The Power of Reviews

Do you write reviews?

Do you read them before you buy a book or a product?

I do write them and it’s not always easy. If I love a book I give it a 5 star it’s the ones that I’m not so sureI love that I struggle with. If it’s a book I don’t leave a three star on Amazon because that’s as bad as a one star, those books I don’t post reviews.

Products? That’s a different story.



This past week  I left a one star on a product. I wanted to leave zero stars but it wasn’t possible.

If I had taken the time to read the reviews on this product I wouldn’t have bought it, but I didn’t think about it.

My cats go outside and I needed some flea protection for them. I was at Wal-Mart and usually I pick up Pet Armour. They were out so I snagged a package of Adam’s Top Spot.

Serious mistake. One of my cats, Wendell had a terrible reaction. He was shaking, staring off into space an his fun came out in chunks! I’m fortunate it wasn’t worse. After posting my review I read through the others on Amazon. Many cats have reacted to this product in even more dangerous ways, seizures and horrific sores.

wendell icecream

Wendell is fine now. This is an old shot of him feeling well– on top of the fridge.

He’s not quite back to normal but I’m hoping for a full recovery.

So do you write reviews?

Do you think it makes a difference when you post a negative review? In this case I hope my review protects someone else’s beloved cat.

Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle: a Review

Congo Dawn: A Review

Jeanette Windle  whisked me away to a place filled with heat, gun for hire ex-marines and a purpose. Congo Dawn left me breathless several times as the main character Robin Duncan heads into dangerous situations.

As a reader I came away with a new respect for those helping the Congolese people.

The spiritual thread in this book runs deep but it’s not intrusive. Robin has issues with trusting a God whom she feels has been absent in her life and had difficulty understanding how someone living in the Congo could feel so differently. The way this was handled made this a strong book.

Tuesday Jeanette Windle will be on my blog telling us how come she writes books like Congo Dawn.

Here’s the blurb:

Congo Dawn cover-websizeWhen a multinational corporation with unlimited funds hires on a private military company with unbridled power, how far might they be willing to go with the planet’s ultimate “conflict mineral” up for grabs?  Especially in a Congolese rainforest where governmental accountability is only too cheaply for sale.

A veteran in handling corruption and conspiracy, former Marine lieutenant Robin Duncan has never had any trouble  discerning good guys from bad. But when her security team is sent to track down an insurgent killer, Robin faces a man who broke her trust years ago and discovers that gray areas extend deeper into the jungle than she anticipated.

As a vicious global conspiracy emerges, run by brutal men who don’t leave witnesses alive, Robin must decide if there is anyone left she can trust. And where is God in the suffering and injustice? How is it possible followers of Yesu (Jesus) caught in the crossfire can still rejoice when everything they hold dear is ripped away?

Buy it

Tell me do you like books set in different countries or do you prefer to read stories about the country you live in?


Where Treasure Hides

Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander Donley

a2z: letter “W”


Where the Treasure Hides

Good Read!

The historical genre for inspirational has opened up to include World War 2.  I’m grateful for that because fictional Where  Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander Donley is a treasure of history that we need to be aware of right now. We do not want history to repeat itself and through well written fiction like Where the Treasure Hides perhaps we will be more aware of what is happening around us.

The story line involves artist Allison Schuyler, sent back to Holland by her grief-stricken father to live with her grandfather and aunt. The family owns a well-known art gallery.

Allison loves art more than anything until she meets Ian Devlin on a trip to England. The war around them is escalating and Alison doesn’t want to love any one. She believes the family is cursed. If she marries Ian he will die. and with the war the possibility of that occurring is even greater.

As the story title implies there is treasure—the paintings created by the Masters. They must be hidden and protected but at what cost? Is it more important than a human life? These are decisions Alison must make.

Where  Treasure Hides is an excellent read and while there is a healthy dose of history it does not over-ride the story which I found pleasant.


Are you excited about finding a new historical set in WW2?



A typical Writing Day

A typical Writing Day
by Keli Gwyn
Diana invited me to respond to this prompt: “What does a typical writing day look like for you?”
I chuckle when I’m asked this question because I don’t have a typical writing day. I’d like to say that I bound out of bed full of energy, spend an hour in sweet communion with the Lord, and head to the computer to crank out a couple thousand words before lunch, but that scenario is a wee bit idealistic in my case.
In reality, I don’t think in terms of days—typical or otherwise. I think of my writing as happening in seasons. I have Research Seasons, Plotting Seasons, Drafting Seasons, Revising Seasons, and Editing Seasons. When my debut novel released this past July, I experienced the whirlwind of my first Promotion Season.
While I’m in the planning stages of a new story, I’ll spend countless hours devouring reference books. During the actual writing phase, I lose track of time as I immerse myself in the 1800s. I can get so into the period that hearing the phone ring or the dryer buzz startles me, since such sounds have no place in my story world.
I enjoy each season, but like so many writers, I have to allot time to respond to email, connect on social media, blog, etc., too. And then there’s housework, exercise, and family time. Finding a balance that works for me can be a challenge. I’m beyond grateful for my incredibly supportive husband, who understands when certain seasons consume me and certain chores don’t get done. Yup. He’s a keeper.
Thanks for hosting me, Diana. Spending time with you and your blog’s visitors is a pleasure.
I have a question for all of you: If you’re a writer, do you have a typical writing day, or do you tend to have writing seasons as I do?

Thanks for posting today, Keli.

Here’s some information about Keli and her new book, A Bride Opens Shop in ElDorado, California

Fun (and my favorite) version: Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available.

When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell.

To learn more about Keli, you can visit her Victorian-style cyber home at, where you’ll find her parlor, study, carriage house, and more, along with her blog and her social media links.


Widow Elenora Watkins is determined to provide for herself and her daughter without relying on anyone else. Can she run a successful business after falling for the competition? Miles Rutledge finds himself willing to do anything to keep Elenora in town. But can he win her heart while putting her out of business?

I liked this book. Elenora is not a wimpy character. She is a determined single parent making sure her daughter feels like they are family.

Keli is giving away a copy! All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address.
Here’s Keli’s question again.

“I have a question for all of you: If you’re a writer, do you have a typical writing day, or do you tend to have writing seasons as I do?”

My question is: If you aren’t a writer how to you get your reading time?