Thankful Tree

thanksgiving tree

Our family has a Thankful Tree. We write on notepaper leaves each year, sharing what we’re thankful for, and then hang them on the tree.

I want to share some leaves from years past. There seems to be a theme of family weaved into our thankfulness. I hope you can add to that thankful tree that you have growing inside for all the things in which you’re grateful — may your tree bloom with love.

I’m thankful for:

  1. Cleaning, my family, and my life.
  2. I’m not homeless, that I have a very nice house, and have a happy family.
  3. All my family and able to spend time with everyone.
  4. Video games, my family, and my pets.
  5. Being alive so that I can have so many wonderful experiences with family and friends. And also, pumpkin pie.
  6. Thanksgiving.
  7. My health, abundance, creativity, and joy.
  8. My family, house, food, and love.
  9. All the good I have, which is a lot! I’m grateful for my wonderful family.
  10. The people that play music with me.
  11. This beautiful life and the wonderful family that I’m so lucky to be a part of.
  12. My family, friends, and animals in my life. For the material things, my house, where I live, and everything around me. I’m thankful for all the love directed to me.
  13. My friends, the ability to be healthy, family, home, animals, and all the love in my life.
  14. Hugs and helping people.
  15. My beautiful family, my health, my home, and my musical talent.
  16. The absurdism of the universe and being able to share the present with friends and family.
  17. The opportunities that have been available in my life. The paths taken to where I am today are more than I could ask for. I have a loving spouse who supports my needs to dance and takes care of everyone. I have friends who love me, a wonderful family, and a life that has so many opportunities I am also grateful for my family and cats.
  18. My education and science. Thankful for my family and the support from my parents, and for my friends.
  19. My spouse, who is honest, caring, and loving for our family. For my beautiful children, which I love so much, and my health, musical talents, and my kindness. My grandchildren and my house and the animals, too.
  20. And wish for everyone to have a happy life. We are a happy family. I love my family and everyone so much.


We didn’t have our power shut off, although the call came after I waited for a few hours for it to happen. We had a brief thunderstorm the night before so maybe that helped. For some reason, it hit really hard all around us but we barely got any of it. Rain and snow is forecast this week. That means I should be able to put my go-bag away until next year. Fingers crossed.

The picture is from last year.


Embrace your inner child with gratitude! Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. May Black Friday treat you well. D. L. Finn

#RRBC “PAY IT FORWARD” Day! Linnea Tanner @linneatanner #PIF #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISA

apollo pic

I love Rave Reviews Book Club’s “Pay It Forward.”  I go to my #RRBC TWEET SUPPORT TEAM list and choose someone I haven’t read yet.

Today I randomly picked fellow member, Linnea Tanner off my list. I’ll be reading her book, Apollo’s Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1) and posting a review soon. Please welcome Linnea here today:)

Apollo’s Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1)


A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.  AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, druidic sorcery, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

2019 Pencraft Award Best Book of the Year
2017 New Apple Book Award Official Section: Historical Fiction and Cross Genre
2017 Global Ebooks Award BRONZE MEDAL Fantasy/Historical
2018 eLit Book Award SILVER MEDAL Fantasy/Science Fiction

Dagger’s Destiny (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 2)


A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?

Amulet’s Rapture (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3)


Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom. The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her kingdom.

Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.

But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.

linnea pic

About Linnea Tanner

Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue into the backdrop of Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology which held women in higher esteem. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Depending on the time of day and season of the year, you will find her exploring and researching ancient and medieval history, mythology and archaeology to support her writing. As the author of the CURSE OF CLANSMEN AND KINGS series, she has extensively researched and traveled to sites described within each book.

A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.


More than words…

I express my love of nature in words, especially with poetry. I share what I’m seeing and feeling in written form, but I also capture moments in pictures. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve taken over the years.  All but three are local photos.


A Hawaiian sunset in Kauai, a smoky sunset over Nevada City, CA, and the sun peeking through the trees in Nevada County, CA by the Yuba River.


A whale in Alaska, the Yuba River in Nevada County, CA, and a rainbow over the coast of Kauai.


Ananda Tulips Nevada City, CA,  Donner Summit (Sierra Nevada near Truckee, CA), snowstorm by the Magical Trail, Nevada City, CA.


Donner Summit by Bridge (Sierra Nevada by Truckee, CA), D.L. Finn taking pictures at Yuba River, Nevada County, CA.


  1. Still no rain. We’ve been having an unusually warm November. There are winds predicted this week. No idea if this means power outages again, but definitely increased fire danger. Still doing my rain dance!
  2. The Monthly Newsletter goes out Wednesday. Watch for it in your email if subscribed!
  3. Have you made it by the Spotlight Author tour? I’ve been having a lot of fun and sharing new “Finn Facts.” I also did a Blog Talk Radio Interview, too. You can click on the links above if you’re interested.
  4. I’ve crossed over the 30,000 words for NaNo. No idea where the story is going to end up, but it’s getting exciting. I lost a chapter overnight last week. Not sure how it happened since I have a backup in place. So that set me back a day. One of those things that led me in another direction.
  5. Next week’s blog I will share our family’s Thanksgiving Tree and some “leaves” or what we’ve been thankful for over the years.

Embrace your inner child with gratitude and share it. D. L. Finn


Poetry in November

fall sun


The electrical current’s flow has ceased

The stillness shrouds the space

And the dense darkness appears endless.

Then, a roar saturates the silence with a shimmer

And some are flooded with modern conveniences.

This constant rumble requires an offering of petrol

We gladly feed this beast no matter what the cost.

The howl of a generator is a small price to pay

For the glowing lights and hum of the refrigerator.

We easily fall asleep knowing the sound…

Is keeping us safe, healthy, and comforted.

When the sparking current goes silent…

The roaring beast awakens at our invitation

We lounge in this brief utopia, feeding the beast

While we wait for the ordinary to return.

Here’s what I’m hoping for VERY soon!


The ground is full of yesterday’s rain.

The drops linger on the rose petals

Trees glow a growing green

Blue peeks from behind the clouds

The birds sing in a joyful tune

The woodpecker feasts on insects on the dead tree

The dog lays in the sun at my feet

While the bees go back to work

Each gathering their needs before the next storm

But for now, I enjoy this day with nature

With a grateful heart for the day after the rain.


  1. Still looking for some saturating rain. Although, no power outages this past week, they could make a come back soon if that storm door doesn’t open up soon!
  2. I hit the 20,000-word mark for the NaNo. I hope to make the 50,000 if all goes well, but life usually throws in a surprise or two. So, I’m focusing on being grateful for every word I have time to write for this event.
  3. I was awarded the incredible honor of being the #RRBC NOVEMBER SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR! I’ll be doing a blog tour that has started and an interview this week. Here’s the link if you are interested.…/
  4. I’m also a part of the “RWISA “RISE-UP” BLOG TOUR.” That starts this week, too.
  5. This leaves my time on social media very limited. I will be back in full capability in December until my holiday break:)

Embrace your inner child with some poetry! D. L. Finn

Welcome to Part 2 of “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @ StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RRBC_Community

I’m pleased to welcome fellow #RRBC author, Steven Neil here today.

The Merest Loss by Steven Neil (1)



Getting to know Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS.

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

 Reading Habits

 Authors are often told that the best way to learn is to read. Do you agree?

I couldn’t agree more.

  1. What do you prefer to read now?

I try to keep a balance of classic and contemporary. I love the nineteenth century English tradition, especially Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen and the twentieth century American tradition, especially Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Steinbeck. I’ve recently enjoyed books by Tim Pears and William Boyd.

  1. How do you read (kindle/book/audible)?

      All three. I have recently discovered audible books and I am using my monthly credits to revisit the Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope. The writing is quite brilliant. Trollope is such a witty observational writer and Timothy West, the narrator, does a great job in bringing the characters to life. Recommended.

  1. When do you read?

All the time. One of the benefits of being retired.

  1. Has becoming an author changed the way you read?

I’m probably more critical. I’m much less likely to persevere with a book I’m not enjoying. This also might have something to do with getting older and realising you only have a limited number of books left to read!

  1. Do you post reviews for books and if so, do you have a review policy?

Yes, I always try to write a review. However, if I really don’t like a book and could only honestly give it one or two stars, I don’t post a review. However bad it is, someone has put blood sweat and tears into it and I think it is disrespectful to another author.

  1. What is the best book you have read recently?

Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo. Genius.

  1. How do you choose which books to read?

Audible bombards me with suggestions all the time. I’m more likely to respond to a friend’s recommendation. I also have a list of classics I’ve not got round to reading. Some of these age well, others don’t. I thought Dracula was terrific but found Frankenstein hard work. I’ll skip the review on that one.

  1. Which lesser known author would you recommend?

I would recommend two. One older and one more contemporary. I think Norman Maclean’s great book A River Runs Through It is rather overlooked these days and Jon McGregor’s If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things has slipped under the radar. It is a fantastic book.

  1. Do you have a favourite book?

Alain-Fournier: Le Grand Meaulnes. Sigh.

 © Steven Neil

THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.






Follow Steven Neil on TWITTEfor information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK. 

4Wills Blog Tour


The Merest Loss by Steven Neil  ISBN: 1788039718


‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’


Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance

Steven Neil (1)


Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.


IAN author page


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.  
Thanks for supporting this author and his work! 

November Book Reviews @Sandra_Cox @SusanneLeist @hmkindt @ColleenChesebro @woodheat


First Blood (The Blood Series, #2)

by Michael Lynes

“First Blood” is the second book in The Blood Series, and I would recommend going back to read the first book if you haven’t before reading this.  The story continues with the eternal fight for power and loyalty. It begins in the underworld with a battle for dominance.  Hades and his dead army are being challenged with some surprising and brutal consequences. I was happy to see my favorite characters Dev and Tray. I enjoy how their friendship grew into something stronger. Their devotion to each other and their humor are some of the best parts of this story. I love the use of mythology because it paints a colorful world. There were unexpected twists and plenty of action along the way. Although it took me a few pages to get into the story and remember all the storylines, once I got into the narrative it was a hard book to put down. I’m looking forward to the next book and continuing this journey to see where it goes. If you love mythology and fantasy, you’ll enjoy this series.

Fairies, Myths, & Magic ~ A Summer Celebration

by Colleen M. Chesebro

This is a magical collection of poetry, myths, short stories, and personal insight. I loved the whimsical theme of the book and was drawn into the world of fairies through Ms. Chesebro’s skillful prose. The poetry deserves multiple readings, and the short stories were very entertaining. “Halloween Havoc” still has me laughing at what was traipsing about the front yard. This is a great book to get lost in and be reminded of the magic surrounding us. I highly recommend this celebration!

The Weaver (Weaver Trilogy #1)

by Heather Kindt

“The Weaver” is an NA paranormal romance set on a college campus, although I felt it was more a YA, and the setting reminded me of high school. That detail, though, didn’t take away my enjoyment of the story. I loved the idea of characters coming to life and the consequences. Laney is a freshman at college, but before she gets started, she is pushed down a set of stairs. That leads Laney down a path of mystery to figure out why she was attacked. Laney settles into school and finds herself back in touch with a childhood friend, Jason. As they rekindle their friendship Jason’s roommate, William has her intrigued. I was surprised by some twists in the story that kept me involved until the last page. I’ll be reading the next book in the series to see what happens next.

Prey for The Dead

by Susanne Leist

This is the second YA Book in the series beginning five years later. Linda and Shana had enjoyed peaceful lives in Oasis, after a showdown with vampires, until everything changed. They were thrust in the middle of a battle that took them to an exclusive club in Disneyworld. The girls played the wives of Todd and Sam, but Linda was in a love triangle, with hybrid vampires on opposite sides. I loved being taken to Disneyworld in the story, even though they were surrounded by danger. Linda’s heart was taking her in two directions. Like Linda, I couldn’t decide who she should be with—if either of them. There are beautiful descriptions of the landscape giving a strong atmosphere and plenty of action that kept me reading. I was satisfied with Linda’s ending, but I hope there is more about Shana. If you like vampires, a love triangle, mystery, and deception, you’ll enjoy this story. This can be a stand-alone, but I recommend reading the first book.


by  Sandra Cox

Texas ranch owner, Coop inherits his young niece, Kallie, after her parents suddenly die. When she arrives, Coop finds his childhood friend, Randa, accompanying Kallie. Convincing Randa to stay on at the ranch, everything goes well until Coop breaks up a beating and kills in self-defense.  This sets up for retaliation and puts Coop and the ones he loves in danger. I loved the connection between uncle and niece, and it showed a gentle side to the cowboy, that was charming. Randa was a strong character that I liked, along with her determination. The interaction with horses, and the introspection if they should be wild, added another dimension to the story. There was a nice mixture of action, relationships, and scenery. I could imagine myself riding out on a horse and finding the peace Randa found on the ranch.  If you love engaging westerns with romance, you’ll want to read this book.

UPDATES: We are still rainless with no rain forecast in the near future, but they aren’t predicting winds here at least for the next week. Now is the time to do that Raindance and hope a storm decides to join in. Fingers crossed no more power outages this year, but this seems to be a long term solution for the power company.

I finally decided to join the NaNoWriMo.  I’m off to a good start on a story that I brainstormed the night before Halloween. I decided to write it for myself. But doing this really limits my social media time. I will try to keep up, but can’t promise I can.

I might be doing more picture blogs or poetry if time gets away from me. I did get a lot of great pictures walking around town on Halloween.  Of course, my reading will be limited.

Watch for a special edition blog this week.

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