A Call to Arms by P. G. Nagle 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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4 stars

A Call to Arms by P. G. Nagle is fiction but based on the real life adventures of Sarah Emma Edmonds who served in the Civil War for two years as Private Frank Thompson. Sarah grew up on a farm with a father who wanted a son, therefore, she could ride and shoot as well as any man. Since she had a strong feeling of patriotism, she joined the 2nd Michigan Volunteers. In the army she worked as a nurse, a spy, and other non-combat jobs. Her greatest fear was that she would be exposed as a woman for this would have lead to a court-martial and disgrace. The story began many years after the war had ended when Sarah was in Washington seeking her pension.

The characters were well developed and they all came to life on the pages of the book. I could feel Sarah’s worry as she had to always be on guard that she did nothing to reveal that she was a woman. The battle scenes were very realistic and I was anxious to know the outcome of each battle. For me it seemed that the only mystery was if Sarah would be found out. We all know how the war ended so there was nothing to anticipate there. The author did a good job of switching between the years of the war and to the events happening in Washington twenty years after the war ended.

I recommend this book but be aware that there is some profanity.

Evennight Books via LibraryThing Early Reviewers 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.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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5 stars

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer is another delightful story from this author. Nicole Renard is a beautiful, rich, and head strong young woman and when she returns home to Galveston, Texas, she meets Darius Thornton a reclusive and obsessive scientist. He was aboard the Louisiana when a boiler exploded causing the death of many passengers. Darius is determined to built a better boiler and this experimenting causes him to work for long periods of time not bothering to eat or sleep. When he meets Nicole, he thinks that she is just another pretty face but she convinces him that she could be a great help to him as his secretary for she could organize his notes and findings. Not only is she pretty but she has a head full of knowledge concerning shipping and boats and this helps her becomes an excellent assistant to Darius. Nicole’s father has never let her forget that she is not a son that can take over his shipping business.

The author did an excellent job in developing all the elements of the story. Nicole was so real that I could just see her doing all the things that she did to get herself into trouble. And Darius with all his experimental explosions was quite loveable in spite of his obsessiveness. Each time there was an explosion in the story, I felt as if I should duck and run for cover. The dialogue of Nicole and Darius gave me some good laughs as did all her antics. In addition to the romance, there was the mystery surrounding the Lafitte Dagger to keep one guessing. This story was a page turner and I could not stop reading until I finished the book in one sitting.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Karen Witemeyer.

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.

Child of Mine by David & Beverly Lewis 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, August 8th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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5 stars

Child of Mine by David & Beverly Lewis is a wonderful story that touches the heart. Kelly Maines has been searching eight years for her daughter who was stolen at birth, a victim of a black market adoption ring. Finally, Kelly has a lead on a young girl that just may be her daughter. This young girl is the adopted niece of Jack Livingston and he has been rearing her since the death of her adopted parents. Jack travels a great deal in his work and when he is gone, Laura, an Amish nanny. cares for Natalie and loves her as if she were her own. Kelly arranges a chance meeting with Jack and this meeting leads to more meetings and Kelly realizes that she is falling for Jack and he is falling for her. This happens before she gets up enough courage to tell him the real reason they met. As Kelly gets to know Natalie she begins to wonder if Natalie is really her daughter.

The authors did an excellent job in the development of the story. All the characters were so well developed that I felt as if I knew each one of them personally. I especially loved Natalie, a little girl that could steal anyone’s heart. All the scenes were so real that I could feel myself being right in the middle of what was happening. Dialogue was great and I especially loved everything that was uttered by Natalie. There were many twists and turns in the story and these kept me guessing as to which woman was really Natalie’s mother. When the real mother was revealed I must admit that I was somewhat surprised. The story had a great ending with everyone being happy and content.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves a great story that has love, forgiveness, laughter, and tears.

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.

Tattooed by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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5 stars

Tattooed by Suzanne D. Williams was a great story and once I started I could not stop reading until I had finished the book at two in the morning. I don’t really care for tattoos but after reading a few pages I forgot about the tattoos. Holden Lang was a rock drummer and had fame, fortune, and a body covered with tattoos. His newest tattoo was “Laura” the name of the woman he hoped to marry. Laura refused his marriage proposal so he went to the tattoo artist who did all his tattoos and had her cover the name with another tattoo. Unfortunately, her ex-husband came into the shop and in a fit of jealously he threw Holden through the window of the building and then began beating him senseless. Charity Caswell just happened to be in the area looking at a site to rent for her bookstore when Holden came flying through the window. She called 911 and then all the mix ups began. The EMT thought she was Holden’s wife and that information spread through the hospital and then to the news media. At this point the story REALLY became interesting.

Even thought I do not care for tattoos or rock music, I think this may be my favorite story by Suzanne Williams. I was lost in the story from the very beginning. Her development of the characters of Holden and Charity were so well done that I felt as if we were good friends. All the other characters were also well developed and I felt as if I knew each one personally. Suzanne has a knack for scene development and I was feeling every punch that the ex-husband was giving Holden. I also experienced all the feelings of doubt and other misgivings that Charity was dealing with for they were so vividly written and I could almost feel the pain of Holden as he went through physical therapy. There were twists and turns in the story and one that dealt with Charity and her ex-fiance was a complete surprise. This was a story that touched my heart and showed how God is willing to heal the body, soul, and mind if we just ask, have faith, and believe. I liked the comment that we are “tattooed” on God’s heart. Never thought about tattoos that way. I hope there will be a sequel about Charity and Holden and I would also like to read a story about Julie and Eric.

I highly recommend this book to all that enjoy a great Christian love story and one that shows what the love of God can do in a person’s life.

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.

Play It For Me by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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5 stars

Play It For Me by Suzanne D. Williams is the last book in the Italian Series and I for one hate to see the series end. Niccolo Cavatelli is a well known cellist but has cut himself off from the outside world. His entire world is music and even though he hears notes night and day, they do not contribute to the security he so strongly desires but adds to his isolation as does his lack of faith and trust in God. Nancy Dennis, a lady in her fifties, has stayed with Niccolo for the past three years. She is with him day and night, six days a week, and also travels with him when he has concerts. She is finally taking a week vacation and her niece, Kati Dennis, will be staying with Niccolo. There is an instant attraction between Niccolo and Kati and this leads him to write his greatest song but a thoughtless word from Kati sends Niccolo into a rage and it appears that he has lost the music.

Just as with the first four books in the series, Suzanne has done a great job in developing the characters. My heart went out to Niccolo and I wanted to help him regain his life and music. Kati was so very real also but when she uttered the words that sent Niccolo into a rage, I wanted to shake some sense into her. All the scenes were so descriptive that I felt as if I were in them along with the characters in the story. When Niccolo went into his destructive rage, I was almost holding my breath for I could not believe what he was doing. But his actions did make Kati stop and think and she realized what she had done to cause him to lose his temper so violently. There were several turns and twists to the plot line but everything worked out for the good in the end. There was a happy ending but it also contained a little sadness. This story was about Niccolo but it was also about the love and salvation of God for His children.

I highly recommend this book to all that enjoy a great Christian love story that also shows what the love of God can do in a person’s life.

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.

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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5 stars

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a story that is depressing at times but shows what the love of God can do to erase the shame in a life. Dinah Hubley has lived her entire life of seventeen years in the brothel where she was born to one of the prostitutes and has never known the true love of a mother. Dinah has one desire in life and that is to become a Harvey Girl which will allow her to work in an upscale hotel as a waitress. Unfortunately, Dinah is not old enough to be a Harvey Girl so she accepts the job of chambermaid in Mr. Harvey’s hotel in Florence, Kansas. Dinah’s co-workers try to be friends but she feels so much shame from the life she left behind that she simply cannot accept friendship when offered to her. Amos Ackerman, a chicken farmer with a handicapped leg, becomes interested in Dinah but she withdraws even more into herself. She feels that no one can love her because of the thing she had to do to survive before leaving Chicago for Kansas.

The author did an excellent job in developing all aspects of this story. The character of Dinah was so real that I was almost feeling shame right along with her. The other characters were very well developed and I felt as if I were right there with them trying to help Dinah. I especially liked Amos for he was such a kind, gentle,and loving man and I was almost in tears over the way that Dinah treated him at first when he was trying so hard to show her the love of Christ. All the scenes were so well described that I would end up feeling as if I had been working as a chambermaid all day. There were twists and turns in the plot line but they added a little suspense that made me wonder if Dinah would ever come to love herself and God.

I recommend this book to all who like a very good historical story that also shows how God can restore a life filled with shame.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Undetected by Dee Henderson 

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

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5 stars

Undetected by Dee Henderson is another great book by this author. Mark Bishop is the Commander of a ballistic missile submarine but when someone asks him what he does for a living he simply replies, “I’m in the Navy.” This is an extreme understatement for his job carries responsibilities that are not seen in any other job in the military. Mark is a widower and with all his heart he wants to come home to someone after spending several months at sea in a submarine with hundreds of men. He is attracted to Gina Gray but feels that maybe she is too young for him. Gina does ocean science research and her job is so important and secret that she has round the clock military protection. She would love to be married but due to a failed relationship, she spends nearly all her time working, sometimes even sleeping at her office. This work situation leaves her no time for a social life. She has just made a very important discovery and she needs Mark Bishop’s help to prove her theory. Fortunately, this will give them time together to get to know each other.

As with all her books, Dee Henderson did an excellent job in the development of all aspects of this story. It is very evident that she did the research necessary to write such a detailed story about life on a submarine and other jobs in the Navy. Also, she wrote in such a way that it was easy to understand what was happening on the submarine and with Gina’s work. All the characters were so well developed that I felt as if each one was a friend with Mark and Gina being close friends. Gina did not want to spend time on the submarine and this segment of the story was so real that I was feeling the same fear as Gina. There were several twists and turns to the plot line and these just added to the enjoyment of the story and kept me guessing as to what was going to happen. The characters and dialogue were so well developed that I had the feeling as if I were right in the middle of the action taking place on the submarine.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a well written story that is also a learning experience. There is romance and enough mystery to keep one reading and guessing.

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.

It Don’t Rain in Texas by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, June 20th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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It Don’t Rain in Texas by Suzanne D. Williams is a fun filled romance with a little bit of suspense that adds to the story. Lewis Dauger abandons the car stolen from an old girlfriend and then walks six miles to a truck stop near Amarillo. He goes inside with his main intent to find a ride south and when he spots Serena Hernandez sitting at the bar he knows he has found his transportation. They leave the truck stop and after a very long drive they stop at a seedy motel where Serena rents a room that happens to have only one bed. Don’t worry this is a clean, Christian story. After talking for a while and getting to know a little about each other, Serena pulls out her Texas Ranger badge and then Lewis pulls out his FBI badge. Considering their professions and the chemistry between them, the rest of the story is filled with fun and excitement and even danger for they end up in the middle of a manhunt due to the biggest prison escape in Texas.

As is normal for Suzanne, she did an excellent job in the development of this story. The characters are somewhat quirky but lovable and by the end of the first chapter you feel as is they are old friends. The dialogue is sometimes very funny and other times it makes you think. There were a few twists and turns to the plot line but they just added some delightful suspense. This story was a little less than ninety pages and once I started reading I did not stop until I read the last word. The story has a very happy ending but there was a surprise right at the very end that I was not expecting. But the surprise left me with a good feeling.

I recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a light hearted and fun filled romantic story with a little suspense thrown in to add enjoyment of the story.

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.

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

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Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth and final book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. Rhoda Byler’s life has been a series of ups and down but she has finally admitted that she loves Jacob King but is in love with Samuel King and is now living an almost peaceful life. Jacob leaves the Amish settlement in Maine to work as a builder, a vocation that he loves. He still feels responsible for Sandra and gives her financial help but her young daughter has a piece of his heart. While away on a building job he literally runs into Esther and he immediately feels an attraction to her but thinks that she is married. Leah King goes against all the rules of the Old Order Amish and has fallen in love with Englisher Landon Olson. This relationship could have a very negative influence on the new Amish community in Orchard Bend, Maine. To add even more turmoil to the lives of all in the new Amish settlement, Rhoda’s sister-in-law Phoebe contracts a deadly virus and everyone is not only fearful for her life but for the life of the child she is carrying.

Cindy did an excellent job in the development of the characters, plot, dialogue, and scenes. I already knew and loved the characters but this book make each of them even more loveable. The dialogue between the characters drew me into the book and kept me interested to the last page. Her description of the scenes were so realistic that I was right there in the orchard helping with all the before harvest work and then helping to pick apples. Scenes with Rhoda cooking up apples for her different products were so real that I could feel the heat from the stove. There were several twists and turns in the plot line and the story also had a good bit of suspense which added greatly to my enjoyment of the story. Several of the characters had problems that had to be solved and I really like the way that the author solved everyone of them. I was quite happy with the ending. I really liked the way that the author gave a short synopsis of the three previous books at the beginning of this book. I listened to the first three on audio and it was nice to have a refresher of what had already happened.

If you would like more information check out this site, the author’s website, and the author’s bio.

I highly recommend this book to all readers that love an Amish novel. I do suggest that you read the books in order for it just makes for more enjoyable reading, at least in my opinion.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Miting by Dee Yoder 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | 1 Comment

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5 stars

The Miting by Dee Yoder is the most enlightening Amish novel that I have ever read. Leah Raber is torn between her Amish beliefs and her desire to read the Bible which is forbidden by the Old Order Amish Church. She has no desire to go through rumspringen as many of the Amish teenagers do, she only wants to be free to read her Bible, to understand her relationship with God, and to attend a Bible study conducted by an ex-Amish couple. She does not understand how so many of the Amish “rules” are not in the Bible so she asks questions and this causes her family and the bishop to call her rebellious. Leah’s best friend Martha is also Amish but her family and the church do not prevent her from being abused by a family member. This and all the other unanswered questions cause Leah to finally leave the Amish life. She adapts well to the Englisher world but she is suffering greatly from homesickness. She finally goes back to her family but the miting/shunning is extremely severe and very painful but if she will give up reading the Bible, the miting will be lifted. Leah also wonders if everything that is happening to her will prevent her from having a lasting relationship with Jacob Yoder.

I have read many Amish novels but none has ever explained shunning so well. I knew what shunning was but it had never really registered with me how devastating it could be to the individual being shunned. I was surprised at the large number of things that the Amish are not allowed to do, many in my opinion seem ridiculous. Dee Yoder did an outstanding job in the development of this story. Every character in the story came to life and I felt as if I knew them. Many I loved and several I could barely tolerate. All the scenes were so realistic that many times I was in tears as I was reading, and if not in tears then sometimes fighting mad. There were a few twists and turns in the story but they added to the suspense of the story. Would Leah stay Amish or become English and will Jacob become part of her life? After reading this story, I have great respect for those who want to leave the Amish life for the freedom to read and study the Bible and to accept Christ as their Savior. I never realized how very hard that could be. I definitely hope that there will be a sequel for I want to know more about Leah and Jacob and would also like to know if Martha ever found happiness.

I very highly recommend this book to all who would like to know more about the Amish while reading a very enjoyable story that will touch the heart.

Kregel Publications 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.