May Book Reviews, updates, and blog tour winners! @Virgilante Sandra_Cox @Dwallacepeach @CherylOreglia @bakeandwrite @GodsAngel1 @SmithaVishwana4 @JMastrangeloArt @YvetteMCalleiro @Dwallacepeach @bubbalee04

I know this is a day late but I decided to wait until the blog tour was over. Thank you too all the hosts who kindly opened up their blogs and made this such a big success. Huge hugs to all!

Blog Tour winners follow the reviews.

Now on to the reviews:

Once Upon a Time in the Swamp

By C.S. Boyack

“Once Upon a Time in the Swamp” starts with a peaceful moment as Mari is hunting for a meal for her family. What she comes home to is heartbreaking and a loss so bad that her life is never the same. At first, it seems the story is being told in the past, but as details are added, it becomes clear that something has happened—a civil war that ended modern society. When Mari attempts to get help from local authorities, she is brushed aside. So, she sets out to hunt down the men who did this to her family. Some of my favorite characters were the ox, Dirt and the puppy, Worthless, and Mari’s interactions with them. Although set in the grim aftermath of a war, there were people still willing to help her. These were the places I hoped she’d find some peace and give up her vengeance. But Mari’s strength and determination became inspiring when she refused to give up on getting her family some justice. The settings were highly detailed, down to making soap and learning to shoot and fight, which immersed me in this world and made me wonder if I could do what she was doing. This was a hard story to put down, and I honestly wasn’t sure how this would all turn out, but I was happy with the conclusion. A well-written post-apocalyptic world that gives us a glimpse of what could be if we stay on our current path. Despite that, there is some hope weaved into it as there’s still good left too. I can easily recommend this story.

Love, Lattes and Angel  (Mutants #3)

By Sandra Cox

“Love, Lattes and Angel” continues where the second book left off. Piper is with her grandfather, boyfriend, Tyler, Amy, Joel, and Angel—who is Piper and Joel’s biological daughter. The group believes they are safe but soon finds out they have been located again by a man who is determined to recapture the product of his lab experiment, Angel. She is a dolphin hybrid like Piper and Joel and is prized. The group splits up to escape, and Piper, Joel, and Angel take a strange trip through the Bermuda Triangle. They end up on an island where the religion of Vodou is practiced. I enjoyed the love triangle between Piper, Tyler, and Joel, and I’m glad this story clarifies who ends up with whom. I envy them as they swim so carefree in the ocean, especially Angel. My favorite part is the pet Angel ends up with, and the island they have found refuge on. An excellent conclusion to the Mutant Series that kept me up late toward the end as I wanted to see how it all played out. I can easily recommend it to YA readers and those who are young at heart.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions

By Kaye Lynne BoothRobbie Cheadle, Patty Fletcher, D. Wallace Peach, Yvette Prior, Penny Wilson, Colleen M. Chesebro, Abbie Taylor, Yvette Calliero, Smitha Vishwanath, Chris Hall, Willow Willers, and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

“Poetry Treasures 3: Passions” is a beautiful collection of poetry and poets. I started highlighting my favorites to include here but decided against it. Each poet brought their flavor to this poetry mixture, and they were all good in different ways. I was familiar with about half of the authors and was happily introduced to the others. The poets were given their own month, except December, and a brief history of their works. There were two guest poets included at the end. I liked how they all interpreted passion in expected and unusual ways. An excellent opportunity to enjoy good poetry penned by authors I already enjoy, plus find new ones to follow. This is a collection to be read more than once and one I can easily recommend.

Grow Damn It!: The Feeding and Nurturing of Life

By Cheryl Lynn Oreglia

“Grow Damn It!” is an insightful and often humorous collection of essays that blend into an amazing memoir. It was like I was sitting with an old friend having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and Ms. Oreglia was sharing life stories with some lessons weaved into them. Subjects varied, some light and some not, like the drive to the hospital after her son was in a car accident. There was an adventure on a tandem bike, which intrigued me as I have always wanted to try it. I laughed at the silly comment they got over and over when they rode. Clear Lake, where they bought a second home, was beautifully captured. I spent a lot of time there as a child, and the essays made me re-live my memories. I appreciated the love of family plus an enduring marriage. The raw honesty was welcomed because things aren’t perfect all the time, but love is always there. We all need to learn life lessons and live life to the fullest. This book captures living and reminds us that each day is a gift to enjoy and, on those certain days… survive. A book I felt on many levels. I highly recommend this collection. I know I will read it again and add it to my bookshelf.


By D. Wallace Peach

“Sunwielder” is a fantasy that not only offers a second chance but twenty-seven of them. Gryff is a farmer who loves his family. Everything changes for Gryff when his farm is attacked, and he loses his family and is dying. Here he is offered a medallion to change his path. This part of the story reminds me of “Groundhog Day,” where Gryff relives certain moments trying to get it right. Although he gets his family back, his life goes in a direction he couldn’t have foreseen. Because of a lord’s unreasonable hatred, Gryff gets pulled into a war. I love this part of the book where Gryff grows and learns as his path shifts and changes. His loyalty to those he loves as he tries to correct wrongs had me rooting for him to find happiness. The details weaved into the story brought Gryff’s world to life, whether on the farm or battlefield. It is a wonderful fantasy that not only explores new possibilities when things are bleak but friendship, family, and love—a fantasy I can easily recommend.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!


  • Huge congrats to the Blog Tour Winners! I threw all the hosts name in a hat and picked three. From there I had my daughter, Danielle, pick a number from the amount of people who commented on that post. That’s how the winners were chosen 🙂
  • D. Wallace Peach won the $20 Amazon Gift Card on Craig’s post! Valerie Jael won the $10 Amazon Gift Card on Sandra’s post, and Vera Day won on Beem’s post. Thank you for all the support and comments, it was a lot of fun.
  • Newsletter went out today! If you are subscribed check your email 🙂
  • I will be gone next week on vacation. Book reviews will be back on June 5th and Finn’s Forest will debut June 19th.

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

50 thoughts on “May Book Reviews, updates, and blog tour winners! @Virgilante Sandra_Cox @Dwallacepeach @CherylOreglia @bakeandwrite @GodsAngel1 @SmithaVishwana4 @JMastrangeloArt @YvetteMCalleiro @Dwallacepeach @bubbalee04”

  1. Looks like more great books to read! They each sound interesting and intriguing.
    Congratulations to the blog host winners!
    Congratulations to you, Denise, for a successful and fun tour. Your book, In the Tree’s Shadow, is wonderful.

    1. Thank you, Karen for being a part of the tour and your support. So happy that you enjoyed the story collection too. You can’t go wrong with any of these books and its nice to always have good ones to look forward to reading. Xo

    1. Happy to share it, Craig. It is a great read that I hope gets lots of readers

  2. Good reviews, Denise. I hadn’t heard of Grow, Damn It; it sounds like an interesting read. THANK YOU for the gift card. That’s so cool.:-)

    1. Thank you, Vera 🙂 It really was and nice I knew the area very well where vacations take place. Congrats on your win and for following along and offering your support.

    1. Thank you, Marje 🙂 I’m thrilled with all the kind feedback, since I had so much fun writimg these stories. It was a fantastic collection of poetry.

    1. Thank you, Yvette 🙂 You can’t go wrong with any of them. Yes, it was a fantastic tour that I enjoyed! I appreciate you being a part of it and all your support along the way. I’m ready to go and sit on the beach.

    1. Thank you, Jacqui. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Yes, Sunweilder was an excellent read, as always.

    1. Thank you, Gwen 🙂 You can’t go wrong with any of these reads or authors. I do enjoy reading and I’m glad I can enjoy so many great books from our writing community.

  3. So much reading along with a blog tour! I envy your skills Denise! Loved your reviews. I’ve read two of them. Congratulations to all the winners of the blog tour.

    1. Thank you for being a part of the tour, Balroop 🙂 I did read less during it though but always love to read when I can find time. All good ones!

  4. A fabulous group of writers Denise, thank you for your lovely review of Grow Damn It! What a privilege and honor to be included. I haven’t read some of these and will add a few to my summer reads. Enjoy your vacation, well deserved, sending you much love and hugs, C

    1. Thank you, Cheryl 🙂 I really enjoyed your book and was happy to share it here. You can’t go wrong with any of these books for summer reading. I’m looking forward sitting on the beach. Sending love and hugs back xo

    1. Thank you, Liz 🙂 I appreciate that you followed along on the tour and always for your support. I am excited to just relax on the beach!

  5. Wonderful reviews, Dennis. Thank you for sharing these. I already have some of the books mentioned here, on my TBR. I like the sound of the story of Sunweilder. I’ll add this.

  6. Denise, you’ve become a dynamo. With your release tour, hosting other tours, I’m impressed that you found any time to read, let alone write reviews and post them. (I also appreciate your review of The Inyan Beacon. <3 ) I loved Sunweilder. I couldn't figure out what "Grow" was going to be about, and enjoyed your insights there. I know Robbie put a ton or effort into this 3rd volume of "Treasures", and it really paid off. All the others sound delightful as well. Congratulations to all these authors.
    Have a wonderful time on your well deserved vacation. Safe journeys, and hugs.

    1. Thank you, Teagan 🙂 I’m not sure I hit dynamo category but I am definitely ready to hit the beach and just sit and relax. Definitely some good reading. Yes, Robbie did a great job on the Treasures, your story wonderful, and Sunwielder was great but can’t go wrong with any of them. Glad I could shed some light on the Grow. Hugs right back xo

  7. I just realized yesterday that I have Sunwielder on my Kindle. Your review makes me want to open it sooner than later. All of these books sound awesome. Thank you so much for sharing! Congrats to the authors!

    1. It was on my Kindle for a long while too, Jan. I believe a review reminded me to to move it up my list. Glad I did.

  8. Congrats to the blog tour winners. There are some new-to-me authors and some favorite writers, as well- wonderful reviews!
    Enjoy your vacation, my friend!

    1. Thank you, Jacquie 🙂 Always fun to find new authors! Can’t go wrong with any of them.

  9. Hi Denise, a lovely lot of book reviews. Thank you for reading and reviewing Poetry Treasures. I am delighted you enjoyed it. Sunwielder is my favourite of Diana’s books I’ve read to date. That story really etched itself into my mind.

    1. Thank you, Robbie 🙂 I loved reading the Treasury collection, besides favorirltes there I got introduced to new authors. The concept Diana had of getting several chances to get it right is something we all wish for and was well written as always.

  10. What a lovely surprise to find your review of Sunwielder here, Denise. Plus a bunch of other books from authors I enjoy, including a couple that I haven’t read yet. Thanks for that! And thanks for the gift certificate win. I used it to buy … books! What else. Lol. Thanks for the fun and all the great recommendations. Hugs.

    1. Happy to share your great read, Diana 🙂 Yes, I do the same thing, buy more books to read… lol. That and maybe add a fairy to the garden too. Hugs back xo

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