Favorite Books

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

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

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


FAVORITE BOOK SURVEY

Favorite Kid Books

More than one vote (series included): 

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

Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault (3)

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

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene (3)

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

Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope (2)

Children’s Bible (2)

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

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

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright (2)

Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (2)

Single votes (series included):

A Ghost in the Attic by Suzan Reid

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Alice’s Adventure Under Ground by Lewis Carroll

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

BFG by Roald Dahle

Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen and Mark Buehner

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Boxcar children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Choose your Own Adventure by R.A. Montgomery

Cinderella by Jane Werner

Dick and Jane Series by Penguin Young Readers

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahle

Gilbert and the lost Tooth by Diane deGroat

Tanglewood Tales: Greek Mythology for Kids by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Little house on the Prairie books by Laura Engle Wilder

Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Love you forever by Robert M. Munsch and Shelia McGraw

Loudmouse by Richard Wilber

Magic Tree by Mary Pope Osborne

Nothing Fair in the 5th grade! By Barthe DeClements

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Polar Express by Chris Van Allburg

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

Sounder by William H. Armstrong

The Best Little Monkeys in the World by Natalie Standiford

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahle

The Strawberry Roan by Darragh Metzger

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak

Favorite Adult Books

More than one vote (series included):

The Bible (6)

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (3)

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

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

Single votes (series included):

A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan

Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman

Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

By the Light of Day by Dean Koontz

Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Foxfire Light by Janet Daily

Hot White Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout

Interview with a Vampire by Ann Rice

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Message from Nam by Danielle Steel

Old man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Men of the Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels

The Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Girl with a Snake Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Last Ride by Nicolas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Prophet  by Kahlil Gibran

The Sphere by Michael Crichton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Voice of the Eagle by Linda Lay Shuler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

You Can’t Win by Jack Black

Favorite all-time Book Character/Person:

More than one vote:

Jesus from The Bible (2)

Single votes:

Amelia from Amelia Bedelia Series

Baloo from Jungle Book

Bilbo from The Hobbit

David from The Bible

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

Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice

Ender from Enders Game

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

Harry from Harry Potter Series

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

Hester from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Jack from Jack Reacher Series by Dan Ames

Jason from Jason Bourne Series by Eric Van Lustbader

Jessie from Boxcar Children

Jo from Little Woman

Katniss from Hunger Games

Lestat from Interview with a Vampire

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

Moses from The Bible

Mouse from Loud Mouse

Nancy from Nancy Drew series 

Noah from The Bible

Odd from Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz

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

Sherlock from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sodapop from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Stephanie from Stephanie Plum Series

Stuart from The Stand

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

Extra–just the author:

Debbie Macomber

Dick Francis

Lynn Harris

Patricia Cornwell

Stephen King

Terry McMillan


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

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


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


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

 

 

 

Part 2 of Summer Short Stories Reviews!

Lost and Found: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

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


Hexed: A Purr-fect Catastrophe

by Wendy Jayne

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


Zombie Dawn

by Rhani D’Chae

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


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

By Shirley Harris-Slaughter

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


Feeders: Madeson Reid, PI: Paranormal Short Story.

By Wendy Jayne

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


Lost Time: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

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


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

Thanks!


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

Summer Short Story Reviews

 

OPEN, SHUT: A Short Story

By Nonnie Jules

Darcy’s older sister was killed while walking to school with her siblings. After her sister’s death, Darcy noticed doors, and other things, opening and shutting on their own. Then, she discovered her sister’s journal that changed her world. I found this to be an inspiring read about a girl finding her faith and applying it to her life after a tragic event. It shows we can overcome loss–if we have faith.


 

I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

This was a fascinating read! Although it stated clearly in the beginning there was going to be a murder I was still surprised when it happened. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I had to know why. It was chilling to see through the killer’s point of view. The characters were real, the subject matter of abuse important, and the rationale almost makes sense—almost. I loved this story and highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy a story told through the “serial killer’s” prospective!


 

Short Stories of Fantasy: Sarpati, The Slot Machine, Broken Toys in the Attic, The Fair Lady

By Patricia A. Guthrie

This is a collection of four short stories that held my attention. The tales ranged from seeing Adam and Eve from the snakes’ prospective, what a slot machine is thinking, not to enter an attic if you are a spoiled child, and books that should never be read. Each had its own flavor that I fully enjoyed. This was a fun read for me. If you enjoy the paranormal with a bit of horror mixed in, you’ll enjoy this collection.


Two Shorts and a Snort

By Jan Sikes

There are two short stories and a poem in this collection. My favorite short story was “Obsession”. It takes the reader to a place of greed and lust, and what a dark path they can drag you down. I could sympathize with the characters and at the same time cringe at the things they did. The other short story “Maggie” was a sweet tale when a rancher finds a gift in a snow bank. I left this story wanting to know more, but very glad the couple got what they desired. The poem rang true about relationships that shouldn’t go ‘there’. “Two Shorts and a Snort” is an ideal read before bedtime–or even your lunch break.


Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story

by Wendy Jayne

Ms. Jayne takes us on a chance meeting and a forgetful morning after. Tequila wakes up with a major hangover and tries to figure out what happened between her and Jack. Was this a person she might want to have a relationship or forget she met him? I enjoyed the storyline and humor. The characters were well-written, and I was curious to see what happened between them. It wasn’t a rushed short-story ending–even with “speed-dating”.


 Saving The Evergreens: Garden Secrets 

by Maretha Botha

This is a charming short-story of a little Evergreen from the Tree Quarters named Smallun. Smallun meets up with a butterfly he names Flutter and he quickly shares his story of his home being attacked by the Zondies and escaping to safety. It reminded me of a similar issue we have in our area with tree beetles killing the pine trees. This story makes you want to look twice at what grows in our gardens or forests.


 

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

Noises in the Dark…

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

I’ve been working overtime on the final edits for “The Button”. I decided to use our trailer to work uninterrupted with the bonus it has air conditioning, which the house doesn’t. The trailer is parked in a space above the house, but near the garage and back yard. One side faces the long dark driveway and the other side (where the door is) there’s a heavily forested area. It’s a lovely place to work during the day.  I appreciate seeing the douglas firs, pines, oaks, dogwoods, madrones, and other assorted greenery.

But, I’ve added night shifts to meet my upcoming deadline. After dinner I’d head out with my cell phone and laptop and get to work. The backyard and garage lights provide enough illumination to make me feel somewhat safe. Yet, there is the side of the trailer that borders the murky forest. Even leaving the porch light on it doesn’t throw out enough glow to alleviate my fears of what could be lurking in the night.

The first night out–power outage. The only way that would happen was if the trailer came unplugged from the outlet on the house. Of course, my mind raced with thoughts…who unplugged it? What did they want? I texted my husband and got no reply because he was asleep. My lap top’s battery was exhausted, and I wasn’t done working for the night.

Setting my fears aside was all I could do. I hurried out the door to see what happened. Luckily, both dogs were outside and kept watch on my rush to the outlet.  It was unplugged. I thought perhaps my husband or I tripped over it and didn’t notice. I left it at that, while trying to ignore the other scenarios my mind was creating including serial killers.  So, I brought Sara our Shepard-mix back with me to the trailer and left Hermie our black lab to watch over my sleeping husband. All went smoothly the rest of that night with Sara by my side.

Sara became my night-time companion in the trailer. Each night when I was done she’d bravely make sure it was safe with the darkness of the forest taunting us. This place is where shadows don’t exist and where an animal had screamed loudly a few nights ago. That cry was so piercing I heard it from the house. My first response was to go outside and yell at whatever was hurting the animal. It didn’t listen though, and after a while there was silence. That night I researched the sound and decided it was either a fox warning or a rabbit being killed. I went with the fox. That ‘scream and silence’ stayed with me all week.

A few nights later right before 11:00 pm, I was working with Sara next to me. It was a warm night, so I had the door open. I was editing the evildwel’s part when something heavy walked through the darkness right outside the door, but out of sight of the yellow porch light. Sara’s ears were up, and she was alert. My heart started racing along with my mind. I froze for a moment as the sounds of twigs and branches snapped under its weight. I decided it would be a great time to shut the door and lock it–once I convinced my feet to move. Sara’s attention was on the doorway while my fear changed into panic. Finally, I got my body to move and I raced to close the door. I held my breath until the moment I turned the red latch on the door locking it.

I could still hear the creatures’ progress through an open window. My next step was to shut all the drapes so it couldn’t see me lit up by a computer’s screen. That is also when I noticed it was darker than normal outside. I’d forgotten to turn on the backyard light. Everything was bathed in nighttime. I was convinced that this thing wanted me. I didn’t have the house phone, so I texted my husband. Like before, no response he was asleep. Perhaps if I stayed where I was and slept in the trailer, it would go away? But what if it got into the trailer—there was no place to hide. I would have to defend myself. Why didn’t I think to keep a weapon out here with me? Maybe I should try to reach out to someone. One of my kids should still be up. I couldn’t make a call from where I was at, but I could text. What would I say? I would either worry them or have them laughing at me. What little pride I had left, I decided I was saving them from worrying.

About then my rational thoughts started breaking through my fears.  I wasn’t going to let noises in the dark scare me. It was just a byproduct of writing about scary things. So, I settled back to work, with Sara now sleeping quietly next to me. She didn’t seem worried about anything. I took that as a sign all was well. Around midnight I closed my laptop. Done for the night, I knew the only person that was going to get me inside my house, was me. I let Sara out first to clear the path and walked as quickly as I could behind her in the darkness. That 50-foot journey took forever. Luckily, I didn’t need to test my theory whether laptops make good weapons or not,when I made it safely into our garage, and then the house. I locked the door and the darkness out. The next day I was back in the trailer enjoying the green splendor. Yet night wasn’t far off…

When I write about those evil entities that feed off fear and I hear a noise at night…. will I be scared? Yes. Will that fear find its way into my writing? It will.  Will I bring some protection with me next time? Guaranteed. Will I make sure the backyard light is on encroaching on the night? Absolutely.

You see I’ve done my research of things that go bump in the night. These things haven’t found me yet, but I know they are there. It may only be a fox, deer, bear, coyote, or mountain lion, but I haven’t ruled out Bigfoot, evil monsters, aliens, or one of those crazy humans, either.

So, know when I’m writing about something scary, I’ve been that scared before. And my heart may have been racing as I typed the words, but that never stopped me from writing. When reality finds me creating fiction, I’ve found it takes a bit of bravery not to run away…and just keep writing.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

35 years later…roadtrip

I talked about a road trip to Southern California I took 35 years ago with my husband in a previous blog: Roadtrip. In May, my husband and I hit the road again, this time pulling the long, long trailer behind us.

long long trailer....

We went south and settled in Anaheim after a long nine-hour drive on Highway 5. After relaxing to an already cooked dinner (thanks to a day of cooking before we left) we headed outside to watch the Disneyland fireworks from our RV park. We got six days of it! There is something magical standing in the darkness and watching the sky light up in beautiful colors.

fireworks pic

The next two days were given to exploring Disneyland. As always, we headed first to our favorite ride, The Pirates of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, it was closed for refurbishing for several more weeks. So, we proceeded next to the Haunted House or another favorite as a first ride for us. It was closed—it had broken-down. Not to be discouraged, we got in line for Thunder Mountain ready for the thrill of a roller coaster. Right when we got up ready to board…it also broke.

thunder mountain

At this point I was beginning to wonder what was going on. After they cleared us out of the line at this ride we headed over to Peter Pan– another one of our favorites. Twenty-five minutes, we were in the shade. We thought we’d made it. Guess what? It broke down, too. By now I was laughing and wondering what the message was. I didn’t ponder on that thought too long, as I was determined to get onto a ride.

We waited as others left for them to fix the ride. Finally, we saw the first boat come into port. It was going again. We got seated and were whisked off into Neverland. We weren’t disappointed, and things went smoothly from there. Then our fun continued as we flew through outerspace on Space Mountain and raced in Radiator Springs (I admit to giggling a bit on this ride).  My inner child got quite the work out.

After our amusement park fix we got a nice visit in with some relatives and then headed for the beach. Exploring on the sandy landscape always brings me to a peaceful state of being.

beach trip

Then, on our final day we headed to the San Diego Zoo. It had been 35 years since we’d been there. It had changed a lot in many good ways. We started with the bus tour and then when it was done we worked our way downhill through the many different areas with the map in hand.

map

We had lunch with the elephants and I spent some time watching a tiger (I was born in the year of the tiger and have a connection to all cats big or small…).

me and tiger

The grounds were beautiful with lots of greenery and waterfalls, and it brought back a lot of memories of a younger version of us walking the same path.

Then, we headed back home knowing we had two more road trips to come…

Thirty-five years might have separated these trips, but they were both amazing. Our younger versions had more energy and we explored further. This older version paced ourselves, stopped more and observed. Either version of us, though, our hearts were still the same along with our wonder. We laughed like children on the rides, were amazed at nature’s beauty and at peace around the animals. This time we slept in comfort and had a kitchen to use, over an ice chest and a bed in the back of a van 35 years ago, but it was still us–together.  And the message was when the rides kept breaking, that it didn’t matter what we did as long as we did it together.

on boat

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

2018 RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO

book expo RRBC

Welcome to my special edition blog! I’m excited about our 3rd Writers’ Conference & Book Expo! It’s a place to not only mingle with other authors, but learn more about our craft, and have some fun! Don’t miss out on this amazing experience!


This year’s conference “RISING TO STAND AMONG THE VERY BEST,” would surely catapult our members even further into the realm of successful authorship!  The resources that will be offered and the knowledge that will be gained from this year’s conference, will serve as the catalyst to ensure that each person who attends, will be that much closer to their goal of either “aspiring writer” or “successful author.”

There will be several Author Booths on site for RRBC members to showcase, promote and sell their books, and Vendor Booths for those who wish to showcase and introduce their services.  No event is ever complete without giveaways, so allow me to mention that our RAFFLE this year is going to be just as good (if not better) than last year’s, and made fully possible by our ever-generous (member) SPONSORS!  We will be raffling 7 gift card/gift baskets – one for every day of the conference and there will also be door prizes up for grabs in every Author Booth!

***This event is open to the general public***

IMPORTANT LINKS:

General Information

Registration Information 

Registration Packages & Pricing

Registration Page

Sponsorship Information

Raffle Tickets Registration

THIS YEAR’S EVENT WILL HELP YOU…
*Get inspired and get to writing more

*Market your work to avid readers
*Strengthen your writing skills even more and allow you to…
*Network with like-minded individuals who can aid you on your writing journey.

Sunday, July 15th is the FINAL day to register at the current pricing. (After this date, prices go up to at-the-door prices.)


Embrace your inner child at the Writers’s Conference & Book Expo! D.L. Finn

 

July poetry and book reviews

pretty roseHere is a poem from the “Just Her Poetry” which I hope to release in a few months. This is a runner-up for being used in “The Button”:

TRAPPED 

I feel her trapped in me…

That scared little girl from so long ago.

I’ve tried to reassure her…

To embrace her…

To comfort her…

Yet, she still hides…

While trying to protect me…

In scared and illogical ways that don’t.

She doesn’t know that though, she’s too little.

Too young to understand, that I’m okay now.

That it is safe…we are safe.

I keep trying to reach her.

With the hope that someday

She will feel protected

And not try to hold me back…

In her attempt to keep us safe.

That together we can move forward…

Just the two of us…. in trust and wonder.


 

cusp of night pic

Cusp of Night (A Hode’s Hill Novel)

by Mae Clair

“Cusp of Night” is a suspenseful story that has two timelines blending together beautifully. Maya moves to Hode Hill and sees a man attacked by what she believes is a monster, and at home she experiences strange events at 2:22 am. While all of this is taking place in modern times, the other timeline, set in the late 1800’s, explains the life of Lucinda who was born with blue skin. I love all the details Ms. Clair adds that enhance the story-line and characters including: the history of mediums and people with blue skin–which I’ve never heard of before. I’m already a fan of Ms. Clair and expected a lot from this book…I wasn’t disappointed.  This is a stand-alone read, but I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series. A must-read for paranormal/thriller fans.


lodestone pic

Lodestone: (Witch-Hunt) 

by Wendy Scott

Ms. Scott wrote an entertaining story told from two different time-lines. Sabrina the healer-witch lived in times when magic had been removed, while Lauren lived in the past when there was magic. How their lives intersected I found fascinating. As Sabrina sets out to right the wrongs of the past she develops a relationship with an apprentice monk Micah, that was one of my favorite parts of the story. Getting the history through Lauren’s journal though showed that even with good intentions and a mother’s love things can go very wrong– was the strength of the story. It was a long process to get Sabrina to the place she needed to be, and many people suffered along the way– and after. If you like a story with a quest, magic, forbidden love, fantasy with dark undertones, you will enjoy this book!


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

Book Release: If You Love Me, I’m Yours by Lizzie Chantree@Lizzie_Chantree #RRBC

I’m excited to welcome today’s special guest: Lizzie Chantree and her new book “If You Love Me, I’m Yours”

Lizzie pic 2

Book blurb:

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?


3 fun facts about Lizzie’s writing:

  •  I began writing when my youngest daughter became unwell, as a way to stave off depression. It helped me through a very difficult time.
  •   I don’t really plan my stories. I do rough chapter guides and then get on with writing the story. It’s great fun as it feels like I’m reading the story as I write it.
  •  I used to worry all of the time about marketing. Now I run networking hours for creatives, have Facebook groups to help other authors and really enjoy interacting with my readers. Marketing can be fun!

  •  lizzie author pic

    Author BIO:

    Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree  https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.


  •  lizzie pic 1

    Social media links:

    Website:  https://lizziechantree.com

    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.

    Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

    Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

    Universal book buy link: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours


Thanks for dropping by! Embrace that inner child with a good book! D.L. Finn

“The Button” Cover Reveal and a Poem

Here is the cover for The Button:

Ebook Copy of Button

Ta-da!

I wanted to carry over a theme from This Second Chance with the red eyes, but I couldn’t come up with an idea for this cover as easily as I had in the past. At first, I took pictures of pay phones to use, but that didn’t seem to capture the essence of the story. Then, I came up with the idea to use bullets, and a button or the things Lynn finds in her bed (yes, the button does say what Lynn’s does in the book). But, it still needed something else, so the final touch was Zelina’s wings that I wore last Halloween. The next thing I needed was something to put it all on. In the closet where costumes are stored, next to the wings there was the velvet cape that became the background.  Once I took several pictures I picked the top three and sent them over to my cover designer Monica Gibson. She added the graphics and eyes that pulled it all together. I had many options for title colors, but I think the red stood out the best.

I’m heading into my final edit before sending it in for its professional edit in mid-July. I have to thank the Beta Readers who are taking time out of their busy schedules to give feedback. It is much appreciated and been very insightful so far! Thank you, thank you! If all goes well there should be an end of summer release!


Here is a poem that I feel relates to this story from my upcoming poetry book: Just Her Poetry:

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

UNWELCOME PROTECTOR 

I feel it when I’m uncomfortable.

It is always there hiding…waiting.

That shallow breath…

That tight grip…that feeling.

 

It draws my attention

Back to where it came from.

A time…

A time when I wasn’t so strong.

 

I was helpless,

I was young,

I’m none of those things now…

Yet, it stays.

 

It’s an unwanted guest

That lurks in my body

That has over-stayed…

Its welcome.

 

It seems unaware

That it isn’t wanted anymore

So, I carefully guide it to the door…

Fumbling with the lock.

 

It clings to the doorway

Hanging on to my past

Smiling, I gently push it out…

We are both free as I release it.


There will be no blog on July 1st. I’ll be off the final road-trip of the year, but will be back on July 8th. Happy 4th of July– may your day sparkle like the night skies!

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

 

Books That Changed Me–Summer Edition

for blog summer edition pic

Happy Summer! It’s the season when air conditioners are running, swim holes are appealing, the BBQ is fired-up and the stars beg to be observed. There is the thrill of baseball games or the Fair when it comes to town offering food, rides, and farm animals. Then, there’s the quieter times to stretch out on the freshly cut grass watching a cloud or two float by, or roasting marshmallows around a campfire. The most important thing about summer is to remember that carefree child again.

Books have the same effect on me that seasons do. They can be renewing like spring or like summertime taking a journey to that special place remembered from childhood. That trip can be either in wonder or to that scary place that keeps eyes focused on the darkness instead of sleeping. All I know is I am never the same again after reading a great book.

Here is my second list of the year for the summer of books that have changed me by reading them!


Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir 

by Karen Ingalls

outshine pic

Although, I have not had cancer, family members have– and I’ve dealt with many health issues over the years. This is a book that shines hope on a challenging situation and left me inspired and ready to face anything! It also reminded me of what is important in life.

Here’s my 5-star review:

“Outshine” is the journey Ms. Ingalls took when she learned she had ovarian cancer. This is a subject I’d usually avoid because the word cancer scares me, and I’ve seen what it can do to loved ones, but I was surprised how inspired I became as I read it. The author is a nurse who educated herself with all the facts once she learned her diagnosis. She dug deep into her faith and found ways to nourish her soul throughout the process. I loved all the quotes and the positive way she approached a very scary situation for anyone. She got the help back she had provided in her career two-fold. We were with her during her surgery, chemotherapy, when she lost her hair and her daily walks and prayers. I loved how she talked about sending a card and really meaning the message and how much it meant to her at this time. I was impressed how she learned to let her ego go when she lost her hair, how she embraced each day as a gift, and her husband’s unconditional love for her. These are good lessons for us in life whether we are fighting an illness or not. I ended reading this feeling more hopeful and inspired. This is a book for anyone dealing with cancer or any illness, but it is also for anyone who wants and needs to be encouraged. I highly recommend Ms. Ingalls’ book!


Tails (Silver Wishes Book 1)

by WJ Scott  (Author), John Helle Nielsen (Illustrator), Belinda Mellor (Editor)

tails pic

This may be a book for children, but it was the perfect read for me, too. I fell in love with the dog Buster-Boy and shed a tear or two over him, while Kywah’s bravery tugged at my heart. This has not only fantasy and magic (which I love) but it offers the reality of human nature.

Here’s my 5-star review:

“Tails” is a children’s fantasy book for the 9-12 age group, but is for adults, too. I’m already of fan of Ms. Scott, so I went into reading this with high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed!  “Tails” takes us to a place where magic is hard to come by, and the wizards have lost their power. That all changes when a hunter, Samsa captures Kywah, a silvertail and cuts his tail off which has magic in it. The silvertails were thought to be extinct and this renews the interest in ‘harvesting’ them. The hunters set out to find the pack, so they can sell the tails and fur to the wizards who want to recapture their powers. Kywah, who is considered handicapped among his pack, leaves on a journey to find the ‘Wise One’ to prevent the killing for greed and power. He does this without the senses his tail provided. I loved the relationships Kywah made along the way, especially with the dog Buster-Boy.  This is the first of the series–I can’t wait for the second book! If you love a story with magic, adventure, wizards, hunters, fairies, bravery, friendship and a journey you’ll love this book!  I highly recommend “Tails” and would give it six stars if I could.


Circumstances of Childhood

by John W. Howell

circumstances pic

 

The first time I read a book written by Mr. Howell his unique writing style surprised me then I quickly became a fan. His books are filled with action and humor and so was this book, but it went a step further. It added in some other-worldly depth and friendship that has stayed with me.

Here’s my 5-star review:

“Circumstances of Childhood” is written in the unique style of Mr. Howell and was a book that kept me up late into the night reading!  Greg and Keith are childhood friends and Greg ends up living with Keith’s family. They play football together creating new plays and plan out their future. Unfortunately, only one of them make it to live those dreams. When one of them is killed in an accident, the other one goes on to be successful–with a happily ever after. But, that happy ending is ripped away when money is stolen from Greg’s company and his life falls apart. Parts of the storyline are told from Greg’s prospective and the rest by Keith. I loved the bond created between the two, who were like brothers, that existed beyond death. Choices that are made can affect the characters for the rest of eternity.  This is a perceptive and an exciting read with a whodunit mixed in. It’s a skillfully written story with well-rounded characters that I couldn’t help but care about. The storyline kept me engaged until the last page with some unexpected twists. Although, this is a different type of story than Mr. Howell’s John Canon series, it is worthy of your read if you enjoyed that series like I did. This has become my favorite book from this author.  I highly recommend!


I had to add a book of short stories! Summer is the perfect time for a short story on the beach with umbrella drink in hand. When the story is done, it’s time to head into the water to cool off.

Summer Bonus Pick:

The Alternative 

by Suzanne Burke (Author), Rich Bowden (Editor)

The Alternative BOOK COVER PERFECT AND READY TO GO. SMALLER COPY

This author has an amazing writing style and insight that I admire and I have always loved justice in a story–perfect combination. I really had a hard time picking between Ms. Burke’s two short story collections, but I think the Karma-theme tipped the scales for me. 

Here’s my 5-star review:

Ms. Burke wrote another amazing book of nine short stories. Each story had its own style of karma, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It would be hard to pick my favorite out of the bunch, so I won’t. There were parts where I found myself cheering out loud—other times cringing. The characters were well-written and the stories full of depth and emotion, along with some humor. If you love short stories with a dark twist, you won’t want to miss reading “The Alternative”.


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Next blog I’ll be revealing the cover for The Button, and sharing a poem from Just her Poetry.

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