Staci Troilo’s New Release: “Tortured Soul”

Please welcome today’s guest: Staci Troilo! Today is the release of her new book Tortured Soul, which is already on my Kindle!

TS cover

Hi, Denise. Thanks so much for hosting me today. I know how busy you are with your own release, and I appreciate you taking the time to host me.

You’re just like me—interested in multiple genres. I can only assume your readers are, too. It was hard for me to choose an excerpt for that reason, but I finally settled on one of my favorites. Here it is:

TS teaser 4

The trees and brush were thick that deep in the woodlands, but there was a bridge about a hundred meters away. Maybe he could stand on one of the piers and get a better look around from a higher vantage point.

He high-stepped through the water calling her name. His pace was so fast, his splashing so loud, he wouldn’t hear her reply if she answered him. Coz stopped when he got to the bridge and yelled her name again. Still no response, so he started to climb onto the right baluster.

It fell apart in his hand. He looked at the left side of the bridge. That one was already crumbled.

From below the embankment came a feeble cough and a weak splash.

Coz looked down the hill. Toni was in the creek—the river—up to her neck. Her eyes were closed, and blood marred her forehead. The current crested over her, washing away the blood only to have fresh replace it.

“Toni!” He scrambled down the hill.

She didn’t reply. Her eyelids didn’t even flutter.

He waded into the water. The flow was strong, fast. She must have been holding onto a submerged branch or something so she didn’t float away.


Still she didn’t respond. Her lips were turning blue.

He fought against the rushing water, finally reached her side and took her hand. How was she holding on if he could reach her hand? “Toni. I’m here. I’ve got you.”

The current crested over her head. He tried to raise her up, but she didn’t budge.

Cazzo. She was stuck.


Protection is safety. Until it stifles.

After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.

Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.

Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.

As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.

Universal Purchase Link

Troilo Color Photo RT smaller

Author Bio and Links:

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Tortured Soul Info | Medici Protectorate Info | Amazon Page | BookBub | Goodreads | TwitterOther Social Media Links


August Book Reviews

Hexborn (The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1)

by A.M. Manay

I loved Ms. Manay’s November Snow Series. I wondered if a new story line could rival that…yes it could. In fact, it could even surpass it. I found myself drawn deep into “Hexborn”. Shiloh grew up considered unclean by the population even though the laws against her kind had disappeared. Shunned, she was being educated to use her strong magic. Dealing with illness and deformity she develops an inner grace and strength. Suddenly when her teacher dies Silas arrives to bring her to the King’s court. Silas seems the perfect villain and I love the relationships she builds in court. Then there were surprises along Shiloh’s journey that she answered with her heart. I admired that about her. The flashbacks were skillfully used so the reader could understand how things developed. What her body lacked, her fortitude made up for.  I’m hooked on the magical girl with pink hair and eyes. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  If I could give this more than five stars I would. It may be a YA, but it’s for adults, too.  I highly recommend this book!


By Mark Bierman

I knew the topic going into reading this fictional book: child trafficking. Mr. Bierman shows the reader the process, including how children are kidnapped from their families–or the worst when their families sell them into slavery. The poverty and greed that uses children…I have a hard time absorbing that and worried this would be a hard read for me, but it wasn’t. The storyline centers on two American men doing missionary work in Haiti. A young girl is kidnapped, and they start on a journey to find her. The story’s told through different characters, which held my interest as they became interwoven. The action is non-stop and I had a hard time putting it down. I was fully invested in the characters and had a range of emotions from joy to sadness. This is a book that can make you think about an unpleasant subject, while being a good fictional story that entertains. I can easily recommend “Vanished” especially if you love action and the depth of a thought-provoking subject put together.

My appreciation and thanks goes out to: Wendy, Staci, Sandra, and Suzanne for offering your blogs next month to help celebrate The Button’s release:)

Starting next week, and the whole month of September, my weekly blogs will focus on The Button and its upcoming release! (I’ll still be doing the Fall Edition of “Books That Changed Me” on 9-22)Button_covEbkFinal

The Button is now available for pre-order:    Amazon Link

                                                                                       Barnes & Noble Link

                                                                                        Smashwords Link

Embrace your inner child by reading an amazing book! D.L. Finn

Trying new things

HaiKu Moonlight D.L. Finn

My daughter Danielle, who you met in a previous blog, got my husband and I involved in a worldwide scavenger hunt or what was installed on my cell phone–GISH. She was our group leader and worked on many things including earning money for charity. I was given tasks to do during this week-long event.

The first task was to write a poem that rhymed and included world history. I got that done in less than a half hour and sent it off to her to submit.

Another task I was given was to learn a new skill. I puzzled over that one and then decided to write the Haiku above. That 5-7-5 poem was a lot harder to write than I would have imagined. It was more time consuming for me, but I got it done.

Then, one night we got together with my daughter and a friend to finish up our tasks.  I helped out with a picture.  My part was to hold up a blanket, so it was under the sun while Danielle “read” the setting sun the book “Goodnight Moon”.

Next, I got to judge a belly flop contest at a neighbor’s swimming pool. The flops sounded painful to me, but everyone got a 10! I personally placed the gold medal around the winner’s neck. The following event I was required in the pool to do water ballet to heavy metal music. I think we looked pretty good as my husband filmed us going in a circle bringing our arms in and out of the circle and then jumping together.

Out of the pool and wrapped in our towels Danielle placed large goggle-eyes on the neighbor’s tractor. Moving the bucket up and down got the eyes moving or that task. Finally, the “Goodnight Moon” book was presented to the neighbor’s son.

Back home again on our side of the street again, Danielle’s friend tried to fling chocolate pudding into my daughter’s mouth from three feet back while I filmed that. All you can hear is my laughter.

Later that night I helped my husband on his task to learn a new skill.  I showed him how to do some night photography…or make me look like a ghost. Boo!

Jeff pic smaller for gish

Joining my daughter’s team became about: spending time with loved ones, learning and trying something new, and laughter. Things we need in our lives, especially the laughter.

Here is the the poem I wrote during this event.


Since the beginning of humankind

We have pushed forward with our mind

With the useful first stone wheel

To the current luxurious automobile

From revolutions that tore down a wall

To gruesome wars that produced bombs to fall

This mind has been used for bad: including pure greed

Or for generosity, charity, altruism and to lead

Now in this time in history humankind has a choice

To decide which side, we are on and raise our voice

We can stand by our fellow human being

And lift our world up to a place our minds are seeing.

Embrace your inner child with laughter! D.L. Finn

Favorite Books

IMG_2025I did a survey a couple years ago on my blog:

  1. What was your favorite children’s book?
  2. What was your favorite adult book?
  3. Who was your favorite book character/person?

I obtained responses from either over the internet or in-person. I wanted to share those original results again:


Favorite Kid Books

More than one vote (series included): 

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (3)

Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault (3)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (3) D.L. Finn’s pick

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene (3)

Amelia Bedelia Series  by Herman Parish and Lynne Avril (2)

Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope (2)

Children’s Bible (2)

Curious George by Margret Rey and H.A. Rey (2)

Are you there God it’s me, Margret? By Judy Blume (2)

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright (2)

Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (2)

Single votes (series included):

A Ghost in the Attic by Suzan Reid

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Alice’s Adventure Under Ground by Lewis Carroll

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

BFG by Roald Dahle

Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen and Mark Buehner

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Boxcar children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Choose your Own Adventure by R.A. Montgomery

Cinderella by Jane Werner

Dick and Jane Series by Penguin Young Readers

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahle

Gilbert and the lost Tooth by Diane deGroat

Tanglewood Tales: Greek Mythology for Kids by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Little house on the Prairie books by Laura Engle Wilder

Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Love you forever by Robert M. Munsch and Shelia McGraw

Loudmouse by Richard Wilber

Magic Tree by Mary Pope Osborne

Nothing Fair in the 5th grade! By Barthe DeClements

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Polar Express by Chris Van Allburg

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

Sounder by William H. Armstrong

The Best Little Monkeys in the World by Natalie Standiford

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahle

The Strawberry Roan by Darragh Metzger

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak

Favorite Adult Books

More than one vote (series included):

The Bible (6)

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (3)

Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Series) by George R. R. Martin (2)

The Stand by Stephen King (2) D.L. Finn’s Pick

Single votes (series included):

A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan

Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman

Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

By the Light of Day by Dean Koontz

Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Foxfire Light by Janet Daily

Hot White Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout

Interview with a Vampire by Ann Rice

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Message from Nam by Danielle Steel

Old man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Men of the Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels

The Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Girl with a Snake Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Last Ride by Nicolas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Prophet  by Kahlil Gibran

The Sphere by Michael Crichton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Voice of the Eagle by Linda Lay Shuler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

You Can’t Win by Jack Black

Favorite all-time Book Character/Person:

More than one vote:

Jesus from The Bible (2)

Single votes:

Amelia from Amelia Bedelia Series

Baloo from Jungle Book

Bilbo from The Hobbit

David from The Bible

Charlie from I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo! by Charles M. Schulz

Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice

Ender from Enders Game

Frodo from Lord of Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Harry from Harry Potter Series

Hercules from Hercules Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie —D.L. Finn’s very hard pick!

Hester from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Jack from Jack Reacher Series by Dan Ames

Jason from Jason Bourne Series by Eric Van Lustbader

Jessie from Boxcar Children

Jo from Little Woman

Katniss from Hunger Games

Lestat from Interview with a Vampire

Mordred from King Author and his Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green

Moses from The Bible

Mouse from Loud Mouse

Nancy from Nancy Drew series 

Noah from The Bible

Odd from Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz

Roth from The Dark Elements Complete Collection by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sherlock from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sodapop from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Stephanie from Stephanie Plum Series

Stuart from The Stand

Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander from Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind

Extra–just the author:

Debbie Macomber

Dick Francis

Lynn Harris

Patricia Cornwell

Stephen King

Terry McMillan

I hope you enjoyed this list! Was your favorite on it?

I might try this again someday–as long as I don’t have to manually keep track of it again!

I’m looking for blog hosts in September to help launch “The Button”. Email me at: if you are interested! Thanks:)

Embrace your inner child by reading an amazing story! D.L. Finn




Part 2 of Summer Short Stories Reviews!

Lost and Found: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

I enjoyed this short story of a woman, Marissa, who’s about to get married and her older sister Miranda who has feelings for the groom. The characters were so well done I found myself disliking the groom, Johan. I liked all the twists this story took. It’s a fast and satisfying read that I couldn’t put down. If you like love stories with some karma thrown in…you’ll enjoy this one!

Hexed: A Purr-fect Catastrophe

by Wendy Jayne

Cassidy is a witch who falls hard for Hunter the warlock. There’s one problem, they can’t be together. Someone has put a hex on her with an entertaining outcome. It’s cute how Cassidy tries to avoid Hunter’s advances. I like when they start working together to resolve the “issue”. This was a fun quick-read full of magic and frustration!

Zombie Dawn

by Rhani D’Chae

It starts with the natural death of two neighbors. What happens next isn’t natural when they become zombies in this chilling short story about the inception of a zombie apocalypse. It was clear how quickly it spread, and I felt the sheer terror when someone was caught by a zombie. I understood the confusion of the characters when they saw people they knew and loved now monsters. This was a story I couldn’t stop reading, with the action not stopping from the moment it started.  If you enjoy horror stories, like I do, you’ll love this!

A CITIZEN’S GROUP IN ACTION: Saving a Train Station

By Shirley Harris-Slaughter

This is a detailed and interesting insight into a group of people who are pulled together, after failed attempts, to save a historical train station. I never gave much thought about the work and planning that goes into an event to accomplish this. I enjoyed learning about it.

Feeders: Madeson Reid, PI: Paranormal Short Story.

By Wendy Jayne

This takes us to a time when humans share the world with vampires and robots. I loved the characters, especially the robot secretary with ideas of her own. The PI was investigating human deaths, while navigating vampire celebrity and the undercurrent vampire and robot policies. This short story has mystery, monsters, and was thought provoking—a perfect combination!

Lost Time: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

Two sisters love the same man, but only one gets him. Nellie carries many emotions from winning the man, David, who is her husband. She relives her past on a trip to see a lawyer.  This is a quick read full of guilt, anger and some love.

The release date for “The Button” is scheduled for September 12th–with a pre-order available in mid-August. Now, here’s the part I always dread…the promotion.  I’m looking to promote the entire month of September. Please email me at:  if you can lend me your blog;)


Embrace your inner child by reading a good story! D.L. Finn