Books: R & R

The first book on my list of recommendations is The Lake by Annalisa Grant.

I chose this book as the first book to be discussed in my new group discussion group on Goodreads. It turned out to be much better than I thought that it would. It is a story about Layla, a young girl who has experienced hardships in her life and is just looking for some sense of peace, and a chance at a life with no sadness.

Her new adventures begin when she moves from Florida to North Carolina to live with her aunt and uncle. She doesn’t really know them and honestly doesn’t know why that is. It is not her intent it seems to get too comfortable in her new living situation, new school, or make any new friends. However, all of that begins to change once she meets Will.

Although this is a Young Adult Fiction novel, and I’m not a young adult; I am thoroughly enjoying Ms. Grant’s story. In fact, I read this first book in one day and will start the next one as soon as I’m done with this post.

I did find a few typos in the story, but in our society today, it seems to be a normal and acceptable occurrence, and these things did not sway my enjoyment of this book, nor will it change my rating. Let me know what you think about this story after you read it. I would love to have some feedback on it and further discuss it.

On a scale from 1-10, this book is a 10.

The Lake

The following are the reviews that I have written since I started doing book reviews a couple of years ago.

Fictional Musings of a Day Dreamer




brittany's book cover

I came across Ms. Adkins book, “Fictional Musings of a Day dreamer”, almost by chance. In searching for something fresh and different, her title caught my eye. Being a daydreamer myself, I was curious.

Her book, a collection of short stories, carries with it tales of the unknown, tales of love, relationships that are, and ones that are not. A couple of stories left you wondering if there would be a sequel. One such tale is the story that she co-wrote with Colleen Boehm; “Revenge”.

Out of the three tales focused on the supernatural, this one really captured me. It reminded me of the history of the Salem Witch Trials. Ms. Adkins kept me on the edge of my seat with much of this book, gasping, and at times, I felt myself covering my eyes to hide from the detailed horror.

“The Day I should have Died” I feel gives the reader a look into the life of someone with a terminal illness. What it’s like for them and those around them. We don’t always see the truth through Hollywood’s lenses, so I was pleasantly surprised by Ms. Adkins honesty in this story.

If her point was to do this and more, she succeeded brilliantly. It is my hope that Ms. Adkins will keep going with her collection. She has inspired me to pursue avenues of my own passion.

Just A Kiss by Kate Kissett


First, thank you to Ms. Kisset for this book. This is the type of story that is grounded and a little fantastical at the same time. What makes this is a story that is grounded is the main character -Sarah Dupont. She is an average everyday person trying to move past heartache in her life and continue her dream of owning a cafe. Where it becomes fantastical is her encounter with a heartthrob movie star. As a reader, you are drawn into their world through Ms. Kissett’s technique in dialogue, plot, and the three keys- conflict, crisis, and resolution. Each of these elements kept me intrigued and wanting more. I was and am pleasantly surprised at how quickly I read this story. I just couldn’t put it down. Besides, wanting to see what else happens with Sarah, I want to go to visit a few vineyards. I think the best time would be in the fall. Ms. Kissett did a great job with her description of the colors in the vineyards, and giving just little hints at the scenery around Sarah and the other characters in this romantic tale. Definitely looking forward to more stories from Kate Kissett.

Kissing Mr. Mistletoe

kissing mr mistletoe high res(1).jpg.jpg

This month I received an advanced copy of Katie Kisset’s “Kissing Mr. Mistletoe”.

It is exciting to have this opportunity to once again read another one of her amazing stories, give my thoughts on it and share them with others just in time for the holidays.

Ms. Kisset has included in her book, “Kissing Mr. Mistletoe” images of Christmas on the first page of each chapter. This is a nice touch. It is of the opinion of this writer that simple images that reflect the story help readers like myself to stay in the mood of the story. These images help to set the tone of the story and allow the reader to visualize even more the setting.  I hope that she will consider doing this in her future works. Furthermore, Ms. Kisset implements music into her stories. Every so often throughout this story, the reader will see the title and artist of a song. It seems that Ms. Kisset is inspired by music at key points in her stories. At the end of the book, like her last book, “Just A Kiss”, Ms. Kisset has created a literary soundtrack. She mentions that if her story had a soundtrack these are the songs that would be playing and in the specific order that she listed them. This is a great idea. I’ve never seen this done before.

As I began my journey in Napa Valley, I wondered if this story would be similar to the last one. I was pleasantly surprised to see that although the romance tone was there, this love story carried a few steamy scenes and I felt an emotional connection to Monique and Trace. It could be somewhat due to the fact that it is a holiday story, but I also feel that creating a character who is a single mom, struggling to care for her daughter and forget about the deadbeat father and ex, which allowed me to relate more to Monique. I’ve learned that in order to really engage a reader, that the writer needs to create dynamic characters and characters that a reader can relate to. Yes, this is a fiction story and one that focuses on a steamy romance between two former lovers, but it carries meaning and hopes through all of its fantastical words.

Monique and Trace haven’t seen each other in six years. He left to become a big country star and she stayed behind in the Napa Valley region because that is where she felt she belonged, and not on the road with a singer who could fall easily into the traps of fame and fortune. Trace comes back into her life six years later. He is not back for her initially, he’s back to sell his family’s land and the business on it. Trace plans on being there only a week, but things begin to change after bumping into Monique and her daughter Adele.

With that said, each of Ms. Kisset’s stories so far has been wonderful. I love that they both carry a mixture of love, romance, and a few steamy scenes. It is refreshing to see this kind of class in romance. Ms. Kissett doesn’t just focus on the sexual aspects, she creates a background for the characters so that her readers will care about them. The setting is very vivid. Anyone who picks up this book will crave wine, cheese, crackers, and some Christmas cheer. It is the perfect read for a brisk afternoon, or chilly night by the fire. Before embarking on this story in Napa Valley, I prepared a light snack to take with me. A platter of cheese from Cabot’s’, Tuscan cheese focaccia crackers, a nice tossed salad, and carrots. My beverage of choice for the early afternoon was a bottle of fresh crisp water and a kale and berry smoothie. Wine is for later. Merry Christmas and enjoy another great romance with Katie Kisset.


JB Michaels Action Thriller Collection

JB Michaels Action Thriller Collection by J.B.   Michaels
I received an advanced copy of Mr. Michaels Action Thriller Collection and originally planned on only reading one or two of the stories in this collection. However, as I began to read the first story The Order of St. Michael: A Bud Hutchins Thriller I found myself engaged in the collection. Although I did come across a few typos there was nothing within the story or the flow of the story that kept me from moving forward. There is definitely a paranormal feel mixed into the action and mystery of the story but it is not too much that a reader will feel overwhelmed. Mr. Michaels has done a wonderful job in mixing the genres like ingredients in a mixing bowl. This is a recipe well created. After reading Mr. Michael’s story of Bud Hutchins search for an unknown assailant who has stolen something precious to him, meeting zombie monks, werewolves, and a cute young girl who is also searching for an unknown assailant, one who has murdered her Uncle. Mr. Michael’s takes you on an adventure into the world of Santa Claus and his helpers in The Tannenbaum Tailors and the Secret Snowball and The Tannenbaum Tailors and the Brethren of the Saints. Honestly, being a big fan of Christmas I really enjoyed the last two stories in Mr. Michael’s collection. We all know that Santa has helpers at the North Pole who aid him with the toys and reindeer, but did any of you know that he also has some helpers who take care of the Christmas trees in everyone’s home. Welcome to the world of tree elves! Mr. Michaels takes you into their daily lives, jobs, and describes in such great detail and with such creativity that you feel as if you can see their homes and workshops on the branches of pines.The stories of the Tannenbaum Tailors is a great holiday story to share with the family, and at any time of the year. The Tannenbaum Tailors’s stories are filled with love, betrayal, mystery, wonder, loyalty, honor, sacrifice, faith, family, and the Christmas Spirit. I dare not giveaway any details of these stories as it will be worth the surprise. I am glad that I not only read these stories but that I wasn’t informed too much about the inner details of these stories. Mr. Michaels does a fantastic job of not being predictable and I would recommend his stories to all.

Read all of My Reviews:

My Review of “Two to Tango” by Kate Kisset


I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Ms. Kisset’s “Two to Tango”. Again, Ms. Kissett does not disappoint. She takes on another journey into wine country. Her creative ability to paint beautiful scenes that take your breath away and make you want to jump on the next flight to Napa Valley. One thing that I like about Ms. Kissett’s writing, her characters, storyline, and the setting is that it flows and as a reader, I can relate to the characters and the storyline. Although I know that I’m reading fiction, her story feels real. It feels as if I can just reach out and touch the vineyards.

Her characters are down to earth. One would think that you would get a sense of upper-class snobbery from those who own a vineyard or are wealthy, but that is not the case with Ms. Kisset’s characters. They are all down to earth and approachable. ChiChi and ChaCha are hysterical besides being believable ladies. I wouldn’t mind having an aunt and grandmother like them. They are so vibrant, full of life and mischievous but in a good way.

Ms. Kissett creates memorable names for her characters which help to develop those characters. She adds just enough detail but not too much to ensure that you stay intrigued. Yes, this was a love story about Scarlett and Jake. Two star-crossed lovers who had previous chances to get “better acquainted”, but as most of us know, when it is meant to be one cannot force it. It must be natural.

There are so many reasons to love this story. As a writer, myself, I love how each reader will take something different away from this story and that is due to Ms. Kissett’s writing style. She writes in truth and with a passion.

One more thing about Ms. Kisset’s style, her romance stories is that it is classy. There are so many so-called “romance stories” out there, but they are anything but romance. Those stories, in my opinion, are trashy.  When I look for a new romance, romance drama, inspirational romance, I want to feel the romance, not the filth.

Ms. Kissett could not begin or end this story any other way than how she did. If it had been altered even slightly, I personally feel that the emotions, creativity, and reality would not have been the same. It is my hope and desire that Ms. Kissett not only continue writing from Wine Country but that she continues revealing the lives of the DeLucas’.

Here is an excerpt from her book that just released today!

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