Catch a Robber by Gloria Repp 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | 1 Comment

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Catch a Robber by Gloria Repp is the fourth delightful story in this series. Pibbin the tiny frog with the big heart is off on another adventure and this one will take him to Shadow Swamp which is inhabited by very large creatures. But he is loyal to his friends so he will put on a brave face and do whatever is necessary to free Skitter the lizard from the Rabbit’s jail. A necklace has been stolen from Grannie Primrose and the rabbits are sure that Skitter is the thief. Nisk has mended his ways and is helping Pippin and Leeper to hunt for Skitter’s cousin for they believe the cousin is the real thief. With the help of several friends, Pibbin is able to rescue Skitter from the jail and she is taken to Gaffer’s house to recover from her ordeal. When Pibbin goes to visit her he is shocked at her appearance but after drinking water she is much better. Pippin has picked a bouquet of flowers for Skitter but when he goes to take them from his backpack, all he finds are yellow seeds that smell like lemon. Skitter is overjoyed for she had been wanting some Lemon Tickseed and Pibbin has brought her some. She promises him that she will make him some red bug cookies with lemon.

Gloria continues to write an excellent story about the life of a tiny tree frog. In this story we see the animals showing bravery, loyalty, honesty, and great concern for others. All the little characters in the story still seem to have human traits and this adds so much to the story. The dialogue is very well written and it contributes to the human-like qualities of the animals. Some of the little animals have habits that are not desirable but usually they become better by the end of the book. Nisk has definitely become a better squirrel but he still has a problem with his speech. As with the other books, the illustrations are top notch and add a lot to the story and the photos of real frogs at the end of the book are a good addition. This time the cookies are red bug with lemon and with lemon they have to be good. I have a great fear of snakes but in this book the snakes are quite likeable for Gloria gives them such poetic dialogue.

I highly recommend this book for young children and I think it would be a great book for them to read to a younger sibling or to their parents. Even adults will enjoy reading it for themselves.

Thanks to the author, Gloria Repp, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Lucy’s Mansion by Deanne Durrett 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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Lucy’s Mansion by Deanne Durrett is a great book and continues the story that was begun in Rogue Trust. Becca buys the beautiful Victorian home of Lucy Evans and converts it into a home for battered women and children. The wealthy residents of the community that surrounds Lucy’s Mansion are doing everything they can to get the women thrown out of the house. Unfortunately, the shelter violates zoning laws which are upheld by the City Council. Becca and J.T. join together to fight the City Council and in the process they realize that they have a strong attraction to each other. There is also a problem with Becca’s twelve-year-old daughter for she keeps saying that second marriages are bad for kids. Becca wants a life with J.T. but she feels that her daughter comes first.

Deanne Durrett has done an excellent in the development of this second story about Becca and her huge inherited fortune. All characters were so well developed that I either loved or greatly disliked them. Only the two society ladies come to mind as ones that I really disliked. Dialogue was right on the mark and the descriptions of scenes were so real that I felt I was right there where everything was happening. Becca’s young daughter, Amy, seemed very real and concerned about her mother and in this book she displays more of the traits or a typical preteen. There was a great deal of suspense in this story. Would Becca or the City Council win the fight over the zoning for Lucy’s Mansion and would Becca and J.T. be able to overcome their problems in their love life? I especially liked the way that the author had the characters depending on God for guidance. I hope that there will be more books in this series for this is a group of characters that I really love and want to follow their lives into the future.

I highly recommend this book to everyone that loves a great Christian romance that also has some suspense and tense moments.

Thanks to the author, Deanne Durrett, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Trapped by Gloria Repp 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | 1 Comment

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Trapped by Gloria Repp is the third story in the Pibbin series. It is a delightful story and I am sure that I enjoyed it as much as any young child. The story begins with Pibbin on his way to give out cookie chips so that he can win a blue star to put on his backpack. He sees an open door and goes into the largest tunnel he has ever seen. He hopes that it is the home of a chipmunk and not a big snake that will eat him for sure. At the end of the tunnel he ends up caught in a net but manages to get down and away from Nisk who has put up the net. Nisk has a problem for he spells everything backwards, he also puts the words backwards when he speaks, and he has a personality that is not very likeable. Soon Pibbin learns that baby Duffy Squirrel is missing and goes to Duffy’s home to talk with his big brother Alix. Alix feels that it is his fault that his baby brother is missing so he and Pibbin set off to enlist the help of others in Friendship Bog. Pibbin is tiny in size but he has a heart as big as an elephant and will do everything in his power to find his lost friend. Nearly everyone is willing to help but a couple of characters seem to hinder more than help. Before Duffy is found, Pibbin and everyone helping him have several obstacles to overcome before they finally rescue Duffy.

Once again Gloria has written another winner of a book featuring the little tree frog Pibbin. In this story the main theme seems to be about teamwork and friendship. As in the first two books, the animals almost seem to take on human characteristics. They show love, fear, happiness, anger, and several other human traits. It is easy to forget that one is reading about animals due to the dialogue that Gloria has written into the story. Colorful illustrations are scattered throughout the book and add greatly to the enjoyment of the story. My favorite cookie in this book was grasshopper cookies for they have a bit of color and crunch. I also had a good chuckle when Pibbin licked a bunch of black ants off a stick. I am sure that for kids such things add to their enjoyment of the story.

I highly recommend this book for any child old enough to read and would even suggest that they read it to their parents. We adults can learn things from books written for children. I think even those too young to read would enjoy having it read to them.

Thanks to the author, Gloria Repp, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Painted Bride by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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Painted Bride by Suzanne D. Williams is the second book in the Best Dressed Series and is as great a read as the first book. This story is about Haydn Fabrinni who is almost the complete opposite of Ludwig, his older brother. Everyone considers Haydn a spoiled younger son and to a certain extent that is true. His life comes screeching to a halt when a woman he has dated announces to everyone that he proposed. Haydn does not remember proposing and while sitting in a bar having too many drinks, he makes a bet with a woman that will change his life forever. Marcy Gregg challenges Haydn to a game of pool and the winner takes all. If she wins, she gets one thousand dollars and if he wins, he proposes marriage and she accepts. Both are experienced pool players and each thinks they will be the winner. One can guess who will win and the rest of the story is about everything that happens after the pool game.

Suzanne did a wonderful job writing this story. At first I was a little turned off by all the tattoos but by the time i was half way through the book I had forgotten about them. All the characters were very well developed and their dialogue was right on target. I felt as if I were friends with the characters for they completely came to life on the pages of the book. All scenes were realistic and I was right in the middle of what was going on and even trying to give advice and cheer for Marcy and Haydn. There were lots of twists and turns in the plot but each one just added more interest to the story and even provided a little suspense. The suspense mainly involved the secrets that Marcy was not willing to share with Haydn but eventually she revealed everything. Some big business wheeling and dealing took place in the story and gave the reader a victor to cheer and a villain to jeer.

I highly recommend this book to everyone that loves a Christian romance with a happy ending.

Thanks to the author, Suzanne D. Williams for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Story Shell by Gloria Repp 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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The Story Shell by Gloria Repp is the second book in the Pibbin series and is just as delightful a story as the first book. As the book opens, Gaffer is preparing for his birthday party to be held that night and unlike most birthday parties, the birthday person gives gifts to all his/her friends. However, there is a big problem, Gaffer’s story shell is missing. He always has the shell beside him when he is telling a story. Pibbin comes to visit Gaffer and learns that the shell is missing. When he looks at the porch, he sees very large prints on the floor and begins to wonder what animal made the prints. Pibbin begins his search to find the shell and the story is about all the adventures he has trying to locate the lost shell. He faces danger in several places but there is always a friend ready to help him out of danger and also to help in the search. With help from an unexpected source, Pibbin is finally able to retrieve the lost shell. Not only is Pibbin searching for the lost shell, he is also trying to find his good friend Leeper who has been missing for quite some time. Leeper is found and rescued from a young beaver who was keeping Leeper for a toy. With Leeper and the shell both back where they belong, Gaffer has a wonderful birthday and delights everyone with the story he tells with the shell on the floor right next to his chair.

Gloria does it again in this second book about Pibbin. The personality of each animal was very skillfully developed and they almost took on human traits, the baby animals acted pretty much like baby humans and the old animals sometimes acted like grumpy old men or women. The wide range of ages in the animals added to my enjoyment of the book. At one point Pibbin said he “felt so small that he could hardly move or even think.” But this did not stop him from continuing to search for the story shell and for his friend Leeper. The dialogue of the animals was so realistic that I could almost forget that I was reading about animals. Gloria has the knack for making the little frogs and other animals come to life. This book also contained colorful, fun illustrations and in my opinion this added greatly to the story and I am sure that any young child would really enjoy the pictures. Since everyone was preparing for the birthday party, there was lot of cooking being done. My favorites were red bug cookies, dried beetle bars, and sweet and sour slugs. The slugs were Gaffer’s favorite.

I highly recommend this book to kids of all ages. It was written for young children but as a seventy-five year old, I enjoyed it very much and I don’t even like frogs.

Thanks to the author, Gloria Repp for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Rogue Trust by Deanne Durrett 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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The Rogue Trust by Deanne Durrett is a great story of a young woman who is the heir to a huge fortune that was created to honor a Vietnam war hero. The story begins with Becca receiving a bouquet of fourteen yellow roses and just gets better and better from that point on. Becca McGee is working hard to provide a good life for her twelve-year-old daughter, Amy K. Becca has been widowed for three years but still wears her wedding ring and really has no desire to date. J.T. Harrison is the young, good looking lawyer that is handling the inheritance and Becca seems to think that he is a jerk, a stalker, and an imposter. Neither want to admit there is an attraction and J.T. has his work cut out for him in convincing Becca to accept the inheritance and to give him a chance to get to know her better. The stealing of Miss Honey, Amy K’s cat, is just one of the many events that put a good deal of suspense into the story. One thing that was not in the story that I kept expecting to read was the amount of the inheritance. The reader is only told that it was a huge inheritance and that Becca would be able to do anything that she had ever wanted to do.

The author did an excellent job in the development of all the elements that make up this story. The characters were very believable and nearly all were very likeable. I was living Becca’s life right along with her for I have sometimes day dreamed about what I would do should I be fortunate enough to inherit a large sum of money. Becca’s struggles are real and the author did a great job in the way she portrayed Becca working through each problem. All the scenes were so well scripted that I felt myself taking part in everything that was going on. There were several twists and turns to the plot but each twist just added more to the story. I simply adored Becca’s daughter, Amy K, for it was so good to read a novel with a sweet and obedient preteen. I very much enjoyed the friendships and family interactions that were woven throughout the story along with the characters dependence on God for direction.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a good romance spiced up with a little suspense and that has love and friendship all through the story.

Thanks to the author, Deanne Durrett, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse was a most enjoyable story which also taught me some American history. Harold Hillerman felt called to take his medical practice to the Alaskan frontier. He moved his wife and two daughters to Alaska early in the twentieth century but his wife and younger daughter had only contempt for the land and the people and moved back to Chicago. Gwyn stayed in Alaska with her father and worked in the medical clinic with him as his nurse. In the era of the Depression, one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal projects was The Matanuska Colonization. This brought two hundred families to the area where Gwyn lived and soon her doctor father was greatly overworked. Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan was stripped of his medical license in Chicago, and to get away from the situation and his broken engagement, he moved to Alaska to help Dr. Hillerman who had been his mentor and friend since he was a young boy. Gwyn’s life had been hard since her mother left but she had great friends among the Alaskan natives and she felt that Alaska was the most beautiful place that God created.

The authors did an excellent job in writing this book. Even though it is a fictional story, they accurately presented actual historical events that took place throughout the book. The development of the characters was so well done that they came to life on the pages of the book and I felt as if I knew everyone of them personally. I even found myself taking part in the conversations in my mind. The plot had a lot of twists and turns and just when I had things all figured out, the plot would change. All the scenes were so well written that in my mind I could see exactly what was happening and was right in the middle of the action. Their descriptions of the mountains and landscapes of Alaska were so vivid that I could see them in my mind’s eye and it also made me want to visit Alaska. The story was filled with love, hate, suspense, murder, friendship, romance, forgiveness, and trust in God. I found this story to be uplifting, entertaining, and informative.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story filled with suspense, romance, murder, history and has vivid descriptions of the beauty of Alaska.

Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Pibbin the Small by Gloria Repp & narrated by Jon Repp 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | 1 Comment

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This review was done using the guidelines set up by Audible.

Overall 5 Stars
Performance 5 Stars
Story 5 Stars

What did you like about this audiobook?

I really enjoyed the way that the narrator had a different voice for each character and this brought each little animal to life in the story.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I am not going to be doing a study of frogs. However, I will be reading all the other Pibbin books in the series even though I am several decades past the age of a young child.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

Gloria Repp does an excellent job in presenting a story, be it for a child or an adult. I personally am not all that fond of frogs, but I found the story quite interesting, delightful, and even could see why some people do like frogs. Gloria skillfully develops the character of each little frog or other animal and one almost forgets one is reading about animals and not people. Gloria gives the little animals the same traits that are to be found in caring, loving, and helpful people. Pibbin was small and afraid to make the long journey to get help for the injured turtle but he was willing to make the trip because he wanted to help his friend. The story was made even better with the addition of the colorful drawings that were scattered throughout the book. I highly recommend this audiobook for any family has has young children. I had a print copy and followed along and for me it made the story even better. No illustrations in an audio book.

What did you find wrong about the narrator’s performance?

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the narrator’s performance. Jon Repp did an excellent job in reading the book with a different voice for each character. I can see a child’s eyes lighting up and a smile on his/her face when listening to this book being read by Jon.

Do you have any additional comments?

In my opinion, the question should be asking what the listener liked about the narrator’s performance instead of asking what was wrong. Very negative way to approach a review.

Not Done Living by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, February 24th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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Not Done Living by Suzanne D. Williams is a very suspenseful and romantic story that kept me guessing through the entire book. Casey Hearn is an assassin and she is hired to kill Mason Thornhill. This job does not end with the intended victim being dead but with the intended victim capturing the heart of the hired killer. Casey became an assassin due to circumstances in her life and when she meets Mason, her life begins to change in many way, most of them for the better and because of Mason. Mason is not exactly who he says he is either, but he is a good guy and will help Casey to get her life under control and back on track.

This story was somewhat different than Suzanne’s other stories. She did an excellent job in developing the characters and their fast paced dialogue. The characters came to life on the pages of the book and all the action scenes were extremely real. Since the main character was an assassin, I could picture everything that was going on but I could not picture myself taking part in the action. I was just standing on the sidelines wondering what was going to happen next. There were many twists and turns to the plot that added to the suspense and enjoyment of the story. I must say that I was completely surprised at the ending.

I recommend this book to everyone that likes a good romantic story with lots of suspense and a surprise ending.

Thanks to the author, Suzanne D. William, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection by Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, and Carol Cox 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection by Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, and Carol Cox is a very enjoyable read and provides a lot of laughs and leaves you feeling happy. In the first story, A Cowboy Unmatched, Neill is hired to repair the roof of Clara, a young widow who is also pregnant. Clara is determined that she will never love and marry again but Neill works to change her mind. In the second story, An Unforeseen Match, Clayton is on his way to the Oklahoma Land Rush and stops in Dry Gulch to earn enough money to be able to participate in the land rush. He answers a classified ad put in the paper by Grace but to his surprise it is not the ad he thought it was. In the third story, No Match for Love, Lucy has come to Andrew’s ranch to care for his aunt and her arrival causes many bizarre things to happen.. Lucy and Andrew work together to solve the mysteries and soon other feelings develop between the two. In the fourth and final story, Meeting Her Match, the matchmaker has the tables turned on her as she is now the one being matched up with a possible husband.

All three authors did an excellent job in the development of all the elements in these four novellas. Characters were brought to life on the pages of the book and I found myself cheering each one on and hoping that they would find a true and lasting love. The dialogue was many times extremely funny and gave me some good laughs. Even the serious dialogue was true to life and very interesting. As I was reading the different stories I found myself submerged in the action that was taking place. These three authors have an ability to bring characters and their dialogue to life.

I highly recommend this book to everyone that likes a good romantic story with a happy ending and in this book you get four such stories.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.