New Release Monday

Dear Readers,

It is already near the end of June. Summer reading is in full swing. On June 29 Christy award winner, Becky Wade is going to join me via Zoom at 7:00pm. We are going to discuss that ever elusive perfect summer read. That one book that will set the tone for your entire summer of reading.

Do you have a favorite go to author? Do you have a genre that you prefer? What do you think makes a perfect summer read?

Read on my friends, read on,

To Find her Place Susan Anne Mason – #2 Redemption’s Light – In the midst of WWII, Jane Linder pours all of her dreams for a family into her career at the Toronto Children’s Aid Society. Garrett Wilder has been hired to overhaul operations at the society and hopes to earn the vacant director’s position. But when feelings begin to blossom and they come to a crossroads, can they discern the path to true happiness?

The Silver Shadow – Liz Tolsma – True Colors series – Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Bridge of Gold – Kimberly Woodhouse – Doors to the Past – Underwater archaeologist Kayla Richardson is called to the Golden Gate Bridge where repairs to one of the towers uncovers two human remains from the late 1800s and the 1930s. The head of the bridge restoration is Steven Michaels, who dives with Kayla, and a friendship develops between them. But as the investigation heats up and gold is found that dates back to the gold rush, more complications come into play that threaten them both. Could clues leading to a Gold Rush era mystery that was first discovered during the building of the bridge still ignite an obsession worth killing for?

The Shell Collector – Nancy Naigle – Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved.  Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community.  Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.  Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that’s bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.

The Nature of Small Birds – Susie Finkbeiner – a book review

Dear Readers,  

Susie Finkbeiner is a dear friend and I look forward to every one of her books. Each book has been a journey for her, a journey she gladly shares with us all. Writing is solitary, but Finkbeiner allows us to walk that journey with her to see what writing is really all about.

In The Nature of Small Birds, Finkbeiner writes a story about a family using 3 strong, but very different voices to tell us their story. Linda remembers what it was like in the days leading up to the family’s adoption of an Operation Baby Lift child. Sonny is the older sister; she tells the story from a sibling perspective, and Bruce’s story will tug at your heart strings. It is the story of a father who loves all his daughters equally. Whether a biological one or one added by the choice of a family.

available at bakerbookhouse.com

Each story adds a unique slant to the story. What would lead a family to the choice of taking in a child they knew nothing about? One that did not speak the same language, didn’t have any way to communicate, and was frighted because of her past. They all lived with this choice and happily.

Now don’t get me wrong, Finkbeiner does not make this all out to be sunshine and roses. Mindy struggles with being different from everyone else. She brings up questions that those of us who look like everyone else in the family might never think of. She makes you realize that knowing who you are and where you come from is important, even if you have never lived there.

Mindy is a beautifully written character who, even though her voice is not one we hear in the first person, is the main character. She is the focus of each individual story. She is the one that will change the face of that family forever. She is also the one that reminds us all that we are that person to each one of our own families.

I recommend Finkbeiner’s books because they are gentle reads that make you want to keep coming back for more. Her characters become family and you begin to care deeply for them. You’ll want to find a coffee shop and sit across from Bruce, Linda, Sonny and Mindy to learn even more about them and their family. You might even find yourself wishing you could be part of their family.

Read on my friends, read on.

P.S. Susie will be joining me along with author Shawn Smucker on the 24th in a virtual event. Tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-author-night-with-susie-finkbeiner-shawn-smucker-tickets-157127399281

P.S.S. Susie will also be doing a live in-person event at Baker on July 13th. Come join the fun.

New Release Monday

Dear Readers,

What a list, libraries via horse back, a new series by a beloved author, romance and a bombing. What more could you ask for? Oh how about a really interesting sci-fi book?

Read on my friends, read on,

Along a Storied Trail – Ann Gabhart – Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her mountain community during the Great Depression. Even the rough people–like ornery Perdita Sweet–have their charms. But can love bloom in such rocky soil?

Seeds of Change – Lauraine Snelling/Kiersti Giron – #1 Leah’s Garden – After turning the tables on a crooked gambler, Larkspur Nielsen flees her home with her sisters on a wagon train bound for Oregon. Knowing four women will draw unwanted attention, she dons a disguise as a man. But maintaining the ruse is harder than she imagined, as is protecting her sisters from difficult circumstances and eligible young men.

Aftermath – Terri Blackstock – When police stop Dustin Webb with a warrant to search his trunk, he knows there’s been a mistake. He’s former military and owns a security firm. But he’s horrified when the officers find explosives, and he can’t fathom how they got there. Criminal attorney Jamie Powell was Dustin’s best friend growing up. They haven’t spoken since he left for basic training, but she’s the first person he thinks of when he’s arrested. Jamie knows she’s putting her career on the line by defending an accused terrorist, but she’d never abandon him. Someone is framing Dustin to take the fall for shocking acts of violence . . . but why?

Devastation Class – Glen Zipper/Elaine Mongeon – The distant future. Earth’s Alliance forces have emerged victorious from a brutal nine-year war with the mysterious Kastazi—a vicious, highly advanced alien race. In the dawn of a new peace, the Alliance Devastation Class starship California embarks on a mission of science and learning with a skeleton crew of seasoned officers, civilian students, and inexperienced military cadets in tow. For JD Marshall and Viv Nixon, gifted cadets and best friends, the mission holds special meaning: It offers an opportunity to prove themselves and begin to escape the long shadows of their legendary war hero parents. Suddenly ambushed by a second wave of invading Kastazi forces, JD and Viv make the impossible decision to spearhead a mutiny to save the California and everyone on it. In command and quickly out of options, they are forced to activate the ship’s prototype Blink Reactor—an experimental technology they expect to send them to the safe, distant reaches of space. When their escape transports them to a reality they don’t recognize and reveals unimaginably terrifying secrets, they must fight their way home to save not just everyone they love but also humanity itself. Standing in their way are an insurmountable enemy, saboteurs from within, a mystery eons in the making, and the fabric of time and space itself.

Hooked on You – Kathleen Fuller – #1 A Maple Falls Romance – Riley McAllister is living the dream in New York City . . . if the dream means being a struggling mixed-media artist, part-time food delivery driver, and having a carefully curated social media to hide all of the above. She refuses to admit defeat and move back to small-town Maple Falls, but when her grandmother breaks her leg sliding into third base during a softball game (she was safe, by the way), Riley reluctantly agrees to go home and help the woman who raised her—while secretly hoping she can convince Mimi to sell her house and yarn shop and move in with a good friend. Then Riley can return to her new life in NYC, on her own and for good.

Summer Reads part 2

Dear Readers,

As I finish out this list, I realize how many more books should be on this list. I am sorry for any and all that I missed. The pages would be endless if I tried to put them all on this one list. Add to it as you wish.

The titles are on this list in no particular order. They are all great summer reads.

Read on my friends, read on,

Unknown Threat – Lynn Blackburn – #1 Defend and Protect – Romantic suspense – After four US Secret Service Special Agents die in unusual circumstances within a ten-week span, FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is put in charge of the investigation. She’ll have to work alongside USSS Agent Luke Powell to bring a killer to justice–before his name joins his friends on the list.

The Paris Dress Maker – Kristy Cambron – WWII – historical – Based on true accounts of how Parisiennes resisted the Nazi occupation—from fashion houses to the city streets—The Paris Dressmaker weaves a story of two courageous women who risked everything to fight an evil they couldn’t abide.

The Beirut Protocol – Joel C. Rosenberg – #4 Marcus Ryker novels – action adventure A game-changing peace treaty between Israel and the Saudis is nearly done. The secretary of state is headed to the region to seal the deal. And Special Agent Marcus Ryker is leading an advance trip along the Israeli-Lebanon border, ahead of the secretary’s arrival. But when Ryker and his team are ambushed by Hezbollah forces, a nightmare scenario begins to unfold.

Dreams Rekindled Amanda Cabot – #2 Mesquite Springs – historical romance – When a dashing newspaper man comes to Mesquite Springs, aspiring writer Dorothy Clark sees her dreams coming true–until a man arrives with altogether different plans for the town and its newspaper

From This Moment – Kim Vogel Sawyer – Contemporary – Growing up in the foster care system, Jase Edgar always dreamed of one day starting his own family. But his fiancée’s untimely death shattered his plans. Moving to Kansas and serving as a youth minister should be a fresh start, but he can’t seem to set aside his doubts about God’s goodness long enough to embrace his new life.

All That We Carried – Erin Bartels – contemporary/women’s fiction – Estranged sisters embark on a hiking trip on the tenth anniversary of their parents’ deaths in an attempt to reconnect. In the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula they’ll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.

Dreams of Savannah – Roseanne M. White – historical romance – After receiving word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, Cordelia Owens clings to hope. But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the horrors of war, and when he returns, sure that he is not the hero Cordelia sees, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go there together.

Active Defense – Lynette Eason- romantic suspense – In the theater of war in Iraq, trauma surgeon Heather Fontaine was used to being in control. Now back home, life spins off its axis when she becomes the target of a stalker. Can security expert Travis Walker protect her?

The Blended Quilt – Wanda Brunstetter – Amish – Celebrate the possibilities that await Sadie as she pursues her creative endeavors. But will her Amish boyfriend be willing to support her success?

Courting Misfortune – Regina Jennings – romantic/historica/comedy – Assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, Pinkerton operative Calista York is sent to a rowdy mining town in Missouri. But she faces the obstacle of missionary Matthew Cook. He’s as determined to stop a local baby raffle as he is the reckless Miss York whose bad judgement consistently seems to be putting her in harm’s way.

A Castaway in Cornwall – Julie Klassen – regency romance – Laura Callaway daily walks the windswept Cornwall coast, known for many shipwrecks but few survivors. And when a man with curious wounds and an odd accent is washed ashore, she cares for him while the mystery surrounding him grows. Can their budding attraction survive, and can he be returned to his rightful home when danger pursues them from every side?

To Dwell Among Cedars – Connilyn Cossette #1 Covenant House – Biblical – Determined to bring the Ark of the Covenant to a proper resting place, Levite musician Ronen never expected that Eliora, the Philistine girl he rescued years ago, would be part of the family he’s to deceive. As his attempts to charm her lead in unexpected directions, they question their loyalties when their beliefs about the Ark and themselves are shaken.

Faith’s Mountain Home – Misty M. Beller – #3 Hearts of Montana – historical romance – Nate Long has always watched over his twin, even if it’s led him to be an outlaw. When his brother is wounded in a shootout, it’s their former prisoner, Laura, who ends up nursing his wounds at Settler’s Fort. She knows Nate wants a fresh start, but struggles with how his devotion blinds him. Do the futures they seek include love, or is too much in the way?

A Cowboy for Keeps – Jody Hedlund – #1 Colorado Cowboy – historical/romance/comedy – On a trip west to save her ailing sister, Greta Nilsson is robbed, leaving her homeless and penniless. Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch running, so the mayor offers him a bargain: He will invest in a herd of cattle if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying . . . and the mayor has the perfect woman in mind.

Night Bird Calling – Cathy Gohlke – historical – When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Things we Didn’t Say – Amy Lynn Green – WWII – historical – In this epistolary novel from the WWII home front, Johanna Berglund is forced to return to her small Midwestern town to become a translator at a German prisoner-of-war camp. There, amid old secrets and prejudice, she finds that the POWs have hidden depths. When the lines between compassion and treason are blurred, she must decide where her heart truly lies.

The Promised Land – Elizabeth Musser – contemporary/women’s fiction – Desperate to mend her marriage and herself, Abbie Jowett joins her son in walking the famed Camino pilgrimage. During their journey, they encounter an Iranian working in secret to help refugees and a journalist searching for answers from her broken past–and everyone is called into a deep soul-searching that threatens all their best laid plans.

A Distant Shore – Karen Kingsbury – contemporary – She was a child caught in a riptide in the Caribbean Sea. He was a teenager from the East Coast on vacation with his family. He dove in to save her, and that single terrifying moment changed both their lives forever. Ten years later Jack Ryder is a daring secret agent with the FBI and Eliza Lawrence still lives on that pristine island. She’s an untainted princess in a kingdom of darkness and evil, on the brink of a forced marriage with a dangerous neighboring drug lord, a marriage arranged by her father.

To Steal a Heart – Jen Turano – #1 Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency – historical/romance/comedy – Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past as a thief behind her . . . until a woman is unjustly accused. But when Nicholas Quinn, a former friend against whom she holds a grudge, catches Gabriella looking for evidence to exonerate her friend, he insists they join forces. But their feelings for each other are tested when danger follows their every step.

Paint and Nectar – Ashley Clark – #3 Heirloom Secrets – dual time – In 1929, a spark forms between Eliza, a talented watercolorist, and William, a young man whose family has a longstanding feud with hers over a missing treasure. Decades later, after inheriting Eliza’s house and all its secrets from a mysterious patron, Lucy is determined to preserve the property, not only for history’s sake but also for her own

The Nature of Small Birds – Susie Finkbeiner – July release – Vietnam era – When Mindy announces that she is returning to Vietnam to find her birthmother, it inspires her father, mother, and sister to recall the events of her adoption at the end of the Vietnam War during Operation Baby Lift. In this beautiful time-slip story, Mindy’s family reexamines what it means to grow together beyond genetic code.

The Weight of Memory – Shawn Smucker – July Release- Contemporary – When Paul Elias receives a terminal diagnosis, he returns to his hometown to seek a guardian for his granddaughter. But her imagination leads him on a journey into forgotten things and old secrets that leave him wondering about the nature of his illness, his granddaughter’s future, and reality itself.

The Shell Collector – Nancy Naigle – contemporary/romance – Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved. Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community. Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.

Come Back to Me – Jody Hedlund – time travel – Scientist Marian Creighton was skeptical of her father’s lifelong research of ancient holy water–until she ingests some of it and finds herself transported back to the Middle Ages. With the help of an emotionally wounded nobleman, can she make her way back home? Or will she be trapped in the past forever?

The Paris Betrayal – James Hannibal – action/adventure – Ben Calix is a top spy left out in the cold, abandoned by his agency and exposed to a world of elite predators. To save thousands of lives he must let go of his sense of injustice and come to grips with his own insignificance.

Chasing Shadows – Lynn Austin – a book review

Dear Readers,

There are books that are reminders that war is not at all glamorous. Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is one of those books. Austin reminds us that living through a war is not easy for anyone, whether civilian or soldier.

Chasing Shadows is told from the perspective of three different women who had three very different experiences of WWII. Each perspective is unique to each woman and yet they were tied together in so many ways.

Ans is head strong and ready to live life to the fullest. She heads to Leiden to find her way, attend classes, and to see what she can see. Leaving behind the family farm and her mother, Lena, Ans is about to experience life as never before.

When the Nazis invade Holland and turn her world upside down, both Ans and her mother must make choices that they never thought they would.

I was struck over and over again by how much ingenuity humans have. When faced with an obstacle, humans will find a way around it, over it, or under it. Over and over, I see this from the stories of the resistance that was put up by many during WWII. Secret messages, hiding places with doors hidden all over their houses, barns, and outbuildings. Austin reminds us of this throughout the book. She uses true accounts, not only to offer the truth of the story, but to also show the faith of each and every one of those courageous people who worked so hard to save as many as they could.

Until faced with a situation like this, I will never know what I would do, but I pray that I would be half as brave as those who went before me.

Read on my friends, read on,

P.S. If you missed Lynn’s event, you can find it on Baker Book House’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

New Release Monday

Dear Readers,

Happy Summer reading time. I know that there is a debate about what makes a great beach read. I am in the camp of “every book is a great beach read.”

On June 29, Becky Wade and I will be having that discussion. What makes a great beach read and what makes a great romance. Come join us and find out the secrets. Free tickets at bakerbookhouse.com/events

Read on my friends, read on,

Power Play – Rachel Dylan – #3 Capital Intrigue – When State Department attorney Vivian Steele witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event’s security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, even ahead of the rules and regulations.  As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, Viv turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob’s reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks?

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor – Jaime Jo Wright – 1885. 
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own

The Heart’s Charge – Karen Witmeyer – #2 Hanger’s Horsemen – Members of Hanger’s Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they’d deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he’d nearly married a decade ago. After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society’s mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes–ghosts from wars past and others still being waged. However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?

A Lady in Attendance – Rachel Fordham – Years later after cross country moves and more children we settled once again in Washington State. This time I am on a beautiful island with my favorite people all around me. I couldn’t ask for a finer setting to ignite my imagination, add to that the fact that my husband has unwavering faith in my abilities. When he made the off-hand comment, “you read so much you should write a book,” I took it as a challenge. And I haven’t stopped since. And so here I am writing in between diaper changes and packing lunches. It’s not uncommon for my kids or Tyler to ask me why I’m laughing or crying as I type away. It’s become a bit of a family affair this whole writing thing! I love books with satisfying romances, I love all things historical and I consider it a huge success if I can make a reader laugh and cry in the same story.

Summer Reads part 1

Dear Readers,

Time to get those summer reading list going. The books listed here are in no particular order and are no means the only great titles out there. They are a sampling of what is available at Baker Book House.

Summer Reading 2021

The Curator’s Daughter Melanie Dobson – WWII – A young girl, kidnapped on the eve of World War II, changes the lives of a German archaeologist forced into the Nazi Party and—decades later—a researcher trying to overcome her own trauma.

Present Danger Elizabeth Goddard – #1 Rocky Mountain Courage – Romantic suspense – USFS Special Agent Terra Connors is called to investigate a body found in the national forest. As she’s uncovering clues that show the victim may have been involved in criminal activities, the case takes a deadly turn that leaves her and Former FBI special Agent Jack Tanner fighting for the truth–and their lives.

Blackberry Beach Irene Hanon – Rock Harbor seriesKatherine Parker is on the cusp of achieving the kind of career success she’d always dreamed of. But a visit to Hope Harbor for some much-needed R&R–and an unexpected partnership with a handsome local coffee shop owner–may cause her to rethink her ambitions and open her heart to a new dream.

All That Really Matters – Nicole Deese – Contemporary/romance – Molly McKenzie has made social media influencing a lucrative career but nailing a TV show means proving she’s as good in real life as she is online. So, she volunteers with a youth program. Challenged at every turn by the program director, Silas, and the kids’ struggles, she’s surprised by her growing attachment. Has her perfect life been imperfectly built?

A Piece of the Moon – Chris Fabry- contemporary – When eccentric millionaire Gideon Quidley receives a divine revelation to hide his earthly treasure somewhere in the hills, he sets out to find a fitting hiding spot, choosing only a few Bible verses as clues leading to untold riches of gold, silver, cash . . . and one very unexpected—and very costly—item.

Is it Any Wonder – Courtney Walsh – contemporary/romance – Twelve years ago, Cody Boggs and Louisa Chambers made a pact that no matter where their lives took them, they’d return to Nantucket Island’s Brant Point Lighthouse on July 30, their shared golden birthday, and continue their tradition of exchanging birthday wishes. But that was before a tragic accident upended both of their lives, irrevocably pulling them apart.

Hope Between the Pages – Pepper Basham – Doors to the Past – Dual time – Will a bookstore owner and an Englishman find romance while traveling from the Vanderbilts’ estate to England in pursuit of a century-old love story?

When Stars Rain Down – Angela Jackson Brown – Historical In When Stars Rain Down, Angela Jackson-Brown introduces readers to a small, Southern town grappling with haunting questions still relevant today—and to a young woman whose search for meaning resonates across the ages.

Bookshop by the Sea – Denis Hunter – contemporary/romance Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.

At Lighthouse Point – Suzanne Woods Fisher – Women’s FictionFresh out of culinary school, Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with big plans for work, family, and love. But the island and her not-my-boyfriend best friend Artie have changed, leaving her to wonder if her plans might need to factor in more than just her own desires.

Let It Be Me – Becky Wade – #2 Misty River Romance – romanceWhen pediatric heart surgeon Sebastian Grant meets Leah Montgomery, his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop. And when Leah receives surprising news while assembling a family tree, he helps her comb through old hospital records to learn more. But will attaining their deepest desires require more sacrifices than they imagined?

A Patchwork Past – Leslie Gould – #2 Plain Patterns – AmishFew are pleased Sophie Deiner has returned to her Amish community, but a sudden illness leaves her no choice. She befriends a group of migrant workers but is appalled by their living conditions. She soon finds her advocacy for change opposed by her ex, the farm foreman, and that her efforts only makes things worse. Has she chosen a fight she can’t win?

Shadows of the White City – Jocelyn Green – #2 The Windy City Saga – HistoricalWhen Sylvie Townsend’s Polish ward, Rose, goes missing at the World’s Fair, her life unravels. Brushed off by the authorities, Sylvie turns to her boarder and Rose’s violin instructor, Kristof Bartok, for help searching the immigrant communities. When the unexpected happens, will Sylvie be able to accept the change that comes her way?

The Moonlight School – Suzanne Woods Fisher – Historical – Based on true events, a young woman used to the finer things in life arrives in small town Appalachia in 1911 to help her formidable cousin combat adult illiteracy by opening moonlight schools.

When Twilight Breaks – Sarah Sundin – Historical-Two Americans meet in 1938 in the heart of Nazi Germany. Their efforts to expose oppression attract unwanted attention, pulling them deeper into danger as the world marches toward war.

Network of Deceit – Tom Threadgill – mysteryAmara Alvarez’s first case as a homicide detective drags her into the murky world of computer hackers. When she finds herself under attack by cybercriminals, she has no choice but to use unconventional methods to expose the truth and find a killer.

A Dance in Donegal – Jennifer Deibel – historicalTo fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Moira Doherty moves from Boston to the rolling green hills of 1921 Ireland to teach in a village school. She doesn’t expect to fall in love–or to uncover a scandalous family reputation her mother left behind years ago.

Trial and Error – Robert Whitlow – Lawyer mystery – A small-town lawyer has been searching for his daughter for eighteen years. Now another young woman is missing, and he’s determined to find them both—no matter the cost.

Never Miss – Melissa Koslin – debut novel – romantic suspense – He’s a researcher on the hunt for the truth about a manmade virus. She’s a former sniper who intervenes when an attempt is made on his life. As they race to find the mastermind behind an imminent biological attack, they may find that life is more than mere survival.

Facing the Dawn Cynthia Rutchi – ContemporaryMara Jacobs does her best to hold everything together, despite three detention-prone kids, an unrewarding job, never-ending chores, and a husband thousands of miles away. After a shocking loss, she must lean on those around her to find her way to healing and renewed faith.

Chasing Shadows – Lynn Austin – WWII – Three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choiceand consequence.

Braced for Love – Mary Connealy – #1 Brothers in Arms – Historical romance – After his father’s death, Kevin Hunt inherits a ranch in Wyoming–the only catch is it also belongs to a half-brother he never knew existed. But danger follows Kevin, and he suspects his half-brother is behind it. The only one willing to stand between them is Winona Hawkins–putting her in the cross hairs of a perilous plot and a risk at love.

Plot Twist – Bethany Turner – a book review

Dear Readers,

Bethany Turner and I have a long history for having only meet a few short years ago. I took her to see the ocean and got her completely sunburn that day. I also found out she and her sister, Missy, love Bosco sticks. It turns out that Missy, Bethany, my sister, and I were all separated at birth and are all sisters. It’s an amazing story.

Okay maybe not, but Bethany writes amazing, fun and laugh-out-loud stories that I love to share, and it is almost the same thing as being sisters.

Plot Twist is Bethany’s newest offering, and if you are a fan of romantic comedies it is a must read. If you are a fan of a book that will make you laugh and roll your eyes all within a couple of sentences, this is a must read. If you like a book with a bit of a serious tone to it, this is also the book for you.

available at bakerbookhouse.com

I found myself enjoying each element of the book for different reasons. Not only is it a fun read, but it does have a bit of a more serious side, such as where it talks about your own self-image, finding your way in a grown-up world, and what it means to be a true friend. It is a side of Bethany’s writing I like the most. Yes, the rom com is great, but those beautiful nuggets she hides in the story are the best.

Olivia Ross finds herself rescued in her local coffee shop from an over-aggressive cowboy. All her rescuer asks in return, is for both of them to return in 10 years and share how the decade was for them. Olivia is to bring her finished screen plan and he, in 10 years will be a major star, and will be the star of her movie.

Each chapter is set on February 4th. Each year brings new challenges to Olivia and her best friend Fiona. Each year we can see them grow more and more. I felt like I was growing right alongside them. It made for an interesting perspective on the whole story. It gave the feel of looking back over a year past and remembering all that had happened and how far they had come. I really appreciated that Bethany did not use the cliché day of January 1st or Valentine’s day for her story. She created her own special day and ran with it.

Looking for a book to take on vacation or to just enjoy while reading on the back deck? Olivia will be a great travel companion and I know you will enjoy the trip.

Read on my friends, read on,

P.S. Some parts of the opening paragraph are true, it is up to you to decide which parts.

P.S.S. Don’t forget to join Bethany and I along with our sisters for a hilarious evening of books, rom coms and laughter tomorrow at 7:00p.m. Free tickets available at bakerbookhouse.com/events.


New Release Monday but on a Tuesday

Dear Readers,

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial day. I have to admit that I miss the parades. I live in a pretty small little town and the parades are mainly kids, animals and tractors, with an occasional float or car thrown in for good measure. I use to grumble about it, but honestly, love them. We will get back to them soon, but in the mean time I will read about them in a book or two.

Read On my Friends, read on,

Power Play – Rachel Dylan – #3 Capital Intrigue – When State Department attorney Vivian Steele witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event’s security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, even ahead of the rules and regulations.  As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, Viv turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob’s reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks?

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor – Jaime Jo Wright – 1885.  Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life.  Present day.  Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

The Heart’s Charge – Karen Witmeyer – Members of Hanger’s Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they’d deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he’d nearly married a decade ago. After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society’s mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes–ghosts from wars past and others still being waged

A Lady in Attendance – Rachel Fordham – Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?