Wednesday, July 17, 2024

#TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Shosho #AmericanCinquain #seox #dodoitsu #summerdays @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! For this week's #Tanka Tuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro provided us with three phrases and encouraged us to create different poems using the phrases. The phrases are:
smoldering heat
midsummer darkness
cutting the grass

I decided to challenge myself a bit this week and tried out a couple of new poetry forms. For the first phrase, I used the American Cinquain, which I've done before. It is a poem of five lines with a syllabic pattern of 2-4-6-8-2. The first four lines should build drama, and the fifth line changes the focus.

For the second poem, I attempted a seox, which has six lines (a hexastich) with a 3-7-6-5-4-3 syllabic pattern. And for the last poem, I tried writing a dodoitsu, which has a syllabic pattern of 7-7-7-5. It usually focuses on love, humor, or the unexpected but can also focus on nature and beauty. Hopefully, I did right by these forms. As always, I've bolded and italicized the kigo words.

(courtesy of @aghostmaycome on Pixabay)

smoldering heat
sizzling sidewalks burn feet
humidity suffocates me
ah, pool!

(courtesy of @Schaferle2 on Pixabay)

sunny day
midsummer darkness rolls in
lightning bursts streak through sky
thunder makes music
rain adds drum beats
stunning show

(courtesy of @Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay)

someone else cutting the grass
blades stick to their sweaty skin
while I relish the a/c
the joys of summer

Would you like to create a poem with one (or all) of these phrases? Join us here.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

#TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Shosho #haiku #summerdays @YvetteMCalleiro


Hello, beautiful readers! I'm back from my summer travels. I had an amazing trip to Italy, Malta, and Greece with my son. It was sweltering hot, not unlike my beautiful South Florida. We walked over 175,000 steps, which helped me from gaining weight from the delicious food I ate. I took several hundred photos and won't bore you with all of them, but I thought I'd share a few for those who have never been able to go to these places.

Florence, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italy)

Pompeii (Naples, Italy)

The Amalfi Coast

Municipal Gardens in Taormina

Mdina (Malta)

Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

View from my cruise balcony

Thira (Santorini), Greece

Vatican, Rome, Italy

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

I've been a bit busy since I returned with visiting my son's college and releasing my new short story, Karma Doesn't Kill. And I've missed a few Tanka Tuesday challenges, but I finally found some time to participate this week. For this week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro has invited us to write a poem using the kigo words for Shosho - The Beginning of Midsummer: Growing Heat.

I've decided to write a haiku that encapsulates our South Florida summers. It is HOT. Even our ocean waters are in the high 80s, which is typically the temperature we see in late August. It's a little worrisome for us because hot waters lead to stronger hurricanes. We are praying the hurricanes stay out at sea this year. We get a lot of rainstorms, which cool the temps a bit, but they also bring nasty humidity. If I'm not at the beach, I do my best to stay indoors. Anyway, here is my poem. My kigo phrase is bolded and highlighted.

(courtesy of @GB_photo on Pixabay)

summer thunderstorms
never-ending nourishment
nature soothes itself

Would you like to write a poem with us this week? Join us here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

NEW BOOK ALERT! Introducing Karma Doesn't Kill #newbook #newrelease #shortstory #cautionarytale #RRBC #RWISA #BOTM @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I am excited to share with you a short story I just released for the RRBC 2024 90-Day Alpha/Omega Short Story Writing Contest. It's called Karma Doesn't Kill, and you can find it on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it!

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 39 pages

Book Blurb:

JT pulled the short end of the stick when he was given his life's journey. With a convicted felon as a dad and a drunk as a mom, there weren't many positive influences in his life. When his mom's boyfriend began sharing his marijuana with JT, his father fought for custody and won.

Life on his dad's farm was simpler. JT started turning his life around until one tragic event sent him spiraling again. All choices have consequences. For JT, those choices left him staring down the barrel of a gun. Could JT rise above his circumstances, or would karma have its way with him?

If you'd like to read it, you can purchase it here.

I look forward to reading your reviews. Happy reading! :-) 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

June Book Reviews #bookreview #books #amreading #readingcommunity #fantasy #Celticfantasy #seaadventures #HarborPointeInnseries @linneatanner @DWallacePeach @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! By the time you read this, I will have returned from my two-week trip to Italy and Greece, but I'm writing this ahead of time since I will most likely be jet-lagged when I return. Before my trip, I was only able to read one novel and a novella, but they were both great! I have no doubt I will be reading books while I'm on the plane or during the cruise. I'll try to post the reviews as soon as I can.

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Ancient World Historical Romance

Pages: 349 pages

Book Blurb:

Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom. The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her throne. 

Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman general Mark Antony.

But Marcellus had been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.

My Review: 

This is book three in the series, and I will do my best not to give any spoilers (but it's going to be hard). Catrin was robbed of an easy life by the curse of her father's first wife in book one. In book two, she tried desperately to amend the curse, but nothing worked. This book picks up right where book two left off.

Catrin suffers at the hands of her captor. She stays determined to find her way home to reclaim the throne that was stolen from her by her monster of a half-brother. Through it all, she strives to find Marcellus, the love of her life, and attain his help in taking back her country. Unfortunately, nothing is going right for her. 

The author did an amazing job of keeping me engaged in Catrin's struggle through the entire novel. She goes through so much struggle and torment, but she never wavers in fighting to survive to find a way back to Britania to avenge her family. The author keeps the tension high, and the obstacles are never-ending, but each one makes perfect sense.

I am not a big fan of historical romance, but this series has me hooked. I can't wait to read book four!

Genre: African American Fantasy Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction

Pages: 145 pages

Book Blurb:

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California's cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it's been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn's secrets.

In 1858, a ship carrying ice from Alaska wrecked off the coast of California, and little does Taliah Keldan realize how that tragedy will impact her life in 1972.

When Taliah decides to quit college and become a civil rights activist, her disappointed parents encourage her to think it over. What better spot for contemplation than at her aunt and uncles' Harbor Pointe Inn, a charming seaside getaway with its own lighthouse? The place is under renovation and empty of guests. All she'll have to deal with is the construction crew.

But the inn is far from peaceful.

My Review:

I have loved every book in this series, even though each one is written by a different author. This story was fantastic! From the opening scene, I was glued to it. I finished it in two days only because I had some obligations that tore me away from reading it.

Taliah is an African-American young adult growing up in the early '70s who feels as if her life has no purpose. She struggles with her role in life and doesn't feel the path she is taking is making a difference. When she decides to watch her aunt and uncle's inn for a bit while they leave on a trip, she figures she can have some peace and quiet to contemplate what to do with her life. The inn has other plans for her, and it's more than she bargained for.

The story follows two timelines - 1858 and 1972. A horrible tragedy that takes place in 1858 leads to Taliah dealing with a dangerous adventure in 1972. Without giving too much away, I'll just say that this story weaves folklore, magic, history, and compassion into one to tell an amazing tale.

I have read other books by this author and have loved them all. This one, though very different, still had her incredible storytelling talent. Her scenes are described so perfectly that you imagine you are right there with the characters, even in the most treacherous of scenes! And I loved that she highlighted the plight of the desire for all people to be treated well. This is a great story to read!

Have you read any great books lately? I'd love to hear from you. :-)

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

#TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Boshu #Tanka #summerdays @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I've spent the past couple of days packing up my classroom, which is something we have to do at the end of every year so the custodial crew can wax the floors during the summer. I am very much looking forward to summer break, especially not having to wake up to an alarm. 

For this week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro shared with us that we moved into a new Japanese season in poetry, Boshu - the time of planting grains. I've chosen to write a tanka poem which consists of five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern where the third line is a pivot line. My kigo words are bolded and italicized.

As you all know, I love summer, especially since it means longer days at the beach. I also love camping, but I refuse to do it during the summer months because I am a magnet for mosquitoes. I am also allergic to their bites and get large welts that lasts for days before turning into smaller bites that last even longer. So, while I enjoy my summer days, I make sure I'm inside at dawn and dusk with the vampiric critters are out. 

summer days delight
sun's heat brings lakeside fun
scrumptious bonfire s'mores
mosquitoes come out at dusk
bitten skin cries for mercy

What do you enjoy doing during the summer? I'd love to hear from you.

Would you like to write a poem with us this week? Click here to join in the fun.

Friday, May 31, 2024

May Book Reviews #bookreview #books #amreading #readingcommunity #memoir #Greece #GreekTravels @JourneysInPages @dlfinnauthor @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I can officially say that I have finished writing Drake's story, The One Redeemed. It has taken WAY too many years to get to this point, but I'm here! Woohoo! If you would like to be a beta reader for me, please let me know. Any and all help is welcome! I've also finished writing a short story for the #RRBC 90-Day Alpha/Omega Short Story Contest. Now, I'm in the process of revising and editing both the novel and the short story. I've read a couple of books this month. Because of my upcoming travels to Greece, I started with a memoir by Sally Jane Smith. Read my reviews below!

by Sally Jane Smith

Genre:  Memoir

Pages: 256 pages

Book Blurb: 

When Sally sets out for Europe with her mother's 1978 travel diary in her pocket, she is searching for the wanderlust she lost in a devastating overseas road accident.

As she ventures into the heart of the Mediterranean - wandering volatile landscapes, exploring historical sties, pairing books with places and savouring the tastes of Greece - she finds it possible for a clumsy, out-of-shape woman on a budget to experience a life-changing journey.

In a story told with warmth, humour and a fascination with Greece's natural and cultural heritage, Sally connects with her past, overcomes her fears and falls in love with life again, one olive at a time.

Book One in the 'Packing for Greece' series travels to Athens and Meteora on the mainland; Monemvasia, Sparta and Methana on the Peloponnese Peninsual; and the islands of Santorinia nd Rhodes.

My Review: 

Since I will be traveling to Greece this summer, I thought it would be fun to read a memoir of an author who has made such a travel. I am not a big memoir reader, but I really enjoyed this one. It starts off with the author sharing a horrible accident that took place on one of her trips, leaving with her with a fear of traveling. Did I mention that she travels solo? I have a friend who travels this way and has incredible experiences. I am in awe of her and this author's ability to brave a foreign place on their own.

I love that the author didn't stick to all the touristy spots. She was able to bring the culture and the beauty of each area to life with her descriptions and her interactions with the locals and other travelers. She wrote so that I felt as if I were walking beside her and experiencing her journey with her. Throughout the novel, she confronts past memories, overcomes obstacles, and manages hiccups in her travels with humility and humor. 

If you enjoy reading memoirs or simply want to travel vicariously to Greece, I would definitely recommend this story.

by D.L. Finn

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction

Pages: 64 pages


The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California's cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it's been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn's secrets.

It's 1967, and best friends Lacey and Sandy are enjoying a beach vacation, completely unaware of the danger that is lying in wait outside their door. Their room is quaint, with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and an old lighthouse, but a killer is stalking their next victim. Powerless, Annie the ghost watches, knowing there's nothing she can do to help - no even her parents, the innkeepers. Who will survive their stay at the Harbor Pointe Inn, where the edge of evil lurks within the shadows?

My Review:

I've read many books by DL Finn and have enjoyed them all. Although this book technically doesn't have an evildwel in it from her Angels & Evildwels series, it still had an evil entity lurking about. This was another great addition to the Harbor Pointe series. I love how each book is written by a different author, but they are all connect by this location.

Lacey and Sandy are on a girls trip. Lacey has ulterior motives as she wants her best friend to leave her old life behind and pursue the life she's always dreamed of. Sandy is adamant that she has a role to fulfill and her dreams are unimportant until a tragic event pushes her to change course and follow her dreams.

I loved the friendship Lacey and Sandy had. Although it was a short story, the author did a great job in building the bond between these two ladies. I also loved that Annie the ghost and the caretakers were incorporated into this story from the previous book.  It helped gel the series together. I also liked how the author connected a little bit of real history into the story.

This was a great short read. Author DL Finn never disappoints. If you like stories with a historical feel with a bit of a ghostly spin on it, then you'll love this story.

That's it for this month! Have you read either of these books? I'd love to hear from you below.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

#TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Shoman #Kimo #climatechange #oceanwaters @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! It's been an emotional week for me. My son graduated magna cum laude with the superintendent's diploma of distinction on Wednesday. He was also recognized as one of four students who had perfect attendance from kindergarten to the end of his senior year. This chapter in his life has just ended, and we are excited about his next chapter at the university.

For this week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro challenged us to write a kimo, which is a poem of three lines with a syllabic pattern of 10-7-6. She also asked us to focus on our local weather. I chose to write two kimos in one poem. My kigo words are bolded and italicized. 

The weather in South Florida is already hitting the high 90s with it feeling like it's in the 100s. It has been SO hot. I'm still going to the beach every weekend. We sit under umbrellas to protect our skin from the sun's rays. Luckily, there has been a breeze that has helped alleviate us from the worst of the heat. Unfortunately, the increased heat is also affecting our waters, making them unusually warm for this time of year. It concerns me because I worry about the coral reefs and how the rise in water temperatures is negatively affecting their habitats. I also worry about hurricanes because warmer waters mean stronger hurricanes.

(picture I took of our beach)

the sweltering heat penetrates my pores
reflective sand amplifies
ocean waves beckon me

deep plunge into ocean gives no reprieve
waters too warm for season
sign of bad hurricanes

What is the weather like in your area? I'd love to hear from you.

Do you want to try writing your own kimo? Join us here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

#TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Shoman @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! How is it possible that it's been two weeks since I last posted? I feel like I blinked and time jumped. Life has been so busy lately. From the moment I wake up to the moment my head hits the pillow at night, I'm nonstop. And it isn't slowing down anytime soon. 

School testing is done, and I am now wrapping up the year with final lessons and activities with my students. My mom recently had her fifth knee surgery (same knee...crazy!) and is recovering at home. My son has been having one senior activity after another and is one step closer to graduating. Oh, I also finished writing a novel and a short story! Just a couple more weeks and life will slow down, even if just a little.

For this week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro brings us into the season of Shoman, or Fine Weather. I love this time of year. The days are longer which means more beach time for me! The days are also warmer but not stifling hot yet. I'm a bit worried about this year's hurricane season. The beach water was already a warm 82 degrees this past weekend, and that isn't good for this early in the season. Hopefully, we will get lucky and the hurricanes will stay away.

For this week's challenge, I kept it simple because I just don't have much time to play with. I love leaving my home in the morning to the chirping of birds in the neighboring trees, so I chose to write about that in a haiku. The kigo word is bolded and italicized.

(courtesy of @urirenataadrienn on Pixabay)

bird song symphony

celebrate summer's coming

sweet jubilation

Would you like to write a poem with us this week? Join us here.

Friday, May 3, 2024

#TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Koku #renga #fullmoon #Aprilshowers @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! The past two weeks have been very busy for me (such is my life...LOL!). Our summer trip is completely planned, and I'm so excited. Because we waited so long to book our cruise, all the ship's best shore excursions were booked. So, I started looking elsewhere. I found the best shore excursions with Shore Excursions Group. I know a lot of people use Viator or TripAdvisor. SEG's site is cruise specific. It's so organized, and they focus on each port the cruise ship goes to. If you ever go on a cruise, I encourage you to check them out. :-)

We started state testing this week. As an empath, it's exhausting! I pick up on all the students' stress and anxiety. We have two more weeks of testing, so I've got to rebuild my reserves this weekend. You know what that means? Beach time! 😊 

For this week's TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro challenged us to write a renga. A renga is a poetry written by two different poets, each contributing a part. The first poet writes the hokku (haiku), and the second poet writes his/her response (wakiku). The wakiku consists of two lines, each with seven syllables. 

Colleen provided the first hokku and encouraged us to write the wakiku. She also asked that we provide the next hokku, and she (and you, if you so choose) will write the wakiku in the comments. As always, we need to include kigo words. They should be part of the hokku. I've bolded and italicized them.

(courtesy of @FreeFunArt on Pixabay)

an empty attic
the sounds of April showers
thunderous rumblings

crisp, fresh pages beckon me
travel to fantasy worlds


beacon of wonder
April full moon captivates
good fortune awaits

Would you like to create a wakiku to my hokku? Share it with me in the comments!

If you feel inspired to write your own, join us here.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

April Book Reviews #bookreview #books #amreading #readingcommunity #vampires #paranormalromance #WWII @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I have been able to read several books this month, thanks to getting almost three books read during my Spring Break cruise and then reading during my lunch breaks. Except for one book, all the reviews I wrote this month were on paranormal books, which is my favorite genre. I'm only posting those books I would recommend to others. I am also one chapter away from finishing Drake's story. Soon, I'll be in the editing/revising stage and will be reaching out to my beta readers. If you have read my Diasodz series and would like to be a beta reader for me, please let me know. :-) Here are my reviews for April:

Genre: Paranormal Vampire Romance

Pages: 506 pages


Meet Sahvage: a powerful MMA fighter with a buried secret that could change the world of Caldwell forever...

Sahvage has been living under the radar for centuries-and he has every intention of staying 'dead and buried.' But when a civilian female sucks him into her dangerous battle with an evil as ancient as time, his protective side overrides his common sense.

Mae has lost everything, and desperation sets her on a collision course with fate. Determined to reverse a tragedy, she goes where mortals should fear to tread- and comes face to face with the Brotherhood's new enemy. She also discovers a love she never expected to find with Sahvage, but there can be no future for them.

Knowing they will part, the two band together to fight against what Mae unknowingly unleashed- as the Brotherhood closes in to reclaim one of their damned, and the evil vows to destroy them all...

I know I've shared this series with you before. I was lucky enough to receive this book for free as part of a Goodreads Giveaway. I'm absolutely in love with this series, and I just found out they are going to turn it into a TV series. Oh, I hope it lives up to the books! This book was focused on Sahvage and Mae, but it also brought back the demoness Devina as well as a new character/love interest for Nate. As always, the author's characters have so much depth. I love the slow build of this story. Both Mae and Sahvage have suffered great loss, and both of them are haunted by their choices. Fate brings them together, but saving each other isn't an easy ride.

There are so many moving pieces in this story, but the author organizes them all masterfully. All the characters are connected by an evil book of spells they all want for different purposes. The hunt for the book reveals Sahvage's connection to the BDB as well as the new character. It also reveals his hidden secret, which was a great little revelation. There are so many possibilities with his character because of his gift/curse. And I have SO many unanswered questions about the new character (don't want to give too much away). Needless to say, I cannot wait to read the next book! If you love vampires with depth and a series that has longevity, I really encourage you to start this one at the beginning with book one, Dark Lover.

Genre: Children's Books

Pages:  100 pages


What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2? Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden. Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

My Review: 

This is definitely not my normal read, but I've read other books by Robbie Cheadle, so I thought I'd give it a try. This is a children's story, told in small anecdotes through the experiences of Elsie, who is a child growing up in England during World War II. The authors do a great job in showing how difficult life was back then and how families found ways to make it while children found ways to have fun. 

This book isn't told as a typical storyline (plot, conflict, rising action, etc.). Instead, it's told as a child's recounting of memories. At the end, there are a bunch of recipes from that era for anyone who enjoys cooking and wants to try to replicate them. I found the book interesting and enjoyed learning what life was like in England during those times.

Genre: Small Town Romance

Pages: 86 pages


The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

In an innocent 1958 American suburb, Shelly doesn’t know the power of a kiss. Or how it will change her entire life.

At sixteen years old, she falls in love with a young man. One night—just 
one night—they go too far. Months later, pregnant and shamed, Shelly’s parents banish her.

Alone and heavily pregnant, circumstances force Shelly to cross the country in an old pickup.

A mistaken turn leaves her lost in a forest amidst a severe snow storm and in labor.

In the dark of night. Shelly must get help for her new-born baby before they both perish. A light in the distance gives her the slimmest glimmer of hope.

After Shelly wraps the infant in her father’s old jacket, she trudges through the snow to a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Snow half buries the squat stone building.

Will Shelly find shelter, or is it the beginning of the end?

My Review: 

I absolutely loved this story! It was so good that I read it in one sitting. The story starts with so much despair and fear, and I was drawn right in. Shelly is sent away from her home when her parents refuse to help her with her pregnancy. Alone and afraid, she travels to a relative's house, but on the way, she runs out of a gas during a bad snow storm. And in that moment, the baby decides it's time to be born. Luckily, Shelly and her baby had a little angel looking out for them.

This story has all the feels, and I teared up many times (okay, maybe a bit more than a few tears). The characters are so believable and kind-hearted. It is embedded with that small town, homey feel where everyone looks out for one another. And I loved every page of it!

Although it's a short read compared to most of the books I read, it felt complete and left me with a full heart. I would definitely recommend this story to others. :-)

Genre: Paranormal Vampire Romance

Pages: 307 pages


"Enter Lara Adrian's vampire world and be enchanted." --J. R. Ward
"One of the best vampire series on the market!" --RT Book Reviews

The line between darkness and light is drawn in blood, and the stakes have never been higher. Nothing less than the fate of the world rests in the hands of the Order, and in one Breed warrior's quest to thaw the heart of an immortal queen in the final novel of Lara Adrian's New York Times and #1 international bestselling Midnight Breed vampire romance series.

As a Breed warrior and the son of the Order’s founder and commander, Darion Thorne is an exacting tactician and a lethal combatant, yet nothing can prepare him for the catastrophic act that forces him to step to the helm of the Order as its leader. With their adversaries growing bolder and more brazen with every strike, Darion knows he must take the war to them before it’s too late to stop them at all.

Yet of all their enemies, the one most dangerous for Darion is the beautiful, yet volatile, Selene, Queen of the Atlanteans. Determined to recover four powerful crystals stolen from her ages ago, Selene will go to any lengths to have them. When that goal puts one of the Order’s own in the crosshairs, she finds herself locked in a personal battle with Darion, a Breed warrior she knows she should despise, yet who stirs an unbidden desire within her.

With the battle lines drawn between them and a diabolical evil on the rise, can Darion and Selene put aside their mistrust in time to save all they hold dear, or will they see the world plunge into a darkness that has no end?

My Review: 

I can't believe this series is over. I fell in love with these Breed warriors almost twenty years ago. I've been putting off reading this book because I didn't want this world to end for me. (Luckily, I realized there are two Hunter Legacy books I still haven't read... yay me!) As the last book, this novel did not disappoint!

Darion had everything going wrong for him. His father (the Order's leader) became compromised, sending both him and his Breedmate into nonstop agony. The Order was losing the battles on every front, and everyone looked to Darion to fill his father's shoes. Selene had the burden of protecting her world from enemies that wanted to destroy them while also feeling her life force depleting. When these two came face-to-face, it could have been catastrophic. Luckily, it was the exact opposite!

I loved how the author brought both of these characters together. Their chemistry was amazing, and I enjoyed how each of them had to let go of their reservations to find compromise...and love. The fight against Opus Nostrum was handled perfectly, and I'm so happy they were obliterated. It had drawn out over so many books, and I was happy their comeuppance was swift. 

And I could think of no greater way for the Ancient to meet his demise. The entire final battle was exhilarating. I loved how all the Breed came together one last time to fight for the future existence of their race. And Darion and Selene's love story (and its aftereffects) was so sweet and touching. The author created as great of an ending as possible for this world. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it. Here is the link to the first book. :-)

by Marcia Meara

Genre: Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

Pages: 104 pages


Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.

When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.

It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?

To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.

My Review:

After reading Finding Hunter, I was excited to hear that the author had created this spinoff series about the man who changed Hunter's life trajectory. I love the life story that was created for Jake and the mission he was given after his death. The storyline is fantastic! Heaven's angels are overwhelmed with the amount of lost souls, so one angel decides to take matters into his own hands. He chose Jake, who had just passed away from drowning, and gave him the opportunity to help save others who were going down the wrong path.

At first, Jake wants no part in it, especially because of the way he was introduced to the program. Once Azrael gives him a little more information and attention, Jake decides he will give it a try. The first few saves went well, but Jake quickly learns not all people want to be saved. Still, he's now invested and can't turn away from trying to help others.

Then, he meets Dodger and everything changes. I won't give away any spoilers except to say that this book will pull at your heartstrings. There were moments when I laughed out loud and others that choked me up. I love Jake's mission and look forward to reading the other books in the series. :-)

Have you read any great books this month? I'd love to hear about them.