Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA–John Howell @HowellWave

Watch Write Showcase Tour

The Road by John W. Howell Ó 2019

John Howell (1)

Just a couple more hours and I’ll be able to rest my eyes. Been on this damn highway for what seems like forever. His head slowly nods until the rumble strip noise causes him to jerk awake. “I have been asleep,” he yells. He yanks the wheel, and the tires screech in protest as he swerves back on to the highway. He can feel his heart in his chest and pressure in his eyes. In an instant, he regrets being so weak as to give in to the physical need. He also becomes alarmed since now he knows that sleep could overtake him without notice.  One second, his eyes could be open and the next closed. Thank God for the jarring and noise of the rumble strips since without its alarm, he is sure he would have ended up piled into a tree.


As his heart settles down, he concentrates on the road ahead. There’s someone at the side about a half mile away. A hitchhiker by the looks of a backpack. A sign in the person’s hand is not readable at this distance. The thought occurs that It would be a good thing to have someone else in the car to help him stay awake.  Of course, there are dangers in picking up a stranger. As he gets closer, he can see that the hitchhiker is not a guy like he thought. It’s a young woman about his age.  She is wearing some kind of overalls, but the distinctive female form still comes through. He decides to slow down and assess the situation. A girl makes all the difference in trying to reach a decision for or against a pickup. After all, who knows where this could lead? He does know that in all probability, she is not likely to stick a knife in his ribs and demand his wallet after a couple of miles down the road.


He eases the car to the shoulder and can’t help kick up some dust in the process. The sign is facing him even as the person turns away to avoid the dust storm he has created. Kansas City in black marker on cardboard is all it says.


He opens the passenger door and waves her over. “I’m going to Kansas City. Want a ride?”

The young woman looks back at him, and he can tell she is doing an evaluation on the safety prospects of accepting a lift. She slowly hoists her backpack on to her shoulder and walks with hesitant steps toward the car. She puts her hand above her eyes to cut the glare of the sun and stops short of the door. She leans in. “Did you say you’re going to Kansas City?”

“Yes. Yes, I did. I also asked if you would like a ride.”

“That all depends on your intentions?”

“My intentions?”

“Yeah. You are offering a ride. How much will it cost me?”

“Cost you? I’m going to Kansas City. Your sign says Kansas City. Why would it cost you anything?”

“Just want to make sure is all.”

“No charge. I’ve been on the road forever, it seems, and I would welcome the company. My name is James.”

“Sorry, James. I know I sounded a little ungrateful, but I have also been on the road and have met several guys that think I owe them something for a ride.”

“I can understand that. Let’s just say you can ride or not it’s your choice. No other decisions to be made.”

“Fair enough. I accept your offer. My name is Sarah.” She slides in and slams the door.

“Nice to meet you, Sarah. You want to put your backpack in the rear?”

“No, I’ll just keep it here in the front with me. You can never tell.”

“Tell what?”

“When I’ll have to bail. Everything I own is in this pack, and I sure wouldn’t want to leave it behind.”

“I get it. No use trusting someone just cause they say you can.”

“Right. I think I like you, James.”

“Wainwright. My last name’s Wainwright. How about you?”

“Not sure I have a last name. I go by Sarah.”

“No last name? How can that be?”

“You going to start this car or is my fear well founded.”

James flushes as he turns the ignition. “Yeah, here we go.” He looks in the side mirror and signals as he pulls back on the highway.

“You are a cautious one. There’s no one for miles.”

“I guess it’s a habit from city driving.” He keeps checking in the mirror until he is up to highway speed

“Where you from, James?”

“New York. You?”

“I think I was originally from down south somewhere.”

“You don’t know?”

“Well, it’s been a long time.” She pauses.

James glances at her and sees that she is lost in thought somewhere. Her skin is fair, and she has the high cheekbones and lips of a runway model. She looks vaguely familiar, and he compares her looks to Joni Mitchell. There is that innocent, fragile look that makes you want to take care of her.

“I’m sorry. What did you say?” She is back.

“I didn’t say anything. I’m amazed you don’t know where you are from.”

“Well do you remember where you’re from or is it someone told you?”

She has a point. James only knew he was born in Chicago because his parents told him so. He lived in New York for twenty years so unless clued in he would have thought he lived there his whole life. “I guess I should rephrase the question. Where did you last live?”

“Yes, James. That makes a little more sense. I last lived in Dubuque, Iowa.”

“What a coincidence. I am driving from Dubuque. Do you believe that?”

“I can believe that. Someone once said there are only six degrees of separation of everyone on Earth. You and I traveling from Dubuque at the same time certainly falls into that realm.”

“Aw come on, Sarah. We are both going from Dubuque to Kansas City. That has to be more than a coincidence.”

“I never said I was going to Kansas City, James.”

“Wait. You have that sign that says Kansas City.”

“Doesn’t mean I’m going there.”

“What does it mean?”

“You think I know?”

“I’m getting a weird feeling here, Sarah. Like you aren’t telling me something.”

“Do you remember swerving after you ran off the highway?”

“What? Back there. Yeah, I remember almost falling asleep. Hey, wait a minute. How would you know about that?”

“Think a minute, James. How do you think I would know about that moment?”

“Sarah I’m too tired for guessing games. What is this all about?”

“Do you feel okay, James?”

“Yeah, just tired.”

“Look around. Do you see any other cars?”

“No, but I haven’t for a while. What are you trying to tell me, Sarah?”

“You fell asleep James.”

“When did I fall asleep? I know I nodded off, but when did I fall asleep?”

“Just before your car went off the road and you hit a cement culvert.”

“Now, you are joking. Right? Right, Sarah?”

“No joke, James. Look ahead. What do you see?”

“Uh up the road, you mean?”

“Yes, up the road.”

“Nothing but what looks like a sandstorm.”

“It’s no storm, James. It is nothing.”

“Who are you anyway?”

“Do you remember that little girl who went missing in the second grade?”

“Yeah, what does that have to do with you?”

“Does the nickname Jimmy Jeans mean anything?”

“That’s what Sarah called me in the second grade.”

“How did I know that?”

“You wouldn’t unless.”

“Unless I’m Sarah.”

“Oh My God. Sarah. It is you. Where have you been?”

“That’s not important. What is important is you were broken hearted when I vanished. You prayed for my return and made promises to God if only I would come back.”

“I never got over that either. I think of that little gir¾. I mean, I thought of you almost every day. Why didn’t I recognize you?”

“Cause I’m all grown up. There would be no way.”

“Where have you been Sarah. I have missed you so much.”

“Don’t cry, James. I’m here with you now.”

“Can you tell me what happened to you?”

“No, James, it’s not worth the time.”

“So why now? Why are you here now?”

“To help you, James.”

“To help me. How?”

“To understand what your life is like now.”

“Now? What do you mean?”

“You were in an accident, James. You ran off the road, and I am sorry to say your body didn’t survive. You are now going with me on an eternal trip.”

“You are saying I’m dead. I can’t believe that.  Look at me. I’m just as alive as you.”

“That’s right. You are.”

“Um, Sarah?”

“Yes, James.”

“You are dead too?”

“Yes, James. A man took me from school and killed me. They never found my body.”


“Don’t think about that now. Think about the future. Because you prayed so hard and missed me so much, I was given the honor of escorting you to the other side.”

“Other side? There’s a Future?”

“A wonderful one.  You and I for all time.”

“I would like that.”

“Take my hand then. Let’s be off.”

“I have more questions.”

“All in good time, James. All in good time.”

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

John W. Howell RWISA Author Page


where the rivers meet

Back when you pulled in the TV show “The Brady Bunch” with an antenna, everything was groovy, and people drove orange love bugs, I sat around the dinner table with my extended family. We would eat fried fish caught in the lake earlier in the day, the vegetables from my great grandfather’s garden, and there was always a freshly baked dessert. At my great grandparent’s cabin family was always welcome. There would be times when both of my great uncles would be there. I always loved when they visited because it meant an evening that would begin with jokes and laughter, as we passed the food around the table. It also meant that the two brothers would end up in a lively decision.

One brother wore bell-bottom jeans, a peace sign necklace, had long hair and a beard, while the other one sported a golf shirt, dress pants and had neatly trimmed hair. They couldn’t have been more opposite. The conversation always turned to politics, an area the brothers never agreed on. It would grow rather heated, as each brother stood their ground. Both are asking for proof—neither giving in to the other side. But as quickly as these loud debates began, they ended just as fast with a shake of the head or shrug. Soon the dishes were cleared, and everyone would settle down to play a game of cards together. The moment forgot—differences put aside.

How were these brothers able to disagree on so many things and remain best friends? To most, it must have seemed an odd match, but it worked for them. They did everything together, including work. One conservative running the family business, while the other one free-spirited—adding to the creative side of the company. Outside of work they were together for the holidays, sporting and charity events.  They based their bond on more than just mere ideas. They had family, memories, love, and they balanced each other out in a perfect blend.

When I first posted this blog in 2016, it was in honor of losing one of these great uncles at 92 years old. His brother grieved this loss in only a way he could. This week, we sadly lost this uncle at 94 years old. Although they are both gone from our world, I am comforted that they are together now.

What is left behind now is the memory of the love these two brothers shared. They were an example of how disagreement could be settled and moved past. They weren’t afraid of each other. They didn’t turn their backs when they didn’t agree. They knew both of what they offered was necessary. It wasn’t just one way or the other—it was both.

When I see all the disagreements between family and friends, I remember those nights long ago watching two opposite brothers put their differences aside. I saw that we didn’t always have to agree and we are in this together. That was a valuable lesson I took away from my childhood and carry within me now. I wanted to honor the example of love, hope, and wisdom. I will forever be grateful for being a part of that table with them so many years ago.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Welcome to the “THE CHOICE, the unexpected heroes” Blog Tour! @gmplano @4WillsPub #RRBC

Please give a warm welcome to fellow #RRBC #RWISA author, Gwen Plano and her newly released book, “The Choice, the unexpected heroes.” I’m very excited to have her here today!

The Choice by Gwen Plano

All the characters in THE CHOICE are fictional. However, one character mimics a real person within the Rave Reviews Book Club. Permission was granted to use his name and attempts were made to mirror his concerns and interests.

In the story, General Taylor telephones Ronald Yates and explains,

“Admiral Parker and I are investigating the murder of Brad Channing and Sarah O’Brien. The details of this remain classified, but I hope you can assist with one important component.”

His tone sounds reserved, “What might that be?”

“We need certain information to reach the public. If the networks receive it, they may distort and possibly bury it. So, we ask for your help. You were a journalist, and a good one. Do you know trustworthy news avenues? Independent sources who tell it as it is?”

Now he sounds eager, “This must be a hot story. Count me in. How many contacts do you need?”

“As many as you can provide.”

Ron offers the general a running list of sources and contacts. The admiral writes down the names. At the end of this, he explains, “When they report your findings, sir, it will only be a matter of minutes before the networks pick up the story. From that point, it will no longer be your own. So, it’s important you approach this strategically. You’ll have one chance to make your point.”

“We’ve assumed as much, but I appreciate the warning.”

“If I might ask, who’s the ‘we’?”

“A small team working on the case.”

“Some of the most powerful people on the planet own the networks.”

“Yes, we’re aware. Thank you for your help, Ron.”

“I’m glad I could be of service. Brad was a fine man. The full story behind his murder needs telling.”

General Taylor says his goodbyes and looks at the admiral.

“We’ve got our contact list. Let’s put our plan in place.”

“The Choice” Book Trailer


Head Shot 2017 (1)


Growing up in Southern California, Gwen Plano loved learning. She earned four degrees and taught and served in universities and colleges across the country and in Japan. Now retired, she is focused on writing. Gwen’s first book, Letting Go into Perfect Love, is a memoir. Her second book, The Contract, is a thriller co-authored by John W. Howell. Gwen lives in the Midwest with her husband, and when she is not writing, she is traveling, usually to see one of her four children and many grandchildren.

The CHOICE 99cent sale






To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Lastly, Gwen is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!
Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

Books That Changed Me–2019 Summer Edition @Lizzie_Chantree @stacitroilo @StephenGeez @woodheat


Time for BBQs, swimming, ice cream, and stargazing. I will spend more time with my older grandchildren this summer, so I get to embrace that inner summer child! When we aren’t swimming at the lake or river, we will find some time to enjoy a few good summer books.
I usually comment on each selection but realized I was just repeating what my review had said. These books are all amazing for different reasons. I highly recommend them all and hope some make it on your TBR list this summer!


ninja mum pic

Ninja School Mum 

by Lizzie Chantree

“Ninja School Mum” is about a widowed mother named Skye who has been on the run for years to keep her son safe from her past. As an ex-spy, she needed to keep her former life to herself. She ends up living in a quaint small town in an isolated cottage with her son. I found it interesting to learn her history and why she stayed separate from others yet making sure her son developed friendships. The relationships between adults and children were well-done, including Skye’s new friendship with Thea and her unexpected love interest, Zack. It seemed like she might have finally found a place for her son to grow up. What I expected to happen in this story and what did, were completely different when a twist offered a new insight. I love when a story surprises me, and this one did. If you enjoy a romance with humor, action, a strong female character, and surprises–you’ll love this book!


The Gate (Astral Conspiracy #1)

by D.L. Cross

I’ve been looking forward to this release and was impressed from the first page. “The Gate” is the beginning of the Astral Conspiracy Series, and I found it was like reading a movie it was so vivid. The characters felt very real including my favorite, Landon Thorne. He had theories others made fun of until they realized he was right. I connected with him staying true to himself and not allowing others to force change. With so much action and urgency in the story, it was hard to put down. I found myself saying more than once: “They don’t have time for this!” There was plenty of history and research mixed into the story that added another level of intrigue. Ancient Alien Theories fascinate me, so I was thrilled to find an exciting story with that woven into it. I highly recommend this well-written book, especially if you love aliens, the what-if scenario, action, history, theories, and characters you can grow to love–and hate!


what sara saw pic

What Sara Saw

by Stephen Geez

A simple trip to an art gallery and a pen drawing changes the lives of Geoffrey and Phrekka. A friendship ensues over a picture of a young boy. Then an amazing journey begins to find the artist, Sara. What these two people discover is more than just an artist, it is also a journey of finding themselves, too. I loved the inner dialog and insecurities that made both characters incredibly real to me. The story was tender and painful as it unfolded. I was utterly taken in by the complicated relationships and spellbound as each detail was revealed. It is a unique story of love with some cruel realities of life thrown in. Beautifully written, this is a story I will remember.

grime reaper

There is a Reaper

By Michael Lynes

“There is a Reaper” isn’t an easy read, but it is an amazing read. The reader is introduced to the Lynes family, and young Christopher. I was drawn into their world, and then continued on the journey of Christopher’s illness. The interaction of the family was their strength, but it was the wisdom and spirit of Christopher that will continue to linger in my heart. I felt a deep sadness reading about Christopher’s battle with a rare form of Leukemia. Yet, I was inspired by the faith that carried the family through this experience. In addition, this was skillfully written and had poetic descriptions mixed in. “There is a Reaper” is a reminder of what family and love are capable of.  I highly recommend this inspiring book for anyone who has experienced tragedy– or hasn’t.

Happy Summer! Embrace your inner child by reading a fantastic story this summer! D.L. Finn


“Red Eyes in the Darkness: A Short Story” Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

For the second annual #RRBC 90-Day Alpha / Omega (Beginning to End) ‘Short Story’ Writing Contest I put aside my book, “This Last Chance” and worked on a story for the contest. It’s available for pre-order now with a release date of June 27th!

Here’s the cover:

Copy of Red Eyes in the Darkness.jpg

What happens when you’re living the good life after retirement and your world suddenly turns upside down? Will and Cass Henderson learn the truth after a family member is murdered, but no one believes them because they’re the prime suspects. The Hendersons have a red-eyed killer in the family, and they’re next on its kill list.



1.  “Books that Changed Me: Summer Edition” will be a special blog post on June 21st. Happy Summer Reading:)
2. The Monthly Newsletter will go out late this month on June 24th so I can be available to respond promptly. Watch for it if you are subscribed! There will be an excerpt from “Red Eyes in the Darkness.”
3. I mentioned in last week’s blog that I’m on vacation again so my responses will be slow.  You won’t see me on social media much either–family time!
4. There will be no blog on June 23rd. The weekly blog will be back on June 30th.
5. I turned the comments off this week. They will be back next time!
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful father’s out there, including furry baby dads!
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book this summer! D. L. Finn

Look Who’s Standing in the #RRBC Spotlight for June! #Author Nonnie Jules – Day 4 @NonnieJules

I’m excited to welcome Rave Reviews Book Club Founder and President, Nonnie Jules, here today on the fourth day of her June “Spotlight” Tour!


Open Shut by NJ



“OPEN, SHUT” by Nonnie Jules


(This excerpt begins in the middle of a larger piece but I’m sharing this portion as it gives more clarity into future posts along the tour).

June 19, 2000

Dear Diary

I couldn’t get to you yesterday as there was a huge blow up here. Mom came into my room without knocking and caught me reading the bible. You wouldn’t believe how mad she was – screaming, “God and Jesus aren’t real and anyone who believes in that crap is going straight to hell.”  

So, I say to her, “If you don’t believe in God, how can you believe that there’s a hell?” She just stopped and looked at me. I knew then that I had better not utter another word.

“Lola Marie McCann, don’t you get sassy with me.” You know when you’re in trouble in this house…you are reminded of what your full name is.

I wasn’t being sassy, though. I thought it was a legitimate question. Anyway, she eventually calmed down and returned my semi-privacy back to me.

So, I had a visitor last night. This time, I swear I could feel her touching me.  And then, the most amazing thing happened…she spoke! Not directly to me, but I heard her voice! I couldn’t make out exactly what she was saying because her voice was low…melodic, but, I could make out that it was kind and non-threatening.  These visions of her are getting stronger…more real. I don’t know if I should be afraid or not, but, I feel at peace when I see her; strengthened almost…even in spite of how ill I’ve been feeling lately.

Oh, well, I guess I’ll be able to put all this together soon enough. ~ Lola

“Open, Shut: A Short Story” VIDEO

Nonnie Jules (2)


Nonnie Jules, Founder & President of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (#RRBC), partner in 4WillsPublishing Author Services and wrangler of a very busy family, is often referred to as an enigma.  Nonnie prefers to take that label up a notch as she does with everything in her life.  “An enigma wrapped in a brain,” is the label that fits her best.  That brain is what keeps all the moving parts of the ever-fluid RRBC in constant motion.  Managing these successful entities along with her home life, keeps her busy from dawn until dusk…literally.

Nonnie has authored several books in various categories such as SELF-HELP, NOVELS, POETRY and SHORT STORY.  She refuses to be placed in a box as a writer of only one genre of literature.  She feels that she can skillfully cover it all.

One of her desires is to become a best-selling author – not because all of her family and friends purchases her books, but, because her books are so good, everyone can’t help but spread the word about them. 










Twitter: @ NonnieJules
Website:  Books By Nonnie

Thanks for dropping by!  Learn more at tomorrow’s stop!

To follow along with the rest of Nonnie’s tour, please drop by the RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author page!

Welcome to the “CHASING THE RED QUEEN” Blog Tour! @ElizabethGlist1 @4WillsPub #RRBC

I’m excited to host fellow #RRBC author, Karen Glista. Please give her a warm welcome!



Chasing The Red Queen by Karen Glista

Chasing the Red Queen

Excerpt: (thin line between love and hate)

Donja watched his fluidic movement as he streaked across the room and in the blink of an eye appeared at the bar. He removed the stemmed ball from atop a crystal whiskey decanter and poured himself a drink. He raised the fluted stein to his lips, thrust his head back, and downed it in one swallow. Donja couldn’t pull her eyes from him, the fury within mounting. It occurred to her in that moment just how much she would enjoy clawing his eyes out. Suddenly her mom’s tears flashed through her tortured mind. She cast her fur coat and clutch to the sofa as her feet, by no will of their own, marched straight to him. He turned to face her, his seething eyes on her body, not her face—and that just served to infuriate her further.

“You bastard,” she said as she slapped the stein from his hand

He suddenly grasped her hands. “It’s not me you’re angry at, Donja, you’re angry at yourself, the way you talked to her, the pain your words inflicted.”

“You forced me!” she screamed, struggling to free her hands. “I had to hurt her to keep her alive, you bastard. I hate you!”

“No more than I hate myself,” he said as he forcefully spun her around and spooned her back, holding her hands firm to her waist. “Do you see this room?” he groaned, his chin to her shoulder with his deep, masculine voice resonating. “This is who I am. This, along with my villa in Italy, is where I have spent the last two hundred years of my life, waiting patiently for what I thought would never come again.” He forced her forward to the windows and pointed to the floor. “Do you see that path worn in the floor?” he scoffed. “That’s where I have paced, day after day, locked in a prison of hell.”

Karen Glista


Karen Glista is a registered nurse and award-winning author. Living in the great lakes state of Michigan, she finds solace in a remote home nestled within a dense forest (which she believes is enchanted).  In the moss laden woodlands, she often wanders, all the while delving into and living fantasy as much as reality. Driven by heart, visionary characters, and underlying dreams, she embraces the fictious and much like you comes to know them, and with such, spins a tale that in the dark of night lights your soul.


Chasing the Red Queen on Amazon








To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Lastly, Karen is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!
Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

When Life Brings You Magic

danielle and turtle

Sometimes life gets overwhelming. It can become stressful, anxiety-ridden, or everything catches up to you. A vacation from it seems to be what is needed. That is what my week in Hawaii was. A time to reset, regroup, and renew. Right after losing our dog, Hermie suddenly, we lost our youngest cat, Alice, or the Huntress. During a storm at night when I went to go to my car, she ran between my legs and shot outside into the rain. I thought she’d be right back because she hated the rain, but that didn’t happen. Weeks have gone by, and I’m not hopeful. Living in the forest has its downsides. This is one of those and why I want our cats in at night.

Our oldest cat, Thunder, during the same period, had what I thought was an eye infection. So I took her to the vet. It turned out to be a mass in her head. We kept her as comfortable as long as we could. We had to let her go a few days ago, which is always hard to do. To add to the loss of our fur babies, a good friend of my husband unexpectedly passed away during his vacation, and my uncle was put under the care of hospice with the diagnosis “anytime.” This all blended in with other challenges in my life and those unprocessed events resurfacing from the recent past until I felt like climbing into bed, pulling the covers high over my head, and staying there.

our fur babies gone


Instead, I packed my suitcase to leave and got on the plane to Kauai. I forced myself to settle into the Aloha Spirit with my husband, youngest daughter, and son-in-law.

Here’s where the magic I needed happened. Showing my daughter and husband the island for their first time reminded me of the beauty of nature and life. On one of those days, we wanted to show them what’s under the water or snorkeling. We met our first attempt with less than clear waters, so we headed to another beach. While the boys sat on the sand sunning, my daughter and I were enjoying the colorful fish. I was happily snapping many photos when I saw something off to my left. I quickly turned and was greeted by a huge green sea turtle swimming between my daughter and me. I joyfully shouted into the salty waters. Daughter, mother, and sea turtle swam side by side for what could have been an eternity. At that moment, I found my inner peace, inner child, and my soul again.

The turtle and I made eye contact. I felt his wisdom in those calm dark eyes. Then, he nodded to me and swiftly took off, leaving us behind. My daughter and I surfaced in pure glee of the bond of that shared experience. That Honu left behind the gift to trust the flow, to breathe, come up for air, swim at my own pace and spend more time in nature. I realized no matter what happened or what I came home to; I’d carry the strength of that brief encounter. It helped me give the courage to let Thunder go this week. This was the gentle reminder that I needed to remember no matter how tough things get—there’s always magic around me.



1. There will be a couple of special edition blogs.

2. Next week’s blog will debut short story “Red Eyes in the Darkness” blurb and cover, along with a link for preorder.

3. I will be on vacation starting June 15th, to attend my son’s graduation from college, so responses from me will be slow. I’ll be quiet on social media again, too.

Embrace your inner child with the magic that surrounds us! D.L. Finn




June Book Reviews @Sandra_Cox @MAAdlerWrites @stacitroilo @pursoot @GuyWorthey @Dwallacepeach @bernardfoong


Soul Swallowers  (The Shattered Sea #1)

by D. Wallace Peach

“Soul Swallowers” follows Raze Anvrell who turns his back on his family and title after his commoner wife was murdered. He finds some peace working alongside a man who befriends him. But around Raze is political plotting, arranged marriages, slave trading, religious beliefs, and a witch. While I was captivated with Raze’s journey, I loved both Bel and Nellea’s stories. I connected with them both immediately and was rooting for their outcome. A unique aspect of this story was the swallowing of a soul stone or bringing a deceased person’s soul into your body. Having another person’s urges come out, such as fighting skills, empathy or cruelty, and blending that with their personality was fascinating. This is a well-written fantasy that’s infused with poetic descriptions, believable characters, and plenty of action. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series!

Ace Carroway and the Great War (The Adventures of Ace Carroway #1)

by Guy Worthey

Cecilia “Ace” Carroway is a 16-year-old pilot during World War One.  Her story starts quickly with a thrilling air-battle, but Ace ends up a prisoner when her plane is shot down. That minor detail doesn’t seem to bother Ace, which is why I came to appreciate this character’s spunk. Ace is not only likable but way ahead of her male counterparts. Leadership seems natural to Ace and her much older POWs put their trust in her. This is an exciting read full of vivid details and humor meant for young adults, but I equally enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series!


Whatever It Takes

By S. Burke

“Whatever it Takes” has mystery, romance, death, Hollywood, and a cruel serial killer, which, when all put together creates an engaging read! Andi needs a change and leaves her police career in New York to work in LA for the actor, James Kincaid to investigate the death of his wife. I immediately saw a connection between them and loved it. Their working relationship felt very natural, and I enjoyed the obvious attraction they had for each other, even though they didn’t act on it.  Andi’s relationships with James’ driver, personal assistant, and accountant, with their stories, brought an extra depth–along with mystery and darkness. Andi’s search uncovered so much more than an accident. It was great being able to see the evidence unfold and guide Andi down an unexpected path, surprisingly connecting LA and New York. This insight of being thrust into the life of the rich and famous met with the grit of a New York cop was the perfect fit.  Ms. Burke is skilled in getting into the heads of her characters and pulling readers quickly into their world. This is a well-written exciting, suspenseful thriller that will keep you up reading late into the night. I highly recommend it.

The Gate (Astral Conspiracy #1)

by D.L. Cross

I’ve been looking forward to this release and was impressed from the first page. “The Gate” is the beginning of the Astral Conspiracy Series, and I found it was like reading a movie it was so vivid. The characters felt very real including my favorite, Landon Thorne. He had theories others made fun of until they realized he was right. I connected with him staying true to himself and not allowing others to force change. With so much action and urgency in the story, it was hard to put down. I found myself saying more than once: “They don’t have time for this!” There was plenty of history and research mixed into the story that added another level of intrigue. Ancient Alien Theories fascinate me, so I was thrilled to find an exciting story with that woven into it. I highly recommend this well-written book, especially if you love aliens, the what-if scenario, action, history, theories, and characters you can grow to love–and hate!

Shadowed by Death: An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery (Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2)

by Mary Adler

This is the second novel in the Oliver Wright Series set during World War ll in the Bay Area. I loved the first book, but I think I was drawn even deeper into this story. It’s 1944 and Oliver is tasked to protect a Polish speaker, Sophia. I liked the interaction between these two characters even though Sophia didn’t want Oliver as a bodyguard. As in the first book, I loved the relationship between Oliver with his dog, Harley, who had served in the war, too.  Within that storyline is another narrative about a young girl trying to assist a friend’s dog Blue. I enjoyed seeing the world through Blue the dog’s perception and his devotion to the young girl helping him. This is not only a well-written story but well researched. I appreciated the attention to details and history that Ms. Adler infused into the story. What happened in Poland during the war is hard to accept and painfully real. It kept me awake late into the night thinking about human cruelty, apathy, and the brave heroes mixed in. “Shadowed by Death” can be read as a stand-alone or as a series. I highly recommend this book especially if you love mystery, suspense, action, history, and of course dogs.

Shardai (Cats of Catarau #1)

by Sandra Cox

Shardai is a regal cat that ended up in the afterlife. He desperately wanted to get back to his human. This is a beautiful story of his rebirth as a feral kitten and journey. I fell in love with Shardai and was completely pulled into his world through his new, and old eyes. There were some heartbreaking moments, humor, and bravery. I was rooting for this cat and his new family. It’s a well-written page-turner that didn’t let up. I admit this had me teary-eyed at the end. If you love cats, you’ll appreciate this heartwarming story that can be for children or adults! I look forward to reading the rest of this series

The Truth Will Set You Free

by Young

This is a short excerpt from “Debauchery” but complete with the insight of a young gay man trying to be kind to a girl who’s interested in him.  It was well-written, a quick read, and a great way to be introduced to this author.

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