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

A Peril in Ectoplasm: Just Once More

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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

I’ll Be Right Back

by Maura Beth Brennan

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

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

By Lynda Filler

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

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

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

August Book Reviews Part 1! @Anabel1Franklin @YvetteMCalleiro @pat_garcia #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads #bookreviews

Contemplations of a woman turning sixty-five

by Pat Garcia

“Contemplations of a woman turning sixty-five” is a fun, fast read full of promise. Tessie is about to turn sixty-five and is thinking about what is left for her in this life while dealing with the death of a friend. She is a never-married virgin who had always dreamed of love and a house full of kids. As she dives into the darkness of reality, there was an unexpected twist and a new option she had never dreamed would be possible for her. Is it for real and should she take it? This story offers hope that dreams can come true no matter what age you are. A sweet tale to brighten any reader’s mood.

Escaping the Woods: A Short Story 

by Yvette M Calleiro

“Escaping the Woods” is a children’s story set in the 80s in Mississippi. Isabella and her family have moved to a new town. Isabella immediately meets a new friend, Janine, who suggests they go to her brother’s fort in the forest. Fearful of what could be in those woods, Isabella follows Janine until they get lost. I enjoyed this fast read and felt like I was in the head of an eleven-year-old in 1982. There was humor and I could feel the girls building fear as they kept walking. This short story made me feel like the author was sitting next to me telling a vivid story from her childhood. A fun tale that can either be shared with a child or as an adult being brought back to their youth. I can highly recommend this quick read.

Gateway to Magic

by Annabelle Franklin

A fun story for middle-grade readers about a spoiled boy, Steven, who has everything he could want. Steven spends his time playing video games until one day he sees something unusual in his game that makes sense later. His cousin Tracy talks him into going into the forest and presses that red button that says Do Not Push. Steven ends up in Fairy Land, where everything differs from what he knows. This reminded me a bit of Dorothy trying to get home in the “Wizard of Oz” mixed with the whimsy of “Alice in Wonderland.” I loved the characters he ran into along his journey. My favorite was Nigel, the shapeshifter. Technology is banned in this new land of magic, which makes it hard for Steven to navigate. The food he eats has unusual side-effects, and he has some lessons to learn along the way. The Fairy Queen is supposed to give him the job he is required to do to earn his keep. She is another fun character, and I liked her realm, but he has some miles to travel to get there. I bought this to give to my granddaughter and I know she will enjoy this magical tale as much as I did.

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 this summer, read a book! D. L. Finn

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

Fe-Lines, a journal with feline quotes

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

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

Its May and the Lilacs are Blooming

by Elaina Deva Profitt

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

Got Ghosts

by Fiona Glass

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

Christmas Cruise (Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series Book 4)

by Kim Cox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July Book Reviews Part 2! @BardenRosalind @SelmaWrites @WendyJayneScott @bmellor1 @SuePerkinsAuthr @Ash_Capes @teagangeneviene #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads #readersoftwitter

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case

by Rosalind Barden

“Sparky of Bunker Hill” is a fun YA mystery set in 1932. Sparky is an 11-year-old homeless orphan who does what she needs to survive. On her birthday, when she just wants to enjoy her candy, she comes across a young girl’s dead body—everything changes for her. This finding pushes Sparky into hiding with an interesting cast of characters. I enjoyed her friendship with Bobbie and the new people in her life. It is a strange world she finds herself in while she is trying to clear her name. I was drawn into the 30s easily and Sparky’s stubborn strength. The characters were all unique, down to the stuffed cheetah and closet full of costumes. Sparky has some life lessons to learn along the way, including who to trust. A fast-paced read with some dark humor weaved in that older children and adults can both enjoy.

Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of this fantastic journey. The first chapter not only pulled me in but offered a reminder of where this all started. I couldn’t put “The Veil” down and read it in one sitting to find out how it was concluded. I wasn’t disappointed either, but that’s all I’ll say since I don’t want to give anything away. There were a few surprises and some issues that I would have liked to have been solved differently but it needed to be the way it was written. This says a lot that I was wholly invested in the story and the outcome. As always, the settings pulled me in, and the good and evil characters kept me turning the pages. Emlyn found her place in a world that was in turmoil and I loved her continued growth. I’m glad there is the possibility of more to come, but still, the journey was resolved. I can highly recommend this journey, but suggest you start at the beginning.

Down Under Fantasy Realms: An Anthology By New Zealand and Australian Authors

by Wendy ScottBelinda MellorSue PerkinsAshley CapesBrett AdamsKate Shaw, and Kirsty Anderson

“Down Under Fantasy Realms” is a wonderful introduction to a group of authors that includes excerpts, prequels, works in progress, and short stories in the fantasy genre. I was only familiar with one author, so this was a fun way to learn about new writers. I enjoyed many of the stories, and here are a few that stood out for me: “Vision-Maker” by Wendy Scott, “The Toad Lord” by Kirsty Anderson, and “Hands of a Healer” by Belinda Mellor. A unique collection that was well-written and full of magic, but also some darkness mixed in. Each story offered something different to suit a fantasy reader’s taste with a wide variety of creative imagination. If you are looking for a new fantasy author or want to be entertained, this is for you.

WANTED: Husband/Handyman: A Short Story

by Selma Martin

“Wanted” is a heartwarming story about new love. Grace is a pregnant widow with two young children, who put an ad in the newspaper for a husband/handyman. Tim answered the ad, and it’s apparent they have developed feelings for each other. I love the moments between not only Grace and Tim, but Tim and her children. His devotion to making her life easier is sweet. When the time comes, he is prepared to deliver her baby. I can easily see this as a book and would love to know what happens next to this couple. Beautifully written, just like Ms. Martin’s poetry, I was charmed by these characters.

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!

NOTE: I will be on vacation next week so there will be no post on July 18th. It’s my birthday week and I will be celebrating all week long. One of those milestone ones where I come complete circle back to the year I was born, the water tiger. Besides turning sixty this was the first time they walked on the moon in 1969 on July 20th. No idea what I’m doing but will see where the wind takes me.

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

March Book Reviews Part 2! @linneatanner @bakeandwrite @NorahColvin #bookreviews #writingcommunity #whattoread #indieauthors

The Happy Cat

by Norah Colvin and Jovan Carl Segura (Illustrator)

I bought this for my granddaughter, who has just started reading. There are beautiful illustrations of a gray striped cat, along with the rat and bat he meets along the way. This is great for beginning readers and would be a fun book to read to a smaller child who doesn’t like to sit for longer stories. “The Happy Cat” gives an appropriate reading level, an easy font to read, and follow-up questions. I look forward to giving this as a gift and then getting to enjoy having it read to me!


Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook

by Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle

This is a great addition to my grandkid’s book collection. I love the pictures of the beautiful fondant and the cute poetic story with a nice rhyming flow. A bonus is the recipes included for family cooking. It’s a cute story where Sir Chocolate helps the sugar dough bees after a snail damages the flower patch where the bees feed. I can’t wait to share this book with my youngest granddaughters the next time they visit. Mother and son wrote a fun book for early readers, or adults to enjoy reading to younger children!


Two Faces of Janus: Story Story of Ancient Rome

by  Linnea Tanner

I love how fiction and history are blended so seamlessly in this short story. Young nobleman Lucius fully expects to get the position he wants after schooling. When he is summoned to see Augustus Caesar, first he feels joy, but then doubt and worry creep in. Ms. Tanner not only captures all the emotions of this moment but allows the reader to see how Rome was for not only a noble but an enslaved person. Although short, it managed to pull me right in while I felt concerned for Lucius and his family. The realizations that followed that meeting were real, heartfelt, and painful. Beautifully written, with attention to detail and history, this is a story I won’t soon forget. I can highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.


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: I’m moving March Book Reviews Part 3 up a week to March 28th as I will be on vacation the week of March 21st. Although, I will still be posting Books That Changed Me, 2022 Spring Edition on March 20th, and sending out my monthly newsletter a couple of days early! Watch for both 🙂

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

March Book Reviews Part 1! @JanSikes3 Joy York @JoyYorkAuthor @lionelraygreen #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #indieauthors #bookreviews

Dead of Winter

by Lionel Ray Green

“Dead of Winter” is a scary short story set on a lonely country road. Joe is driving to meet up with his partner when he sees a woman stranded by her car. He pulls over to help with obvious bad intentions. He is a creepy character who wants something but at the same time needs help from his partner—whom he can’t contact. The woman is careful in her responses and doesn’t jump right into trouble with him, which I liked. The pacing was broken up with chapters that worked well, as it seemed to match Joe’s thinking process. There are a couple of surprises, with a great twist. The ending was very satisfying. I can easily recommend this quick read.


The Bloody Shoe Affair: A Daring and Thrilling Adventure with the Jailer’s Daughter

by Joy York

“The Bloody Shoe Affair” is a fun YA whodunit set in Mississippi in the late 1960s. Fourteen-year-old Christi is visiting her grandparents for their 50th-anniversary celebration. She stays with her cousin, Lily, whose father is a law officer, and the house is attached to the jail. Lily’s curiosity of a pair of bloody shoes found but no body pull the two girls into a who was or wasn’t killed. Lily decides the man sitting in jail is innocent, and the two girls begin their investigation. It was fun to go back to the late sixties and see references to snacks, clothes, music, and communications. It brought back some memories of when I grew up. I liked how opposite these girls were, but how they pulled together and got along. Lily was strong and knew how to manipulate adults. While Christi wanted the excitement brought into her life by her cousin, she was more cautious. This was a fun read that reminded me of the Nancy Drew books I used to enjoy with more thrills added in. I could see middle-grade readers enjoying this as well as YA and adults. A fun story that kept me engaged with an exciting ending!


Jagged Feathers

by Jan Sikes

“Jagged Feathers” focuses on Vann or the soldier who brought the message back from Sam in “Ghostly Interference.” He has settled into a cabin with a stray dog who found him. He is broken from the war and vows not to give his heart to anyone. But he also has the rune given to him by another couple, Jag and Rena, who found their happily ever after. When Vann goes into town to get supplies, he runs across a sick woman, Nakina, who needs help. Promising not to go to the hospital, he takes care of her. One thing I really loved about this story is the gentleness of these two characters and their journey. Vann doesn’t feel like a whole man with part of his leg missing but is courageous and kind. Nakina is not only running from some bad people but learning about her gifts and how to use them. Both are artistically inclined, with Vann working with wood and Nakina feathers. Painting feathers completely fascinated me. Plus, they both are carrying issues from their past that could hold them back. I fell in love with the stray dog Champion and this couple. When the bad finds Nakina, it becomes nonstop action while this couple keeps connecting. It’s a beautiful love trying to bloom while they battle the bad guys. This was a perfect blend of PTSD, guilt, bad guys, friendship, acceptance, and embracing the spiritual realm. I absolutely loved this story and can’t wait for the next rune couple. 😊 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!

Watch for a special edition blog this week! You won’t want to miss it.

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

February Book Reviews Part Two! #writingcommunity @Marjorie_Mallon @JillWeatherholt @JacqBiggar @PriscillaBettis #bookreviews #indieauthors #whattoread #yourreadinglist

Golden Healer (The Curse of Time #2)

by M.J. Mallon

“Golden Healer” picks up where the first book left off with Amelina maneuvering through her teen years while embracing her magic as a Krystallos. Some of my favorite parts were the interaction with the girl in the mirror and Amelina and her dad. Not only did the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster, but there was also an actual one in the story. Many good characters all played into finding out more about the darker side or shadows. Ryder is a character who could have an empathic side if he allowed it, but I did like how he developed in the story. Crystals and music added depth to Amelina’s learning quest. Her friendships are still strong and are tested with Ryder involved. There are some beautiful poetic parts, and I love the poetry at the beginning of each chapter. Although this book answers many questions, it also opened the door to new ones. I look forward to more stories from these characters.


Searching for Home

by Jill Weatherholt

“Searching for Home” is a wonderfully uplifting romance full of faith and miscommunication. Meg gives up her successful physical therapy practice to raise her sister’s triplets and take over the bed-and-breakfast. She’s struggling to make ends meet and fixing up the property. When an expected guest, Luke, shows up to recover from an injury—or her high school love. Both are hurting from the past, but right now, it’s the children who need attention and love after being discarded by their parents, along with the business. Meg is a wonderful character who tries to balance being a mother, running the inn, and still doing physical therapy while fighting her feelings for Luke. The love that still exists between the two is obvious to everyone but them. It was easy to have empathy for Luke and his past. I love how he jumped right in to help remodel and develop a bond with the children, especially Tucker. I read this in one sitting, hoping they’d finally have that talk. A sweet romance that I can highly recommend.


Valentine

by Jacquie Biggar

Sierra has just gotten out of a poor relationship and her nest egg for opening her dream business was gone. Val has agreed to stay at his aunt’s place to take care of things while the aunt recovers from illness. Sierra and Val are thrown together, living in the same house, but immediately clash. It doesn’t help that Sierra works for Val’s sister and he overlooked telling her a few minor details. I like the tension between the two and all the character names, especially Cupid for the dog and Valentine for Val. This is a fast and fun read that I read in one sitting. It would be the perfect Valentine’s Day story or any day you want to celebrate love’s bloom.


The Hay Bale

by Priscilla Bettis

“The Hay Bale” is a short horror story filled with chilling passages and light on gore, which I prefer. Claire has miscarried four babies, was turned down for adoption, and her husband left her. She leaves her job as a professor in microbiology to regroup and heal from all her losses in a quaint country house called Small Claws. When things happen in her rented home, she asks questions, to which she finds some chilling answers. The single bale of hay behind the house adds a strange twist and fuels her curiosity. While Clair struggles with her issues within, some really strange things are going on around her. A spooky story with an ending I didn’t expect and easily read in one sitting.


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: Today is my seven-year anniversary of when I broke my foot (on Friday the 13th tripping over my black cat.) It turned out to be a good thing as it finally got me serious about publishing my work. Here is the blog from two years ago when I talked about this fall if you missed it 🙂 LINK

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

My Vacation and a Special December Book Review Part 2! @LBroday @dk_deters #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #holidayreading #authorvaction

Sunset in Kauai

Hi! Because of the holidays, I’m doing a special vacation blog, along with the books I read below.

Before we even left, there were septic problems to deal with. So, we had someone come out, and it wasn’t good news. But they’d fix it while we were away. All our COVID tests were finally in hand and uploaded to the Hawaiian site. Right after we dropped off my husband’s pickup at the body shop for repairs, we were off. He hit a deer a couple of weeks before. In fact, two other cars behind him hit the same deer we were told by insurance.

Finally, we got settled into our hotel by the airport, where the plumbing was working fine 🙂 Flying over had a couple of bumps along the way. It’s never good when you have the captain come on, and there isn’t that reassuring tone you’d hoped to hear in his voice explaining how normal air turbulences were as the plane veered off to the right.

Still, after transferring at Honolulu, we headed off to Kauai, where I saw a pod of whales from my plane window as we descended to land. Stocking up on food, we settled into our room quickly. The view was spectacular, and I took my plan to relax seriously. I read on the lanai and wrote poetry while my husband, daughter, and son-in-law swam.

Swimming in the rain
Beautiful flower
A day at the beach

We saw many turtles, including one sunning on the beach. Our whale watching/fishing tour was canceled because of choppy conditions, which meant more time to relax—enjoy sunsets, watch the soothing waves hit the shore and observe the parrots settling in every night in the palm trees.

Sunning Sea Turtle
Little Grand Canyon
A Kauai Rooster.

The only blip in our stay was the big storm. It didn’t hit our island as hard as the rest, where they were in a state of emergency and flooding. I couldn’t read on our lanai as the rain was coming sideways at me during the worst of the storm. Everyone else swam in this pouring rain, and I continued to read inside.

Visiting the north side of the island on my husband’s birthday.
Walking by the beach
Sea Turtle peeking at me

Our time went by quickly, as all vacations do. Although we didn’t do as much as normal because of my hip/foot issues, which makes it hard to walk a lot, it turns out doing less was just what was needed by all.

On the last morning, as I sipped my tea on the lanai, a whale jumped up as if to say until next time.

Feral cats we fed nightly at the hotel
The hotel we stayed at after they put up the holiday decorations

Back home, with a now repaired septic system, the truck is still in the shop, and we have a big storm looming over us. Although, I have everything I need and memories to carry me into the new year.

I’ll be sharing my vacation poetry in a later post.

Here are the books I read by the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Christmas Once Again

by D.K. Deters

Madison has lost her fiancé, is broke, and is on the verge of losing her job when she gets a call from a man who wants his grandmother’s painting back. She is immediately attracted to his voice and wants to help him. This all falls in the middle of a massive snowstorm right before Christmas. This is a romantic time travel story layered with mystery. What is so special about that painting? I like how everything is tied together as Madison attempts to do a good deed. “Christmas Once Again” is a fun short story to read by the fire during the busy holiday season.


A Cowboy Christmas Legend (Lone Star Legends #2)

by Linda Broday

Sam Legend ll moved away from the world after losing his wife. While he was sleeping, a woman snuck in and held a knife to his throat. Once the misunderstanding is resolved, they are thrown together to help a family. I love the chemistry between Sam and Cheyenne, but I also love the other relationships around them. There is humor, a budding romance, a missing person, and justice to be served. Both Sam and Cheyenne have pasts to overcome, but they now have others who depend on them. Cheyenne’s history unravels slowly, and I appreciated her stance on the treatment of Apache children. These are well-developed characters that drew me into their lives. Christmas was quickly approaching, and there were people to save, criminals who needed to be arrested, and a ranch to run. I read and loved the first book in this series, but it’s unnecessary to read it before reading this because the back story was weaved in nicely. If you like historical western romance, this is a must-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!

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! 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