Books That Changed Me: Fall Edition

fal walk 2017

Fall has arrived with its red leaves, and cooler nights. I love walking through downtown Nevada City capturing the colors with my camera. I’m the one kicking the piles of leaves, too. It’s a time of color, harvest, and wondering what I’m going to be for Halloween. Pumpkins are my main choice of decorations, while spiderweb sheets grace my bed. It is also the perfect time to cuddle up with a book. I’ve found three amazing books and a bonus short story that are as changing to me as the autumn leaves are to the trees.

Here are my three choices along with the Halloween bonus read!


I found myself very attached to this character. I hated finishing the last chapter, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to finish it. This is a series I am going to fully enjoy…and have to wait for. I will re-read it before the second one comes out which I reserve only for the really good ones.

hexborn pic

Hexborn (The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1)

by A.M. Manay

I loved Ms. Manay’s November Snow Series. I wondered if a new story line could rival that…yes it could. In fact, it could even surpass it. I found myself drawn deep into “Hexborn”. Shiloh grew up considered unclean by the population even though the laws against her kind had disappeared. Shunned, she was being educated to use her strong magic. Dealing with illness and deformity she develops an inner grace and strength. Suddenly when her teacher dies Silas arrives to bring her to the King’s court. Silas seems the perfect villain and I love the relationships she builds in court. Then there were surprises along Shiloh’s journey that she answered with her heart. I admired that about her. The flashbacks were skillfully used so the reader could understand how things developed. What her body lacked, her fortitude made up for.  I’m hooked on the magical girl with pink hair and eyes. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  If I could give this more than five stars I would. It may be a YA, but it’s for adults, too.  I highly recommend this book!


This has stuck with me after reading it. The message of miracles jumped off the pages at me. It was a reminder I needed at the moment and even now– to have some faith. It makes me want to just go sit under a tree and be–or take off on a roadtrip to explore. To follow my heart.

love the beat

LOVE The Beat Goes On 

by Lynda Filler

I believe in miracles and this is what “LOVE The Beat Goes On” is about! Sometimes, in life we forget about the miracles that surround us, and this book is a reminder of them. Ms. Filler was faced with a dire diagnosis from her doctor and set out on a healing journey. This is an uplifting book that reminds you to trust your inner voice.  To joyfully do things that only make sense to yourself.  It is necessary to heal our bodies, minds and souls.  With references to Dr. Wayne Dyer, and a reading guide at the end, the reader is given some tools to do this journey on their own– if they are ready for it. I will definitely be listening to the Shaman’s chants and checking into books I haven’t read. This book was recommended to me and I am thankful for that recommendation! I have fought past some of my own health issues, but this story is a guiding beacon for everyone dealing with that– or just needs an uplifting story in their lives.  I highly recommend this for anyone on a journey to find themselves, heal—or needs to be reminded of miracles.


All three books of this series have lingered with me. I’m already a person who thinks about “what if”. Surviving after what we know as civilization comes crashing down is one of those “what ifs”. I do buy that extra bag of rice and keep a canned food supply…just in case. This story is a good warning and just darn entertaining at the same time.

into winter

Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) 

by Larry Landgraf

This is the third book in the “Four Seasons” series. It continues with the residents of Peaceful Valley– following the grid shut down that caused the collapse of society. After Robbie and Sean find their way back from the cruel dictatorship in Corpus Christi, there is a price to pay for leaving. Sandra is determined to attack Peaceful Valley. It was an interesting process to watch them prepare and defend their way of life, with very real consequences on both sides. What I found most thought-provoking was their realization that what goes on outside of Peaceful Valley affects them. There is some great insight into what makes a good government from the ground up. Although, it’s a brutal process I found it a spell binding read. I loved learning survival skills in the first book, the exploration in the second book, but this one gets you to wonder “what would you do” and then admire when the characters go beyond their own comfort. I’m eagerly looking forward to “Into Summer” and seeing where Mr. Landgraf takes us next.

Halloween bonus read:

There was something about reading a story through the killer’s eyes. I kept thinking of the TV show “Dexter” which was a family favorite. I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately. There have been so many outstanding ones, but this one made itself right at home.

I've always pic

I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

This was a fascinating read! Although it stated clearly in the beginning there was going to be a murder I was still surprised when it happened. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I had to know why. It was chilling to see through the killer’s point of view. The characters were real, the subject matter of abuse important, and the rationale almost makes sense—almost. I loved this story and highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy a story told through the “serial killer’s” prospective!


The Button Giveaway has begun! Enter here for a chance to win a new Kindle Fire or other great prizes:

The Button Giveaway Link


Happy Fall! Embrace your inner child. D.L. Finn

Book Release: The Contract between heaven and earth #RRBC

I’m excited to welcome today’s guests John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano who just released the amazing book: The Contract between heaven and earth. It received my highest five-star review!

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Denise, for inviting us to join you today. We are so grateful to be featured on your blog and feel at home among your beautiful books. We love your message, “embrace your inner child.”

The Contract COVER FINAL 2-20-18

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

Sarah didn’t know what to say. The room flickered with candlelight and the fireplace crackled with its flames, but the tenderness in Brad’s eyes warmed her heart the most. The evening had taken a turn she hadn’t expected but welcomed.

Sarah said, “I guess there’s a lot I don’t know about you, not the least of which is that you appreciate The Prophet. Do you write poetry?”

“My poetry isn’t worth sharing.” Brad shook his head. “I write it, but I keep it locked up in my desk. How about you?” Brad stared at Sarah intently, as if trying to read her soul.

“I, ah, I write very little poetry. You know, I don’t have any formal writing background, and I feel that handicap when I attempt to write poems. It has so many rules to follow, which I don’t know, and that makes me feel hesitant to even try. Sometimes, though, the moment demands a poem, and then I write.” Sarah smiled.

“I like that phrase, sometimes the moment demands a poem. Don’t you think this is one of those moments?” Brad reached across the table and placed his hand on hers. Though a simple act, it awakened a storm of emotions in Sarah. As much as she tried not to, her eyes welled with tears. She didn’t feel sad, not at all, but Brad’s gentleness brought her into her own vulnerable heart.

Authors Bio.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn


Embrace your inner child by reading an amazing book! D.L. Finn

 

#RRBC #SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR: JAN SIKES

I am very excited to welcome #RRBC Spotlight Author: Jan Sikes!

Jan_Sikes_Awards_Discovery_Ti.l_Death

FLOWERS AND STONE

 

My series of biographical fiction books begins with Flowers and Stone.

 

It is a love story filled with passion. When Darlina Flowers meets Luke Stone, sparks fly. But, everyone tells her to beware, that he will only use her and throw her away. Being young, naïve and an incurable romantic, she doesn’t believe them. She knows what she feels is something special. It’s just like the romance books she’s avidly read.

 

Luke Stone feels the sparks, but what does he have to offer her? With two failed marriages under his belt, he questions his attraction to this young girl at every turn. After all, he’s a burned out, wore out country musician. He’s spent more days and nights in the Texas honkytonks than Darlina’s been alive. Perhaps he needs to offer her protection since she’s hell-bent on being a part of the world with which he’s so familiar.

 

This book is all about taking chances, pushing the envelope and enduring the consequences.

 

Flowers_And_Stone1

 

Here is the back cover blurb:

 

The epic love story begins here!
A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician, set the stage for this story. Nothing could have prepared Darlina Flowers for the reckless Texas rogue musician, Luke Stone, to come stampeding into her life like a team of wild horses. Their love ignited into an ever-burning flame, enduring a cruel twist of fate and injustice.
1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician, believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too little late? Has fate already determined the outcome?

 

A compelling true story based on the lives of Rick and Jan Sikes.

 

PURCHASE LINK

Thank you for taking this RRBC SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR tour with me. See you at the next stop!

Follow Jan:

Twitter     Facebook    Blog    Website    LinkedIn     Pinterest    Instagram

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Thank you for stopping by! D.L. Finn

June Book Reviews

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful 

by Ellie Collins

“Daisy, Bold & Beautiful” is a sweet story geared for 9 to 12-year-old readers.  Ms. Collins tells the story of a young girl D.J. who moves to a new town with her father, after her mother’s death. She has to start a new school and make new friends.  It’s well-written and I could sympathize with her getting onto the bus knowing no one and heading for a new sixth grade experience. D.J. quickly makes friends and learns about herself along the way. I loved the relationship between father and daughter as well as her new friends.   What makes this story so interesting is what happens when she goes to bed and her experiences in another realm. This book for middle grade readers drew me in, but the amazing part was it was written by a middle grade writer!  This is a children’s book I highly recommend and a new author I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!


PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction) Short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP

by Bette A. Stevens

“Pure Trash” is a charming and insightful glance into rural 1955 as we are taken through a day with two boys: Shawn and Willie. They are poor and judged on the merit of their drunken father. Heading into town it is apparent they are considered, “pure trash”. They’re able to earn enough change to get some treats and play freely on the playground. An unforeseen accident confirms what Shawn already knows, they aren’t treated the same as everyone else. I can’t wait to read “Dog Bone Soup” to see what happens to the boys. I recommend this short story for children– as well as adults.


DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction): A Boomer’s Journey 

by Bette Stevens

“Dog Bone Soup” is a story told through a boy’s eyes as he grows up in a desperately poor family in the 50’s with an abusive-alcoholic father. Shawn spends time surviving and taking care of his family’s needs, as well as finding time to enjoy life with his brother. I wondered what dog bone soup was and quickly found out it came from Shawn having to get dog bones at the butcher, so his family could eat. Ms. Stevens’ descriptions of the era really pulled me into the story. I loved the relationship between Shawn and his younger brother Willie and the creative ways they found to supply the family with food. It was sad how people treated them and the pride the family had–that ended up hurting them at times. Using an outhouse and having to bring water in each day when everyone else had indoor plumbing was made worse when the father made sure he had electricity for his TV. This was one of many examples of what four children had to endure from a selfish father and a mother struggling to care for her family. A beautifully written coming of age story that I can highly recommend!


If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love 

by Nonnie Jules (Author), Giani Jordan (Author)

This is a beautiful book of poetry with the first half written from the female’s perspective and the second through the male’s. “If Only There was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” does something unique–it tells a story through the poetry. Each poem shows the pain and longing for their forbidden love. I like that the female and male side are written by different authors making it all the more real. The images and rhythm of the words held me captive– reading late into the night. It reminded me just how strong real love is, even at a distance. If you love poetry, like I do, you will love this book!


…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED: A Short Story

by Nonnie Jules

I just finished reading: “If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” the book of poetry that precedes this short story. Instead of going to sleep I had to know how it all ended and immediately started reading “…And the Music Played”. The couple in a forbidden love were both married to other people. Christine in an abusive marriage, and Giani in a loveless one. A murder plot is twisted into this love story nicely with plenty of action. I was drawn in and rooting for Christine and Giani. You can read this well-written short story as a stand-alone, but I recommend you read the book of poetry first.


There will be no blog on June 10th because my husband and I will be celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. It is a weekend trip with our long, long trailer by the ocean! Be back on June 17th!

Watch for special edition blogs on June 5th and 15th!

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

#RRBC Pay it Forward: Karen Ingalls #RWISA #PIF

 

Today’s special blog is all about fellow author and member Karen Ingalls of Rave Reviews Book Club to honor our Pay It Forward day! Karen gives amazing support to fellow authors, along with being an excellent author and person! Her memoir Outshine is the current #RWISA Book of the Month:

Outshine:

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized ho little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality. In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

My 5-star review:

“Outshine” is the journey Ms. Ingalls took when she learned she had ovarian cancer. This is a subject I’d usually avoid because the word cancer scares me, and I’ve seen what it can do to loved ones, but I was surprised how inspired I became as I read it. The author is a nurse who educated herself with all the facts once she learned her diagnosis. She dug deep into her faith and found ways to nourish her soul throughout the process. I loved all the quotes and the positive way she approached a very scary situation for anyone. She got the help back she had provided in her career two-fold. We were with her during her surgery, chemotherapy, when she lost her hair and her daily walks and prayers. I loved how she talked about sending a card and really meaning the message and how much it meant to her at this time. I was impressed how she learned to let her ego go when she lost her hair, how she embraced each day as a gift, and her husband’s unconditional love for her. These are good lessons for us in life whether we are fighting an illness or not. I ended reading this feeling more hopeful and inspired. This is a book for anyone dealing with cancer or any illness, but it is also for anyone who wants and needs to be encouraged. I highly recommend Ms. Ingalls’ book!


Novy’s Son:

From his early childhood, Murray Clark sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Murray struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him.
As an adult, Matthew lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times, did he ever find unconditional love? Would Murray’s high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?

Gwen Plano’s video review:

 


 

Davida:

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though he was married and had a son, he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark. Their love affair lasted over twenty-five years and from which one son was born.

This fictionalized version of a true event is written by their great-granddaughter. It is her intent to bring honor and respect to Davida as a woman who was unconditionally in love with Augustus. Their son, Louis suffered all his life with the label bastard given to him during his childhood and she intends to remove that label. She also wants to bring recognition to the wonderful talent and artistic contributions made by Saint-Gaudens.
In the book the reader will be introduced to some of the great works of art by Saint-Gaudens, the moral values during this Victorian era, and some historical facts.
Mary A. Alder’s review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-told love story. Ms. Ingalls recreates the highs and lows of the long-lasting love affair of a famous sculptor and his beloved model who was forced to remain in the background of his life, even when statues for which she had modeled were introduced to the public. Her touchstone, in a life that was frequently sad, was to follow her heart.

I also enjoyed the scenes where Davida went into the forest where she believed Swedish fairies came to her and helped guide her on her path. I would like to have known her.


karen pic

Karen Ingalls is the author of two novels and an award winning non-fiction book. She enjoys writing from her home office overlooking a lake in Florida.

Ms. Ingalls’s non-fiction book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the the category of women’s health. It was a top three finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.

The purpose of the book is to provide information about this too often deadly disease, and offer hope and inspiration to women and their families. All proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.Davida:Model & Mistress is about the love affair between her great-grandfather Augustus Saint-Gaudens and her great-grandmother Davida Johnson Clark. Very little is known about Davida except her role as a model for many of the sculptor’s famous works. Ms. Ingalls was able to use her imagination in creating the life of Davida. It won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for 2016.

Novy’s Son, The Selfish Genius, is about Murray Clark, who sought love and acceptance from his father, who had been raised as the bastard child of the famous sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. After reading Iron John by Robert Bly, Ms.Ingalls recognized what was missing in her father’s life.

She is a Californian by birth, a Minnesotan in her heart, and a contented Florida retiree. She loves gardening, golfing, and reading, but her real passion is writing.


Thank you for stopping by. Please support Karen by reading one of her fantastic books– if you haven’t already!
Embrace that inner child by reading an indie book!– D.L. Finn

#CoverReveal #NewRelease: “The Alternative” by S.Burke @pursoot My new #Thriller #Anthology. #RRBC #premium_indie #IARTG Now Available for PRE-ORDER.

Please welcome today’s special guest fellow author Suzanne Burke!


Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

 

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date:  Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

To the enormously supportive people who have given of their time to host me today, my grateful thanks.

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology.   “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement.   Here’s my new baby . . .

Presenting The Alternative A Thriller Anthology.

The Alternative BOOK COVER PERFECT AND READY TO GO. SMALLER COPY

 

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

 NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER:

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

 

 

April Book Reviews Bring May…

Shadow of the Drill: Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge

By Rhani D’Chae

 

“Shadow of the Drill” is a story that contains killers, strip clubs, sex, prostitution, torture and rapists. All the characters are bad, but well-written. I found myself wondering if I could find empathy in the main characters: Decker, Rudy and Charlene. As cruel as they were, and as brutal as their actions were, I quickly realized–yes, I could. I was invested in Decker’s relationship with Charlene and her strength to stay by his side fighting to be an equal. Rudy’s long-time friendship and loyalty to Decker was also explored with insight into their past and what event held them together. There were some parts that were so ruthless I had a hard time reading them, but at the same time they were completely honest for these characters. Even with the violence and dark story-line this was a book I couldn’t put down. If you love action with the reality of damaged human beings, this is a story for you.


Thread and Other Stories

by Eric Halpenny 

“Thread and Other Stories” is a short story collection that ranges from historical to science fiction. There are seven stories that I’d have a hard time picking my favorite from because they are so different, but they are all well-written. I was involved in each story with the characters and outcome for different reasons. “Conflict” the tale of two friends in World War 1 was the one that touched me the most with their friendship and the horror of war. In “Thread” I was immediately drawn into the story of two poor orphans and their struggled to survive—I was rooting for them. The most interesting though was the story “Conversation” that was weaved around the other stories in six parts. I thoroughly enjoyed the different genres and the mystery of “Conversation” in this creative collection. I look forward to reading more from this author!


Embrace your inner child read an indie book! D.L. Finn

A Stormy Poem and Book Review!

Spring arrives in over a week. So, I’m sharing my last stormy poem of the wintry season (included in “Just Her Poetry). With the coming of spring, may the storms continue in Nevada City and beyond to ease the drought–and fill our well!


 

IMMERSE

I immerse myself into the storm.

Its power engulfs me,

As it cleans my soul

With a brush of existence.

Ruling firmly without warning,

It is a delicate balance between

What it can give–

And what it can take away.

I connect to this authority

As its wind, rain and snow…

Rule the landscape.

It is the same inside me

With my hidden emotions–

I’m immersed in the rage of the storm.

I wait for the calm,

Safe where I am now.

Soon the sun will shine

My soul will be whole again.

But until then—I welcome…

This healing immersion into the storm.


 

While snow is finally making a comeback, I’ve been reading “The Improbable Journey of Billy Battles” and plan to jump right into “The Hat” next. Here is my book review of “Retaking Pervaiske”:

Retaking Pervaiske (The Army of Orphans #2

by F.B. Veneziano

I loved the first YA book in the “Army of Orphans” series and “The Retaking Pervaiske” takes over where it ended. It follows the plight of the Krisko siblings Alex, Anton, Irina and their army of orphans living in an abandoned underground shelter. It’s eastern Europe and thirty years into the future. The country is at war with itself and they are part of the rebel rebellion. There’s plenty of action with the small band being sent on missions with very real consequences–as the government repression strengthens. More relationships are developed as well as revisiting characters from the first book. My heart can’t help but go out to these brave young adults and children fighting for what they believe in. Although, you could read this as a stand-alone, with the very detailed recap at the beginning, I suggest you read the books in order. I liked how the story starts off with a glimpse into what was coming and then going back to find out how they got there. This kept me reading late into the night, with the only thing slightly slowing me down was the recap of the last book. The ending was sudden, and my first thought was: “no, it can’t end like this!” I eagerly await the third book to find out what happens next to this army of amazing orphans, because I can’t help but love them! I recommend this for young adults and adults, too.


 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

#RRBC Spotlight Author Tour: Gracie Bradford!

I’m pleased to introduce and congratulate #RRBC Spotlight tour author: Gracie Bradford! Her book is on my must read list this year! I hope you will add it to your list, too!


 

As we usher in February 2018 Black History Month, it is fitting to introduce one of Rave Review Book Club Member “up and coming” children book author, Gracie Bradford.

Post6-Author

Her book, June the Prune and Lady Bird – Cancer Stinks tell the story of how the love and attention from June’s beagle sustained her sanity through nine months of searching for an effective treatment for brain cancer in a 10-year old. Can June survive the ordeal?

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Gracie is an avid reader. As a part of black history month recognition, Gracie shared websites that list black authors. Look at these:

Bookbud list of bestselling black authors:

https://media.bookbub.com/blog/2017/02/01/award-winning-books-by-african-american-authors/

 

Amazon best-selling book list of black authors:

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-African-American-literature/zgbs/books/9823

 

A look at children books written by black authors

https://aalbc.com/books/children-list.php

 

Sadly, Gracie said she does not have a memory of any children picture books written by black authors in the 1950s when she was in pre-school. Although, as a child, Gracie recalls a book entitled “Go Tell It On The Mountain” by James Baldwin. She won a trophy in high school from reciting portions of this book in a literary state competition.  At the time, she was unaware of the significance of James Baldwin.

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Another favorite book which eventually was made into an award-winning movie was Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. Gracie said she has seen the movie at least six times and have read the book three times. She insisted that her grandson read the book at a young age and then he was given a chance to see the movie.

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Gracie’s favorite past-time is traveling to see the world.  Would you believe Gracie has traveled to all continents except the Antarctic and she plans to take a trip there in 2019? She informed me that she is going to travel to see all the national parks in the USA in 2018.  Her final travel goal is to travel to see the original seven wonders of the world. This author is on the go.

Gracie revealed that her favorite author of poetry is Edgar Allen Poe. She developed a love for poetry in high school. By reading poetry, it became so much easier to learn music for playing her tenor saxophone in the marching band because she felt the poetry was another form of music. She recalls the many solo competition and trophies she won because of the influence of Edgar Allen Poe. Although she no longer plays the saxophone, she still has the memories.  She said her favorite poem from Poe is Annabel Lee:

https://poestories.com/read/annabellee

One of her favorite quotes from Poe is:

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

From Eleonora.


Expect to see the 3rd book of the Lady Bird series late 2018 addressing Autism.

You can pick up a copy of Gracie’s current books at:

http://amzn.to/2gfLCEJ

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Thank you for stopping by and supporting Gracie!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn