Books That Changed Me–2019 Summer Edition @Lizzie_Chantree @stacitroilo @StephenGeez @woodheat


Time for BBQs, swimming, ice cream, and stargazing. I will spend more time with my older grandchildren this summer, so I get to embrace that inner summer child! When we aren’t swimming at the lake or river, we will find some time to enjoy a few good summer books.
I usually comment on each selection but realized I was just repeating what my review had said. These books are all amazing for different reasons. I highly recommend them all and hope some make it on your TBR list this summer!


ninja mum pic

Ninja School Mum 

by Lizzie Chantree

“Ninja School Mum” is about a widowed mother named Skye who has been on the run for years to keep her son safe from her past. As an ex-spy, she needed to keep her former life to herself. She ends up living in a quaint small town in an isolated cottage with her son. I found it interesting to learn her history and why she stayed separate from others yet making sure her son developed friendships. The relationships between adults and children were well-done, including Skye’s new friendship with Thea and her unexpected love interest, Zack. It seemed like she might have finally found a place for her son to grow up. What I expected to happen in this story and what did, were completely different when a twist offered a new insight. I love when a story surprises me, and this one did. If you enjoy a romance with humor, action, a strong female character, and surprises–you’ll love this book!


The Gate (Astral Conspiracy #1)

by D.L. Cross

I’ve been looking forward to this release and was impressed from the first page. “The Gate” is the beginning of the Astral Conspiracy Series, and I found it was like reading a movie it was so vivid. The characters felt very real including my favorite, Landon Thorne. He had theories others made fun of until they realized he was right. I connected with him staying true to himself and not allowing others to force change. With so much action and urgency in the story, it was hard to put down. I found myself saying more than once: “They don’t have time for this!” There was plenty of history and research mixed into the story that added another level of intrigue. Ancient Alien Theories fascinate me, so I was thrilled to find an exciting story with that woven into it. I highly recommend this well-written book, especially if you love aliens, the what-if scenario, action, history, theories, and characters you can grow to love–and hate!


what sara saw pic

What Sara Saw

by Stephen Geez

A simple trip to an art gallery and a pen drawing changes the lives of Geoffrey and Phrekka. A friendship ensues over a picture of a young boy. Then an amazing journey begins to find the artist, Sara. What these two people discover is more than just an artist, it is also a journey of finding themselves, too. I loved the inner dialog and insecurities that made both characters incredibly real to me. The story was tender and painful as it unfolded. I was utterly taken in by the complicated relationships and spellbound as each detail was revealed. It is a unique story of love with some cruel realities of life thrown in. Beautifully written, this is a story I will remember.

grime reaper

There is a Reaper

By Michael Lynes

“There is a Reaper” isn’t an easy read, but it is an amazing read. The reader is introduced to the Lynes family, and young Christopher. I was drawn into their world, and then continued on the journey of Christopher’s illness. The interaction of the family was their strength, but it was the wisdom and spirit of Christopher that will continue to linger in my heart. I felt a deep sadness reading about Christopher’s battle with a rare form of Leukemia. Yet, I was inspired by the faith that carried the family through this experience. In addition, this was skillfully written and had poetic descriptions mixed in. “There is a Reaper” is a reminder of what family and love are capable of.  I highly recommend this inspiring book for anyone who has experienced tragedy– or hasn’t.

Happy Summer! Embrace your inner child by reading a fantastic story this summer! D.L. Finn


43 thoughts on “Books That Changed Me–2019 Summer Edition @Lizzie_Chantree @stacitroilo @StephenGeez @woodheat”

    1. It had to be on the list, Lizzie! It was a captivating read full of surprises:)

    1. Thanks, Eden! I agree it is fun seeing the books that influence other author/readers:)

  1. Happy Midsummer, Denise! I’m looking forward to more reading around my pool and am always looking for recommendations. I positively LOVED The Gate and am eagerly awaiting book 2 in the series. I have two of the others on my Kindle and TBR. Congrats to all the authors!

    1. Happy Midsummer, Mae:) There is nothing like summer reading and around the pool is even better! I’m equally as excited for the second book, too. I hope you get lots of pooltime reading in.

    1. Thank you, Miriam. It’s slways hard to pick each season:) I definitely will enjoy them!

  2. Hi Denise. Thanks for these great recommendations. That’s quite a glowing report for Staci’s book. I can’t wait to dig into that one. Best to everyone. Keep enjoying your summer. Hugs on the wing!

    1. It was an amazing read, Teagan…they all were. It’s always hard to pick each season out of all the good ones I’m reading:) i think you will enjoy The Gate. Sending some hugs back

  3. Every time I read your thoughts on The Gate, I’m blown away. Thank you so much for your kind words. And for selecting my work for your “books that changed me” list.

    1. Thanks, Jan. Its always a hard list to put together. You won’t go wrong reading any of theses books!

  4. A varied and unique group of books. Well done – I’ve only heard of the one – The Gate – and I had ordered it for my guy, who’s in the middle of reading it! A book that makes you feel and think differently is for sure an excellent book. Happy Summer reading!

    1. Thanks:) It was hard to narrow it down to this list this time. Yes, anytime a writer can add thinking into the entertainment it bring it a new level.

    2. Yes, they are. I haven’t been reviewing the books of bigger authors, although I still read them and rate them on Goodreads.

      1. I do the same thing. But I’m more likely to review Indie books because they need the reviews more than ‘well-known’ authors. And, in my mind, Indie authors have gone through bigger hurdles to get their work published than those with mainstream publishing. If the book is good – I think we should share that with the reading world as you do here. Kudos.

    3. That’s my same thought process. The good ones make it here and lately they have all been good:) I try to let authors know privately if I see a problem and don’t review them.

    1. Thanks! It was a tough pick this time for the list. I’m sure you will enjoy The Gate:)

    1. Thanks, Julie:) They are all good reads! Yes, always hard to find the reading time…sleep always wins.

  5. Wonderful collection of books and reviews, Denise! I have three of the four books in my kindle and I’ll add the other. Thanks for sharing your reviews. Have an amazing summer with your kids! 💗xo

    1. Thanks, Vashti:) Hope you enjoy all of them as much as I did. The grandkids went back to this week, but still enjoying the summer.

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