Friday, January 29, 2016

Susan Meissner

Dear Readers,

The Golden Age of Hollywood.  The filming of Gone with the Wind.  Goodness what else would a book need?  Stars over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner has that and more.

A beautifully written story about Violet Mayfield.  She sets out for Hollywood to reinvent herself.  She has always dreamed of being a wife and mother, but that dream was shattered by a cruel twist of fate.  She believes that dream is dead and why not go to work on a movie set in glamorous Hollywood?  That it turns out to be Gone with the Wind makes it all the better.

Along the way she makes friends with Audrey who is an aspiring actress.  Audrey was on the cusp of stardom until talkies came along.  They share the little cottage that Audrey owns and the adventures and fun begins.  Hitting the clubs, watching movies and dating are just some of the fun and of course there is that incident with the hat...

Susan does include a bit of a contemporary tale alongside the historical setting.  It just enhances the other story and even adds a bit of mystery to it.

I am always excited to learn that Susan has a new book releasing and the past few years she seems to be able to time to with my vacation.  This year was no different and there is something very special about reading about those glamorous days while sitting in the sunshine poolside.  I really think that this book was made for that, but if you can't get poolside, I recommend that put this book on the top of that pile of books to read.  Maybe once you are done with reading it, get a copy of the movie,Gone with the Wind and enjoy a bowl of popcorn and a classic.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, January 28, 2016

C,S, Lewis

This is the reason I so love C.S.'s books.  He only wrote them because of a person he loved, not for the masses.  We are blessed and fortunate because he shared them with the rest of us.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Release - The Feathered Bone - Julie Cantrell

Dear Readers,

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell is a book I have waited a couple years for.  I fell in love with Julie's writing with Into the Free.  Her voice during the storytelling was so genuine that I knew I had found an author I wanted to write more and more books.

Amanda Salassi is worried about chaperoning her daughter's class field trip to New Orleans.  Her worst fears come true when one of her daughter's friends disappears.  Filled with guilt, Amanda and her family slowly fall apart.  Her daughter to depression and her husband to anger.

If I know anything about Julie's writing, this will not be an easy read.  She does not leave you comfortable with her characters or their actions, but they are very real.  She makes you face issues that you may never have thought of and wander your way through them alongside the characters.  

I look forward to a chance to start reading Feathered Bone soon.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Release - Step by Step - Candace Calvert

Dear Readers,

Step by Step by Candace Calvert is her newest book of her series of Crisis Team.  She is a favorite of those who not only like romantic suspense book, but anyone that like books with a medical theme to them.  She mixes the two genres very well.

3 years after an accident left her a widow, Taylor Cabot is ready to move on with her Survival list.  She has been checking items off the list, but never thinks she will be able to check off, fall in love again.  That is until she meets a handsome doctor and then she begins to think she might be able start a relationship with someone again.

Seth Donovan is a crisis chaplain.  He has known Taylor since for years and when she starts to back away from the crisis team, Seth wants to find out why.  What he finds instead is his friend is now dating and he is surprised  at the emotions that awaken in him.

There is more to the storyline by you get the idea of who is in the story and where the story is going.  If you haven't meet Candace before, this is great book to start with, but she has a very strong backlist that will keep you busy for at least a couple of weeks.

Happy Reading,

P.S.  I think Tyndale did a great job on the cover of this book.

Monday, January 25, 2016

New Releases - January 18 -23

Dear Readers,

When this releases it is the last Monday of January already.  Very hard to believe, but I am ready for spring now.  Ready for outdoor reading.

Happy Reading,

Death Comes for the Deconstructionist - Daniel Taylor - Jon Mote is hired to find his mentor's killer.  He does not feel up to the task, but he move forward.  Helped by his sister, Jon moves through the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Working through evidence and witnesses all in an effort to find the killer.

Step by Step - Candace Calvert - Crisis Team #1 - Taylor Cabot is moving on from the lose of her husband.  She is ready to start checking things off her "survival list."  One she wasn't planning on was to find love again until she meets a handsome surgeon.

You're the One That I Want - Susan May Warren - 6th of the Christiansen Family novels - Owen needs a fresh start.  After an injury sidelines him from his NHL career his life has gotten out of control.  He takes a job on a crab boat with hopes of starting over.  But when his past follows him to Alaska it might even cost him his new love interest.

Hannah's Choice - Jan Drexler - #1 Journey to Pleasant Prairie - 1842 - Hannah Yoder loves her life in Consetoga Creek.  She has a peaceful life in-spite of under currents of trouble, her father's worries, her mother's depression and her sister's rebellion.  Now to young men have proposed and she needs to decide between staying near home or having an adventure west.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

–Henry Ward Beecher

Oh my goodness, how true is this quote?  I finally just got a job at the bookstore it was so much easier. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Irma Joubert

Dear Readers,

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert was actually an international bestseller before it came to the US.  After watching it jump off the shelves at the bookstore faster than I could get a chance to read it, that is not a surprise to me at all.   

If you are reading only one book this year, let me make a case for this book.  Everything about this book goes against it being a good book.  It is written in a very simple fashion.  It is kind of jumpy in its breaks.  Sometimes the breaks mean a different character voice and other times it means a jump in time.  Because of this it doesn't flow.  Yet despite all of these "problems"  this book will not leave you alone and you will need to finish it once you get started.  

The main character is little Gretl.  You will fall in love with this quiet little girl as soon as you meet her.  She is busy trying to do exactly what she was told to do by her Mutti and Oma when they squeeze her out a small opening in the cattle car bound for Auschwitz.  She is later taken in by Jakob, a Polish resistance fighter.  

The story goes from there, but I could not do it justice in a short time.  Just know that this book should be on your reading list and it should be on the top.  I read it over a weekend.  I kept putting the book down to do other things I was suppose to be doing, but could hardly wait to get back to the book.  I read it late into the night even when I had to get up early the next morning.  It didn't matter, I wanted to know what happens to little Gretl and Jakob.  

I am hoping to hear more from the author.  She has a very unique writing style which makes for a very good read. 

Happy Reading, 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New release Calico Spy -Maragaret Brownley

Dear Readers,

As I write this post West Michigan is once again digging out of a lake effect snow storm.  I will admit that so far this year it has been pretty mild, but when winter decided to arrive this year, oh boy has it been cold!  But all the more reason to stay home and read, even if you are telling your boss you will work from home.

Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley is the perfect fit.  Set in the west when it wasn't quite tame yet and include two icons of the time, the Pinkerton Detectives and the Harvey Girls.  So comedy, romance and a dash of mystery makes for an enjoyable read.

Two of the Harvey girls have been murdered.  So Pinkerton detective, Katie Madison, is going undercover.  Posing as one of the "girls," she is hoping to enlist the help of the local sheriff, but he doesn't hold much respect for any of the Harvey Girls.

When tragedy strikes town, maybe Katie can prove to Sheriff Branch Whitman that she isn't what he thinks she is.

A perfect one day book, Calico Spy will not only give you a mystery to figure out, it holds humor and laughter.

Happy reading,

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Release - Mermaid Moon - Colleen Coble

Dear Readers,

I have been reading Colleen Coble's books as long as I can remember.  Okay maybe not that long, but as long as I have been working in the Christian Fiction market.  She is one of those go to authors for when I need a good mystery set in a romantic spot, but also don't need a lot of blood and gore.  Her mysteries are perfect for those times. .

Mermaid Moon is the second in the Sunset Cove series with each book being a stand-alone, yet set in the same area.  Some of the background characters will be in both books, but you could easily read them in any order.  (which also makes them so nice to read)

Mallory has not returned to Mermaid Point since her mother's death.  Now 15 years later she is returning because of the death of her father.  Mallory is positive that he is murdered, but even her childhood sweetheart, Kevin O' Conner isn't sure he believes her.  He does know he doesn't trust her after she left without a good bye.

A romantic suspense writer before it became a popular thing, Colleen has proven over and over that she is an author worth picking up and reading.

Happy Reading,

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Releases - January 11 - 16

Dear Readers,

Winter has  finally arrived in West Michigan.  Cold, snow and wind.  It is a great reason to stay inside and read.  Oh wait who really needs an excuse to read?

Happy Reading,

Joshua's Mission - Vannette Chapman - Joshua is traveling from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast to help a town hit hard by a hurricane.  Traveling with him is his younger brother Alton, who has a knack for getting in trouble with the law and Becca, the bishop's granddaughter.  Whatever Joshua plains on finding in Texas, he wasn't really planning on love.

Beyond the Silence - Tracie Peterson/Kimberley Woodhouse - Lillian wants to fulfill her mother's dream of going west.  She takes a job as a nanny in Angels Camp caring for young Jimmy.  For some reason Jimmy hasn't spoken in over a year and Lillian knows the rumors about why are not true, but what did happen?

Lethal Beauty - Lis Wiehl - A Mia Quinn Mystery #3 - Mia's newest case may prove to be her most dangerous as she tries to bring to justice one of the heads of the strong Chinese crime cabal.  Missing witnesses and unsavory jurors make it hard to keep the case open, but Mia is determined to find the answers and make sure the guilty are put in prison.

My Fair Gentleman - Nancy Campbell Allen - A Proper Romance - Jack Elliot is happy to be the captain of his own ship, but things change when his grandfather names Jack is heir.  Jack needs to impress the aristocracy to make sure his mother and sister are taken care of properly.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Steven James

Dear Readers,

What to do with my time when I have a 5 day stretch and little to do?  Read of course, and what made that even more exciting is I had a new Steven James book to read.  EveryCrooked Path is part of the Bowers Files. Following Opening Moves we learn more and more of Patrick’s back story.  I also thought was a great way to end an old year and start a new year, loads of murder and mayhem. 

Patrick is working for the FBI in New York, his relationship with Christie and Tessa has moved forward, and he is gaining a reputation as a go to person in cases that make no sense to others.  When a man commits suicide in front of Patrick, he knows there is more to the story than a simple breaking and entering crime.  As Patrick digs deeper into the case he starts finding links between his case and a series of missing children.  What he uncovers will not only put him in danger, but also those he loves. 

The Bower Files series has been some of my favorite books.  Each one is a bit different, but they all have a thread of questions running through them as Patrick wrestles with some moral questions.  This one he struggles with issues of God’s existence.  "If there is a loving God…"  But that is not all, he also wrestles with demon possession and who is to blame for our own mistakes.  There are the other topics that pop up throughout all of the books and it is one of my favorite threads.  It gives Patrick a more 3 dimensional feel because Patrick doesn’t always get an answer he likes.  I actually find that sometimes I am telling Patrick what I think on that issue or he makes a point that  I hadn’t thought of.

I recommend all the Patrick Bower books for those who are looking for a intriguing read but are not afraid of a little bit of blood and gore.  Okay maybe more than a little, but because of the richness of the "extras" that are including, this series of books is just plain fun to read.  

Happy Reading, 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Release - Stars over Sunset Boulevard - Susan Meissner

Dear Readers,

It has become a tradition for me to read a Susan Meissner book on the plane ride to my vacation.  I was a bit worried that this year we are going a bit earlier than in years past that one would not be ready.  Well I didn't need to worry, Susan knew what I needed and made sure one was ready.

SOSB_NEW_Final.inddStars over Sunset Boulevard just released and now I just have to refrain from reading until I leave on vacation. :-)

With Susan's signature contemporary/historical blend of writing we get to peek behind the curtain of Hollywood during its glamour years.  1938 we are on the set for the filming of the movie Gone with the Wind where we meet two young ladies trying to make a go of it in acting.  Violet is reinventing herself after a dream of being a wife and mother falls apart and Audrey has given up her dream of being an actress and starts working on the sets to make ends meet.

In the contemporary a hat worn by Scarlett O' Hara is brought to a second hand shop the owner wants to return it to whomever dropped it off.  Instead it leads Christine on a journey of a life time.

A book about the golden age of Hollywood and a vacation in warmer temps.  What more could I ask for?

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mahtob Mahmoody

Dear Readers,

I know it isn't fiction, but we all feel in love with this little girl when we heard her story in the movie Not without my Daughter.  Now we can learn the rest of the story from Mahtob herself.  Hope you can make it. 

Happy Reading, 


Monday, January 11, 2016

New Releases - January 4 - 9

Dear Readers,

New Year New Titles.  It never ceases to amaze me how many new titles I get in the first couple weeks of the year.  Makes for great winter reading.

Happy Reading,

Mermaid Moon - Colleen Coble - A Sunset Cove Novel - Mallory has avoided going home these past 15 years.  Shame and confusion over her mother's death has kept her away.  She is forced back by her father's murder.  Helping her in the search for the murderer is her childhood sweetheart, who has never gotten over her leaving.  Will they find the answers they seek before the murderer finds them?

Stars over Sunset Boulevard - Susan Meissner - Hollywood 1939 - set of Gone with the Wind - Violet sets out to reinvent herself after her dreams of happily ever after falls apart.  While on the set of Gone with the Wind she finds a new friend in Audrey Duvall.  The two women hit if off and form a friendship that has each of them risking it all for a happy ending.

Your Heart's Desire - Melody Carlson - 1946 - Caroline has moved herself and her son to California. She is hoping for a new start after the lose of her husband in the war.  Maybe her dreams will come true when she finds work in the local chocolate factory.  "Where there is chocolate, can  second chance at love be far behind?"

Calico Spy - Margaret Brownley - Undercover Ladies #3 - Pinkerton Detective Katie is working undercover as a Harvey Girl.  She is trying to track the murderer of two restaurant servers.  The problem is the job as a Harvey Girl is much more complecated than she thought it would be.  She will need the help of the Sheriff but he is not real fond of Pinkerton Detectives.

A Worthy Heart - Susan Anne Mason - Courage to Dream #2 - Maggie Montgomery has dreamed of seeing America.  Her dream comes true when she is able to visit her brother.  Now that she is in the land of opportunity she has no plans on returning to Ireland.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Release - Risen - Angela Hunt

Dear Readers,

I don't often advertise movie connected books.  Ones based on a movie script, but with Angela Hunt as the author, Risen is worth a read.  Angela has written under several different genres but the one I feel she is best at is Biblical fiction.  It is right in her wheelhouse and she has a way of making you feel that you are walking right alongside the characters from the Bible.

The movie Risen is releasing in February and will be a wonderful way to start the Lenten season.  Risen the book is on the shelves now and it gives you a chance to read the story before hand and to even give you a chance to have more background to the story.

Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned to guard the tomb of the rebel Jesus.  They are told there is a good chance his followers will try to steal the body and claim he came back from the dead.

Despite Clavius' best efforts the body goes missing and he is told to find it before any damage is done.  Clavius infiltrates a small group of followers that believe their leader has risen from the dead and what he finds out about them changes everything for not only Clavius, but the world.

A story that gives us a peek at what it was like for those few believers in the first few days after Christ's resurrection.  It makes for an intriguing story about the church before it became the group that was changing everything.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Release - Once Beyond a Time - Ann Tatlock

Dear Readers,

I am always curious to read a book by a favorite author when they move into a different genre than the one I am familiar with.  So when I found out Ann Tatlock had written a book in the fantasy/sci fi genre.  I have so enjoyed her writing in the contemporary or historical genres that I am use to.  Once Beyond a Time drew my attention for that reason.

In 1968 the Crane family move to a small town of Black Mountain, NC to try to heal from the disgrace Sheldon has brought to the family.  He lost his ministry because of an affair he had and the only way his family has a chance to survive is if he takes them to a place where they can start over.

Once Beyond a Time by Ann Tatlock
The only one happy about moving is 8 year old Digger.  He loves the new area and finds the new house fascinating.  He begins to explore and find out some strange stuff about the house and the local area.  Then he disappears.  Was he kidnapped?  Did he become lost?  Does the house have something to do with it?

So in someways this sound like a typical book from Ann.  An issue driven book with believable characters and story lines.  She tackles topics that many people can relate to because of their own stories or because some one they know went through it.  But this time she throws in a bit of super natural element that adds different twist and make me very interested in getting started.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016

Dear Readers,

I really enjoyed doing a reading challenge last year and I even got a bit of feed back that others enjoyed it also.  So I decided to once again post the reading challenge I was going to do this year.

Happy Reading,

A Book you own but haven't read - I have several

A Book that was made into a movie

A Book you picked solely for the cover

A Book Published in 2016

A Book by an author you've never read

A book by an author you love

A book at the bottom of your 'TBR' pile - Hmmm which TBR pile shall I look at.

A Book with a color in the title

A book with a lion, a witch and a wardrobe - love this book!

A book with a female heroine

A book set in the summer

A book you learned about because of this challenge

A book with a blue cover

A book you were suppose to read in school but didn't - Not sure I am excited about this one.

A book "everyone" but you has read

A book with a great first line

A book with pictures

A book from the library - Do you think audio books from the library are okay?

A book you loved - read it again - I am not a fan of re-reading books...

A book that is more than 10 years old.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Releases December 28 - January 2

Dear Readers,

A brand new year and a whole new reading list.  Okay mostly the same TBR list, but now we can feel less guilty about adding new titles as we have to start over during the new year, Right?

Happy Reading,

Merchant of Alyss - Thomas Locke - #2 Legends of the Realm - Hyam along with his wife make a new home in Falmouth Port.  Where he can recover from his latest battle.  When a shipment of scrolls arrive, he is suddenly dreaming of mythical beast and a coming evil.  Will he be strong enough for the next battle against evil?

Where She Belongs - Johnnie Alexander - Shelby Kincaid longs to move back to the one place she felt she truly belong, Misty Willow, her family home.  After her husband's death, she is ready to move her and her daughter 'home,' but not only is the place in ruins and in need of repairs, there is the cranky owner who won't leave her alone.

Once Beyond a Time - Ann Tatlock - It's 1968 and the Crane family move from Philadelphia to the hills of North Carolina.  They are trying to get past the affair that Sheldon had.  The only one happy with the move is their 8 year old son Digger.  When Digger disappears the family faces a different crisis.  Has Digger been kidnapped?  Did he wander off?  What about this strange house that they live in, has it been the cause for his disappearance?