A Stormy Poem and Book Review!

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



I immerse myself into the storm.

Its power engulfs me,

As it cleans my soul

With a brush of existence.

Ruling firmly without warning,

It is a delicate balance between

What it can give–

And what it can take away.

I connect to this authority

As its wind, rain and snow…

Rule the landscape.

It is the same inside me

With my hidden emotions–

I’m immersed in the rage of the storm.

I wait for the calm,

Safe where I am now.

Soon the sun will shine

My soul will be whole again.

But until then—I welcome…

This healing immersion into the storm.


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

Retaking Pervaiske (The Army of Orphans #2

by F.B. Veneziano

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


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn


Review of Books!


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

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

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

by Ronald Yates

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

The Army of Orphans: The Beginning 

by F.B. Veneziano

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


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


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


Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn


Poetry and reviews


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


The air is thick as you breathe it in

It fills your lungs with its silence

It unnerves you when you are alone

Because in the darkness there are shadows.

They are filled with the unknown

It’s quiet is lurking with danger

Unseen and watching your heart races

Skin covered in sweat you scan the darkness

You see nothing and hear nothing.

Yet, you know it’s there.

You hurry back into the light where it is safe

And you shut the door and lock it…

With a sigh of relief–

You quickly forget the darkness.

But, what you don’t know is–

It hasn’t forgotten you.

My latest book reviews:

The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series)

By Vashti Quiroz Vega

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

Stranger Abduction 

by Billy Chitwood

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn



Anniversary and reviews

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

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

LOVE The Beat Goes On 

by Lynda Filler

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

Mind-Shaft: Paranormal Anthology

by S. Burke

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


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


Reviews and a poem


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

by Larry Landgraf

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

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

by Larry Landgraf

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

Mystic Tea 

by Rea Nolan Martin

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

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



I’m unsure what to feel.

I watch the banter

Flow back and forth

Like the waves on

The ocean’s shore.

When I’ve tried to jump in

The water was cold

And the waves–

Almost knocked me down.

The birds were gone,

The sand littered with dead fish,

Everything departed or dying.

The oily water covered the hidden riptide.

It wasn’t safe, so I perched…

On a hill high above.

The place I used to love.

It’s lonely, but it’s protected

From the pandemonium below.

The struggle spills out,

Almost reaching me…

But for now, I’m safe–watching.

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn


Book Reviews


The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz #4)

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


The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz #5)

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

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn





Reflection and Poetry

shadow in the water

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

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

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

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


Who is right…

Who is wrong…

Is it that simple?

When actions speak louder–

Than shouted words.

Sometimes only reflection

Brings that clarity

The answer is there

And ultimately it doesn’t matter

Who was right…

Who was wrong…

Only the solution does.

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


The river flows in beauty

Rushing in the opposite direction

That our journey takes us.

The sweet smells surround

As we ride above it all

On our motorized freedom.

The river rushes down its rocky path

The sun reflects the stony bottom

Campers stake their tents next to it

The trees become walls

Reminding me of a house

And we are welcomed visitors

On our motorcycle ride.


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


Book Reviews and Name Reveal!

Here are my first YA reviews of the year:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 1) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

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

The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 3) 

by Yvette M Calleiro


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

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

Acts of Betrayal. (Unintended Consequences Book 2.) 

By S. Burke

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


Our Justice

By John W. Howell

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


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

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

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

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

Next week I will be sharing some poetry and thoughts.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn




First Book Reviews of 2018

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

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

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


Amazing Matilda: The Tale of A Monarch Butterfly 

by Bette A. Stevens

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


Wish Fish 1: Discovering the Secret

ByLynn Miclea

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


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

by WJ Scott

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


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

by Maretha Botha

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


The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! 

by Bette A. Stevens

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


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

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





Furry Family

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Embrace your magical inner child, D.L. Finn






Catching Rabbits


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


A love story


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

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

A chill ran through me as I listened.

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

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

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn


Some more books read!

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

A Desolate Hour

By Mae Clair

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

His Revenge

by John W. Howell


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


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


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn


Fall books read


‘Til Death Do Us Part

By Jan Sikes

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

A Cold Tomorrow (Point Pleasant #2)

by Mae Clair

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

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

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn


The Road Now Taken


aurora road

Discovery Trail, Nevada City CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Happy Halloween!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Big pumpkins

Little pumpkins

Pumpkins in a row.

Glad faces

Mad faces

Pumpkins in a row.

On the tables

In the windows

Pumpkins in a row.

Burning bright

Just one night 

Pumpkins in a row.

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

Contest to win Kindle ends 10-30!          ENTER

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




More books read!



She Marches Through Fire (November Snow Book 3) 

by A.M. Manay

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

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

by Jan Sikes

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

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

Enter Contest


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

Link to my author page at conference

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


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

Next week will be my Halloween post!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn


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…


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



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 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.


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






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


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:)


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


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


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.


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.



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.



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


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


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


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



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


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



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


Some books I’ve read and new book cover!

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

dc_covEbk (1)


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



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:



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 –


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


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

eBook Cover This Second Chance


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


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

The Roadtrip

I’ve traveled to many wonderful places including: Italy, Alaska and Hawaii. But, the trip I remember most fondly was made in 1983 in an old brown Dodge van. It had two brown captain seats, one bench on the side with a vinyl bed in the back, and an ice chest full of beer and Pepsi light. There were no reservations or plans in place as my soon-to-be husband and I grabbed some clothes, chips, beef jerky and left our responsibilities behind.

We decided to head south, but that wasn’t a huge surprise–with my love of Disneyland. Arriving in Anaheim we located a motel we could afford. It was a place to sleep that had a vibrating bed, what more could you ask for? Besides, the owners were so accommodating allowing you to pay either by the night or hour. (Yes, I made sure the room had been cleaned first…) The next morning, I woke-up early ready to go. Day one was Disneyland. We followed up with Universal Studios where we had a close-up experience with “Jaws” and the final day of amusement parks the western-themed Knott’s Berry Farm, where the water log ride was the high point.

Then, we decided to explore the area more. We spent a day at the beach, and made sure to see Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, (where I quickly found out how large my foot was compared to the stars) and took a tour of the stars houses. We were most excited to see where Lucille Ball lived being enormous “I Love Lucy” fans.

Heading south again towards San Diego we surprised a friend who graciously offered her couch to us for the night. We got a delicious Mexican dinner and a day at the San Diego Zoo. We ended our trek south splurging on a motel room with an ocean view. We were pretty impressed with ourselves at that point.

Finally, it was time to head north back to the Bay Area. We still had a couple of days left so we decided to forgo that boring Interstate Highway 5 drive through endless nothing and take the amazing Pacific Coast Highway (including a detour or two around mud slides). With the windows down and the salt air blowing in, I took in the breathtaking ocean scenery. We quickly learned restaurants were very obliging, even if they weren’t open yet, when you couldn’t find a bathroom along the way.

The first night we ended up in Morro Bay. We found an uncrowded parking lot that allowed camping and slept in the van next to the beach. We fell asleep to the sound of ocean waves and woke up when the sun lit up the inside of the van. Stepping outside with the ocean spread out in front of us, we found the beach was scattered with hundreds of sand dollars. I’ve never seen anything like that again and still have a sand dollar from the trip. After brushing our teeth and locating food we continued north. We stopped to explore a couple of beaches, admire the view, or feed tame squirrels.

It was getting dark as we pulled into our final and last night in Big Sur. We got lucky at a campground and found a spot to park and sleep in the redwoods. We equipped ourselves with marshmallows to roast around the campfire after finding an incredible burger joint. In the morning, we hiked around the grounds before reluctantly leaving our newly found paradise. We drove along the ocean’s edge until we arrived in Santa Cruz. Then, it was time to part ways with the mighty ocean and head back to our everyday lives.

Why am I reminiscing about a trip made years ago? Well, I’ve been thinking about the innocence I saw the world through then. Now, going on a trip is made through jaded eyes. I’m more guarded and plan things out, but I don’t want to lose that wonder– even if the world tells me otherwise. With a road trip planned this spring I realize the direction traveled doesn’t matter, nor does the vehicle– be it an old van or towing a long, long trailer. What’s important is to look through eyes filled with joy and wonder like I did 35 years ago—or embracing that inner child.




#RRBC Spotlight Author Tour: Gracie Bradford!

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


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


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


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

Bookbud list of bestselling black authors:


Amazon best-selling book list of black authors:


A look at children books written by black authors


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



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



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

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

One of her favorite quotes from Poe is:

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

From Eleonora.

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

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


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








Thank you for stopping by and supporting Gracie!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn