2019 “Books That Changed Me” Spring Edition @VashtiQV @Virgilante @BetteAStevens

spring pic

Happy Spring Equinox, when light and dark are balanced. It’s time for the birds, flowers, bears, and bees to return to the forest. While nature is providing spring’s splendor, I debated whether to bring “Books That Changed Me.” back to my blog.  Like my garden that springs forth life every year with growth, color and fragrance, so do the books I read. Many stories are still blooming in my mind with new ones planting seeds in my thoughts. I realized I had to share them with you.

“Books That Changed me” is here for another year celebrating the changing seasons, with the first three books of the year that left a lasting impression.


I really love how this author writes her characters. Her first book was great, but this one was amazing. Mixing in familiar Bible Stories only added to it. What really pulled me in was Dracul’s character. Taking someone coming from so much evil, and trying to do good, struck a chord in me. It was a sharp contrast between characters that came from so much good and ended up so evil. The first book had the same theme, but Dracul gave an insight that I really embraced. He represented to me the struggle we all feel, sometimes, to do the right thing even against all odds. I’m always a fan of the good vs. evil battle and this is the perfect balance of it.

Son of the Serpent by Vashti Q

Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angel #2)

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

“Son of the Serpent” continues the Fantasy Angels Series with the son of Satan and Lilith, Dracul. I loved the first book and wasn’t disappointed in this story, in fact I think I enjoyed it even more. Familiar biblical people and events were interwoven into the story line perfectly. It’s told through two points of view: Dracul and Lilith.  I sympathized with Dracul and his quest to be good and helpful, while coming from evil. Self-centered Lilith relished being cruel and malicious, while originating from good. It was a good balance of both sides. Familiar characters from the first book made appearances which I appreciated. The descriptions were vivid and well-written adding to the reality of Dracul’s journey. I highly recommend this book. Although you could read this as a stand-alone, I wouldn’t. Go back and enjoy this dark tale from the beginning.


This is an author who really makes you care about his characters. So much that I wish I actually had my own Root Monsters. I wouldn’t ask them to break any laws, but I can imagine them living with me in the forest. I have a feeling no bear would tip over another garbage can again! I won’t ruin how they were created, but to make me believe in them, that takes a lot of writing skill. Every character is full of life in their own way. Plus, add in a ship, pirates, and a quest–this is a world I’m happy to explore. I can easily picture this story on the big screen.

lantern pic

Voyage of the Lanternfish

by C.S. Boyack

I’ve read other stories and books by this author and have always been impressed by them. When I saw Mr. Boyack had a new book with pirates and magic, I couldn’t wait to read it. I was not disappointed. It’s full of adventure, magic, excitement, friendship, love, family and the best part the root monsters. The Lanternfish is a ship I’d want to sail on and carries people I’d like to get to know. I loved the pirates, the monsters and their relationships, but the captain’s quest to save the woman he loved had me hooked. This is a world I’d like to visit where I could meet root monsters.  I highly recommend this high-seas fantasy.


I think of this story when I make my bone broth soup. I try to imagine the soup being all I had to feed my family. It’s nothing I’ve had to endure. Yet, this author was able to show her readers what sacrifice, selfishness, hunger, and strength were through the characters. How a family could be treated so badly when a kind word might have had a huge difference. A story that made me think of life outside of what I’m comfortably used to. It’s a glimpse into the past, and ourselves.

dog bone pic

DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction): A Boomer’s Journey 

by Bette Stevens

“Dog Bone Soup” is a story told through a boy’s eyes as he grows up in a desperately poor family in the 50’s with an abusive-alcoholic father. Shawn spends time surviving and taking care of his family’s needs, as well as finding time to enjoy life with his brother. I wondered what dog bone soup was and quickly found out it came from Shawn having to get dog bones at the butcher, so his family could eat. Ms. Stevens’ descriptions of the era really pulled me into the story. I loved the relationship between Shawn and his younger brother Willie and the creative ways they found to supply the family with food. It was sad how people treated them and the pride the family had–that ended up hurting them at times. Using an outhouse and having to bring water in each day when everyone else had indoor plumbing was made worse when the father made sure he had electricity for his TV. This was one of many examples of what four children had to endure from a selfish father and a mother struggling to care for her family. A beautifully written coming of age story that I can highly recommend!


The “Just Her Poetry” tour continues! I will post the links for each day.

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Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D.L. Finn

51 thoughts on “2019 “Books That Changed Me” Spring Edition @VashtiQV @Virgilante @BetteAStevens”

  1. What excellent choices! I really need to catch up with Vashti’s series, and Craig’s Lanternfish was so imaginative and so much fun. I want a root monster, too, LOL.

    I read Bette’s Dog Bone Soup a few years back and that one is still with me. What an extraordinary tale she told!

    Congrats to all the authors!

    1. Thanks Mae:) It’s amazing how those Root Monsters came to life for all of us. I can’t imagine my cats approval of them living with us though.

      Yes, Bette created a world that certainly stays with the reader.

      I think you will enjoy Vashti’s series as much as I have been:)

      1. It went well,Craig. I had a 7-day blog tour, then I scheduled a 5-day promo on Amazon and got to be #3 on the Top 100 Free Best Sellers. It was also the Top 100 Paid Best Sellers that week.

  2. A fantastic spotlight on these books, Denise! I look forward to reading “Son of The Serpent,” as I am knee-deep right not in “Lilith.” 🙂 I loved The Lanternfish. I still find myself thinking about some of the characters and the little root monsters. 🙂 I have Bette’s book on my Kindle and you made me want to hurry it up. Oh for more time to read!!

    1. Yay! Thank you very much for reading The Fall of Lilith. I hope you’re enjoying it. Also, thank you for reading and reviewing my short story, Memoir of a Mad Woman recently. I’m so happy! 😀 xo

    2. Its quite a journey Vashti has taken us on and I can’t wait for the third book! Those Root Monsters have sure captured everyone’s heart haven’t they? You will enjoy Bette’s story. Yes, if we could just find the time to read more. I lose a lot of sleep to do it!

  3. Hello, Denise! This is a wonderful surprise. Happy 1st day of Spring! You’ve made the first day of spring very special for me with this post. I’m very happy you enjoyed reading both books in my Fantasy Angels Series. Thank you for reading and reviewing them. I’m in great company too! I appreciate you so much. <3 xo

    1. Yay! Happy first day of Spring. We had a taste of Spring but winter made another appearance today. I am enoying your series immensely Vashti. Dracul has won my heart:) I appreciate you equally!

      1. Aw, I hope spring weather returns quickly and I hope you’re feeling better. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the series. Thank you, my friend. <3

    1. Yes they are three brilliant books I agree Robbie:) I think you will enjoy Vashti’s series too!

  4. Great book selection, Denise. I’ve read and loved Vashti’s books, and look forward to reading both Craig and Bette’s work as well. I think we’re all in need of more than twenty-four-hours in a day. Enjoy Spring it’s such a lovely season. It our first day of Autumn here in the far far south.🐨

    1. Thanks Soooz:) I think you are right there aren’t enough hours in the day! I do love Spring, but I also love Fall, too! Happy Fall!

  5. Wonderful choices, Denise. I read Bette’s book a couple years ago and read Vashti’s Serpent. I read the reviews of Craig’s Lanternfish. I need to catch up and download one.

    Thank you for your post, Denise!

    1. Thank you Miriam:) I’ve read so many good books, it is hard to narrow it down sometimes. All three though made it easy to pick this time.

  6. You are right Denise, some books leave a lasting impression on us. Vashti is one such writer! I liked both her books and Bette’s eloquence about the realities of bygone era is amazing. I haven’t read any book by C.S. Boyack. Thanks for sharing and recommending his fantasy world. I would keep it in my mind.

    1. I love books that linger with us Balroop:) Yes Vashti knows how to make her stories stay with us as well as Bette and Craig. I’m glad you enjoyed the list and if you are in the mood for a good fantasy I recommend Craig.

    1. Thanks Julie:) I understand, my TBR list is constantly being added to but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  7. Dear Denise, thanks so much for your including Dog Bone Soup in your awesome round-up. It may be snowing outside, but thanks to you my heart is filled with the blessings of spring. <3 xi

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