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Fall Colors and a Book Review

 

 It’s been one of the most beautiful fall seasons I’ve ever seen on our mountain. The dogwoods have been wearing the biggest crown of colors. Their pinks, reds, and golden hues actually glow at times. Maybe it’s because we’ve had such a dry fall and that’s left the leaves alone to change and stay on the trees longer? I’m not sure of the science behind it, but I’m enjoying it. But, as beautiful as this is and capturing it on my camera has been fun, I’m hoping California gets some rain soon. I’m not used to being on high fire-alert in November, but my house is as ready as can be and certified by CAL Fire as such. Until the day we get the goats (that I always talk about getting who keep the underbrush down) it’s up to my husband and I to make that fire-break around our house–and we have. 

Since I wrote this more devastating fires have started. My thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of Paradise and other effected communities in Northern California, along with all the people dealing with the out of control fires in Southern CA and their losses.

 


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Destroyer’s Blood: The Adventures of Devcalion- The Blood Series Book 1

By Michael Lynes

This is a fantasy about a young Greek demi-god Devcalion “Dev” and his sword, and closest friend, the Betrayer “Tray”. Although his father is Prometheus and uncle is Zeus, it starts out with Dev doing a normal human activity climbing half-dome, with his telepathic sword after several months of hiking. Dev runs into a relative during a fall, Hermes, who has a warning for him. This message changes Dev’s carefree life and leads him back to Mt. Olympus—or a place he hates. Here things happen quickly that could throw him into a task with someone he’d rather avoid. The characters pulled me into the story. I really enjoyed the relationship between Dev and Tray including their inner communications and battles. There were a lot of details, so you could easily imagine his god-filled world. I don’t want to give away any of the surprises in the story, but some of the descriptions had me wanting to take a long shower after reading them. This is a well-written story of a complicated relationship between not only a young man and his father and uncle, but someone who considers himself an outsider. Dev had to learn what he, and others, were capable of, besides learning what was important to him. If you love fantasy with lots of intrigue and plenty of action this is the book for you. I eagerly await the second book in this series.


 

“A Long Walk Home: A Christmas Novelette” went live this week. It includes a character from “The Button”. Thanks for the review Mae:) I’m smiling in Nevada City.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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New Christmas Short!

I wrote a Christmas short based on a character from “The Button”.  It’s now available for pre-order with the release date of 11-7.

final cover for A Long Walk Home A Christmas Novelette eBook

All alone on Christmas Eve, Kenzie was feeling the betrayal of her recent break-up. While the sky was heavy with the dark clouds of an impending storm, she walked home from work to clear her head. Lost in her memories, Kenzie was completely unaware she was being followed by a man with green-eyes. Was this not-so-human being the good or evil that lurked around her? On the most magical night of the year, will Kenzie be able to save herself from that evil or will she need some divine inspiration? The outcome will depend on whether she can find the strength to forgive as the storm not only rages outside, but deep within her soul.

Get your copy here:

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble


Embrace your inner child!  D.L. Finn

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Halloween Book Reviews

Pandora Reborn

By John Coon

This is Mr. Coon’s debut YA novel. There were many things I loved about this story. I enjoyed a boy’s viewpoint, since I usually read YA’s through a girl’s perspective. The characters were strong, flaws and all, while the story line was unique. Ron moves to a small town, after his parent’s divorce, with his mother and little brother. He leaves his friends and soccer team behind. The first day at his new school, he ends up in detention. Ron’s introduced to some new friends, and a strange “town lore” that he brushes aside. But, things begin to happen, and people are disappearing. Ron seems to be in the middle of it all.  Ron’s only goal up to this point had been to play soccer, but now he must pull himself out of that comfort zone. I recommend “Pandora Reborn” if you love a well-told paranormal YA with a bit of gore and romance thrown in.


Hounded

by Ellie Douglas
 “Hounded” is a full-out Zombie apocalypse with a lot of visual detail and gore. It had the feel and violence of the show “The Walking Dead”. Yet, it focused on animals over humans becoming Zombies which was a nice twist. There were two story lines focusing on brothers in different states. I like apocalypse scenarios, and Zombies thrown in are a bonus. Plus, there’re a lot of well-done descriptive passages of the carnage that goes along with these creatures. The Zombies were chilling eating machines and the humans confused and trying to survive. I was rooting for some of the characters, but a few I didn’t care what happened to them, which I’m sure is what Ms. Douglas intended. There were a couple of editing issues I noticed along the way, but it didn’t pull me out of this exciting horror story. Although, I’m not a huge fan of “tons of gore” I will have to read “Hounded 2” to see what happens next. If you love Zombies, descriptive bloody details, and action–this is the book for you.

This is a horror tale told from the past and modern times, with a bit of everything including: witches, hauntings, demons, romance, and mystery. I enjoyed the two timelines of the same town that met up at the end.  There was the progression from when the town was formed by three families in one prospective. In the current timeline was Jess, a widow, and her two children who were new to this town. She buys a house where strange things begin to happen. In another point of view in the current timeline is Mason newly released from jail who grew up in the house Jess bought. Mr. Jones goes back and forth between the past and 2017 adding new information to explain the current events. I found the story line well thought out and interesting. The demon/beast was terrifying to me and nothing I’d want to ever run into. There were a couple of little editing issues that jarred me a moment when I was reading, but nothing that kept me from wanting to continue with this intriguing tale. I thought of “The Exorcist”, “Poltergeist” and other scary tales as I was reading. If you like a good scare with the history behind it, this book has it and more.


by Harmony Kent

I’m a huge fan of Stephen King so I couldn’t wait to read this after seeing the comparison. Although, “Pet Cemetery” isn’t one of my favorite Stephen King books, “The Glade” didn’t have in it what I disliked in Mr. King’s book but instead had the intrigue I did like.  Helen and Geoff Wenstrop spent a holiday in a small village. They found some property, and against warnings not to purchase it, they did and built a house. Helen later goes there to die from cancer, but mysteriously recovers. I found myself reading late into the night to find out how Helen got to the point she did. I liked the story being told from two different time lines and eagerly awaited the moment they converged. The relationship between husband and wife was strained and a bit confusing–as were some of the other relationships. The landscape was its own character and added to the story. At times I found myself struggling to have much empathy for Helen and her decisions. But, there were many plot twists that I didn’t see coming after that. When the two story lines did meet up, I had many aha moments that changed my perspective of Helen and other characters while clearing the confusion. “The Glade” is a unique horror tale. I recommend this creepy story to those who love horror presented in a King-like fashion, with a bit of a romance thrown in.


A LONG WALK HOME: A Christmas Novelette is available for pre-order with a release date of November 7th! Here is the link:

Amazon 


Embrace your inner ghost with a good book. Happy Halloween! D.L. Finn

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The Missing “The Button” Reviews!

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I’m not sure why Amazon removes some book reviews. Indie authors work hard to get these reviews. I personally appreciate the time each reader takes to write one. Thank you to all who have left reviews it means the world to me and all Indie authors:)

A huge thanks to Rave Reviews Book Club for making sure these reviews are seen on their website!

Here are two reviews Amazon recently removed from”The Button”:

I was intrigued from the beginning of The Button reading the prologue. Usually, these things put me to sleep, but D.L.Finn packed hers with information about the paranormal side of this story that became the handbook for the rest of the tale. We readers were brought in early to the fact that the protagonist was a depressed person who had no regard for her life. We were also given the inside information that the two angles who are casually discussing the protagonist’s future are tasked with helping avoid a soulful disaster. It is not often I read a prologue that is useful, but this one is excellent.

I enjoyed this book. There was enough excitement, intrigue, mystery, and paranormal maneuvers for anyone to enjoy. The characters were well defined and carried a depth that was utterly satisfying. The pace of the book was just right to keep the reader involved while still getting enough of the details into the scenes to make them live.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written story that is very hard to put down. 5 Stars–John W. Howell


This is a fascinating tale of good and evil. Replete with angels and demons, it takes the reader on a journey through complicated family dynamics. It is a thriller that keeps us on edge as one page after another exposes the dark side of generational abuse.

D. L. Finn is ingenious in her approach and manifests her writing skill in this well-crafted and equally well-edited novel. 5-STARS–Gwen Plano


NOTES:

Thank you John H. and Gwen! Also a huge thanks to: Jan, Billy, John C., Rhani, Mae, Marcha, Shirley, Maretha, Karen, Wendy, and Sandra for your recent reviews:)

Next week I’ll be sharing my Halloween Book Reviews!

I will have pre-order available very soon for my new novelette: A Long Walk Home: A Christmas Novelette. It’s in editing now and is a bit over a short story–unless it becomes a short story again during editing process…lol  Thomas from The Button made an appearance in this story! I’ll keep you posted, but plan on a early November release date.

Newsletter is out! Check your emails if subscribed.

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

 

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Fall Poem

Here’s a poem I wrote from the back of a Harley last weekend. I added it to  “Just Her Poetry” that is an upcoming release:

THE OCTOBER SUN

The October sun bleeds through the trees

Clotting up before it reaches me.

The wind is a chilling reminder that I’m alive.

And it’s the end of a day…

On a ride through the tall pines and cedars.

It’s the end of the weekend…

As we race the impeding darkness home.

Ending in a grateful moment…

Existing in the changing blood-tinted landscape,

Dripping its beauty upon my eyes in memories.

I am at peace with myself and the changes.

In a time when my body and nature

Surges through each other, flowing and ebbing.

Feeling the grip of fall in my bones

I welcome it all as we pass a house…

Decorated for the coming holiday

In spiders, tombs, pumpkins, and ghosts.

This is an October ride…on the back of a Harley.


I hope that put you in the Halloween mood like it did me!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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October Book Reviews

Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

by Karen Ingalls

Having read and loved “Novy’s Son” I was intrigued to learn about Novy’s parents. This story started out with the life of a girl Albertina who left Sweden with her mother for a new life in America. Written in first person enabled me to experience this journey with her. I loved her peaceful life with her mother, aunt, and uncle in America. The details about Swedish culture were fascinating and added another depth to this story. I delighted in her trips into the forest to connect and find answers. I appreciated learning about all the artwork and how it would feel to be a model for it. Although Ms. Ingalls didn’t know much about Albertina/Davida, she still created a story about her great-grandparents that was spell-binding. Albertina’s innocence and obedience to her mother, merged with her curiosity and emotions blending into a story that felt very real to me. I understood the woman who went from Albertina to Davida. I felt for everyone person involved–including the wife. For Davida to love that unconditionally, even with society’s disapproval, shows not only a tragic situation, but one where she had so much strength and respect for that love. This was an amazing read that I got lost in. What a legacy that their great granddaughter wrote about.  I highly recommend this if you love art, history, human relationships–or a love story.


The Lost Years of Billy Battles: Book 3 in the Billy Battles Trilogy 

By Ronald Yates

In this final book “The Lost Years of Billy Battles” the story continues with Billy and his wife Katharina living in Chicago. It seemed like Billy had found some peace and happiness. But, that all changed when Billy and Katharina went to help out an old friend. I love the history incorporated into the story. I knew very little about this Mexican revolution, so that really held my interest. The relationship between Katharina and Billy is well done and I couldn’t help but root for them. I could easily picture each place the characters went and appreciated the time-period. I thoroughly enjoyed all three books and was sad to see the story come to an end. I will be looking for more from this author. I highly recommend this series especially if you like history and action combined.


Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories

By Beem Weeks

This is a collection of twenty short stories that embrace the full spectrum of emotions and life. The descriptions were vivid, and the characters drew me into each story. There’s a vast array of subjects covered that made me feel so many things ranging from: sadness to satisfaction to surprise. I tried to pick a favorite story as I read, but as I declared this was my favorite, I would feel the same way about the next story. I was very happy to see a short with Baby from “Jazz Baby” in one of these stories. I can easily recommend “Slivers Of Life”.


Kentucky Kernels: Book of Short Stories & Poetry 

by B. R. Chitwood

This is a unique collection of Mr. Chitwood’s work. It starts off with a two-part short story that I really enjoyed. His work is well-written with depth, intrigue, action, and humor. There is an introduction to each part that is infused with the author’s humor. There are teasers from two of his books along with poetry, personal stories, and insights. The poetry was my favorite part of the book. Mr. Chitwood has a beautiful, almost musical, way of presenting his poetry while adding in the emotional element. This collection has an anthology-feel to me. I’m already a fan of this author having read one of his books, “Stranger Abduction” that earned five stars–and I don’t miss his blogs. I recognized several parts of the book from the blog. I recommend this author, and this collection gives you a chance to get to know him.


Here are the winners for The Button Giveaway:

The Fire HD Tablet: Dianna H.

$25 Gift Card: Ashleigh S.

Signed copy of “The Button”: Kayla R, Jeanne S. and Sarah M.


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

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The Button’s first reviews

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I have to thank everyone who pitched in and made this an amazing book release for The Button ! Yay!

I wanted to end September with the first two reviews on Amazon for “The Button”. Thank you Sandra, Mae, and Gwen for your reviews:)


Good and evil, angels and demons collide in this NA thriller. What struck me about this novel was the way the author got into the head of her heroine, a young woman who had grown up in an abusive situation, and made us see and feel how those formative years affected her life. Not to mention this story had several unexpected twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. And best of all…it’s a HEA..–Sandra Cox


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“The Button” Research


pay phone

My research is usually limited for fiction, especially when I create my own villain. The Button had some necessary fact-checking being set in 1983. Although, I lived through this time period I can’t remember a timeline of when things came out or happened. So, luckily the internet helped me out.

First thing I checked was the music. I wanted to make sure that songs I talked about was timely and had been released by September of 83—even earlier if club bands were playing the music.

Fashion was another area I dove into. Stacy wanted to make a fashion statement by imitating Madonna. Was the timing right for that? I found Madonna’s popularity started that year, so I limited her influence to lace gloves.

In 1983 I didn’t use a cell phone to contact someone, instead there was the public pay phone. What I couldn’t remember was did it still cost a dime to make a call–it did. Was 9-1-1 around? Yes.  TV’s were different and much heavier than they are now, but you could connect it to a format that was making its way into households: a VHS player. Watch a movie any time you wanted or record a show to watch later? Amazing in 83. There were no satellite radio options in a car so you didn’t have to listen to all the commercials, but there were cassette players (or as in my case) an 8-track player where you could control that and what you listened to.

Yes, there were some obvious differences thirty-five years ago in: music, fashion and technology, but why 1983? Although it was the year I got married, I had planned on using 1981.  But, I wanted to use the quote, “Can I see your papers please” from a Clint Eastwood movie; so I pushed the story-line up to 1983 to accommodate that. This particular quote was something my husband used to say quite often so you can understand why I wanted to use it. He is almost as big of fan of quoting movies as Kent is in “The Button”.

The opening bar scene was based off a few of my youthful observations at a trendy dance club, a biker bar, a rocker bar, and a bar that did showcase male strippers. These were the places that would take my “fake” ID before I was “of age” to drink. I clumped them all together into this fictional bar.

Fact checking was also different in the 80s. If we were sitting around and wondered about something, we’d have to look it up in an encyclopedia. There was a hotline, I remember, that offered information– or Ask your librarian. It came in handy when we played some of our board games or had a person who insisted they were right.

There was no research when it came to things that happened to me. The eight-hour coma was real and came from my memories, but then it was twisted into the story. I didn’t have a conversation with angels like Lynn did. I did grow up in an alcoholic house where there were parenting issues and a blended family. Yet, Lynn Hill’s family bears no resemblance to my real family, including the step brother Warren. I added a couple of things scattered throughout the book a person or two will recognize. That was for the love and friendships that endured over the years.

So, know I always try to get my facts straight now and in the past.

Get your copy here: Amazon


The Button Giveaway has begun! Enter here for a chance to win a new Kindle Fire or other great prizes:

The Button Giveaway Link

 

Note: You can also find the link at the bottom of this page and on my Facebook page under giveaway.


Embrace your inner child with a good book, D.L. Finn

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Books That Changed Me: Fall Edition

fal walk 2017

Fall has arrived with its red leaves, and cooler nights. I love walking through downtown Nevada City capturing the colors with my camera. I’m the one kicking the piles of leaves, too. It’s a time of color, harvest, and wondering what I’m going to be for Halloween. Pumpkins are my main choice of decorations, while spiderweb sheets grace my bed. It is also the perfect time to cuddle up with a book. I’ve found three amazing books and a bonus short story that are as changing to me as the autumn leaves are to the trees.

Here are my three choices along with the Halloween bonus read!


I found myself very attached to this character. I hated finishing the last chapter, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to finish it. This is a series I am going to fully enjoy…and have to wait for. I will re-read it before the second one comes out which I reserve only for the really good ones.

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Hexborn (The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1)

by A.M. Manay

I loved Ms. Manay’s November Snow Series. I wondered if a new story line could rival that…yes it could. In fact, it could even surpass it. I found myself drawn deep into “Hexborn”. Shiloh grew up considered unclean by the population even though the laws against her kind had disappeared. Shunned, she was being educated to use her strong magic. Dealing with illness and deformity she develops an inner grace and strength. Suddenly when her teacher dies Silas arrives to bring her to the King’s court. Silas seems the perfect villain and I love the relationships she builds in court. Then there were surprises along Shiloh’s journey that she answered with her heart. I admired that about her. The flashbacks were skillfully used so the reader could understand how things developed. What her body lacked, her fortitude made up for.  I’m hooked on the magical girl with pink hair and eyes. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  If I could give this more than five stars I would. It may be a YA, but it’s for adults, too.  I highly recommend this book!


This has stuck with me after reading it. The message of miracles jumped off the pages at me. It was a reminder I needed at the moment and even now– to have some faith. It makes me want to just go sit under a tree and be–or take off on a roadtrip to explore. To follow my heart.

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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.


All three books of this series have lingered with me. I’m already a person who thinks about “what if”. Surviving after what we know as civilization comes crashing down is one of those “what ifs”. I do buy that extra bag of rice and keep a canned food supply…just in case. This story is a good warning and just darn entertaining at the same time.

into winter

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.

Halloween bonus read:

There was something about reading a story through the killer’s eyes. I kept thinking of the TV show “Dexter” which was a family favorite. I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately. There have been so many outstanding ones, but this one made itself right at home.

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I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

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


The Button Giveaway has begun! Enter here for a chance to win a new Kindle Fire or other great prizes:

The Button Giveaway Link


Happy Fall! Embrace your inner child. D.L. Finn

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“The Button” Blog Tour Link for 9-17

I have to thank Mae Clair for generously sharing her blog with me today. Check out today’s “The Button” post over on Mae Clair’s blog.  Before you go, take a peek Mae’s “Author Bio” and “Amazon Link” below. Mae is not only an amazing author, but she’s supportive of other authors, too. I hope you got to see her amazing new book cover for her up coming release “End of Days”. Please take a moment to support Mae.

LINK TO TODAY’S BLOG

Mae Clair:

They say everyone has a story to tell.

I wrote my first childish “masterpiece” at six and was immediately bitten by the writing bug. Since then, I’ve been composing nonstop, and have dabbled in multiple genres over the years, writing everything from fantasy, westerns, and horror to inspirational fiction, romance, and sci-fi. It took me a while to find my niche, but I’ve settled comfortably into the mystery/suspense genre.

Several of my earlier works have strong romantic themes, but all are infused with threads of mystery. I have a passion for folklore, myth, and urban legends and that attraction usually factors into my writing. You’ll find threads of archaic tales and mysterious places woven throughout many of my novels.

I am a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Writer’s Organization. If I’m not camped out at my keyboard or have my nose buried in a book, I’m likely looking up blurry images of cryptids on Google, sorting through vintage photographs, or imagining life as a cat.

MAE CLAIR’S AMAZON PAGE

Thank you and embrace that inner child with a good book! D.L. Finn

 

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Newly Released: The Button!

It’s finally here! Here are two excerpts, the blurb, and new “Random Finn Facts”.

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Blurb:

Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.

Excerpt one:

PROLOGUE (part one)

Castro Valley, California, 1976 

Lynn was suddenly aware of her surroundings. It was tranquil floating above her still body next to angels. She felt indifferent at seeing her pale form hooked up to wires and IVs, although the beeping machines indicated that her body was still alive.

“You have to go back—you have more to do,” the female angel informed her.

Lynn met the angel’s steady gaze. While she was in awe of her beauty, it was the angel’s silver dress that drew her attention. It reminded her of how the water in her grandmother’s pool had wrapped her in serenity when she sat at the bottom. She’d loved doing that for as long as she could hold her breath. It was one of the few times she felt safe, cocooned in water where no one could hurt her. That dress, flowing like water around the angel, affected Lynn in the same way as the pool did—it made her feel safe. The angel pushed her hair back, causing it to cascade over her peacock-green wings.

Lynn turned her attention to the male angel. His smile was mesmerizing—like a lava lamp, hot and fluid. What a babe! With his long brown hair, strong chiseled features, and green eyes she could get lost in, she felt she could totally spend eternity with him. He smiled broadly at her, but the smile quickly disappeared when the female angel scowled at him. Wait a minute—do they know what I’m thinking? Not cool! Lynn felt her face redden.

The embarrassment was quickly erased as both angels smiled at her again. Lynn wished they’d say more, but she wanted to continue to hang out with them. She was feeling a peace she’d never felt before.

She started to express her desire to stay. “I don’t—” was all she got out before images of an older version of herself filled her mind all at once. Then she was thrust back—into her life and that pallid body hooked up to the beeping machines…


Excerpt two:

CHAPTER 1

Castro Valley, California, 1983

…In high school Lynn Hill had a black button with white writing that said “F*** Off and Die.” It was pinned to her worn, flower-embroidered denim purse. Lynn relocated her button to the inside of her purse when she graduated, so only she could see it. It wasn’t that Lynn had suddenly changed her attitude upon accepting her diploma with 451 other people representing the first class of the new decade, either. As far as she could tell, 1980 was no different than 1979. What prompted the removal of her audacious public expression was the acquisition of a job and an apartment, or basically becoming a responsible adult. Lynn was mindful that appearing to be an upstanding citizen was necessary, an opinion confirmed by her old history teacher.

“Young women who are successful do not have swear words pinned to the outside of their purse,” the teacher, who reminded Lynn of a shriveled apple doll, had informed her while handing back her essay in the final month of high school.

Lynn was fully aware that the teacher didn’t like her, but she didn’t care. Most teachers didn’t like her, but she always got A’s and didn’t cause problems, so they usually left her alone. No one had ever tried to take the button away, but Lynn did get some looks, which she shrugged off.

She was convinced that more than one teacher had the same sentiment, but they had to pretend to be responsible adults, like she was doing now. Lynn only hid the button from her parents, who would have shown their displeasure in ways both physically and emotionally painful. She escaped that house the day she turned eighteen, moving into an apartment with her best friend, Stacy.

Lynn’s fingers brushed across that button on the inside of her purse as she searched for her strawberry lip gloss. It wasn’t that she hated everyone and wanted them to die, as her button stated; she simply didn’t trust most people. Why should she? They only managed to disappoint or hurt her, but she wished for their absence, not their actual demise. Although there were a few people she felt the world would be better off without. They seemed to have no reason to exist other than to cause others pain.

Lynn applied her lip gloss, slipped it back into her purse, and pasted on a fake smile. It was her final touch before entering the rundown bar with Stacy. A blonde and a brunette together got the attention of guys at the bars, Stacy insisted. Lynn didn’t bother pointing out that it was Stacy’s large bust and fashion-model looks that got all that interest. She knew Stacy was aware of her effect on the opposite sex.

The young women flashed their fake IDs to the guy at the door. It was obvious that the old biker didn’t care about the age of the females who entered the bar as long as they were somewhat pretty, boosted alcohol sales, and had a card, legal or not, that showed they were old enough. Lynn was immediately greeted by loud music, a local band whose name she had already forgotten. They were playing a current hit from the radio. No big deal, just some wannabes, Lynn thought. There wasn’t even a cover to see them. How good could they be?

Stacy and Lynn squeezed between the red vinyl barstools to order their drinks. “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream…” Why was the song from Sleeping Beauty in her head? She hadn’t thought of it in years. It had been one of her favorite songs when she was a young girl. She used to listen to the record while following along in the book. She would sing the song loudly if no one was around and pretend she was dancing with her prince through the forest.

In those days she believed she would find her prince someday. Did she still believe in love and happily ever after? Not really. She sighed right as the bartender caught her glance. He had wavy brown hair and the most beautiful brown eyes she’d ever seen. She gulped and started to sweat. She needed a drink, and fortunately, Stacy was already ordering them.


Random Finn Facts:

  1. I believe in the unseen.
  2. I used to play the piano when I was young.  I’m attempting to relearn it–if my fingers will cooperate!
  3. I love to take pictures of nature…and my family, too:)

Get your copy here:

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

D.L. FINN BANNER WITH WORDS


My appreciation and thanks to Mark for offering your blog to help celebrate The Button’s release:)

What a great tour last week. A big hug and thanks goes out to everyone who’s helped celebrate my release:) Watch for more links this week as the tour continues.

Get ready for the announcement of “The Button’s Giveaway” in this month’s Newsletter:) I will post it in next Sunday’s blog, too.

Embrace your inner child with a good book! D.L. Finn

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The Button Blog Tour Link for 9-10

I’m grateful to Sandra Cox for sharing her blog with me today. Check out today’s “The Button” post over on Sandra’s blog.  Before you go, please take a peek below at Sandra’s amazing “Author Bio” and “Amazon Link”, which includes her extensive book catalog. Let’s thank Sandra for being so supportive to other author’s–by being supportive of her.

TODAY’S BLOG LINK

Sandra Cox:

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte, and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

AMAZON LINK

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

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“The Button” Characters

sunset

Was I as wild as Lynn and Stacy “back in the day”? That’s an interesting question. I suppose it depends on how you define the word “wild” and the time frame. 1980 was the time when I got my first apartment and I found ways to have fun, but in 1983 I got married. So, it was a limited time frame to explore and add my limited knowledge and research to this book.

I might have a friend or two wondering if I’d bring “that” up. Good thing about “that” is we are the only ones that know whether I did or did not.

The characters for “The Button” grew out of those memories I have–and some I don’t.

Lynn Hill is a survivor. She grew up in an abusive household. She lost hope for a moment at 14-years-old and tried to take her life. But, that moment may have changed her because of an angelic intervention. Now she’s a rebel with a button, a determination to take care of herself and unsure whether she believes in love. I’m sure there’s a bit of me hidden in Lynn the survivor. We were both hairdressers, too.

Kent Stuart works at the local bar serving drinks. Lynn is immediately attracted to him, even with his goofy quotes. But, it seemed like his interest was in Stacy until they talk again. Lynn quickly learns he reads the same horror books as her and comes from a family with drinking issues, too. Kent gives Lynn his phone number, yet he has another side and another job unknown to her. Lynn has no idea if she should trust him or not.

Stacy Kelly has been Lynn’s best friend since they were kids. They’re room mates and like sisters. She’s a beautiful blond that is full of herself, but very loyal to Lynn. She’s the only person Lynn completely trusts. The two girls look out for each other. When Stacy goes missing, Lynn will do whatever it takes to find her.

Warren Stone is Lynn’s step brother. He’s newly released from prison after embezzling from a company he worked for. He reaches out to Lynn when she needs someone the most. He says he has changed and learned a lot from being in jail. He wants to make up for not being there for her in the past. They both share the same abusive childhood and she wants to trust him.

The Angels: Zelina who was in This Second Chance is the angel training Thomas, who had issues in the past. Zelina brought Thomas along when she spoke to Lynn during her coma. Zelina and Thomas are keeping an eye on Lynn until she needs them again.

Dian the evildwel has a hold of someone near Lynn.  She thrives and feeds off fear. Her current host satisfies all her needs, but she desires Lynn’s death.

The battle begins…will Lynn survive it?


My appreciation and thanks goes out to John for offering your blog to help celebrate The Button’s release:)


Pre-order The Button here: Amazon


I’m celebrating the release of “The Button”  with a blog tour. I’ll post the links here so you can stop by and say hi! The “Random Finn Facts” will be different at each stop.

Tomorrow there will be two blogs. One will be a tour link and the other is: Mae Clair’s cover release! Don’t miss out on all the fun.


With a new release comes a giveaway. Watch for more information here and my newsletter!


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

“The Button” Idea…

button collection

The “idea” for this book was a question from my husband. “Do you still have that F*** off and Die” button?

“Yes, I do.” He laughed when I handed it to him.

It has been tucked away in my closet for years (without the asterisks). It’s a reminder of the “old” me. The one who might have pushed some boundaries. The one with an attitude.

I found this button in Berkeley in the late 70’s or early 80’s. It made me laugh so I bought it. No, I didn’t wear it on my purse like Lynn in The Button, but the message might have been my mind set for a while. Lynn was a more forward with her button, but then she had a lot more to deal with than I ever did.

Now, I have a big collection of buttons in my laundry room.  They tell of the history of my life and the life around me. I still add to them when I find just the right button with a saying that makes me laugh, a “hey that’s right” or simply a memory or like.  I may have lost a few buttons over the years before I realized I was collecting them.

The day when I was asked if I still had this button the next thing I found myself joking: “I should write a book based on it”.

We might have laughed, but the idea stuck.  That rebellious side of me woke up and created Lynn. She was far more rebellious than the book shows–she wanted me to tone it down a bit.

Then other ideas started to form. I wanted a character who grew up in an abusive household which Lynn took on.  I had some knowledge to bring to the story, too. Then the angel Zelina insisted on being with Lynn back in 1976 when she was in that coma. With Zelina came another evildwel and an angel in training, Thomas. Making The Button a kind of a prequel to This Second Chance  but with a different tone.

The Button is not as much a love story as a survival story set in the 1980s, although there is love, too. Lynn is much younger than Rachael from This Second Chance and Lynn still experimenting with “things”. After my input Lynn completely took over the story. I’m not sure I would have made some of the decisions she did.

I must point out this was all fictional besides that button. Even the things that did happen, didn’t happen the way they did in The Button.

So, I wrote this book based on a question about a button. And after much reflection yes, the word is in my book–without the asterisks in it.

Pre-order it here: Amazon


My appreciation and thanks goes out to: Eden, Jan, and Mae for offering your blogs to help celebrate The Button’s release:)

Embrace your inner child with a book! D.L. Finn

Featured

August Book Reviews

Hexborn (The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1)

by A.M. Manay

I loved Ms. Manay’s November Snow Series. I wondered if a new story line could rival that…yes it could. In fact, it could even surpass it. I found myself drawn deep into “Hexborn”. Shiloh grew up considered unclean by the population even though the laws against her kind had disappeared. Shunned, she was being educated to use her strong magic. Dealing with illness and deformity she develops an inner grace and strength. Suddenly when her teacher dies Silas arrives to bring her to the King’s court. Silas seems the perfect villain and I love the relationships she builds in court. Then there were surprises along Shiloh’s journey that she answered with her heart. I admired that about her. The flashbacks were skillfully used so the reader could understand how things developed. What her body lacked, her fortitude made up for.  I’m hooked on the magical girl with pink hair and eyes. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  If I could give this more than five stars I would. It may be a YA, but it’s for adults, too.  I highly recommend this book!


Vanished

By Mark Bierman

I knew the topic going into reading this fictional book: child trafficking. Mr. Bierman shows the reader the process, including how children are kidnapped from their families–or the worst when their families sell them into slavery. The poverty and greed that uses children…I have a hard time absorbing that and worried this would be a hard read for me, but it wasn’t. The storyline centers on two American men doing missionary work in Haiti. A young girl is kidnapped, and they start on a journey to find her. The story’s told through different characters, which held my interest as they became interwoven. The action is non-stop and I had a hard time putting it down. I was fully invested in the characters and had a range of emotions from joy to sadness. This is a book that can make you think about an unpleasant subject, while being a good fictional story that entertains. I can easily recommend “Vanished” especially if you love action and the depth of a thought-provoking subject put together.


My appreciation and thanks goes out to: Wendy, Staci, Sandra, and Suzanne for offering your blogs next month to help celebrate The Button’s release:)


Starting next week, and the whole month of September, my weekly blogs will focus on The Button and its upcoming release! (I’ll still be doing the Fall Edition of “Books That Changed Me” on 9-22)Button_covEbkFinal

The Button is now available for pre-order:    Amazon Link

                                                                                       Barnes & Noble Link

                                                                                        Smashwords Link


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

Featured

Trying new things

HaiKu Moonlight D.L. Finn

My daughter Danielle, who you met in a previous blog, got my husband and I involved in a worldwide scavenger hunt or what was installed on my cell phone–GISH. She was our group leader and worked on many things including earning money for charity. I was given tasks to do during this week-long event.

The first task was to write a poem that rhymed and included world history. I got that done in less than a half hour and sent it off to her to submit.

Another task I was given was to learn a new skill. I puzzled over that one and then decided to write the Haiku above. That 5-7-5 poem was a lot harder to write than I would have imagined. It was more time consuming for me, but I got it done.

Then, one night we got together with my daughter and a friend to finish up our tasks.  I helped out with a picture.  My part was to hold up a blanket, so it was under the sun while Danielle “read” the setting sun the book “Goodnight Moon”.

Next, I got to judge a belly flop contest at a neighbor’s swimming pool. The flops sounded painful to me, but everyone got a 10! I personally placed the gold medal around the winner’s neck. The following event I was required in the pool to do water ballet to heavy metal music. I think we looked pretty good as my husband filmed us going in a circle bringing our arms in and out of the circle and then jumping together.

Out of the pool and wrapped in our towels Danielle placed large goggle-eyes on the neighbor’s tractor. Moving the bucket up and down got the eyes moving or that task. Finally, the “Goodnight Moon” book was presented to the neighbor’s son.

Back home again on our side of the street again, Danielle’s friend tried to fling chocolate pudding into my daughter’s mouth from three feet back while I filmed that. All you can hear is my laughter.

Later that night I helped my husband on his task to learn a new skill.  I showed him how to do some night photography…or make me look like a ghost. Boo!

Jeff pic smaller for gish

Joining my daughter’s team became about: spending time with loved ones, learning and trying something new, and laughter. Things we need in our lives, especially the laughter.

Here is the the poem I wrote during this event.

MIND

Since the beginning of humankind

We have pushed forward with our mind

With the useful first stone wheel

To the current luxurious automobile

From revolutions that tore down a wall

To gruesome wars that produced bombs to fall

This mind has been used for bad: including pure greed

Or for generosity, charity, altruism and to lead

Now in this time in history humankind has a choice

To decide which side, we are on and raise our voice

We can stand by our fellow human being

And lift our world up to a place our minds are seeing.


Embrace your inner child with laughter! D.L. Finn

Featured

Favorite Books

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

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

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


FAVORITE BOOK SURVEY

Favorite Kid Books

More than one vote (series included): 

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

Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault (3)

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

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene (3)

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

Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope (2)

Children’s Bible (2)

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

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

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright (2)

Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (2)

Single votes (series included):

A Ghost in the Attic by Suzan Reid

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Alice’s Adventure Under Ground by Lewis Carroll

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

BFG by Roald Dahle

Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen and Mark Buehner

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Boxcar children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Choose your Own Adventure by R.A. Montgomery

Cinderella by Jane Werner

Dick and Jane Series by Penguin Young Readers

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahle

Gilbert and the lost Tooth by Diane deGroat

Tanglewood Tales: Greek Mythology for Kids by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Little house on the Prairie books by Laura Engle Wilder

Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Love you forever by Robert M. Munsch and Shelia McGraw

Loudmouse by Richard Wilber

Magic Tree by Mary Pope Osborne

Nothing Fair in the 5th grade! By Barthe DeClements

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Polar Express by Chris Van Allburg

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

Sounder by William H. Armstrong

The Best Little Monkeys in the World by Natalie Standiford

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahle

The Strawberry Roan by Darragh Metzger

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak

Favorite Adult Books

More than one vote (series included):

The Bible (6)

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (3)

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

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

Single votes (series included):

A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan

Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman

Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

By the Light of Day by Dean Koontz

Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Foxfire Light by Janet Daily

Hot White Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout

Interview with a Vampire by Ann Rice

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Message from Nam by Danielle Steel

Old man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Men of the Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels

The Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Girl with a Snake Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Last Ride by Nicolas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Prophet  by Kahlil Gibran

The Sphere by Michael Crichton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Voice of the Eagle by Linda Lay Shuler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

You Can’t Win by Jack Black

Favorite all-time Book Character/Person:

More than one vote:

Jesus from The Bible (2)

Single votes:

Amelia from Amelia Bedelia Series

Baloo from Jungle Book

Bilbo from The Hobbit

David from The Bible

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

Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice

Ender from Enders Game

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

Harry from Harry Potter Series

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

Hester from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Jack from Jack Reacher Series by Dan Ames

Jason from Jason Bourne Series by Eric Van Lustbader

Jessie from Boxcar Children

Jo from Little Woman

Katniss from Hunger Games

Lestat from Interview with a Vampire

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

Moses from The Bible

Mouse from Loud Mouse

Nancy from Nancy Drew series 

Noah from The Bible

Odd from Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz

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

Sherlock from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sodapop from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Stephanie from Stephanie Plum Series

Stuart from The Stand

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

Extra–just the author:

Debbie Macomber

Dick Francis

Lynn Harris

Patricia Cornwell

Stephen King

Terry McMillan


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

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


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


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

 

 

 

Featured

Part 2 of Summer Short Stories Reviews!

Lost and Found: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

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


Hexed: A Purr-fect Catastrophe

by Wendy Jayne

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


Zombie Dawn

by Rhani D’Chae

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


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

By Shirley Harris-Slaughter

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


Feeders: Madeson Reid, PI: Paranormal Short Story.

By Wendy Jayne

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


Lost Time: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

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


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

Thanks!


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

Featured

Summer Short Story Reviews

 

OPEN, SHUT: A Short Story

By Nonnie Jules

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


 

I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

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


 

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

By Patricia A. Guthrie

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


Two Shorts and a Snort

By Jan Sikes

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


Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story

by Wendy Jayne

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


 Saving The Evergreens: Garden Secrets 

by Maretha Botha

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


 

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

Featured

Noises in the Dark…

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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35 years later…roadtrip

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

long long trailer....

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

fireworks pic

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

thunder mountain

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

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

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

beach trip

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

map

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

me and tiger

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

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

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

on boat

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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July poetry and book reviews

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

TRAPPED 

I feel her trapped in me…

That scared little girl from so long ago.

I’ve tried to reassure her…

To embrace her…

To comfort her…

Yet, she still hides…

While trying to protect me…

In scared and illogical ways that don’t.

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

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

That it is safe…we are safe.

I keep trying to reach her.

With the hope that someday

She will feel protected

And not try to hold me back…

In her attempt to keep us safe.

That together we can move forward…

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


 

cusp of night pic

Cusp of Night (A Hode’s Hill Novel)

by Mae Clair

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


lodestone pic

Lodestone: (Witch-Hunt) 

by Wendy Scott

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


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

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“The Button” Cover Reveal and a Poem

Here is the cover for The Button:

Ebook Copy of Button

Ta-da!

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

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


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

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

UNWELCOME PROTECTOR 

I feel it when I’m uncomfortable.

It is always there hiding…waiting.

That shallow breath…

That tight grip…that feeling.

 

It draws my attention

Back to where it came from.

A time…

A time when I wasn’t so strong.

 

I was helpless,

I was young,

I’m none of those things now…

Yet, it stays.

 

It’s an unwanted guest

That lurks in my body

That has over-stayed…

Its welcome.

 

It seems unaware

That it isn’t wanted anymore

So, I carefully guide it to the door…

Fumbling with the lock.

 

It clings to the doorway

Hanging on to my past

Smiling, I gently push it out…

We are both free as I release it.


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

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

 

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Books That Changed Me–Summer Edition

for blog summer edition pic

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

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

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


Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir 

by Karen Ingalls

outshine pic

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


Tails (Silver Wishes Book 1)

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

tails pic

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


Circumstances of Childhood

by John W. Howell

circumstances pic

 

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


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

Summer Bonus Pick:

The Alternative 

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

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

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


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

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

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June Book Reviews

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful 

by Ellie Collins

“Daisy, Bold & Beautiful” is a sweet story geared for 9 to 12-year-old readers.  Ms. Collins tells the story of a young girl D.J. who moves to a new town with her father, after her mother’s death. She has to start a new school and make new friends.  It’s well-written and I could sympathize with her getting onto the bus knowing no one and heading for a new sixth grade experience. D.J. quickly makes friends and learns about herself along the way. I loved the relationship between father and daughter as well as her new friends.   What makes this story so interesting is what happens when she goes to bed and her experiences in another realm. This book for middle grade readers drew me in, but the amazing part was it was written by a middle grade writer!  This is a children’s book I highly recommend and a new author I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!


PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction) Short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP

by Bette A. Stevens

“Pure Trash” is a charming and insightful glance into rural 1955 as we are taken through a day with two boys: Shawn and Willie. They are poor and judged on the merit of their drunken father. Heading into town it is apparent they are considered, “pure trash”. They’re able to earn enough change to get some treats and play freely on the playground. An unforeseen accident confirms what Shawn already knows, they aren’t treated the same as everyone else. I can’t wait to read “Dog Bone Soup” to see what happens to the boys. I recommend this short story for children– as well as adults.


DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction): A Boomer’s Journey 

by Bette Stevens

“Dog Bone Soup” is a story told through a boy’s eyes as he grows up in a desperately poor family in the 50’s with an abusive-alcoholic father. Shawn spends time surviving and taking care of his family’s needs, as well as finding time to enjoy life with his brother. I wondered what dog bone soup was and quickly found out it came from Shawn having to get dog bones at the butcher, so his family could eat. Ms. Stevens’ descriptions of the era really pulled me into the story. I loved the relationship between Shawn and his younger brother Willie and the creative ways they found to supply the family with food. It was sad how people treated them and the pride the family had–that ended up hurting them at times. Using an outhouse and having to bring water in each day when everyone else had indoor plumbing was made worse when the father made sure he had electricity for his TV. This was one of many examples of what four children had to endure from a selfish father and a mother struggling to care for her family. A beautifully written coming of age story that I can highly recommend!


If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love 

by Nonnie Jules (Author), Giani Jordan (Author)

This is a beautiful book of poetry with the first half written from the female’s perspective and the second through the male’s. “If Only There was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” does something unique–it tells a story through the poetry. Each poem shows the pain and longing for their forbidden love. I like that the female and male side are written by different authors making it all the more real. The images and rhythm of the words held me captive– reading late into the night. It reminded me just how strong real love is, even at a distance. If you love poetry, like I do, you will love this book!


…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED: A Short Story

by Nonnie Jules

I just finished reading: “If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” the book of poetry that precedes this short story. Instead of going to sleep I had to know how it all ended and immediately started reading “…And the Music Played”. The couple in a forbidden love were both married to other people. Christine in an abusive marriage, and Giani in a loveless one. A murder plot is twisted into this love story nicely with plenty of action. I was drawn in and rooting for Christine and Giani. You can read this well-written short story as a stand-alone, but I recommend you read the book of poetry first.


There will be no blog on June 10th because my husband and I will be celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. It is a weekend trip with our long, long trailer by the ocean! Be back on June 17th!

Watch for special edition blogs on June 5th and 15th!

Embrace that inner child by reading an amazing indie book! D.L. Finn

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Awe–a poem

tulips and mountains

AWE

I’m above the tall lily stalks

With the delicate orange tubes-

That were bursting with nectar,

Reaching hungerly for the sun.

 

A heavy cement turtle guards them,

As a mother reads to a child…

In plastic perfection,

While a rock rabbit is heavy, yet alert.

 

White roses fill the empty space

Spilling their fragrance carelessly.

A lone bee, that is far from ordinary

Is nestled in this scene.

 

I pause to take it all in…

Expecting the gentle hum of the bee

But, instead I am greeted in song…

Carried by a beautiful feminine voice.

 

“Laaaaaaaa…”

It’s like nothing I’ve heard before.

Puzzled, I look for the source and find it–

Not a radio or TV– but a simple bee.

 

Alone in my awe, I shake my head at this curiosity

Had the song always been there I pondered–

Buried under work, chores, and life? I was baffled.

Had I experienced a miracle? Yes! I realized…yes!


If you are subscribed to the newsletter it will be coming out May 21st. Check your email, there is a new excerpt from “The Button”, updates, and a chance to win an Amazon gift card!


Watch for tomorrow’s guest blog featuring Suzanne Burke and her new book! Won’t want to miss that!


I’m looking for Beta Readers for “The Button“. It’s a paranormal story set in 1983 with a bit of romance– and an angel (Zelina from “This Second Chance). Please email me at: d.l.finn.author@gmail.com if you are interested–and have the precious time to do it. I understand how busy we all are, especially going into the summer. I’m hoping to get it to final editing by the end of June or beginning of July! Thanks, Denise


Embrace your inner child with some poetry, D.L. Finn

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A Mom’s Poems

single lulip

I’ll be on a road trip in a week– so there will be no blog on the May 13th, Mother’s Day. To honor that day here are a couple of mother- related poems that are going to be in my new book “Just Her Poetry”.

LEAVE

It hurts less each time you leave.

But, still you take a piece of me with you.

I think of you in your youth

A sparkle in your eyes…

A joy in your laughter…

Holding you in my arms…

It all stays with me.

You grew and became.

I was amazed…

I was confounded.

At times you brought me:

Both joy and pain.

I always knew you’d leave,

There was never any doubt.

I felt a bit of pride and sadness,

When you walked to your car.

You’re doing what you’re supposed to…

And so am I.

You’ll always be in my heart,

In my mind…

In my prayers…

Each day.

So, leave as you must,

And become what you are.

Distance doesn’t mean a thing to me

No, not with you.

Know when you go, a part of me goes with you

Because you’ll always be my child–

And I your mother.

I know the world deserves you,

And you deserve the world.

I’ll go back now into my own world…

And I’ll wait for that text:

I made it home safely.

Because mothers never stop worrying…

Or being proud or loving you—even when you leave.


SHOW ME

You showed me where you spent your days.

Each hall had a different story.

In-between I asked questions, making you uncomfortable.

But, know it is more than that.

I wanted you to feel things, as well as learn things in school.

The pace quickened…

Smiles in place with no response. So, I awkwardly added:

I only want you to be happy. That’s what is most important.

You grinned…

Maybe you heard me, maybe you didn’t.

We continued the tour, but the time had passed.

The moment, though, hadn’t. Hopefully, I thought…

Hopefully, I have placed a small seed that will grow.

Someday you will seek out this happiness I spoke of,

Then you’ll show me all the things you’ve learned!


Embrace your inner child with some poetry, D.L. Finn

 

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April Book Reviews Bring May…

Shadow of the Drill: Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge

By Rhani D’Chae

 

“Shadow of the Drill” is a story that contains killers, strip clubs, sex, prostitution, torture and rapists. All the characters are bad, but well-written. I found myself wondering if I could find empathy in the main characters: Decker, Rudy and Charlene. As cruel as they were, and as brutal as their actions were, I quickly realized–yes, I could. I was invested in Decker’s relationship with Charlene and her strength to stay by his side fighting to be an equal. Rudy’s long-time friendship and loyalty to Decker was also explored with insight into their past and what event held them together. There were some parts that were so ruthless I had a hard time reading them, but at the same time they were completely honest for these characters. Even with the violence and dark story-line this was a book I couldn’t put down. If you love action with the reality of damaged human beings, this is a story for you.


Thread and Other Stories

by Eric Halpenny 

“Thread and Other Stories” is a short story collection that ranges from historical to science fiction. There are seven stories that I’d have a hard time picking my favorite from because they are so different, but they are all well-written. I was involved in each story with the characters and outcome for different reasons. “Conflict” the tale of two friends in World War 1 was the one that touched me the most with their friendship and the horror of war. In “Thread” I was immediately drawn into the story of two poor orphans and their struggled to survive—I was rooting for them. The most interesting though was the story “Conversation” that was weaved around the other stories in six parts. I thoroughly enjoyed the different genres and the mystery of “Conversation” in this creative collection. I look forward to reading more from this author!


Embrace your inner child read an indie book! D.L. Finn

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The Journey–A Poem

the little bird

THE JOURNEY

The tiny brown and white bird clung to the cedar’s bark

The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.

Then, the bird slowly began its journey by climbing upward.

A few feet up the tree, it was knocked back down to the ground

It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.

Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell

The bird carefully passed that point without stopping

It moved higher, toward the promised shelter from the pounding chaos.

Wings open, it faltered a few times, but hung on…

It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.

Tucked underneath the little bird had found limited shelter

But, it wisely did not linger there, and it continued the climb

Finally, the brave bird was immersed into the green branches–

Now, it was safely nestled in the cedar, as the storm raged around it.

 

Gone from my sight, I contemplated this journey.

When the bird was knocked down, it got up and tried again.

It passed the point where it had been impeded.

There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.

Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.

It didn’t accept the first offer of partial protection,

Instead, it kept climbing until it reached its goal…

Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.

And, having watched this journey–I was just a bit wiser for it

Because whatever life throws at me, I need to pick myself up,

And keep climbing, no matter what the odds, until I reach the top–

Exactly like the wise and brave bird did on its journey in the storm.


I watched this event take place while I was on my elliptical a few days ago. I was so happy and impressed to see this tiny bird make it up the tree.  It amazed me that something so small could leave a lasting impression. (The bird pictured is from another day, but for all I know could be the same bird…)

“The Journey” will be in my upcoming book: “Just Her Poetry”. I hope to release it this year!

This month’s newsletter came out this week. Here is the link if you aren’t subscribed and interested: LINK TO NEWSLETTER  

This month’s hat drawing winners are: Melissa and Tara! Congrats:)

Embrace your inner child with poetry, D.L. Finn

 

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Books Read and REVIEWED!

Why is the word reviewed in all caps in the title? I wanted to emphasize just how important reviewing indie books is to their authors! A huge hug and thanks goes out to all the readers who take precious time to leave a review! Here are the latest books I’ve read and REVIEWED:

 

Ninja School Mum 

by Lizzie Chantree

“Ninja School Mum” is about a widowed mother named Skye who has been on the run for years to keep her son safe from her past. As an ex-spy she needed to keep her former life to herself. She ends up living in a quaint small town in an isolated cottage with her son. I found it interesting to learn her history and why she stayed separate from others yet making sure her son developed friendships. The relationships between adults and children were well-done, including Skye’s new friendship with Thea and her unexpected love interest, Zack. It seemed like she might have finally found a place for her son to grow up. What I expected to happen in this story and what did, were completely different when a twist offered a new insight. I love when a story surprises me, and this one did. If you enjoy a romance with humor, action, a strong female character, and surprises–you’ll love this book!


The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

This paranormal story is the first book of a series and starts off in a small town in Florida with an invitation to a mysterious party. Linda has moved to Oasis, bought a book store, and started a new life. She goes to this party at End House with a group of friends. They didn’t find a party but a horror house where two of their friends go missing. The group is determined to find their friends and figure out what is going on in a town where people disappear or turn up dead with their blood drained. They find there’s a fight between good and evil, Linda and Shana have a hard time telling who is on which side or who is a vampire. I liked the developing relationships with Shana and Sam, Linda and Todd and others. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and I got a bit lost with some, especially in the beginning. But, I also got to know most of them as the story line progressed and secrets were revealed. The story is told through many points of view and moves forward at a good pace. I loved how the moody descriptions of the town added to the ambience of the book. If you enjoy vampire stories, you’ll like this book!


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

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April Book Reviews!

Happy Easter and April Fools Day! Hope your day was magical!

Here are some books I’ve been reading:

The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51 (Star Trails Tetralogy)

By Marcha A Fox

I jumped right into the seventh book of the Star Trails Tetralogy series and hoped I wouldn’t be completely lost not having read the previous books—I wasn’t! What I found was an amazingly well-written science fiction story set in the 1970’s with my new favorite character: Thyron the highly intelligent plant. I was immediately drawn into the story with the spaceship ending up on earth while a plant was hiding from authorities. Soon, the ships passengers: a young human girl, a robot, and Thyron ended up “contained” in area 51. An astrobiologist Gabe, is called in to help with the plant-life. Gabe soon finds out his sensitivity, helps him communicate with Thyron. This was my favorite part of the book. It was insightful and humorous with the relationship between human and plant. There’s also a lot of depth and research that makes this a fascinating journey with aliens, humans, plants and robots. The ending fueled my imagination. I’ll be reading the rest of this series and hope to explore and learn more about Thyron and friends! I highly recommend this book!


Circumstances of Childhood

by John W. Howell

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

 

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

 

 

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A Spring Poem

 

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GONE

Gone are the days when I lay on the couch

By the crackling wood stove

Huddled under a blanket with five cats…

Sleeping on, or near me.

 

Gone are the cabin fevered stares

Of those cats who don’t understand

When I tell them it’s too cold outside…

It’s snowing.

 

Gone are the silent crisp nights

When I have to convince

Our two dogs they need to go outside…

They can’t hold it all night

 

Gone are the mornings

When I leave early to remove the built-up snow

From my car’s windshield…

And drive more carefully on the ice.

 

Gone are the times

When I sit in wonder.

Watching the landscape turn white…

In a beautiful dance of the snowflakes.

 

Gone is the silence of snow

And the soothing patter of rain

Or the roar of the wind…

Pounding its fury against the house.

 

Gone are those candle lit nights

When the outside rages on

Gone are the coats, boots, hats and mittens…

All tucked away until next season.

 

These things are gone

But, they are coming back

Until then I sit outside…

Surrounded by life.

 

The birds are singing,

And the crows screeching

As I catch the sweet scent of the flowers…

A small fluffy cloud floats by.

 

The cats sit by me, again

Basking in the sun, along with my dogs

This will be gone soon, too…

When the leaves start to fall.

 

Each season is unique

In what they have to offer

Now, I’m blessed in a spring moment…

In its blissful brilliance before–it’s gone.

 

Embrace your inner child with poetry! D.L. Finn

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Final winter book reviews!

I’m working on my”Currently Reading” list over on Goodreads. Right now, I’m reading: The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51 by Marcha A. Fox! Here are my latest books read:

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles: Book 2, Finding Billy Battles Trilogy 

by Ronald E. Yates

This is the second book of the “Finding Billy Battles” trilogy and begins where “An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption” left off. While the first book centered on the wild west, this book opens with Billy taking a trip to the far east after his beloved wife dies. The journey on the SS China is one of my favorite parts of the series, so far. Seeing 1894 through his eyes is riveting. I could easily picture each place the ship stopped including Oahu before it was built up into the tropical city it is now. On the boat he meets a German Baroness, Katharina who pulls Billy into her story and her life. When Billy reaches his destination (after parting with the Baroness and dealing with pirates) he reconnects with old friends. Here, he’s pulled into a battle between the French and the locals. Finally, it is time for Billy to make his way home and be reunited with his family and daughter. That doesn’t last though, when he is requested to go back to the Philippines for Katharina’s brother and they become involved in the Spanish-American war. This is a part of history I admit to knowing little about: the colonization of the Philippines or the French Indonesia. Mr. Yates has not only detailed it but made it interesting. Although, this isn’t just about wars and history, there are very intriguing relationships that develop including another romance for Billy! This is a stand-alone book, I wouldn’t miss reading the first Billy Battles. I highly recommend this series if you love a good historical fiction with a lot of amazing details or just love a well told tale–this is both!


The Hat

By C.S. Boyack

I loved this fantasy novella by Mr. Boyack! Lizzie St. Laurent loses not only her grandmother and her place to live but is left without any mementos to remember her by. This is when Lizzie decides to grab a box from the truck loaded with her grandmother’s things and leaves. This quick decision changes her life. She soon finds herself with a living hat and a family history she was unaware of. The conversations between Lizzie and the hat had me laughing out loud. When a baby is kidnapped, the hat suggests Lizzie and the hat work together to find him. The concept of an inanimate object being alive is intriguing to me and “The Hat” accomplishes this well. This had everything I enjoy in a story, action, humor, depth, and unusual characters—plus, who wouldn’t want a talking hat with magical powers? I highly recommend this if you love fantasy and paranormal themes– or are looking for something different. I’m hoping there will be more stories with Lizzie and the hat!


June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code 

by Gracie Bradford

This is a children’s book that tells the story of ten-year-old June who lives with her brother and dysfunctional mother. She finds a puppy, Lady Bird, and the children take care of it until it finally becomes a part of their family–and her best friend. June is an A student who is thrust into the role of caretaker more often than she should be. Luckily, her grandma is involved, or G-Mom, and that helps the children to have more stability and love. Her mother marries and brings an uncaring stepfather and four unfriendly steps siblings into the house. But, June gets an amazing trip with her grandmother and brother across Europe–where the kids bring joy to the tour group. Unfortunately, right after is when June gets sick and ends up fighting cancer in the hospital. This part of the book is very emotional and drew me deep into the story. I was extremely invested into June’s outcome and her bravery through an unthinkable situation for any child going through cancer treatments. This is a book I’d recommend for kids and adults to read—and to understand.


 

Embrace your inner child and read a book! D.L. Finn

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A Stormy Poem and Book Review!

Spring arrives in over a week. So, I’m sharing my last stormy poem of the wintry season (included in “Just Her Poetry). With the coming of spring, may the storms continue in Nevada City and beyond to ease the drought–and fill our well!


 

IMMERSE

I immerse myself into the storm.

Its power engulfs me,

As it cleans my soul

With a brush of existence.

Ruling firmly without warning,

It is a delicate balance between

What it can give–

And what it can take away.

I connect to this authority

As its wind, rain and snow…

Rule the landscape.

It is the same inside me

With my hidden emotions–

I’m immersed in the rage of the storm.

I wait for the calm,

Safe where I am now.

Soon the sun will shine

My soul will be whole again.

But until then—I welcome…

This healing immersion into the storm.


 

While snow is finally making a comeback, I’ve been reading “The Improbable Journey of Billy Battles” and plan to jump right into “The Hat” next. Here is my book review of “Retaking Pervaiske”:

Retaking Pervaiske (The Army of Orphans #2

by F.B. Veneziano

I loved the first YA book in the “Army of Orphans” series and “The Retaking Pervaiske” takes over where it ended. It follows the plight of the Krisko siblings Alex, Anton, Irina and their army of orphans living in an abandoned underground shelter. It’s eastern Europe and thirty years into the future. The country is at war with itself and they are part of the rebel rebellion. There’s plenty of action with the small band being sent on missions with very real consequences–as the government repression strengthens. More relationships are developed as well as revisiting characters from the first book. My heart can’t help but go out to these brave young adults and children fighting for what they believe in. Although, you could read this as a stand-alone, with the very detailed recap at the beginning, I suggest you read the books in order. I liked how the story starts off with a glimpse into what was coming and then going back to find out how they got there. This kept me reading late into the night, with the only thing slightly slowing me down was the recap of the last book. The ending was sudden, and my first thought was: “no, it can’t end like this!” I eagerly await the third book to find out what happens next to this army of amazing orphans, because I can’t help but love them! I recommend this for young adults and adults, too.


 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Review of Books!

 

I’ve been able to read a lot of books so far this year. Right now, I’m going back and re-reading “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. This is a story I loved as a child and I wanted to revisit it before going to see the movie! I’m enjoying it even more than I did as a kid! Then, I look forward to going back to finish Ms. Veneziano’s and Mr. Yates series. 

Here are the last two books I’ve read and reviewed:


Finding Billy Battles: An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption 

by Ronald Yates

“Finding Billy Battles” is a historical fiction that takes us back to the days of the wild west. It is told through journals left to a great-grandson who reads them years after William Battles dies. Billy Battles was raised by a single mother. He takes a break from college to leave his home town and go work for a newspaper in Dodge City. He meets people we’re familiar with including: Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson–that are seamlessly weaved into the story. I have always loved to read a historical fiction book and lose myself in the past. Mr. Yates brought this time-period to life with lots of relevant details and plenty of action that completely drew me into this world. I highly recommend this book if you love stories about the old west or just enjoy a well-told tale.


The Army of Orphans: The Beginning 

by F.B. Veneziano

“The Army of Orphans” is a YA book that follows the lives of three siblings.  Although, it’s set 30 years in the future in Eastern Europe, it could be now and that makes it very relevant to read. After their mother dies, their father falls into drinking and rage. This eventually leads to the two boys Alex and Anton being sent to an orphanage, while the oldest Irina finds her own way. Alex discovers the stories he’s heard about the orphanage to be true. At the same time a revolution is happening outside the walls of this institution that pulls him and others into it. The characters are so well-written I felt every emotion reading this story. The strength of Alex is what makes this book hard to put down. He’s a young adult who has to leave his childhood behind as he survives in a world that is changing daily. I found myself falling in love with these children and then admiring their bravery. I’m looking forward to reading the next book “Retaking Pervaiske” and more from this author. I highly recommend this book not only for young adults, but for adults, too.


 

I was honored to be a guest on Karen Ingalls blog: Mind, Pen, and Spirit last week.

LINK FOR GUEST BLOG


All my eBooks are 50% off through March 10th on Smashwords.

LINK FOR SMASHWORDS 

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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Poetry and reviews

 

 


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

 

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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

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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”:

IMG_2626

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

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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

 

 

 

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Book Reviews and Name Reveal!

Here are my first YA reviews of the year:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 1) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

I admit to having read (and loved) the second book of the Diasodz series “The Enlightened One”—first. My plan was to read the first book before continuing with book three. Part of me wondered if doing so would rehash everything I knew, but I found that wasn’t an issue. I was quickly lost in “The One Discovered”. The depth and creativity to which Ms. Calleiro takes her story and characters pulled me in as I learned more about my favorites like: Sophia, Ar’ch, and Angel! Watching Sophia discover things aren’t what they seem, and the developing love triangle was fascinating. I don’t want to give too much away in this amazing YA story, but if you love a skillfully blended mix of romance, adventure, fantasy, magic and other worldly beings– along with a mix of new age and earth lore–you will love this. I eagerly dove into book 3 “The One Betrayed” and cannot wait to see where Ms. Calleiro takes us next. I highly recommend this book!


The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 3) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

 

Book three of the YA “Chronicles of the Diasodz” series does not begin where the last book ended–and that is a good thing! Ms. Calleiro takes us back to an event and shows us another perspective of it. With both sides being so sure they are right–I loved seeing the story from the “bad” side. We are introduced to new characters and some familiar ones from the first book. This insight is told through Rafe, Mel, and other viewpoints in this new world. I appreciated how past events from book two were blended in. The characters are so strong that you care deeply what happens to them. I’m already reading the fourth book in this amazing series and highly recommend it for all fantasy, love, and paranormal fans!


I guess I was celebrating too much over the holidays–so I missed posting two reviews. Here they are::

Acts of Betrayal. (Unintended Consequences Book 2.) 

By S. Burke

“Acts of Betrayal” picks up where the first book in this series “Acts of Redemption” ended. Ms. Burke quickly lets the reader know what has happened to the FBI agents and their counterparts from the last book. What is different in this book is the line between good and bad becomes very blurred and has to be crossed for the good of all. The book swiftly starts with an event I wasn’t expecting and a few changes of perspectives of the characters including Sheila, Mike, Trish and Nigel. Like the first book, this has suspense, mystery, intrigue and everything that makes a great story. This is a unique twist where the bad guy has hidden heart and the good guy has many personal issues to overcome. There are a lot of characters to keep track of along with their nicknames, but they are fully developed. My curiosity to see the pictures that made the characters “sick” shows how the story pulls the reader in. This is a great second book in the series and I look forward to the next book.


 

Our Justice

By John W. Howell

“Our Justice” is the final book of the John Cannon series and it continues where “His Revenge” left off. We quickly find John Cannon heading home, but there is little calm before everything gets crazy—again. John’s on-going battle with a terrorist determined to take down the United States for religious reasons, challenges our hero to find ways out of situations most couldn’t. You can’t help but love John’s determination and wit–while cheering him on. John finally gets into a spot he might not be able to escape. This fast-paced thriller is written in the author’s unique style that pulls you right into the story with a nail-biting ending that had a few surprises. The details Mr. Howell uses throughout the story not only enhances it, but leaves you wondering if this could really happen. I highly recommend this series, but start from the beginning with “My GRL” so you can enjoy the ride all the way to the end!


 

Now is the time for the name reveal! Drum roll please…DENISE

I would like to say I was named after the song by Randy and the Rainbows, but the song was released AFTER I was born. I have been left to form my own conclusions about that. Click on my name to enjoy the song!


Watch for a special blog this week for fellow author, Lizzie Chantree’s new book release!

This Month’s Newsletter will be going out later this week, too.


Next week I will be sharing some poetry and thoughts.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

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First Book Reviews of 2018

I ended 2017 with a “reading and review” count of 54 indie books (that total doesn’t include non-indie books I read and rated). This is a huge increase from 2016 where I read and reviewed 19 indie books.  While I hope to improve on that, I am happy to break 50 books read in any year!

I’m making a list of must-reads for this year.  So far, it has 25 books on it in with Yvette Calleiro’s Chronicles of the Diasodz series first on the list. After that is the rest of Larry Landgraf’s Into Autumn series–and this list will only grow once I look at all the books waiting on my Kindle!  It’s going to be another year of amazing indie books and sharing the reviews along the way!

Here are my first five reviews of this year (books I gave my grand-kids for Christmas):


 

Amazing Matilda: The Tale of A Monarch Butterfly 

by Bette A. Stevens

This is a sweet story about a caterpillar named Matilda and her friends. She immediately wants to fly, but is given the advice to be patient and keep trying– when she can’t. The book is illustrated by the author and that adds another level of depth to the book. The story has a lesson that not only kids can learn from, but also the adults who read the book with them. I can’t wait to give this to my grandchildren and will enjoy our reading time together with this delightful tale!


 

Wish Fish 1: Discovering the Secret

ByLynn Miclea

This is a sweet children’s story about two fish, Ray and Roxy, who live in the ocean. The fish duo who go too far into the ocean, get caught in a fisherman’s net, and almost get eaten by a bigger fish find they need to depend on their friendship and love to survive. They learn some important lessons on their adventures—including believing in yourself. It is a good message for children and the adults reading along with them. I bought this for my grand-kids and can’t wait to read it with them!


 

Halloween Writing Prompts: 13 Spooky Activities For Kids (Aspiring Author Series)

by WJ Scott

This is an interactive book for kids who want to be writers or love to create. It opens with some writing suggestions, then has 13 pictures with a tagline to provide a starting point. I love the Halloween theme that includes a black cat, a witch and other “spooky” prompts. This would be good in a classroom or at home. I bought this for my grand-kids and plan to enjoy it with them. Great idea!


 

Friends: An African Adventure (Fauna Park Tales #2)

by Maretha Botha

“Friends: An African Adventure” is the second book in the Fauna Park Tale series I have bought for my grand-kids. It’s an exotic tale set in an African desert and told through a bird’s perspective, Hope. The characters are fully developed and engaging, while the artwork provided by Ms. Botha is heartfelt. Flame the dog gives the reader an example of protecting those who can’t protect themselves– and what friendship and bravery are. He keeps his promise to be a hero. Another Fauna Park Tale I will enjoy reading with my grand-kids!


 

The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! 

by Bette A. Stevens

I bought this book to give as a gift to my grandchildren. Reading through the book before giving it to them, I found it taught me a few things, too. First, I had no idea a tangram is a seven-piece puzzle with specific shapes. A pattern is provided to cut out and get started along with the history of it. There are many ways to put the pieces together, but the book supplies shapes to make– with clues or riddles as to what they are.  Although, this is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids!


 

D.L. Finn (dolphin) is my pen name. I know some of you know my real first name, but for those who don’t– any guesses? Next week I will be sharing my first name, so you don’t have to keep calling me D.L.!

Happy 2018! Embrace your inner child, D(?).L. Finn

 

 

 

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Furry Family

This week I’d like to do something different and introduce my animal family of seven:

The oldest of the furry clan is 16-year-old Thunder (named by my daughter to go with a weather theme we once had with names: Winter and Stormie). She’s a tiny six-pound kitty that brings fear to our dogs when she walks by. She has been known to swat them if they get too close to her. The dogs take a wide berth around her and welcome my standing between her and them.  Thunder is known for her displeasure when you leave a wet towel on the ground in the bathroom and recently her displeasure has spread through out the house. She now is given her own private area which makes her happy.  She is a true queen and rules the house.


 

Next in our cat line is 12-year-old Rupert (named by my daughter again for the actor in Harry Potter). This is the cat that sits with me and oversees my work on the computer. He is also what I call a mother cat. He’s brought me, completely unharmed, a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest and a baby squirrel he found on the ground…I got them both to animal rescue. He has been known to hang out with the raccoons, too…they seem to accept his presence like the rest of the wild or feral animals do.


 

Nine-year-old Chester (named by my husband after a Raider player) is our feral kitty. His mother was killed by a dog. The tiny kitten took some time to coach him from under our house with tuna.  Finally, though I got him into the house…racing around the house while he ate and shut the door from the outside. All I saw for a while was a huge pair of eyes staring at me from under my desk. Now he is our sweetest cat. He will stand on his hind legs and wrap his paws around our necks giving wonderful hugs.


 

Four-year-old Coco (named after one of my favorite ex-players on the Oakland A’s Coco Crisp) was born a day later than the rest of his litter. Getting him fixed was a challenge when they couldn’t find all his parts. Finally, three sugeries later it was found in his chest and removed, but he grew into what we call a panther. He is very outgoing and social– with the exception of his dislike of Chester. He drapes himself over my shoulder and reads with me at night. His brother came with him to live with us, but we lost him one night when he was following my husband to the car. My husband turned around and he was gone….that was hard on Coco– and us.


It was time to get Coco another special kitty to bond with, so the final kitty is 1-year-old Alice (named after Alice in Wonderland by me). She is one of the “Valentine Kittens” from my poem and her mother resides with my daughter. She loves attention, especially from the other cats. She walks in a room and waits to be greeted and groomed.  This is a cat that loves a good belly rub and being outside. She has taken to bringing me “gifts” and not live ones like Rupert. I’ve received a bird and mouse so far….she is also the subject of the poem “Huntress”. She is definitely a star in the making.


 

On the canine side is 10-year-old black lab mix Hermie (named after the elf on Rudolph by me). Now you wouldn’t know he was that age except for the slight whitening on his muzzle, he’s a kid at heart and an escape artist. He is very sweet with children and us, even polite to let us walk by first, but he tends to get himself into more trouble than our other dog.  If you leave food out…he will find it. I have lost more than one lunch leaving it out on the counter. He just wants love from everyone, but will protect us like when a pack of dogs come at us on a walk. I’ve seen him take on five dogs and walk away without a scratch. Know, he was on a leash and the other dogs were not. And those walks we take with him…it’s more like he is taking us on the walk.


Our final animal is our Pit/Shepard mix 9-year-old Sara (my husband liked the name). She is very smart, loyal to my husband and patient with the kids. Once my husband took out the garbage and a bear was near him. She found a way over our fence and treed the bear. No one gets hurt on her watch. Another time, we ran into that pack of dogs walking with their owner, again (I do not know where they live nor have we spoken to them during these events). One of the dogs came at her and she pinned it down. Once I got them separated we realized she was limping…fortunately, that healed in a week, but we are safe with her. We have found a different path to walk now so those attacks don’t happen again. Both our dogs are very leery of dogs they don’t know. They have been attacked too many times on our walks by people who let their dogs run loose.


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Hermie and Sara are very close. Our kids have suggested we have a wedding for them. We might someday…if we do that I’ll share  pictures.

Then, we have our assortment of bears, birds, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, skunks and other mountain animals sharing our space with us, too. Our animals are as much a part of our family as our kids and I wanted to share a little bit about them.


I will be taking the next two weeks off for the Holidays to enjoy family. My weekly blog will be back January 7th. The only posts you’ll see here will  be a link for the #RRBC’S HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY LINE-UP when it’s my turn and my Holiday wishes, too.


Watch for a newsletter next week in your email if you are subscribed!

See you in 2018! Hope you have a magical and amazing time with friends and family this holiday season. I hope you get all your heart desires in the coming year.

Embrace your magical inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

 

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Catching Rabbits

yup

I watch with a heavy heart as fires rage through California, again. The images of the flames bearing down on a busy freeway are chilling. Yet, when I saw a video of a young man getting off this busy freeway and going to the edge of the flames to save a rabbit who was trying to escape– I felt hope. My heart lightened as he finally scooped up the scared creature and brought it to safety. It was a beautiful gesture among all the destruction. This got me to thinking about how in life sometimes all we can do is save the rabbit—one beautiful being at a time–when life is bearing down on us.

I had planned on introducing my own animals this week, but I thought this moment was more important and perfectly symbolized the compassion of our existence and the beauty in the chaos.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those effected by these winds and flames on the other side of California.

Here is a link in case you missed it:  Man Saves Rabbit


I’m participating in #RRBC’S HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY LINE-UP! It is a chance to check out all the wonderful book trailers. Please enjoy and leave a comment–you may win a prize!  My book trailers will be showing closer to Christmas. Here is the link:  

BOOK TRAILER BLOCK PARTY


Here is a link to a December review of This Second Chance (the review is above the link).

Here is a link to a November review for This Second Chance (again, the review is above the link).

I’ve never gotten two reviews like this before…I think Zelina the angel from This Second Chance is hard at work again.

If you get a chance check out this picture my daughter got for me from a Supernatural Convention. As you can see, Zelina the angel and Castiel the angel are good friends.

Embrace your inner child– and any rabbit that crosses your path keep it safe, D.L. Finn

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A love story

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Last weekend my mother-in-law passed away. That normally would be the end of her story, but it wasn’t. The day before she left us, when the family gathered around her bed saying their goodbyes, an amazing event happened. Some were talking to each other, but my husband, son, and I sat quietly.

The three of us were watching her when she looked between my husband and I and spoke clearly from her hospital bed, “Is that you, Sal?”

A chill ran through me as I listened.

She broke into a huge smile as her face lit up, “I can see you,” she proclaimed.

She kept talking quietly to him. She answered questions we couldn’t hear, while her face glowed and her body relaxed. I glanced to the spot she was looking at, but saw nothing. Yet, I felt we weren’t alone in that room. I was positive my father-in-law was there to reunite with his beloved. Soon, she settled back into the bed and closed her eyes. I quickly confirmed with my husband what I’d seen and heard. He had witnessed the same thing–as had my son. It was comforting to know he was there waiting for her. Before we could bring it up to anyone else, the Chaplin entered to administer her last rites.

What we took away from this experience was her death was not the end for her. It was the beginning of an eternal love story. It’s a tale capable of crossing over all boundaries. Although she will be missed, and her family is grieving her passing–she’s getting her happy ending. The peace we felt in that brief moment reminded us it doesn’t end when you take your last breath– it’s a new beginning.

On a holiday weekend when we are encouraged to be thankful for what we have– I was grateful to have been blessed with that moment. I’ll always be thankful knowing that their love continues even when we can’t see it. I was lucky enough to be a part of their love when I met their son. In their son I found a love like theirs, and it’s comforting to know it will have a happy ending.


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Some more books read!

This week I’m sharing the books I’ve been reading.

A Desolate Hour

By Mae Clair

“A Desolate Hour” continues where “A Cold Tomorrow” ends. Everything from the first two books are explained with a couple of surprise twists I didn’t see coming. We are introduced to the Ouija board’s mysterious clue “QM”–or the new character, Quentin Marsh. Quentin fits right into the town seamlessly as he searches for more information about his family’s curse on behalf of his pregnant sister. Caden, Eve, Ryan, Katie and Sarah are back in the thick of the story, along with Mothman, men in black, and the curse. Ms. Clair has weaved folklore and history into an amazing tale. I loved the first two books and this final novel didn’t disappoint—in fact it took everything up a notch. I’ve grown to love this town and the people in it and was glad for the journey they took me on! I highly recommend this series for those who love an entertaining, well-written story with some paranormal, a bit of reality and a little romance.

His Revenge

by John W. Howell

 

I have eagerly awaited reading more about John Cannon after “My GRL”. Mr. Howell has a unique way of writing that brings the reader into the action quickly. The story continues with John waking up in a hospital after stopping a terrorist attack. I felt the anxiety of not being able to move one’s arms or see– like the main character when he awakened.  As soon as John arrives home, the action begins and never lets up until the last page. While the plan is to go meet the president to be honored as a hero…well, nothing goes the way it should because his enemy has “other” ideas. This book, like the first, kept me up late, into the night because I wanted to see what was going to happen next.  I immediately started reading “Our Justice” the third book in this series—after finishing “His Revenge”! If you love a thrilling, suspenseful, and action-packed story you’ll love this book!

 


I was going to share leaves from our “Thankful Tree” this week. Unfortunately, we lost my mother- in- law this weekend and that didn’t get done. I’ll share more about that in next week’s blog and where I found my gratitude during this.

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Fall books read

 

‘Til Death Do Us Part

By Jan Sikes

This is the final book in the fictionalized true-story of Luke and Darlina Stone. The story continues where it left off in “Home at Last” for Luke and Darlina. The remarkable journey of this couple comes full circle when music reenters their lives. I loved that Darlina (and their daughter) joined Luke on stage. It was beautiful to read the process of this couple creating music together. I felt every emotion reading “’Til Death Do Us Part”, especially knowing it’s the real story of the author– and it was the last book. I was heartbroken watching the decline of Luke’s health, but was amazed, again, at how strong their love was. When I hear an owl hoot at night it will always remind me of this couple’s unwavering love. A beautifully written series I highly recommend.


A Cold Tomorrow (Point Pleasant #2)

by Mae Clair

I was very excited to read the second book in the Point Pleasant series, and found I enjoyed “A Cold Tomorrow” as much as “A Thousand Yesteryears”. Ms. Clair continues with characters from the first book, along with UFOs, animal mutilations, mysterious drawings, men in black, an ex-boyfriend, and the Mothman. There was a budding romance between Ryan and Katie, but it’s the mystery and suspense that made it hard for me to put the book down. I loved the little details of the town, characters, and the Mothman legend that drew me into “their” story. This book is well-written with every element I enjoy in a fiction including: the paranormal, mystery, a bit of romance, and suspense. I’ll be diving right into the final book “A Desolate Hour”. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next! I highly recommend this book and series.


I am honored to be the RWISA “Rising” Writer for the month of November! Check out the cool video and the excerpt from This Second Chance.

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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The Road Now Taken

 

aurora road

Discovery Trail, Nevada City CA

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you are fighting and losing? I’m not talking about things out of your control where all you can do is move forward and survive. This is a time where you can influence the outcome. Where the same thing keeps making an appearance in your life—a theme. You respond the same, and the same conclusion appears. It’s not the ending you’d like to see, yet you keep doing it over and over.

Well, I’m in one of those life “moments”. Of course, my first response is to fight the situation and create the outcome I want, but it isn’t working. So, all I can do is step back and see where I am being guided. The “why” becomes what can I “learn” from this? What am I missing? What I think should be going on right now and reality–are two completely different things. Will I finally make those changes that I need in my life? I’ve found if I don’t, life has a way of making sure I do! Yet, I’m always glad for the lesson, even if I grumble all the way through it.

So, firmly embedded in this life change, I look at the picture above my desk.  It’s a bare tree silhouetted in winter on the left side, and on the other side is one of my favorite poems, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I know the meaning can be interpreted many different ways, but I approach it in a positive manner. I see it as an life affirming change–when the time comes.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.”–Robert Frost

I’m choosing that new road that shows less sign of travel. I’ve been on the other path for a long time and seen all I can. It’s time to branch off into new territory and find that “difference” I’m seeking. Then, when I get a sign I’m going in the right direction, I know I’ve learned and changed on the road now taken.


More in future blogs on some of those signs and changes!

Next week I will share some books I’ve been reading!


Heading into the Holidays…embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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Happy Halloween!

  1. Pumpkin Night 2. Bridgeport in the South Yuba Park, CA 3. Red-tailed hawk

Last week I spent with my grandchildren (ages seven and nine years old) on their fall break. We enjoyed a Halloween store full of masks and decorations, and a fall walk ending at the local candy store. At home, we decorated paper pumpkins and stuffed an ape man—making the dining room into the haunted room. The weekend was the grand finale, however.

Friday night, we headed to our first visit to Pumpkin Nights with everyone dressed in their Halloween costumes. I was a witch who enjoyed all the lighted pumpkin themes including: under the sea, pirates, graveyards, and floating pumpkins with the added touch of apple-spice scented fog. Plus, there was a stop to dance and watch a bit of Harry Potter along the way.

We geared up the next night at a local resident’s house called the Spook Walk. This was another first-time event for us as we hunted on an unfamiliar road for a parking spot–avoiding the cars going the wrong direction. We made it safely to the line to wait, while the family’s bumble bee dog kept watch over us. First stop was climbing into tree house to see how the local zombies lived. Then, we made the quarter mile trek through the darkness illuminated only by flashlights. There were spiders and ghosts guiding us until we ran into real zombies traipsing through the oak and pine trees. Luckily, we were protected by some brave young men from these creatures.

The final event came on Sunday afternoon at the Bridgeport Fall Festival. This was my personal favorite.  We started with some history of the covered bridge built in the 1860s. It’s the longest single-span covered bridge in the United States at 229 feet–still standing. Right now, we are unable to walk across it, because it is unsafe. Our community fought hard to save it from being torn down. I’m happy to say the state granted the funds and work begins this coming spring!

Next, we passed a coffin…of course my grand-kids had to take a “quick” peek. They were rewarded with a “skeleton”.  The rest of the day was spent: learning about our local Indian history and their musical instruments, painting pumpkins, making bird feeders, enjoying a tour on the history of the park, and getting towed by a pink tractor from the 40s.

The part I enjoyed the most was seeing the rescue birds and learning their stories. There was a raven, three types of owls, and my favorite, a red-tailed hawk, Sky. She’d been shot and our local wildlife rescue group took her in and nursed her, but couldn’t release her back into the wild due to her injury. So, for the last 11 years she’s been living with her handlers in her own specialty-built home on their property. Each night the couple sits with Sky and enjoys what they call a “hawktail” while she gets a treat. She has a good life with this couple, but her freedom to soar was taken from her the day someone decided to use her as target practice. (Becoming one of the people who help these injured animals is on my list of things to do.)

It was a wonderful week that I spent looking through children’s eyes again. What I got was a glimpse into their magic: walking through the path of lights, surviving a zombie attack, and taking a stroll through time at our local state park.  Next week, I will be doing more adult-themed activities, but the wonder and magic will linger.


So, with my childlike wonder in place, I’m sharing my only Halloween poem for children from twenty-plus years ago. (I saw a children’s book with a similar theme a few years back, so I retired this until now…):

PUMPKINS IN A ROW

Big pumpkins

Little pumpkins

Pumpkins in a row.

Glad faces

Mad faces

Pumpkins in a row.

On the tables

In the windows

Pumpkins in a row.

Burning bright

Just one night 

Pumpkins in a row.


I’ll be spending my Halloween in downtown Nevada City, CA. I never miss a chance to walk through the haunted house or hear the kids say trick or treat! This year I’m dressing up as a character from my book This Second ChanceZelina! I’ve shared that picture on Twitter and Facebook!

Contest to win Kindle ends 10-30!          ENTER

Happy Halloween and embrace that inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

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More books read!

 

 

She Marches Through Fire (November Snow Book 3) 

by A.M. Manay

I was excited to read the final book of this amazing series—it was hard to put down. The story continues where book two left off. November finds her strength as a vampire emotionally and physically. I love how she softens the edges of some of the harder characters in this story. The idea of Eden hidden within our world was one of the many gems Ms. Manay offered us. Some of the surprise directions the story took were satisfying to read, and sad at the same time. I hope there is more ahead for these characters. This is a series I highly recommend to everyone who loves a well-told story and the paranormal. If I could give it more than five stars, I would!


The Convict and the Rose (Flowers and Stone #2 )

by Jan Sikes

I have been looking forward to reading the second book of this series. The fictionalized true-story continues for Luke and Darlina after he goes to prison–for a crime he didn’t commit. The couple decides Darlina should go on with her life, while Luke deals with prison in his usual rebellious fashion. They go through changes and grow–which keeps you turning the page long into the night to see what happens next. The process of how Luke and Darlina handle this situation is captivating to read. I not only found the physical changes in their lives compelling, but the spiritual process amazing.  It’s a book that shows us to never give up and how to make the best of a bad situation while at the same time it’s about a love that can overcome anything. It is beautifully written and I’ll be continuing this journey in the next book. I highly recommend this if you are a fan of love –or like reading about change and the strength of what the human spirit can overcome.


The giveaway for the release of  This Second Chance has started.  Join the celebration! You can enter on this website under contests, on the sidebar—or here:

Enter Contest

 


Rave Review Book Club is doing our annual Writer’s Conference & Book Expo starting  tomorrow 10/23 and goes through the week! Please stop by and say hello on my page! I highly recommend checking out all of our amazing talented writers and their books! As a bonus, there are lots of giveaways! I will be doing some early Christmas shopping for my grand-kids at the Conference

Link to my author page at conference

 I’ll be on vacation again this week with my husband, but I will make time to enjoy the virtual conference-– and maybe some more poetry inspiration from the back of the Harley, too.


 

The monthly newsletter will be coming out today, too! Watch for it in your emails if subscribed!

Next week will be my Halloween post!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Poem and fire…

1. Fall colors in Nevada City, CA

2. Smoky day in Nevada City, CA (the faint outline at top of picture is the mountain where I live– to the right) 

I have lived with the possibility of fires the last 27 years. It’s the price one pays for living in the forest. I accept that. I’ve held my breath through the dry fall months many times–until we get those first rains. My family has packed to evacuate, but never had to leave. We’ve been lucky.  I keep a pair of shoes and my purse next to my bed…just in case. I know where my important papers are, I have a suitcase with a change of clothes in my car, animal carriers ready, and the brush has been cleared away from the house.  We are prepared the best anyone can be–if disaster strikes.

California deals with fires, earthquakes, floods, and droughts–it’s a fact of life here. Yet, I have never woken up to what I did this week. So many fires happening “all at once” during a dry wind and dry time of the year. Of those seventeen fires, two struck our area the first day. Fire fighters risked their lives to save other’s lives and property. Sometimes you have a warning, but most of the time you don’t.

Right now, I am safe. The trees are changing their colors for fall to red, yellow, and orange. It’s a beautiful process that continues uninterrupted—even surrounded by fire. The trees carry-on even with all the changes taking place. There are signs of this change all over the world–and all I can do is hope that it isn’t too late for “us” to change…


WAIT

The air is thick with disaster

Heavy in loss and pain.

The sun unable to break through

As the winds fuel the flames…

Tension fills us all.

No breath too deep

As watchful eyes are kept —

Pinned on the horizon.

We wait for the warning.

Bags packed—ready to flee

The air is thick,

With ash from the fires

As…we wait.


Thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones or their homes in the California fires– and the other recent disasters. Reach out and lend a helping hand where you can.


Next week, I will be on vacation with my grand kids. I’m hoping to explore some fall splendor if we can– and at the same time praying for the rains to start! So, the monthly newsletter will be a few days late, while I am out embracing my inner child–D.L. Finn

 

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A little Poetry…

harley ride

My husband and I decided to take a ride on our motorcycle last weekend. We went on a favorite ride from Nevada City to Downieville, CA. This is a two hour plus round trip– depending on how many stops we make. Part of this journey, we are next to the beautiful Yuba River–or one of my favorite places to be. I decided to try an experiment. I brought a small notepad and pen to write some poetry during our ride. It was challenging. I used my husband’s back as a table to write on (at first, he was rather confused…). I hung tightly onto my pen, and put each poem, as I wrote them, safely into my zipped pocket–in case I dropped my notepad. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to read what I wrote later…but I was. Here is one of those poems which I deemed “Musings from a Harley” and will be adding to my poetry book, Just her Poetry:

MOMENTS

Moments of splendor on the back of a motorcycle

Are impolitely interrupted by road work.

We bake in the sun, that our black leather absorbs–

Motorcycle off—we sit and wait.

We are silent in the line of cars

Watching for signs of movement ahead,

When a single butterfly attracts our attention…

The flutter within the delay.

Soaring from one side of the road to the other

In its final autumn quest,

As flowers give forth their final blooms

The butterfly joins many on a late blooming weed.

My husband and I smile at each other.

The enchantment quickly dissipates

When the first car passes us…then another

Soon our direction will be moving.

The motorcycle roars into life

As the butterfly makes one last trip past us

And our time with this elegant being– gone

As the quiet fades into the past

We are on our way again.

But, the memory of the white and orange butterfly

Stays with us on our journey

As moments of splendor–never really end.


NOTE:

I tried to honor the heroes in that horrible shooting in Las Vegas with poetry– and make sense of a senseless act. It is a hard thing to process. I also wrote a couple of poems to mark the passing of Tom Petty. I’ve seen him in concert many times over the years, including just last month.  I’m not ready to share these poems–yet. My plan is to include them in my poetry book. For now, I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by such a tragic day in America’s history. Hug your loved ones just a little tighter next time, and know I’m sending my hugs to you.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

 

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Books read and reviewed!

 

Mirror, Mirror 
by Jessica Jesinghaus

“Mirror, Mirror” is a murder mystery with romance, and the paranormal. Sam is a journalist who suffers a devastating loss. During this time, she meets Patrick, buys a new house, and takes the dresser that used to belong to a murdered relative. As romance blooms with Patrick, a serial killer continues his quest, too. Sam is offered some insight and help from beyond–through the mirror on her dresser. Sam hopes this will solve not only the family murder, but the current ones, too. It is a page turner with a couple of twists along the way. It was a hard book to put down, because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I will be reading more by this author.


 

 

She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2) 

by A.M. Manay

This second book of the November Snow series “She Lights Up the Dark” is on equal ground with the first book—which I loved. The story continues where the first one ended and November is now a vampire in a world with other vampires, fairies, and werewolves. She’s a baby in her new form and doesn’t have the support she needs, at first.  She’s separated from her maker and is thrust into the world of her enemies. Ms. Manay gives us characters we can love and care about. It’s well written with attention to detail–with lots of new twists added in. I love how it is set in the Bay Area where I grew up, so I know all the areas the book is describing so well. This ended with another cliffhanger and I cannot wait to read the third book in this series. I highly recommend November Snow books for all who love fantasy and the paranormal.


 

Suzy Has A Secret

by S. Jackson and  A. Raymond

“Suzy Has A Secret” deals with a subject that we (as parents, grandparents and caretakers) do not like to think about—but we must.  The subject matter is about inappropriate touching of children by trusted adults. The text is handled delicately and assures the child it is safe to speak up. The pictures are cute and welcoming making it feel like any other children’s book. “Suzy Has A Secret” is a book you can sit with a young child and read about a threatening situation, in a non-threatening manner. It will open the door for more communication. I like the note to the adults after the story with more detailed information. I highly recommend this for those with young children. Although, I purchased this for my Kindle, I’m adding the paperback to my book collection– for my grand-kids.


 

I’ve had some help promoting the release of This Second Chance and have some fellow authors to thank for their support:

This week, romance author Michelle Abbott , graciously hosted me on her blog. Please click on her name or the blog link and give her your support. You may recognize her name. I’ve posted the review of Just Stahere (and it is listed in Indie Books Read). Her next book I look forward to reading is: Kai. Thank you, Michelle!

Author Jan Sikes has also graciously shared her blog today. Thank you, Jan! Please click on her name or blog link to show her your support. Her name should be familiar, too, I’ve reviewed a couple of her books. The first book was Flowers and Stone. In a few weeks, I will be continuing the fictionalized true story about the author and her husband:  The Convict and the Rose.  Discovery was a book of poetry (both books listed here in Indie Books Read).

Another thanks goes out to Jessica Jesinghaus. She posted one of the early reviews (before the final revision) on her website. But, she was helpful beyond the review. I made sure to read one of her books and I was glad I did– as you can see in my above review. Thank you, Jessica! 


Dolphin’s Cave stay tuned!

I’ve been working on new book: The Button. Zelina has decided to make another appearance! I think we have developed a good working relationship!

Next week I’ll be sharing some poetry I’ve been working on for: Just her Poetry.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

Time Enough at last…

the leaf

One of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone TV show from 1959 is, “Enough Time at Last”. It follows Mr. Henry Bemis in his daily life. All he wants to do is read, but he never gets a chance. His wife belittles him for reading, going as far as to vandalize his books. His boss at the bank wants him to work —not read– leaving him no place he can do it. Finally, one day he’s able to sneak off and read on a break in the Bank’s vault when a huge explosion occurs. He finds everything he’s known gone. He tries to make the best of it, but finds himself lonely and almost takes his life. This is when he runs across a library with all the books intact. It’s everything he’s wanted. He spends a lot of time sorting through the books in large stacks– or preparing for this perfect moment. Proudly he announces, “There’s enough time at last”, but then the worst possible thing happens. His glasses shatter and his response is “That’s not fair at all” –and it wasn’t. But, even with the sad outcome of this story it has always made me think about what I want in my own life. How I put things off I want to do, because I have decided there isn’t enough time or I’m waiting for that “perfect moment” that never comes. Sometimes we might get what we consider the “perfect moment”, but then it doesn’t last, like with poor Mr. Bemis.

I got one of those moments in my life with my “empty nest”. I finally had time to write and I did. As it always happens in life these “perfect moments” we wait for, don’t last–or our glasses break. My moment was gone as my empty nest is now over flowing. First, my granddaughter stayed with us for the last few weeks. Next, she was followed by her three siblings, mother (my daughter) and step dad. Four of them ended up living in our travel trailer out front, while my oldest grandchild is living in the house with his sister with us, or as we are called: Papa and Memaw. Moving and cleaning have been a big part of our lives lately.

Many things led up to this event that would require a more detailed blog, perhaps in the future. The biggest adjustment for me was finding myself back in the mother role. Every other week there is homework, bedtime routines, getting them to school, doctor appointments, disorders, food orders, shopping excursions, getting just one more snack…then I fall exhausted into my bed.

I ran into our neighbor at the bus stop picking up her grandchild. We used to car pool together with our kids- many moons ago. Here we both were again, with the next generation.

This current situation got me to think a lot about my own grandparents. They were always there for me– it  has gone full circle. Funny how life does that. Although, this wasn’t in my life plans, maybe this was what life had planned for me. I’m the first to admit I have more lessons I need to learn. Yet, some negativity peeked through—should I stop writing? Should I wait or take a break until that “perfect moment” comes again?

No! The future can never guarantee the “perfect time” will come again. I have an option Mr. Bemis did not have. I can repair those broken glasses…even if it is only with some tape or glue. I know this situation will likely be a blessing in disguise, even if my first reaction was “You have to be kidding me”. So, I will do the next best thing and not wait for things to be perfect and still do the things I enjoy in life — which includes writing.


 

Fun Note and first blessing in disguise: My seven-year-old granddaughter is able to hula hoop and read at the same time– for over a half hour.   I’m not able to hula hoop, no matter how hard I try… but I can read:)


UPDATES:

This Second Chance has been released! Giveaway to follow soon!

Anyone interested in hosting a blog for “This Second Chance” release in the next couple of weeks–please let me know. I will send you the information. I appreciate any and all help:)

I’m back to work on The Button and Just her Poetry.

Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!

Newsletters went out. This month’s Hat winners (picked by my husband and grand-kids) were: Rabia, Jan, and Jennifer!  Many free copies of “This Second Chance” were sent out! Thanks for all the support!

Book reviews next week.

So much is going on in the world, including hurricanes and earthquakes. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by natural disasters, and other events.

Happy Fall!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

A Fresh Coat of Paint…

before and after

One of the ways I spent this summer was doing house projects–including painting the family room. It turned out to be a healing experience for me.

It started off as a modest project of painting the family room blue. I left the painted wood wall for last. Should I paint it blue, too– or lightly sand it I wondered? That didn’t turn out to be a simple question.

Twenty-five years ago, it was a lovely wooden wall. My husband had installed a nice oak floor that matched the wooden cabinets in that room. I like the look of natural wood, but I also enjoy the look of wood with a light coat of white paint (where the grain shows through). One morning after getting my two young daughters off to school, I felt compelled to paint this room. That “particular” day it felt “too woody” to me. I thought how hard could it be to make the wood look like I was envisioning it in my head.  Well, without researching how to do it, I ended up with a wall covered in paint and no wood grain to be found. My husband was “surprised” when he came home from work, but also patient. You see, the night before I’d had my third miscarriage. My way to deal with the emotional pain was to paint and cover up that beautiful wooden wall.

We lived with it until this last summer. I thought how hard could it be to sand a bit of that paint off… and see the wood grain. I started with the “distressed” look. I tried to like it, but well, I didn’t. So, I got to work and sanded all the paint off that section of the wall. There was the wood I remembered from years ago peeking out of the white. Determined, I got to work with my little circular sander. It took all my strength holding it up and pushing against the wall to chip away at the white paint, but it was happening bit by bit.

My husband came home from work again – and stared at the wall. He realized the work we had ahead. He went into the garage and returned with his heavy-duty sander. The paint came off faster (with the right sand paper), but it was also heavier to hold up. My arms ached at the end of each day, but my husband would take over when he got home from work. We continued this for several long days into the next weekend.

The room was off limits during this time, with sheets hung up to prevent the dust from spreading throughout the house. Each day we’d clean up the mess.

Finally, on a Sunday morning my husband wearily pronounced he was through. He declared this was a project he never wanted to do again…I completely agreed. All we had left was the cleanup and painting of the trim and ceiling. Gee, was that all? Even with my best efforts, the dust made it throughout the house. Clean up was a whole other project I focused on, while he finished up the painting.

Now, we have a beautiful room and I have closure. The time came to sand all of that paint away and bring back the beauty again. Writing No Fairy Tale helped me see some patterns in my life and let them go– finally.  It may have been just painting a room and sanding a wall – but it removed what was buried inside me all these years. This summer I expunged it and exposed the possibilities that life offers—including the birth of a son whose 23rd birthday is this week!


This Second Chance will be released this week! Watch for it! Giveaway to follow.

Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!

Monthly Newsletter is coming out the 20th! Check your email if you are subscribed.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

Part four of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

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Hidden worlds around us, is a repeating theme in my work. Here are a couple of poems from No Fairy Tale that I wrote while working on Dolphin’s Cave that reflect that sentiment.

ANOTHER WORLD

Deep under the sea

Is another place,

Not just for fish

Or humans to explore.

It’s their world,

Unseen by mortal eyes.

They know it isn’t safe

To show themselves just yet.

They welcome back

Another one

Who had been lost

From their fold.

They are safe,

And they wait

For their time

To come forth.

Until then they watch,

Wait, and swim

With the dolphins,

Hiding in plain sight.

 

UNDERWATER WORLD

I can breathe.

I shouldn’t be able to,

But I can.

In an underwater deep chill,

I can breathe.

I am a part of this world

Hidden from humans.

Am I even human anymore?

Not that I care now.

I am not afraid.

I know this is where I was meant to be.

Deeper I go.

Ahead is a cave

That I enter,

Riding on the back of a dolphin.

My eyes are strangely soothed

As I enter an underwater city

Ringed by golden towers anchored

Firmly in the rocky substratum

Of this marine world.

So many faces

Like yours are watching,

As though they have been

Long expecting.

It is strange and scary.

You approach them.

When you smile weakly,

They smile back.

This is home now.

You know it.

Without being told,

One reaches out

And takes your hand.

You don’t pull away.

You are home.


 

Updates:

This Second Chance is almost ready! I just finished putting my final touches on it after a thorough edit. I sent it to my first reader, Danielle to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Thanks, Danielle:) Then it heads back to formatting, Monday! So mid-September is my best guess for its new release date! Very excited!

Dolphin’s Cave…stay tuned.

As you know when I moved from Wix to WordPress, I lost all my old blogs. So, I was thinking about running some of my favorites here (along with new blogs). I will continue to post my book reviews (new ones next week). So, I will let you know if it is a new blog – or a blast from the past!

No Fairy Tale is a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Finalist for Poetry General Category!

Sending thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the hurricane that hit Texas – and helping where I can.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

Part three of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

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Research, and reality 

My research for fiction is limited compared to when I wrote my historical fiction book, Elizabeth’s War, but there are still things that need to be researched.

The first thing that was brought to my attention was the time difference. I hadn’t realized that Hawaii didn’t do daylight savings time. I would have been off an hour if that hadn’t been caught. Then, I looked up when the sun set, since I’ve never been to Hawaii in December. With the family traveling at Christmas time, I had to make sure the airports decorated for the holidays. Reno Airport was the quickest to respond and even sent pictures! Honolulu International Airport gave me details of how they decorated the luggage pick-up area. The airport on Maui had less details to share, because they do it differently each year – so that is vaguer in my descriptions. I’m always thankful when people take time to help out with details so I can be as accurate as possible when my characters take a trip to very real places.

On Oahu, I had to research the mall the Penny’s and Coral went shopping at. I found a picture of how they decorated for the holidays. Next, I investigated how the hotels and residents of the island might celebrate Christmas. Of course, Santa would know how to ride a surf board when he made a stop on the Islands! Someday I will get to Hawaii during the holidays, but at least Coral and the Penny’s got to see it!

It’s been a lot of years since I’ve seen Pearl Harbor, so I needed to determine what had changed from 34 years ago. The security is something I don’t remember from my honeymoon (not to say it wasn’t there), but it is more intense now. Finding a tour for the family to go on was easy and the itinerary that went with it.  Driving conditions have changed over the last three decades, and I applied that to the drive from the airport to Waikiki Beach.

I had to do some sea turtle and dolphin fact checking, along with how long does it take to become a general in the Air Force and other ranks. Lots of little details go into stories that the internet makes so much easier to research!

I use my actual experiences snorkeling and being a tourist in Hawaii. I swam at the black beach that shows up in two of my books. It was an amazing spot that newlyweds had to themselves for a bit on their honeymoon!

Scuttle Valley is not a real place in Nevada, but Reno certainly is. I live an hour and a half from Reno. I’ve made many trips to the mall that Coral and Ruby shopped to prepare for their trip to Hawaii. Of course, I left the stores anonymous, but they are typical to all malls across the United States in the music, sales, helpful employees and Santa Claus! There isn’t a Dunning Corporation, either, but I based it off what I thought might be a secret working place in the Nevada desert.

I’ve never been in an underwater cave – yet. But, Coral has and she was rewarded with a place hidden from what those water people call us- the air people.


Next week will be the poetry behind Dolphin’s Cave in part four of the blog series.

Updates on up coming releases: This Second Chance is still scheduled to be released in beginning of September! Dolphin’s Cave…stay tuned.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

Part two of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

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Aloha!

Hawaii pops up in more than one of my books, because it’s a place I hold close in my heart. Many tales were told of this magical place when I was growing up. My family had done business there and my mother had been there many times as a young girl. Although, the family business had ended before I was born, I finally got to see this place when I was in the fourth grade. Oahu was magical through a nine-year-old girl’s eyes. I spent hours swimming, and exploring the island with my great grandparents. I recall touring the pineapple groves and sitting next to a fourth-grade teacher. But, the highlight of this trip was the fact that the Brady Bunch (one of my favorite shows growing up) went to Hawaii on the show just a few months before! I stayed in the same hotel as the Brady family had, the Sheraton. Although, I didn’t get cursed or learn how to surf like they did…I did take a hula lesson at the Kodak show!

Then, when I was twelve years old I went back again with my great grandparents.  We stayed in a hut (that was torn down soon after to make way for more hotels) with a path that led to the beach. Along that walkway, I found a Hawaiian woman who was making leis with plumeria flowers. She took the time to show me how to make them, and then I got to keep my work! I spent a lot of time swimming and ended up with the worst sunburns I’d ever had! The nights I sprayed myself with water to cool down and later found my shoulders now bore freckles of my Hawaiian journey. We picked up some souvenirs at the International Market (now gone) and went to the Polynesian Show where you walk through villages to interact and learn, plus a show floated by you on the river.

The airline strike canceled my trip with my great grandparents, when I was sixteen years old, but I made it back there for my honeymoon. We explored Oahu: Pearl Harbor, The Polynesian show, a Luau, and mainly hung out on the Waikiki Beach swimming and eating lots of crab Louie and pineapple. Then, we headed to Maui where the famous Hana Drive took us through all the water falls and an amazing black beach that we had to ourselves for a bit! Every night we sat and watched the sun set.

It was almost 30 years before we got back to Hawaii! It was our Second Honeymoon and we went to Maui and Kauai! We explored and did things we’d never done before. We took a helicopter tour over Kauai, and got some amazing views and photographs doing it- along with a queasy stomach on the way back! Next, there was a boat tour of the beautiful Na Pali coast. Which gave me more photo opts with the amazing scenery, including some dolphin shots (which I use on my website) and a turtle. We rented a Harley motorcycle and cruised the south shore of the island, including the little Grand Canyon. Kauai is a truly amazing garden island with chickens residing where ever they choose.

We spent the second week on Maui. Taking the Hana drive again, I was less brave than I’d been on our honeymoon– with the narrow road conditions. But, it was still as beautiful as I remembered. We had a convertible and drove around the island exploring with music filling the background! The thing I liked the most was staying at the hotel, lounging around the pool– and snorkeling! We’d get up each morning and suit up. There was usually a turtle greeting us at the shore, where we were warned not to touch the turtles- it could harm them. Although, this turtle seemed determined to touch me for some reason.

Now, my husband and I are trying to make a trek to Kauai more often than every thirty years! It’s a place where we have learned to relax, watch the sunsets and parrots- and of course, snorkel! It’s truly a paradise full of wonderful people, scenery and memories. It’s become my home away from home and is why it has found its way into An Unusual Island, This Second Chance, and Dolphin’s Cave. The Aloha Spirit has found residence in me and my work! Aloha!


Next week continues the blog series for Dolphin’s Cave part three: Research and Reality.

This Second Chance is still on track for September release! I will update you when I know more about Dolphin’s Cave.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

Part one of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

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Characters:

Coral Amber Dover:  Appears to be a typical shy 16-year-old female with green eyes, glasses, and dark hair.  Right after her seventh birthday Coral’s parents were lost in a plane crash off the Hawaiian Island, Maui. Her nightly dream started after this tragic event. It was always the same: Coral would start off swimming and end up on the back of a dolphin entering a cave where all would be explained- but she always woke up before that part. Coral’s aunt and several therapists tried to convince her the dream was her way of hanging on to her parents. Finally, she agreed with them and claimed her dream stopped, but it hadn’t. Coral believed she would find answers- or at least finish her dream – if she traveled to where her parents plane crashed.

Tara: Coral’s best friend with long brown hair and expressive brown eyes was one of the popular kids at school. Coral confided to Tara about her dream. Tara encouraged Coral to dance and express herself and emotions through that art-form. Although, Tara’s a good friend to Coral, she can be shallow, too. Tara has a crush on awkward Ben Penny.

Aunt Ruby Hyde: Hides her large brown eyes behind heavy glasses. Very introverted (like her niece) and works a secret job at Dunning Corporation with General Penny – or the same place Coral’s parents had worked. She keeps to herself and never dates.

Coral’s mom, Emerald (Emmie) Hyde Dover: Had red hair like her sister, Ruby, but had startling green eyes like her only child- Coral. She was a scientist with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii and was a teacher. When she met Coral’s father they relocated to Scuttle Valley, NV where they went to work for Dunning Corporation in jobs that (like Coral’s aunt) were confidential.

Coral’s dad , Morgan Dover: Had dark hair and an olive complexion. He met Emmie while he was on vacation in Hawaii, and they married three months later. He’d been an Air Force pilot for eighteen years  under General Penny before leaving to work for Dunning Corporation- so he could be with his new family.  He and Robert had become close working at Dunning Corporation.

Sabella: Has long gray hair that she wore braided and then neatly pinned up. A large pearl showcased the golden crown that sat heavy on her head. She watches over Coral and sends her the nightly dream from an undisclosed place.

General Robert Penny: Has thinning dark wavy hair and brown eyes with a round pleasant face. He’s become a second father to Coral. He’s a retired one-star General Brigadier and the other person Coral confides in regarding her dream.

Beth Penny: General Penny’s daughter is a year younger than Coral. She never has a hair out of place and loves to shop – like her mother. Beth always wears her long blonde hair in an old-fashioned braid. She’s taken up dance, but she is into ballet, while Coral prefers modern dance or contemporary.

Ben Penny:  General Penny’s son who’s a year older than Coral, and Tara’s love interest. He’s constantly reading and never talks to Coral. He may look like his father with brown eyes and hair, but his personality couldn’t be more different.

Sarah Penny: Robert’s wife and mother to Ben and Beth. She loves to shop above all else. She’s very much in love with her husband and adores her children. She was a teacher before she became a full-time mother.

Aaron Harvey: A very typical tall, dark, and handsome man Ruby meets on the flight to Hawaii. He’s very interested in Ruby, but Coral is suspicious of him.

Lilly Belle: Coral’s third therapist and where Coral made the fake breakthrough about her dream. She has a standing appointment once a month (when she remembers to go).

Man taking pictures (Evan). Coral catches him taking pictures of the Penny’s, Ruby and Coral at the airport in Reno .

Lady in muumuu (Kini): Is the second person Coral notices taking pictures of their group in Hawaii.

 


Next week is part two of the Dolphin’s Cave blog series: Aloha! I will keep you updated on an expected release date.

The release for This Second Chance is still set for September!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

Some books I’ve read and new book cover!

I’m excited to share the cover for Dolphin’s Cave:

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Here are some books I’ve been reading this summer:

Myth and Magic

By Mae Clair

“Myth and Magic” is set in a small town. Unexplained things are happening at the Stone Willow Lodge. There is a mystery to be solved, as well as past emotions to be dealt with. Veronica (Ron) runs the lodge for the town’s rich family, the Breckwoods. Caith, the estranged son, is hired to find out what is going on at the lodge, as his past continues to haunt him. The relationship between Veronica and Caith is carried over from their childhood with both passion and hurt.  The mystery of who is trying to ruin the lodge takes center stage and propels the story, while the characters held my interest with their intricate relationships. There’s drama, intrigue, mystery, romance, miscommunication, family bonds, and love. Ms. Clair kept me hooked from the first page to the last. A very enjoyable read!


Discovery: Poetry and Art

By Rick and Jan Sikes.

This is a collection of poems and drawings from a husband and wife. Yet, it is so much more than a simple book filled with words and pictures. It is teeming with feelings from a forced separation of incarceration –  that is beautifully written. Rick found his freedom in writing. Injustice is weaved into his poems. It strongly comes through in the poem: “Name of Justice”. It was a chilling narrative of mob hatred: “The madness shouted, ‘More, more!’”. There is an undercurrent of humor- as well as love, too. “Just Love” shows a loving sentiment “You and I hand in hand, always together”. The artwork was equally amazing, especially the fact it was created by dots. “Willy Nelson” and the “‘Steam Train’ Maury Graham – The Hobo King” stood out to me, but I enjoyed them all. The book finished with poetry by his wife, Jan. “Leavenworth and You” spoke of promise, love, and hope. The line summed it up for me: “Our dreams took shape as boldly we spoke them” showing not even prison bars could separate their feelings for each other. “Discovery” was a journey into a bad situation with love shining through. This is a book that will stay with me, and I highly recommend it.


The Big Cheese Festival

by S. Jackson, A. Raymond​

“The Big Cheese Festival” is a sweet children’s book–with a lesson to teach. Stubby Mouse has a smaller tail than the other mice. He’s excited about attending a dance with his friends, but his brother’s friend makes fun of his tail size. Although, his brother defends him, Stubby feels like no one likes him. Enter a new friend, and Stubbys’s response to the bully. It’s filled with charming illustrations that make it come to life. “The Big Cheese Festival” is a book I’ll be reading to my grandchildren – the old-fashioned way – with the paperback in hand. It is a subject that needs to be brought up to children. This book is a way to do it and get the conversation going about bullying!​


Mr. Grumpy Lizard meets the Giggling Girls

by Joyce Shaughnessy​

I love the fact “Mr. Grumpy Lizard Meets the Giggling Girls” was inspired by the author’s four granddaughters, and illustrated by her husband—it was a family effort. Great details of the characters which included: Mr. Grumpy Lizard’s “black and white polka-dot bow tie”, and his monocle – or Little Miss Hattie Human whose “frilly pink dress flew up almost over her head, showing a great many pink and white lacy petticoats.” brought this story to life. It is an endearing story of Queen Craggy Crocodile summoning the four giggling human girls to tea– via Mr. Grumpy Lizard. They quickly accepted. Soon, they left to find out what was behind the request. Ms. Shaughnessy wrote a wonderful children’s book that promotes happiness and joy. This is a book I will enjoy reading to my own grandchildren!


Sammy Meets Grandma ( Sammy the dog book 3)

by Lynn Miclea​

“Sammy Meets Grandma” is a sweet tale, told through a rescue dog named Sammy’s point of view. It is a short chapter book with black and white illustrations that bring Sammy to life. I loved seeing a car ride through the innocence of a dog. I always thought dogs believed slobbering on the windows looked good—Sammy confirmed that! The end of this drive was a visit to see Grandma. Sammy’s intention was always to do good and bring joy. Although, like the car windows, opinions of what brings happiness—varies sometimes. The most important thing in this book is the happiness this dog brings to people who need it. How simply sitting next to someone is all they need. I was touched how much a dog’s visit can uplift someone’s day. Ms. Miclea wrote a book that I will be sharing with my grandchildren. I can read it to them or it is a book they can read to themselves. It’s a feel-good book with an important message of kindness and love for kids, but adults can appreciate that, too!​


Next week I’ll be starting the four part Dolphin’s Cave blog series. I will keep you updated on its upcoming release!

This Second Chance needed a few extra touches, but looks like it will be ready to go in September! I’d rather have it “right” than on schedule. Thanks for your patience!

Besides my weekly blog: this month I’m promoting  RWISA authors! There has already been some amazing short stories and poems.  Each day I will host a different author. Don’t miss it!

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

 

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Part Four “This Second Chance” blog series

 

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Here in the final blog series for “This Second Chance”. This is the poem at the end of the book:

 

WATCH

I watch you and wonder:

Do you love her as much as you love yourself

Or do you hate her more than you hate yourself?

Your comforts come first,

Your contempt directed at her and never yourself.

Her purpose in life

Is what she can do for you.

 

Your purpose is to make her feel

That she is incapable of that.

The better question is:

Why does she keep trying to please you –

Is it out of love, or fear?

Does she hate herself more than you do?

Is she supposed to respect a person, who has no respect for her?

 

No tenderness

No empathy

No love

No feelings at all

But concern for themselves…

It’s never his fault

And I wonder why she stays.

 

I see her side of this, too.

I know she sees how other relationships go.

She admires them openly

With a sad smile, when he is not around.

She works

She is strong

She gives all she has.

 

Maybe he will change if…

If only I…

He is just stressed …

I don’t want to be alone …

No one else would want me …

He needs me.

Underneath, he is a good guy.

 

Excuses abound

In a vacuum of anger and fear

That feeds the existing darkness

Until it all seems normal.

It isn’t.

Help is not welcomed;

That is, until it is – unless it is too late.

 

Then comes innocence—a child

The woman protects and nurtures

While he watches her,

Pointing out all she does wrong

Without lifting a finger to ease her burdens.

He is her judge and jury.

He is her reality, and now she feels trapped.

 

In his web spun of lies and hate

She tries to please,

To create this illusion of family.

It will get better, she thinks; if only

Maybe another child –

Maybe….

I watch helplessly.

 

Any comfort is rejected by his influence.

Right now, it’s only words

Which cut into her just like a fist would.

Someday he will cross over from words.

Maybe he already has.

That wouldn’t be his fault, either.

Nothing ever is.

 

Once I thought she was finally free

But, she went back.

“Can’t help who you love,” I was told –

But it isn’t love.

It’s hate, insecurity, fear, and above all, control.

I hope it isn’t too late for her.

 

For all the hers out there

As they feed that bottomless pit of anger

They are living with –

It will never be filled

And it will never change what it is

But it is not love.

Silence is empty, but heavy on my stomach.

 

I bite back all the unsaid words

Even though I’ve said them before.

I quietly wait for her to wake up.

Come to me –

I will help you

I promise.

I do not want to hurt or judge you.

 

Just see you safe.

And to just see you happy,

To be loved as you are capable of loving.

I wait because you will never be alone.

I wait until you see what—we all do…

Not only is he watching

But I am, too.


 

The release date for “This Second Chance” has been moved to September. I apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience! 


 

Next week I will share the reviews of books I’ve been reading! Plus, “Dolphin’s Cave” cover will be making its debut here!


 

In August, there will be the normal weekly blogs – plus, I will be hosting special edition blogs for my fellow authors of RWISA. If you are interested in finding some fabulous new authors to read, I invite you to check it out!


 

This will be the final chance to win the weekly blog Amazon Gift Card. Please leave a comment by 8-1 at 9:00 PST and you will be entered to win the gift card.  I will update you on future opportunities soon!

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Part three of “This Second Chance” blog series: Background!

eBook Cover This Second Chance

Background:

I started writing “This Second Chance” years ago. The idea of the story came into existence, on my spiral notebook I kept by my bedside. Then, my space pen, (that can write at any angle) and I – worked on the draft of the first chapter. Finally, I was ready to start the typing process. Mistakes and changes were common at first, but I was lucky, I had a typewriter where I could strike out those mistakes and type over them. No more manual erasing and applying the white liquid correction fluid for me! Of course, there were still many times, when entire pages ended up in the trash can, too. The story had almost come to its conclusion, when I set it aside. Fast forward to modern times, that typewriter now sits covered in the garage and I sit in front of a computer.

I spent a couple of days, going through my old work and adding it to my first computer. Then, I disposed of all the old-fashioned typed work. What was called “Second Chance”, sat a few more years, with the exception of a mishap, when I purchased my second computer. While transferring over the files from the first computer, well, when I clicked on the button that asked which version of the file did I want to keep–I chose the wrong one. I ended up with only the first chapter. I had lost the rest of the story! No, I have no idea why I had a copy of only the first chapter, sometimes, the computer, trying to be helpful, does some things on its own- is my conclusion.

But, back to this loss of work. I tried everything I could think of to retrieve it, including bringing in the tech-savvy teenagers. No luck. Finally, I had to accept it was gone. You may think I was upset (and at first, I was…) but a part of me had never been happy with the story line. I never could decide who the bad guy was. I tried working on it, but everything fell flat at the end. There was no outline to work off (because I didn’t used to make outlines for my stories, but I did make characters descriptions–not with this story) only thing I had left of all that work was those first few pages of a woman getting ready for her wedding and reflecting.

So, that chapter sat on my computer for years– until 2016. I pulled it out again and began working and making an outline. Now, outlines are a must for me or I get too lost in the story. Yes, there are always characters that force changes in what I have outlined, but I’m OK with that! After all, it is their story! Again, I became stuck toward the end of the story–until an angel was added in. Then, everything fell into place.

Hitting the wrong button and losing hours of work turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to find the story that wanted to be written. If I hadn’t of done that, I would have never met Zelina the angel, the evildwel, and the story now called, “This Second Chance” that followed them.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below! One lucky comment posted by 7-25 (9:00 pm PST) will win a $5 Amazon gift card-or just enough to get that eBook you’ve been meaning to!

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Part two of “This Second Chance” blog series: Research and Reality!

roller coaster

Research and Reality

Every book I’ve written has had some type of research that goes into it. “This Second Chance” was no different. There were a few things I needed to double check before I was satisfied. One thing I wanted to quote properly was the history of the wooden roller coaster in Santa Cruz, CA. Now, I’ve stood in line and ridden it many times over the years. The thrill of slowly moving to the top and then the rush of the first drop might have rearranged some of those facts. What I remembered and what was the actual history were close, but my version was a bit off. The same with driving times. Now, I have made some of the drives I’m writing about, but the actual time, well, it may differ. I could have used the times it took driving from Pacifica to San Francisco—which I have done many times, but the airport was different. I hadn’t made the approach to the airport from that direction.  Again, I was close, but a bit off in my guess. All those little details are important that I get them right, even in a fictional book.

In writing “This Second Chance” I spent more time than usual, finding the right names for the characters–especially the angel. The angel started out as Lucy, but I wanted a name that reflected her age. I found an angel’s name, Sonja—but it didn’t fit her. So, I kept looking until I came across Zelina—that was it. It’s a Greek name that means Zealous. That fit her! Then, there was the name for the misty creature. What was already out there wasn’t working. This was a time I had to create a name for a new being. The term evildwel came from the combination of dweller and evil. Mae, Rachael’s mother has a name that is close to me. She proudly carries that name to honor one of my grandmothers – it was her middle name. The angel’s name is pretty close to this grandmother’s first name, too. All you have to do is take out two letters and add one, that is! Characters know what their names are, and it’s up to me to find them. Sometimes, it takes a bit of detective work on my part.

Hawaii made another appearance on the island Maui – since I couldn’t think of a better place to go on a honeymoon. We were near Hawaii in the book, “An Unusual Island” and will be spending some time on Oahu and Maui in the soon to be released “Dolphin’s Cave”. It’s a place close to my heart and I’m happy to keep researching it for future books! It’s the least I can do!

Then comes the reality- in the midst of fiction – or spouses being abused by their better half. I have a dear friend, Liz, who I watched (and tried to help) in an abusive marriage. I stood by her, in frustration, as she always went back to her husband who promised to change—he didn’t. Finally, one day she left, and has created a good life for her and her children. She’s kindly allowed me to use my observations and weave them into a fictional tale.

This type of abuse happens more than it should in today’s modern society. Thankfully, there are groups and shelters ready to help when the time comes to leave. They were there for my friend when she and her kids escaped- with the clothes on their backs. The shelter: fed, clothed, and hid them – so they wouldn’t be found. I wanted to shed some light on this, and send out some hope that there is light after the darkness. There are places to go, and people waiting to help. Although this subject matter is too extensive to cover in a simple blog, know “This Second Chance” goes beyond the abuse–giving Rachael her chance at a happy ending. In this story, I made sure the abuser…well, I won’t give that part of the story away.

There will be no give away this week. I’m on vacation- celebrating my birthday. I will be checking in, though! So, please leave your comments below. I always look forward to hearing what you think!

Next week will be part three of “This Second Chance” blog series. I’ll be covering some background in the bumpy creative process of this story.

This month’s newsletter will be going out this week! I plan to debut the new book cover in it – so watch for it in your email if you are subscribed!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Welcome to the WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC – Mary Adler

I’ll be welcoming some amazing authors and fellow members of RWISA this month. Please make them feel welcome!

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WHERE IS THE EQUATOR OF HOPE?

mary-adler

Mary Adler

 

Where is the equator of Hope?

The Prime Meridian for Love?

The coordinates of Joy?

And where are Lewis & Clark,

to run the rapids of envy

and resolve new paths to the heart?

 

Where is the 39th Parallel of desire?

The Northwest Passage to bliss?

The Gulf Stream that warms cold ashes?

And where dwells the Copernicus of Compassion,

who swears love spins on its own axis,

yet revolves around the other.

 

Where is the Mason Dixon line for the past?

The trade winds of remembrance?

The magnetic fields of memory?

And where is the Galapagos of grace,

where the self evolves to the selfless,

and the soul embraces the stranger?

 

Oh, where is the cartographer of Love,

To find True North of the heart

 

When love has gone south,

When East and West collide,

And all devolves to a point,

barely,

to a point.


Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Mary Adler’s RWISA Author Page

           

Welcome to the WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC – Suzanne Burke

I’ll be welcoming some amazing authors and fellow members of RWISA this month. Please make them feel welcome!

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“Shielded”

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By Suzanne Burke.

I welcome the shield provided by darkness. Those sweet moments when I allow myself to sit in the velvet depth of silence and dwell only on what is to come.

For the past only exists to remind me of the challenges I failed to meet. The things I thought myself powerless to change. I know better now.

I have no room for failure here as I sit wrapped in the warm blanket of my darkness-inspired illusion of safety.

The soft glow of the clock now heralds your arrival. I feel my pulse jump in anticipation.

I check the window … again. No vehicle yet slows to a stop on the rain-drenched streets so many floors below.

I feel the twitch of the nerve in my jaw and suck in the air in an effort to still it.

I remind myself once more that external factors are likely responsible for your late arrival. I know you too well to ever believe that you would be late by choice. You are eternally predictable. That comforts me somewhat.

My neck muscles clench and I stand, stretching my arms and softly willing them to relax.

The clock rolls through another hour, and my calmness begins to falter.

I check through everything that I have prepared in anticipation of our meeting.

Grunting with approval at my readiness, I check the window one more time, and I gift myself a smile as your vehicle draws up and parks on the opposite side of the now quiet street.

The excitement begins to make itself felt and I shiver.

You will arrive soon, and all the waiting will end.

I lick my dry lips and take a deeply satisfied breath.

I hear the sound of the ping the lift makes as it stops on this floor. I hear your key turn in the lock.

I wait as you fumble for the light switch and flick it on. You swear in displeasure as the room remains dark. Now you search for your iPhone and seek out the torch app. The room in your immediate vicinity is caught within the boundary of its fractured light.

I smile.

My surprise still awaits your discovery.

You feel your way slowly along the wall and take a faltering stumbled step into the kitchen. The light switch disappoints you once more.

The language that follows that discovery explodes in the air. I hear you open the refrigerator to confirm to yourself that this lack of light has permeated the entire apartment. You shrug out of your coat and drop it to the floor, uncaring of the dirt and clutter it now lay amongst.

You find the bottle of scotch and slam cupboard doors seeking a glass. There are none. They lay in a disordered mess of unwashed utensils still awaiting attention on the food scrap cluttered kitchen bench.

I hear you curse as you stagger. The booze you’ve been consuming for hours rattles your movements and makes them disjointed.

You sit heavily in the easy chair uncaring of the scattered and dirty clothing that cushions your weight.

You unscrew the lid of the scotch bottle and take several satisfying gulps.

The anticipation makes me quiver now.

I have waited so long for this.

The cigarette lighter grants you a drag of the nicotine that is but one thing on your list of addictions.

The clock ticks over again and moves time relentlessly forward.

The bathroom awaits your imminent arrival and you curse again at your now shaking hands as you seek out your ever-present stash of heroin. You scream in rage and frustration when you finally acknowledge that there is none to be found.

I hear you slamming the walls with your now white-knuckled fists.

I reach across and flick off the power override switch. I illuminate the apartment.

It takes brief seconds for you to lurch back into view.

“Melody? Why the fuck didn’t you tell me you were here? What the hell! When did you get back?”

“I discharged myself from the hospital.”

“Oh. Good. This place is a mess. It needs cleaning.”

“Yes, Charles. Yes, it does.”

I watch you nod your head, pleased at my response.

You check your wallet, quickly counting the bills waiting inside. You confirm your decision, “I  need to go out. Fix me something to eat. I won’t be long.”

“Why do you need to go out again? It’s raining.”

I watch you glare at me for daring to question you. “I need a fix. I’m heading to see Freddy.”

“There’s no need. I stopped by and saw him on the way home. I wanted to give you a surprise.”

You smile for the first time. “Well, now. That’s fine. That’s good.”

“Do you want me to get it?”

You now wear your frustrated look. “Fuck yes. Of course. Hurry up.”

“Sorry. It’s a little hard to walk with my ribs strapped.”

“You’re always sorry. You’re pathetic!”

I access the bedroom and return with his fix, and watch as he draws it up and applies the tourniquet to his upper left arm.

“You broke my jaw again, and two ribs this time.”

You glare at me as I dare to disturb your concentration, “You shouldn’t aggravate me like you do. You know you asked for it.”

The smack hits you, and I watch as your pupils dilate. The sickly smile that you now wear is most unattractive.

I wait.

You look suddenly startled. I watch the confusion on your face turn to fear … and then a moment of understanding colors your now bulging eyes. “Fuck! Fuck, Melody! What did you d…………….”

I wait.

You make a gargled choking noise as you begin to foam at the mouth.

I wait for five minutes and then check for a heartbeat … I smile … there is none.

I need to be certain that reviving you is not possible. Fifteen minutes should do it.

I punch in a number on my iPhone.

“911. What is the nature of your emergency?”

“Oh, God … help me, please! Please! I’ve just found my husband. He’s not breathing. Please … I think he’s overdosed.”

The kind operator took my address, “Okay. Stay calm. I have paramedics on the way.”

“Hurry! Hurry, please, please hurry.”

I turn off the lights and sit within darkness’s velvet cloak. My iPhone torch casts a spotlight on your rapidly cooling body.

I smile.

The rigid look of fear on your now strictured face brings me comfort. “Did you like my little surprise, Charles?”

I hear the sirens approaching.

I laugh in delight as the heady rush of adrenaline-fuelled relief floods my system.

The dawn light is just filtering through the balcony windows. Soon now I’ll have no need to seek the comfort of darkness.

I wait now. I have finally regained control.


Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

 

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Suzanne Burke RWISA Author Page