book reviews

3 More Home Runs

Here are three more great books you won’t want to miss:

  1. A Mother for his Twins — a high school romance gets a second chance

  2. My Maine–Haikus about Maine that put you right there

  3. Sunwielder–a farmer can erase the death of his family but at a price

A note about my reviews: I only post reviews about books I liked so don’t be surprised to see lots of 4/5 and 5/5. If I don’t like the book, I won’t spend time writing about it.

A Mother for His Twins

by Jill Weatherholt


In Jill Weatherholt’s A Mother for His Twins (Harlequin 2019), Joy Kelliher finds the boy she wants to marry while still in high school but, though he also professes his love, he disappears from her life without explanation. She struggles to get over his abandonment but can’t convince herself to ever trust another man. It doesn’t make it any easier when he returns to their small town a widower with twins In tow. While she swears she will never forgive him, it becomes complicated to keep that promise. First, his boys are placed in her first grade class, and then, she and he are both competing for the open position as principal. She promises that she will be a professional about it, place her emotions aside, but it just isn’t that simple. Love never is.

This is a delightful, fast-moving story with all those features of a romance we love–drama, tension, secrets, and confusion. Weatherholt has a way of tying words together in such a way that everything flows and I can’t stop reading. What do you think of this:

“Joy’s stomach rolled over like a dog hoping for a good belly scratch.”

I’ve never heard it said that way before and now, I’ll never forget it. I also love that this book includes characters like Faith (Joy’s sister) and her daughter Bella that I fell in love with in Weatherholt’s earlier books. Overall, highly recommended for those who love a sweet romance that leaves you satisfied, with a sigh of happiness.

My Maine

by Bette Stevens


Bette Stevens My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons (2019) is a gorgeous mixture of Maine facts, pictures, quotes, and poetry in the form of Haikus. Stevens presents a beautiful picture of one of America’s most unique states that gives readers rare insight into the soul of this nature-filled land, one they won’t soon forget. Through seasonally-themed haikus, we see Maine change from Spring…

“Limbs of apple blooms

Reaching—touching sapphire skies

Luring spectators”

…to Summer

“Red-tailed hawks soaring

Above highways and byways

Watch eager tourists”


“Golds and magentas

Vivid splashes among greens

A princely pallet”

…and finally Winter

“Frozen polar winds

Wave the ice crystal scepter

Dawn’s magic appears”

After reading this book, I came away awed by Maine in ways I never expected. Let me end with this atmospheric stanza that pretty much sums everything up:

Maine pines and people

Survivors, resilient souls

Standing tall and proud

Sunwielder: An Epic Time Travel Adventure

by D. Wallace Peach


In Sunwielder (2016), D. Wallace Peach’s fantasy world is not unlike Earth’s medieval world of hardworking commoners, feudal lords, and warring kingdoms. The hero Gryff wants only to be a farmer and raise horses when his entire family is wiped out by a man who hates him for no apparent reason. When Gryff has the opportunity to change his past with the time traveling Sunwielder, given to him by a timekeeper from a neighboring land, he takes it without questioning the cost. Even though it means he must leave the pastoral beauty of his farm, the loving warmth of his family, and spend the next years as a soldier fighting a battle his farmer self barely cares about, he takes it. His one promise to his wife when they married was that he’d keep her safe. He doesn’t intend to break that promise. From the moment he dons the Sunwielder, his life is controlled by a future he isn’t sure of. All he knows is when the present doesn’t work out ‘right’, he dies and gets to try again.

This is a fast-paced story of undying love, baseless hate, and how a family’s life becomes a pawn between those two. One of the most beautiful characteristics of this story is simply how Peach links her words. Read this:

“Nearly three hundred men in the great hall dropped to one knee, right knuckles to the floor, heads bowed.”

“Black oaks, dark with summer leaves, swathed the trail in shifting shadow. Shafts of sunlight speared the forest floor, altered only by the sway of branches in the heated wind.”

Peach has a way of picking exactly the right word to evoke so much more than the meaning would promise. Few are better at world building. This is highly recommended not only for those who love fantasies but those who enjoy a good military thriller.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants Winter 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning


147 thoughts on “3 More Home Runs

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  9. Thank you so much, Jacqui, for sharing your review of Sunwielder. You’re support of indie authors and your book recommendations are priceless. And what a treat to be here with two awesome writers. I love Bette’s poetry, and Jill’s book is happily waiting in my kindle. Much appreciated, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You hit a home run with your review, Jacqui. I read Jill’s book as soon as it was published and kind of blushed at myself. I don’t read straight out sweet romance. No way, no how. But wait, I relished every page of A Mother for HIs Twins. Because who doesn’t like a story with believable characters who hurt, smile, retreat, fear, yet ultimately embrace love?
    Bette’s poetry is sublime haiku. I live in MA, close enough to Maine that I find myself nodding my head while reading her poetry, feeling the life of New England nature through her words.
    And DW Peach’s work? She should be “discovered” by some bigwig publisher, because the way she strings words together and builds a world that we all dive into when we read her books – it’s genius.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I haven’t read Bette’s haiku, but I have read her novel – Dog Bone Soup – and I know just how wonderful a writer she is. As for Sunwielder…I truly believe it’s one of Diana’s best, and her knowledge of military tactics and strategies left me gobsmacked. Great reviews, all. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Jacqui, a treat this morning to read your wonderful reviews of these three terrific books. Romance, poetry and fantasy – a winning combination! These are all books I look forward to reading, a couple already on my kindle! I love the quotes you’ve included to give a flavour of the writing. I lingered over Bette’s haikus, feeling the shift of seasons. Beautiful post … I feel like spending a day curled up in bed, just reading!😀

    Liked by 6 people

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