Dolphin’s Cave Cover Re-Release! #childrensbook #YA #fantasy #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Dolphin’s Cave has been on a long journey to being released.  The cover has been floating around my website for over the last three years as the story has been stuck in editing. Right now it’s getting a good proofread. Although this one has had the strangest path to publishing, in the end, my inner child happy with the results.

Dolphin’s Cave is a fantasy that is taken from a short story about a dream that I wrote over 20 years ago. I decided to make it into a full-length novel and it was originally for middle-grade readers. I decided to nudge the age group up a tiny bit. It ended up somewhere between middle grade and YA. So I can call it either a younger YA or an advanced middle grade.  I haven’t seen a term for this one, yet.

It’s gone through a lot of revising these last few months and I was able to incorporate all that I’ve learned in the last couple of years.

This isn’t the final version of the blurb but pretty close:

The dream always began the same for fifteen-year-old Coral Dover. She entered the ocean water alone — and ended up in a cave on the back of a dolphin. It happened every night for the last eight years since her parents disappeared. Coral longed to go to the place her parents’ plane went down, but she was stuck in the middle of a desert. Finally, her aunt announced they were going on a vacation to the place it happened—Hawaii. Everything was falling into place until Coral noticed unusual things happening around them. With only one person who believed her, would they find the secret that could change everyone’s lives? More importantly, was Coral and her family safe as she pursued her dream.

Still looking to release within the next couple of weeks. I’ll keep you updated.

Embrace your inner child, always! D. L. Finn





Book Research for Dolphin’s Cave. #NewRelease #ChildrensBook #YA #DophinsCave #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Research and Reality 

My fiction research is limited compared to when I wrote my historical fiction book, Elizabeth’s War. I used my travels to Hawaii for a background in Dolphin’s Cave, along with This Second Chance and  An Unusual Island.

There were a few things I had to look up. The correct time was one since I didn’t realize Hawaii doesn’t do daylight savings time, and my timeline would have been an hour off if I hadn’t caught that. What time was the sunset in December was another detail I had to make sure of to fit into the story.

Since the family was traveling during the holidays, I wanted to describe how the airports decorated accurately. Reno Airport was the quickest to respond to my inquiry and even sent pictures. Honolulu international airport shared with me details of how they decorated the luggage pickup area. Maui’s airport had fewer pointers because they do it differently each year, which is vaguer in my descriptions.

I am always thankful when people take time out to help with details when my characters take a trip to actual places.

On Oahu, I had to research the mall where the Pennys and Coral went shopping. I found pictures of how they decorated for the holidays and included that. I also had to investigate how the hotels and residents of the island celebrated the holiday. Of course, Santa would know how to ride a surfboard when he made a stop on the Islands. Someday I will get to Hawaii during the holidays, but at least Coral and the Penny’s got to see it.

It’s been many years since I’ve seen Pearl Harbor, so I wanted to see what had changed. The security is something I don’t remember from my honeymoon, but that’s not to say there wasn’t a lesser version of it then. I had to find a tour for my characters to take and what they’d see along the way. Driving from the airport needed a time frame, and I double-checked how long it takes in traffic to get to Waikiki Beach.

I’ve learned a lot about Sea Turtles and Dolphins over the years, but still rechecked what I put in Dolphin’s Cave.

When I have a retired General in my story, I want to be positive it was possible to move up the ranks in the time I gave him. My intention is to be as accurate as humanly possible when I mention something outside of fantasy.

Scuttle Valley is not an actual place in Nevada, but Reno certainly is. I live an hour and a half from Reno and have made several shopping trips to the mall Coral and Ruby went shopping in to prepare for their trip to Hawaii. I left the stores anonymous, but they are typical of all malls across the United States, which include holiday decorations, helpful employees, and Santa Claus. There isn’t a Dunning Corporation, either, but I based it off what I thought might be out there searching for that untapped magic to make a profit off of it.

I use my actual experiences snorkeling and being a tourist in Hawaii. I swam at the black beach that shows up in two of my books. It was an amazing spot that we had to ourselves for a while on my honeymoon.

I have never seen an underwater cave to enter—yet. But Coral did, and she was rewarded with another place hidden from us, Air People.

This week there is a holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. It is a day I have much to be grateful for all I have been blessed with, including all my amazing writing friends I’ve made along the way.

Next week I will reshare the cover from Dolphin’s Cave and share a bit about it. This book has been a long time coming to this point of sharing.

Embrace your inner child with new knowledge! D. L. Finn


I couldn’t pass up this beautiful picture, plus I got today’s word count in for NaNo done early.


For more information about Ekphrastic Poetry here’s a link: Ekphrastic

My Tanka poem for the picture. 5/7/5/7/7


The forest breathless

A protective lion near

By the serene lake

Witnessed only by two birds

Nature gave birth to magic.

My Aloha experience. #DolphinsCave #ComingRelease #YA #ChildrenBook #Hawaii #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity


Hawaii is a place I hold close in my heart. I heard many tales of this magical place growing up. My family had done business there, and my mother had been there many times during this. Although the family business had ended, I was lucky enough to see this place when I was in the fourth grade. Oahu was magical through a nine-year-old girl’s eyes. I spent hours swimming and exploring the island with my great grandparents. I remember touring the pineapple groves and sitting next to a very nice fourth-grade teacher.

Pineapples were a cornerstone of my diet there. We ate pineapple ice cream at Woolworths and fresh pineapple at the International Market. What I will remember most about this trip is the Brady Bunch (one of my favorite shows growing up) went to Hawaii the same year. We stayed in the same hotel they did, but not at the same time. Although I didn’t get cursed or learn how to surf, I got a hula lesson at the Kodiak show.

Then, when I was twelve years old, I went back again with my great grandparents.  We stayed in a hut (that was torn down soon after to make way for more hotels) with a path to the beach. I found a Hawaiian lady who was making leis with plumeria flowers along the path. She took the time to show me how to make them, and then I got to keep my work. I spent hours swimming and ended up with the worst sunburn I ever had. For nights after I sprayed myself with water to cool it down and later my shoulders bore freckles of my Hawaiian journey. We picked up some souvenirs at the International Market (now gone) and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we walked through villages while interacting and learning. Then a beautiful show floated by on the river.

My next trip back was on my honeymoon. We explored Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, and a Luau. When we weren’t seeing the sights, we hung out on the Waikiki Beach and ate lots of crab Louie and pineapple. Another week was added, and we headed to Maui. Here we drove the famous Hana Drive that took us through all the waterfalls and an amazing black beach that we had to ourselves. Every night in paradise, we sat and watched the sunset.

It was almost 30 years before we went back to Hawaii for our second honeymoon. This time we focused on Kauai and Maui.

On Kauai, we made a point of doing things we’d never done before, including a helicopter tour over Kauai, which produced some amazing views and pictures but also left my husband with a queasy stomach. Next, we took a boat tour to snorkel (my second time ever), and the spinning dolphins and a couple of turtles entertained us. Then we rented a Harley and cruised the south shore of the island, including the spectacular little Grand Canyon. Kauai is an amazing garden island filled with roaming chickens.

We spent week two on Maui. We took the Hana drive again, where I was less brave than I had been on our honeymoon with the narrow road, but it was still just as beautiful as I had remembered it. We explored the town of Lahaina and the Hard Rock Cafe, and other wonderful restaurants. The thing that has the fondest memories was staying at the hotel and lounging around the pool— and snorkeling. We’d get up each morning and suit up for the ocean. There was usually a turtle greeting you at the shore, but we were warned not to touch them it could make them sick. However, the turtle seemed determined to touch me.

Hawaii is truly paradise, full of wonderful people, scenery, and memories. It has become my home away from home and has found its way in An Unusual IslandThis Second Chance, and soon to be released, middle grade/ YA Dolphin’s Cave. I’m hoping for an early December release if all goes well.

The Aloha spirit has found residence in me and my work.

Embrace your inner child with the Aloha Spirit in your heart. D. L. Finn

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #25 #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot #Haibun #Haiku #Poetry

Here’s  Suzanne Burke’s:

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #25 New Image Prompt! Join in the fun!#IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

I’m halfway through with my NaNo Challenge, hitting 25,000 words today. The story is finally flowing with more ideas I’m adding in. So, I celebrated by doing the image prompt this week. Plus, I couldn’t pass this picture up!

This is a Haibun Poem, which is a prose paragraph and a Haiku combined.


The dusty-book aroma filled me with happiness. The old house was mine now, including this exquisite library. My hand brushed over some of the great classics Treasure Island, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, and Little Women. I sneezed as I continued to rescue the collection from its grimy lair. There would be hours of reading seated by a roaring fire. I breathed in gratitude, knowing all my dreams had come true. Then, I ran across a book that would not budge. A heavy tug revealed what was hidden.

The bookcase a door

A stale room with one rare book

Gutenberg Bible.

November Book Reviews Part 2! @BalroopShado @Virgilante @MarciaMeara @JacqBiggar @sgc58 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #whattoread

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

by Sally Cronin

I was drawn in by Sam’s picture on the cover, having had a collie as a young girl, so this called me to read. The story’s told from Sam’s perspective, which was interesting, amusing, and sometimes sad. I loved his journey, meeting his loving family, and living in Ireland and Spain. Henry, the stray cat, who became part of his pack, quickly won my heart. We can only imagine what our pets are thinking, but I believe Ms. Cronin really captured Sam’s spirit in this book. I came out feeling like I’d been part of his pack. This was a feel-good read with some of life’s realities mixed in with just the right touch. When I finished, I was left thinking about all my pets over the years and wondered what they might have to say about their journey. This is a must-read for all pet lovers! Five-Stars!

Perfectly Imperfect

by Jacquie Biggar

“Perfectly Imperfect” is a fun romantic read. Georgina started the company of her dreams and was expecting the representative who she merged her company with for capital. Unfortunately, the two met before their upcoming appointment and had some mishaps. Rhys is the son of the company’s owner and is posed to sell Georgina’s company unknown to her. The story is told in the first person from both points of view so you can see both sides of their story and appreciate their misunderstandings. Then throw in a puppy and a dinner, and it gets interesting. I enjoyed reading this sweet short story in one evening.  If you want a good HEA, this is for you! Four-Stars!

The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

By Marcia Meara

I’ve enjoyed the story of Azrael the Archangel, who needs help and brings in two emissaries, Jake and Dodger. I was excited to see how the story concluded, but sad to see it end. Jake and Dodger have a sweet father and son relationship as they help others. Dodger sees a woman and immediately falls in love with her. Can he find her again, and will he be allowed to explore his feelings? That alone kept me reading way past my bedtime. I love how Dodger explored his place now in the world throughout the book. Then there are Azrael’s sudden arrivals that always made me chuckle, plus I loved the humor between Jake and Dodger. Azrael’s presence is intimidating to the two men, but you can see the archangel’s heart underneath. I highly recommend this story. Five-Stars!

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat, #3)

by C.S. Boyack

Lizzie is a young woman with a family secret, a hat. I love how Mr. Boyack brings the Hat to life and the hilarious exchanges between Lizzie and the Hat. Mrs. Molony’s addition and what it meant to their vampire hunting and missing woman quest is something I wasn’t expecting. I love how Lizzie and the Hat’s band travel and interact with the crowds. It’s a mini-concert while serving justice. This is a quick read that I didn’t want to put down, so I read it in one night. All three stories in The Hat Series are entertaining, fast-paced, and creative. The author made sure they could be read out of order, so you could start here and work your way back. I highly recommend “The Ballad of Mrs. Molony.” Five-Stars!

Magical Whispers

by Balroop Singh

I’m already a fan of Ms. Singh’s poetry, having read and enjoyed her past poetry books. “Magical Whispers” is a delicate blend of nature and human introspection. It’s divided into two parts. One part focuses more on Mother Nature, and the other offers an insight into our journey. The words painted beautiful pictures that captured my imagination and left me thinking. This is a collection that I will want to read more than once and will be added to my bookshelf. I jotted down some of my favorites as I read, but my list became too long to list here in its entirety. Here are just a few that touched my soul: Stream Whispers, Starlight, Magic in Her Pocket, Little Beetle, and Love is Love. If you love poetry, you won’t want to miss out on this collection! Five-Stars!

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

I’m working furiously on my NaNo story, and other things have come up, especially this last week, so I’m not active on social media, especially blogs.  I have gone days without reading.

We finally got some rain and a bit of snow this weekend. Looks like fire season might finally be over here. Whew!

Embrace your inner child by reading a fantastic book and giving the author your review! D. L. Finn



I went with one of my photos and a Haiku or a Haiga Poem. Explanation below.

This was an amazing spiritual experience I had swimming with a turtle.  That’s my youngest daughter Danielle in the picture who shared this moment with me.

What is a Haiga Poem? An explanation from Colleen’s Poetry Challenge Cheat Sheet:

“HAIGA IN ENGLISH: First, the haiku or senryu portion of the poem is the most important part and must standalone without the image. It is created by using the traditional 5/7/5, or the current 3/5/3, or the current 2/3/2 syllable structure (but not all three together). Haiga, often called observational poetry, contains an image with either a haiku or senryu written on it or near it. Haiga usually combines three art forms:  imagery: photographs or original art, poetry, and calligraphy.

  • Second, images cannot complete the haiku or senryu. If the image is necessary, to understand the poem, then both the image and the poem fail.
  • The image should add something to the reader’s appreciation of the piece.
  • The image can create an alternative interpretation to the one articulated by the literal reading of the poem. That additional interpretation is what the poet should strive to convey.
  • The image should form a contrast, or comparison with the imagery expressed in the poem. We should strive to produce an emotion of the moment between the poet and the reader, the image and the poem.”

November Book Reviews Part 1! @stacitroilo @Sandra_Cox @PTLPerrin #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Triton’s Call (Tetrasphere #2)

by P.T.L. Perrin

I read and enjoyed the first YA book, “Terra’s Call.” I was eager to get back to the series and see what happened next. The story is told in the first person with multiple points of view, which painted together created a full picture. I love how Ms. Perrin draws the reader in with her vivid images and settings. The mixture of aliens, mythical creatures, and folklore are blended and weaved into reality. Each of the four teens has their charm and issues, but their devotion to each other is inspiring, even with the misunderstandings. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey to see where it takes the four next as they continue saving the world one artifact at a time. If you love YA fantasy mixed with sci-fi, you’ll want to read the Tertrasphere world. Five-Stars!

Ghost for Sale

by Sandra Cox

“Ghost for Sale” is a charming YA paranormal read. It was funny to think about ghosts being sold over eBay and Marcy wanting a refund when she was disappointed. When the order arrived, one tube was broken, and one appeared empty. My first thought was, ‘what were you thinking’, until the roommate, Caitlin, saw a ghost. It was a good-looking ghost from the late 1800s that Caitlin kept secret from her cousin, Marcy. It was fun seeing the ghost, Liam’s reactions to the modern woman and all the technology, and how well he adapted. The broken tube was his twin sister, and then Caitlin and Liam worked together in an attempt to reunite the sister with the man she loved. The ending surprised me because I expected this to go a different way, but I like how it ended. This is a sweet paranormal love story with a twist that I thoroughly enjoyed! Five-Stars!

The Lab (Astral Conspiracy Book 5)

by D.L. Cross

I started reading the Astral Conspiracy with book one, “The Gate” and was immediately pulled in with the fast pace and amazing characters. I was excited to see how this story of conspiracies, aliens, and relationships was going to end. There were a few twists and surprises to navigate through to arrive at an ending that was not only satisfying but might have left the door open a crack to continue. Landon Thorne was the first to capture my heart as the unwilling hero whose theories had been shunned until the aliens came, and suddenly his expertise became valuable. I loved his character’s progression through the books, along with the introduction of new characters. Some I loved, especially the twins, and some I didn’t, but there was a couple that changed my opinion of them by the end. The research and thought that went into this made it feel very real to me. If you love a good sci-fi story with well-written characters, along with some mystery thrown in, this is the perfect read for you. I highly recommend reading all the books in order, so you don’t miss a thing. Five-Stars!

The Twins (Astral Conspiracy Book 4)

by D.L. Cross

I’m enjoying this sci-fi series. I love Reverie’s twins’ addition as the characters are trying to survive and figure out who to trust—throwing in children to protect added another dimension to the story. The twin’s psychic abilities give them an edge the adults don’t have. There are several characters I’m rooting for, including one I didn’t think I would. While some relationships ebb and flow, a few grew stronger, making me very invested in their well-being. There are surprising revelations and a couple of twists that kept me reading way past my bedtime. The pace is nonstop as everyone tries to survive in this well-constructed world. This is a highly recommended series you want to read from the beginning. I can’t wait to plunge into the final book! Five-Stars!

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Embrace that inner child by reading a great book. Then, give a gift back to the author by leaving a review! D. L. Finn