Friday, July 31, 2015

The Death of A Hero

Dear Readers,

With all the talk about whether or not Atticus of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman fame, is a racist or not got me thinking.  Why is to so hard when our fictional heroes have feet of clay.

Atticus is a hero that seems to have fallen, but does he really?  The Atticus in TKAM is almost to perfect. He is raising two young children, maybe a bit unconventionally, but they seem to be turning out okay.  He then takes a stand between mob mentality and a innocent man and to be honest with you, everyone who has read the book wanted him as our father.  Go ahead admit it, even it if was just a little bit.

So when word got out that Atticus was a racist, the literary word went nuts.  Something they were all looking to celebrate, a new book by beloved Harper Lee, was quickly turned into cries of "how could she?" and "I am never going to read it."  Why?  Because a not perfect Atticus was almost more than most of them could handle.

Now let me insert this paragraph first - I don not agree with any of the racist statements in the book.  I do understand they are written as a cultural thing from that time, but it doesn't make the thinking correct.

When a hero falters people struggle.  Our heroes are not allowed to have faults and now a beloved father has one, a huge one and we don't know how to deal with it.  That is why it is so hard when a fictional hero changes, we have only that one way of remembering them and when that changes it gives us pause and we must learn to like them differently. (and we do wonder why the author couldn't write them differently)

I am going to admit, I like this Atticus.  Yup I know, isn't that awful?  But this is a side of him I didn't expect, but it makes me wrestle with him.  I love that, a character that I am uncomfortable with makes me learn things about myself and others.  Atticus makes me look at why people believed the things they did.

Issues still separate us today.  They always will.  We always think we are right, but maybe once again Atticus is pointing us in the right direction, maybe we need to listen more to each other instead of just have a snap reaction and decided that person will be dead to us as Jean Louise did.

So no I don't think a hero died, but I think a hero has become more approachable.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Harper Lee

Dear Readers,

To be perfectly honest I wasn’t sure if I would ever read GoSet a Watchman by Harper Lee.  To Kill a Mockingbird was not that world changing book for me that it was for so many.  There was much discussion of whether we should carry it here at the store. We finally decided we wanted to and I personally am glad that we are. 

Image result for go set a watchmanScout (Jean Louise) is now all grown up and living in New York.  She arrives home for a visit and finds that things, like all of us do, have changed.  Buildings are missing, new ones are going up and even Atticus is starting to show his age.  At 72 he is slowing down and his arthritis bothers him more than ever.  But he is still her father and love him she does. 

Aunt Alexandra believes the visit is long overdue and continues to express her disappointment that Jean Louise hasn’t moved back home, “because her father needs her,” as Alexandra is so fond of saying.  There is also Henry, the young man that has been in Jean Louise’s life as long as she can remember. He is madly in love with her and also pushing for her to move back.  All things that put her on edge and not sure she is going to enjoy this visit. 

I am only one small voice speaking about this book and really I am kind of late at it, but I wanted to talk about this book.  I had been asked to read it and so feel I must write a review on it.  It is an honest review and if I had not liked the book you would not be reading anything about it on my column. 

You will hear Harper’s voice all the way throughout the book.  It is a rawer version of that voice, but it rings loud and clear, which does make for a delightful read.  My wish is that she could have worked on the book a bit more and refined and edited it more.  (More on this tomorrow.)  But that was not to be and it doesn’t take away for the story she is telling us.

I found the book a very interesting read and am very glad I read it.  I would love to discuss it in a book club and get all the different perspectives on it.  There are loads of different topics addressed in the book and each one is sure to garner several hours of discussion on their own. 

If you are still undecided on whether to read “Watchman” or not, let me encourage you to.  There is a lot of food for thought in the book and you just might get a different perspective on a few things.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Release - Midnight on the Mississippi - Mary Ellis

Dear Readers,

I will admit that what I know about Mary Ellis is mostly because of her Amish books.  Then just recently she started writing historical and now romantic suspense books.  The first in the Secrets of the South series is Midnight on the Mississippi and looks like it better be a quick addition to any fan of the genre.

Nicki Price is ready to prove herself in her new job as a PI.  She wants to be able to solve the murder of Hunter Galen's partner and quickly.  As she discovers fraud and deception at the Investment firm, she also finds herself attracted to the only suspect in the case, Hunter himself.

As the attraction grows, Nicki needs to decide if Hunter is guilty or not and if he is innocent then who really committed murder.  Are they willing to murder again to keep their secret?

Romantic Suspense is the fastest growing genre in the Christian market.  That means more and more authors will wade into the waters and give us more than we can read.  So it becomes harder and harder to figure out which books are worth reading.  I can safely say, Mary's books are ones I will be adding to my TBR list right away.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Release - Center of Gravity - Laura McNeill

Dear Readers,

To be honest when I saw the title of this book I really expected to have a completely different story line.  Mostly because it brings to mind Space travel or time travel.  But Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill is about Ava Carson and her life.

Center+of+GravityAva was only sure of one thing, she was never going to measure up to her mother's expectations.  Then she meets Mitchell and he seems to be the perfect man.  Not only is he loving and attentive to her, he comes already with the perfect little boy for her to fall in love with also.

Quickly they are married and with a new little one, Ava's life is complete.  That is until Mitchell starts acting strangely.  First she blames it on stress and is sure she can solve those problems, but the things get worse and worse and she feels like she needs to flee to save her and her children's lives.              
So a book that is not a light read, but one that may keep you awake at night as Ava finds out about Mitchell's past and why he is the way he is.  Laura is new to my shelves here at the store and so I am interested in what else she will be writing.

Happy Reading,

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Releases - July 20th - 25th

Dear Readers,

Got bunches of books read last week and looking forward to talking to you all about them.  Wonder which one to report on first.  Ah well I guess I will have to wait and see. 

Happy Reading,

Center of Gravity - Laura McNeill - Ava marries the perfect man, loving, caring hand handsome.  He comes with an adorable little boy.  But as their marriage goes on, Mitchell starts revealing a different side.  A side that seems a bit more sinister.  

Balm of Gilead - Adina Senft - #3  Healing Grace novel - Sarah Yoder hasn't seen Henry since he left the community when he became engaged to an Englisch woman.  She can only extend his friendship as he never became a member of the church, but a growing attraction is getting harder to deny.

Made with Love - Tricia Goyer/Sherry Gore - Lovina love living in Pinecraft, FL.  There is lots to do in the small Amish community.  The one thing she is most interested in is a pie shop of her own.  Is Noah the one to give her her heart's desire? 

Midnight on the Mississippi - Mary Ellis - Murder and intrigue in the deep south.  Nicki is a brand new PI and ready to show what she can do.  But will her first case be her undoing as she starts to find herself attracted to the prime suspect?

Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin - Waves of Freedom #1 - Set during WWII. Naval officer Ensign Jim Avery works on a navy destroyer escorting ships through the treacherous waters of the Atlantic.  When he discovers sabotage aboard his boat, he works with his childhood friend Mary Stirling.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kate Breslin

Dear Readers,

Kate Breslin attacked the Christian fiction market last year with For Such aTime.  It was one of the few books by a new writer that everyone seemed to be talking about.  Before I even got a chance to get it read, I had readers coming in and asking for it.   Now they are asking when her next book will release.

Not by Sight is that book and it was worth the wait.  I will tell you if you are expecting a book like the first one, you will be disappointed.  Not by Site is very different and shows Kate’s versatility.  This one is more of a romance, but it shows what it was like to live in England during WWI.  There is more lightness to the book and even parts you will laugh out loud at.  Like I said, a very different book than the intense For Such a Time.

Grace Mabry believes every healthy male should be off fighting the Germans, not just the working class, but also the upper class, and she is about to call Jack Benningham out as a coward.  She plans on giving him a white feather which by tradition you give to the men who are too cowardly to go fight with the rest of the boys.  She is sure she is on the side of the right. 

Jack calls himself a conscientious objector to the war.  He enjoys the life of a rake and plays the part well.  But what he really is, is working for the Crown trying to catch German spies on British soil. 

What happens next you will have to find out for yourself.  It does include spies, lies and interesting twists.  Of course it did help that I was in England at the time of reading this book, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and am looking forward to Kate’s next book. 

Happy Reading

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Release - Lady Maybe - Julie Klassen

Dear Readers,

Julie Klassen is a very rare writer in my book.  She writes Regency Romance and I get excited every time one of her books releases.  What makes that rare is I am not a huge fan of Regency Romance and yet her books go straight to the To Be Read pile.

Lady Maybe by Julie is already on the pile.  I just haven't gotten to it yet.  I will and maybe soon.

Hannah only remembers the freezing water and then a hand reaching down to save her.  She remembers nothing else about the accident or how she got the the strange place she is staying in now.  She is being taken care of by wonderful people who are caring to her, but she has no idea who they are.

As fragments of the accident start to come back to her, she remembers a baby and a ring on her finger that tells her it is all a lie.  But what is the secret she is suppose to be keeping?

That is probably why I like Julie's books.  She puts a bit of a mystery in them.  Just enough to make them interesting.  But I am also sure it is the richness of her characters.  I know I am looking forward to reading the newest one soon.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Release - Maximus - Richard L. Black

Dear Readers,

Maximus by Richard L. Black actually released in March of this year.  I didn't hear about it right away and then it took me a little while to track down how to get it to my store.  I now have a copy of my own at home and look forward to reading it.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Richard in Orlando and got to hear a bit of why he wrote this book.  It is always good to understand some of what the writer is going for and why.

Maximus is a general of the finest legion of the Roman army.  He is fighting to keep peace in the kingdom, but he himself has never known peace.  He is also getting disillusioned with what the Roman empire is doing.  He is losing respect for them and he begins to question his purpose.

When he is sent undercover to find more about this new teacher in Judea and what the draw is.  Why is this fellow Jesus attracting so much attention?  Is he trying to raise an army?  Is he just a crazy person that people are watching like a sideshow?  Does the Emperor have to be worried?  What Maximus finds will change his life forever.

We all know what he finds.  He finds Jesus and his story of salvation.  But that doesn't make this book any less of a draw, in fact is makes me even more interested in reading. It to learn Maximus' story.

I encourage as many authors as I can to write books for guys and when I find one, I carry it here at the store.  Looking forward to more books from Richard, I just need to wait a little bit longer.

Happy Reading,

Monday, July 20, 2015

New Releases - July 13 -18

Dear Readers,

I am at home this week, busily doing stuff that I have wanted to get done for a while.  You know painting, rearranging and working in the garden.  Hahaha, just kidding I am spending the week reading as much as possible while staying at home, getting up late and staying up later.

Happy Reading,

Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee - Several years after To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean Louise returns to her home town for a two week visit.  What she finds (along with us the readers) is not what we would expect to find in an older aging town.

Lady Maybe - Julie Klassen - She awakes with only vague memories of an accident.  Pain, freezing water, rescue and then nothing.  Now she is in a place she doesn't know with on the fragments to try to understand what happened.

The Friends of Jesus - Karen Kingsbury - Simon, Martha, Jairus, Mary Magdalene, Peter and John.  Walk alongside Jesus with those who knew him best during his ministry years.

The Curiosity Keeper - Sarah Ladd - Jonathan never wanted to be heir to Kettering Hall, but after his brother's death that seemed his fate.  The only way to save the family home is through the sale of a priceless ruby, one that has gone missing.

Someday Home - Lauraine Snelling - After losing her beloved husband, Lynn is struggling to find her way.  Her home is only an empty shell filled with memories that don't help her on those long night by herself.  She decides to take in boarders and each of the women who come to live with her are also struggling with their own grief.

Maximus - Richard L. 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.

Not by Sight - Kate Breslin - Set during WWI.  Grace is sure that is your are an able body male you should be off fighting in the war just like her brother.  She believes she can force these men who say they are conscientious objector, especially Jack Benningham.  What she doesn't know is the events she will set in motion with her actions. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good Bye

Dear Readers,

One thing you learn in retail is that change is the continuous.  People come and go all the time.  It is the nature of the type of business I work in.

One thing I really never thought would change is the person I share my desk space with.  I thought for sure he and I would retire about the same time and I would never really have to say good bye.  But now I must.  My desk buddy, my friend and supporter is moving on to a new job.

I have been struggling all week with what to write to let you know what kind of guy he is, but words just don't do it justice.  We have known each other for 15 years now, working them mostly together but there was a brief time that we worked at separate stores and yet, every time we saw each other, we picked up where we left off.

We have had some crazy adventures, who can forget the massage parlor in the church we were visiting.  We have had tons of laughs,  still not sure how he got to Hopkins on the way to Holland.  We have shared tears, the loss of his son and other many family issues.  But most of all we have shared a friendship that I couldn't explain to anyone.  We really couldn't be any different.

He isn't real interested in fiction - but he listens to my excitement about a new book as if it is the most important thing to him.  His passion is Academic - he knows about several topics that I can't even pronounce.  He loves to talk about it, debate it, and agree to disagree with someone in a way no one else I have ever meet.

He treats every customer with the politeness, dignity and grace they all want, some don't deserve it, but he is willing to give it.  No matter his mood, no matter what is going on in his life, he is willing to listen to you and either offer words of advice and encouragement or just that listening ear you need sometimes.

I shall miss him greatly.  He has made me grow and stretch as never before and has encouraged me to do things I never thought I was capable of doing.  For that I will always be grateful.  I know he will be fantastic at his new job as he will enter it with all the enthusiasm that he does everything.  I know that where he is going is the perfect place for him now, but a small and little piece of me wants to stomp my foot and tell him to stay as it will be too hard without him.

But I won't as that is not what you do to friends.  You let them fly and cheer them on the way.  So cheer him on I will, with a heavy heart, a very selfish heavy heart.

Louis McBride, you shall be missed.  Fly my friend  and be blessed in all you do.  It has been an honor working with you these past years.

I am now closing this letter the way you close your emails.  It is my wish for you.



P.S. I know you are itching edit this, thanks for restraining until now.  :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zachary Bartels

Dear Readers,
When we hosted Zachary Bartles' launch party for The Last Con on the 7th of July, I mentioned that we here at Baker Book House love to support local authors.  Thankfully Zach is a local author and we get to support and read some really good books.  
The Last Con is about Fletcher Doyle.  He is a con man, and he thought he was pretty good at it. However, he got caught and has spent the last 6 years in jail for his crimes.  He is now back home trying to get his life back together and regain his relationship with his wife and daughter.  
He found Jesus in prison and is ready to start over as a new man.  He agrees to go on a mission trip as a chaperone with his new church. The only hitch is, it is to his old stomping ground, Detroit, MI.  He gets an okay from his parole officer and is off with his family hoping to make new connections with them.  
Of course you know things don't go well and soon Fletcher is realizing his faith might now be quite what he thinks it should be and he struggles.  
Well, now I am getting too close to the mystery itself and I don't want to give any clues away.  I hate when reviewers do that.  Just know that the mystery is a good one and fun to follow.  Zach does a good job laying out clues, you just have to find them.  You will get a little history lesson also about icons and relics, but it fits into the story and makes it all the more interesting.  By the way did you know... Oh wait that is part of the mystery and I don't think you want to know before you get started. 
So pull up a chair and enjoy a good read with Zachary's second book. 
Happy Reading,  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Release - The Lost Garden - Katharine Swartz

Dear Readers,

Marin Ellis is looking for a new start, but what she gets is a little different than she expected.  She becomes guardian to her half-sister Rebecca.  Marin's father and second wife are killed in a car accident and have named Marin in the will.

Lost+GardenMarin is unsure how to proceed with adjusting their two very different lives to each other and when Rebecca asks to live in the small town of Goswell, Marin sees it as a chance to connect.  After they arrive, Rebecca becomes interested in what lies behind the garden gate  that is covered in brambles.  What they find is a garden with lots of surprising secrets.

Once again Katharine Swartz leads us on a merry tale of past and present in The Lost Garden.  It even reminded me of the book, the Secret Garden, but for adults instead.  A gentle story of two very different sisters who have had very little if not next nothing to do with each other learn to love and care for not only each other, but find their way together.

Set in England The Lost Garden also contains the story of Eleanor and the reason she started working in the little garden and how it also worked to make her soul blossom again.

I look forward to the chance to get to read this book by Katharine as I have enjoyed her other books a great deal.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Release - Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee

Dear Readers,

This is the day the literary world has been waiting for since the announcement that there was a new Harper Lee book.  A book that Harper wrote before and even submitted before To Kill a Mockingbird.  Go Set a Watchman actually involves the characters from Mockingbird but several years later.

Scout is now known by Jean Louise and Atticus is getting to be an old man at 72.  There are more changes but you will need to read the book to discover them.  I have tried as best I could to get my hands on a copy before its release, but was unable to so have been reading it as quickly as I could to see what to say about it.  (There will be a review coming later)

I am not one that waited with baited breath until the book released.  I never warmed up to much to Mockingbird and freely admit that most of what I remember of the book is probably more from the movie than from the book.  Sorry.

For those of you that are church librarians, know that there is loads of language issues that might cause a problem with some of your readers.  But that said, I am interested enough in the book to keep going and I am curious to see how it ends.

So join the fun, grab a copy of the literary release of the century.  :-)

Happy Reading,

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Releases - July 6 - 11

Dear Readers,

I had a chance a couple of weeks ago to spend time with loads of people who are working very hard to make sure that not only does Christian retail stores and publishing continue, but thrive.  ICRS is the yearly convention of the Christian Retail Association and this year it was my privilege to go.

Not only was it a chance to meet authors I also spent time talking to editors and fellow retailers.  It was a time to learn what others are doing and to maybe even get some new ideas of what to do to keep our store fresh and exciting.

I have to admit that none of the authors on my list below where at the convention, but Zachary Bartels was in our store last week and that is almost the same. :-D

Happy Reading,

Her Brother's Keeper - Beth Wiseman - #1 An Amish Secrets Novel - Charlotte is ready to do anything to find out what happened to her brother, even dressing up to play an Amish cousin.  She meets Isaac and both their worlds are turned upside down.

The Last Con - Zachary Bartels - Fletcher Doyle is out of prison after serving time for a con that went wrong.  When he joins his wife and daughter on a mission trip to his old stomping grounds, he is quickly blackmailed into help his old buddies with one more big job.

The Lost Garden - Katharine Swartz - Marin Ellis was looking for a new start, but becoming guardian to her half sister wasn't quite what she had in mind.  They move to the little village of Goswell and Rebecca becomes interested in a hidden gate.  Hoping it will help her get over the loss of her mother and father, Marin hires a gardener to uncover the little garden behind the door.

The Cactus Creek Challenge - Erica Vetsch - What happens when the schoolmarm and the local sheriff switch jobs.  Cassie is sure her part, taking over the sheriff job, will be easy in the quiet little town of Cactus Creek.  Ben is sure being a teacher will be a piece of cake after being sheriff.  What could possibly go wrong?

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Beth K. Vogt - Vanessa Hollister is engaged and looking forward to her wedding to her fiance.  But when her ex-husband shows up she finds her emotions are in conflict to what she believes is right.  Will she be able to decide which one of the men in her life is the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Anne Lamot

"What a miracle it is that 
out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper
unfolds world after world after world; 
worlds that sing to you, 
comfort and quiet, 
or excite you." ~Anne Lamot

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Melanie Dobson

Dear Readers,
I am not sure what I was expecting when I started Shadows of Ladenbrook Manor by Melanie Dobson, but what I got was a wonderful story about a family full of secrets.  
Shadows+of+Ladenbrooke+ManorHeather is returning to her family cottage after her father dies to ready it to be sold.  What she finds instead are secrets and lies that have marked her life since the day she was born.  As she searches farther she struggles to figure out what is truth and what is deceit.  Even when it came down to her first love and what happened with that relationship. 
Melanie weaves a story full of lies and half truths.  Heather's family is not what they seem and when Heather learns more and more about her past, she is hurt and troubled by it all.  
I have to admit I am not sure how quickly I would forgive my parents or family if I found out some of the stuff about me that Heather did.  But that is kind of what made this book interesting, it made me wonder, "what if?"  It was also a good reminder that lies are not a good thing in a family or anywhere. Though they may seem to spare the person's feelings at that moment and myself some embarrassment at that time, it usually ends up hurting someone later.  
An interesting read, one that will make me read Melanie's next book shortly after it releases. 
Happy Reading, 
P.S. The Cover is a bit different that the picture here. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Release - Undercover Bride - Margaret Brownley

Dear Readers,

This time of year I can not resist recommending at great book to take to the beach.  Undercover Bride by Margaret Brownley is second in the Undercover Ladies series.  It is a series about women who work for the Pinkerton Detective agency and of course the cases never go quite as planned.

Maggie Cartwright is posing as a Mail-Order Bride.  They suspect Garrett Thomas of being the Whistle-Stop Bandit and Maggie is certain she can solve the case long before she would be forced to walk down the aisle with him.

When Maggie arrives in town, she is meet with Garrett's meddlesome Aunt who insist they move the wedding date up.  Making Maggie have to work even harder for the answers to her case.  Garrett on the other hand is a bit confused by the woman who steps off the train, she is nothing like the letters she had sent him.  But he finds her attractive and is ready to protect her from anything and everyone who threatens her.

You just know that this is going to be a story filled with hijinx and laughter.  Nothing ever happens in these books as any of the characters think it should.  I love to read these type of books while sitting on the beach with family or friends.  It is easy to look up and join a conversation, but even easier to go back to reading to enjoy a fun little western.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Release - The Wonder of You - Susan May Warren

Dear Readers,

I have read Susan May Warren off and on over the years.  Some of her historical, some light contemporary and some of her contemporary.  I have enjoyed her writing style and her characters.  I will admit I have not read any of her Christiansen Family series as I just didn't want to get caught up in a series.  Well with each new release I keep rethinking that and wondering if I should go back and read the series.  The Wonder of You by Susan is the latest in the series and once again I wonder if maybe I should.

Amelia Christiansen is back in town after having her year abroad cut short.  To make matters worse the man who breaks her heart follows her back home to ask for forgiveness.  Roark St. John has run from his family name all his life.  Amelia is the first woman that made him want to stop. But will he be able to win her back?

Amelia and Roark are searching for something we all are looking for, our place in God's plans.  That has been the thing I hear about this series, "They always have such an interesting message in them.  They are not books just for entertainment, they have something to say."  I am sure that is what makes readers return again and again to the Christiansen Family series.  The chance to find your own answers in the pages.

Happy Reading,

Monday, July 6, 2015

New Releases - June 29 - July 4

Okay that is a couple days late, but Happy 1/2 way through summer day.  Oh that is depressing I am not quite ready for fall yet.  But lets not think about that and enjoy these wonderful days of summer and once again a beautiful list of books.

Happy Reading,

The Wonder of You - Susan May Warren -A Christiansen Family novel #5 - Amelia is back home.  Her year aboard is cut short and she is certain that she is not ready to embrace the life the family has planned for her.  When an new old flame returns to ask her forgiveness all is slightly topsy turvy for her.

A Promise of Grace - Lynette Sowell - #3 Seasons of Pinecraft - Rochelle keeps her past firmly tucked away.  There are many painful memories and she wants nothing to do with them.  She decides to return to nursing school, something she had to give up years ago.  As she is finding her way, her past come back to town.  Is she ready to face it?

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor - Melanie Dobson - Libby Dolye captured the heart of the heir of Landenbrooke Manor.  After he is murdered she disappears.  45 years later, her sister Heather comes to close up her parents house.  What she finds begs more questions than answers. 

Joseph's Dilemma - Ervin R. Stutzman - Return to Northkill #2 - Taken captive as a teenager, Joseph is caught between two worlds.  He is unsure of what the future holds for not only himself but also for the woman he loves and the people he has come to understand.

Blessing - Lyn Cote - #2 Quaker Brides - After becoming a young widow, Blessing returns to her Quaker faith and vows to fight for women's rights and abolition.  Then Gerard Ramsey arrives and town and she may go back on the vow to never marry again.

Undercover Bride - Margaret Brownley - #2 Undercover Ladies - Maggie has no intention of ever walking down the aisle, but this new case of her's may cause problems.  Posing as a mail - order bride to help catch a thief, Maggie is beginning to have feelings for her suspect.  Will her feeling get in the way of catching the Whistle -stop Bandit? 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Release - Love arrives in Pieces - Betsy St. Amant

Dear Readers,

The Summer months are upon us and the dog days of summer are rapidly approaching.  It is time to start getting that pile of books ready to take to the beach.  There is something about the reads that you take to the beach that may or may not be a little different that what you normally read.  I know a couple people that only read romances while at the beach.  They don't know why as that is not what they really like to read, but as one of them put it, "there is something about sitting in the sun, with no time pressures or worries that makes a lovely romance the perfect fit."

Maybe that is it, but what ever the reason, Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant should be the perfect fit.  Not only is it a romance, the story of two hurting people finding each other at the right time, it is also the story of those two people working at healing together.

Stella has always known her identity.  It was her beauty.  She worked the beauty pageant circuit, but now after a divorce and age has her wondering who she really is.  She no longer feels beautiful so spends her time making things beautiful with her design work.  Her next job better come soon or she may end up living with her parents.

Chase lost his fiancee and is now living a life with no regrets.  He lives fast, trying to accomplish as much as possible.  He returns to his home town to renovate the old theater in town and finds out his old flame Stella has just been hired to do the design work.  Will their old chemistry kick in again?

Betsy's books always seem to have that element to them that leaves you thinking about things you wouldn't normally.  What is it like for an aging beauty queen?  What happens when the beauty fades and all your life you have had only that to identify yourself with.  Interesting.  So not only a romance but also a story line that will make you think.  Hmm  sounds like the perfect anytime read.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Release - Until Shiloh Comes - Karl Bacon

Dear Readers,

Maybe it is because my father taught history for years at a local middle school, but for what ever reason, I love reading and learning history.  Now I am not interested in reading some long boring tome about history, but a novel with set in the past? Wonderful!

The Shiloh TrilogyUntil Shiloh Comes by Karl Bacon is one of those books.  It gives you a lot of history, but with a story wove throughout it to make everything come to life.  Karl sets his books during the Civil War and takes the time to do the research so that he not only gets the setting right but also the characters and their interaction with each other correct.

Stanley Mitchell is a Yankee who is wounded in the battle of Shiloh in Eastern Tennessee.  Aaron Matthews is a Confederate and is killed in the same battle.  When his mother comes looking for her son, Stanley knows where he is, but refuses to tell her where he is until they strike a bargain.  Stanley will show the family where Aaron is, if they are willing to take him home and nurse him back to heath.

Reluctantly they agree and Stanley goes home with them.  To the Matthews home, in Confederate territory, where there are people so fueled by anger at the Union army that they would rather kill a Yankee than allow him to live among them.  Was this a good decision by Stanley or is it just going to cost him his life in the end?

What an different way of looking at the war between the states.  Two young men that may or may not have been friends at one time, fighting on different sides.  Both are wounded, one dies and the other lives.  Now as the family of the one killed, would you have taken the other one in knowing it is possible that he killed your son?  Something to think about as you read.

Until Shiloh Comes is the first of a trilogy and sure to make you want to come back for more.

Happy Reading,