Category Archives: General Fiction

Say It With Flowers by Suzanne D. Williams

910B0284W6L._SL1500_ Benito Bottari owns a florist and when Arabella Howland comes in to order flowers for her wedding Benito immediately falls in love.

Say It With Flowers
by Suzanne D. Williams
Self Published
April 2014

Say It With Flowers by Suzanne D. Williams is the fourth book in the Italian series and this book is just as enjoyable a story as the other three. It is a delightful feel good romantic story but how could it be anything else with a handsome and sweet Italian man as the main character. Benito Bottari owns a florist and when Arabella Howland comes into the store to order flowers for her wedding, Benito falls in love immediately. It is no surprise that Arabella also feels something when she meets Benito. He has secrets in his past but he is determined to win Arabella’s heart for he has a feeling that she does not really love Fredrick, the man she is to marry. When Arabella’s best friend tells Benito that Fredrick is not what he seems and that Arabella’s life is in danger, Benito thinks he may be the only person who can help Arabella.

Once again Suzanne has done an excellent job in the development of the characters, dialogue, and plot. All the characters were so realistically portrayed that I felt as if I were friends with all of them, well not with Fredrick. I was instantly drawn to Benito and was pulling for him to win the girl. The dialogue was gripping at times and at other times my heart was melting. There were a few twists and turns in the plot and one of those turns had me sitting on the edge of my chair and chewing on my fingernails. The author definitely knows how to keep the reader reading. And during all the action that took place in the book, I was right in the middle of it for the scenes were so well written and real. You will have to read the book to learn if Benito wins Arabella’s heart.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially to those that love a feel good romantic story.


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.

Hands of Darkness by Heather James

1609555_734353786599112_1268552769_n Evelyn Barrett has a new baby and a new job as a police consultant. She helped the police solve the murder of her young daughter and is now trying to move on with her life since she can no longer work as a lawyer.

Hands of Darkness
by Heather James
Kregel Publications
February 2014

Hands of Darkness by Heather James was a good book but I had a hard time getting involved in the story. Evelyn Barrett can no longer practice law so she has taken a job as a police consultant and will be working with Detective Thatcher. She worked with him to help solve the kidnapping and murder of her young daughter. At the beginning of the book she is almost at the end of her pregnancy and has the baby before the middle of the story. Working as a police consultant allows her to be at home with her newborn son and to work only hours that are convenient. At least that was the way it was supposed to be. The first case she works on involves a very sadistic serial rapist and murderer who is very methodical in his killings. He leaves absolutely nothing at the scene that would lead to his identity so Thatcher and Evelyn have a very tough job in bringing him to justice. The case becomes very personal for Evelyn when her good friend Jen is raped but somehow manages to survives.

The author did an excellent job in the development of the characters. I had a problem liking the main character for she had so many quirks in her personality that simply rubbed me the wrong way. The description of scenes, especially ones that involved a dead body, were so real that I felt as if I were a witness to what was happening. I love a good police drama, even with murder thrown into the mix, but this story just seemed almost too dark for my taste. The villain was so evil that I cringed every time I read what he was thinking and doing. Evelyn seemed to be a devout Christian but it seemed that a great deal of the time, the devil controlled her tongue. And it bothered me that she would get a bee in her bonnet and strike out alone and not tell Thatcher what she was going to do. That trait finally got her into a lot of trouble and danger. I was a little disappointed with the ending but I guess it was the only way the story could end. In spite of the darkness of the story, there was a time or two that I actually laughed at whatever was happening or being said.

I gave the book a four star rating because I could not honestly say that I loved the book and give it five stars.

I would recommend this book only if you are really into dark murder mysteries with a murderer that seems to have a soul that is pure evil.


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.

Lucy’s Mansion by Deanne Durrett

91MJihThhBL._SL1500_Becca has bought the beautiful Victorian mansion from Lucy Evans and has turned it into a home for battered women and children. Residents of the community are not happy.

Lucy’s Mansion
by Deanne Durrett
Self Published
December 2013

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.


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.

The Rogue Trust by Deanne Durrett

81a9P1wIlML._SL1500_Becca McGee is the heir to a huge fortune and she finds her life out of sync because of all the problems that result from the inheritance. She must also deal with J.T. Harrison the lawyer handling the inheritance for he wants to know her better and she wants nothing to do with him.

The Rogue Trust
by Deanne Durrett
Self Published
January 2014

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.


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.

The Vicar’s Wife by Katherine Swartz

91jk4h0I6wL._SL1500_Andrew and Jane Hatton have moved to England from New York City and he is delighted to be back home in his native England but his wife Jane is very unhappy and feels that it will never be home for her and their three children.

The Vicar’s Wife
by Katherine Swartz
Kregel Publications
October 2013

The Vicar’s Wife by Katherine Swartz was an enjoyable book even though at the beginning it was somewhat depressing, at least to me. Jane and Andrew Hatton have moved to England from New York City and are living in the old vicarage in the village of Goswell. Andrew is delighted to be back home in England but Jane is very unhappy and feels that neither the house nor England will ever feel like home to her and their three children, Natalie, Ben, and Merrie. Jane found a piece of a shopping list that had belonged to Alice James the wife of the vicar during the 1930’s. Jane can’t seem to forget the woman and goes all out searching for information about Alice. She and Alice are very much alike in that both are not sure about living in the vicarage and also seem to be searching to find out who they really are and to overcome their fears and learn what is really important in life.

The author did an excellent job in the development of the characters. In fact her portrayal of Jane was so well done and seemed so real that I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shaking. Alice also came alive on the pages of the book and I wanted to give her a hug for she was trying so hard and it seemed that almost everyone was against her. There were a few twists in the plot and it was interesting to read how each one turned out. There were also a few surprises near the end of the story. The dialogue of the characters was well written, in fact so well written that at times I found myself talking to them, at least in my head. Natalie, Ben, and Merrie were completely real in the story again showing the skill of the author in developing the character of each one. I really liked the way that the narrative changed between Jane and Alice with each chapter. Even though I found the beginning of the book somewhat depressing, by the end of the story I found that I actually liked Jane for she finally realized what she wanted in life and began to work for it.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy English authors and stories set in the English countryside.


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 Air We Breathe by Parrish

airwebreatheMolly Fisk is a seventeen year old who does not go outside. She sets by the window of the tiny museum and stares at all the activity, but dares not venture out. She has never been outside – she has been running for so long, but she is not running now.

The Air We Breathe
by Christa Parrish
Bethany House
November 2012

What has caused Molly to be so terrified of going outside? She longs to take a walk, see the outside, speak to the cute boy that works in the pizza place, but she is too afraid to even think about it.

Then Claire Rodriquez shows up. How can she help Molly find a new life? Will Molly find the courage to face her fears and venture outside the four walls of the museum?

A very interesting read. I really enjoyed it, Ms. Parrish brings her characters to life in a very forceful way.

Highly recommended.


The Golden Reviewer, is an 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top..

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

The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley

81iJWddb9fL._SL1500_ Faith Morgan is the Vicar of Little Worthy and she has so many projects to finish before Christmas that she hardly has time to sleep.

The Advent of Murder
by Martha Ockley
Kregel Publications
July 2013

The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley did not grab my interest at the beginning but the more I read the more interesting the story became. Faith Morgan is the new Vicar of Little Worthy and she is very involved in getting everything ready for the Advent season. It seems that she has so many things to do that she seldom gets enough sleep. When Faith goes to visit one of her parishioners, she learns that a young man from the choir has been murdered. Faith was a policewoman before she became the Vicar, and she cannot help getting involved in the murder investigation in spite of all the other things that she must do before Christmas. Detective Inspector Ben Shorter is Faith’s ex-boyfriend and he resents her involvement in the investigation but once in a while he accepts her ideas.

Characters and their dialogue were very well developed and the characters seemed to come to life on the pages of the book. The plot had many twists and turns and I was kept guessing until almost the end of the book as to the identify of the murderer. There were also several mysteries in the story which added greatly to my enjoyment. The story had quite a few rather unusual characters but they added interest to the story. After finishing the book I had the feeling that maybe Faith had been a better policewoman than she was a Vicar. I was a little surprised at the ending but it was a satisfactory ending.

I would recommend this book if you like mysteries set in England and written by British authors.


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.

And the Mountains Echoed by Hosseini

And the Mountain echoed is a saga about the unseen umbilical cord that ties the hearts of siblings, no matter how far they are drawn by circumstances, distances and time. It is about a ten year boy named Abdullah who is parted from his three years old sister Pari who is sold under dire circumstances to a childless couple in the city, and how the events leading to it and the ones thereon intertwine, part and define the fates of many characters related by blood, circumstances or just helpless love. It is a mesh of many short stories narrated from the perspectives of these characters across continents, set in time before, during and after the soviet invasion in Afganistan, and tied together as part of a higher plan, a larger quest for love and one’s identity and purpose in life.

And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini
Riverhead Books
May 2013

To me, reading this book was like reading 400 pages of poetry that makes you feel things you would feel while watching a movie or experiencing something in person. Khaled Hosseini is a master of emotions; he can make you feel all warm inside with the mention of a memory of a kid trading his shoes for a feather for his beloved sister’s collection, and at the same time have you plunge in despair on the reality of the siblings being forcibly parted to places that seem much farther in one’s imagination. I found each character in his book as imperfect and vast as a human being. As his previous two novels, the main themes that this book revolves around are love, loss, memories and moral obligations that are profoundly captured by his ability to express complex and ambiguous human emotions through stark comparisons and descriptions that certainly left an echo in my mind.

I highly recommend this book to all who love to flow with the tide of a book, get caught up in its music and be in the afterthoughts of the vastness and diversity of human emotions.


Shivani Ahuja is a freelance writer and an avid traveler who loves Art & Craft and all things Recycled. She is a post graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology in India. Her writings can also be read at her blog.

Reunited at Christmas by Debra Ullrick

91SN81ZQjDL._SL1500_Shelby’s heart was broken when Ryker, her fiance, called three months before the wedding and said that he could not marry her. He is now back in town and is hoping that he can win her love and trust again.

Reunited at Christmas
by Debra Ullrick
Self Published
November 2013

Reunited at Christmas by Debra Ullrick is a wonderful story of love, trust, and forgiveness. Shelby Davis is slowly rebuilding her life after her fiance called three months before the wedding and said that he could not marry her but gave no explanation. Her work as a trainer of search and rescue dogs is helping her overcome her heartbreak. When she receives a call for her rescue dog, Max, and her snowmobile, she learns that the missing person she needs to find is Ryker Anderson, the man that caused her broken heart. She never wants to see him again but she is a professional and it so happens that it is her dog that finds Ryker. He has finally returned home to Grand Lake, Colorado, and is hoping and praying that he can win Shelby’s love and trust once again.

Debra did an excellent job in the development of every element of the story. She made the characters so real that I was shedding tears with them or laughing with them. The plot had a few surprises and was so well written that sometimes I was holding my breath to see what would happen next. There was also a good deal of suspense in the story. The scenes were so real that I felt as if I were right in the middle of what was happening, I was even feeling the cold of the snow. I especially like the way the author has God as a vital part of the story. She shows that He is with us on the mountaintops and in the valleys. Learning to trust again was well covered in the story and this also showed the love of God. In my opinion, Debra has written a book that is a must read for the Christmas season for after reading you will have a smile on your face and love in your heart.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great romantic story set during the Christmas holidays and that also has the love and forgiveness of God throughout the book.


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.

The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall

8163J2hcnBL._SL1500_Sadie and Levi have both been hurt by the actions of others and because of this she does not trust men and he does not trust women.

The Dawn of Christmas
by Cindy Woodsmall
Waterbrook Press
October 2013

The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful story dealing with second chances and learning to trust. Sadie was engaged to Daniel and shortly before the wedding she caught him kissing her cousin but he tried to convince her that she did not see what she thought she saw. In fact, most people in the community did not believe Sadie. Her family decided that it would be best if she moved away and this gives her the opportunity to spend time in Peru as a missionary. After four years, Sadie is ready to go back home and her family welcomes her back. Soon after Sadie arrived back home she is out walking and finds Levi lying in the snow seriously injured after being thrown from his horse. He distrusts women after watching his brother suffer when his wife left him with a young son to rear alone. Their families and friends begin to meddle in their lives by trying to get them romantically interested in each other. To keep the peace, Sadie and Levi decide to pretend that they are courting and this leads to lots of interesting situations..

This story was very well written and all the characters were so well developed that they came to life. Through the dialogue of the characters I could feel their pain and sorrow. All the scenes were so descriptive that I was right in the middle of the action. Both main characters had suffered from the actions of others and I really liked the way the author had them turning to God for guidance and for the ability to forgive the ones who wronged them. It was interesting to follow Sadie and Levi in their journey of learning to trust again.

I definitely recommend this book to all readers who are lovers of Amish fiction that involves a great romance.


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.