Poetry and reviews

 

Every once in a while when I take the dogs outside late at night…

DARKNESS

The air is thick as you breathe it in

It fills your lungs with its silence

It unnerves you when you are alone

Because in the darkness there are shadows.

They are filled with the unknown

It’s quiet is lurking with danger

Unseen and watching your heart races

Skin covered in sweat you scan the darkness

You see nothing and hear nothing.

Yet, you know it’s there.

You hurry back into the light where it is safe

And you shut the door and lock it…

With a sigh of relief–

You quickly forget the darkness.

But, what you don’t know is–

It hasn’t forgotten you.


My latest book reviews:

The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series)

By Vashti Quiroz Vega

This is an interesting and unique take on a well-known Bible story from the old Testament. “The Fall of Lilith” follows a group of angels who rebel against the life they have in heaven, in a place called Floraison. Lilith is the driving force behind all of this as she encourages Lucifer to lead. As expected, the rebels find themselves on earth. This is my favorite part of the story and where it got interesting. I can’t say I rooted for Lilith, but there were others I was hoping things would work out for—like Gadreel. Ms. Vega crafted a well-written book with lots of depth, images to pull you in, and it definitely kept my interest as I wondered what was going to happen next. I recommend this book if you love fantasy with a Biblical connection– or an action-packed tale of revenge.


Stranger Abduction 

by Billy Chitwood

“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next.  Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy.  This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heroes.


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

Anniversary and reviews

This week is the three-year anniversary of breaking my left foot. What seemed like bad luck happening on Friday the 13th   by tripping over my black cat– didn’t turn out to be.  Spending Valentine’s Day in the ER hanging out with my Valentine, wasn’t either. This event oddly enough was what got me to take my writing seriously and publish. I had time to lay around and think. There are only so many shows you can watch and after binge watching “Supernatural” I started looking into self-publishing my work (after some encouragement from my daughter). I can’t say I enjoyed hearing the snap of a bone as I was in midair, but I did enjoy hearing the click of the button as I published my first book, “Elizabeth’s War”. I have learned a lot over the last three years and will keep learning and growing. The most important thing I took away from this event was: when bad things happen–they may not end up being bad.😊

Here are two of my reviews from books I’ve been reading. I can’t say I can keep up this pace of reading, but I’m certainly enjoying getting to read all these wonderful authors work!


LOVE The Beat Goes On 

by Lynda Filler

I believe in miracles and this is what “LOVE The Beat Goes On” is about! Sometimes, in life we forget about the miracles that surround us, and this book is a reminder of them. Ms. Filler was faced with a dire diagnosis from her doctor and set out on a healing journey. This is an uplifting book that reminds you to trust your inner voice.  To joyfully do things that only make sense to yourself.  It is necessary to heal our bodies, minds and souls.  With references to Dr. Wayne Dyer, and a reading guide at the end, the reader is given some tools to do this journey on their own– if they are ready for it. I will definitely be listening to the Shaman’s chants and checking into books I haven’t read. This book was recommended to me and I am thankful for that recommendation! I have fought past some of my own health issues, but this story is a guiding beacon for everyone dealing with that– or just needs an uplifting story in their lives.  I highly recommend this for anyone on a journey to find themselves, heal—or needs to be reminded of miracles.


Mind-Shaft: Paranormal Anthology

by S. Burke

I love to find a great book of short stories where I can read a story in one sitting. In “Mind-Shaft”, no story stood out as being the best—because they were all good! Each one has its own unique flavor with interesting twists. Ghosts, revenge, murder, justice, suspense, and excitement saturate the stories. If you enjoy short stories with a paranormal flavor you won’t want to miss this gem!


 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Not only embrace those who share your life and love, but give some of that to yourself, too! D.L. Finn

#RRBC Spotlight Author Tour: Gracie Bradford!

I’m pleased to introduce and congratulate #RRBC Spotlight tour author: Gracie Bradford! Her book is on my must read list this year! I hope you will add it to your list, too!


 

As we usher in February 2018 Black History Month, it is fitting to introduce one of Rave Review Book Club Member “up and coming” children book author, Gracie Bradford.

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Her book, June the Prune and Lady Bird – Cancer Stinks tell the story of how the love and attention from June’s beagle sustained her sanity through nine months of searching for an effective treatment for brain cancer in a 10-year old. Can June survive the ordeal?

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Gracie is an avid reader. As a part of black history month recognition, Gracie shared websites that list black authors. Look at these:

Bookbud list of bestselling black authors:

https://media.bookbub.com/blog/2017/02/01/award-winning-books-by-african-american-authors/

 

Amazon best-selling book list of black authors:

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-African-American-literature/zgbs/books/9823

 

A look at children books written by black authors

https://aalbc.com/books/children-list.php

 

Sadly, Gracie said she does not have a memory of any children picture books written by black authors in the 1950s when she was in pre-school. Although, as a child, Gracie recalls a book entitled “Go Tell It On The Mountain” by James Baldwin. She won a trophy in high school from reciting portions of this book in a literary state competition.  At the time, she was unaware of the significance of James Baldwin.

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Another favorite book which eventually was made into an award-winning movie was Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. Gracie said she has seen the movie at least six times and have read the book three times. She insisted that her grandson read the book at a young age and then he was given a chance to see the movie.

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Gracie’s favorite past-time is traveling to see the world.  Would you believe Gracie has traveled to all continents except the Antarctic and she plans to take a trip there in 2019? She informed me that she is going to travel to see all the national parks in the USA in 2018.  Her final travel goal is to travel to see the original seven wonders of the world. This author is on the go.

Gracie revealed that her favorite author of poetry is Edgar Allen Poe. She developed a love for poetry in high school. By reading poetry, it became so much easier to learn music for playing her tenor saxophone in the marching band because she felt the poetry was another form of music. She recalls the many solo competition and trophies she won because of the influence of Edgar Allen Poe. Although she no longer plays the saxophone, she still has the memories.  She said her favorite poem from Poe is Annabel Lee:

https://poestories.com/read/annabellee

One of her favorite quotes from Poe is:

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

From Eleonora.


Expect to see the 3rd book of the Lady Bird series late 2018 addressing Autism.

You can pick up a copy of Gracie’s current books at:

http://amzn.to/2gfLCEJ

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Like and follow this author through the social media platforms below:

Blog: www.free1592.wordpress.com

Website: www.authorgraciebradford.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorgraciebradford/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/graciebradford5/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamxordinary

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gracie.bradford.58

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/authorgraciebradford/


Thank you for stopping by and supporting Gracie!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews and a poem

 

Into Spring: The Next Generation (Four Seasons Book 2)

by Larry Landgraf

This is the second book of the “Four Seasons Book” series that heads back into Peaceful Valley, TX. It has been many years since the grid collapse and we find the first generation of kids grown up and wanting to get married–except there’s no girls there for Robbie and Sean. They set off on a quest to find wives and end up in Corpus Christi where they quickly find a woman Sandra in charge and are separated. It is an interesting concept of what would happen in the aftermath of society’s collapse and the dictators that rise up.  I like Robbie’s ingenuity and determination to survive in the situation he found himself in. While Sean was in different circumstances he seemed more willing to stay. Here there are plenty of women and food, but it is a cruel world they find themselves in. I found myself reading late into the night, completely invested in the characters, especially Robbie. There were some parts that broke my heart and a couple that left me confused. This is an action-packed story of survival with a different feel from “Into Autumn”—yet it was still as good a read as the first book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book “Into Winter” to see what happens next!


Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) 

by Larry Landgraf

This is the third book in the “Four Seasons” series. It continues with the residents of Peaceful Valley– following the grid shut down that caused the collapse of society. After Robbie and Sean find their way back from the cruel dictatorship in Corpus Christi, there is a price to pay for leaving. Sandra is determined to attack Peaceful Valley. It was an interesting process to watch them prepare and defend their way of life, with very real consequences on both sides. What I found most thought-provoking was their realization that what goes on outside of Peaceful Valley affects them. There is some great insight into what makes a good government from the ground up. Although, it’s a brutal process I found it a spell binding read. I loved learning survival skills in the first book, the exploration in the second book, but this one gets you to wonder “what would you do” and then admire when the characters go beyond their own comfort. I’m eagerly looking forward to “Into Summer” and seeing where Mr. Landgraf takes us next.


Mystic Tea 

by Rea Nolan Martin

This was a charming, insightful story told through the eyes of strong and unique women. Being a Catholic, I enjoyed the setting of nuns in a monastery. It was familiar, but it took its own twist into the unknown. Each character had her own strength and weakness. I was drawn to the journey, particularly the relationships of: Prioress Mike searching for her faith, Gemma’s self-abuse, Arielle’s past addictions, and the most intriguing character the Mother, or Augusta. The self-reflection and growth were riveting to read as the story progressed. There was a lot of magic, hope, and redemption that left me feeling the same thing reading it, but there was also truth, consequences, and reality. The characters were strong, and I was fully invested in the intertwining results. In the end, all I wanted was a cup of that magical tea and the hope that came with it. I highly recommend this book!


Been working on editing “Just her Poetry”. Here is the first poem (it is raw and unfinished) under what I’m calling right now, “Emotions”:

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WATCHING

I’m unsure what to feel.

I watch the banter

Flow back and forth

Like the waves on

The ocean’s shore.

When I’ve tried to jump in

The water was cold

And the waves–

Almost knocked me down.

The birds were gone,

The sand littered with dead fish,

Everything departed or dying.

The oily water covered the hidden riptide.

It wasn’t safe, so I perched…

On a hill high above.

The place I used to love.

It’s lonely, but it’s protected

From the pandemonium below.

The struggle spills out,

Almost reaching me…

But for now, I’m safe–watching.


I’m reading “LOVE The Beat Goes On” by Lynda Filler! I have some amazing books on my list this year to read.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Book Reviews

 

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz #4)

by Yvette M. Calleiro
This fourth book in the “Chronicles of the Diasodz” series continues with the story of Sophia, Rafe and more of my favorite characters. Relationships are being formed along with plotting and intrigue. There’s an in-depth look into the search for the truth and what is right and wrong– as reality is explored. As the characters grow and learn, the mysterious prophesies remain. Ms. Calleiro has combined a story with love of either self or another so beautifully, that I have been hooked from the very first book I read. Plus, the added bonus of the paranormal and adventure make this a must-read series! I cannot wait to see how it all ties together and ends in the next book, “The One Awakened”


 

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz #5)

by Yvette M. Calleiro
Although I am sad to see the “Chronicles of the Diasodz” end—it was a completely satisfying conclusion! With war coming: sides are chosen, and relationships are tested. I loved the growth of the characters especially: Rafe, Angel, Ar’ch and Sofia. The difference between corruption and hate versus understanding and love becomes very clear. I was extremely invested with the outcome of characters that I had grown to love over the series and wasn’t disappointed. I don’t want to say more and spoil the ending, but this is a fantasy YA series I highly recommend! Start from the beginning and take the journey with Sofia. I look forward to the upcoming prequels!


I’m now on to reading: Into Spring: The Next Generation (Four Seasons Book 2) 
and then Into Winter (Four Seasons Series #3) by Larry Landgraf. My list keeps growing! (I hope to have both reviews posted next week and maybe a new poem!)

Congrats to hat drawing winners from monthly newsletter: Caitlin, Gina M and Donna M! If you missed it here is the link: Newsletter

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

Reflection and Poetry

shadow in the water

There are a few times in life where an event happens and life as we know—changes. The good events we embrace with a smile, life is good. Yet, sometimes the events can be something that brings: anger, sadness and the question why? Depression may follow and then reflection. 2017 ended on the latter note for me. My world was turned upside down and I was left questioning everything I was doing.  I could barely bring myself to re-live the story, yet every night I did when I tried to sleep. This was a moment in life where I found a line that I wouldn’t allow to be crossed anymore. Where words were directed to me that were so cruel and untrue–my life changed.

In those callous comments, I saw a person so weighed down in hate and anger, I realized I couldn’t be around this person anymore. There were lots of consequences for that stand, but I knew deep inside I had to be true to myself–and my husband came to the same conclusion. It was an event we lived through together–and stood together–focusing on our lives and what we had.

2018 began with hope peeking through. I reflected on the lessons learned. I may have been hurt, but I have been reminded to look for the magic. That is exactly what I am going to do by letting go of a person who blocked my view of it. I have only let a few people go in my life, and each time I walked away stronger, wiser and still full of love.

Finding my way to this reflective state took some processing. Poetry is one way to work through it. There are a few poems that no one will ever see, but they were healing for me. Many other poems made it into my poetry book I am working on, “Just Her Poetry”. Here is a poem I wrote in this time frame:


RIGHT/WRONG

Who is right…

Who is wrong…

Is it that simple?

When actions speak louder–

Than shouted words.

Sometimes only reflection

Brings that clarity

The answer is there

And ultimately it doesn’t matter

Who was right…

Who was wrong…

Only the solution does.


A poem written last fall and a part of my life I will be focusing on this year. Thanks to a thoughtful gift I received for Christmas, I will be doing this with a new blue journal that fits perfectly in my pocket.


THE RIDE

The river flows in beauty

Rushing in the opposite direction

That our journey takes us.

The sweet smells surround

As we ride above it all

On our motorized freedom.

The river rushes down its rocky path

The sun reflects the stony bottom

Campers stake their tents next to it

The trees become walls

Reminding me of a house

And we are welcomed visitors

On our motorcycle ride.


 

Always embrace your inner child– and all the magic life has to give! Denise D.L. Finn

Lizzie Chantree’s new book release: “Ninja School Mum”

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Please welcome today’s guest: Lizzie Chantree and her new book “Ninja School Mum”!  Launch date: January 30, 2018. Available for pre-order! (I ordered my copy!)

BOOK BLURB:

Obsessive-compulsive  school  mum,  Skye,  is  a  lonely   elite   spy,   who  is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.


 

Quick Author Q&A

  1. What made you think of the concept for Ninja School Mum?

When I was on the school playground, I used to notice how different all of the parents were and how many skills they had to use, to work their way trough the excitement of a usual school day with their children. This set me thinking about a school mum who was trying to blend into this environment, who had a very unusual background.

  1. What’s the best money you’ve spent as a writer?

The best money spent is on a proofreader, unless you are traditionally published, where the publisher handles this. Proofing and editing is of paramount importance.

  1. What do you do for fun?

I paint huge colourful landscapes and jog by the sea with my dog.

  1. When did you decide to become an author?

I didn’t really decide, I just began writing stories that evolves into books. After the first manuscript was completed, I couldn’t wait to begin all over again with a new story.


5 Fun facts about Lizzie:

Fact 1.    I have just taken up running and am really not very good at it.  It’s more of a jog/walk/jog senario.

Fact 2.   I love any kind of food you eat with your hands, like nachos, or fajitas. It’s messy and creative.

Fact 3.  I am allergic to chocolate and possibly coffee, as it makes me want to jump around the room. Chocolate makes me pass out!

Fact 4.    I studied graphic design at college and also shop fitting and display and design. This is very useful for book marketing.

Fact 5.    I am a trained silversmith. I can make bespoke jewellery and made the Swarovski crown for Miss Southend–on-sea to wear at the Miss UK final.


3Award-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.

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.3

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/


 

Lizzie’s Books:

Babe Driven

Love’s Child

Finding Gina

Ninja School Mum

Amazon Author Page:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 


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Crooked Cat Books are an international publishing house. The team has years of experience in editing, writing and reviewing and have a number of academic publications between them. They say they look to publish high quality work with exceptional storylines and fascinating characters and want to provide authors with a comfy home to share their stories.
In the last five years they have released over 150 titles. You’ll find them all over Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a number of online stores. Catch their latest books at crookedcatbooks.com