Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Reading Challenge and End of Year Celebration! #2023readingchallenge #booksread #readingcommunity #happynewyear #fortheloveofreading @DWallacePeach @MarciaMeara @VashtiQV @dlfinnauthor @PTLPerrin

Hello, beautiful readers! Every year, I participate in the Goodreads yearly reading challenge. Knowing I had little time to read, I set my goal for 20 books and surprised myself by reading 28! Granted, some of those were short stories, but I'll take it!

I enjoyed all the books I read this year, and to see my reviews, click here. If I had to pick my top five favorites, these are the books I loved the most this year:

The Necromancer's Daughter by D. Wallace Peach

Finding Hunter by Marcia Meara

The Rise of Gadreel by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Voice of Viracocha by PTL Perrin

I did not write as much as I had hoped, but I did start writing again. I have every intention of finishing Drake's story in 2024. I have put off finishing that book for too long. So it is written, so shall it be! 😉 

I also hope to read at least twenty books again next year. Reading and writing are true joys in my life, so I intend to incorporate them more mindfully in 2024. 

I wish you all a blessed new year and hope you surround yourself with love, laughter, and positive energy all year long. Happy New Year! 😊

Saturday, December 30, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Touji #abhanga #boxingday #NewYearsEve @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I hope you are enjoying the winter holidays. For this week's 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro has asked us to write a series of three Abhanga poems with each stanza using a specific phrase:

#1 - Boxing Day

#2 - New Year's Eve

#3 - hot drinks

An Abhanga poem has four lines with a syllabic pattern of 6-6-6-4. The two inner lines rhyme, and the poem must have a title. It's pretty cold in South Florida right now (high 50s, low 60s), and while most of us don't have fireplaces, I know the warmth of a great campfire, so I captured that essence in my third stanza.

(courtesy of @s-wloczyk2 on Pixabay)

Memorable Moments

it is better to give
than to receive, they say
so ev'ry Boxing Day
remember this

when New Year's Eve comes 'round
take note of what's now gone
embrace the coming dawn
cherish new start

tasty, hot drinks in hand
cuddle close by the fires
storytelling transpires
love is abound

Would you like to join us in writing poetry? Click here.

December Book Reviews #bookreview #books #readingcommunity #poetry #poetrycommunity #dogs #ChristmasStory #vampires #fairies @dlfinnauthor @JacqBiggar @SusanneLeist @maurabeth2014 @JRWard1 @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! I hope you are enjoying the holidays no matter what special days you celebrate. I have read great stories this month and am excited to share them with you. I've also written a few chapters of my current WIP. Hopefully, I can keep this reading/writing thing going into the new year because I've missed having the time to do both.

Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms: Just Her Poetry Book Two

by D.L. Finn

Genre: Poetry

Pages: 186 pages


Embark on a captivating journey with D. L. Finn as she guides you through the intricate landscapes of free verse and symbolic poetry. Hike with her through the magical forest, feel the wind on your face riding on the back of a Harley, or bask on the warm Hawaiian shores. Her search for life’s magic invites the reader to traverse through the four seasons in part one. Emotions, observations, and stories weave through part two’s texture. Whether the words explore a sunset, healing, or magic, each poem flows through moments where poetry blooms.

My Review: 

This is such a beautiful book of poetry. The author breaks the book into various themes, each section filled with gorgeous imagery and emotion. She starts with her freestyle poems and then shares syllabic poetry at the end of each section. She captures every season perfectly and allows the reader to immerse him/herself in the beauty of each time of year. Then, she shares poetry about nature, including the forest and the ocean and everywhere in between. She even includes poems about animals, both real and magical. The author is quite adventurous and shares poetry written while riding a Harley and while snorkeling.

I truly love all her poems but my favorites are her haibun poetry. She is an expert at this form, creating a story in just a paragraph that draws you in and makes you feel as if you are part of the scene and then ending with a few lines that just bring it all home. Just brilliant! If you love poetry, this is a definite must have!

by Nounous (Susanne Leist)

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 12 pages


Nounous is a fourteen-year-old Maltese dog who loves people but loves his mother most. As he takes his last steps, he reminisces on life and worries about leaving his Mommy alone.

His mother, Susanne Leist, is a paranormal suspense author and former financial analyst. When she isn’t writing her books, Susanne spends precious time with Nounous, her best friend and muse.

My Review: 

This was such a sweet but sad story. Told from the point of view of the author's dog, the author takes us on a journey of her dog's last year in life and how his perspective has changed throughout the years. What is evident is his undying love for his owner. This is such a beautiful tale of a dog's love for his human. I can totally imagine pets feeling this love and having these thoughts. It's a bit sad, but it's also heartwarming, and I would encourage you to read it.

by Jacquie Biggar

Genre: Short Story, Medical Fiction

Pages: 176 pages


Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she's always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter's life. She doesn't expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, Kyle Roberts is aware of the students' medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace needs a job, he fabricates a childcare program and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie's recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won't be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child's need for a miracle.

My Review: 

This was the perfect story for the holidays. Grace uproots her life to move closer to a clinic that has an experimental study to treat her daughter's cancer. She meets Kyle Roberts, the handsome and gregarious principal at her daughter's school, and there's an instant connection. Grace is so focused on her daughter's health that she pushes aside everything else. Luckily, two little girls take fate into their own hands to make sure they all have the perfect Christmas.

This story is told from three different perspectives: Grace, Kyle, and Cassie. The author seamlessly moves from each perspective to create an endearing story. It was easy to follow each character's part because the author used such distinct voices for each of them. I especially loved reading Cassie's innocent voice within the story.

I could have easily read a full-length novel of this story, especially since there were many moments where I felt the author could have expanded or gave more backstory or side stories. That's not to say the story is incomplete because it isn't. It's more of a testament to how much I truly enjoyed the characters and their journey. If you are looking for a holiday story that will warm your heart, this is a great one to pick!

by J.R. Ward
(Adult Content)

Genre: Paranormal Vampire Romances

Pages: 475 pages


#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is heating things up this winter with a holiday novel featuring some of her most iconic Black Dagger Brothers.

When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (
The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?

Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.

Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance...or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted...but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.

My Review:

I always love coming back to the Black Dagger Brotherhood world. I am a huge fan of long series because I fall in love with the characters and never want to leave their world. The BDB men go through some tragic stuff, and sometimes their HEA dies. When Trez lost Selena, his whole world fell apart and he found himself wanting to give up on life altogether. Luckily, Fate had other plans and Therese walked into his life. It didn't hurt that she was the spitting image of Selena (and then some). 

I loved how this story came together. The author did an amazing job sharing Trez's struggle with Therese/Selena. Without giving away too much (because I hate spoilers), I loved how Tohrment played a role in saving him, given Tohr's own experience with losing his shellan. That moment brought tears to my eyes.

Can you read this as a standalone story? Sure, but you won't have the vested love, interest, and understanding of all the characters. But even without that understanding, I still think it's a story you will enjoy. :-)

by Maura Beth Brennan

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 26 pages


When Sara was very young, her grandmother told her magical stories about garden fairies who lived in the tulips. If she could just catch sight of one of these elusive creatures, her grandmother told her, her wish would be granted. Soon after, Sara overheard her family discussing how she had been adopted, and how her birth mother was a young girl, barely into her teens. After recovering from her shock, Sara vows to find that young girl and get to know her. Surely, she would have more in common with her birth mother than with her dull, ordinary adoptive family. That was the wish she asked the garden fairies to grant. Years later, when she is ready for college, she finds a way to meet her birth mother. But all does not go as she planned.

My Review:

This short story focuses on the sensitive topic of adoption through the eyes of a child and her choices as she grows up. It begins with a seven-year old who adores her grandmother and believes in the fairies that her grandmother tells her live in the garden. Her imagination and beliefs are shattered when she overhears her mother mention that she's adopted. Sara struggles with accepting the love of her adopted family and yearns to be reunited with her "real" mother. She makes a wish on the fairies she no longer believes in and spends years waiting for the opportunity to make that wish come true. Her grandmother assured her that wishes do come true, though not always as she expects them to. And Sara finds that out the hard way.

This story is a great read, though I wasn't always happy with Sara's behavior as a child. I don't know that I would have let things go as easily as she had at the end (no spoilers), but her reaction made sense. I'm happy that she finally understood and accepted the love of her family. :-)

Have you read any great stories lately? I'd love to hear from you. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

#RRBC Books & Budz 6th Annual Holiday Pop-Up Bookshop #booksale #Holiday #BooksBudzPopUp #freebooks #bookshopping #readingcommunity


Hello, beautiful readers! I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday. I wanted to invite you to a fantastic event that is happening right now. It's called the RRBC Holiday Pop-Up Bookshop. It's a place where you can peruse a bunch of amazing books and shop to your heart's content. There are books ranging from FREE to $4.99! I've read most of them and can tell you that they are great reads!

You can shop by price, by author, or by genre. I have several of my books at the bookshop as well. There are games to play and prizes to win! There are grown up Christmas lists to read and wish upon. There's a party lounge where you can chat it up with the authors, too! There's even a reading room where you can listen to author's read an excerpt of their stories (I'm in there, too!).

All in all, it's a great place for you to spend some time surrounded by great books and amazing authors! The bookshop is open until December 31st so join us for a bit (and invite your friends)! :-)

Sunday, December 24, 2023

2023 Nonnie Jules RWISA Supreme Book Award Winner - Breathless: A Short Story #awardwinning #greatread #RWISA #twistedfairytale #1920s #readingcommunity #shortstory

 Hi, beautiful readers! My short story, Breathless, just won 2nd place in the 2023 Nonnie Jules RWISA Supreme Book Award contest.

If you haven't read my short story yet, you can grab a copy for free on Smashwords here. If you prefer to purchase a copy on Amazon ($0.99), you can get it here.

I hope you enjoy this twisted little fairy tale. If you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. :-)

Thursday, December 21, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #Touji #WinterSolstice #Yule @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! Happy Winter Solstice! Colleen Chesebro at wrote a beautiful post about Yule here, and it inspired me to write this week's 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge about today.

This week's challenge is part one of Winter Solstice, or Touji. It focuses on the holidays and spending time with your loved ones. It's the longest night of the year and is a time to focus on endings and beginnings. It also brings about hope since longer days will slowly return after tonight. I, for one, am looking forward to more sunlight in my waking hours.

I decided to write a mirror cinquain. This consists of two 5-line stanzas that have an American cinquain followed by a reverse cinquain (2-4-6-8-2-2-8-6-4-2). I've used an abundance of kigo phrases in this poem because the season just warrants it.

(courtesy of @Foundry on Pixabay)

Promising Passage

winter solstice
shortest days, longest nights
whirlwind of hustle and bustle
need peace
oh, Yule!
time to rest and rejuvenate
new positive outlook
mindful balance
rise, sun!

Are you feeling the stress of the holidays, or have you found your Zen this season? I'd love to hear from you.

Are you inspired to write your own poem? Join us here!

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Smashwords 2023 End of the Year Book Sale #Smashwords #booksale #SmashwordsEoYSale #freebooks #fantasy #paranormal #youngadult #YAbooks

Hi, beautiful readers! I'm excited to share with you that some of my books are on sale from now until December 31st through Smashword's End of the Year Book Sale! If you haven't picked up copies of these great stories, I encourage you to grab them now while they are on sale! Please share the great news with your fellow book lovers! 

Fantasy/Young Adult

Fantasy/Young Adult/ Short Story

Young Adult/Contemporary
On Sale for $1.49

Paranormal/Short Story

If you want to grab even more amazing stories, check out author John Podlaski's books here

The Smashwords Sale has books of all kinds. So, if you are looking for something else, check out the sale's main page here. Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 30, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #dodoitsu #Winter #holidaycheer @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week is part two of Shosetsu, or Light Snow, for the #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge. For this week, Colleen Chesebro has encouraged us to write a series of three dodoitsu. This form has four lines with a7-7-7-5 syllabic pattern. To make the challenge more interesting, she's asked us to use the following kigo phrases in each stanza:

Stanza 1 - "early winter dusk"
Stanza 2 - "chilly north winds blow"
Stanza 3 - "warmth around the hearth"

We are having a cold front in South Florida right now. It's dropped into the 60s, and that is way too cold for me. Luckily, we will be back in the 80s by this weekend. You Northerners can have your cold back, thank you very much. 😝

So, here is my poem. Although each required stanza has exactly five syllables, I've chosen to incorporate them in the seven-syllable lines. 

(courtesy of @Monikas_Wunderwelt on Pixabay)

humans manipulate time
causing early winter dusks
draining energy from days
nature's mom cares not

winter comes for almost all
chilly north winds blow about
humans seek shelter inside
critters hibernate

warmth around the hearth comforts
holiday cheer uplifts hearts
family and friends gather
bountiful blessings

I don't have a hearth because - South Florida, people! - but there are a few nights every year when I wish I had one. Are you a fan of cold weather, or do you fantasize about visiting the tropics during this time? I'd love to hear from you.

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

November Book Review #bookreview #books #readingcommunity #stroke #recovery @Maureen_2me @YvetteMCalleiro #RRBC

Hello, beautiful readers! I hope you all had a wonderful November. I enjoyed my week off of work for Thanksgiving break. I went on a small cruise with my sister and our sons. I created a checklist of things I wanted to get done, and I managed to check everything off the list, so I'm happy!

I even managed to finish reading a book! I also started writing again, and it feels so good. I'm hoping to make a habit of it, so I can hopefully finally publish Drake's story in 2024. Fingers crossed! Here is my review for my November read.

Before, Afdre, and After (My stroke... oh what fun)

by Maureen Twomey

Genre: Memoir

Pages: 316 pages


When Maureen Twomey was only thirty-three years old, she experienced a massive stroke—one that took away her ability to read, write, walk, and even speak (AAAAAAAHHH!!). Well, she wasn’t about to go down without a fight. In Before, Afdre, and After, Twomey offers a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes comical, and ultimately inspiring account of what it is to lose everything when you’re supposed to be in the prime of your life—and what it takes to get it back, piece by tiny piece.

My Review:

I can't even begin to imagine having a stroke at 33 years old, much less keeping such an incredible outlook on life. Maureen Twomey takes us on a journey through her life before, during, and after her stroke. And through it all, though she lost many skills and had to relearn them, she never lost her positive energy. I truly believe that is one of the things that helped her survive and thrive even when doctors didn't think she would.

It angered me when she described how laidback the paramedics were when they picked her up. Then again, I'm sure we have learned a lot in the past twenty-three years since her stroke. Still, it was frustrating to read how much time was wasted. Through it all, Maureen was surrounded by friends and family, which is a tribute to what a wonderful person she was before the stroke. And through her words, you can sense that she is just as wonderful today.

This is an inspiring read of a young woman's journey to come back from a rare stroke with humor and determination, and I highly recommend it for anyone going through tough times and for anyone who wants to be inspired.

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #tanka #Winter #Thanksgiving #Shosetsu #gratitude @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge focuses on the seasons of Shosetsu, or Light Snow. Being in South Florida, we definitely are not getting light snow, but the weather is beautiful this week.

It is also the season of Thanksgiving in America, a time where family and friends gather to focus on their blessings. This past weekend, my sister and I took our boys on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas that we had won while playing BINGO. It was my nephew's first cruise experience, and he loved it. We visited a cave that leads to six (plus) miles of underwater tunnels, went kayaking through the mangroves, spent some time on their beaches, and visited the Garden of the Groves where we had a fantastic lunch. 

So, this week, I've decided to focus on gratitude. I've written a tanka poem. For those new to poetry, a tanka poem consists of five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. The middle line tends to work as a pivot so that the first three lines create one image and the last three lines create a different image. Tankas are usually untitled.

grateful for blessings
abundance of merriment
friends, family, love
greatest riches in the world
bank of treasures overflows

If you'd like to join our poetry community and write a poem of your own, click here.

What are you most grateful for during this season? I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #tanka #Winter #farmwedding #Ritto @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Challenge focuses on Ritto, the beginning of winter. In most parts of the northern hemisphere, the weather is becoming cooler, the sweaters are coming out of storage, and people are preparing for the winter holidays. Of course, here in South Florida, we are just excited that the humidity isn't as high.😄

This weekend, I was elated to attend the wedding of a dear friend of mine who waited until she found the right kind of love to tie the knot. She had a beautiful ceremony on a farm in northern Florida with her closest family and friends. So, I decided to dedicate this week's poem to her. Here are some of the pictures from her wedding.

This week's kigo words have to do with the beginning of winter. I chose crisper air to represent the season. I wrote a tanka poem, which consists of five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. The third line is the pivot, creating two separate images - one in the first three lines and one in the last three lines. 

(courtesy of @OlcayErtem on Pixabay)

just a small drive north
a quaint outdoor farm wedding
crisper air prevails
the bride and groom's heartfelt bond
warms the hearts of everyone

Do you want to write your own poem for this season? Join us here

What is the weather looking like where you live? Are you starting to see the beginnings of winter? I'd love to hear from you. :-)

Sunday, November 5, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #haiku #Autumn #jackolanterns #Soukou @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro


Hello, beautiful readers! I don't know about you, but I really do not enjoy the time change. I prefer having more hours of light during the day, especially living in the Sunshine State. We actually voted several years ago to stop this nonsense, but our national government can't seem to approve the people's request.

Anyhow, this week's #TankaTuesday's 24 Seasons Challenge focuses on the First Frost. To learn more about this season, click here

I chose to write a haiku, which is a three-line poem with a 3-5-3 syllabic pattern. I've bolded and italicized the words that I believe fit the season. 

(courtesy of @Skitterphoto on Pixabay)

clear blue skies
crispness in the air
autumn comes

As a bonus, I wanted to write one for Halloween. This time I wrote a haiku with a 5-7-5 pattern. I know it's a few days late, but such is my life right now. 

(courtesy of @svetjekolem on Pixabay)

trick or treat tonight
jack o'lantern's eyes flicker
with desire to fright

What represents Autumn for you? Share your thoughts below. I'd love to hear from you. :-)

Saturday, November 4, 2023

2023 Nonnie Jules' RWISA "Supreme Book of the Year" Award

Hello, beautiful readers! In 2021, my short story, The One Chosen, was the grand prize winner of the Nonnie Jules' RWISA "Supreme Book of the Year" Award. This year, Breathless: A Short Story has taken second place! 

I am so happy to see this story winning this award. If you haven't read it yet, please pick up a copy of it. I think you will be quite surprised by it. 😉

Book 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?

Congratulations to John Podlaski and his short story 2-27-70, the grand prize winner, and PTL Perrin's Reflections of a Misfit, which took third place. Both of these are phenomenal reads as well, so pick up your copies. :-)

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October Book Review #bookreview #books #readingcommunity #shortstory #horses #rodeos #family #love #romance @KarensStories @joygerken @maurabeth2014 @YvetteMCalleiro #RRBC

Hello, beautiful readers! October has felt like the longest month ever! 😂 How I managed to read one book and two short stories is beyond me, but I did! Enjoy my reviews!

by Karen Black

Genre: Romance

Pages: 279


Personalities clash and relationships explode when Maggie is forced to choose between the man she’d hoped to marry and her dream of a career as a thoroughbred jockey. She learns the truth can be brutal, as she discovers that some horsemen will do anything in pursuit of success, including using her as the means to an end. Still, there are others who want nothing but her affection. Once again, Maggie must decide.

My Review:

I don't normally read cowboy books, but I do enjoy stories by this author, so I figured I'd take a chance. Maggie Austin is a female jockey who upends her life to travel to California and race thoroughbreds. She breaks up with a man who treats her like his property and moves closer to a childhood friend who has always been in love with her. While both men vie for her heart, she is focused on creating a place for herself as a jockey.

This is a sweet story with great characters. The author does a wonderful job of creating unique characters who are full of personality. Her descriptions at the stables and during the races were spectacular, and I felt that I was there watching the race. And I loved how Maggie found her happiness.

There was a bit of head hopping. I believe the author was going for third-person omniscient. I think I've gotten used to clean separations of POVs, so it threw me off a bit. And there were a few small errors but nothing that pulled me out of the story. If you enjoy cowboy(girl) stories and romance, I think you'll enjoy this story.

by Maura Beth Brennan

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 24


Fiona had everything ready—directions to her former lover's house, a letter to her adult son explaining everything, a gun in her purse. She'd find him, Kevin, the man whose rejection still haunted her even after years of marriage to another man, and then she'd do what she'd been fantasizing about for months. What did she have to live for anyway? Her husband was dead, her son barely spoke to her. She'd go out with flair, give Kevin a memory he'd never forget. But then she reached Kevin's house and knocked on the door. Kevin didn't answer the door. But the person who did changed everything.

My Review:

I love everything this author writes, so I immediately picked up this story. The story follows Fiona, a woman whose husband passed away and whose son is estranged. She yearns for a man who left her when she was younger. The author takes us on a journey through the trials and tribulations of Fiona's life and the emotional and mental torment she put upon herself for past decisions.

Fiona has reached the end of her rope and had created a plan to end things once and for all, but an unexpected person opened a door, giving her an opportunity to see life in a whole new light. Through this journey, Fiona evaluates past decisions and finds a way to come to terms with the life she's lived.

I was completely loving this story until the last words. Lol! The author grabs you from the beginning and makes you feel the struggle Fiona is going through in such a gripping way. And then, she just seems to stop. I'm sure she was going for the cliff hanger, and it definitely is one, which I'd be okay with if there was an announcement of a larger novel or novella coming, but I didn't see any such notification. Still, it is a great read (as long as you can accept the unknown ending). 

by Joy M Lilley

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 27


This story written by the protagonists niece is an insight to a lady with little education or hope of achievements and success in her life. However she bucked the trend and achieved much in life. Her family loved her dearly and cared about her right up to the last. She achieved more in becoming a constant winner of bowls tournaments a game she dearly loved. She also won the hearts and minds of many celebrities in the forties, when she worked at the famous Pinewood film studios in Britain. Many gave her their signed black and white photographs. Auntie Peggy was an engaging character to most and an adversary to a few. As you turn the pages you will be laughing and crying at some events of this intrepid lady’s life.

My Reviews:

This story shares the author's wonderful memories of her dear aunt Peggy. She also includes pictures of her aunt throughout the years. Her aunt lived an interesting life meeting famous actors. She had an incredible personality that attracted people to her. Unfortunately, she became an alcoholic, which affected her health and lifestyle. Until her dying day, the author spent time with her aunt and loved her unconditionally.

This was an endearing insight into the relationship that the author had with her aunt. She shared beautiful pictures and a few great memories. I would have loved for her to share more of her memories and more details of those moments. This reads more like non-fiction than a short story, but it was enjoyable. 

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