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Poem and fire…

1. Fall colors in Nevada City, CA

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

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

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

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


WAIT

The air is thick with disaster

Heavy in loss and pain.

The sun unable to break through

As the winds fuel the flames…

Tension fills us all.

No breath too deep

As watchful eyes are kept —

Pinned on the horizon.

We wait for the warning.

Bags packed—ready to flee

The air is thick,

With ash from the fires

As…we wait.


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


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

 

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A little Poetry…

harley ride

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

MOMENTS

Moments of splendor on the back of a motorcycle

Are impolitely interrupted by road work.

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

Motorcycle off—we sit and wait.

We are silent in the line of cars

Watching for signs of movement ahead,

When a single butterfly attracts our attention…

The flutter within the delay.

Soaring from one side of the road to the other

In its final autumn quest,

As flowers give forth their final blooms

The butterfly joins many on a late blooming weed.

My husband and I smile at each other.

The enchantment quickly dissipates

When the first car passes us…then another

Soon our direction will be moving.

The motorcycle roars into life

As the butterfly makes one last trip past us

And our time with this elegant being– gone

As the quiet fades into the past

We are on our way again.

But, the memory of the white and orange butterfly

Stays with us on our journey

As moments of splendor–never really end.


NOTE:

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

 

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Books read and reviewed!

 

Mirror, Mirror 
by Jessica Jesinghaus

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


 

 

She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2) 

by A.M. Manay

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


 

Suzy Has A Secret

by S. Jackson and  A. Raymond

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


 

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

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

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

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


Dolphin’s Cave stay tuned!

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Time Enough at last…

the leaf

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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


UPDATES:

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

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

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

Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!

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

Book reviews next week.

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

Happy Fall!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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A Fresh Coat of Paint…

before and after

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dolphin’s Cave: Stay tuned!

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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

ocean beach night (1)

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

ANOTHER WORLD

Deep under the sea

Is another place,

Not just for fish

Or humans to explore.

It’s their world,

Unseen by mortal eyes.

They know it isn’t safe

To show themselves just yet.

They welcome back

Another one

Who had been lost

From their fold.

They are safe,

And they wait

For their time

To come forth.

Until then they watch,

Wait, and swim

With the dolphins,

Hiding in plain sight.

 

UNDERWATER WORLD

I can breathe.

I shouldn’t be able to,

But I can.

In an underwater deep chill,

I can breathe.

I am a part of this world

Hidden from humans.

Am I even human anymore?

Not that I care now.

I am not afraid.

I know this is where I was meant to be.

Deeper I go.

Ahead is a cave

That I enter,

Riding on the back of a dolphin.

My eyes are strangely soothed

As I enter an underwater city

Ringed by golden towers anchored

Firmly in the rocky substratum

Of this marine world.

So many faces

Like yours are watching,

As though they have been

Long expecting.

It is strange and scary.

You approach them.

When you smile weakly,

They smile back.

This is home now.

You know it.

Without being told,

One reaches out

And takes your hand.

You don’t pull away.

You are home.


 

Updates:

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

Dolphin’s Cave…stay tuned.

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

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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

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Research, and reality 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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

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Aloha!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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

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Characters:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Some books I’ve read and new book cover!

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

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

Myth and Magic

By Mae Clair

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


Discovery: Poetry and Art

By Rick and Jan Sikes.

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


The Big Cheese Festival

by S. Jackson, A. Raymond​

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


Mr. Grumpy Lizard meets the Giggling Girls

by Joyce Shaughnessy​

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


Sammy Meets Grandma ( Sammy the dog book 3)

by Lynn Miclea​

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


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

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

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

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

 

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Part Four “This Second Chance” blog series

 

ocean beach night (2)

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

 

WATCH

I watch you and wonder:

Do you love her as much as you love yourself

Or do you hate her more than you hate yourself?

Your comforts come first,

Your contempt directed at her and never yourself.

Her purpose in life

Is what she can do for you.

 

Your purpose is to make her feel

That she is incapable of that.

The better question is:

Why does she keep trying to please you –

Is it out of love, or fear?

Does she hate herself more than you do?

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

 

No tenderness

No empathy

No love

No feelings at all

But concern for themselves…

It’s never his fault

And I wonder why she stays.

 

I see her side of this, too.

I know she sees how other relationships go.

She admires them openly

With a sad smile, when he is not around.

She works

She is strong

She gives all she has.

 

Maybe he will change if…

If only I…

He is just stressed …

I don’t want to be alone …

No one else would want me …

He needs me.

Underneath, he is a good guy.

 

Excuses abound

In a vacuum of anger and fear

That feeds the existing darkness

Until it all seems normal.

It isn’t.

Help is not welcomed;

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

 

Then comes innocence—a child

The woman protects and nurtures

While he watches her,

Pointing out all she does wrong

Without lifting a finger to ease her burdens.

He is her judge and jury.

He is her reality, and now she feels trapped.

 

In his web spun of lies and hate

She tries to please,

To create this illusion of family.

It will get better, she thinks; if only

Maybe another child –

Maybe….

I watch helplessly.

 

Any comfort is rejected by his influence.

Right now, it’s only words

Which cut into her just like a fist would.

Someday he will cross over from words.

Maybe he already has.

That wouldn’t be his fault, either.

Nothing ever is.

 

Once I thought she was finally free

But, she went back.

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

But it isn’t love.

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

I hope it isn’t too late for her.

 

For all the hers out there

As they feed that bottomless pit of anger

They are living with –

It will never be filled

And it will never change what it is

But it is not love.

Silence is empty, but heavy on my stomach.

 

I bite back all the unsaid words

Even though I’ve said them before.

I quietly wait for her to wake up.

Come to me –

I will help you

I promise.

I do not want to hurt or judge you.

 

Just see you safe.

And to just see you happy,

To be loved as you are capable of loving.

I wait because you will never be alone.

I wait until you see what—we all do…

Not only is he watching

But I am, too.


 

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


 

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


 

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


 

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

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

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

eBook Cover This Second Chance

Background:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

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

roller coaster

Research and Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

John Howell’s new book: Circumstances of Childhood

Please welcome guest author, John Howell to this special edition blog! 


Circumstances of Childhood

By John W. Howell

Circumstances of Childhood final front

 

Available on Kindle

Shipping on October 1st. Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt:

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio.

John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books:

 

Available on Amazon


Thanks John for sharing your book with us! I’ve ordered  my copy! 

Pay it Forward #PIF #RRBC F. B.Veneziano @fbveneziano1

This is a special edition blog to honor Rave Review Book Club’s Pay it Forward Day! I’m pleased to introduce author F. B.(Frances/Fran) Veneziano!

Frances V

 

About F. B. Veneziano:

F. B. Veneziano attended Post University and majored in accounting. She also minored in Human Relations. After working in both fields she found her passion—teaching young children. She returned to school, attended Indian River State College and received her teaching credentials in Early Childhood Education.
She left teaching and decided to pursue her dream of writing. Her first book was a young adult novel entitled THE ARMY OF ORPHANS: THE BEGINNING, the first in a trilogy. The second book, RETAKING PERVAISKE: THE ARMY OF ORPHANS II was released June 1st of this year.
F. B. grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. Moved to Connecticut when she was nineteen. Years later she moved to Florida where she met her husband, Paul, to whom she has been married for thirty-one years. They have two daughters, Cassondra and Stacey and a son, Jamie. Her passions are family, friends, children, and animals.


Here are her books:

 

The Army of Orphans: The Beginning 

army of orphans

 

“It’s been a long time since I have picked up a book and had such a hard time putting it down. Veneziano does an amazing job capturing the readers attention with this one. A+++”—Danny the Banker (Five Stars)

“Recommend it highly to teens and beyond! Hope there’s more from this author!”—Jan Brooker (Five Stars)

Their mother was killed in an auto accident. Their father became an abusive drunk who abandoned them. The state put them in an orphanage where their abuse continued.
This is an all too common story in some Eastern European countries today. Social orphans deserted by their parents. Abused, discarded, and living on the streets while battles rage around them.
But, these orphans survive and escape the orphanage along with their close friends. Not to live on the streets, but to create a home for themselves; a home worth protecting. With their “family” of fellow orphans, they will fight for the freedom of their country.


Retaking Pervaiske: The Army of Orphans II 

book 2 frances v

“Looking forward to another story by this author. The ending will leave you wanting more!”– Michelle Robinson Shealy (Five Stars)

“I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters and the struggles they faced being separated from their families and bonding together as a family of orphans. Can’t wait for the next book!”– Amazon Customer! (Five Stars)

The orphans are resistance fighters. The orphans are kids. For months they’ve been helping political prisoners escape to the north. Their efforts have earned them the name
‘The Army of Orphans.’
As the revolution escalates, the Orphans find themselves in situations that get more and more dangerous by the day.
The place—Pervaiske, Ekrunia, Eastern Europe. Alex Krisko, his little brother, Anton, and five of their fellow orphans had fled the Luhansk Boarding School for Orphaned and Abandoned Children (an orphanage run by the state) more than a year ago. They created a home and a family in the cellar of a bombed out suburban ruin left over from the People’s Revolution more than thirty years ago.
***
The time—2048. Nothing has changed in the last thirty years. The country is poor in spite of its wealth of natural resources. The people are oppressed. They revolt.


I added those books to my Kindle. I can’t wait to read them!

 

Link to F.B. Veneziano’s Website

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F.B. Veneziano Goodreads

 

Thank you for stopping by and supporting F.B. Veneziano!