Friday, November 28, 2014

Jamie Langston Turner

Dear Readers,

I fell in love with Jamie Langston Turner’s writing style many years ago when I read Some Wild Flowers in My Heart.  She used words in such a way that the story just seemed to flow around you, wrap you up and carry you away.  The characters were 3 dimensional and quite believable.  The stories covered the entirety of each page of the books.  It was printed from top to bottom of the pages, and I didn’t want to miss one of those words.  Each book was rich in this wonderful story telling.  And then suddenly she disappeared.  Not sure why, but I couldn’t find any new books, that is until this year.  To see the MoonAgain released just a few short weeks ago and I could hardly wait to read it. 

Julia lives a quiet life.  She has closed herself off from family and friends because of something that happened years ago.  Just a year after her husband passes, her college gives her a year sabbatical and she is at loose ends as to what to do.  Travel? Take a class?  Write a paper to get published again?  All good ideas, but none that sound good enough to really want to do.  Then there is that message on Julia’s machine at home, the message from her niece she has never met.  Carmen wants to come and stay for a little while.  She wants a chance to get to know the Aunt that she has heard so much about. 

The two couldn’t be more different, Julia is quiet and reserved.  She teaches English at her small South Carolina college.  Carmen on the other hand is outgoing, having never met a stranger.  She never finished high school because she left home when she was 17.  Her background may be sketchy, but she has a wealth of knowledge and isn’t afraid to ask questions.  Julia is worried about what they have in common and how much Carmen will disrupt her life. 

The richness of the story develops from there.  One of the things that made me enjoy this book is that all its secrets are not given away on the back cover.  That is a pet peeve of mine, back covers that leave nothing to be discovered.  This time you can walk the journey with the characters, making discoveries about each of them along the way.  It was like developing a friendship and as that friendship developed you built trust and then could share each other’s story.   

There is a wonderful quote in the book. It is on page 238 and it really seemed to sum up this book for me.  “Like everything else in life, you couldn’t know what was at the end of the trip unless you packed your bags and set out.”  You won’t know what is in this book until you open the cover.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Readers,
I am thankful for each one of you that takes time to visit.  I pray that you each have a wonderful and blessed day.
Happy Reading,


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Release - The Color of Sorrow isn't Blue - Sharon K. Souza

Dear Readers,

With self-publishing become a bigger and bigger thing in the publishing world, some of what I do during the day is find some of these books and try to figure out if it is worth carrying them or not.  The Color of Sorrow isn't Blue by Sharon K. Souza is one of those types of books.  I had a friend of mine recommend the book to me and mention that I may want to check it out.  Not two days later another friend actually contacted me and recommend this book to me also.  So that got my attention and I was able to track it down and bring it in. 

Bristol Taylor is planning to remember the day her child was kidnapped by ending all her pain.  She tells her husband she is going to her step-mom's beach house, by herself, to get away from it all as she phrases it.  But her loving sister, step mom and best friend team up and make sure that isn't going to happen.  Instead they insist on going along and make sure that Bristol won't be alone the whole time.

I have no idea what it is like to lose a child, let alone one that is kidnapped.  Not knowing where that child is and whether they are safe or hurt.  Who is taking care of them.  Everything that a mother is supposed to do.  But Sharon approaches that topic and offers a glance into the life after the child is gone. 

Not a light read, but one that is important for us to understand what may or may not be happening in the lives of those families.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Release - Love Unexpected - Jody Hedlund

Dear Readers,

There is something about lighthouses.  People love to visit them and tour inside if possible.  They love to take pictures of them and hang them on their walls at home.  I am sure that almost all of us can name a favorite lighthouse. (Mine is actually in South Carolina)  So when an author does a series about lighthouses I pay attention and usually end up ordering a few extras.

Jody Hedlund's newest series is called Beacons of Hope and each one is going to feature one of the lighthouses from around the great lakes.  Love Unexpected is the first of the series and features the lighthouse on Presque Isle in 1859. 

Emma Chambers is looking to just support herself.  She is left destitute when her steamboat sinks just off Presque Isle.  A solution seems to be to help the lighthouse keeper who after loosing his wife,  needs someone to take care of his young child.  It all seems to be working out great.  That is until Emma hears rumors on how his wife died.  Is she in danger?

It sounds so romantic to live and work in a lighthouse.  But in all reality, it is a lot of work and responsibility.  It is fun to find a book that puts that work into perspective a bit.  Of course it is also fun to find a book written about Michigan.  Maybe she is writing a book about the Holland or Grand Haven lighthouse...

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 24, 2014

New Releases - November 17 - 22

Dear Readers,

Happy pre-Thanksgiving.  I pray you have a blessed holiday this week and will even get a chance to put your feet up and enjoy a good book.

Happy Reading,

The Color of Sorrow isn't Blue - Sharon Souza - The one year anniversary of the her missing daughter drives Bristol to her stepmother's beach house.  She can't stand it anymore and plans on being alone.  But 3 women invite themselves along to stay with her and to do more for her than she expected.

Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin' Cornbread - Mary Jane Hathaway - #3 Jane Austen takes the South - Lucy Crawford is hoping to not have to sell her family home.  One way seems to allow the free clinic to use some of the space, but along with the clinic comes Lucy's first love. 

Sunday Morning Song - Tia McCollors - #2 Days of Grace - Quinn finally, after 10 years of abuse, escaped and started a new life for herself and her son.  Levi knows he wants to help her and finds himself in love with Quinn, but how do you get past the protective wall she has built?

Love Unexpected - Jody Hedlund - Beacons of Hope #1 - This series is going to include lighthouses around Michigan.  Presque Isle MI 1859 - Emma is destitute and needs a place to stay, the lighthouse keeper job seems a perfect answer.  There is just one problem, women are not suppose to be the lighthouse keepers.

For Love or Liberty - Jennifer Hudson Taylor - The MacGregor Legacy #3 - Charlotte is asked to take care of her niece and nephew after her sister dies.  She embarks on a journey to bring them to their father, but the way is dangerous because of the war with England.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bible and Used Book Sale

Dear Readers,

For those of you in the Grand Rapids area, tomorrow is our annual Bible sale.  All our Bibles are 50% off regular retail prices.  It is a great way to pick up the Bible that is on a certain someone's list for Christmas. 

This year not only are the Bibles on Sale but also any and all Used books that are marked $12.00 or less are also 1/2 off.  Which means everyone of the used fiction is 50% off.  Woo Hoo!!  I love being able to restock my shelves with old favorites.  Ones that I didn't get a chance to buy earlier or had, loaned out and then never got back. 

I will be in the store for a couple hours in the morning if you want to come visit, otherwise, come when you can and enjoy the sales.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lisa Wingate

Dear Readers,

I have read several of Lisa Wingate’s books.  Each of them has been loads of fun to read, but none of them have stuck with me like The Story Keeper has. The Story Keeper is about Jen Gibbs, who fled her abusive, conservative, almost cult-like church and family.  She has made a place in the publishing world.  In fact she is on top of her game.  She has just started a new job at Vida house and stumbles on a manuscript that is set in the part of the Blue Ridge Mountains that Jen grew up in.  She is eager to pursue the author and see if they can get the rest of the manuscript and publish the book. 

There are several threads and storylines that run throughout this book.  There is the story that is the manuscript which is about a young Melungeon girl and the young man who rescues her, there is the story of the author and why he is a recluse and then there is the story of Jen and her family. They all twine together and paint a wonderful picture for us all to enjoy. 

I read most of the book sitting in my rocker by the window on a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  It is that type of book, one you will just want to sit and enjoy.  It won’t make you turn pages quickly and it won’t hold a lot of suspense to it, but it is one that you will find yourself returning to as quickly as possible.  I found myself wishing the story of Sarra and Rand continued so I could find out what happened to them.  Yet, the story of Jen and her family's dynamics is also interesting, so when I was reading that part I wanted that part to continue. 

This is one of those books that I didn’t want to end and yet I needed to know what was going to happen.  Yes there is a spark of romance, but that is so much not part of the story and Lisa really leaves it alone.  It is almost like she was letting it develop on its own and when it didn’t she didn’t feel like she had to.  Maybe that is why this book is so enjoyable to read, she just let the characters dictate the pace.  Whatever it was, this should be on your must read book list.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Release - The Secret of Pembrooke Park - Julie Klassen

Dear Readers,

I really only want to say one thing about Julie Klassen's newest book, The Secret of Pembrooke Place.  Read it.  If you have not read any of Julie's books, start now.  They are regency romance at its finest and throw in a little mystery and you have the perfect read. 

Abigail Foster is beginning to think she is going to end up a spinster.  Her only promising prospect seems to have fallen for her younger sister and that has left her with little dowry and no one on the horizon.  When her and her father end up facing financial ruin, they must move one. 

When they are offered the use of Pembrooke place, they jump at the chance.  After they arrive they find out that the house has a secret, one that many people would like to find.  It supposedly has a hidden room that holds a great treasure.  Strange noises and footprints prove that others have and are wandering the halls looking for this treasure, but can Abigail find it first and save her and her father?

I have loved every one of Julie's books.  They are wonderfully written books that make you think of times gone past.  They have a bit of a mystery, that always makes them so very interesting to read, but they also teach you something about living during that time.

I think the thing I like the most about Julie's books is they are such a gentle story.  They are just peaceful to read, which makes them ones that I will continue to read for as long as she continues to write them. 

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Release - Trails and Targets - Kelly Eileen Hake

Dear Readers,

A few short years ago a new genre came to the Christian fiction market.  Okay it wasn't really a new genre, but it took a favorite genre in a delightful new way.  Historical romance with a great sense of humor to them.  Several authors were on board immediately, Kelly Eileen Hake was one of those authors.  She is still writing in the genre and fans are still loving her books.

bakerbookstore.comTrails and Targets is book #1 in the Dangerous Darlyns series.  The Darlyn family is held together by Beatrix.  She will do just about anything to keep them all together, along with a whole lot of prayer and some unconventional interests, it seems to be working.  That is until it looks like her father's debts are going to wipe them all out.

So Beatrix puts her pride aside and decides to use her best talent to earn money, her ability with a gun.  Greyson Wilder is looking to leave his past behind.  He sells skeletons of slaughtered buffalos and he is just fine with that, until Beatrix makes him a proposal that he can't refuse.

With a good sense of humor, Kelly reminds us that life doesn't have to be so serious even when things look dark.  Humor and high jinx abound in her books and that makes them the perfect read for someone who needs a little pick me up.

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Releases - Nov. 10 - 15

Dear Readers,

This week Saturday is our annual Bible sale.  All in stock Bibles are 50% off regular retail prices.  A great way to get that Bible for that certain someone on your list.  To make the day even more exciting, Used books are 50% off any book $12.00 or less.  Should be a busy day, so come early to get the product you want.

Happy Reading,

A Windswept Promise - Brandi Boddie - Brides of Assurance #2 - Sophie's family expects her to marry well.  Dusty wants to make her his wife, but a lack of money means that Sophie's father will never agree.  Will the two of them be able to trust their hearts or will they do as their families wish?

Love Never Fails - Martha Rogers - The Homeward Journey #3 - Molly is attracted to Stefan when he and his parents visit.  The only problem is, he is career army and she doesn't believe that war is the answer to anything.  But when he returns from battle injured, it is to Molly to help him get over his depression.

Trails and Targets - Kelly Eileen Hake - Dangerous Darlyns #1 - Greyson Wilder has outlived his family.  He has no one to care for, but then again, there is no one to disappoint.  That is until a farm girl makes him a offer he can't refuse.

The Secret of Pembrooke Park - Julie Klassen - Abigail and her father are offered the use of Pembrooke Park.  They except the offer before finding out that Pembrooke has a secret.  A secret more than one person is looking to find.  Abigail goes seeking the treasure that is hidden, will she find it before the others?

Emma Blooms at Last - Naomi King - #2 One Big Happy Family - Just as their now blended family starts to come together, Amanda and Wyman experience a financial set back.  When Amanda rallies the kids, Wyman struggles with what he sees as his responsibility as the head of the family.

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Release - Hawk - Ronie Kendig

Dear Readers,

One of the rules of writing is "write what you know."  Ronie Kendig does that.  She tells us she is a military brat and is married to a veteran.  So she writes about the military and she does it very well. 

Hawk is the next installment of the Quiet Professionals series.  She once again follows her characters into highly volatile situations.  Staff Sergeant Brian "Hawk" Bledsoe keeps his word, but this time it might cost him and his men their lives.

When Brian makes a promise to Fekiria.  She is hiding several young girls from the Taliban.  Brian and the Raptor team agree to help them escape, but when a plot to destroy Raptor comes to light, Brian must make a choice she does not want to.  Save Raptor or the girls. 

Ronie's books are fast paced and yet give you a view of choices our military men and women are making everyday.  Now I know most of them, thankfully, do not have to make the choices Hawk and his team need to make, but it does give you an idea of what it is like behind the lines. 

If you haven't picked up one of Ronie's books before, I highly recommend them.  They are ones you can share with everyone you know. 

Happy Reading,  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bonnie S. Calhoun

Dear Readers,

Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun is one of the newest book in the dystopian genre and I believe it may be Revell Publishing’s first of this genre.  (If I am wrong about that sorry.)  I have read a couple of Bonnie’s books before and have enjoyed her writing style so I was looking forward to reading this book.   The fast pace and interesting characters made it a very enjoyable read.

Selah is trying to prove to her father that she can join the family business of hunting Landers, the people that land on their shores with a certain mark.  The Company is willing to pay top dollar for every one that is caught and keeps their mark.  Selah’s father has made it perfectly clear that she is not welcome in the business, but Selah knows she would be an asset to her family if only given a chance. 

When she does catch a Lander, she is sure it will be praise and welcome from her father, that is until her older brothers steal him away and leave Selah with nothing to prove her catch.  That is until the next morning when she awakens to find herself marked the same as the Landers, now she is the hunted. 

We have this book in our adult fiction department, but could easily put it in our teen section.  It is a good read for either age.  I have to admit that though dystopian novels are not my favorite, I did find myself cheering Selah on as she tried to learn her new reality.  Being forced out of your home with no warning and very little training would prove to be almost overwhelming to me and then throw in that your father and brothers are the ones hunting you, it might just be too much. 

I will be interested in checking out the next book in the series, Lightning, due out in the fall of 2015.

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Release - The Patmos Deception - Davis Bunn

Dear Readers,

The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn is his newest book, but is not the last we will hear from him in the next couple of months.  He has been releasing books consistently for that last couple of years and his fans are responding by supporting him well.  They not only eagerly snap up each one, they make sure to tell a few of the closest friends to make sure those friends read the books also.

In The Patmos Deception Davis once again takes us on a wild ride, mixing modern stories with archeology and historical mysteries.  Nick Hennessy is sent to investigate the disappearance of Grecian antiquities.  He has the background to figure it out, he is just going to need a little help.

Carey Mathers is overjoyed to start her new job at the Athens Institute of Antiquities, but when she arrives the building is closed down.  The Economic chaos that is threating Greece is having rippling effects on more than just that country. 

As they follow the clues, they end up teaming up with Dimitri who knows the isles, but isn't sure how to save his families tourist business.  It seems what is happening in Greece is not just about the economy.  Will they find the answers before it reaches a breaking point?

Davis is a 4 time Christy award winner and his writing never disappoints.  He has written in many different genres, but is once again returning to the suspense genre that his fans delight in. 

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Release - Love Without End - Robin Lee Hatcher

Dear Readers,

Robin Lee Hatcher has been writing Christian fiction as long as I can remember. She is a very consistent writer and has a huge following.  Readers still love to pick up her books and disappear into a gentle story.

bakerbookstore.comLove without End is her newest release and she takes us to a story of two hurting families looking for a way to heal their broken hearts.  Kimberly lost her husband suddenly to a heart attack and it has changed her from a socialite to a charity case in a few short months.  Her daughter went from a loving young child to a sullen teenager.

Chet lost his teenage son and the family never recovered.  His wife left and his two remaining sons are struggling along, tying to keep their heads above water.  Chet learned to leave the memories alone as dwelling on them hurts.

Two families that need hope and a chance to start over together.  Happily ever after books are just the perfect read for a sleepy afternoon. 

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Releases - Nov. 3 - 8

Dear Readers,

With the election last week, I thought this was kind of fun.  Of course we could rule the world if we weren't so busy reading..
What rules would you add?

Happy Reading,

Swept Away -  Laura V. Hilton - Quilts of Love - Sara Jane is great at keeping her middle school class in order, but her matchmaking Grandmother is a totally different story.  When Grandma decides Sara Jane needs to learn to quilt, Sara Jane ends up crossing paths with Grandma's handsome handy man.

The Patmos Deception - Davis Bunn - A Journalist, a young researcher and a man trying to keep his family business running team up to figure out why invaluable Grecian Antiquities are disappearing.

Hawk - Ronie Kendig - The Quiet Professionals #2 - Raptor Team is under attack and the only one able to help them may be lying to them.  Staff Sergeant Brian "Hawk" Bledsoe is trying to fulfill his promise to Fekiria, but she maybe the one that has betrayed him.

The Fatal Tree - Stephen R. Lawhead - #5 A Bright Empires - (from the backcover) - It started with small, seemingly insignificant wrinkles in time: A busy bridge suddenly disappears...A beast from another realm roams modern streets.  Napoleon's Army appears in 1930 Damascus ready for battle.  But that's only the beginning as entire realities collide and collapse.

Love without End - Robin Lee Hatcher - A Kings Meadow romance - Kimberly lost her husband to a heart attack, but is loosing her teenage daughter to anger and sullenness.  Chet lost a son and his wife left him and his other two boys.  Two people that need more than just healing, they need to believe in love again.

Liberators - James Wesley, Rawles - When the socioeconomic collapse of America causes a rippling effect across the world, Vet Ray McGregor retreats to his parents cattle ranch in British Columbia.  He rides out the disaster, but when the world starts recovering it is run by a tyrannical  army. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

New Release - Unseemly Wife - E.B. Moore

Dear  Readers,

E.B. Moore was inspired to write The Unseemly Wife by some of her own families history.  Her mother encouraged her to remember the story that happened in her own family and even though her mother suffered from a brain tumor, she asked E.B. to repeat the story everyday.  E. B.'s own roots include Plain people and that comes through in her writing of them.

An Unseemly WifeRuth Holtz loves her life.  She is blessed with family, a beautiful farm and an Amish community that warmly embraces her and her family.  When Ruth's husband hears of the land out West, he decides to uproot his family and move them west.  Ruth must follow.  But the trip is difficult as she tries to observe the strict rules of her Old Order community. 

The story continues on and is a good view of what a wagon train trip was like.  It was never easy, and those traveling became a small community to itself while they all traveled together.  Where your differences either made you all stronger or they ended up causing you your life. 

These are not always the easiest books to read and Amish fiction might not be your favorite genre, but books like this take you to a time of our countries development. 

Happy Reading,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ted Dekker

Dear Readers,


Everything you think about when I mention a Ted Dekker book, throw it out right now. A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker is not what I would call a normal book for him.  It is quite a departure from what he ‘normally’ writes.   This is what I would say is Biblical fiction.  Even though there are no Biblical characters as the main people in this book it does happen at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. 

A.D.+30Maviah is the eldest daughter of one of the most powerful sheikhs  of the desert.  She was rejected and sold as a slave only to return in disgrace with a young son.  Her father’s new wife takes a liking to her and she is welcomed back, until her step mother dies.  Then a hated enemy attacks and she is sent on a mission, a mission that will lead her to Israel because of an alliance with King Herod.

I found this book interesting, not because it included some of Jesus’ ministry, but because it is much more a look at what life was like at that time in the rest of the world.  There is some focus on what is going on in Israel at that time, but more of it is centered on what is going on in Arabia at that time. 

I did find out how difficult it was to be a gentile if you were trying to talk to/meet with/work with any Jewish person.  They look on the rest of the world as unclean.  I never really thought about it because it has not really affected me.  But for a person to be labeled unclean by anyone does not make you like that person and for a woman like Maviah it really brought up old memories of how she was treated as a child.  It was just a unique perspective in the book.

I like this new direction that Ted is headed.  I have to believe he will and is writing more of the genre we all love him for, but it is great to be reminded of how good a story teller he really is.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New Release - In the Heart of the Dark Wood - Billy Coffey

Dear Readers,

I don't know if you have read any of Billy Coffey's Mattingly Virginia books or not.  They are made to read in any order, but I would try to read them in order of their being written as then the story of the town flows better.  In the Heart of the Dark Wood is set 18 months after the end of When Mockingbirds Sing and continues the story of Allie Granderson and how she is dealing with the loss of her mother.

In+the+Heart+of+the+Dark+WoodAllie's mom was taken away in the tornado that hit Mattingly.  Allie still relives the memories of her mother and always keep the Nativity scene that was in the front yard in sight.  Her mother also left behind a broken compass. 

Allie knows there is lots of growing up to do soon and she isn't sure how she is going to do it without the help of her mother.  When Mary is stolen from the Nativity and that broken compass suddenly starts working, Allie and her best friend Zach decide to follow where it leads.  It leads into the heart of woods and may lead to more than either one is ready for.

With a bit of a shiver and some spiritual elements to it, Billy's books are very different reads.  They will not leave you with warm fuzzy feelings after you get done, but they may leave you looking at your life a little closer than you did in the past. 

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Release - To See the Moon Again - Jamie Langston Turner

Dear Readers,

There is no way I can describe how excited I was when I heard that Jamie Langston Turner is back writing again.  I feel in love with her books many years ago while reading Some Wild Flowers in my Heart.  I loved the way she used so many words and yet made it such an simple thing to read.  I remember telling one reader who asked about her books, "yes, there maybe 300 pages in the book, but there are many more words."  She is a word smith that makes reading a genuine pleasure.

So no I haven't gotten To See the Moon Again read yet, but that won't stop me from talking about it fellow readers and pushing it to the top of my TBR list.  I will soon pick it up and read to my hearts content.  Maybe even this weekend.

Julia Rich lives with the guilt of the horrible accident she caused several years past.  She deals with the guilt by keeping the world at arm's length.  She has her routine and does not let anyone get to close to her.  It is a life that she can live safely.

When Julia's niece comes to visit, everything gets turned upside down.  Carmen  is one big contrast, she is comical and wise, sunny and contemplative and so much more than just that.  She is also determined to draw her Aunt out and back into a place where there is hope and love.

The two women take a journey that will take them both from the familiar and leads them on a trip of discovery.

Just writing about this book makes me want to pause and just start reading.  But I guess I will have to wait for the weekend. *Sigh*

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Releases - Oct. 27th - Nov. 1

Dear Readers,

Nov. 1 already.  Goodness, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.  Lurking, ready to spring on us and make our days busier than ever.  Oh well, I have to admit I love the holidays and all the chances we have to visit with family and friends.  It leaves little time for reading, but I always manage to find time.  It is something I just happen to make time for.

Happy Reading,

The Book of El - Jeff Nesbit - 3 college students are suddenly plunged into a world where ancient beings ruled.  The must hone their skills so they can fight for the survival of two worlds.

The Forgiven - Marta Perry - #1 Keepers of the Promise - (from the backcover) - When 3 women, all cousins, are given the task of sorting through the treasures of several generations of their Amish family, the each discover a story from the past that provides insight and inspiration for their own lives.

An Unseemly Wife - E.B. Moore - 1867- Ruth and her husband are moving their family across country.  It breaks the rules of their Order, but Aaron is drawn but the offer of free land and Ruth must follow.  While trying to remain faithful to their order, Ruth finds she must rely on people she was taught not to trust.

To See the Moon Again - Jamie Langston Turner - Julia keeps the world at arm's length since causing a terrible accident years ago.  Her niece Carmen arrives in her life and changes everything.  They embark on a journey together of discovery, truth, redemption and love.

A Dream of Home - Amy Clipston - #3 Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel - Madeleine is not exactly a widow, her fiance' was killed, but it sure feels like it.  She moves across country to Paradise PN to work as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel where she meets Emma and her very humble and hurting father.

In the Heart of the Dark Wood - Billy Coffey - #3 set in Mattingly Virginia - Allie lost her mother 18 months ago and is now over whelmed by all the growing up she must do with out her mother.  When the broken compass that her mother left behind starts moving, Allie and her friend Zach decided to follow where it leads.

A.D. 30 - Ted Dekker - The Story of an outcast daughter of a Bedouin sheikh, who goes seeking help from the Roman empire and instead finds a different kind of savior.