May Book Reviews



Empty Chairs

By Stacey Danson

“Empty Chairs” is the story of the author’s life when she was a very young girl in Australia. I can’t say I’m shocked very easily, but this was shocking. The woman who gave birth to Stacey– Gwen, because she certainly didn’t deserve the title of mother, sold her YOUNG daughter’s body to provide for her. If Stacey didn’t comply she’d be beaten and locked in a closet. The woman was sick on so many levels, but I had to wonder about the people that paid for sex with a girl not old enough to be in school? What were they? Even when one of these clients insisted that Stacey get some education, that wasn’t enough to erase what he did to her. Then, finally when Stacey had enough she exploded. I felt no empathy toward Gwen getting beaten by her 11-year-old daughter. Here is where Stacey became Sassy-Girl and now is living on the streets. The one thing that made this slightly easier to read was this girl’s attitude and strength. I loved her wisdom and feistiness, yet I kept thinking how does this go on around us? I believe the real strength of this book is educating people it’s happening. This is well-written, and you can’t help but fall in love with Sassy-Girl/Stacey. There is a second book that finishes the story of young Stacey and I will be reading it. It is a very tough read, but one I highly recommend you try.


Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir 

by Karen Ingalls

“Outshine” is the journey Ms. Ingalls took when she learned she had ovarian cancer. This is a subject I’d usually avoid because the word cancer scares me, and I’ve seen what it can do to loved ones, but I was surprised how inspired I became as I read it. The author is a nurse who educated herself with all the facts once she learned her diagnosis. She dug deep into her faith and found ways to nourish her soul throughout the process. I loved all the quotes and the positive way she approached a very scary situation for anyone. She got the help back she had provided in her career two-fold. We were with her during her surgery, chemotherapy, when she lost her hair and her daily walks and prayers. I loved how she talked about sending a card and really meaning the message and how much it meant to her at this time. I was impressed how she learned to let her ego go when she lost her hair, how she embraced each day as a gift, and her husband’s unconditional love for her. These are good lessons for us in life whether we are fighting an illness or not. I ended reading this feeling more hopeful and inspired. This is a book for anyone dealing with cancer or any illness, but it is also for anyone who wants and needs to be encouraged. I highly recommend Ms. Ingalls’ book!


In the Shadow of Lies: An Oliver Wright Mystery Novel 

by M.A. Adler

“In the Shadow of Lies” is an historical fiction set in the 1940s during World War ll. I loved all the carefully explored details that were weaved into the story–and it being set where I grew up was a bonus. I knew some of the information, but I learned a lot, too. Ms. Adler’s well-crafted writing easily got across the beliefs of those times. I was sad and disgusted how humans treated each other and unfortunately, some of those issues still linger. The characters were well-written and believable, and there were many story-lines going on, which was a bit confusing to keep track of–but not impossible. I normally would take a star off for any confusion, but the research, intriguing story-line, and thought-provoking emotions, brought it back up to a five star for me. I look forward to more from this author!

Tails (Silver Wishes Book 1)

by WJ Scott  (Author), John Helle Nielsen (Illustrator), Belinda Mellor (Editor)

“Tails” is a children’s fantasy book for the 9-12 age group, but is for adults, too. I’m already of fan of Ms. Scott, so I went into reading this with high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed!  “Tails” takes us to a place where magic is hard to come by, and the wizards have lost their power. That all changes when a hunter, Samsa captures Kywah, a silvertail and cuts his tail off which has magic in it. The silvertails were thought to be extinct and this renews the interest in ‘harvesting’ them. The hunters set out to find the pack, so they can sell the tails and fur to the wizards who want to recapture their powers. Kywah, who is considered handicapped among his pack, leaves on a journey to find the ‘Wise One’ to prevent the killing for greed and power. He does this without the senses his tail provided. I loved the relationships Kywah made along the way, especially with the dog Buster-Boy.  This is the first of the series–I can’t wait for the second book! If you love a story with magic, adventure, wizards, hunters, fairies, bravery, friendship and a journey you’ll love this book!  I highly recommend “Tails” and would give it six stars if I could.

…And The Whippoorwill Sang 

by Micki Peluso

“…And The Whippoorwill Sang” tells the story of Ms. Peluso, while her 14-year-old daughter is in a hospital bed fighting for her life. The book starts out with the parents of six waiting to hear if one of their children who was hit by a drunk driver–lives. I have been putting off reading this, because I had been through a similar situation a few years back. I know what it is like to sit next to the hospital bed of a once vibrant 14-year-old girl, and see what is left after someone chooses to drink and drive. It is heartbreaking, but it is something I needed to read. I believe everyone should read this, before they ever drink and decide to get behind the wheel of a car. Ms. Peluso wrote it in a manner which made it easier to read. She flashed back to her life and how they got to that point. It started with her marriage at 17-years-old and their struggles and blessings. I was taken back to a time when female roles were different, and then changed. It was beautifully written and had me laughing and crying. This is a story that needed to be told and definitely needs to be read. This is a must-read book.

I just found out a few days ago This Second Chance is:

Embrace your inner child read an indie book! D.L. Finn

15 thoughts on “May Book Reviews”

  1. I’ve read Empty Chairs and The Whippoorwill Sang, each equally compelling for differing reasons. I’m sure the others are stellar, too. Congrats to all the authors for such great reviews!

    1. I agree they are both equally compelling in different way. All great books! I’ve been a roll hitting all the good ones:)

  2. 🌹Before I say anything else I want to offer my congratulations to you, Denise. “This Second Chance” being selected as a finalist in the 2018 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS (NGIBA) is wonderful! I’m delighted for you. I have just read “Outshine” and found it inspiring.
    Thank you for reading and reviewing “Empty Chairs”, Denise. I know it would have been a difficult read. I hope the book has shone a bright light on the epidemic proportions of this horror we call child abuse. Thank you again for sharing your review.

    1. Thanks you so much, Soooz!
      “Outshine” was incredibly inspiring and leaves you hopeful when you finish it.
      “Empty Chairs” did shine a very bright light on abuse and I’m glad you shared your story with us, thank you. I feel lucky I got to read it!

  3. When I read “Empty Chairs” I was so deeply touched that I couldn’t forget it. Also, knowing it was a true story made it even more compelling. I loved “Tails!” I devoured it. And, …When the Whippoorwill Sang was such a moving story. Great reviews, Denise!

    1. 🌹Thank you, Jan. Sassy girl is still here … and still fighting back. I’m definitely my daughter’s problem child … lol.

  4. Wonderful reviews, Denise! Thanks for sharing them. I read Empty Chairs and I have a couple of the others in my Kindle. I’ll add the other two to my ever expanding TBR list. Eventually, I’ll get to everyone.😊

    1. My list keeps growing, too! I keep finding good books to read:) Thanks, Vashti!

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