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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015

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May 23, 2015
Wings of a DreamWings of a Dream by Anne Mateer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rebekah Hendricks knows what she wants in life, and it's nothing like what her mother envisions for her. Rebekah longs to shake the dust from her small Oklahoma town from her feet as she finds adventure in the big city. Arthur Samson offers her all her heart desires, but first he must train to do his part in WWI.

Then the telegram arrives. Rebekah is sent to nurse her ailing aunt, an aunt she barely remembers. She arrives in a little Texas town that could be the equivalent of the one she grew up in. And she finds her aunt on a farm much like her father's back in Oklahoma. But nothing else is the same. She arrives in time to watch her aunt pass from life and to meet the four children her aunt is responsible for. Children Rebekah knew nothing about.

Sheriff Henry Jeffries helps her and the children through the Spanish Flu crisis. Rebekah and the four children escape the often fatal disease. But then what? The children's father is serving in France. They have nobody to care for them, except Rebekah, and she plans on traveling to Dallas to find Arthur. Pulled between her desires and her new responsibilities, Rebekah learns that life - and people - aren't always what they seem.

I had a little trouble getting into this story at the beginning, but warmed up to it quickly and enjoyed the read. The secondary characters are strong and the storyline is compelling. The history of the Spanish Flu outbreaks and how people coped during them is heart-tugging. Worth the read!
May 20, 2015
A Constant HeartA Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting historical tale set in Elizabethan England. Historically well done, going in depth into the whole royal court aspect of life. A Constant Heart parts the curtain and lets us see behind all the pomp and circumstance.

Marget, raised by a knighted merchant father who has done well financially, is married to the Earl of Lytham because he needs her money. Still, she hopes to find love and acceptance with her new husband. What she finds instead is a life at court. A life comprised of intrigue, power struggles, and danger. Can she earn the love and respect of the Earl without alienating herself from the Queen?

An enjoyable read, especially if you're into the history of that era.
May 16, 2015
Fancy Pants (Only in Gooding, #1)Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a book with strong secondary characters and this is one of them. The main characters are interesting and engaging too, of course, but the secondary characters really took this tale to the next level for me.

Lady Sydney Hathwell came to the United States to marry a man who had corresponded with her father. Her father now deceased, she felt obligated to meet his choice for a husband for her. But it was disaster at first sight.

Sydney flees to her uncle's ranch, her American mother's brother. But there's a catch. Uncle Fuller doesn't like females. So Sydney becomes "Syd" with a haircut and a change of clothes. From a British royal lady to a British fop training to be a ranch hand.

Big Tim Creighton doesn't relish babysitting his partner's nephew until Fuller gets home. How's he going to turn this prissy greenhorn into something his uncle will be proud of?

Plenty of page-turning adventures in this book. You'll laugh out loud at some of the antics "Syd" gets into. And giggle some more at Tim's inability to grasp the blatantly obvious. And if you don't love Velma ... well ...

I'll ding it one star because in places it got a little preachy. But the laughs will more than make up for that in the long run.
May 12, 2015
Paradise Valley (Daughters of Caleb Bender, #1)Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the premise of this book. It starts in 1922 when Amish fathers in Ohio were jailed for keeping their children out of the public school. Caleb Bender decides to move his family to Paradise Valley, Mexico, where schools are not regulated - if they exist at all. Their church decides that one family should go first to the new land and determine if the move is good for more. Caleb's family learns the language and are befriended by Domingo, a half-Indian/half-Mexican native who speaks several languages. The land is good where they settle, and they build their farm. But not everything is good. The land has been torn apart by warring factions. Between the bandits and the government forces, who know who to trust?

The characters are good, solid people, the kind you'd like for next door neighbors. The setting and history of the story are very well done. I'm dinging it down to three stars because it's one of those books that doesn't end, it just stops. It's obviously the first in a series, and while I enjoy series books, I like them to each have a definite beginning and ending. That's a personal preference and may not bother other readers.
May 8, 2015
Writing in Obedience - A Primer for Christian Fiction WritersWriting in Obedience - A Primer for Christian Fiction Writers by Terry Burns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book. Now before you laugh at that statement, you must understand that I'm the queen of unfinished books on writing. I have a STACK of them. I'd like to tell you that they are all unfinished because I got so inspired half-way through that I dropped everything and dug into my writing. But you go to hell just as fast for lying as you do for stealing.

This book isn't a how-to type of writing book. It's a thoughtful look at whether or not you're ready to be a writer. It gives a general overview of what it takes to write a book, what it takes to get published, what it takes to self-publish, and all along the way, questions for the reader to think about in their own writing journey.

I found it very insightful and realistic, while also encouraging. Writing in Obedience is for the newbie writer, the thinking-about-it writer, and the discouraged writer. It's not a long book. It's easy to read through and absorb. If you're wondering whether or not writing is for you, get a copy.
May 5, 2015
The ChoiceThe Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carrie Weaver is ready to jump the fence and run off with Solomon Riehl. Together they'll leave their Amish heritage behind. They have it all planned, right down to Sol's baseball career. Everything is going according to plan - until Carrie's father dies.

How can Carrie walk away from her little brother now? She can't leave him with their step-mother. Sol leaves to start his career and Carrie is left with one choice. When Daniel Miller, the son of her father's best friend, asks her to marry him, she says yes. He's offering her and her brother a home.

But Daniel has deep secrets of his own. Included in them is his cousin, Abel Miller, fresh out of jail. When tragedy strikes again, what choice will Carrie have?

Not your typical romance story. This story digs deeper. The characters are very complex and intriguing. There isn't a "perfect" character in the lot. They hurt, they fear, they despair ... it's all real. The story caught be off guard with a twist I never saw coming. No spoiler - but it's worth the read.
May 1, 2015
A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction, #1)A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whimsical story about a young English woman who has lost her fortune and travels across the ocean to New York City to find the culprit who stole it. Lady Eliza Sumner takes a governess position, but she's found out soon enough when handsome Hamilton Beckett arrives on the scene - or at the scene - of the crime. The two partner with an unlikely cast of characters to save Eliza's fortune and solve a mystery from Hamilton's past.

A fun story with engaging characters. It would have gotten a 4-star review from me if the characters had been more authentic to the time period. There is quite a bit of modern language and behavior in this one. It doesn't spoil the story, but for someone who loves the historical aspect of a historical romance, it got in the way.