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

Geller’s Find

By Sandra Cox

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

The Haunting of Chatham Hollow

By Mae Clair and Staci Troilo

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

The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival

By Miriam Hurdle

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

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

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

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

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

Character Facts

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

Excerpt

“Dammit.”

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

The ground under his feet trembled.

The chiastolite glowed. The markings shimmered.

What the hell?

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

He fell into a mineral cylinder.

The bottom dropped.

His stomach flopped and he swirled down.

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

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

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

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

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

He dropped.

Hard earth rose to meet him.

With a thud, he landed.

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

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

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

April Book Reviews Part 1! @ChrissyH_07 @WendyJayneScott @judypost #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread

Following the Green Rabbit: a fantastical adventure

by Chris Hall

“Following the Green Rabbit” is a fun read for upper middle-grade readers and those adults who enjoy an adventure into the unknown. Twelve-year-old Bryony and her sister, eight-year-old Bethany, explore beyond the area they are allowed. Bethany follows a large green rabbit and ends up at the house of a kind couple who appear to be from another time. She is given a gift of a wooden bird and led back to the place where she entered this world. Under the care of the housekeeper, the sisters await the arrival of their new tutor while Bethany keeps searching for the rabbit. When the rabbit appears again, he leads the girls to the same place, where things have changed for the worse. The girls and their new tutor are thrown into the issues the villagers are dealing with. I love how history is weaved into the story, talking about the treatment of women and witchcraft, along with day-to-day life in the 1700s. Seeing cruelty and fear through children’s eyes also offers their hope and belief in things working out. A great time-travel historical fiction story that held me captive. I’d love to see another green rabbit story and can highly recommend this for children and those young at heart.


Mythical Creatures Writing Prompts: 31 Creative Activities for Kids (Deluxe Colour Edition) (Aspiring Author Series)

By WJ Scott

I bought “Mythical Creatures Writing Prompts” for my oldest granddaughter, who has written a few stories independently. I have enjoyed past books in this series and used them to encourage my grandchildren to create stories. Now, I will give my granddaughter this as a gift so she can work on and enhance her budding love of writing. I loved the colorful pictures, and the room allowed for the children to write a story. All the prompts offered a good place to get started on a fantasy story, like “You befriend a lost mermaid who asks you to help find her missing sisters.” This is a book that can inspire creativity and allow a place for it to be explored.


The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1)

by Judi Lynn

“A Body in the Attic” not only has a murder to solve, but friendship, family, and house flipping. Jazzi flips houses with her cousin, Jerod, and a contractor, Ansel. While cleaning the attic, Jazzi finds a body in a chest that turns out to be her aunt, who supposedly left town years ago. While they continue fixing the house, she tries to figure out what happened to her aunt. I enjoyed the mystery and trying to figure out who did it. I got half of that part right but was surprised with a twist at the end. Jazzi’s cooking and weekly family meals were charming and offered some humorous moments. What surprised me was how interested I became in house flipping and the improvements throughout the story. I started thinking of ways to enhance my home. George, the pug, and her friendship and interest in Ansel, who was in a bad relationship, were pleasant additions. A fun whodunit that I enjoyed. I look forward to reading more in this 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 leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

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

Sunset in Kauai

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

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

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

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

Swimming in the rain
Beautiful flower
A day at the beach

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

Sunning Sea Turtle
Little Grand Canyon
A Kauai Rooster.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas Once Again

by D.K. Deters

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


A Cowboy Christmas Legend (Lone Star Legends #2)

by Linda Broday

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


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

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