January Book Reviews! @gmplano @riverrmann @Sandra_Cox @JanSikes3 @CathleenTowns @sgc58 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

by Sally Cronin

“Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” is a perfect blend of poetry and short stories. The poetry is tucked between the stories that bestowed beautiful images that completed the picture the collection of short stories offered. The characters were engaging, and I could feel empathy for their situation, good or bad. There were five categories covered, and I enjoyed each subject and story. It was like reading about people I already knew. I rooted for the woman with an abusive husband, felt the heartbreak of a woman who had lost a child, and laughed when a woman went to buy her groceries. This collection offers hope in everyday situations. A well-written and heartfelt book that I highly recommend!

Twelve Tales of Christmas: Fantasy and Contemporary Stories to Brighten Your Holidays

by Cathleen Townsend

“Twelve Days of Christmas” was just what I was looking for to read over the holiday season, but this could be read any time of the year. It’s a varied fictional collection that includes a dragon and trolls but had some heartwarming family stories too. There wasn’t a story I didn’t enjoy, but the two that stood out to me were “The Angel in the Tree” and “Snowman.” I loved the idea of a being, or the angel, attached to a tree and a young boy’s quest to help the tree survive. In “Snowman,” seeing a family’s story through an ornament was not only unique but a clever way to show what happened. I highly recommend this collection and will be reading more from this author! Five-Stars!

Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series)

by Jan Sikes

“Ghostly Interference” is Ms. Sikes’ debut fictional novel. I’ve read all her memoirs and short stories and have loved them, so I was excited about this book. It didn’t disappoint with the drama and otherworldly presence. My favorite character was Rena, a hard-working waitress who rides a red Harley. I had to warm up to Jag, who was cautious and in an unpleasant situation at work. Luckily, his mother had left him open to excepting otherworldly experiences. Both characters grew, and their interactions had a nice spark. The realistic details put into the story really captured what it’s like to ride on a motorcycle, along with a glimpse into the music world. This is not only a steamy romance, but it gives the characters room to become who they are, with a paranormal nudge. The end had me on the edge of my seat, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes. A well-written tale that I recommend. Five-Stars!

Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter

by Sandra Cox

Gwen is a young woman who’s raising her little brother with the help of a family friend, Chen. She took after her father, who was a Bounty Hunter. After a job, she comes home to a man who saved her family from a would-be robber. The hero, Jordie, leaves the minute the sheriff arrives. Gwen finds out that Jordie is wanted, but she doesn’t go after him after saving her family. Gwen wants to move to Montana and start a new life on a horse ranch, so she takes the job of catching three of the worst outlaw brothers. I love Gwen’s strength and ability to take care of herself in a time when women were more dependent on men. Promising one last job to her little brother, she sets off, against the sheriff’s advice, to catch her outlaws and earn her big retirement payoff. She ends up with an unexpected partner. I love the relationship that develops between them on the trail. There are great conversations and plenty of action. As the two learn about each other, a dog finds them. You can’t help but fall in love with these amazing characters or the dog. I didn’t expect a couple of twists, and the scenery was detailed, making me feel like I was along on the ride. This is an exciting Western romance that I didn’t want to end, but it did, and very satisfactorily. I hope we aren’t done hearing from Gwen Slade. She’s a wonderful heroine. I highly recommend “Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter.” Five-Stars!

The Adventures of Ollie Orangutan

by Larry Landgraf

“The Adventures of Ollie Orangutan” is a charming story for middle-grade readers about an orangutan named Ollie. Young Ollie was being transported by train to a new zoo when the train crashed. He was able to escape into a swamp area, tasting freedom for the first time. Thrown into something he’s never had to deal with before captured my heart. I didn’t want to put it down and needed to know what was going to happen next. He learned who to trust, including himself. There is a lot of detail Mr. Landgraf brought into the story adding more depth to the dangers that lurk in a swamp for Ollie. I bought this book for my ten-year-old granddaughter for Christmas. I make it a point to read children’s books before gifting them. The story pulled me right in, and I know my granddaughter will love it as much as I did. Five-Stars

The Culmination: a new beginning

by Gwen M. Plano

“The Culmination” is the third book in the Contract Series. I loved all the books, but this one topped them. It touched me on a level of reality and fear, bringing the idea of hope in our current cold social climate. It starts after the second book and an assassination attempt. There is a group determined to cause mayhem and stop anyone in their way, including heads of state. There’s not only exciting action but developing relationships and political intrigue. I found a lot of what was going on in the story relevant for current times. Where Ms. Plano took this story is a place where I could imagine the right things being done in the middle of chaos. I loved the American Vice President with her logic and heart. Beautifully written and thought-provoking with scenarios all too familiar, some heartbreaking, and some tender. This book not only scared me but offered an optimistic option at the same time. I highly recommend it and the whole series. Five-Stars!


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! Happy 2021 🙂 D. L. Finn

51 thoughts on “January Book Reviews! @gmplano @riverrmann @Sandra_Cox @JanSikes3 @CathleenTowns @sgc58 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors”

  1. Excellent reviews, Denise. I’m reading Sally’s book right now. I have enjoyed Larry’s books and looks like he has another good one. Jan’s book looks great and I have also read The Culmination and enjoyed it as well.

    1. Thanks, John. You must be enjoying your read:) I have always enjoyed Larry’s books too and it was nice to see a children’s book. Jan had a great debut novel and The Culmination was another good one!

  2. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season Denise. Best of 2021 to you and your family. Thanks for sharing your wonderful reviews with readers. xo

    1. Thank you, Eden. I did have a wonderful, but different season. I hope you did too. Sending all the best back to you. Hugs. xo

    1. It was a wonderful read, Sally! I hope lots more people get to enjoy it. Happy New Year! Hugs right back. xo

    1. Thanks, Teagan 🙂 Reading books like this, is always a pleasure! Hugs right back to you xo

  3. Thank you, Denise, for your incredible review and for including me among these wonderful writers. I read Sally’s book and loved it. Now I’m looking forward to reading the other four books! Thank you again. Big hugs! 💗

    1. Your book was such a great read, Gwen. I know it will be successful! Yes, Sally’s book was fantastic read. Can’t go wrong in this group with reading. Big hugs right back to you 🙂 xo

  4. Thank you for your fabulous review of “Ghostly Interference” Denise! I am thrilled that you enjoyed it and hope others will too! It’s an honor to be included here with these other amazingly talented authors!

    1. I really did enjoy it, Jan, and I’m sure other’s will enjoy it as much as I did. Yes, it was another great month of reading! xo

    1. Thanks, Jacquie:) I know the feeling. I keep saying I’m not going to add another book to my Kindle before I catch up, but then I see another book that must be on it! Happy Reading. xo

  5. Ooh. Lots of winners this round, Denise. I’ve read Cathleen’s and Sally’s books, but have a few to add to my kindle now. Thanks for the recommendations. Happy Reading!

    1. I’ve been lucky with the books I’ve been able to read lately:) Thanks and happy reading back to you !

  6. Great reviews, Denise. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of these books yet, but several are already waiting on my Kindle and my TBR. Congratulations to all the authors for their wonderful reviews!

      1. You definitely have some wonderful reading on your TBR list. Happy Reading, Mae xo

  7. Thank you, Denise, for the marvelous review of “The Adventures of Ollie Orangutan” and for including me in such a fantastic group of authors. I’ve read Jan, John, Gwen, and of course your books so I know what great authors you have included me in. It’s an honor in itself. I hope you have a fantastic 2021 with whatever you choose to do.

    1. I throughly enjoyed your tale, Larry. I know my granddaughter is also enjoying it!
      Thank you! I wish the same for you and much success:)

    1. Thank you, Natalie:) It’s always a good way to start the new year by reading a great book:)
      Sending back the same wishes for health and much joy! Xo

    1. You have some good books on your kindle, Vashit! I just finished your book! Wow another good one:) xo

  8. A plethora of interesting reads, D.L.. I’ve currently got my eyes on the books written by Sally Cronin, Jan Sikes, and Gwen Plano. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Some great reads here, Denise. I’ve read and enjoyed Kathleen’s and Jan’s books and have Sally’s on my TBR as well as the first book in The Contract series. Pity we have to work, it really cuts into reading time [smile].

    1. Yes, I agree about our reading time being cut into by work. You have some good reading ahead!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: