First Book Reviews of 2019 @MarethMBotha @Nicholas_Rossis @JacqBiggar @MaryLSchmidt


Trails and Trials: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales 

by Maretha Botha

Trails and Trials is the fourth book in the Fauna Park Tales and so far, my favorite. It’s told through four different stories of animals and humans all headed in the same direction with three of the groups trying to save the orphans from book three. I loved the themes of: family, loyalty, bravery and hope. Crossing a desert is dangerous, but something all four groups set out to do despite the danger. The little details brought this part to life and I could easily imagine crossing the hot sand, with no water, under the blaring sun. This is intended for middle grade readers, but adults can enjoy it, too. I can’t wait for book five to come out to see where the story takes the reader next. All four Fauna Park Tales sit in my grandchildren’s bookcase and are highly recommended.

The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales 

by Maretha Botha

This is the third book in the Fauna Park Tales and I enjoyed it as much as the first two. It’s still being told through Hope the owl, there’s the charming illustrations, and animals with their humans. I loved the setting and learning new information about the animals that lived there. The story-line showed how dangerous life can be in Molodi Valley, including theft and kidnapping. This was a one night read, that gave good examples of bravery and family. I’ll be reading the next book in the series to see how it all works out. Although this is a great story for middle grade readers, adults can enjoy it, too. I recommend this series but start it from the beginning, so you don’t miss out on anything.

Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings (Author Tools Book 1) 

by Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a book for authors who are looking for new ways to say the same old thing. I know I can get stuck on a word or phrase and this gives many samples to wake up my creative side. I’ll have “Emotional Beats” by me when I edit my next book. This will not only help me freshen up my dialog, but there are many examples throughout the book, that include body parts and emotions, that show instead of tell. I recommend this handy writing tool.

Mistletoe Inn 

by Jacquie Biggar

I’m a big fan of Hallmark Holiday movies and “Mistletoe Inn” is the same type of feel-good story that I enjoy. Molly finds a new job after a divorce and heads with her son Leo to help run Mistletoe Inn. The mother and son find themselves in a blizzard–and crash. They’re rescued by her partner Noah. There’s an immediate attraction between them, but a lot of baggage they are both carrying, too. I love the relationship between Molly and Noah, and the gentleness Noah shows her son, Leo. It’s easy to imagine the beautiful scenery through descriptions and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the guests and residents in Christmas. This is a sweet tale about second chances during the holiday season. If you’re a fan of charming holiday romances, this is a short-story you’ll want to read.

Shadow and Friends Spend Christmas in New York (Shadow Series Book 5)

by A. Raymond, S. Jackson

This is part of a series for children 4-11 about a squirrel named Stubby. He travels to New York to see his twin, Shorty, for Christmas who lives in Central Park. I loved the setting in New York during the holidays. The pictures were small on my Kindle, but charming. I think this would be a great book to add to my paperback collection for my grand-kids. That way I can read it to them, or maybe they can read it to me, and fully enjoy the artwork. I smiled seeing the squirrel at the top of the Empire State Building waving in his guests like King Kong. I liked that they shopped, skated, and went to Church. Then the group gathers for the special day after their Santa paid a visit. A cute story to read to the kids during the Holiday Season. I’ll be reading this to my grand-kids this year.

Embrace your inner child with a good book! Happy 2019! D.L. Finn

26 thoughts on “First Book Reviews of 2019 @MarethMBotha @Nicholas_Rossis @JacqBiggar @MaryLSchmidt”

  1. Wow, you are off to a running start for the New Year, Denise.
    I’ve read several of Jacquie’s books and always find them enjoyable (I also have several more on my Kindle and TBR). I keep Nicholas’s book handy on my desk when I write (I bought a paperback copy).
    Congrats to all of the featured authors and happy reading!

    1. I am:) This is the first book I’ve read by Jacquie and really enjoyed it especially right before Christmas. It fit in with my holiday reading perfectly. I have the paperback copy too of “Emotional Beats” too. It gave me so many ideas as I was reading it. My reading list for this year is pretty long…but I look forward to it:) Thanks Mae.

      1. I’m glad I finally got to read one of your stories. I will be reading more. Thanks for stopping by Jacquie.

    1. Happy New Year Eden! I have really branched out the genres I read and keep adding to my TBR list.

  2. You have done awesome reviews. Thank you D.L. I must purchase at least two of the books above. May I gift you a soft cover of Shadow and Friends Spend Christmas in New York?? I will let you know when it is up on RRBC so that you can use this as a RRBC review.

    1. Thank you Mary! Can’t go wrong with any of the above books. What a generous offer Mary. I was planning to get it for the grand kids, so yes and a huge thank you. One of my dreams is to see New Year at Christmas, so it was a fun doing it with animals. Happy New Year!

  3. Wow, Denise, you are such a prolific reader. I had to admit how slowly I read… This is a marvelous reading list. I love Jacquie’s stories, but the others are new adventures that are waiting for me. Have a wonderful Wednesday. Hugs.

    1. Thanks Teagan:) I used to limit myself to a few favorite authors, but since reading indie authors I’ve branched out and have enjoyed the experience. Hugs back!

    1. LOL! I like calling it a superpower. It means I stay up wayyyy too late at night and don’t get enough sleep. Plus, I’m determined to get through my never ending reading list. I don’t think I can keep this pace up forever but I’m sure enjoying all the different books I get to read. Thanks Vashti:)

    1. I keep saying Im.going to finish my TBR list before adding another book…until I see one I must add. Thanks Marlena:)

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