June #BookReviews @dlfinnauthor @DAntion @TeaganGeneviene @harmony_kent @CharlieDaniels @pat_garcia

I’ve had a wonderful month of reading outside the NetGalley and Lone Star Literary books I already reviewed.

I only share 4 and 5-star reviews. Reviews are strictly my own opinions.

Created in Canva
Book Cover for Life and Soul
PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Poetry is not meant to simply be read, it is meant to be savored. It is the truest and most raw form of emotions expressed. In this beautiful collection, the author takes the reader through a journey of loneliness, seeking, and finding.
The journey is honest.
Alone in a crowd, an empty life, and deep longing fill the first section of Life and Soul. This stanza expresses it perfectly, “Sitting at a crowded table. Good food, good friends, good wine. And still, a silent tear escapes the corner of my eye…”
The seeking and wisdom in the second portion of the book grabbed at my heart. “All paths and all ways lead to luminous light…” And this, “Love yourself ‘fore another. Believe in yourself. Only then can you love all.”
The Brief Soul collection of poetry brings a short reprieve and understanding. Then it flows into Friendly Soul. I think my favorite in this segment is “True Friend.” “Friendship does not measure nor count the give and take…” Then the joy of finding that one, THE ONE is expressed in joy and gratitude and pure love. In the poem “Bridge,” this line grabbed me, “Through still waters that run deep, love has built a bridge between your soul and mine…”
In the final section of the book, “The Soul,” you will find an eclectic variety of poems expressing a gamut of emotions and experiences. If you appreciate well-written emotive poetry, I can highly recommend this collection from Harmony Kent!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Deep in a California forest, a grieving widow has not only lost her husband but her loyal canine of many years. She is existing in isolation, close to ending it all and joining Rob in death.

Andrea Burr has lived in the forest for so long, that it’s quite comfortable to her, even with bears rummaging through her garbage. She’s a crack shot with a gun and can take care of the generator and necessary wood supply. She prides herself on her independence.
But things change quickly. First, a dog shows up and she happily takes him in and feeds him. Then next a cat with a rat on her back shows up and Drea takes them in as well. And just in time, because she desperately needs a purpose and company. But imagine her shock when she realizes these animals can talk. Oh, and they can use the bathroom and flush the toilet. But it is what they reveal that is both fascinating and horrifying. And that’s just the beginning.

A serial killer is on the prowl and his victims are widows. Andrea is in his crosshairs and he begins to toy with her. Luckily, her late husband’s best friend, Adam, is a policeman. He tries his best to protect her. But it’s Andrea who takes down the killer. Now, it’s over and she can relax.
Wrong! Next comes a crazed lunatic, then aliens.

There are so many complex layers to this story and the author did a superb job of weaving them all together, including a little light romance. This sentence from the book sums it up perfectly: “Ghosts, aliens, serial killers, crazy men trying to take over the world—life won’t be dull around you, Drea.”

If you are a lover of animals, enjoy tense nail-biting suspense, and happy endings, this book is a must-read for you. It is so well-written and gripping. A page-turner for sure!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

We see performers on stage and think what amazing lives they must lead, but as Charlie Daniels shows in this book, it’s never as it seems.
The memoir starts with Charlie’s birth when a bureaucratic mixup put an s at the end of Daniel, therefore changing the family name forever. His parents were LaRue and William Daniel. But the world would know Charlie as Charlie Daniels.
I loved the depiction of his carefree growing-up years as an only child. While he states his father was an alcoholic, the man worked hard and taught Charlie to work hard.
Throughout this memoir, Charlie Daniels shows us the ebb and flow of trying to get established in the world of music. He had several bands before ever settling on The Charlie Daniels Band (CBD) which the world came to know quite well. He was often broke, but he had a fire burning inside that pushed him to keep trying.
Then when the dam broke open, it broke big and the CDB was off and running. And run hard, they did. One of the things that impressed me in this memoir is the strength and determination Charlie had to rise above all the odds and do it with integrity. Honesty was of utmost importance to the man and he demanded it from the people who worked for him.
His love for his wife and child surpassed everything else and that shines through in the writing. Charlie Daniels rubbed elbows with the most elite in Nashville, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New York City, but he never changed. He had a burning passion for the music he loved.
He sums it up in this excerpt: “If you don’t have a fire in your belly and a heart so full of desire that you can’t imagine your life without a career in music, don’t even put your foot on the path because you are going to get your heart broken.”
He spent an entire lifetime in the music business. At the age of seventy-one, he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. Then nine years later, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
I think the biggest thing I took away from this beautifully written memoir is the importance of falling down, getting back up, and digging out. As someone once said, it’s not the number of times you fall down that counts, it’s the number of times you get back up. That describes Charlie Daniels. If you are a fan of Southern rock music, you will definitely enjoy this memoir.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

What an epic conclusion to Emlyn’s journey. I’ve followed this saga from book 1 through to the ending.
I’m not sure where to start. I loved everything about this final chapter of the Dead of Winter saga. The author wrapped it up perfectly.
The emotions and insecurities Emlyn felt, despite her amazing accomplishments, made the story realistic. And it was great to be reminded she is only twelve years old, although her abilities far exceed what any normal adult could do.
I won’t leave any spoilers. So much happened in this final episode. I loved the part the goddess Coventina played. Despite her fierce demeanor, her compassion and care for young Emlyn are shown. As the story unfolds and concludes, we are taken along for an intense nail-biting battle against the King of the Nightwalkers. Then the Veil must be repaired so that the dead can return once more to their world and the living world could be safe once again. I think my favorite scene was with Emlyn and Coventina flying. I could almost feel it through the words.
So much happened in this episode, I found myself breathless. What a way to end a saga! I give this author kudos for such a huge undertaking with this series. 

Knuckleheads book cover
PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I have always been fascinated by the dream world and the mystery that surrounds it. But lucid dreaming holds an even greater intrigue. Is it truly possible for someone to purposefully travel in dreams? In this book, Zach finds out. This coming-of-age tale is told from Zach’s point of view in a conversation with his daughter, Abbie.
The conversation begins following Zach’s retirement party and takes the reader back through his growing-up years in Pittsburg, Pa., and his attempt to explore and understand his paranormal ability of lucid dreaming. His best friend, Billy, has psychic abilities. He can’t always know details, but he knows outcomes. The lengths Billy will go to to protect Zach touched me. Both Zach and Billy are particular about whom they confide in and Zach’s father becomes their go-to person. I loved how the father respected the boys’ abilities but also how he tried to help them learn how to use and control them.
The setting, the sixties, is a wonderful era; Pre-computers, pre-cellphones, pre-TV as we know them. The author did a fabulous job of bringing me into this time period with his descriptions and wonderments. The bowling alley belonging to Zach’s father is the setting for a lot of the scenes, with manual pin-setting and maintenance of the lanes. The two boys had so many lessons to learn and I loved that both of them were hard-working and conscientious (something today’s youth could use). The mention of a transistor radio certainly took me back in time, as well as eight-track players and manual transmissions in cars. And while the unusual formatting of the conversation between Zach and Abbie was slightly off-putting at first, once I got into the flow of the story, it disappeared into the background. A great journey backward through the eyes of Zach, but with a paranormal twist. I enjoyed this story!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This is a super short read (thirty minutes) that left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. Tessie has never been married and she’s turning sixty-five. She’s always dreamed of living in a big house full of children with a man who adores her. But it’s only a dream.
Or is it?
Surprises are just around the corner for Tessie. This book encourages people to never give up on a dream or on love!

That’s it for me this month. I hope you found something that grabbed your attention. 

54 thoughts on “June #BookReviews @dlfinnauthor @DAntion @TeaganGeneviene @harmony_kent @CharlieDaniels @pat_garcia

  1. Wow! You’ve read a lot this summer, Jan! I’ve only read one so far. Lol! Thank you for your incredible reviews! I’ve read work from Harmony, Denise, and Pat and can attest to their fantastic stories. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for adding your recommendations, Yvette. Yes, I do read a lot and I love variety. I think I’d get bored if I read the same genre all the time. 🙂 I appreciate you stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent reviews, Jan. I’ve read some of these and really enjoyed them. (Would it surprise you to know I still have a transistor radio my grandparents bought me as a Christmas gift when I was young? Good times.)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow! A terrific and eclectic reading month, Jan and thank you for sharing these excellent and informative reviews! There are several I’m adding to my list to read and I am in the mood for some poetry straight away and ‘Life & Soul’ sounds perfect! A massive congratulations to everyone and well done to Teagan and her incredible series! Awe-inspiring!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. You read some great books in June, Jan! Thanks for sharing your reviews. A few of these were already on my radar, but per usual, there’s more to be added. ❤ Also, I didn't realize Charlie Daniels had a memoir. Very cool!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mar. I’m glad you enjoyed the reviews and glad you found some more to consider. 🙂 The Charlie Daniels memoir was SO inspiring. I know you would enjoy it. Have a great holiday weekend and stay safe!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Hello Jan,
    Thank you very much for reading Contemplations of a Woman Turning 65 and doing a review. I was very surprised and I truly appreciate this. I stepped back for a while from blogging to deal with the war in Ukraine, which is not very far from me. The atrocities going on in that war really got to me.
    So, it was nice to see that you did a review. It encouraged me to get back out there.
    I also love Charlie Daniels and his memoir is one book that I want to read.
    Have a lovely weekend,

    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are most welcome, Pat. I enjoyed reading your short story. You would love Charlie’s memoir. I certainly did. And yes, I can understand the traumatic happenings in Ukraine. So unnecessary. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you leaving a comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. All of those look excellent but if I had to start with one, it would have to be Charlie Daniels. Already, he’s giving good advice–“Never look at the empty seats”. What else will I learn???

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Jan, you’re a gem. You couldn’t have known but — this is a terrific birthday present for me. Thank you for being part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.” I am delighted that you enjoyed the conclusion.
    I’m proud to be included with these amazing authors.
    Thanks for reviewing the Daniels memoir. I didn’t know about it. I’ve had my own Charlie Daniels story. When I was 17-18 my parents and I moved just outside Nashville. Their house was on (just about the only) road that went to Daniels’ area on Old Hickory Lake. He used to drive by in that big black pickup with his big black hat. Every time he’d blow the horn and wave. The first time, I jumped and wondered who the heck that was. Next time, I got a look at the driver and thought “Nah… that couldn’t be.” But it was. Totally friendly.
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Oh wow!!! Happy Birthday, Teagan! And what a cool story about Charlie Daniels. I loved his memoir and if ever there was a man who got back more times than he was knocked down, it was him. Thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 4 people

  8. What a great list, Jan. Thank yo so much for including Knuckleheads, and for your delightful review. I am actively reading one of the books in your list, and I have two other on my Kindle waiting their turn. Now I have others to consider as well.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Wouldn’t it be interesting if our Kindles could talk to each other? Wonder what they would say. I have books sitting on mine that have been there over four years. I keep intending to get to them, but new ones keep coming out that grab me. 🙂 It’s quite the dilemma. Thanks for stopping by, Jill! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Wonderful reviews. Congrats to Denise, Dan, Teagan, Charlie, and Pat. I’ve read and enjoyed A voice in the Silence, and I’ll definitely have to check out the others. Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic review of Life & Soul, Jan. I’m doing my happy dance 💃! Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Great line-up, Jan. I’ve read Life and Soul and A Voice in The Silence and agree with your assessment – they’re great books. Charlie’s memoir sounds like something I would enjoy as well.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As much as you love music, Joan, I think you would really enjoy this memoir. It’s an inside look into the life of a man who just wouldn’t give up. Those true stories always inspire me. Thank you for adding your recommendations for Life & Soul and A Voice In The Silence! Have a great 4th of July weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 4 people

  11. I loved Life & Soul and The ainals Journey! I’m looking forward to Knuckleheads and found one to add to my TBR list. The memior sounded facinating too. Thank you for including A Voice in the Silence with this great group of authors and books. Your review brought lots of smiles., thank you. Xo

    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s