Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reading Challenge

Dear Readers,

I don't know how many you followed up on the reading challenge I issued earlier this year.  I did not make a huge point of reading only books on the list, but I did every once and awhile pick a book purposely because it was on the challenge list.

To refresh your memory I have included the list below and as I review it I realize that I did better on the list than I thought I did.  There were a couple that I thought for sure I would not get checked off,
read a book that makes you cry and the 500 page one.  But I got did and am loved the book.

There was actually only one I didn't really know if I got it checked off, read a book that has someone who shares your eye color.  I have blue eyes and to be honest I probably did but who really knows.

I am looking for a new challenge for next year and will keep you posted when I find one that sounds like fun.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Happy Reading,

Read a book that ...

-Takes place in your state or country - Sea Keeper's Daughter - Lisa Wingate - some of it takes place in Michigan along with the Outer Banks
-Makes you cry - My Mother's Chamomile - Susie Finkbeiner
-You loved as a child - Wheel on the School - Meindert DeJonge & Maurice Sendak
-Your best friend recommends - Call the Midwife - Jennifer Worth - local librarian recommended it to me.   Yes I count her as a friend. 
-has a great cover - to name a couple - Maggie Bright - Tracy Groot, Not by Sight - Kate Breslin, 
-Features someone who shares your eye color
-Is over 500 pages long - Map of Heaven - Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
-Is written by an author you have never heard of - Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
-Is in a genre you don't normally read - I have a tendency to read any and all genres
-Has a child main character - Cup of Dust - Susie Finkbeiner
-Takes place in you favorite time period - That is a hard choice, but I have read from Biblical times all the way to futuristic this year. 
-begins a series - Trial Run - Thomas Locke
-was made into a movie - Game of Thrones - George Martin (okay it is a TV show not a movie but I did enjoy the book, I do not watch the show)
-Reminds you of someone you love
-includes a Christmas scene - Two Steps Forward - Sharon Garlough Brown
-Is a classic you've never read.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Robert Whitlow

Dear Readers,

I have been reading Robert Whitlow’s books for years now.  I have always found his legal mysteries a good read.  But every once in awhile he writes just a good story.  In A House Divided he has done just that.  Yes it still has the legal side of the story in that all three main characters are lawyers and one of the law firms takes on a chemical company.  So if that is your favorite part of Robert’s books you will be very happy.  The other part of the story is the adult children of an alcoholic and what is life like now that they are adults and still dealing with a parent who gets a DUI.  A parent who has always been a drinker and one that is not willing to accept help. 

Corbin is a lawyer to the little guy.  He has long taken on those cases that might not be worth it to anyone else, but he is willing. He is also single handedly destroying his life and career.  He ruined his marriage years ago, but now that his ex-wife has passed he has to face what he is really like.  His wake up call is when he falls in his boat after drinking too much while fishing with his grandson.   His son, Ray, tells Corbin they are now limiting how he can spend time with Billy.  That plus a DUI forces him to admit he is an alcoholic and maybe does need help. 

While Corbin is struggling with his own demons, he decides to take on a case of two little boys who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Corbin is sure it is because of the chemical plant in town.  He needs to prove that they are at fault to get money for the families to pay for the treatment the boys need.  But with the added stress of a big case will Corbin be able to stay away from drinking? 

If you have never experienced an alcoholic in your family, this is a very good glimpse into what life is like for the family.  The kids have memories of a father who would come home from work and spend the night passed out in a chair, if he made it home at all.  Also, how can you trust someone who for your whole life has lied to you?  These are issues that these families face every day and Robert candidly writes about the issues in a way that will help us understand just a little better what that might be like.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Joel Rosenberg

Dear Readers,

Today is the day that many Joel Rosenberg fans have been waiting for.  The First Hostage releases this morning.  With the after Christmas release, I did hear lots of chatter about it.  Many were disappointed it was not out to give as a gift, but yet were glad to hear they would still have most of the week between Christmas and New Year's to read it.

Once again ISIS is at the center of the story.  J.B. Collins, New York Times reporter starts his report with the words "The President of the United States... is missing."  Suddenly the entire world is on high alert.  ISIS has attacked a peace summit and many of the leaders are injured and the President is missing, presumed captured.

I can only say that from page one of Joel's books you are on the edge of your seat wondering where he is going to lead you.  With topics that are relevant to our world, his books make you wonder what is real and what is fiction.

I know personally when I read one of Joel's books, I need to stop watching the news because the stories are so similar and I forget which I read about and which was reported on.  I am sure that is why his books are so popular with his readers.  You don't want to lay them down and yet they are ones you wish were based purely on his own imagination.

Happy Reading,

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Releases - December 21-26

Dear Readers,

Christmas has passed and I hope each of you had a wonderful and blessed time.  Now it is time to spend those gift cards!

Happy Reading,

Risen - Angela Hunt - The Novelization of the major motion picture - Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to prevent the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution.  When the body goes missing despite his precaution, Clavius must hunt it down. (from the back cover)

With this Ring - Karen Witemeyer/Mary Connealy/Regina Jennings/Melissa Jennings - You know with this list of authors you are in for some good times.  4 novellas in the west full of romance and laughter.

Undaunted Hope - Jody Hedlund - Beacons of Hope #3 - Eagle Harbor, Michigan - Tessa is running from her past.  She takes a job teaching miner's children in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  What she finds is a town that expected a male teacher and not ready to allow a female teacher.

Thin Ice - Irene Hannon - #2 Men of Valor - Christy Reed's life is beginning to get back on track.  That is until she receives a letter from her sister.  Her dead sister.  FBI Special Agent  Lance McGregor has to decide if she is a pawn in a twisted cat and mouse game or if there is something more sinister going on.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Luke 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Release - Language of Music - Ruth Tippy

Dear Readers,

Ruth Tippy is what we loosely call a local author.  She doesn't live in the area any more, but grew up in one of the local farm communities just southwest of here.  So I am glad to be able to support her writing career as much as I possibly can.

The Language of Music is Ruth's second book and once again she brings her love of history and romance to the table.  It makes for an interesting read when she adds a dash of intrigue.

Katherine Edmond's first encounter with Jerard Emery is a mixture of beauty and fear.  She sees him as her carriage enters the gate of the Emery estate upon his stallion and she know that he is a very angry man one she feels fear of even while admiring his horse.

While Katherine adjusts to her new home, she grows into womanhood and starts attracting Jerard's attention.  His mother suddenly ships Katherine off to New York to work and Katherine begins to wonder if she will ever have a stable home and the love of a good man.

Like I said before I love to support authors from this area and Ruth Tippy makes it easy.  Enjoy a warm cup of cocoa and comfortable quilt while reading this delightful romance.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Twas the Tuesday before Christmas

Dear Readers,

This is the week I get asked more than any other time of year, "My wife/mother/daughter/husband/father/son reads all the time so I need something really really new.  I have several titles that have released in the last month.  I have done reviews on some and others are listed in the new release list, so I won't have a lot of details on them.  But hopefully they will give you some last minute ideas for that hard to buy person or even maybe for your own list of books you would like to receive.

Happy Reading,

Whispers in the Reading Room - Shelley Grey

Girl From the Train - Irma Joubert

Ashes to Ashes - Mel Starr

The Jazz Files - Fiona Veitch Smith

The Painter's Daughter - Julie Klassen

An Amish Year - Beth Wiseman

Monday, December 21, 2015

New Releases - December 14 - 19

Dear Readers,

The weeks leading up to Christmas are when the most books are sold.  No matter the age or sex, people love to give books to each other.  It is also the one time of year that I have the fewest fiction books arriving on the shelves.  Hmmm...

Now I have often complained to publishers about this fact.  How easy it is to put a brand new book in a shoppers hand that is looking for the latest in fiction to buy that reader that reads everything.  In fact I just did that Wednesday morning.  A husband was in looking for a book for his wife who loved to read.  He was unsure of what to buy because he did not know what his wife had last read.  I was able to put two books in his hands that were brand new with confidence that his wife had not read them.

So anyways I will get off the soapbox as I don't think that will change anytime soon, but I will keep trying. :-)

Here are the titles that came in last week.

Happy Reading,

The Language of Music -  Ruth Tippy - Katherine arrives at the Emery estate with a cold reception.  Jerard Emory is trying to regain the textile mill his father recklessly lost and is more worried about that then welcoming Katherin.  About the time he really starts noticing her, his mother sends her away to work in New York.  Will Katherine ever find a family to love and a stable home?

The Mountain Midwife - Laurie Alice Eakes - (from the backcover) - For nearly two hundred years, women in Ashley Toliver's family have practiced the art of midwifery in their mountain community. Now she wants to take her skills a step further, but attending medical school means abandoning those women to whom she has dedicated her life, the mountains she loves and the awakening of her heart.

Friday, December 18, 2015

One Week!!!

Image result for frantic christmas clip art


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cynthia Ruchti

Dear Readers,

I do not make a practice of reading a lot of Christmas novellas.  But every once and a while one really captures my attention and I end up spending a snowy (or rainy this year) Sunday afternoon reading it.  This year Cynthia Ruchti's book, An Endless Christmas, kept popping up from different people I know that read it.  Each one said how much they enjoyed it. So I figured what could it hurt? Right?

An+Endless+Christmas%3A+A+NovellaChristmas is a special time in the Binder family.  Dodie and Wilson celebrate each one as if there will never be another one.  It brings a little something special to each celebration. Their family has gathered together once again and Grandson Micah has a special plan for his girlfriend.  He is going to ask her to marry him.

For Katie there is just too much of everything snow and Binders with no room to get away from anyone.  She wants to talk to Micah and explain, but there is just no room for privacy.  As the time together seems to just continue to stretch, Katie can hardly wait to make her escape.  But will she learn about what it is like to not only love someone, but to also allow herself to be loved?

A beautifully told tale, An Endless Christmas is one of those books that will awaken the Holiday spirit in all of us.  I recommend it even if you only read one Christmas book this year.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gift Ideas for Men

Dear Readers,

I was wondering if I needed to do a list this year for guys and then I had three different customers ask me for books for guys.  I guess that was my answer. :-)

Happy Reading,

For the Mystery readers;

A House Divided - Robert Whitlow - The story of an alcoholic and his grown children.  Legal mystery.  Can Colin fight his addiction long enough to take on a corporate giant to win for to young boys dying of cancer? (50% off while supplies last)

The Last Con - Zachary Bartels - Newly released from prison, Fletcher vows to never do another con.  That is until a mission trip with his family lands him back in his old stomping ground.  Once there he is blackmailed into one last con.

The Fruitcake Mysteries - Ace Collins - Set in Chicago in 1946. There have been three seemingly unrelated murders.  Well except each victim was killed with a 20 years old fruitcake.

Every Crooked Path - Steven James - A sequel to Opening Moves - a thriller - Patrick Bowers gets drawn into a international conspiracy.  No one is who they seem to be and everything is at risk, even Patrick's life.  He must enter into the world of conspirators to end a crime spree before the body count gets higher. 

Trial Run - Thomas Locke - Thriller/action adventure/Sci-fi mixed together -Dr. Gabriella Speciale has a very specific goal in mind.  She wants to create and control out of body experiences. She has an very elite group of people working with her to see what they can do. Then suddenly people are not returning from the experience and no one knows why. ( $5.00 while supplies last)

Third Target - Joel Rosenberg - released last year, but its sequel, First Hostage is releasing days after Christmas and this is wonderful chance to do a pre-buy for your favorite readers. 

The Curse of Crow Hollow - Billy Coffey - After 4 teens disturb the witch, strange happens begin in town.  Did the witch curse the town or is there something else that is behind it all?  The town folks are ready to do just about anything to lift the curse, even murder. 

Fantasy Readers;

Trail Run - See above

The Shock of Night - Patrick Carr - #1 The Darkwater Saga - Willet Dura is the reeve to the king.  His job is to investigate any and all murders that happen in Bunard.  It by default has made him a Nobel and that has gained Willet more enemies than friends.  Willet doesn’t care as long as the king trusts him and he can wed his beloved Lady Gael.  A strange double murder puts Willet on the alert and that is when his troubles begin. 

Embers - Ronnie Kendig - Abiassa's Fire #1 - Haegan and Kaelyria are heirs of the Nine Kingdoms.  Haegan is crippled and with a battle looming with the powerful Poired Dyrth, Kaelyria transfers her powers to Haegan.  When he is forced to flee the kingdom to find a cure, will he also be able to stop the war before it begins?


Shadow of the Mountian - Cliff Graham - The story of the exodus from Egypt from Caleb's point of view.  What was it like to live through the plagues?  What was it like to travel with an entire country?  Everyone moving at once?  What is the chaos like? 

AD 33 - Ted Dekker - the sequel to AD 30 - What happens when Maviah is trying to live according to what Joshua taught her during her short visit with him.  That is not easy to do, especially since she understood him to have an earthly kingdom. 

Maximus - Richard Black -  A Roman general is losing belief in the empire.  A quiet man is gaining quite a following in Judea.  When the general is sent to check out what it is about Jesus that is attracting all the attention, he may find answers to questions he hasn't wanted to ask out loud.

The Restoration Chronicles - Lynn Austin - Return to Me, Keepers of the Covenant, and On this Foundation.  All three books are now available.  Centered around the return of Israel from Babylon.


War Room - Chris Fabry - The novel based on the movie - What do you do when your marriage and life start to fall apart?  You hit your knees.  Elizabeth Jordan finds out that it might be the best answer to all her issues.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

New Releases - December 7 - 12

Dear Readers,

So many good titles to pick from for my Christmas list.  There have been several really good titles released in the past month and a couple that I am expecting any day so add to the fun of gift giving.  Here are a few titles to add to that list.

Happy Reading,

An Amish Year - Beth Wiseman - 4 Amish Novellas - 2 new novellas and 2 previously published novellas by Beth, just for the Amish reading you know.

The Forgotten Recipe  - Amy Clipston - An Amish Heirloom Novel - Veronica lost the love of her life, but a box of forgotten recipes she discovers a way to move on.  Jason discovers the girl of his dreams when he visits Veronica's pie stand, but he keeps a secret from her.  One he is sure will cost him her love.

This Elegant Ruin - Erin Bartels - collection of short stories by a local author.  The stories revolve around many emotions such as wonder, fear, regret and relief.  They will give something to think about and maybe something to dream and hope for.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Patrick Carr

Dear Readers,

After Patrick Carr made a splash with his first series The Staff and the Sword, there were many fantasy readers anxiously awaiting his next book/series.  They wanted to know if there was a new fantasy writer that they could trust to bring them good fantasy without going to the “dark” side.  They were not disappointed.  The Shock of Night launches Patrick’s new series, the Darkwater Saga and it is going to be a wild ride.  With a bad guy who can control his victims with his mind and the good guy who seems a bit insane at times, the story does not let readers down the whole 400 plus pages. 

Willet Dura is the reeve to the king.  His job is to investigate any and all murders that happen in Bunard.  It by default has made him a Nobel and that has gained Willet more enemies than friends.  Willet doesn’t care as long as the king trusts him and he can wed his beloved Lady Gael.  He does his job and at times seem just a bit too good at it.  When a priest and his bodyguard are attacked, Willet is called to investigate and find any answers why that would happen.  He learns the priest survived the attack and quickly goes to interview him and see if the priest can shed any light on why this has happened, instead the priest suddenly sits up and yells a word from an old language in Willet’s face.

Not sure what happened or why, Willet leaves to continue the investigation.  What happens afterwards starts to open doors to Willet’s long forgotten memories and it seems that Willet might actually be one of the targets also. 

Though not always fast paced, there is lots to keep the reader continuing on.  Personally I wanted to keep reading if for nothing else but to find what Willet’s head is actually hiding.  What is his secret and why is he, a humble peasant, a target for a greater evil that is trying to take over the kingdom.  But also because the threads throughout the story make you want to continue reading and find out what it is about the Darkwater forest that holds so much evil that all who enter are altered forever. 

I am already looking forward to book number two due out in 2016. Patrick has proven himself as an author many fantasy readers are going to want to put on their trusted author lists.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Release - Every Crooked Path - Steven James

Dear Readers,

A new Steven James book before Christmas!!  Who needs an idea for a Christmas present for me?  I would be completely happy with this book, thank you. :-)   Every Crooked Path is another installment of the Bowers file, but once again it is a prequel.  So after you read Opening Moves, you can venture forth into this book and understand Patrick and what drives him even more.

Patrick gets involved in a conspiracy where everything is a lie.  He can trust nothing and yet the only way to solve an 8 year old mystery is to enter that world.  He must solve the old mystery to put an end to the killing spree that has everyone on edge.
I love reading Steven's books as they give me a good shiver as his bad guys are about as bad as they can be.  I also love reading them because they keep my attention, he is always laying little crumbs of hints to help you figure out who the bad guy is along the way.  But yet it is not easy to always figure that out.

I can't wait to get a chance to read this newest edition to the Patrick Bowers series even if it is the holidays.  What are the holidays without a little murder and mayhem.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Release - The Painter's Daughter - Julie Klassen

Dear Readers,

There is nothing like a trusted author.  One that is kind of that go to author that you know will deliver a great story whether you actually know what they are writing about.  Julie Klassen is that type of author for me.  She is the one I will pull out when time gets a bit stressed or I just need a quiet get away from anything the resembles my life and her regency romances are about as far from my life as you can get. :-)

The Painter's Daughter is Julie's newest book and continues her strong tradition of writing.  She is gaining new readers with every book she releases and they are coming in to find her older books, which in turns firmly cements her into their reading lists.  It has been a rare thing when an author has built so much trust in readers so quickly.

Sophie Dupont assist her father in his painting studio.  She herself is a gifted artist, but she keeps that a secret.  While painting the popular north Devon coast she meets Wesley Overtree and that is where the problems begin.

Stephen Overtree comes into town to bring his brother home.  What he finds is his brother has fled the country leaving behind Sophie.  She has a secret of her own.  Stephen has cleaned up behind Wesley before and this time is no different. He offers to marry Sophie in name only and offer her protection for any scandal.

Regency romance at its best.  A big of scandal, love and the beautiful countryside of England.  What more can you ask for in a book.

Happy Reading,

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Releases - November 30th - December 5th

Dear Readers,

Do you have that hard to buy for person on your list?  Do they like to read?  We are getting new titles in everyday that will help with the gift giving in your family.

Happy Reading,

Midwife's Choice - Delia Parr - #2 at Home in Trinity - reprint - Martha Cole is trying to balance her midwife work and her family.  She is reunited with her estranged daughter, thinking about opening her heart to love again and putting up with the questions of the new doctor in town.

At Love's Bidding - Regina Jennings - Miranda accidentally auctions off a powerful families prized portrait.  In a desperate act her and her father buy an auction house sight unseen in the hopes of keeping the painting from moving again.  The problem is this is a live stock auction house not one of fine antiques.

The Painter's Daughter - Julie Klassen - Captain Stephen Overtree is use to cleaning up after his younger brother Wesley.  When Stephen arrives in Devonshire he finds that his brother has left town after leaving his host's daughter in serious trouble, he offers marriage in name only.  Will Sophie agree to the safety of the marriage or wait and see if Wesley returns to her?

Every Crooked Path - Steven James - The Bowers File - prequel - Patrick Bowers gets drawn into a international conspiracy.  No one is who they seem to be and everything is at risk, even Patrick's life.  He must enter into the world of conspirators to end a crime spree before the body count gets higher.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas titles - 2015 part 2

Dear Readers,

The list is long, but with such wonderful titles and the spirit of Christmas in the air, it is time to settle in for a long winter... book read. :-)  Sorry I couldn't resist.  Enjoy the continuation of the Christmas title list.

Happy Reading,

A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft - Shelley Shepard Gray - An Amish Brides Pinecraft Christmas novel - When a break in at the Orange Blossom Inn brings two very different people together, will they be able to find common ground when love can blossom?

Secret Sister - An Amish Christmas Tale -Sarah Price - Grace is facing her first Christmas after losing her husband of 50 years.  Depressed and not sure she is fulfilling her calling, she wonders how she will survive the holidays.  Then special little gifts start arriving and Grace wonders who her Secret Sister is.

The Mistletoe Inn - Richard Paul Evans - His books have become a Christmas tradition for many many readers - Kimberly is hardly the type to seem to dream of writing romance novels.  But she decides it is time to either follow the dream or let it go.  She signs up for a writers retreats at Vermont's famous Mistletoe Inn.

Twice Blessed - Barbara Cameron - Two Christmas stories - Katie and Rosie have launched their business Two Peas in a Pod.  They may look alike and yet Katie is outgoing and Rosie lives in her shadow, until an unexpected business opportunity introduces her to a special young man.  Mark is engaged to the woman his brother Ben is in love with.  An accident gives Ben the chance to grab the happiness he believes he deserves.

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem - Lori Copeland - Arlene Santana had the perfect life, but somehow she has ended up in a rehabilitation center.  Surrounded by new friends, Arlene is happy with this new life.  Her sons come to visit and the days speed by, but why does Arlene's husband never come to visit?

The Christmas Portrait - Phyllis Clark Nichols - Young Kate is trying to get a Christmas gift to her mother in heaven.  No one is able to help her, not daddy or Uncle Luke.  Not even Pastor Simmons, who Kate was sure would know the answer.  So Kate devises a Christmas Eve plan that will forever change her life.

The rest of these titles or a collection of short stories so I am just listing titles and authors.

The 12 Brides of Christmas - Margaret Brownley/Mary Connealy/Diana Lesire Brandmeyer/Amanda Cabot/Susan Page Davis/Miralee Ferrell/Pam Hillman/Maureen Lang/Amy Lillard?Vickie McDonough/Davalynn Spencer/Michelle Ule

The Amish Christmas Gift - Amy Clipston/Ruth Reid/Kelly Irvin

A Pioneer Christmas - Lauraine Snelling/Margaret Brownley/Kethleen Fuller/ Marcia Gruver/Cyntia Hickey/Vickie McDonough/Shannon McNear/Michelle Ule/AnnUrguhart

Once Upon a Christmas - Sharon Bernash Smith/Rosanne Croft/Linda Reinhardt

A Texas Christmas - Cathy Marie Hake/Ramona K. Cecil/Lena Nelson Dooley/Darlene Franklin/ Pamela Griffin/Kathleen Y'Barbo

A Basket Brigade Christmas - Judith Miller/Nancy Moser/Stephanie Grace Whitson

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book of the year 2015

Dear Readers,

This year it took me a bit longer to find my book of the year.  I wasn’t really worried as I had a couple in mind, but they just weren’t the right one.  I finally found it when I read the third in a very loosely connected series.   In fact it is not really listed as a series and  yet background characters and some of the main characters pop up in different books.  After having read all three titles, it is a ‘theme’ or what could be called a historical group that connects them all together. 

I loved each book for some of the same reasons. Lisa’s storytelling for one, but this last one by far took my heart.  I couldn’t lay it down once I got started and yet as I raced to the end I didn’t want it to end.  I really have no idea what Lisa’s plans are for her next book, but I would be perfectly happy if she continued along this vein that she has opened for us all. 

I have had more than one reader come back to me to “complain” that they couldn’t lay the book down once they got started.  In fact one of the readers told me she almost missing an meeting because she kept reading longer than she should have and had to rush out to make the meeting on time. 

It is feedback like that that makes me secure in my pick of The Sea Keeper’s Daughter by Lisa Wingate as the book of the year for 2015.

Happy Reading,

P.S. The other two books in the series are The Prayer Box and the StoryKeeper

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New Release - The Jazz Files - Riona Veitch Smith

Dear Readers,

The Jazz FilesA hot new series released through Kregel publishers originally released by the English imprint Lion Hudson, The Poppy Denby Investigates has hit our shelves.  The Jazz Files is the first book with book #2 scheduled to release soon.

Poppy Denby heads to London to take care of her aging Aunt Dot.  Aunt Dot is an infamous suffragette and has quite an influence on Poppy.  Dot encourages Poppy to get a job while she is in London and Poppy ends up at the Daily Globe, but her first day on the job does not start well.  A senior reporter is killed and it falls in Poppy's lap to find out who the killer is and to report on it in the paper.

A very interesting setting for a book, the exciting roaring 20's.  The age of flappers, glamour and jazz clubs.  Where people were celebrating the end of a world war with little thought of what the future held.  Add a little murder mystery to it and it is a perfect way to spend time in London while not actually leaving the comfort of your own home.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Release - Snowmageddon - Neta and Dave Jackson

Dear Readers,

Today is December 1st and with that in mind I pick a very appropriately titled book.  Snowmageddon by Neta and Dave Jackson.  I really fell in love with Neta's writing way back when the Yada Yada Prayer group released.  I felt like she was writing me right into her stories even though she didn't know me at all.

Snowmageddon is the 5th book in the Windy City Neighbors series.   The Windy City series is actually their 5th series also, with each of them including characters from the other series in them.  Much beloved characters come home to visit and it makes for a wonderful and delightful time to catch up on their lives.
Penny Wise
Estelle is trying to get a group home to move on to her block so her son can become one of the residence.  But as the plans become public, fears and racial tensions come to light.  Harry is under his own stress in that he may lose custody of his grandson because of a promise he made.

The neighborhood is getting stress and the tension rise as a historical snowstorm hits the Windy City and not only shuts down the city, but puts lives at risk include an unborn child.

Neta and Dave continue to warm their reader's hearts with the stories they write.  They make me almost want to find the wonderful neighborhoods they write about and move in.  Almost. :-)

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 30, 2015

New Releases - November 23 - 28

Dear Readers,

Let the shopping begin!!  Ready or not we are officially in the Christmas season and I am going to admit that I am really excited this year.  Some years I go into it kicking and screaming, but this year I am looking forward to this wonderful time of the year.  I am not sure why, but I am.  Hopefully you are also and here are a few titles to put on your Christmas list.

Happy Reading,

The Aleppo Code - Terry Brennan - #3 Jerusalem Prophecies - Just when TOm Bohannon and his little band of explorers think they are at a dead end, they discover a 10th century text holding the final key to the code.  Hunted by a group of assassins, the group struggles to stay one step ahead to find the answers to save the world.

I hope you Dance - Beth Moran - Ruth has hit rock bottom.  The only answer she has to her problems is to return home.  Where she has to face an estranged father, a whirlwind mother and the boy next door whom years ago shattered her heart.

The Jazz Files - Fiona Veitch Smith - Poppy Denby Investigates - It is 1920 and Poppy moves to London to take care of her aging Aunt.  Her aunt encourages her to take a job as a reporter for the Daily Globe.  Poppy is on the job only one day when a senior reporter is killed and she is ordered to take over his job.  A job that is investigating the death of a suffragette 7 years before.

Snowmageddon - Neta Jackson/Dave Jackson - #5 Windy City Neighbors - Estelle is working to have a group home built in the neighborhood.  When word gets out about it, tensions rise.  Will the neighborhood survive racial divides as old as time?

Until the Dawn - Elizabeth Camden - Sophie has always been interested in the old mansion on the hill.  She believes it is the perfect place for her new weather station.  Quentin is the first Vandermark to return home in 60 years, but when he arrives he finds Sophie trespassing on his property.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Christmas titles - 2015

Dear Readers,

Every year I list the new Christmas titles we carry here in the store.  I don't always think to myself, "I would like to read that story,"  But this year seems to have a couple that look very interesting to me.  I just might find myself enjoying a Christmas book or two. 

Happy Reading,

The Christmas Joy Ride - Melody Carlson - Melody's Christmas books have become a tradition for many readers, even those that don't normally read her books. Miranda was expecting a quiet Christmas at home alone, but her 80 year old neighbor has other plans.  Driving a decorated RV from Chicago to Phoenix.  

Mary's Christmas Goodbye - Linda Byler - Mary Stoltzfus is an old maid at the age of 30.  She plans on  teaching school in her little Pennsylvania community for the rest of her life.  That is until a strange letter arrives from Montana, "will you come teach in our little community."  What will Mary decide? 

Keeping Christmas - Dan Walsh - Empty nesters, Judith and Stan are looking at a Christmas without any children in the house.  Judith is having a hard time getting in the spirit of the holidays.  When she even refuses to decorate the tree, Stan knows he has to do something to help her remember the true meaning of Christmas. 

An Endless Christmas - Cynthia Ruchti - Christmas is a big deal at the Binder family.  Dodie and Wilson have always celebrated it as if it was there last.  But a wedding proposal gone wrong, too much snow and too many people is a certain recipe for disaster.  

The Lopsided Christmas Cake - Wanda Brunstetter - Elma and Thelma Hochstettler have done everything together.  This Christmas they agree to make a cake to be auctioned off for a local charity.  Unexpectedly they are asked to demonstrate how to make the cake and the result catches the eye of two local bachelors.  Can a Christmas Cake really lead to love? 

Together for Christmas - Katherine Spencer - A Thomas Kinkade' Cape Light book - Business partners Molly and Betty's catering business is on shaky ground.  When Betty needs to take time off to care for her husband, Molly gets overwhelmed.  Will she be able to tell anyone that she is not able to do it alone?  Will it ruin her friendship with Betty?   

Dashing through the Snow - Debbie Macomber - Ashley is trying to book a flight home for the holidays.  Dashiell is trying to get to Seattle for a job interview.  They are out of luck and with only one car available for rent, the decide to share a ride.  The drive from California to Seattle will be full of surprises and there may even be love in the air. 

The Immortal Nichols - Glenn Beck - Glenn uses the story of the true Santa Claus to point his family to the true meaning of Christmas.  

Christmas Bells - Jennifer Chiaverini - (from the book jacket) ... Chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's family circle is suddenly and tragically broken.  Through pain of (sic) loss and hardship, Longfellow's patriotism never failed. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Readers,

I am thankful for each one of you.  I wish you a very special day filled with many wonderful memories and happiness.

Happy Reading,

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Release - Ashes to Ashes - Mel Starr

Dear Readers,

I adore Mel Starr's The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon.  I have read the 7 that have released earlier and was very excited to see that there was going to be an 8th one.  Ashes to Ashes continues the story of Hugh and his little family as they grow.

Hugh and his family attend the Midsummer's Eve fire and enjoy their time together, but the next morning the passing bell begins to toll and Hugh knows that his services may be needed soon.  He is correct when he goes to investigate and finds out that human bones have been found in the ashes of the fire.

Ashes to AshesThe bailiff from a nearby manor is missing and they learn that is his bones they find.  Now it is up to Hugh to solve the mystery of who would want the bailiff dead.  Not any easy thing when bailiffs are not always that popular anyways.

Fun stories to read with wonderful mysteries to solve.  It is harder to put a twist in at the end because in the 1300's you really don't have any science you can use to answer the puzzle.  You really only have witnesses and one person's word against another to go on.  So really you get to walk alongside Hugh solving the mystery because he is getting the same answers as you are reading.

I do recommend starting at the beginning, but really they are all great fun to read so dive in and enjoy.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Release - The Wedding Chapel - Rachel Hauck

Dear Readers,

A couple years ago I read a wonderful  book titled The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. It is a gentle story of a woman who was very good at finding the perfect dress for every bride who came into her store, except for herself.  If you haven't read it, put it on your TBR list.

Rachel's newest, The Wedding Chapel, caught my eye for the same reason the Wedding Dress did.  The beautiful cover.  I haven't read a book by Rachel in a while and this looks like one that will be next.  Yup it is on my TBR pile of books.

Jimmy "Coach" Westbrook built a wedding chapel for his beloved wife and it has now stood empty for 60 years.  Taylor Branson is running away to make herself a new life in New York.  She falls for Jack and they marry quickly.  Now that the dust has settled, she is starting to think she made a mistake.

The story goes from there and what I have read about it, this will be a great weekend read when the snow is blowing and it is just too cold to go outside.  I added the website for my review of the Wedding Dress below if you have not read it before.

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Releases - November 16 - 21

Dear Readers,

If you hadn't noticed yet, Thanksgiving is this week.  A time of family and friends and being thankful for all you have.  It has also turned into a day of over eating, which I have to admit I do.  But let me make a suggestion for something different.  What if we over -read?  You know, read until the book is done, start another one and keep reading until you can't read anymore.  Do you think the trend will catch on?

Here are a few titles to get you started.

Happy Reading,

The Wedding Chapel - Rachel Hauck - Jimmy "Coach" Westbrook built a wedding chapel for his beloved wife.  Taylor Branson takes a photograph assignment to get away from everything, including her own marriage.  When their two stories collide they may discover their own dreams again

The Five Times I Met Myself - James Rubart - Brock Matthews' life is falling apart at the seams.  When given a chance, what advice will he give his younger self.

Joline's Redemption - Vickie McDonough - #2 Land Rush Dreams - After Jo's husband leaves her pregnant and alone, she crawls back to her sister's home.  She knows that the man she is running from will find her there, but she and her son are safe for now.  She goes to work for Baron, her husband's brother, but will he be even more to her?

Ashes to Ashes - Mel Starr - #8 The Chronicles of Hugh deSingleton Surgeon - The morning after attending the Midsummer's Eve fire, Hugh is summoned back to the scene where there is human remains found in the ashes.  When it is discovered who it is, Hugh needs to figure out the why someone wanted him dead.

A Thousand Shall Fall - Andrea Boeshaar - Carrie Ann Bell knows the only way to find her sister is to dress as a man and hide in plain sight.  Problems arise when she is caught by the Union army and arrested for impersonating an office. Colonel Peyton protects her from the worse punishment possible and Carrie Ann finds that her enemy has become her ally.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Release - the Five Times I Met Myself - James L. Rubart

Dear Readers,

I have really enjoyed reading James Rubart's books.  They all seem to have a different perspective on life.  The Five Times I Met Myself promises that also.  What would you say to your younger self if you could go back in time?  Would you change any of your decisions?  Would you marry? Not Marry?  How about kids, would you have more or less?  Hmmm interesting questions.

Brock Matthews' promising life is unraveling.  He is losing everything, his company, his marriage.  It is all falling apart.  Then he starts having dreams about his younger self, dreams where he is able to talk to himself and maybe change the way things have turned out.  But will he?

Would you?  What a question to ask yourself as you are reading the book.  It is amazing to me the discussion you can have with a group about those type of questions.  Yes I have goofed up many many things throughout my life, but wouldn't I change anything.  Well I maybe some of the clothing choices I made in the 80's and definitely some of the hair styles I have worn. :-)

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jackie Kennedy

Dear Readers,

Jackie Kennedy is one woman my mother really admired.  I think it is because they are close in age and watching Jackie go through the lose of her husband effected that.  But she does have a great quote about reading and if this was the only thing I ever heard her say it would have made me admire her also.

Happy Reading,

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis #book #quote

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Release - The Girl from the Train - Irma Joubert

Dear Readers,

The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert interested me as soon as I heard about it.  So when the rep from Harper Collins Christian came in to present it I was very excited to get it here in the store.  The first few I brought in were gone almost as quickly as I put them on the shelves.  So there is something about this book that is drawing a lot of attention.

Jakob works for the Polish Resistance.  His job for the night is to blow up a troop train.  But a prisoner train bound for Auschwitz arrives first.  There are no survivors except 6 year old Grethl.  Jakob takes her in and cares for her for the duration of the war.  When he hears about a place in South Africa that is taking in German orphans and promising them a good life, he sends Grethl off to live there.  Thinking he won't see her again.  But their lives and secrets are intertwined together and they find each other again.

What an interesting storyline.  Not the average WWII story, but a story about the people involved during but also after the war.  I really am looking forward to reading this book, as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 16, 2015

New Releases November 9 - 14

Dear Readers,

Another short week, but both of these books are on my TBR list.  Amazingly The Girl From the Train is already sold out here at the store and I am getting more in as quickly as I can.  I haven't even had a chance to read it yet, but am looking forward to enjoying it.

Happy Reading,

Whispers in the Reading Room - Shelley Gray - #3 Chicago World's Fair Mystery - Lydia Bancoft is intrigued by a mysterious man who has been using her library.  She doesn't know his name until he rescues her one night.  Then she finds out he is the man everyone in Chicago is talking about.  She strikes up a friendship with him, one that will find her accused of murder.

Girl From the Train - Irma Joubert - Jakob's job is to blow up a troop train.  When a prison train arrives first, killing all on board except 6 year old Grethl, Jakob takes her in and raises her.  Keeping their secrets together, Jakob sends her to South Africa where the war orphans are promised a better life.

Friday, November 13, 2015

New Release - Embers - Ronie Kendig - #1 Abiassa's Fire

Dear Readers,

Ronie Kendig has quite a following because of her military centered books and series she has been writing.  Male and female readers have fallen in love with her books are eagerly await any new books.  So when I found her writing a fantasy series, I was very excited to bring the book into the store.  Embers book #1 in the Abiassa's Fire series promises to keep readers longing for the next book.

The story starts with Haegan and Kaelyria, heirs to the Nine Kingdoms.  As siblings they have been close, but Haegan's physical disability is a problem.  Especially against the threat of war with Poired Dyrth, the greatest enemy their kingdom has ever faced.  The only way to defeat Poired Dyrth is for Kaelyria to transfer her power of fire-harnessing to Haegan, but the price she will pay maybe to high.

Readers will find themselves immersed in the story of the Nine Kingdoms from the start and ready to help defeat the Kingdom's mortal enemy.  I know that Ronie will paint a wonderful new kingdom that we will all be ready to continue visiting for as many visits as possible.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dorothy Love

Dear Readers,

To be completely honest, I was intrigued by the cover and title of this book and it is really the only reason I picked it up.  Dorothy Love has been popular among readers who like a southern historical romance.  When I look at past titles, I realize I have read a couple of them here and there and always liked them.  So I am happy to report after picking up A Respectable Actress I enjoyed reading what I would say is a romantic suspense but historical not contemporary.  (how’s that for a new genre?) 

India Hartley is a beloved actress.  Her father’s death left her destitute and she decides to tour the southern theaters in his honor, but also to make a living.  The first stop is Savannah, Georgia and she is playing to sold out shows.  The second night something goes horribly wrong and she ends up shooting and killing her fellow actor.  It is by accident and yet she is the one accused of the crime.  India is unsure where to turn, but a very rich benefactor hires a local lawyer to help her with her case. 

Philip Sinclair believes removing her from Savannah until the trial is the best thing for India.  He offers her shelter at his plantation on St. Simon’s island.  Some of the locals are very welcoming and others are not.  While India is awaiting her trial, she stumbles on what seems to be another mystery.  No one believes her when she tells Philip of her theory, but she is sure there is something sinister going on. 

So mysteries abound in this book, which makes for a very pleasant read.  If you have read Dorothy’s book The Bracelet, then you will want to read this one also.  They are not connected, but there are a few characters in the book that you will want to visit with again, along with the grand lady, the city of Savannah. 

Dorothy has risen to the top of many readers' must read booklist, myself included.  She has a wonderful way of making not only the characters come to life, but also the setting.  I used to live just north of Savannah, Georgia and have visited the city many times. It was a joy to ‘visit’ again, even if it was from a time long past. 

If you enjoy historical fiction, this should be a must read, but also if you like mysteries I would recommend picking this book up and helping solve the who-dun-it.

Happy Reading,