Books that Changed me–2019 Fall Edition! @mbiermanauthor @Sandra_Cox @teagangeneviene @rijanjks

coco and colors

Happy Fall! The dogwood leaves are just starting to make the change from green to red. The air is cooler, at least for now, and we’ve had our first rare September rain. Although we will be in high fire danger until the weather fully changes over that doesn’t take away the glory of this harvest season. This is one of my favorite times of the year because it includes both Halloween and Thanksgiving. I already have my spiderweb sheets on my bed.

Books, like the seasons, add change to our lives. Here are my picks for this fall with my comments again:

This book talks about a subject I don’t like to think about much less read, but the author wrote it in a fashion that I could do it. What I took away from this is there are terrible people in this world, but at the same time there are heroes, too. It gave me a lot to think about after which is a gift leftover from a story.


By Mark Bierman

I knew the topic going into reading this fictional book: child trafficking. Mr. Bierman shows the reader the process, including how children are kidnapped from their families–or the worst when their families sell them into slavery. The poverty and greed that uses children…I have a hard time absorbing that and worried this would be a hard read for me, but it wasn’t. The storyline centers on two American men doing missionary work in Haiti. A young girl is kidnapped, and they start on a journey to find her. The story’s told through different characters, which held my interest as they became interwoven. The action is non-stop and I had a hard time putting it down. I was fully invested in the characters and had a range of emotions from joy to sadness. This is a book that can make you think about an unpleasant subject, while being a good fictional story that entertains. I can easily recommend “Vanished” especially if you love action and the depth of a thought-provoking subject put together.

I haven’t read westerns in years. No reason really, but there was always so many other things to read and not enough time to read everything. Not that I don’t try😊. Being a fan of this author’s paranormal and cat books already, I decided to read her western. I’m glad I did. The details and storyline pulled me right in and made me add westerns back onto my reading list.


by Sandra Cox

When Brandon hired a new trail hand to help herd the Longhorns to market, no one knew it was a woman. I loved the characters and relationships. They were well developed and progressed at a natural rate. The fatherly role of Cookie, Brandon, and Alexandria/Alex or the friendships Alex developed were my favorites. The mystery of why Alex was in this situation kept me intrigued, and there were a few twists I didn’t expect because of that. The setting was detailed and beautifully described. I could imagine being back on the Chisholm Trail or Brandon’s ranch in Texas. My love of animals appreciated Alex’s devotion to her horse, dog, and cattle. I adored this romantic western adventure and highly recommend it!

I’m a fan of unique stories and quirky characters. This book has that and more, between the friendships, house, town and of course the cat. It’s a town I wouldn’t mind living in. The magic and mystery sprinkled throughout is a reminder of life’s gifts and to embrace that inner child.

Atonement, Tennessee

by Teagan Geneivene

Ralda Lawton decides to start a new life. She places a low bid on a house that comes with its own cemetery and wins. She relocates into the small town and immediately meets her neighbors. The relationship she develops with her new friends, Lacy, Racine and Bethany remind me of some of my own friends. Then there is the two good-looking mysterious men she runs into Gwydion and Cael. Both hold her interest, curiosity and trigger her inner warning. My favorite character is Lilith her calico cat. I enjoy her POV throughout the story and insights into the humans and the non-humans. I love the magic, mystery, relationships, paranormal, a hint of romance and karma in this uniquely well-written story. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series and see what happens next in Atonement.


I like to pick my favorite read after #RRBC has its short story contest and this year I’ll share my pick. There were a couple I loved and it was hard to choose. This was the one I connected with the most. I could have been sitting with those women and doing something like the characters did. This story tapped into that action and made the impossible seem real. Plus, the ending allowed me to decide, and I did.

Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide

by Jan Sikes

Two friends are drinking away Claire’s pain. All in good fun, Claire and Jade make a Voodoo doll resembling the husband who just left Claire for another woman. Ms. Sikes wrote this in a fashion that felt authentic to me. There was a woman betrayed and heartbroken with a friend trying to cheer her up. I could easily imagine sitting with these two women, making a doll to work through all the bad feelings with an unexpected outcome. This short story was a quick read, but a complete story that I thoroughly enjoyed—and highly recommend!

45 thoughts on “Books that Changed me–2019 Fall Edition! @mbiermanauthor @Sandra_Cox @teagangeneviene @rijanjks”

  1. Thank you very much Denise, for your kind words! Yes, it is a difficult subject and I can understand the reluctance to delve into it, but unfortunately it is a reality that exists in every country and must be brought to light. Though the characters in this book are fictional, I do know some real life heroes who are helping victims of human trafficking (though in less action packed ways) in Cambodia and North America. When you hear about atrocities and disasters, never forget that there are those who will always step up to help.

    1. It is a subject I think we would like to pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does. You were able to present it in a way that not only opens people’s eyes to it, but perhaps adds more heroes.

  2. Great list, Denise. I haven’t read any of these and certainly look forward to doing so. Thank you for featuring the writers as you have. Wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Gwen. It’s always hard to narrow it down to a list, but they are all great reads I think you would enjoy.

  3. Oh, Denise! Thank you for including “Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide” in your list!! I totally agree about Mark Bierman’s book. I knew it would be a raw subject and he did a fantastic job of writing the story, even to the part of making the ending reality instead of a fairy-tale make-believe ending. I haven’t read Sandra’s book, but have it on my Kindle and I thoroughly enjoyed Teagan’s Atonement books! Great list!

    1. Thank you Jan. I think Mark’s book will always stick with me and did change my perception of the world. Each book brings its own gift to the readers. Your story struck a chord in me, besides entertain. The reality of how we act with a group of friends when hurt and the outcome was dead on. Not to say I’ve made a voodoo doll but I have to admit its come up years ago…lol. A little horror and humor usually gets my attention:) Thanks Jan!

    2. Thank you, Jan. I had wrestle with myself about athe fate of a certain character in the book, but I did want to make it more realistic. Thank you for your great review!

  4. Wonderful reviews, Denise! I’ve read (and loved) Atonement, Tennessee but the other ones caught my interest- especially Vanished. Adding them to my gargantuan TBR pile, lol

    1. I’m sure you will enjoy Vanished. I know huge TBR piles, and I’ve given up with not adding to it anymore. Too many good things to read I don’t want to miss. It may take me a very long while though…I’m okay with that:)

  5. Thanks for sharing these great reviews, Denise.Congratulations to all these authors. I too have read “Vanished” I found Mark’s work intensely moving, he tackled this horrendously real subject with great insight.

    1. Hi Soooz:) “Vanished” is one of those books that will stay with me in many ways. Yes, very good insight, I agree. All great reads for such different reasons. Thanks:)

  6. I have read three of these authors and found their books well-writen. When I picked up Vanished, I didn’t know it explores such a difficult theme but I found it inspiring despite the dark alleys it takes us into. I have read Sun Dial by Sandra and look forward to reading more of her books. I found Jan’s semi-autobiographical book – Flowers and Stone emotionally charged. I try to avoid reading reviews before reading a book to savour it fully. 🙂

    1. I knew what I getting into with Vanished, but it did inspire! Sometimes I don’t like to read reviews either, Balroop. If I’m on the fence with reading a book I might read some to see if its well recieved. You should be enjoying your reads with this group. Thanks, Balroop:)

  7. I enjoyed your reviews, Denise. Human trafficking is such a heartbreaking issue to write, read and talk about. I’m glad Mark’s Vanished is written from different perspective. I have Jan’s short story in my Kindle. I must check to see if I have Teagan’s Atonement. I don’t have the other ones. Thank you for the share.

    1. Thank you Miriam:) It is such a difficult subject to tackle. You can’t miss reading any of these stories:)

  8. I also enjoyed both Teagan and Jan’s books. I can’t do child trafficking – to scary, but the other sounds good.

    1. I can’t usually do child trafficking either so I understand, Robbie. Its hard to wrap my head around people do this.

  9. Denise, what a wonderful way to begin my Wednesday! I’m so happy that “Atonement, Tennessee” spoke to you. I’m delighted that Lilith has a friend in you. Because of that, I believe you will really like “Atonement in Bloom.” Lilith’s popularity earned her a larger part, and she gets a twist at the end.
    Thanks for including me in such amazing company on this post. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

  10. I am so thrilled with this inclusion, Denise. It’s a wonderful honor. You put a huge smile on my face. But then you always do. AND…Apologies for being late with my comment. It’s been a little crazy here.

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