June Book Reviews

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful 

by Ellie Collins

“Daisy, Bold & Beautiful” is a sweet story geared for 9 to 12-year-old readers.  Ms. Collins tells the story of a young girl D.J. who moves to a new town with her father, after her mother’s death. She has to start a new school and make new friends.  It’s well-written and I could sympathize with her getting onto the bus knowing no one and heading for a new sixth grade experience. D.J. quickly makes friends and learns about herself along the way. I loved the relationship between father and daughter as well as her new friends.   What makes this story so interesting is what happens when she goes to bed and her experiences in another realm. This book for middle grade readers drew me in, but the amazing part was it was written by a middle grade writer!  This is a children’s book I highly recommend and a new author I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!


PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction) Short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP

by Bette A. Stevens

“Pure Trash” is a charming and insightful glance into rural 1955 as we are taken through a day with two boys: Shawn and Willie. They are poor and judged on the merit of their drunken father. Heading into town it is apparent they are considered, “pure trash”. They’re able to earn enough change to get some treats and play freely on the playground. An unforeseen accident confirms what Shawn already knows, they aren’t treated the same as everyone else. I can’t wait to read “Dog Bone Soup” to see what happens to the boys. I recommend this short story for children– as well as adults.


DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction): A Boomer’s Journey 

by Bette Stevens

“Dog Bone Soup” is a story told through a boy’s eyes as he grows up in a desperately poor family in the 50’s with an abusive-alcoholic father. Shawn spends time surviving and taking care of his family’s needs, as well as finding time to enjoy life with his brother. I wondered what dog bone soup was and quickly found out it came from Shawn having to get dog bones at the butcher, so his family could eat. Ms. Stevens’ descriptions of the era really pulled me into the story. I loved the relationship between Shawn and his younger brother Willie and the creative ways they found to supply the family with food. It was sad how people treated them and the pride the family had–that ended up hurting them at times. Using an outhouse and having to bring water in each day when everyone else had indoor plumbing was made worse when the father made sure he had electricity for his TV. This was one of many examples of what four children had to endure from a selfish father and a mother struggling to care for her family. A beautifully written coming of age story that I can highly recommend!


If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love 

by Nonnie Jules (Author), Giani Jordan (Author)

This is a beautiful book of poetry with the first half written from the female’s perspective and the second through the male’s. “If Only There was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” does something unique–it tells a story through the poetry. Each poem shows the pain and longing for their forbidden love. I like that the female and male side are written by different authors making it all the more real. The images and rhythm of the words held me captive– reading late into the night. It reminded me just how strong real love is, even at a distance. If you love poetry, like I do, you will love this book!


…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED: A Short Story

by Nonnie Jules

I just finished reading: “If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” the book of poetry that precedes this short story. Instead of going to sleep I had to know how it all ended and immediately started reading “…And the Music Played”. The couple in a forbidden love were both married to other people. Christine in an abusive marriage, and Giani in a loveless one. A murder plot is twisted into this love story nicely with plenty of action. I was drawn in and rooting for Christine and Giani. You can read this well-written short story as a stand-alone, but I recommend you read the book of poetry first.


There will be no blog on June 10th because my husband and I will be celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. It is a weekend trip with our long, long trailer by the ocean! Be back on June 17th!

Watch for special edition blogs on June 5th and 15th!

Embrace that inner child by reading an amazing indie book! D.L. Finn

First Book Reviews of 2018

I ended 2017 with a “reading and review” count of 54 indie books (that total doesn’t include non-indie books I read and rated). This is a huge increase from 2016 where I read and reviewed 19 indie books.  While I hope to improve on that, I am happy to break 50 books read in any year!

I’m making a list of must-reads for this year.  So far, it has 25 books on it in with Yvette Calleiro’s Chronicles of the Diasodz series first on the list. After that is the rest of Larry Landgraf’s Into Autumn series–and this list will only grow once I look at all the books waiting on my Kindle!  It’s going to be another year of amazing indie books and sharing the reviews along the way!

Here are my first five reviews of this year (books I gave my grand-kids for Christmas):


 

Amazing Matilda: The Tale of A Monarch Butterfly 

by Bette A. Stevens

This is a sweet story about a caterpillar named Matilda and her friends. She immediately wants to fly, but is given the advice to be patient and keep trying– when she can’t. The book is illustrated by the author and that adds another level of depth to the book. The story has a lesson that not only kids can learn from, but also the adults who read the book with them. I can’t wait to give this to my grandchildren and will enjoy our reading time together with this delightful tale!


 

Wish Fish 1: Discovering the Secret

ByLynn Miclea

This is a sweet children’s story about two fish, Ray and Roxy, who live in the ocean. The fish duo who go too far into the ocean, get caught in a fisherman’s net, and almost get eaten by a bigger fish find they need to depend on their friendship and love to survive. They learn some important lessons on their adventures—including believing in yourself. It is a good message for children and the adults reading along with them. I bought this for my grand-kids and can’t wait to read it with them!


 

Halloween Writing Prompts: 13 Spooky Activities For Kids (Aspiring Author Series)

by WJ Scott

This is an interactive book for kids who want to be writers or love to create. It opens with some writing suggestions, then has 13 pictures with a tagline to provide a starting point. I love the Halloween theme that includes a black cat, a witch and other “spooky” prompts. This would be good in a classroom or at home. I bought this for my grand-kids and plan to enjoy it with them. Great idea!


 

Friends: An African Adventure (Fauna Park Tales #2)

by Maretha Botha

“Friends: An African Adventure” is the second book in the Fauna Park Tale series I have bought for my grand-kids. It’s an exotic tale set in an African desert and told through a bird’s perspective, Hope. The characters are fully developed and engaging, while the artwork provided by Ms. Botha is heartfelt. Flame the dog gives the reader an example of protecting those who can’t protect themselves– and what friendship and bravery are. He keeps his promise to be a hero. Another Fauna Park Tale I will enjoy reading with my grand-kids!


 

The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! 

by Bette A. Stevens

I bought this book to give as a gift to my grandchildren. Reading through the book before giving it to them, I found it taught me a few things, too. First, I had no idea a tangram is a seven-piece puzzle with specific shapes. A pattern is provided to cut out and get started along with the history of it. There are many ways to put the pieces together, but the book supplies shapes to make– with clues or riddles as to what they are.  Although, this is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids!


 

D.L. Finn (dolphin) is my pen name. I know some of you know my real first name, but for those who don’t– any guesses? Next week I will be sharing my first name, so you don’t have to keep calling me D.L.!

Happy 2018! Embrace your inner child, D(?).L. Finn