Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Stories with fictional characters and events in a historical setting. Includes Amish, Westerns, Cold War, Historical, Ancient History, Roman, Greek, etc. Also includes virtual history and alternative history.

The River by Beverly Lewis

riverShe looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna’s death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past. A line I can’t move beyond…The River

The River
by Beverly Lewis
Bethany House
September 2014

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?

My Thoughts:

I often get asked if I tire of reading Amish Fiction. The answer is yes and no. I like that I know the books will be clean and centered around Biblical values. Beverly Lewis is not one that I tire of as she has changed a lot in her Amish genre. Mrs. Lewis was the first author to hook and reel me into Amish fiction and I guess you could say she is still hooking and reeling me in with her stories.

Tilly and Ruth are well developed characters that you just adore. Both of the sisters have unresolved hurts that have kept them in a place that they have been stuck dwelling in for far too long.

This is a story of redemption, healing, forgiveness, and family. Both girls have to find peace and resolve and be content in their decision that led them away from their Amish roots.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but, this is a worthwhile story that will pull at your heart strings and break your heart at the same time.

Thank you for another wonderful story. This story ended with a wonderful conclusion. I look forward Beverly Lewis next book.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

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

Red River by P. G. Nagle

download Most of the action in this story takes place in Louisiana where the Union and confederates are in a battle to have control of the Red River.

Red River
by P. G. Nagle
Evennight Books
August 2003

Red River by P. G. Nagle is a well written book but I found it somewhat hard to really get into the story because there were so many Generals, Colonels, Lieutenants, Captains, Sergeants, and Privates for both the South and the North that I had trouble keeping them straight. In fact, I gave up and just focused on the story line that involved Marie Hawkland, mistress of a large plantation, Nat Wheat, a Union Navy carpenter, and Jamie Russell, a Confederate Captain. The story features battles that took place on the Red River in Louisiana where it flows into the Mississippi River. This was the largest waterway in the country and both the North and South wanted control. A good bit of action takes place at Marie’s plantation for she was more or less friendly with both the South and the North. The Confederates wanted to buy cotton to exchange for weapons and the Federals wanted to buy cotton just to keep it from the Confederates.

The battle scenes were quite graphic and in my mind I could see all the horrors of the battles. I could not keep all the battles straight but the friendships between the men, both Confederate and Federal, made for enjoyable reading. There was a great deal of suspense in the story for I never knew which side would win the battle. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the plot line concerning the individuals for there was lots of suspense wondering how each of the main characters would end up. At least for me the story had a happy ending.

I recommend this book if you are really into stories about the battles fought in the Civil War and don’t mind profanity in 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 publisher as a review copy.

The Healer’s Touch by Lori Copeland

91HW5ZUNtxL._SL1500_Lyric Bolton and her younger sister Lark live with their mother but are shunned by everyone in the community because of the mental illness of the mother.

The Healer’s Touch
by Lori Copeland
Harvest House Publishers
August 2014

The Healer’s Touch by Lori Copeland is a great story of love and faith in God and also provides a lot of great laughs. Lyric Bolton and her younger sister Lark live with their mother but are shunned by everyone in the community because of the mental illness of the mother. Lyric has convinced herself that she will always be alone but then Ian Cawley comes into her life in a very unexpected and funny way.

The characters, dialogue, and scenes were all very well developed by the author. All the characters came to life on the pages of the book but Lyric and Ian were especially real and I was pulling for them to work out all their problems. Scenes were so vivid that I was holding my breath during some of them and laughing like crazy at other happenings. And then when the author added in the “spook” lights that frightened nearly everyone in the community except Lyric and Ian, you have more good laughs and also some suspense. The note left by the dying mother was quite a surprise but cleared up a lot of things.
I liked the way that the author combined scripture into the story and that she had Lyric and Ian remaining firm in their Christian beliefs.

I highly recommend this book to all that enjoy a great historical novel with lots of romance, suspense and a good laugh or two.


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 Call to Arms by P. G. Nagle

91sRDL0m-NL._SL1500_ Fictional story based on the real life adventures of Sara Emma Edmonds who served in the Civil War for two years as Private Frank Thompson.

A Call to Arms
P. G. Nagle
Evennight Books
April 2014

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.

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


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 Lady and the Officer by Mary Ellis

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Madeline Howard worked for one day as a nurse in a Union hospital and during that short time she saved the life of a Confederate soldier, Colonel Haywood.

The Lady and the Officer
by Mary Ellis
Harvest House Publishers
August 2014

The Lady and the Officer by Mary Ellis was a very enjoyable historical romance novel that takes place during the Civil War. Madeline Howard served one day as a nurse after the battle of Gettysburg but in that short time she saved the life of Elliot Hayward, a Confederate Colonel. Madeline’s home was destroyed so she left Pennsylvania and moved to Virginia to live with her only relatives. She was living in the South because of necessity but her heart belonged to the North and especially to General James Downing, a soldier in the Union Army. Colonel Haywood never forgot Madeline and when he happened to meet her in Richmond, he tried everything to win her affection.

Mary Ellis did a great job in the development of the characters, dialogue, and scenes. All the characters simply came to life on the pages of the book. They were so well presented that I felt as if I knew them all personally. Scenes were vividly described that I felt myself taking part in all the things that were happening. There were many twists and turns to the plot line and they all added to the suspense of the story. Which man would Madeline choose? Would she be captured as a spy? Would she be able to return to her hometown in Pennsylvania? And, why was Madeline a nurse for only one day? The ending of the story was very satisfactory.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone that really likes an historical romance that is set in the period of the Civil War and also includes several battles between the North and South.


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 Match of Wits by Jen Turano

91OLCFE+vdL._SL1500_Agatha Watson is an investigative reporter for the New York Tribune and is now in Colorado hoping to outwit someone in New York who wants her dead.

A Match of Wits

by Jen Turano
Bethany House
June 2014

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano is a most delightful story that had me laughing out loud several times in each chapter. Agatha Watson is an investigative reporter for the New York Tribune and is now in Colorado hoping to outwit someone in New York who wants her dead. To Agatha’s dismay, the newspaper has provided her with a bodyguard and she tries daily to shake him and go off on her own. Her dear friend, Zayne Beckett, is also in Colorado but neither of them wants to run into the other. Agatha does run into Zayne in a saloon where he is drunk and looks as if he has not bathed, shaved, or washed his clothes in months. She know that she is the one that must get him back home to New York and his family. Zayne does not want to go home but Agatha insists and when they arrive in New York after many trying situations, he finally realizes that Agatha is in real danger. He tries to become her protector but she rejects his efforts and what follows is a royal battle of wills that makes for some exciting moments and sometimes a good laugh.

Jan Turano did an excellent job in developing all the characters in this story. They were so well written that they definitely came to life on the pages of the book. They were so realistically portrayed that I was right there beside them in every adventure. The description of the scenes made them come to life and pulled me right into the middle of what was happening. I cannot remember reading any book in which the dialogue gave me so many laughs. And there were many twists and turns to the plot line and these kept me guessing until the end of the book. There was enough suspense to keep me reading when I should have been doing other things.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys an historical novel that is filled with lots of laughs. I also think that men might also enjoy 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 publisher as a review copy.

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

IN THE FIELD OF GRACEThis is a fictional story based on the story of Ruth and Boaz as recorded in the Book of Ruth in the Bible.

In the Field of Grace
by Tessa Afshar
Moody Publishers
June 2014

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz based on the story in the Bible. The story opens with the death of Boaz’s first wife and continues on to give background into Ruth’s life before she married Naomi’s son. After the death of her husband and two sons, Naomi decides to return to Israel. Ruth decides to go with Naomi but since she is a Moab woman, she is not accepted at first but because she is so good to her mother-in-law Naomi, she slowly wins the acceptance of the people in Naomi’s village. While gleaning in a field she meets Boaz and he tells her to glean no where but in his fields. Naomi explains the redeemer law to Ruth and she does exactly what Naomi tells her to do. Boaz is interested in Ruth and he does all the things necessary to make her his wife. The story of Ruth begins when she is the young widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi and living in Moab. From that beginning, she becomes the wife of Boaz and this puts her in the genealogy of Jesus.

The only facts that we are sure are true are those found in the story of Ruth in the Bible. The author does an excellent job in writing this fictional story of Ruth. Through her development of the characters, dialogue, and scenes, the author makes the story even more real. The things portrayed in the story could have happened and they definitely do not take anything away from the Biblical account. The author has stayed true to the account in the Bible and writes a wonderful story that makes you want to go to the Bible and reread the Book of Ruth.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a lover of Biblical fiction.


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.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

91TYPKfHcXL._SL1500_When Nicole Renard a rich and beautiful young woman meets Darius Thornton an obsessive and reclusive scientist, life gets very interesting.

Full Steam Ahead
by Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House
May 2014

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.


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.

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray

joyfulA young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Joyful
Return to Sugarcreek 3
by Shelley Shepard Gray
Avon Inspire
August 2014

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

My Thoughts:

This is book three in the, “Return to Sugarcreek” series. Don’t fret if you haven’t read the first book in the series as you will be able to follow along. I assure you that you will want to go back and read book one and two.

I had such a hard time putting this story down. I loved catching up with other characters from the previous novels and meeting new one.

Elizabeth was warm and caring character. I really liked her personality. Randall I wanted to dislike at times for being such a fool. The Beiler boys just are to likable not to stay mad at them to long.

Judith and Ben I am so glad that we got to see how there story ended. I won’t give away any spoilers.

The new character’s Pippa and Bud I would of loved if the author spent a bit more time with them and got to know them better.

All the characters in this story were interesting and I am sad to see this series come to an end. I have really enjoyed this book.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher 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.