My Vacation and a Special December Book Review Part 2! @LBroday @dk_deters #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #holidayreading #authorvaction

Sunset in Kauai

Hi! Because of the holidays, I’m doing a special vacation blog, along with the books I read below.

Before we even left, there were septic problems to deal with. So, we had someone come out, and it wasn’t good news. But they’d fix it while we were away. All our COVID tests were finally in hand and uploaded to the Hawaiian site. Right after we dropped off my husband’s pickup at the body shop for repairs, we were off. He hit a deer a couple of weeks before. In fact, two other cars behind him hit the same deer we were told by insurance.

Finally, we got settled into our hotel by the airport, where the plumbing was working fine 🙂 Flying over had a couple of bumps along the way. It’s never good when you have the captain come on, and there isn’t that reassuring tone you’d hoped to hear in his voice explaining how normal air turbulences were as the plane veered off to the right.

Still, after transferring at Honolulu, we headed off to Kauai, where I saw a pod of whales from my plane window as we descended to land. Stocking up on food, we settled into our room quickly. The view was spectacular, and I took my plan to relax seriously. I read on the lanai and wrote poetry while my husband, daughter, and son-in-law swam.

Swimming in the rain
Beautiful flower
A day at the beach

We saw many turtles, including one sunning on the beach. Our whale watching/fishing tour was canceled because of choppy conditions, which meant more time to relax—enjoy sunsets, watch the soothing waves hit the shore and observe the parrots settling in every night in the palm trees.

Sunning Sea Turtle
Little Grand Canyon
A Kauai Rooster.

The only blip in our stay was the big storm. It didn’t hit our island as hard as the rest, where they were in a state of emergency and flooding. I couldn’t read on our lanai as the rain was coming sideways at me during the worst of the storm. Everyone else swam in this pouring rain, and I continued to read inside.

Visiting the north side of the island on my husband’s birthday.
Walking by the beach
Sea Turtle peeking at me

Our time went by quickly, as all vacations do. Although we didn’t do as much as normal because of my hip/foot issues, which makes it hard to walk a lot, it turns out doing less was just what was needed by all.

On the last morning, as I sipped my tea on the lanai, a whale jumped up as if to say until next time.

Feral cats we fed nightly at the hotel
The hotel we stayed at after they put up the holiday decorations

Back home, with a now repaired septic system, the truck is still in the shop, and we have a big storm looming over us. Although, I have everything I need and memories to carry me into the new year.

I’ll be sharing my vacation poetry in a later post.

Here are the books I read by the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Christmas Once Again

by D.K. Deters

Madison has lost her fiancé, is broke, and is on the verge of losing her job when she gets a call from a man who wants his grandmother’s painting back. She is immediately attracted to his voice and wants to help him. This all falls in the middle of a massive snowstorm right before Christmas. This is a romantic time travel story layered with mystery. What is so special about that painting? I like how everything is tied together as Madison attempts to do a good deed. “Christmas Once Again” is a fun short story to read by the fire during the busy holiday season.

A Cowboy Christmas Legend (Lone Star Legends #2)

by Linda Broday

Sam Legend ll moved away from the world after losing his wife. While he was sleeping, a woman snuck in and held a knife to his throat. Once the misunderstanding is resolved, they are thrown together to help a family. I love the chemistry between Sam and Cheyenne, but I also love the other relationships around them. There is humor, a budding romance, a missing person, and justice to be served. Both Sam and Cheyenne have pasts to overcome, but they now have others who depend on them. Cheyenne’s history unravels slowly, and I appreciated her stance on the treatment of Apache children. These are well-developed characters that drew me into their lives. Christmas was quickly approaching, and there were people to save, criminals who needed to be arrested, and a ranch to run. I read and loved the first book in this series, but it’s unnecessary to read it before reading this because the back story was weaved in nicely. If you like historical western romance, this is a must-read!

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! D. L. Finn

46 thoughts on “My Vacation and a Special December Book Review Part 2! @LBroday @dk_deters #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #holidayreading #authorvaction”

  1. What a fabulous, even if turbulent, vacation, Denise! Thank you for sharing the photos and narrative. I totally agree with your review of Linda’s book and hope others will consider picking it up. I haven’t read D.K. Deters’ Christmas book yet, but I’ve added it to my pile. Thank you for sharing and welcome home! Stay warm and safe!

    1. Thanks, Jan 🙂 I hope more people pick up that story too. They are both good holiday reading! I hope you enjoy the time travel story. Stay warm and safe too 🙂

  2. What an adventure you’ve been on, Denise! I’m so glad you were able to enjoy your vacation and in Hawaii, no less! Thanks so much for sharing with us and letting us experience a little bit of your trip. It sounds so magical. As for the books, intriguing as always! That first book’s cover gives me all the warm fuzzies of Christmas.

    1. It was an adventure, Mar, thank you 🙂 Hawaii is one of those magical places where I find renewal and healing, besides my forest. Yes, that cover really draws me in and offers those warm fuzzy holiday feelings.

    1. It was, Jacqui. It’s a place you can visit many times and it always different and always beautiful. Each island is a whole different feeling. I like the peace of Kauai at this point 🙂

  3. I sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, Denise, even with the uneasy flight. Welcome back and thank you for sharing your personal journey and your recent reads. All – wonderful! 💗

    1. It was a wonderful escape to the island beauty. Thank you, Gwen 🙂 In that uneasy moment on the plane I was just happy to be sitting next to my husband! Xo

    1. Thank you, Sandra. I saw the light was on when we got back to the mainland 🙂 It is a beautiful place that offers more than beauty, and a peaceful place to read. Xoxo

    1. I never tire of seeing those beautiful sea turtles. There is something so wise about them. Yes, great holiday and vacation reading, Priscilla 🙂

  4. Wow, so many wonderful animals! The pics look awesome. Sorry for the bumpy rides, and so pleased you had a lovely time in spite of all. Great book reviews. Thanks for sharing, Denise 💕🙂

    1. Yes, I always seem to find the animals…or they find me 🙂 Kauai has chickens running free all over the island. I think they got free during a hurricane and thrived with no enemies. Its cool to see them on the beaches or in a parking lot. My superstitious side believes if I get the bad stuff out if the way, it will be smooth sailing after. It was a lot of fun and relaxing, thanks, Harmony!

  5. It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, Denise, despite the storm. I’m glad you got to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. And there’s nothing better than unwinding with a good book poolside or on the beach. Two excellent reviews.
    Welcome back!

    1. It was a much needed and wonderful time, Mae, thank you. The beauty feeds the soul there. Yes, nothing like pool side or beach reading, I agree 🙂 Thank you, happy to be back.

    1. It’s a gorgeous place where I find it impossible to have a bad time. Kauai is more laid back which I really appreciate now. I hope you get to explore the islands someday 🙂 Thanks, Beem!

    1. Thank you, Joan 🙂 It was a wonderful and needed trip. Rain is relaxing to me, so I sat back and enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you, Jacquie 🙂 Its forced relaxation and reading is at the top of my list, so a good side effect to a troublesome foot and hip…lol. There is something almost magical about sea turtles and being around them. I hope you get to see them too!

    1. Thank you, Staci 🙂 It wasn’t easy to get there but so worth it to arrive! Happy to be back. Xo

    1. It is amazing to see these turtles in person and where they live. I hope you get to see and swim with them, Craig!

    1. It was a nice tropical break. It’s cold and snowy here too brrr… Thank you, Lynda 🙂 Enjoy yours too! Xo

  6. Horsefeathers! What an eventful time you’ve had, Denise!
    Although your vacation didn’t go as hoped/planned, you sound like it was greatly enjoyed just the same. I have to agree that sometimes doing less is more or better.
    I hope the storm didn’t hit your area hard. There’s so much crazy weather this past week.
    I also hope you’re doing better with your hip and foot. I have nearly constant back pain, so I really do understand. Sending you healing vibes. Hugs on the wing!

    1. Thanks, Teagan 🙂 I don’t think its possible to have a bad time in Hawaii, even with a storm. Yes, the weather is definitely crazy everywhere! We got some much needed rain and snow, but I never like high winds. All in all not too bad just a minor poweroutage and a down tree that could have done some real damage other than a broken fixable pipe. Sorry to hear you deal with back pain. Sending you healing hugs and vibes right back. Xo

    1. They seemed to be very healthy and some had clipped ears so we assumed they were capturing and fixing them. The same friendly kitty the whiter one one, was there when we went before so that shows to me they are living a good life and spoiled by the guests. Yes, we joked about bringing them home with us especially the sweet orange kittens running around.

  7. Hi Denise, this sounds like a lovely and relaxing holiday despite the storm. We are going away on 27 December and I am looking forward to it. I really need a change of scenery after working from home for most of this year. The two books sound like fun Christmas reads.

    1. It was very relaxing despite the storm, Robbie. A change of scenery was needed. I hope you have a wonderful vacation, Robbie, that brings you relaxation and the change needed, plus, a lot of fun thrown in! Yes, can’t go wrong with these holiday reads 🙂

  8. We leave for Kauai in about a month, Denise. Hopefully, the storms will hold off, though this is the stormy season. I don’t care really. It looks like you had a great time and got some wonderful reading in. Thanks for the beautiful photos. And welcome home. Happy Holidays! Wishing you a wonderful new year.

    1. How fun, Diana 🙂 My aunt always loved to go in January. We didn’t mind the storm and always manage to have a good time there no matter what. Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year xo

  9. Thanks for the introduction to these books. And what a gorgeous holiday it looks. Just gets me in the mood for my winter holiday! 🙂 <3

    1. It was breathtaking! I could just sit and take it all in and be completely happy. Yay for winter holidays 🙂

      1. Double yay here. Just hope this crazinesss from omicron settles down by later in January so I can get on a plane! 🙂 x

    2. I so hope it settles down soon. I felt pretty safe flying after having to show our proof of vaccine and and negative test. Fingers crossed!

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