Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tracy Groot

Dear Readers,

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot is the story of a little boat that was a place where Murray Vance has fond memories with his father.  Memories that are ruined when his father runs off and leaves him and his mother to struggle along.

As we move forward into WWII, Maggie Bright has already been used to rescue a few souls from being crushed by the Nazi war machine and yet she is ready to give even more.  Maggie now guards a secret, one that the Nazis are desperate to get back as if the word gets out, America maybe forced to join the war.

As Maggie guards her secret, the British Army is in full retreat on the continent and it looks like certain disaster is about to happen.  That is until a very strange flotilla comes to the rescue.  One that included any and every boat available in England with civilians from every walk of life manning the helms and Maggie answers the call.

So you have two very different thread winding their way throughout this book, but two that are connected.  Each one reminds you that war is a messy dangerous place.  Tracy does a great job of reminding us, while showing us not only the worse side of human nature, but also the best.

The story of the Dunkirk rescue of the British Army by the British people, while America sat on its hands across 'the pond' is a reminder that when a few join together, great things can happen.  So this book is not only a good read for history fans, it is just simply a wonderful read for all of us.  One that will instill a bit of awe that those who answered the call were so willing to give their lives just to make sure their army made it home.

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Release - On Shifting Sands - Allison Pittman

Dear Readers,

If nothing else makes you pick up On Shifting Sands by Allison Pittman, the cover will.  It is a beautiful well done cover that makes you wonder about the woman pictured on the front.  Why does she look so troubled?  Why is the cover done in colors of the desert or dryness?  What caused all this chaos in her life?

Nola Merrill is as dry as the dust bowl.  Her father withheld his affection once her mother passed away and a hasty marriage didn't seem to change that.  After raising their two children, Nola is looking for something more, enter a long-lost friend of her husband's.  One who takes an interest in Nola and then leads to the ultimate betrayal in a marriage.  Will her marriage survive?  Even though she longs to confess, she doesn't think her husband's love is strong enough to withstand the test.

Allison's writing will draw you into the story and yet it will read like you are experiencing the great depression right along side of the characters.  I don't want to say that her writing is dry as that is a negative thing, but because of her word pictures and descriptions she uses, you feel the heat and understand the longing for water in a place that has none. 

Well research, Allison's books are always interesting to read.  She brings the era that she is writing about to life.  I love historical fiction that makes me want to do more research on the time that is written about. 

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Release - As Waters Gone By - Cynthia Ruchti

Dear Readers,

I stumbled on Cynthia's books because of a recommendation of a fellow reader.  She suggested When the Morning Glory Blooms and I was hooked.  Since then I have read her other two and looked forward to reading Cynthia's newest release, As Waters Go By.

Emmalyn feels alone, even though she is married.  Her and her husband are separated by  prison walls.  He is sentenced to 5 years in prison.  Emmalyn sentences herself to self-imposed exile on Madeline Island an island in Lake Superior. 

Emmalyn is rehabbing an old hunting cottage, believing fixing the cottage will help her fix her life.  But a home needs more than walls and a roof, it needs love and a family.  Which she needs to if her and her husband can ever be that family again.

Cynthia has a way of tackling a heavy topic, ones that most of us will never experience, and makes it seems like we are given tools to help those that are dealing with it.  Most of us will never experience a spouse sent to prison and yet with Cynthia's writing you are given an idea of what a wife experiences when there is that break in her marriage vows. 

She has us wrestling with issues like, 'do you stay married? What kind of support do you give?  How do you forgive someone that has committed a crime, not against you, but it does effect you?  All interesting thoughts and ones I don't think I have ever thought about.  Thank you Cynthia for making up stretch while enjoying your books.

Happy Reading,

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Releases - April 20 - 25

Dear Readers,

With Mother's day just around the corner, here are a few suggestions of books for that mother who loves to read.  (of course a gift card to Baker Book House is always great also. ;-)

Happy Reading,

Wilderness Rising - A.L. Shields - A church builder novel - To ransom a teen hacker, Bethany must find the Pilate Stone.  On the run from charges of terrorism, Bethany must rely on her wits and a little help from "The Garden."  A group that has it's own agenda and is willing to betray Bethany to achieve it.

A Love like Ours - Becky Wade - (from the backcover) Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars that the ones that mark his face.  He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life and avoids relationships.  That is until childhood friend Lyndie re-enters his life.

Amish Promises - Leslie Gould - Neighbors of Lancaster County #1 - Joel and Shani feel like the quiet neighborhood of Lancaster is a great place for Joel to heal from his tour in Iraq.  Their first meeting with their Amish neighbors is rocky when their son injures their son.  Just when things seem to settle down, Joel's handsome army buddy shows up and catches the eye of the oldest daughter next door.

No Place to Hide - Lynette Eason - #3 Hidden Identity - Jackie is shock to see her childhood friend on TV wanted for a connection to a terrorist plot.  She is ready to help in any way she can, but she maybe in over her head. 

Shadow of the Mountain - Exodus - Cliff Graham - Caleb awaits with the nation of Israel to attack the city of giants, Hebron.  As the warriors wait for the weather to clear, Caleb shares is story with a younger officer.  The one of how Yahweh had his hand on Caleb even before he believed.

As Water Gone By - Cynthia Ruchti - Emmalyn husband is serving a 5 year sentence.  She is struggling to survive a marriage while being alone.  A self-sentenced exile to Madeline Island may provide a roof over her head, but a home needs so much more than a roof and walls.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Dear Readers,

I have been thinking a lot about the state of Christian fiction.  Mostly because it is my job to, but also because I just finished reading a book that actually kept me up at night.  I can't tell you the last time that happened to me.  I mean a book that I kept reading long after my eyes are tired and you really should go to bed because you have work the next day.  When I was a kid, it was a book that you read under the covers with a flashlight so your mom didn't yell at you to turn the lights off. 

Each book is different and there are many really good books out there on the shelves, but one that kept me up at night... no so much.  Why is that?  Is it because I read so much of it I have just become used to storylines and it would take a really great book to get my attention?  Or is it because fiction seems to have gotten comfortable with where they are? 

Someone very recently asked me "where is that blockbusting book that everyone is talking about?  Not the book that everyone is reading because of a controversy, but the one that the author is a favorite and we all want to read it before anyone else?"  That got me wondering. 

So am I missing something?  Where is that one huge release that sets the Christian fiction market on its ear?  Is this one of those things that e-readers has changed?  Will we ever have a time again where people race each other to a bookstore to be one of the first reader to get the book?  If not that makes me sad.  (Okay I am going to sound old here) I remember those days where people would line up before the bookstore opened so that they would get the book before it even hit the shelves.  *Sigh* I do miss that as it was a time of talking, visiting and recalling our favorite parts of past books.  Maybe even a chance to learn about a new author we hadn't read yet. 

So what do you think?  Are those days behind us?  What book are you looking forward to this year?

Happy Reading,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Varina Denman

Dear Readers,

Jaded is Varina Denman’s first book.  It won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award and I can see why.  What started out as a gentle story of a small town and the people in it, quickly turned into a book I really had a hard time laying down at night.  It has been a while since a book has kept me awake at night, long after I should have put the book away and gotten some sleep. 

Jaded is the story of Ruthie.  The story starts when she and her mother are kicked out of the church one morning.  Ruthie is not real clear on what happened, but it has turned her away from not only church and the people in it, but God also.  As we move forward 13 years, we find Ruthie dreaming of the day she can shake the dust of Trapp from her shoes and never return.  Her mother suffers from depression and Ruthie walks on tiptoes to make sure not to rock mom’s world.  That is until an interesting new family moves into town. 

The Cunninghams are not just a new family, they are the new pastor’s family.  Dodd is the oldest son and is now supporting his mother and younger brother after the passing of his father.  He takes a position of not only the new pastor, but also invades Ruthie’s space when he becomes the new math teacher at the high school where she works.  They soon find themselves attracted to each other and the opposition rises against the idea of them dating.  Not only from Ruthie’s mother, but also the leaders of the church. 

When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be a sweet little love story that will have the couple face the bully and love will conquer all.  Well that is not exactly what this story is about.  Yes it is a love story, but interestingly it is not just Ruthie and Dodd’s love story as a couple.  It is the story of Christians loving people to Christ.  It is also about secrets.  Secrets that people know and use against others to keep them out of the church.  And yes, a bully.  A bully who thinks he can get away with whatever he wants.

What this book turned into was a story of a family that just loved on their neighbors.  Never once did they preach at them until questions were asked.  They didn’t judge them by their past and what others said of them.  They weren’t perfect, but they sure did try hard to live a life that would attract people to them instead of preaching about how bad someone was and how they needed to fix something before the church would welcome them back.

I am sure I am not the only one who could tell stories about what has happened to us in a church, but this is not that type of story, this is a story of redemption and forgiveness.  But it is also a story of Love, yes with a capital “L.”

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Release - Maggie Bright - Tracy Groot

Dear Readers,

Tracy Groot's newest book is here in the store.  Maggie Bright is the story of Dunkirk.  I am not sure what else to say about Tracy's books that I have not already said.  If you love history, if you love a well researched book and if you love an interesting read, pick up any of her books and enjoy. 

Clare Childs inherits the Maggie Bright.  Little does she know of the boats secrets.  When an American is arrested breaking into the boat, Clare begins to wonder about the story behind the boat and searches out the criminal to ask him what he was looking for.  But what she finds out is not what she expects.

Meanwhile, the British army finds themselves trapped on the shores of Dunkirk with no escape in sight.  Churchill puts out the call for all the civilian boats to rescue their boys.  Clare answers the call even though it might mean losing her boat to the mines in the channel. 

Dunkirk is the thing of legends.  A nation came to the rescue of their boys so they could all stand together against the greatest threat their nation had faced in modern history.  Even if you are not British the story of Dunkirk inspires awe, but also makes you proud to be a human.  So much ugliness came out of WWII, but Dunkirk, that makes you proud. 

Tracy is going to be in our store on May 14th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss her research, read an excerpt and sign books.  Come with your questions and find out the secrets behind writing of a great historical novel.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Release - Until the Harvest - Sarah Loudin Thomas

Dear Readers,

One of the sleeper books from last year was Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas.  So will much anticipation her second book hit the shelves this week, Until the Harvest.  We pick up the story of Henry Phillips who lost his father in Miracle

Until+the+HarvestHenry now is stuck back in his old life, college is on hold as he takes care of his mother and their farm.  There are a few bright spots, his fiddle and a friendship with unusual Mayfair Hoffman.  She brings laughter and sunshine into his life, unlike her older sister Margaret, who has a completely different effect. 

Margaret and Henry continue with their lives, running into each other because Margaret is his mother's housekeeper.  As their relationship grows, Henry realizes that she has problems of her own.  Which draws them closer together as tragedy looms on the horizon.

Each of Sarah's books are such gentle stories.  Even though they are set during the 70's, they have the feel of a different time.  A time that may be closer to the 30's and 40's that the turbulent 60's and 70's.  But this book is a great reminder that not even city and town was mixed up in what was going on in the country, some just went about their way of life and carried on.  Yes they were touched by the war  and the race riots, but they had more important issues and were more focused on them.

A perfect read for a quiet afternoon, I encourage you to read Miracle first to understand more about Henry and then enjoy Until the Harvest

Happy Reading,

Monday, April 20, 2015

New Releases - April 13 - 18

Dear Readers,

The lists don't seem to get any shorter this time of year.  Fun books arriving all the time.

Happy Reading,

Better All the Time - Carre Armstrong Gardner - A Darling Family Novel #2 - Sephy Darling has always been content to be in the background taking care of everyone else.  But everyone knows who to put in charge of the new community arts program.

Double Cross - Diann Mills - An FBI Houston novel #2 - FBI agent Laurel is investigating a scam targeting the elderly and her best lead is a man she put in prison.  Police Officer Daniel will do just about anything to keep his family safe and when it looks like his grandparents are next on the scammers list, he is willing to call in the FBI to help.

On Shifting Sand - Allison Pittman - Nola feels like the Dust Bowl long before it was named.  Slowly drying up inside she longs for someone to love her.  Neither her father, who has withheld his love since her mother's passing nor her husband Russ offer the affection she needs.  The a friend from Russ' past arrives and he starts paying attention which can only lead to no good.

Chance of Loving You  - Terri Blackstock/Candace Calvert/Susan May Warren - 3 beloved authors bring us each a story about the risks we take for love.

The Inn at Ocean's Edge - Colleen Coble - A Sunset Cove novel - On her 4th birthday, Claire disappears.  Mysteriously she reappears a year later with no explanation as to where she was or who had her.  Luke's mother disappeared about the same time and it seems the two mysteries are linked.

Until the Harvest - Sarah Loudin Thomas - Henry's plans for his future are derailed by the death of him father.  He no longer can afford college and his mother needs help around the house.  The only things keeping his spirits up are his fiddle and his friendship with Mayfair Hoffma.  Mayfair's older sister on the other hand is more of annoying...

When Grace Sings - Kim Vogel Sawyer - The Zimmerman Restoration #2 - Alexa Zimmerman hopes the Old Order Mennonite community will except her.  She hopes her cooking skills and hospitality will win them over.  But will her past stay buried where she wants it?

Friday, April 17, 2015


Dear Readers,

Tuesday was our annual spring Librarian's day and I know I have gone on and on about it before so I won't go into to many details, but I wanted to mention something that happened.

I had a couple of really nice books to give away and I thought I would see how long some of the librarians have been working in either church libraries or any library for that matter.  I started at 10 years and more than half of the audience stood up.  Amazing.  But what really amazed me was the number of years the two ladies that won the book have worked in a library.  They combined have worked 108 years in a library!  50 for one and 58 for the other.  I was in awe, to do something for 58 years, WOW!

Now neither lady wanted the glory or recognition of having worked that long as a librarian, in fact one of them told me that I shouldn't have, they are just doing what they love.  I know one of them has worked at the same church library for 50 years and her church loves that she is still willing to work for them.  For free by the way. :-)

It is such an honor to know these women and to work with them.  They have continued on through it all, because they believe in the importance of books.  The importance of reading.  One of the ladies always is challenging me to find more and more books for kids and teens to read as she believes it is so important to raise the next generation of readers, not because it gives her job security, but because reading and thinking for yourself is so important. 

I have known many librarians like these ladies over the years and they all hold a special place in my heart, even the ones who scared and intimated me as a young reader. :-)  They each have encouraged me to continue reading and I am a better person for having known them. 

In honor of National Librarian's week, I wish to thank librarian's everywhere for you work you do everyday.  Sometimes it is a thankless job and even one that some make fun of, but you are raising leaders of tomorrow.  Keep up the good work.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cliff Graham

Dear Readers,

Over the past week I have had the pleasure of reading Cliff Graham's newest release, Shadow of the Mountain - Exodus.  I have been waiting for a new book from Cliff ever since finishing his second book on David.  I know the other 3 are available online, but I just never got around to getting them as then I would have to read them on my reader.  No fun. :-)

Anyway, this time Cliff takes us to the time of Caleb and when Israel is on the cusp of taking over the promised land.  Caleb and Joshua have the battle all planned and they and their armies are ready to execute but the weather has other plans.  While the armies wait for the weather to clear one of the junior officers asks Caleb to tell his story. 

What we get is a wonderful story about what life was like in Egypt before the Israelites are set free.  Caleb rose through the ranks of Pharaoh's army until he becomes a palace guard, just in time for Moses and Aaron to show up in court and the power of Yahweh to be revealed. 

Now I have to mention that this book is written for guys, not me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book in the series.  It is a battle, killing and warrior filled book that if you are not ready for might be a bit of a surprise to you.  It is one of those books that while sitting on the shelf can intimidate the books next to it just because it is full of testosterone. 

Cliff writes it that way and makes no apology for it either.  He wants to write books for guys to enjoy and remember what it is like to be a guy.  I recommend his early books over and over to men readers and I have yet to have any one of them come back and complain about the violence or battles in the books. I have a strange feeling that this book will have the same results.

So get your battle swords out and join the warriors around the fire and learn what it was like to fight in a war in early Biblical times.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Release - Hollywood Lost - Ace Collins

Dear Readers,

Ace Collins is one author that I keep my eyes open for.  His mysteries are fun and entertaining to read.  He usually keeps me guessing to the end and so when Hollywood Lost was announced I was waiting to get a copy and start reading.

During the Golden Age of Hollywood a murderer is on the loose.  He or she is killing off young starlets or at least hopeful starlets.  Detective Bill Barrister believes that Galaxy Studios is somehow involved.  They are the home of rivals Flynn Sparks and Dalton Andrews along with rising star Shelby Beckett.

Shelby arrived in town hoping to escape the Great Depression and is thrust into the lime light.  She is just trying to survive in a town fraught with dangers with her morals intact.  Now she also finds herself the target of a serial killer.  Will the killer find her first or will Bill be able to save the damsel in distress.

I think that is why I like Ace's books.  He right away puts you into a setting and makes you feel at home. Whether it is just a different town and area or a different time in history, it doesn't matter.  Ace does his research and includes those very interesting details to make it all the more real. 

I recommend this book to male or female readers because even though Ace includes romance in his books, the mystery is still the main storyline and that makes for a good read.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Release - A Sparrow in Terezin - Kristy Cambron

Dear Readers,

The much anticipated sophomore novel from Kristy Cambron is here.  A Sparrow in Terezin has been talked about by anyone and everyone that has read Kristy's first book, The Butterfly and the Violin.  To be honest, I was getting asked about her second book long before we had any details on it. People wanted to make sure she was writing a second one, they didn't care about what, just so long as they knew something else was coming.

Once again a  beautiful blend of contemporary and historical, Sparrow tells the story in present day of Sera James.  She feels as if she has stumbled into a charmed life, but it all comes crashing down when a legal battle threatens not only her fiancé but also her family.  She must try to fight the false accusations to have any future with the man she loves.

The historical part of the story once again takes us to WWII and the story of Kaja.  She escaped Prague in 1939, but left her half-Jewish family behind.  As the horror stories start emerging from Germany she knows she must go back to rescue her family. 

These two women are connected to each other because of a young child who is a holocaust survivor.  The women find a kinship that will help them through the darkest of time.

Kristy has a way of making you feel like you are walking right along side of her characters.  Her books touch on parts of history some or all of us may never heard of before.  Sparrow is book #2 in the Hidden Masterpiece series, with each book a complete story.  They will touch on some of the beauty in a very dark time in the world's history.

Happy Reading,

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Releases April 6 - 11

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow is a big day here at the store.  We are expecting 80 - 90 librarians and it is one of the best days of the year. (we do another one in October so that is the other best day;-) I will talk about books all day long and this list will be some of the books I will talk about. 

If you are a librarian you are so very welcome to come and if you know a librarian, please feel free to let them know about our event.

Happy Reading,

Hollywood Lost - Ace Collins - Hollywood's Golden Age is tainted by someone who is murdering beautiful women.  Shelby just wanted to have a job, but her job makes her a target for the murderer.  Will she survive with her morals intact or will the Hollywood strangler claim another victim. 

Whiskers on the Lion - P.L. Gaus - An Amish -Country Mystery - Fannie unwittingly becomes a witness to a drug crime and now must hid to survive.  So she hides in plain sight.  Sheriff Bruce Robertson is charged with finding her before the drug cartel does.

A Sparrow in Terezin - Kristy Cambron - Sera James feels like she is living a charmed life until a legal battle threatens everything.  She hastily weds her fiancé and as the trial goes on, he is facing years behind bars.  Kaja escapes Germany before the rise of Hitler, but now her family is faced with death and the camps and she must return to help them escape.

Deception on Sable Hill - Shelley Gray - #2 A Chicago World's Fair Mystery - Eloisa appears have it all.  But she has a dark secret.  She was assaulted months ago and has told no one, that is until she meets Detective Sean Ryan.  Now with a person assaulting debutants, Sean makes it his mission to protect Eloisa from the killer.

A Heart's Obsession - Colleen Coble - #2  Journey of the Heart novellas - Sarah and her younger brother head to Fort Laramie, Wyoming after their father's death.  The reception they receive is far from what they expect from her beau.

Maggie Bright - Tracy Groot - Across the Channel the British Army is in full retreat.  Caught between the Blitzkrieg and the ocean, they face certain disaster.  When Churchill recruits the civilian brigade to come to their rescue. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

More Shelves

Dear Readers,

Here is a comic that I saw a couple of weeks ago and it describes the readers life very well. 


That is what is wrong with this world.  Not enough shelf space!  And not enough time to read.  Hmm maybe I will run for president on that platform.  "More book space for everyone and at least 3 hours of reading time a day, paid of course."

Okay enough silliness.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dan Walsh/Gary Smalley

Dear Readers,

Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley teamed up to write a series about different issues that couples and families are now facing.  The Restoration series, The Dance, The Promise, The Desire and now The Legacy, covered infertility, communication, empty nesters, and now a child who is slowly drifting away from his faith.

The+LegacyThe Legacy is the story of Doug Anderson who is slowly separating himself from not only his family and friends, but also his faith.  Everyone is trying to reach him to make him understand what he is doing, but nothing seems to work.  Even Christiana his one friend that stands by him, hopes that all that she is hearing or seeing is true. 

This is one of those stories that every parent worries about, a child that slowly moves into a life style that is destructive.  One that is making poor choices and seems to not care when parents and friends try to step in to help.  Sometimes no matter what is said, the child continues down that path.   It is hard on everyone, but it is sometimes difficult to know what to say or do for these families, but that is when books like this or even a series is so helpful. 

I know I have said it before, I love books that can help you through difficult times.  It is nice to know that you are not alone.  It is also great to be given the tools to walk along side others who are in situations that you may know or understand anything about.   Gary Smalley has done this before with a couple other authors and I have enjoyed those series also.  I hope he continues to add insight to fiction books and of course Dan can keep writing just like he is because his books are those wonderful books that you want to come home to.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Release - Every Bride Needs a Groom - Janice Thompson

Dear Readers,

Janice Thompson is known for writing romantic comedies.  Maybe I am using comedies a little loosely, but that is the feel I get from them.  A light romance that does your heart good because by the end of the book the girl gets the guy and they live happily ever after.

Every+Bride+Needs+a+GroomEvery Bride Needs a Groom is the start of a new series titled A Bride with Style.  Janice is once again giving us a chance to remember back to our single days and of our beautiful wedding day or if you are single a chance to dream along side of the main character Katie as she has one set back after another on her journey to her fairy-tale wedding.

Katie is busy planning her wedding.  She expects her boyfriend to pop the question any day now and so she enters a contest to win the wedding dress of her dreams.  The only problem is instead of popping the question her boyfriend announces he is taking a job in another town and breaks up with Katie instead. 

Now what is she going to do when she does win the dress?  Does she have to confess to the dress maker that she actually doesn't have a fiancée or can she take the dress with the hopes of wearing it soon? 

Oh dear what is Katie going to do?  You will have to read it to find out.  This is the type of book that I love to take down to the pool or beach and just relax with for the day.  They are fun and enjoyable reads and make for a pleasant way to pass a relaxing day. 

Need a little extra romance in your life?  Janice's book are the perfect fit.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Release - Buried Secrets - Irene Hannon

Dear Readers,

If you don't know what the Romantic Suspense genre is, I recommend you go right out and find Irene Hannon's newest book Buried Secrets and find out what all the buzz is about. 

Irene and her fellow romantic suspense authors have really made a place in the reading world.  They are keeping their fans entertained with the promise of many titles to come.

Buried+SecretsLisa leaves Chicago for a quieter life as a small-town police chief instead of a homicide detective. A grisly discovery changes that.  A body is found at a construction site and now Lisa needs to figure out who wanted the murder to stay quiet so long, but that person will do just about anything to make sure that they are not found out.

Murder, mayhem and a hunky ex-Navy seal always add to the story.  Irene loves to add a few twist and danger along the way to keep things exciting.  That is why I love reading her books.  She has a mystery that you don't know the answer to until the end, which is the best time to figure it out.  

Buried Secrets is the perfect fit for a dark Friday night read.  Don't forget to add a thunder storm for effect.

                                                 Happy reading,

Monday, April 6, 2015

New Releases - March 30 - April 4

Dear Readers,

The first week of April around here means spring break.  If you are one of the lucky ones who headed out of town, have fun.  For those of us still in town, here are some titles to help you make it through the week.

Happy Reading,

Buried Secrets - Irene Hannon - #1 Men of Valor - Things are suppose to be quiet in a small town.  Lisa Grant, recently from Chicago, was hoping that.  A discovery of a human skeleton puts her on the hunt for a killer who will do anything to keep from being found out, including kill again.

Daughter of the Regiment - Stephanie Grace Whitson - Two women on opposite sides of the war.  Though they were neighbors, they didn't know each other, but the circumstances of war draw them together. 

Every Bride needs a Groom - Janice Thompson - #1 A Brides with Style novel - Katie enters to win the wedding dress of her dreams believing her boyfriend is about to pop the questions.  The problem is he takes a job in another city and breaks up with her instead.  Does she claim her prize of a designer dress she may never get to wear?

Postcard - Laura V. Hilton - The Amish of Jamesport - Rachel writes to various Amish communities asking for a Postcard from their community.  It isn't as good as traveling, but at least it gives her something to do.  When she starts communicating with David Lapp, she never expects to meet him.  Then he shows up in Jamesport intending to court her. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Endings - good or bad

Dear Readers,

I am not sure if any part of a book gets discuss as much as the ending.  We debate, argue and disagree about them all the time.  Authors have been known to change endings (even after books are out, horrors!).  And heaven forbid if there is a movie made of a favorite book and the ending is different, then the whole movie is terrible.

Personally I love books that don't have endings that are neat little packages.  Not every story has to have everything finished and wrapped with a bow.  I love an ending that don't have those little "everyone is happy" endings.  Life is still going on and things are not always perfect.

A few years ago I read a book that the author added a postlude to his book and actually "brought" people back from the dead.  He had murdered them in the storyline and it was what made the whole entire investigation. It was what the book was about, those murders.  Then at the very end it turned out that it was all a set up.  Those that were "murdered" knew that their lives were in danger and so staged their deaths and now were living a new life on an island in the Caribbean.

That ending left such a bitter taste in my mouth about the book I have yet to read another one of the author's books.

Endings more than any other part of a book can make us love or hate the book.  I find it amusing that I have worked my way through more than one book where I wasn't really all that excited about the book in general, but it had such a fantastic ending I ended up liking the book. 

I remember a book that I read quite a few years ago, it was a good enough book but I wasn't finding it all that interesting.  But the ending made the book, it had such a wonderful twist that changed my whole perspective on the book.  It was an ending I never saw coming.  That to me is the perfect ending. 

What is your favorite ending?  A happily-ever-after ending or do you enjoy a few threads left over? 

Happy Reading,


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Amy Sorrels

Dear Readers,

I loved Amy Sorrels first book, How Sweet the Sound, but sometimes that sophomore book… well simply they can sometimes prove to be a bit disappointing.   Then Sings my Soul proved I had nothing to worry about.   The story bounces between 1994 and the early 1900’s in and around the Ukraine and then on to America.  Amy does a great job of making sure you understand which story line you are following and yet through her efforts you get a small feel what it is like to struggle with Dementia.

I believe I have mentioned it before, my mother was diagnosed a few years ago with Front Lobe Dementia, so that made that part of the book a bit difficult to read.  Then again she captured the emotions of both the daughter and father as this becomes part of their lives.

Nel returns to home after her mother passes to find her father looking and acting older than she expected.  He suffers not only from Dementia, which her mother hid from Nel, but also arthritis in the hip.  Nel is shocked how much her father has deteriorated since she was home 2 years ago and she begins to regret the time away.

Jakob is lost in a world that is getting harder and harder to remember.  He struggles with what is present and what is the past and his past is a terrifying place to be.  He and his older brother escaped with their lives from the genocide that happened in his home land of Ukraine.  As the lines blur more and more for Jakob, Nel starts listening to his stories and learning more of her family story.

Sometimes hard to read because it is a story about a man losing himself to old age and a horrible disease, Then Sings My Soul  is a reminder that you can’t go back and reclaim those years you let slip through your fingers.  Nel spends a lot of the book coming to terms with the time she lost.  I don’t want to tell you why as it is her story to share, but it was a good reminder for me to spend time with my mom now while I can.

As hard as this was to read, it was an interesting read.  Not only was the storyline a good one, but one of the settings is in South Haven, MI which made it fun to read.  I usually spent much of the book trying to figure out if I know the places being mentioned.  If you are looking for a book with more meat than fluff, this is a good place to start.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Release - One Last Thing - Rebecca St. James/Nancy Rue

Dear Readers,

Award winning Nancy Rue has teamed up with Singer Rebecca St. James to write a series of books that deal with several issues that effect families and individuals.  So far they have taken on unwanted pregnancy and cutting.  Two very heavy subjects.

One Last Thing, Rebecca St. JamesIn One Last Thing they once again visit something that more families have dealt with than most of us would like admit.  Pornography.  Not an easy subject, but one that it is good to have the tools to deal with it if we find out some one we know and love falls to its temptation.

Tara and Seth grew up next door and it was almost a foregone conclusion that they would marry.  Of course their wedding would be almost a fairytale wedding.  That is until Tara finds out a secret Seth has been keeping.  Now their happily ever after is in jeopardy.  Will their relationship survive or will Tara make a future without Seth.

A very candid look at what the use of porn can do to a relationship.  Trust is lost and it is an affair that is hard to fight against.  Many try to say it isn't a big deal, but Rebecca and Nancy want you to realize it is a big deal and hopefully help someone along the way.

Happy Reading,