October Book Reviews! @TWDittmer @SueColetta1 @ninsthewriter @Dwallacepeach @SarahBrentyn @alliepottswrite #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whatyoushouldbereading

The Valley Walker

By T.W. Dittmer

Teri Altro who is a part of a government drug enforcement team, is almost gunned down at a store. A mysterious man steps in, saves her, and then disappears. This man turns out to be John Walker Micheals, who is an ex-Vietnam vet. John also has close ties to the Hmong community who call him the Valley Walker. He is wanted by the government for desertion, but Teri is protective of the man who not only saved her life, but she shot. The settings and descriptions of the Vietnam War and the Hmong culture were very detailed and added a depth that made this story hard to put down. The flowing time and locations in the book include mysticism, politics, and powerful drug traffickers. Teri worked hard but forgot about her heart. John’s character is unpredictable until the end. I loved how this complex tale unfolded so skillfully on many levels. It is a story I can easily recommend.

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series #1)

By Sue Coletta


I started this series with book six, “Restless Mayhew” and was immediately drawn into the story. After that, I wanted to know what happened before, so I started with book one and found the beginning equally compelling. Shawnee is a cat burglar who steals from criminals to give back to their victims—she also works for the police department. When she was a cat burglar, she discovered the identity of a serial killer. Unfortunately, he found out that she had broken into his house and taken his prized possession, along with some cash and gems. Although the killer is known right away, the book is still a page-turner, and I couldn’t wait to find out how she survived. At first, I wanted her to turn the killer in to save his victims from his creative yet inhuman and painful deaths. Shawnee was in a dangerous position and not only had to save herself but those she loved. Plus, she dates a detective who can easily throw her in jail if he finds out too much about her. Shawnee is not only a flawed individual but a determined one who had me on her side. A well-written thriller that kept me up late into the night, wanting to know what was going to happen next. I can’t wait to read the next in the series and can easily recommend this to those who love fast-paced mysteries with graphic details of being a victim and a survivor.


Dark Eyes

By Nina Romano

“Dark Eyes” is set in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Anya is a young, unwed mother who struggles to provide food for her daughter after escaping an abusive relationship. After her daughter’s grandmother is brutally murdered, Anya wants to find the killer. This pulls her into a corrupt criminal world that ventures into the police department and includes dolls, diamonds, and drugs. Andrei is a police photographer trying to get hired onto the force. They meet during the investigation and seem drawn to each other. I didn’t like Andrei at first because of his initial interactions with Anya. Later, as I got to know Andrei and Anya better, I became invested in these characters and rooted for their survival. Ms. Romano paints a vivid picture of how it would have been to be living in those times in the Soviet Union, especially as a woman. In the Soviet Union, shortages of food, heat, and jobs made life difficult. It was also risky to disagree with the KGB or be Jewish. A couple of scenes with Anya were graphic and brutal but showed her strength and determination to survive for her mentally challenged daughter and to find the truth. This story draws you into a world we are lucky we don’t live in and offers hope amongst cruelty. A historical fiction love story I can easily recommend.

The Shadows We Breathe (Volume 3)

By Sarah Brentyn and various authors

This is the first anthology I’ve read of “The Shadows We Breathe (Volume 3)” and really enjoyed it. I recognized a couple of the authors but was also introduced to new ones. The book is put together with first flash fiction and then micro-fiction with the theme of power. I loved all the different perspectives that were taken in the stories. Some touched on some very dark subjects, but all were well told. I enjoyed them all so I don’t have a favorite story, but the micro-fiction was compelling in what could be told in fewer words. Although a fast read, it wasn’t light on entertainment or depth. I can easily recommend this collection to those who want to explore the shadowy side of life.

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

51 thoughts on “October Book Reviews! @TWDittmer @SueColetta1 @ninsthewriter @Dwallacepeach @SarahBrentyn @alliepottswrite #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whatyoushouldbereading”

    1. Thank you, Lauren! Can’t go wrong with any of them. I’m glad you are enjoying it, yay!

  1. Hi Denise, lovely reviews. I am keen to read The Shadows we Breathe 3. I’ve enjoyed the previous two books. Jacqui Murray reviewed your new poetry book today 💗. Congratulations 🎉

    1. Thanks, Robbie. I have to go back and read the first two in the collection. I was thrilled to see Jacqui’s review, thanks xo

  2. Great reviews, Denise. I also enjoyed The Valley Walker. It was interesting and very unique. I’m glad you liked it. And thanks for the review of Shadows We Breathe #3. Sarah pulls together a wonderful book and I was delighted to be a part of it. I laughed at your review of Sue’s book. It seems that a lot of jump around in the series (including me) and always want to fill in the gaps. Finally, thanks for the introduction to Nina and her book. It sounds like a riveting read. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Diana 🙂 I agree The Valley Walker is very unique, which I so appreciate. Sarah put together a special collection, and I am always happy to see your amazing work there. You are right about Sue’s series, and many of us are trying to catch up once starting in the middle 😉 Yes, Nina offers a deep look into Communist Soviet Union.

  3. A very eclectic collection of reviews, Denise. I’ve read most of Sue’s Mayhem releases, including this one. She certainly created memorable characters with Shawnee and Mayhem!

    Congratulations to all the authors!

    1. Thanks, Mae 🙂 I agree the characters are very memorable, and I’m enjoying making my way through the series.

    1. Thanks, Luanne 🙂 I know about an insane reading list, but I can’t pass them up… lol

  4. Thanks for your lovely review of The Shadows We Breathe, Denise! Thrilled you enjoyed the anthology and happy to be included in your October book reviews! 🎃🍂📚 Congrats on your newest release! Looking forward to reading it!

    1. Thank you, Sarah 🙂 It was a great collection that I really enjoyed! and want to go back and read the first two. Happy reading 🙂

  5. Fab reviews Denise. I love your array of reads. I look forward to getting to Sarah’s anthology, and Nina Romano’s book sound intriguing. Hugs xx

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