January Book Reviews Part 1! @harmony_kent @LGauffreau #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #readersoftwitter

The Bubble Reputation

By Alex Craigie

“The Bubble Reputation” is a chilling read showing the dark side of social media and news. Emmie has it all. She is a successful children’s author, on a show, happily married, and close to her parents. After she wins an award, things change after a fabricated story is posted about her to increase profits. She tries to let it pass, but the anger and outrage directed at her take on a life of its own. Her reputation is ruined, and there isn’t a shortage of people, including a family member, trying to make money off it. She was a character with whom I felt her pain as her life spun out of control. She quickly found out who had her back and who wanted to see her downfall. I loved the relationship between her and her husband and her parents. This story was a dire warning of what can happen when an editor and journalist decides they can say whatever they want about another human, regardless of the consequences. The sad part was how a portion of her young reader’s parents quickly believed whatever they read about Emmie, and from there, it spiraled out of control. A quick read that I couldn’t put and can easily recommend.

Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance

By Elizabeth Gauffreau

A beautiful collection of family history that Ms. Gauffreau paired personal photographs with a tanka poem to bring history to life. “Grief Songs” is a tribute to the author’s parents and brother and their life together. It reads like a memoir that vividly transports the reader to the past through images and words. It is a quick and moving read that shares moments in time. This is a compelling reminder that even though we lose our loved ones, our journey with them is never forgotten. I can easily recommend this book to those who enjoy poetry and memoirs.

 

Sorrowful Soul: Book 3 in the Soul Poetry Series

By Harmony Kent

I have read and enjoyed the first two books in this series. I was looking forward to reading this collection, yet I worried it would be a heavy read. Instead of heavy, it was powerful. The free verse poetry told a story with vivid images and emotions that explored loss. Arranged by the seven stages of grief, the words painted a picture of the expected feelings during the process. All of us face a loss at some point in our lives, leaving us to deal with it in our own way. This book lets us know it’s okay to be in denial, sad, or angry at a situation out of our control. In the end, hope peeked through, offering a new road to take once we journey through our grief and hopelessness. For those who can’t see that light, Ms. Kent offered some valuable information for those who might need someone to talk to. This is a must-read for those who love emotional poetry that provides understanding and healing.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

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

BOOKS THAT CHANGED ME—2022 WINTER EDITION! @Sandra_Cox @JanSikes3 @LBroday #whattoread #MUSTREADS #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #mustread

The landscape has been illuminated with snow that clung to the trees for several days in an icy chill. The days have grown shorter, but that only means more time to read.

I’ve read a lot of books this year, over 100 again, which I will share in January. However, reading that many good books make it hard to narrow my list of favorites each season.  The books I post here have entertained me and found their way into my heart. It’s why I call my favorites “Books that Changed Me.” Because when you read a great story, it doesn’t go away once you close the book. It stays around, lingering in your thoughts and heart.

I offer three beautiful books and a heartwarming Christmas story you don’t want to miss. You might remember them from my reviews.

In no particular order, here they are:

 

Fairies, Myths, & Magic II: Book 2: A Winter Celebration

By Colleen M. Chesebro

BLURB

In this second book in the Fairies, Myths, & Magic series, step into a world where dark fairies and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by winter and the celebration of the winter solstice.

From autumn’s scary fairies to the forgotten female characters of Yule, prepare to embrace the magical winter solstice myths from around the world. Meet Frau Holle in the Wild Hunt, Befana—the Christmas Witch of Italy, and the Japanese goddess Ameratasu who controls the springtime. Prepare to embrace the Scottish trows, the Irish Goddess of Winter—the Cailleach Béara, and Snegurochka—the Snow Girl.

Learn how to make Yuletide rituals part of your celebration by embracing the symbols of Yule by decorating with evergreens and crystals.

US AMAZON LINK

UK AMAZON LINK

Saddled Heart (The White Rune Series Book 3)

By Jan Sikes

BLURB

Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary. He lives an idyllic life, between caring for the animals and playing music with his band. That is until a stranger appears with unreasonable demands. When someone murders the man, Colt is arrested. He’s been framed, but by whom and why?
He needs to talk with his deceased grandfather. But that’s impossible. Or is it?
Sage Coventry is gifted with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Skeptical but desperate, when Colt consults with her, he gets more than messages from beyond the grave as she breezes into his heart with sweet patchouli fragrance and tempting lips he longs to kiss.
The race against time to clear his name and save the ranch launches them on a mission that brings shocking revelations.

US AMAZON LINK

UK AMAZON LINK

Geller’s Find

By Sandra Cox

BLURB

It’s summer break and Dr. Luke Geller, history prof and part-time archeologist is in Nevada looking for potsherds. What he discovers is an antique rifle and a portal in time.
Touching an ancient piece of Chiastolite crystal, the earth rumbles, the skies darken and the ground opens. He’s hurled straight to the core of the earth then shot back up and spewed out.
When he stumbles to his feet, he finds himself where he began. Same, yet different. There are no winding roads. No parking lots. No cars. No town with bright lights in the distance. Only Lily Winter Tremaine, an angry young woman pointing a gun at him, demanding he hand over her rifle.
All thoughts of primitive pottery disappear as Luke finds himself fighting alongside three young women trying to hold onto their ranch against a dangerous scoundrel who intends to have the ranch by whatever means possible. Then there’s the little fact that Luke’s mightily attracted to the young woman he’s working for. A woman old enough to be his great-great granny. And Miss Lily Winter Tremaine does not figure into any of tenured professor Luke Geller’s lesson plans.

US AMAZON LINK

UK AMAZON LINK

 

A Heartwarming Christmas Read

Hope‘s Angel

By Linda Broday

BLURB

Christmas? It’s nothing to celebrate and brings memories of everything he seeks to forget.

When a horrendous accident leaves Jericho Cane disfigured, he retreats to the dark refuge of his childhood home. People label him a monster, a phantom. Only while the town sleeps can he find courage to venture out and seek solace in midnight rides.

But who is making mysterious repairs to broken items, leaving food on doorsteps and wooden angels on children’s graves?

Newly arrived, Irish doctor Kathleen O’Shea, has no fear of Jericho Cane. Armed with determination, she offers hope where he can live again. Still, can he thrive walking in daylight amongst the ones who call him a monster? If she fails, the darkness will consume him for good.

A holiday read that will touch your heart and remind you that Christmas is a time of acceptance, kindness, and for healing wounds.

US AMAZON LINK

UK AMAZON LINK

I know this is a day early but Happy Winter Solstice! I also want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Holidays, and Happy New Year. D. L. Finn

December Book Reviews Part 3! @sgc58 @maryjdressel @Marjorie_Mallon #whattoread #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #bookreviews

Variety is the Spice of Life

By Sally Cronin

“Variety is the Spice of Life” is a wonderful collection of poetry and short stories. The poetry is presented in the first half of the book. It was moving and thoughtful, as each word was carefully crafted. The short stories in the second half were my favorite part. Each story had its gift to offer us, but I wiped away a tear or two with “Mrs. Lloyd’s Robin.” “The Healer” left me with chills wondering what-if. What connected the stories and poetry to me was their humanity—or heart of them. A must-read collection for those who love poetry and stories that make you feel.

Fairies, Myths, & Magic II: Book 2: A Winter Celebration

By Colleen M. Chesebro

I read and loved “Fairies, Myths, & Magic Book 1” and was eager to read the second book. This dips into a darker side of fairies and magic but also offers the coming light. Told through beautiful poetry and short stories with the addition of the history of the feminine lore of different cultures. I could learn as I was entertained. Although I love my forest, I have a healthy appreciation of it and the magic it holds. This collection brought to life our past and present, leaving the promise of the future or its consequences. A perfect read for a cold fall or winter night that inspired me to bring a few new traditions into our house.

Do What You Love: Fragility of Your Flame Poems Photography & Flash Fiction

By M.J. Mallon

“Do What You Love” is a beautiful collection of words and photos that invite the reader into Ms. Mallon’s life. It is connected uniquely through the three sisters of fate: past, present, and future, and their insights. Whether it’s a trip abroad or down memory lane, it found a way to tug at my heart or engage me in her experiences. It is a wonderful way to share reality and engage others with flowing words and mythical beings. A quick but satisfying read that I can easily recommend to any poetry, prose, or memoir fan.

Secret Santa’s Rundown Sleigh: Holiday Romance Novella

By Mary J. McCoy-Dressel

Terra and her young daughter, Kylee, are on their way to spend Christmas with Terra’s sick mother. Bad luck strikes when their car breaks down. They end up stranded in a small town with no hotel rooms available, and the vehicle won’t be fixed until after the holiday. Terra’s sister can’t leave their mom to rescue them, so they set out to get a bite to eat. The caring server invites them to stay at her brother Jude’s house with them. Jude’s daughter and Kylee bonded quickly while Terra kept looking for other options to stay, and Jude wasn’t pleased with his new guests. Everyone around Jude and Terra is rooting for a Christmas miracle, but Terra is determined to move on, and Jude clings to the past. This short and sweet holiday read will uplift your spirits, and I can easily recommend it.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

UPDATES: I have one more post tomorrow, Books That Changed Me—Winter edition. Don’t miss my final good read picks of the year! Then I’ll be off until January 9th.

I will pop in once for a post over on Story Empire on the 26th.

Also, if you are subscribed to my newsletter, check your email and see what book is featured this month along with some updates.

I wish everyone a Merry Chirstmas and a Happy New Year!

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

October Book Reviews Part 2! @WordDreams @BalroopShado @RobertaEaton17 @harmony_kent @mhurdle112 @ColleenChesebro @ElizabethMerry1 @Marjorie_Mallon #bookreviews #whattoread #readersoftwitter #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity

 

To Hunt a Sub (Rowe-Delamagente #1)

By J. Murray

“To Hunt a Sub” is not only a thriller about preventing a terrorist from attacking America but a well-researched story with fascinating characters. Kali is trying to get her research project, Otto, funded when she catches the attention of ex-Navy Seal, Zeke, and a cruel terrorist. Her friends, son, and dog aren’t safe in this crucial battle. Otto not only traces the path and journey of prehistoric woman Lucy but can also find top secret submarines or why Kali has so much interest. I love it when Kali and Zeke join forces, each offering their strengths to the fight. The attention to detail made this scenario seem possible and real to me. The terrorist cruelty was chilling, while the love of a mother was a driving force. Many unexpected twists and surprises were mixed in, as who could be trusted came to light. This story had a unique way of blending our past with a current situation that would affect the future. Not a fast read, but one well worth the time spent reading. I can easily recommend this book.

Sublime Shadows Of Life

By Balroop Singh 

 

I always enjoy poetry by Ms. Singh and this collection was more beautifully written poems. It’s seeped in emotion that not only touches the heart but gets the reader thinking. It can be read within an hour or two but is meant for the reader to savor. Here are just a few of the many lines that caught my attention and moved me. The Land of the Dead: “Someone entered the land of the dead/Dragged life along ahead/Stirred them out of their slumber/but before muffled voices/could be heard, he was yelled at/Cursed, chastised, forced to quit. Know Shadows: “Dark moonless nights/Are the nights I crave for,/All shadows vanish and merge/Into the corridors of life. Eternal Wait: “Misty mornings/Eerie silence, long walks/Through the woods/What is this place? So familiar!/Nostalgia is painfully pleasant. Magic of Heavenly Drops: “Those soft falling drops/Tiptoe into your heart/To carry you along/Into the dripping trees. A wonderful collection that I can highly recommend to all those who loved to be moved by exquisite words.

 

Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships

By Kaye Lynne Booth (Editor)Robbie Cheadle (Editor/Author)Colleen M. Chesebro  (Author), Miriam Hurdle (Author), Arthur Rosch  (Author), Elizabeth Merry (Author), D. Avery (Author), Harmony Kent (Author), Leon Stevens (Author), Lynda McKinney Lambert (Author), Jules Paige (Author), M.J. Mallon  (Author), and Lauren Scott  (Author)

“Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships” is a collection of poetry from several authors. I have enjoyed the work of many of the poets, but there were some I met for the first time in this book. It was nice how it was set up to introduce the author before their poetry. I appreciated having many poets together in one collection to experience different views, feelings, and images. The individual take on relationships offered a glimpse into not only their writing but gave me a few new authors to read. There was a lot of great poetry, so I won’t single any out to share. A fantastic read I can easily recommend for poetry lovers.

 

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 beautiful soul by reading a book! D. L. Finn

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