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

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

April Book Reviews Part 2! @teagangeneviene @bakeandwrite #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #goodbooks

Someone Close to Home

by Alex Craigie

“Someone Close to Home” is a powerful read that I had difficulty putting down. Megan suffers a stroke and is placed in a lower-end care facility whose priority is making money over patient care. Unable to move or communicate, she is at the mercy of the staff, some of which are cruel. The story is told in Megan’s current time frame and her past. It takes us into a life of a successful pianist, a controlling mother and shows how she ended up alone in horrible conditions. The subjects of eldercare and abusive relationships were handled well and had me rooting for Megan throughout her life. The narrative was told in the first person, and it was like I was sitting next to someone telling me about their life. This is a fast-paced story that tugged at my heart. I couldn’t help but admire Megan’s strength, even with all the poor decisions she made throughout her life. There were moments of self-sacrifice and then, thankfully, a bit of blissful peace for her. This is a well-written story, brimming with emotions, that I highly recommend.


Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Another great journey where the ongoing growth of Emlyn is fascinating to observe as the world fights for survival. The battle is in full swing, with people fighting while a few watches in a mirror. I love the dragon has returned, although unable to help as he wanted to. The addition of the unpredictable goddesses and what the binding spell could do, adds to the tension as they fight Arawn’s overwhelming army. The ships, weapons, and little details bring this all to life. I don’t want to say too much and make this a spoiler. I can’t wait for the last installment of a story that has held me captive for the entire journey.


Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog

by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

“Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog” is a sweet story told poetically about a young boy who must decide what to do when a dog is drowning in the chocolate pond. There is not only a story that will keep young readers interested, but great fondant pictures and recipes. I bought this book for my youngest grandkids, and it was a pleasure to sit down with them and read it. The children, five and six years old, completely enjoyed the story. Plus, they requested we try to make one of the included recipes, the Oreo cupcakes. The oldest decided that the author must be extremely talented by making such beautiful fondants. I agree! Another great addition to my grandchildren’s bookshelf.


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 great indie 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

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

cover for The Yak Guy Project

Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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


The Yak Guy Project

by C.S. Boyack

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


Maggie’s Revenge (Wounded Hearts #6)

by Jacquie Biggar

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


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


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


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

September Book Reviews Part 3! @AnnikaPerry68 @StephenGeez @teagangeneviene #WritingCommunity #BookReviews #WhatToRead

 

Oskar’s Quest

by Annika Perry Author, and Gabrielle Vickery, Illustrator

I purchased “Oskar’s Quest” as a gift for my youngest granddaughter’s upcoming birthday and wanted to read and review it before wrapping it up. It is a charming story about a young bird, Oskar, who fearfully veers off from his group of birds hunting for dragons. He finds a sad little island where a cloud has taken the songbird. I love how the little bird finds his courage in a search for the songbird. This story teaches not only to push past fears but to understand each other. The illustrations are colorful and bring the story to life. I enjoyed this tale and can’t wait to share it with my granddaughter soon!


Comes This Time To Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez

by Stephen Geez

“Comes This Time to Float” is an impressive collection of short stories that cover many genres. I enjoyed all of them, but “Vapor Girl,” “Comes Time to Float,” and “Age Eater” were some of the very favorites that I know will stick with me for a while. Each fictional piece had a common thread of attention to detail and emotions that drew me in. Before each story, Mr. Geez shared why he wrote or the history behind each one, which was fun to know. There was also an accompanying picture that added to my reading pleasure. There’s a lot of heart inside the 19 short tales, which I really felt in “Veneer,” but humor, intriguing insight, and variety were also woven in. It’s a wonderful read where each piece offers something different. A well-written collection that I can easily recommend.


Dead of Winter: Journey 8, The Lost Library

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I was excited to explore the Lost Library with the characters. It’s a place I’d definitely go, even with all the other stuff going on around, and in it. There was some insight into the Deae Matres and a glimpse into what Arawn was doing. Then comes a leap of faith to save not only a friend but the world. I thought I had some characters figured out but found I might be wrong. This one was fast-paced and full of new things to ponder. I can’t wait for Journey 9 to see where this all goes. I highly recommend the Dead of Winter Series, but make sure you’ve read the other journeys before reading this one!


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

Happy Birthday, Jeffry!

Newsletter goes out tomorrow 🙂

Watch for “Books That Changed Me—Fall Edition” on September 22nd!

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