New Release! The Destination Harbor Pointe Series Book 3 @dlfinnauthor #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread #halloween #halloweenpics

Hooray! Tomorrow is the release day for The Destination. I am also sharing some fun pictures since tomorrow is Halloween.

Since I don’t have a review for myself I’ll pick the first one posted on Goodreads.


The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

It’s 1967, and best friends Lacey and Sandy are enjoying a beach vacation, completely unaware of the danger that is lying in wait outside their door. Their room is quaint, with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and an old lighthouse, but a killer is stalking their next victim. Powerless, Annie the ghost watches, knowing there’s nothing she can do to help—not even her parents, the innkeepers. Who will survive their stay at the Harbor Pointe Inn, where the edge of evil lurks within the shadows?

Review by Staci Troilo

First, Oscar and Felix. Then, Thelma and Louise. Now, Lacey and Sandy.

Lacey and Sandy are the best of friends, closer than sisters. But they couldn’t be more different. Lacey is a free spirit, adventurous, always chasing fabulous experiences. Sandy is a people-pleaser. She does what’s expected of her because she loves the calm… even if that means sacrificing her happiness to maintain it. Many of us have probably been a Lacey or a Sandy in a friendship. I know I have been. (And no, I won’t share which one.) It’s because these two diametrically opposed personalities are so familiar that these characters are so relatable. Opposites attract, right? These two have a soul-deep bond, and it leaps off the page.

I absolutely love this friendship, and it carries the story to new heights, but it’s not the only thing that caught my attention. Danger lurks. Residents of Harbor Pointe may have a guardian angel, but the two friends are slightly out of her purview. She does what she can to help, but I held my breath until I saw if it was enough. And I promise, the evil is unparalleled. There’s a real-world reference to someone so malevolent, readers can’t help but fear the worst for the characters.

Whether you believe in guardian angels or not, I invite you to imagine having one. One who’s invested, involved, and goes above and beyond to intervene for your safety. That’s the premise in The Destination, and it will have you thinking “what if…” the whole way through. What if Annie doesn’t see the source of the danger? What if Annie doesn’t keep her parents at the inn? What if Annie isn’t powerful enough to save the visiting friends?

I won’t answer those questions. But I challenge readers not to race to the end to find the answers. Paranormal fans won’t want to miss this one. Highly recommended.

Thank you, Staci!
Now on to Halloween. Here are some fun pictures from past and present.
And this year:
Embrace your inner child. Happy Halloween 🙂 D. L. Finn


24 Seasons #Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge No. 5. #poetrycommunity #poem #haiku #micropoetry #blackcats

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge No. 5. This is what I’m using from the list, “Black Cats as Symbols of Good Luck,” since I have two beautiful black cats, Coco and Luna. I used the haiku format or micro poetry of 5/7/5.
Black Cat in space and new moon
sweet purring black cat
furry muse rests on my lap
warms my chilled old bones

From Finn’s Forest #7 #writingcommunity #author #readers #fall #poetry #pumpkins

Today we are taking a trip back to 1997 and then enjoying a fall poem. The late 90s was a time when I was sending my work out to publishers in the mail, including Elizabeth’s War. This included children’s magazine articles. I received rejections, including one from Highlights, who kindly suggested that I focus on one area and submit more pictures. Did I get that is what they wanted me to do? No, I didn’t. I missed an opportunity there.

But, an article called “Mega Veggies” did score a yes and my first payment for writing. In May 1997, my article was in Nature Friend Children’s magazine under my real name. They are still going today and it might be time for me to resume some of that article writing I used to do.

Not only did I talk about how to grow your own veggies but the extra mile farmers went to increase product size. Here’s the quiz from my 1997 article and the sizes of veggies way back when. Which belongs to which? Answers below.

1. cabbage a. 37 lbs. 5 oz.
2. carrot b. 124 lbs.
3. tomato c. 1006 lbs.
4. pumpkin d. 7 lbs. 2 oz.
5. radish e. 15 lbs. 7 oz.
6. zucchini f 7 lbs. 13 oz.
7. potato g. 64 lbs. 8 oz.
8. cucumber h. 20 lbs. 1 oz.

What made me think about this article from twenty-six years ago? I saw a news story about the current size of the world’s biggest pumpkin. Since I wrote my article, it has more than doubled to 2749 pounds from a mere 1006 pounds years ago.

Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota world record pumpkin, was weighed on 10-09-23  in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Answers to quiz: 1b, 2e, 3d, 4c, 5a, 6g, 7f, and 8h.

Here is a fall poem from Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms


full moon

autumn’s delight

a fairy celebration

under the bright harvest glow


all the woodland creatures join

pirouetting under the stars

before first snow



Next week is the release of The Destination. Be sure to stop by and celebrate with me, along with enjoying the Halloween day. I’m dressing up as the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz for my daughter’s costume party this coming weekend and my husband is going to be wolfman. I’ll share pictures then. It’s a come as a classic villian theme. I went back and forth between the Wicked Witch and Annie Wilkes from Misery. Anyone else dressing up?

Embrace your inner child. Take a fall (or spring) walk and enjoy nature! Then sit down on a bench and read a book or write a poem. D. l. Finn

New Release! The Gift by @gmplano Harbor Pointe Series Book 2 #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread

Yay! Tomorrow is the release day for the second book of the Harbor Pointe Series. If you haven’t picked up your copy there is still time. I am sharing the blurb and my review here today.

The Gift: Harbor Pointe Series Book 2
By Gwen M. Plano


The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.
In an innocent 1958 American suburb, Shelly doesn’t know the power of a kiss. Or how it will change her entire life.
At sixteen years old, she falls in love with a young man. One night—just one night—they go too far. Months later, pregnant and shamed, Shelly’s parents banish her.
Alone and heavily pregnant, circumstances force Shelly to cross the country in an old pickup.
A mistaken turn leaves her lost in a forest amidst a severe snow storm and in labor.
In the dark of night. Shelly must get help for her new-born baby before they both perish. A light in the distance gives her the slimmest glimmer of hope.
After Shelly wraps the infant in her father’s old jacket, she trudges through the snow to a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Snow half buries the squat stone building.
Will Shelly find shelter, or is it the beginning of the end?

“The Gift” is set in 1958 when the one mistake of a sixteen-year-old girl makes her family not only turn their back on her but send her away. Shelly is very pregnant and scared to drive alone across the United States to stay with a relative until she has the baby. Almost at her destination, she runs out of gas in a snowstorm. She goes into labor and is forced to deliver her baby. If they stay in the old truck, they will perish, so she bundles up the baby and tries to find help. She sees a light that she hopes means help and heads towards it. I was ashamed of Shelly’s parents for sending her off like they did with an old unreliable vehicle and limited funds. Shelly was strong, though, when she needed to be. And the father who was away at college with no idea of her condition came back home and began his search for her. It’s a beautifully told drama full of guilt, loss, regret—and love. I was completely invested in Shelly, the baby, and their survival. A cruel set of events for a teen also offered hope, which made this an inspirational read that I can highly recommend!

Amazon US Amazon UK


Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the high desert of Arizona, where she writes, gardens, and travels with her husband.
Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.
When Gwen is not writing, she’s often in the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona, where she finds inspiration.

If you are subcribed to my newsletter it will go out the end of this week.

Next week is Finn’s Forest #7.

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

Halloween Creativity #Challenge @teagangeneviene #writingcommunity #halloween #writingchallenge


I decided to do a second challenge today. This is Teagan R. Geneviene’s Halloween Creativity Challenge. We were asked to write a story, poem, advertisement, song, or whatever we liked.  There was a chart and we were to go by the letter of our first name and get: a Halloween thing, a hero, and a costume. Mine for D were: Horror Movies, Postman, and Ninja. Although, I never mentioned horror movies, but I felt it read like one. I started out as a short haibun but it grew. Here is my story that ends with micro poetry or a really long haibun 🙂

A Halloween Walk Through the Woods

The wind’s chill cut through my ninja costume. My black boots clicked against the icy cement path that took me through the dark forest. The only light came from my cell phone flashlight. Why did I think taking a shortcut from my house to my neighbor’s Halloween party was a good idea? A loud crack came from behind me, and my heart took off like my heavy feet wanted to do. It sounded like something large had stepped on a tree branch. A bear or… No, that’s a question I shouldn’t ask.

My step quickened, and I wished I had the actual weapons of a ninja. A laugh vibrated through the trees. Unless someone dressed as the wicked witch was behind me and was perfecting their cackle, I was in trouble. At least I had on all black. I shut the flashlight off and made a run for it as fast as my old heart would allow. The laughter crept closer, and I veered off the exposed path into the thick trees.

Then I hid behind the biggest cedar, or maybe it was a pine. I didn’t care. I took a deep breath and slowed down my haggard breathing. My eyes adjusted to the darkness as the laughter and a dark figure were right where I had just been.

A baritone voice called out, “Are we playing hide and go seek tiny ninja? What a fun game you’ve given me on Hallowed Eve. It will make your blood taste all the better, little human.”

I remained silent. It was my only chance. Right then, the heavy cloud cover parted. Moonlight hit the thing directly as its laughter grew louder, echoing off my soul. His pale skin was jagged, like an alligator. Nothing is that tall, nothing human, that is. That was no costume. I had to close my eyes, or what I was seeing would drive me mad.

The next part is unbelievable, but it happened. A woman wearing a light button-up shirt and black pants carrying the same bag as our mailman with a pulsing blue wand marched right up to the monster.

“I surrender.” The thing fell to its knees and held up his arms.

Four letters on the bag glowed in yellow that brightly lit the scene: USPS. The woman with dark curly hair nodded and opened her bag. The creature dissipated into spinning green sparkles that flowed into the bag’s mouth.

“You are safe now,” she said and waved in my direction. “Time to make a delivery.”

Before I could decide how to respond, the evil and the woman were gone.

mail carrier hero

possessed a magical bag

saved me in the woods

24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge, No. 3 #TankaTuesday #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poems #tanka #fall

Hi! Here is Colleen Chesebro’s 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, No. 3.

These are the season kigo words I chose for this week: pumpkin & cold dew. I did a tanka 5/7/5/7/7.

world record pumpkin
nestled in dawn’s salty cold dew
massive orange squash
awaits her adoring fans
harvest festival begins


The next From Finn’s Forest talks about special pumpkins 🙂

From Finn’s Forest #6 #writingcommunity #author #readers

Today I’m talking about some fun forest facts and then sharing a forest poem from my latest poetry book.

Did you know that forests cover almost a third of our landmass or 31%? I didn’t.
There are three types of forests: tropical, temperate, and boreal. How are these different?

Tropical forests stay at a comfortable temperature, usually between 66-88 degrees F. They skip winter but still enjoy the rain and dry seasons. The Amazon rainforest is a good example and the largest, but if I venture into a tropical forest, it’s usually in Hawaii. They contain fifty percent of all the world’s plants and animals and their soil is acidic, but that doesn’t stop all the growth. The growing season is year-round.

Temperate forests experience all four seasons. Winters can last up to six months and some animals will hibernate, like the bears, or migrate to survive. Alaska’s Tongrass forest spans 16.7 million acres, making it the largest of this type. They include deciduous trees that change colors and lose their leaves every year, along with the evergreens and other tree types. They are also known for having rich soil. The growing season is between 140 to 200 days a year.

Borel forests are the coldest of the forests. They can dip to -65 F in the winter. They are in the United States of America in the state of Alaska, Russia, and Canada. Only the most hardy of trees survive in these conditions like firs, pines, and spruce. Like those in the Temperate forests, the animals will either hibernate or migrate. The growing season for this type is 130 days at the most.

These forests have subcategories that differ in temperature, animals, plants, trees, and moisture. I won’t go into those today.

The Magic Trail and my home are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains at an elevation of 3800. Up to 5000 feet are considered foothills. There are many times in the winter when I forget that fact and feel like I’m in the mountains. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is called a temperate coniferous (fire, pines, juniper…) forest. This type of forest, including the animals and weather, finds their way into my stories. The redwood forest is also temperate coniferous that has also made appearances in my settings.
Forests are considered the lungs of the earth, but they also provide fresh water, food, timber, and many other resources.

The tallest tree in the world is a sequoia named Hyperion at 380 feet in the coastal California redwood forest. Its location is kept secret for its safety.

The oldest tree in the world is Methuselah. This tree is believed to be 4,855 years old and also lives in California in the Inyo National Forest White Mountains.

How do you know the age of a tree? You count its rings.
Approximately 25% of all our modern medicine comes from plants in the forests.

Rainforests receive between 79 and 394 inches of rain each year.

To honor forests, I’m sharing a forest poem from my book Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms.


The trail weaves through pines and oaks,
Winding around logs of past lives.
It takes me past a mysterious pit,
While brushing the edge of wilderness.
I meander slowly on the red dirt,
Like a river trickles on a warm summer day.
Each step brings me closer to my spirit,
As perfection of spring sprinkles the trail.
Awakening the beauty of renewal,
It rises from its quiet hibernation.
With a long stretch, spring’s days open,
Embracing me in a cyclic cuddle
That flows through me in awareness,
Each tree becomes a welcomed friend.
The birds are now my exclusive guides,
While the insects teach me about life.
Eternal nexus tethers me to the moment,
Grateful, my meditative walk continues.
Gifted, with the forest’s peace,
Guided, only by the trail’s magic.

Embrace your inner child by visiting a forest or reading about one in a book! D. L. Finn

24 Seasons #Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge, No. 2 #TankaTuesday. #tanka #nature #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poems

I chose from the list of words provided this week and went with apple bee. After some research, I found it was a wasp. It is like our very active ground wasps that have earned the name meat bee here. They enjoy apples but also any meat. They make eating outside impossible and football BBQs a challenge. I have talked about them before in a previous post.

They are at the doors. The moment I step outside, they are already bumping against me in a warning I take seriously. This has been the worst year I can remember. Their attacks usually increase this time of year before their ground hives die down, leaving a queen and some workers for next spring. Many people I’ve talked to have been stung, that includes me. It isn’t just one sting, but several at once. Not sure what made it such a terrible year for them, but it sure is.

I keep my eye on the outdoor temperature, so far we’ve gotten down to 39 degrees at night, but not the 32 degrees that will solve this problem. Until then I wait.
This is a tanka poem 5/7/5/7/7.
aggressive meat bees
waiting for me at the door
safe inside I hide
until falls first welcomed chill
clears the air of painful stings

October Book Reviews! @TWDittmer @SueColetta1 @ninsthewriter @Dwallacepeach @SarahBrentyn @alliepottswrite #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whatyoushouldbereading

The Valley Walker

By T.W. Dittmer

Teri Altro who is a part of a government drug enforcement team, is almost gunned down at a store. A mysterious man steps in, saves her, and then disappears. This man turns out to be John Walker Micheals, who is an ex-Vietnam vet. John also has close ties to the Hmong community who call him the Valley Walker. He is wanted by the government for desertion, but Teri is protective of the man who not only saved her life, but she shot. The settings and descriptions of the Vietnam War and the Hmong culture were very detailed and added a depth that made this story hard to put down. The flowing time and locations in the book include mysticism, politics, and powerful drug traffickers. Teri worked hard but forgot about her heart. John’s character is unpredictable until the end. I loved how this complex tale unfolded so skillfully on many levels. It is a story I can easily recommend.

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series #1)

By Sue Coletta


I started this series with book six, “Restless Mayhew” and was immediately drawn into the story. After that, I wanted to know what happened before, so I started with book one and found the beginning equally compelling. Shawnee is a cat burglar who steals from criminals to give back to their victims—she also works for the police department. When she was a cat burglar, she discovered the identity of a serial killer. Unfortunately, he found out that she had broken into his house and taken his prized possession, along with some cash and gems. Although the killer is known right away, the book is still a page-turner, and I couldn’t wait to find out how she survived. At first, I wanted her to turn the killer in to save his victims from his creative yet inhuman and painful deaths. Shawnee was in a dangerous position and not only had to save herself but those she loved. Plus, she dates a detective who can easily throw her in jail if he finds out too much about her. Shawnee is not only a flawed individual but a determined one who had me on her side. A well-written thriller that kept me up late into the night, wanting to know what was going to happen next. I can’t wait to read the next in the series and can easily recommend this to those who love fast-paced mysteries with graphic details of being a victim and a survivor.


Dark Eyes

By Nina Romano

“Dark Eyes” is set in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Anya is a young, unwed mother who struggles to provide food for her daughter after escaping an abusive relationship. After her daughter’s grandmother is brutally murdered, Anya wants to find the killer. This pulls her into a corrupt criminal world that ventures into the police department and includes dolls, diamonds, and drugs. Andrei is a police photographer trying to get hired onto the force. They meet during the investigation and seem drawn to each other. I didn’t like Andrei at first because of his initial interactions with Anya. Later, as I got to know Andrei and Anya better, I became invested in these characters and rooted for their survival. Ms. Romano paints a vivid picture of how it would have been to be living in those times in the Soviet Union, especially as a woman. In the Soviet Union, shortages of food, heat, and jobs made life difficult. It was also risky to disagree with the KGB or be Jewish. A couple of scenes with Anya were graphic and brutal but showed her strength and determination to survive for her mentally challenged daughter and to find the truth. This story draws you into a world we are lucky we don’t live in and offers hope amongst cruelty. A historical fiction love story I can easily recommend.

The Shadows We Breathe (Volume 3)

By Sarah Brentyn and various authors

This is the first anthology I’ve read of “The Shadows We Breathe (Volume 3)” and really enjoyed it. I recognized a couple of the authors but was also introduced to new ones. The book is put together with first flash fiction and then micro-fiction with the theme of power. I loved all the different perspectives that were taken in the stories. Some touched on some very dark subjects, but all were well told. I enjoyed them all so I don’t have a favorite story, but the micro-fiction was compelling in what could be told in fewer words. Although a fast read, it wasn’t light on entertainment or depth. I can easily recommend this collection to those who want to explore the shadowy side of life.

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