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

July Book Reviews Part 2—Birthday Poem! @Dwallacepeach @Sandra_Cox @Didi_Oviatt @jamescudney4 #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

Cover to The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

Weathering Old Souls

by James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt

“Weathering Old Souls” is a unique collaboration that was seamlessly written. Abigail was living with an emotionally distant father, but luckily the family next door is there. Abigail has some issues that doctors believe need to be medicated, but that doesn’t happen. This allows a journey for Abigail to explore what is happening to her. Her research and insights not only take her to the south during slavery, the Titanic, and Japanese internment camps during WW2, but she finds a serial killer in the mix. Margaret, who was there for her growing up, became her big sister and biggest supporter. Told through more than one POV and several settings allows a complete look into what Abigail is dealing with throughout her youth into adulthood. I enjoyed the mystery and examining the idea of past lives. Although I recognized the serial killer when introduced, I was still drawn into how that would play out. The use of crystals and psychics was a nice addition to the story as she seeks answers. Good blend of genres and authors. If you enjoy a mystery with an uncommon other-worldly twist, this is for you.


Keeper Tyree

By Sandra Cox

“Keeper Tyree” is a fast-paced western that focuses on revenge. Keeper is a bounty hunter who has a reputation with women and fast draws. A widow, Cathleen, approaches him to find the man who killed her son. He reluctantly agrees to help her. After meeting Cathleen’s father and daughter, he sets off to find this criminal and collect his bounty. He doesn’t expect to be followed, though. I love the story is told from only Keeper’s POV and found it fascinating to see things from his perspective. There was good chemistry between Keeper and Cathleen with fun dialog. The settings were vivid, bringing me right into the story. I love the people they came across on this journey. A favorite became Maybell and her group. The action began immediately and never let up. This was a page-turner that I read in two sittings and would have in one if I hadn’t needed to sleep. It was nice to see a nod to another bounty hunter from a past book. If you love westerns with some romance and good characters, this book is for you. I highly recommend it.


The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

by D. Wallace Peach

I’ve been looking forward to reading The Ferryman and the Sea Witch because I love all things ocean and fantasy—and was not disappointed. When he was a young boy, Callum tried to save the sea merrow queen’s daughter tangled in fish netting. The crew paid for standing by, but Callum was offered a deal to never set foot on land and become the Ferryman. He was the only one allowed to cross the sea, if a human sacrifice was offered each crossing. So, Callum transported goods between two warring cities. Then comes the time for him to deliver more than goods. Secrets are revealed that change everything. I love how skillfully Ms. Peach weaves in the details and scenery. It makes a fantasy world seem very real. The characters were flawed and well-rounded, and I rooted for several outcomes and relationships. Beautifully written with dark undertones made this a story I didn’t want to put down. This is a book I highly recommend!

***

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

NOTES & A Poem:

  1. I will be on vacation this week celebrating my birthday! So there will be no blog next Sunday, and I will be quiet on social media and blogs:)
  2.  Newsletters went out early yesterday because of vacation. Check your email if subscribed!

Now here is the poem I wrote years ago, and is in No Fairy Tale, about the first step on the moon. As a young girl, I really did believe that was part of my birthday gift. Since that moment, I’ve always been fascinated with the moon!

MOONWALK: JULY 20, 1969

The night loved me.

It was mutual.

The stars,

The quiet,

The crickets,

The moon—especially the moon.

Hours passed

In perfect silence,

Eyes staring

As the huge

Parental face

Stared back,

Its familiar glow

So far away.

All things were possible,

And just as impossible.

So, no surprise on my seventh birthday

When I watched and heard,

“That’s one small step for man,

One giant leap for mankind.”

The astronaut Neil Armstrong,

The spaceship Eagle,

The Sea of Tranquility

Were my gift.

I’m positive

That gentle, glowing face,

Swelling each month

So I can see its full magnificence,

Hasn’t forgotten me

Or the day

When man first encroached

On the moon and our innocence.

The moon still watches me,

And sometimes

I remember to look.

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

Cover Release and Pre-Order “Keeper Tyree” by Sandra Cox! @Sandra_Cox #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #newrelease #westerns #romanticwesterns #mustread #indieauthors

Please welcome, amazing author and friend, Sandra Cox, here today for her cover release and pre-order! She’s gotten me hooked on westerns again:)

Here’s the new cover, blurb, and pre-order link:

KEEPER TYREE

An aging bounty hunter and a woman bent on vengeance form an unlikely alliance.

Keeper Tyree is an aging bounty hunter who lives by his own set of rules. He’s a hard man but just and his word is his bond. Keeper’s a loner and likes it that way. Then Cathleen O’Donnell catapults into his life looking to hire his gun. Josiah Pardee has killed her boy, and she’s out for vengeance. Somehow all his hard and fast rules, including working alone and minding his own business, crumbles in the face of the immovable widow he now works for. He finds himself rescuing soiled doves, a myopic bookworm more suited to city life than the Wild West, and a Kickapoo who’s in deep trouble with some angry card players as he tracks down the murdering sidewinder Josiah Pardee.

Amazon Pre-Order

BIO

Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.

Her stories consist of all things Western and more. She is a category bestselling and award-winning author.

https://www.sandracoxwriter.com