October Book Reviews Part 1! @Sandra_Cox @mhurdle112 @stacitroilo @MaeClair1 #whattoread #readersoftwitter #writingcommunity

Geller’s Find

By Sandra Cox

Luke Geller is a professor and part-time archeologist. While out hunting potshards, he comes across an old gun and a strange crystal. This find takes him to the same place, but not at the same time. The gun owner, Lily, helps him out and takes him back to her ranch. I love the immediate connection between these two, even though Luke realizes he must leave and return to his life. There are so many great characters in this story that I even rooted for a character I didn’t even trust. The three women running the ranch were terrific, especially Saffron. Her humor always made me smile, including when she suggested a horse for Luke to ride. The setting brought Nevada to life during the gold rush, including a budding town. The ranch named No Gold has other treasures, including fruit and cattle. Ms. Cox has created another place I’d love to live in, but maybe with a few more present-day amenities. I was so drawn into the story that I felt the peaceful pleasure of riding a horse out on the ranch and enjoying nature’s beauty. A fantastic blend of time-traveling, a brewing romance, and the old west. A story that I can highly recommend!

The Haunting of Chatham Hollow

By Mae Clair and Staci Troilo

I was excited to see two authors I admire co-author a book. They blended their talents together seamlessly to create a must-read for those who love paranormal mysteries. “The Haunting of Chatham Hollow” has two timelines and moves with ease between them. In 1888, Victor is a likable authentic medium that cuts corners. He is persuaded to attend a séance run by another medium. Benedict and his very tall sidekick put on a good show but are just cons looking for gold. Then something unexpected happens. That event affects what is going on in 2022. In the present time journalist, Aiden is against the town having a popular ghost show come and film the reenactment of the séance. It isn’t because he’s worried about the curse but doesn’t believe in ghosts and all that goes with that. Aiden is plunged into his own mystery that concerns his boss, while his grandmother pushes him to embrace his natural talents. Each timeline has its own compelling stories within the main one that concerns the town and what happened during that first séance. The settings were vivid in both timelines, with characters to root for and dislike with a couple of surprise twists. This is a story I can highly recommend.

The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival

By Miriam Hurdle

“The Winding Road” is a heartfelt memoir that takes the reader through a cancer diagnosis to the outcome. I felt like I was experiencing this journey with Ms. Hurdle, as she not only talks about how she is feeling, but how she had to deal with insurance, appointments, and the physical toll of the treatments. Once Ms. Hurdle learned how rare and deadly the cancer was, a decision was made to try experimental treatments for six months. I’m not sure I could have handled what she endured. Being so ill during the treatments with no guarantees would be hard, but a strong will to live shined through and balanced that out. This was a painful insight into the reality of cancer, mixed with her belief that life is precious, that left me inspired and full of hope. A read that not only shows us the darker side of life when illness strikes, but how the love and support of family and friends can help carry some of that heavy burden. A highly recommended story that can inspire anyone going through not only illness but other challenges.

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

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

September Book Reviews Part 3 and UPDATES @Sandra_Cox @JacqBiggar @Dwallacepeach #writingcommunity #whattoread #readersoftwitter #bookreviews

The Necromancer’s Daughter

By Wallace Peach

Aster is the necromancer’s daughter. She and her queen-mother die when Aster is born. The healer, Barus, sees the baby and steals her away to bring her back to life. The king stays in the background but watches as the healer raises this girl as his own because he knows no one would accept a child brought back to life. When the King finally approaches Aster, his only heir, he triggers his enemies to act, who upends her peaceful life as a healer. Determined to set things right and help Barus, Aster sets off to find help. I love the people she meets along her journey, especially when she crosses the mountain. The son of her enemy is a very complex character. Although he helps her more than once, his upbringing and devotion to the Blessed One aren’t too far behind and weigh him down. Aster shows what genuine goodness is over those who use it to seek power. Even if Aster’s actions aren’t popular, her innocence and ability to do the right thing guide her through some dark times. This is a fantasy filled with magic, danger, love, loyalty, fantastic imagery, and dragons that I can highly recommend.

The Guardian Mended Souls #1

By Jacquie Biggar

After a horrible crash that killed three adults and an unborn baby, Scott tries to regain his life. He has money and fame but lost a best friend and sister. Needing closure, he goes to see the bodies but runs into the Medical Examiner, Tracy, and a badly hurt dog. This throws them together while someone seems determined to add to the body count. On the other side is Scott’s best friend, Lucas, who is now an angel and is placed with a surly partner to help people. Lucas was the driver and carried the guilt of being responsible for the accident, but he also has depth and humor mixed in. He doesn’t understand what is required from him as he navigates this afterworld. I felt for all characters’ loss and appreciated the wit weaved into it. There is redemption and learning for these characters, plus some needed justice and forgiveness. I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens next. A fast-paced paranormal romance with second chances I can easily recommend.

Amulets #2 Rose Quartz

By Sandra Cox

Amulets #1 followed Maureen and her journey, “Rose Quartz,” focuses on her new friend, Bella. Back home, Bella quickly finds out that the killer being in jail doesn’t keep her or her amulet safe. She’s a painter gifted with beauty and creativity from her stones and has the help of Maureen’s ranch hand, Hank. He is the ultimate cowboy she is trying not to fall for but is used to using her charms and looks to get what she wants, which doesn’t go over well with him. Bella is a fun character who quickly discovers she can’t take on a madman alone. This leads her back to old friends she desperately needs and the introduction to another woman gifted with an amulet. I love the relationship developing between Hank and Bella and was rooting for them to work it out. This series is not only about the women wearing the amulets but a strong group of friends that look out for each other, especially when a madman is determined to be a god. Another fun read with love, magic, friendship, and danger perfectly mixed in for those who enjoy a paranormal romance.

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

UPDATES

  • I ‘ve been hosting many great new releases in the past couple of weeks. Watch for one this week that you don’t want to miss!
  • I will be sending out my September Newsletter on the 20th. If you are subcribed watch for it in your email. I have a brand new book of the month you don’t want to miss. I read a lot and love sharing some of those great reads. My picks are booked until the until end of 2023 .
  • My “Books That Changed Me” goes out on the 22nd or first day of fall. That will post here. These are books that have stayed with me after reading them. You’ve already seen the reviews here but they are well worth a second share. If you have missed any of the past posts, I have them here on my site so you can catch up and maybe find a great new read! This is the closest you will get to my picks for books of the year.
  • The air has been hazardous on and off here. Makes it hard to think or function sometimes, even if I stay indoors with my air purifers running. So, sometimes I can’t write or do the things I want to like visit blogs, not because I don’t want to but it’s hard to focus. Luckily the fires haven’t come our way so far. I’m looking forward to the predicted rain the next couple of days. I hope it keeps coming and we can end this fire year early, instead of November. You’d think this would be normal for me after 32 years living in the forest, but the worries have ramped up the last few years. Hopefully the drought will take a nice long break.
  • And I’m feeling much better. Although, I am helping out some family members that requires more of my time, but glad I am able to do it.

Embrace your inner child by reading an enchanting story! D. L. Finn

New Release! “Geller’s Find” by Sandra Cox. #newrelease #western #timetravel #readersofttwitter #writingcommunity #whattoread

I’m thrilled to have fellow author and friend Sandra Cox here today to share her latest release, Geller’s Find. Review to follow soon—after my re-read 🙂

Character Facts

Doctor Luke Geller is a full-time history professor and part-time
archeologist.
His specialty is Native American artifacts.
Instead of a gun, he carries a Hopi throwing stick.
He likes cats and horses and has a sense of humor.

Excerpt

“Dammit.”

His heels caught in a patch of fuzzy green and gray weeds. Buried in
their center was a large piece of chiastolite. Ancient markings all but
obliterating the standard graphite cross that long ago was used to ward off
evil. The hair on the back of his neck rose and his nerves twitched. He’d
never seen anything like that rock before. He nudged it with his foot. When
it didn’t budge, he bent to pick it up.

The ground under his feet trembled.

The chiastolite glowed. The markings shimmered.

What the hell?

He flapped his arms, trying to balance himself as the ground dropped
an inch. A perfect circle below his feet gave way, the stone still in place.

He fell into a mineral cylinder.

The bottom dropped.

His stomach flopped and he swirled down.

The wind whistled in his ears as he tumbled into a black hole that went
on forever. The chill in the air fell away. The further down he went, the
hotter the air. The rocks around him began to glow. Good God. Either he
was heading for hell or the earth’s core, and neither was where he wanted
to be. His grip on the rifle tightened as he bounced off the hot stones that
closed around him as he whirled in a tube of rock.

Time had no meaning. Seconds, minutes, maybe more passed as the
cyclone of air spun him around. His stomach pushed up to his throat and
he fought off nausea.

With a scraping sound, the spinning lurched to a stop.

Then as if an elevator button was punched, he started upward. Only
unlike an elevator there was no floor, just rough rock gravity glued him
against.

Up. Up. Up. Faster and faster. Then momentum stopped. His body
quivered. A force thrust upward and opened.

He dropped.

Hard earth rose to meet him.

With a thud, he landed.

US AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

UK AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

 

Sandra Cox has written over thirty books. Her works consist of all things Western and more. Sandra is a vegetarian, Muay Thai
enthusiast, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her
husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.

Foodie Facts:
She spent a number of years in the Midwest chasing down good
Southern BBQ. By the time she moved to North Carolina where Southern
BBQ is practically a staple, she’d become a vegetarian.
Pineapple is a must-have on pizza, along with black olives and onions.
She loves pumpkin waffles. Pumpkin cream cheese, not so much.

Links:
https://sandracoxwriter.com
https://cowboytrivia.blogspot.com

September Book Reviews Part 2! @Dwallacepeach @pokercubster @Sandra_Cox #bookreviews #whattoread #readersoftwitter #writingcommunity

Amulets #1 Boji Stones

By Sandra Cox

Maureen wakes up in the hospital after a car accident. She is badly hurt and missing an important piece of jewelry. She needs to find this, to not only heal her injuries but keep the stones safe. I love Maureen and her connection to animals, especially horses. Her protective ranch hand is there for her, but someone wants what she has and doesn’t care who they hurt to get it. What Maureen comes home to after an interesting hospital stay is a man who needs his horse healed. Her kind heart can’t let the poor horse suffer even though she doesn’t trust the man who brought the horse. He offers to stay on to pay her back for her kindness, but the only person she can trust is her ranch hand—and herself. I enjoy how Ms. Cox can weave magic into the real world and make me care about what happens to the characters. A fun read that I found hard to put down. Recommended for those who love romance sprinkled with some magic and danger.

Have Bags, Will Travel

D.G. Kaye

This was a quick, fun read for all those adventurous souls who love to travel or read about it. It took us back to days of more effortless traveling, to current times when there’s a lot more involved. Told in a personal, humorous tone, I immediately connected to the antidotes told. I’m glad I’m not the only one who over packs and then had to pay for it when checking the luggage. I shook my head, knowing how hard it is to get traveling purchases home in luggage — and through customs. Luckily, I’ve only had my bags searched once. I can’t imagine being a target when I came back to my country. I thoroughly enjoyed this; it not only made me want to travel but long for the good old days when planes offered more room. This ends with some sound advice for traveling that includes a luggage scale. An excellent read for travelers!

Catling’s Bane (The Rose Shield Book 1) 

by D. Wallace Peach

Catling’s selfish mother wanted to eliminate a mark on her young daughter’s face so the mother can move up in the harsh world they lived in. Eventually, the mother sells her marked daughter. After leaving a cruel life behind, where hangings are enjoyed, Catling settles into a bit of peace. Yet as time goes by, it becomes apparent there is something special about her mark and her. Some brutal scenes are mixed with vivid images of a world ruled by influencers and power. The relationship between Whitt and Catling was heartwarming, and I rooted for them. But the world she was thrust into was cold and calculating. I loved the beasts that lived in the water as the boats navigated on top of their world. Although Catling was only thirteen when the story ended, she was stronger than most adults around her. This was a story I couldn’t put down as I had to keep reading to see what happened to Catling, and I will eagerly continue this journey by reading the next book.

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 that inner child by reading an amazing story! D. L. Finn

June Book Review Part 2 and Update! @harmony_kent @Sandra_Cox @DLMJ18 #writingcommunity #whattoread #indieauthors #mustreads

The Darkness of Placata Montis

by DLM Johnson

“The Darkness of Placata Montis” is the debut romantic fantasy from DLM Johnson. I had the privilege to beta read and help format it, but was eager to dive into it as “just” a reader. I was drawn right into the dark and stormy night with a young woman, Eliana or Li, who ends up at a front door of an unknown house hoping to escape what is chasing her. The man, Graham, takes her into safety and information unfolds as to not only who he is, but Eliana. As what is called The Darkness threatens them, we are shown not only Eliana and Graham’s feelings and stories but taken on a journey to find out what this darkness is, and what it means to them and their world’s magic. Told through Eliana and Graham’s POV, it gives an insight into their motives. Eliana can see more than what is in front of her, so there are flashbacks that add to the story. I could easily imagine the setting and seeing the world through not only a fighter, but a scientist’s eyes. When the battle comes and questions are answered, it was hard to put the book down. I have to add, I am a proud author-mom, and my opinion might seem a bit biased, but I’m also a reader who knows what I like, and this is a story that I can recommend! I look forward to the next book in this series and other books to come.


Miss Redmond’s Deception

by Sandra Cox

“Miss Redmond’s Deception” is a fun historical fiction read. Pembra and her sisters run into Captain Richard Greyston in a graveyard. I love how this scene played out. Richard believes the younger sisters to be accompanied by a spinster governess, or Pembra. Circumstances have the captain staying at the house where Pembra continues her deception from the night before the next morning at breakfast. Yet, in a fun twist, they end up fake engaged. Their attraction is immediate, even though Pembra is determined to fight it, and their banter is a lot of fun. Richard has a reputation with the ladies and Pembra wants no part of a man like that. Pembra is a strong character who lives her life as she wants, while Richard is equally stubborn, but knows what he wants, too. There is a charming country setting, a local man with bad intentions, and a sweet and protective rescue dog that added even more depth to the story. A quick-paced read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Polish Your Prose

by Harmony Kent

“Polish Your Prose” is a reference guide that every writer needs. This doesn’t tell you how to write but how to clean up what you’ve written. There are three parts, and it’s laid out so you can locate the information needed. Many topics are covered, including these chapters, Show no Tell, Filter Words, Sentence Construction, and Common Spelling Mistakes. Part three talks about on giving and receiving reviews and offers a checklist for editing. This is simple and easy to follow with plenty of guidance to help when doing the dreaded edit of your book. I have a copy sitting on my shelf for easy access and reminders of things I need to work on. I can easily recommend this book.


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!

UPDATE

We had a quiet and relaxing vacation. We stayed close to home and enjoyed our grandson’s 8th grade graduation, our son visiting from Oregon, our oldest granddaughter’s 12th birthday and our 39th Wedding Anniversary to start off the week. We also took a day trip to Reno for a late anniversary celebration. I did win a bit on a Leprecaun Slot Machine that called to me—well enough to cover the gas.

Sara on a walk in the forest
7-25-08 to 6-11-22

With these highs came a low, we had to say goodbye to our sweet Sara on our anniversary. We were lucky to have her for thirteen and half years, but it was time to let her go to run in the forest with Hermie, who we lost three years ago. I know they are chasing bears and watching over us.

I don’t think I will try to catch up with all the things I missed last week, but I am back now. This will be a very busy week. I have a full schedule for the blog tour starting today and my Newsletter is out. Plus, there is a Books That Changed Me Summer Edition tomorrow. I will keep you updated here with the tour 🙂

One more thing, I was thrilled to come back to those great reviews for A Voice in the Silence. It uplifted my spirits!! Thank you all xo

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

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

The Bone Wall

by D. Wallace Peach

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


Mateo’s Blood Brother

By Sandra Cox

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


Panama

by C.S. Boyack

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


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

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

New Release! “Blood Brothers” by Sandra Cox. @Sandra_Cox #newrelease #paranormalromanace #whattoread #writingcommunity

I’m thrilled to welcome an amazing author and friend here today, Sandra Cox to share her latest release, Blood Brothers.

A sequel to Mateo’s Law.

They thought they’d killed her but she’s back for vengeance.

Blurb:

They were friends, close as brothers. Then they weren’t.

Mateo and Jesse are cautiously working their way back to friendship when Jesse discovers the unthinkable. Delilah, the sultry shifter who’d had affairs with both men, is still alive. The tumble she took over a mountain ridge—a fall that nearly killed Mateo—should have finished her.

Now, there’s no choice but for the two men to work together to take down a she-devil straight from hell.  As the stakes escalate and the hunt becomes more intense, another wolf appears on the scene. Always where Jesse’s at. Always when he’s in trouble.  Jesse is divided between ending Delilah, a new love interest, discovering the identity of a certain brown wolf and staying alive.

Excerpt:

“She’s alive.”

Mateo studied Jesse. The chief’s face stoic except for eyes that sparked with an emotion the sheriff couldn’t read. Still, it made him shift uneasily in his chair. Anxiety and fear pheromones rolled off Jesse. And Jesse didn’t scare easily.

The outside door banged open, distracting him. Boots clomped. A moment later, Adam stuck his head around the door. An aspiring attorney, the young man did their paperwork during the day and took classes at night. “Boss—”

“Later, Adam.” Mateo’s eyes never left Jesse.

“Sure, Boss.” Adam’s head swiveled from one to the other before he disappeared.

“Who’s alive?” The words were no sooner out of Mateo’s mouth when a premonition, so terrible it chilled his blood, hit him. Hard. The hair on the back of his neck rose. And he knew. Knew before Jesse uttered the word.

“Layla.”

On some level, he’d known before now. For a week, he’d been hearing eerie howling that set his teeth on edge and made his hackles rise. And the old wolf, his dad, and the wolf-pup had been acting strangely. The old wolf always staring into the distance with his ruff on end and a continual low snarl rolling out of his throat. The pup cowering close to the old wolf. “That’s impossible. The fall killed her. Nearly killed me.”

“I saw her.”

“Saw her?”

“She was half-wolf. Half-human.” Jesse scrubbed his face with his hands.

“Shit.” Mateo’s extensive vocabulary limited this morning.

“She’ll be coming for you. You and Blair.”

“She won’t get her.” He growled. Literally growled.

“Down, wolf.” For the first time, Jesse smiled.

Mateo forced his clenched teeth and stiff jaws open enough to ask, “When did you see her and where?”

Jesse Kipp character facts:

Jesse and Blair both like to catch the Full Moon Band, that plays hard rock with a native twist, on Wednesday nights at the Blue Coyote.

Jesse loves Belle’s Beans coffee and bear claws.

He has a small house in Browning but spends a lot of his time in a cabin in the mountains that’s been in his family for generations.

US AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

UK Amazon Purchase Link

About Sandra:

Sandra writes All Things Western, is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.

Foodie Facts:

She spent a number of years in the Midwest chasing down good Southern BBQ. By the time she moved to North Carolina where Southern BBQ is practically a staple, she’d become a vegetarian.

Pineapple is a must-have on pizza, along with black olives and onions.

She loves pumpkin waffles. Pumpkin cream cheese, not so much.

You can find her at:

http://www.sandracoxwriter.com

http://www.cowboytrivia.com

https://sandracox.blogspot.com

http://www.twitter.com/Sandra_Cox.

Funky Little Giveaway:

Denise will draw commenter names from her famous hat for a book reader’s beady bracelet😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February Book Reviews Part One! @startrailsIV @ninsthewriter @Sandra_Cox #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustreads #bookreviews

Flower Gardens And More

by Sandra Cox

“Flower Gardens And More” is a great book for those who love working in the garden or enjoying nature. There was an impressive array of topics that included planting zones, types of flowers, composting, poisonous flowers, themed garden, carnivorous plants, edible flowers, aromatherapy, and so much more! I enjoyed a quiz, which led me to my Florascope. I turned out to be an iris. There were charts which my old kindle didn’t do justice, but they were full of useful information. I loved this informative, well-presented, and fun read so much I ordered the print copy so I can refer to it as often as I like. Reading this made me eager to get into my garden and start designing and planting. A gardening guide I can highly recommend!


The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley

by Nina Romano

“The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley” is a captivating historical fiction set in the 1870s, New Mexico. Darby is a girl becoming a woman who cares for her father and brothers after her mother passes. She dreams of going to school to become a teacher, and Cayo is a slightly older farmhand with whom she has feelings. Their emotions finally come to the surface, but she has plans to go live with her aunts in St. Louis to get her education. This sets up a series of events that tests this new love. Cayo’s past is revealed slowly through flashbacks, showing what happened to his family and how he ended up part of the Jicarilla Apache tribe. He lives with heavy guilt while Darby wants to keep her promise to her mother. The detail given to history and daily life in New Mexico and St. Louis really made the setting and time come to life. Many parts were poetically described, which I fully appreciated. I loved Darby’s strength, honesty, and how she explored life. This is a wonderfully written story I couldn’t put down but didn’t want it to end either. I highly recommend this story and hope to read more about Darby and Cayo!


Return to Dead Horse Canyon: Grandfather Spirits (Dead Horse Canyon Saga Book 2)

by Marcha Fox, and Pete Risingsun

“Return to Dead Horse Canyon: Grandfather Spirits” picks up where the first book left off. I loved “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” and eagerly dove into this story. Sara is back, still trying to carry on her husband’s last request to bring those corrupt in the government, and outside of it, to justice. She releases some information uncovered in the first book and puts her life in even more danger. Her father spends some time and money trying to protect and help her. While Charlie is working for a big corporation that violates the earth or everything his family believes in. I felt uncomfortable about his situation, but even though he made wrong decisions, they were all a part of his journey. It drew me deep into the story when it focused on Charlie, especially after his accident. Although, I was equally invested when a character from the first book went after Sara. I missed the interaction between Charlie and Sara in “Grandfather Spirits,” but I liked the individual journeys they went on. Charlie going home was my favorite part. All the small details and history held my attention, and the second half of the book was impossible to put down. I can’t wait to read the third story in the series and see what happens next.


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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLURB

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

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

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

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

My Review

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

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

LINK


BLURB

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

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

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

My Review

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

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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.

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

 

Cover Release and Pre-Order “Keeper Tyree” by Sandra Cox! @Sandra_Cox #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #newrelease #westerns #romanticwesterns #mustread #indieauthors

Please welcome, amazing author and friend, Sandra Cox, here today for her cover release and pre-order! She’s gotten me hooked on westerns again:)

Here’s the new cover, blurb, and pre-order link:

KEEPER TYREE

An aging bounty hunter and a woman bent on vengeance form an unlikely alliance.

Keeper Tyree is an aging bounty hunter who lives by his own set of rules. He’s a hard man but just and his word is his bond. Keeper’s a loner and likes it that way. Then Cathleen O’Donnell catapults into his life looking to hire his gun. Josiah Pardee has killed her boy, and she’s out for vengeance. Somehow all his hard and fast rules, including working alone and minding his own business, crumbles in the face of the immovable widow he now works for. He finds himself rescuing soiled doves, a myopic bookworm more suited to city life than the Wild West, and a Kickapoo who’s in deep trouble with some angry card players as he tracks down the murdering sidewinder Josiah Pardee.

Amazon Pre-Order

BIO

Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.

Her stories consist of all things Western and more. She is a category bestselling and award-winning author.

https://www.sandracoxwriter.com