Picture of author.
8 Works 38 Members 17 Reviews

Series

Works by L. Diane Wolfe

Mike (2007) 7 copies
James (2006) 7 copies
Lori (2004) 5 copies
Sarah (2009) 5 copies

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Wolfe, L. Diane
Other names
Spunk On A Stick
Places of residence
North Carolina, USA
Occupations
Professional speaker
author
photographer
Short biography
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, ties all of her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one complete, enthusiastic package. Her YA series, The Circle of Friends, features morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents. Ten years associating with a motivation training system and experience as a foster parent gave her the in-depth knowledge of relationships, personality traits and success principles. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, manages an online writer’s group, and contributes to several other sites. www.thecircleoffriends.net www.spunkonastick.net

Members

Reviews

Sweet can only be tied to the word romance in this exciting read, which holds tons of tension and a dark bite.

Anna works in a pub under her father, who is anything but a kind parent. Her life is miserable, and every moment a danger to setting her father's violent temper off. When a group happens by, who is on the quest and needs a guide, Anna volunteers to go with them. But the journey is anything but nice, and she soon learns that she's traveling with blood-thirsty vampires, who only see her as food. The only thing keeping her alive is her knowledge, but that's a thin lifeline when dwelling amongst monsters.

When I heard this was 'sweet romance' and saw the cover, which is anything but the normal cute cover I've come to expect in this genre, I was more than a little curious. This is a sweet romance (there is a tiny bit more, which does push that border, though) but carries a delicious, dark bite, which I can't remember seeing before. And that's amazing.

Anna's situation is awful and draws the reader's sympathy right away. The constant turmoil she lives in sets the perfect background to explain why she's more than ready to head off with a strange and unfriendly group of travelers...any escape, even a dangerous one, offers hope in her situation. Little by little, the tension grows from there and creates a dark background with just the right amount of uncertainty and fear to keep those pages turning. There are very unexpected twists and turns at all the right places, and there's never a boring moment the entire way through.

The sweet romance holds a very dark tone in so far that it's not cute and cuddly. I did enjoy that this is not a love-at-first-sight and takes more than a little time to build. The hero, actually, is quite the opposite, at first, which allows the romance to dribble in...at that after a bit of time. This allows the shadow side of the story to flow without restraint and makes sure that its the action and tension, which stay front and center until the very end. And yet, the romance is all there, and even promises a spicier moment or two (okay, spicy-light).

This was a fun dive into a different type of sweet romance, and I'm looking forward to see where the next tale heads because I've heard there are more to come.
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tdrecker | Mar 14, 2023 |
From my blog:

This was my first book by author (and motivational speaker) L. Diane Wolfe. I have not read any of the previous books in this young adult series but Ms. Wolfe stressed that I could pick up Book V without a problem. And she was right.

While the main character in this book, Heather, was introduced in the earlier books (along with supporting characters we meet), enough background information and character descriptions are given so that this book can be a stand alone in and of itself.

Interestingly enough, I wasn't sure that I liked Heather for the first third of even half of the book. I found her frustrating but she kept me interested and I never lost focus of the story. It came to me like a lightening bolt that Heather acted quickly, foolishly and without thinking at times because she was in her early to mid-twenties and she was very independent (or trying to be). In other words, very much like myself at that age. Once I was hit over the head with this literary 2x4, I understood Heather completely. She is definitely, to quote Ms. Wolfe, "ornery". She's argumentative and she's competitive. However, she is an excellent role model for teen girls who want to excel in sports and who strive to be independent.

Book V: Heather showcases just enough basketball (Heather's passion) to delight sports fans and athletes and yet not so much that sports novices would be overwhelmed or puzzled. I particularly enjoyed Heather's relationship with her parents, as it seemed very realistic and well written. In fact, I felt I would like her family if I met them and each member reminded me of my own family or a friend's family.

The cancer storyline is the "heavy" of the book but it's thoughtfully written, without unnecessary trauma.

The romantic portion of the story, with Heather most certainly meeting her match, is somewhat predictable to this mother of a teenager but I still appreciated watching her relationship with Mark progress and how both of them, not just Heather, made subtle and not so subtle changes in order to accomodate their growing feelings.

The strongest part of the book is Ms. Wolfe's ability to convey a message of strength and perseverance through her writing. Heather has many obstacles to overcome during the course of this book, ones that many of us face, and she tackles them and reacts in a fashion that is best described as brutally honest.

The message received from Book V: Heather is that life is going to throw you some curve balls and it sure isn't fair but you will emerge stronger and know yourself better.

I would recommend The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather to readers of all ages who want a good, strong story, with a positive role model, and who want to be encouraged and feel satisfied at the end of the book.
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LoriHedgpeth | 6 other reviews | Apr 4, 2010 |
This series of books is considered to be part of the YA fiction genre, but they seem to reach into a place in my heart every time that I read one of them. I have only read a couple of YA fiction novels, not really sure if this is a genre that I want to continue with, but I know I can never go wrong with one of Wolfe's novels.

Although this story is about Heather, I believe that it is just as much about Mark and his problems and how they come together to work things out as a team. These two strong and independent people had to reach deep within their souls to realize that they had something special to offer to other people, rather than only selfishly considering their personal well being.

Heather has always had a strong relationship with both of her parents, but when her father becomes ill she thinks that she has to be the one to take care of everything for her mother. Since Heather lived in Clemson where she worked as an assistant basketball coach it became very frustrating for her to not be able to be there for her mother at all times. So she would find herself having feelings of anger towards her younger sister Dawn when Dawn would not step up to the plate and take on the responsibility that Heather could not fulfill when she wasn't around.

I found myself very upset with Heather's attitude toward Dawn throughout most of the book. As an older sibling that no longer lives at home, I think that you automatically expect the younger sibling to take on more responsibility without taking into account the fact that they are still young and everyone deals with grief differently. I finally let up on Heather about halfway through the book when I realized that I probably treated my younger sister in a similar manner years ago. As the book proceeds and they deal with their relationship issues, I found that I couldn't stop the tears from flowing.

Mark is another strong-willed individual that happens to be a workaholic so he never seems to have much extra time for leisure. From the moment that Heather walked into his office at the car lot that his father owns, that attitude slowly chips away. Mark also has a very strong anti-marriage attitude since his parents divorced when he was quite young, so the last thing that he expects is to fall in love with Heather. Since they both have very demanding work schedules and sometimes they can only see each other once a week, falling in love seems to be a very unlikely scenario so he considers their relationship to be a matter of convenience.

I loved watching Mark and Heather grow emotionally throughout this book. As they dealt with the problems that arose, they found that they could count on each other for strength rather than trying to go it alone. This book was full of surprises that will keep the reader engaged both mentally and emotionally. I also want to stress that just because this book is part of a series it really does stand alone quite well. I have only read one other book in the series and I had no problem becoming immersed into the pages. With themes of love, grief, and forgiveness I think that this book will be loved by not only young adults, but anyone looking for a touching story.
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jo-jo | 6 other reviews | Mar 23, 2010 |
I was a little leery of this fifth book as Heather was never one of my favorite characters. In fact, even in this book I disliked her personality and the way she treated her younger sister. Despite her sister being lazy I found Heather’s reactions to be disproportional and over blown. Still I found myself enjoying this book a lot. I enjoyed seeing the progression of her relationship with Matt’s older brother. Both their personalities were very strong and intriguing. Seeing how they adapted to each other’s little quirks was great and I loved seeing their relationship progress. Another great part of this book is seeing updates on how the character’s from the previous books are doing. So despite never really coming to like Heather I started to understand her and thought this was a nice completion to the series.… (more)
 
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dasuzuki | 6 other reviews | Mar 3, 2010 |

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Works
8
Members
38
Popularity
#383,442
Rating
4.1
Reviews
17
ISBNs
12