Sunday Book Review – Satin and Cinders by Jan Sikes #Shortstory, #Romance

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m reviewing a #shortstory by Jan Sikes – Satin and Cinders. This is a sweet love story between a privileged horse and a wild stallion.

I’m currently halfway through another of Jan’s books, as well as an historical fiction memoir and a book about NLP therapy, but I wanted to put up a last review before I take a blogging break later this week, and pulled up this sweet short story on my BFK. I’m looking forward to a timeout and a readathon on the beach – in between having actual conversations with human beings.

Blurb:

A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.

My 5 Star Review:

This was a sweet love story about two horses in love. This story could have been about any two people, but it’s about a beautiful mare, Satin, and the wild black stallion, Cinders, who are in love and separated by living standards and a fence. Cinders narrates. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the emotions to life and writing about the horse’s thoughts, inviting us into their story. An equine love story with a human feel.

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – No Such Luck by Staci Troilo – #Novella #YoungRomance

My Sunday Book Review is for Staci Troilo’s new short story – No Such Luck. This story is a prequel to an upcoming book Staci is writing. Do you believe in good luck charms? Piper surely does, and ultimately learns her superstition about the red carnation would lead to an awakening.

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 5 Star Review:

This was a sweet short young romance story. Piper’s life isn’t going well, and when she gets fired from her job in Arkansas, decides to head home to Philadelphia for a timeout and figure out what she wants to do next. She’s also pissed that someone packed up her desk for her and threw out her ‘good luck charm’ – or so she thought it was.

Once back at home, Piper discovers her old crush Tommy, and realizes that teenage crushes are sometimes, only that. At the same time, she’s glad to find her old good pal Jack, who may just turn into ‘more than just an old friend’. You’ll have to read this sweet story to find out.

This is a fun holiday read with some good writing and a good lesson or two on luck and love.

©DGKaye2021

Sunday Book Review – Oh Baubles by Harmony Kent

My Sunday book review today is for Harmony Kent’s novella, Oh Baubles. A story about a young woman Charlene who had some terrible misfortune in her life and thought all chances of love were off the table, not realizing love was right under her nose.

Blurb:

After a tragic accident one Christmas, Charlene loses her husband and her leg.Scarred and damaged, the losses leave her lost and reeling, and a long recovery lies ahead of her.

When John, a hot young physiotherapist, comes into her life with his ripped abs and good-god good-looks, she can’t imagine he’d give somebody like her a second glance.

Then she falls for him.

Can Charlene overcome all obstacles to gain back her life and find true love once more?

Find out in this fun-filled, clean Christmas romance novella from award-winning author Harmony Kent.

My 5 Star Review:

Charlene has survived a car crash, and the collateral damage was she lost both her husband and her leg in the crash. And with all she’d been through with coping, and therapy, it didn’t leave her much of a self-esteem. Enter Dr. John her Adonis-like physiotherapist, and Charlene becomes attracted to him, at the same time she couldn’t even fathom that he would be interested in a mess like her.

The book continues on with the encounters between these two characters, sometimes so close, yet so far, as we learn there is a mutual attraction, yet mishaps, misinterpreted signs and setbacks seem to always get in the way of them getting together. The author does a great job of inviting us into all the thoughts these two characters have, and will keep us rooting throughout the roadblocks for them to finally get together.

More than just a romance story with some well developed characters and some insight as to what an amputee endures, both physically and mentally. A sweet holiday read you can enjoy in a two-hour sitting.

©DGKaye2021

Sunday Book Review Emotional #Poetry by John Roedel, Untied

Today’s Sunday Book Review is for John Roedel’s Untied – The Poetry of how Knots Become Strings. I was introduced to Roedel’s free verse poetry by my lovely friend Jane Sturgeon. She shared one of his poems with me that moved me immediately, so off I went to Amazon to order a paperback copy. I prefer poetry books in paperback so I can dog-ear poetry I wish to go back and read again. I quite honestly, got hooked on free verse poetry from reading quite a few books by Frank Prem.

Blurb:

The knots in our stomachs can still be untangled. The binds we tether our hands together with can still be undone. There is still time for us to untangle rope we tied around our necks. This is the poetry of for those trying to live that is not tethered to our past mistakes or future worries. This is the poetry for anybody who wants to become unbound from their regret. This is the poetry of breaking free of all that keeps us from rising. This is the poetry of letting all that binds us slip away so we can chase the horizon. This is the poetry of how knots can become strings.

My 5 Star Review:

I’m so glad a friend had shared one of these heartfelt poems with me, which had me ordering a paperback copy of this moving book of poetry, pronto. Roedel’s poetry is deep and raw with no holds back. It felt to me that this type of poetry couldn’t be fictional as the author expresses both, the beauty and pain of incidences in life as poetic short stories where he takes us right into his heart-grabbing passages. Many of these passages indicate to me, the author had to have lived much of what he wrote because of the deep emotion in his words that makes me feel as though he lived his stories, his tellings will seep deep within a reader’s soul.

In this book you’ll find poetry on love, childhood, fears, darkness, life, and death, parents, children, and more. Some will make you smile, some will bring a tear, but these poetic stories are guaranteed to leave an impact. A timeless book to pick up again and again.

There are so many passages that I found myself identifying with such as:

Excerpt from – What’s Left?

“I’m destroyed, ” I said while standing amid the

smoldering ruins of all that I once thought mattered.

“No, you aren’t,” God replied to me through the

sound of the freezing January wind passing

through pines.

“But everything is gone… ” I offered quietly.

“Not everything, my love.” God said through the

bits of sunlight peeking through the ashen post-

snowfall clouds.

“What’s left?” I asked.

God spoke through the plops of water coming from

the slowly melting icicles:

“Your recovery.”

Excerpt from What’s Left? By John Roedel

Excerpt from Pulling Strings

Love is a piece of endless

yarn that each of us agree to

hold on to an end of

gently between our fingers

so that when we get separated

from one another

by the illusion of death

we can tug it

ever so softly

to send each other messages

back and forth through the slack

as if to say:

“I’m still here.”

Excerpt from Pulling Strings by John Roedel

©DGKaye2021

Sunday Book Review – Tree Fairies and their Short Stories by D.L. Finn

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. I’m delighted to share my review for D.L. Finn’s middle-grade story – Tree Fairies. Truth be told, I ordered the paperback copy for my young niece, and of course I had to read it first! This is a wonderful book for any age to read this enchanting story with lessons learned through the wise trees and fairies.

 

 

 

Blurb:

When reality and magic meet in the forest

It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy. Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.

 

 

My 5 Star Review:

Finn takes us into a fantasy world of fairies and humans working together to save the forest. Danny and and his sister Collette and his parents go camping 1969, one night while Colette sleepwalks into the forest, Danny noticed her gone and goes to find her. It’s outside at night they meet the fairies – the protectors of the forest. The fairies know Danny’s mother is a writer and ask if she could write a book to help save the forest. The Wise Old Trees offer help with their wisdom.

The book consists of 3 parts, 3 continuing stories. The next generation – Danny and Colette and their kids go camping in the same forest in 1990 and learn about some baddies dumping barrels of waste in the forest. Danny, now a writer with his kids Wren and Sierra, and Colette, now a movie director, come back to the forest to visit the fairies and wise trees and to take care of bad business happening to nature. Mom is still writing and dad is retired and they are both living off the grid.

The three stories are linked and all have the same characters as not to confuse young readers. It deals with different issues, from clear cutting, to stopping toxic waste dumping, to catching and sending away poachers, all while offering entertaining fantasy characters from the forest, yet teaching life lessons on the importance of working to keep the environment clean and sustainable, demonstrating the humans working together with the fairies to help save the forest.

The author has a wonderful way of weaving a magical story with real life issues and lessons the children learn about nature from the fairies and trees.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Sunday Book Review – Waiting for Frank-Bear – (Beechworth Bakery Bears)

 

My Sunday Book Review is for Frank Prem’s new release in the Beechworth Bakery Bears series – Waiting for Frank-Bear. This is probably my fifth book I read by Frank. I enjoy his non conformitive prose and poetry he uses to execute his stories. And the bears are adorable. I was thrilled to receive an ARC from Frank, this book is available now on pre-order.

 

 

Waiting For Frank-Bear: as heard by . . . (The Beechworth Bakery Bears) by [Frank Prem, Leanne Murphy]

Available on Amazon

 

Blurb:

The Beechworth Bakery Bears are still just as friendly and eager to please as ever.

 

But, where is Frank-Bear?

 

He does not come in to see them as often as before and they miss him.

 

They would love to tell you about their lives now, and how they wait for their best friend Frank-Bear to visit.

 

Step back into the bakery and find out what is happening in the world of The Beechworth Bakery Bears.

 

 

My 5 Star Review:

Prem brings us a new treat from his Beechworth Bakery Bear series. In this poetic story he takes us into the inside musings of the Beechworth bears who are now feeling a bit perturbed at the lack of customers, and question why people must lineup to enter the bakery, only so many at a time. As they patiently await customers to come in, the bears go about their business, tidying the shop and preparing baked goods.

 

The bears are also puzzled because they can’t see people’s full faces anymore, now covered with masks. What is going on? And where is Frank? It seems Frank is one of their favorite customers and as they go about their daily business of setting up shop, they keep their hopes up in anticipation that Frank will soon show up for a drink and his favorite snack. Another night passes as they patiently await their friend Frank-bear to visit. A sweet read!

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Sunday Book Review – Breathless, #Shortstory by Yvette Calleiro

My Sunday Book Review is for Yvette Calleiro’s short, powerful story – Breathless. This is a fun read involving witchery, karma and a twisted surprising end. A lovely sampling of Yvette’s writing, and I know I’ll be reading more from her.

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

 

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

 

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.

 

BONUS! This short story is followed by a preview of a book written by the author.

 

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

This is my first time reading this author and I was in the mood for a short and impactful read, and it was delivered.  Set in the 1920s, Silena is a maid serving at Walter’s parties, where she can only dream of being with the charming playboy William as she pines for his attention and is continuously overlooked. She sees how he treats women, including herself, when he shamed her for being a maid. Walter is all about the young and beautiful women so she thought she’d use her magic one day to get herself all decked out as a flapper girl and join one of his many parties. But Silena overlooked what could go wrong when she decided to put an irrevocable spell on him to teach Walter a lesson for being such a womanizer and paying no mind to women’s feelings.

 

Silena inherited her mother’s magical skills and she thought she’d try and see what it felt like for one night to become glamorous and desired. Silena knows better about messing with magic, but took the plunge anyway. She wanted to know how it would feel to be desired for one night.. Her plans go accordingly, but she discovers he’s just as piggish to her as he is to all the woman he collects. And after his verbal abuse, once he discovered who she was, Silena decided to put a dangerous curse on him. – dangerous because she was warned by her mother to never use her power as revenge. But she did and she didn’t take much time to think about the backfiring consequences of putting an irrevokable curse on him that wouldn’t end until it was fulfilled.

 

I cannot share the curse Silena put on Walter, for no spoilers here. But suffice it to say, the ‘kiss of death’ is final. Be careful what you wish for. Karma is always listening. This was a short read but lots of action to keep me glued.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Sunday Book Review – Charlotte – #Shortstory by S.R. Mallery

My Sunday Book Review is for S.R. Mallery’s, Charlotte. This is a cleverly written short story that doesn’t feel like a short story because even in the limited pages, the story is well crafted, will keep our curiosity revved until the very end when we find out who ‘Him’ is.

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

Sometimes things are not as they seem…
In 1793, all the twenty-four-year-old Charlotte desires is to travel the long distance to Paris and visit Him. Despite La Guillotine operating day and night, in spite of her family’s warnings about her being too independent, she has a true mission and will not be deterred. In the end, will everything work out? Will meeting him give her the fulfillment she so craves?

 

She only knows that when she finally does face him to execute her plan, she will take care to look her most beautiful. For, by doing that, she will assuredly draw him in––and forever change her life. She cannot wait.

 

Originally entitled, “Him,” in the short story collection, TALES TO COUNT ON, this is an alternative route to a famous event during the French Revolution.

 

 

My 5 Star Review

 

This is a short story that packs a punch. Mallery paints a story taking place during the French Revolution. Charlotte Corday is on a mission to leave her comfortable country home to visit a mysterious ‘someone’ in Paris, at a time when Paris was known as the City of Blood and the guillotine was working overtime. We are taken through her journey of her traveling to Paris, and the stops she made along the way to ensure her safe passage. In a time where one must be aware of surroundings during the time of bloodshed, simply because one had wealth or nobility, Charlotte dressed in her finery, set out to seek the man, only referred to as ‘Him’ throughout the story.

 

We learn she must look her finest and takes great pains to make sure she does in preparation to finally see ‘Him’, she will be the desire of his wantings when she arrives. She thinks.

 

This author is known for her short stories that are deliciously descript and for a mere 8 pages she sets the tone for this quick-paced historical fiction tale that is guaranteed to drop a few jaws by the time we reach the end.

 

©DGKaye2021