Monthly Archives: May 2013

Giveaways – An ABC Book of Loanwords from the Americas by Linda Boyden


Giveaways is a delightfully illustrated, wonderfully informative book by Linda Boyden. Hours of research and creativity went into this colorful book about words the Nagiveawaystive Americans have ‘given’ to the English language.

Want to know a good way to protect sheep? Read about a llama. Where did the idea of a barbeque come from? Ask the Taino people of the Caribbean. There are even legends about why the opossum’s tail is hairless and how the Fanilusa Bayou got its name.

Each page is lavishly illustrated with Linda’s magnificent and imaginative illustrations, showing that she is a talented artist as well as author. Linda tells about each word she’s chosen, as well as adding a bibliography in the back full of more fun facts.

I love Giveaways and have now added it to my substitute bag of tricks. I know it will thrill and delight the elementary children I work with.

5 Colorful Acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes

Ghost in the Mirror – Chantal Boudreau


Sonya is a lonely, lost soul of a woman. Battered and downtrodden by her life, she’s turned to drugs and alcohol. No matter how low she sank she always had Ole Nan.

Ole Nan, her grandmother, helped pick her up and dust her off. When Sonya’s life was falling apart, Ole Nan did her best to help her granddaughter.

Now, that prop of her life is gone, Sonya has nothing. Ole Nan passed, leaving Sonya alone. However, Sonya finds strength in an amazing and unusual place—an image in her mirror. She sees the face of an old woman who smiles at her, giving her strength to get through.

Ghost in the Mirror is a heart touching tale of a one lost woman’s journey to redemption. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a story of faith and hope. (Tissues recommended)

5 Golden Acorns

Ghost Dance – Rod Marsden There’s Trouble Down Under


ghost danceHercule Gibbs Morgan is a sorcerer. Evil doesn’t begin to describe him. He uses the blood of the innocent to keep himself young. It is his desire to harness great power and rid the world of the plague of inhabitants—humans. To do this, he needs a werewolf because no other being has the necessary power in its blood.

Frank Burkhard is a werewolf. His family has lived with this secret for generations. Cursed for the deeds of an ancestor, Frank has just experienced his first transformation. When he escapes from the stronghold of his parents’ home, his family is kidnapped. It’s up to Frank to find and rescue them, but he can’t do it alone. He and his parents must complete a quest to break Frank’s curse.

Petra Card is a vampire. She’s stalked the night since the 1920’s. Coming across Frank in a nightclub, she finds a source of energy that assuages her hunger far longer than a mere human’s. For that reason, and the dreams she’s having, she decides to follow Frank and help him where she can.

Two organizations exist to keep the world safe from supernatural trouble, The Secret Compass and The Rising Sun Group.

Helen Kiln works for The Secret Compass. She uses her psychic abilities to find vampires, werewolves, etc. In a vision, she is warned that Frank Burkhard needs her help. Since he hasn’t killed humans or done anything evil, she agrees to help him.

Danny Broom and Mike Evans are Secret Compass agents sent to aid Frank and his parents in their quest.

Ghost Dance is an interesting blend of fantasy, action and mystery. I found myself caught up in the tale as it blazed through Australia, England, France, Italy and Germany. Ghost Dance explores the question: If the world faced a great enough evil, who would protect us? Author Rod Masden answers that question well.

I recommend Ghost Dance to anyone who likes a good action story, a cunning mystery or lives to gobble up any story with werewolves and vampires.

**Warning** These vampires don’t sparkle.

5 Golden Acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes


Frosty – The Adventures of a Morgan Horse Ellen F. Feld


frostyHeather is a teenage girl who loves horses. She enjoys the freedom of riding and feeling at one with her horse. She’s got a stallion she adores named Blackjack (Blackjack – Dreaming of a Morgan Horse). When the story begins, Heather is at the horse auction with her friend Laura. Her parents have given her permission to buy a second horse. As she looks around, she finds a shaggy, timid mare with whom she feels an immediate attraction. The mare is obviously a Morgan, though her coloring is unique.

Unable to resist the shy animal, Heather purchases her, little knowing how badly the horse has been abused. This becomes apparent when she takes her home and tries to train her for show riding. When that proves unsuccessful, Heather decides to make Frosty a trail horse instead.

Frosty” is a wonderful book for young readers. The story is compelling, urging the reader to continue. The relationship between Heather and Frosty becomes one of mutual love and trust as they share a grand adventure together.

Ellen F. Feld, herself a lover of horses, brings a tenderness and unique perspective to the relationship between Heather and Frosty. She also portrays the affection Heather has for her stallion, Blackjack. She characterizes both the humans and the horses well, showing their different personalities.

Frosty – The Adventures of a Morgan Horse” is a winner of Children’s Choices from the Children’s Book Council. It is well deserving of the award.

“Frosty” is a great read. It’s fun, compelling and enlightening, bringing people unfamiliar with the world of horse shows and training, into this interesting world. I very much enjoyed reading “Frosty” and hope to read other books by Feld.

ISBN 9780970900272

illus. Jeanne Mellin

Willow Bend Publishing

Children’s Book Council Award

Morgan horses, horse riding, Ellen Feld, Children’s Book Council Award, Jeanne Mellin

Amazing Authors Stirrin’ It Up!


I feel very fortunate that I was chosen to be among the amazing writers with Second Wind Publishing. We have some fantastic authors and I am still working through my “to read’ list. Below are some reviews from these fabulous folks!

Images of BetrayalImages of Betrayal by Claire Collins initially seems like a romance novel. Tysan meets Walker, a handsome photographer, who shows her an alarming secret. His pictures show the future! Dubious, until events start coming true, Ty clings to Walker for help and support. But can those pictures hold something else more sinister?

This book is amazing. The plot has more twists and turns than a corkscrew. I thought I had it figured out, but every time I thought I knew the outcome, Collins gave me another twist. Fast paced an exciting, this story seems like it’s going one direction. In an unexpected twist, the story goes 360, then about another 180 degrees, spinning nearly out of control. An amazing thrill ride from start to finish. An amazingly thrilling mystery/ love story. A must read for anyone.Fate and Destiny

Fate and Destiny Like Collins’ other book, Images of Betrayal, Fate and Destiny blends a little romance with a whole lot of crime! Someone dropped Destiny out of a truck and into the snow. If Andrew hadn’t found her, she would have frozen to death. Who dumped her and why? Was it Fate that brought them together? If so, what else does Fate have in mind?

A wonderfully well crafted book that’s a delight to read. It charms and thrills from start to finish. An excellent choice for anyone who likes love and crime mixed together.



Carpet Ride coverCarpet Ride – Norm Brown

Someone left a roll of carpet in the road. Did it fall off a truck unnoticed? Or was it on purpose. Whatever happened, Sam and his new wife, Lynn nearly crash their rented RV as a result of running over it. This accident triggers a series of events that nearly cost them their lives. If not for the help of Sam’s good friend, John, the story would have had quite a different ending.

Each step of John’s investigation gives him more questions and fewer answers. Finally, between the two of them, he and Sam discover the truth, but is it too late for Sam and his family?

The story takes Sam and his family from a narrow mountain road in Oregon, back to their home in Texas. Meanwhile, clues lead to Colorado making Sam and John wonder what exactly was in that rolled up carpet and why is someone now trying to kill Sam, Lynn and their son?

Carpet Ride is a wonderfully intricate plot with more twists and turns than a narrow mountain road. Every time I thought I had it figured out, Norm Brown threw me a curve ball and I realized I didn’t have it figured out until he told me! It’s an excellent book and a Must Read for all mystery lovers.

Murder in Winnebago County – Christine Husom is a great mystery story. MurderWinnebago_thSgt. Corky Aleckson takes a routine call for a missing person that turns out to be not so routine. The death of Judge Fenneman is only the beginning of the bizarre sudden deaths around the county. Can Corky figure out “who done it” before the killer strikes again?

This is an excellent murder mystery with a twist. It gives us a poignant insight into the mind of a disturbed and grieving woman and her attempts to ease her pain. A must read for all murder mystery lovers.



ALOT_bookcover-148x223A Love Out of Time – Mairead Walpole — Little does Olivia Vernon know that evening that she’s about to step into a whole new world. Or, more accurately, have an old one come calling. Alden Scott hardly can believe that he’s come from the distant past into the future. Compelled by forces greater than they are, the couple finds one another.

Mairead Walpole has crafted a wonderful paranormal, love through time novel that truly unites two kindred souls. Walpole weaves a tale of romance and intrigue in this imaginative novel. I’ve read it twice, and will read it again for years to come.



Night & Day by Sherrie Hansen is a lovely romance about two stubborn, set inNIght_and_day_cover-148x223 their ways people who meet quite by accident on the Internet. Though one lives in America and the other in Denmark, they find they have a connection that transcends location. Knowing they are right for each other isn’t enough, though, when neither is willing to compromise. Can the two find love, or are they destined to be apart?

I greatly enjoyed this book. Hansen captures the unique qualities of the characters, making them come alive. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a true romance.



Badeaux Knights – Suzette Vaughn


badeaux knightsSonja Mitchell is running from an abusive boyfriend. She returns to the one place she feels really safe, the home of Nick and Kaleb Badeaux. She hopes to escape, only to have her ex redouble his efforts, threatening her and the two men she loves.

Vaughn’s story immediately draws the reader into a world that’s a mixture of modern and arcane. The Badeaux brothers are two of the sexiest romantic heroes of all time. This novel leaves the reader breathless, wanting more.

This story is an atypical love triangle between Sonja Mitchell, a young woman in an abusive relationship, and two brothers, Kaleb and Nicholas Badeaux. Running away from her abusive boyfriend, Sonja seeks refuge with the Badeaux brothers, embroiling them all in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with her sadistic ex. Badeaux Knights is exciting, seductive, terrifying! I couldn’t put it down!

5 Golden Acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes


From the Ashes – Jo Ramsey


from the ashesShanna Bailey has had a horrible life. At the ripe old age of 14, she’s had more pain and abuse than many three times her age. Her mother, a mean and wicked woman, has beaten and belittled her for years. With the help of her new friend, Jonah Leighton, Shanna is able to get away from her mother. Now, living in a loving foster home, life has stabilized – or has it?

One thing that most people don’t know about Shanna is that she’s battled spiritual evil and survived. Jonah has taught her a lot about spiritual healing, how to combat demon possession and how to find enlightenment. It’s all new and extremely odd to Shanna, but she’s finally embraced Jonah’s beliefs. She’s found that she is spiritually strong and is learning to manage her new strength and skills.

Jonah Leighton is a unique young man. Considered weird by his peers, Shanna considers him a godsend. He befriends her early in her freshman year, delighted that an older boy finds her the least bit interesting.

Their adventures together fill several stories. “From the Ashes” is book five in the Reality Shift series. The other books in the Reality Shift series: “Connection”, “Filtration System”, “Cutting Cords” and “Taking Control”.

In one of the prior books, an entity from another reality, wants to enter ours. Jonah and Shanna learn that if it passes into our world, it will destroy everything. They manage to prevent it once, but can they do it again? Join them as they embark on their fifth exciting adventure.

The story is well crafted, the characters interesting and realistic. Jo Ramsey handles the relationship between Shanna and her mother well, showing the fear of a child from an abusive home. She brings an element of tenderness to the relationship between Jonah and Shanna, of a friendship established in mutual interests and shared danger.

Even though “From the Ashes” is written with young adults in mind, it’s a great story for adults too. I highly recommend this book to any readers of paranormal adventure.

5 Golden Acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes