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

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

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

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

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

BLURB

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

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

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

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

My Review

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

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

LINK


BLURB

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

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

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

My Review

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

LINK


BLURB

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

My Review

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

LINK


Mountain Laurel Christmas

by Jan Sikes

BLURB

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

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

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

My Review

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

LINK


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

 

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

Wreck of the Lanternfish

(The Lanternfish #3)

by C.S. Boyack

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


Dead of Winter: Journey 11, The Sumelazon Escarpment

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

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


Love, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel

by Jacquie Biggar

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


HYPE

by Yvette M. Calleiro

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


Hot Chocolate

by Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Mountain Laurel Christmas

by Jan Sikes

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


Quantum Wanderlust

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

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


My Baby Wrote Me A Letter

by Jacquie Biggar

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


No Such Luck

by Staci Troilo

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


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

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

November Book Reviews, Part 3! @stacitroilo @teagangeneviene #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads

Type and Cross (Cathedral Lake #1)

by Staci Troilo

“Type and Cross” is a well-told family drama. Dr. Royce Keller finds a loved one as a patient in his ER. It tore my heart out reading what happened next. Then what follows is because of a secret that was held on to for eighteen years. How Royce’s family dealt with what followed that moment in the ER was heartbreaking and hopeful as it forced the family to grow and learn. I appreciated seeing the world through both Royce and his wife, Vanessa, eyes, and how they began to take some responsibility for not only their past mistakes but their current ones. This book kept me up late at night, and I would make time to read it throughout the day — it was that compelling of a read. When one issue seems to be solved, another is poured upon this family. Meeting the grandparents gave insight into where some of this dysfunction came from. Plus, there is a mystery weaved into the story with a surprising outcome. Every baby step forward, I cheered this family on, and other times I was sad with them. A story I can easily recommend, and I can’t wait to read more in this series.


Footprints in the Snow

By Staci Troilo

This quick read explains why Ben used to love Christmas, but this year he is alone. I was immediately curious why and what his mistake was. This story is full of emotion that pulled me right in. I wanted to know more. So, I jumped right into the first book of the Cathedral Series right after I finished this. “Footprints in the Snow” can be a stand-alone read or read as part of the series. There is some information in this story that you don’t know going into the first Cathedral book, “Type and Cross.” I didn’t mind knowing, but if you like to be surprised, then read this after “Type and Cross.” A short story I recommend.


Dead of Winter: Journey 10, Pergesca 

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

“Pergesca” continues the journey with Emlyn. She is growing into a powerful young woman that is finally learning to trust herself after being raised not to be heard. She runs into challenges to conquer, and sometimes help comes from unexpected places. A lot went on in this journey, and I don’t want to give anything away, but a certain character’s death was hard-hitting to not only read but for Emlyn. I felt it was necessary for the story, though. I love Zasha, Emlyn, and Osabide as the three and how they work with each other. The place, Pergesca, offers more questions to be answered after some things are resolved. I’m eager to see what happens to Emlyn and her friends, as things seem to come to a critical point. As the story stands now, it’s hard to tell who to trust. A fantastic read, but I recommend you read this journey from the beginning, so you don’t miss out on anything.


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: If you are subscribed to my newsletter it went out early. Next week I’m sharing my holiday short story, “The Bike.” It came from a vivid dream I had.

Embrace that inner child by reading a good book! Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it in the US. D. L. Finn

November Book Reviews Part 2! @TPolen6 @WriterMSmith @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #yourbooklist #bookreviews

Sarah

by Teri Polen

“Sarah” is a YA horror story centered on a seventeen-year-old boy, Cain, his friends, and his family. Cain, his mother, and his sister moved into a new house, and things started to happen. Doors open that shouldn’t be, and there are cold spots that Cain and his best friend, Finn, try to understand. I loved the best friend relationship between Cain and Finn and their life outside the haunted house. Cain’s girlfriend explores how patient he can be and how self-centered some people are. Cain’s little sister is sweet, and I love how he cares for her and his mother. Although, it is the ghost of Sarah that grows and changes the most in the story. It caught my attention, as she didn’t hesitate to show how she suffered. Watching a victim’s rage play out makes this a chilling read, while Cain and Finn try to solve the mystery. I enjoyed seeing the nod to the show “Supernatural” and thought about the show before it was even mentioned. A fast read that kept me guessing what the ghost, Cain, and his friends would do next.


Ella: A Romantic Novella

by Marlena Smith

Ella is the sweet story of a woman who’s just trying to get home after a terrible week. Her car breaks down at a small-town gas station, and a town local befriends her. She finds not only a place to stay but a welcoming town. I enjoy watching Hallmark movies, especially Christmas ones. They not only relax me but offer hope in the happily ever after. This story had the same feel, and I could see this town and people become a full-length book. I wanted to get to know them all better. A quick read that I enjoyed.


Secrets, Lies & Alibis

by Jacquie Biggar

I have finally caught up on the Wounded Heart Series. Book eight starts with what happened to Adam and Amanda. They are split up. Amanda has a new job and Adam a new partner, but what Adam doesn’t know is she is pregnant. When something happens that puts others in danger, Amanda must face Adam again. Amanda’s part has a lot of tension and second-guessing, while Adam attempts to break through that while investigating a person from his past. I like the introduction of Brianne, Adam’s attractive partner, and how she added to the mix. Cameron, Frank’s brother, started to open up about what happened to him years ago. While one door seems to shut by the end of the story, there are new possibilities that have opened where past and present situations spiral around the characters. This was a fast read, and I can’t wait for book nine to come out. Wounded Hearts is a series I 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!

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

October Book Reviews Part 2! @teagangeneviene @Virgilante @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #indieauthors #goodreading

cover for The Yak Guy Project

Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Journey 9 takes Emlyn, Osabide, and Fotia/Zasha into a new place called the Other Realm. They hope to restore Zasha in this strange place. Here, they find three doors and have to pick the right one. I love how Emlyn is starting to trust herself more, which includes her intuition. The setting and surroundings are a vital part of this story, along with the beings they run into. While the trio explores, an army is massing — which hints at what is coming. I can’t wait for the next installment. Five-Stars!


The Yak Guy Project

by C.S. Boyack

“The Yak Guy Project” takes Ted on a spiritual journey in a strange world. Ted wakes up, not knowing what happened to him. A talking Yak becomes Ted’s guide as he learns his selfish ways of the past won’t work where he is. Ted was a character that I rooted for, but he also frustrated me with some of his decisions. I could see The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot in Ted like the author had compared him to. This story had me not only invested in whether Ted could learn and grow, but the world he found himself in captivated me. It was a place where technology had gone wrong many years before, and they were back to living on the land. There were many well-placed layers with life lessons, humor, war, and relationships that made this a read that I couldn’t put down. Five-Stars!


Maggie’s Revenge (Wounded Hearts #6)

by Jacquie Biggar

I have read and enjoyed the first five books of the Wounded Hearts series, but I’ve been eager since book two to find out what happened to Maggie. She has been undercover for the DEA but then was put into horrible conditions with the other women sold into sex trafficking by cartel leader, Chenglei. Back home, her partner, Adam, hadn’t given up hope of finding her. Adam joins forces with his boss, Amanda, and Ex-Seal Frank in that search. Maggie is an amazing character. She is strong, funny, determined, and caring. I like her interactions with the other women and how she can take care of them and herself. I could feel the heat of the desert or the blinding rays of the sun in the richly written settings. This is my favorite of the series so far and one that I kept reading just one more chapter until I was done. I can’t wait to continue to “The Seal’s Temptation” to see what happens next! I highly recommend “Maggie’s Revenge” and the entire series. Five-Stars!


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!


Oops, I spoke too soon, sorry! Next week will be October Book Reviews Part #3, and then two Personal Short Story Challenges will follow.


Even when the power is out, you can read a great book and embrace your inner child! D. L. Finn

September Book Reviews Part 2! @JacqBiggar @Marjorie_Mallon #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #indieauthors #bookreviews

 

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time, #1)

by M.J. Mallon

“Bloodstone” is a paranormal YA story that centers on 15-year-old Amelina. Her family life drastically changed after her father disappeared and then returned home a different man. Her once happy household was gone. When she gets an invitation to a mysterious place, she goes down a forbidden path by the river. Here she meets Ryder, who completely mesmerizes her after saving her from a robbery attempt. There were many great secondary characters, including her band members and cat, Shadow, but I think my favorite was Esme or the girl who lived in the mirror. There was a lot of depth in Esme, and the subject of self-harm was dealt with well. I’m a fan of rocks/crystals, so their importance in the story was a plus. The magic and darkness weaved into the plot of finding the truth contrasted with Amelina’s constant conflict. The poetry before each chapter was a nice addition, and I enjoyed the descriptive passages. The ending answered some questions, but not all. I look forward to reading the next book in this series to see what happens next. If you like a paranormal story told from a teen’s perspective who is not only finding herself but discovering her unique abilities, this is for you.


Twilight’s Encore (Wounded Hearts #3)

by Jacquie Biggar

I have enjoyed the first two books of Wounded Hearts, so I was happy to see them back in Tidal Falls planning a wedding. Katy left town ten years ago with her mother and leaving Ty broken-hearted. She is a doctor now, coming back to supervise her wedding plans to another man. The old theater is being redone for her nuptials, and the man doing it is Ty. Sparks immediately fly between Katy and Ty while someone is trying to disrupt the renovation of the old building. A secret surprised me, and there was a person with negative intentions toward Katy. Since this is set in basically the same time frame as book two, there is no update on what happened to Maggie, which didn’t take away from this story. Twilight’s Encore can easily be read without reading the first two books, but it’s better to have the background on the secondary characters. I’m eager to start the next book to see what happens next in this great series!


The Rebel’s Redemption (Wounded Hearts #2)

by Jacquie Biggar

I read and enjoyed the first book, “Tidal Falls,” where Annie and Jared caught my attention as secondary characters. Jared finally comes home for good after making some mistakes since leaving the SEALS. He reconnects with his mother and runs into his ex-best friend, Annie, or the woman he had a one-night stand with before leaving to join the service the next day. Jared had made many missteps in his past, but seeing Annie and her son brought back old feelings and guilt. But this reunion doesn’t go smoothly. His past is chasing him, putting those he loves in danger. There was a side plot with Maggie, a DEA agent, who was also introduced to in the first book. This part had me on the edge of my seat with the dangerous situation she was in. Not only is there a romance trying to rekindle between Annie and Jared with someone wanting revenge, but Maggie is trying to survive. This page-turner left one question answered, and another that needs to be explored in future books. If you like a good romantic thriller, this is for you!


NOTE: I’ve been quiet the past few days and haven’t been able to visit blogs or do my usual social media. My husband had a planned-rescheduled surgery Thursday and we were only given a few days’ notice. He’s doing well, but my attention and energy has been on his procedure and recovery. He has this week off to recoup and then things should go back to “normal.” Hugs xo

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

New Release! “Shh… It’s Our Secret” by Lizzie Chantree @Lizzie_Chantree #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WhatToRead

I’m pleased to welcome, Lizzie Chantree, here today to talk about her newest release, “Shh… It’s Our Secret.” I pre-ordered my copy:)

Shh… It’s Our Secret, by Lizzie Chantree

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today and for the amazing support of the launch of my latest book!

I love writing about feisty women, but the main character in my latest book, Shh… It’s Our Secret, lacks self-confidence and thinks that those around her don’t see a positive and happy future for her.

Determined to prove them wrong, Violet has to overcome the fears and anxieties that are holding her back and trust herself to step out of the shadows that she’s been hiding in for far too long and into the limelight. Sharing her secret could change her whole life, but can she find the courage to be the person she has always wanted to be?

Book Blurb:

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

Shh… It’s Our Secret by Lizzie Chantree

Book links:

Amazon

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Barnes & Noble

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Books-A-Million

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

Waterstones

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IndieBound

Hardcover, Softcover

Chapters/Indigo

Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook

Google Play

Ebook

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International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

Short bio:

International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, about women with unusual businesses, who are stronger than they realise.

Book links: Lizzie Chantree.

Universal book buy link: The little ice cream shop

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum

Universal book buy link: Babe Driven

Universal book buy link: Love’s Child

Universal book buy link: Finding Gina

Universal link: Shh… It’s Our Secret

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April Book Reviews Part 2! @SueColetta1 @SCVincent @JillWeatherholt #indieauthor#IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #BookReviews #WhatToRead

Midnight Haiku: A Year in Contemplation

by Sue Vincent

Midnight Haiku” is a thought-provoking collection. Seven Haikus accompany a beautiful photograph. There are 365 poems, one for each day of the year. Although I read this in two sittings, this would be a perfect book to pick up each morning or evening and contemplate the daily poem—which I will be doing. The words touched my soul many times. Then, I’d have to stop to reread and absorb the meaning. There are so many images offered within seventeen syllables that are layered on top of each other. I love the idea of writing a single poem at midnight for a year when the world is quiet. Over the last couple of years, I have developed a deep respect for Haiku poems. Here are a few of my favorites: “Leading anywhere, each path is a mystery, until it is walked,” “Surrounded by gloom, still there is a patch of light, alive against the darkness,” and “Not all birds can fly, not all who fly have feathers, but all dreams have wings.” This is a collection I highly recommend for those who love poetry and those who like to ponder life’s mystery.

Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs

by Sue Coletta

“Pretty Evil New England” documents five women serial killers at the turn of the nineteenth century. Broken into sections, it was a fascinating insight into an era and murder. Each woman’s true story reads smoothly like a fictional tale, and the court proceedings were meticulously detailed. I learned a lot about forensic abilities and poisonings. The mindset of a woman killer over a male was not only astonishing but scary at the cruelty involved. A well-researched book that is for any true crime reader or someone who wants to understand a female killer’s mind.

A Home for Her Daughter

by Jill Weatherholt

“A Home for Her Daughter” is a dramatic romance that focuses on forgiveness. Janie has just left an abusive marriage, and she went back to her hometown with her daughter, Riley, where her brother lives. She’s inherited a business and home, but only if she can get it up and running by a certain date. The catch is she must work with an old friend and someone she used to like in school. This friend, Drew, is a widower who blames himself for his family’s death. I love how they find a way to work together, but it’s Riley that’s the shining star. She has a way of bringing people together and a contagious joy. I fell in love with the town and was cheering on each improvement made to the lodge. This story is about faith and giving two damaged people a second chance. If you enjoy sweet romantic tales that tug at your heart while offering hope, you won’t want to miss this one.

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 by reading a good book! 🙂 D. L. Finn

Book Release: The Contract between heaven and earth #RRBC

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

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

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

The Contract COVER FINAL 2-20-18

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

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

Here is the blurb:

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

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

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

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

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

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

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

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

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

Authors Bio.

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

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

John’s other books.

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

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

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books.

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


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