November Book Reviews Part 2! @teagangeneviene @maurabeth2014 @LyndaMFiller #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread

A Peril in Ectoplasm: Just Once More

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

“A Peril in Ectoplasm” is a paranormal thriller that centers on a rich spiritualist, Daphne, and is set in the roaring twenties. Daphne is engaged to a Cuban Count whose intentions toward her are very sketchy. He is a character that was created to dislike, and I did! During a séance, Daphne is warned she needs to find someone but is given little clues other than an image with eyes. Her life may depend on locating this person. Being a medium has taken its toll on Daphne, but her fiancé pushes just one more time. The settings immersed me in Florida in the 1920s and the search for the person offered little clues that came nicely together. It was the fight between the good and bad that had me unable to put the story down. I loved the relationship between Daphne and her protective housekeeper, while I kept hoping Daphne would really see the man in front of her. This was a well-written story that I can easily recommend.

I’ll Be Right Back

by Maura Beth Brennan

“I’ll Be Right Back” is a short but satisfying read. Warren’s much younger wife, Iris, takes her dog for a walk in a snowstorm. He later finds the dog, Petal, in the garage, but no sign of Iris. After he gets no help from the police or family, he sets out to find her. A quick-paced story that took a couple of turns that I didn’t expect. There is a man in love, an ex-exotic dancer, a surprising twist, and a cute dog that kept me entertained. I can easily recommend this story, especially if you want an engaging tale that can be finished before bed or as an afternoon read.

Destiny’s Daughter: It was the best of times.

By Lynda Filler

“Destiny’s Daughter” is Ms. Filler’s third memoir and focuses mainly on her current Istanbul journey and relationships. I have read the two previous memoirs and have always been inspired by the author’s insights, and her latest book didn’t disappoint. It read like she was sharing her diary with us. Some of the information was repeated in a way that felt like processing and bringing to the front what was essential to her. I thoroughly enjoyed the history and learning more about a city I know little about. There is the honesty of personal struggles and triumphs. Being a cat lover, I was happy to see the felines treated so well in this city while reading about the Russian War ships passing by brought chills. You can easily enjoy this without reading her past books since she gives a glimpse into her history. A book that shows that you can do anything at any age while sometimes you have to deal with the past at unexpected times. A fantastic read for those who love to be a part of someone’s candid journey through life.

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

October Book Reviews Part 3! @WriterMSmith @Virgilante @NoFacilities #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads

The Power of Love 

by Marlena Smith

Scarlet is on the run from her past. She ends up in a charming little Montana town but hides away in an old, abandoned house while enjoying her new freedom. She is slowly pulled out of her protective shell when she runs into a town resident. Scarlet’s story slowly unfolds, and I couldn’t help rooting for her. I love the relationships she develops as she rediscovers what has been lost. This is a town and people I’d love to be a part of. A heartwarming short story about second chances if only the past doesn’t ruin it. I can easily recommend this!

The Midnight Rambler (The Hat Book 6)

by C. S. Boyack

“The Midnight Rambler” was another fun addition to the Hat Book Series. Lizzie and the Hat run into some crazy fruit at a roadside stand. This is when Hat realizes his old enemy is after him. The flood they had to deal with creates an obstacle when their time is limited to find this clever monster while trying to save Lizzie’s friend, Ray. I could feel the cold water sloshing through Lizzie’s slippers and her concern for her friends. The relationship between Ray and Lizzie added another layer to the story and created extra tension in the hunt for where Hat’s enemy had Ray’s creator. The Midnight Rambler was always one step ahead and seemed to enjoy a good hunt, but that never stopped their search. A mystery to solve with all the humor, music, and danger blended nicely with every day worries. The ending has me looking forward to the next story. Although this is a perfect Halloween read, it can be enjoyed any time of the year.

The Evil You Choose

By Daniel Antion

I enjoyed “Knuckleheads” and was excited to see where the story went next. Blessed with unusual gifts, Zach and Billy are now adults and Zach is enjoying retirement. An FBI agent contacts Zach with a proposition that unfortunately he can’t refuse. Zach is unwillingly thrust into a world of criminals on both sides, and there is no one to trust but family. Zach must figure out how to protect himself and make sure they don’t find out about Billy. I found it interesting how Zach navigated with the help of Billy in dealing with not only the FBI, but the man they wanted to put in jail. The direction Zach took, along with a few twists, kept me guessing how it would all turn out. There is a wonderful and supportive relationship between Zach and his daughter, brother and Billy that balance all the corruption that surrounds him. Zach’s gifts had me wishing for a good night’s sleep for him. An exciting read for those who enjoy a thriller with the depth of family relationships and a criminal element weaved in.

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 a unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

UPDATES:

I have a couple of vacations coming up. The first one is October 20-24th. I will be going to Disneyland & Universal with my youngest daughter, Danielle. My monthly newsletter will be a few days late because of this or coming out late on the 24th and there will be no weekly blog here on October 24th & 31st .

Then, I will be around for a few days and off a week starting October 29th to hang out with the hubby. I’ll be back November 7th with a new book review post.

In the middle of all this I’m excited to be hosting a guest you won’t want to miss on October 27th.

I will wish you an early Happy Halloween here and post photos as I can on Instagram.

Embrace your beautiful inner soul by reading a book! D. L. Finn

July Book Reviews Part 3 and Updates! @KimCoxAuthor @F_Glass_Author @DevaWhispers @teagangeneviene #whattoread #bookreviews #mustreads

Fe-Lines, a journal with feline quotes

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I was excited to see a journal with cats and cat quotes. I am always looking for places to record my poetry, so being a cat-lover, I quickly bought this journal. “Fe-Lines” would also be a good place to write about your health, emotions, or cat interactions. I loved all the quotes and a picture every few pages. I appreciated a place to put my positive thoughts and at the end, there were pages to write about your own cat if you chose to do so. There are a lot of options with this fun little journal. If you are a fan of cats and love journals, this would be the perfect fit for you. I know I’m going to enjoy using it!

Its May and the Lilacs are Blooming

by Elaina Deva Profitt

Elaina Deva Profitt comes from a family of gifted people. They kept it secret until she started using these gifts to help others in a more public way. This is a beautiful autobiography that not only shows her journey through helping the police and people crossing over, but her own personal struggle with a health issue. I admit to being stressed worrying about her health as it got worse and worse. Logically, I knew she had to survive to write this, but I just wanted her pain to go away and doctors figure out what was wrong with her. The friendships she made were inspiring as well as the help offered to so many. It was an excellent lesson when she took the help offered back to her, but it was the near-death experience that really touched me. Her description of pure peace reminded me of a similar experience I had. She described it better than I ever could and takes all the fear out of crossing over when it is our time. If you are interested in people with special abilities and what comes after we go, this is a good read for you and one I won’t soon forget.

Got Ghosts

by Fiona Glass

“Got Ghosts” is a fun novella set in an old, haunted house. Emily has been struggling to make ends meet when she gets a call from a TV show, “Got Ghosts.” They offer her money to film an episode in her haunted house, and she reluctantly accepts. Although she doesn’t really want to share “Grandpa” with anyone. There is a lot of humor, and she starts off being attracted to the producer, Carl, but something seems off with the show. It was a fun spoof on ghost shows, but the story is firmly rooted that there really are ghosts, and Emily talks to them. There are a few fun twists and new relationships to explore. A quick read that I devoured in one sitting, and I was happy with the outcome.

Christmas Cruise (Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series Book 4)

by Kim Cox

I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, so I was eager to read this one with a Christmas theme. Lana and her husband are taking a cruise to relax. Of course, ten ghosts have other ideas about that. Lana is immediately drawn to a woman and befriends her while the ghosts push for answers. Ten murders in ten years is a mystery that needs to be solved. It was brutal when Lana had a painful experience with one ghost. She fully relives the ghost’s last moments, but there is also humor infused into the story. This was a quick-paced read that centered less on the holiday and more on the murders. Although I was glad the ghosts could make themselves heard and found that part of the story fascinating, I wanted to know more about them and their stories. Lucy makes a much-needed appearance while Lana reaches out for help over the seas. I loved the cruise setting and figuring out who the killer was. I enjoy how Lana works with ghosts and will be reading more of the series.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right to leave a review in that case. Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

UPDATES: I had a nice vacation which included a wedding in the redwoods, a spa day in Reno, swimming at the lake, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 🙂 The rest of the time was spent clearing bush to hopefully satisfy our insurance company. There are pictures posted on Instagram, and a few on Facebook.

Outside is where I had some run-ins with some tiny forest dwellers.

The week before vacation I got bit by a huge black widow. She was just hanging out right by where I turned on our water to water the potted plants outside. I mean inches next to my face and where my shoulder was. Luckily, I didn’t have too bad of a reaction, only some local pain and stomach issues the next day. I was fine just in time for our vacation. She spent the rest of the day after biting me, just suspended in mid air—unmoving. Since, the black widow didn’t do more damage to me, my husband set her free. Luckily many of these bites don’t require a doctor’s visit. There were hourly check ups to make sure I was okay.

Sunday finishing up our clearing of brush, I was raking the rest of the debris and being mindful of any spider webs when I apparently stepped on a hornet’s nest. I got stung on the back of each ankle and was chased all the way to the house. My husband fought the angry bee off as I made it safely inside. Still on the painful side, and have concluded I will be staying indoors for a bit…lol. I have only been stung a couple times before this, so I will remember this one and watch my step!

Black widows and angry bees are two of my least favorite things.

Back to writing for me, perhaps this is a gentle nudge to get started on that book, I’ve been thinking about?

My newsletter was late because of vacation. If you are subcribed check your email.

I won’t try to catch up on all the blogs I’m sorry to miss, but doing that cancels all the rest I managed during my break.

I have a one-day blog tour end of this week though Silver Dagger Blog Tours. I’m curious to see how that goes. Also, I’m thrilled to be visting a blog on the 29th. I will post more information that day.

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

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

The Scarlet Ribbon

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

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


Welcome to Charm

by Tonya Penrose

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


Terror on Sunshine Boulevard

by J.Q. Rose

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


UPDATES:

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

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


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

A Voice in the Silence Trailer Debut! #writingcommunity #paranormal #ghosts #labexperiments #animals

I’ve been working on getting the blogs and banners ready for the release in nine days. I also put a video together in Canva. So much easier than how I used to make them.

I will post blog links here. I have three starting June 8th, and then a week break. We start up right again on June 20th.

Here’s the video’s premier:

Pre-Order Amazon Link US

Pre-Order Amazon UK

Before you go, check out my You Tube Page.

I will be updating the Angel & Evildwel Series video’s soon 🙂

Next week is book reviews.

Note:

There was a mistake in the video, so I had to take it down and put up the corrected one. I made a name change right before I uploaded my book to Amazon and I forgot to make the change here. Adam Williams went to Adam Hale. Sorry for any confusion! 

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

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

The Bone Wall

by D. Wallace Peach

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


Mateo’s Blood Brother

By Sandra Cox

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


Panama

by C.S. Boyack

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


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

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!

 

October Book Review Part 3! @Dwallacepeach @stacitroilo @jlbryanbooks #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads

Socerer's Garden Book Cover

The Sorcerer’s Garden

by D. Wallace Peach

Madlyn loses her job, but quickly finds one where she reads to a young man, Cody, who is in a vegetative state after an accident. After running out of things to read to him, she finds a fantasy book he’d been working on and starts reading that. This is where reality and fantasy blur. I could relate to Madlyn and her confusion with what was happening, plus all the strange hints the grandma threw at her. Both beautiful and dark settings, along with poetic images, drew me deep into this story. I loved Madlyn’s developing relationship with not only Cody but his brother Dustin. My favorite parts were when the book was being read. Greed, evil, and power crossed both worlds and mirrored many current issues. This was a clever intertwining of fantasy within reality that took Madlyn, and others, on a journey that came out in a place that made sense. A fantasy story that I can easily recommend. Five-Stars!


Valuable Treasures

by Staci Troilo

Having read and loved the Medici Protectorate Series, I was thrilled to see there was a short story prequel to it. Ottavio and a very pregnant Anita are trying to find the American Dream in the Colorado mountains. Ottavio puts in long hours with little to show for it. One day he comes home with an unexpected find right as Anita goes into labor. They hope to be able to use this to go back to Italy, but things quickly change. This is beautifully written, and I could feel the hardship they had endured, including down to the detail of their poor diet. What happens next is heartbreaking, but then comes a relief to see a familiar group. This can be a standalone read, but I highly recommend the following books in the Medici Protectorate Series. Five-Stars!


Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper

(Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1)

by J.L. Bryan

Ellie professionally removes unwanted ghosts from buildings. She’s teamed up with a newbie partner, Stacey, on a new case. A ghost haunts a family trying to renovate an older house and make it into a Bed and Breakfast. There is a lot of detail that goes into ghost hunting and the ghost makes an appearance quickly in the story. What seems like a normal haunting has many more layers to it. The in-house investigation was scary, but I felt my heart race when they visited an old asylum. I would have been terrified to have been with them. I like the relationship that develops between Ellie and Stacey as we slowly get to know them. This haunted house held my attention and had an unexpected twist. A good start to a ghost series with a likable main character. This is for anyone who enjoys a ghost story with ghost trappers involved. Four-Stars.


For the next two weeks, I will be doing my personal short story challenge with new words, faith & effervescent—and their images.


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!

Read a great book and embrace your inner child! D. L. Finn

August Book Reviews Part 2! @teagangeneviene @pamelawight @RobertaEaton17 #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Ghost and His Gold

by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Michelle and Tom moved into a house that had once been the home of a Boer family. During their housewarming party, they played with a Ouija board and innocently opened the door to the past. From that night forward, three ghosts stayed and changed their lives, sometimes in terrifying ways. There was now a soldier from each side and one soldier’s daughter, Estelle, sharing the house with the couple. The past was my favorite part of the story, and Estelle’s narrative was riveting and heartbreaking. The storyline leads to why the ghosts wanted to be heard. This is a fantastic historical fiction with so much incredible detail mixed in with the current timeline where the past can be resolved. I learned a lot about South African history and applauded the author for how realistically the war was presented. If you love historical fiction mixed with a modern paranormal timeline, you will enjoy this read.


Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary

by Pamela Wight

“Flashes of Life” is a charming collection of real-life tales. Ms. Wight shares micro-stories that are broken into eight sections and come from all stages of her life. Each one is a quick read that touches on everyday life. I could relate to each story. I found myself shaking my head in agreement with some of these tales, and a couple had me laughing out loud. I appreciated the gratitude weaved in, and it left me pondering on my blessings. The well-crafted writing brought me into Ms. Wight’s world, and I felt like I was sitting next to her on the beach, talking about life. A fantastic glimpse into the world of a daughter, mother, wife, friend, and grandmother. I highly recommend reading about these extraordinary ordinary tales!


Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Journey 7 begins with a prologue that is pivotal to “Revenant Pass.” It not only explained what happened, but what is possible. I love how the reader gets to view the world through the evil eyes of Arawn for a bit. It offered an insight as to what the Deae Matres are dealing with. The group is still trapped in Realm of the Dead, and Emlyn is drawn to explore. This dark world is described beautifully in its chilling drabness. The group’s will to survive captures my attention while I’m rooting for them. I can’t wait to see where the next installment goes, and I’m enjoying my journey!


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 sweet inner child by reading a good book this summer! D. L. Finn

April Book Reviews @mhurdle112 @julieholmes2k13 @JennySundstedt @aprilataylor @startrailsIV @Jinlobify @JacqBiggar @Nicholas_Rossis

I read several short stories over the last few weeks, so there are more book reviews than normal:

A Heaven For Toasters: A Sci-Fi Crime Romance set on the Greek Islands

by Nicholas C. Rossis

I admit the quirky book title drew me in, but it’s the story that quickly made this a page-turner. Mika is a detective in the future and on a date in the Greek Islands. She runs into her new partner a handsome “AI” named Leo at an art exhibit. After a fight with her date, he leaves, and things go downhill quickly from there. I loved Leo “the Toaster” and his developing relationship with Mika. Not only is there action and a mystery to solve, but there are also questions brought up about what defines existence and life. I highly recommend this thought-provoking sci-fi romantic thriller.


Skating on Thin Ice (The Men of Warhawks #1)

by Jacquie Biggar

I’m a huge fan of hockey, mystery, and romance–“Skating on Thin Ice” had it all. I loved the little details weaved into the story about hockey, but it was the characters and story that held my interest. The storyline drew me right in, and I ended up finishing it in one sitting.  Mac took a hit during a game right before the playoffs and Samantha was assigned to help him recover. I loved the sparks between Mac and Sam and the danger that surrounded them. A quick paced story with a few surprises I wasn’t expecting. I thoroughly enjoyed this and toss my (Sharks) hat to the author. I will be reading the next book in the series.


VAGARIES OF LIFE AND: GIRLS’ TALK

by Joy Lo-Bamijoko

“Vagaries of Life and: Girls’ Talk” is an entertaining collection of short stories. I enjoyed the strong female characters that provided wonderful examples of bravery and faith. Some of the stories were set in Nigeria, which pulled me in. There were many different subjects including murder, kidnapping, mystery, faith, robbery, and relationships. Each story had a lesson weaved into it. “You Will Die if you Scream” left a chill behind because it could very well happen. This book was uniquely written, and I was invested in the outcome of each story. If you like learning about new cultures, resilient women, and inspirational themes, this is for you.

 


The Sapphiran Agenda (Star Trails Tetralogy)

by Marcha A. Fox

I loved “The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51.” So, I was excited to read this short prequel to the story with Thyron the intelligent, mobile plant with telepathic abilities and a quick wit. Thyron is a favorite character of mine. In this well-written short story, he’s stuck on the planet Sapphira with a race of pygmies that worships his kind as gods. He gets a chance to leave or to rescue a human trapped on another planet, so he takes it. There are a few twists and turns in this story that kept me deeply engaged. “Beyond the Hidden Sky” is next on my list to read from this amazing author. I highly recommend this short prequel that can be enjoyed as a standalone.


Death Song of the Sea (Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales #2)

by April A. Taylor

This is a well-written short story set on the Ireland coast. Aileen only has her father after having lost the rest of her family to the ocean. She finally learns her father’s secret and embraces it. She still yearns for her true love to find her. A shipwreck brings her this love, but it comes with a price. I enjoyed the magic, ocean, and love in this tale. I highly recommend this story of love and the consequences of doing anything for it.


Vasilisa the Terrible: A Baba Yaga Story (Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales #1)

by April A. Taylor

I loved this well-written short story.  Vasilisa was beautiful and beloved by everyone, while Yaga was old and disliked. The twist in this tale was who the good person was between the two women. It’s a cautionary tale of looking beneath the surface and what’s inside. I enjoyed how it ended. This is a new author to me, and I will be reading more from Ms. Taylor!


When The Wolf Comes

By JENNY SUNDSTEDT

 Dana is a popular nurse in the ER. A woman she went to school with was admitted after an attack that Dana helped treat. Questions arise about who did it. The husband acts oddly, and the homeless man tells Dana strange things. Dana wisely avoids the area where the attack occurred. During this, she is questioning her relationship and her next step in life. I loved the setting and Dana’s interactions. It was well written, and I was pulled into the story quickly. Yet, there was no resolution at the end, because the story continues into a book. I will have to read the book now to find out what happens.


Songs of Heartstrings

by Miriam Hurdle

This is a collection of poems, photographs, and drawings that tell stories from Ms. Hurdle’s life. They include sitting in nature, giving birth, death, illness, and loss. Faith and being a survivor are strong themes throughout “Songs of Heartstring.” My favorite part was when the poetry connected to nature, but all the poems were heartfelt and lyrical. The tribute to the author’s parents was touching, along with the loss of a friend. The glimpse into dealing with cancer was inspiring. Although this was a quick read, it’s full of depth and can be enjoyed more than once. This is a book that poetry lovers will enjoy.


Murder in Plane Sight

by Julie Holmes

I’ve been waiting for Ms. Holmes debut novel and wasn’t disappointed! I love a good mystery, but along with that, there was romance and a strong female character. Sierra being an airline mechanic was fascinating and I enjoyed learning some of the details of what goes into keeping a plane flying. Those elements really brought Sierra to life for me, along with the burdens she carried from her past. The detective, Quinn, who was investigating the murder, was flawed from a past relationship. His determination to find the truth, even with his attraction to Sierra, made for an interesting internal conflict. I liked the chemistry between Sierra and Quinn, but I kept hoping they would take better care of themselves–sleep more. To find out what would happen next, I’d stay up way past my bedtime and end up being just as tired as the characters. I look forward to the next book in this series and recommend this new author.


Watch for a special edition blog this week!

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