Sunshine Blogger Award @balroop2013 @rjkrzak @theshowerofblessings @worddreams @teagangeneviene @sooozburke @karenringalls @rijanjks @lyndafiller @gmplano @lizziechantree @mbiermanauthor

sunflower pic

Sunshine Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Yay! What a huge honor!

The award is given out by members of the blogging community in recognition of their inspiring, creative, and motivational blogs.

I would like to thank Mark Bierman, whose blog Adventures in Writing I never miss! I highly recommend a visit, just click on the link above.

Mark has asked me to answer eleven personal questions, so here goes:

typewriter pic

1. What is the most extreme “sport” you’ve done (if any)? 

I don’t play sports, but I do watch them. Does pee-wee golf count as an extreme sport? I mainly like to hike.

2. Do you have a favorite travel destination? If so, where?

Hawaii or Disneyland. I live in the perfect vacation spot for the rest of the year.

3. What is your favorite blog topic? 

I really enjoy book reviews and getting the know the author more personally.

4. Do you have a preferred time of day to blog? When?

Whatever I get the chance, but usually in the morning.

5. Do you drink coffee while you blog?

No, I don’t drink coffee anymore. It would be either water or tea.

6. Do you have pets?

Yes, I do. Five cats, a dog, and goldfish.

7. If you were trying to fix a broken shovel handle and a 500-pound gorilla came up to you with a roll of tape, what would you do? 

I would hand him the shovel to fix of course:)

8. Do you prefer to swim in a pool or a natural body of water? 

A natural body of water.

9. It’s Thanksgiving- turkey, some other type of meat, or no meat?

Turkey.

10. Given the choice, would you prefer a spider or a snake in your home? 

Spider.

11. What type of music do you listen to? 

It depends on my mood, but usually classic rock, alternative rock, classical, big band, and Motown.

Here are some inspirational bloggers that I nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I chose them because they are committed to blogging excellence!  

 

For accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.

• Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.

• Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

Here is my list of questions. If there are any questions you do not wish to answer, please feel free to give them a pass.

1. How long have you been blogging?

2. Do blogs encourage you to purchase books?

3. How many blogs do you usually read in a week?

4. Do you enjoy seeing poetry on blogs?

5. If you could write your blog from anywhere where would it be?

6. If you could be any animal for a day what would you be?

7. Do you collect anything?

8. If you could beam anywhere, like in Star Trek, where’s the first place you’d go?

9. What draws you to a blog?

10. What do you write about in your blogs and why?

11. If you could transport to anytime in history when would you choose to visit?

 

 

That’s it! All done! I wish you all the best in 2020! Keep writing those wonderful blogs!

New Release: Code Raven The Istanbul Conspiracy by Lynda Filler @LyndaMFiller

I’m pleased to welcome Lynda Filler here today to share her latest book, pictures, and some fascinating questions and answers! I have her book on my TBR list! Can’t wait.

istanbul conspiracy pic

How Did You Get into Writing? I’ve been writing most of my life. But when I was given 6 months to live in 2009, I promised myself I would publish. I started with poetry which were actually journal entries of my life. In 2015 I began publishing fiction.

What’s Your Favorite Genre to Write? Mystery/Contemporary Fiction

Is there a genre you’ve always wanted to write in that you haven’t yet? HEA Romance. LOL, I’m a cynic.

Who are some of your inspirations? Interesting question. Elizabeth Gilbert. Paulo Coelho. Daniel Silva. Lee Child. David Baldacci. Dan Brown.

Do any of your stories have personal experiences in them? Yes, absolutely all of the 16 books I have written draw from my life and from acquaintances and lovers.

Who are some of your favorite authors to read? The same as the ones who inspire me.

What’s your writing process look like? (Outline or go with the flow of your character) I outline a rough plot. Then if I get stuck, I know my plot is wrong. I let my Muse step in with a surprise or two and then my book takes off. I call it the “magic happens.”

What are some of your hobbies? Photography. Travel. Food. Chocolate. Adventure. Learning new things.

Have you attended any signings? If so, what was your favorite thing about it? No. Mainly because I started publishing while living in Mexico.

When reading reviews, what is something you love to see written? I love when I’ve entertained the reader or inspired. The reviews that make me laugh or feel a sense of touching someone’s life–those are the reviews that matter to me. I don’t like negative hurtful reviews because although I appear to be a bad-ass, I’m very sensitive and put my heart and soul into my passion for writing.

If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do? I would love to spend a day with Luke Raven. That’s because my friends and some fans know he’s based on a real person who has a terminal injury from his life as “Luke Raven.” He lives in a hospital. He’s my hero and I feel him all around me when I write the Code Raven books.

fullsizeoutput_6dbf

What are you currently working on? I’m about to start three projects. 1. Code Raven 8. When you read The Istanbul Conspiracy, I will let you in on a secret: the ending was a complete surprise to me! So, I know I have to continue to see what happens next!! After the success of LOVE, the Beat Goes On–my memoir on “healing from a 6-months-to-live diagnosis,” I know I want to write the Next Chapter. I’ve been traveling all this year and am currently living in Istanbul, Turkey. There’s a tremendous message in everything that I’ve done over the last 10 soon to be 11 years. I need to share that with those who need to be motivated and inspired. And third, I have hundreds of pages emails from a friend who died in 2011. He was a Navy SEAL, and never married. I loved him and feel him around me all the time. His story is meant to be told. He’s already a character in Code Raven, but his personal story is very moving. He died suddenly while in South Sudan and he left me his journals, but his ex-team, after a year of emails back and forth, refused to release them to me. I have enough of him in his writings to tell his story. And I think I’m ready to do this now.

What’s your writing routine? This past 11 months I’ve been traveling, doing a lot of photography, and living my life fully. I didn’t write as much as I have in the past. But I’m now back to a routine of yoga/news/writing/blogging/eating/social-median/shopping/hanging out with my boyfriend/Netflixing. I try to get to sleep before 2:AM and one of these days, I will! But I’m like a kid on permanent vacation and I’m loving every minute of my life right now.

Do you have a superstition when it comes to writing? If so, what? No. Maybe. I do believe that 50% or more of what I write flows through me. It comes from a place so deep inside me that sometimes I actually find myself crying. That’s actually funny when you think about it because I write fast-paced stories that read like movie scripts.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received? It came from another author who writes mystery/suspense. He said, “make an outline!!” I use excel. And the second piece of advice came from a book I read on writing: Stop writing as if your mother is reading over your shoulder!

Where do you find the names for your characters? A lot of times the name just fits the character I have in my mind. Some are actual names of people I know.

What is your favorite book made into a movie/tv show? JACK REACHER

Anything else you want your readers to know about you? I’m wild, a bit crazy, always up and high on life. I’m older, much older, and I’m single although I’m currently dating a very young Turkish guy and I’m not afraid to talk about it!

If you won the lottery what would you do with the money? I think my life is pretty close to perfect right now. I suppose lottery money gives you a certain sense of financial security. I would travel more. And give away more. And surprise and spoil the people I love.

In your everyday life how do you give back to the world? You might remember a site called MySpace. I think it was the first really successful social media online site. I had tons of followers and posted a lot of poetry, etc. My name on that site was LIGHT & LOVE. I don’t care how bad things are in the world, it’s my mission to spread light and love. When I began this epic voyage early February 2019, I called it my #weareallone journey. From Israel to India to Turkey to Malaysia, we are all one. We all live, and love and want to be happy. I spread that message in my writing, in my blogging, in every aspect of my life. I LIVE that message and I feel passionate about uniting the world in peace and love. I was never a hippie, although that’s my generation. I guess I’m a late bloomer!

If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be? When you know this is what you are born to do, follow your heart and just do it.

fullsizeoutput_6dbb

The wedding of DJ Turk and the daughter of the Minister of Defense is about to take place on a mega-yacht on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Hours later the much-anticipated photos show corpses lined up along the dock and a bride covered in blood.
Was this a random act of terror, a targeted assassination of the Turkish political elite, or an attack on DJ Turk who leads a double life?
Luke and Samaar of the Raven Group have their own wedding to attend but it’s called off at the last minute when they uncover a breach in their security. Instead of returning to Paris, they come to the aid of the Turk to get to the bottom of this horrific event.
The conspiracy they uncover must be prevented before the balance of power in the world is perilously reversed.

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

fullsizeoutput_6ee3

Biography

“The author’s style is reminiscent of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILDS or BALDACCI.” N. Huff

Lynda Filler spent 2019 traveling. She left Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and visited the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Malaysia, and India. Her travels have filled her creative mind with plots and intrigue. Book 7 in the Code Raven Series, The Istanbul Conspiracy, is the combination of her vivid imagination and the beauty and mystery of Istanbul, Turkey.
She writes Mystery, Action, Contemporary and Romantic Suspense, Urban Poetry, and Memoir. Lynda’s been accused of writing autobiographical stories, but so far no can get her to admit it! She loves to hear from her fans on Facebook where you can find her book news, crazy fun quotes, and photographs of both Mexico, Istanbul and all of Lynda’s travels.
Her work is both thought-provoking and entertaining. Her memoir is “Powerful and unforgettable, the journey of a remarkable woman.”
2020 will see another Code Raven Book and a Memoir/Inspirational/Motivational book.

Readers Favorite 2018 Bronze Medal in Contemporary Fiction Social Issues Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money.
Her work was honored in Book of the Month October 2017 RRBC
Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 for Target in the Sun, BTRC

“Fall in love with a beautiful mind and a deep soul. It’s like drowning in something that leaves you breathless, but still full of life.” iambrillyant, Love is the Answer

January Book Reviews! @JacqBiggar @Virgilante @MaeClair1 @teagangeneviene @rhanidchae

One Dyke Cozy
by Rhani D’Chae 

“One Dyke Cozy” is a short story about two girls that became best friends at eight years old, Shy and Gabby. They are complete opposites but balance each other. These characters had me laughing and shedding a few tears. Not only did the story tug at my emotions, but it dove into a female’s role in society both straight and gay. Shy and Gabby’s interactions felt very real and I could empathize with the hangovers Gabby ended up with just as much as why she was drinking. I loved how the drink cozy, Mr. Happy, became a real part of this friendship. I highly recommend this!


Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I’m already a fan of Ms. Geneviene, so I was excited to learn that “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam” was about faeries. Thistledown is a place where faeries live, including Bedlam Thunder. It’s full of color, magic, and beauty. Bedlam has dark visions that not only get her kicked out of school but also affect her health and well-being. I love the little details not only in the scenery, but I can imagine how painful a wing injury would be.  The faery names always brought a smile to my face, and at the end of the story, you can create your faery name. The only downside was that there was repeat information that I found distracting while I was reading. Still, this story was a lot of fun, and it would be great to sit down and read with a child—or alone.


Eventide (Hode’s Hill #3)

by Mae Clair

I have loved this series and was looking forward to the final book. I have to say this was the best of all the stories, and that’s saying a lot. “Eventide” has everything I enjoy in a story, including a haunted house, graveyard, relationships, mystery, and great characters all offered in a dual timeline. I was rooting for not only Madison as she started over in a haunted house after a breakdown, but some ghosts, too. It was great to have past characters and their stories cross over into the current tale. There was plenty of mystery. Some of it I figured out, but there were a few surprises, too. I was happy to see how past romances were doing, but it was Madison’s determination that resonated deeply with me. The settings were poetically presented, which I appreciated, the characters were real with their flaws, and the paranormal believably frightening—what a great way to end a series. I highly recommend this book, but I suggest you go back and read all three so you don’t miss out on anything!


 

The Playground

by C.S. Boyack

“The Playground” is a story told through three points of view, Clovis, Chloe, and Gina. The one that chilled me the most was through the eyes of the little girl, Chloe. She gets a popular talking doll that interacts with her and the other dolls through its programming. This leads her down a dark path that I could easily see happening at some point in our future. Clovis is a hired killer after the programmer of these toys, who meets up with a dog who I immediately loved. The dog made Clovis more likable, even with his tough exterior. Then there is Dr. Gina Greybill who is a caretaker and is thrown into the paranormal. This character was hard to warm up to at first, but by the end, I was all in. Evil is the thread that weaves through this story, along with greed. This is a clever, chilling what-if with a paranormal twist that made for a page-turning read.


 Silver Bells

by Jacquie Biggar

“Silver Bells” is a quick holiday read I finished in one night! Christie and her daughter, Kelly, move to a coastal town in Canada to start over.  I love the relationship between Christie and her daughter while they handle Kelly’s diabetes. That adds another dimension to the story along with the new friend who helps with the daughter. The setting is charming, and I love that Christie’s an artist, but it’s the meeting of Joel, the novelist, that propels the story forward. At first, I didn’t like Joel on any level, but Christie’s attraction was strong and immediate. Then, as Joel steps outside of himself, with the help of his grandmother, I warmed up to him and their interactions. The relationship that develops between Joel and Kelly is endearing. This is a fun read by the Christmas tree, but it could be for any time of the year.

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

New Year–New #RRBC Site!

facebook image rrbc
Happy New Year, followers!  
 
I’d like to invite you to visit the ALL-NEW RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB at our new location > RaveReviewsBookClub.wordpress.com.
 
-If you are an author looking for amazing support, #RRBC is the place for you! 
-If you are looking to grow as a writer, #RRBC is the place for you!
-If you are looking for a community where your peers push for your success just as hard as they push for their own, #RRBC is the place for you! 
 
When visiting, we ask that you #follow our site so that you’re kept up-to-date with all the awesome news that we’ll be sharing in 2020.  
 
If you like what you see after looking around the site, then please, JOIN US!  We’d love to have you!

Holiday Season in Nevada City, CA

Welcome to the holiday edition of where I live, Nevada City, CA. Here are shots from a day I went with the family to Victorian Christmas. I don’t usually go during the day event, but this time we did. It did get dark before we left so I could enjoy the lights.  Happy Holidays from our town to yours!


Here are three shots from the top of Broad Street. The vendors are in the middle of the closed road. See the mountain in the background? That’s where I live.

Yes, we did go see Santa. Usually, Santa sends out his helpers, but this year he was there in person. Thanks for the visit, Santa. Unfortunately in exchange for that knowledge, I can’t share the pictures of him.

Next to a local book store and the Chamber of Commerce are the restrooms. Pretty fancy area.

The Christmas Tree woman is here every year with the solider. Father Christmas made an appearence. The next picture with the bright pink tree is from one of my favorite store windows.

If you have ever seen the movie “A Christmas Card” that is the church used in the Hallmark movie. Of course, that’s City Hall and then what used to be a really cool house now turned really cool inn.

This picture is from two years ago. It’s the National Hotel’s balcony and my favorite view of town. Right now its closed for renovation so no shot this year. The sign is from a Victorian Christmas past.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays with you and yours. Embrace your holiday child, D. L. Finn

 

Book Release “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam” by Teagan Riordain Geneviene @teagangeneviene

I’m pleased to welcome author, Teagan Riordain Geneviene here today for her new release, “Thistledown Midsummer Bedlam.” I already downloaded my copy:)

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam is ready to fly you to a world of whimsy

Thistledown 2019 cover
Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam, cover design by Teagan Geneviene

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is now available in book form (Kindle and paperback). If you think you’re too old for a tale about faeries, it also has a dark side. For those who read the serial version at Teagan’s Books (blog), she added a little something to the ending that you haven’t seen.

Here’s Teagan to tell you a little about the story.

Denise, thanks so much for hosting the launch of my launch of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam. It is a tale of faeries written for whimsical grownups, but suitable for children ages 8 and up.

In 2016, readers of my blog, Teagan’s Books, named many of the fairies (or faeries, as I prefer to call them). The characters are not based on the real people. They are just a way for me to honor the people who followed Thistledown. Many people used a “fairy name key” based on their initial and month of birth.

When I announced the book version, I brought the name charts out for new readers, and you obligingly named a faery. If there is a sequel, she would have a fun part. So, I want to introduce Flora Rainbow to your readers.

Fairfacefairy_2
Fairy by Sophie Gengembre Anderson (1869)

Flora Rainbow wears a crystal “point” earrings. The crystals have a rainbow colored aura. Whenever Flora sneezes, her faery magic produces a cascading pile of various flowers that pile up as tall as she is. Flora is trying to figure out how to turn that problem into a benefit. Now if she can just learn to sneeze on cue…

Here’s the Book Blurb

Thistledown ― Midsummer Bedlam, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is a wildly whimsical tale of faeries. It was originally written for a grownup audience, but it is suitable for children ages eight and over.

Thistledown is a world of color and light. It has faeries, hummingbirds, and ancient books of magic. Bedlam Thunder is a misfit faery who is afraid of heights. She is also a seer who has terrible visions of a parallel world devoid of color and brightness. The hate and darkness of that colorless world is seeping into Thistledown. Will Bedlam and her friends be able to save their home?

Thistledown ― Midsummer Bedlam, with its radiant creatures and faeries will lift your imagination to new heights.

Universal Purchase Links

These links should work to redirect you, no matter what country.

Paperback:  relinks.me/1675233632

Kindle:  relinks.me/B082RFN9GF

 

Hugs on the wing!

Teagan

***

This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 and 2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Books That Changed Me–2019 Winter Edition! @MAAdlerWrites @pursoot @WordDreams @MaeClair1

beam of light

Happy almost winter solace! I know I’m a few days early, but with it being so close to Christmas I will be busy with family and preparations.  Know how hard it is to pick from all the books I read. This year I came in at 75 books read on the Goodreads Challenge. There are a few I read that didn’t get included in that number.  Each book has its own flavor that tugged at my heart, opened my eyes, or just entertained me. These types of books always leave that lasting impression and why I do this four times a year as the seasons change, I change reading these books. Here are my winter choices:


This set in the Bay Area where I grew up was exciting for me. I loved knowing the areas and learning more of the history. I think about my great uncles and grandparents talking about this time frame, too. But it wasn’t just where the story was located, it was the story itself that made this such a great read for me. I loved the author obvious love of animals, especially dogs that came through strong in the story. Mixed in the with the history and insights was mystery and plenty of action to keep a reader entertained. It’s just a great all-around read.

Shadowed by Death: An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery (Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2)

By Mary Adler

This is the second novel in the Oliver Wright Series set during World War ll in the Bay Area. I loved the first book, but I think I was drawn even deeper into this story. It’s 1944 and Oliver is tasked to protect a Polish speaker, Sophia. I liked the interaction between these two characters even though Sophia didn’t want Oliver as a bodyguard. As in the first book, I loved the relationship between Oliver with his dog, Harley, who had served in the war, too.  Within that storyline is another narrative about a young girl trying to assist a friend’s dog Blue. I enjoyed seeing the world through Blue the dog’s perception and his devotion to the young girl helping him. This is not only a well-written story but well researched. I appreciated the attention to details and history that Ms. Adler infused into the story. What happened in Poland during the war is hard to accept and painfully real. It kept me awake late into the night thinking about human cruelty, apathy, and the brave heroes mixed in. “Shadowed by Death” can be read as a stand-alone or as a series.  I highly recommend this book especially if you love mystery, suspense, action, history, and of course dogs.


I have to warn you this is a hard read, but an important one to read. Starting with a young girl being abused and finally standing up for herself makes you want to cheer for her and want to see justice. The treatment is cruel and had me up thinking about it at night. Talking about her experience with homelessness will make you rethink how you look at people who have to live on the street. To know the author survived this and became a successful author and a wonderful human being is inspiring on so many levels.


Empty Chairs

by Stacey Danson

“Empty Chairs” is the story of the author’s life when she was a very young girl in Australia. I can’t say I’m shocked very easily, but this was shocking. The woman who gave birth to Stacey– Gwen, because she certainly didn’t deserve the title of mother, sold her YOUNG daughter’s body to provide for her. If Stacey didn’t comply she’d be beaten and locked in a closet. The woman was sick on so many levels, but I had to wonder about the people that paid for sex with a girl not old enough to be in school? What were they? Even when one of these clients insisted that Stacey get some education, that wasn’t enough to erase what he did to her. Then, finally when Stacey had enough she exploded. I felt no empathy toward Gwen getting beaten by her 11-year-old daughter. Here is where Stacey became Sassy-Girl and now is living on the streets. The one thing that made this slightly easier to read was this girl’s attitude and strength. I loved her wisdom and feistiness, yet I kept thinking how does this go on around us? I believe the real strength of this book is educating people it’s happening. This is well-written, and you can’t help but fall in love with Sassy-Girl/Stacey. There is a second book that finishes the story of young Stacey and I will be reading it. It is a very tough read, but one I highly recommend you try.


Like I said in the review, I have never read this genre before. So this was completely fascinating to me all the research and details this author provided. You can really understand the different lifestyles they had. Although, my usual genres are more fantasy based I also love historical fiction and now prehistorical fiction. The storyline is very strong and this is well written which makes this a fantastic read and a series I plan to continue. I now think about how it used to be way, way, way back when.

Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy Book 1) 
by Jacqui Murray

I’ve never read a novel set 850,000 years ago. The details and obvious research were amazing, as was the story. Xhosa is a strong female in times when males rule the tribes. I loved her character and how she looked at the world through her senses, instinct, and duty. It repulsed me when they ate their kill without cooking it, but I had to remember they didn’t have control of fire yet. Ms. Murray takes the reader deep into that period, where I could easily imagine how it might have been living then. I was rooting for Xhosa and her tribe as they tried to survive other tribe’s attacks and nature. I loved the relationships that developed as they met up with others fleeing the same situation. I’m completely hooked on this moment in history and storyline. I will definitely read the rest of this series and highly recommend it.


Here is a short story/novella for the holidays:

I love cats and Christmas so what could be better than both paired together. I’m rereading it again because I enjoyed it so much the first time. I always love how this author researches and comes up with legends to mix into her work. Really adds that extra depth and gives it some holiday magic.

Food for Poe

by Mae Clair

What starts off as a sweet Christmas novella abruptly changes course, and the reader is taken on a thrilling and unexpected ride. Quinn and her newly adopted black cat, Poe, find themselves in a huge snowstorm driving home Christmas Eve. After sliding off the road and passing out, Quinn wakes up in the house of handsome Breck and his unwell daughter, Sophie. The attraction between Quinn and Breck is immediate, but the story takes an unusual turn. Christmas magic and the dark side that comes with it are introduced. I loved the pureness of a new love–and the shadowy twist of the mysterious thrown in. This is a very different Christmas story that I highly recommend if you love paranormal added into the mix of a holiday love story.

Happy Holidays and Winter Solace! Embrace your inner child by reading a life-changing book! D. L. Finn

Life-Changing Events

 

Coming to the end of a year and decade brings out my introspective side. In the last few days, I’ve been thinking about all the wonderful and life-changing things that have happened to me. This bubbled over into a list. So today, I will share these amazing events.

  1. First place goes to all my family-related events, including my marriage and the birth of my children and grandchildren. I’ve been beyond blessed in this department over many decades and I’m very grateful.
  2. Hearing the message when I was in a coma at 14 years old, “You need to go back. You have more to do.” These words will always remind me of how important each person is in this life and not to give up.
  3. When I swam with a sea turtle and my youngest daughter this year in Kauai. It reminded me to always look for miracles.
  4. Surviving being sick in bed for six months and recovering. It was a scary time filled with many doctors and a lot of uncertainty. Even if I never know what got me to that point, I know faith propelled me forward each baby step at a time. I had to learn to trust myself, and if I need to do it again—I will.
  5. When my family and I moved from where I grew up to go live in the forest. I often wonder if I would be the person I am today if I hadn’t taken a chance leaving all the familiar behind. Would I have finished college, started writing, or taken the inner journey I have? Doubtful.
  6. Breaking my foot ended up being lucky. Over 20 years ago, I sent my work out to publishers with one article published in a magazine. I had a lot of nice rejections and encouragement but eventually stopped sending. Finally, almost five years ago, I self-published right after I broke that foot. It took that nudge to do it, but I’m glad I took a chance on myself.
  7. I received an AA in English in my late 40s, along with a liberal arts degree, both with honors, while juggling a family, health issues, and long distant caretaking. I’m still contemplating getting a BA via the internet this time, but I’m not compelled to do so right now. My take of this was never giving up on your dreams. No time will be the perfect time to get what you desire.
  8. My husband and I accidentally attended mass while sightseeing in Florence, Italy, on a once in a lifetime trip. This event reignited my faith in things that are meant to be, will be. That part of me had taken a beating. A bonus was it was in English and I felt the presence of a recently deceased relative sitting next to me. It gave me the peace I had been searching for.
  9. I saw an angel in my hall reflected on a door right before dark times. Even though I didn’t connect it then, I now know that there is always light to guide us out of any darkness—if we look for it.
  10. When I flew in a water plane on a trip to Alaska. This is something that I always wanted to do for as long as I can remember. My inner child woke up and had a huge smile. I imagine myself flying onto a lake to get to that private log cabin. You never know what the future holds but fulfilling some of these items on the so-called bucket list may achieve them in ways one can’t imagine. Will I end up in Alaska flying water planes? Who knows… and isn’t that great? Always dream.

I’m sure I will think of more, but you get the idea of things that helped shape into the person I am right now. We’ve all had our life-changing moments and events that have made us into what we are. I hope that this new decade brings us all a lot of new memories full of joy and some positive change.

Pictures: Florence, swimming with the turtle, and standing outside the water plane on the water with my husband.


UPDATES:

1. Next week is holiday pictures of Nevada City or the final blog of the year and decade! I will be shutting off the comments for this post.

2. I’ll be sending out the Monthly Newsletter early due to the holidays. Watch for it in your email if subscribed on December 18th.

3. “Books That Changed Me–2019 Winter Edition” will post early, too on December 18th.

4. I will be back here on January 12, 2020, but I’ll still keep in contact on social media.

5. WordPress has taken upon itself to keep removing email notifications on blogs I follow. I really depend on these notices to keep me informed and updated. So, if I’ve missed some of your blogs I apologize and it’s not intentional! I will go through my list again and re-add the emails.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Embrace your inner child by enveloping those special moments in life. D. L. Finn

December Book Reviews Part 2 @RobertaEaton17 @linneatanner @harmony_kent

 

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

by Linnea Tanner

“Apollo’s Raven” is historical fiction blended with mythology. Catrin is the King’s youngest daughter that a curse follows. I love Catrin’s strength as a warrior and how she connects to her spiritual side. The relationship that blooms between her enemy, Marcellus, exposes her vulnerability. There was plenty of detail that pulled me into the story and enough action to keep me on the edge of my seat. The clash of Roman culture and Celtic ways showed the stark difference in how women were treated in each society. A lot was going on in this story, but I never got lost in that. I appreciated the many layers of the plot that included betrayal, love, power, bravery, duty, and malice. Catrin’s trust was tested many times over as she tried to make sense of her situation. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Tanner, and with Britannia’s survival at stake, I’ll be reading the rest of this Celtic series!


Through the Nethergate

by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

In this YA paranormal story, Margret moves into an inn her grandfather runs after her parents die. She has a unique gift of seeing the ghosts that live there. My favorite part of this book is the ghosts and their stories, which are taken from history. The attention to detail drew me into the story and tugged at my heart. I loved it when Margret interacted with them, but I couldn’t bond with her at first in everyday life. Yet, the rest of the story was so intriguing and held my attention to the very end. Not only does Margret deal with ghosts, but there are also evil entities involved. The description of hell and bringing in current events was clever. The rich history shared through the ghosts and the good vs. evil theme made this a page-turning read.


Oh Baubles

by Harmony Kent

“Oh Baubles” is a charming holiday story that I read in one sitting. Charlene is involved in a horrific accident, leaving her a widow with a long recovery ahead of her. The details of Charlene’s recuperation and how she dealt with losing her leg helped me understand what she might be going through. I loved the relationship between Charlene and her sister, who pushed her to move on with her life, but it was the interaction between her and John that was the strongest. Their attraction was immediate, but they both held back for different reasons. This is the perfect read for not only the busy holidays but at any time of year.


UPDATES:

certificate-e154f1e5d82a694e098fb7e5c585f817

  1. I completed the Nano Challenge! Whew:) I had to do it in three weeks because of the holidays and other family events.  What I found was that I disliked writing on days I didn’t feel inspired, but I still did. Those days will require a lot of editing later. So I got a very rough draft that has three events happening that need to be connected more. I can’t see getting back to this until maybe next summer. Then I’ll be ready to put all together in many edits. It was definitely a tell instead of show first attempt. Thanks for the gentle nudge to participate, Mae!
  2.   I will have two more regular blogs before my holiday break. There will be an early “Winter Books That Changed Me Edition,” and Monthly Newsletter.
  3. Now I’m taking a break from reading and reviewing books to enjoy my holiday reads and rereads. After that, I plan on finishing some series I started.  I wonder if I’ll ever get through my TBR list? I hope not… lol.
  4. During Thanksgiving week our fire season abruptly ended with a 1.5 foot of snow. It was followed by a lot of rain. Thanks for all the thoughts and rain dances on our behalf. It worked.

Embrace the holidays by reading a good book. Then, leave a review. It’s the best present an author can receive! D. L. Finn

 

 

December Book Reviews! @KIngallsAuthor @pamelawight

 

When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees 

by Karen Ingalls (Author), Jay Monroe (Illustrator), Angela Winchman (Editor)

This collection of twelve short stories begins with a poem from the author’s grandson, “When I Rise.” The first line caught my attention immediately, “Songs being sung outside in the trees…” what a beautiful image to start the book. Each story talks about a different issue including, abuse, eating disorders, and death. It made it meaningful knowing they were based on real-life stories and I recognized a couple from Ms. Ingalls other books. I love at the end of each one a positive truth about life is offered along with a tree and its meaning. This gave me a lot to ponder upon, along with hope. My favorite story was the last one “Birch Tree, Daisy the Duck.” It had a touch of magic that I like to believe exists around us. A heartfelt and meaningful book that offers truth with hope and brings in one of my favorite things, trees. I highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy a positive outlook in dark times.


Molly Finds Her Purr

by Pamela S Wight

Shelley A. Steinle (Illustrator)

I bought this book for my youngest granddaughter’s third birthday. I read it before giving it to her and thoroughly enjoyed it. Molly, the feral cat, was searching for friendship and her purr. She ran into animals who rejected her, but she kept looking until she found her circle. This has a wonderful message of friendship and finding that inner purr or what I thought of as the inner spark. The illustrations are charming and brought the characters to life. Locating the dragonfly on each page added to my delight.  Adults will enjoy reading this to their children almost as much as I know the children will love having it read to them–or reading it themselves. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my granddaughter. I highly recommend this well-written and beautifully illustrated book.

 

Note: I did say there wasn’t going to be a post this week, but I forgot to change the date. So next week will be the rest of the reviews! A holiday blunder:)

 

Embrace your inner child this holiday season by giving the gift of reading! D. L. Finn