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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day Nine! @BeemWeeks #whattoread #bookrelease #booktour #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is Day Nine of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour! I’m visiting Beem and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Nine

Please offer Beem your support too. He is not only a remarkable author and friend but also someone who always offers their support.

Beem Weeks Amazon Page

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Some updates and a poem! #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #poetry #tanka #updates #bookrelease #rafflecopter #giveaways #blogtours

dirt path in forest
Tribute Trail in Nevada City CA

Hi!

It’s been busy around here releasing my new book! Tomorrow is the last blog stop for this tour. Thank you to everyone who followed along and a huge thanks go out to all the blog post hosts. I kept it small this time, so I didn’t put my usual call out for hosts.

Positive reviews have been coming in, so I can stop holding my breath now. I’m thrilled people are enjoying meeting Charlie, Jane, Ben, and, of course, Drea.

  • I’m trying something I haven’t done in a while thanks to Jan’s post on Story Empire I’m running a giveaway on Rafflecopter for the release. I’m giving away Amazon Gift Cards. It’s been a while, but I think I remembered how to do it 🙂 This runs from June 23rd to July 7th.

LINK:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dacd5ce07/?

  • I am also going to try a paid blog tour on July 29th for a day blitz and see how that goes.  More on that later. This was another idea from one of Jan’s marketing posts on Story Empire. 
  • Yesterday I joined my daughter for our first book signing at a local art show in Sacramento.  I have been avoiding this for as long as I could—my daughter doesn’t take no for an answer 🙂 It was a wonderful time and I was blessed to meet a lot of amazing people. A little girl bought Tree Fairies, and when her mom explained to her I wrote it, her eyes grew so big! Those are moments you can’t get from behind a computer. All the good advice from fellow authors helped! That candy dish full of See’s lollipops was a hit. Thank you!

  • I was going through my books and found a stack of indie paperbacks I’d hadn’t read yet. So, I have been catching up with them. Some of them had been in the stack for a long time.

Now for the poem.

I entered a poerty contest over on Word Craft Poetry Blog. I wrote 12 poems with the “Dreams” theme in mind, and narrowed it down to one for my tanka prose entry. Here was one of the poems I wrote that day but didn’t use in the contest:

golden sun rises

nightmares darkness dissipates

the light shines on dreams

healing beams caress my soul

heavenly message of hope

 

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

 

 

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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day Eight! @Virgilante #bookrelease #whattoread #booktour #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is Day Eight of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour! I’m visiting Craig and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Eight

Please offer Craig your support too. He is not only an impressive author and friend but an all-around amazing individual.

C. S. Boyack Amazon Page

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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day Seven! @JoanHallWrites #bookrelease #booktour #whattoread #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is Day Six of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour! I’m visiting Joan and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Seven

Please offer Joan your support too. She is not only an incredible author and friend but an extraordinary person too.

Joan Hall Amazon Page

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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day Five! @JanSikes3 #bookrelease #blogtour #whattoread #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Happy Summer! Today is Day Five of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour. I’m visiting Jan and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Five

Please offer Jan your support too. She is not only a stunning writer and friend but a supportive and amazing human being.

Jan Sikes Amazon Page

 

 

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Books That Changed Me—Summer Edition 2022! @TonyaWrites @BalroopShado @ChrissyH_07 #recommendedreading #whattoread. #booksthatchangedme #readerrecommended #writingcommunity #mustreads

On the longest day of the year, we head into a time full of childhood exploration. Summer is meant for swimming, cloud gazing, star dreaming, bike riding, BBQing, vacations, and ice cream. Most schools take a break and offer a bit of freedom from everyday life. It’s the perfect time to take a book along this wonderful journey. Each of these books sprinkles a bit of magic and some hard truths into our world. You might recognize them from previous book review posts, so there will be no reviews here today. These books deserve an extra look and a place in your summer reading. I’ve included a children’s book for those young at heart or have children to share the love of reading with. Happy Summer!

Old Mountain Cassie: The Three Lessons

by Tonya Penrose

BLURB

Praise for Old Mountain Cassie: The Three Lessons
“Prepare to fall in love with Cassie and be forever changed by her teachings.”
“The novel is a treasure and delight.”
“The story takes you on a journey and invites you to explore the secret to having your own amazing life.
“I felt joy and excitement building inside me as I turned each page.”

In the quaint Appalachian village of Divine, brooms sweep shop owners outside to trade tales of the latest Old Mountain Cassie sighting. Local lore claims Cassie holds the secret to a prosperous and joyous life…but only for seekers so destined.
Lacey Jordan’s fascination to meet the mountain sage intensifies as she eavesdrops on the latest Cassie chatter swirling around her outside Holsom’s Market. And a mystified Lacey believes if she can spend time with Old Mountain Cassie, the confusion and chaos that have plagued her life will lift.
What are these sacred and mystical lessons of Cassie’s that offer the keys to “living life amazing?”
How will Lacey ever find the mountain recluse tucked away in the woods?

Old Mountain Cassie: The Three Lessons is an inspiring, tell-all-your-friends celebration to read. Cassie and the folks of Divine offer a special recipe for an extraordinary life. A generous portion of humor, an extra helping of insight, and a taste of mystery and romance will leave readers both fulfilled and hungry for the next story served up Mountain Cassie style.
Learn more about the author and upcoming books at: http://www.tonyawrites.com

AMAZON US PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON UK PURCHASE LINK


Someone Close to Home

by Alex Craigie

BLURB

“The book is brilliant. It reads like a memoir and grips like great fiction should – beautiful characterization”
Viga Boland – Author – No Tears For My Father

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

‘Someone Close To Home’ is a story of love, malice and deadly menace.

AMAZON US PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON UK PURCHASE LINK


Hues Of Hope: Selected Poetry

by Balroop Singh

BLURB

Hues Of Hope is the collection of readers’ favorite poems from my poetry books. These poems explore the hope that lies within our heart, hope that whispers each morning to look at the horizon, hope that inspires us to look beyond the chaotic world and take the next step to vanquish the fears that try to fetter us. It promises to take us to an oasis of peace, unravels magical moments of joy, as beams of love calm our senses. It even guides us through dark alleys to show the streaks of light that shimmer through the clouds.

AMAZON US PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON UK PURCHASE LINK


For the kids:


Following the Green Rabbit: a fantastical adventure

by Chris Hall

Chasing through Bluebell Woods after a strange green-furred rabbit, twelve year old Bryony and Bethany, her eight year old sister, inexplicably end up in the ‘olden times’.Life in the village where they find themselves is hard under the wicked lord of the manor. The two girls are thrown into a desperate struggle in which the evil lord will stop at nothing to hold onto his power over the village.Soon everyone’s hopes are pinned on Bryony and her new companions, Toby, who is under a ‘severe warning’ for humiliating the disliked village pastor, and Tommy, who mysteriously arrived in the village one day and can’t or won’t speak.Together they set out on a mission to bring help from a higher authority, but their journey is beset with difficulties. Will they be in time to save their friends from the hangman’s noose?A thrilling story for readers aged 10 and above, and for anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a fantastical adventure!

AMAZON US PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON UK PURCHASE LINK

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A Voice in the Silence Day Blog Tour Day Four! @gmplano #bookrelease #blogtour #whattoread #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is Day Four of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour! I’m visiting Gwen and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Four

Please offer Gwen your support too. She is not only a magnificent author and friend but a truly kind and inspiring human being.

Gwen Plano Amazon Page

Gwendolyn Plano Author Page

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June Book Review Part 2 and Update! @harmony_kent @Sandra_Cox @DLMJ18 #writingcommunity #whattoread #indieauthors #mustreads

The Darkness of Placata Montis

by DLM Johnson

“The Darkness of Placata Montis” is the debut romantic fantasy from DLM Johnson. I had the privilege to beta read and help format it, but was eager to dive into it as “just” a reader. I was drawn right into the dark and stormy night with a young woman, Eliana or Li, who ends up at a front door of an unknown house hoping to escape what is chasing her. The man, Graham, takes her into safety and information unfolds as to not only who he is, but Eliana. As what is called The Darkness threatens them, we are shown not only Eliana and Graham’s feelings and stories but taken on a journey to find out what this darkness is, and what it means to them and their world’s magic. Told through Eliana and Graham’s POV, it gives an insight into their motives. Eliana can see more than what is in front of her, so there are flashbacks that add to the story. I could easily imagine the setting and seeing the world through not only a fighter, but a scientist’s eyes. When the battle comes and questions are answered, it was hard to put the book down. I have to add, I am a proud author-mom, and my opinion might seem a bit biased, but I’m also a reader who knows what I like, and this is a story that I can recommend! I look forward to the next book in this series and other books to come.


Miss Redmond’s Deception

by Sandra Cox

“Miss Redmond’s Deception” is a fun historical fiction read. Pembra and her sisters run into Captain Richard Greyston in a graveyard. I love how this scene played out. Richard believes the younger sisters to be accompanied by a spinster governess, or Pembra. Circumstances have the captain staying at the house where Pembra continues her deception from the night before the next morning at breakfast. Yet, in a fun twist, they end up fake engaged. Their attraction is immediate, even though Pembra is determined to fight it, and their banter is a lot of fun. Richard has a reputation with the ladies and Pembra wants no part of a man like that. Pembra is a strong character who lives her life as she wants, while Richard is equally stubborn, but knows what he wants, too. There is a charming country setting, a local man with bad intentions, and a sweet and protective rescue dog that added even more depth to the story. A quick-paced read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Polish Your Prose

by Harmony Kent

“Polish Your Prose” is a reference guide that every writer needs. This doesn’t tell you how to write but how to clean up what you’ve written. There are three parts, and it’s laid out so you can locate the information needed. Many topics are covered, including these chapters, Show no Tell, Filter Words, Sentence Construction, and Common Spelling Mistakes. Part three talks about on giving and receiving reviews and offers a checklist for editing. This is simple and easy to follow with plenty of guidance to help when doing the dreaded edit of your book. I have a copy sitting on my shelf for easy access and reminders of things I need to work on. I can easily recommend this book.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

UPDATE

We had a quiet and relaxing vacation. We stayed close to home and enjoyed our grandson’s 8th grade graduation, our son visiting from Oregon, our oldest granddaughter’s 12th birthday and our 39th Wedding Anniversary to start off the week. We also took a day trip to Reno for a late anniversary celebration. I did win a bit on a Leprecaun Slot Machine that called to me—well enough to cover the gas.

Sara on a walk in the forest
7-25-08 to 6-11-22

With these highs came a low, we had to say goodbye to our sweet Sara on our anniversary. We were lucky to have her for thirteen and half years, but it was time to let her go to run in the forest with Hermie, who we lost three years ago. I know they are chasing bears and watching over us.

I don’t think I will try to catch up with all the things I missed last week, but I am back now. This will be a very busy week. I have a full schedule for the blog tour starting today and my Newsletter is out. Plus, there is a Books That Changed Me Summer Edition tomorrow. I will keep you updated here with the tour 🙂

One more thing, I was thrilled to come back to those great reviews for A Voice in the Silence. It uplifted my spirits!! Thank you all xo

Embrace your inner child with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day Three! @Sandra_Cox #bookrelease #blogtour #whattoread #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is Day Three of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour! I’m visiting Sandra and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Three

Please offer Sandra your support too. She is not only an astonishing author and friend but a great all-around human being.

Sandra Cox Amazon Page

NOTE: I will be on vacation next week. The Blog Tour will continue on June 20th.

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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day Two! @stacitroilo #bookrelease #blogtour #whattoread #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is Day Two of A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour! I’m visiting Staci and would love for you to stop by and say hello.

A Voice in the Silence Day Two

Please offer Staci your support too. She is not only a spectacular author and friend but a warm and charming human being.

Staci Troilo Amazon Page

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#TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry #Challenge No. 277: #Tastetherainbow-Color Poetry! #poetry #poetrychallenge #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #277. This week’s theme is Taste the Rainbow!

after the sweet rain
rainbows contour the landscape
magic-infused air
sunbeams warm my jaded soul
I breathe in nature’s healing

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A Voice in the Silence Blog Tour Day One—Release Day! @harmony_kent #bookrelease #booktour #whattoread #writingcommunity

Book Banner for A Voice in the Silenc

Hi!

Today is the release of A Voice in the Silence! I’m sharing that good news over on Harmony’s blog.

A Voice in the Silence Day One

Please offer Harmony your support too. She is not only an amazing author and friend but a wonderful human being.

Harmony Kent Amazon Page

 

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June Book Reviews Part 1! #writingcommunity @TonyaWrites @jaydawes2 #whattoread #bookreview #indieauthor

The Scarlet Ribbon

by Anita Dawes (author) and Jaye Marie (editor)

“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality. While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side. I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side. The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.


Welcome to Charm

by Tonya Penrose

I read and loved “Old Mountain Cassie” and was eager to see where Ms. Penrose took us next. Abby was coming home from a trip when she found herself in a place that wasn’t on her map. The town’s name, Charm, is fitting as she meets the people who live there. She quickly finds out she can’t leave the town and starts the journey to find out why. Nash is the town’s single and handsome mayor who offers her a place to stay with him, his sister, niece, and nephew. The town has a fairytale-like quality to it filled with beauty and unexplained happenings. What Abby finds in this place is its important to find one’s true self. I was completely enmeshed in the story when she went forest bathing with Nash. This is something I do that brings me great peace in my own life. Part of Abby’s journey were things I have explored, while the rest—I only wish I could. A peaceful read, with delightful characters, and a surprise or two thrown in. It is a place I hope exists and would love to run across in my travels someday. A book I can highly recommend for those, like me, who are taking or looking for that unique journey in life.


Terror on Sunshine Boulevard

by J.Q. Rose

Jim and Gloria leave their frigid winter home yearly to reside in Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort, Florida. Jim is a first responder who sees some unusual and gruesome deaths. This leads to an entire community trying to figure out what is happening. Their group of friends was as varied as you would expect in a retirement neighborhood like this. There were good friendships, humor, and plenty of activities mixed with a few surprises. I would never have guessed the killer or how it was being done. A fun read with realistic characters and a setting that held my interest until the end.


UPDATES:

There will be no post next week, I’ll be on vacation celebrating our 39th Wedding Anniversary! June Book Reviews Part 2 is moved to June 20th. I will be quiet over vacation recovering from my book release, my daughter’s and redoing book covers. At least I finally sat down and learned some programs, like Affinity and Vellum.

That’s why I’ve been mostly quiet. My focus was elsewhere and a headache or two cropped up.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Embrace your inner child with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry #Challenge No. 276, #ShareYourDay #tanka #poems #poetrycommunity

Here is this week’s Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #276. This week we are challenged to share our day.

I’ve been feeling life a little too intensely lately. When I start to feel overwhelmed, the best thing I can do is step outside and walk in the forest. Here, I can do some walking meditation, write poetry surrounded by trees, or simply be. I may not accomplish all I need to, but these moments provide the peace my mind, body, and soul needs.

exhaustion heavy

another yawn claims my breath

I enter the woods

wind’s breeze carries the trees song

nature’s healing bathes my soul

 

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A Voice in the Silence Trailer Debut! #writingcommunity #paranormal #ghosts #labexperiments #animals

I’ve been working on getting the blogs and banners ready for the release in nine days. I also put a video together in Canva. So much easier than how I used to make them.

I will post blog links here. I have three starting June 8th, and then a week break. We start up right again on June 20th.

Here’s the video’s premier:

Pre-Order Amazon Link US

Pre-Order Amazon UK

Before you go, check out my You Tube Page.

I will be updating the Angel & Evildwel Series video’s soon 🙂

Next week is book reviews.

Note:

There was a mistake in the video, so I had to take it down and put up the corrected one. I made a name change right before I uploaded my book to Amazon and I forgot to make the change here. Adam Williams went to Adam Hale. Sorry for any confusion! 

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

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New Release: “Life & Soul” by Harmony Kent! @harmony_kent #poetry #newrelease #writingcommunity #whattoread

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire Author, Harmony Kent, here today to talk about her upcoming release, Life & Soul. I loved her first collection of poetry and I’m eager to read this book. I definitely have my copy preordered.

Hi, Denise. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s always wonderful to visit with you. Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry …

From Loving Soul:

 

Love Sick

Who knew love

could be such

a visceral thing?

 

Until you

I always thought

love sick a mere phrase

 

Off my food

butterflies in my belly

smitten with you

 

This malady

I pray

never to recover from

This poem comes from when I first met and fell in love with the man who would, eventually, become my husband.

Love Sick is about that first flush of love, and the nervousness that often comes with it. All those days and nights spent holding in your vulnerable emotions and feeling them physically, until you finally take a leap, put it into words, and get it out there. I hope you enjoyed this poem and would love to know what you think.

Life & Soul blurb

Life & Soul is the second book in the Soul Poetry Series by acclaimed author Harmony Kent.

This beautiful collection of over fifty poems will take the reader through the highs and lows of everyday life via contemporary poetry in a range of styles and themes. Within these pages, you will find reflections on the Lonely Soul, the Seeking Soul, Brief Soul, Friendly Soul, and the Loving Soul—states of mind and living and longing we each experience over the course of a life.

Life & Soul offers something for lovers of poetry from all walks of life.

Praise for Slices of Soul, Book 1 in the Soul Poetry Series: 

“I found my answer in this wonderful treasure-trove and have already read it three times.” Robert Fear

“I found in Slices of Soul something approaching aesthetic bliss, a sense of being connected in some way to other states – like tenderness, kindness, ecstasy – where art is the norm.” Colm Herron

“A stunning collection of poems that I read in one sitting! Unable to simply put this down until I had read the last. I love the clarity of the short poems, such clear images created in so few words or phrases. Many of them touched my heart and I will be giving them a 2nd and 3rd read!” Audrina Lane

Universal Link: mybook.to/LifeAndSoul

AUTHOR BIO: 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015 

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree 

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Harmony’s Website

twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

BookBub: Harmony Kent

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

 

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#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 275, 5/24/22, #THEMEPROMPT #tanka #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poetrychallenge

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #275 Theme Prompt. The theme “useful” was choosen by Kerfe.

I’ve been quiet lately, barely time to visit blogs or get one posted. Releasing a new book is always so time consuming, plus putting out new covers and tidying the books up. Not sure why I did both at once. But I made sure to make that little extra time to write some poetry today.

I put the word useful into Canva’s search and came up with this picture.

wrinkled, gray or bald

slower gait, feeble and frail

family’s burden

society’s arrogance

essential wisdom dismissed

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A Cover Reveal! A Voice in the Silence by D. L. Finn #writingcommunity #newrelease #preorder #paranormal #coziparanormal #paranormaladventure #ghosts #animals #killer #labexperiements

I’m excited to share my latest book, “A Voice in the Silence.” I started working on this a couple of years ago in my first NaNoWriMo challenge and finally got back to it. It has a little bit of everything, including a ghost, unique animals, a serial killer, and lab experiments.

The release date is June 8th. I was going to try to release it on my 39th Wedding Anniversary, but I’ll be on vacation then, celebrating 🙂

Here’s the cover:

Can you see the dog in the window?

The Blurb

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

 

Pre-Order Link Amazon US

Pre-Order Link Amazon UK

 

 

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May Book Reviews Part 3! @Sandra_Cox @Virgilante @Dwallacepeach #whattoread #writingcommunity #bookreview

The Bone Wall

by D. Wallace Peach

“The Bone Wall” is a beautifully written post-apocalyptic story with some painful insight into human nature. When twins Rimma and Angel’s perfectly controlled world breaks down, they are introduced into the reality of the people who were left to deal with what their ancestors had done. The girls are complete opposites, with Rimma rebelling and fighting and Angel wanting to follow the rules. They are enslaved and learn the hard way about the people they have called Biters. Some of these Biters have unique gifts that can cause pain or comfort. I loved the contrast between where they lived behind a force field, Heaven, and what the real world that was left behind had to deal with to survive. There was a cruel harshness in a world that had little hope besides being able to have a healthy baby. The relationship and devotion of the sisters was my favorite part, and the story was told through the girl’s first-person experience. Angel was the light between the girls while Rimma dwelled in the darkness, but they found their comfort together. The scary thing about this story is it isn’t so hard to believe it happening. We could very well destroy our world, and then a select few can escape the immediate consequences and continue in their comforts while the masses suffer. It was a deeply disturbing scenario, especially thinking about the bone wall, but it still offered just a tiny bit of hope. I can highly recommend this story.


Mateo’s Blood Brother

By Sandra Cox

I was thrilled to see a sequel to “Mateo’s Law.” This story picks up from where it left off, but with the local attacks starting up again. While investigating the attacks, Mateo and Jesse are still working their way back to friendship. As in the first book, the characters are likable with real flaws, while the community is a place I’d like to live or at least visit. I love Mateo and Blair’s relationship and am glad to see them back. Jesse is working through a past bad relationship and finds himself attracted to Tina, who is a painter. With a killer on the loose, he doesn’t dare pursue her because he’s worried being around him might put her in danger. A couple of twists surprised me, which I always enjoy. I appreciate the small-town setting with the supernatural thrown in. A couple of times, I was laughing out loud, while at other moments, I turned the page as fast as I could to see what happened next. A great story that I can highly recommend.


Panama

by C.S. Boyack

“Panama” is an action-packed paranormal story set in 1903. President Roosevelt approaches Ethan to help him deal with a problem happening during the construction of the Panama Canal. It isn’t your everyday problem. It involves men leaving their jobs and disappearing into the jungle. Ethan has a unique skill that might be of help. He can see ghosts. Ethan requests the help of a friend, Coop, who is in an unpleasant situation in a New Orleans jail. They head off to the canal to see what they can do for their country. I love all the details of the canal workers, the jungle setting, and these two men’s friendship. Ethan and Coop are now Federal Marshalls, who are not only dealing with ghosts but a demon and the Spanish army. It is a fun read that takes a normal historical moment and puts a nice supernatural twist on it.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Always embrace your inner child and read a good book! D. L. Finn

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May Book Reviews Part 2! @BalroopShado @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #indieauthors #goodbooks

Pride and Fall

by Staci Troilo

“Pride and Fall” is the third book in the Cathedral Lake Series and follows what happens to Faith and her family, after “Out and About.” Faith Keller has PTSD after losing a sister and being kidnapped. The story immediately starts fast with an event where Faith is thrown into danger. She can barely push her panic and anxiety aside to help those who need help. Her being there, and what is found, puts her on the radar of local cop Carter Emerson, who is determined to figure out what is going on—even at her expense. Wanting to find the truth, he doesn’t listen to the warnings to back off from his friend and co-worker. I was completely sympathetic to Faith, but wished she had reached out for help and advice when she needed it. Carter took me a while to warm up to, especially after knowing what Faith and her family had been through between death and past accusations. A couple of times, I wished he would stop looking into the Keller family, too. He was a well-rounded character that allowed me to feel more than one thing about him. Faith was a victim and someone who needed to grow and heal. The dogs had my heart, especially Carter’s K-9 partner, Max. I may have been able to pick out who not to trust, but not for what I thought. A fast-paced thriller with a strong family dynamic that was very hard to stop reading. I can highly recommend this story and the entire series!


Out and About (The Cathedral Lake Series Book 2)

by Staci Troilo

“Out and About” starts a few years after “Cross and Type” ended. Although Jensen is grown up, he unwillingly returns home at his domineering father’s request. Father and son immediately clash when the two find it hard to communicate. I already had a soft spot for the Keller family because of what they went through losing a daughter/sister and wasn’t sure how I felt about the new family introduced, the Perishes. The one Perish I was rooting for was Bella. She also has an overbearing father and is always trying to please him. Both families are flawed and real with miscommunication, pride, and love. There is a chance meeting between Jensen and Bella at Cathedral Lake that begins a friendship. I love how much Jensen and Bella have in common, including the stubbornness of the fathers. Their differences in their strengths make them a compelling connection. I like how they ended up on opposite sides at one point—or Wade—the man responsible for Jensen’s sister’s death. Both Bella and Jensen’s curiosity about what is going on behind his early release from prison, how they are dealing with their family, and personal issues make this a page-turner. I’m thoroughly enjoying The Cathedral Lake Series and jumping right into book three.


Hues Of Hope: Selected Poetry

by Balroop Singh

“Hues of Hope” is a beautiful collection of poems that examines the hope in life. There are so many wonderful poems that it is hard to pick favorites, but I always connect the most with nature poems. Although all the poetry brought vivid images to me as I read them, here are some examples of the words that moved me. In the poem HOW FRAGILE IS LIFE! I could easily relate since I live where fire danger is very serious: “When you watch helplessly/Mother Nature wreaking havoc/Holding your heart in smithereens/You think of those who couldn’t make it/Reduced to bones and ashes within seconds.” MAGIC captured my heart: “I’ve never believed in magic/Yet I look for it everywhere/In the sunshine that lights/Crevices within me.” A TOUCH offers pure hope: “Her magical, dewy carpet/Carries calm whispers/Her Lilting leaves remind me/Of songs that we sang together.” If you enjoy poetry, as I do, you don’t want to miss this collection. I can easily recommend it!


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

UPDATES: I have been working hard re-releasing my Angel & Evildwel books with new covers, and I tidied them up just a bit. Not a big edit, though, just fixing a few things that bothered me. The first two are done, and I will work on the third book this week. I will post a link to them all when I’m done. I’ve been sharing them on Twitter, though.

During this time, I got my current book to my editor. A Voice in the Silence is looking to have a mid-June release date. So, after I finish re-releasing this week, I will be getting ready to release! Whew 🙂 Plus, I helped my daughter format her book, editing is not my skill set, so I wasn’t involved in that part of it, but I did get a beta read in.

I will have more information on next week’s blog as I start making plans for it; I might skip the pre-order this time and do a release and tour. Stay tuned. I’m planning around a vacation too.

I will be sharing my new cover in two weeks! It’s been ready for a while, so that is is something I can commit to 😉

I try to stop by and visit everyone, but I’ve been on the tired side lately. Hopefully, I will be back to my old schedule once I’m through this.

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

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“The Darkness of Placata Montis” by DLM Johnson, Cover Reveal and PreOrder! @DLMJ18 #writingcommunity #newrelease #fantasy #debutauthor

I’m thrilled to have a new author here to talk about her upcoming debut release, and I might take a small moment here to be a proud Mom!

Here’s my youngest daughter, Danielle, to talk about “The Darkness of Placata Montis.”

First of all, let me introduce myself. You will get to know me in this space as DLM Johnson, daughter of D.L. Finn.

Like my mother, I have spent many years expressing myself through words. Mostly, I wrote poetry, trying to understand my own emotions and feelings as I was becoming an adult.

Writing without expectation. What a joy, right?! So who in the heck thought it would be a good idea to put my fancy words into an entire book?! Well. Me. And my friends. And my family. Darn supportive bunch of people.

That being said, this journey of mine started six years ago. It’s been through many journeys as I fought my way through accepting my own mental illness and job changes and loss and COVID and… AND.

You get it. You’ve been there. Not only that, but that first book is your BABY. It can do no wrong! And anything people say about it cuts deep… even when it’s a compliment like “I can’t wait to read it when it’s finished!” when you’ve just let them read your full 100k word book.

*large deflate*

Anyway. After letting my edits sit for nearly a year, I finally came back to it. I let go of this idea that it had to stay how it was from the beginning because that’s the only way the words would be true. But honestly, even reading back on that vs what I can say nowadays… Well, it actually makes me excited for what more I can come out with in the future. Book 2? A crime thriller? Why not! Give me it all!

That being said, thank you to everyone in this community who has helped me at some point along the way, even if it was just a favor to D.L. Finn. I will do what I can to return the support (though time isn’t really something I have much to spare).

Either way, I hope you find some joy reading my words. Well, if you so choose to read my words, I hope you enjoy at least parts of them. I hope it releases you temporarily from this world and plunges you into another. And, if you find yourself wanting more, know that I have indeed planned out a second book, and hopefully it won’t take another six years to reach its end. But, who knows!

BLURB

“You were never meant to fight this on your own.”

The words might have provided some level of comfort if everyone Eliana loved and trusted hadn’t let her down. Twenty-two years ago when the prince had abandoned the people of Panis Montem, that fight fell onto the shoulders of a young girl. She used the pain she felt from his departure and transformed it into a driving rage. When her parents lost their fight against evil one evening, Eliana was transported to a different world. While the chase continued, she did everything she could to vanquish the enemy. But as The Darkness continued to consume the land, those with magic would have to fight back or else themselves become consumed.

Will Eliana be forced to finish this fight alone, or will she find another way?

“You were never meant to fight this on your own.”

The words might have provided some level of comfort if everyone Eliana loved and trusted hadn’t let her down. Will she be forced to finish the fight against The Darkness alone, or will she find another way?

EXCERPT

The night was heavy as a storm consumed the sky, casting a chill into the unusually humid air. A lightning bolt shot across the clouds, momentarily revealing a breathless figure lurking in the shadows among the trees. Her green eyes widened with frantic searching as she supported herself against the unforgiving bark. When the world went silent again, a gust of wind blew the rain sideways, stinging the bared skin of her arms as she shielded her face.

In the distance, a raven cawed continuously, as if in warning, and a rumble of thunder answered, shaking the ground. The electricity-filled sky joined in on the conversation, brightening the surroundings enough to reveal a large, crooked house in the distance. The raven’s persistent beckoning called through the chaos of the sky.

When the shadowed night returned, the woman crept from the shelter of the trees, chancing the dangers of being revealed. A quiet step onto the rocks of the beaten path caused the excess water to squeeze from the sides of her leather shoes. She paused a moment, listening in the silence between the unrelenting rain as it cascaded down her clothing.

Amazon PRE-ORDER LINK US

Amazon PRE-ORDER LINK UK

While DLM Johnson is new to the world of publishing her written work, she is not new to the world of writing, or even sharing her art. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Computer Engineering and one in Dance. Just like her degrees might allude to, DLM never wants to be boxed in by one label. What better way to break down walls and apply a plethora of skills than writing?

When DLM is not filling her free time with creativity in its written form, she spends her days working as a Software Engineer for an augmented reality company, and her nights she splits between teaching dance and GYROKINESIS®, attending rehearsals for both aerial and modern dance works, playing RPG, and catching up on TV. When she finds a moment to spare, she also enjoys taking motorcycle rides with her husband, being out in nature, and going on hikes.

If you want to keep up with more of the happenings inside of her mind, subscribe to her blog https://tinyurl.com/dlmjohnson, follow her on Twitter @dlmj18, and follow her explorations on HitRecord https://hitrecord.org/users/damnielle01/records.

Where else to find Danielle:

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Blog

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May Book Reviews Part 1! @JacqBiggar @MarciaMeara #bookreviews #whattoread #writingcommunity

That Darkest Place (Riverbend #3)

by Marcia Meara

“That Darkest Place” jumps right in after the oldest Painter brother, Jackson, has been in a horrible car accident. He had been treating his family horribly in the previous book, but his two younger brothers rushed to his side when he needed them most. It was assumed he had been drinking and driving, but new information changed everything for this family. All the Painter brothers have slowly won my heart. I wanted to see each of them find some happiness. This story had a beam of hope for them, but someone was also after Jackson. I loved how each brother had to work on himself, no matter how painful it became. There are some serious issues dealt with that included mental health and amputation. In the mix were love and building trust, no matter what life has brought them in the past. The story focuses on Jackson and Forrest and their journey, but it also offers some amazing settings. These are places I’d love to visit. I can easily recommend this beautifully written story, with a perfect ending to a wonderful series.


Finding Hunter (Riverbend #2)

by Marcia Meara

I read and enjoyed the first book in the Riverbend series and was eager to see what happens next. Hunter is the youngest of three boys, and he’s the family caretaker. Living at home, he makes sure his mother is okay while his outgoing brothers go on with their lives. Gifted with a gentle heart, he finally finds the courage to ask Willow out, who he’s adored since high school. They immediately click, and it is obvious they should be together. I was drawn to the kindness of Hunter and the strength and goodness of Willow. Even with the happiness that they’ve found together, Hunter has concerns that might pull them apart. This story takes a journey into mental health. Although this is a love story, it’s also an insightful glimpse into dementia, PTSD, depression, family dynamics, hope, and healing. As soon as I finished “Finding Hunter” I started Riverbend #3. This is a heartfelt story that I can highly recommend.


My Girl (Gambling Hearts #3)

by Jacquie Biggar

Although I knew it was Aaron’s turn to find love, I did not know where he would find it. So, when his ex, Trisha, showed up with her family to be the first guests at the ranch, it was obvious where his feelings were. Unfortunately, she had a fiancé and a secret. I immediately disliked her fiancé and her family, but hoped Trish would open up to Aaron and they could get back together. The struggle between the brothers was still there, while Aaron just wanted to prove himself to Matt. This was my favorite of the series, and I loved how the secrets were slowly revealed. I admit to shedding a tear or two because of those reveals. Plus, it seemed like their plans to save the ranch were failing, and it appeared someone might be helping that along. It was a well-written story where I could easily picture myself riding along with Aaron and Trish and enjoying the beauty with them. A fantastic ending to this family’s saga that I can easily recommend to those who love a good romance.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Embrace your inner child with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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#TankaTuesday #PoetryChallenge No. 271, #ThemePrompt. #writingcommunity #tankaprose #poetrycommunity #tanka #poetry

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 271. This week is a theme prompt.Yvette M. Calleiro provided this month’s theme: Beginnings & Endings.

I’m right in the middle of replacing my very old computer. I reflected on that day many years ago when I opened the box, carefully unpacked it, and set my computer up. Our time together had just started. Now, I’m moving all its information to its replacement and look forward to working without the computer freezing up every few moments or the long periods of waiting. But after all the good years we had together, I needed to say my final goodbye as our partnership ended.

Once shiny and new
towering grace held the world
you were everything
but time downloaded your essence
you’re efficiently replaced

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April Book Reviews Part 4! @huckfinn76 @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #bookreview

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Gambling Hearts #2)

by Jacquie Biggar

I have been looking forward to seeing what’s become of Sophia after reading the first book. Although I was glad she could leave the ranch and find herself, it was sad to see that move broke up the relationship between her and Tony, the ranch foreman. After five years, Tony calls and tells her that her brothers need her. It’s nice to see that Matt and Cass are still going strong and raising their daughter, but the brothers aren’t getting along and might lose the ranch. Sophia pushes her idea of taking in guests, but instead of pulling together as a family, though, they pull apart. During the family drama, the love that Sophia and Tony had resurfaced. When someone takes matters into their own hands, it starts a reaction where help comes from an unexpected person. I was rooting for not only Sophia and Tony, but the entire family. A wonderful addition to the Shaughnessy family story. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.


Hold ‘Em (Gambling Hearts #1)

by Jacquie Biggar

“Hold ‘Em” was a fun romance that I read in one night. Matt spent his time gambling instead of helping with the family ranch. He won a hand from a man who offered up his daughter, Cass, to play his fiancé for a week, to cancel the debt to Matt. She went along with the scheme to make Matt’s grandmother believe he had found happiness before she died. At first, I didn’t like Cass’s father or Matt. I never changed my mind about the father, but Matt grew on me as the story went along. Cass was already engaged to be married in two weeks but never showed a great love for the man who she believed was perfect. So, it was entertaining watching her fight off her growing feelings for Matt and how he went from playing around to developing some serious emotions in a short time frame. The setting was amazing, and I could picture living in the small cabin nestled in the valley. A charming romantic tale, and I will be reading the rest of the series to see what happens next on the ranch.


Yellow Hair

by Andrew Joyce

Jacob and his family go on the treacherous journey of the Oregon Trail. It was a trail riddled with accidents and death. There is a brief history of each family to understand why they went. None of them seemed prepared for the reality of it. A young woman from the Dakota tribe rescues Jacob on the verge of death. His name changes to Yellow Hair, and he finds a new home. The story follows his journey filled with detailed historical content. Both sides are evenly presented, and the facts and history are well researched, while the story of Yellow Hair was interesting. I found myself heartbroken at the cruelty shown to another human being because of hate, greed, or fear. I was grateful many of those parts were told over shown. That would have made it harder for me to read. This was a unique way to tell the comprehensive history and a story through a white man’s eyes living in a Dakota tribe in Minnesota. It made me think deeply about how difficult it was to cross over the plains into Oregon and California and, on the other side, how greedy and cruel many officials were. Getting to know and appreciate people and their differences is a lesson we can take away from our history, which I found in this story. A powerful and, at times, painful read.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Embrace your inner child  with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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New Release! “Blood Brothers” by Sandra Cox. @Sandra_Cox #newrelease #paranormalromanace #whattoread #writingcommunity

I’m thrilled to welcome an amazing author and friend here today, Sandra Cox to share her latest release, Blood Brothers.

A sequel to Mateo’s Law.

They thought they’d killed her but she’s back for vengeance.

Blurb:

They were friends, close as brothers. Then they weren’t.

Mateo and Jesse are cautiously working their way back to friendship when Jesse discovers the unthinkable. Delilah, the sultry shifter who’d had affairs with both men, is still alive. The tumble she took over a mountain ridge—a fall that nearly killed Mateo—should have finished her.

Now, there’s no choice but for the two men to work together to take down a she-devil straight from hell.  As the stakes escalate and the hunt becomes more intense, another wolf appears on the scene. Always where Jesse’s at. Always when he’s in trouble.  Jesse is divided between ending Delilah, a new love interest, discovering the identity of a certain brown wolf and staying alive.

Excerpt:

“She’s alive.”

Mateo studied Jesse. The chief’s face stoic except for eyes that sparked with an emotion the sheriff couldn’t read. Still, it made him shift uneasily in his chair. Anxiety and fear pheromones rolled off Jesse. And Jesse didn’t scare easily.

The outside door banged open, distracting him. Boots clomped. A moment later, Adam stuck his head around the door. An aspiring attorney, the young man did their paperwork during the day and took classes at night. “Boss—”

“Later, Adam.” Mateo’s eyes never left Jesse.

“Sure, Boss.” Adam’s head swiveled from one to the other before he disappeared.

“Who’s alive?” The words were no sooner out of Mateo’s mouth when a premonition, so terrible it chilled his blood, hit him. Hard. The hair on the back of his neck rose. And he knew. Knew before Jesse uttered the word.

“Layla.”

On some level, he’d known before now. For a week, he’d been hearing eerie howling that set his teeth on edge and made his hackles rise. And the old wolf, his dad, and the wolf-pup had been acting strangely. The old wolf always staring into the distance with his ruff on end and a continual low snarl rolling out of his throat. The pup cowering close to the old wolf. “That’s impossible. The fall killed her. Nearly killed me.”

“I saw her.”

“Saw her?”

“She was half-wolf. Half-human.” Jesse scrubbed his face with his hands.

“Shit.” Mateo’s extensive vocabulary limited this morning.

“She’ll be coming for you. You and Blair.”

“She won’t get her.” He growled. Literally growled.

“Down, wolf.” For the first time, Jesse smiled.

Mateo forced his clenched teeth and stiff jaws open enough to ask, “When did you see her and where?”

Jesse Kipp character facts:

Jesse and Blair both like to catch the Full Moon Band, that plays hard rock with a native twist, on Wednesday nights at the Blue Coyote.

Jesse loves Belle’s Beans coffee and bear claws.

He has a small house in Browning but spends a lot of his time in a cabin in the mountains that’s been in his family for generations.

US AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

UK Amazon Purchase Link

About Sandra:

Sandra writes All Things Western, is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.

Foodie Facts:

She spent a number of years in the Midwest chasing down good Southern BBQ. By the time she moved to North Carolina where Southern BBQ is practically a staple, she’d become a vegetarian.

Pineapple is a must-have on pizza, along with black olives and onions.

She loves pumpkin waffles. Pumpkin cream cheese, not so much.

You can find her at:

http://www.sandracoxwriter.com

http://www.cowboytrivia.com

https://sandracox.blogspot.com

http://www.twitter.com/Sandra_Cox.

Funky Little Giveaway:

Denise will draw commenter names from her famous hat for a book reader’s beady bracelet😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#TankaTuesday #PoetryChallenge #270 #PhotoPrompt #ekphrasticpoem #haibun #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #270. This week’s theme is a photo prompt which is an ekphrastic poem.

You may have guessed I picked the picture this week 🙂 I decided on haibun which is a connected combination of a prose paragraph and a  haiku.

A NEW BEGINNING

The pod took their final dive off the coast of Kauai, as the place of their birth was leveled. No land location survived the barrage of bombs, but sections of the ocean were untouched. Their pod was alive and unharmed, but they heard many dolphin families silenced along with all the humans. Right after the final explosion, a beautiful perfect-pitched dolphin song began. Directions were weaved into this beacon of hope, guiding them to where dolphins could start over. A paradise where fish are plentiful, and nothing would hurt them. They swam over the wrecked ships and under the floating tombs that used to net their kind. It was their time now when the gentle creatures of the ocean rule the earth’s new world.

under the surface

kelp becomes the new forest

life begins again.

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April Book Review Part 3! @Virgilante @stacitroilo @supermegawoman #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread #indieauthors

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (Amanda Travels #8)

by Darlene Foster

“Amanda in Malta” is a middle-grade read filled with mystery and history. Amanda receives a postcard from Malta written by her friend, Leah, who asks for her help. Luckily Amanda’s friend Caleb and his family are going to Malta on vacation, and she can go with them. As they explore the sights, Amanda starts to unravel Leah’s situation with her aunt. I felt like I had visited Malta when I finished reading the book. The attention to detail was amazing, and it was like I had gone on tour with Amanda. This is the first book I’ve read in the series, and I will now go back and read more of her adventures. A great read for not only middle-grade readers but can be for the adult who is young at heart, like me. I will be giving this book to my older granddaughter for her birthday!


Between the Vines (Keystone Couples, #3)

by Staci Troilo

“Between the Vines” is sadly the final story in the Keystone Couples Series. I have enjoyed meeting all three couples, and it was nice to see everyone make an appearance. Elena was bullied in high school by Heather, and it still affects her. She’s had a crush on her brother’s friend since those days, but Aaron ended up dating Heather. Although both are single now and still attracted to each other, Elena avoids getting involved with anyone after the horrible rumors spread by Heather. Although violence isn’t the answer, I must admit there was a very satisfying punch. There were consequences, and Heather quickly became a character easy to hate. It is another great love story that can be read in one sitting, and I can easily recommend it.


Good Liniment (The Hat #5)

by C.S. Boyack

“Good Liniment” brings back all my favorite characters, especially the hat. Lizzie went home to regroup, so the hat made his way to her in an interesting way. When their issues are resolved, it’s time to bring the band back together. During this, Lizzie gets a case where she needs to find out why someone wants the witches in a coven killed. I always enjoy the humor and depth of the world created, including the radio show Night Bump. It’s nice when individuals from other books pay a visit too. This can be a standalone read, but having been there from the start it sure added more complexity to the story. Another great addition to the Hat Series, and I can’t wait for more.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Embrace your inner child  with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 269 #Colleen’s SpecificForm:TankaProse #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #269. It’s a specific form or Tanka Prose.

THE OCEAN SIGHTING

Last December, as we reached our Hawaiian destination, Kauai, I glanced out the plane window to see the approaching shore. Right below the plane, there was a pod of humpback whales. It was one of those moments in life where all I could do was to be part of it, but I couldn’t record it to share. I spotted another whale that day as soon as we got to our room. There was a gray spume of water shooting up that I first thought—ghost ship. Looking again, I realized it was a whale blowing air through its blowhole. Although I kept looking; I didn’t see another whale until the very last day. I stood on our balcony to take one last look before we left and there it was, that burst of air exiting the whale. Then the whale breached and dove. I didn’t see it again. The whales had greeted me the first day and then said goodbye, until the next time.

above paradise

a pod of whales welcomes me

awakens my heart

soothing my discouraged soul

a magical moment heals

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April Book Reviews Part 2! @teagangeneviene @bakeandwrite #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #goodbooks

Someone Close to Home

by Alex Craigie

“Someone Close to Home” is a powerful read that I had difficulty putting down. Megan suffers a stroke and is placed in a lower-end care facility whose priority is making money over patient care. Unable to move or communicate, she is at the mercy of the staff, some of which are cruel. The story is told in Megan’s current time frame and her past. It takes us into a life of a successful pianist, a controlling mother and shows how she ended up alone in horrible conditions. The subjects of eldercare and abusive relationships were handled well and had me rooting for Megan throughout her life. The narrative was told in the first person, and it was like I was sitting next to someone telling me about their life. This is a fast-paced story that tugged at my heart. I couldn’t help but admire Megan’s strength, even with all the poor decisions she made throughout her life. There were moments of self-sacrifice and then, thankfully, a bit of blissful peace for her. This is a well-written story, brimming with emotions, that I highly recommend.


Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Another great journey where the ongoing growth of Emlyn is fascinating to observe as the world fights for survival. The battle is in full swing, with people fighting while a few watches in a mirror. I love the dragon has returned, although unable to help as he wanted to. The addition of the unpredictable goddesses and what the binding spell could do, adds to the tension as they fight Arawn’s overwhelming army. The ships, weapons, and little details bring this all to life. I don’t want to say too much and make this a spoiler. I can’t wait for the last installment of a story that has held me captive for the entire journey.


Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog

by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

“Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog” is a sweet story told poetically about a young boy who must decide what to do when a dog is drowning in the chocolate pond. There is not only a story that will keep young readers interested, but great fondant pictures and recipes. I bought this book for my youngest grandkids, and it was a pleasure to sit down with them and read it. The children, five and six years old, completely enjoyed the story. Plus, they requested we try to make one of the included recipes, the Oreo cupcakes. The oldest decided that the author must be extremely talented by making such beautiful fondants. I agree! Another great addition to my grandchildren’s bookshelf.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

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New Release! “Good LIniment” by C. S. Boyack. #writingcommunity #newrelease #hatseries #whattoread

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire author, C. S. Boyack, here today to celebrate his latest release, Good Liniment. I have read all The Hat stories and was eagerly looking forward to this one. I wasn’t disappointed. Here is my review: Link

So thankful you loaned me your space today to talk about my newest book. This one is part of The Hat Series, and is called Good Liniment. These are short novels, designed to take no more than an afternoon to read. They can also be read as stand-alone titles, so readers don’t feel like they have to be read in order.

Good Liniment expands the world of Lizzie and the hat exponentially. It not only expanded on witchcraft, but introduced a lot of new elements to the story.

There’s a reason for this. Lizzie has done some pretty off-color things as a fledgling monster hunter. Remember her first adventure involved exacting some justice on a ring of human kidnappers. This increases the need for a secret double-life. That works just fine… for a while.

Eventually, there’s nobody for Lizzie to talk with about whatever is eating at her psyche. The hat is always there for her, but isn’t quite someone to understand the emotional toll things could take on her. Her best friend is her drummer, Tanith, but she hasn’t got a clue about the supernatural world.

In Good Liniment, Lizzie meets most of a coven of witches. They understand the need of keeping secrets. While they aren’t exactly friends, they get some of it.

This led me to other things in this world. Some of the witches have familiars, one of which is a small demon. Something new to add to the mix.

There are a married couple who both have goblin blood and work for the coven to operate a special tavern named Good Liniment.

I introduced a headless horseman who drives a Bronco these days and is a contractor for the coven. I’ve been mapping out a specific story for him somewhere down the line.

I even went so far as to introduce a pair of godlings; Castor & Pollux, Attorney’s at Law. While they don’t make an appearance, they will in the very next volume. Those of you into Zodiac things will understand some of their build.

I’m excited to have Good Liniment out in the world now. I hope some of you will give it a shot. A bit of dark humor with an expansive world to let your imaginations roam. I’ll be out there imagining with you as I tailor subsequent volumes.

Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

Purchase Link  

Series Link

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#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry #Challenge No. 268 #Tastetherainbow-Color Poetry #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #poetrychallenge

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 268. We are challenged to taste the rainbow or write about color.

Last week, I went to the bank driving through a small downpour when saw the sun peeking through the clouds. I knew there had to be a rainbow somewhere and there was. It was the most beautiful one I’d ever seen. The main one was double the colors and then another one framed it. I could almost touch them. Of course, in my hurry to get to the bank, I forgot my phone and any chance of getting a picture of it. Yet, at that moment I got a strong message that everything was going to be okay.

 

the day dull and gray
heavily laden with fear
until light breaks through
coloring my opaque soul
in a rainbow of hushed hope

 

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April Book Reviews Part 1! @ChrissyH_07 @WendyJayneScott @judypost #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whattoread

Following the Green Rabbit: a fantastical adventure

by Chris Hall

“Following the Green Rabbit” is a fun read for upper middle-grade readers and those adults who enjoy an adventure into the unknown. Twelve-year-old Bryony and her sister, eight-year-old Bethany, explore beyond the area they are allowed. Bethany follows a large green rabbit and ends up at the house of a kind couple who appear to be from another time. She is given a gift of a wooden bird and led back to the place where she entered this world. Under the care of the housekeeper, the sisters await the arrival of their new tutor while Bethany keeps searching for the rabbit. When the rabbit appears again, he leads the girls to the same place, where things have changed for the worse. The girls and their new tutor are thrown into the issues the villagers are dealing with. I love how history is weaved into the story, talking about the treatment of women and witchcraft, along with day-to-day life in the 1700s. Seeing cruelty and fear through children’s eyes also offers their hope and belief in things working out. A great time-travel historical fiction story that held me captive. I’d love to see another green rabbit story and can highly recommend this for children and those young at heart.


Mythical Creatures Writing Prompts: 31 Creative Activities for Kids (Deluxe Colour Edition) (Aspiring Author Series)

By WJ Scott

I bought “Mythical Creatures Writing Prompts” for my oldest granddaughter, who has written a few stories independently. I have enjoyed past books in this series and used them to encourage my grandchildren to create stories. Now, I will give my granddaughter this as a gift so she can work on and enhance her budding love of writing. I loved the colorful pictures, and the room allowed for the children to write a story. All the prompts offered a good place to get started on a fantasy story, like “You befriend a lost mermaid who asks you to help find her missing sisters.” This is a book that can inspire creativity and allow a place for it to be explored.


The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1)

by Judi Lynn

“A Body in the Attic” not only has a murder to solve, but friendship, family, and house flipping. Jazzi flips houses with her cousin, Jerod, and a contractor, Ansel. While cleaning the attic, Jazzi finds a body in a chest that turns out to be her aunt, who supposedly left town years ago. While they continue fixing the house, she tries to figure out what happened to her aunt. I enjoyed the mystery and trying to figure out who did it. I got half of that part right but was surprised with a twist at the end. Jazzi’s cooking and weekly family meals were charming and offered some humorous moments. What surprised me was how interested I became in house flipping and the improvements throughout the story. I started thinking of ways to enhance my home. George, the pug, and her friendship and interest in Ansel, who was in a bad relationship, were pleasant additions. A fun whodunit that I enjoyed. I look forward to reading more in this series!


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Always embrace your inner child and read a good book! D. L. Finn

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#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 267, #ShareYourDay #senryu #tanka #harleyride #poems #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #267. This week we are being challenged to share our day with pictures and poetry.

Hubby and I by the South Yuba River, CA

I’m sharing a day from our vacation last week. I love to write poetry in as many places as possible, and one of them is while I’m riding with my hubby on a Harley. I keep a pad and pen in my coat pocket and, so far, have only lost one pen but none of the words written. I have a tanka and senryu to share from our excursion. Healing was a theme in most of the poetry written last week.

waving on harley
The picture was taken driving down our street. I’m always happy when I don’t drop my phone doing this 🙂

road takes us nowhere

except into the moment

nature reaches out

caresses my weary soul

I’m healed on a warm spring day

Highway 49 South Yuba River by Downieville, CA. A favorite ride!

D. L. Finn writes words

captures thoughts on the Harley

healing Denise’s soul

 

And yes, I do separate Denise and D. L. Finn 🙂

 

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March Book Reviews Part 3! @sgc58 @vicky_whedbee @TonyaWrites #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreview #mustread

Tales from the Irish Garden

By Sally Cronin

I adored this charming fairy tale for adults, which is also suitable for children. The fairy queen and her court needed to relocate and received an invitation from the Storyteller to live under a magnolia tree in his Irish garden. The imagery was beautiful throughout the book. I could easily imagine flying on a swan, exploring a castle under a tree, or running into lerpersians and goblins. The characters felt real, and I was worried about how they would adapt to the colder climate. It was a relief when they resolved that with beautiful new wardrobes. I loved not only how they made this place their new home, but the romance and new friendships mixed in, too. Many additional characters in the stories I treasured included a donkey, a fox, and mice. This is a world I’d love to find in my garden, and I highly recommend these magical tales!


Things He Hadn’t Told Her

by Vicky Whedbee (Author) and Maresa Pezzulo (Editor)

“Things He Hadn’t Told Her” is a sweet story about friendship and love. Since childhood, Cole and Chad have been best friends and share living space in college. They meet a woman, Maggie, and they all become fast friends, and then both men fall in love with her. Chad, who is in school to become a physical therapist, has always been the caretaker for Cole, the charming football star. Maggie soon falls for one of these men. The relationship between Cole and Chad is enduring and strong. Maggie is a sweet and sometimes clueless character with a strong faith and loving personality. The story flows through multiple POVs that offer a unique perspective of many characters. Midway through the story, there was a tragic event that changed everything. I was invested in these characters and hoped it would all work out at the end, where there was another twist. A heartfelt story about the power of love and loyalty.


Old Mountain Cassie: The Three Lessons

by Tonya Penrose

“Old Mountain Cassie” takes Lacey and the reader on a spiritual journey. Lacey moves to a charming Appalachian village from New York. She works as a gemstone buyer until she is suddenly let go. This leaves her with a lot of time and the need to find the local legend, Old Mountain Cassie. I loved the relationship between Lacey and her best friend, Serene, as they support each other with humor mixed in. The sweetness of the people and town almost seem too good to be true, and I wondered about people’s intentions, but that all changed as I kept reading. The story builds at a slow pace, which matches Lacey’s journey and fits the town. As soon as the lessons began, I was mesmerized and found myself reminded of some important life lessons. I would love to walk through this fictional town, but especially find the forest path full of wisdom and where a Cassie lives. This is a delightful read if you need inspiration or to be uplifted—and one I won’t soon forget. I can easily recommend “Old Mountain Cassie.”


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

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Books That Changed Me—2022 Spring Edition! @YvetteMCalleiro @MaeClair1 @pamelawight #writingcommunity #whattoread #topratedreads #booksthatchangedme

Welcome to spring. I love this time of year when everything is growing and blooming. The birds have returned and the bees are back to collecting nectar for honey. This is the season of hope and wonder. Mother nature at her best. What a perfect time to read an amazing story, outside in all the beauty, if the weather allows. If not snuggle up inside and enjoy all the rebirth that surrounds us.

Like each season offers us something new, books do the same thing. Taking us on an exciting journey into the unknown, an insightful perspective, or a glimpse into a young character’s strength.

I’m excited to share the three spring books that changed me. I included both the blurb and my review again because I believe these books deserve a second look! Here they are in no particular order:

HYPE

by Yvette M. Calleiro

Blurb

Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.

When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.

Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.

Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.

My Review

“HYPE” is a YA story centered on Cici’s life at home and school. She is a popular co-captain of the cheering squad, and her boyfriend is the quarterback on the football team. Everything is perfect in her world, except her dislike of her co-captain, Nicole. But everything changes when her mother remarries, and she gets not only a stepdad but a new stepsister that everyone avoids at school. Cici’s POV is direct and takes the reader into her world. She can be shallow but has her world figured out until she doesn’t. Halfway through the story, there is a betrayal and horrible event that is painful to read, and my heart went out to Cici. Although Cici is a strong character that I was rooting for, I loved her stepsister Gaby/Grub’s complexity. How Cici’s relationships grow and change is skillfully reflected in what is happening in her life. This is a good read for not only YA readers but adults too. I highly recommend it.

LINK


 Things Old and Forgotten

by Mae Clair

Blurb

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

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

My Review

This is a wonderful collection of short stories, each with a unique flavor. The descriptions and images pulled me into each tale’s world. Although I enjoyed all the stories, many stood out including, “Robin of Sherwood,” “Miss Lilly Makes a Wish,” and “Father’s Day.” I loved the twist of a post-apocalyptic Robin Hood and saw all the favorite characters in a new yet familiar role. When Miss Lilly finds a lamp with a genie in it, it’s so much fun. I didn’t expect that ending or how she handled things. Then, in Father’s Day, there was a lot of raw emotion, along with a scenario that completely surprised me. These short stories were hard to stop reading. I had planned on going through the book at a leisurely pace, but found I needed to read just one more story. I highly recommend “Things Old and Forgotten.”

LINK


Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary

by Pamela Wight

Blurb

Wow! Life goes by in a flash.

Philosophers and mystics ponder the mystery of these flashes. Pamela Wight writes about life flashes in her short stories that include family and friends, love and life’s challenges. Wight’s “Flash Memoir” promotes the belief that we all share sparks of the extraordinary that occur in our everyday life. Each short story is true and brings a smile of recognition to her readers: that life transports and enthralls us in all its confusing, amusing, challenging, and astonishing ways. Each story is light-hearted and short – like a flash – but be prepared for a page-turner that keeps you in your seat, smiling.

My Review

“Flashes of Life” is a charming collection of real-life tales. Ms. Wight shares micro-stories that are broken into eight sections and come from all stages of her life. Each one is a quick read that touches on everyday life. I could relate to each story. I found myself shaking my head in agreement with some of these tales, and a couple had me laughing out loud. I appreciated the gratitude weaved in, and it left me pondering on my blessings. The well-crafted writing brought me into Ms. Wight’s world, and I felt like I was sitting next to her on the beach, talking about life. A fantastic glimpse into the world of a daughter, mother, wife, friend, and grandmother. I highly recommend reading about these extraordinary ordinary tales!

LINK

 

Note: I will be off next week soaking up the new season! I hope you all have a great week 🙂

 

 

 

 

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#TankaTuesday #Poetry #Challenge #265! #ekphrastic #haibun #writingcommunity #poem #hope #poetrycommunity #indiepoetry

Here’s is this week’s Colleen Chesbro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #265. It is ekphrastic which means to write a poem inspired by an image.

This painting was chosen by Colleen and Selma.  Click here to find out why.

Like most, I am deeply affected by the images and stories coming from the Ukraine invasion and this came out in my words. It offers no answers, only a bit of faith and hope.  This is a haibun which is a combination of prose and haiku, or in my case a senryu.

Title: Russian Dancers Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris) Date: 1899 via https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459097

THE LIGHT

The women walk quietly to the field as the war erupts around them. Fields that once held abundant crops were withered death under their comrade’s blood. The cities once teeming with commerce and progress are reduced to rubble, while its people hide underground or fight in the streets. Hope is dim as these women’s voices are raised in song. They begin the sacred dance handed down through the generations for just this moment when hate and fear were the only options. The fighting rages on as their song grows, and a faint sparkle of joy moves into their feet and fills their bodies. They are the light in the darkness.

gift from ancient times

twirls in pink, blue, and yellow

healing dance of love

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March Book Reviews Part 2! @linneatanner @bakeandwrite @NorahColvin #bookreviews #writingcommunity #whattoread #indieauthors

The Happy Cat

by Norah Colvin and Jovan Carl Segura (Illustrator)

I bought this for my granddaughter, who has just started reading. There are beautiful illustrations of a gray striped cat, along with the rat and bat he meets along the way. This is great for beginning readers and would be a fun book to read to a smaller child who doesn’t like to sit for longer stories. “The Happy Cat” gives an appropriate reading level, an easy font to read, and follow-up questions. I look forward to giving this as a gift and then getting to enjoy having it read to me!


Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook

by Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle

This is a great addition to my grandkid’s book collection. I love the pictures of the beautiful fondant and the cute poetic story with a nice rhyming flow. A bonus is the recipes included for family cooking. It’s a cute story where Sir Chocolate helps the sugar dough bees after a snail damages the flower patch where the bees feed. I can’t wait to share this book with my youngest granddaughters the next time they visit. Mother and son wrote a fun book for early readers, or adults to enjoy reading to younger children!


Two Faces of Janus: Story Story of Ancient Rome

by  Linnea Tanner

I love how fiction and history are blended so seamlessly in this short story. Young nobleman Lucius fully expects to get the position he wants after schooling. When he is summoned to see Augustus Caesar, first he feels joy, but then doubt and worry creep in. Ms. Tanner not only captures all the emotions of this moment but allows the reader to see how Rome was for not only a noble but an enslaved person. Although short, it managed to pull me right in while I felt concerned for Lucius and his family. The realizations that followed that meeting were real, heartfelt, and painful. Beautifully written, with attention to detail and history, this is a story I won’t soon forget. I can highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

NOTE: I’m moving March Book Reviews Part 3 up a week to March 28th as I will be on vacation the week of March 21st. Although, I will still be posting Books That Changed Me, 2022 Spring Edition on March 20th, and sending out my monthly newsletter a couple of days early! Watch for both 🙂

Embrace your inner child  with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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International Day of Awesomeness—Celebrating Author, Sally Cronin! @sgc58 #InternationalDayOfAwecomeness #writingcommunity #indieauthor #supportiveauthor #AuthorsofTwitter #poetrycommunity #authorbloggers

Today is International Day of Awesomeness, and all of us at Story Empire want to acknowledge someone who has done so much for our writing community, Sally Cronin!

Author Bio

I have enjoyed a nomadic existence living in eight countries including Sri Lanka, Malta, South Africa, USA and Spain, before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.

After a career in customer facing roles in the hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications industry, I wrote and published my first book in 1999 called Size Matters, about my weight loss journey, losing 150lbs in 18 months. This has been followed by 14 further fiction and non-fiction books, including a number of short story collections.

My first book release resulted in a radio interview in Spain that led to four years as a nutritional consultant for an English language station, and this was followed by four years with my own health show and Sunday morning show on local radio station in the UK and then as station director, newsreader and presenter for an online television station.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books and from 2002 I have been working with authors on their book launches and publicity. At that time it was very much physical book launches and press coverage locally to stimulate national interest.. Today it is very different with a global market via the worldwide web.

As important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others within our community. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog, linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

For 2022 there are some changes to the promotions with the focus on those authors I can personally recommend and you can find the details here…The Smorgasbord Bookshelf – 2022 – Free book marketing and Personal Recommendations


Sally has an amazing catalog of books that I am happily working my way through. Here are the books I’ve enjoyed and my reviews. Click on the book cover for US Amazon link:

“Life is like a Mosaic” is a book of poetry that offers images to add to the journey. I have always loved the mixture of pictures and words, and this collection is a delightful blend of that. I like how honest and insightful the poems are with various subjects that take daily life into a deeper realm. Here are a few of my favorite lines: “defies monochrome hues/with a splash of colour/softening their/harshness,” “Clarity as the memories cascade/tumbling down the precipice of time/as if the floodgates have opened,” “The moon/hangs in the sky/lighting the earth at night,” “Sit/serene/with wise thought/and let them drift,” “Nature’s young frolic in the sun/under blossom topped tree/celebrating/new life,” and “Washed up/are words that haunt.” A thoughtful collection that I can highly recommend for poetry lovers. Five-stars


“Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” is a perfect blend of poetry and short stories. The poetry is tucked between the stories that bestowed beautiful images that completed the picture the collection of short stories offered. The characters were engaging, and I could feel empathy for their situation, good or bad. There were five categories covered, and I enjoyed each subject and story. It was like reading about people I already knew. I rooted for the woman with an abusive husband, felt the heartbreak of a woman who had lost a child, and laughed when a woman went to buy her groceries. This collection offers hope in everyday situations. A well-written and heartfelt book that I highly recommend! Five-stars

I was drawn in by Sam’s picture on the cover, having had a collie as a young girl, so this called me to read. The story’s told from Sam’s perspective, which was interesting, amusing, and sometimes sad. I loved his journey, meeting his loving family, and living in Ireland and Spain. Henry, the stray cat, who became part of his pack, quickly won my heart. We can only imagine what our pets are thinking, but I believe Ms. Cronin really captured Sam’s spirit in this book. I came out feeling like I’d been part of his pack. This was a feel-good read with some of life’s realities mixed in with just the right touch. When I finished, I was left thinking about all my pets over the years and wondered what they might have to say about their journey. This is a must-read for all pet lovers! Five-furry-stars

This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Cronin, but it won’t be the last. It’s a wonderful collection of poetry and short stories. In the first part of the book, there were many different types of poetry and subjects, but my favorites had to be nature and the faeries sections. The Haikus of the different seasons really stood out to me. I’m always amazed at how much can be said in flash fiction, but the short stories were my favorite part. From animals to human enhancement in the future, there was a lot of variety. The animal stories tugged at my emotions and were the highlight of the book for me. I highly recommend “Life’s Rich Tapestry,” especially if you love poetry and short stories with heart. Five-stars

I adored this charming fairy tale for adults, which is also suitable for children. The fairy queen and her court needed to relocate and received an invitation from the Storyteller to live under a magnolia tree in his Irish garden. The imagery was beautiful throughout the book. I could easily imagine flying on a swan, exploring a castle under a tree, or running into lerpersians and goblins. The characters felt real, and I was worried about how they would adapt to the colder climate. It was a relief when they resolved that with beautiful new wardrobes. I loved not only how they made this place their new home, but the romance and new friendships mixed in, too. Many additional characters in the stories I treasured included a donkey, a fox, and mice. This is a world I’d love to find in my garden, and I highly recommend these magical tales! Five-magical-stars

I hope you will pick up one of these great reads today and support Sally as much as she supports all of us 🙂 Thank you, Sally, you are truly awesome!!! xo

Where you can connect with Sally

Blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Twitter: @sgc58 –

Facebook: Sally Cronin –

LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 


 

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March Book Reviews Part 1! @JanSikes3 Joy York @JoyYorkAuthor @lionelraygreen #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustread #indieauthors #bookreviews

Dead of Winter

by Lionel Ray Green

“Dead of Winter” is a scary short story set on a lonely country road. Joe is driving to meet up with his partner when he sees a woman stranded by her car. He pulls over to help with obvious bad intentions. He is a creepy character who wants something but at the same time needs help from his partner—whom he can’t contact. The woman is careful in her responses and doesn’t jump right into trouble with him, which I liked. The pacing was broken up with chapters that worked well, as it seemed to match Joe’s thinking process. There are a couple of surprises, with a great twist. The ending was very satisfying. I can easily recommend this quick read.


The Bloody Shoe Affair: A Daring and Thrilling Adventure with the Jailer’s Daughter

by Joy York

“The Bloody Shoe Affair” is a fun YA whodunit set in Mississippi in the late 1960s. Fourteen-year-old Christi is visiting her grandparents for their 50th-anniversary celebration. She stays with her cousin, Lily, whose father is a law officer, and the house is attached to the jail. Lily’s curiosity of a pair of bloody shoes found but no body pull the two girls into a who was or wasn’t killed. Lily decides the man sitting in jail is innocent, and the two girls begin their investigation. It was fun to go back to the late sixties and see references to snacks, clothes, music, and communications. It brought back some memories of when I grew up. I liked how opposite these girls were, but how they pulled together and got along. Lily was strong and knew how to manipulate adults. While Christi wanted the excitement brought into her life by her cousin, she was more cautious. This was a fun read that reminded me of the Nancy Drew books I used to enjoy with more thrills added in. I could see middle-grade readers enjoying this as well as YA and adults. A fun story that kept me engaged with an exciting ending!


Jagged Feathers

by Jan Sikes

“Jagged Feathers” focuses on Vann or the soldier who brought the message back from Sam in “Ghostly Interference.” He has settled into a cabin with a stray dog who found him. He is broken from the war and vows not to give his heart to anyone. But he also has the rune given to him by another couple, Jag and Rena, who found their happily ever after. When Vann goes into town to get supplies, he runs across a sick woman, Nakina, who needs help. Promising not to go to the hospital, he takes care of her. One thing I really loved about this story is the gentleness of these two characters and their journey. Vann doesn’t feel like a whole man with part of his leg missing but is courageous and kind. Nakina is not only running from some bad people but learning about her gifts and how to use them. Both are artistically inclined, with Vann working with wood and Nakina feathers. Painting feathers completely fascinated me. Plus, they both are carrying issues from their past that could hold them back. I fell in love with the stray dog Champion and this couple. When the bad finds Nakina, it becomes nonstop action while this couple keeps connecting. It’s a beautiful love trying to bloom while they battle the bad guys. This was a perfect blend of PTSD, guilt, bad guys, friendship, acceptance, and embracing the spiritual realm. I absolutely loved this story and can’t wait for the next rune couple. 😊 I highly recommend!


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

Watch for a special edition blog this week! You won’t want to miss it.

Embrace your inner child  with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn

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#TankaTuesday Weekly #Challenge #263, Taste the Rainbow—Green! @ColleenChesebro #writing community #poetrycommunity #poetryChallenge

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Challenge #263.  It’s Taste the Rainbow week and the color is, green. Bonus points if you can write it without saying the color green.

I had a lot of ideas when I thought of green. I ended up with a haibun which is a combination of prose paragraph and a haiku. I’ll be out there dancing until the rains return and fill our lakes and wells:)

LOOK UP

The weather-beaten soil is devoid of life during another dry winter. Even the mushrooms gave up and retreated into the earth while the weeds withered into themselves. The mighty cedars and pines push their roots deeper in search of the life-giving liquid. Hose water provides what the season couldn’t, a lifeline for the thirsty potted plants. A rain dance in the forest becomes a prayer that there will still be the verdant lushness of spring where life burst forth from winter’s silence and offers the world hope.

heavy clouds gather

rain…mother nature’s nectar

bless our wilderness

Featured

A visit with my animals! #authorpets #writingcommunity #animalsinwriting #furbabies #authorfurbabies

Today I’m sharing my fur babies.

In the top left corner is the gray tuxedo cat, Rupert, who was originally my oldest daughter’s cat, and he moved in with us when he was almost a year old. He’s 16.5 years young and, although dealing with a few health issues, appears to have a few lives tucked away to use. He’s our mother cat who has brought home a baby squirrel who fell out of the cedar tree and a bird who left the nest too soon. He left them safely with me and they were taken to the wild animal rescue. Rupert loves to snuggle and keep all the cats clean and safe. He is very loving, although sometimes, he will let you know with a well-placed bite if over-petted. I have to wrap him like a burrito to give him his thyroid pills or suffer the consequences.

Our only dog is Sara, who is 13 years old. She is a Shepard mix, and we enjoy our walks together on the magical trail. She never lets me out of her sight and is on the frail side now. Although in her day, she found a way over the fence when a bear was near my husband. She is our bear chaser, and they are afraid of her. When Hermie, her companion, was alive, sometimes they would find ways to escape and wander. She would be the one who would come home smelling of skunk. Then it was time for that bath with my special mixture of cloves, hydrogen peroxide, soap, and whatever else I thought of to throw into the mix.

The handsome brown tiger cat with bright green eyes in the top right corner is Chester. He is also thirteen years old and was a feral kitten whose mom was killed in our backyard by a dog we rescued from the pound. We could not keep the dog after that, but luckily she found a good home without cats. Then I had to rescue the scared and wild kitten left behind. It took a few days, but I finally tricked him into the house with tuna. He has his own room because his feral comes out sometimes in ways we can’t live with. He is the only cat that goes outside. Chester is the sweetest of all our cats and gives good standing hugs.

Next in the bottom left corner is our biggest cat at twenty pounds with the one white spot on his chest, eight-year-old Coco. He was born a day later than his littermates and had some health challenges as a kitten with his lungs, allergies, and finding all the parts needed to fix him.  He was treated for his wheezing, and we figured out what he was allergic to that made his claws fall out. (cat sand) Those claws grew back, and after a few attempts, he was fully fixed. His charming personality makes him a celebrity at the vet. He is what I call a people-cat, and he is always bringing us his stuffed animal gifts, which you have to thank him, or he’ll meow until you notice. He and Chester dislike each other, though.

I adopted 2.5-year-old Luna with my grandson. He held her all the way home, and she snuggled under his chin. He was the one who named her. She is tiny but doesn’t know it. She loves music, especially when my husband plays his guitar. This all-black kitty with a single white whisker above her eyes is my husband’s biggest fan and fawns all over him when he is done playing. Coco fell in love with Luna so that she can get away with anything around him—and my husband. This kitty loves to cuddle under the covers but does not like to be held. When she wants in or out of a room, she will stand up and dig (without her claws) at the door until she is let in or out. She is the one that tries to escape outside, and it’s always at night. The chase is a game for her. Luna is clueless that mountain lions and coyotes won’t play with her.

Gray-striped Zuzu, named after the little girl on It’s a Wonderful Life, was a surprise addition to the family. While taking Luna to get her shots, I peeked at the kittens and went into the room with them. Well, I ended up with another cat when she sat at my feet with the cutest head tilt, and I figured Luna could use a playmate near her age. She is the most curious cat I’ve ever had and the most clumsy. If there is a crash in the house, Zuzu is the reason for it. She is why the roses I got for Valentine’s Day sit outside my window instead of the house. She is our lap cat and the one who will take care of any mice, lizards, or moths entering the house.

These are the animals that not only share our house but are my writing companions. When I write an animal or pet into my story, this devoted group has been influential in that process.

So, it’s not surprising that animals took a bigger role in my current story, A Voice in the Silence, that I’m currently finishing up. A dog, cat, and rat find an amiable lady who takes them in—of course, they aren’t your normal animals. More on that soon.

 

 

 

Featured

Leap of Faith—Writing! #writingcommunity #indieauthor #writingchallenges #authorsupport

I have been editing my current book, “A Voice in the Silence,” for what seems like forever! It was written during my first NaNoWriMo a couple of years back, with the idea of putting everything I could think of into it. I completed the challenge but was left with a mess.

I pulled all my ideas together, even adding something that fixed what I thought was a long, boring ending. I don’t think I’ve ever been in the editing phase this long, nor had the high levels of anxiety I’ve felt with this book.

When starting something new, I normally jump right into something and feel confident about my direction. This isn’t one of those times.

So, I keep going over this story and still finding little things to fix. I’ve put off thinking about a cover or writing the blurb. And I continue editing hoping to get it to a point where I feel like I can share it with some amazing beta readers that I know will be honest if anything doesn’t work.

My incredible critique group has gone over the first half of it and helped tighten it up, fix the glaring errors, and offer encouragement.

Yet, the anxiety was still there.

I reflected on that and came up with some reasonable conclusions. The last two years of fear and hate in our societies have bled over into my safe writing world and stirred up emotions I thought I had left in my past. Then there is the perfection I’m striving for from myself with this story while taking a step out of my comfort zone. The mixture of these things has made me question myself.

What seemed second nature to me, I’m now second-guessing everything as I learn how to improve my writing skills. It reminds me of when I first learned to drive a car. All the things I had to think about at first became so normal later.

There were days I wondered why I was doing this to myself. Luckily I was born in the tiger year and that helped feed my stubborn side and kept me going. My turning point came when I realized I couldn’t control the world outside of myself.

Like I mentioned in the last poem I shared here, the messages are powerful and abundant in my life. I forgot how to trust myself, pay attention to the little things, and take a leap of faith. I’m applying that not only to myself but to my writing.

It’s a big step to keep learning and growing while moving forward in my truth. The anxiety might keep trying to creep back in, but I know I’m doing what I am supposed to and telling the story I was meant to share. That is all we can do as writers and human beings.

Embrace that inner child and share its knowledge! D. L. Finn

Featured

#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRY #CHALLENGE NO. 261, #PHOTOPROMPT @ColleenChesebro #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #haibun #haibunidyll #haibunpoem

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #261. This week’s challenge to write your poem was inspired by the Ekphrastic image below which was selected by Diana Peach.

A haibun ldyll immediately came to mind. It is a prose paragraph that ends with a haiku. I switched out the haiku and ended it with a senyru.

Pixabay.com, compliments of “Pretty sleepy.”

THE QUEST

I could barely catch my breath. After all these years, there it was. All the world’s time surrounded me, but only the now was important. My hand shook as I reached out to place the crystal watch on the red door’s knob. Finally, I would understand what I had been searching for, what everyone wanted. The crystal’s energy merged into the black scrolled metal that glowed a deep red. Slowly the door began to open with a sucking whoosh. I stepped inside.

out of the darkness

breathing in the dazzling light

I found Shangri-la

Featured

February Book Reviews Part Two! #writingcommunity @Marjorie_Mallon @JillWeatherholt @JacqBiggar @PriscillaBettis #bookreviews #indieauthors #whattoread #yourreadinglist

Golden Healer (The Curse of Time #2)

by M.J. Mallon

“Golden Healer” picks up where the first book left off with Amelina maneuvering through her teen years while embracing her magic as a Krystallos. Some of my favorite parts were the interaction with the girl in the mirror and Amelina and her dad. Not only did the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster, but there was also an actual one in the story. Many good characters all played into finding out more about the darker side or shadows. Ryder is a character who could have an empathic side if he allowed it, but I did like how he developed in the story. Crystals and music added depth to Amelina’s learning quest. Her friendships are still strong and are tested with Ryder involved. There are some beautiful poetic parts, and I love the poetry at the beginning of each chapter. Although this book answers many questions, it also opened the door to new ones. I look forward to more stories from these characters.


Searching for Home

by Jill Weatherholt

“Searching for Home” is a wonderfully uplifting romance full of faith and miscommunication. Meg gives up her successful physical therapy practice to raise her sister’s triplets and take over the bed-and-breakfast. She’s struggling to make ends meet and fixing up the property. When an expected guest, Luke, shows up to recover from an injury—or her high school love. Both are hurting from the past, but right now, it’s the children who need attention and love after being discarded by their parents, along with the business. Meg is a wonderful character who tries to balance being a mother, running the inn, and still doing physical therapy while fighting her feelings for Luke. The love that still exists between the two is obvious to everyone but them. It was easy to have empathy for Luke and his past. I love how he jumped right in to help remodel and develop a bond with the children, especially Tucker. I read this in one sitting, hoping they’d finally have that talk. A sweet romance that I can highly recommend.


Valentine

by Jacquie Biggar

Sierra has just gotten out of a poor relationship and her nest egg for opening her dream business was gone. Val has agreed to stay at his aunt’s place to take care of things while the aunt recovers from illness. Sierra and Val are thrown together, living in the same house, but immediately clash. It doesn’t help that Sierra works for Val’s sister and he overlooked telling her a few minor details. I like the tension between the two and all the character names, especially Cupid for the dog and Valentine for Val. This is a fast and fun read that I read in one sitting. It would be the perfect Valentine’s Day story or any day you want to celebrate love’s bloom.


The Hay Bale

by Priscilla Bettis

“The Hay Bale” is a short horror story filled with chilling passages and light on gore, which I prefer. Claire has miscarried four babies, was turned down for adoption, and her husband left her. She leaves her job as a professor in microbiology to regroup and heal from all her losses in a quaint country house called Small Claws. When things happen in her rented home, she asks questions, to which she finds some chilling answers. The single bale of hay behind the house adds a strange twist and fuels her curiosity. While Clair struggles with her issues within, some really strange things are going on around her. A spooky story with an ending I didn’t expect and easily read in one sitting.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

NOTE: Today is my seven-year anniversary of when I broke my foot (on Friday the 13th tripping over my black cat.) It turned out to be a good thing as it finally got me serious about publishing my work. Here is the blog from two years ago when I talked about this fall if you missed it 🙂 LINK

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

Featured

#TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #260. @ColleenChesebro #abhanga #poetry #poem #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #poetrychallenge

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #260. The challenge is to do Abhanga form which is 6a/6b/6b/4c. I did an Abhanga series and used a picture I took in Hawaii. The photo looks out of a dark cave into the light.

I have been getting more than my share of messages lately, including paying attention and trusting myself. As usual, I fought the unwelcomed changes at first, but I came to a point where I see the wisdom in letting go and going with this wiser flow.

sun shining into dark cave

THE AWAKENING

abundant messages
surround my universe
as if brought by a curse
they are ignored

invasion continues
my suppression inept
finally, I accept
darkness ascends

golden beams filter through
cast light in the shadow
love’s compassionate flow
awakes my soul

Featured

February Book Reviews Part One! @startrailsIV @ninsthewriter @Sandra_Cox #writingcommunity #whattoread #mustreads #bookreviews

Flower Gardens And More

by Sandra Cox

“Flower Gardens And More” is a great book for those who love working in the garden or enjoying nature. There was an impressive array of topics that included planting zones, types of flowers, composting, poisonous flowers, themed garden, carnivorous plants, edible flowers, aromatherapy, and so much more! I enjoyed a quiz, which led me to my Florascope. I turned out to be an iris. There were charts which my old kindle didn’t do justice, but they were full of useful information. I loved this informative, well-presented, and fun read so much I ordered the print copy so I can refer to it as often as I like. Reading this made me eager to get into my garden and start designing and planting. A gardening guide I can highly recommend!


The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley

by Nina Romano

“The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley” is a captivating historical fiction set in the 1870s, New Mexico. Darby is a girl becoming a woman who cares for her father and brothers after her mother passes. She dreams of going to school to become a teacher, and Cayo is a slightly older farmhand with whom she has feelings. Their emotions finally come to the surface, but she has plans to go live with her aunts in St. Louis to get her education. This sets up a series of events that tests this new love. Cayo’s past is revealed slowly through flashbacks, showing what happened to his family and how he ended up part of the Jicarilla Apache tribe. He lives with heavy guilt while Darby wants to keep her promise to her mother. The detail given to history and daily life in New Mexico and St. Louis really made the setting and time come to life. Many parts were poetically described, which I fully appreciated. I loved Darby’s strength, honesty, and how she explored life. This is a wonderfully written story I couldn’t put down but didn’t want it to end either. I highly recommend this story and hope to read more about Darby and Cayo!


Return to Dead Horse Canyon: Grandfather Spirits (Dead Horse Canyon Saga Book 2)

by Marcha Fox, and Pete Risingsun

“Return to Dead Horse Canyon: Grandfather Spirits” picks up where the first book left off. I loved “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” and eagerly dove into this story. Sara is back, still trying to carry on her husband’s last request to bring those corrupt in the government, and outside of it, to justice. She releases some information uncovered in the first book and puts her life in even more danger. Her father spends some time and money trying to protect and help her. While Charlie is working for a big corporation that violates the earth or everything his family believes in. I felt uncomfortable about his situation, but even though he made wrong decisions, they were all a part of his journey. It drew me deep into the story when it focused on Charlie, especially after his accident. Although, I was equally invested when a character from the first book went after Sara. I missed the interaction between Charlie and Sara in “Grandfather Spirits,” but I liked the individual journeys they went on. Charlie going home was my favorite part. All the small details and history held my attention, and the second half of the book was impossible to put down. I can’t wait to read the third story in the series and see what happens next.


I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!

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

Featured

New Release—Jagged Feathers by Jan Sikes! @jansikes3 #RomanticSuspense #WhiteRuneSeries #newrelease #whattoread #writingcommunity

I’m thrilled to have fellow Story Empire Author here today to share her good news—the release of Jagged Feathers. I just finished it, and LOVED it! Here’s my review on Amazon.

Thank you, Denise, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.

I am a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway. He was such a brilliant writer, but he also possessed deep insight into certain aspects of life. I’ll never understand what drove him to commit suicide.

In Jagged Feathers, Nakina Bird keeps a Hemingway quote next to her computer, and it gives her hope for healing from her grief after losing her parents in a horrific accident.

EXCERPT

She(Nakina) flashed on the Hemingway quote that was taped to the wall above her computer back home. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Finding the quote shortly after her parent’s death, she knew she had broken in places that would, by force, eventually be stronger. She wondered if it was the same for the soldier who had rescued her and so unselfishly and tenderly nursed her back to health.

***

I’ve given Hemingway’s words a lot of thought and find it them to be true. When my husband passed away, there is no question some part of me was broken. But when I started writing our story, piece by piece, the broken places began to mend and are now stronger than before. So, from a personal perspective, this quote is significant. Does the quote resonate with you in any way? I’d love to hear from you.

BOOK TRAILER

BLURB

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK:

https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

WEBSITE

BLOG

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

PINTEREST

GOODREADS

BOOKBUB

LINKEDIN

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Featured

New Release— Golden Healer by M. J. Mallon! @Marjorie_Mallon #newrelease #YA #fantasy #bookrelease #writingcommunity #readinglist

I’m excited to welcome Marje Mallon here today to share her newest release Golden Healer The Curse of Time Book 2! I thoroughly enjoyed Bloodstone and Golden Healer. Click here for my review of Golden Healer: LINK

Dedication

Dedicated to the one and only rollercoaster that I ever rode. It was in Portugal, and I was on holiday with my young family. I’ll never forget that day, I overcame my fears and rode a rollercoaster with the encouragement of my much-loved family, my husband, David, and daughters Natasha and Georgina. So, it’s time to ride another rollercoaster… I hope you will come along with me for this crazy ride! Let’s meet our fears together…

Blurb

Golden Healer is The 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.

I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Series name: The Curse of Time Book 2

Release Date 23 January 2022

ASIN: B09R1MTQPY

ISBN: 979-8407305149

Page Count 336 kindle

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

The Series is inspired by:

The Corpus Christi Chronophage clock on King’s Parade, Cambridge. Find out more here:

http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/

https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/17/poetry-inspiredby-the-dragon-chronopage-colleens-weekly-poetrychallenge-no-50-haiku-tanka-haibun-voice-watch/

And Juniper Artland – artist Anya Gallaccio’s sculpture The Light pours out of Me. https://www.jupiterartland.org/art/anya-gallaccio-the-light-pours-out-of-me/

And the 2nd book Golden Healer mentions a popular old haunt of Cambridge which has since closed down – Clowns Cafe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

Her motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.

And her favourite genre to write is fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Accolades: M J is a finalist in the Fantasy category of N. N. Light’s Book Award for her novel Bloodstone and a finalist in the International author. She has also contributed best-selling short stories to Dan Alatorre’s Box Under The Bed anthologies.

Winner of the Blogger’s bash blogging prize with her flash fiction piece The Queen’s Dress Down Day. https://mjmallon.com/2018/03/21/the-bloggers-bash-blog-post-competition-2018-the-queens-dress-down-day/

Winner of Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Contest with her murderous piece: Mr. Blamey https://carrotranch.com/2017/12/19/winner-of-flash-fiction-contest-7/

Also By M J Mallon

Next Chapter Publishing

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1)

https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

http://mybook.to/bstmm

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

Kyrosmagica Publishing

Mr Sagittarius (Poetry, prose and photography)

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

This Is Lockdown (Anthology/Compilation)

Kindle: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Paperback: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity (Poetry Collection)

http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Contributor to:

Writing Skills Anthology

100 Ways to Write A Book compiled by Alex Pearl: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09PHHC2YX/

Chasing Driftwood’s A Year of Writing Through Lockdown:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown/dp/B09JF88YHW/

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilations

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre

Scrabble Boy (short story)

Spellbound edited by Dan Alatorre

The Twisted Sisters (short story)

Wings & Fire edited by Dan Alatorre

The Great Pottoo (short story)

Authors Links

Authors Website

Authors Amazon Page

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms)

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page

Twitter

Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Goodreads

BookBub

Author Instagram

Instagram

Featured

New Release—Pour It On (Keystone Couples Novella) by Staci Troilo @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #newrelease #indieauthor #whattoread #bookreview #romance

Today I’m sharing the good news of fellow Story Empire Author, Staci Troilo’s latest release—Pour It On and my review!

BLURB

Bold, complex, vibrant. The wine is, too.

Despite Romy Chandler hosting a romantic meet-and-greet at her restaurant, she’s all business. When her sommelier quits without any notice—to work for the competition, no less—she goes into mega-mogul-mode. The last thing on her mind is finding a man. She’s looking for someone who knows his way around a Bordeaux, not the boudoir.

Rick Santucci grew up in his family’s vineyard. After years of hard work, he’s turned his grandfather’s humble produce farm into a profitable winery. Once he gets their bottles into the right establishments, he’ll be able to acquire more land and move into the next phase of the company’s expansion. His mother thinks the next stage should be a wife and children, but his sights are set on different fertile grounds.

When Rick and Romy meet, they both forget all about their ambitions. The evening becomes less about revenue than romance, and they get distracted by the music and wine. She thinks he’s the man she needs, both in the restaurant and out. He finds her to be the perfect partner on the dance floor and believes she’ll be the perfect business partner, too. But a series of mix-ups could put an end to everything they’ve started—personally and professionally.

FIVE-STAR REVIEW

Pour It On (Keystone Couples)

by Staci Troilo

“Pour It On” is the second novella in the Keystone Couple series, of which I was already a fan. Romy owns a restaurant, and her sommelier quit right before Valentine’s Day and an event. Luckily, she was able to get three candidates to interview for the job. Romy is simply trying to resolve what seems like an impossible situation, and I sympathized with her. Her quick wit, strength, and determination to make her business a success made her an interesting character to root for. I loved the humor in this story, along with the misunderstandings and miscommunications. Rick works for his family winery and is looking to expand sales and do right by his family. I love when — and how — Romy and Rick meet. “Pour It On” pulled me in from the first line and made me smile. I can highly recommend this quick read and fun love story that captivated me.

You can pick up your copy here: PURCHASE LINK

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations.

You can find out more about Staci on her website! 

 

Featured

ALONE: A SHORT STORY. A Poweroutage Challenge. #writingcommunity #writingchallenge #shortstory #indieauthor

Here’s the other story I wrote during the power outage a few weeks ago. My image was tons of snow piling up outside. I was home alone as my husband ventured out on the icy roads to get gas for our hungry generator. Left alone, I wrote poetry and this.

ALONE

The drought had left everyone lazy. No one was prepared for the big storm as heavy rains changed over to snow the night before. Lydia had never minded being snowed in. This time when the power, internet, and communications went down, anxiety took over. It was the first time in her life she was fully alone. The emptiness echoed loudly around her, bouncing off the carefully framed photos of happier times. When living in a forest had been fun. Now though, she had to survive what mother nature brought her while a stranger watched her from the tree line.

The stranger’s face was in the shadows, but his build and stance made her believe he was in his late thirties. He wore faded blue jeans, a red plaid shirt, a black vest, and a black stocking cap. This could describe many men in their small community, including her husband Bill. The red snow boots were dated and reminded her of the ones they used to own. Moon boots.

Her heart pumped misery through her body while her husband’s heart struggled to beat. He was fighting for his life at the hospital, and she was trapped here with a stranger watching.

This person had to know she was alone after the ambulance came. Then knew there would be no 911 calls after the power and lines went down right after the emergency vehicle left. She hadn’t bothered starting the generator because she was leaving — or she had planned to.

“Oh, Bill. I wish you were here. I warned you not to shovel the driveway. Pay the money and have the tractor do it. But no, you had to do it and look at what it did to your heart.”

She would not get that image out of him down on his knees, clutching his chest any time soon. All she had been able to do was keep him comfortable as he struggled to breathe. She barely heard him whisper, “I love you.”

Then they had loaded him into the ambulance.

“I’ll meet you there.” She had told the youthful attendant.

“You can come with us. The roads are icy.”

Oh, how she wished she had. But she wanted her car and a change of clothes, just in case. The power flickered off right after she threw a few items and her purse into the green traveling backpack. She checked their landline.

“Dead.”

Lydia slipped on her coat, grasped her things, and locked the garage door behind her. She tossed the backpack on the passenger seat and slipped onto the leather seat in their new SUV. She inserted the key. Click.

“Are you kidding me?” She tried and tried, but the engine wouldn’t turn over.

Panic filled every part of her body. She had to get to her beloved husband. Slamming a useless car door, she stood at the end of the driveway, hoping to flag someone down to help her. No one drove by. Her one close neighbor was sitting on a beach, probably sipping a Mai Tai. The new cell phone in her hand kept telling her there was no network. Sorry.

She stomped back into the house and tossed down her backpack.

“Fine! I’ll walk.”

She layered on more clothes. Her new plan had been to make the long walk to Smith’s house. Nothing would stop her from being at her husband’s side. She picked up her backpack and threw open the door ready for her snowy hike. That’s when she saw him. Fearfully, she had stepped back inside, slammed the door shut, and locked it.

He had been there for an hour now, just standing in the shadows. She captured his picture on her cell phone but his face was blurry. Her camera with the telephoto lens had dead batteries and no way to charge them. The lens wouldn’t work. The binoculars only showed her a blurry figure.

Yet, there he stood like death was watching her, but it wasn’t her time nor was it her husband’s time. They still had places to explore.

Lydia allowed a small smile. “They must wonder where I am. I bet help is on the way.” That idea became her obsession since she abandoned her walk to the neighbor’s house with a stranger lurking outside.

Yet, reality crept back in. She had no idea if she was a widow or not. That thought was a gut punch, but she had to believe on some level, after 45 years of marriage, she would feel it if he was gone.

The snow kept piling up, and no one showed up to check on her. Luckily, Bill had just brought in an enormous stack of firewood a few hours ago. He always took care of her, but she wasn’t there by the time he needed her.

The man was still in his spot. Waiting.

“What are you waiting for?” In frustration, she grabbed Bill’s handgun and threw open the door. “What do you want?”

The man didn’t respond.

“If you come near me, I will shoot you.” She fired a warning shot off to the right. He didn’t know she had never hit the target when Bill insisted she practice shooting with him.

The man didn’t even flinch, which sent chills through her body that even a wood fire couldn’t touch.

That shadowy figure had become the edge of her world. She closed the door, locked it, and started praying.

“Please, God, help me and don’t take Bill from me. I couldn’t bear to lose him. I don’t want to be alone. Send me help.”

She wrapped her fingers around the sapphire and diamond cross Bill had bought her over thirty Christmas ago. This year he gave her a fluffy bathrobe and a new laptop. She got him a plaid flannel shirt and a new table saw. He always put unique jewelry in her sock, and this year was no different. A silver pine tree charm for her already heavy charm bracelet.

They had everything they needed, especially each other, and had never been apart since they met at her best friend’s wedding over fifty years ago and married six months later.

Her only regret was they never had kids. She lost six babies, and they decided it wasn’t meant to be. But with Bill, her life was full of joy and laughter.

She picked up the picture of her and Bill in Italy. They were standing in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and pretended to hold it up just like everyone else did.

“Hang on, Bill, I’m going to find a way to you.”

“Lydia.”

“What? Who said that?”

She rushed to the window, relieved to see the man still standing there.

“I’m hearing things.” She shook her head when pain exploded inside it. Lydia grasped her head and sunk to the ground. “Great, a migraine.”

Too dizzy to stand, she crawled to the couch and pulled herself up. With a loud sigh, she collapsed on her side. Her teeth started chattering. It was like the storm was inside of her. She couldn’t get her left hand to pull the forest brown comforter over her, so she reached with her right hand. Her vision was dimming as it did with the headaches, but there was no burst of colors on the edges, only darkness.

She sucked in air, but it felt like it was coming from a straw. She’d never had a migraine this bad before. Of course, with the stress of Bill’s heart attack, who could blame her? The couch felt so soft, and she tried to shift her body flat but couldn’t. It was probably better she stayed this way until it passed.

The pain was subsiding, and she was so sleepy. Her tongues felt heavy, and there was a burnt smell like a piece of food fell on the woodstove. She could barely hold her eyes open when the man in the plaid shirt was right in front of her.

She opened her mouth to scream, but nothing came out. Then it all faded away, and it was only her and Bill. They were together again, and he looked so handsome in the red plaid shirt she bought him this Christmas. Lydia took his offered hand, and she felt his warmth.

“Everything is going to be okay, sweetheart. I’ve been waiting for you. Remember how we never wanted to leave the other alone? Our prayers were answered.”

Together, in their younger versions, they walked toward the beautiful golden light.


NOTE: Watch for special edition blogs this week. You won’t want to miss any of them 🙂

I’ll be working on replacing our DSL Modem in the coming days. All we can get living in the forest. But what I was sent by a certain phone company was worse than what I had, so I went back to the older one. When the old one works it’s decent as long as I don’t move it once I get it going. It has issues with its plug and where it plugs in, so I thought it was time to update it. Boy, was I wrong. So, will be sending the new horrible, even evil, modem back. That lost me a good part of my weekend. I will be trying other things, other than sitting on the phone with the company. During this period I will be down for several hours or perhaps a day or two without internet, although I doubt I’ll have the energy to get to it until after the coming week. We’ll see. If I disappear this is probably the reason. Lesson: New isn’t better.

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

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A MAN ON THE PIER: A Short Story Dream Challenge. #writingcommunity #shortstory #shortstorychallenge #indieauthor

Here’s my first short story of the year. This one came from a vivid dream during our power outage a few weeks ago. Although it wasn’t from a word and then chosen image like my past challenges, the dream gave me lots of pictures to work from about an old man, a cage of dead fish, and a pier. So, in that way, it offered me a new dream challenge.

I’m not sure if this story is done with me yet. We will see.

I’ve been adding my short stories posted here into my upcoming short story collection that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. Not sure if they will all make the cut or not.