makes it hard to here if anyone is interested in buying, until he takes lip-reading lessons from the fair Della Wentworth. 
Widow of Gettysburg – Jocelyn Green – Heroines Behind the Lines – Civil War #2 – Liberty is a Union widow so when her home is invaded to be used by the Confederate army as a field hospital, she is unsure she can help the wounded soldiers.

Gone South – Meg Moseley –Tish leaves frosty MI to buy her great great great Grandparents home in Alabama, but finds the welcome in the Deep South a bit chilly.

Shattered – Dani Pettrey - #2 Alaskan Courage – The Black Sheep Reef is back in town.  The first anyone sees him; he is breaking into his sisters’ house, covered in blood.  Blood from a fellow skier who was murdered.  Is Reef innocent?  Who is guilty?  Why does all the evidence seem to point to his guilt?

Sky Beneath My Feet – Lisa Samson – Beth’s life is falling apart, her husband is holed up in the shed, her son is caught with drugs and she embarks on a road trip that turns into something surreal.

Tainted Coin – Mel Starr - #5 Chronicle of Hugh De Singleton, Surgeon – Murder in the 1300’s.  Master Hugh finds a badly beaten man, as he dies a coin drops out of his hand.  Hugh goes on a quest to find the man’s killer, but it puts him the path of his old nemesis.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Release - Beth Vogt

Dear Readers,
The season of summer reading is just around the corner.  Memorial Day is less than a week away, which of course vacations will be starting soon.  Slowing down, relaxing, finding a hammock to rest in and taking out that book that you have been waiting a few short weeks to read.  Ah the perfect way to spend those few precious hours summer.
Catch a Falling Star by Beth Vogt one be one of those books that would be a great fit for a summer day like that, one to while away a few hours in a gentle place where dreams do come true.
Kendall had plans for a career, a husband and a family, but sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out.  She is 36 and she just figures that she will not have the family she really wanted.  Griffin prefers the air to the ground, until he is unable to fly any more.  He finds himself the guardian of is 16 year old brother and is unsure of the course his life is suddenly taking.
Two people looking for answers for their lives when they don’t go the way they expected.  That sounds just like real life.  Most of our plans never go as expected.  We get derailed by everyday life, things that we just don’t see coming and yet end up changing us for the good.  The plans that God has for us is so much different than what we would expect.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Release - Alton Gansky

Dear Readers,
There are certain authors I read that I love, but sometimes make me wonder why I like them.  It has nothing to do with their writing, but usually their subject matter.  Alton Gansky is one of those authors.  He is a bit off center with his books and that is problem why I like him, but his books make me think and make me a bit uncomfortable sometimes.   Case in point, his newest book, Wounds is under the following genre titles.  Mystery fiction – Homicide fiction – Serial Killers fiction, so maybe that last topic didn’t need to be brought up as it really makes this book sound creepy.
The murders are mounting and there doesn’t seem to be much that ties them together.  Dr. Ellis Poe seems to have the answers to the puzzle, but he doesn’t want to be bothered.  Will he decide to help before the body count gets to number s never seen before?
I love a great murder mystery.  When I am asked “if I could only read one genre which one would I pick?”  When push comes to shove in this case I almost always answer Mystery/thriller.   That is probably why I Alton’s books.  They are interesting and usually lead you down a merry little path that sometimes I am reluctant to go down, but once on the way, enjoy thoroughly. 
Happy Reading

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Releases - May 13 - 18

Dear Readers,
What a week.  We have several big events here at the store and on Friday I think we all collectively had a big sigh that we made it.  Don't get me wrong we love the business of it all, but there are days when it is so busy because of a special event, we don't feel like we get a chance to talk to you our regular customers.  So it has it good and bad sides. 

Either way, loads of good books on the list again.  Where will I find the time to read them all?

Happy Reading
Slow Moon Rising – Eva Marie Everson – A Cedar Key Novel – The Claybourne home has always offered refuge to the family, but it might also be the thing that is destroying the family.  What secrets have been hidden in Cedar Key and can the family find reconciliation before it tears them all apart?
The Quarryman’s Bride – Tracie Peterson - #2 Land of Shining Waters – Emmalyne and Tavin gave up a life together because her father declared she needed to stay home and take care of the family.  Years later when they meet again their love still burns bright.
Trouble in Store – Carol Cox – When Melanie finds out she inherited the mercantile she sees it as a chance to survive.  Caleb believes he inherited the mercantile and tries to marry her off as quickly as possible to get Melanie out of his hair. The only problem is he finds none of the guys are good enough for her.
That Certain Summer – Irene Hannon – Irene is known for her romantic suspense, but this is a contemporary novel.   Karen and Val are sisters, but not close.  Karen stayed home and took care of their mother, Val followed her dream.  When their mother has a stroke it brings the sister together again, can they find healing and forgiveness?
Catch a Falling Star – Beth K. Vogt – Kendall’s plans are not coming together.  Griffin’s plans are suddenly changed.  When they are forced together during a tragedy will they find that there is a better plan for them both?

Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel - Melody Carlson - A Dear Daphne Novel - Daphne thought big city living was the thing to do.  After a short time she is ready to forget it all and move back home.  When he Aunt passes and she inherits her estate, Daphne finds herself trying to comply to all the strange terms of Aunt Dee's will.

Grace's Pictures - Cindy Thomson - An Ellis Island Novel - Grace is just trying to earn enough money to bring her mother over from Ireland.  When she is using her camera in Central Park, local gansters believe she has taken a picture of their leader and they want her camera.  Who can Grace trust to save the day?

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Release - Deeanna Gist

Dear Readers,
Deeanne Gist burst onto the Christian fiction scene a few short years ago with a wonderful spin on the historical genre.  She added humor, lots of it.  It made for a delightful read and one that just added to the pleasure of losing yourself in a light and easy read. 
Sadly I have to admit I have not read all her books, but the ones I have I have completely enjoyed.  They are full of quirky and fun characters that make it an engaging time spent in the past.  It is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
It Happened at the Fair is Deeanne’s most recent release and once again she uses an usual setting and gives us a bit of a history lesson while charming us with the characters.  Cullen McNamara has an invention that he has bet the family farm on.  He sets up at the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893 to show it off.  When he can’t hear what potential buyers are saying, he hires Della to teach him the art of lip reading.   The problem is Cullen has a hard time concentrating on his lessons, Della is quite a distraction. 
To help you get the feel of the world’s fair, Deeanne has added pictures of different inventions, displays and even the giant Wheel that Mr. Ferris brought to show off.  It adds to the story see what people were excited about at the World’s Fair.  Things that we will either find common place or even silly, it just helps the story to be an even more complete picture.
Happy Reading.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Angela Hunt

Dear Readers,
I was hoping to have my summer reading suggests for you today.  That did happen in that I am still trying to get it written, but all the really good books that have come out in the past months, the list kept getting longer and longer.  So hopefully by next week I will have it all set and ready for you.  Sorry for the delay.
Instead I just wanted to talk about a book that I read a few years ago called the Shadow Women by Angel Hunt.  I was reminded of it a couple different ways in recent weeks.  First when I saw it sitting on the shelves in the used book department.  I loved the book when I read it back in 2002 and have mentioned it to a few people when I saw it on the shelves back there.  Secondly because of another book I am reading right now that is causing a little stir in the fiction market because of who and what it is about.  
Shadow Women is the story of the women who were part of Moses’ life.  His mother, sister and wife, and it is not necessarily the story you would expect.  While Angela did a great job sticking to the Biblical story, she also did a great job at making sure we see Moses as a human also.  He did great things and followed God’s plan for his life, and yet wasn’t perfect.  He struggled with many different parts of his life. 
One part of his story I have often wondered about is his royal upbringing.  What was it like for him in the palace of Egypt?  How soon did he know that he was adopted?  All questions I would like to ask him someday, but in the mean time it was interesting to speculate with Angela and try to understand more about Moses and the women who loved him.
I am sorry to say the book itself if out of print and I am unable to order you a copy, but if you are quick, I have one used copy here.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Release - Rachel Hauck

Dear Readers,
Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck is exactly what it sounds like, a modern day fairy tale.  What little girl at one time or another did not dream of meeting Prince Charming just like in Cinderella.  He would see her true beauty and rescue her from the drudgery that was her everyday life and fall in love to live happily ever after.  (Let’s all collectively sigh now.J)
Rachel believes in that can happen.  She is a romantic at heart and it shows up in her books and writing.  She also knows that reality comes in and sometime true love doesn’t win.  Duty does call and life just doesn’t go the way we want, but what fun is that in a book.
Susanna was expecting a proposal from her longtime boyfriend.  Instead he broke up with her and broke her heart in the process.  She is struggling to regain her life and move on.  Prince Nathaniel never expected to find love while standing under a tree labeled Lover’s Oak, but that is what happens when he meets Susanne.  The problem is that they are both from very different worlds; they can never be together because duty calls. 
I can already see the Disney people writing a lovely happy movie for this book, but until then, pull up your nearest royal chair, your tiara, maybe a spot of tea and enjoy a fairy tale written for the little girl alive and well in all of us.
Happy Reading

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Release - Donna Fletcher Crow

Dear Readers,
An Unholy Communion by Donna Fletcher Crow is the third book in the Monastery Murders.  #1 is A Very Private Grave and book 2 is Darkly Hidden Truth.  This has been a fun series to read, it has a different feel to it because it is set in England written by someone very familiar with the culture of the church in England.  Donna has written more than 35 novels with most of them set in England, even though she lives in Idaho.
An Unholy Communion<Once again we join Felicity and Antony as they try to solve a murder that lands right at their feet.  Hwyl Pendry is a former student of Antony and when his body lands at Felicity’s feet after what appears to be a suicide jump, they and the police let the case go.  That is until Hwyl’s widow convinces them otherwise.
There is something very appealing about these books.   They are more of a straight up mystery and that makes them a pleasure to read.  It is fun to just track along and see if I catch all the clues left by Donna, which I usually don’t.  Mysteries in and of themselves and just an enjoyable read, they engage your brain and yet offer you an escape. 
Happy Reading

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Releases May 6 - 11

Dear Readers,

I was having a conversation with a fellow employee the other day and we were talking about how many books we have read at one time.  It dawned on me that at that moment I had 5 books going at once.  One on my nightstand, one by the bathtub, one on my desk at work, one I read on lunch at work and one non-fiction that I have been reading at various points of the day over the weekend. 

I also hate to admit there is a 6th book that I had read over the weekend while sitting outside in the sunshine.  I think that is the most I have ever had going at once.  Thankfully they are all very different so I am not getting to confused, but maybe I should finish a couple before I start another one.

What is the most number of books you have had going at once?

Happy Reading

An Unholy Communion - Donna Fletcher Crow - #3 in the Monastary Mysteries - As voices are lifted on Ascension morning, Felicity's worship is turned to horror when a body lands at her feet.  The police think it is suicide, but Felicity and her fiance' Father Anthony know otherwise and set out to solve the mystery.

Angelguard - Ian Acheson - Not all the spirits are good.  A corrupt business man and the evil spirits he has sold his soul to are trying to bring the G8 nations to their knees.  Jack and his angelguard are all that stand between thema and sucess.

Once Upon a Prince - Rachel Hauck - A modern day fairy tale.  Susanna is expecting to be engaged, not broken up with.  Prince Nathaniel is not expecting to find love under a tree on St. Simon's Island.  But it happens, but their two different lives will not allow them to love each other.

Chasing Francis - Ian Morgan Cron - Pastor Chase loses his faith and the church elders encourage him to go away - far away.  He ends up in Italy following in Fancis of Assisi's footsteps.

A Most Peculiar Circumstance – Jen Turano – This is Jen’s third novel.  They are not listed as a series, but they have characters running through all three books. (The second book is a free novella available on-line only)  Miss Arabella Beckett returns home with trouble in tow.   Theodore Wilder is hired to make sure she gets there, the only problem is they continue to run into each other whether they like it or not.
Stealing the Preacher – Karen Witemeyer – Crockett just wants to be a preacher, Joanna just wants a preacher for her town’s church.  When they meet she thinks he is an answer to prayer, but he is there against his will.
It Happened at the Fair – Deeanne Gist – Cullen is looking to sell his newest invention at the Chicago’s World Fair.  The noise makes it hard to here if anyone is interested in buying, until he takes lip-reading lessons from the fair Della Wentworth.  

Katie's Choice - Amy Lillard - A Clover Ridge Novel #2 - When Samuel turns his back on the church and Katie, she decides to dedicate her life to God and the children at the small community school.  Zane learns a lot about the Amish when he is sent to live among them for a news story.  The most intriguing thing he finds is the young school teacher.

Sweet Dreams - Carla Stewart - Dusty Fairchild didn't want to go to  finishing school, she wanted to go to college.  She didn't want to learn about party planning and poise.  She wants independence and adventure.  The only upside it her best friend Paisley, that is until they both fall for the same man.

Friday, May 10, 2013

New Release - S. Dionne Moore

Dear Readers,
The latest Quilts of Love novel is A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore.  Because this series has such a unique look at something that is very much part of the tapestry of America’s history, this series is doing quite well.  Each new book is highly anticipated and readers are asking for them, even before they are available.
A Heartbeat AwayOnce again we return to the Civil War in A Heartbeat Away where we meet Beth.  She a Union – loyalist until she meets Joe a wounded Confederate soldier and hides him from her pacifist parents.   When she tells her parents that she is going to become a wartime nurse, she knows that she maybe bidding her parent’s good bye for the last time. 
He mother gives her a stack of quilt blocks for her to sew together as a farewell gift, which leave Beth wondering why.  But as she works on the quilt she finds her mother’s message of love.
Each of these books has a different way of looking at the story of the quilt.  They weave a lovely story of America and how we are all united in our different lives.
Happy Reading

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Barbara Cameron

Dear Readers,
Abingdon Press entered the fiction market just a short while ago.  (Not sure how long but in the last couple of years.)  Their books were easy to recommend as they seemed to be making an effort to find good authors with interesting stories to tell.  They had several different genres available and were looking to do something new and exciting.
thumbnailAbingdon wanted their fiction to be so much more than just a story.  Now to be perfectly honest I wasn’t so sure about this when I first heard about it because I have seen publishing houses do this before and the fiction is lost in the author’s attempt to teach us something.  Very few people read fiction for the knowledge they will gain, they read it for the pure enjoyment of it, if we happen to learn something, well then all the better. .
I was asked to join the blog tour for Her Restless Heart by Barbara Cameron.  It is the first book in her Stitches in Time series.  It is actually the second book that Abingdon has centered a Bible study on, the first being the Shining Waters series by Melody Carlson.  
Understand I did not read the fiction book first, as the study says you don’t need to read the book to do the study.  I wanted to see if it was confusing, if it made me want to read the book or wish I had read the book.   Now those of you who read my blog regularly know that Amish fiction is not my favorite, but I am willing to give it a try.  It all made for a very interesting adventure for me.
thumbnailThis Bible study will work for you whether you have read the books or not.  I had no problem following the storyline and keeping up with what was going on.  Barbara and Abingdon Press did a good job of including enough of the story to make it clear.  The questions are interesting and don’t just focus on the fiction story, they are very much about the Bible story and how it is still so much a part of our lives today.
The videos would be a nice way to open a group meeting; now I was doing the study by myself at home, but Barbara’s interviews and insights made for what I felt would be a good launching place for a group discussion.  If you had done all the homework throughout the week, you would have no problem keeping up doing a group session.
I think the only thing that I would warn groups about is there is homework and you do have to keep up or you lose the train of thought of the story and how it relates to the topic that is being discuss that day.  Sometimes between the reading and answering the questions I felt a bit overwhelmed by the work.  But overall I enjoyed the experience and I think Abingdon has a neat concept.
Happy Reading.