#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 248, #PHOTOPROMP @ColleenChesebro #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #haiku #poetrychallenge

Here is this week’s Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #248. It’s a Photo Prompt, and the picture was provided by Sangeetha, from MindFills .

I love photo or image challenges for writing poems and short stories. This one immediately spoke to me and became a haiku 5/7/5.

Tilini – The Himalaya, 2021 photo credit – sangeetha

life strips away leaves

leaving imagination

where happiness blooms

October Book Review Part 3! @Dwallacepeach @stacitroilo @jlbryanbooks #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #mustreads

Socerer's Garden Book Cover

The Sorcerer’s Garden

by D. Wallace Peach

Madlyn loses her job, but quickly finds one where she reads to a young man, Cody, who is in a vegetative state after an accident. After running out of things to read to him, she finds a fantasy book he’d been working on and starts reading that. This is where reality and fantasy blur. I could relate to Madlyn and her confusion with what was happening, plus all the strange hints the grandma threw at her. Both beautiful and dark settings, along with poetic images, drew me deep into this story. I loved Madlyn’s developing relationship with not only Cody but his brother Dustin. My favorite parts were when the book was being read. Greed, evil, and power crossed both worlds and mirrored many current issues. This was a clever intertwining of fantasy within reality that took Madlyn, and others, on a journey that came out in a place that made sense. A fantasy story that I can easily recommend. Five-Stars!


Valuable Treasures

by Staci Troilo

Having read and loved the Medici Protectorate Series, I was thrilled to see there was a short story prequel to it. Ottavio and a very pregant Anita are trying to find the American Dream in the Colorado mountains. Ottavio puts in long hours with little to show for it. One day he comes home with an unexpected find right as Anita goes into labor. They hope to be able to use this to go back to Italy, but things quickly change. This is beautifully written, and I could feel the hardship they had endured, including down to the detail of their poor diet. What happens next is heartbreaking, but then comes a relief to see a familiar group. This can be a standalone read, but I highly recommend the following books in the Medici Protectorate Series. Five-Stars!


Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper

(Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1)

by J.L. Bryan

Ellie professionally removes unwanted ghosts from buildings. She’s teamed up with a newbie partner, Stacey, on a new case. A ghost haunts a family trying to renovate an older house and make it into a Bed and Breakfast. There is a lot of detail that goes into ghost hunting and the ghost makes an appearance quickly in the story. What seems like a normal haunting has many more layers to it. The in-house investigation was scary, but I felt my heart race when they visited an old asylum. I would have been terrified to have been with them. I like the relationship that develops between Ellie and Stacey as we slowly get to know them. This haunted house held my attention and had an unexpected twist. A good start to a ghost series with a likable main character. This is for anyone who enjoys a ghost story with ghost trappers involved. Four-Stars.


For the next two weeks, I will be doing my personal short story challenge with new words, faith & effervescent—and their images.


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!

Read a great book and embrace your inner child! D. L. Finn

“A Day on the Lake” A Horror Short Story Challenge on Vocal! #WritingCommunity #shortstory #challenge #horror #halloweenstory

I did my first short story fictional challenge over on Vocal. It was a Horror Fiction Challenge set by a body of water. How could I pass that up?

Here’s what I came up with. If you like it, please give it a heart and share if you can.

LINK

 

 

New Release! “Things Old and Forgotten” by Mae Clair. @MaeClair1 #writingcommunity #newrelease #shortstories #magicrealism #fantasy #speculative #mildhorror #indieauthor

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire Author, Mae Clair, here to tell us about her new book. I already read it and loved it! Here’s my review.

Hi, Denise. Thanks for hosting me today and allowing me to share my newest release with your readers. Things Old and Forgotten is a collection of short fiction that includes stories in several genres—magical realism, fantasy, speculative, even two that touch on mild horror.

When I’m writing, I often visualize in colors. My father was an artist, and although he would not consider white a color (technically, it’s a shade) it has long mesmerized me. It speaks to the ethereal, visionary, and the otherworldly. The color white floats—a wisp of the insubstantial we can never quite touch, like an echo weaving future and past.

I had all those elements in mind when I wrote Desert White which—among other strangeness—includes a white dog. When I was eight years old, I wrote my first short story, The Night Dog, about a spectral canine. It took me decades to pen another about a white canine. Below is a short excerpt taken from the beginning of Desert White.

EXCERPT:

“His name is White.” The gravelly tone of the old man’s voice matched his lined and weather-beaten skin.

“It’s fitting.” Micah eyed the dog from his seat at the kitchen table. If not for the German shepherd’s dark eyes, he would have thought the animal was an albino. White had sniffed around his mutilated wrists in the desert, nudging him with a cold nose. Now, curled up on the floor of Floyd Henley’s trailer, the canine didn’t seem the ghostly presence it had under a pale moon. Even so, he wished it wouldn’t lie so close. Large dogs made him nervous.

The shepherd was the last of his worries.

Earlier, he’d caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror above Floyd’s bathroom sink while the old man fussed over his wounds. When he’d driven into the desert that evening, his hair had been ink-black. Now, it was the same spectral white as Floyd’s dog.

I must be dreaming—still.

“Drink this.” Floyd thrust a cup of foul-smelling liquid into his hands. The concoction looked like yellow mud threaded with licorice.

“What is it?”

“Healthy. That’s all you need to know.” Floyd hobbled a short distance away, pausing by the rear door to snatch a plaid jacket from a peg. When he returned, he dropped the frayed garment over Micah’s shoulders. It reeked of must and stale pipe tobacco, but the fabric was warm.

Grateful, he gathered it close. He hadn’t been able to stop shivering since his brush with death. “Thanks.”

Floyd nodded to the cup in his hands. “Drink.”

He forced down a mouthful of the tonic. Tasted bitterness in steeped tea leaves, caraway, and something citrusy. “What were you doing in the desert?”

“I could ask you the same, but no need.” Floyd busied himself filling a basin with water. A crisp yellow towel hung from his shoulder. “We both know what drew you there.”

Shame heated Micah’s face. Tightening his hand around his cup, he studied the dried blood beneath his fingernails. The ugly rust-colored blots on his jeans.

I should have bled to death. Would have, if not for the old man and his dog.

He forced another swallow of the abominable brew, taking perverse pleasure in the way it curdled his gut. At least he was alive to feel the acid.

Floyd drew a chair close then set his basin on the linoleum-topped table. Pale green with chrome edges, the surface had a repetitive design that reminded Micah of boomerangs. How long would it take to count all those angled wedges flying into infinity? Long enough for the blood to drain from his body after slicing his wrists?

The old man had already lined up fresh bandages and gauze pads, well stocked for a recluse who lived in the middle of nowhere. Maybe he had no choice, holed up in the run-down trailer like a hermit. As far as Micah could tell, there wasn’t another soul for miles. Damn fortuitous he and the dog had been there.


BOOK BLURB:

A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.

These are but a few of the intriguing tales waiting to be discovered in Things Old and Forgotten. Prepare to be transported to realms of folklore and legend, where magic and wonder linger around every corner, and fantastic possibilities are limited only by imagination.


Thanks again for hosting me today, Denise. In honor of my love for autumn—a fantastic time to curl up with a book—Things Old and Forgotten will be on sale for .99c through October 31st.

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon| BookBub| Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog| Twitter| Goodreads| All Social Media

 

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 247, #SynonymsOnly. @ColleenChesebro #poems #challenge #tanka #poetrychallenge #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity

Hi! Today I’m doing Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #247. This week is Synonmyns Only and the words, Twilight & Hue were chosen by Willow Willers.

I came up with a Tanka poem and found this picture to accompany it.

landscape tinted red

under the heavy sunset

as darkness descends

luminescent moon rises

offering magical hope

October Book Reviews Part 2! @teagangeneviene @Virgilante @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #indieauthors #goodreading

cover for The Yak Guy Project

Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Journey 9 takes Emlyn, Osabide, and Fotia/Zasha into a new place called the Other Realm. They hope to restore Zasha in this strange place. Here, they find three doors and have to pick the right one. I love how Emlyn is starting to trust herself more, which includes her intuition. The setting and surroundings are a vital part of this story, along with the beings they run into. While the trio explores, an army is massing — which hints at what is coming. I can’t wait for the next installment. Five-Stars!


The Yak Guy Project

by C.S. Boyack

“The Yak Guy Project” takes Ted on a spiritual journey in a strange world. Ted wakes up, not knowing what happened to him. A talking Yak becomes Ted’s guide as he learns his selfish ways of the past won’t work where he is. Ted was a character that I rooted for, but he also frustrated me with some of his decisions. I could see The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot in Ted like the author had compared him to. This story had me not only invested in whether Ted could learn and grow, but the world he found himself in captivated me. It was a place where technology had gone wrong many years before, and they were back to living on the land. There were many well-placed layers with life lessons, humor, war, and relationships that made this a read that I couldn’t put down. Five-Stars!


Maggie’s Revenge (Wounded Hearts #6)

by Jacquie Biggar

I have read and enjoyed the first five books of the Wounded Hearts series, but I’ve been eager since book two to find out what happened to Maggie. She has been undercover for the DEA but then was put into horrible conditions with the other women sold into sex trafficking by cartel leader, Chenglei. Back home, her partner, Adam, hadn’t given up hope of finding her. Adam joins forces with his boss, Amanda, and Ex-Seal Frank in that search. Maggie is an amazing character. She is strong, funny, determined, and caring. I like her interactions with the other women and how she can take care of them and herself. I could feel the heat of the desert or the blinding rays of the sun in the richly written settings. This is my favorite of the series so far and one that I kept reading just one more chapter until I was done. I can’t wait to continue to “The Seal’s Temptation” to see what happens next! I highly recommend “Maggie’s Revenge” and the entire series. 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!


Oops, I spoke too soon, sorry! Next week will be October Book Reviews Part #3, and then two Personal Short Story Challenges will follow.


Even when the power is out, you can read a great book and embrace your inner child! D. L. Finn

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry #Challenge #246 @ColleenChesebro #haiga #haiku #poem #writingcommunity #poetrychallenge

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #246. This week it is the poet’s choice.

I went with a picture I took while waiting to pick up my husband after a surgical procedure. I couldn’t be inside with him due to COVID, so part of the time I sat in the hospital parking complex. Here’s where I saw a dolphin-shaped cloud. I immediately knew that meant he’d be okay, and he was. I wrote some poetry that day too and added one to the picture which makes this a Haiga Poem.

 

dolphin in the clouds swimming in heavenly skies washing love ashore

New Release! “Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse” @word_weaving @ColleenChesebro #poetry #poetrycollection #haiku #tanka #haibun #cinquain #mustread #newrelease #poems

BLURB

Word Weaving is a yearly poetry journal, and for our first issue, we bring you poetry crafted from a broad mix of new and established voices across the spectrum of Japanese and American syllabic poetry forms. Enjoy this collection of poems that celebrate the Moons of Autumn.

Contributing Poets:

Annette Rochelle Aben, Mona Bedi, Nancy Brady, Colleen M. Chesebro, Goutam Dutta, Bill Engleson, Elizabeth F., Andreea Finichiu, D.L. Finn, Jeff Flesch, Ken Gierke, Franci Hoffman, Thom Kerr, Sujata Khanna, Ruth Klein, Jules Paige, D. Wallace Peach, Gwen M. Plano, M. J. Mallon, R.V. Mitchell, Elaine Patricia Morris, Lisa Smith Nelson, Pat Raffington, Susmita Ramani, Kerfe Roig, Aishwarya Saby, Akhila Siva, Merril D. Smith, Willow Willers, and Cheryl Wood.


I’m honored to be included in this amazing book! Colleen encouraged the poets to share their poems that were in this beautiful Word Weaving collection.  So here they are mine, and my hope is they inspire you to not only write some poetry but pick up a copy of the book and enjoy some phenomenal syllabic poetry! Thanks, Colleen and Jules 🙂
Watch for my review here in November Book Reviews
PURCHASE LINK

(This was one of the three favorites!)

MOON’S MAGIC

A lone black cat sits on the edge of our world, under the harvest moon. Her green eyes reflect the celestial beams, and her fur absorbs the stars. She rubs against the night’s promise, and its magic fills her soul.

our perceived shackles

released in nature’s healing

under the moonbeams


HARVEST MOON

full moon

autumn’s forest

fairies celebration

of a season full of magic

joyful

all the woodland creatures join them

dancing under the stars

before the snow

arrives.


blood red trees

autumn’s forest glows

hunter moon

October Book Reviews Part 1! @YouAreTheExpert @JacqBiggar @CathleenTowns #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #indieauthors #mustread #goodbooks

Son of BOOKU: more halloween haiku

by Annette Rochelle Aben

I’m a huge fan of Halloween and couldn’t pass up a book of Halloween haikus and pictures. Ms. Aben goes into the background of Halloween decorations and her sibling’s part in that. It’s pictures of the displays that are used to inspire the poetry. The poems were clever and had me laughing. Here’s one of them that was paired with a haunting decoration: “I met this vampire/said he hadn’t had a bite/offered him a stake.” This is a quick read to be slowly enjoyed. Reading this book got me into the Halloween mood. If you love poetry and Halloween, this collection is for you.


Summer Lovin’(Wounded Hearts #5)

by Jacquie Biggar

“Summer Lovin” is set in Tidal Falls like the four previous books in the series. Rebecca had a crush on Mitch back in high school. They ran into each other in Las Vegas and ended up married. Rebecca leaves the next morning, and they didn’t stay together. Five years later, they are still married and run into each other again in Tidal Falls. I love how she fights her obvious feelings for him and how Mitch is still there when she needs him. It’s great to see all the wonderful couples from past books and the interest they take in this couple. Although, it’s the side story that captures my heart of a young boy Rebecca runs into at the school she works. His story, and Rebecca’s concern, made this a fantastic read I didn’t want to put down. Another great addition to the Wounded Hearts series, and I can’t wait to move on to the next book!


Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie

by Cathleen Townsend

I started reading this with the plan to read one story before going to sleep, but I ended up reading the entire book instead. I don’t regret the missed slumber. A fantastic collection of short stories that offer a twist on classic stories or a modern take on the classics. I loved them all, but a few favorites were “Dragon Hoard,” “Teenage Driver,” and “Gargoyle.” Some tugged at my heart, others had me laughing, but all made the characters feel real in a fantasy world. A well-written collection that I can highly recommend!


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!

NOTE: You might notice a repeat review here today. That’s because these are my regular reviews, and Books That Changed Me is a special blog where books get showcased.

Read a great book this fall and embrace your inner child! D. L. Finn