Faith inherited her grandparents’ cabin in the deep woods of Colorado after her grandfather’s passing. Her best friend, Hope, is staying with her there through the holidays. Faith had broken off her engagement to Josiah while he was away serving in the army and did not know he had returned home. Late one night, someone tries to break into the house, scaring them. Faith believes her grandfather’s death wasn’t an accident and may be connected to the break-in. A massive storm hits, and they end up with some interesting houseguests. “Tall Pines Sanctuary” is a Christian-based story that deals with love, family, and forgiveness. I liked that one resolution was resolved early in the story, but other answers were revealed at the end. There was a beautiful setting, a place I could imagine living, and caring friendships. The pet ferret quickly became a favorite. This was an entertaining story about relationships and a mystery to be solved for those who enjoy faith-based stories.
Crossroads Diner #205
“Crossroads Diner” is a quick read with a few surprises. Janie is a server in a small diner, and a storm rages outside. A cowboy enters and shows interest in her scars. Then he helps a young woman in trouble. At first, it seems like a tired woman will get the man of her dreams, but it veers off in a different direction. I love how this diner represents a crossroads. The conflict within Janie about why she’s there is never fully brought to light, leaving me curious. A clever story layered into a mysterious personal journey.
By C.W. Bigelow
“Fractured Reflections” is a collection of poetry that has been published in various outlets but is new to me. I appreciated how emotions, observations, and subjects were approached through the vivid use of images, including nature references. Here are a few of my favorites. “Skeletal trees, up to their knees in mighty snow mounds/gather in paralyzed, mute crowds of bleak shadows”—Cabin Fever in March. “while you gave/me a final blink/and somewhere,/leapt one last time”—A Leaping Dog. “Walking by chains of sturdy oak pews/through the inebriating scent of/Frankincense and Myrrh,/my footsteps echoed off the high ceilings.”—Confirmation. “sculpted flanks shimmering, flexing tightly/each elegant vault pumped with/magnificent potency – until”—Come November. “At first the petals cling to the vine in panic/before succumbing to the darkness,”—A Death Unattended. “Each arm, some scarred with leaves,/other’s bare/slithering, climbing, never ending/their struggle for the screened rays of winter sun.”—The Greenhouse. This is poetry that is meant to be read more than more, and I can easily recommend it.
“All That Was Taken” is a contemporary dramatic thriller. John craves a solitary life. He buys a cottage in a small coastal town that suits his quest for privacy. While it is getting worked on, he stays at a local inn and develops a friendship with the owner, Sunny. As they learn about the losses the other has suffered, it becomes apparent that someone is stalking each of them for different reasons. As the couple unravels their history, their past haunts them in unsettling ways. Although it takes John much longer to share his story, there are a couple of surprises that I couldn’t have guessed. I love how John and Sunny’s dogs take to each other as much as their masters do. Sunny has a supportive group around her, and the group is careful with each other’s feelings. There are many layers to this story, and some include cruel, controlling behavior. This is a unique story for those who enjoy a darker second chance.
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!
Embrace your inner child, and read a good book! D. L. Finn