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.
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
Our family has a Thankful Tree. We write on notepaper leaves each year, sharing what we’re thankful for, and then hang them on the tree.
I want to share some leaves from years past. There seems to be a theme of family weaved into our thankfulness. I hope you can add to that thankful tree that you have growing inside for all the things in which you’re grateful — may your tree bloom with love.
I’m thankful for:
Cleaning, my family, and my life.
I’m not homeless, that I have a very nice house, and have a happy family.
All my family and able to spend time with everyone.
Video games, my family, and my pets.
Being alive so that I can have so many wonderful experiences with family and friends. And also, pumpkin pie.
My health, abundance, creativity, and joy.
My family, house, food, and love.
All the good I have, which is a lot! I’m grateful for my wonderful family.
The people that play music with me.
This beautiful life and the wonderful family that I’m so lucky to be a part of.
My family, friends, and animals in my life. For the material things, my house, where I live, and everything around me. I’m thankful for all the love directed to me.
My friends, the ability to be healthy, family, home, animals, and all the love in my life.
Hugs and helping people.
My beautiful family, my health, my home, and my musical talent.
The absurdism of the universe and being able to share the present with friends and family.
The opportunities that have been available in my life. The paths taken to where I am today are more than I could ask for. I have a loving spouse who supports my needs to dance and takes care of everyone. I have friends who love me, a wonderful family, and a life that has so many opportunities I am also grateful for my family and cats.
My education and science. Thankful for my family and the support from my parents, and for my friends.
My spouse, who is honest, caring, and loving for our family. For my beautiful children, which I love so much, and my health, musical talents, and my kindness. My grandchildren and my house and the animals, too.
And wish for everyone to have a happy life. We are a happy family. I love my family and everyone so much.
We didn’t have our power shut off, although the call came after I waited for a few hours for it to happen. We had a brief thunderstorm the night before so maybe that helped. For some reason, it hit really hard all around us but we barely got any of it. Rain and snow is forecast this week. That means I should be able to put my go-bag away until next year. Fingers crossed.
The picture is from last year.
Embrace your inner child with gratitude! Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. May Black Friday treat you well. D. L. Finn
Today I randomly picked fellow member, Linnea Tanner off my list. I’ll be reading her book, Apollo’s Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1) and posting a review soon. Please welcome Linnea here today:)
A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people. AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, druidic sorcery, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.
Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?
2019 Pencraft Award Best Book of the Year
2017 New Apple Book Award Official Section: Historical Fiction and Cross Genre
2017 Global Ebooks Award BRONZE MEDAL Fantasy/Historical
2018 eLit Book Award SILVER MEDAL Fantasy/Science Fiction
A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust
In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.
Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?
Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom. The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her kingdom.
Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.
But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.
About Linnea Tanner
Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue into the backdrop of Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology which held women in higher esteem. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.
Depending on the time of day and season of the year, you will find her exploring and researching ancient and medieval history, mythology and archaeology to support her writing. As the author of the CURSE OF CLANSMEN AND KINGS series, she has extensively researched and traveled to sites described within each book.
A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.
I express my love of nature in words, especially with poetry. I share what I’m seeing and feeling in written form, but I also capture moments in pictures. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve taken over the years. All but three are local photos.
A Hawaiian sunset in Kauai, a smoky sunset over Nevada City, CA, and the sun peeking through the trees in Nevada County, CA by the Yuba River.
A whale in Alaska, the Yuba River in Nevada County, CA, and a rainbow over the coast of Kauai.
Ananda Tulips Nevada City, CA, Donner Summit (Sierra Nevada near Truckee, CA), snowstorm by the Magical Trail, Nevada City, CA.
Donner Summit by Bridge (Sierra Nevada by Truckee, CA), D.L. Finn taking pictures at Yuba River, Nevada County, CA.
Still no rain. We’ve been having an unusually warm November. There are winds predicted this week. No idea if this means power outages again, but definitely increased fire danger. Still doing my rain dance!
The Monthly Newsletter goes out Wednesday. Watch for it in your email if subscribed!
Have you made it by theSpotlight Author tour? I’ve been having a lot of fun and sharing new “Finn Facts.” I also did a Blog Talk RadioInterview, too. You can click on the links above if you’re interested.
I’ve crossed over the 30,000 words for NaNo. No idea where the story is going to end up, but it’s getting exciting. I lost a chapter overnight last week. Not sure how it happened since I have a backup in place. So that set me back a day. One of those things that led me in another direction.
Next week’s blog I will share our family’s Thanksgiving Tree and some “leaves” or what we’ve been thankful for over the years.
Embrace your inner child with gratitude and share it. D. L. Finn
This constant rumble requires an offering of petrol
We gladly feed this beast no matter what the cost.
The howl of a generator is a small price to pay
For the glowing lights and hum of the refrigerator.
We easily fall asleep knowing the sound…
Is keeping us safe, healthy, and comforted.
When the sparking current goes silent…
The roaring beast awakens at our invitation
We lounge in this brief utopia, feeding the beast
While we wait for the ordinary to return.
Here’s what I’m hoping for VERY soon!
THE DAY AFTER THE RAIN
The ground is full of yesterday’s rain.
The drops linger on the rose petals
Trees glow a growing green
Blue peeks from behind the clouds
The birds sing in a joyful tune
The woodpecker feasts on insects on the dead tree
The dog lays in the sun at my feet
While the bees go back to work
Each gathering their needs before the next storm
But for now, I enjoy this day with nature
With a grateful heart for the day after the rain.
Still looking for some saturating rain. Although, no power outages this past week, they could make a come back soon if that storm door doesn’t open up soon!
I hit the 20,000-word mark for the NaNo. I hope to make the 50,000 if all goes well, but life usually throws in a surprise or two. So, I’m focusing on being grateful for every word I have time to write for this event.
I’m pleased to welcome fellow #RRBC author, Steven Neil here today.
Q & A FIVE
Getting to know Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS.
A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
Authors are often told that the best way to learn is to read. Do you agree?
I couldn’t agree more.
What do you prefer to read now?
I try to keep a balance of classic and contemporary. I love the nineteenth century English tradition, especially Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen and the twentieth century American tradition, especially Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Steinbeck. I’ve recently enjoyed books by Tim Pears and William Boyd.
How do you read (kindle/book/audible)?
All three. I have recently discovered audible books and I am using my monthly credits to revisit the Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope. The writing is quite brilliant. Trollope is such a witty observational writer and Timothy West, the narrator, does a great job in bringing the characters to life. Recommended.
When do you read?
All the time. One of the benefits of being retired.
Has becoming an author changed the way you read?
I’m probably more critical. I’m much less likely to persevere with a book I’m not enjoying. This also might have something to do with getting older and realising you only have a limited number of books left to read!
Do you post reviews for books and if so, do you have a review policy?
Yes, I always try to write a review. However, if I really don’t like a book and could only honestly give it one or two stars, I don’t post a review. However bad it is, someone has put blood sweat and tears into it and I think it is disrespectful to another author.
What is the best book you have read recently?
Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo. Genius.
How do you choose which books to read?
Audible bombards me with suggestions all the time. I’m more likely to respond to a friend’s recommendation. I also have a list of classics I’ve not got round to reading. Some of these age well, others don’t. I thought Dracula was terrific but found Frankenstein hard work. I’ll skip the review on that one.
Which lesser known author would you recommend?
I would recommend two. One older and one more contemporary. I think Norman Maclean’s great book A River Runs Through It is rather overlooked these days and Jon McGregor’s If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things has slipped under the radar. It is a fantastic book.
Follow Steven Neil on TWITTER for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.
4Wills Blog Tour
The Merest Loss by Steven Neil ISBN: 1788039718
‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’
Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance
Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.
“First Blood” is the second book in The Blood Series, and I would recommend going back to read the first book if you haven’t before reading this. The story continues with the eternal fight for power and loyalty. It begins in the underworld with a battle for dominance. Hades and his dead army are being challenged with some surprising and brutal consequences. I was happy to see my favorite characters Dev and Tray. I enjoy how their friendship grew into something stronger. Their devotion to each other and their humor are some of the best parts of this story. I love the use of mythology because it paints a colorful world. There were unexpected twists and plenty of action along the way. Although it took me a few pages to get into the story and remember all the storylines, once I got into the narrative it was a hard book to put down. I’m looking forward to the next book and continuing this journey to see where it goes. If you love mythology and fantasy, you’ll enjoy this series.
This is a magical collection of poetry, myths, short stories, and personal insight. I loved the whimsical theme of the book and was drawn into the world of fairies through Ms. Chesebro’s skillful prose. The poetry deserves multiple readings, and the short stories were very entertaining. “Halloween Havoc” still has me laughing at what was traipsing about the front yard. This is a great book to get lost in and be reminded of the magic surrounding us. I highly recommend this celebration!
“The Weaver” is an NA paranormal romance set on a college campus, although I felt it was more a YA, and the setting reminded me of high school. That detail, though, didn’t take away my enjoyment of the story. I loved the idea of characters coming to life and the consequences. Laney is a freshman at college, but before she gets started, she is pushed down a set of stairs. That leads Laney down a path of mystery to figure out why she was attacked. Laney settles into school and finds herself back in touch with a childhood friend, Jason. As they rekindle their friendship Jason’s roommate, William has her intrigued. I was surprised by some twists in the story that kept me involved until the last page. I’ll be reading the next book in the series to see what happens next.
This is the second YA Book in the series beginning five years later. Linda and Shana had enjoyed peaceful lives in Oasis, after a showdown with vampires, until everything changed. They were thrust in the middle of a battle that took them to an exclusive club in Disneyworld. The girls played the wives of Todd and Sam, but Linda was in a love triangle, with hybrid vampires on opposite sides. I loved being taken to Disneyworld in the story, even though they were surrounded by danger. Linda’s heart was taking her in two directions. Like Linda, I couldn’t decide who she should be with—if either of them. There are beautiful descriptions of the landscape giving a strong atmosphere and plenty of action that kept me reading. I was satisfied with Linda’s ending, but I hope there is more about Shana. If you like vampires, a love triangle, mystery, and deception, you’ll enjoy this story. This can be a stand-alone, but I recommend reading the first book.
Texas ranch owner, Coop inherits his young niece, Kallie, after her parents suddenly die. When she arrives, Coop finds his childhood friend, Randa, accompanying Kallie. Convincing Randa to stay on at the ranch, everything goes well until Coop breaks up a beating and kills in self-defense. This sets up for retaliation and puts Coop and the ones he loves in danger. I loved the connection between uncle and niece, and it showed a gentle side to the cowboy, that was charming. Randa was a strong character that I liked, along with her determination. The interaction with horses, and the introspection if they should be wild, added another dimension to the story. There was a nice mixture of action, relationships, and scenery. I could imagine myself riding out on a horse and finding the peace Randa found on the ranch. If you love engaging westerns with romance, you’ll want to read this book.
UPDATES: We are still rainless with no rain forecast in the near future, but they aren’t predicting winds here at least for the next week. Now is the time to do that Raindance and hope a storm decides to join in. Fingers crossed no more power outages this year, but this seems to be a long term solution for the power company.
I finally decided to join the NaNoWriMo. I’m off to a good start on a story that I brainstormed the night before Halloween. I decided to write it for myself. But doing this really limits my social media time. I will try to keep up, but can’t promise I can.
I might be doing more picture blogs or poetry if time gets away from me. I did get a lot of great pictures walking around town on Halloween. Of course, my reading will be limited.
Watch for a special edition blog this week.
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book this fall! D. L. Finn
I’ve been wanting to share our amazing little town. This week on our stay at home vacation, my husband and I took our oldest grandkids on a walk through downtown Nevada City, CA. The trees were bursting red and yellow and the Halloween decorations were up. A quick stop was made at the candy store for ice cream and candy.
Here’s the color:
We crossed over Deer Creek on the way to downtown.
Downtown Nevada City where we stopped at the candy store.
Then on to the Halloween decorations.
Here’s the spooky Outside Inn. You can walk on the grounds where they lavish the landscape with Halloween creatures.
An Indian Medicine Rock.
We ended our walk with a stroll through the cemetery.
The road to Nevada City.
I hope to share some more pictures of our town this Christmas.
UPDATE:We are in the middle of the second power shutdown this week due to high winds and fire danger in Northern California. The estimated time frame to restore electricity where we live is Monday or Tuesday. I look forward to responding to your comments when the lights and wifi return.
There is another possible wind event following this one at beginning of week. Stay tuned.
Embrace your inner child this fall with a good book. Happy Halloween! D. L. Finn
“Mountain Justice” is a short story that’s about more than a horse; it tackles a difficult subject spousal abuse. Anne is in a horrible situation with a cruel husband, George. The abuse scenes are graphic and realistic, and you can’t help but feel for her and root for her well-being. Even as grim as Anne’s situation gets her relationship with Rob and her horse, Czar adds hope and heart to this story. Fortunately, this was a short read because I would not put it down until I knew what happened. I highly recommend this read.
Having come from a background where monsters lurked, I could connect to this metaphorical short story. There’s some insight into why things aren’t always what they seem in households. It offers some hope with a glance back at what was in a broken family. Sometimes you have to move on. This is a quick read for those from verbally abusive situations as a child or even an adult.
“Caste Metal” is a well-written short story based on the Hindu Caste System in 1877. A young genius untouchable, Cacchar, teaches himself to read. The penalty for this is brutal and cruel. The details are very graphic, and I felt the pain of his entire family. Not only the injustice of Cacchar’s place in society, but the dark side of humanity is portrayed skillfully. This is a story that evoked many emotions from me and one I highly recommend.
“Macabre Sanctuary” is a great collection to read at Halloween or any time of the year. Penned by ten different authors, I was already familiar with the work of five of them, but it was nice to be introduced to new writers. The stories were diverse but had that touch of creepy I enjoy. Each story is a terrific length for a quick read, but you have the option to keep reading, which I enjoy about anthologies. A couple of the stories will stay with me for a while in a good way, but they all entertained me. If you like a bit of horror in your short stories, this collection is for you!
1. The monthly newsletter comes out tomorrow. Watch for it in your email if subscribed!
2. I will be on vacation with my husband this week. We are staying close to home, but my social media interaction will be limited.
Embrace your inner child by reading a good short story! D. L. Finn
Today is #RRBC Random Acts of Kindness Day! I like to pick a fellow member that I haven’t read before for my random act of kindness. I randomly picked Heather Kindt off my Twitter Support Team list. I added her book “The Weaver” to my TBR list and will read and review it in the next couple of weeks. Please welcome Heather here today!
Most writers choose the endings to their stories . . . most writers are not Weavers.
Laney Holden is a freshman at Madison College whose life goes from normal to paranormal in a matter of seconds. When the antagonist in the book she’s writing shoves her down the stairs at the subway station, she learns she is a Weaver. Weavers bridge the narrow gap between fantasy and reality, bringing their words to life.
Laney soon meets William whom she also suspects is a character from her book—one she’s had a mad crush on since her pen hit the paper. But he’s in danger as her antagonist reveals a whole different ending planned for Laney’s book that involves killing William. Laney must use her writing to save the people closest to her by weaving the most difficult words she will ever write.
THE WEAVER is the first installment of The Weaver trilogy. It is an NA paranormal romance set in a small town on the north shore of Boston. It will leave you wanting more.
Second-grade teacher Dottie Gale lives in the tiny town of Quandary, Kansas, which is pretty much smack dab in the middle of nowhere. No mountains. No ocean. No life. Her ex-boyfriend and current school board member, Corbin Lane, cheated on her, making school functions more than a little awkward. But worst of all, a tornado named Maxine Westward rips through Dottie’s school as the new principal and has made her life at work a living hell. When Dottie is chosen to go to a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she knows her life is going to change. Driving from Quandary to Vegas, three strangers enter her life. Through a string of situations involving poppies, flying monkeys, and a life-size sculpture of an iconic rock star the four soon become inseparable. So, when Westward arrives on her broom in Vegas, Dottie is ready for battle. Her boss black mails her with stories of incarceration, thievery, and a steamy relationship with her travel companion, but Dottie knows that those who hurl insults shouldn’t hold secrets of their own.
About Heather Kindt
Heather Kindt grew up in Derry, New Hampshire, but now resides in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and two children. She loves writing YA fantasy and humorous fiction. Her debut novel, Ruby Slips and Poker Chips, won the Dan Alatorre Word Weaver Writing Contest. To learn more about her and the great things that are coming in her writing world, visit her website at http://heatherkindt.com.