New Release! The Seas of Time by @Dwallacepeach Harbor Pointe Series Book 4 #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread

Yay! Tomorrow is the release day for the fourth book of the Harbor Pointe Series. If you haven’t picked up your copy there is still time. I am sharing the blurb and my review here today.

Blurb

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

In 1858, a ship carrying ice from Alaska wrecked off the coast of California, and little does Taliah Keldan realize how that tragedy will impact her life in 1972.

When Tali decides to quit college and become a civil rights activist, her disappointed parents encourage her to think it over. What better spot for contemplation than at her aunt and uncle’s Harbor Pointe Inn, a charming seaside getaway with its own lighthouse? The place is under renovation and empty of guests. All she’ll have to deal with is the construction crew.

But the inn is far from peaceful.

Tali discovers an old Bible hidden in the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Strange prayers angle down the margins, all but one ruined by the sea. When she deciphers the crude writing, a dark portal gapes open to a pre-civil war night when an escaped slave in a foundering ship prayed to his voodoo God. A winged creature emerges from the watery void, and her stay transforms into a nightmare.

With the aid of the construction foreman, Tali is determined to send the beast back through time, a choice that will risk their lives, test her convictions, and change her future.

My Review

Taliah is very aware of how the shade of her skin affects how she is treated in 1972. She drops out of college so she can join the protests and try to change the world. Her parents, though, ask her to think about it and she ends up caretaking for her uncle and aunt’s inn in a small coastal town for a month. In the old lighthouse keeper’s house where she’s staying, a bible is found. After reading some words aloud, she ends up with an unexpected guest, or hungry gargoyle named Zam. Tali is a strong character with a burning sense of justice in a world where it is limited. I love the relationship she develops with Zam and her determination to send him back. Zam, though, is my favorite. His scary appearance had nothing to do with his gentle personality. When he wasn’t focused on filling his stomach, he was trying to communicate his needs to Tali. With the unpleasant contractor Greg, Tali’s thrust into a world of voodoo, time travel, and slavery. This well-written story had a little of everything that blended perfectly together. An exciting, yet thought-provoking story I can highly recommend.

UNIVERSAL AMAZON LINK

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.

 

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

The Sorcerer’s Garden

Sunwielder

The Bone Wall

The Melding of Aeris

Unraveling the Veil Series:

Liars and Thieves

Allies and Spies

Lords of Chaos

The Shattered Sea Duology:

Soul Swallowers, Book I

Legacy of Souls, Book II

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:

Catling’s Bane, Book I

Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II

Farlanders’ Law, Book III

Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:

Myths of the Mirror, Book I

Eye of Fire, Book II

Eye of Blind, Book III

Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

NOTE: There will be no post next week as I will be taking it off to get ready for Thanksgiving. There will be an early Monthly Newsletter at the end of this week. Watch your email for it if subcribed.

For those who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving!

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

November Book Reviews! @supermegawoman @bakeandwrite @stacitroilo @teagangeneviene @SueColetta1 @Virgilante @LBroday #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #mustreads

The BEK Curse

By Jonathan Pongratz

Richard and Maria have bought the home of their dreams, where they can farm to supplement their retirement. They are a loving couple, and life seems good for them until there is a persistent knock at the door. Unfortunately, they answer and find two black-eyed children who make a strange request. Although I was rooting for this couple, I had a feeling things would not be the same for them after this visit. It is a quick read that will make you rethink opening your front door to strangers, even young ones. I can easily recommend this short horror story.

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind Amanda Travels #6

By Darlene Foster

I am working my way through the Amanda Series, having already read and enjoyed her excursions to France and Malta. When I heard this book might have some ghosts, it seemed the perfect read, right before Halloween. Amanda is traveling with a group to New Mexico, a place I want to explore. During the trip, Amanda is to work on her writing while others take photos or illustrate their experiences. Her new travel companion, Cleo, believes in ghosts while Amanda doesn’t. Amanda’s beliefs are challenged as she tries to figure out what is going on with Cleo and other unexplainable events. Ms. Foster has done her research, and the history the group explores is rich in detail. I was so intrigued with the setting that I was ready to book my next vacation there, even if there might be ghosts. A wonderful story for not only middle-grade readers but also those who are young at heart and want to do some exploring in New Mexico. I can easily recommend “Amanda in New Mexico.”

Dark Butterflies: Poetry and short stories of mental health

By Jude Kirya Itakali

“Dark Butterflies,” explores not only mental health but the depth of human experience through poetry and short stories. These poems and stories not only moved me with their honesty but left a lasting impression. The illustrations added a beautiful layer to the pain and hope. Here are some lines from a few of the amazing poetry and stories: “Neither grudge nor ambition/Only a blurring face,/Of someone I used to love….”—THE MAROONED, “I gaze upon this island once so beautiful every heart leapt at its sight. Until it bore an injustice so deep its waters remain stained to this very day, salted with tears of bereavement…”—AKAMPENE TANKA PROSE, “In my boudoir the walls are painted black/to blind me from the shadows as they wake/Of futures so bleak and a past without luck/I pray, I confess, for my soul’s dear sake…”—FIGHTING MY DEMONS SONNET, “Rose in a dandelion field/Stain upon yellow/Plucked…”—OUTCAST, and “My refuge looms upon a wuthering cliff/Pale-white with dark soulless windows/The raging sea below…”—WARMTH IN THE HIDDEN. A deep collection that left me contemplating life. I can easily recommend this to poetry lovers.

Sir Chocolate and the Chinese Candy Dragon

By Robbie CheadleMichael Cheadle

“Sir Chocolate and the Chinese Candy Dragon” is a charming addition to the children’s Sir Chocolate Series. Chinese Candy Dragon takes all the Halloween candy. How will that impact Halloween and what does the Chinese Candy Dragon learn? The story is told in limericks and rhyming prose. Skillful fondant art characters add color and beauty and are sure to hold any beginning reader’s attention. It’s also a great Halloween read for a parent and a young child to enjoy together. After the story, there are a few recipes included that would make a fun-filled family experience. I can highly recommend this for preschool or beginning readers—and those young at heart.

Love Set in Stone

By Staci Troilo

Rina and Gretchen are good friends who leave work together late at night. They tell the bouncer who walks them out to their cars to go home to his family. Gretchen had forgotten something back inside, but they insisted they’d be fine. He reluctantly leaves and Rina ends up being brutally attacked by a cruel man. In steps Damien to her much-needed rescue. When the police arrive, Damien disappears, much to Rina’s confusion. While the police question Rina and Gretchen’s motives, the attacker makes it seem like he is their victim, but Rina is very much in danger. Damien feels a pull to Rina and wants to protect her but is afraid of her finding out the truth. He is a gargoyle during the day and a human who protects at night or used to. He died a warrior in the 1200s and was given a second chance with a few catches. I loved Damien’s unique and appealing character, along with his interaction with the angel, Anael. Rina was a strong female who went to school during the day and worked hard at night. She was barely scraping by, and I couldn’t help but root for her. Although they were from different times, the chemistry was undeniable. There were some surprising twists and corruption to clear up along the way. I couldn’t have guessed how this story could resolve, which I appreciate. A well-written and sometimes steamy romance that captured me and didn’t let go until the end. I would love to see more from these characters, including some of the minor ones, and can easily recommend “Love Set in Stone.”

A Peril in the Bayou

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I read and loved Peril in Ectoplasm and was excited to see a new story. It was nice to see familiar faces from before, but it’s unnecessary to have read the first book first. Clover is the assistant to the famous psychic medium, Daphne. They travel with two friends to meet with a New Orleans Spiritualist, Mother Leafy. Upon arrival, they find out they need to take a tour of the Bayou before she will see them. Clover’s and Daphne’s relationship deepens in this story as they traverse the swamp and its mystical qualities. The two men that accompany them are so different but very loyal to Daphne. The group is unaware of the evil intentions of Mother Leafy’s rival and that makes for some exciting twists. Lush 1920 settings drew me deeper into their journey. An exciting paranormal adventure I can easily recommend.

Merciless Mayhem 

by Sue Coletta

Merciless Mayhem is the eighth book in the Mayhem Series. I have read the first and sixth books and could jump right into this story with no confusion or issues. There are enough references to understand what is going on. Shawnee and Mayhem are fighting a powerful company named Killzme, which is involved in illegal animal trafficking. This corporation has set its sights on capturing Shawnee, which leads to an explosive opening to the story. Not only are their lives at stake, but the animals captured are also at risk of survival. What I love about these stories is that justice is fought for innocent ones or animals, along with Native American culture and relationships between the warriors and families. Shawnee’s dedication to learning and working with Mayhem to become a stronger warrior is fascinating. But it’s her love for her grandfather that really touches the heart. The ravens are a favorite character of mine, and the bad feelings between Shawnee and Poe add to the entertainment. Going undercover and Shawnee walking in heels was a lot of fun, but saving the orcas and dolphins tugged at my heart. There was an in-depth explanation of what capturing these intelligent creatures does to them. There are some brutal and descriptive battles that aren’t for the faint of heart, but I couldn’t help rooting for the justice behind it. Another great addition to the Mayhem Series and I will continue reading them to catch up and look forward to more stories to come.

Goodbye Old Paint (The Hat Book 7) 

by C. S. Boyack

Lizzie and the Hat are back and trying to recover after disastrous flooding. Her car is barely functional, and funds are very limited as she waits for her disaster aid to come. It’s even been hard to book the band to play out. That’s when a government agency shows up needing her unusual skills to help with a gremlin infestation. They make an offer to excuse student loans. This takes Lizzie down a fun path that brings back some familiar characters from past books. I am a fan of The Hat Series and love Mr. Boyack’s humor. This book took that humor up a notch. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, but I won’t go into detail and spoil them. I enjoyed an upgrade Lizzie received and I always appreciate the Hat’s snarky comments and how he helps. Another great Hat Book I can easily recommend.

Courting Miss Emma

By Linda Broday

“Courting Miss Emma” continues the story of the Taggart sisters. Being the daughters of the hangman, they were forced out of town after their house was burned down. They took with them the town’s orphans and found solace in an abandoned mission, along with three nuns. The first of the series focused on the older sister, Maura, and now it’s Emma’s story. Emma’s life revolves around the children, and she’s made peace with being alone—and not being lucky like Maura. However, a good-looking new neighbor, Stone, moves in. Emma and Stone immediately clash over the kids wandering onto his property to see the camels. There is little time to decide what they think of each other when riders come in and tell them their land is no longer theirs. They are expected to leave. No matter what is or isn’t between Emma and Stone, they must join to fight off attackers who will do whatever it takes to claim what isn’t theirs. I love Emma’s character; she is very strong and loving toward the ones she loves even after how she and her sister have been unfairly treated. Stone is an ex-soldier who carries a heavy past with him and a determination not to marry or have kids. It was wonderful to see all the familiar characters from the first book, especially the children, and to meet the new ones introduced. The plot was layered with not only romance and the threat of losing their home but plenty of heart-racing action and unexpected twists. Mixed in is some fun humor, including Emma imagining what her tombstone would say in different situations. The setting was rich and detailed, so I could easily imagine being in Texas in the late 1800s. A fantastic follow-up to the first book and I can’t wait for the story to continue. Although it’s unnecessary to read the first book because there was enough information added to understand the story, I’m glad I read “Maura” first. I can highly recommend this.

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! Click on a book title and add to your reading list 🙂 D. L. Finn

September Book Reviews! @BalroopShado @Virgilante @GodsAngel1 #bookreviews #whattoread #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter

Ever So Gently

By Lauren Scott

“Ever So Gently” is a beautiful collection of free verse and symbolic poetry. It is broken into three sections that cover nature, life’s moments, and some author insights. I love nature and I’m drawn to vivid images, but the emotions and insights explored in our shared experiences were equally intriguing. There was a peace within these pages that allowed me to drift off into a poetic slumber when I was done reading. Although I enjoyed the entire collection, here are a few lines that captured my heart. “Fresh raindrops/gently landed/on their wilted spirit/as I witnessed them lifting…”—Wilted Spirits, “You stowed dreams in the clouds,/imaginings rose higher than the heavens…”—First Breath, “Their presence graced my universe beautifully like an endless ceiling of bright blue sky. Then they were gone.”—Friendships Gone, and “Its glow will grow ever so gently/into a bright beacon of hope/rising with the golden sun/bringing clarity to our vision.”—Ever So Gently. A collection that I will be enjoying again and can highly recommend.

Tales from the Riverside

By Larry Landgraf

“Tales from the Riverside” is a collection of true-life stories that span several decades of Mr. Landgraf’s life. It is an entertaining account of life in the swamp and educational. I live in the forest, so I know little about swamps besides alligators living there. It is so much more than alligators as we are taken on fishing trips to catch, a favorite of mine, catfish, gardening, relationships, equipment, and survival. It is told through humor, but there are some very scary life-threatening parts. I stayed up late reading about hurricanes, snakes, and equipment problems, and enjoyed the author’s recipes and daily life stories. Although I will stick to living in the forest, I could appreciate the peace and independence found in the swamp. A short story memoir of living in Riverside are tales I can easily recommend!

Fusion: Poems of Life

By Balroop Singh

“Fusion: Poems of Life” takes the reader on a vivid journey through nature and life’s emotional aspects. I enjoyed the entire collection, but the nature-based poems really captivated me because I am so comfortable there. It was very hard to pick from the beautiful imagery, but here are a few of the many I highlighted. “The dream of my life was/To fly with the clouds/Drape their colors,/Adapt their shapes…”—Dreams, “Snow clad mountaintops/Kiss capricious clouds./Emerald lake watches,/As rosy hues of dawn smile…”—Ambrosial Love, “Stormy sea swallow/Stories of eons/Some shores speak…”—Changes, “Hold the first rays of sun/Softly in your hands or/Soak them gently in your eyes…”—Magic Moments, “The shimmer of violets allures me/A flower fairy sits smiling/Sprinkling her magic dust…”—Flower Fairy, and “The moment she wears her scarlet gown/She gets a call to cast her spell/Edgy enchantress grabs her crystal…”—The Scarlet Gown. A collection I read in one sitting, but one I will also revisit. I can highly recommend this to all poetry lovers.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

By C.S. Boyack

“The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack” is a unique collection of short stories and had been sitting on my reading list for way too long. I’m so glad I finally picked it up. It was a fast read that was completely entertaining, down to the intermission. The book begins with “Jack O’ Lantern” which had a twist that made me grin. It was fun to see some favorite characters Lisa the Robot, along with Jason Fogg, and learn a bit more about their backstories. All the stories were full of imagination, with Mr. Boyack’s humor weaved into many of them. “50 Galloon Drum,” and “Soup Ladle of Destiny” are stories I won’t soon forget, but all the tales were great in their way. An excellent grouping of creative stories that I can highly recommend.

Delilah

By Kaye Lynne Booth

“Delilah” is set in the 1880s and follows a young woman who was just released from prison for defending herself and her family. She sets out to return to the family ranch with a young girl, Sarah when they are attacked. Delilah was beaten, raped, and almost lost her life when they tried to hang her. Instead of giving up, even with all the bad that’s happened to her, Delilah’s strength keeps her going. She’s determined to locate the men who attacked her and find Sarah, who was kidnapped. Luck brings her to a family who helps, but cruel fate intervenes and she’s on her own again. Her journey leads her to a thriving mining town and a job. When she isn’t protecting herself from criminals, there are grizzlies and other wild animals to deal with too. Delilah is a character I couldn’t help but root for. She’s not afraid of hard work or to stand up to injustice. I love some relationships she develops, including a potential love interest. My favorite though is the bond with a local Ute boy. The well-written settings and descriptions brought me deeper into Delilah’s world. This is a gritty, fast-paced Western with a strong female character that I can easily recommend. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Next week I will be debuting Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms new video—and celebrating release day!

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

Books That Changed Me: 2023 Summer Edition! @SueColetta1 @Ivyloganauthor @JacqBiggar @bakeandwrite #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #summerreadinglist

Welcome to the 2023 Summer Edition of  Books That Changed Me. Summer is a time for backyard BBQs, swimming, vacations, ice cream, and reading. Today I’m sharing four of my top reads that would be excellent for summer reading by the pool, lake, or cozy by the nice air conditioning or fan in my case. You’ve already seen my reviews for these books, so here’s their blurb with a link if you want to add a good read to your summer reading list.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Restless Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 6) 

By Sue Coletta

Amidst a rising tide of poachers, three unlikely eco-warriors take a stand to save endangered Eastern Gray Wolves—even if it means the slow slaughter of their captors.

Deep in the woods of Jackson, New Hampshire, an ancient evil lurks. Armed poachers patrol a secret enclosure, holding captive a pack of majestic Eastern Gray Wolves. But three unlikely eco-warriors are determined to free the wolves, embarking on a dangerous mission to end their torture. With courage and conviction, Shawnee, Mayhem, and Jacy Lee march onward, even if it means risking their own lives to take down the poachers and restore freedom to the wolves. It’s a battle between justice and injustice, and the eco-warriors are determined to win—no matter the cost.

But what if something even more evil lurks in those woods? What if Shawnee’s not ready to answer the cry for help?

Metamorphosis The Breach Chronicles #2

By Ivy Logan

“When you loved someone more than anything in the world, you showed them who you were, even knowing there was a possibility they would hate you for it, even if it broke your heart. But you did it anyway because you loved them and the need to save them was greater than your need for self-preservation.”

Amidst the luminescence and incandescent beauty of the rare pink diamonds of Peradora, South America, lives Amelia, a teen oblivious to her supernatural bloodline. It would appear that she has the perfect life.

Until it turns out, her entire life is a lie
Forced to confront secrets from her past

Amelia has to distinguish between the truth and lies in her brutal fight against the Peradorian dictator, her own uncle.

Her metamorphosis becomes the clarion call of a revolution
Matters of the heart complicate her life further

Will she ever get over her first love Adrian whose adventurous spirit made her feel alive? Is Noah, the handsome bodyguard she just can’t seem to ignore, a foe, a friend or much more than that?

Both Noah and Adrian are hiding secrets of their own
Will their secrets destroy Amelia?

As she takes on the fight of her life, Amelia will soon learn that some secrets are best buried in the past, and some truths can set you free.

And in the end
She is the girl with no face
Will she find herself again?

Metamorphosis is a dark and fractured fairy tale and fantasy about a love story born from the roots of hate.Based on the theme of star-crossed lovers, it alludes to Rapunzel, Snow White and Beauty and The Beast, combining flavors of all these timeless fairy tale classics and setting them against the harsh reality of real life – blood diamonds and rebellion. Add to the mix a heroine inspired by Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott and you have a young girl, pretty much a prisoner in a golden cage, but determined to find herself- save herself and others.
So, why is she referred to as …
‘The Girl With No Face?’

Letting Go- The Defiant Sisters Book 1

By Jacquie Biggar

A coming-of-age novel about the pain of misconceptions and learning from them.

When life gives you lemons…

Izzy

Mom is barely in the grave and the prodigal child is here to pick the bones clean.

I don’t want her here. My sister’s defection is a wound that won’t heal, and her return simply rubs at the scabs covering my heart.

I’ve managed just fine without her. She can go back to her fancy college and forget about us- that’s what she does best anyway.

If only I didn’t need her help. Or miss her so much.

Renee

The day my dad committed suicide I ran. I’ve been running ever since.

Going home is supposed to be the answer. Instead, it makes me question every thoughtless decision I’ve made.

My sister hates me. My little brother barely knows me. And Simon… is engaged.

None of it matters- or so I tell myself. I’m here to make amends and face a past haunted by regret.

As long as I can convince myself to stay.

Letting Go is a new adult romance dealing with tragedy, restitution, and love in all its aspects. The story relates to sensitive topics that may be triggering for some readers.

Lion Scream: Syllabic Poetry About Southern African Wildlife

By Robbie Cheadle

Do you rely on Earth for your survival?

Lion Scream is a graphic collection of poetry and prose. The book portrays the author’s experiences with South African wildlife and the growing impact of the Sixth Mass Extinction and Climate Change on the natural environment.

Lion Scream
There is no jungle
Only acres of smooth stumps
There is no jungle
No habitat, no food source
Hopeless lion screams tonight

“In this reflective collection of syllabic poetry, poet Roberta Cheadle weaves words, emotions, and images as she recounts her soul-stirring journey around South Africa in 2022. She highlights the plight of the animals in the face of the Sixth Mass Extinction, during a visit to Ukutula Lodge & Game Reserve. Lion Roar is a poetic and photographic roadmap to the heart & soul of South Africa with highlights about the increasing impact of global warming on humanity and the greater planet. A must read!”
Colleen M. Chesebro, Author of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry

June Book Reviews and a wedding picture! @TonyaWrites @sgc58 @WordDreams @SueColetta1 @teagangeneviene @DAntion @AnnalisaCrawf #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter

A Secret Gift

By Tonya Penrose

Halley, who is a successful businesswoman, receives an anonymous offer to live her dream in a town she fell in love with. The only catch is she must find love within the year, a part-time job, and write a book. With her book started, and a job obtained, she finds two interesting men who might be a love interest, one more than the other according to her test, but not necessarily her heart. This is a pleasant seaside town where everyone is nice—with an exception or two. I could easily imagine myself living in this location and would love to get an offer like Halley received. The town is welcoming, and Halley is offered a dwelling to live in while the cottage was being finished that she bought through her mysterious benefactor. Along the way, she learns about herself and what is important to her. There is humor and growth along this journey for Halley. I love the relationships she develops, especially with Mick, the sea captain, Libby who offers good advice, Ginger, her new best friend and boss, and especially Sally and her daughter Tulip. But it’s the one with Ben that adds a special layer to this sweet story and offers a real chance to Halley to find love if they can get past themselves. An excellent clean, romantic read that I thoroughly enjoyed and can recommend.

Tales From The Garden 

By Sally Cronin

“Tales From The Garden” is a whimsical collection of stories that dives into the magical world just outside our window. Each tale captivated me, especially when the fairies were involved. I particularly loved when the pregnant deer found this garden, as well as a young boy who was protecting a goose. The collection ends with a beautiful tribute to the 94-year-old mother or Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman. I always knew those statues outside in the garden held a little magic and these charming stories captured that beautifully. A quick but very satisfying read for adults of any age who want to remember that spark we carried inside as children. It would be a splendid set of stories for children to share with their adults too. I can easily recommend these tales.

 Twenty-Four Days Rowe-Delamagente #2

By J. Murray

I read and loved “To Hunt a Sub” and have been eager to read this second installment in the Rowe-Delamagente Series. I not only enjoyed “Twenty-Four Days” but thought the story was even more exciting, which I didn’t think was possible. The same characters that I rooted for, and against, returned. Otto the AI’s growth, and new body, made him my favorite character, and it was nerve-racking seeing Sean trying to do the right thing. It was up to Kali, Zeke, and Otto to save the world from war. Like the first book, the attention to detail drew me deep into the story. The reader is taken into a submarine and onto the open sea on a Navy ship with cruel terrorists lurking. North Korea and the hijacking extreme terrorists seem determined to start a conflict, but Kali and Zeke need to find out who is running things. A well-written, action-packed story that was hard to put down. I can easily recommend “Twenty-Four Days” but suggest you start with the first story, so you don’t miss anything!

Cat and The Dreamer

By Annalisa Crawford

Julia survived a suicide pact she’d made with her only friend and the new kid in school, Rachel. Fifteen years later, she is still trying to survive. Julia lives with her parents and has a job but again no friends. She meets a kind young man, Adam, who changes all of that. Her life changes slowly in a more positive direction, but her inner world is just under the surface. At first, I found the story hard to wrap my mind around. Although I understood the dream world parts, it was her alternative that took me a minute to realize what was going on. Julia combined all the people who bullied her. I quickly settled into the story and her realities. Then I found it hard to put down, especially when she flashed back to her suicide attempt and how she met Rachel. “Cat and The Dreamer” deals with some powerful issues, that include suicide, bullying, and mental health. Everything comes together by the end, and I came up with a theory of what really happened, but I won’t share that here. A very unusual and powerful heart-wrenching read where I just couldn’t help but root for Julia. I can easily recommend this novella.

The Inyan Beacon 

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Dan Antion

“The Inyan Beacon” is a quick read that not only easily blends two authors but two genres, sci-fi, and westerns. Tank and his synth, Compass are passing through a small western town in the future. Tank is determined to get into a tower and feels he can undo some of the harm from the past. My favorite character quickly became Compass. Who wouldn’t want beautiful blue skin? There was a fun twist waiting for them, which I enjoyed. A short and satisfying read, and a world I’d like to explore more.

Restless Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 6) 

By Sue Coletta

I have the rest of The Mayhem Series on my Kindle and have been eager to block out some time to read it. Usually, I’ll go back and start a series from the first book, but “Restless Mayhem” tugged at me. So, I jumped right in and found that I could easily figure out what was going on as I learned who everyone was. I loved Shawnee and her relationship with her grandfather and now mentor, Mr. Mayhem, but my favorite characters were the crows, especially Poe. Shawnee, her grandfather, and Mr. Mayhem are eco-warriors who want to save gray wolves from horrible conditions while Shawnee embarks on a spiritual journey. The details and information created a world that I was swept into. There is a pull between handling situations more spiritually than physically. Plus, something evil has awakened that they have to contend with during their sometimes-bloody missions. I will definitely go back to learn more about these characters’ journeys. I can highly recommend this story to those who love animals, Native American spirituality, action, and justice at all costs.

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!

NOTE:

Wedding, 1983
Honeymoon, 1983
  • There will be no post next week as I will be celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary. We plan to go to South Lake Tahoe and enjoy a boat ride and stay at a local hotel 🙂 Maybe later in the week we’ll venture to a hot springs too.
  • I will be back June 19th with another From Finn’s Forest.

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

May Book Reviews, updates, and blog tour winners! @Virgilante Sandra_Cox @Dwallacepeach @CherylOreglia @bakeandwrite @GodsAngel1 @SmithaVishwana4 @JMastrangeloArt @YvetteMCalleiro @Dwallacepeach @bubbalee04

I know this is a day late but I decided to wait until the blog tour was over. Thank you too all the hosts who kindly opened up their blogs and made this such a big success. Huge hugs to all!

Blog Tour winners follow the reviews.

Now on to the reviews:

Once Upon a Time in the Swamp

By C.S. Boyack

“Once Upon a Time in the Swamp” starts with a peaceful moment as Mari is hunting for a meal for her family. What she comes home to is heartbreaking and a loss so bad that her life is never the same. At first, it seems the story is being told in the past, but as details are added, it becomes clear that something has happened—a civil war that ended modern society. When Mari attempts to get help from local authorities, she is brushed aside. So, she sets out to hunt down the men who did this to her family. Some of my favorite characters were the ox, Dirt and the puppy, Worthless, and Mari’s interactions with them. Although set in the grim aftermath of a war, there were people still willing to help her. These were the places I hoped she’d find some peace and give up her vengeance. But Mari’s strength and determination became inspiring when she refused to give up on getting her family some justice. The settings were highly detailed, down to making soap and learning to shoot and fight, which immersed me in this world and made me wonder if I could do what she was doing. This was a hard story to put down, and I honestly wasn’t sure how this would all turn out, but I was happy with the conclusion. A well-written post-apocalyptic world that gives us a glimpse of what could be if we stay on our current path. Despite that, there is some hope weaved into it as there’s still good left too. I can easily recommend this story.

Love, Lattes and Angel  (Mutants #3)

By Sandra Cox

“Love, Lattes and Angel” continues where the second book left off. Piper is with her grandfather, boyfriend, Tyler, Amy, Joel, and Angel—who is Piper and Joel’s biological daughter. The group believes they are safe but soon finds out they have been located again by a man who is determined to recapture the product of his lab experiment, Angel. She is a dolphin hybrid like Piper and Joel and is prized. The group splits up to escape, and Piper, Joel, and Angel take a strange trip through the Bermuda Triangle. They end up on an island where the religion of Vodou is practiced. I enjoyed the love triangle between Piper, Tyler, and Joel, and I’m glad this story clarifies who ends up with whom. I envy them as they swim so carefree in the ocean, especially Angel. My favorite part is the pet Angel ends up with, and the island they have found refuge on. An excellent conclusion to the Mutant Series that kept me up late toward the end as I wanted to see how it all played out. I can easily recommend it to YA readers and those who are young at heart.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions

By Kaye Lynne BoothRobbie Cheadle, Patty Fletcher, D. Wallace Peach, Yvette Prior, Penny Wilson, Colleen M. Chesebro, Abbie Taylor, Yvette Calliero, Smitha Vishwanath, Chris Hall, Willow Willers, and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

“Poetry Treasures 3: Passions” is a beautiful collection of poetry and poets. I started highlighting my favorites to include here but decided against it. Each poet brought their flavor to this poetry mixture, and they were all good in different ways. I was familiar with about half of the authors and was happily introduced to the others. The poets were given their own month, except December, and a brief history of their works. There were two guest poets included at the end. I liked how they all interpreted passion in expected and unusual ways. An excellent opportunity to enjoy good poetry penned by authors I already enjoy, plus find new ones to follow. This is a collection to be read more than once and one I can easily recommend.

Grow Damn It!: The Feeding and Nurturing of Life

By Cheryl Lynn Oreglia

“Grow Damn It!” is an insightful and often humorous collection of essays that blend into an amazing memoir. It was like I was sitting with an old friend having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and Ms. Oreglia was sharing life stories with some lessons weaved into them. Subjects varied, some light and some not, like the drive to the hospital after her son was in a car accident. There was an adventure on a tandem bike, which intrigued me as I have always wanted to try it. I laughed at the silly comment they got over and over when they rode. Clear Lake, where they bought a second home, was beautifully captured. I spent a lot of time there as a child, and the essays made me re-live my memories. I appreciated the love of family plus an enduring marriage. The raw honesty was welcomed because things aren’t perfect all the time, but love is always there. We all need to learn life lessons and live life to the fullest. This book captures living and reminds us that each day is a gift to enjoy and, on those certain days… survive. A book I felt on many levels. I highly recommend this collection. I know I will read it again and add it to my bookshelf.

Sunwielder

By D. Wallace Peach

“Sunwielder” is a fantasy that not only offers a second chance but twenty-seven of them. Gryff is a farmer who loves his family. Everything changes for Gryff when his farm is attacked, and he loses his family and is dying. Here he is offered a medallion to change his path. This part of the story reminds me of “Groundhog Day,” where Gryff relives certain moments trying to get it right. Although he gets his family back, his life goes in a direction he couldn’t have foreseen. Because of a lord’s unreasonable hatred, Gryff gets pulled into a war. I love this part of the book where Gryff grows and learns as his path shifts and changes. His loyalty to those he loves as he tries to correct wrongs had me rooting for him to find happiness. The details weaved into the story brought Gryff’s world to life, whether on the farm or battlefield. It is a wonderful fantasy that not only explores new possibilities when things are bleak but friendship, family, and love—a fantasy I can easily recommend.

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!

UPDATES:

  • Huge congrats to the Blog Tour Winners! I threw all the hosts name in a hat and picked three. From there I had my daughter, Danielle, pick a number from the amount of people who commented on that post. That’s how the winners were chosen 🙂
  • D. Wallace Peach won the $20 Amazon Gift Card on Craig’s post! Valerie Jael won the $10 Amazon Gift Card on Sandra’s post, and Vera Day won on Beem’s post. Thank you for all the support and comments, it was a lot of fun.
  • Newsletter went out today! If you are subscribed check your email 🙂
  • I will be gone next week on vacation. Book reviews will be back on June 5th and Finn’s Forest will debut June 19th.

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

March Book Reviews Part 4! @gmplano @A_Varga_Author @stacitroilo@JoanHallWrites @Chelepie @PCZick #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter

Redemption: A Father’s Fatal Decision

By Gwendolyn M. Plano

“Redemption” is a fast-paced thriller that hooked me from the first page. Lisa came home to visit her parents. She had a bad feeling when the doorbell rang, but she couldn’t stop what happened next. With her father dead, her mother fighting for her life, and her brother, Trace, in another country, she struggles to figure out what happened. Lisa quickly realizes she needs to be careful whom she trusts because her world is turned upside down as the truth slowly unravels. Luckily, her brother and his friend, Ryan, come to her aid. I love how they are there for each other, while Lisa’s strength, love of family, and intelligence are inspiring. She bravely stands by her mother while trying to understand her father. I found this book hard to put down with all the twists weaved into a family’s story. The research put into this mystery made it even more chilling because of the possibility that it could happen. The themes of redemption and forgiveness tugged at my heart, and I highly recommend this suspenseful family drama.

Jump In Time #2

The Celtic Deception

By Andrew Varga

“The Celtic Deception” is a fun YA read that blends history and fantasy. I haven’t read the first book, but I found this story easy to follow. Seventeen-year-old time jumper, Dan, comes home to an unwelcomed visitor who was responsible for his father being in a coma. I was immediately drawn into the story. Although the visitor had taken something that seemed so important, Dan was carefully trained by his father and was prepared for that. Soon, Dan and his jumping partner, Samantha, need to make a jump to fix history. I loved the time they went into 60 CE when Romans dominated, and Celts were on the run or fighting back. The relationships they developed in the Celt tribe had me rooting for them, even against all odds and history. A read meant for teens, but adults can appreciate it too. I thoroughly enjoyed this mix of the reality of a historical moment and time-traveling teens trying to survive while not changing the past that would affect the future.

Bright Lights and Candle Glow

By Staci TroiloMichele JonesPamela FosterJan MorrillDave KwiecinskiJoan HallP.C. Zick, and Grace L. Reilly

“Bright Lights and Candle Glow” is a beautiful holiday collection of eight short stories. The tales transport the reader into many places, including the Civil War or a ranch in Montana. Each story was a satisfying read for the holidays or any time of the year, and I won’t be picking any favorites. There were not only some fantastic twists I didn’t expect but vivid settings that pulled me right in.  I can easily recommend this group of well-told holiday stories for Christmas and Yule reading.

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!

NOTE:

I will be quiet on social media and blog visits this week. I’m going to take a bit of me-time before I get busy with my upcoming release and blog tour.  Have a great week xo

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

March Book Reviews Part 3! @JMastrangeloArt @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #readersoftwitter

Sunset Beach

By Jacquie Biggar

After reading “Sweetheart Cove,” I wondered about a single dad, Trace, and a single mom, Mona. Both were minor characters in the other book, but their attraction shone through, even if it was from dating in high school, so I was glad to see they were the main characters in “Sunset Beach.” Although there seems to be an attraction, Mona holds back the information of who is the father of her daughter while Trace focuses on his job as the mayor and raising a teen. Their daughters, Samantha and Beth, are best friends, forcing the two to interact more than they are comfortable with. I enjoyed revisiting this island, seeing how Jacob and Josie were doing, and discovering if Trace and Mona could work through their confused past. This is a quick, fun read for romance fans.

Sweetheart Cove

By Jacquie Biggar

Josie took a job to escape after her best friend and fiancé got together. Jacob needed someone to help care for his six-year-old daughter, who uses a wheelchair. When Josie arrives to start her new job, Jacob is unhappy that she isn’t more grandmotherly. They immediately clash, but she stays to offer physical therapy for the daughter. I love the sweet relationship between Jane and Josie and the addition of Mischief. The setting is a charming little island where residents and guests arrive by water plane. I could easily see myself living on this island and quickly fell in love with the seaside community. Sparks, misunderstandings, and a bit of patience mix in to make this a page-turning quick read that I can easily recommend.

THE MAGIC BLANKET

By Judy Mastrangelo

“The Magic Blanket” is a fun read for beginning readers and their parents. Amy is given the gift of a blanket, and the characters on it come alive when she goes to sleep. Then, Amy is taken on an incredible adventure. The illustrations are beautiful, adding that extra layer to the story, and after, there are activities for the reader to enjoy. This is a book I bought in paperback to give to my granddaughters, and I can easily recommend this charming tale.

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!

NOTE: Tomorrow is the Books That Changed Me—Spring Edition! 

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

March Book Reviews Part 2! @merril_mds @RowennaM #writingcommunity #whattoread #readersoftwitter #bookreviews

The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill

By Rowenna Miller

A family receives land after a bargain with a fairy, which is then passed down to the next generation. Two sisters in this family have been warned to deal carefully with the fairies and bargains. Alaina uses the bargains for better crops, but everything changes when her sister marries into a wealthy family. Delphine later admits to her sister that her husband is cruel and abusive, but is trapped in her life. Alaina, who runs the family orchard, tries to help her sibling. Alaina was a strong woman with a supportive husband and daughter when women had few rights, including voting. Her devotion to her land and family led her down a path where she had been cautioned not to travel, and it made me very nervous that she was doing so. The book’s first half focuses mainly on the sisters and their relationships. It was a slower and more thoughtful pace as Alaina found ways to help her sister. The book’s second half deals more with the consequences as it picks up the pace and veers into another realm. This story has many layers, including family relationships, magic, folklore, woman’s rights, trust, and love. A good read that held my attention, especially at the end.

Secrets in the Blood

By Unity Hayes

“Secrets in the Blood” opens with a young boy witnessing his mother’s death and his older brother finding him. Then the story moves on to the current POVs set in a charming old western town park. West, the handyperson, is looking for a job, and Cassidy is drawn to him. There is a mystery to his past, and things aren’t what they seem. Plus, there is a killer on the loose with the arrival of West. I loved the developing feelings between Cassidy and West. It was obvious that West was hiding something from his first interaction with Cassidy. Although he tried to conceal his physical scars, most found it hard to trust him, including his brother. The setting was vivid, making me wish this was a place I could visit with the staged train robberies and other interactive activities. A few surprising twists, mysteries, love, and family dynamics made this fast-paced story hard to put down.

River Ghosts

By Merril Smith

“River Ghosts” poetry evokes a depth of emotion through beautiful imagery. I enjoyed all the poems I read, and here are a few that touched me. “Too late,/watch the last butterfly/in a shimmering glow/of gold and tangerine”—Observe, And Again. “Once stars shimmered brighter in/the night,/and you left your handprint, a/symbol on the wall,”—Handprint. “and we reach up, swallow them-/then filled with honeyed light/we whisper in glimmering tones,/leap-and fly.”—Dreams and Stars. “Angel-breath flowers in the morning/and soft blush-clouds sail/in dancing rhythm/waking all the ifs—/and so—/let ghosts fly.”—The Secret of Poetry Stars. These are just some of the ones I highlighted. A wonderful collection meant to be read over and over, and I can easily recommend it to poetry lovers.

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

Cover reveal, Pre-order and blog host request! #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #preorder #coverreveal

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of a short story collection: “In the Tree’s Shadow.”

For those who didn’t see it in my newsletter, here’s the cover:

Blurb

(It might change a bit before the release)

A collection of short stories where dreams and nightmares co-exist.

Nestled inside these pages, you’ll meet a couple in their golden years who take a trip with an unexpected detour, a boy desperate to give his brother the Christmas gift he asked for, a girl with a small glass dragon who is at the mercy of her cruel uncles, or a young mother who has the same dream about murder. You’ll be introduced to worlds where people get second chances and monsters might be allowed their desires while angels and dragons try to help. Happy endings occur, but perspective can blur the line between good and evil in these twenty-seven tales. Since the stories vary between 99 to 12k words, whether you have only five minutes or an entire evening to settle into reading, there is something that will suit your time and taste.

Universal Amazon Preorder LINK

 

The release date is April 17th.

ONE MORE THING!

BLOG TOUR

Thanks everyone! The spots have been filled. I will contact you. xo

I won’t have the post ready until end of March.  I’m going to be busy for a while with the grandkids so I’m getting things done ahead of time. More on that later.

Thank you 🙂