Hi Ho's right about the wood......you take your chances buying from a craft store. You might try checking your local lumber company for some nice clear white pine. Not, that I'm recommending white pine as a substitute for good basswood, but are you SURE your tools are really sharp? If they are, they should work well on the pine. If not, you will know.
Short of mail order suppliers, which generally have very good wood, you might look around your area for a carvers' supply store; Woodcrafters, Rockler, or even a small local store, etc. as they are more likely to have quallity wood.
How new are you to the carving game? I ask only because a lot of beginners do not have a good concept of what a sharp tool is, and once the tools are really sharp, carving becomes a lot more enjoyable.
It ain't over till it's over; and maybe then it ain't over!