November Book Reviews Part 3! @JacqBiggar @JanSikes3 @bakeandwrite #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #bookreviews

Letting Go- The Defiant Sisters Book 1

By Jacquie Biggar

Renee left home after her father committed suicide, leaving her boyfriend, mother, sister, and brother behind. She returns after her mother dies, knowing her sister, Izzie, would be angry and that her brother was not a little boy anymore. Renee immediately runs into her ex-boyfriend, Simon, who is engaged to be married. She considers leaving again more than once. The story unfolds in first person through three points of view: Izzie, Renee, and Simon. I rooted for each of them to find peace and happiness. The family dynamics made this a hard story to stop reading, along with finding out what made Renee leave after her dad passed. Each person has their grief to deal with, and I kept hoping Renee and Izzie would reconcile, at least for the younger brother who needed a guardian. I loved Simon’s grandma, who is not only tough but direct with both Simon and Renee. This story tugged on my heartstrings as there were no bad people, only people in bad situations. I can’t wait for the second book to come out so I can see what happens next. I can highly recommend “Letting Go.”

Saddled Heart (The White Rune Series Book 3)

By Jan Sikes

I read and loved the first two White Rune Series stories and was looking forward to this one. Colt runs a horse sanctuary ranch. I love his relationship with the horses and the beautiful setting of the ranch. He is their first suspect when a stranger dies after a run-in with Colt. Now he needs help from the beyond and finds that in a medium, Sage. The blend of a western romance with spirituality and the developing relationship between Colt and Sage makes this a hard story to put down. Seeing other characters from previous stories was heartwarming, and the music was woven in naturally. I went back and forth about who the killer might be, and none of my guesses were correct. This might be my favorite of the three because of the ranch, but this has been a fantastic series that I can highly recommend!

Haunted Halloween Holiday

Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle

Another fun young children’s adventure from Robbie and Michael Cheadle with beautiful fondant creatures. Each character is introduced with a cute limerick. Count Sugular and Witch Honey travel to a Halloween party with Baby Howler. A charming Halloween read parents can share with their children or beginning readers can appreciate. I enjoyed this tale and will happily pass it on to my six- and seven-year-old granddaughters!

NOTE:

If you are subcribed to my Newsletter check your email, I sent it out on the 20th. Don’t miss the new Book of the Month and not only a chance to win a gift card but one of the amazing Books of the Month 🙂

I will be off next weekend for the Thanksgiving Holiday. For those in the US who celebrate it, I wish you a peaceful and magical day.  Book reviews will be back on December 5th.

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!

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

New Release: “Letting Go” by Jacquie Biggar! @JacqBiggar @XpressoTours⁣ #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #newrelease

I’m thrilled to have friend, and fellow writer here today, Jacquie Biggar, to share her latest release, Letting Go The Defiant Sisters Book 1!

Letting Go
Jacquie Biggar
(The Defiant Sisters, #1)
Publication date: October 21st 2022
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

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 young 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.

Goodreads / Amazon

SNEAK PEEK:

Izzy

The shock of finding Renée on the doorstep is fading, taken over by the sheer hypocrisy of her arrival. Why now? It’s a little late if she wants to make amends. Not a word for two stinking years and she shows up thinking I’m going to be grateful she’s here?

Not in this lifetime.

The warm sincerity of her embrace, though… it tries to weaken the resentment I’ve fostered since she walked out on her family, leaving me to pick up the pieces.

“I don’t want you here,” I snarl, unable to hide my bitterness. I’d rather act as though I don’t care.

Renée eyes me warily, rubbing a reddened palm. I feel a childish delight to have caused her even a minuscule amount of the pain she’s caused me.

“I’m aware,” she says calmly, bending to pick up a bulging overnight bag. “But I’m here now, so let’s make the best of it—for Mom.”

Red hot rage rises from the pit of my stomach to spit and steam from my ears. “Do. Not. Use Mom against me. You lost that right a long time ago.”

Months of caregiving flicker behind my eyes. My father’s suicide did something to Mom. She shouldered the blame and wore it like a hairshirt, ripping the blinders away from their relationship to show the fractures in the foundation. She shut down. Stopped eating, washing, and caring. It was left to me to get Benjamin off to school, clothes washed, and a semblance of normalcy when everything was insane.

“You should have called.” Renée’s empathetic gaze gets on my last nerve.

I whirl away before I plant my fist in her face. “Your room is the way you left it. You can stay the weekend, then I want you to leave. Ben doesn’t need to get his hopes up.” And neither do I.

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

 

“My name is Jacquie Biggar. When I’m not acting like a total klutz, I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a butler to my calico cat.

My guilty pleasures are reality tv shows like Amazing Race and The Voice. Every Monday night, I can be in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake’s shenanigans.

I love to hang out at the beach with DH (darling hubby) taking pictures or reading romance novels (what else?).

I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession, enjoy gardening, everything pink, and talking to my friends.”

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Amazon / Pinterest / Newsletter

 

Giveaway!
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September Book Reviews! @sgc58 @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustread

The Sister Pact: Home is Where The Heart is

by Jacquie Biggar

Holly has been ill and came home for the holidays after eight years away. It was time to heal old wounds between Holly and her younger sister, Susan, who stole Holly’s boyfriend, Steven, away and married him. What Holly comes home to seems broken on many levels, not only between her sister but her mother and father. Thrown into this dysfunctional mix is not only the man Holly lost, Steven but his brother, Levi, who she slept with at her sister’s wedding. Information is gently rolled out as relationships clash and communication is limited. There’s a lot of pain and hurt that needs to be healed. Levi was my favorite character with his patience and long-time quiet devotion to Holly. Their fun moments at the beach highlighted what it could be if Holly could get past her fears and past. When Susan needs her help, Holly is there for her. I love the message that no matter what happens, the family will survive and eventually pull together, no matter how long it takes. What a beautiful, well-written reminder of what is important in life, not only finding a soul mate but healing a family, too. I can highly recommend this story.

Dr. Metifunger’s Transdimensional Veterinary Clinic

by Dennis Strubbe

I picked up “Dr. Metifunger’s Transdimensional Veterinary Clinic” after seeing a review that captured my attention and curiosity. A book that offers interdimensional traveling, animals, a mystery, and some romance all mixed with humor—how could I pass that up? I wasn’t disappointed in this unique tale. Dr. Mabel Sassani is offered a job in Florida after having issues in California and having her license suspended. What Mabel found on day one was a disappearing dog, and oh, the clinic was in several dimensions. I love the animals she treats that are unlike anything Mabel has treated in her dimension, and the techs, Sandy, are a lot of fun. There is the silent partner, Karen, who seems to have given Mabel a break, but might be a criminal. Then there’s the handsome Bryce, who is there when Mabel needs help. Mabel is determined to figure this out no matter what world she must do it in, and Bryce becomes the person to do that with. Throwing Dr. Metifunger’s overbearing parents into this mix made for a fun read. A well-written adventure with entertaining characters in and outside of our dimension.

Just an Odd Job Girl

by Sally Cronin

This is a fun read told through the eyes of a recently divorced middle-aged woman, Imogen. She believes she has a perfect life; her kids have moved out, and she has her dream house, but her husband isn’t on the same page. Out of the blue, Imogen is presented with a divorce because a younger woman, who was humorously labeled a “fast-tracker” has replaced her. Her soon-to-be ex-husband offers Imogen a smaller house. She retreats into this home, comforting herself with food. Finally, she concludes it’s time to work. This is where she goes to her first job interview in years and meets a kind man who asks her to tell him about all the jobs she’s ever had. This journey to her past is not only fascinating, and many times hilarious, but opened her eyes to the person she used to be. She gets through part of her life and then is encouraged to keep reminiscing. There are so many parts that had me laughing out loud, like when she got ready for this job interview or visited the hairdresser. As I was reading, it felt like Imogen was sitting next to me telling her story. “Just an Odd Job Girl” dove into a woman’s journey where she found her strength and perhaps another chance at love. I was completely invested in Imogen’s outcome. I can highly 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:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

May Book Reviews Part 1! @JacqBiggar @MarciaMeara #bookreviews #whattoread #writingcommunity

That Darkest Place (Riverbend #3)

by Marcia Meara

“That Darkest Place” jumps right in after the oldest Painter brother, Jackson, has been in a horrible car accident. He had been treating his family horribly in the previous book, but his two younger brothers rushed to his side when he needed them most. It was assumed he had been drinking and driving, but new information changed everything for this family. All the Painter brothers have slowly won my heart. I wanted to see each of them find some happiness. This story had a beam of hope for them, but someone was also after Jackson. I loved how each brother had to work on himself, no matter how painful it became. There are some serious issues dealt with that included mental health and amputation. In the mix were love and building trust, no matter what life has brought them in the past. The story focuses on Jackson and Forrest and their journey, but it also offers some amazing settings. These are places I’d love to visit. I can easily recommend this beautifully written story, with a perfect ending to a wonderful series.


Finding Hunter (Riverbend #2)

by Marcia Meara

I read and enjoyed the first book in the Riverbend series and was eager to see what happens next. Hunter is the youngest of three boys, and he’s the family caretaker. Living at home, he makes sure his mother is okay while his outgoing brothers go on with their lives. Gifted with a gentle heart, he finally finds the courage to ask Willow out, who he’s adored since high school. They immediately click, and it is obvious they should be together. I was drawn to the kindness of Hunter and the strength and goodness of Willow. Even with the happiness that they’ve found together, Hunter has concerns that might pull them apart. This story takes a journey into mental health. Although this is a love story, it’s also an insightful glimpse into dementia, PTSD, depression, family dynamics, hope, and healing. As soon as I finished “Finding Hunter” I started Riverbend #3. This is a heartfelt story that I can highly recommend.


My Girl (Gambling Hearts #3)

by Jacquie Biggar

Although I knew it was Aaron’s turn to find love, I did not know where he would find it. So, when his ex, Trisha, showed up with her family to be the first guests at the ranch, it was obvious where his feelings were. Unfortunately, she had a fiancé and a secret. I immediately disliked her fiancé and her family, but hoped Trish would open up to Aaron and they could get back together. The struggle between the brothers was still there, while Aaron just wanted to prove himself to Matt. This was my favorite of the series, and I loved how the secrets were slowly revealed. I admit to shedding a tear or two because of those reveals. Plus, it seemed like their plans to save the ranch were failing, and it appeared someone might be helping that along. It was a well-written story where I could easily picture myself riding along with Aaron and Trish and enjoying the beauty with them. A fantastic ending to this family’s saga that I can easily recommend to those who love a good 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 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

April Book Reviews Part 4! @huckfinn76 @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #bookreview

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Gambling Hearts #2)

by Jacquie Biggar

I have been looking forward to seeing what’s become of Sophia after reading the first book. Although I was glad she could leave the ranch and find herself, it was sad to see that move broke up the relationship between her and Tony, the ranch foreman. After five years, Tony calls and tells her that her brothers need her. It’s nice to see that Matt and Cass are still going strong and raising their daughter, but the brothers aren’t getting along and might lose the ranch. Sophia pushes her idea of taking in guests, but instead of pulling together as a family, though, they pull apart. During the family drama, the love that Sophia and Tony had resurfaced. When someone takes matters into their own hands, it starts a reaction where help comes from an unexpected person. I was rooting for not only Sophia and Tony, but the entire family. A wonderful addition to the Shaughnessy family story. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.


Hold ‘Em (Gambling Hearts #1)

by Jacquie Biggar

“Hold ‘Em” was a fun romance that I read in one night. Matt spent his time gambling instead of helping with the family ranch. He won a hand from a man who offered up his daughter, Cass, to play his fiancé for a week, to cancel the debt to Matt. She went along with the scheme to make Matt’s grandmother believe he had found happiness before she died. At first, I didn’t like Cass’s father or Matt. I never changed my mind about the father, but Matt grew on me as the story went along. Cass was already engaged to be married in two weeks but never showed a great love for the man who she believed was perfect. So, it was entertaining watching her fight off her growing feelings for Matt and how he went from playing around to developing some serious emotions in a short time frame. The setting was amazing, and I could picture living in the small cabin nestled in the valley. A charming romantic tale, and I will be reading the rest of the series to see what happens next on the ranch.


Yellow Hair

by Andrew Joyce

Jacob and his family go on the treacherous journey of the Oregon Trail. It was a trail riddled with accidents and death. There is a brief history of each family to understand why they went. None of them seemed prepared for the reality of it. A young woman from the Dakota tribe rescues Jacob on the verge of death. His name changes to Yellow Hair, and he finds a new home. The story follows his journey filled with detailed historical content. Both sides are evenly presented, and the facts and history are well researched, while the story of Yellow Hair was interesting. I found myself heartbroken at the cruelty shown to another human being because of hate, greed, or fear. I was grateful many of those parts were told over shown. That would have made it harder for me to read. This was a unique way to tell the comprehensive history and a story through a white man’s eyes living in a Dakota tribe in Minnesota. It made me think deeply about how difficult it was to cross over the plains into Oregon and California and, on the other side, how greedy and cruel many officials were. Getting to know and appreciate people and their differences is a lesson we can take away from our history, which I found in this story. A powerful and, at times, painful read.


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

February Book Reviews Part Two! #writingcommunity @Marjorie_Mallon @JillWeatherholt @JacqBiggar @PriscillaBettis #bookreviews #indieauthors #whattoread #yourreadinglist

Golden Healer (The Curse of Time #2)

by M.J. Mallon

“Golden Healer” picks up where the first book left off with Amelina maneuvering through her teen years while embracing her magic as a Krystallos. Some of my favorite parts were the interaction with the girl in the mirror and Amelina and her dad. Not only did the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster, but there was also an actual one in the story. Many good characters all played into finding out more about the darker side or shadows. Ryder is a character who could have an empathic side if he allowed it, but I did like how he developed in the story. Crystals and music added depth to Amelina’s learning quest. Her friendships are still strong and are tested with Ryder involved. There are some beautiful poetic parts, and I love the poetry at the beginning of each chapter. Although this book answers many questions, it also opened the door to new ones. I look forward to more stories from these characters.


Searching for Home

by Jill Weatherholt

“Searching for Home” is a wonderfully uplifting romance full of faith and miscommunication. Meg gives up her successful physical therapy practice to raise her sister’s triplets and take over the bed-and-breakfast. She’s struggling to make ends meet and fixing up the property. When an expected guest, Luke, shows up to recover from an injury—or her high school love. Both are hurting from the past, but right now, it’s the children who need attention and love after being discarded by their parents, along with the business. Meg is a wonderful character who tries to balance being a mother, running the inn, and still doing physical therapy while fighting her feelings for Luke. The love that still exists between the two is obvious to everyone but them. It was easy to have empathy for Luke and his past. I love how he jumped right in to help remodel and develop a bond with the children, especially Tucker. I read this in one sitting, hoping they’d finally have that talk. A sweet romance that I can highly recommend.


Valentine

by Jacquie Biggar

Sierra has just gotten out of a poor relationship and her nest egg for opening her dream business was gone. Val has agreed to stay at his aunt’s place to take care of things while the aunt recovers from illness. Sierra and Val are thrown together, living in the same house, but immediately clash. It doesn’t help that Sierra works for Val’s sister and he overlooked telling her a few minor details. I like the tension between the two and all the character names, especially Cupid for the dog and Valentine for Val. This is a fast and fun read that I read in one sitting. It would be the perfect Valentine’s Day story or any day you want to celebrate love’s bloom.


The Hay Bale

by Priscilla Bettis

“The Hay Bale” is a short horror story filled with chilling passages and light on gore, which I prefer. Claire has miscarried four babies, was turned down for adoption, and her husband left her. She leaves her job as a professor in microbiology to regroup and heal from all her losses in a quaint country house called Small Claws. When things happen in her rented home, she asks questions, to which she finds some chilling answers. The single bale of hay behind the house adds a strange twist and fuels her curiosity. While Clair struggles with her issues within, some really strange things are going on around her. A spooky story with an ending I didn’t expect and easily read in one sitting.


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!

NOTE: Today is my seven-year anniversary of when I broke my foot (on Friday the 13th tripping over my black cat.) It turned out to be a good thing as it finally got me serious about publishing my work. Here is the blog from two years ago when I talked about this fall if you missed it 🙂 LINK

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

January Book Reviews! @Lizzie_Chantree @PatFurstenberg @JacqBiggar @teagangeneviene #writingcommunity #whattoread #whatyoushouldbereading #bookreviews

Dead of Winter: Journey 12, Goddesses

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

“Goddesses” is an exciting journey. I love the introduction of the Goddesses at this point of the story. This adds in the light, or glow, in the darkness, but it’s not to say it’s all illumination either. I loved being in the moment with Emlyn on the rooftop and the landscape flowing out before her where she could see the veil’s breach. All the characters seem to be where they’re needed now, and I’m eagerly awaiting to see what comes from this impending battle. Another great installment!


A Magical Christmas: A Gambling Hearts Short Story 

by Jacquie Biggar

Madeline haunts the place where she used to be so happy. A little girl, Pippa, goes missing. This woman from the past may be the only thing to find and help this child. I haven’t read any of the Gambling Hearts series, but I will after reading this charming short story. I want to know more about this clan, especially the frantic family searching for Pippa. This was a sweet holiday mixture of the past and present that I thoroughly enjoyed reading!


Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories

by Patricia Furstenberg

“Transylvania’s History A to Z” was a fun way to learn the history of Transylvania, Romania. There were 100-word fictional stories to showcase a certain period, along with a more detailed follow-up and picture. This brought the past to life for me in an interesting way, and I could easily imagine life from the story in a limited word format. The Paleolithic Period, Saxons, Vlad lll, or WWl were some of the time frames covered. I don’t have a favorite because I enjoyed learning about all of it. This also includes where some Transylvanian words came from—which I appreciated. This is a quick read that captured my attention. I can easily recommend it to anyone interested in history.


The woman who felt invisible

by Lizzie Chantree

“The woman who felt invisible” was a fun read with a few surprising twists. Olivia was barely making ends meet working as a stationary supervisor and dog sitter. She is leading an uneventful life, but it isn’t as it seems. Olivia is suspected of being a criminal by a handsome police officer, while her best friend Darius wants more than friendship. Being lonely, she makes a new friend and comes out of her self-imposed shell. I like all the relationships Olivia develops, but it’s the undercurrent that’s woven into the story that makes it so interesting. The plot kept me guessing until the end when all was revealed, but it also left me with a few questions to ponder. I enjoyed getting to know Olivia. This is a fast-paced read with several secrets mixed in and I loved how the main character found her strength.


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 in 2022 by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

Books That Changed Me—2021 Winter Edition! @JanSikes3 @JoanHallWrites @JacqBiggar @Sandra_Cox #writingcommunity #mustreads #fivestarbooks

snowy driveway
Our shed on a snowy day ten years ago.

Winter has arrived with the shortest day of the year. The icy air permeates the walls, and there is nothing quite like cuddling under a blanket to read during the long nights. The busy holidays are here, but I still carve out that time to lose myself in a wonderful story.

It’s always hard to pick three or four books from the many I read and enjoy, but these stories have left me changed after reading them. They introduced me to a new world, and I fell in love with the characters. I want to visit some of these places. They are books you can’t put down, and so good you forget you are reading. They put you right into the story.

Here are my choices this time around. I’m sharing the blurb and my review that has been on my blog before but is worth showing again. These are books to curl up by a warm fire and sip hot chocolate or mulled wine.

BLURB

New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.

Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.

But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s one-hundred fiftieth year, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.

Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, Jason will be the next to die.

My Review

I read the prequel to this story, “House of Sorrow,” and loved that, so I was eager to read the first book in the Legends of Madeira Series. Jason and Tami Montgomery left Driscoll Lake for Jason’s new job as the town’s police chief in Madeira, New Mexico. They buy the house that was in the prequel and quickly settled into the small, mostly welcoming town. It was nice to see characters from the Driscoll Lake series, but unnecessary to have read those books to appreciate this story. I enjoyed Jason’s growth and how he approached his new job. Tami immediately made friends and got involved in the town’s historical society that was doing a book on the town’s history.

Tami, who had been a journalist, jumped right into her part of researching past police chiefs. She soon found herself looking for more answers as she dug deeper into the murder mystery of two of these chiefs. I loved the characters, and Madeira was a place I’d like to visit. Many subplots were woven in that added an extra depth to the story. Tami was a favorite character, as was the neighborhood’s stray cat, Oscar. There was a mystery to be solved, and it appeared Jason was in danger. I had a few guesses and changed my mind more than once, but finally, by the end. I realized who it was, but not why. I love the use of legends, history, and psychic abilities mixed in with well-rounded characters and a mystery that goes back over one hundred years. This is a nicely paced read that I can highly recommend.

LINK


BLURB

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.
As principal of Emerson Elementary, Kyle Roberts is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace needs a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.
Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

My Review

“Love Me” is a wonderful holiday read about a mother and her daughter fighting cancer. Grace and Cassie move to a new town to try an experimental treatment, and luckily an anonymous donor covers the expenses. Grace finds a job at Cassie’s school while Cassie finds a new best friend. I love how the story is told from both the mother and daughter’s POV. Cassie wants a puppy for Christmas, but she decides her mother needs a companion if something happens to her. It’s a story that tugged on my heart, thinking about a little girl battling for her life when she should be playing and having fun. Her strength and caring shine throughout the story as a powerful symbol of love, and the mother, having lived through so much loss and heartache, keeps going for her daughter. I could feel the emotion behind Cassie because her character is based on an amazing young girl on social media who is fighting this battle. This was a heartwarming romantic story that didn’t back down from the reality of childhood leukemia. I highly recommend this!

LINK


BLURB

A modern day, shapeshifting sheriff.
He’s the sheriff of a sparsely populated county in Montana. His blood brother and childhood best friend is Chief of Police on the Blackfoot Reservation, but they no longer speak. His deputy is a southern transplant with the body of a high-priced call girl, a voice of honey and mouth of a trucker. And if that’s not enough, he’s got a secret that would stun those that know him best. Other than that, it’s business as usual for Sheriff Mateo Grey.

My Review

“Mateo’s Law” is an exciting paranormal, western romance that I read in two sittings. It is set in a small town in Montana, where Blair moved to join the force as a deputy. She is in a long-distance relationship but is attracted to the sheriff, Mateo. When something attacks a town resident, they investigate it together, but Blair is unaware of Mateo’s secret of being a shapeshifter. I love it when Mateo is in his alternative form, and I felt his freedom. The scenery is lush and the town a place I’d want to call home. Blair and Mateo have great chemistry, conversations, and working relationship. I was definitely rooting for Blair and Mateo and hope more stories are coming with these characters. If you love a paranormal page-turning romance, you won’t want to miss this!

LINK


Mountain Laurel Christmas

by Jan Sikes

BLURB

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.
Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father.

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family?

My Review

“Mountain Laurel Christmas” is a perfect holiday read. Cole Knight has gone from having everything taken from him as a child to becoming a huge country star who has everything. Yet, the emptiness from when he was a young boy can’t be filled with money, fame, or drinking. One night, Cole is overwhelmed and ends up at the place where he grew up. It’s here he searches for what’s missing and begins his journey to healing. The detail to the setting and music brought the story deeper, making me feel like a friend was sharing their story with me. Although a quick read, it is a reminder of what is important, especially during the holiday season. I highly recommend this heart-warming story that can be enjoyed any time of the year.

LINK


This is my final blog of the year. Happy Holidays!

 

December Book Reviews Part 3! @Virgilante @teagangeneviene @JacqBiggar @YvetteMCalleiro @1rburkey @pursoot #bookreviews #whattoread #mustread #writingcommunity

Wreck of the Lanternfish

(The Lanternfish #3)

by C.S. Boyack

“Wreck of the Lanternfish” is the final book of the Lanternfish Series. Although I was sad to see this thrilling story come to an end, I loved seeing James Cuttler take one more journey to the sea. He risks everything to step back into the war that his friends are still fighting. The battles are shown through different perspectives, including Serang. My favorite characters, the root monsters, were back. Their “I I I I” always made me smile. This story not only touches on pulling communities apart, but how to put them back together. Battles on land and sea showcase how clever leaders can outwit their foe. This is a world and characters that I won’t forget anytime soon. Lanternfish is a series I can highly recommend, especially if you love exciting stories with pirates, love, greed, and great characters. But start from the beginning and don’t miss the companion book. You won’t want to miss any part of this exciting tale!


Dead of Winter: Journey 11, The Sumelazon Escarpment

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Emlyn’s journey continues as she learns and grows, and there are Gethin’s experiences mixed in. I loved the direction that was taken on all the fronts of “The Sumelazon Escarpment.” It was nice to catch my breath and get to immerse into the city and story, especially through Emlyn’s eyes. I liked how well the plot and cover tied together, and the women had a moment to enjoy a bit of fashion. Even though there were some nice interactions, there is still that under-matched fight looming. Another good journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next. I can highly recommend this read but start this exciting tale from the beginning.


Love, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel

by Jacquie Biggar

“Love Me” is a wonderful holiday read about a mother and her daughter fighting cancer. Grace and Cassie move to a new town to try an experimental treatment, and luckily an anonymous donor covers the expenses. Grace finds a job at Cassie’s school while Cassie finds a new best friend. I love how the story is told from both the mother and daughter’s POV. Cassie wants a puppy for Christmas, but she decides her mother needs a companion if something happens to her. It’s a story that tugged on my heart, thinking about a little girl battling for her life when she should be playing and having fun. Her strength and caring shine throughout the story as a powerful symbol of love, and the mother, having lived through so much loss and heartache, keeps going for her daughter. I could feel the emotion behind Cassie because her character is based on an amazing young girl on social media who is fighting this battle. This was a heartwarming romantic story that didn’t back down from the reality of childhood leukemia. I highly recommend this!


HYPE

by Yvette M. Calleiro

“HYPE” is a YA story centered on Cici’s life at home and school. She is a popular co-captain of the cheering squad, and her boyfriend is the quarterback on the football team. Everything is perfect in her world, except her dislike of her co-captain, Nicole. But everything changes when her mother remarries, and she gets not only a stepdad but a new stepsister that everyone avoids at school. Cici’s POV is direct and takes the reader into her world. She can be shallow but has her world figured out until she doesn’t. Halfway through the story, there is a betrayal and horrible event that is painful to read, and my heart went out to Cici. Although Cici is a strong character that I was rooting for, I loved her stepsister Gaby/Grub’s complexity. How Cici’s relationships grow and change is skillfully reflected in what is happening in her life. This is a good read for not only YA readers but adults too. I highly recommend it.


Hot Chocolate

by Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey

“Hot Chocolate” is a sweet short story about a family and their holiday traditions. Jacob, Petra, and their son JW are a family I enjoyed getting to know. The parents have a tradition of surprising each other with their Christmas gifts and teasing how much they will like their present. I love the surprise at the end and the love this family shared. This is a wonderful holiday read!


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!


Our writing community lost a brilliant writer and amazing human being a few weeks ago, Suzanne Burke. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a kind heart, and a great outlook on life. I found out about her passing during my vacation.


So, I offered a red hibiscus flower to the Pacific Ocean in her honor. I like to think it’s floating among the spinner dolphins, and she’s looking down at this with a huge smile.

In memory of Suzanne, check out her Amazon page here. Her memoir, Empty Chairs,  is a read you will never forget.


NOTE: This will be my last formal Sunday post of the year and my Monthly Newsletter was sent out today to your email if you are subscribed.  Tomorrow watch for Books That Changed Me Winter Edition.

After that, I’ll be taking some time off to be with family and enjoy the holidays.

The only exception to my time off is I have a post over on Story Empire on December 27th.

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays! May 2022 be the happy year we are all searching for 🙂

Embrace that inner child by reading a good book and enjoying your blessings! D. L. Finn

December Book Reviews Part 1! @JanSikes3 @stacitroilo @JacqBiggar @Mark_Venturini @TPolen6 @Virgilante @MaeClair1 @harmony_kent @JoanHallWrites @PCZick @IreneAprile #whattoread #indieauthor #writingcommunity #mustread

Mountain Laurel Christmas

by Jan Sikes

“Mountain Laurel Christmas” is a perfect holiday read. Cole Knight has gone from having everything taken from him as a child to becoming a huge country star who has everything. Yet, the emptiness from when he was a young boy can’t be filled with money, fame, or drinking. One night, Cole is overwhelmed and ends up at the place where he grew up. It’s here he searches for what’s missing and begins his journey to healing. The detail to the setting and music brought the story deeper, making me feel like a friend was sharing their story with me. Although a quick read, it is a reminder of what is important, especially during the holiday season. I highly recommend this heart-warming story that can be enjoyed any time of the year.


Quantum Wanderlust

By Staci Troilo, Michele Jones, Joan Hall, Grace L. Reilly/ E. J. Lane, Mae Clair, P.C. Zick, Teri Polen, Irene Aprile, Harmony Kent, C.S. Boyack, Mark Venturini, Leigh Ann Beckett, and David MacPherson.

I was excited to see several of my favorite authors in this collection of time travel short stories. They didn’t disappoint, and I loved how each of them came up with a different idea to explore within the subject. What I like about anthologies is I’m introduced to writers that are new to me. “Quantum Wanderlust” offered some new authors I would enjoy reading again! This is a fun read that takes us to places beyond our daily lives.


My Baby Wrote Me A Letter

by Jacquie Biggar

“My Baby Wrote Me A Letter” is a quick read but layered with the emotions of Grace and her family. Grace is at the end of her pregnancy with her husband away on a mission, and she finds a letter tucked away in a family desk by a mother who she believed abandoned her family. Grace is a strong character who must face her past as her future is arriving. I love the relationship between the father and brothers and how the letter isn’t read all at once—they digest each bit of information before moving on. This is a short story I highly recommend!


No Such Luck

by Staci Troilo

When things get bad for Piper, she heads home. It’s here she runs into not only her best friend from high school, Jack but her crush, Tommy. Piper is a character who is likable even in her not-so-stellar moments. She maneuvers through what is real and the musings of a teenage girl. This is a quick read that I devoured in one sitting to see if she got her happily ever after. “No Such Luck” is a sweet novella that emphasizes what and who is important. A fantastic beginning to the new Keystone Couples Series that I can easily recommend.


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