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#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 221 #SYNONYMSONLY @ColleenChesebro #writingcommunity #poem #nationalpoetrymonth

Here’s Colleen Chesbro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #221 Synonyms Only. The two words were chosen by Jude: Search & Lost.

I went with a Tanka this week 5/7/5/7/7.

The picture is 2020’s Christmas Star.

ALONE

The sun’s warmth vanished

Silence enters the forest

Nighttime cloaks reason

Guided only by the stars

I seek life’s veiled magic.

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April Book Reviews Part 1! @JacqBiggar @Sandra_Cox @teagangeneviene @pat_garcia#IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

Turn The Light On

by Pat Garcia

“Turn the Light On” is an unusual short story with a lot of twists. Della is a successful career woman who has been meeting a man for dinner. Yet, they don’t sit at the same dinner table or speak except through book passages. None of that matters because she is drawn to him. A well-written romantic story full of mystery and intrigue. This is a story where I could never have guessed the outcome, and I thoroughly enjoyed that!

Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

This is the third installment of Dead of Winter, and so far, my favorite. I loved getting to know the youngest of the Deae Matres, Zasha. She has a passionate personality that drew me into her part of the story. The Deae Matres were searching for answers, which lead them to the Fever Field or a graveyard. Then the story returned to Emlyn, and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what happened to her. I’m loving this story and can’t wait to see where the next journey goes.

Queen of Diamonds

by Sandra Cox

“Queen of Diamonds” was a lot of fun and kept me on the edge of my seat. A best-selling author, Logan, and his assistant, Kendall, spent three years working together, yet Logan didn’t really know her. Kendall had a secret life that no one knew about. She went beyond what most would do for their family. That path led her to a secret life that was completely opposite of what people thought of her. It made the book a page-turner to see what would happen next. The interaction between Kendall and Logan was entertaining, but I really loved the relationship that developed between Logan and Kendall’s family. A quick but satisfying read that kept me guessing how it would resolve itself until the very end. If you love suspenseful romance with a strong female character, this book is for you.

The Lady Said No: An Augustus Grant Mystery- Book 1 (An Augustus Grant Mystery-Prequel)

by Jacquie Biggar

“The Lady Said No” is a murder mystery, with some romance, set in Kentucky in the 1950s. Detective Augustus Grant, Gus, is sent to investigate what appeared to be a suicide of a prominent horse breeder. Rebecca, the woman Gus had left behind to become a detective, works for this family. When Gus realizes the death wasn’t self-inflicted, Rebecca is on the list of suspects. This sets up a nice inner battle between his heart and head. I loved the setting, horses, and era, although the time frame made the role of a single mother more of a struggle. I admired Rebecca’s independence and her ability to support her child alone. Then there was something charming about the Detective, and it was beneficial that most underestimated him. This is a quick read that kept me guessing until the exciting end. I really enjoyed this and hope there will be more Detective Grant books coming. I can easily recommend this book, especially if you like a cozy mystery.

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

Had a wonderful vacation, and I’m happy to be back! I shared a couple of pictures on Instagram and Facebook:)

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

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Stop by and Say Hi! New post at Story Empire, “Writing and Our Health!”

I’m over on Story Empire today with my latest post, “WRITING AND OUR HEALTH.” Stop by and say hello 🙂

LINhttps://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2021/04/05/writing-and-our-health/K

Note: I’m off this week on vacation, except for this post. I’ll be quiet on social media and blogs this week, but will be back soon rested and refreshed. Have a great week!

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021 Week #43.’ @pursoot #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #Haibun

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction in a Flash Challenge 2021 Week #43.’

I went with a Haibun format this week to fit this image. It is a prose paragraph combined with a Haiku/Senryu.

Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay

The red and orange sky covered everything in death. Three months ago, the world lost its beauty. We were celebrating my daughter’s fifth birthday the day a deadly Nano bioweapon escaped from a laboratory. Trees, crops, and fish died immediately. Food and water became scarce, and people turned on each other. Only a few of us survived, scattered throughout the world in our shelters. My family and I only had supplies to last us a few days when help arrived from another planet. These green people, who weren’t much different from us, gave us two options. Board one of the old pirate-type ships that would take us to live in our past or die here. What choice did we have? We got on the last departing boat, leaving our destruction behind. The sea breeze blew our ships forward, and then everything spun, making me dizzy until I passed out. When I opened my eyes, I was lying on the boat under a blue sky with a message tucked into my hand: Try again. Change the past to prevent that future.

Help or just a game

Destiny’s cruel repeat

Can the outcome change?

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Happy National Poetry Month! #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #poetry #poems #NationalPoetryMonth #Haiku #FreeVerse #Haibun #Senryu #Tanka #Cinquain #Etheree #Haiga

Happy National Poetry Month!

To honor this month I’m going to write a poem every day. Although I’m not joining the NaPoWriMo challenge officially and posting daily, I will be challenging myself and filling up my journal:)

How can you challenge the poet inside of you this month? I will be writing it.

Will you be reading poetry this month? I will!

Here’s my first poem, a senryu, to kick off the month.

Beyond boundaries
Your moment of clarity
You can touch the stars.

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#TANKA TUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 219, #SPECIFICFORM #Haiku #Senryu @ColleenChesebro

Here’s Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge. This week’s challenge is to write either a Haiku or Senryu. There is some great information if you click the link above.

I have two Senryu poems. The first one is 5/7/5 and the second one is 3/5/3.

I dedicate this to Sue Vincent.

Existence silent

When the soul is awakened

Energy released.

*****

Vast blue sky

Carries my spirit

To heaven.

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Dolphin’s Cave Book Reviews #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #indiebooks #ChildrenBook #YABook #Fantasy #reviews

I released my YA/middle grade “Dolphin’s Cave” at the end of 2020. I had a couple of blogs leading up to it and announced its release. Then, I got busy and didn’t do much after that.

So, I thought a blog would be in order to share what others are saying about this book.

Here are the last three reviews are taken directly from Amazon:

Cathleen Townsend

Coral has always wanted to go to Hawaii, ever since her parents died there when she was only a kid. A recurring dream has visited her every night since—she rides a dolphin to an underwater cave. Only there will she find the answers she seeks about her parents’ death. But she always wakes up before she discovers what really happened.

Shortly before her sixteenth birthday, she’s thrilled to learn her aunt and some friends are taking her to Hawaii for Christmas. Coral loves the ocean, and she doesn’t get to see it very often, living as she does in a desert near Reno, Nevada.

But once they arrive in Hawaii, disquieting events steal some of her joy. Her aunt has met a new guy—nothing wrong with that—but this one seems to be nothing but a weasel. When Coral’s aunt nearly gets run over in the street, he merely stands there and watches. And everywhere they go, people seem to be taking their picture. Not just catching them in group photos, but specifically shooting photos of them, as if they were celebrities or something.

But then matters turn dangerous. Her aunt is hospitalized, the result of a near-fatal car crash. Coral can’t afford to ignore all the strange things going on anymore, or some of them may never make it home…

***

Dolphin’s Cave is a YA coming-of-age story that should appeal to fans of teen adventures, especially ones who love dolphins.


JanS
Fifteen-year-old Coral is a typical teenager except she’d lost her parents at the age of eight and lives with an aunt. Oh, and she has this recurring dream every night where she rides on a dolphin’s back to another world that can only be accessed from deep within the ocean. Try as she may, she can never reach the end of the dream and enter the golden city. Then a trip to Hawaii with her aunt and family friends changes everything. Coral is convinced that going to the place where her parents’ plane went down will bring her answers. And it does, but not what she is expecting. This YA has a bit of everything from spies and murder to magic, and budding young love. This author did a fantastic job of world-building. Once Coral enters the Golden City, or Mearth, the descriptive writing put me inside the book with the characters and I ooohed and ahhed over the amazing architecture, dragons, strange food, and shape-shifting animals. This story will spark the imagination of any reader. It is a well-written fantasy with a touch of realism.
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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #42. @pursoot #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #shortstory #microfiction

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction in a Flash Challenge 2021’ Week #42.

I did another 99-word story for the picture below.

Photo by Marka Merka on Unsplash

WHEN THE CLOCK STOPPED

The delicate porcelain clock trimmed in gold had stopped running at exactly 4:08 a.m.—when I took my first breath.

“You were my miracle.” Mother would say, dusting the clock no one was allowed to touch.

Now it sits on my mantel. My grandson tried to fix it, but the motor, and the clock’s arms, wouldn’t budge.

Today I woke up feeling unwell. I picked up the phone to call my doctor when I heard a gentle ticking. The clock was running.

Then, everything disappeared into a golden glow, and I found myself gathered in my mother’s arms again.

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#TANKA TUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 218 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT @ColleenChesebro

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #218. This week the poem is based on an image, and it was my turn to choose it.

I decided on a Tanka 5/7/5/7/7. I found it harder to write with it being my own picture.

The story behind this photo is interesting. My youngest daughter, Danielle, decided to film a dance for a show on the Magical Trail. Of course, we followed along to watch, and I took many pictures. This is one of them.

My husband set up a fog machine, and my daughter’s friend filmed it. I can’t say I have ever seen anyone do a contemporary dance in the snow before. Her dance is about her struggle with anxiety and depression, which was always in the back of my mind writing this. Yet, in this picture, she reminded me of a fairy. Note: She found peace at the end of her piece, and I look forward to seeing it in its final glory 🙂

THE BLUE FAIRY 

Sadness withered wings

The fairy clings to the stump

Her sweet song is masked

While winter feeds foggy grief

She dreams of spring’s gift—magic.

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A #Tanka #Poem for #Spring #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

To celebrate Spring’s arrival. Here’s a tanka poem.

SPRING’S ARRIVAL

A single snow patch
Clinging to the winter’s chill
Wildflowers emerge
As spring slowly awakens
Bringing life’s renewal.

Watch for a special guest post this week, along with the challenge posts!

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

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“Books That Changed Me–2021 Spring Edition” @JanSikes3 @sgc58 @TPolen6 @MaeClair1 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WhatToRead #MustRead #IndieBooks #BooksThatChangedMe

Spring has arrived with the return of the birds and wildflowers pushing through the icy soil. It’s a time of change and rebirth as winter slowly fades away. This makes a perfect time to read. I’ve had a good start to reading this year—26 books and counting!

As you know, if I don’t like a book, I won’t read it. There have been a few books I tried to read more than once. I couldn’t get into the story and finally give up.

So, I enjoy all the books I make to the end, but some of them leave a lasting impression on me. They’ve held me captive from the opening paragraph, made me think, or opened my eyes to something new. These are the books that I highlight here in “Books That Changed Me,” and will continue using the author’s blurb over my review.

Here is my 2021 Spring list in no particular order:

I loved the entire Hode Hill Series, but this last one was my favorite. “Eventide” offered everything I appreciate in a story which includes a haunted house, graveyard, and mystery. But that wasn’t all! There were fantastic characters, intriguing relationships to root for all presented in a dual timeline.

Eventide (Hode’s Hill #3)

by Mae Clair

BLURB:

The darkness is coming . . .

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?

Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

*****

This YA story is set in the future where there is a very strong divide between the have and have nots. It wasn’t simply some people living better than others; they used the have nots body parts for their own improvement. It chills me to think that our society could become so self-centered and greedy that this would be possible.

Subject A36 (The Colony #1)

by Teri Polen

BLURB:

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

*****

The perfect blend of short stories, poems, and images made this a great read. But what drew me in further was I felt like I was reading about people I knew. There were heartbreaks and humor that carefully engaged my emotions. What I ended up with after reading this collection, there’s hope in everyday situations.

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet 

by Sally Cronin

BLURB:

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.

*****

A bonus short story with the theme to never to give up! Plus, it’s written from a horse’s point of view. How could I not like it?

Satin & Cinders

by Jan Sikes

BLURB:

A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.

*****

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #41. @pursoot #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #99words #flashfiction

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction in a Flash Challenge 2021’ #41.

This week I decided to write a very short story where I used 99-words. No more, no less.

WAITING

I stood every night on the edge of the precipice. My tears had stopped flowing, but the valley hadn’t stopped burning. Everything I’d known was gone. Only my father heeded the signs and prepared our escape. Unfortunately, he could only take my baby brother and sisters. He sent mother and me to the mountain, promising to return. Mother never left the cave but kept our fire going. I caught fish and lugged our water from the icy stream. She insisted we were the only ones alive, but I believed. Tonight, my dreams were answered as my father’s balloon appeared.

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TANKA TUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 217, #THEMEPROMPT #Haiku #senryu @ColleenChesebro

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #217.

This week’s theme is “Immortality.”

I immediately wrote several haikus/senryus when I sat and thought about his word. I put three together to explore what’s next, and added a picture I took recently.

My soul a tenant

An earthly body rental

Soon I’ll return home.

*

My body withers

As my memories flood me

Pure light welcomes.

*

I free my last breath

Leaving behind all I’ve known

Starting my journey.

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March Book Reviews Part 2 @MarciaMeara @Virgilante @ejhomusic #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WhatToRead #MustRead #IndieBooks

Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Piccadilly Street #1)

by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

“Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is a paranormal middle-grade story that is set in 1967, Canada. Mary and her family move into a large house. The action starts when her family spends their first night in the new residence. They soon find out the house is haunted, but Mary finds additional residents, two Brownies. Those small, magical men from Scotland quickly became the characters I enjoyed the most. I appreciated their backstory and humor. The Brownies need Mary to help them get back home. While Mary struggles in a new school and deals with a bully, she gets very sick. What the Brownies do next was my favorite part of the story. This is a fun read those middle-grade readers and young at heart will enjoy. Four-Stars!

Will O’ the Wisp

by C.S. Boyack

“Will O’ the Wisp” is a YA paranormal tale that focuses on fifteen-year-old Patty Hall. The Hall family seems to have been cursed, and Patty is determined to find out why. I love that this story is set in the 1970s. The high school dance and well-placed details of that era brought back some memories. The strained relationship between Patty and her mother is realistic, and Patty’s rebellious side is portrayed nicely, especially with wearing her leg braces. That side of her not only showed her determination, but her inner strength that’s needed to overcome evil. There were some truly terrifying parts, but there was also friendship, trust, and family. I could relate to Patty’s position that no one, other than her two friends, would believe her. If you like a teen protagonist with some horror and a strong female character, this book is for you. Five-Stars!

The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge #4)

by Marcia Meara

I’m a fan of the Wake-Robin Ridge Series, so I eagerly jumped right into book four. Rabbit is a character I’ve fallen in love with and enjoyed watching his growth since he first walked onto the pages. His relationship with his adopted parents and sister is stable and loving, giving him a base to explore his gift or “the Sight.” When Rabbit wants to see the Brown Mountain Lights on Halloween, he not only sees the lights but meets a young man, Austin, and befriends him. This relationship is an impressive addition to the series. At the end of the light show, Rabbit finds one light that differs from the rest. The story follows what happens to Rabbit, the light, and a new character, Boone, through several POVs, which allows the reader more insight into the carefully crafted tale. This had the charm of family and friends and the mystery of the orb and what it wanted from Rabbit. Although some bad people were lurking around this story, they weren’t front and center like the previous books, but this story was just as good, if not better. I highly recommend this series and now have added seeing the Brown Mountain Lights to my bucket list. Five-Stars!

Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge #3)

By Marcia Meara

“Harbinger” is the third Wake-Robin book, but the second one with a favorite character of mine, Rabbit. I’m drawn to seeing the world through innocence or eyes that aren’t jaded. Eleven-year-old Rabbit offers that. His determination to help while being guided by his “sight” no matter what the cost, is not only endearing but makes him a hero. He has found his place with his new parents and baby sister. I loved the relationship between siblings and the caring and support within the family. Their love balanced out the bad that they dealt with because of Rabbit’s gift. The POV switches between his parents, Mac and Sarah, and a troubled man, Cadey. Seeing inside Cadey’s mind gave a painful glimpse into how he got to this point. Rabbit and Mac’s decision to help Sheriff Wardell on a twenty-year-old cold case blended seamlessly with Cadey’s tormented thoughts. Add in Ol’ Shuck, the big black dog who is the harbinger of death, made this paranormal thriller hard to put down, even to sleep. I’ll be reading book four next and highly recommend this series! Five-Stars!

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

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ #40 #lARTG #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #poetry #HaibunPoem #Haibun @pursoot

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ Image Prompt #40.

I went with a Haibun Poem which is the combination of a prose paragraph and a Haiku/Senryu.

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

THE GOLD MASK

My pulse quickened as I set the black and gold mask down for the last time. That was my past, and the gold mask was my future. The musical notes sent a knowing quiver through my body. I was born to wear this. The musical birthmark was on the front of my neck like the others before me. I gently stroked the smooth pearl that had adorned the chosen few. Its energy flooded my senses, opening a world saturated in astonishing colors like a rainbow. The autumn feathers that showed my status would always garnish my meticulously braided red hair. In just an hour, I would stand before my people and accept this honor. Then healing and prophecy, from the music of our ancestors, will release my silent voice.

The new fairy queen
Put on the magical mask
Becoming its song.

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#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 216 #SYNONYMSONLY @ColleenChesebro #haiga #senryu

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 216, Synonymons Only. The words to work from are Eager & Hope!

I chose a picture to work with and came up with this Hagia, (5/7/5 Senryu and image.)

The flame is my faith

Longing for you to emerge

From the dire darkness.

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March Book Reviews Part 1! @PTLPerrin @ColleenChesebro @teagangeneviene @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #BookReviews #WhatToRead #MustRead

Slices of Soul

by Harmony Kent

“Slice of Soul” is a beautiful collection of poetry that tugged on my emotions. There is a story weaved into the poems that had a memoir feel to it. Each section was a narrative of the author progressing through periods of her life. So many feelings arose, but each one felt authentic and direct from the soul. I really connected to the ocean or guitar passages but appreciated each part of the journey. This is a book I will be reading again.

Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn
by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I loved the first journey and had been waiting for the second installment. The story begins where it left off with 12-year-old Emlyn, who lived in repressive religious times with powers she had to hide. The story was told from two points of view, Emlyn’s and Zasha. It gives an encompassing view of two strong young women. One can embrace herself, Zasha, and Emlyn, who can’t. The images and details paint a cold and cruel world Emlyn lives in with her family. I’m all in and rooting for Emlyn and Zasha. I can’t wait for the next journey and highly recommend “Dead of Winter.” Start from the beginning you don’t want to miss anything!

The Heart Stone Chronicles (The Swamp Fairy, #1)

by Colleen M. Chesebro

“The Heart Stone Chronicles” is a magical read for upper middle grade and the young at heart. Fourteen-year-old Abby is in the Chicago foster system after her drug-addicted father abandons her. She is sent to her only living relative, her father’s sister, who lived in rural Florida. The story began for me when she set foot in her new town. I fell in love with the area, wondering if I’d like to live there. I was glad her aunt turned out to be nice, and Abby made a friend right away. Then Abby finds out she’s inherited swamp land from her mother, who had died a few years before, and someone has put in an offer to buy it. The relationship between Abby and her aunt was heartwarming, and I liked her new best friend, Savannah. The local bullies seemed realistic, and Mr. Cobb, who had to have Abby’s swamp, no matter what it took. That was a bit terrifying how far he’d go. My favorite part of the story was Abby’s gift to communicate with animals. Never ridden a horse, Abby’s ability allowed her and the horse to bond, so she could easily ride him. I could almost feel the wind blowing my hair as Abby rode across the field on her horse. Meeting the swamp fairies was beautifully illustrated and captivating. This story was well-paced, with a gentle reminder about the importance of nature that I appreciated. I recommend this to all who love fairies, which I do. I’m hoping there will be another book to continue exploring with Abby and the fairies.

Terra’s Anthem: The TetraSpehere Series: Book 4 (TetraSphere)

by P.T.L. Perrin

I have thoroughly enjoyed this YA series. The fate of the world depends on four teenagers, and it’s been a pleasure watching them grow, and relationships develop. Told in the first person through the four teens gives a good insight into what they are going through. There are many twists and turns in this final book, and when I think they are safe, something happens. There’s plenty of action in this sci-fi tale with some romance mixed in, and I fell in love with the newest addition in their group. The alien community has good and bad, or the same as the humans, which deepened the storyline. One alien is particularly bad and extremely easy to root against. The detail in descriptions is amazing and makes it effortless to picture the surroundings. The ending was satisfying, with another twist weaved in. If you love a good sci-fi YA story, this is definitely for you. I highly recommend this series, but make sure you begin with the first book—you don’t want to miss anything.

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

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #39.#IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #shortstories #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Here’s Suzanne Burke ‘Fiction in a Flash Challenge 2021 #39.’

This is the image:

Photo by Amanda Cottrell from Pexels

THE LAST RIDE OF THE NIGHT

The monsters remained in the shadows…. waiting. My husband and I sat at the top of the Ferris Wheel. Any other time I would have enjoyed the view, but not with death lurking below us. Pete had his arm wrapped protectively around my shoulders as the last hopeless scream faded away from the older man who operated the ride. The same man who had just winked at us and said we had the ride all to ourselves because it was almost closing time. We didn’t even know the name of the hero who had stopped the ride right before… No, I couldn’t think about that.

I tried to dial 911, but there was no signal. I couldn’t text or email. There was no way to communicate or get information.

“We’re safe up here, Lacy.”

“What if they climb up?”

“These creatures can barely walk. They are like zombies.”

I nodded, watching the monsters make their way toward a building that a family had just run into. I’d seen the beautiful family in line when we got our favorite chocolate swirl ice cream in a cup. The two young boys had been so excited about seeing their first monster trucks at the show. I hope the actual monsters didn’t find them now.

Our car swayed, and my hand dug into Pete’s leg.

“What if they knock the wheel down?” My mouth was so dry the words barely escaped.

“It’s too heavy, don’t worry, sweetheart.” Pete handed me my water bottle. The cool liquid soothed my throat.

Words spilled out of me. “All I can do is worry. How can we not? We were enjoying our night at the fair. Heck, we even danced to our song. If we hadn’t had to ride this thing, we’d be safe in our car escaping this… whatever it is. These things came out of nowhere, and it feels like we’re in a horror movie. This can’t be real. Do you think it’s all a show?”

For the first time, I felt hopeful. Yes, it wasn’t real.

Pete’s mouth tightened. “I wish it weren’t real; I really do. You saw what they did to our friends, they…”

Tears overflowed my eyes as I glanced at the dark forms on the ground by the cinnamon rolls. Thankfully, the glow of the colorful fair lights missed them. Yet, I could see their bodies weren’t intact. I shuddered as my fear overflowed until there was nothing left. Pete put his head on top of mine, and we just held each other, listening to the screams and car horns.

“Many people got away. And surely help is coming,” I sniffled as Pete handed me a Kleenex always kept tucked away in his jean pocket.

A rumble was headed in our direction. It was a helicopter! It hovered over the fair, shining its light. Soon another one joined.

“We’re saved!” I cried as Pete stood waving franticly as the car swayed heavily.

A voice came over the loudspeaker as a siren flashed in the distance. “We see you, sir. Remain seated. We will get you out of there.”

“Thank you!” Pete called, but I don’t think they heard him as they began shooting.

The monster’s bodies piled up quickly. Soon three men and a woman repelled down ropes. I had never been happier to hear the steady rain of bullets.

“There’s one! Lookout!” We heard a woman’s voice.

Another barrage of popping and it then stopped. Then the doors opened to the photography building where that family had hidden. I was relieved to see them exit safely. The Ferris Wheel lurched into motion.

“It’s over!” I hugged Pete.

“I told you it would be okay up here.”

I was never so glad to stand on the damp grass. Soldiers wearing gas masks rounded up survivors.

“Attention!” A loud voice boomed, and everyone fell silent.

“There has been a bio-attack on your community and others like yours. Those who have no symptoms in the morning will be taken into quarantine. We will offer you a protective vaccine at that point. Food, water, and blankets will be provided after you check-in.”

Pete took my hand. He never let go of me as we listened to gunshots and tractors removing the infected victims. We survived the night, but many didn’t. After being disinfected, we left behind a town we’d never see again as we were relocated into the new normal.

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#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 215, #POET’SCHOICE #diatellepoem #diatelle @ColleenChesebro

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 215 Poet’s Choice.

I decided to try a new form talked about, the Diatelle poem. It would be an understatement to say it was a challenge. Here is the pattern it had to follow. a1/b2/b3/c4/b6/c8/c10/a12/c10/c8/b6/c4/b3/b2/a1
I kept picking words that were hard to rhyme. It felt like putting a 3-D puzzle and took me two days to work through it. Here’s what I came up with, and a picture to go along with it.

IN THE WIND
Wind
softly
flows off me
yet it tethers
as the swans soar strongly
their wings glide over the aethers
where consummating souls stay together
here hearts offer wisdom, while the unconscious sinned.
yet, I live in this regal bird’s nethers
gifted the moments fair weather
I hold their love fondly
in their feathers
it’s godly
lofty
wind.

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #38 #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot #dolphins #shortstory #dolphinshortstory

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s Fiction in a Flash Challenge #38 Image Prompt. 

Image by Dean Lofgren from Pixabay

SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN

The cool winter sun reflected off the blue sea, making it hard to see. I blinked hard to clear my vision as I dove back into the water. Why were my children and grandchildren huddled together on the white sandy beach? Didn’t they want to swim with me?

My oldest grandson, Peter, walked to the water’s edge. He tossed a lei of pink plumeria flowers into the waves. Those flowers reminded me of the wonderful day when Bob and I renewed our vows for our 50th Wedding Anniversary on a beautiful Hawaiian beach.

I jumped high into the air and called out. “Where did you get the flowers, Peter?”

An enormous wave crashed against the rocks, drowning out my words.

Peter stood with his hands folded over a black shirt and a dolphin tie that I’d bought him when he graduated from college last year. The bottom of his black pants was soaked from the incoming waves.

I shook my head and tried again. “The water’s great! Join me!”

Louder breaking waves masked my words, leaving only a whistle.

Right then, a small pod of dolphins approached and then swam urgently around me.

“What’s wrong? Are you protecting me?” I scanned the area for danger and received no reply, as expected.

A dolphin was studying me. A familiar chill ran through me as the dolphin gently brushed against me. Was it? No. It couldn’t be.

“Bob?”

He held my stare until I shook my head and sped to the surface, only to find my family walking away.

“Hey! Where are you going?” But only a high pitch noise came from my lips. It wasn’t the loud waves; I’d lost my voice.

Peter spun around and met my gaze. He smiled and pointed to his tie. Then he wiped the tears off his face and put on black framed sunglasses. What he did next tugged heavily on my heart. He blew me a kiss just like he had as a small boy, when it was time to go home.

“Peter!” I yelled, yet nothing but that strange sound came out again. I saw him pause for a moment, offer a wave, and then keep going. He soon disappeared with everyone else.

The lei was floating toward me in a patch of grey powder. It reminded me of when we scattered Bob’s ashes into the ocean. The flowers came right to me with a plastic card attached. On it was written: Mother and Grandmother, You will be missed and forever loved.

Then it all came crashing back to me with the force of a spring-loaded trap. The uncomfortable hospital bed and the beeping machines.

The young doctor’s sad tone. “There’s nothing else we can do except make her comfortable.”

The cancer had won its battle, but I was in the ocean. I smiled. It had happened. I turned in a circle and saw what I expected, a dolphin’s tail.

The same dolphin whistled and clicked. This time I understood my beloved husband, Bob. We had found each other again. Words couldn’t come fast enough as we caught up. Then we sat comfortably in our gift long after the pod, that Bob had lived with, moved on.

It was just the two of us, and we happily explored the new world. We avoided humans, killer whales, and sharks, or maybe it was us they avoided. We were never sure.

We were peacefully investigating the purple, pink, red, green, and blue colors that mingled in the coral reefs off the Big Island in Hawaii. A lone dolphin swam up to us with eyes so familiar I immediately knew it was Peter.

The joy at that moment could only be expressed in high dolphin jumps. Later we learned our grandson had become a famous author, had three boys, and happy marriage. I didn’t ask how he died, and he never brought it up.

As the years passed, our pod continued to grow as our family slowly joined us, including ones we’d never met in life, or Peter’s amazing wife. To this day, our family still explores the ocean. We offer gratitude with our high leaps that we’ve been given such a special gift. Maybe you’ve seen us and felt our joy?

I dedicate this short story to my grandkids. We had a discussion on what I would become while watching the Disney movie, “Moana.” The grandmother became a Manta Ray after she passed. Of course, it was decided I would come back as a dolphin, as long as I promised never to leave them. Then, we went on to talk about spirit and souls which is a whole other story 🙂

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#TANKA TUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 214, #THEMEPROMPT @ColleenChesebro

Here’s Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge  #214.

This week’s theme is Dreams.

I came up with this tanka 5/7/5/7/7 and a picture I found to go with it.

MY DREAMS

This space is quiet

The place I’m supposed to be

Here is that moment

My defenses stripped away

Love whispered truth in my dreams.

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Feburary Book Reviews Part 3! @Sandra_Cox @WriterMSmith @pokercubster#IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt

by D.G. Kaye

“Conflicted Hearts” is a wonderful insight of a girl growing up with an unavailable mother and father lost in that world. I could easily relate to the role of caretaker being thrust on a young girl and the guilt she carried. The blame her paternal grandparents had toward her because her father had to marry her mother was heavy, as was her parents’ on and off living arrangements and mother’s self-absorption toward her children. The guilt followed Ms. Kaye into adulthood, as she always tried to do the right thing. I appreciated how mistakes made had given her the lessons needed. One situation that made me cringe was during a trip to Greece and a broken foot. But people came into her life just when they were needed. I found that very heartening. It was hard to read about the abusive relationship she ended up in, and I was relieved when they parted ways. I loved watching the author make her way to her happily ever after. I found this an inspiring journey of how Ms. Kaye navigated her home life and then left it behind to find herself and love. I highly recommend this memoir. Five-Stars.

THE INTRUDER: A Short Thriller 

by Marlena Smith

I was immediately drawn into the life of Serenity. Her name fit her peaceful existence until she found some pictures on her cell phone. I admit it would terrify me to discover what Serenity did, and her reaction felt very real to me. This quick read had a twist at the end that was a surprise. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Smith. Four-Stars

The Crystal

by Sandra Cox

Gabriella finds a glowing crystal ball that shows her the face of a man. Once it’s in her possession, things begin to happen to her, including meeting the man whose face she saw, Christopher. I love the relationship that grows between Gabriella and Tamara, or Christopher’s aunt. Ned the dog and Jericho, the cat, are favorites of mine too. I worried about their wellbeing the entire story. Gabriella and Christopher love and hate each other, but fairy magic has an agenda of its own. It’s the greed, jealousy, love, and magic that weaves this into an exciting read, but Gabriella’s obsession with the crystal made it a page-turner as she tries to survive. “The Crystal” is a romantic thriller filled with lots of fey magic that I highly recommend. Five-Stars

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

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

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ Week #37 #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #poetry #haibun #poem @pursoot

Here’s Suzanne Burke ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ Week #37.

I’m using the Haibun Poem format, which is a combination of a prose paragraph and a Haiku/Senryu.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

THE DOOR

I grasped the small brass key tightly in my hand. The wooden door was now within my reach. It was the opening to the dreaded thirteenth colony. This is the place they sent people who asked too many questions. I glanced back into the darkness of what had been my existence. There had been no tears shed, and no one had stayed to say goodbye. I accepted I was no longer a part of their lives. My hand shook as I inserted the key and heard the click. Taking a deep breath, I pushed the door open. Vivid colors and a warm glow welcomed me into a place of beauty where my mother was waiting. Smiling, I shut the door on a world of fools.

Stepping into light

Leaving the dark cave behind

I found my answer.

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WEEKLY TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 213 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT #Tanka #Poetry #Poems @ColleenChesebro

Here’s my tanka poem for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. 

The challenge as stated by Colleen: “This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs).” Also, we are to use the psychology of color.

Here’s the picture provided:

Image by Michael Bußmann from Pixabay

THE GIFT

The angel’s gift shone
Like a rainbow umbrella
In a vile gray world
Curious, I approached her
And saw the soul of the world.

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February Book Review Part 2! @teagangeneviene @PTLPerrin @WendyJayneScott @SCVincent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WhatToRead #MustRead #IndieBooks

Pass the Turkey: The Small Dog’s Christmas

by Sue Vincent

“Pass the Turkey” is a charming collection of poetry, letters, and pictures. Ani, who calls herself small dog, writes letters to Santa. Through these interactions, we learn about Ani with her two-legged friend. It is a wonderful holiday read, but I found it a cheerful escape outside the holidays. If you enjoy dogs and Christmas this is a collection you will want to read.

Sleighed: A Children’s Christmas Tale
by WJ Scott

“Sleighed” is a sweet children’s tale about an elf whose first day at work takes an unusual turn. I loved what happened next and appreciate the magic of Christmas. Although this is a short story for children, adults can enjoy it too. I know I did. I’ll be sharing this with my grandchildren and highly recommend it.

Voice of Viracocha (TetraSphere Book 3)

by P.T.L. Perrin

I’ve read the first two books and enjoyed watching the four principal characters grow. Pax, Sky, Storm, and Jewel are tasked with saving the world with their healing powers. Heading to one site in South America, they soon find an evil alien is tracking Jewel. This puts not only her friends and family, but the world in danger. I love how the teens have matured through the books and the bond they share. Jewel and Pax have grown closer, and Sky pines away for someone who might not return those feelings. Like in the previous books, I appreciated the Native American lore and alien presence. The story is told from multiple points of view in the first person, which made me feel like I was there with them. Beautiful images and descriptions paint a world that’s easy to be a part of as a reader. Although this is for YA, if you love a good science fiction/fantasy with teen protagonists, you’ll enjoy this series. I can’t wait to read book four and see what happens next and recommend this series.

Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Dead of Winter is the first part of a monthly series. Emlyn is a young girl who lives in an oppressive society that has taken away women’s rights. She is gifted, being able to see ghosts, and her father has found a way to educate her, but she has learned to be careful who she trusts. I was immediately invested in her well-being and found myself upset with this fictional culture. Puritans came to mind, along with the dark ages with the drab colors, lack of education for most females, and swift punishments for any infractions. I loved her relationship with her teacher and instantly disliked her brother-in-law. This is a great beginning, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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

Embrace that inner child by reading a great book. Then, give a gift back to the author by leaving a review! Happy Valentine’s Day. D. L. Finn

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ NEW IMAGE PROMPT Week #36 #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #poetry #haibun @pursoot

Here’s the always fun Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ Image Prompt Week #36!

I went with a Haibun Poem, which is a combination of a prose paragraph and a Haiku/Senryu working together.

THE TRIP

I had carefully reapplied the blue, yellow, black, and brown paint to the 67 VW van. I added a touch of dirt onto my metal canvas to make it look like I’d been on the road for a couple of weeks. Each sixties phrase and symbol were brought to life after being buried in the junkyard for years. The webbed glass was replaced, and the wheels now supported the body. I secured the final headlight, more than satisfied with my effort. A shudder ran through my body as I proceeded through the final check. Each positive mark on my list got me closer to the goal. Finally, each box was filled. It was ready. I sank into my hemp covered seat and took a long, cleansing breath. This van would serve as my home now, and I’d included a small stove, bed, toilet, fridge, and sink. It had been tricky building it around the powerful engine, but not impossible. I’d found a way to run the van on Vodka, but any liquor that was 70 proof or higher would do in a pinch. After selling everything I owned for this moment, all I had left was my beloved black cat, Stormy, who would be my only companion and my roof garden. I smiled and started the engine.

The time machine packed
Hope still lingers in the past
Here, I’ll save our world.

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#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 212 #SYNONYMSONLY #etheree #poems #ethereepoem @ColleenChesebro

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 212 “Synonyms only” from these two words: Tight & Loose

This is my first attempt at a Etheree Poem 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

HOPE

Light

flowed down

through darkness

Touching my soul

Awakening hope

That had been constricted

Under a mountain of fear

Sparkling blue wings unfettered

Ready to return from where I came

I soared through the stars into love’s embrace.

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February Book Reviews Part 1! @VashtiQV @ChuckWesJ @stacitroilo @Marjorie_Mallon #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

Mr. Sagittarius

by M.J. Mallon

“Mr. Sagittarius” is a wonderful collection of poetry, prose, and pictures weaved into a magical story. The book focuses on three older siblings. The male twins have developed a special relationship, making their sister feeling left out. When one twin passes, that leaves the brother and sister to grieve. The stories have powerful images that move the narrative along and sometimes veer off into the unknown for a quick visit. We are led through picturesque scenery and whimsical moments, which include an unusual bubble bath, a rainbow hat, and an ice cave. The poetry was beautiful and powerful, and the photos captured nature brilliantly. A quick read that I found relaxing and endearing. A perfect escape in unsettled times that I recommend.

The Forgotten (An Alien Invasion Science Fiction Series) (Astral Conspiracy)

by D.L. Cross

Having read and loved all the Astral Conspiracy books, I was excited to see a companion story. I know this can be read as a stand-alone and is a great introduction to the series, but I enjoyed this prequel even more knowing who the Reptars, Separated, and Titans were. This fast-paced, well-written story has two main characters that I couldn’t help rooting for them. Jack Morley wants to be on the beach relaxing but is thrust into the world of CORE Director Victor Cannon. They have different agendas and experiences, while the plot is centered on an underground bunker in Nevada and what it held. There were a few surprises and twists that made this a page-turner. I recommend this and the entire Astral Conspiracy Series.

 

The Road to Saratin
by Charles W. Jones

I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story, and I wasn’t disappointed in “The Road to Saratin.” There’s something hopeful when humans face the worse in humanity, including greed, power, and insanity— yet survive. Something was released on the public, and cities built up their walls to keep it out. Carl was behind one of these walled cities after being taken from his mother at a young age, for reasons he didn’t understand. A couple of decades later, he was still trapped in an institution being studied. Carl was a character who won my heart with his almost childlike way of looking at a world that was foreign to him. His main goal was to find his mother in another city with help from voices that lived inside him. I love the relationship he developed with Astrid and how he finds his direction. The descriptions of the landscape and mutants made them come to life for me. It was a fast-paced science fiction tale. The ending was satisfying. I recommend this story, especially for all who love an intricate dystopian read.

 

The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series Book 3)

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

As much as I loved Dracul’s struggle in the second book “The Son of the Serpent” it was Gadreel’s journey that mesmerized me in this story. A fallen angel, she now wants redemption and sets out to battle the evil threatening to take over the civilization. The relationship between Dracul and Gadreel is almost endearing as they join forces. The story is told from both sides of the battle, and I was always happy to get back to Gadreel and her new friends. Not that I didn’t appreciate the evil point of view, but there was a cruelty that rang true of how people treated each other during the dark ages that were captured very visually. Ms. Quiroz-Vega takes history and weaves biblical stories into it with a fresh take. This was a painful fight between good and evil. “The Rise of Gadreel” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you love a well-told tale that will keep you reading late into the night, this is for you. I recommend starting at the beginning, so you understand how the characters developed. I highly recommend this book and series.

 

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

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ Image #35! #poetry #Haibun #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Here’s my entry for Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021’ Image Prompt #35.

I’m using one of my favorite poetry formats, a Haibun. It is a combination of a prose paragraph, and a Haiku/Senryu 5/7/5.

The candles lit up the occasion. Each one was carefully placed as it had been sixty years ago on our honeymoon. The soft glow of the lights invited the trees into our private realm. Your beloved books awaited your eager fingers to turn their pages. The dress that brought the blue out in your eyes was protected in the cedar chest. Wine from Italy, aged cheese, and truffles were on the china we received as a gift when we exchanged our vows. The quilt, lovingly sewn by your mother, was spread across the freshly mown grass. The last thing I added was a triangle that pointed upward to the full strawberry moon. I said the magical words that connected us and struck the special match that ignited the fairy’s lamp. Then I waited.

You return to me

On the day of our wedding,

When love transcends death.

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TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 211, #ABHANGA #poetry #poems @ColleenChesebro #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 211. This week is poet’s choice or an Abhanga poem.

I decided to try an Abhanga poem.

This explanation is lovingly borrowed from Colleen’s post:

The elements of the Abhanga are:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of 4 line stanzas.
  • syllabic, 6-6-6-4 syllables each
  • rhymed L2 and L3 rhyme. Often internal rhyme is employed. End rhyme scheme x a a x , x being unrhymed.

This picture was taken by the Magic Trail last week. It’s my inspiration for the poem.

FUTURE’S GLOW

My past deep and heavy

Like never-ending snow

Ahead future’s glow

I push forward.

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Snow Days #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #poetry #pictures #snow #nature

One weekend we were out riding the Harley, the next digging out of the snow. Winter finally arrived bringing its entire family to stay for a long visit.

All week it has been raining, high winds, or snow— mostly snow. Wednesday was a snow day, including snow sledding, hot chocolate, creating a snow person, and coloring the snow with my younger two grandkids and daughter. It went back and forth between snow and rain, so we all got soaked, but that didn’t stop us.

The top picture is from my family/friend calendar and was included in my newsletter too. That is our tire man. No one is allowed to move this tire, even when he’s hibernating in the sunny months.

Here is tire man after a couple of snowstorms when he looks like a ghost or Oogie Boogie man from “Nightmare Before Christmas.” I suppose he’s earned a name by now, but no one’s named him yet.

I got little done this week because a good snowstorm distracts me. Being from the Bay Area, I only had seen it snow a couple of times when I went to Lake Tahoe in my teens.

So, for the last 30 years living where it snows brings out that inner child. Poetry usually flows from that, and I look forward to seeing what comes from these storms. I never tire of a snowy event, although driving is optional and avoided.

Here are a couple of pictures of our winter wonderland that calls to me loudly in its silence. As of Thursday, we have close to two feet of snow.

Embrace your inner child—always! D. L. Finn

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A Lost Ring and the River. #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #Hope #magic #lost #found #love

I want to share an unusual experience.

I lost my wedding ring about five years ago. I placed it on the tray next to the bed on the top of my nightstand. In the morning it was gone. Over the next several weeks, I tore the room apart looking for it. I even talked my husband to going under the house and removing the heater vent to look for it. Nothing. I kept hoping it would show up.

My husband was convinced it had been vacuumed up, and I was simply baffled. It filled me with sadness to lose that symbol of our special day 37 years ago.

Recently, we discussed reporting it lost to our house insurance, yet the call was never made.

Wearing my grandmother’s wedding ring now, we took a Harley ride last weekend. It was a perfect day, thanks to the lack of winter weather. It was to be a quick ride with a stop at the river. A usual place to do this was the old 49 bridge. But that day the parking lot was packed, and there were too many people milling around. I suggested we stop right past the new bridge and walk to look at the river.

The river was low. The granite rocks overpowered what should have been a fast-flowing roar underneath us. Today it was as silent as a lake. In the clear water was the reflection of the old bridge deemed unsafe to hold the weight of vehicles.

It was a beautiful view, and I took many shots of it. With the rounded bridge reflection, it reminded me of a circle or opening into nature’s beauty. I wrote a poem about that experience for a challenge. It was a magical moment that I wouldn’t have experienced if it not for the pandemic, drought, and all the people wandering about. I received a new perspective on something I was so familiar with.

We road home through the cooling winds, yet my heart was warm. Somehow, in that brief time over the Yuba River, my heavy burdens dissipated. Like my poem about the fairy singing and magic, I felt like my soul had been cleansed.

How does losing my wedding ring and making a stop at the river connect?

Two days after the river stop, I was getting ready to go on a walk on the Magical Trail. The warmer weather turned over to a more normal chill, so I went into my hat and glove drawer. I couldn’t find my usual knitted gloves, so I chose the fancy leather ones that I save for when I leave the house. When I slipped them on, a finger ran into something.

Puzzled, I pulled my hand back out, expecting to find a small child’s toy in there. It wasn’t, though. It was my ring. Yes, after five years, there it was! I put it on and felt a rush of loving energy rush through me. I couldn’t wait to share this find with my husband.

So you know, it hasn’t been five years since I’ve worn these gloves. When walking the dog, I dislike wearing them since they can’t be washed. It was an unusual choice for me because in the past I’d go gloveless instead of wearing them for that walk.

Whether I ran into some magic that day at the river that brought my ring back to me is something I can’t prove. But I felt a shift or change standing over the river that day, and then my ring came back to me. Coincidence? You decide.

My take away from that day is we can never give up hope. Do I find everything I’ve lost? No. I realized it isn’t lost; it just isn’t in our possession. Sometimes, when it is time, something that wasn’t in my possession returns as my wedding ring did.

This is how it is with writing that won’t flow. The story isn’t ready to come to you—yet. The magic in life holds it for you until then.

Mystical beauty will find you when you least expect it, as long as you are open to it. In the quiet, you will hear its message and find what’s always been there, just unseen.

Note: Winter has finally arrived with some snow! We are expecting a series of storms, fingers crossed, so if I disappear for a day or two it might be due to a down phone line or Wi-Fi. If possible, and safe, I’ll drive down the hill and check-in.

Embrace your inner child by listening to the fairy’s song! D. L. Finn

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ New Image Prompt #Week 33. #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Here’s Suzanne Burke ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #33 Image Prompt.

This is a Haibun  Poem, which a prose paragraph finished off by a Haiku/Senyru.

A DAY BY THE SEA

I sat on my pink beach towel lathered in sunscreen, perched atop the warm black sand. The waves crashed against the rocks, making entry into the inviting sea difficult, yet people still swam and snorkeled. The day was uneventful as I sipped water and nibbled on sandy snacks while reading the latest romance novel. As the sky turned orange and the sun disappeared into the horizon, I shivered and tugged on my yellow floral dress. Then, I stood where the water met land, taking in the tropical splendor that reminded me of my innocent childhood days. I allowed the waves to wash over my feet as it tried to pull the sand from under them. The few people who were left at the beach were focused on the golden orb’s departure. Now was the promised time for departure. I scanned the incoming water, hoping nothing would prevent its arrival again. A scarlet glow caught my eye. I smiled deeply as tears of joy filled my eyes. Finally, it was here!

The red orb found me
Transporting me to the ship
I was going home.

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TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 209, #POET’SCHOICE @ColleenChesebro #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #Tanka #Poetry #Poem

Here’s Colleen Chesebro TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 209, POETS CHOICE.

I decided to use a photograph I took last weekend while on a Harley ride as my Tanka’s inspiration.

Now usually in January, the Yuba River is flowing high, but not this year. The warm winter day brought out not only people but something else too.

A GIFT

In the reflection

On a warm winter morning

Over the river

I heard the fairy’s sweet song

That awakened my magic.

Featured

A Celebration! @StoryEmpire #celebration #storyempire #writing #authors #WritingCommunity #authorsupport

I’m thrilled and honored to announce I’ve been asked to join the amazing authors of Story Empire!

They have really rolled out the red carpet, so stop by and join the celebration 🙂

We’re Rolling Out the Red Carpet!

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When Poetry is Healing. #poetry #tanka #writingcommunity #poem #nature #naturepoetry #IARTG #ASMSG #healingpoetry

I haven’t been writing as much as I normally do over the last several months. It was only poetry I could turn to, and even then, not as often. This new year brought in with it lots of hope, but I don’t think our past lessons are quite done with us and add more worry to our lives.

So, one way I clear out my worries is poetry and nature. Sitting outside and taking in the forest’s splendor surrounding me is healing.

When I sit on my cement bench with pen and paper, the words find their way into my pink journal. At that moment, my soul has opened.

Here’s a Tanka I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

 

SILENCE

Winter’s sweet silence

Quietly I exhale

Into the frigid air

Along my magical trail

Here is where I find my peace.

UPDATES:

Watch for an exciting announcement this week.

The Monthly Newsletters will go out on the 20th. If you are subscribed check your email.

Embrace your inner child with poetry! May we all find that peace we are seeking. D. L. Finn

Featured

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32. #IARTG #FlashFiction #poem #poetry #haibun #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Here is my poem for Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ New Image Prompt Week #32.

This is another Haibun Poem that is a prose paragraph(s) and Haiku/Senryu that connect based on the picture below.

THE ESCAPE

Darkness was closing in on Dara as the purple sunset’s last streaks gave way to the stars peeking through heavy clouds. The branches clawed at her arms and legs as she pushed her way through the brush. Her sweatshirt couldn’t hold back the icy chill that threatened snow. Dara had escaped that crazy man who grabbed her at the bus stop. She’d walked all day through the thick forest and was positive she’d put enough distance between her and evil, but now she was lost. A chill raced through Dara as she remembered his garbled words behind the clown mask.

“No one will hear you scream here, Little Miss.”

He hadn’t even bothered to learn her name. Dara rammed her foot into a log that sent a jolt of pain through her body. Tears ran freely down her face as she sunk onto the crunchy forest floor. Her hand bumped into a cold glass object that had the bitter scent of kerosene. She felt its handle and base. It was a lantern just like her grandma would use when the power went out. There was a package of matches taped to the top. She struck the wooden match and was rewarded with the scent of sulfur and an orange flame. Hopeful, she turned the knob and held the match to the wick. It worked. The night became a little less scary in the lantern’s warm glow. Please show me how to get back to my family.

Her prayers were answered

When the magical lantern

Brought her safely home.

Featured

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021 New Image Prompt #30! #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot #poem #poetry #Haibun

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021. New Image Prompt #30.

Sorry, I’m a little late posting this.

When I saw the plane leaving I thought about my character, Coral, watching her parents fly away. So, this is based on “Dolphin’s Cave.”

This is a Haibun Poem that is a prose paragraph and Haiku/Senryu that connect.

GOODBYE

She clung to her aunt’s chilled hand as the plane disappeared behind the heavy gray clouds. In her other hand was the smooth, silver dolphin pendant, a gift from her parents for her 8th birthday. It symbolized the promise of a happy future. The sparkling smile and final wave from her mother had settled into a content calm as she turned away. She’d mark each day carefully on her ocean calendar until they returned from their business trip. Soon, they would make that tropical journey together.

Plane found in the sea
Her parents lost but not found
Hope held up her heart.

Featured

January Book Reviews! @gmplano @riverrmann @Sandra_Cox @JanSikes3 @CathleenTowns @sgc58 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #bookreviews #mustread #indieauthors

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

by Sally Cronin

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

Twelve Tales of Christmas: Fantasy and Contemporary Stories to Brighten Your Holidays

by Cathleen Townsend

“Twelve Days of Christmas” was just what I was looking for to read over the holiday season, but this could be read any time of the year. It’s a varied fictional collection that includes a dragon and trolls but had some heartwarming family stories too. There wasn’t a story I didn’t enjoy, but the two that stood out to me were “The Angel in the Tree” and “Snowman.” I loved the idea of a being, or the angel, attached to a tree and a young boy’s quest to help the tree survive. In “Snowman,” seeing a family’s story through an ornament was not only unique but a clever way to show what happened. I highly recommend this collection and will be reading more from this author! Five-Stars!

Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series)

by Jan Sikes

“Ghostly Interference” is Ms. Sikes’ debut fictional novel. I’ve read all her memoirs and short stories and have loved them, so I was excited about this book. It didn’t disappoint with the drama and otherworldly presence. My favorite character was Rena, a hard-working waitress who rides a red Harley. I had to warm up to Jag, who was cautious and in an unpleasant situation at work. Luckily, his mother had left him open to excepting otherworldly experiences. Both characters grew, and their interactions had a nice spark. The realistic details put into the story really captured what it’s like to ride on a motorcycle, along with a glimpse into the music world. This is not only a steamy romance, but it gives the characters room to become who they are, with a paranormal nudge. The end had me on the edge of my seat, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes. A well-written tale that I recommend. Five-Stars!

Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter

by Sandra Cox

Gwen is a young woman who’s raising her little brother with the help of a family friend, Chen. She took after her father, who was a Bounty Hunter. After a job, she comes home to a man who saved her family from a would-be robber. The hero, Jordie, leaves the minute the sheriff arrives. Gwen finds out that Jordie is wanted, but she doesn’t go after him after saving her family. Gwen wants to move to Montana and start a new life on a horse ranch, so she takes the job of catching three of the worst outlaw brothers. I love Gwen’s strength and ability to take care of herself in a time when women were more dependent on men. Promising one last job to her little brother, she sets off, against the sheriff’s advice, to catch her outlaws and earn her big retirement payoff. She ends up with an unexpected partner. I love the relationship that develops between them on the trail. There are great conversations and plenty of action. As the two learn about each other, a dog finds them. You can’t help but fall in love with these amazing characters or the dog. I didn’t expect a couple of twists, and the scenery was detailed, making me feel like I was along on the ride. This is an exciting Western romance that I didn’t want to end, but it did, and very satisfactorily. I hope we aren’t done hearing from Gwen Slade. She’s a wonderful heroine. I highly recommend “Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter.” Five-Stars!

The Adventures of Ollie Orangutan

by Larry Landgraf

“The Adventures of Ollie Orangutan” is a charming story for middle-grade readers about an orangutan named Ollie. Young Ollie was being transported by train to a new zoo when the train crashed. He was able to escape into a swamp area, tasting freedom for the first time. Thrown into something he’s never had to deal with before captured my heart. I didn’t want to put it down and needed to know what was going to happen next. He learned who to trust, including himself. There is a lot of detail Mr. Landgraf brought into the story adding more depth to the dangers that lurk in a swamp for Ollie. I bought this book for my ten-year-old granddaughter for Christmas. I make it a point to read children’s books before gifting them. The story pulled me right in, and I know my granddaughter will love it as much as I did. Five-Stars


The Culmination: a new beginning

by Gwen M. Plano

“The Culmination” is the third book in the Contract Series. I loved all the books, but this one topped them. It touched me on a level of reality and fear, bringing the idea of hope in our current cold social climate. It starts after the second book and an assassination attempt. There is a group determined to cause mayhem and stop anyone in their way, including heads of state. There’s not only exciting action but developing relationships and political intrigue. I found a lot of what was going on in the story relevant for current times. Where Ms. Plano took this story is a place where I could imagine the right things being done in the middle of chaos. I loved the American Vice President with her logic and heart. Beautifully written and thought-provoking with scenarios all too familiar, some heartbreaking, and some tender. This book not only scared me but offered an optimistic option at the same time. I highly recommend it and the whole series. Five-Stars!

 

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

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! Happy 2021 🙂 D. L. Finn

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#TANKATUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 209 @ColleenChesebro #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #Haiku #Haiga

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s final challenge this year, No. 209! The theme is to write about hope in a favorite poetry form.

This picture and poem fit how I interpreted hope. I feel like I’m riding into 2021 after a very long ride. I’m stiff, hungry, and tired. Yet, my hope reawakens as we roar into the new year, where a warm fire, a comfortable couch, and a nice meal await.

Why did I choose Haiku/Senryu? They have become one of my favorite poetry formats to use, especially with photographs. I love being able to say a lot in sparse wordage. Freeform poems will always be where I can fully express myself, but making each word count in a Haiku/Senryu Poem’s limited space is a challenge I’m enjoying.

I took this picture from the back of the Harley. (This is one of the calendar pictures. I did this instead of Christmas cards.)

HAPPY 2021! May it be filled with blessings and happiness 🙂

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New Release! “Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter” by Sandra Cox @Sandra_Cox #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #westernread #westerns #newrelease #mustread #romance #bountyhunter #strongfemalecharacters

I’m VERY excited to have Sandra Cox here today to share the release of her exciting new book, “Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter”!

My review is at the end of the post.

Thanks so much for having me today, Denise.

Old West Factoid:

There were bounties in the thousands for some outlaws, i.e. Jesse James. But the majority of the bounties were in the low hundreds or less.

Bounty hunter Gwen Slade always gets her man. Until she meets charming outlaw Jordie Kidd.

After Jordie saves her family, she finds she can’t in good conscience turn him in, even if he is worth a thousand dollars dead or alive. Instead she sets her sights on the meanest, most-wanted gang in Kansas. Gwen always works alone until she goes after the gang then finds herself partnering with an unlikely source.

This time around, not only her life, but her heart is on the line.

 

EXCERPT

“Hello, in camp.”

She cursed under her breath as she recognized the voice.

“Come in and keep your hands where I can see them.”

Jordie Kidd rode in.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m coming with you.”

Her jaw went slack and she stared at him. Recovering herself, she snapped it shut. “No, you’re not.”

“Yes, Gwen. I am.”

He swung out of his saddle.

“Get back on your horse and ride out of here.” For emphasis, she motioned with Betsy.

She might as well have saved her breath she thought in irritation as he loosened the saddle girdle of his Appaloosa.

“If what I hear about you is true, we’re the two fastest guns in Kansas and we’ll still be at a disadvantage going up against those boys.”

“Don’t you understand English? You aren’t coming with me.”

“Worried about your virtue?” He threw her an amused look.

“No. And even if I were it wouldn’t have anything to say to the matter. Now get on out of here.”  She motioned again with Betsy.

“I’m not going anywhere. Get used to it. I’ll sleep on this side of the campfire if it makes you feel better.” He motioned to the far side of the fire. “Though we’d be a sight warmer if we were sharing some body heat. Strictly platonic you understand.” He flashed that disarming grin again.

She stared, trying to figure out how the situation had gotten so quickly out of her control. Throwing up her free hand, she set down Betsy, dug into her saddlebag and tossed him a piece of jerky. “You can ride with me to the next town, but that’s as far as you’re going.

 

Available at Amazon.

http://tinyurl.com/GwenSlade

 

 

About Sandra Cox

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

Her stories consist of all things western and more.

She can be found at http://www.sandracoxwriter.com .   If you’d like to stay abreast of what’s going on in her world and any new releases you can send a note in her comment form while you are there.  Or simply sign up on the follow by email request form. Her twitter handle is: Sandra_Cox and her Amazon page is http://tinyurl.com/SandraAtAmz

MY REVIEW:

Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter

by Sandra Cox

Gwen is a young woman who’s raising her little brother with the help of a family friend, Chen. She took after her father, who was a Bounty Hunter. After a job, she comes home to a man who saved her family from a would-be robber. The hero, Jordie, leaves the minute the sheriff arrives. Gwen finds out that Jordie is wanted, but she doesn’t go after him after saving her family. Gwen wants to move to Montana and start a new life on a horse ranch, so she takes the job of catching three of the worst outlaw brothers. I love Gwen’s strength and ability to take care of herself in a time when women were more dependent on men. Promising one last job to her little brother, she sets off, against the sheriff’s advice, to catch her outlaws and earn her big retirement payoff. She ends up with an unexpected partner. I love the relationship that develops between them on the trail. There are great conversations and plenty of action. As the two learn about each other, a dog finds them. You can’t help but fall in love with these amazing characters or the dog. I didn’t expect a couple of twists, and the scenery was detailed, making me feel like I was along on the ride. This is an exciting Western romance that I didn’t want to end, but it did, and very satisfactorily. I hope we aren’t done hearing from Gwen Slade. She’s a wonderful heroine. I highly recommend “Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter.” Five-Stars!

 

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WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 203. @ColleenChesebro #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT #Renga #Haiku #Hokku #Wakiku

Here’s Colleen M. Chesebro’s WEEKLY TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 203.

I’m attempting something new, a renga poem based on the image below.

I borrowed Colleen’s explanation of this type of poem from her site.

A renga poem is a cooperative poem, written by two or more poets.

The first three lines, the hokku (haiku portion in 5/7/5),  are written by Colleen.

The next two lines are mine. They are called the wakiku: two seven-syllable lines that connect with the interaction between the different links.

More information here: Cheatsheet

hazy reflections—

crows gather to remember

the gifts of summer

As winter slowly creeps in

Burying those sweet memories.

 

 

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New Release! “Ghostly Interference” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #newrelease #mustread #newage #runes #solider #ghosts

I’m thrilled to have Jan Sikes here today to share her new release, “Ghostly Interference!”

RUNES

Ghostly Interference is book one in The White Rune Series. I am often asked the question, “What are runes?” 

Here’s the simple answer. In the academic sense, the runes are known as the characters in a group of alphabets used to write in various languages spoken by the Germanic peoples of Europe, during a period starting roughly in the first century B.C. and ending several hundred years later. Over time, the runes were gradually replaced by the letters we know today as the Latin alphabet.

However, unlike our modern letters, runic symbols had been in use for magical purposes long before they were fashioned into a writing system. The runes carried deep meanings for the people who used them, and for this reason, they never disappeared completely, even though once they were outlawed by the Christian church.

Today, it is quite common to see runes in New Age metaphysical shops and, much like the Tarot cards, are used for divination.

In Ghostly Interference, a white rune stone with the Wunjo symbol inscribed on it came into Rena Jett’s hands through a soldier who had served in Afghanistan with her brother, Sam.

Excerpt:

Rena stood. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing Sam’s letter to me.”

Vann got to his feet with a groan. “You are most welcome. Like I said, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Pride still showed in his face. He wasn’t going to let anyone pity him.

They walked toward their vehicles. Before he climbed into the Jeep, she softly kissed his cheek. “Take care, Vann Noble, and I’ll be in touch if I find a cabin for you.”

“Thanks, Rena. I’ll drop by the diner tomorrow for a meal and to check on you.”

He got inside and slammed the door, then turned over the engine and backed out.

Rena stood until he was out of sight. She glanced at the letter she clutched in her hand and held it up to her pounding heart.

Somehow, she couldn’t force herself to go home. She sat with her back against the tree, beside Candy Kicker, and carefully opened the envelope with trembling hands.

A white, oval-shaped, polished stone that bore an odd symbol, a straight line with a triangle attached the top, tumbled out. She quickly picked it up and turned it over. An unusual warmth filled her hand and radiated up her arm.

She wiped her eyes and read the letter.

Hey, Lil’ Bit,

If you’re reading this, then I didn’t make it home

from this damned war. Writing last letters is something

all my buddies have started doing. We made promises

to each other to deliver or mail them to wives,

girlfriends, mothers, or whoever if we don’t make it. So,

after seeing lots of men go down, I decided I owed you

some last words.

I’m sure you’re wondering about the stone

enclosed. Now, don’t go thinking this is some weird

religion shit. It is a talisman. A guy I met over here

from California gave it to me, and now I want you to

have it. It’s called a “Rune”. Go to the library and look

them up. They’re from an ancient alphabet and were

used by the Norsemen hundreds of years ago. The

symbol on this white rune is called Wunjo and is the

“happily-ever-after” symbol. Sis, that’s what I want for

you. It’s what you deserve.

We had so many dreams when we were kids. I still

  1. I’ve never stopped wanting to go to college and

help kids like us that are stuck in a broken foster care

system.

But, to do that, I would have to survive. Seems like

that’s what life’s been for you and me from the start,

but we now have the choice to make it better…

Throughout the rest of the story, Rena begins to understand and embrace the magic of the rune that her brother sent.

Have you ever heard of the Runes, or had any experience with them? I’d love to hear about it.

This is a photo of a set of Runes I own and a single photo of the ‘Wunjo’ symbol.

BLURB:

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

JAN SIKES

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

http://www.jansikes.com

https://jansikesblog.com/

https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8DK  (Author Page)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

 

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Formatting and a Healing Hike! #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #nature #hike #sierranevada #theforest #formatting

This is my last regular post for 2020. Next week I will do the “Books That Changed Me, ” and I might still do a challenge or two.

Also, this week I will have three guests visiting my blog. Don’t miss sharing their good news.

I finally got out my print copy of Dolphin’s Cave. This was my first attempt at formatting a book for eBook and Print.  I’ve had some experience with using Kindle Create for my short stories. Smashwords requires a bit more work. However, I made my first TOC, which was easy for Amazon’s copy, but not Smashwords. I finally gave up on including one on Smashwords.

Then I began the process of the print book. I printed out Amazon’s instructions. I read through the 16 pages and went through each step. I put a check by each one I did. This was a bit time-consuming. I learned a few things, including what a Drop Cap was. I wished I had that information when I did the eBooks, but now I know.

My brain was exhausted when I finally hit the last step, ready to upload to Amazon. Whew! During the preview, I found it had margin issues. So back I went to fix those…then I uploaded again. This one passed and then went into review.

It made its way onto Amazon and I was happy with the results. I’ll have to see how it goes with Ingram Sparks soon. Only one mishap that I couldn’t figure out how to fix. I won’t share what it was, but it will grace my print copies. I’m calling it my “Wizard of Oz” moment when the TV goes from black and white to color.

So after heavy editing Dolphin’s Cave in October, NaNoWriMo in November, and then going right into the final edit and formatting for Dolphin’s Cave…I needed a break. The sun broke through after some much-needed rain. Well, really sprinkles, but we’ll take it.

These pictures are from this break on a hike near Nevada City, CA with my husband and our dog, Sara.

I felt a calm wash over me, being part of nature’s beauty. You might recognize the spot, I’ve posts pictures from there before, but this day held some healing magic.

Note: The top picture of the waterfall and rocks is exactly as I took it. The river and puddle was golden with the trees reflected in the puddle. I know the fairies had to be close by.

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

 

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #29 Final Image Prompt for 2020! #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot #tanka #poetry

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s week #29 ‘Fiction in a Flash Challenge.’

This image reminded me of dreams that were just out of reach. I wrote a few Tanka poems about that. This is the one that fits the picture the best.

Tanka is 5/7/5/7/7.

THE PATHWAY

Life’s long pathway

Tugs me towards its promise

Always out of reach…

Undeterred, I keep going

Until I reach my rainbow.

Featured

RELEASE DAY! “Dolphin’s Cave” by D. L. Finn. #writingcommunity #newrelease #childrensbook #youngYA #preteen #fantasy #dolphins #otherworlds #hawaii #IARTG #ASMSG #HappyBDayJeff

It’s finally here! Release day for “Dolphin’s Cave.”

This is my first attempt to format a book, so I’m still working on the print version, but the ebook is available on Amazon and Smashwords. The print is following soon, in time for Christmas shopping.

“Dolphin’s Cave” is a book that is for children and preteens as well as those who are young at heart:)

Blurb:

The dream always begins the same way for fifteen-year-old Coral Dover. She enters the ocean alone and ends up in a cave on the back of a dolphin. It’s happened every night for the last eight years since her parents disappeared. Coral longs to visit the place where her parents’ plane went down, and she finally gets her wish when her aunt takes her on a working vacation to Hawaii. When Coral notices unusual things happening around her, only one other person believes her. Will they discover the secret that could change everyone’s lives? Can Coral keep her family safe as she pursues her dream?

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

In Her Dreams

Darkness came as it did every evening—quietly and completely. Slumber always brought the same dreams ever since Coral Dover’s parents’ plane had disappeared off the radar en route from Oahu to Maui. Coral never gave up hope that her parents were somewhere waiting to be found. Her faith had been solid for eight long years, but now it was eroding like rocky sea cliffs, constantly being battered by the ocean’s salty reality. Her escape was her dreams. Every night the same events replayed, but they seemed new every time—like dream-state amnesia. Covers over her head and eyes tightly shut, sleep engulfed her as she sank into hope.

***

The ocean water was warm as she swam away from the protected cove of a black sandy beach. Suddenly a painless grasp at her legs pulled her underwater. There was no fear, only curiosity. The deeper she went, the cooler the water became, yet she wasn’t cold. More important, though, she wasn’t fighting to breathe.

Eyes burning from the saltwater, she couldn’t see who or what pulled her. Abruptly she was released and settled into a neutral buoyancy. Surroundings came into focus. The blue encased her, and there was no way to tell which way was up. Goosebumps covered her arms, and she turned around. She saw a turtle and a dolphin—her kidnappers.

The turtle held back while the dolphin moved in and nudged her leg with its snout and then turned away from her. It was ten feet long, dark gray on top fading to white underneath. She knew it was a bottlenose dolphin thanks to her mom, who had written and illustrated a children’s book called What’s Swimming in the Hawaiian Sea?

Coral used to insist that her mom read her newly published book to her before bed. This turtle looked exactly like the one in the book—a green sea turtle, or honu, as the Hawaiians called it. It was brown and about three feet wide. Unsure what to do next, she watched the turtle and let the memories surface.

“The turtle’s name comes from its adult diet of seagrass and other plants, which are stored in its fat and turn it green. The color isn’t external, but internal.” A warm smile danced across her mom’s face. “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was judged by the color of their fat, or what was on the inside and not the outside?”

Waves of her past washed over her every time she thought about her parents. Instead of drowning in her pain, she was kept afloat by the hope of one day seeing them.

The dolphin nudged her with its nose again, bringing her back to this dream reality. Its expression looked like a smile. She knew there was a mouthful of teeth behind that smile that the dolphin used to catch food. Coral was caught. The dolphin nodded its head, then swam under her and waited. Carefully and gently she touched its fin. The dolphin showed no signs of being upset by her touch. It didn’t attempt to bite or release a burst of bubbles from its blowhole. Both good signs, yet she held back.

The dolphin took control and pushed up under her. And just like that, she was riding it. She clung to its dorsal fin as it swam, surfacing every seven minutes to breathe. She almost slipped off a few times, but the dolphin slowed and maneuvered so that she could adjust herself. Unlike the dolphin, who breathed air, Coral was able to breathe both air and water.

How am I doing this?

Bewildered, she focused on what was occurring, how the water entered new slits on her neck and exited through her nose. When they broke the water’s surface, she took in air through her nose or mouth. The dolphin’s process was different. It blew out its used air from a blowhole on top of its head when it surfaced, sounding much like a balloon quickly losing air. Then it sucked air in through the same hole and refilled its lungs. Coral’s intake of air was quiet yet dramatic as she switched from water to air.

The dolphin stopped and waited in the sunlight, which was blinding. Coral’s eyes watered from the salt while they slowly adjusted. There was a small island off to the right, and the dolphin swam in that direction. There were no hotels or people around. Was she going to be stranded here, or was there another purpose? A knowing poured through her. Her parents were stranded somewhere and couldn’t get back to her.

There was no sand on this shoreline, only jagged black rocks from years of volcanic eruptions. They were heading for the tallest cliff when the turtle bumped against her leg.

“Where are we going?”

They swam right up to the cliff.

“Are my parents here?”

The dolphin dove into the clear blue water. A school of bright yellow-and-blue fish swam by, and Coral saw an underwater cave straight ahead. Her grip tightened on the dolphin’s fin as they swam into it. She could see lights ahead. Finally they were about to surface, and she’d have some answers—

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SMASHWORDS

 

Embrace your inner child… always! D. L. Finn

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December Book Reviews! @TPolen6 @Dwallacepeach @CynthiaSReyes @jamescudney4 @bakeandwrite #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies Story and Cookbook

by Robbie Cheadle

I love seeing Ms. Cheadle’s cooking creations on social media. They are always fun and creative. When it was time to buy my granddaughters a gift, I knew a book about fairies and cooking would be the perfect fit for my four- and five-year-old grandkids. Before wrapping the book up, I read it. I was charmed with the story, loved the recipes, and impressed mother and son wrote it. I look forward to reading this with my youngest grandchildren and then picking a recipe to make together. This is a great combination book to give as a present!


Myrtle the Purple Turtle
by Cynthia Reyes

I bought this for my youngest granddaughter for Christmas. I knew she’d love the bright illustrations and a story that involved a turtle. Before wrapping and placing it under the tree, I read it. I loved the message behind this story. A purple turtle wanted to be green like the rest of the turtles. This is an excellent lesson to accept yourself and others for who they are. I can’t wait to watch her open her gift so we can enjoy this wonderful story together. I highly recommend this young children’s book.


Hiding Cracked Glass (Perceptions of Glass #2)

by James J. Cudney

This sequel has outdone the first book that I loved, “Watching Glass Shatter.” The story is based on a blackmail note found and a party. The name is unreadable on the envelope, so Olivia doesn’t know who the letter is for, adding another layer to the mystery. The story is told through multiple POVs, which gives insight into what is going on in this family. I found a couple of characters made me mad at how they were acting, and I had a lot of empathy for the young widow, Emma. The mother, Olivia, has grown stronger and wants to do the right thing if she can figure out what that is. The sons each have their issues, making them think they are the subject of this note, which kept me guessing until the reveal. As the plot weaved together and things were exposed, it made an exciting family drama that was hard to put down. I highly recommend this book, but start with the first one to appreciate this story.


Lords of Chaos (Unraveling the Veil Book 3)

by D. Wallace Peach

“Lords of Chaos” is the last book in the Unraveling the Veil Series. It starts up where the last book left off. The beginning was brutal when Talin is in prison. It felt very real and equally disturbing what one being can do to another. The trio of changeling, elf, and goblin fights the destruction of their world while societies were still fighting each other. There was a lot of depth and insight into our current social situations, which are weaved into the story seamlessly. The Lord of Chaos wants to end what Alue, Naj, and Talin are trying to save. I love the relationship between Talin and Alue and how Naj fits into it. They have all grown, changed and learned not only about themselves but about the world around them. This is a fast-paced action tale where they are constantly fighting to survive, and the story and characters are riveting. This will be a series I won’t soon forget as it leaves a message to work together instead of fighting each other. Very timely. I highly recommend this fantasy series that was entertaining and thought-provoking.


Allies and Spies (Unraveling the Veil Book 2)

by D. Wallace Peach

“Allies and Spies” is the second book in the Veil Series and the best so far. The story continues with the trio of unlikely heroes who are thrown together. An elf, goblin, and changeling try to develop a working trust that isn’t present in their world between their societies. With earthquakes and people disappearing, the blame and suspicion grow between the kingdoms. The group spends some time traveling together and apart to find answers. The continued relationship between the three is strained, with feelings right under the surface. Their connections grow as time goes on, but, it goes in the opposite direction too, but they all experience growth. Alue, Naj, and Talin can’t agree on what is going on, which adds to the mix as they try to survive. As soon as they seem to get an answer, more trouble arrives for them. They swear their allegiance to more than one kingdom, and there is some personal information learned that’s all blended into a beautifully created world. Chaos is determined to destroy it all, and the planet’s inhabitants make that fairly easy to accomplish, which reminded me of our current conditions in our society. These three are the only beings who can stop it, but their flaws make it difficult and almost impossible. I just started the third book and can’t wait to see how this ends for the characters I care about. I highly recommend this fast-paced fantasy but suggest you read it from book one because it is a world you want to learn about from the beginning.


Subject A36 (The Colony #1)

by Teri Polen

“Subject A36” is a YA story set in the future. There is a divide in how people are treated. The Colony contains the people who have all the money and power. They harvest good genetic traits from the insurgents or the have-nots, a process that kills the donor. The insurgents rescue those who are picked up to do the harvests. It’s a time where having a certain color of eyes or being intelligent means death to those who don’t live in the Colony. Seventeen-year-old Asher lost his family to this horrible practice and found his place on missions to release people from certain deaths. I love his relationship with his team, especially Brynn, the one who holds his heart. The connections feel very real to me and all the complications that go with hidden truths. This is a fast-paced story told in first-person through different points of view, which added to understanding the complicated world in which Asher exists. There are a lot of twists and surprises for Asher and his team.  A couple of times, I was so invested in what was happening, sleep became unimportant. Although this is a YA read, it’s a story for adults too. I can’t wait for the next book to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this.


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

Embrace that inner child by reading a great book. Then, give a gift back to the author by leaving a review! D. L. Finn

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#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 205, #POET’SCHOICE #Haiku #Haiga #WritingCommunity @ColleenChesebro

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 205, #POET’SCHOICE.  I’m using a picture I took and adding in a Haiku, which when combined is a Hagia. For more information on Syllabic Poetry check out Colleen’s Cheatsheet.

Every year I make a calendar for my family and friends using my photographs. I decided to branch out and add my Haigas. Here’s the one I’m using for December.

The picture was taken the year my husband, son, and I took a scenic drive on Christmas day because we celebrated with the family the day before. It was an amazing adventure for us, including some four-wheeling in the snow. We ended up in Reno and had a burger feast.

The three trees reminded me of the three wise men.

 

 

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Dolphin’s Cave Cover Re-Release! #childrensbook #YA #fantasy #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Dolphin’s Cave has been on a long journey to being released.  The cover has been floating around my website for over the last three years as the story has been stuck in editing. Right now it’s getting a good proofread. Although this one has had the strangest path to publishing, in the end, my inner child happy with the results.

Dolphin’s Cave is a fantasy that is taken from a short story about a dream that I wrote over 20 years ago. I decided to make it into a full-length novel and it was originally for middle-grade readers. I decided to nudge the age group up a tiny bit. It ended up somewhere between middle grade and YA. So I can call it either a younger YA or an advanced middle grade.  I haven’t seen a term for this one, yet.

It’s gone through a lot of revising these last few months and I was able to incorporate all that I’ve learned in the last couple of years.

This isn’t the final version of the blurb but pretty close:

The dream always began the same for fifteen-year-old Coral Dover. She entered the ocean water alone — and ended up in a cave on the back of a dolphin. It happened every night for the last eight years since her parents disappeared. Coral longed to go to the place her parents’ plane went down, but she was stuck in the middle of a desert. Finally, her aunt announced they were going on a vacation to the place it happened—Hawaii. Everything was falling into place until Coral noticed unusual things happening around them. With only one person who believed her, would they find the secret that could change everyone’s lives? More importantly, was Coral and her family safe as she pursued her dream.

Still looking to release within the next couple of weeks. I’ll keep you updated.

Embrace your inner child, always! D. L. Finn

 

 

 

 

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Book Research for Dolphin’s Cave. #NewRelease #ChildrensBook #YA #DophinsCave #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Research and Reality 

My fiction research is limited compared to when I wrote my historical fiction book, Elizabeth’s War. I used my travels to Hawaii for a background in Dolphin’s Cave, along with This Second Chance and  An Unusual Island.

There were a few things I had to look up. The correct time was one since I didn’t realize Hawaii doesn’t do daylight savings time, and my timeline would have been an hour off if I hadn’t caught that. What time was the sunset in December was another detail I had to make sure of to fit into the story.

Since the family was traveling during the holidays, I wanted to describe how the airports decorated accurately. Reno Airport was the quickest to respond to my inquiry and even sent pictures. Honolulu international airport shared with me details of how they decorated the luggage pickup area. Maui’s airport had fewer pointers because they do it differently each year, which is vaguer in my descriptions.

I am always thankful when people take time out to help with details when my characters take a trip to actual places.

On Oahu, I had to research the mall where the Pennys and Coral went shopping. I found pictures of how they decorated for the holidays and included that. I also had to investigate how the hotels and residents of the island celebrated the holiday. Of course, Santa would know how to ride a surfboard 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 many years since I’ve seen Pearl Harbor, so I wanted to see what had changed. The security is something I don’t remember from my honeymoon, but that’s not to say there wasn’t a lesser version of it then. I had to find a tour for my characters to take and what they’d see along the way. Driving from the airport needed a time frame, and I double-checked how long it takes in traffic to get to Waikiki Beach.

I’ve learned a lot about Sea Turtles and Dolphins over the years, but still rechecked what I put in Dolphin’s Cave.

When I have a retired General in my story, I want to be positive it was possible to move up the ranks in the time I gave him. My intention is to be as accurate as humanly possible when I mention something outside of fantasy.

Scuttle Valley is not an actual place in Nevada, but Reno certainly is. I live an hour and a half from Reno and have made several shopping trips to the mall Coral and Ruby went shopping in to prepare for their trip to Hawaii. I left the stores anonymous, but they are typical of all malls across the United States, which include holiday decorations, helpful employees, and Santa Claus. There isn’t a Dunning Corporation, either, but I based it off what I thought might be out there searching for that untapped magic to make a profit off of it.

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 we had to ourselves for a while on my honeymoon.

I have never seen an underwater cave to enter—yet. But Coral did, and she was rewarded with another place hidden from us, Air People.


This week there is a holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. It is a day I have much to be grateful for all I have been blessed with, including all my amazing writing friends I’ve made along the way.

Next week I will reshare the cover from Dolphin’s Cave and share a bit about it. This book has been a long time coming to this point of sharing.

Embrace your inner child with new knowledge! D. L. Finn

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WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 203 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT #TANKA #WritingCommunity @ColleenChesebro

I couldn’t pass up this beautiful picture, plus I got today’s word count in for NaNo done early.

Here’s Colleen M. Chesebro’s WEEKLY TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 203 EKPHRASTIC PHOTOPROMPT.

For more information about Ekphrastic Poetry here’s a link: Ekphrastic

My Tanka poem for the picture. 5/7/5/7/7

THE FAIRY

The forest breathless

A protective lion near

By the serene lake

Witnessed only by two birds

Nature gave birth to magic.

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My Aloha experience. #DolphinsCave #ComingRelease #YA #ChildrenBook #Hawaii #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Aloha!

Hawaii is a place I hold close in my heart. I heard many tales of this magical place growing up. My family had done business there, and my mother had been there many times during this. Although the family business had ended, I was lucky enough 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 remember touring the pineapple groves and sitting next to a very nice fourth-grade teacher.

Pineapples were a cornerstone of my diet there. We ate pineapple ice cream at Woolworths and fresh pineapple at the International Market. What I will remember most about this trip is the Brady Bunch (one of my favorite shows growing up) went to Hawaii the same year. We stayed in the same hotel they did, but not at the same time. Although I didn’t get cursed or learn how to surf, I got a hula lesson at the Kodiak 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 to the beach. I found a Hawaiian lady who was making leis with plumeria flowers along the path. She took the time to show me how to make them, and then I got to keep my work. I spent hours swimming and ended up with the worst sunburn I ever had. For nights after I sprayed myself with water to cool it down and later my shoulders bore freckles of my Hawaiian journey. We picked up some souvenirs at the International Market (now gone) and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we walked through villages while interacting and learning. Then a beautiful show floated by on the river.

My next trip back was on my honeymoon. We explored Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, and a Luau. When we weren’t seeing the sights, we hung out on the Waikiki Beach and ate lots of crab Louie and pineapple. Another week was added, and we headed to Maui. Here we drove the famous Hana Drive that took us through all the waterfalls and an amazing black beach that we had to ourselves. Every night in paradise, we sat and watched the sunset.

It was almost 30 years before we went back to Hawaii for our second honeymoon. This time we focused on Kauai and Maui.

On Kauai, we made a point of doing things we’d never done before, including a helicopter tour over Kauai, which produced some amazing views and pictures but also left my husband with a queasy stomach. Next, we took a boat tour to snorkel (my second time ever), and the spinning dolphins and a couple of turtles entertained us. Then we rented a Harley and cruised the south shore of the island, including the spectacular little Grand Canyon. Kauai is an amazing garden island filled with roaming chickens.

We spent week two on Maui. We took the Hana drive again, where I was less brave than I had been on our honeymoon with the narrow road, but it was still just as beautiful as I had remembered it. We explored the town of Lahaina and the Hard Rock Cafe, and other wonderful restaurants. The thing that has the fondest memories was staying at the hotel and lounging around the pool— and snorkeling. We’d get up each morning and suit up for the ocean. There was usually a turtle greeting you at the shore, but we were warned not to touch them it could make them sick. However, the turtle seemed determined to touch me.

Hawaii is truly paradise, full of wonderful people, scenery, and memories. It has become my home away from home and has found its way in An Unusual IslandThis Second Chance, and soon to be released, middle grade/ YA Dolphin’s Cave. I’m hoping for an early December release if all goes well.

The Aloha spirit has found residence in me and my work.

Embrace your inner child with the Aloha Spirit in your heart. D. L. Finn

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #25 #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot #Haibun #Haiku #Poetry

Here’s  Suzanne Burke’s:

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #25 New Image Prompt! Join in the fun!#IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

I’m halfway through with my NaNo Challenge, hitting 25,000 words today. The story is finally flowing with more ideas I’m adding in. So, I celebrated by doing the image prompt this week. Plus, I couldn’t pass this picture up!

This is a Haibun Poem, which is a prose paragraph and a Haiku combined.

THE BOOKCASE

The dusty-book aroma filled me with happiness. The old house was mine now, including this exquisite library. My hand brushed over some of the great classics Treasure Island, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, and Little Women. I sneezed as I continued to rescue the collection from its grimy lair. There would be hours of reading seated by a roaring fire. I breathed in gratitude, knowing all my dreams had come true. Then, I ran across a book that would not budge. A heavy tug revealed what was hidden.

The bookcase a door

A stale room with one rare book

Gutenberg Bible.

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November Book Reviews Part 2! @BalroopShado @Virgilante @MarciaMeara @JacqBiggar @sgc58 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #whattoread

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

by Sally Cronin

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


Perfectly Imperfect

by Jacquie Biggar

“Perfectly Imperfect” is a fun romantic read. Georgina started the company of her dreams and was expecting the representative who she merged her company with for capital. Unfortunately, the two met before their upcoming appointment and had some mishaps. Rhys is the son of the company’s owner and is posed to sell Georgina’s company unknown to her. The story is told in the first person from both points of view so you can see both sides of their story and appreciate their misunderstandings. Then throw in a puppy and a dinner, and it gets interesting. I enjoyed reading this sweet short story in one evening.  If you want a good HEA, this is for you! Four-Stars!


The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

By Marcia Meara

I’ve enjoyed the story of Azrael the Archangel, who needs help and brings in two emissaries, Jake and Dodger. I was excited to see how the story concluded, but sad to see it end. Jake and Dodger have a sweet father and son relationship as they help others. Dodger sees a woman and immediately falls in love with her. Can he find her again, and will he be allowed to explore his feelings? That alone kept me reading way past my bedtime. I love how Dodger explored his place now in the world throughout the book. Then there are Azrael’s sudden arrivals that always made me chuckle, plus I loved the humor between Jake and Dodger. Azrael’s presence is intimidating to the two men, but you can see the archangel’s heart underneath. I highly recommend this story. Five-Stars!


The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat, #3)

by C.S. Boyack

Lizzie is a young woman with a family secret, a hat. I love how Mr. Boyack brings the Hat to life and the hilarious exchanges between Lizzie and the Hat. Mrs. Molony’s addition and what it meant to their vampire hunting and missing woman quest is something I wasn’t expecting. I love how Lizzie and the Hat’s band travel and interact with the crowds. It’s a mini-concert while serving justice. This is a quick read that I didn’t want to put down, so I read it in one night. All three stories in The Hat Series are entertaining, fast-paced, and creative. The author made sure they could be read out of order, so you could start here and work your way back. I highly recommend “The Ballad of Mrs. Molony.” Five-Stars!


Magical Whispers

by Balroop Singh

I’m already a fan of Ms. Singh’s poetry, having read and enjoyed her past poetry books. “Magical Whispers” is a delicate blend of nature and human introspection. It’s divided into two parts. One part focuses more on Mother Nature, and the other offers an insight into our journey. The words painted beautiful pictures that captured my imagination and left me thinking. This is a collection that I will want to read more than once and will be added to my bookshelf. I jotted down some of my favorites as I read, but my list became too long to list here in its entirety. Here are just a few that touched my soul: Stream Whispers, Starlight, Magic in Her Pocket, Little Beetle, and Love is Love. If you love poetry, you won’t want to miss out on this collection! Five-Stars!


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

I’m working furiously on my NaNo story, and other things have come up, especially this last week, so I’m not active on social media, especially blogs.  I have gone days without reading.

We finally got some rain and a bit of snow this weekend. Looks like fire season might finally be over here. Whew!

Embrace your inner child by reading a fantastic book and giving the author your review! D. L. Finn

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 201 #POET’SCHOICE #HAIGA #HAIKU #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity @ColleenChesebro#PHOTOS #TURTLES

Here’s Colleen M. Chesbro #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 201, #POET’SCHOICE!

I went with one of my photos and a Haiku or a Haiga Poem. Explanation below.

This was an amazing spiritual experience I had swimming with a turtle.  That’s my youngest daughter Danielle in the picture who shared this moment with me.

What is a Haiga Poem? An explanation from Colleen’s Poetry Challenge Cheat Sheet:

“HAIGA IN ENGLISH: First, the haiku or senryu portion of the poem is the most important part and must standalone without the image. It is created by using the traditional 5/7/5, or the current 3/5/3, or the current 2/3/2 syllable structure (but not all three together). Haiga, often called observational poetry, contains an image with either a haiku or senryu written on it or near it. Haiga usually combines three art forms:  imagery: photographs or original art, poetry, and calligraphy.

  • Second, images cannot complete the haiku or senryu. If the image is necessary, to understand the poem, then both the image and the poem fail.
  • The image should add something to the reader’s appreciation of the piece.
  • The image can create an alternative interpretation to the one articulated by the literal reading of the poem. That additional interpretation is what the poet should strive to convey.
  • The image should form a contrast, or comparison with the imagery expressed in the poem. We should strive to produce an emotion of the moment between the poet and the reader, the image and the poem.”
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November Book Reviews Part 1! @stacitroilo @Sandra_Cox @PTLPerrin #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Triton’s Call (Tetrasphere #2)

by P.T.L. Perrin

I read and enjoyed the first YA book, “Terra’s Call.” I was eager to get back to the series and see what happened next. The story is told in the first person with multiple points of view, which painted together created a full picture. I love how Ms. Perrin draws the reader in with her vivid images and settings. The mixture of aliens, mythical creatures, and folklore are blended and weaved into reality. Each of the four teens has their charm and issues, but their devotion to each other is inspiring, even with the misunderstandings. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey to see where it takes the four next as they continue saving the world one artifact at a time. If you love YA fantasy mixed with sci-fi, you’ll want to read the Tertrasphere world. Five-Stars!


Ghost for Sale

by Sandra Cox

“Ghost for Sale” is a charming YA paranormal read. It was funny to think about ghosts being sold over eBay and Marcy wanting a refund when she was disappointed. When the order arrived, one tube was broken, and one appeared empty. My first thought was, ‘what were you thinking’, until the roommate, Caitlin, saw a ghost. It was a good-looking ghost from the late 1800s that Caitlin kept secret from her cousin, Marcy. It was fun seeing the ghost, Liam’s reactions to the modern woman and all the technology, and how well he adapted. The broken tube was his twin sister, and then Caitlin and Liam worked together in an attempt to reunite the sister with the man she loved. The ending surprised me because I expected this to go a different way, but I like how it ended. This is a sweet paranormal love story with a twist that I thoroughly enjoyed! Five-Stars!


The Lab (Astral Conspiracy Book 5)

by D.L. Cross

I started reading the Astral Conspiracy with book one, “The Gate” and was immediately pulled in with the fast pace and amazing characters. I was excited to see how this story of conspiracies, aliens, and relationships was going to end. There were a few twists and surprises to navigate through to arrive at an ending that was not only satisfying but might have left the door open a crack to continue. Landon Thorne was the first to capture my heart as the unwilling hero whose theories had been shunned until the aliens came, and suddenly his expertise became valuable. I loved his character’s progression through the books, along with the introduction of new characters. Some I loved, especially the twins, and some I didn’t, but there was a couple that changed my opinion of them by the end. The research and thought that went into this made it feel very real to me. If you love a good sci-fi story with well-written characters, along with some mystery thrown in, this is the perfect read for you. I highly recommend reading all the books in order, so you don’t miss a thing. Five-Stars!


The Twins (Astral Conspiracy Book 4)

by D.L. Cross

I’m enjoying this sci-fi series. I love Reverie’s twins’ addition as the characters are trying to survive and figure out who to trust—throwing in children to protect added another dimension to the story. The twin’s psychic abilities give them an edge the adults don’t have. There are several characters I’m rooting for, including one I didn’t think I would. While some relationships ebb and flow, a few grew stronger, making me very invested in their well-being. There are surprising revelations and a couple of twists that kept me reading way past my bedtime. The pace is nonstop as everyone tries to survive in this well-constructed world. This is a highly recommended series you want to read from the beginning. I can’t wait to plunge into the final book! Five-Stars!


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

Embrace that inner child by reading a great book. Then, give a gift back to the author by leaving a review! D. L. Finn

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #23 @pursoot #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction #Poetry #Tanka #Haiku

Here’s Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #23 NEW IMAGE PROMPT.

I’ve been busy editing late into the night all week to meet a deadline. I think I’m finally done in time to start the NaNo. Whew! Sorry if I’ve been missing the last couple of days, but this ran into Halloween which I’m enjoying today.

I couldn’t pass up this beautiful picture. I have two poems, a Tanka and Haiku that came to me last night. I couldn’t choose.

Here’s the Tanka which is 5/7/5/7/7:

THE FLIGHT

Aloft over river

The landscape glows with autumn

Peaceful under wings

When a hollow hunger calls

Abundance rewards the hawk.


And now the Haiku 5/7/5:

My wings carry me

High above the autumn glow

I soar with angels.


 

Happy Halloween! I’m off to enjoy more scary fun. D. L. Finn

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My Paranormal Experiences Part 2. #paranormal #ghosts #writer #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Ghost Post Part Two 

In March 1990, we left the Bay Area and moved to an old mining town in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The house search took us a while; we found most lacking.

One Victorian house had an uncomfortable-oppressive feeling. I loved the layout and the idea of living in such a beautiful house, but once inside, I couldn’t wait to get out. My husband felt the same way, so we moved on. Later, the person who bought that house was attacked and stabbed several times by someone who had come in to do some work. Thankfully the person lived and was able to crawl for help, but an understanding passed through me having “felt” the house.

Our current house of 30 years was built by the owner who we bought from and was nestled in the forest. I was moving into Sleeping Beauty’s cottage, where the fairies raised her.

The house had an airy feel, except for what we refer to as the “Hall Ghost.” I felt no fear of it. No one did. It’s had many sightings, and our kid’s friends had said they thought it was me, or saw a woman with red hair. My experience with it is a shadow peeking around the corner, usually when I am writing, or music is playing. Everyone who spends any time in our house ends up seeing it. It’s startling but not fear-inducing. I have decided it is watching over us.

In our garage, several people, including me, have seen a long hair man walking around at night. Also, nothing intimidating about him. He’s just there. My feeling, and a psychic confirmed, this was an indigenous person from before the miners settled here.

During star gazing, we’ve seen more than our share of white orbs in the forest.

None of these things worried me or caused fear, but the single room upstairs was a different story. I used to write in this room that we had used as a guest room years ago. I used a typewriter over a computer, which shows you how long ago that was. I’d scare myself as I wrote some rather gory details which I’ve never shared. I felt like I wasn’t alone, but not with the intensity, or evil I’d felt at the other house. My husband said he was tapped on the back once while playing his guitar, but it only startled not frighten him.

Later, the room was put to use by our teens,  first the eldest and then the youngest. There were stories of hearing their name whispered, breathing on the back of their neck while on the computer, vivid dreams, and feeling like they weren’t alone.  At times I’d find a teen sleeping downstairs, but they wouldn’t give up the room either. The middle child, who kept her downstairs room, spoke of feeling cold air the minute she started up the stairs.

A few years ago a person, who is now a member of our family, banished this entity. I have no reason to doubt that, but still, something less intimidating still lingers.

No one sleeps in there anymore since our youngest moved out. It’s become the band room where now I hear an angel singing when my husband plays certain songs. Our angel interactions will have to be another blog.

To be on the safe side, we’ve done many sage smudgings, holy water, and blessings in that room and the house. Whatever heaviness had bothered my kids was gone, and what’s there now seems to enjoy music.

The paranormal has always surrounded me in one form or another. I’ve definitely seen and felt things I can’t explain and this experience makes its way into my writing.  Happy Halloween!


Note:

In November, I’ll be participating in the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge. I’ll still be doing my weekly posts for my book reviews and for a new book coming out in December. More details to follow.

That means I won’t be doing any of the challenges that I’ve been doing during the week. Plus, my time will be limited to visit blogs and social media while I try to balance everything– including the holiday.  I will be back to my normal presence by the end of the month.

If you need a promotion or a beta reader for December, or beyond, send me an email at d.l.finn.author@gmail.com. I will respond:)

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

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My Paranormal Experiences Part 1. #paranormal #ghosts #writer #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Ghost Post Part One

With Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I’d share some of my paranormal experiences.

In 1984, we proudly bought our first house. As we signed some papers in our soon-to-be home, I heard a voice say to me, “You are going to die soon.”

Now maybe I should have run at the point when only I heard that, but I didn’t. I figured it was the stress of becoming heavily in debt, and besides, no one else heard it. The person who sat next to me and helped with this purchase was my beloved great grandmother. Sadly, a few months later, she died shortly after a stroke. I realized the dire warning was meant for her.

Then things started happening. In the downstairs room, which we used as a guest room, there was an old music box that you’d have to wind to hear it play. It would play by itself when my husband or I passed the room. We laughed that off.

Going up the stairs, we always felt like something was chasing us from the downstairs. It was unnerving. In our master bedroom, at our door, when I would wake up, I’d see a man whose face I couldn’t make out wearing a top hat watching me over the door. One time he waved. I didn’t wave back. There was a presence in that house that we couldn’t explain.

On a cold winter day, my husband was at the store, I was a few months pregnant and carrying my oldest daughter. Heading downstairs as I hit the first step, I felt something push hard on my back. I clung to my toddler as we bounced down the stairs on my tailbone until the very end when I needed both hands to upright myself. We were both fine, just very shaken up, and a bit bruised. The baby survived too.

At this point, we started looking to move to accommodate our growing family. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The house sold fast when we put it on the market, and we were soon in our new place with a five-week-old baby and two-year-old toddler. We gave everything from that downstairs bedroom to charity, including that music box. We took very few things from that house, just to be safe.

Whatever evil that stalked us in that house hadn’t bothered the people who owned it before, nor the people after that from what I know. It was something about it the house didn’t like us there, and we honored that by getting out of there.

The house we lived in next we were only there two years but had no paranormal experiences. Next week I’ll share our family experiences in our current house😊

NOTE: We’re still dealing with high fire danger here in Northern California with no rain in sight. So, if there is a power shutoff I will disappear for a bit. When the red-flag winds die down and we trade generators for the old power grid and I’ll be fully back. Reading great stories takes my mind off the constant fire dangers here and living on high alert this time of year, so thank you all for giving me the escape of a good book.

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #21 NEW Image Prompt! #IARTG #WritingCommunity #flashfiction #writingprompts @pursoot

Here’s my Haibun Poem for Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #21 NEW Image Prompt!

A Haibun Poem combines a prose poem (the paragraph) and a Haiku/Senryu.

THE TRUTH

Wood slats replace the glass in my childhood home. Rocks and years have stripped away its beauty. Long ago, this empty house was full of life. People traveled great distances to attend the lavish parties. Our family was admired and respected until I disappeared. They hung my beloved husband for a crime he didn’t commit. Only I knew that, though, and no one heard my ghostly protests. Someday we’ll be reunited, but only after people finally learn the truth.

The house isn’t haunted

I only want to be found

My murderer died with me.

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New Release and Review! “Cafe Confidential” by Lynda Filler @LyndaMFiller #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

I’m pleased to share Lynda Filler’s latest memoir here today along with my review! I read and loved “LOVE: The Beat Goes On.” I message I took away from both books was a reminder to live fully in our moments.

BLURB:

There’s no turning back.
I’ve sold everything.
I bought one-way tickets around the world with no return destination.
My friends think I’m crazy.
What if I don’t find what I’m looking for?
I’m not chasing love. Not exactly.
What if he’s not the one?

So grab a cappuccino or herbal tea if you prefer and join me at Café Confidential. I will share my adventures and secrets as I travel to France, India, Israel, Malaysia, and Turkey. Perhaps I can convince you that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

CAFE CONFIDENTIAL:
“I finished (reading) this memoir 3 days ago…I can sincerely say it has not left my mind since completing it. I will start by saying that without any doubt this is not just my favorite book of 2020 but is absolutely one of my top 5 of all time.” KirscherSmiles

MY REVIEW:

CAFE CONFIDENTIAL: An unfiltered and intimate memoir

by Lynda Filler

I read Ms. Filler’s first memoir, “LOVE: The Beat Goes On.” It was a book that has stayed with me, so I was excited to continue her life’s story. “Café Confidential” does a bit of recapping her past, but then it dives into selling her belongings and traveling. I loved seeing the world through the author’s eyes in her writing and photography.  It isn’t a straight line of places visited, but her thoughts, history, and philosophies are weaved into the book. There is a pure joy embracing each moment as well as dealing with life’s sorrows. I know I have wondered, at times, what it would be like to sell everything I own and explore. I come away from reading this inspired by Ms. Filler. We should all take that leap of faith and follow our path in life.

AMAZON PURCHASE

 

About Lynda Filler

“The author’s style is reminiscent of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILDS or BALDACCI.” N. Huff

Lynda Filler spent 2019 traveling. She left Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and visited the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Malaysia, and India. Her travels have filled her creative mind with plots and intrigue. Book 7 in the Code Raven Series, The Istanbul Conspiracy, is the combination of her vivid imagination and the beauty and mystery of Istanbul, Turkey.
She writes Mystery, Action, Contemporary and Romantic Suspense, Urban Poetry, and Memoir. Lynda’s been accused of writing autobiographical stories, but so far no can get her to admit it! She loves to hear from her fans on Facebook where you can find her book news, crazy fun quotes, and photographs of both Mexico, Istanbul and all of Lynda’s travels.
Her work is both thought-provoking and entertaining. Her memoir is “Powerful and unforgettable, the journey of a remarkable woman.”
2020 will see another Code Raven Book and a Memoir/Inspirational/Motivational book.

Readers Favorite 2018 Bronze Medal in Contemporary Fiction Social Issues Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money.
Her work was honored in Book of the Month October 2017 RRBC
Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 for Target in the Sun, BTRC

“Fall in love with a beautiful mind and a deep soul. It’s like drowning in something that leaves you breathless, but still full of life.” iambrillyant, Love is the Answer

Follow her:

Twitter

Website

Instagram

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October Book Reviews Part 2! @jamescudney4 @MaeClair1 @Virgilante @judypost @DawnDun66350980 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Haunted House Ghost (Braxton Campus Mysteries #5)

by James J. Cudney

I wanted to get into the Halloween mood and chose this book to kick it off! Not having read the Braxton Campus Mysteries, it worried me I’d be lost in the story, but Mr. Cudney does an excellent job making sure the reader keeps up with the extensive list of characters and relationships. I enjoyed meeting Kellan, the college professor who seems to run into many murders that need solving. He’s moving into a house that needs some TLC, so contractors are fixing it up, but things happen that seem to point to a ghost. While Kellan works on that mystery, there is the planning of the local festivities for fall and Halloween, which is a favorite time of year for me, so I enjoyed that. There’s a budding romance with the local Sheriff and lots of interaction with family, my favorite being Nana D who adds humor. When there’s a body found, then a murder, there’s a long list of suspects. I changed my mind several times about who the killer was, and my final guess was incorrect. This is an entertaining cozy mystery set in a town I wouldn’t mind living in, minus all the murders. It will be fun to go back and read the other books in this series.


Murder They Wrote

By Judi Lynn, C.S. Boyack, Mae Clair, Kathleen Palm, Julia Donner, D.P. Reisig, Rachel Sherwood Roberts

I’m already of fan of C.S. Boyack and Mae Clair and was looking forward to this anthology. Their stories were as good as I expected them to be. There was a continuation of a familiar character “In the Files from Jason Fogg” by Mr. Boyack. I find it intriguing when Jason disappears into fog and how he handles it. In “A Winter Reckoning,” by Ms. Clair, was riveting. I felt like I had just read an incredible novel complete with love, mystery, and family drama. Then, I was introduced to five new writers and their stories. They all had a different feel and flavor, including a haunted attic, a dead body in the middle of a house renovation or garden party, a widow’s butterfly collection, and Abraham Lincoln. There were some gems in those stories, and one of my favorites was “Within the Plum Attic.” A diverse collection of seven stories kept me entertained, and I got to meet some wonderful new authors. Four-Stars!


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

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #20! @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction #ASMSG #WritingPrompts #poetry #tanka

Here’s my Tanka Poem for Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #20 NEW Image Prompt!  

THE LAST RIDE

Your long journey over

Fiery sun succumbs the day

Horses side by side

As I release your ashes

You’ll fly high amongst the stars.

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 198, #POET’SCHOICE #HAIGA #Haiku #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity @ColleenChesebro

Today I’m sharing a Haiga Poem for the COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 198, #POET’SCHOICE.

What is a Haiga Poem? An explanation from Colleen’s Poetry Challenge Cheat Sheet:

“HAIGA IN ENGLISH: First, the haiku or senryu portion of the poem is the most important part and must standalone without the image. It is created by using the traditional 5/7/5, or the current 3/5/3, or the current 2/3/2 syllable structure (but not all three together). Haiga, often called observational poetry, contains an image with either a haiku or senryu written on it or near it. Haiga usually combines three art forms:  imagery: photographs or original art, poetry, and calligraphy.

  • Second, images cannot complete the haiku or senryu. If the image is necessary, to understand the poem, then both the image and the poem fail.
  • The image should add something to the reader’s appreciation of the piece.
  • The image can create an alternative interpretation to the one articulated by the literal reading of the poem. That additional interpretation is what the poet should strive to convey.
  • The image should form a contrast, or comparison with the imagery expressed in the poem. We should strive to produce an emotion of the moment between the poet and the reader, the image and the poem.”

This image is one of my favorite pictures. I took it by the Yuba River, and it holds a special place in my heart. My words try to capture a bit of what I felt gazing upon the beauty that nature freely offers.


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October Book ReviewsPart 1! @Virgilante @HowellWave @Dwallacepeach #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheetah and the Dog

by Patricia Furstenberg

I bought “The Cheetah and the Dog” for my granddaughter’s birthday. She loves books, and I knew the subject of a dog and cheetah, and the colorful pictures would appeal to her. I read it after it arrived and loved the flow of the rhyming words. A sweet tale that’s based on a real dog’s relationship with a cheetah with a lesson in friendship, no matter what your differences are. Then, after the story, there are facts and photos of cheetahs, which is a wonderful bonus. I can’t wait to share it with my four-year-old grandchild. I’ll be buying more of Ms. Furstenberg’s children’s books as gifts. Five-Stars!


Liars and Thieves

by D. Wallace Peach

“Liars and Thieves” is a fantasy with Elves, Goblins, and Changelings living in an uneasy truce with crystals as their energy. The theme of greed and need felt current to me, and the world was brilliantly written in beautifully described images. My favorite character is Talin, who is a spy with a heart, and Alue is a close second as an Elf who has more sense of justice and temper than most. I enjoy the interactions between them in any form. Naj, the half-Elf and half-Goblin, approaches things more logically but is a solid leading character with a charming relationship with the Goblin he loves. I like what binds the three together. Then, there’s a lack of trust and blame between the three groups that felt very real to me as well as some misplaced loyalties. The unexplained disappearances and earthquakes threw in some chaos. I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens. If you love fantasies, you will want to read this. Five-Stars!


Eternal Road: The final stop

by John W. Howell

James dies and ends up with a girl he hasn’t seen since they were children. This is only the beginning of his journey. I loved the places they traveled together, and the history weaved into them. Each stop had a different story they had to maneuver through without making any changes that could affect the future. I appreciated the relationship between James and Sam how they fell back into the connection they had as children that worked now that they were adults. Then having to deal with Lucifer, who interfered with their travels, was both amusing and a bit chilling to me. Their time travels were not only action-packed with lessons weaved in, but each place they visited was an engaging tale within the main story. The attention to detail and research was well done. Many parts had me laughing and a couple that left me teary-eyed. The ending surprised me, but I was satisfied with its conclusion. This is a story I won’t soon forget, and I highly recommend it! Five-Stars!


HMS Lanternfish (The Lanternfish #2)

by C.S. Boyack

I loved the first book of this series, Lanternfish, so I was excited for the seafaring journey to continue. I was not disappointed with all my favorite characters back, including the root monsters. Those little guys always bring a smile to my face, even when they are up to no good. James Bloodworth is pulled out of retirement into a war that could ultimately affect his peaceful life. He calls for a return of the old gang, which was satisfying to have them back together, along with some new characters. It was nice to see Serang in her element, along with the rest of the crew.  Back at sea, they do what they do the best — forage for what they need. Captain Bloodworth is an excellent leader of his pirates turned soldiers; he not only is trying to undo what his father did, but helps in ways I didn’t expect. Each stop along this voyage offers new friends and a lot of enemies, which kept me reading late into the night. All the small details and created images are weaved into this story so vividly that it brings this world of sea creatures and assassins to life. I can’t wait to see where the third book goes. I highly recommend this if you love a well-told tale. Five-Stars!


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

NOTE: I’ll be hosting two fabulous authors this week. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

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

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 197, #SPECIFICFORM: Tanka @ColleenChesebro

Here’s Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #197 with the specific form being Tanka. Here’s a little bit about it from Colleen’s website:


“TANKA IN ENGLISH: 5/7/5/7/7 or the s/l/s/l/l/ syllable structure. Your Tanka will comprise 5 lines written in the first-person point of view from the perspective of the poet.

When writing a Tanka, we consider the third line your “pivot,” but feel free to let it happen anywhere, or to exclude it. It is not mandatory. If you use a pivot, the meaning should apply to the first two lines, and the last two lines of your Tanka. Remember, we can read great tanka poems both forward and backward.”  


If you want to know more please click on the link above–there is some good information!

I took this night shot, but it wasn’t the inspiration for my poem.  It does have a certain feeling that the words do.

WORDS

From a golden stage

Darkness penetrates souls

Heavy words divide

Acceptance magnifies hate

Extracting humanity.

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“Books That Changed Me” 2020 Fall Edition @JessicaBakkers @MarciaMeara @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #fiction #booksthatchangedme #mustread

Happy Fall! I love this time of year when the leaves are changing, the nights are cooler, and apples are in abundance. Halloween and Thanksgiving are ahead promising joy, fun, and family. Rainy nights by the fire can’t be too far behind, I hope. In these cozy moments is the perfect time to read a great book. Here are three amazing stories that have taken me to new worlds, offered a different perspective, or introduced a character I’ll never forget. I may have finished reading them, but they linger in my thoughts.

I’m continuing my format using the blurbs over my reviews. I want to focus more on the stories or poems that moved me enough to “change” me.

In no particular order, the books and their blurbs

Guns of Perdition (The Armageddon Showdown Book 1)

by Jessica Bakkers

IT TAKES GRACE TO HUNT WHEN IT’S DARKSOME

Jessie expects he’ll be forever cleaning up after the cowpokes of the Bad Hoss Saloon. That’s until the day a drifter strides through the doors, and blows away a blood-sucking demon, along with Jessie’s belief in an everyday world. Jessie is captivated by the enigmatic Grace, with her pearl-handled revolvers, and wolf companion. He throws in his normal life and follows her across the Wild West, as she hunts down and slays the evil creatures that roam the frontier.

Along the way, they seek the aid of a Native American warrior, cross paths with a Cajun Queen, and encounter a small-town tycoon with a deadly hunger for gold. Animosity and distrust plague Grace and Jessie, and their strange group of allies, but they must put their differences behind them if they’re to have any hope of finding and defeating the frontier’s true evil, the Darksome Gunman.

The Armageddon Showdown is a dark-fantasy, weird western series of epic proportions, focusing on the age-old battle between good and evil, though in the Wild West, it’s not always clear just who is good and who is evil.

Join Grace Dyer and her band of miscreants as they battle demons and demi-gods, in the frontier’s deadliest conflict…the Armageddon Showdown.

A Boy Named Rabbit (Wake-Robin Ridge #2)

by Marcia Meara

In Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series, Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, returns to the rugged beauty of the North Carolina mountains, introducing a little boy whose remarkable gift will change the world for everyone he meets.

“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”

The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with the Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.

The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.

Finding Katie

by Harmony Kent

I killed someone, you see. I killed the girl, who used to be me.

I’m Kate … Kate Charlesworth. I’m seventeen, and self-harming. This time I cut too deep, and I’m in hospital. I hadn’t meant for it to be so bad—it just sort of happened. I needed a lot of distraction that day.

You’ve had bad days, right? Days it hurts too much to think. Days you just wanna stay in bed. Days when the world needs to go away for a while. Right?

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? When there’s nowhere left to turn?

This one little mistake lands me back on a psych unit—the last place I wanna be. Only this time, the nurse I end up with isn’t content to stick on a band-aid and send me home. She wants me to face my demons. But to do that, I’ll have to face who I am … who I used to be … I’ll have to find Katie.


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

 

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Some random thoughts and a #Tanka #Poem! #filters #cats #halloween #poetry #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Our kitty, Zuzu, expressing her thoughts on 2020 in a modern dance pose.

Things have been smoky in our forest with all devastating fires on the west coast. I had to get creative in finding ways to clear out the smoke that crept into the house. People were posting ideas and this is one of them, taping a heater filter on a square fan. I don’t have one of those fans so I improvised with this. It seems to be working, along with a couple of other fans too:

Staying indoors all the time in a worried state isn’t a healthy way to live. So, I pulled out the Halloween decorations:

Only poetry has come easy for me lately, besides revising. So, I’m sharing a recent Tanka poem.  I was going to save it for October, but since I’ve already decorated…

The Moment

The howling begins

As the full moon approaches

This is the moment of change

When the wolf sheds fur for skin

The night he walks as a man.


NOTE:

1. There will be no weekly blog on September 27th. I will be on vacation:) I’ll be back on October 4th with reviews.

  2. If you are a monthly newsletter subscriber watch your email for it later today.

  3. My time on social media and blogs will be limited this week. Not sure if I’ll be able to participate in the challenges.

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #Poetry #Haibun @pursoot

Here’s my Haibun Poem for Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 NEW image prompt.

Her Grief

The heavy dark clouds shrouded the sun in a weary sorrow that mirrored Alice’s mood. She stood alone in their spot under the old cedar tree. It was where Sam had proposed to her fifty years ago. Now her weathered hands were scattering what remained of him. As her tears fell, an icy rainstorm mixed with her grief. She sunk down on the cold ground and lovingly placed their song, and a single red rose from the garden. A hand touched her shoulder, and a familiar warmth ran through her—but no one was there. The wind blew through the forest, playing their song. She smiled, knowing Sam was still with her.

Pleasant memories
Will never be forgotten
When encased in love.

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #EKPHRASTIC #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 195 #PHOTOPROMPT @ColleenChesebro

Here is this week’s Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 195.

I learned a new term Ekphrastic. “This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Lisa Thompson, from last month’s challenge, has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.”

My Tanka Poem is based on this picture.

MAGIC

She sits silently

Under the mushroom’s safe glow

The humans too close

They’re searching for her magic

A gift the fairy can’t share.