Tag Archives: Dellani’s Reviews

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah, Y’all!

Standard

As much as I love Christmas, I’ve come to dread the holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving preparation, I begin to stress over the meal. Afterward, I start planning what to give as Christmas gifts and when I’m going to put a package in the mail for my daughter’s family. Also, her birthday is a week before Christmas, and I have to find a present for her.

Things I used to find absolutely imperative every holiday season: sending cards, writing a newsy letter, decorating the house, preparing holiday treats— They have become a pain in my butt and I simply don’t have the energy for them. I have serious allergies, and almost always have a sinus infection going on. I also have developed asthma over the years, so it’s difficult to go out. Too many scents out there to plague a sensitive nose or a delicate set of lungs. Not to mention, my son has to use our truck for his job—he works 5:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. This makes getting out difficult.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining, but dammit, I feel like it! Okay, getting worked up takes too much energy, so I will quietly state that I don’t give a shit about doing it up for Christmas. I like presents, but I hate shopping. I love finding the perfect gift, but I loath trying to decide what that may be. I enjoy the meal, but as I do the bulk of the cooking, it’s a pain in the ass. I like spending time with family and friends, but right now, I’d rather spend my time writing and editing, than actually communicating with anyone.

If you’re like me, and you dread the holiday season (though you really like cookies and other tasty treats) I have a suggestion for you. Go through the list of folks you have to buy gifts for, and buy them books. Yes, I know, not everyone is a reader. But if you can capture the one thing they find appealing, you’ve just given them the perfect gift. Cool thing is, even without a Kindle, they can read an Amazon book on any phone, tablet or computer by downloading the free app.

I realize that not everyone likes the same books, so I encourage you to explore some of my suggestions below. These names are by no means the only books I’m recommending. No one paid me to do this, no one twisted my arm to get me to include them. I’m listing people whose books I have read personally, and enjoyed. They aren’t in any particular order, mostly just train of thought. 

First of all, my books. Dellani Oakes writes historical (retro) romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, sci-fi and fantasy. To Buy Dellani’s Books 

Karen Vaughan is one of my favorite authors. She writes light hearted mysteries. To Buy Karen’s books 

Kenneth Weene writes a variety of genres, which will appeal to a lot of readers. To Buy Ken’s Books

Amanda Thrasher writes delightful books about fairies, but she also has a hard hitting anti-bullying book that is not to miss. To Buy Amanda’s Books 

Ruth Hays writes magical, epic fantasy that gets the heart pumping. To Buy Ruth’s Books 

Heather Poinsett Dunbar writes fantasy, that’s a bit on the dark side. To Buy Heather’s Books 

William Beck writes political thrillers that set your pulse racing from beginning to end.To Buy William’s Books

S. A. Bailey writes, what he calls, redneck noir. Think Mickey Spillane with an east Texas spin. To Buy Seth’s Books

Mark David Gerson also writes a wide variety of books. From learning to write, to mystical fantasy, he’s sure to appeal. To Buy Mark David’s Books 

Jo Ramsey writes wonderfully insightful stories for teens who don’t fit into the normal mold. To Buy Jo’s Books

Rowena Cherry writes sci-fi that carries you into space. Swords clang as a royal alien race tries to out maneuver one another. To Buy Rowena’s Books 

Gary D. Henry writes in many genres from retro romance to horror. To Buy Gary’s Books

Suzette Vaughn mostly writes romance, but she has other books as well. Sure to appeal to a wide number of readers. To Buy Suzette’s Books

J. Conrad Guest – sci-fi, romance, biography, memoir…the list goes on and on. To Buy J. Conrad’s Books

Rico Austin from a lighthearted children’s book, to memoirs, with a stop off at Graceland to visit The King, Rico has it. To Buy to Buy Rico’s Books

Stephanie Osborn’s Displaced Detective series brings Sherlock Holmes into the modern age. She also has fantastic sci-fi books that are a must read. To Buy Stephanie’s Books

Rachel Rueben’s book, Hag, is a wonderfully poignant look at teen life and the problems some face. Rachel also has some great How-To books for authors. To Buy Rachel’s Books

Marta Moran Bishop is another versatile author. Her books are mostly for children or young adults, but they are great for adults too. To Buy Marta’s Books

Barbara Ehrentreu The same can be said of Barbara’s books. Though geared toward teens, they are an enjoyable read for adults. To Buy Barbara’s Books

Fran Lewis has books in so many genres, I can’t name them all. Very approachable, they are sure to entertain. To Buy Fran’s Books

J.D. Holiday’s books for children are cleverly written and beautifully illustrated by the author. To Buy J.D.’s Books

Dianna Graveman’s books will appeal to those who like history. She has wonderful books on a variety of subjects. To Buy Dianna’s Books

Whit McClendon’s fantasy novels are cleverly crafted and full of action.To Buy Whit’s Books

Janet Morris has been a favorite author of mine since the Eighties. If you like sci-fi, fantasy or historical fiction, Janet has something for you. To Buy Janet’s Books

 Viv Drewa writes mystical mysteries with a hoot of a hero—an owl! To Buy Viv’s Books

Kemberlee Shortland writes romance with an Irish flavor. To Buy Kemberlee’sBooks 

I will continue to update and add to this list as I think of new people. Share this with your friends! Above all, have a Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah! Dellani

Advertisements

My Mother’s Southern Jewels by Ethel Cook-Wilson

Standard

My Mother’s Southern Jewels is a candid, yet poignant, collection of short stories, each centering around the life of a person with a ‘jewel’ of a name. Each story examines the life, and subsequent death, of the jewels.

The stories begin with an obituary, which would seem an odd approach, but these are also written with such tenderness, they don’t seem jarring or out of place.

Cook-Wilson’s writing voice beautifully and lyrically captures the individuals and their points of view. One can almost hear her voice gently caressing them. She uses different points of view and voice to characterize the narrator of the story, bringing the individuals to life, before laying them to rest.

I loved this book! I laughed and cried throughout. Each tale stands alone, but they all come together to form one gem of a collection.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes

To Buy My Mother’s Southern Jewels

About My Reviews

Standard

Dellani Oakes with glassesI’m rather disgusted with some of the book selling sites. Without any warning, they remove my reviews. I have resposted them, but they take them down again. For some reason, they think I am a professional reviewer who is paid for her reviews.

Not true! I don’t charge anything for my reviews. Authors send me copies of their books asking for reviews or I buy a book, pick it up in the library or find it for free on-line. I read and review it. I love to read and, as an author, I know how important reviews are.

Paid reviews aren’t reliable. You might get a great review from it, or you might get a rehash of your back blurb. Most of the authors that I know can’t afford to pay for reviews. I have never charged, nor will I ever charge.

I do give my honest opinion. I will never trash a book. I will say what I don’t like and give a lower rating, but I will never pull a book apart or trash the author’s confidence. There’s no need for that. Hurting someone’s feelings, over a piece of art that they have struggled over, is the worst kind of harassment. Besides, I may hate it and think it’s the worst thing I ever read, another person may think it’s great.

What you see on this page are my opinions, or those of the other reviewers I have allowed to post on my site. None of us are “professional reviewers” as defined by book selling sites. We aren’t paid. We do this for free, from the goodness of our hearts, because we love to read and like to help other authors.

All that being said, I want to assure readers that you will get honest, open reviews about the books we read. Authors will get the same. We strive to post honest opinions, without crushing an ego.

Fran Lewis is a reviewer who posts on my site.

Fran Lewis is a reviewer who posts on my site.

karen vaughan

Karen Vaughan is a reviewer who posts on my site

Vengeance in Blood – Lee Kelly

Standard

vengeance in bloodSocialite Shelly Farnsworth Stevens shocks all of Atlanta when she shoots her husband. Her motive? She’s certain Todd had an affair and gave her AIDS. Imagine her horror when she finds out that he couldn’t have given her HIV—his blood was negative.

Because she’s rich and connected, Detective Lacy Fuller and her partner Chet Avery, the best Atlanta P.D. has to offer, are put on the case. What they find out rocks the nation. With the help of Dr. Sharon West and FBI Agent Margie Olsen, Detectives Fuller & Avery are able to crack the case.

“Vengeance in Blood” is a well paced, compelling medical mystery. The characters are interesting and well rounded. The killer’s motivation is clear. The story draws readers in, keeping their interest throughout.

Detective Lacy Fuller is focused, sarcastic, a brilliant officer and not too good at personal relationships. Though some would consider her chilly and withdrawn, she has a warmth and depth to her personality that finds an outlet in peculiar ways—fondness for a homeless man who gives most of his money to an animal shelter, a little girl whose brother is involved with a drug dealer, and a supercilious feline.

Her personal life not withstanding, she’s a hell of a police officer who manages to uncover more from home, using only her laptop and a phone, than some of her colleagues can with the full resources of the police department.

Dr. Sharon West has the unfortunate duty of pronouncing Todd Stevens dead on arrival at the hospital. As there is some fear that he is HIV positive, she runs a blood test to confirm so that the EMT’s who responded can be treated for exposure. She’s also the contact person for Detectives Fuller and Avery when they arrive. Her knowledge of the disease, paired with experience in a blood bank, make her an invaluable compatriot for Lacy.

During the investigation, the two women become close friends, working in sync with one another.

Sharon, whose family is close knit and loving, feels drawn to the lonely, isolated Lacy. Sharon is as warm and outgoing as Lacy is chilly and withdrawn. Her warmth and support help Lacy on a deep personal level.

Chet Avery is the opposite of Lacy in many ways but one, he’s also a hell of a police officer. He’s sloppy where she is meticulous. He’s paunchy and overeats where she is athletic and trim. He’s a family man while she has no one. However, they make the Dream Team of the Atlanta Homicide detectives, solving more cases than the other partners combined. Although he finds himself annoyed with his partner on more than one occasion, he still believes in her abilities.

FBI Agent Margie Olsen is a puzzler for both Lacy and Chet. She comes across as a space cadet, but shocks them both with her skills and focus when called upon to perform.

Homer Files is homeless. After the death of his wife, he lost their home and started living on the streets. Lacy met him while he was panhandling on the street. When she found out that he was giving his money to an animal shelter, she decided not to turn him in for begging. The two became fast friends and they look out for one another. Homer is a kind, loving man who treats Lacy like a daughter and she considers him like the gentle father she never had.

Throughout the book, the reader is surprised by the breadth of Lacy’s character. She appears hard as nails on the surface, but when she reveals aspects of her childhood to Sharon, her hard exterior is explained. She takes people she meets under her wing, building her own family unit around herself without even realizing she’s doing it.

I greatly enjoyed this book. It was well paced, easy to read and had an interesting and compelling plot that made me want to keep reading. The characters are well rounded, the dialogue adds to the novel and keeps it moving. I never felt that there was a point where the flow of the story bogged down. Everything drove the story forward. I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

I highly recommend “Vengeance in Blood” to anyone who loves a good mystery.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes

TO BUY

Books by Beck

Standard

William Beck has become one of my favorite authors. His books are interesting and fast paced. His characters are engaging and well rounded. I have reviewed this three books below.

H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY

haarpe beckTen years ago, they all disappeared without a trace. No one knew how or why, but every living soul on the base in Alaska was gone. It was a secret the military didn’t talk about and couldn’t admit—until the past came back to haunt them.

Bryson McGann, no longer in the military, follows the clues that lead him to discover yet another secret base—one the US military doesn’t control—and the H.A.R.R.P. What is the H.A.R.R.P.? A mighty weather machine, originally designed for the betterment of man, it’s use has been corrupted to blackmail world governments. It’s up to McGann and his friend, Joe Canton, to find the base and destroy the H.A.R.R.P.

Beck’s style is engaging. He draws readers in, leading them through the story, giving us plenty of action along the way. His characters, though heroic, have flaws and fallibility, making them human and ultimately believable. Beck also gives us an exceptional villain—always a plus—with clear motivation.

In the company of such authors as Clive Cussler, Dan Brown and Tom Clancy, William Beck stands out. H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY is a must read for anyone who lies intricate novels of political intrigue. I greatly enjoyed H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY. It was an action packed roller coaster ride.

Five Golden Acorns

© 2011 Dellani Oakes

Red 7red 7 beck

Bryson McGann’s in a pickle again, but that’s the way he likes it. McGann, hero of William Beck’s novel H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY, returns in Beck’s second book, Red 7.

As I perused Red 7, I found myself wondering what do Vikings, a disappearance at sea, a plastic surgeon and the theft of rare objects have in common? Beck skillfully answers all these questions for his readers, gradually picking up the pace to a wonderfully climactic moment.

Intrigue’s the thing in Red 7, a government conspiracy unlike any other, on a level as yet unseen—or is it? To speculate much would give spoilers to an intricate, detailed plot, and I have no intention of doing that. Simply keep in mind that the events, and people, in Red 7 may not be exactly what you think.

One thing I love in an action novel is a clear cut bad guy. Once again, Beck’s villains, yes, more than one this time, are ruthless and exceedingly nasty. As in H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY , (Beck’s debut novel), the motive is clear. I dislike a muddled master mind, don’t you? I want a villain with a well defined agenda, and Beck does that in spades. He also gives each villain a proper dressing down before eliminating them with extreme prejudice.

H.A.R.R.P.’S FURY and Red 7 are wonderfully fast paced novels of political intrigue. A must read for any Cussler or Clancy fans. I highly recommend both novels and look forward to reading Caribbean Agenda, Beck’s third book.

Five Golden Acorns

© 2011 Dellani Oakes

caribbean beckCaribbean Agenda
Sun, Sand & Slavery?

Bryson McGann is at it again in William Beck’s third novel, “Caribbean Agenda”. The NESSA Assistant Projects Director can’t seem to stay out of trouble. But as always, McGann finds a way to defeat it.

A routine dive for an NESSA project in the Caribbean reveals a grisly secret—a dead woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Roni Canton, younger sister of Bryson’s best friend, Joe. When Roni suddenly disappears from her Trinidad hotel, Bryson knows something is terribly wrong. He and Joe travel to the island to find Roni and bring her home, little knowing where fate will lead them.

Argan Vance is a businessman, a very successful one. Rich and powerful, he maintains a patina of respectability. His real business is as vile as they come—human flesh—slavery. Vance traffics in the misfortunes of some to feed the perversions of others.

One of his best customers is Asian magnate, Liam Chen. Pock marked by acne, Chen is not a handsome man. He also has a medical condition which causes him to sweat profusely. In other words, not the kind of man girls fall for. Vance provides him with entertainment at a price, a profitable arrangement for both men.

Roni’s trail leads them from Trinidad to Honduras, into Nicaragua and eventually to Singapore. Will their worldwide search prove successful? Or is Roni Canton another casualty of Vance’s flesh mongering empire?

Bryson McGann and Joe Canton follow Roni’s trail, leading then to Vance and Chen. What follows is mayhem as only the two NESSA men can serve it—hot and heavy with a side order of bullets. “Caribbean Agenda” is truly Beck at his best. I am, and remain, a Bryson McGann fan.

© 2011 Dellani Oakes

I haven’t read William Beck’s newest offering, Crosscurrents, yet but you can be sure I will! When I do, I’ll add the review here.

The Tangled Web – JP Lane

Standard

the tangled web joan lane

There’s trouble in paradise and it’s up to a handful of the hierarchy to contain the problems. How they plan to accomplish this task is a matter of extreme sensitivity.

Lauren Anderson is a nosy reporter. She’s also the niece of an important government official. Her Aunt Maggie is Minister of Finance of the exotic island they call home. As a favor to her aunt, she gets involved in a tangled web of conspiracy.

Logan Armstrong is among the rich and elite of the island’s upper class. There’s an air of mystery around him that attracts Lauren when she goes out to interview him. What is it about the handsome, sexy, playboy that makes Lauren want to pull him close as well as push him away?

The Tangled Web is a wonderfully crafted novel of love, romance, assassins and intrigue. The characters are well rounded and the plot compelling. In fact, I think I fell a little bit in love (lust) with Logan myself as he pursued and charmed Lauren.

I highly recommend The Tangled Web by JP Lane for anyone who likes their romance spiced up with political intrigue that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

5 golden acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes

To Buy

Wee Three: A Mother’s Love in Verse by Marta Moran-Bishop with Helen Springer Moran Illustrations by Hazel Mitchell

Standard

wee three“Wee Three” is a charming and delightful collection of poems for children. Marta Moran-Bishop truly captures the voice and curiosity of a little child.

 The detailed pen and ink illustrations by Hazel Mitchell, bring the text alive. Her lovely, delicate artwork puts me in mind of my favorite A.A. Milne books as a child. The watercolor on the front is colorful and full of sunshine.

“Wee Three” is the “Now We Are Six” of the 21st Century. I loved the poems and illustrations in this beautiful little book. My granddaughter, who is three, particularly loved “Upside Down Land”. My favorites are “Lonely” and “When I’m A Lady”.

This is a wonderful book to share with children and awaken their love of poetry. I highly recommend “Wee Three” for children of all ages—and adults who are children at heart.

© 2012 Dellani Oakes

Five Golden Acorns

To Buy