A Few Books to Consider...

Diane's bookshelf: read

Dead Stop
The Memory of Butterflies
Magnolia Nights
The Seed Woman
When You Come Home
Southern Gentleman
Somewhere a Rainbow
Call of the Mountain
The Edge of Tidal Pools
Dead Cold
Map of the Heart
In the Midst of Winter
Deadly Intent
Beneath the Trees
The Art of Hiding
The Space Between Words
The Memory of Butterflies
Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang
Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church
Enigma


Diane's favorite books »

Murder on the Rocks by author Shawn Reilly Simmons ..Another Red Carpet Catering Cozy Mystery!

Murder on the Rocks by author Shawn Reilly Simmons is a cozy mystery which starts out with an interesting scene in which Arlena is performing in a screen test for a Jack Sloan film. The next day Penelope and Arlena see drama for real when they meet for brunch at Sonya's Cafe. Soon after Penelope's friend Nadia arrives, the cafe is the scene of a horrible violent attack for robbery by two local hockey players. Some of the customers are injured, people are robbed, and hours later Sonya is dead. This sets the serious tone for the book as Penelope, Arlena, and Nadia are soon off to Vermont for the filming of a movie called Grand Slam. Nadia will be a consultant for Arlena on the set. Penelope will have some mysteries to solve as Nadia becomes a target during s series of accidents. What is going on? Is there a connection between the attack at the cafe and Nadia's accidents? I won't' post spoilers, but it will hook you and keep you reading!
Art Photography - Diane Lochala

The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas...Precious! Coming in June!


The Patchwork Bride by author Sandra Dalla is a precious story! Grandmother Ellen is working on a crazy quilt made with scraps from old wedding dresses from the attic. There is one piece of white fabric which is not actually from a wedding dress but holds secret memories. Grandaughter June comes to visit her grandmother and tells her she is planning to call the wedding off. She is not sure she loves her fiance enough to marry.
Now come sit on the porch as Grandmother Ellen tells June a story about Nell, a runaway bride whose story starts about 1898. Nell's story is filled with courage, love, longing, worry, uncertainty, and choices which will take Nell to several states before her heart finds that one true love. I won't post spoilers, but the story will touch your heart.
Enjoy!
Art Photography by Diane Lochala, All Rights Reserved
"Blossom for A Rainy Day"

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee...Family Mental Illness is heartbreaking!


Everything Here Is Beautiful by author Mira T. Lee is a heartbreaking story about a family in crisis. **If you or a family member suffers from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, this can be disturbing. **
The story slips between time past and present during the telling, so it is at times confusing. Miranda and Lucia are sisters who have already lived through sadness and troubles. Their mother had often been ill and has died. Lucia also known as Lucy, the younger sister has a history of bi-polar disorder with schizophrenic tendencies. Miranda, the oldest sister does all she can to make sure her sister gets the care she needs, but she can not control her sister's actions through the years. Lucia has had a baby with a young Latino man and sometimes the story is told from his view. Manny does his best to care for little Essy. Over the course of time in the book he faces some excruciating scenes as he tries to help Lucia.
It was extremely sad to read scenes when Lucia is off her meds and Miranda is trying to help her. Miranda's life is strained with the fears, worries, and interventions of trying to protect Lucia.
I know others may disagree with me, but this is a powerfully depressing story. The fallout and anxiety of loved ones and caregivers to try and help the mentally ill is enormous. I can give this opinion due to having a beloved brother who had lived with bipolar/schizophrenia. When he was on his meds and acting 'normal' the family would feel the worst is past, but when the body chemistry changes for whatever reason, life is hell for the patient and the family members who care enough to try and pick up the pieces.
Art Photography by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Beautifully Broken"

Charles Finch, The Woman in the Water A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Murder Mysteries

The Woman in the Water by author Charles Finch is set in the 1950's England. This is a prequel to the series of Charles Lenox detective mysteries. The young would-be detective is often joked about in his circle of friends and soon catches his first big case. He is taunted by a newspaper notice about a person who has pulled of the perfect murder or crime. This sets in motion a series of events which tests the young detective's abilities and further threatens those he cares about.  As you read pay attention to detail...the clues to the murderer will be found in the details!
In my opinion, it seems the Charles Lenox detective mysteries are written a bit slower pace than the Sherlock Holmes if you try to compare the two. So, keep in mind the time period and a bit of a different style of writing. But very well written!
Art Photography - Diane Lochala

Tom Lowe's CEMETERY ROAD broke my heart..But it was so worth it...Gotta Love Sean O'Brien!

A very powerful book with heartbreaking scenes...The book grabbed me and I could not stop reading

Cemetary Road (Sean O'Brien #7 by author Tom Lowe grabbed my attention and then twisted my heart. The horrible cruelty to young boys who were sent to The Florida School for Boys in 1964 Florida is slowly uncovered fifty years later. Young Andy Cope was sent away because he was late for school a few times. He never returned home, as was the case for many of the boys who were murdered and buried in graves on the school property. Their families were told the boys had run away, but there was a witness when Andy Cope was shot in the back as he ran from savage men.
I won't post spoilers, but the subject matter is heartbreaking. The author tells the story from the past within the events of the present in a powerful way.
I enjoy reading the Sean O'Brien series which is set in the southern breezes of Florida with his dachshund, Max.
" The obstacles, the confusion, and even the fear...it's all there to remind you there's something better, something more just, and it's worth fighting for. The broken pieces mend, and the scars are the visual reminders it was worth it. Often it's the loss that teaches us about the worth of whats right." Tom Lowe, Cemetery Road


Art Photography by Diane Lochala
"Looking Beyond the Fog"

Gregg Olsen has a new release! The Last Thing She Ever Did...You can not stop reading!

The Last Thing She Ever Did by author Gregg Olsen is amazing! WOW! Once I started reading I could not stop. I don't post spoilers, but I will tell you this is one of the best thrillers I have read recently. Within a short minute, the whole world can change due to actions we take or choices we make.
The principal characters are living busy lives and ignoring their growing personal discontent. Liz is in a hurry to take an important test, Carole is frustrated and goes inside to finish a phone call leaving her three year old son outside, and angry neighbor watches them both from across the river. As all three make choices, a child is hanging in the balance between life and death. Two families will be caught up in lies, selfish motives, and misery. I kept wondering how this was going to come together and the ending does not disappoint.

Years ago I vacationed in Bend and stayed on the Deschutes River, so this area was very familiar.
Art Photography - Diane Lochala
Bend, OR

RUTH by H. B. Moore, A Beautiful and Tender Love Story!


Ruth by author H.B. Moore is a joy to read. I have read other books about women of the Bible by this author and I am never disappointed. The day to day decisions and choices for Naomi and her two daughters-in-law are carefully portrayed with sensitivity.  Ruth gave up everything she knew when she married Mahlon, a man of the Hebrew faith living in the land of the Moabites. After the deaths of Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion Naomi has no choice but to return to her own country. Ruth is determined to accompany Naomi and help her during this relocation. Ruth feels her heart is bonded with Naomi and this leads her to a new start in a very different environment. I appreciate the carefully written fictional details in this book. There were certain protocols in place for widows, and Ruth had to be willing to accept the Hebrew law regarding her future. It is easy to believe the author's accounting for the interactions of Ruth with Boaz. A beautiful love story!

Art Photography - Diane Lochala
"Hidden Faces in the Tree of Life"
Diane Lochala

Safe House (Guardian #2) by author Traci Hunter Abramson...Available now!


Safe House (Guardian #2) by author Traci Hunter Abramson is a well written political/action thriller which easily holds the reader's interest. This is the second in the Guardian series but can be read as a stand-alone book. There are ghost agencies which do not exist publically in order to protect the best of our nations elite force of special operatives who are protecting the most powerful people and agencies in the United States government. Sometimes these forces can be undermined or targeted by those with an opposing agenda. Among these secret protectors are the Guardians. Now, someone is killing members of their group and has killed the senator who controlled the funds for their operations.
Renee Niezen who is a CIA analyst accepts a request to help her friend Charlotte, a member of the Guardians support team. Renee is now a target because she knows too much! Kade, a member of the Guardians has asked the Saint Squad (some are SEALS)  to assist in helping to protect the remaining Guardians, their close families and find the snipers. Kade will protect Renee as together they try to find the shadowy leaks and secret internet searches which can lead a killer with an agenda to her door. Renee and Kade learn they have more in common than trying to find the identity of the persons responsible for the murders. I won't post spoilers...lots of twists!
A lot of interesting scenes and I loved the descriptions of Kade's living area. (You have to read to find out about this unique home on wheels!) A lot of stealthy action by brave people, a bit of romance, and wonderful friends!


Art Photography- Diane Lochala
Copyright Diane Lochala
American Pride and Endurance! 

Terri Blackstock, If I Live...the finale in the "If I Run Series is coming in April!


If I Live (If I Run #3) by author Terri Blackstock is a super wonderful finale to this thriller series which starts with, If I Run. I recommend you read the books in order, but if you have access to just one, go ahead and read the book! I love suspense and when you have such well-written characters and plots combined with a faith-based theme, that is a perfect book for me!
Casey Cox is still trying to evade being captured for a murder she did not commit, and she has the evidence to prove the identity of the murderer. Will she be successful in getting the videos to the press in time to keep a corrupt law enforcement from killing and framing her for additional murders?  Dylan, once her hunter, is now trying to help save her before she is captured by those with plenty of reasons to want her dead.
I won't post spoilers, but it is such a good series!  A personal "thank you" to my sister, Teresia for getting me hooked on Terri Blackstock's books!


Art Images - Diane Lochala

Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness: How to Stay Sane and Live One Step Ahead of Your Symptoms by Author Ilana Jacqueline



Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness: How to Stay Sane and Live One Step Ahead of Your Symptoms by Author Ilana Jacqueline is a well-written book for support and learning to cope with a chronic illness. It is written to encourage the reader to be proactive about learning all they can about the illness and symptoms. When I say "illness and symptoms", that is exactly what the author is writing about because you can be ill for years without receiving a correct diagnosis of your illness. The author also explains how disappointing it can be to finally get a diagnosis, but then there may not be a clear path to resolving the illness and symptoms.
As a personal experience with having three different autoimmune illnesses and all the varying symptoms which tag along with each one, I can verify what the author is relating. It took over six years for my diagnosis of the major illnesses.
This author has helped put into perspective the choices a person with a chronic illness can make to help deal with the inconveniences and daily aggravations. My rheumatologist told me I would find the handicap license for my car to be of great help as I aged with my illnesses. I would have debilitating flares even though you would never know of the pain and stiffness of my joints which would cause falling because I looked perfectly healthy!
Thank you, Ilana Jacqueline, for your insight and sharing information to encourage people to stay ahead of the many pitfalls of living with conditions which will not go away. Even if your friends or family do not fully understand or if they doubt your pain and discomfort, the author has tips for this too! The emotional consequences of invisible illness can be devastating, so learn all you can and find the peace you need for each day.

Art Photography - Diane Lochala