Undetected by Dee Henderson

91hmdPSsO5L._SL1500_ Mark Bishop is the commander of a ballistic missile submarine and Gina Gray is an ocean science researcher. She has just come up with a new theory and needs his help.

Undetected
Dee Henderson
Bethany House
April 2014

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.


Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Moms-Night-Out-Devotional-2

Mom’s Night Out Devotional by Pomarolli

The movie and novelization of Mom’s Night Out is a hilarious, adventurous tale about finding hope and value in motherhood. This devotional ties the humor and the Biblical message together.

Moms’ Night Out and Other Things I Miss
Devotions To Help You Survive
By Kerri Pomarolli
B&H Publishing Group
April 2014

Pomarolli is a comedian, actress and author who strikes a conversational and authentic tone throughout. Her devotions on motherhood range from silly to thoughtful and formatted from Top 10 lists to devotions you’d find in any other less humorous devotion. All clearly Christian without being denominationally specific.

This is a very funny book that serves as a great devotion to mothers who may be interested in something a little different than your average devotional.


@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of BookGateway.com. He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

momsnight-out1

Mom’s Night Out by Goyer

Is there such a thing as Stay-at-home-mom Crisis? I think there is. And if you are one or know one then you know how amazingly hard it is to be one. How do you cope and thrive? That’s the story of Mom’s Night Out.

Moms’ Night Out
Novelization by Tricia Goyer
Screenwriten by Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Andrea Nasfell
B&H Books
April 2014

Allyson is unhappy. She always wanted to be a mom but now that she is she finds that her daily grind and the daily responsibilities to her kids is weighing her down. To cope she thinks that she needs to get out and have fun away from her family. High heels and all girls. No responsibilities. And of course it goes wrong.

Unlike similar humorous films and books, this one never finds itself lost in drugs, sexual misconduct, or scandals. Rather, the ladies find themselves on a trail of mishap ending with Allyson finding the true value of being a mother.

Critics have said that this story sets women back in time and traps them in a repressed world where they don’t have jobs. Clearly the issue here is that some critics don’t understand that being a mom is a job. And one where she works harder and longer hours than any of the critics. The issue of importance comes to mind: is it really more valuable to society or individuals to work an hourly job (many of which result in below poverty line earnings) under a boss where you may have to do things you wouldn’t want to do or is it more empowering to be your own boss, responsibile for raising children to be valuable pieces of society, and saving money by cutting costs for day care, eating out, gas, and home care?

This is a feel good story of a woman who ultimately recognizing her value doesn’t have to do with her job or her daily work – but in who she is and how she is loved. It is a modern, female version of It’s a Wonderful Life with more humor.


@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of BookGateway.com. He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Tic-Tac-Tome by Yonkers

tic-tac-tomeA book that can beat you at Tic-Tac-Toe? That’s what the author says anyway. If the book is really that good, I must be the best Tic-Tac-Toe player ever.

Tic Tac Tome
The Autonomous Tic Tac Toe Playing Book
By Willy Yonkers
Quirk Books
June 2014

This is a massive book. About 3-4 inches thick (and only 4×4 in size) with like a thousand pages. What’s interesting is that this could be an app with maybe 40-50 kb worth of data. It’s big but really simple. You choose where you want to place your mark (O or X) and turn to the designated page. On that page you’ll see your mark and also the book’s next move. Repeat. Repeat. Cat’s game. Pretty much every time.

That’s the bummer thing about this book (and this game): once you recognize the gambits of the other player you really can’t lose. And neither can they. So this game is really for newbies and kids. As such, so is this book. I had my 7 year old play it and he figured out how to Cat’s pretty quickly. My 12 year old never lost. Two adults who “played” the book also never lost. In fact, I never saw anyone actually get beat by the game.

This is a gift book with limited interest. Fun for a moment.

NOTE: In case you see a different book of the same name by Ty Liotta, this is actually a reprint with Quirkbooks from the 2011 ThinkGeek version that has been out of print.


@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of BookGateway.com. He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

A1HKfEQFCWL._SL1500_Rhoda Byler has finally realized that she loves Jacob King as a dear friend but she is in love with Samuel King and wants to marry him.

Seasons of Tomorrow
by Cindy Woodsmall
Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers
April 2014

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.

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.


Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Miting by Dee Yoder

81+G1r-jd2L._SL1500_Leah Raber wants to read the Bible but this is forbidden by the Old Order Amish Church. She leave the church but is so homesick that she comes back.

The Miting
by Dee Yoder
Kregel Publications
March 2014

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 God 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.


Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Hacked

If you follow this site (and you should!) you’ll notice that over the last month we’ve changed looks and haven’t posted new reviews and you may wonder why. Here’s the deal: we were hacked. We didn’t even know you could hack a website like ours (I mean we aren’t a bank or government or whatever). It turns out you can.

Our site was injected with something called Blackhat SEO some time in February to March. That means that someone hid code on our site that would give false links to all kinds of “enhancement” selling sites. Readers never saw it. We never saw it. But search engines did and boosted those links’ hits to raise their results. Nothing malicious and nothing dangerous for our readers or our content. But troubling.

So we reset the site with a backup, changed servers and did a bunch of stuff to harden the site. And it worked. We’ve now had this site running for several weeks (and a test site before this base don the backup for a month) and no more SEO.

The site is fully functional. All our old reviews (over 700!) from your favorite reviewers like Deanna Love Gottreu and the Golden Reviewer are back up. Some pictures aren’t working and we will continue to work on getting those back. In the mean time enjoy the reviews. We apologize for the lapse. And harden your sites!

-@ashertopia, Managing Editor

Dead Ringer by V. B. Tenery

81136tBJrqL._SL1500_Mercy Lawrence is abducted in Bermuda by Thomas Wallace for she was identified by airport facial recognition software as Traci Wallace, his missing wife.

Dead Ringer
by V. B. Tenery
White Rose Publishing
May 2014

Dead Ringer by V. B. Tenery is on my list as one of the best mysteries I have ever read. Mercy Lawrence was walking down the sidewalk in Bermuda when she is grabbed by Thomas Wallace and forced into his limousine. The man insists that she is his missing wife, Traci, and he intends to return her to their home on a private island in the Mediterranean. Their son is recovering from surgery and the father feels that having his mom at home will help in his recovery. Thomas believes she is his wife for the airport facial recognition identified Mercy as Traci Wallace. Unfortunately, Traci has made enemies of some ruthless men and since Thomas says that Mercy is Traci, Mercy is in grave danger. Thomas is an ex-CIA agent and is called back into service for a rescue mission and this only adds to all the danger and problems following Mercy and Thomas.

The entire book takes place between May 5 and September 14 but what a four months of excitement, terror, murder, death, happiness, love, and other emotions. This story grabbed my attention at the first sentence and did not let go until I read the last word. V. B. Tenery has a great ability for writing suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat and reading until the wee hours of the morning. She had so many twists and turns in the plot line of the story that I never knew what was going to happen next, but this just made the story that much more enjoyable. The characters were so realistic that I almost forgot that I was reading fiction. She made me love them, hate them, or fear them but I definitely felt something for every character. All the scenes were extremely well written and while reading this story I almost felt as if I were going through training for a CIA mission and then taking part in that mission. And I was right beside Mercy when she was trying to escape from her captors. All in all this was a very well written book that kept me guessing from chapter to chapter. And to make it even better, it had a happy ending.

I highly recommend this book to all lovers of suspense and mystery stories with lots of danger and some romance in the mix.

 


 

Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.
This book was provided by the author as a review copy.

A Shining Light by Judith Miller

81B1QrL-vjL._SL1500_ Andrea Wilson and her young son Lukas leave Baltimore to return to her father’s farm in Iowa after she receives news that her husband has been lost at sea.

A Shining Light
by Judith Miller
Bethany House Publishers
March 2014

A Shining Light by Judith Miller takes place in West Amana, Iowa, and is a most enjoyable story. Andrea Wilson and her young son Lukas leave Baltimore to return to her father’s farm in Iowa after she receives news that her husband has been lost at sea. Unfortunately, Andrea’s father has sold the farm and then died when the house burned and he was trapped inside. The generous people of the Amana community invite Andrea and Lukas to live with them for a while. Andrea finds that she really likes the way of life in the community and dreads the day when she and Lukas will be asked to leave. Dirk Knefler, the tinsmith, is attracted to Andrea and he forms a very strong friendship with Lukas who is in desperate need of a father figure in his life. Andrea and Lukas are happy in the simple life when another problem rears its ugly head.

All the characters in the story were extremely well developed with most of them being very loveable but one was impossible to love. I liked the way the author had the story told from the perspective and in the voice of the main characters with the name of the character at the beginning of a chapter. Although I loved the entire cast of characters, well except for one, my favorite was Lukas for he was such an adorable little boy with a heart full of love. There were several surprises in the plot but they only made the story more interesting. I appreciate how the author had God as a very important part of the story and how God working through Dirk, helped Andrea find peace and have her faith restored. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the workings of the Amana community.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a great story with a happy ending.


Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

81XxJiPyMZL._SL1500_Marty Olson answers an ad for a “Lone Star Bride” and travels to Denver from Texas to marry Jake Wythe. It is to be a marriage of convenience only.

A Sensible Arrangement
by Tracie Peterson
Bethany House Publishers
April 2014

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson is a most delightful book and one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Marty Olson answers an ad for a “Lone
Star Bride” and leaves her Texas home to travel to Denver to marry Jake Wythe. Jake is a banker and his boss insists that his top employees be married. Both Marty and Jake have been married before and this marriage is to be one of convenience only. After the wedding, Marty is almost overwhelmed with all the demands of Denver high society. Jake hates the society scene as much as Marty but to keep his boss happy and maybe even to keep his job, they have to put on a happy face and attend all the society functions. The state of the economy threatens Jake’s job and this causes him to think even more about returning to ranching in Texas. Even though Marty dislikes all the things she is expected to do as a member of high society, she does not want to return to Texas. Will all the demands of high society and the problems with the economy draw the couple together or will the marriage remain one of convenience?

In this one hundredth book by Tracie Peterson, she did an excellent job in the writing of all elements of the book just as she did in the first ninety-nine. Marty and Jake were so well written that I could not help but care for them. By the end of the book I felt as if they were lifetime friends. There were several different plot lines going on in the story but Tracie tied them all together in a very satisfactory way. This story is filled with history, politics, banking business, mystery, romance, and even a failed stage coach robbery. There were several times that I would laugh at what was happening but the funniest situation was when Marty told Jake her greatest desire. At the beginning of the book, Marty felt as if God had deserted her but through the help of her household servants, she accepted God’s forgiveness and love. In spite of all the problems, the story had a wonderful ending. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I highly recommend this book to everyone that likes an historical novel filled with romance and set in the American West at the end of the 19th century.


Deanna Love Gottreu is a 75 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

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