Book Quote

Dear Reader,

Sorry about the language.   A friend of mine shared this and I thought it was just beautiful.

From Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell.

Happy Reading,

pillow thoughts II



Paula A. Gooder

Dear Readers,
Biblical fiction in not my favorite.  Sometimes I feel like we try too hard to make those Biblical characters better than they really are/were.  They were very human, very fallible, very ‘normal.’  But I have read some really, really good Biblical fiction because they make the Bible stories come to life.  So I was unsure how much I would like 9780830852451Phoebe by Paul A. Gooder and what I found was a well done book that is part fiction and part history book. (Part 2 of the book is all notes.)
Okay I am going to admit that what got me started with the book is when I flipped the pages of the book open and just started reading.  What I found was a group of people arguing over whether new believers who were not Jews had to become Jews before they became Christians.
Now it wasn’t so much that they were arguing (normal for people) but that what they were arguing about.  It was because they sounded just like people in the church in the present.  They were arguing about doctrine.  They didn’t know any more about those answers than we do and I love that.  They are just humans trying to understand what is happening at that time and what was being taught to them.
This book actually focuses on Phoebe whom Paul described as a deacon of the church and a patron of many.  From Paul that was a compliment in the highest.  She was a leader in the church of Cenchreae and a woman.  So who was she that Paul thought so highly of her?   Questions like that make for a very interesting read.
Anyone who love Biblical fiction should pick this book up, but also anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about the people who were part of the brand new church will want to add this to their must-read piles as it is a very well researched and written book.
Happy Reading,

New Releases – Oct. 8 – 13

Dear Readers,

What a week here at Baker Book House.  We not only have our Fall Librarian event on Tuesday, on Thursday we have 5 authors visiting – Jocelyn Green, Shawn Smucker,  Partrice Gopo, Brenda Yoder, and Kate Motaung.  Then on Friday and Saturday we have a booktable at one of the best writers conference – Breathe.  We are all hopping and talking books all week.

Happy Reading,

Phoebe – Paula Gooder – Sometime around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. He entrusted this letter to Phoebe, whom he describes as the deacon of the church at Cenchreae and a patron of many. But who was this remarkable woman?

Virgil Wander – Leif Enger – Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is “cruising along at medium altitude” when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals―from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil’s oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

Shelter of the Most High – Connilyn Cossette – #2 Cities of Refuge – The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.  Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.  As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Hidden Peril – Irene Hannon – #2 Men of Valor – As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place. Twenty years later, she’s fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world. All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying.  Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why. Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue–and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly scheme. Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die . . . including Kristin?

The Reluctant Warrior – Mary Connealy – #2 High Sierra Sweethearts – Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He’s come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children, who are terrified of him, and the stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he fears may be trying to keep the children.  When danger descends on the cabin where they’re all huddled, Cam is injured trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and worries that it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection–and in the process he might just win her heart as well.

Guest Blogger – Jaime Jo Wright

Dear Readers,

What is it about October that makes us all want to scare ourselves half to death. (no pun intended)  We read scary books, we watch horror movies and go to haunted houses.  Okay so I am using the term “we” lightly there as I do not do the last two thing.  Don’t like scary movies and I hate haunted houses.  But scary books? Love them and the more murder and mayhem the better.

Jaime Jo Wright gives us a little insight into what it is like to write a murder mystery and not get on a government watch list.  But also how to balance research, writing and family.

Thank you Jaime for helping us to understand what you writers go through to bring us our favorite books.

Happy Reading,

Planning Murder

When planning a murder, it’s important to note very specifically that it is a literary murder, not a literal murder. #WordsMatter. That being said, plotting murder for a novel can be as intriguing as it is gruesome, and sometimes I walk away from it rather disturbed by the fact I enjoyed the research.

Let me clarify a few things before you consider me a bane on the existence of mankind. It isn’t the murder itself that intrigues me. There is nothing remotely glorifying about the taking of another human life. However, there is something psychologically mystifying at the why behind the taking of a life deliberately, as well as the how, what, where, and when. It can be a deep-dive into the depravity of mankind and into the psychology of a sinful nature sans the influencing hand of God.

So, researching murder can be a tiptoe process to be sure. While I can disassociate myself from the emotional facts of the mystery, sometimes I must step away and watch a Hallmark movie. Researching can be tricky, as I’m not a fan of seeing full-color, modern-day crime scene photos. I’m not afraid of the gruesome, but sometimes images can be non-erasable in the mind.

Researching weaponry, poison, and other sundry ways to commit the dastardly deed is usually the most interesting. But then, there are the forensic elements of solving the crime that are also very fascinating. Specifically, when the crime is set in historical time periods where forensic science simply did not really exist.

Fingerprinting barely made its way into crime-solving until the turn-of-the-century and even then, it wasn’t as if there was a data bank to glean from. I studied the Jack the Ripper murders at length, and so much of the evidence was tainted and destroyed before the victim was ever moved. There was no concept of gloves, of crime scene photography, and DNA wasn’t even a molecule of a concept. The archaic methods a killer of the Victorian or Edwardian age may have used to rid themselves of their victims included methods such as: trunks at a train station, only to have them discovered later, or garden burials to be uncovered by new homeowners (that’d be a bit shocking!), or even acid . . . and I’ll stop there to spare you.

But amid researching for a murder mystery, there are also the rather odd family moments that rise out of nowhere by little children who wonder why mommy quick “alt-tabs” to a new screen when they walk into the room.

“Oh. You’re killing people again?” says the girl with an off-handed shrug.

“I think I’d rather die by having a wolf eat me.” Says the boy.

“No. If you put a snake in someone’s bed, they’d bite and it’d be quicker than a wolf.” Says the girl.

“Huh,” responds the 6 year old. “Daddy, if I died by a snake bite, would I die fast?”

Daddy shrugs. “Depends on the snake. Some poison will shut down your internal organs within seconds, but others will just slowly paralyze you, so it takes longer.”

“There’s always cyanide,” offers the suspense writing mother.

“What’s cyanide?” inquires the girl.

Parents stop. Exchange looks. Become a bit disturbed and realize, perhaps a subject change is in order.

“Never mind,” says Daddy.

“Yes. Umm, so what did Marshall do on that latest episode of Paw Patrol?” The diverting question is thrown out by the suspense writing mother and all is returned to a normal, American wholesome household.

There is still hope for the upbringing of my children. I promise you. That hope is found in the research that counterbalances the reality of the wickedness of man. An even deeper dive into the grace that is found within the pages of Scripture, takes me into thematic elements that will overcome and overwhelm the murder mystery. Hope in an eternal perspective, as seen in The House on Foster Hill, or grace given though undeserved, as I wrote on in The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. My upcoming release, The Curse of Misty Wayfair, in January 2019, delves into the elements of identity. Do we look inside ourselves to discover our true purpose, or must our focus be fixed on Someone greater who will then reveal that purpose and identity to us in His timing?

Because, with every dark shadow of this world, every sinister motive or selfish act, there is a counter balance, or rather, a conquering faith. We need that today. If we live the back alleys of life, the grime will eventually cover us. But just around the corner is the light, and with it, comes a full revelation of God’s amazing story—your story. And that’s the story that really matters.

New Releases – Oct. 1 – 6

Dear Readers,

October already!?!

October means our Fall Librarians event is happening.  Tomorrow in fact!  I hope I am ready.  🙂  Seriously though if you know a librarian or are a librarian yourself, come get some great deals, meet with your fellow librarians and talk books.

Happy Reading,

Every Wicked Man – Steven James – #4 Bower Files Series – When a senator’s son takes his own life and posts the video live online, Agent Bowers is drawn into a complex web of lies that begins to threaten the people he loves the most. As he races to unravel the mystery behind the suicide and a centuries-old code that might help shed light on the case, he finds a dark pathway laced with twists and deadly secrets that touch a little too close to home.

The Rise of the Mystics – Ted Dekker – sequel to the 49th Mystic – Some say the great mystery of how one can live in two worlds at once died with Thomas Hunter many years ago. Still others that the gateway to that greater reality was and is only the stuff of dreams. They are all wrong.  Rachelle Matthews, who grew up in the small town of Eden, Utah, discovered just how wrong when she dreamed and awoke in another world. There she learned that she was the 49th Mystic, the prophesied one, tasked with finding five ancient seals before powerful enemies destroy her. If Rachelle succeeds in her quest, peace will reign. If she fails, the world will forever be locked in darkness.

Hidden Among the Stars – Melanie Dobson  – The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.  Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Ghost Heart – Lisa Harris/Linda Gentry – A brilliant transplant surgeon. A rogue organ broker. A ghost child. And the legend that could destroy them all. A brutal murder convinces surgeon Mia Kendall there’s more than she imagined to the mysterious spike in heart transplant rejections. Determined to find answers before she loses another patient, Mia gets sucked into a dangerous international medical web. With time running out for her youngest transplant recipient, Mia is forced to partner with a disillusioned ex-military pilot who flies brokered organs across East Africa. But searching for the truth will prove costly for the unlikely duo racing to stop a madman before he annihilates a rare and cursed bloodline. From best-selling author Lisa Harris and award-winning author Lynne Gentry comes a chilling, hypnotic medical thriller that will take you from the suburbs of Cincinnati to the jungles of Africa.

Ours for a Season – Kim Vogel Sawyer – Anthony and Marty Hirschler are part of an Old Order Mennonite community in Pine Hill, Indiana. The couple has grown apart since a doctor confirmed they would never have children. Marty longs to escape the tight-knit area where large families are valued, and the opportunity to do so arises when her childhood friend, Brooke Spalding, resurfaces with the wild idea of rebuilding a ghost town into a resort community. Brooke hires Anthony to help with the construction, drawing the Hirschlers away from Indiana and into her plan, and then finds herself diagnosed with cancer. Moral complications with Brooke’s vision for a casino as part of the resort and the discovery of a runaway teenager hiding on the property open up a world neither the Hirschlers nor Brooke had considered before. Will they be able to overcome their challenges and differences to help the ones among them hurting the most?

The Light Before Day – Suzanne Woods Fisher – #3 Nantucket Legacy – After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom–a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.  As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side–and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.