Let’s Read!

One of the very best ways to travel is from your favorite chair. One of the very best ways to learn a new hobby or craft is from your favorite chair. One of the very best ways to learn new recipes is from the comfort of your table with a cup of coffee or tea in front of you…with your laptop, tablets, smartphone, or a real BOOK! Let's Read Together!
Reviews Published

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 »

Dete Meserve The Space Between a Wonderful Romantic Mystery!


The Space Between by author Dete Meserve has an intriguing plot which is so interesting. The prologue opens the story with a beautiful marriage proposal from Ben to Sarah. I was so disappointed that her beautifully described infinity ring was lost a day later.
Now to present day, Sarah Mayfield is ecstatic and feeling on top of the world as her research with NASA has led to her discovery of a hidden asteroid traveling within earth's orbit. It has been named Earth's Trojan and is a breakthrough discovery. Sarah has no idea while she is enjoying the euphoria of speaking to a conference room full of scientists in Washington DC, that her personal world at home in Los Angeles is being rocked to the core.
After Sarah returns home she is a little worried when Ben does not come home at his usual time. He owns Aurora, a top restaurant and she decides he is staying late due to an issue at the restaurant. But when he has not come home during the night and there are no replies to all of her text messages, she becomes very worried. Ben was to testify during a court trial in a few days regarding money, his partners, and the restaurant. Maybe he is missing because of the trial.
This is the beginning of a very interesting mystery which gets more complex with each day. Ben is missing, his car is missing, there is no response to his phone and the security footage from the various cameras in and around their home has all been erased! Would Ben have an ulterior motive for leaving the family because Sarah had told him before she left for her trip that their relationship was broken? Why did he leave?
A very good story and wonderful characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Beautiful Dreamer"

Kathi Daley Beaches in Paradise Romantic mystery!


Beaches in Paradise by author Kathi Daley is another adventure in sleuthing with Tj Jensen. TJ is still helping with her fathers resort while he is recovering from wounds he received during their last mystery caper. TJ is getting closer to Kyle and she wants the perfect romantic interlude with him to be a very special experience. I appreciated how emotionally invested TJ was to make sure this would be a time to remember with Kyle.
Her plans for romance go a bit awry when an accident reveals Striker Bristow has been murdered and his body was found in her friend Gina Roberts car. Where is Gina? Did she kill Striker? Is Gina hurt and hiding? The mystery has several possibilities as to what has happened. Beaches in Paradise is a cozy mystery with wonderful characters!
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Beach Dreams"

Shelly Stratton The House on Harbor Hill Emotional with some Suspense!


The House on Harbor Hill by author Shelly Stratton is filled with emotions ranging from first crush love, disappointments, spousal violence, mental abuse, and fear. It is written very carefully so the reader is not overwhelmed. The Harbor House scenes are set in Camden Beach, Maryland in two different time periods, 1968-1970 and the present day. Delilah Grey who is in her 70's, opens her home on Harbor Hill to 'strays', as Aidan calls them. Delilah knows what it is like to be afraid with no one to turn to for help. Now in her later years, she feels an intense loneliness when the house is empty, and she wants to help women who are broken in spirit to have a reprieve so they may heal and start a new life with hope.
Aiden lived there as a child when his mother needed a place of refuge. As the years passed Aiden became a successful lawyer with a beautiful wife and child. Now he hides himself away as he helps Delilah with the grounds and upkeep of the big old house. He is hiding from the world until he is able to heal from his regrets and sorrows.    
Tracey Walters has a secret which she must guard with her life. In fact, staying hidden could mean the difference in life and death for her if Paul were to ever find her and the two children. She lived in fear and hid her bruises waiting for the right time to make her escape. It was not easy, but she would do whatever it took to keep her children safe. But Tracey is tired, out of money and needs help.
I don't want to post spoilers but as I finished the book, I had some questions. The author had written Cee as being really in love with Delilah. Would Delilah and Cee have been a happy couple if Delilah had gone with her real feelings for Cee before he lost patience and took advantage of her? If she had told him the truth about the money for Mindy, could things have been different for them? Or was it a character flaw in the Williams family which cause them to lash out in cruel ways even to the people they loved?
These questions are the result of a successful author writing a good story which leaves you wanting to talk about the characters. After I completed reading the book, I was still thinking about the characters!
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Days Like This"

Susanne O'Leary The Road Trip A FUN ESCAPE!


The Road Trip by author Susanne O'Leary is a delightful escape. I would love to see this made into a movie! I enjoyed every page I read and it was just the escape I needed. I loved it...Uhmmm did I say I enjoyed the book? Oh, Ok.  Seriously, sometimes you need a bit of a girl's escape and this book was great. I like the characters of Maddy and Leanne being acquaintances through the school where they work and were partners in winning the lottery. They are not best friends, so don't expect synchronism in the beginning, but they soon learn to accept each other's differences. I don't want to post spoilers, but I laughed through so many scenes and then I also felt the emotions of the serious scenes. Love little Bridget!
Thank you, Susanne, for my little armchair escape!

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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Breaking Free"

Hannah McKinnon Sailing Lessons, Filled with Family Love, Conflict and Forgiveness...and Sisters!



Sailing Lessons by author Hannah McKinnon is filled with family love, drama, secrets, and forgiveness. It is a wonderful story about Lindy Bailey and her daughters Shannon, Wrenn, and Piper who live on Cape Cod. They managed to pull together twenty years earlier when a very troubled Caleb left them after a boating accident.
The author brings out a very important point in the telling of this story. Each child may have a different experience with a parent as they are growing up due to the family dynamics and the various stage of maturity during their growing years. The oldest child Shannon has bitterness toward her father Caleb due to her memories of their family life together and his abandonment. The youngest daughter, Piper, has a different sense of the reality of life with her father Caleb due to her young age and the trust she had for him. Lindy's priority was to protect the girls form any negativity about their father, even after the accident and his leaving.
Now it is years later and the girls have made choices and have lives of their own. Lindy has a wonderful husband who proves to be a very wise and patient man in this family of Bailey women. and their dogs.
I won't post spoilers, but each daughter has her own unique problems and flawed thinking about life and relationships.
Wrenn receives a letter from her father asking if he can come for a visit, and now the sisters have a dilemma. Read the book to find out how the girls manage to deal with a prodigal father returning home, Each girl must come to terms with their memories, their current feelings, and decide how much kindness to show to the person they should have been able to trust during the years when they needed him the most.
Thie emotion in the story is beautifully written and also with respect to people who experience emotional problems and the choices they make within the family. I especially enjoyed the narration in some parts by Hank, his thoughts are tender and a bit funny!
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Beach Mornings"

Sharon Struth Willow's Way Delightful, Romantic, and Emotional!

Willow's Way (A Sweet Life Novel #2) by Sharon Struth is a delightfully romantic story with a bit of adventure. How embarrassing for Willow Armstrong, a weight coach and owner of a weight loss company called Pound Busters to be caught by the media when she is giving in to temptation and cramming a slice of pizza into her mouth while driving. A recent bout of emotional eating has added some extra curves on her previously lean frame and this has caused the board members of Pound Busters to question her ability to continue as the president of the company. In her anguish over losing her fortune to a scamming business manager, she goes to her hidden nest egg and finds forgotten documents and a will which reveals she had inherited a home through the default from her mother. She is surprised to find out she had been denied the possibility of meeting grandparents in Bitton, England. So, off Willow goes to England to see the house her grandparents had left for her, and find some answers about her family.
I won't post spoilers, but I really enjoyed the character of Willow and the friends she makes during her journey. Her thoughts about her life as she starts a walking tour adventure along the Cotswold Way are very emotional. She comes to terms with her constant efforts to prove her worth to others.
A refreshingly wonderful reading experience!
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"A Forgotten Trail"

Cate Beauman Answers for Julie #9 Romance Mystery


Answers For Julie (The Bodyguards of L.A. County #9) by author Cate Beauman is a romantic mystery in the Bodyguards series. Julie Keller is a delightful young woman who enjoys her home, Christmas, and the sweet memories of Nana. Although Nana is not really Julie's grandmother, she was like family and lived next door to Julie. Nana was actually the grandmother of Chase Rider, who had spent his summers at Nana's so he has a little bit of a past with Julie.
Chase is an FBI agent from Washington who has three weeks to prepare the old house for sale. So, Julie and Chase are crossing paths and sometimes mixing their signals of attraction during the first half of the book. I thought the story started a little slow, and there is more romance than mystery. I liked the characters and the story is an interesting one. Imagine Julie's confusion when she begins to suspect her life is not as she had always believed after a stranger in the grocery store approaches her and calls her Ally.
I won't post spoilers, but it is an easy to read story with good characters, but there is some strong language. I have read other Cate Beauman books which I enjoyed.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved

"Winter Ice"

Suzanne Jenkins Stronger Exciting and Suspense with a side of Romance!



Stronger by author Suzanne Jenkins thrills the reader with non-stop action. I am excited to read a new book and possible series which features a strong woman who knows her own sense of self. Karen Pruitt has moved her children back to the UK after her break-up with her husband, Michael.
In the book, Stronger, Karen becomes the focus of a plot to cause her harm. The author intertwines several possibilities for what happens to Karen and you will be hooked to read the book through to find the truth. Is Karen's abduction linked to Michael and revenge from the Mob?
I do not post spoilers, but I will say I love the talent Suzanne Jenkins has in writing about women who should be rivals but due to circumstances become allies or friends before the book ends.
I am looking forward to reading more about Karen!
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Below Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Good Morning, Sunshine!"

Lori Roy The Disappearing Suspense and Mystery!


The Disappearing by author Lori Roy is a suspense mystery set in Florida. The story is good and it will leave you feeling emotional for this family. Lane Fielding has two daughters and she has come back home to live with her aging parents on their large Florida estate. Her father seems to have dementia, and her mother is trying to get through each day as best as she can. Lane's oldest daughter does not return home one evening. So begins a huge media storm of speculation and a new investigation into the disappearance of Annalee.
I have liked previous books by this author, but this one is written a bit differently and I did not enjoy the way the characters were written, or maybe the timeline. I found I needed to go back and reread parts to make sure I had not misunderstood the character and the time era, whether present or past. This is in part due to one of the characters who is thinking a lot of random thoughts, some of which could have a lot of importance to what has happened in the past at the boy's school and the present. Some of the characters thoughts are repeated, and I'm sorry, but I find that tiresome when I am wanting to really get into the plot of a good suspense. I suppose I am disappointed because the book has so many elements for a successful plot.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"Unsettled & Unanswered"

Kendra Elliot A Merciful Silence (Mercy Kilpatrick 4) Suspense and Non- Stop Action!

A Merciful Silence (Mercy Kilpatrick #4) by author Kendra Elliot is a very good mix of suspense thriller which continues from one generation to another. There is more than one element of evil lurking around in this story. FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick is working a case in which five skulls have been found. The secrets from a past generation threaten to expose a murderer in the present day. Did the same person kill both families or is there a copy-cat? Some of the descriptions of violence in this story are a bit graphic.
Mercy realizes that she needs to be honest with herself about the depth of her feelings for local police chief Thurman Daly. 
A Merciful Silence is non-stop action and even though it is a continuation of the Mercy Kilpatrick series, you can read this as a stand-alone book with no problems. Mercy Kilpatrick is an action hero who seeks justice, believes in kindness and keeps going even when she is injured. Mercy seems to be unstoppable!
I would have liked the book to have been given a more dramatic cover. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Art Images and Photographs by Diane Lochala-All Rights Reserved
"The Worlds on Fire"