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

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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.

 

TheGate-teaser-2-freeze

 

Universal Purchase Link | More Information | Invasion Universe Newsletter

 

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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!

May Book Reviews @MichaelEging @stacitroilo @frstepnowski @FrostFyre

Frost Fyre: and Other Poems

by Flossie Benton Rogers

“Frost Fyre” is a poetry collection of mythology, whimsy, darkness, and love. There’s an abundance of imagery, which includes winter and the moon, that drew me in. There’s a Cinquain section towards the end which I enjoyed, but I loved the poems dedicated to the author’s husband layered with love and passion. I felt the stories within the poems which intrigued me. I’m eager to explore more of Ms. Rogers books.


Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey

by Forrest Stepnowski

“Journey to the Rainbow’s End” is a reflective, insightful, fictional-reality told through poems and short stories. The story felt like I’d found his personal journal because the writing was so intimate. I could relate and empathize to the pain, confusion, and hope that came through the words. As I read, I began to contemplate the exquisiteness of rainbows. It’s the blending of colors that make the rainbow so special. Mr. Stepnowski’s book shows his readers how beautiful every person is and needed to make the rainbow of humanity. This is a journey to acceptance that was not only heartbreaking, but inspiring and a beautiful voice that needs to be heard.


Tortured Soul (Medici Protectorate Book 4)

by Staci Troilo

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Medici Series. “Tortured Soul” is the finale, and I was sad to see it come to an end. This book’s focus was on the final Brother, Coz, and Notaro sister, Toni, and their connection. The relationship felt very real with their baggage, especially Toni’s self-image issues. Watching the couple navigate from what was expected of them, to what they felt was intriguing. I enjoyed Coz’s development as his unique power revealed itself. The history and Italian culture mixed in with the action and romance made it hard to put down. This is a well-written steamy romantic-adventure that I suggest you read from the beginning, to fully enjoy the outcome. I highly recommend this book and series. I look forward to more from this author.


Body Armor (Medici Protectorate Series, #3)

by Staci Troilo

The Medici Series continues with the focus on one of the brothers, Nico, and, Donni, a Notaro sister that the brothers are assigned to protect. I loved Nico’s inner struggle throughout the story especially when it came to Donni. Nico is the brother’s computer genius and more in his head than the others. The very question as to what was real or magic and his own will was intriguing. It was the perfect match for Donni and her willingness to go after what she wanted. The small details when the group ate or relaxed added another dimension to the story and wove the Italian culture throughout. This is a well-written exciting thriller and steamy romance. I’m heading off to read the final book and can’t wait to see how it all ends!


The Silver Horn Echoes: A Song of Roland

by Michael Eging and Steve Arnold

This is a historical fiction book based on the epic poem “The Song of Roland.” I read this poem in my literature class in college, so I knew the time frame and some of the history surrounding it, which helped me dive right in. Although I’m not a huge fan of war and battles, this story had my attention from the first chapter. It is well-written, and the attention to detail and history was outstanding. There’s plenty of power grabbing, gory battles, love, betrayal, murder, and honor. “The Silver Horn Echoes” is not my normal genre to read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you love history, knights, war, political/religious intrigue, and bravery, you’ll enjoy this tale.

Watch for two special blog posts this week:)

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

March Book Reviews @StephenGeez @ammanay @stacitroilo @BalroopShado

Let’s take a break from “Just Her Poetry” to talk about some great books I’ve read!

 

Timeless Echoes

by Balroop Singh

“Timeless Echoes” is a beautiful collection of free verse poetry. I loved the echo theme throughout the words that connected them. There were many subjects, but all came from the heart. I could relate as a mother and human being with the poem, “Shrieking Echoes.” It tugged on my soul. Ms. Singh’s use of nature provided solid images to guide me through the feelings. “Captive” reminded me that nothing is permanent, much like the snow–so are our emotions. “First Love” references books, and that brought an inner smile of a reader’s truth. Poetry finds a way to connect us, and this collection did that on many levels.  I recommend this heartfelt book of poems.


Mind Control (Medici Protectorate #2)

by Staci Troilo

This is the second book in the “Medici Protectorate” Series. It continues the story of the brothers whose job it is to protect the bloodline of the Medici family or the Notaro sisters. The focus in “Mind Control” is on Vinnie and Jo and the secrets they both have. Drawn to each other they let their fears get in the way, which only adds to their attraction. Their past keeps them from trusting and in Jo’s case makes her want to run away. I found myself rooting for them to get past themselves. With the enemy one step behind the group, Vinnie and Jo’s steamy romance takes over the story. There were some surprises I wasn’t expecting, which I always appreciate. I loved the Italian culture infused into the storyline along with the magic, family, relationships, betrayal and coming to terms with the past. I’m enjoying this series and can’t wait to read the next book. If you love a steamy romance, adventure, history, strong characters, and family, you’ll love this series, but start with book one and take the whole journey.


Unclean

By A. M. Manay

“Unclean” is the second installment of the “Hexborn Chronicles,” and the storyline continues where the first book left off. I’ve come to adore the new relationship between Shiloh and Silas. I was sad they were apart, thanks to greed, corruption, power and some bad decisions. This left Shiloh finding her inner leader as she takes care of the people falling sick. Then things go from bad to worse, and Shiloh develops new friendships. Her determination pulled me further into this intriguing story that’s filled with magic, royalty, family, loyalty, and deception. Shiloh gains more knowledge of not only herself but how to maneuver within a bleak situation.

This is a well-written, fast-paced adventure with enough twists, making it hard to put down. Shiloh is at the heart of this tale and has quickly become one of my favorite characters with her strength and sense of justice, even though she is one of the “unclean.”  Like I said about the first book, I’m captivated with the magical girl who has pink hair and eyes.   Although this can be a stand-alone, I’d start with “Hexborn.” You don’t want to miss any of this tale. I highly recommend this YA book for all ages.


What Sara Saw

by Stephen Geez

A simple trip to an art gallery and a pen drawing changes the lives of Geoffrey and Phrekka. A friendship ensues over a picture of a young boy. Then an amazing journey begins to find the artist, Sara. What these two people discover is more than just an artist, it is also a journey of finding themselves, too. I loved the inner dialog and insecurities that made both characters incredibly real to me. The story was tender and painful as it unfolded. I was utterly taken in by the complicated relationships and spellbound as each detail was revealed. It is a unique story of love with some cruel realities of life thrown in. Beautifully written, this is a story I will remember.


This will be a busy week:

  1. There will be a special edition blog for “Books That Changed Me” 2019 Spring Edition.
  2. Monthly Newsletter will make it to your email on the first day of spring.
  3. “Just Her Poetry” Tour starts Tuesday,  March 19-29. I will post a link here each day of the tour.
  4. “Just Her Poetry” release day on Amazon, March 22nd! March 31st everywhere else.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Spring Week:)

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

Final Book Reviews for 2018! @W_Angels_Wings @woodheat @stacitroilo @Sandra_Cox @Lizzie_Chantree @MarciaMeara

 

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody Kindle Edition

by Marcia Meara

This is the second novella in the series with the Emissaries, Jake and Dodger, working for Archangel Azrael. There’s the same depth and humor in this heartfelt tale that I enjoyed in “The Emissary”. I loved the developing relationship between Jake and Dodger as they work to save people from themselves. Dodger’s regret adds a new layer to this story. I can’t wait to see how that works out…and how Azrael plays into that. This is a perfect Christmas read, but would be great any time of the year. There was an amazing ending and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. If you haven’t read the first novella–you should–then you can fully enjoy this highly recommended sequel!


Mylee in the Mirror (Greek Mythology Fantasy Series Book 2) Kindle Edition

by Ellie Collins

This is another great book in the Greek Mythology Fantasy Series. While the first book dealt with sixth grader D.J., Persephone and a move including a new school, “Mylee in the Mirror” takes on high school, Aphrodite, dating, change and expectations. The opening of the book drew me right in with a surprise and I was hooked. Mylee is moving her beloved grandmother into assisted living; her parents are fighting, and the most popular guy in school asks her out–making life confusing for her. But even with all that was going on at least Mylee had her best friends and trampoline and tumbling. The characters are well-written and the relationships realistic. Mylee’s home life felt genuine, and the connection between her and her grammy was sweet. I loved the life lessons about being true to yourself, that applied to the adults in the story, too. Adding in the magic of a Greek Goddess and her interactions with Mylee made this story a lot of fun and exciting to read. I’m looking forward to the next book and highly recommend this imaginative book and amazing young author.


Merry Ex-mas

by Michael Lynes

This is a short science fiction tale of a group of humans traveling to a new planet. Holly’s the only one awake on her shift when an object is spotted coming directly at them. It’s been nine long years of traveling and what happens next brought a smile to my face. I loved the blend of sci-fi and the fantasy of Christmas into one magical story. If you like holiday-themed stories I highly recommend this to you!


When We Finally Kiss Goodnight

by Staci Troilo

“When We Finally Kiss Goodnight” is a steamy romance with an interesting story line that kept me turning the pages. Chloe hoped to leave her life behind with a new job interview in Pittsburgh. What she didn’t count on is running into her college crush who broke her heart, Britt. My favorite part was the tension between Britt and Chloe with their unsaid assumptions and how that played out in conversations. The things being left unsaid with the obvious attraction between them and the potential for growth was intriguing. I especially liked the trip they took to Gettysburg and the legend Chloe ran into along the way. This is a satisfying feel-good holiday short story that I recommend if you are a fan of passionate romance.


Moon Watchers (Hunters Book 2)

by  Sandra Cox

“Moon Watchers” is the second in the Hunters series. The story veers from hunting “vamps” with Zoe on Vampire Island to “weres” with Zoe’s cousin, Jolene, in the snowy forest of Minnesota. It starts with an immediate encounter with both werewolves–and Braden who just shows up to help out. This sweet and exciting YA book has a couple of twists along the way. I love Jolene’s no-nonsense, fearless personality and how it interacts with the mysterious handsome Braden who seems to be hiding a secret. I could easily picture myself in the cabin she’d just inherited. I adored the quaint town she ventured into to get her cup of coffee and supplies. I found this an enjoyable adventure that kept me reading late into the night like the first book did. If you’re a fan of vampires, werewolves and their hunters, along with a sweet romance, I recommend this series for both adults and younger readers.


If You Love Me, I’m Yours

by Lizzie Chantree

This was a fun and lighthearted story about a girl named Maud stuck in a sensible life. She’s a teacher who loves to paint. Only her best friend Daisy backs her talent, not her sensible parents. This leads Maud to an art gallery opening after Daisy submits her painting. The night changes her life and leads her to a new friendship with Dot and a new love interest. I love the relationship she develops with Dot. It is changing as they both change within it. She also finds herself with two love interests and a few surprises along the way. The book’s title is how Maud expresses her talent by leaving gifts of her work for others to enjoy, which made me smile. It was fun being immersed into the world of art. I recommend this story especially if you like a good love story with friendship and self-growth mixed in–I know I enjoyed it.


UPDATES:

Watch for an early edition of the monthly newsletter, Monday 12-17-18.

I will have “Books That Changed Me–Winter Edition”  as my last post of the year on December 21st. I’ll be back on 1-6-19.

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book in 2019! D.L. Finn