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

Pride and Fall

by Staci Troilo

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


Out and About (The Cathedral Lake Series Book 2)

by Staci Troilo

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


Hues Of Hope: Selected Poetry

by Balroop Singh

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April Book Review Part 3! @Virgilante @stacitroilo @supermegawoman #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #indieauthors

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (Amanda Travels #8)

by Darlene Foster

“Amanda in Malta” is a middle-grade read filled with mystery and history. Amanda receives a postcard from Malta written by her friend, Leah, who asks for her help. Luckily Amanda’s friend Caleb and his family are going to Malta on vacation, and she can go with them. As they explore the sights, Amanda starts to unravel Leah’s situation with her aunt. I felt like I had visited Malta when I finished reading the book. The attention to detail was amazing, and it was like I had gone on tour with Amanda. This is the first book I’ve read in the series, and I will now go back and read more of her adventures. A great read for not only middle-grade readers but can be for the adult who is young at heart, like me. I will be giving this book to my older granddaughter for her birthday!


Between the Vines (Keystone Couples, #3)

by Staci Troilo

“Between the Vines” is sadly the final story in the Keystone Couples Series. I have enjoyed meeting all three couples, and it was nice to see everyone make an appearance. Elena was bullied in high school by Heather, and it still affects her. She’s had a crush on her brother’s friend since those days, but Aaron ended up dating Heather. Although both are single now and still attracted to each other, Elena avoids getting involved with anyone after the horrible rumors spread by Heather. Although violence isn’t the answer, I must admit there was a very satisfying punch. There were consequences, and Heather quickly became a character easy to hate. It is another great love story that can be read in one sitting, and I can easily recommend it.


Good Liniment (The Hat #5)

by C.S. Boyack

“Good Liniment” brings back all my favorite characters, especially the hat. Lizzie went home to regroup, so the hat made his way to her in an interesting way. When their issues are resolved, it’s time to bring the band back together. During this, Lizzie gets a case where she needs to find out why someone wants the witches in a coven killed. I always enjoy the humor and depth of the world created, including the radio show Night Bump. It’s nice when individuals from other books pay a visit too. This can be a standalone read, but having been there from the start it sure added more complexity to the story. Another great addition to the Hat Series, and I can’t wait for more.


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  with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

New Release—Pour It On (Keystone Couples Novella) by Staci Troilo @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #newrelease #indieauthor #whattoread #bookreview #romance

Today I’m sharing the good news of fellow Story Empire Author, Staci Troilo’s latest release—Pour It On and my review!

BLURB

Bold, complex, vibrant. The wine is, too.

Despite Romy Chandler hosting a romantic meet-and-greet at her restaurant, she’s all business. When her sommelier quits without any notice—to work for the competition, no less—she goes into mega-mogul-mode. The last thing on her mind is finding a man. She’s looking for someone who knows his way around a Bordeaux, not the boudoir.

Rick Santucci grew up in his family’s vineyard. After years of hard work, he’s turned his grandfather’s humble produce farm into a profitable winery. Once he gets their bottles into the right establishments, he’ll be able to acquire more land and move into the next phase of the company’s expansion. His mother thinks the next stage should be a wife and children, but his sights are set on different fertile grounds.

When Rick and Romy meet, they both forget all about their ambitions. The evening becomes less about revenue than romance, and they get distracted by the music and wine. She thinks he’s the man she needs, both in the restaurant and out. He finds her to be the perfect partner on the dance floor and believes she’ll be the perfect business partner, too. But a series of mix-ups could put an end to everything they’ve started—personally and professionally.

FIVE-STAR REVIEW

Pour It On (Keystone Couples)

by Staci Troilo

“Pour It On” is the second novella in the Keystone Couple series, of which I was already a fan. Romy owns a restaurant, and her sommelier quit right before Valentine’s Day and an event. Luckily, she was able to get three candidates to interview for the job. Romy is simply trying to resolve what seems like an impossible situation, and I sympathized with her. Her quick wit, strength, and determination to make her business a success made her an interesting character to root for. I loved the humor in this story, along with the misunderstandings and miscommunications. Rick works for his family winery and is looking to expand sales and do right by his family. I love when — and how — Romy and Rick meet. “Pour It On” pulled me in from the first line and made me smile. I can highly recommend this quick read and fun love story that captivated me.

You can pick up your copy here: PURCHASE LINK

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations.

You can find out more about Staci on her website! 

 

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

New Release! “No Such Luck” by Staci Troilo— A Book Review. @stacitroilo #bookrelease #bookreview #mustread #whattoread #writingcommunity

Amazing fellow Story Empire Author and wonderful human being, Staci Troilo, just released a new romantic novella, “No Such Luck.” She’s making the rounds on her release tour so don’t miss out on that! I know I’ll be following along 🙂

Today, I decided to give “No Such Luck” its own special review day in honor of its release. You will see this review again in December on my regular book review post too!

BLURB

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.

The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.


 MY REVIEW

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.

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK US

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK UK

Embrace that inner child by reading a good story—like “No Such Luck!” D. L. Finn

October Book Review Part 3! @Dwallacepeach @stacitroilo @jlbryanbooks #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads

Socerer's Garden Book Cover

The Sorcerer’s Garden

by D. Wallace Peach

Madlyn loses her job, but quickly finds one where she reads to a young man, Cody, who is in a vegetative state after an accident. After running out of things to read to him, she finds a fantasy book he’d been working on and starts reading that. This is where reality and fantasy blur. I could relate to Madlyn and her confusion with what was happening, plus all the strange hints the grandma threw at her. Both beautiful and dark settings, along with poetic images, drew me deep into this story. I loved Madlyn’s developing relationship with not only Cody but his brother Dustin. My favorite parts were when the book was being read. Greed, evil, and power crossed both worlds and mirrored many current issues. This was a clever intertwining of fantasy within reality that took Madlyn, and others, on a journey that came out in a place that made sense. A fantasy story that I can easily recommend. Five-Stars!


Valuable Treasures

by Staci Troilo

Having read and loved the Medici Protectorate Series, I was thrilled to see there was a short story prequel to it. Ottavio and a very pregnant Anita are trying to find the American Dream in the Colorado mountains. Ottavio puts in long hours with little to show for it. One day he comes home with an unexpected find right as Anita goes into labor. They hope to be able to use this to go back to Italy, but things quickly change. This is beautifully written, and I could feel the hardship they had endured, including down to the detail of their poor diet. What happens next is heartbreaking, but then comes a relief to see a familiar group. This can be a standalone read, but I highly recommend the following books in the Medici Protectorate Series. Five-Stars!


Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper

(Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1)

by J.L. Bryan

Ellie professionally removes unwanted ghosts from buildings. She’s teamed up with a newbie partner, Stacey, on a new case. A ghost haunts a family trying to renovate an older house and make it into a Bed and Breakfast. There is a lot of detail that goes into ghost hunting and the ghost makes an appearance quickly in the story. What seems like a normal haunting has many more layers to it. The in-house investigation was scary, but I felt my heart race when they visited an old asylum. I would have been terrified to have been with them. I like the relationship that develops between Ellie and Stacey as we slowly get to know them. This haunted house held my attention and had an unexpected twist. A good start to a ghost series with a likable main character. This is for anyone who enjoys a ghost story with ghost trappers involved. Four-Stars.


For the next two weeks, I will be doing my personal short story challenge with new words, faith & effervescent—and their images.


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!

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

May Book Reviews! @stacitroilo @NatalieDucey @MarciaMeara #bookreviews #indieauthors #whattoread #writingcommunity

Summer Magic

by Marcia Meara

“Summer Magic” is a wonderful collection of poetry presented in two parts. The first part was based on a character, Mac, from a favorite series of mine, Wake-Robin Ridge. The poems are an amazing glimpse into his childhood and the mountains he grew up in. The second half of the book offered beautiful images that tugged at my heart or took me on a journey. Here are a few of my favorite passages: “Stars, he thinks, pulled loose/From the fabric of the sky,/And flung toward earth/Trailing silver and gold,/And bringing a piece of Heaven/To those watching below,” “Caught in that space between/Daylight and dusk,/When all things seem possible,/And the ordinary,/Remarkable,” “Reminds me of those early days/When all water rushed clear and cold,/And teemed with Promise so bright/You could almost catch it in your hands,” and “Bees moving slowly from/Flower to flower,/In dance weighed down by heat.” This is a collection I highly recommend, and I’ll definitely be reading it again.

The Heart’s Lullaby

by Natalie Ducey

“The Heart’s Lullaby” is a beautiful collection of poems that come from love. I felt many emotions as I read through the poems, some made me smile, and others brought tears. Each one offered something of the heart’s experience. Here are a couple of passages that moved me: “The power of a thousand suns/Delicate as morning dew/The dawn course of enchantment/This is my memory of you,” and “His haggard guitar;/Every note frees his soul/His voice carries on the wind/All welcome this one man show.” A thoughtful book to enjoy more than once.


Mystery Ink.: Mystery Heir

by Staci Troilo

“Mystery Heir” is a fast-paced, cozy mystery. The Dotson twins, Naomi, and Penelope live in a town that believes it’s cursed, but they don’t. Following the murder of a prominent local man, a burglary occurs during the town’s festival. Naomi, who is the more determined of the twins, jumps right into the situation. Her sister is thoughtful and fashion-oriented and tries to interject reason. I love the interaction between the sisters, including their fights. They can take care of themselves, having learned defensive arts, plus they have each other’s backs. When someone they don’t believe is guilty of the crimes he was accused of, they jump in to clear his name. Naomi is my favorite twin. Although she can get herself into trouble, her relationship with the mayor was fun to watch evolve. I thought I had figured out the whodunit many times, only to be wrong. A well-written mystery with characters I cared about and rooted for until the very end. If you enjoy a good cozy mystery, this is for you!

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

August Book Reviews! @rjkrzak @Sandra_Cox @stacitroilo, #RWISA Authors: @BeemWeeks @bernardfoong @dlfinnauthor @gmplano @healthmn1 @rijanjks @HowellWave @KIngallsAuthor @LauraLibricz @boom_lyn @startrailsIV @_MarlenaSmith_ @MAAdlerWrites @MichelleAbbott4 @NonnieJules @rhanidchae @fredsdiary1981 @jhawker69 @pursoot @WendyJayneScott @YvetteMCalleiro

WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Anthology, Vol 1

by Nonnie Jules & members of RWISA

“Watch RWISA Write” is written by the members of Rave Writers – Int’l Society of Authors which is a division of Rave Reviews Book Club. It’s a fantastic collection of work that varies from fiction, poetry, history, reality, and of course, it’s well written. I couldn’t pick just one great piece of work because they were all good. Each author provided an entertaining read with the paranormal, karma, humor, drama, and thought-provoking insights. A great book and no matter what your mood, you can find something to read. I highly recommend this anthology!


 

The Scout: Dark Crossings

by D.L. Cross

Having read and loved “The Gate” by Ms. Cross, I was excited to see a sci-fi short story based on that world. Sent out to scout the aliens, J finds them. His character had so much depth that I felt his discomfort of being alone when J was used to functioning in a group.  J’s commitment to his duty and what he found was fascinating and complicated. This well-written quick read can be a stand-alone. I highly recommend it!


 

ThunderTree

by S Cox

This is the second western romance I’ve read by Ms. Cox. I loved “SilverHills” and had high expectations for this story. I was not disappointed and found it hard to put down.  Ben avoided all attachments except for his eagle. But on his way to Mexico, he rescues Kate and ends up at her family’s ranch as a hand. He only agrees to stay a month but starts to find himself caring about this family and the ranch. The characters had my heart immediately. Kate’s strength and Ben’s honesty was a good blend, and I started rooting for them right away. Kate’s Uncle John T was a man of principles that ran his ranch and house fairly, while Kate’s friendship with Sarah was endearing. I appreciated Ben and his eagle’s connection. There was plenty of action with cattle rustlers and Kate’s friend was in a bad situation. The descriptions were stunning and put me right on this Texas ranch. I highly recommend this if you love a good western romance!


 

The Kurdish Connection

by Randall Krzak

I don’t usually pick middle-east military stories, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book. What I found was a very detailed history of the Kurds that included Turkey, Syria, and Iraqi. Many POVs gave a complete picture of all the sides, which I appreciated, but it was a lot to keep track of, too. Getting into the heads of the Kurds in the characters Ismet, Dersim, and Hawre to see their side of things was fascinating and what I liked best in the story. When the Kurds found the twenty-year-old chemical weapons and their decision what to do next made sense–from their perspective and history. Then a secret special operative team was sent into three countries to find these weapons before they were used. I was happy with the conclusion of the book. It was an interesting and sometimes eye-opening read, that gave a lot of information to the reader.


Embrace your inner child by reading a great story this summer! D. L. Finn

New Release “The Gate” by D.L. Cross @stacitroilo

Please welcome Staci Troilo here today with her new book “The Gate” written under the pen name, D.L. Cross.  Isn’t that an amazing name? I think that makes us pen name sisters! I don’t usually have the book read and reviewed for release day posts, but this time I do. So, I’ve included the review at the end of today’s post


 

TheGate-2-bluegreen

Thanks for inviting me here today. I’m excited to share an excerpt from The Gate, Book 1 of the Astral Conspiracy series in the Invasion Universe.

Excerpt:

“Wait,” Landon said.

Nadia turned around.

“How are we going to pay for all this?”

“There’s no one here to pay.” She rolled her eyes.

“But taking this stuff is stealing. It’s going to come out of someone’s wages. Or prices will rise. And what if we’re on their security cameras?”

“This is Armageddon, buddy.” Dev slung an arm around Landon’s shoulder. “I doubt the owners will miss what we took, and in two days, this place will have been looted to the last nail. The cops will have more problems on their hands than one in a large number of thieves.”

Three. Not one. But making sure they shared the blame was hardly the point at the moment. “I just don’t feel right about it.”

“If you find this troublesome, you’re probably going to hate … well, everything from this point forward.” Nadia turned then walked out the door.

Dev followed, munching on cheese puffs.

Landon longed for the days when people carried cash. He’d have left money at the register. But if they were right, it probably wouldn’t matter. And with that bleak thought, he followed them out to the Humvee. After a silent debate with his inner Jiminy Cricket, he caved and selected a bag of nacho chips and a cola.

It was well past the park’s posted operational hours when they arrived. It closed at four o’clock on weekdays, but they were about fifteen minutes from dusk.

“I forgot about park hours,” Landon said. “I don’t want to wait until tomorrow to get in there.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Nadia shook her head and jumped out of the vehicle. “You sure are slow to process info, Professor. Rules no longer matter.”

Professor. That made the stolen chips and soda slosh uncomfortably in his gut. He wasn’t a professor anymore. He wasn’t anything anymore. Just a washed-up crackpot with outlandish theories. What if he was wrong about the disc being there? They might leave him in the middle of nowhere to find his way … where? Landon had nowhere to go. If this government-helper thing didn’t pan out, he was screwed.

Maybe he should have asked for a contract of some sort.

Dev tossed a shovel to him and shouldered the other. Then he grabbed both sets of gloves. “Can’t drive around the gate. We walk from here. Lead the way, Doc.”

“Sergeant,” Nadia said. “Stay with the vehicle. Keep the lights on. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll help.”

They wouldn’t. The mouth of the serpent was too far away. But Landon didn’t want to tell her that.

The three of them climbed over the gate, the agents much more gracefully than him. He hefted the shovel and nodded down the road. “This way.”

The click of a gun’s safety was unmistakable in the silence of the gloaming.

Then came a single chilling word in a deep, gravelly voice. “Freeze.”

 

Blurb:

He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

 

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Bio:

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.


My five-star review:

I’ve been looking forward to this release and was impressed from the first page. “The Gate” is the beginning of the Astral Conspiracy Series, and I found it was like reading a movie it was so vivid. The characters felt very real including my favorite, Landon Thorne. He had theories others made fun of until they realized he was right. I connected with him staying true to himself and not allowing others to force change. With so much action and urgency in the story, it was hard to put down. I found myself saying more than once: “They don’t have time for this!” There was plenty of history and research mixed into the story that added another level of intrigue. Ancient Alien Theories fascinate me, so I was thrilled to find an exciting story with that woven into it. I highly recommend this well-written book, especially if you love aliens, the what-if scenario, action, history, theories, and characters you can grow to love–and hate!