John Howell’s new book: Circumstances of Childhood

Please welcome guest author, John Howell to this special edition blog! 

Circumstances of Childhood

By John W. Howell

Circumstances of Childhood final front


Available on Kindle

Shipping on October 1st. Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt:

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio.

John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books:


Available on Amazon

Thanks John for sharing your book with us! I’ve ordered  my copy! 

Time Enough at last…

the leaf

One of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone TV show from 1959 is, “Enough Time at Last”. It follows Mr. Henry Bemis in his daily life. All he wants to do is read, but he never gets a chance. His wife belittles him for reading, going as far as to vandalize his books. His boss at the bank wants him to work —not read– leaving him no place he can do it. Finally, one day he’s able to sneak off and read on a break in the Bank’s vault when a huge explosion occurs. He finds everything he’s known gone. He tries to make the best of it, but finds himself lonely and almost takes his life. This is when he runs across a library with all the books intact. It’s everything he’s wanted. He spends a lot of time sorting through the books in large stacks– or preparing for this perfect moment. Proudly he announces, “There’s enough time at last”, but then the worst possible thing happens. His glasses shatter and his response is “That’s not fair at all” –and it wasn’t. But, even with the sad outcome of this story it has always made me think about what I want in my own life. How I put things off I want to do, because I have decided there isn’t enough time or I’m waiting for that “perfect moment” that never comes. Sometimes we might get what we consider the “perfect moment”, but then it doesn’t last, like with poor Mr. Bemis.

I got one of those moments in my life with my “empty nest”. I finally had time to write and I did. As it always happens in life these “perfect moments” we wait for, don’t last–or our glasses break. My moment was gone as my empty nest is now over flowing. First, my granddaughter stayed with us for the last few weeks. Next, she was followed by her three siblings, mother (my daughter) and step dad. Four of them ended up living in our travel trailer out front, while my oldest grandchild is living in the house with his sister with us, or as we are called: Papa and Memaw. Moving and cleaning have been a big part of our lives lately.

Many things led up to this event that would require a more detailed blog, perhaps in the future. The biggest adjustment for me was finding myself back in the mother role. Every other week there is homework, bedtime routines, getting them to school, doctor appointments, disorders, food orders, shopping excursions, getting just one more snack…then I fall exhausted into my bed.

I ran into our neighbor at the bus stop picking up her grandchild. We used to car pool together with our kids- many moons ago. Here we both were again, with the next generation.

This current situation got me to think a lot about my own grandparents. They were always there for me– it  has gone full circle. Funny how life does that. Although, this wasn’t in my life plans, maybe this was what life had planned for me. I’m the first to admit I have more lessons I need to learn. Yet, some negativity peeked through—should I stop writing? Should I wait or take a break until that “perfect moment” comes again?

No! The future can never guarantee the “perfect time” will come again. I have an option Mr. Bemis did not have. I can repair those broken glasses…even if it is only with some tape or glue. I know this situation will likely be a blessing in disguise, even if my first reaction was “You have to be kidding me”. So, I will do the next best thing and not wait for things to be perfect and still do the things I enjoy in life — which includes writing.


Fun Note and first blessing in disguise: My seven-year-old granddaughter is able to hula hoop and read at the same time– for over a half hour.   I’m not able to hula hoop, no matter how hard I try… but I can read:)


This Second Chance has been released! Giveaway to follow soon!

Anyone interested in hosting a blog for “This Second Chance” release in the next couple of weeks–please let me know. I will send you the information. I appreciate any and all help:)

I’m back to work on The Button and Just her Poetry.

Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!

Newsletters went out. This month’s Hat winners (picked by my husband and grand-kids) were: Rabia, Jan, and Jennifer!  Many free copies of “This Second Chance” were sent out! Thanks for all the support!

Book reviews next week.

So much is going on in the world, including hurricanes and earthquakes. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by natural disasters, and other events.

Happy Fall!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Pay it Forward #PIF #RRBC F. B.Veneziano @fbveneziano1

This is a special edition blog to honor Rave Review Book Club’s Pay it Forward Day! I’m pleased to introduce author F. B.(Frances/Fran) Veneziano!

Frances V


About F. B. Veneziano:

F. B. Veneziano attended Post University and majored in accounting. She also minored in Human Relations. After working in both fields she found her passion—teaching young children. She returned to school, attended Indian River State College and received her teaching credentials in Early Childhood Education.
She left teaching and decided to pursue her dream of writing. Her first book was a young adult novel entitled THE ARMY OF ORPHANS: THE BEGINNING, the first in a trilogy. The second book, RETAKING PERVAISKE: THE ARMY OF ORPHANS II was released June 1st of this year.
F. B. grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. Moved to Connecticut when she was nineteen. Years later she moved to Florida where she met her husband, Paul, to whom she has been married for thirty-one years. They have two daughters, Cassondra and Stacey and a son, Jamie. Her passions are family, friends, children, and animals.

Here are her books:


The Army of Orphans: The Beginning 

army of orphans


“It’s been a long time since I have picked up a book and had such a hard time putting it down. Veneziano does an amazing job capturing the readers attention with this one. A+++”—Danny the Banker (Five Stars)

“Recommend it highly to teens and beyond! Hope there’s more from this author!”—Jan Brooker (Five Stars)

Their mother was killed in an auto accident. Their father became an abusive drunk who abandoned them. The state put them in an orphanage where their abuse continued.
This is an all too common story in some Eastern European countries today. Social orphans deserted by their parents. Abused, discarded, and living on the streets while battles rage around them.
But, these orphans survive and escape the orphanage along with their close friends. Not to live on the streets, but to create a home for themselves; a home worth protecting. With their “family” of fellow orphans, they will fight for the freedom of their country.

Retaking Pervaiske: The Army of Orphans II 

book 2 frances v

“Looking forward to another story by this author. The ending will leave you wanting more!”– Michelle Robinson Shealy (Five Stars)

“I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters and the struggles they faced being separated from their families and bonding together as a family of orphans. Can’t wait for the next book!”– Amazon Customer! (Five Stars)

The orphans are resistance fighters. The orphans are kids. For months they’ve been helping political prisoners escape to the north. Their efforts have earned them the name
‘The Army of Orphans.’
As the revolution escalates, the Orphans find themselves in situations that get more and more dangerous by the day.
The place—Pervaiske, Ekrunia, Eastern Europe. Alex Krisko, his little brother, Anton, and five of their fellow orphans had fled the Luhansk Boarding School for Orphaned and Abandoned Children (an orphanage run by the state) more than a year ago. They created a home and a family in the cellar of a bombed out suburban ruin left over from the People’s Revolution more than thirty years ago.
The time—2048. Nothing has changed in the last thirty years. The country is poor in spite of its wealth of natural resources. The people are oppressed. They revolt.

I added those books to my Kindle. I can’t wait to read them!


Link to F.B. Veneziano’s Website

F.B. Veneziano Twitter

F.B. Veneziano Facebook

F.B. Veneziano Goodreads


Thank you for stopping by and supporting F.B. Veneziano!


A Fresh Coat of Paint…

before and after

One of the ways I spent this summer was doing house projects–including painting the family room. It turned out to be a healing experience for me.

It started off as a modest project of painting the family room blue. I left the painted wood wall for last. Should I paint it blue, too– or lightly sand it I wondered? That didn’t turn out to be a simple question.

Twenty-five years ago, it was a lovely wooden wall. My husband had installed a nice oak floor that matched the wooden cabinets in that room. I like the look of natural wood, but I also enjoy the look of wood with a light coat of white paint (where the grain shows through). One morning after getting my two young daughters off to school, I felt compelled to paint this room. That “particular” day it felt “too woody” to me. I thought how hard could it be to make the wood look like I was envisioning it in my head.  Well, without researching how to do it, I ended up with a wall covered in paint and no wood grain to be found. My husband was “surprised” when he came home from work, but also patient. You see, the night before I’d had my third miscarriage. My way to deal with the emotional pain was to paint and cover up that beautiful wooden wall.

We lived with it until this last summer. I thought how hard could it be to sand a bit of that paint off… and see the wood grain. I started with the “distressed” look. I tried to like it, but well, I didn’t. So, I got to work and sanded all the paint off that section of the wall. There was the wood I remembered from years ago peeking out of the white. Determined, I got to work with my little circular sander. It took all my strength holding it up and pushing against the wall to chip away at the white paint, but it was happening bit by bit.

My husband came home from work again – and stared at the wall. He realized the work we had ahead. He went into the garage and returned with his heavy-duty sander. The paint came off faster (with the right sand paper), but it was also heavier to hold up. My arms ached at the end of each day, but my husband would take over when he got home from work. We continued this for several long days into the next weekend.

The room was off limits during this time, with sheets hung up to prevent the dust from spreading throughout the house. Each day we’d clean up the mess.

Finally, on a Sunday morning my husband wearily pronounced he was through. He declared this was a project he never wanted to do again…I completely agreed. All we had left was the cleanup and painting of the trim and ceiling. Gee, was that all? Even with my best efforts, the dust made it throughout the house. Clean up was a whole other project I focused on, while he finished up the painting.

Now, we have a beautiful room and I have closure. The time came to sand all of that paint away and bring back the beauty again. Writing No Fairy Tale helped me see some patterns in my life and let them go– finally.  It may have been just painting a room and sanding a wall – but it removed what was buried inside me all these years. This summer I expunged it and exposed the possibilities that life offers—including the birth of a son whose 23rd birthday is this week!

This Second Chance will be released this week! Watch for it! Giveaway to follow.

Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!

Monthly Newsletter is coming out the 20th! Check your email if you are subscribed.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Books I’ve been reading!

all book covers to use

Here are some awesome 4 or 5 star books I’ve been reading:

Finding Katie

by Harmony Kent

“Finding Katie” is a beautifully written story about a difficult subject. Katie’s a seventeen-year-old girl who cuts herself to deal with childhood abuse and flashbacks. Being written in first-person present really pulled me into the story and I found it a hard book to put down. Katie ends up in a mental institute after she cuts herself too deeply. Although this isn’t light reading, I found a glimmer of hope when a nurse stepped in to help this young woman. I rooted for Katie and felt her pain as she opened-up to herself. This may have been a fictional tale, but this is a reality for some children. I finished this with a little more understanding of the people who pull others out of that darkness created by their loved ones. I highly recommend this psychological thriller.

by Staci Troilo
“Bleeding Heart” is a book that has a little bit of everything: history, culture, magic, romance, mystery, and action. The characters are strongly written and include four sisters who lost their father and a group of ‘brothers’ whose job it is to protect them. Gianni is one of the brothers who shows up at the architectural firm the sisters own and meets Frankie, the oldest sister. They’re passionately drawn to each other as he tries to protect her without her knowing and she unwillingly accepts his offer of help when she finds her car tires slashed. Then, there are the secrets. The brothers carry knives that provide them with powers, the sisters don’t know they are descendants of the Medici family or someone wants these Medici descendant’s dead. There’s plenty of action that makes it a page turner as well as details of Italian culture. I especially loved when they were at mass, cooking or interacting like brothers and sisters do. Ms. Troilo wrote an action-packed book that I fully enjoyed. I look forward to reading the rest of the series to see where the story goes.

by Michelle Abbott
This is a story that follows eighteen-year-old Pia. She is on a family vacation before she heads off to college. Pia quickly ends up meeting a local young man, Trey – who she doesn’t trust. They develop a friendship and steamy romance during her vacation. Their story is told first through Pia’s point of view and then finishes with Trey’s perspective. This makes for a deeper understanding of a book that is not only about a relationship, but touches on mental health issues and death. There was a stark contrast between how well Pia’s family got along and Trey’s family issues. I was rooting for Trey to overcome his impossible situation and Pia to recognize it. I loved the setting at the ocean and could see myself taking the same vacation. This is a story I enjoyed and look forward to reading more from Ms. Abbott.

by S Jackson, A Raymond, M Schmidt

This is a book that you can read with your child – and both enjoy it. I first read it alone and found I enjoyed learning about Ellsworth’s history. Then, I read it to my seven-year-old granddaughter. She loved the animal illustrations and the party they threw to celebrate the town’s birthday. She particularly liked the dog illustrations, but laughed out loud at the squirrel at the end. “Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS 150th Birthday” is educational and entertaining. My granddaughter and I appreciated the history, story and animals. Although, I have the Kindle copy, I’m going to add the paperback to my grandchildren’s book collection. I recommend this book.

by R Kimbrell

“When Mr. Burns Dies: Behind the Tentacles Conspiracy” is a very well written and interesting conspiracy tale. It has strong main characters: Mr. Burns whose power seems to have consumed his humanity, and the young man Edgar who is Mr. Burns underling. It delves into classified programs and keeping them secret – at all costs. There’s payback and unforeseen results. The story line and characters kept my interest throughout. It was unnerving thinking this isn’t too far from the truth. I’ve always enjoyed a good conspiracy story- and Mr. Kimbrell provided that.


Unseen Motives (Driscoll Lake Series Book 1)

by Joan Hall

“Unseen Motives” is a mystery set in a small town. Stephanie is a successful author who comes back to her hometown after her aunt’s death. She hadn’t been there since her and her mother left after the murder/suicide her father was involved in. Now, she finds out what she thought was true, may not be. The characters are well written and the small town was charming. I could easily see myself living in the house Stephanie was staying in. There’s a bit of romance, rekindled friendships, and small-town gossip- along with the mystery. Although, I was able to figure out who the killer was—there was still an element of surprise I hadn’t expected. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series!

When I find an author I like,  I usually read all of their work. I haven’t been able to do that in my quest to read as many fellow indie authors as I can. I quickly have become a instant fan of many indie authors since I’ve started this. I plan to take a break in my “reading quest” and go back and finish some of the series I’ve started…after one more book. I really look forward to finishing what I’ve started and continue my reading quest!
I post my reviews here on the website of indie authors under: “Books I’ve Read”. The only order they are in – is the last one I’ve read is at the top.  I broke them up into fiction/poetry, non-fiction, YA and children. When you have some time check it out and let me know what you think! Someday I may get in there and arrange them alphabetically…
Still on track to release This Second Chance in the next week or two!
Stay tuned for Dolphin’s Cave!
Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Part four of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

ocean beach night (1)

Hidden worlds around us, is a repeating theme in my work. Here are a couple of poems from No Fairy Tale that I wrote while working on Dolphin’s Cave that reflect that sentiment.


Deep under the sea

Is another place,

Not just for fish

Or humans to explore.

It’s their world,

Unseen by mortal eyes.

They know it isn’t safe

To show themselves just yet.

They welcome back

Another one

Who had been lost

From their fold.

They are safe,

And they wait

For their time

To come forth.

Until then they watch,

Wait, and swim

With the dolphins,

Hiding in plain sight.



I can breathe.

I shouldn’t be able to,

But I can.

In an underwater deep chill,

I can breathe.

I am a part of this world

Hidden from humans.

Am I even human anymore?

Not that I care now.

I am not afraid.

I know this is where I was meant to be.

Deeper I go.

Ahead is a cave

That I enter,

Riding on the back of a dolphin.

My eyes are strangely soothed

As I enter an underwater city

Ringed by golden towers anchored

Firmly in the rocky substratum

Of this marine world.

So many faces

Like yours are watching,

As though they have been

Long expecting.

It is strange and scary.

You approach them.

When you smile weakly,

They smile back.

This is home now.

You know it.

Without being told,

One reaches out

And takes your hand.

You don’t pull away.

You are home.



This Second Chance is almost ready! I just finished putting my final touches on it after a thorough edit. I sent it to my first reader, Danielle to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Thanks, Danielle:) Then it heads back to formatting, Monday! So mid-September is my best guess for its new release date! Very excited!

Dolphin’s Cave…stay tuned.

As you know when I moved from Wix to WordPress, I lost all my old blogs. So, I was thinking about running some of my favorites here (along with new blogs). I will continue to post my book reviews (new ones next week). So, I will let you know if it is a new blog – or a blast from the past!

No Fairy Tale is a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Finalist for Poetry General Category!

Sending thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the hurricane that hit Texas – and helping where I can.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn