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,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day

Thank you all who have and are serving.  It is not an easy life for you or your family.  Our prayers are with you everyday.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Release - The Bronte Plot - Katherine Reay

Dear Readers,

Katherine Reay's first book, Dear Mr. Knightley made a very quiet appearance on my shelves here at the bookstore.  I decided to read it as the format of the book intrigued me.  It was written in diary form about a young lady striking out in the world on her own.  Loved it!

Lizzy and Jane made a bit more noise in that those who had taken the time to read Dear Mr. Knightley were waiting for this second book.  Myself included.  We couldn't wait to read it and we were not disappointed.  Personally I love the second one even more than the first.

So as it got closer to the release of The Bronte Plot I was getting more and more visitors/callers looking for it.  In fact when a rumor went around that it was already available online, I had a couple people wondering why I didn't already have it in the store.  Well turns out you could order it online, you just didn't get it until it's release date.

That should give you the idea that if you are not reading Katherine's book you should be.  Even if you are not really a fan of these classic writers, it doesn't matter.  These are well written, entertaining, fun reads.  Do yourself a favor go pick one up today.  They are not a series so it doesn't matter which one you grab first, just get started and enjoy!

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Releases November 2 - 7

Dear Readers,

Not many titles this week, but two really good authors.  Embers by Ronie is a bit different genre for her and I am looking forward to finding out about her fantasy.  Katherine's book is one that many people have been waiting for and I am one of them.

Happy Reading,

Embers - Ronie 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?

The Bronte Plot - Katherine Reay - Lucy Alling makes her living selling in rare books.  Sometimes she uses questionable ways of getting the titles, and her underhanded dealing catches up with her and she ruins not only her relationship with her boss, but also her boyfriend.  She needs to change, but will she be able to?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dr. Seuss

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Dear Readers,

Dr. Seuss was a national treasure.  He alone made more children readers than anyone else.  Well at least he can count me as on of those readers.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Dear Readers,

I was eager to get started on My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.  Mindy is one of those authors for me that cannot write enough books to keep me happy. Personally I believe she should be releasing at least one book a month just for me. J  Okay that is not reasonable, but boy that would be nice.

With two different storylines going, My Brother’s Crown is a fascinating read.  The first storyline is set in France during the 1600’s.  At that time France has a Catholic King and he is determined to rid the country of the Huguenots, either by them becoming Catholic or death.  The persecution starts out slow, with harassment and them losing their sense of security.  Then it steps up to losing homes and places of business.  Finally the threat of death enters the picture and The Huguenots start to flee the country.  Especially Paris. 

Catherine knows her brother is up to something.  He wants to protect her from all the dangers being a Huguenot entails, but is he putting the whole family at risk by not wanting to leave the country or at least move them to the safer countryside?

The contemporary story is about Renee, who is a direct descendant of Catherine's.  Her family has a small book that Renee believes holds a mystery.  She wants to solve the mystery before the family donates it to a national museum.  What she finds out may change her and her family forever.

I love learning new things about world history in my reading.  I have said often, either our schools don't teach enough about world history or I was sleeping a lot in class.  I had no idea all the things happened with the Huguenots.  So not only am I learning something new, but I am enjoying a wonderful story.  I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.  I really have no idea whether it continues the story of Catherine and Renee or if it will carry on a different story, but I just want to read it.  

Happy Reading, 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Release - The Dog that Saved Stewart Coolidge

Dear Readers,

Author Jim Kraus hit upon an idea a couple years ago.  Books that have animals as one of the main character.  I will be honest when I first heard about the idea I was a little dubious about it.  I really was worried they would be terribly cheesy and not fun to read.  Well Jim proved me wrong, not only because I enjoyed them completely but because other readers have also.  They just fly off the shelf and readers are asking for more.

The+Dog+That+Saved+Stewart+CoolidgeThe Dog that Saved Stewart Coolidge is the latest of this style of book and it promises to be just as heartwarming as the other titles.  I should also say Jim writes about dogs and cats so there is no argue about which pet is better.

Stewart Coolidge has been looking for an excuse to talk to his cute neighbor, Lisa.  The new stray dog seems to be that perfect excuse.  The dog has been helping himself to the bones at the local supermarket and has become a wanted criminal.  When Lisa asks Stewart if she can interview him for the local paper about the crime spree, he readily agrees and a friendship is born.

Using dogs or cats to tug at the heart strings is not a new ploy with authors.  But Jim does it with a delightful sense of humor and very realistic characters.  He makes you want to go out and either hug your pet at home or adopt a new one.  Which is why his books are so endearing to all who read them.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Release - Beyond The Cherokee Trail - Lisa Carter

Dear Readers,

Lisa Carter has been quietly writing for the inspirational community for several years now.  She has developed her own following with her own brand of romantic suspense books.  Beyond the Cherokee Trail is her newest release and once again she takes us on a very different adventure with her characters.

Beyond+the+Cherokee+TrailLinden Birchfield is asked to organize a commemoration of the Trail of Tears.  It has been a 180 years since this horrible event happened in America's history.  Walker Crow is one who believes the event should not happen.  Why remember something that is still a painful memory to those ancestors walk that trail, not only losing their live, but also their homes and land.

But they must unite against an adversary who is determined to not only end the commemoration, but maybe even Linden's life.  Will Walker be able to save the woman who seems to have won his heart?

By that brief synopsis of the book you can see that Lisa does take us to a different storyline than most romantic suspense books.  She also helps us remember something very painful and maybe find healing for those whose families were involved in anyway.

Lisa's books are often harder to read for this reason, but don't let that keep you from discovering her very interesting books.

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 2, 2015

New Releases - October 26 -31

Dear Readers,

I really am very indifferent on Halloween.  As a kid I loved the candy and fun of going out with friends to collect as much as we can.  Yes I was one of those middle school kids who went out to collect candy, but that was only one year. :-)  Anyways, I usually wait through October for the writing and reading world to get back to normal and stop releasing just scary/spooky/paranormal books.  Not that I mind a good spooky book, but every other book seems to have that theme at this time of year.

So thankfully I have several titles that have nothing to do with the creepy crawly books.

Happy Reading,

Hester on the Run - Linda Byler - Hester's Hunt for Home #1 - Hester is a foundling.  Her Amish parents have raised her Amish, but when her mother becomes sick, her two worlds collide.  Hester must find out for herself who she really is.

The Dog that Saved Stewart Coolidge - Jim Kraus - A stray dog starts stealing bones and is leads Stewart to talk to his neighbor.  Lisa has been hurt once before, but is ready for love again.  Stewart is harboring a secret and he knows that it will change their relationship.  Will he find the courage to tell Lisa the truth?

Beyond the Cherokee Trail - Lisa Carter - Linda Birchfield is in charge of commemorating the anniversary of the Trail of Tears.  Not everyone is excited to celebrate something that is still painful for the Cherokee nation.  Walker Crowe is among those that see no need to remember the walk that cost his people their land, but he is sworn to protect Linda from someone who is set on destroying her and the festival.

A Refuge at Highland Hall - Carrie Turansky - Edwardian Bridges #3 - Penny never planned on living somewhere besides Highland Hall.  WWI changed those plans and she moves to London to help her sister raise 8 orphans that she has taken in.  While there she meets handsome RNAS pilot Alex Goodwin and her plans change again.