Release Day for “The Hedge Witch & the Musical Poet by M. J. Mallon! @Marjorie_Mallon #newrelease #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #poetry #shortstories #flashfiction #poetrycommunity

I’m excited to have fellow author, M. J. Mallon here today to share the release of her latest book: “The Hedge Witch & the Musical Poet.” I’ve included my review.

Blurb

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beautiful vulnerability of the forest kingdom. It begins with the poetic tale of the kind-hearted Hedge Witch, Fern, who discovers an injured stranger in desperate need of her woodland spells and magic.

The sweet pairing learn from each other and through Fern’s guidance, Devin embraces the power of magic to leave behind his trouble past to become The Musical Poet.

Poetry/flash fiction titles in section one of the collection include:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet, Rain Forest Love, A Forest Baby Boy, A Forest Baby Girl, A Modern Witch, Rock of Mine, Chester Don & I, The Network of Trees, More Trees Not Less, Two Boys Watching War, Mum Climbing Trees, Let’s Play, The Scorched Tree, Owl’s Holiday Home, A Man’s Holiday Home, A Child’s Excitement, The Teddy In The Woods, Run! The Organutans, All Hallow’s Eve Candy Girl The Forest Bash, Dreaming At Halloween, A Face on Bark, Golden Willow Tree, Rainbow – Parasol of Light, Lollipop Sunshine Tree,

In Section two I pay tribute to the following poets: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Ruby Archer, King Forest, Bliss Carman, Woodland Rain, Emily Dickinson, Who Robbed the Woods, Rupert Blake, Stopping by The Woods on A Winter Evening,Oscar Wilde, In the Forest.

With my poetry:

The Forest Weeps, The Forest King, Raindrops and Childhood Dreams, The Woodland Treasures, Winter Woodland Moon, Child Me.

Paperback to follow.

Cover and Formatting by Colleen Chesebro’s marvellous new formatting service, more about that here: https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services/

PURCHASE LINKS:

https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Amazon US Purchase Link

Amazon UK Purchase Link

My Review

A unique and beautifully written collection of poetry and fiction weaved magically together. I love trees and nature, so a forest setting pulled me right in. Section one starts off with “The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet.” A whimsical tale of an injured man, Dale, found by a magical woman, Fern, who takes him in to heal. It was great to see a couple more poetic pieces continue this sweet journey. Section two offered poetry based on some famous poems. The beautiful imagery captivated me throughout this book. I appreciated all the poetry and prose, especially “The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet” but here are more favorites, “Rock of Mine,” “The Forest King,” and “The Scorched Tree.” It was great to see a couple of samples that I enjoyed from “Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose” included. If you love poetry and flash fiction, especially the forest and magic, this is a collection you won’t want to miss. I plan to add the print version to my bookshelves so I can keep enjoying it.

 

Author Bio

MJ’s favourite genres to write are Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories, various forms of poetry and flash fiction. She celebrates the spiritual realm, love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious at her blog home: https://mjmallon.com

She is a reading, blogging and photography enthusiast!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained, and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of lliving and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

MJ writes fantasy/magical realism because life should be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic! Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even it if appears that the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.

AWARDS
The First book in the Curse of Time series Bloodstone has received many fantastic reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and other platforms and was awarded a finalist book award recently from Amazon influencer N. N. Light, receiving a review rating of 5+stars.

Her writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and has also written a spin off poetry collection entitled Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic.) where she continues to celebrate the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

Her eclectic blog shares details and information about her new releases, author interviews, character profiles and her love of reading, reviewing, writing, and photography: https://mjmallon.com/

INDIE PUBLISHED BOOKS

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose, (with photography,) This is Lockdown, (an anthology,) and Lockdown Innit Poems about Absurdity and The Hedge Witch &  The Musical Poet.
http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius
mybook.to/Thisislockdown
mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Next Chapter Publishing

YA Fantasy series,  Bloodstone and Golden Healer in The Curse of Time.
For details of publications please visit:
https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Bloodstone Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW
Bloodstone Audiobook:
UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Bloodstone-Audiobook/B09SK9GFB1/
US: https://www.audible.com/author/M-J-Mallon/B074CGNK4L
Golden Healer Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

 

CONTRIBUTIONS TO VARIOUS ANTHOLOGIES

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse
Moons of Autumn by Colleen

Chesebro (Poetry,) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09DWDMXWK
Poetry Treasures 2 Relationships compiled by Kaye Lynn Booth & Robbie

Cheadle: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK
100 Ways To Write A Book Alex Pearl (proceeds to Pen International.)

Stay Home A year of writing through lockdown – Chantelle Atkins (Chasing
Driftwood Writers Group.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown-/dp/B09HVB6SZ6/

Contributions to Best Selling Horror Anthologies

Nightmareland compiled by Dan Alatorre

“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)

Spellbound compiled by Dan Alatorre

“The Twisted Sisters“ (Short Story)

Wings of Fire compiled by Dan Alatorre

“The Great Pottoo” (Short Story)

Nightmareland: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/

Spellbound: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/

Wings & Fire: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/

Contributions to Ghost Anthologies

Ghostly Rites 2019 compiled by Claire Plaisted “Dexter’s Creepy Caverns“ (Short Story) https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZQV2Y4Q/

Ghostly Rites 2020 compiled by Claire Plaisted  “No. 1 Coven Lane” (Short
Story) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M9HYBLH

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

Linktree: (all my links in one place.) https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Author Blog: https://mjmallon.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mjmallonauthor,

Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

Spiritual Sisters: https:/www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters/

Authors, Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

 

 

 

July Book Reviews Part 1! @harmony_kent @TPolen6 @YouAreTheExpert #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads

Tell me a story: in 99 words

by Annette Rochelle Aben

“Tell me a Story” is an impressive collection of stories that vary from light-hearted to serious subjects. I am always amazed when so much can be packed into 99 words, and Ms. Aben did it well. Each story held my interest, but here are a few that captured my heart: Bedfellow, Daybreak, Eloise, I Wish I May, Knowledge is Power, and Promises Kept. Like the poetry I enjoy from this author, this can be read more than once. A well-written group of tales that has something for everyone that I can easily recommend.

The Insurgent (The Colony #2)

by Teri Polen

I’ve been looking forward to the continuing story of Asher and his friends. “The Insurgent” picks up where “Subject A36” left off without missing a beat. Asher is put in a horrible situation where if he doesn’t do what Silas wants him to, Brynn and his family will be killed. He had no choice but to withdraw into himself and let A36 take over. He becomes the killing machine he was bred to be. The story was fast-paced, yet allowed us to get to know Declan, Brynn, and other characters better. There were some unexpected twists and a deep look into what is really important in life. A society that only places value on the outside of a person and will do anything to get perfection, even if it means killing children, is an unsettling mirror of what could be if vanity comes before anything else. The characters are all flawed and have burdens to carry with them, but that makes it very easy for me to root for the insurgent’s success. This could be a standalone read, but I would start at the beginning, so you don’t miss anything. I loved this book as much as I did the first one and can easily recommend it.

Life & Soul (Book 2: Soul Poetry Series)

by Harmony Kent

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this new collection from Ms. Kent. The first book, “Slices of a Soul,” was woven together into a beautiful story full of emotions and vivid images. “Life & Soul” offered the same narrative of emotions that felt much like I was reading a poetic memoir. Six parts showed powerful glimpses into a life that I could easily relate to. There were so many captivating poems, but here are a few that captured my heart. From Lonely Soul: “Wild and Free,” Brief Soul: “Wonder of new things/I’ve only seen in books/Until now,” Friendly Soul: “Be Yourself,” and many from Loving Soul including: “Lost Property,” and “Unconditional.” The combination of different types of poems flows perfectly into the poetic waves. These are words that are meant to be read over and over. I can highly recommend “Life & Soul.”

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

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

May Book Reviews Part 2! @BalroopShado @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #indieauthors #goodbooks

Pride and Fall

by Staci Troilo

“Pride and Fall” is the third book in the Cathedral Lake Series and follows what happens to Faith and her family, after “Out and About.” Faith Keller has PTSD after losing a sister and being kidnapped. The story immediately starts fast with an event where Faith is thrown into danger. She can barely push her panic and anxiety aside to help those who need help. Her being there, and what is found, puts her on the radar of local cop Carter Emerson, who is determined to figure out what is going on—even at her expense. Wanting to find the truth, he doesn’t listen to the warnings to back off from his friend and co-worker. I was completely sympathetic to Faith, but wished she had reached out for help and advice when she needed it. Carter took me a while to warm up to, especially after knowing what Faith and her family had been through between death and past accusations. A couple of times, I wished he would stop looking into the Keller family, too. He was a well-rounded character that allowed me to feel more than one thing about him. Faith was a victim and someone who needed to grow and heal. The dogs had my heart, especially Carter’s K-9 partner, Max. I may have been able to pick out who not to trust, but not for what I thought. A fast-paced thriller with a strong family dynamic that was very hard to stop reading. I can highly recommend this story and the entire series!


Out and About (The Cathedral Lake Series Book 2)

by Staci Troilo

“Out and About” starts a few years after “Cross and Type” ended. Although Jensen is grown up, he unwillingly returns home at his domineering father’s request. Father and son immediately clash when the two find it hard to communicate. I already had a soft spot for the Keller family because of what they went through losing a daughter/sister and wasn’t sure how I felt about the new family introduced, the Perishes. The one Perish I was rooting for was Bella. She also has an overbearing father and is always trying to please him. Both families are flawed and real with miscommunication, pride, and love. There is a chance meeting between Jensen and Bella at Cathedral Lake that begins a friendship. I love how much Jensen and Bella have in common, including the stubbornness of the fathers. Their differences in their strengths make them a compelling connection. I like how they ended up on opposite sides at one point—or Wade—the man responsible for Jensen’s sister’s death. Both Bella and Jensen’s curiosity about what is going on behind his early release from prison, how they are dealing with their family, and personal issues make this a page-turner. I’m thoroughly enjoying The Cathedral Lake Series and jumping right into book three.


Hues Of Hope: Selected Poetry

by Balroop Singh

“Hues of Hope” is a beautiful collection of poems that examines the hope in life. There are so many wonderful poems that it is hard to pick favorites, but I always connect the most with nature poems. Although all the poetry brought vivid images to me as I read them, here are some examples of the words that moved me. In the poem HOW FRAGILE IS LIFE! I could easily relate since I live where fire danger is very serious: “When you watch helplessly/Mother Nature wreaking havoc/Holding your heart in smithereens/You think of those who couldn’t make it/Reduced to bones and ashes within seconds.” MAGIC captured my heart: “I’ve never believed in magic/Yet I look for it everywhere/In the sunshine that lights/Crevices within me.” A TOUCH offers pure hope: “Her magical, dewy carpet/Carries calm whispers/Her Lilting leaves remind me/Of songs that we sang together.” If you enjoy poetry, as I do, you don’t want to miss this collection. I can easily recommend 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!

UPDATES: I have been working hard re-releasing my Angel & Evildwel books with new covers, and I tidied them up just a bit. Not a big edit, though, just fixing a few things that bothered me. The first two are done, and I will work on the third book this week. I will post a link to them all when I’m done. I’ve been sharing them on Twitter, though.

During this time, I got my current book to my editor. A Voice in the Silence is looking to have a mid-June release date. So, after I finish re-releasing this week, I will be getting ready to release! Whew 🙂 Plus, I helped my daughter format her book, editing is not my skill set, so I wasn’t involved in that part of it, but I did get a beta read in.

I will have more information on next week’s blog as I start making plans for it; I might skip the pre-order this time and do a release and tour. Stay tuned. I’m planning around a vacation too.

I will be sharing my new cover in two weeks! It’s been ready for a while, so that is is something I can commit to 😉

I try to stop by and visit everyone, but I’ve been on the tired side lately. Hopefully, I will be back to my old schedule once I’m through this.

Embrace that inner child by reading a tremendous indie book! D. L. Finn

#TankaTuesday #Poetry #Challenge #265! #ekphrastic #haibun #writingcommunity #poem #hope #poetrycommunity #indiepoetry

Here’s is this week’s Colleen Chesbro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #265. It is ekphrastic which means to write a poem inspired by an image.

This painting was chosen by Colleen and Selma.  Click here to find out why.

Like most, I am deeply affected by the images and stories coming from the Ukraine invasion and this came out in my words. It offers no answers, only a bit of faith and hope.  This is a haibun which is a combination of prose and haiku, or in my case a senryu.

Title: Russian Dancers Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris) Date: 1899 via https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459097

THE LIGHT

The women walk quietly to the field as the war erupts around them. Fields that once held abundant crops were withered death under their comrade’s blood. The cities once teeming with commerce and progress are reduced to rubble, while its people hide underground or fight in the streets. Hope is dim as these women’s voices are raised in song. They begin the sacred dance handed down through the generations for just this moment when hate and fear were the only options. The fighting rages on as their song grows, and a faint sparkle of joy moves into their feet and fills their bodies. They are the light in the darkness.

gift from ancient times

twirls in pink, blue, and yellow

healing dance of love

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Challenge #263, Taste the Rainbow—Green! @ColleenChesebro #writing community #poetrycommunity #poetryChallenge

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Challenge #263.  It’s Taste the Rainbow week and the color is, green. Bonus points if you can write it without saying the color green.

I had a lot of ideas when I thought of green. I ended up with a haibun which is a combination of prose paragraph and a haiku. I’ll be out there dancing until the rains return and fill our lakes and wells:)

LOOK UP

The weather-beaten soil is devoid of life during another dry winter. Even the mushrooms gave up and retreated into the earth while the weeds withered into themselves. The mighty cedars and pines push their roots deeper in search of the life-giving liquid. Hose water provides what the season couldn’t, a lifeline for the thirsty potted plants. A rain dance in the forest becomes a prayer that there will still be the verdant lushness of spring where life burst forth from winter’s silence and offers the world hope.

heavy clouds gather

rain…mother nature’s nectar

bless our wilderness

November Book Reviews Part 1! @MaeClair1 @ColleenChesebro @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #indieauthor #readinglist

Things Old and Forgotten

by Mae Clair

This is a wonderful collection of short stories, each with a unique flavor. The descriptions and images pulled me into each tale’s world. Although I enjoyed all the stories, many stood out including, “Robin of Sherwood,” “Miss Lilly Makes a Wish,” and “Father’s Day.” I loved the twist of a post-apocalyptic Robin Hood and saw all the favorite characters in a new yet familiar role. When Miss Lilly finds a lamp with a genie in it, it’s so much fun. I didn’t expect that ending or how she handled things. Then, in Father’s Day, there was a lot of raw emotion, along with a scenario that completely surprised me. These short stories were hard to stop reading. I had planned on going through the book at a leisurely pace, but found I needed to read just one more story. I highly recommend “Things Old and Forgotten.”


Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

by Colleen M. Chesebro (Author), Jules Paige (Editor)

Word Weaving is a journal created by Colleen M. Chesebro and Jules Paige with chosen contributions from many poets who submitted their poetry. There is a wide variety of formats used within Japanese and American syllabic poetry. The theme of the book was autumn moons, and the poems were grouped together by type. I found once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. It’s an amazing array of talent, so I couldn’t pick or share my favorite lines because there were just too many to choose from. If you love poetry, I highly recommend this collection. I plan to add the paperback to my bookshelf so I can enjoy reading it again.


The SEAL’s Temptation(Wounded Hearts #7)

by Jacquie Biggar

Maggie’s story continues as she recovers from PTSD at Frank’s ranch with her ex-partner, boss, an ex-seal, and wife. There is the budding relationship between Frank and Maggie and the past bond with her partner, Adam, which I enjoyed, along with the missing cows. Then, a man living near the ranch who was recently released from prison added excitement to the story, along with familiar characters from previous books who dealt with their issues back in Tidal Falls. I loved the story, had more than one perspective, and how well it all blended. The characters are well-rounded, and the setting made me feel like I was there with them at the ranch. Although I have gotten attached to all the characters, Maggie has become my favorite. I can’t wait to read Wounded Hearts #8 and see what happens next. I highly recommend this book and 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 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

October Book Reviews Part 1! @YouAreTheExpert @JacqBiggar @CathleenTowns #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #indieauthors #mustread #goodbooks

Son of BOOKU: more halloween haiku

by Annette Rochelle Aben

I’m a huge fan of Halloween and couldn’t pass up a book of Halloween haikus and pictures. Ms. Aben goes into the background of Halloween decorations and her sibling’s part in that. It’s pictures of the displays that are used to inspire the poetry. The poems were clever and had me laughing. Here’s one of them that was paired with a haunting decoration: “I met this vampire/said he hadn’t had a bite/offered him a stake.” This is a quick read to be slowly enjoyed. Reading this book got me into the Halloween mood. If you love poetry and Halloween, this collection is for you.


Summer Lovin’(Wounded Hearts #5)

by Jacquie Biggar

“Summer Lovin” is set in Tidal Falls like the four previous books in the series. Rebecca had a crush on Mitch back in high school. They ran into each other in Las Vegas and ended up married. Rebecca leaves the next morning, and they didn’t stay together. Five years later, they are still married and run into each other again in Tidal Falls. I love how she fights her obvious feelings for him and how Mitch is still there when she needs him. It’s great to see all the wonderful couples from past books and the interest they take in this couple. Although, it’s the side story that captures my heart of a young boy Rebecca runs into at the school she works. His story, and Rebecca’s concern, made this a fantastic read I didn’t want to put down. Another great addition to the Wounded Hearts series, and I can’t wait to move on to the next book!


Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie

by Cathleen Townsend

I started reading this with the plan to read one story before going to sleep, but I ended up reading the entire book instead. I don’t regret the missed slumber. A fantastic collection of short stories that offer a twist on classic stories or a modern take on the classics. I loved them all, but a few favorites were “Dragon Hoard,” “Teenage Driver,” and “Gargoyle.” Some tugged at my heart, others had me laughing, but all made the characters feel real in a fantasy world. A well-written collection that I can highly 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!

NOTE: You might notice a repeat review here today. That’s because these are my regular reviews, and Books That Changed Me is a special blog where books get showcased.

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

 

September Book Reviews Part 4! @bakeandwrite @1rburkey @EnigmaSeries @KIngallsAuthor @wandalu64 #bookreviews #writingcommunity #whattoread #indieauthors

Behind Closed Doors

By Robbie Cheadle

“Behind Closed Doors” is a unique assortment of symbolic, free and rhyming verse that creatively show us what is hidden behind one of those closed doors. Plus, I loved seeing some of the beautiful fondant cake art. Some poems moved me while others had me thinking, but all touched on an emotion. The tankas may have been my favorites, but I enjoyed them all. Here are a few favorite lines. “as she danced, unfettered/in her own, glittering world/The stars gave her hope/allowed her to soar….” “Desperately, she peers through the dimness. An assorted array of items drift past her….” “Gratefully she sinks/Into sleep’s loving embrace/Thoughts gently unfurl/Reorganising themselves/Answer revealed in sweet dreams,” and “The crimson rose/Stands tall and alone/A stately queen….” A great glimpse into current events through a poetic eye. This is a poetry collection I recommend.


Out Of Poland

by Rox Burkey  & Charles Breakfield

“Out of Poland” is a fast-paced short story set in 1939 during the fall of Poland. The story paralleled with the confusion of the invasion as three young men were tasked to obtain something called “Baby” from the Germans. Although there wasn’t a chance to learn about all the characters, there was a chilling insight into this moment in history. I couldn’t put this story down, and my heart was racing at the end. I knew what would happen to the country, yet I couldn’t help but root for their success. This is a great short story for history buffs and those who like to root for the heroes.


 

Learning About Autism: One Mother’s Journey of Discovery and Love: A Charter School, Teaching Methods, & Resources 

by Karen Ingalls

“Learning about Autism” is not only a great resource of information but inspiring. Carol and Allen Tucker are almost empty nesters after raising their two children. They decide to adopt a special needs child into their family, Justin, who is dealing with cerebral palsy and autism. Later, they add Joshua, who has down syndrome. The book details how they loved and helped these boys and covered Carol’s path to opening her school for autism. I learned a lot reading this and came away with more understanding of the challenges and gifts raising and advocating for these boys. There is plenty of help and knowledge, but there is also an amazing example of love. This is a great book that I recommend for those looking for advice and those who want to be inspired and understand.


Hayley the Halloween Cat and the Search for Bitty the Bat

by Wanda Luthman, Author, and Mara Reitsma, Illustrations

In our house, we love all things Halloween. So, when it was time to buy my soon-to-be five-year-old granddaughter a book, I had to get this one. Hayley, the black kitten, is searching for her friend, Bitty, the bat. It’s a few hours before Halloween Evening, and she can’t find him anywhere. There are adorable illustrations that were colorful and brought Halloween to life without making it scary. The rhyming added a pleasant flow and made it fun to read aloud. The story shows a great friendship and a nice surprise. As I always do, I read and review “Hayley the Halloween Cat” before wrapping it up. I know I’m going to enjoy reading this with my granddaughter many times over.


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: You’ve seen my weekly poetry challenges from Colleen Chesebro here. Well, Colleen and Jules are putting out a book on 10-1-21, Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse. It has a lot of poets who contributed; myself included. I picked up my pre-order. If you like poetry, I have a feeling this will be a must-read.

Here’s the LINK

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

September Book Reviews Part 1! @sgc58 @WordDreams #WritingCommunity #BookReviews #WhatToRead

Laws of Nature Book CoverLife is Like a Mosaic by Sally Cronin Book Cover

Life is like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony

by Sally Cronin

“Life is like a Mosaic” is a book of poetry that offers images to add to the journey. I have always loved the mixture of pictures and words, and this collection is a delightful blend of that. I like how honest and insightful the poems are with various subjects that take daily life into a deeper realm. Here are a few of my favorite lines: “defies monochrome hues/with a splash of colour/softening their/harshness,” “Clarity as the memories cascade/tumbling down the precipice of time/as if the floodgates have opened,” “The moon/hangs in the sky/lighting the earth at night,” “Sit/serene/with wise thought/and let them drift,” “Nature’s young frolic in the sun/under blossom topped tree/celebrating/new life,” and “Washed up/are words that haunt.” A thoughtful collection that I can highly recommend for poetry lovers.


Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2)

by Jacqui Murray

I loved the first book of “Dawn of Humanity” and had been eager to read this story. This engaging read followed two groups, split apart in the last book, trying to find each other. The most interesting was the character following these two groups and the one who joined up with him. When reading, I was completely drawn into the story down to saying “ick” when they ate their raw meat or sucked the marrow out of a bone. The attention to detail and amount of research is amazing, including how they communicated, groomed, interacted, and traveled. Lucy’s group shows an inclusion that is inspiring and relevant, especially in modern times. I appreciated a strong female character who applied logic to dangerous situations. I can’t wait for the next book and highly recommend “Laws of Nature!”


Born in a Treacherous time (Dawn of Humanity)

by Jacqui Murray

I have read and loved the Crossroad Series by Ms. Murray and have been eager to read this series. When the second book came out, I rushed to get started. Lucy and her journey immediately pulled me in. After leaving her first group, she finds a home and a new pair mate. Within this group, there is jealousy and distrust, but the most important thing is their survival. The amount of research and thought that went into this story amazed me. I could easily imagine how it was to live in their prehistorical times. I’m very glad that we found a way to control fire and cook our food. Their eating habits and being scavengers were so detailed and well-written that they made me shudder as they tore into their meal. Although everyone didn’t appreciate Lucy, her strength kept her and those around her going. As the group shifts and changes, so does the world around them. I dove right into the second book when I finished this one. I highly recommend this!


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! D. L. Finn

August Book Reviews Part 1!@YvetteMCalleiro @BalroopShado @W_Angels_Wings #BookReviews #MustRead #BooksToReadThisSummer #indieauthors #writingcommunity

Mad Max & Sweet Sarah(Greek Mythology Fantasy Series #3)

by Ellie Collins

Max leaves his home in Hawaii and goes to Seattle to spend the summer with a father he doesn’t know and a place he doesn’t want to be. He agrees to stay for at least two weeks and work at the local pool as a lifeguard. His younger half-sister, Sarah, is determined to forge a relationship between them and convince him to spend the entire summer there. Max quickly makes a friend who has some strong opinions about family and people. Although this is a fast read, it dives nicely into good communication and judging others. Like the other two books, Greek Mythology was woven into the story and brought new insight into developing situations. This is a great read for children with some good lessons that I also enjoyed.


Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

by Balroop Singh

“Slivers: Chiseled Poetry” is another amazing collection of poetry by Ms. Singh. The poetry is based on the Japanese forms of Haiku and Tanka, and Acrostic poems. They are short but packed with a lot of emotion and images. Although it was hard to choose, here are just a few of my favorites. “full moon still lingers/trees delight in divine light/blissful spectacle,” “where two hills meet/clouds hide and seek/river watches calmly,” “we fly on the waves of whim/when our dreams get wings/ clouds crumble to comply,” “when we try to cage/each precious moment of life/harmony edges away,” “celestial confetti/that fell on me mesmerized./magical messages,” “far into the woods/we wander in quest of calm/which lies within us,” “I wrote my song on the wind/I know that it touches you gently/when you step out/I know you can hear its melody/deep within your pining heart,” “Her skirts are dark/She rides on the billowy clouds/Love in her eyes/could move the horizon/A thread binds her to eternity,” “Dream/Dauntless we walk into the Realms of our choice, Enamored by the hues of hallow, Accentuated by ardent yearning of accomplishing a Myriad ideas that mentor our journey.” I loved this collection and highly recommend it!


The One Chosen: A Diasodz Short Story (Chronicles of the Diasodz)

by Yvette M Calleiro

I’m a fan of the Chronicles of the Diasodz Series. So, when I learned there was a short story related to it, I couldn’t wait to read it. Valerie leaves home to train to be a Diasodz warrior. She is immediately taken with one of her instructors, Nolan, but he doesn’t appear to be interested in her. I don’t want to give too much away, but another Diasodz is interested in Valerie. I love the characters and how Valerie adapts outside of the strict dress code of the 1600s as she explores a new world with one of her instructors.  The settings are vivid, especially in the forest. The friendships and budding relationships develop at a nice pace while the monsters are terrifying. Some moments made me smile, and others had me worried they wouldn’t survive. It’s a fantastic short story that can be read on its own, but I highly recommend reading the series to learn more about this amazing world Ms. Calleiro created.


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 summer child! Read a book 🙂 D. L. Finn