March Book Reviews Part 2 @MarciaMeara @Virgilante @ejhomusic #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WhatToRead #MustRead #IndieBooks

Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Piccadilly Street #1)

by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

“Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is a paranormal middle-grade story that is set in 1967, Canada. Mary and her family move into a large house. The action starts when her family spends their first night in the new residence. They soon find out the house is haunted, but Mary finds additional residents, two Brownies. Those small, magical men from Scotland quickly became the characters I enjoyed the most. I appreciated their backstory and humor. The Brownies need Mary to help them get back home. While Mary struggles in a new school and deals with a bully, she gets very sick. What the Brownies do next was my favorite part of the story. This is a fun read those middle-grade readers and young at heart will enjoy. Four-Stars!

Will O’ the Wisp

by C.S. Boyack

“Will O’ the Wisp” is a YA paranormal tale that focuses on fifteen-year-old Patty Hall. The Hall family seems to have been cursed, and Patty is determined to find out why. I love that this story is set in the 1970s. The high school dance and well-placed details of that era brought back some memories. The strained relationship between Patty and her mother is realistic, and Patty’s rebellious side is portrayed nicely, especially with wearing her leg braces. That side of her not only showed her determination, but her inner strength that’s needed to overcome evil. There were some truly terrifying parts, but there was also friendship, trust, and family. I could relate to Patty’s position that no one, other than her two friends, would believe her. If you like a teen protagonist with some horror and a strong female character, this book is for you. Five-Stars!

The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge #4)

by Marcia Meara

I’m a fan of the Wake-Robin Ridge Series, so I eagerly jumped right into book four. Rabbit is a character I’ve fallen in love with and enjoyed watching his growth since he first walked onto the pages. His relationship with his adopted parents and sister is stable and loving, giving him a base to explore his gift or “the Sight.” When Rabbit wants to see the Brown Mountain Lights on Halloween, he not only sees the lights but meets a young man, Austin, and befriends him. This relationship is an impressive addition to the series. At the end of the light show, Rabbit finds one light that differs from the rest. The story follows what happens to Rabbit, the light, and a new character, Boone, through several POVs, which allows the reader more insight into the carefully crafted tale. This had the charm of family and friends and the mystery of the orb and what it wanted from Rabbit. Although some bad people were lurking around this story, they weren’t front and center like the previous books, but this story was just as good, if not better. I highly recommend this series and now have added seeing the Brown Mountain Lights to my bucket list. Five-Stars!

Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge #3)

By Marcia Meara

“Harbinger” is the third Wake-Robin book, but the second one with a favorite character of mine, Rabbit. I’m drawn to seeing the world through innocence or eyes that aren’t jaded. Eleven-year-old Rabbit offers that. His determination to help while being guided by his “sight” no matter what the cost, is not only endearing but makes him a hero. He has found his place with his new parents and baby sister. I loved the relationship between siblings and the caring and support within the family. Their love balanced out the bad that they dealt with because of Rabbit’s gift. The POV switches between his parents, Mac and Sarah, and a troubled man, Cadey. Seeing inside Cadey’s mind gave a painful glimpse into how he got to this point. Rabbit and Mac’s decision to help Sheriff Wardell on a twenty-year-old cold case blended seamlessly with Cadey’s tormented thoughts. Add in Ol’ Shuck, the big black dog who is the harbinger of death, made this paranormal thriller hard to put down, even to sleep. I’ll be reading book four next and highly recommend this 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! D. L. Finn

March Book Reviews Part 1! @PTLPerrin @ColleenChesebro @teagangeneviene @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #BookReviews #WhatToRead #MustRead

Slices of Soul

by Harmony Kent

“Slice of Soul” is a beautiful collection of poetry that tugged on my emotions. There is a story weaved into the poems that had a memoir feel to it. Each section was a narrative of the author progressing through periods of her life. So many feelings arose, but each one felt authentic and direct from the soul. I really connected to the ocean or guitar passages but appreciated each part of the journey. This is a book I will be reading again.

Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn
by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I loved the first journey and had been waiting for the second installment. The story begins where it left off with 12-year-old Emlyn, who lived in repressive religious times with powers she had to hide. The story was told from two points of view, Emlyn’s and Zasha. It gives an encompassing view of two strong young women. One can embrace herself, Zasha, and Emlyn, who can’t. The images and details paint a cold and cruel world Emlyn lives in with her family. I’m all in and rooting for Emlyn and Zasha. I can’t wait for the next journey and highly recommend “Dead of Winter.” Start from the beginning you don’t want to miss anything!

The Heart Stone Chronicles (The Swamp Fairy, #1)

by Colleen M. Chesebro

“The Heart Stone Chronicles” is a magical read for upper middle grade and the young at heart. Fourteen-year-old Abby is in the Chicago foster system after her drug-addicted father abandons her. She is sent to her only living relative, her father’s sister, who lived in rural Florida. The story began for me when she set foot in her new town. I fell in love with the area, wondering if I’d like to live there. I was glad her aunt turned out to be nice, and Abby made a friend right away. Then Abby finds out she’s inherited swamp land from her mother, who had died a few years before, and someone has put in an offer to buy it. The relationship between Abby and her aunt was heartwarming, and I liked her new best friend, Savannah. The local bullies seemed realistic, and Mr. Cobb, who had to have Abby’s swamp, no matter what it took. That was a bit terrifying how far he’d go. My favorite part of the story was Abby’s gift to communicate with animals. Never ridden a horse, Abby’s ability allowed her and the horse to bond, so she could easily ride him. I could almost feel the wind blowing my hair as Abby rode across the field on her horse. Meeting the swamp fairies was beautifully illustrated and captivating. This story was well-paced, with a gentle reminder about the importance of nature that I appreciated. I recommend this to all who love fairies, which I do. I’m hoping there will be another book to continue exploring with Abby and the fairies.

Terra’s Anthem: The TetraSpehere Series: Book 4 (TetraSphere)

by P.T.L. Perrin

I have thoroughly enjoyed this YA series. The fate of the world depends on four teenagers, and it’s been a pleasure watching them grow, and relationships develop. Told in the first person through the four teens gives a good insight into what they are going through. There are many twists and turns in this final book, and when I think they are safe, something happens. There’s plenty of action in this sci-fi tale with some romance mixed in, and I fell in love with the newest addition in their group. The alien community has good and bad, or the same as the humans, which deepened the storyline. One alien is particularly bad and extremely easy to root against. The detail in descriptions is amazing and makes it effortless to picture the surroundings. The ending was satisfying, with another twist weaved in. If you love a good sci-fi YA story, this is definitely for you. I highly recommend this series, but make sure you begin with the first book—you don’t want to miss anything.

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

June Book Reviews @Sandra_Cox @MAAdlerWrites @stacitroilo @pursoot @GuyWorthey @Dwallacepeach @bernardfoong

 

Soul Swallowers  (The Shattered Sea #1)

by D. Wallace Peach

“Soul Swallowers” follows Raze Anvrell who turns his back on his family and title after his commoner wife was murdered. He finds some peace working alongside a man who befriends him. But around Raze is political plotting, arranged marriages, slave trading, religious beliefs, and a witch. While I was captivated with Raze’s journey, I loved both Bel and Nellea’s stories. I connected with them both immediately and was rooting for their outcome. A unique aspect of this story was the swallowing of a soul stone or bringing a deceased person’s soul into your body. Having another person’s urges come out, such as fighting skills, empathy or cruelty, and blending that with their personality was fascinating. This is a well-written fantasy that’s infused with poetic descriptions, believable characters, and plenty of action. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series!


Ace Carroway and the Great War (The Adventures of Ace Carroway #1)

by Guy Worthey

Cecilia “Ace” Carroway is a 16-year-old pilot during World War One.  Her story starts quickly with a thrilling air-battle, but Ace ends up a prisoner when her plane is shot down. That minor detail doesn’t seem to bother Ace, which is why I came to appreciate this character’s spunk. Ace is not only likable but way ahead of her male counterparts. Leadership seems natural to Ace and her much older POWs put their trust in her. This is an exciting read full of vivid details and humor meant for young adults, but I equally enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series!

 


Whatever It Takes

By S. Burke

“Whatever it Takes” has mystery, romance, death, Hollywood, and a cruel serial killer, which, when all put together creates an engaging read! Andi needs a change and leaves her police career in New York to work in LA for the actor, James Kincaid to investigate the death of his wife. I immediately saw a connection between them and loved it. Their working relationship felt very natural, and I enjoyed the obvious attraction they had for each other, even though they didn’t act on it.  Andi’s relationships with James’ driver, personal assistant, and accountant, with their stories, brought an extra depth–along with mystery and darkness. Andi’s search uncovered so much more than an accident. It was great being able to see the evidence unfold and guide Andi down an unexpected path, surprisingly connecting LA and New York. This insight of being thrust into the life of the rich and famous met with the grit of a New York cop was the perfect fit.  Ms. Burke is skilled in getting into the heads of her characters and pulling readers quickly into their world. This is a well-written exciting, suspenseful thriller that will keep you up reading late into the night. I highly recommend it.


The Gate (Astral Conspiracy #1)

by D.L. Cross

I’ve been looking forward to this release and was impressed from the first page. “The Gate” is the beginning of the Astral Conspiracy Series, and I found it was like reading a movie it was so vivid. The characters felt very real including my favorite, Landon Thorne. He had theories others made fun of until they realized he was right. I connected with him staying true to himself and not allowing others to force change. With so much action and urgency in the story, it was hard to put down. I found myself saying more than once: “They don’t have time for this!” There was plenty of history and research mixed into the story that added another level of intrigue. Ancient Alien Theories fascinate me, so I was thrilled to find an exciting story with that woven into it. I highly recommend this well-written book, especially if you love aliens, the what-if scenario, action, history, theories, and characters you can grow to love–and hate!


Shadowed by Death: An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery (Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2)

by Mary Adler

This is the second novel in the Oliver Wright Series set during World War ll in the Bay Area. I loved the first book, but I think I was drawn even deeper into this story. It’s 1944 and Oliver is tasked to protect a Polish speaker, Sophia. I liked the interaction between these two characters even though Sophia didn’t want Oliver as a bodyguard. As in the first book, I loved the relationship between Oliver with his dog, Harley, who had served in the war, too.  Within that storyline is another narrative about a young girl trying to assist a friend’s dog Blue. I enjoyed seeing the world through Blue the dog’s perception and his devotion to the young girl helping him. This is not only a well-written story but well researched. I appreciated the attention to details and history that Ms. Adler infused into the story. What happened in Poland during the war is hard to accept and painfully real. It kept me awake late into the night thinking about human cruelty, apathy, and the brave heroes mixed in. “Shadowed by Death” can be read as a stand-alone or as a series. I highly recommend this book especially if you love mystery, suspense, action, history, and of course dogs.


Shardai (Cats of Catarau #1)

by Sandra Cox

Shardai is a regal cat that ended up in the afterlife. He desperately wanted to get back to his human. This is a beautiful story of his rebirth as a feral kitten and journey. I fell in love with Shardai and was completely pulled into his world through his new, and old eyes. There were some heartbreaking moments, humor, and bravery. I was rooting for this cat and his new family. It’s a well-written page-turner that didn’t let up. I admit this had me teary-eyed at the end. If you love cats, you’ll appreciate this heartwarming story that can be for children or adults! I look forward to reading the rest of this series


The Truth Will Set You Free

by Young

This is a short excerpt from “Debauchery” but complete with the insight of a young gay man trying to be kind to a girl who’s interested in him.  It was well-written, a quick read, and a great way to be introduced to this author.


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

Book Reviews

 

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz #4)

by Yvette M. Calleiro
This fourth book in the “Chronicles of the Diasodz” series continues with the story of Sophia, Rafe and more of my favorite characters. Relationships are being formed along with plotting and intrigue. There’s an in-depth look into the search for the truth and what is right and wrong– as reality is explored. As the characters grow and learn, the mysterious prophesies remain. Ms. Calleiro has combined a story with love of either self or another so beautifully, that I have been hooked from the very first book I read. Plus, the added bonus of the paranormal and adventure make this a must-read series! I cannot wait to see how it all ties together and ends in the next book, “The One Awakened”


 

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz #5)

by Yvette M. Calleiro
Although I am sad to see the “Chronicles of the Diasodz” end—it was a completely satisfying conclusion! With war coming: sides are chosen, and relationships are tested. I loved the growth of the characters especially: Rafe, Angel, Ar’ch and Sofia. The difference between corruption and hate versus understanding and love becomes very clear. I was extremely invested with the outcome of characters that I had grown to love over the series and wasn’t disappointed. I don’t want to say more and spoil the ending, but this is a fantasy YA series I highly recommend! Start from the beginning and take the journey with Sofia. I look forward to the upcoming prequels!


I’m now on to reading: Into Spring: The Next Generation (Four Seasons Book 2) 
and then Into Winter (Four Seasons Series #3) by Larry Landgraf. My list keeps growing! (I hope to have both reviews posted next week and maybe a new poem!)

Congrats to hat drawing winners from monthly newsletter: Caitlin, Gina M and Donna M! If you missed it here is the link: Newsletter

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn