August Book Reviews Part 1! @Anabel1Franklin @YvetteMCalleiro @pat_garcia #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads #bookreviews

Contemplations of a woman turning sixty-five

by Pat Garcia

“Contemplations of a woman turning sixty-five” is a fun, fast read full of promise. Tessie is about to turn sixty-five and is thinking about what is left for her in this life while dealing with the death of a friend. She is a never-married virgin who had always dreamed of love and a house full of kids. As she dives into the darkness of reality, there was an unexpected twist and a new option she had never dreamed would be possible for her. Is it for real and should she take it? This story offers hope that dreams can come true no matter what age you are. A sweet tale to brighten any reader’s mood.

Escaping the Woods: A Short Story 

by Yvette M Calleiro

“Escaping the Woods” is a children’s story set in the 80s in Mississippi. Isabella and her family have moved to a new town. Isabella immediately meets a new friend, Janine, who suggests they go to her brother’s fort in the forest. Fearful of what could be in those woods, Isabella follows Janine until they get lost. I enjoyed this fast read and felt like I was in the head of an eleven-year-old in 1982. There was humor and I could feel the girls building fear as they kept walking. This short story made me feel like the author was sitting next to me telling a vivid story from her childhood. A fun tale that can either be shared with a child or as an adult being brought back to their youth. I can highly recommend this quick read.

Gateway to Magic

by Annabelle Franklin

A fun story for middle-grade readers about a spoiled boy, Steven, who has everything he could want. Steven spends his time playing video games until one day he sees something unusual in his game that makes sense later. His cousin Tracy talks him into going into the forest and presses that red button that says Do Not Push. Steven ends up in Fairy Land, where everything differs from what he knows. This reminded me a bit of Dorothy trying to get home in the “Wizard of Oz” mixed with the whimsy of “Alice in Wonderland.” I loved the characters he ran into along his journey. My favorite was Nigel, the shapeshifter. Technology is banned in this new land of magic, which makes it hard for Steven to navigate. The food he eats has unusual side-effects, and he has some lessons to learn along the way. The Fairy Queen is supposed to give him the job he is required to do to earn his keep. She is another fun character, and I liked her realm, but he has some miles to travel to get there. I bought this to give to my granddaughter and I know she will enjoy this magical tale as much as I did.

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 this summer, read a book! D. L. Finn

December Book Reviews Part 3! @Virgilante @teagangeneviene @JacqBiggar @YvetteMCalleiro @1rburkey @pursoot #bookreviews #whattoread #mustread #writingcommunity

Wreck of the Lanternfish

(The Lanternfish #3)

by C.S. Boyack

“Wreck of the Lanternfish” is the final book of the Lanternfish Series. Although I was sad to see this thrilling story come to an end, I loved seeing James Cuttler take one more journey to the sea. He risks everything to step back into the war that his friends are still fighting. The battles are shown through different perspectives, including Serang. My favorite characters, the root monsters, were back. Their “I I I I” always made me smile. This story not only touches on pulling communities apart, but how to put them back together. Battles on land and sea showcase how clever leaders can outwit their foe. This is a world and characters that I won’t forget anytime soon. Lanternfish is a series I can highly recommend, especially if you love exciting stories with pirates, love, greed, and great characters. But start from the beginning and don’t miss the companion book. You won’t want to miss any part of this exciting tale!


Dead of Winter: Journey 11, The Sumelazon Escarpment

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Emlyn’s journey continues as she learns and grows, and there are Gethin’s experiences mixed in. I loved the direction that was taken on all the fronts of “The Sumelazon Escarpment.” It was nice to catch my breath and get to immerse into the city and story, especially through Emlyn’s eyes. I liked how well the plot and cover tied together, and the women had a moment to enjoy a bit of fashion. Even though there were some nice interactions, there is still that under-matched fight looming. Another good journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next. I can highly recommend this read but start this exciting tale from the beginning.


Love, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel

by Jacquie Biggar

“Love Me” is a wonderful holiday read about a mother and her daughter fighting cancer. Grace and Cassie move to a new town to try an experimental treatment, and luckily an anonymous donor covers the expenses. Grace finds a job at Cassie’s school while Cassie finds a new best friend. I love how the story is told from both the mother and daughter’s POV. Cassie wants a puppy for Christmas, but she decides her mother needs a companion if something happens to her. It’s a story that tugged on my heart, thinking about a little girl battling for her life when she should be playing and having fun. Her strength and caring shine throughout the story as a powerful symbol of love, and the mother, having lived through so much loss and heartache, keeps going for her daughter. I could feel the emotion behind Cassie because her character is based on an amazing young girl on social media who is fighting this battle. This was a heartwarming romantic story that didn’t back down from the reality of childhood leukemia. I highly recommend this!


HYPE

by Yvette M. Calleiro

“HYPE” is a YA story centered on Cici’s life at home and school. She is a popular co-captain of the cheering squad, and her boyfriend is the quarterback on the football team. Everything is perfect in her world, except her dislike of her co-captain, Nicole. But everything changes when her mother remarries, and she gets not only a stepdad but a new stepsister that everyone avoids at school. Cici’s POV is direct and takes the reader into her world. She can be shallow but has her world figured out until she doesn’t. Halfway through the story, there is a betrayal and horrible event that is painful to read, and my heart went out to Cici. Although Cici is a strong character that I was rooting for, I loved her stepsister Gaby/Grub’s complexity. How Cici’s relationships grow and change is skillfully reflected in what is happening in her life. This is a good read for not only YA readers but adults too. I highly recommend it.


Hot Chocolate

by Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey

“Hot Chocolate” is a sweet short story about a family and their holiday traditions. Jacob, Petra, and their son JW are a family I enjoyed getting to know. The parents have a tradition of surprising each other with their Christmas gifts and teasing how much they will like their present. I love the surprise at the end and the love this family shared. This is a wonderful holiday 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!


Our writing community lost a brilliant writer and amazing human being a few weeks ago, Suzanne Burke. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a kind heart, and a great outlook on life. I found out about her passing during my vacation.


So, I offered a red hibiscus flower to the Pacific Ocean in her honor. I like to think it’s floating among the spinner dolphins, and she’s looking down at this with a huge smile.

In memory of Suzanne, check out her Amazon page here. Her memoir, Empty Chairs,  is a read you will never forget.


NOTE: This will be my last formal Sunday post of the year and my Monthly Newsletter was sent out today to your email if you are subscribed.  Tomorrow watch for Books That Changed Me Winter Edition.

After that, I’ll be taking some time off to be with family and enjoy the holidays.

The only exception to my time off is I have a post over on Story Empire on December 27th.

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays! May 2022 be the happy year we are all searching for 🙂

Embrace that inner child by reading a good book and enjoying your blessings! D. L. Finn

August Book Reviews Part 1!@YvetteMCalleiro @BalroopShado @W_Angels_Wings #BookReviews #MustRead #BooksToReadThisSummer #indieauthors #writingcommunity

Mad Max & Sweet Sarah(Greek Mythology Fantasy Series #3)

by Ellie Collins

Max leaves his home in Hawaii and goes to Seattle to spend the summer with a father he doesn’t know and a place he doesn’t want to be. He agrees to stay for at least two weeks and work at the local pool as a lifeguard. His younger half-sister, Sarah, is determined to forge a relationship between them and convince him to spend the entire summer there. Max quickly makes a friend who has some strong opinions about family and people. Although this is a fast read, it dives nicely into good communication and judging others. Like the other two books, Greek Mythology was woven into the story and brought new insight into developing situations. This is a great read for children with some good lessons that I also enjoyed.


Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

by Balroop Singh

“Slivers: Chiseled Poetry” is another amazing collection of poetry by Ms. Singh. The poetry is based on the Japanese forms of Haiku and Tanka, and Acrostic poems. They are short but packed with a lot of emotion and images. Although it was hard to choose, here are just a few of my favorites. “full moon still lingers/trees delight in divine light/blissful spectacle,” “where two hills meet/clouds hide and seek/river watches calmly,” “we fly on the waves of whim/when our dreams get wings/ clouds crumble to comply,” “when we try to cage/each precious moment of life/harmony edges away,” “celestial confetti/that fell on me mesmerized./magical messages,” “far into the woods/we wander in quest of calm/which lies within us,” “I wrote my song on the wind/I know that it touches you gently/when you step out/I know you can hear its melody/deep within your pining heart,” “Her skirts are dark/She rides on the billowy clouds/Love in her eyes/could move the horizon/A thread binds her to eternity,” “Dream/Dauntless we walk into the Realms of our choice, Enamored by the hues of hallow, Accentuated by ardent yearning of accomplishing a Myriad ideas that mentor our journey.” I loved this collection and highly recommend it!


The One Chosen: A Diasodz Short Story (Chronicles of the Diasodz)

by Yvette M Calleiro

I’m a fan of the Chronicles of the Diasodz Series. So, when I learned there was a short story related to it, I couldn’t wait to read it. Valerie leaves home to train to be a Diasodz warrior. She is immediately taken with one of her instructors, Nolan, but he doesn’t appear to be interested in her. I don’t want to give too much away, but another Diasodz is interested in Valerie. I love the characters and how Valerie adapts outside of the strict dress code of the 1600s as she explores a new world with one of her instructors.  The settings are vivid, especially in the forest. The friendships and budding relationships develop at a nice pace while the monsters are terrifying. Some moments made me smile, and others had me worried they wouldn’t survive. It’s a fantastic short story that can be read on its own, but I highly recommend reading the series to learn more about this amazing world Ms. Calleiro created.


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 summer child! Read a book 🙂 D. L. Finn

Book Reviews

 

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz #4)

by Yvette M. Calleiro
This fourth book in the “Chronicles of the Diasodz” series continues with the story of Sophia, Rafe and more of my favorite characters. Relationships are being formed along with plotting and intrigue. There’s an in-depth look into the search for the truth and what is right and wrong– as reality is explored. As the characters grow and learn, the mysterious prophesies remain. Ms. Calleiro has combined a story with love of either self or another so beautifully, that I have been hooked from the very first book I read. Plus, the added bonus of the paranormal and adventure make this a must-read series! I cannot wait to see how it all ties together and ends in the next book, “The One Awakened”


 

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz #5)

by Yvette M. Calleiro
Although I am sad to see the “Chronicles of the Diasodz” end—it was a completely satisfying conclusion! With war coming: sides are chosen, and relationships are tested. I loved the growth of the characters especially: Rafe, Angel, Ar’ch and Sofia. The difference between corruption and hate versus understanding and love becomes very clear. I was extremely invested with the outcome of characters that I had grown to love over the series and wasn’t disappointed. I don’t want to say more and spoil the ending, but this is a fantasy YA series I highly recommend! Start from the beginning and take the journey with Sofia. I look forward to the upcoming prequels!


I’m now on to reading: Into Spring: The Next Generation (Four Seasons Book 2) 
and then Into Winter (Four Seasons Series #3) by Larry Landgraf. My list keeps growing! (I hope to have both reviews posted next week and maybe a new poem!)

Congrats to hat drawing winners from monthly newsletter: Caitlin, Gina M and Donna M! If you missed it here is the link: Newsletter

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

Book Reviews and Name Reveal!

Here are my first YA reviews of the year:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 1) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

I admit to having read (and loved) the second book of the Diasodz series “The Enlightened One”—first. My plan was to read the first book before continuing with book three. Part of me wondered if doing so would rehash everything I knew, but I found that wasn’t an issue. I was quickly lost in “The One Discovered”. The depth and creativity to which Ms. Calleiro takes her story and characters pulled me in as I learned more about my favorites like: Sophia, Ar’ch, and Angel! Watching Sophia discover things aren’t what they seem, and the developing love triangle was fascinating. I don’t want to give too much away in this amazing YA story, but if you love a skillfully blended mix of romance, adventure, fantasy, magic and other worldly beings– along with a mix of new age and earth lore–you will love this. I eagerly dove into book 3 “The One Betrayed” and cannot wait to see where Ms. Calleiro takes us next. I highly recommend this book!


The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 3) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

 

Book three of the YA “Chronicles of the Diasodz” series does not begin where the last book ended–and that is a good thing! Ms. Calleiro takes us back to an event and shows us another perspective of it. With both sides being so sure they are right–I loved seeing the story from the “bad” side. We are introduced to new characters and some familiar ones from the first book. This insight is told through Rafe, Mel, and other viewpoints in this new world. I appreciated how past events from book two were blended in. The characters are so strong that you care deeply what happens to them. I’m already reading the fourth book in this amazing series and highly recommend it for all fantasy, love, and paranormal fans!


I guess I was celebrating too much over the holidays–so I missed posting two reviews. Here they are::

Acts of Betrayal. (Unintended Consequences Book 2.) 

By S. Burke

“Acts of Betrayal” picks up where the first book in this series “Acts of Redemption” ended. Ms. Burke quickly lets the reader know what has happened to the FBI agents and their counterparts from the last book. What is different in this book is the line between good and bad becomes very blurred and has to be crossed for the good of all. The book swiftly starts with an event I wasn’t expecting and a few changes of perspectives of the characters including Sheila, Mike, Trish and Nigel. Like the first book, this has suspense, mystery, intrigue and everything that makes a great story. This is a unique twist where the bad guy has hidden heart and the good guy has many personal issues to overcome. There are a lot of characters to keep track of along with their nicknames, but they are fully developed. My curiosity to see the pictures that made the characters “sick” shows how the story pulls the reader in. This is a great second book in the series and I look forward to the next book.


 

Our Justice

By John W. Howell

“Our Justice” is the final book of the John Cannon series and it continues where “His Revenge” left off. We quickly find John Cannon heading home, but there is little calm before everything gets crazy—again. John’s on-going battle with a terrorist determined to take down the United States for religious reasons, challenges our hero to find ways out of situations most couldn’t. You can’t help but love John’s determination and wit–while cheering him on. John finally gets into a spot he might not be able to escape. This fast-paced thriller is written in the author’s unique style that pulls you right into the story with a nail-biting ending that had a few surprises. The details Mr. Howell uses throughout the story not only enhances it, but leaves you wondering if this could really happen. I highly recommend this series, but start from the beginning with “My GRL” so you can enjoy the ride all the way to the end!


 

Now is the time for the name reveal! Drum roll please…DENISE

I would like to say I was named after the song by Randy and the Rainbows, but the song was released AFTER I was born. I have been left to form my own conclusions about that. Click on my name to enjoy the song!


Watch for a special blog this week for fellow author, Lizzie Chantree’s new book release!

This Month’s Newsletter will be going out later this week, too.


Next week I will be sharing some poetry and thoughts.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn