My Holiday #Reading List- #Books to Warm Your Heart on a Cold Winter’s Night #BookReviews @dlfinnauthor @Marsharwest @sgc58 @Sandra_Cox

Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on

How was your holiday? We got snow for Christmas!

Best gift ever; my daughter graduated from university with a Masters in Marine Science!

Her dad and I are so very proud of all the hard work and perseverance she put in to achieve her dreams.

On a more serious note, the blogging community lost a beloved friend- Mary Smith.

I enjoyed Mary’s blog filled with journal-style posts of her time as a nursing aide in Afghanistan. Her love of the country and its people taught us to see their lives in a different way, while her cancer journey was informative, humorous, frustrating, but most of all, heartbreaking.

She will be greatly missed.

I shut down social media, spent time with hubby, Mom, and our grandson (who is a young man now!), and read some great books starting with D.L. Finn’s This Second Chance.

Newly married Rachael Battaglia finally had it all. The only detail that stained Rachael’s perfect wedding was a gift she received. It was the exact present that her late ex-husband had given her on their wedding day — a snow globe. That marriage was not what she had envisioned, and she endured years of his abuse and charm until one night she escaped with two kids and one on the way. Now Rachael was headed to Hawaii with an amazing man and her chance at happiness. Unbeknownst to Rachael, she had an Angel on her side, although this Angel might not be able to save Rachael and her family from the evil that surrounded them. This is a tale of love, past relationships, things unseen, and redemption. Will Rachael find her happy ending, or will this evil thing get its way?

D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

My Review

Rachel is starting over after an abusive first marriage. Her new husband, Tony, is kind, caring, and devoted to her children- in short, perfect. Unfortunately, someone doesn’t want her to be happy and sabotages the newlywed couple’s honeymoon in a series of frightening incidents.

Deciding to cut their Hawaiian trip short, Tony takes his bride home to the house her kids renovated while they were gone. It should have been the start of a wonderful life together, instead it’s the beginning of a reign of terror.

They say you can never really bury the past and D.L. Finn uses this concept in an unexpected way in this gothic thriller.

Rachel’s abusive ex-husband dies in a drunk driving accident and is given a chance at redemption if he can stop a dark spirit called an Evildwel from destroying his family with the help of a benevolent angel. His son, Eddie, started down the same soul-destroying path Ed traveled, but thanks to his father’s intervention Eddie learns the truth about the past and seeks to correct his mistakes. If they can overcome the Evildwel.

While this book covers a dark matter, the overlying concept is one of forgiveness and love. I give This Second Chance 5 brilliant stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Widowed, shop keeper, and transplanted Texan Jessica Allen fights to protect the green in the New Hampshire town of Tidbury, settled by her late husband’s family. New Hampshire of the beautiful fall leaves, picturesque Christmases, and sometimes brutal winters. She’s angry to learn developers plan to use Worley Construction, a company she holds responsible for her husband’s death. When a member of the board of selectmen is murdered, family and friends encourage Jessica to run for the seat. Will threats force her to compromise her principles? Will Jessica be forced to compromise to find her second chance at love?
          Developer Jeff Hudson wants to build a retirement center on the Tidbury Green. Despite Jessica’s opposition, he believes he can convince her of the need for the center and that its place on the green will leave plenty of room for all of the town’s activities. But has he partnered with an unsafe builder? How much money will he lose if he breaks the contract to please Jessica? Her position on the board of selectmen may cause a conflict of interest and force them apart. Will more people have to die to save the green?

Marsha R West

Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required.

The theme of Marsha’s seven romantic suspense books is always second chances. She has a four-part series titled The Second Chances Series. She believes in Happily Ever Afters. Her husband picked up a plaque for her on one of their several trips to Maine that states her philosophy exactly. “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end.” The Heroines and Heroes in her books are in their 40s and 50s with their parents and children often playing supporting roles.

Marsha, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre arts teacher. She lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren who live nearby. They share their home with Charley, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix. Her 8th book, TAINTED, a standalone, released fall of 2020. She’d love to hear from you and would appreciate reviews.

Contact her at Sign up for her Newsletter here :

and Blog on her website: and follow her on these social media sites. @Marsharwest

My Review

Jessica Allen loves her beautiful town of Tidbury, New Hampshire. She moved there from Texas as a young bride, raised her children, became an important member of the community, and later, a widow here. Her roots are deep, and there’s no way she’s going to allow a shady contractor- one who possibly caused her husband’s untimely death- to build a retirement center on their beloved green.

That is until the handsome developer, Jeff Hudson, arrives determined to change her mind.

Jeff knows a retirement center will bring business to Tidbury, as well as jobs, but he’s not sure he can convince the beautiful widow standing in his way. Jessica is certain the builder he’s contracted for the job is shoddy and cuts corners, creating a dangerous work environment. Her late husband, a building inspector, died while investigating one of their sites and she made it her mission to stop them from ever operating again. Unfortunately, Jeff can’t drop them without proof, or he risks his own company getting sued for liable. The problem is, he’s falling for Jessica and can’t see a way of making their relationship work if he keeps his contractor.

Talk about being stuck in a tricky situation.

But then Jessica is targeted in a series of attacks and the stakes rise. Can Jeff and Jessica find the evidence they need to stop a killer from striking again?

This is a fast-paced murder mystery with a surprise ending I didn’t see coming. I give Compromise 5 heart-pounding stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

Sally Cronin is the author of fifteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fourteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

Her latest release, Life is Like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony is a collection of 50 + images and poems on life, nature, love and a touch of humour.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities in the Café and Bookstore on her blog and across her social media.

Her podcast shares book reviews and short stories Soundcloud Sally Cronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

My Review

After devoting her life to her family, Imogen is replaced by a younger woman (a fast-tracker) after twenty years of marriage and must overcome her self-doubt to move on to the next stage of her life.

Just an Odd Job Girl is a highly entertaining story of a fifty-year-old’s voyage into a working world she thought herself ill-equipped to handle until a new friend shows her just how much she truly has to offer.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments as Imogen relives her past vocations, everything from a nebulous job on the docks to a dentist’s assistant, a job in a funeral home, a restaurant manager, and more. It soon becomes obvious that Imogen is a Jack of all Trades and an asset to any employer.

Many wives and mothers of the era were stay-at-home caretakers for their families. They set aside career aspirations to make a safe and loving home for their children- often at the price of their own sense of value. Then the kids leave home, husbands become restless, and suddenly, the wife is left to absorb the loss and find her way to a new beginning. Not easy for anyone.

This is a highly entertaining read told by a wonderful storyteller. I especially enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humor and the delightful ending- a well-deserved 5 star read!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A modern day, shapeshifting sheriff.
He’s the sheriff of a sparsely populated county in Montana. His blood brother and childhood best friend is Chief of Police on the Blackfoot Reservation, but they no longer speak. His deputy is a southern transplant with the body of a high-priced call girl, a voice of honey and mouth of a trucker. And if that’s not enough, he’s got a secret that would stun those that know him best. Other than that, it’s business as usual for Sheriff Mateo Grey.

Sandra Cox

Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and several cats in sunny North Carolina.

Her novels consist of All Things Western and More. She is an Eppie finalist, award winner and category best-seller.

My Review

Southerner, Blair Delaney accepts a position as Chief Deputy in Grizzly, Montana and soon becomes one of the guys, even though Sheriff Mateo Grey unleashes some lusty thoughts in the blonde’s head.

Grizzly is a close-knit town, so when one of its beloved citizens is attacked, Blair and Mateo are quick to investigate. But what they find will throw the community into panicked disbelief. Can there really be a wolfman on the loose killing livestock and threatening people’s lives?

Blair doesn’t believe in hokey stories like a wolfman or zombies, though the evidence points to wild animal attacks. Is it someone with a well-trained dog, or is this something darker- malevolent? It doesn’t matter, the town is under her protection and no one- or thing- is going to hurt the people she cares about.

Mateo senses trouble from his past may be back seeking revenge, but it’s not until Blair is targeted that he lets his inner wolf free to hunt.

There are so many great scenes in this book, but I don’t want to give it away-just hurry out and buy yourself a copy, you won’t regret it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How was your holiday? Did you get any reading done? Have you tried these authors?

Let’s talk!

71 Replies to “My Holiday #Reading List- #Books to Warm Your Heart on a Cold Winter’s Night #BookReviews @dlfinnauthor @Marsharwest @sgc58 @Sandra_Cox”

  1. Sad news about Mary, for sure.
    Looks like you got plenty of good reading done. I love the snow pics, and your family time sounds lovely. Great reviews, Jacquie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Happy New Year 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations to your daughter, Jacquie! I know you’re proud! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful books. I wish I’d taken a break over the holidays to catch up on my reading. My Kindle is packed! I started A Magical Christmas yesterday while I was working out…it kept me on my elliptical longer than normal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! Your daughter worked hard for her success, and that’s a reflection of good parenting. What a wonderful Christmas gift. And so sad about Mary. We’ve lost too many writers and friends.

    Great reviews, Jacquie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Staci, she worked so hard to get to where she is and plans to go after her PHD next.
      Even though we hadn’t met in person, Mary was a friend. I’m so sorry the treatments she underwent failed- #CancerSucks


  4. Thank you for sharing the wonderful news of your daughter’s achievement, Jacquie, and the reviews of some truly great books. Like you, I’m sad about Mary. What a beautiful soul. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jacquie, I’m sorry to hear about Mary. I know she will be missed.
    A huge congratulations to your daughter. That is a HUGE accomplishment and I know you’re glowing with pride.
    Thanks for sharing the reviews. You definitely enjoyed some excellent holiday reading. I did read Denise’s book and know what an enjoyable story it is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved following Mary’s posts. She taught me (all of us) so much about the Afghanistan people and their zest for life.
      We’re so proud of Brandy and all that she’s accomplished!
      I loved the underlying message of redemption in Denise’s book and am glad I picked it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic reviews, Jacquie! I have read “This Second Chance” and loved it. “Mateo’s Law” is on my list for this year and look forward to it. I didn’t read much over the holidays. I did go offline and spend lots of time with my family. It was wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A big congrats to your daughter, Jacquie – what an accomplishment! Very sad news about Mary – the blogging community with certainly miss her. Thanks for sharing your reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I cannot believe that Mary has actually gone, she was embedded in our writing community with such energy and inspiration.. Wonderful news about your daughter’s achievement I know how much work must have been involved.. Thank you so much for your lovely review for Just an Odd Job Girl.. it touched my heart…♥

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy New Year, Jacquie! Wonderful news of your daughter’s achievement. Congratulations to all. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these fabulous reviews, too.
    May Mary’s legacy and love meet eternal grace. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Many congrats on your daughter’s degree. Such an exciting time. I know you’re ready to burst with pride. She picked a great field.
    On the other end of the spectrum, I’m so sorry for your loss.
    A huge thanks for your continual support and including me with this great group of authors and friends.
    You rock….

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sad to hear of another loss in our writing community.
    Congrats to your daughter…yay!
    I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed This Second Chance 🙂 Happy dance carefully through the snow! Glad to be included with this list of authors. I loved Mateo’s Law too. I have to move Just An Odd Job Girl up on my TBR list after reading your review. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats to your daughter Jacquie! You are right to be proud of her! And it’s luck to have had snow for Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely tribute to our friend Mary, Jacquie. And congrats on your daughter’s accomplishment! Great reading list and I’ve added a few. Love all Sally’s books and already have Denise’s awaiting! Hugs ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  14. It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday Jacquie. Congratulations to your daughter on her wonderful achievement. I wish we had gotten snow for Christmas, but it didn’t come until New Year’s and I was long gone. I like the sound of a couple of those books you read. I want to check out Sally’s for sure. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Great post! I love all of the reviews, but as a fellow parent, what I most can identify with is the pride you fell for your daughter. Soak it all in, Jacquie. It’s Brandy’s accomplishment, but achievements like this don’t happen without the love and support of family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel a foot taller, lol. She’s worked so hard to get to this point, especially with being the single parent of a special needs child. I have no idea how she kept functioning. She’s my hero ❤


  16. So sorry to hear about Mary’s passing. My condolences to her family.

    Congratulations on your daughter’s wonderful achievement, Jacquie.

    Congratulations to each of the authors reviewed here.


  17. Fantastic reads and reviews, Jacquie. I didn’t get to read as much as I’d hoped over my holiday. First there was all the preparing for Christmas and then we did our 10-day road trip which didn’t leave much time for other things. I am reading up a storm now.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Huge congrats to your daughter, Jacquie. That’s quite an accomplishment. It sounds like you had a quiet holiday to soak in some family and reading time. I also heard about Mary’s passing. Sad news for all of us who got to know her and her beautiful books. Great reviews too! “Just an Odd Job Girl” was the first book of Sally’s that I read and I loved it. And “Mateo’s Law” is my favorite of Sandra’s books so far. Congrats to all the authors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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