New Release Monday

Dear Readers,

I am not sure I have repeated this enough this year, but goodness this is a great list of books. I can’t stop saying it this year. The amount of titles that are on my TBR list is longer than ever. Maybe I need a vacation at the beach to catch up.

Happy Reading,

Under the Tulip Tree – Michelle Shocklee – Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena. As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?

Mountain Laurel – Lori Benton – Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again—into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona—beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin. Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

Wednesday Walks and Wags – Melissa Storm – In the rapidly blooming courtyard beneath Bridget Moore’s new Anchorage apartment, the signs are unmissable: spring has come. As she unpacks boxes, Bridget hopes that she too is moving forward. With her tight schedule—college, working as a vet tech, volunteering at the animal shelter, caring for her beloved dogs—Bridget strives to keep too busy to register the pain of losing her mother just months ago. Bridget’s new neighbor, Wesley, also seems to be running from something—quite literally. He and his two energetic dogs jog by twice a day. It isn’t long before she joins him. Bridget’s fellow members of the Sunday Potluck Club encourage her to enjoy Wesley’s company, though they understand all too well how tricky it can be to navigate life after loss.

A Portrait of Loyalty – Roseanna M. White – #3 Codebreakers – Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them. Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

Until I Met You – Tari Faris – #2 Restoring Heritage – When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans. All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town’s new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints–and possibly even his heart?

Reading Challenge 2020 – try something new

Dear Readers,

This week’s challenge is an easy one. The only difficulty will be picking just one book. This week’s challenge is to read a book published in 2020. With so many good titles this year I am not sure I can only pick one.

If you could read only one of the books published in 2020 would you read?

Read on my friends, read on,

Virtual author visit

I am so excited to announce that Denise Hunter will be joining me for a video chat about her new title Autumn Skies on Oct. 1st at 7:00pm (est) Free tickets are available at bakerbookhouse.com/events . We will also be streaming it live on Baker Book Houses Facebook page. For those that sign up for the Zoom meeting Denise is doing a drawing with a chance to win. I can’t wait to hear all about Denise and her writing experience. I met her last year, but have enjoyed her books for years. It will be an evening of laughter, books and the perfect setting for a book. Seriously I want to move to Bluebell.

10 books you have GOT to read this fall

Dear Readers,

Have you read any of these yet? Don’t miss out on some perfect fall reads.

10 books you have got to read this fall

1.Under the Tulip Tree – Michelle Shocklee – What if you were able to interview a former slave?

2. The Edge of Belonging – Amanda Cox – Everyone longs to belong to a family.  What makes a family? Sometimes it isn’t blood relation, sometimes it is love.

3. The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus – Jaime Jo Wright – A haunted train station, a baby elephant and a serial killer, what could be better for reading.

4. Autumn Skies -Denise Hunter – Two very busy people are looking to just get through life and neither is ready for love.

5. Mountain Laurel – Lori Benton – Seona has a gift.  She is a great artist.  Her art work should be for sale every where.  The problem is she is a slave.

6. The London Restoration – Rachel McMillan – a marriage in crisis in a country recovering from a war.  Will Diana and Brent be able to find their way back to each other?

7. Love Note – Joanna Politano – How can one long lost letter cause so much trouble?

8. Two Reasons to Run Colleen Coble – #2 Pelican Harbor novels – Recovering from a person bombshell, Police Chief Jane Hardy now needs to deal with environmental terrorists.

9. Remember Me – Mario Escabar – To save their children during the Spanish revolution, families sent their children to Mexico.  But was that any safer?

10. Nine – Rachell Dekker – Lucy’s memories are gone and they are the only thing that can save them.  

The Summer House – Lauren K. Denton – a book review

Dear Readers,

I love Lauren K. Denton’s books. Each one welcomes you into a story that you didn’t even know you wanted to be part of. The Summer House, Denton’s latest, is the story of Lily Bishop. She wakes one morning to a note and divorce papers from her husband. After her husband leaves, she finds herself drifting and in search of the person she was. What she finds is Safe Harbor, a retirement community where they take care of their own.

I love this cover. Available at
bakerbookhouse.com

Gently told, Denton reminds us that every one of us carries our own baggage around. There is so much more to everyone’s story than what we see on the outside. Take Rose, co-owner of the community. On the outside she seems to be an ice queen. She doesn’t get involved in the community or anyone’s life. But as you walk a mile in her shoes you start to learn why she is the way she is. You learn her story.

I enjoy books that have me walk in the character’s shoes, so I get the chance to know them and to decide for myself whether I like them or not. Each one has a different tale to tell and if you listen carefully you will hear it.

This is the perfect read for anyone looking for a getaway. A book that will let you drift along as you turn the pages, wishing you could join Lily and Rose as they relax in the Adirondacks chairs, watching the sunset.

Happy Reading,

New Release Monday

Dear Readers,

It is amazing to me how many great new titles we keep get into the store. I am having trouble keeping up with them all. How about you? How is that TBR pile doing? Mine you ask? Well it has kind of taken on a life of its own. It has taken over one room in the house and I think it is eyeing the living room next.

Read on my friends, read on,

Under the Tulip Tree – Michelle Shocklee – Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena. As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?


Mountain Laurel – Lori Benton – Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again—into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona—beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin. Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond


Wednesday Walks and Wags – Melissa Storm – In the rapidly blooming courtyard beneath Bridget Moore’s new Anchorage apartment, the signs are unmissable: spring has come. As she unpacks boxes, Bridget hopes that she too is moving forward. With her tight schedule—college, working as a vet tech, volunteering at the animal shelter, caring for her beloved dogs—Bridget strives to keep too busy to register the pain of losing her mother just months ago. Bridget’s new neighbor, Wesley, also seems to be running from something—quite literally. He and his two energetic dogs jog by twice a day. It isn’t long before she joins him. Bridget’s fellow members of the Sunday Potluck Club encourage her to enjoy Wesley’s company, though they understand all too well how tricky it can be to navigate life after loss


A Portrait of Loyalty – Roseanna M. White – #3 Codebreakers – Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them. Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

Reading Challenge 2020 – try something new

Dear Readers,

This week’s challenge is to read a book about a person of a different ethnicity than yourself. I have read and am reading a few different titles that fit the catagory. Not all will fit the christian fiction description, but all are good.

A Burning – Megha Majumdar

Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

Under the Tulip Tree – Michelle Shocklee

It’s Not All Downhill From Here – Terry McMillan

What are you reading today?

Read on my friends, read on,

Edge of Belonging – Amanda Cox – a book review

Dear Readers,

I picked up Amanda Cox’s The Edge of Belonging kind of on a whim. I like to get a feel for debut authors and to see what their writing style is. Well, all I can say is this story had me from the first page. An abandoned baby, a young woman trying to figure out who she is and a man who loves them both. A stunning dual-time book that will earn Amanda a place on must-read piles everywhere.

available at bakerbookhouse.com

Ivy is stuck in a relationship that she knows is not good for her. It all comes to a head when she receives a phone call that her grandmother is dying, and she needs to go home. Instead she is stuck at a party with her fiancée. She misses the chance to visit with her grandmother one last time, but instead stumbles into a story she didn’t know existed, her own.

I loved the characters, how their stories intertwined together. How each one brought so much to the table in the telling of Ivy’s story. Whether it was her grandmother, her Uncle Vee or parents, it doesn’t matter as they are all family. They care for each other, protect each other, and make sure that they are loved.

I have to admit that I was unsure if I wanted to read another dual-time book, but I am so glad I did. When they are done well, they are a beautiful thing to read and Cox has such a gift in weaving the two times together that you hardly remember that you are jumping from one to the other. With the story being Ivy’s, it made it easy to continue with either story. I wanted both to go on for much longer than they did!

This is not just a feel-good story; it does talk about many different issues facing society today. Homelessness, abusive relationships, infertility, suicide, depression, and it even touches on PTSD. Not light topics, but ones people deal with every day. To walk alongside a mother who survives a child’s suicide is an amazing journey. Cox handles each issue sensitively and with great care. She never leaves you wondering at the magnitude of each and you find yourself understanding it just a little more.

The Edge of Belonging is one of those unique books that each one of us can find ourselves in. It doesn’t matter whether you came from a somewhat normal family or one that is slightly dysfunctional, we all long to belong to someone, to have someone see us. Cox reminds us there is One who does see us and longs to have you belong to His family.

Happy Reading,

New Release Monday

Dear Readers,

Labor day. A day to celebrate the workers of America. What a strange holiday this year is. We celebrate the workers that put in the hard hours and never even blinked an eye when asked for more. We celebrate those that adjusted to working full time at home amidst chaos. We celebrate those that we furloughed while wanting to do something to help. We celebrate those looking for a new job when theirs was eliminated. We celebrate you all.

Read on my friends, read on,

Twin Daggers – MarcyKate Connolly – teen fiction – By day, Aissa and Zandra play the role of normal young Technocrats eager to fulfill the duties of their new apprenticeships. By night, they plot their revenge to retake their city from the Technocrats. But then Aissa is given a new mission: find and kidnap the heir to the Technocrat throne, who is rumored to be one of the Heartless—a person born without a working heart who survives via a mechanical replacement—and has been hidden since birth. Aissa is more likely to be caught than to be successful, but she’s never been one to turn down an assignment, even if the hunt is complicated by a kind Technocrat researcher who is determined to find a cure for the Heartless. But when Zandria is captured by the Technocrats, Aissa will do anything to get her sister back. Even if it means abandoning all other loyalties and missions … and risking everything by trusting her sworn enemies.

Airborne – DiAnn Mills – Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released. While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

Something Worth Doing – Jane Kirkpatrick – In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury force Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for the rights of women, including their right to vote. Following Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women’s suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one’s place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces.

The Christmas Swap – Melody Carlson – All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can’t find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there’s someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year. Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet–or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house’s caretaker. But when Emma’s friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.