December Book Reviews Part 1 @PriscillaBettis @WordDreams @Ivyloganauthor #bookreviews #whattoread #mustread #readersoftwitter #authorsoftwitter #writingcommunity

Dog Meat

By Priscilla Bettis

“Dog Meat” is a challenging read for any animal lover, but with a lot of insight and depth. Ward lives in a society where freedom isn’t even an idea. He scored low on the placement test because of an illness and was given the horrendous job of slaughtering dogs for food. This part made me queasy, but there was so much beyond that job. The Colony controlled the people and every aspect of the citizens’ lives with the message that everyone was doing their part. The problem with that was that you had no choice on that part. There was no equality, religion, or different points of view — and some had it better than others. Ward struggled with what was expected of him and knew that if he refused to do his assigned job, he would be arrested and reeducated. As we learn of his past and lack of hope for his future, we are quickly shown how unfair this way of life is for many of the ones who didn’t do well on a test. This read will stay with me for a very long time, while I think about lack of choice and how we treat animals reflects how we treat others who aren’t like us. A powerful and painful story that I can recommend, but be ready to handle some very tough subjects and images.

Metamorphosis The Breach Chronicles #2

By Ivy Logan

Amelia’s parents were killed in a car crash when she was little. She goes to live with her beloved uncle, where she discovers he has a dark side that she learns to live with while residing in luxury. As Amelia grows up, she quickly learns how to protect those she loves from a brutal dictator. She ends up being the fashionable face of pink diamonds while trying to right a wrong. Although she is kind, she’s surrounded by many who hate what she represents. Not only is “Metamorphosis” a fascinating coming of age for a girl who has everything but who also has nothing. There is a magical element carried over from the first story that gives this a dark fairytale feel. I love her relationship with her bodyguards and her adopted grandma. She trusts the wrong people, but her kindness is her strength. This also takes on a more severe subject of mining diamonds and the people used to do so. A captivating tale I found hard to put down with a few twists I didn’t expect. I never stopped rooting for Amelia and am eager to read the next book to see how this ends and if she gets a happy ending. I can easily recommend this story.

Natural Selection Dawn of Humanity #3

By Jacqui Murray

I have read and loved the first two books in the Dawn of Humanity Series and have been looking forward to this final story. I wasn’t disappointed. Lucy sets out to rescue her tribe mates after they were captured. I have grown very fond of many of these characters and was rooting for them. The detail of their daily life brought me into a life I otherwise couldn’t imagine. Eating raw meat or insects while trying to survive in harsh conditions was just a way of life for our prehistoric ancestors. The amount of research into this story and series was impressive and made Lucy’s quest more real. I loved the animals that joined this tribe, including the Canis and Homotherium kit. Although I was sad to see this end, I enjoyed the journey into the past. A book and series I can highly recommend!

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

NOTE: I know I’ve been quiet other than being here for my guest blogs, but I’ve been under the weather. COVID finally found its way into our house. I’m recoverying well and my husband is a few days behind me, but I’m not 100 percent yet. It is very lucky I was prepared for the holidays early this year

I’m taking a short review break, although I managed to do a couple during my recovery time of new releases. I just finished Fairy Tales by Stephen King. I won’t even rate this one, but would love to edit it. I would get rid of the first third of the book which read more like a coming of age before the adventure…lol. Now I’m on to The Big Dark Sky by Dean Koontz. I should be able to leave a rating for this one. Then back to new releases and reviews before my Christmas reading break!

Embrace your inner child, and read a good book! D. L. Finn

November Book Reviews Part 1! @JacqBiggar @Ivyloganauthor @JItakali #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads

The Beast Within(Mended Souls #2)

by Jacquie Biggar

I loved the first Mended Souls book and was eager to read “The Beast Within.” I wasn’t disappointed; there was a mystery, suspense, romance, and my favorite part, angels. Lucas is a new angel trying to find his way while partnered with the man who hates him the most, Mike. They have much pain to work through while someone Lucas cares about has become part of heartbroken Mike’s revenge. On earth, Mike’s widow, Julie, comes across something unexpected on a walk along a beach, and she catches a killer’s eye. Conner is a skeptical cop with a massive attraction to Julie, who is still grieving her losses while finding her place as a mother and journalist. Together and separately, they attempt to find the killer, while from the other side, Lucas tries to help keep her alive in ways Mike can’t. A lot of healing must take place in both angels’ hearts so they can move forward, but Julie must survive for this to happen. This well-written story had a few twists I didn’t expect and a killer I didn’t guess. I hope there is another book because I’ve grown fond of these troubled angels. This is a story I can highly recommend.

Broken The Breach Chronicles #1

By Ivy Logan

“Broken” is a uniquely written YA fantasy about two generations of sorceresses. Caitlin is born a fully developed sorceress as a guardian of the earth who is warned by the wraiths about what could happen in her future. Her sister, Aster, helped an orphaned boy find a new home. These two events come together when Caitlin falls in love with a mortal, Michael. They have two children, Talia, a half-sorceress, and a magic-less son. Meanwhile, the orphaned boy grows into something Aster couldn’t have expected. Caitlin makes some poor choices out of love and her daughter Talia lives with the consequences of them. This was a story with strong female characters, which I appreciated. I enjoyed the family bond, especially between Talia and her little brother. An evil king, a conflicted dragon, and a desire to protect loved ones made this a fascinating read. A fast-paced story with a twist I didn’t see coming. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens next.

Realms of the Mist

By Jude Kirya Itakali

“Realms of the Mist” takes place in the mountains of Africa within the hidden areas where the gifted live. Kamau is a part of the Hadiza, who are guardians of the veil between the living and the afterlife. They not only repress their emotions but are separated from family. There was a mistake, and Kamau and his sister, Kimya, ended up together. When his sister suddenly dies, he questions everything before becoming a full member of this community. He starts a quest to find answers about his sister but finds more than he could have ever imagined. I love the people he meets along the way that join him. His best friend, Irina, is the first to help, and their relationship is a favorite. When Ninwe from another realm becomes a part of this quest, the exchanges and undercurrent between her and Irina are a lot of fun and, at times, painful. The settings and poetic descriptions were amazing as they weaved a special depth to this story. As Kamau learns more about himself and his quest, it only gives him more questions. Each stop in his journey added to his knowledge, and there were some twists I didn’t expect. Although the ending answered some questions, it left many unanswered, making me eager for the next book. This unique fantasy offers gods, love, danger, hidden agendas, duty, and a young man trying to do the right thing as he must figure out what, and who, he can trust. I can easily recommend this fast-paced story I found hard to put down.

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

UPDATE:

I had a great break! First I went to Disneyland/Universal with my youngest daughter and renewed that inner child. After being back for a couple of days went on part two vacation with the hubby. Stayed close to home but enjoyed Halloween, and some much needed rain and snow! The Go-Bag was put away as I offically declared fire season over for this year 🙂 We drove to see the summit snow, did some fun couple holiday projects at home, and visted the Hard Rock Cafe in Sacramento. I posted some pictures on Instagram and Facebook of my adventures.

I won’t try to catch up but look forward making my rounds.

Embrace your inner child, and read a good book! D. L. Finn

September Book Reviews Part 3 and UPDATES @Sandra_Cox @JacqBiggar @Dwallacepeach #writingcommunity #whattoread #readersoftwitter #bookreviews

The Necromancer’s Daughter

By Wallace Peach

Aster is the necromancer’s daughter. She and her queen-mother die when Aster is born. The healer, Barus, sees the baby and steals her away to bring her back to life. The king stays in the background but watches as the healer raises this girl as his own because he knows no one would accept a child brought back to life. When the King finally approaches Aster, his only heir, he triggers his enemies to act, who upends her peaceful life as a healer. Determined to set things right and help Barus, Aster sets off to find help. I love the people she meets along her journey, especially when she crosses the mountain. The son of her enemy is a very complex character. Although he helps her more than once, his upbringing and devotion to the Blessed One aren’t too far behind and weigh him down. Aster shows what genuine goodness is over those who use it to seek power. Even if Aster’s actions aren’t popular, her innocence and ability to do the right thing guide her through some dark times. This is a fantasy filled with magic, danger, love, loyalty, fantastic imagery, and dragons that I can highly recommend.

The Guardian Mended Souls #1

By Jacquie Biggar

After a horrible crash that killed three adults and an unborn baby, Scott tries to regain his life. He has money and fame but lost a best friend and sister. Needing closure, he goes to see the bodies but runs into the Medical Examiner, Tracy, and a badly hurt dog. This throws them together while someone seems determined to add to the body count. On the other side is Scott’s best friend, Lucas, who is now an angel and is placed with a surly partner to help people. Lucas was the driver and carried the guilt of being responsible for the accident, but he also has depth and humor mixed in. He doesn’t understand what is required from him as he navigates this afterworld. I felt for all characters’ loss and appreciated the wit weaved into it. There is redemption and learning for these characters, plus some needed justice and forgiveness. I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens next. A fast-paced paranormal romance with second chances I can easily recommend.

Amulets #2 Rose Quartz

By Sandra Cox

Amulets #1 followed Maureen and her journey, “Rose Quartz,” focuses on her new friend, Bella. Back home, Bella quickly finds out that the killer being in jail doesn’t keep her or her amulet safe. She’s a painter gifted with beauty and creativity from her stones and has the help of Maureen’s ranch hand, Hank. He is the ultimate cowboy she is trying not to fall for but is used to using her charms and looks to get what she wants, which doesn’t go over well with him. Bella is a fun character who quickly discovers she can’t take on a madman alone. This leads her back to old friends she desperately needs and the introduction to another woman gifted with an amulet. I love the relationship developing between Hank and Bella and was rooting for them to work it out. This series is not only about the women wearing the amulets but a strong group of friends that look out for each other, especially when a madman is determined to be a god. Another fun read with love, magic, friendship, and danger perfectly mixed in for those who enjoy a paranormal romance.

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 to leave a review in that case. Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

UPDATES

  • I ‘ve been hosting many great new releases in the past couple of weeks. Watch for one this week that you don’t want to miss!
  • I will be sending out my September Newsletter on the 20th. If you are subcribed watch for it in your email. I have a brand new book of the month you don’t want to miss. I read a lot and love sharing some of those great reads. My picks are booked until the until end of 2023 .
  • My “Books That Changed Me” goes out on the 22nd or first day of fall. That will post here. These are books that have stayed with me after reading them. You’ve already seen the reviews here but they are well worth a second share. If you have missed any of the past posts, I have them here on my site so you can catch up and maybe find a great new read! This is the closest you will get to my picks for books of the year.
  • The air has been hazardous on and off here. Makes it hard to think or function sometimes, even if I stay indoors with my air purifers running. So, sometimes I can’t write or do the things I want to like visit blogs, not because I don’t want to but it’s hard to focus. Luckily the fires haven’t come our way so far. I’m looking forward to the predicted rain the next couple of days. I hope it keeps coming and we can end this fire year early, instead of November. You’d think this would be normal for me after 32 years living in the forest, but the worries have ramped up the last few years. Hopefully the drought will take a nice long break.
  • And I’m feeling much better. Although, I am helping out some family members that requires more of my time, but glad I am able to do it.

Embrace your inner child by reading an enchanting story! D. L. Finn

September Book Reviews Part 2! @Dwallacepeach @pokercubster @Sandra_Cox #bookreviews #whattoread #readersoftwitter #writingcommunity

Amulets #1 Boji Stones

By Sandra Cox

Maureen wakes up in the hospital after a car accident. She is badly hurt and missing an important piece of jewelry. She needs to find this, to not only heal her injuries but keep the stones safe. I love Maureen and her connection to animals, especially horses. Her protective ranch hand is there for her, but someone wants what she has and doesn’t care who they hurt to get it. What Maureen comes home to after an interesting hospital stay is a man who needs his horse healed. Her kind heart can’t let the poor horse suffer even though she doesn’t trust the man who brought the horse. He offers to stay on to pay her back for her kindness, but the only person she can trust is her ranch hand—and herself. I enjoy how Ms. Cox can weave magic into the real world and make me care about what happens to the characters. A fun read that I found hard to put down. Recommended for those who love romance sprinkled with some magic and danger.

Have Bags, Will Travel

D.G. Kaye

This was a quick, fun read for all those adventurous souls who love to travel or read about it. It took us back to days of more effortless traveling, to current times when there’s a lot more involved. Told in a personal, humorous tone, I immediately connected to the antidotes told. I’m glad I’m not the only one who over packs and then had to pay for it when checking the luggage. I shook my head, knowing how hard it is to get traveling purchases home in luggage — and through customs. Luckily, I’ve only had my bags searched once. I can’t imagine being a target when I came back to my country. I thoroughly enjoyed this; it not only made me want to travel but long for the good old days when planes offered more room. This ends with some sound advice for traveling that includes a luggage scale. An excellent read for travelers!

Catling’s Bane (The Rose Shield Book 1) 

by D. Wallace Peach

Catling’s selfish mother wanted to eliminate a mark on her young daughter’s face so the mother can move up in the harsh world they lived in. Eventually, the mother sells her marked daughter. After leaving a cruel life behind, where hangings are enjoyed, Catling settles into a bit of peace. Yet as time goes by, it becomes apparent there is something special about her mark and her. Some brutal scenes are mixed with vivid images of a world ruled by influencers and power. The relationship between Whitt and Catling was heartwarming, and I rooted for them. But the world she was thrust into was cold and calculating. I loved the beasts that lived in the water as the boats navigated on top of their world. Although Catling was only thirteen when the story ended, she was stronger than most adults around her. This was a story I couldn’t put down as I had to keep reading to see what happened to Catling, and I will eagerly continue this journey by reading the next book.

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:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

New Book Release, “Necromancer’s Daughter” by @Dwallacepeach! #newrelease #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #fantasy #mustread

 

I’m excited to welcome fellow Story Empire Author and friend, Diana, here today to celebrate her latest release, “The Necromancer’s Daughter.” Here is my review: LINK

Today I thought I’d share a snippet from Chapter 2 when Barus makes a heartbreaking discovery:

Barus shuffled along a path bordering the rift until something blue caught his eye. Planting his staff, he stepped nearer for a better look. A piece of cloth had snagged on a root. On his hands and knees, he crawled closer, grimacing at the added discomfort of his wardrobe of sticks. He stretched out an arm and caught the cloth between two fingers. What he discovered was no patch of torn fabric, but a long silk shawl littered with pine needles.

Olma’s blue shawl, the one he’d given her as a gift.

He clasped the damp cloth against his chest and sat back on his heels. “Olma?” Shifting again to his hands and knees, he crept nearer to the edge. His heart hammered against his ribs, and his mouth went dry. “Olma, where are you? Can you hear me?”

He lowered himself to his elbows and inched forward until he peered over the lip. Ferns and rocks lined the steep bank except where tumbled dirt exposed a gnarled lattice of roots twisted like brown snakes. Ten feet below him, the brook dribbled along the streambed. Brown leaves twirled in an eddy and collected at one end of a frog-sized pool.

He’d seen enough of death to know the truth of what his eyes revealed.

Blurb

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

AMAZON PURCHASE LINKS

Author Bio

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Links

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

August Book Reviews Part 1! @Anabel1Franklin @YvetteMCalleiro @pat_garcia #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads #bookreviews

Contemplations of a woman turning sixty-five

by Pat Garcia

“Contemplations of a woman turning sixty-five” is a fun, fast read full of promise. Tessie is about to turn sixty-five and is thinking about what is left for her in this life while dealing with the death of a friend. She is a never-married virgin who had always dreamed of love and a house full of kids. As she dives into the darkness of reality, there was an unexpected twist and a new option she had never dreamed would be possible for her. Is it for real and should she take it? This story offers hope that dreams can come true no matter what age you are. A sweet tale to brighten any reader’s mood.

Escaping the Woods: A Short Story 

by Yvette M Calleiro

“Escaping the Woods” is a children’s story set in the 80s in Mississippi. Isabella and her family have moved to a new town. Isabella immediately meets a new friend, Janine, who suggests they go to her brother’s fort in the forest. Fearful of what could be in those woods, Isabella follows Janine until they get lost. I enjoyed this fast read and felt like I was in the head of an eleven-year-old in 1982. There was humor and I could feel the girls building fear as they kept walking. This short story made me feel like the author was sitting next to me telling a vivid story from her childhood. A fun tale that can either be shared with a child or as an adult being brought back to their youth. I can highly recommend this quick read.

Gateway to Magic

by Annabelle Franklin

A fun story for middle-grade readers about a spoiled boy, Steven, who has everything he could want. Steven spends his time playing video games until one day he sees something unusual in his game that makes sense later. His cousin Tracy talks him into going into the forest and presses that red button that says Do Not Push. Steven ends up in Fairy Land, where everything differs from what he knows. This reminded me a bit of Dorothy trying to get home in the “Wizard of Oz” mixed with the whimsy of “Alice in Wonderland.” I loved the characters he ran into along his journey. My favorite was Nigel, the shapeshifter. Technology is banned in this new land of magic, which makes it hard for Steven to navigate. The food he eats has unusual side-effects, and he has some lessons to learn along the way. The Fairy Queen is supposed to give him the job he is required to do to earn his keep. She is another fun character, and I liked her realm, but he has some miles to travel to get there. I bought this to give to my granddaughter and I know she will enjoy this magical tale as much as I did.

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 this summer, read a book! D. L. Finn

July Book Reviews Part 2! @BardenRosalind @SelmaWrites @WendyJayneScott @bmellor1 @SuePerkinsAuthr @Ash_Capes @teagangeneviene #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads #readersoftwitter

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case

by Rosalind Barden

“Sparky of Bunker Hill” is a fun YA mystery set in 1932. Sparky is an 11-year-old homeless orphan who does what she needs to survive. On her birthday, when she just wants to enjoy her candy, she comes across a young girl’s dead body—everything changes for her. This finding pushes Sparky into hiding with an interesting cast of characters. I enjoyed her friendship with Bobbie and the new people in her life. It is a strange world she finds herself in while she is trying to clear her name. I was drawn into the 30s easily and Sparky’s stubborn strength. The characters were all unique, down to the stuffed cheetah and closet full of costumes. Sparky has some life lessons to learn along the way, including who to trust. A fast-paced read with some dark humor weaved in that older children and adults can both enjoy.

Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of this fantastic journey. The first chapter not only pulled me in but offered a reminder of where this all started. I couldn’t put “The Veil” down and read it in one sitting to find out how it was concluded. I wasn’t disappointed either, but that’s all I’ll say since I don’t want to give anything away. There were a few surprises and some issues that I would have liked to have been solved differently but it needed to be the way it was written. This says a lot that I was wholly invested in the story and the outcome. As always, the settings pulled me in, and the good and evil characters kept me turning the pages. Emlyn found her place in a world that was in turmoil and I loved her continued growth. I’m glad there is the possibility of more to come, but still, the journey was resolved. I can highly recommend this journey, but suggest you start at the beginning.

Down Under Fantasy Realms: An Anthology By New Zealand and Australian Authors

by Wendy ScottBelinda MellorSue PerkinsAshley CapesBrett AdamsKate Shaw, and Kirsty Anderson

“Down Under Fantasy Realms” is a wonderful introduction to a group of authors that includes excerpts, prequels, works in progress, and short stories in the fantasy genre. I was only familiar with one author, so this was a fun way to learn about new writers. I enjoyed many of the stories, and here are a few that stood out for me: “Vision-Maker” by Wendy Scott, “The Toad Lord” by Kirsty Anderson, and “Hands of a Healer” by Belinda Mellor. A unique collection that was well-written and full of magic, but also some darkness mixed in. Each story offered something different to suit a fantasy reader’s taste with a wide variety of creative imagination. If you are looking for a new fantasy author or want to be entertained, this is for you.

WANTED: Husband/Handyman: A Short Story

by Selma Martin

“Wanted” is a heartwarming story about new love. Grace is a pregnant widow with two young children, who put an ad in the newspaper for a husband/handyman. Tim answered the ad, and it’s apparent they have developed feelings for each other. I love the moments between not only Grace and Tim, but Tim and her children. His devotion to making her life easier is sweet. When the time comes, he is prepared to deliver her baby. I can easily see this as a book and would love to know what happens next to this couple. Beautifully written, just like Ms. Martin’s poetry, I was charmed by these characters.

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. Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

NOTE: I will be on vacation next week so there will be no post on July 18th. It’s my birthday week and I will be celebrating all week long. One of those milestone ones where I come complete circle back to the year I was born, the water tiger. Besides turning sixty this was the first time they walked on the moon in 1969 on July 20th. No idea what I’m doing but will see where the wind takes me.

Embrace your inner child—read a book! D. L. Finn

June Book Review Part 2 and Update! @harmony_kent @Sandra_Cox @DLMJ18 #writingcommunity #whattoread #indieauthors #mustreads

The Darkness of Placata Montis

by DLM Johnson

“The Darkness of Placata Montis” is the debut romantic fantasy from DLM Johnson. I had the privilege to beta read and help format it, but was eager to dive into it as “just” a reader. I was drawn right into the dark and stormy night with a young woman, Eliana or Li, who ends up at a front door of an unknown house hoping to escape what is chasing her. The man, Graham, takes her into safety and information unfolds as to not only who he is, but Eliana. As what is called The Darkness threatens them, we are shown not only Eliana and Graham’s feelings and stories but taken on a journey to find out what this darkness is, and what it means to them and their world’s magic. Told through Eliana and Graham’s POV, it gives an insight into their motives. Eliana can see more than what is in front of her, so there are flashbacks that add to the story. I could easily imagine the setting and seeing the world through not only a fighter, but a scientist’s eyes. When the battle comes and questions are answered, it was hard to put the book down. I have to add, I am a proud author-mom, and my opinion might seem a bit biased, but I’m also a reader who knows what I like, and this is a story that I can recommend! I look forward to the next book in this series and other books to come.


Miss Redmond’s Deception

by Sandra Cox

“Miss Redmond’s Deception” is a fun historical fiction read. Pembra and her sisters run into Captain Richard Greyston in a graveyard. I love how this scene played out. Richard believes the younger sisters to be accompanied by a spinster governess, or Pembra. Circumstances have the captain staying at the house where Pembra continues her deception from the night before the next morning at breakfast. Yet, in a fun twist, they end up fake engaged. Their attraction is immediate, even though Pembra is determined to fight it, and their banter is a lot of fun. Richard has a reputation with the ladies and Pembra wants no part of a man like that. Pembra is a strong character who lives her life as she wants, while Richard is equally stubborn, but knows what he wants, too. There is a charming country setting, a local man with bad intentions, and a sweet and protective rescue dog that added even more depth to the story. A quick-paced read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Polish Your Prose

by Harmony Kent

“Polish Your Prose” is a reference guide that every writer needs. This doesn’t tell you how to write but how to clean up what you’ve written. There are three parts, and it’s laid out so you can locate the information needed. Many topics are covered, including these chapters, Show no Tell, Filter Words, Sentence Construction, and Common Spelling Mistakes. Part three talks about on giving and receiving reviews and offers a checklist for editing. This is simple and easy to follow with plenty of guidance to help when doing the dreaded edit of your book. I have a copy sitting on my shelf for easy access and reminders of things I need to work on. I can easily recommend this book.


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!

UPDATE

We had a quiet and relaxing vacation. We stayed close to home and enjoyed our grandson’s 8th grade graduation, our son visiting from Oregon, our oldest granddaughter’s 12th birthday and our 39th Wedding Anniversary to start off the week. We also took a day trip to Reno for a late anniversary celebration. I did win a bit on a Leprecaun Slot Machine that called to me—well enough to cover the gas.

Sara on a walk in the forest
7-25-08 to 6-11-22

With these highs came a low, we had to say goodbye to our sweet Sara on our anniversary. We were lucky to have her for thirteen and half years, but it was time to let her go to run in the forest with Hermie, who we lost three years ago. I know they are chasing bears and watching over us.

I don’t think I will try to catch up with all the things I missed last week, but I am back now. This will be a very busy week. I have a full schedule for the blog tour starting today and my Newsletter is out. Plus, there is a Books That Changed Me Summer Edition tomorrow. I will keep you updated here with the tour 🙂

One more thing, I was thrilled to come back to those great reviews for A Voice in the Silence. It uplifted my spirits!! Thank you all xo

Embrace your inner child with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

June Book Reviews Part 1! #writingcommunity @TonyaWrites @jaydawes2 #whattoread #bookreview #indieauthor

The Scarlet Ribbon

by Anita Dawes (author) and Jaye Marie (editor)

“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality. While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side. I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side. The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.


Welcome to Charm

by Tonya Penrose

I read and loved “Old Mountain Cassie” and was eager to see where Ms. Penrose took us next. Abby was coming home from a trip when she found herself in a place that wasn’t on her map. The town’s name, Charm, is fitting as she meets the people who live there. She quickly finds out she can’t leave the town and starts the journey to find out why. Nash is the town’s single and handsome mayor who offers her a place to stay with him, his sister, niece, and nephew. The town has a fairytale-like quality to it filled with beauty and unexplained happenings. What Abby finds in this place is its important to find one’s true self. I was completely enmeshed in the story when she went forest bathing with Nash. This is something I do that brings me great peace in my own life. Part of Abby’s journey were things I have explored, while the rest—I only wish I could. A peaceful read, with delightful characters, and a surprise or two thrown in. It is a place I hope exists and would love to run across in my travels someday. A book I can highly recommend for those, like me, who are taking or looking for that unique journey in life.


Terror on Sunshine Boulevard

by J.Q. Rose

Jim and Gloria leave their frigid winter home yearly to reside in Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort, Florida. Jim is a first responder who sees some unusual and gruesome deaths. This leads to an entire community trying to figure out what is happening. Their group of friends was as varied as you would expect in a retirement neighborhood like this. There were good friendships, humor, and plenty of activities mixed with a few surprises. I would never have guessed the killer or how it was being done. A fun read with realistic characters and a setting that held my interest until the end.


UPDATES:

There will be no post next week, I’ll be on vacation celebrating our 39th Wedding Anniversary! June Book Reviews Part 2 is moved to June 20th. I will be quiet over vacation recovering from my book release, my daughter’s and redoing book covers. At least I finally sat down and learned some programs, like Affinity and Vellum.

That’s why I’ve been mostly quiet. My focus was elsewhere and a headache or two cropped up.


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 with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

May Book Reviews Part 3! @Sandra_Cox @Virgilante @Dwallacepeach #whattoread #writingcommunity #bookreview

The Bone Wall

by D. Wallace Peach

“The Bone Wall” is a beautifully written post-apocalyptic story with some painful insight into human nature. When twins Rimma and Angel’s perfectly controlled world breaks down, they are introduced into the reality of the people who were left to deal with what their ancestors had done. The girls are complete opposites, with Rimma rebelling and fighting and Angel wanting to follow the rules. They are enslaved and learn the hard way about the people they have called Biters. Some of these Biters have unique gifts that can cause pain or comfort. I loved the contrast between where they lived behind a force field, Heaven, and what the real world that was left behind had to deal with to survive. There was a cruel harshness in a world that had little hope besides being able to have a healthy baby. The relationship and devotion of the sisters was my favorite part, and the story was told through the girl’s first-person experience. Angel was the light between the girls while Rimma dwelled in the darkness, but they found their comfort together. The scary thing about this story is it isn’t so hard to believe it happening. We could very well destroy our world, and then a select few can escape the immediate consequences and continue in their comforts while the masses suffer. It was a deeply disturbing scenario, especially thinking about the bone wall, but it still offered just a tiny bit of hope. I can highly recommend this story.


Mateo’s Blood Brother

By Sandra Cox

I was thrilled to see a sequel to “Mateo’s Law.” This story picks up from where it left off, but with the local attacks starting up again. While investigating the attacks, Mateo and Jesse are still working their way back to friendship. As in the first book, the characters are likable with real flaws, while the community is a place I’d like to live or at least visit. I love Mateo and Blair’s relationship and am glad to see them back. Jesse is working through a past bad relationship and finds himself attracted to Tina, who is a painter. With a killer on the loose, he doesn’t dare pursue her because he’s worried being around him might put her in danger. A couple of twists surprised me, which I always enjoy. I appreciate the small-town setting with the supernatural thrown in. A couple of times, I was laughing out loud, while at other moments, I turned the page as fast as I could to see what happened next. A great story that I can highly recommend.


Panama

by C.S. Boyack

“Panama” is an action-packed paranormal story set in 1903. President Roosevelt approaches Ethan to help him deal with a problem happening during the construction of the Panama Canal. It isn’t your everyday problem. It involves men leaving their jobs and disappearing into the jungle. Ethan has a unique skill that might be of help. He can see ghosts. Ethan requests the help of a friend, Coop, who is in an unpleasant situation in a New Orleans jail. They head off to the canal to see what they can do for their country. I love all the details of the canal workers, the jungle setting, and these two men’s friendship. Ethan and Coop are now Federal Marshalls, who are not only dealing with ghosts but a demon and the Spanish army. It is a fun read that takes a normal historical moment and puts a nice supernatural twist on it.


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!

Always embrace your inner child and read a good book! D. L. Finn