Posted in Reviews

Two More 5-star Reviews for Your Reading Pleasure

*****5-stars

I wish I could give this book more than five stars, although it wasn’t what I expected. First of all, I don’t usually read non-fiction or memoirs. Secondly, romances are my least favorite genre. That may sound odd since I’ve written romance into many of my mysteries and also published a paranormal romance. Having said all that, I found this book nothing short of inspiring, romantic, and historically interesting. The author, Ms. Spinelli, shares letters written by her boyfriend during the time he served in Vietnam. We know from the start that he died in the war and that Ms. Spinelli had locked away these letters and other memories from that relationship in a suitcase that she only reopened fifty years after his death after being invited to view a memorial created in her boyfriend’s honor.

The story of Ms. Spinelli’s love affair is interspersed through the book along with the letters in date order of when she received them. Not all the letters are included and some are edited, but they retain the voice of a young man deeply in love and planning to marry his sweetheart. Indeed, both Ms. Spinelli and her boyfriend Lester (known to her as Chip) considered themselves man and wife. Chip was recruited in late 1969 and served through March of 1970 when he was listed as Missing in Action. His death was later confirmed, and a large number of relatives, friends, and residents of his town attended his funeral.

I couldn’t stop reading this book. Having been a child during the Vietnam era, I can only recall the protests, hippies, and “make love, not war” slogan. This book brought home the meaning of those messages. It also gave me a glimpse into war and the sacrifices soldiers and their families face.

I have to say that more than one passage brought tears to my eyes and that I found Ms. Spinelli’s final chapters, decades after Chip’s death, to reflect her growth and the many lessons she shares with us about appreciating the small details of life, embracing the written word through cards and letters instead of texts and emails, and recognizing the way life and death are connected. Some may consider her experience with a psychic that’s included later in the book to be above the top, but I believe people and even pets who have strong connections with their loved ones will reconnect with them one day after they’re gone.

Reading this book will give you historical insight but, more importantly, will touch your heart. Don’t miss it.

*****5-stars

This was a fun read. As a time-travel fan (having read a few time-travel books and also written one), I found this book featured a unique concept. Aboard an Amtrak heading for Chicago, several passengers find themselves back in 1860 on an excursion trip arranged by the Union Pacific Railroad. Each of these passengers has a story. There’s an author who was chosen for a writer-in-residence program; a female detective; an elderly couple whose daughters worried about them taking the trip; a couple who were trying to rekindle their romance; a train buff who had traveled many rails; and a family so absorbed with social media and technology to the extent they were losing communication with one another.

As the train passes through a dust storm, these people find themselves dressed in clothes from the 1800’s and that they’ve assumed the identities of real people from that time. There are also other people on the train whom they don’t know. Making the most of the situation, they act out their roles. But besides traveling back in time, there are other surprises along the way for these passengers including a murder, an ill-fated romance, and an Indian attack.

I won’t give away what happens and whether this group returns to the present and if they do, what happens. But I’ll say that they all learn a lot about history and more about one another as they experience this adventure.

I enjoyed this book, the characters, and their time-travel adventure. It’s a great book to read on a train.

Posted in Books

Four of My Books Are Going Wide

Hi, everyone. This is just to let you know that some of my books are now available on other platforms besides Amazon. Below are the links to the books. Right now, the Kindle/Amazon link might be the only one visible from these links but eventually they will include Apple, B&N, Kobo, Google Play and Scribd. Although the links may not be found yet, you can still search for the titles on any of these platforms and chances are they will be there. Thank you for your interest and patience while my publisher makes these changes.

Time’s Relative

https://books2read.com/u/mYyR0d

It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.

Before Sam makes it to the interview, she’s visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.

Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.

Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield’s plans?

Memory Makers

https://books2read.com/u/3Jp0we

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps and her sister Patty were kidnapped from their backyard on Long Island. Lauren escaped her captor, but Patty was killed.

Ever since, Lauren has suffered from nightmares of the “Shadow Man.” Trying to recall his face and avenge her sister’s murder, Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the offices of Memory Makers in California, she receives the injections of the Memory Makers’ serum, and begins to experience flashbacks of repressed memories. Along with the flashbacks, she receives threats from an anonymous source that point back to her childhood trauma.

Soon, Lauren becomes involved with a fellow trial participant who seeks to recall his own traumatic past. But can Lauren discover the identity of the “Shadow Man” before history repeats itself?

Sea Scope

https://books2read.com/u/bQyBgZ

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

Sarah hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope. Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home.

When past and present collide, Sarah must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?

Meows and Purrs

*Note: This book’s link has not yet been updated, but it’s still available here: http://mybook.to/mapddl

In this collection of 30 cat poems, author Debbie De Louise shares her love and knowledge of the felines she’s known throughout her life.

Most of the poems are inspired by her current and past cats. Some poems are funny; others are sad, but all reflect the beauty, intelligence, and special characteristics of these animals.

If you are a cat lover or enjoy reading poems about cats, you will be both touched and entertained by this poetry collection that also includes photos of the author’s cats, and notes about how they inspired her to write the poems.

Posted in Reviews

Two 5-star Reviews for Your Reading Pleasure

*****5-stars

When I read this book, I didn’t realize it was the first by this author. I was drawn to it because of the cover and the fact that I enjoy reading about and have also written a novel featuring a lighthouse. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this story.

After a young woman’s mother dies, her father, a detective, takes her to a small town called Seabrook where he’s been assigned a missing person’s case. His hope is to give her a change of scene and help her heal. What follows is a series of odd events that may remind some readers of a Twilight Zone episode.

Without giving too much away, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could hardly stop reading. There were many surprises, romance, and an interesting ending. And, yes, the lighthouse plays a significant role. If you enjoy paranormal novels with touching characters, I highly recommend this book.

If you’re a lighthouse or mystery fan, you might also enjoy my psychological thriller, Sea Scope (https://books2read.com/u/bQyBgZ), about a murder at a lighthouse. The eBook will shortly be available on several platforms besides Amazon.

*****5-stars

Besides an interesting title, A Flamingo Under the Carousel by William John Rostron is also an interesting book. What makes it unique is the author’s preface to each section and each story in this collection. By providing details on how each published work was inspired and the stories behind the stories, the reader is given a glimpse into the author’s mind and heart.

The book starts with a prologue that explains the title and then includes seven sections and an epilogue. Within the sections are multi-genre stories and essays. Some are new but most have appeared in print elsewhere. Some also feature characters from Rostron’s trilogy (that will soon include a fourth book), Band in the Wind, Sound of Redemption, and Brotherhood of Forever.

There’s something for everyone here along with a list of where each story was previously published. I enjoyed this book and believe it will appeal to a wide audience.

Posted in Contest

Votes Needed for Books Running in Reader’s Poll

VOTES NEEDED PLEASE

Two of my books are running in the Critters.org Readers Choice 2021 Awards. The poll ends on January 14.

My time-travel novel, TIME’S RELATIVE published by Next Chapter Publishing, is entered in the Science Fiction/Fantasy book category. To vote for it, please go to https://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml and click on the box next to the book title (note the choices are arranged alphabetically, so this book is further down on the page). Once you vote, you’ll receive an email that you will need to confirm so that the vote will be officially counted.

My latest cozy mystery, BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE: Cobble Cove Story #5 published by Solstice Publishing, is entered in the all other short story category and is listed as the first choice. The link to this category is https://critters.org/predpoll/shortstory.shtml.

Please follow the directions above for casting your vote.


Two of my fellow Next Chapter authors, Brian L Porter, and John Broughton also have books running in the Critters.org Readers Choice Awards 2021 and would very much appreciate your vote.

To vote for Brian L. Porter’s THE MERSEY FERRY MURDERS in the Mystery category, please go to https://critters.org/predpoll/novelmys.shtml

To vote for John Broughton’s THE RUNES OF VICTORY in the All Others category go to https://critters.org/predpoll/novel.shtml

Thank you all for your support of my books and those of two of my friends and fellow authors.

Posted in holidays

Happy New Year! Let’s Think Positive Thoughts for 2022

I had high hopes for 2021, and things started to look better until recently when new variants of COVID appeared and are now rampant again worldwide. I don’t want to get into politics or discussions about vaccines or masks. I just want to send my wishes and prayers for a better 2022. The pandemic is only one of the issues that’s troubling the world right now. There are terrible weather-related disasters – tornados, earthquakes, forest fires and more. There are shootings and bombings, and other forms of violence. Yet there is still beauty everywhere. The sun rises and sunsets; the oceans, babies’ smiles; kittens and puppies; a really enjoyable book, TV show, or movie; chocolate. If we can focus on the positives, it will help us cope with all the negatives. Please comment on some of your favorite things that you look forward to in 2022.

Have you made any plans for next year? Travel is still questionable as are large gatherings, but maybe you have some personal goals, a project you’d like to complete, an exercise routine you’d like to start, a diet (don’t we all want to start one of those after the holidays?), or some other new hobby or endeavor. For me, I hope to write and publish more books and also work on improving my craft and growing as an author. I haven’t given up my quest to find an agent to represent my work, but I realize that takes time. I’ve decided, with the help of newsletter subscribers, to submit to one of my publishers the book that I was querying to agents for a long time. This will be the start of a new cozy mystery series featuring the owner of a pet cemetery and shelter who becomes an amateur sleuth when the “cat crazy” lady in her small town is murdered. But I’ve also just finished writing a standalone book that I want to edit and query to agents. I have several other projects that I hope to complete, if not in 2022, then another year. My focus, though, will be on my writing which means I’ll spend less time on social media.

I want to thank you all for reading this blog. I’m trying to post more book reviews of both Indie and popular titles. I’ll also continue to post my updates, sales, and other author news, but less often as I need to focus on my writing.

A reminder that the holiday sale for my four cozy mysteries is running through January 4. For more information and details on how to purchase these books, please read this blog post: https://wp.me/p6m4z7-3pA

If you’d like to be included in my newsletter and aren’t yet a subscriber, you can sign up at https://debbiedelouise.com or contact me to ask to join my list. The newsletter comes out monthly and more often for special sales and announcements. I choose a winner from my active subscribers each month for a giveaway, post photos of subscriber’s pets, and feature character spotlights from my books.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2022. Think positive, keep your goals in mind, be thankful for your friends, loved ones, and pets . . . and smile.

Posted in Reviews

Review: 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up by Jim Ryan

***** 5 stars

We all know last year and the year before it presented many challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, and we all hope 2022 will be better. But what we may not realize is that we have the power to make it better for ourselves. In 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up, Jim Ryan presents a week-by-week guide with exercises, assignments, tips, and reviews of a method that can help us take control of our lives and live it better.

This is the perfect book to start in the New Year or at any time during the year. Some of the 52 topics include “It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint,” “Wake Up Your Senses,” “When the Student is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear,” “The Grass is as Green as You Make It,” “Job Career or Calling,” “Have a Mind that is Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing,” and “Fear is the Enemy of Happiness.”

Working through these exercises, a week at time, will help you make changes that can benefit your well being as you develop a more positive outlook. Although some of the information Mr. Ryan relates is religious, this book isn’t aimed at any particular religious belief. Mr. Ryan also provides his contact information for people who wish to submit feedback about their experiences following the exercises.

Ryan has worked as a motivational coach, speaker, and author. He holds a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and offers a free inspirational “Aha Moment,” every Wednesday to those who sign up at his website: http://www.JimRyanTalks.com.

Pick up a copy of 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up here: https://amzn.to/3eONxw9

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Book Sale Through January 4

I’m honored to be part of Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Book Sale. Four of my holiday-themed cozy mysteries are on sale through January 4. in a previous post, I said that these books were discounted only on a certain day during the promotion. I’m sorry for the confusion. You can still get a copy of the following 4 books for 99 cents until January 5.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place .

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CobbleCove2

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters

The characters from my Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from me, the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first and second books in the series.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Murder Unwrapped

Richard Bright is a man with a plan. He’s an inventor who he wants to kill his wife with one of his inventions. He hopes to put his plan into effect on Christmas, but his invention isn’t quite perfected. Dealing with his wife isn’t an option, nor her two rambunctious kittens, Harry and Hermione. What sweetens the pot is her large inheritance and a pretty young woman who is now working at his shop. Will Richard’s plan to have his special gift ready in time pan out, or will it fizzle with some of his other unfinished projects?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Last but not least, my award-winning cozy, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery
Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Look for other Solstice books on sale through January 4 and enjoy the holiday season with great books at a great price.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Book Sale

I’m honored to be part of Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Book Sale. Four of my holiday-themed cozy mysteries are on sale for one-day only.

On Christmas, December 25, you can get a copy of Between a Rock and a Hard Place for 99 cents.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CobbleCove2

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters is on sale December 28.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Murder Unwrapped is on sale December 30.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Last but not least, my award-winning cozy, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery is on sale on New Year’s Eve, December 31.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Look for other Solstice books on sale through New Year’s and enjoy the holiday season with great books at a great price.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

My Time-Travel Novel, TIME’S RELATIVE, is on Sale Through December 21

http://mybook.to/timesrelative

It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.

Before Sam makes it to the interview, she’s visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.

Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.

Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield’s plans?

Read what reviewers are saying:

*****Prepare yourself for a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story that will make you hold your breath as you flip the pages as fast as you can read them. Loved it!!

*****I loved the characters in this book.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Roaring 20’s: A Decade of Stories is another excellent anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, eleven authors share tales of various decades. Although I enjoyed every one of these stories and it’s hard to pick favorites, the ones I liked most included David Lange’s “Flapper and the Captain;” “An Act of Senselessness” by Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl; “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio; and “Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron.

Air Force veteran David Lange tells an interesting tale involving a flapper and an air force captain suffering from PTSD after receiving an injury in World War 1. The story’s origin, which is shared by the author at the end, is even more absorbing than this supernatural-type piece. Also with a strong paranormal element is Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl’s, “An Act of Senselessness” about a couple on Halloween in 1983 that are involved in a car accident with a twist.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio is a fun tale featuring wealthy ninety-something Southampton socialite. Miss Ellen, and her younger companion, Patrice. The ladies come to the aid of a girl at a club where they’re dining who is interested in a man but is having trouble gaining his attention. Miss Ellen gives her some old-fashioned pointers that do the trick. Along the way, Ms. Donadio includes interesting tidbits about Long Island history and popular culture of the 1980’s.

“Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron, is the last story in this anthology. Last but definitely not least. Mr. Rostron reveals his own family history from 1900-1970 in seven connected short pieces that tell their own stories about his relatives.

The one story I didn’t include among my favorites is my own contribution to this anthology, “Growing Up in the Summer of ’71” which is my own semi-autobiographical tale about an eleven-year-old girl in 1971 with an older sister and how the two deal with relationships during the 1970’s era of Vietnam, hippies, and drugs.

These stories make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when people often reflect on the past.

Pick up a copy of The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories here: https://amzn.to/3ywEPLI