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Leader

little tree

I decided to start this year off right by borrowing an idea from a fellow writer, Jan Sikes. I picked a word/theme for 2019; then several family members also chose a card from my cat tarot card deck. My husband got “clan/family/love”, my daughter “do what is right for you,” my son “use both your head and heart.” It fit them perfectly for the life path they are on. The card I chose had a strong message for me. It talked about being a leader/lead and trust. Note: As an introvert, this was not a welcome message.


Here’s the definition of Leader found in dictionary.com:

noun

a person or thing that leads.

A guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.

Music.

A conductor or director, as of an orchestra, band, or chorus.

The player at the head of the first violins in an orchestra, the principal cornetist in a band, or the principal soprano in a chorus, to whom any incidental solos are usually assigned.


I’m not the leader type, but I will do what needs to be done. I raised kids, took care of relatives and if I saw something needed to be done, I did it.  But I’m not the person jumping in to lead a group, in the army or have aspirations to be in politics. I’m not in a band or a conductor either. So, why did I get this?

My first thought was Hero Girl in the holiday movie “Polar Express” that I had just watched with my grandkids a few weeks ago. Her message, in the end, was to lead. She made sure the shy boy in the back of the train got hot chocolate. Or she took charge when no one knew which way to go at the North Pole to find their way back to the group. It’s not that she always had the answers either, she questioned herself when pressed if she knew what lever to pull to the stop the train. But she decided to trust herself and was right. She was confident and kind. She didn’t follow others blindly. Still, how does a Christmas movie apply to me?

Well, I know I shouldn’t blindly follow others, especially those who want to lead society and people in a dark direction. As a writer that means to lead with my heart and do what I’m supposed to be doing, not to worry about what is selling, what others are doing, or how to make money off these people.

When I lead myself in the right direction, I might or might not be alone where I’m going. When I don’t engage in all the negativity that we are surrounded in our world, that bleeds into our homes, I become a role model to my family, friends, and society. To take care of myself not only leads me in a better direction while I learn from my mistakes. I guess that is where that card is trying to lead me to–an example to family, as an author and to myself. To do this as the person, I am. It’s easy to withdraw from the world and think none of that is my problem, but I believe that everyone is responsible for their actions, as am I. To accept responsibility for all your actions is what I consider Karma. To walk forward in whatever awaits is to lead, either just me or others it doesn’t matter.

I didn’t get the card I had hoped for this year. That one that would tell me to relax and play — not this time. It’s going to be a year to work and try a lot of new things. I’ll see where this all goes. There’s no resolutions for me, only acceptance of what is and what can be as I embrace leading on a journey of self-discovery.


Note: There will be a special edition blog Tuesday. Don’t miss it! I’ll have my January Newsletter out early this month, later this week. Check your email if you are subscribed.

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

 

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First Book Reviews of 2019 @MarethMBotha @Nicholas_Rossis @JacqBiggar @MaryLSchmidt

 

Trails and Trials: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales 

by Maretha Botha

Trails and Trials is the fourth book in the Fauna Park Tales and so far, my favorite. It’s told through four different stories of animals and humans all headed in the same direction with three of the groups trying to save the orphans from book three. I loved the themes of: family, loyalty, bravery and hope. Crossing a desert is dangerous, but something all four groups set out to do despite the danger. The little details brought this part to life and I could easily imagine crossing the hot sand, with no water, under the blaring sun. This is intended for middle grade readers, but adults can enjoy it, too. I can’t wait for book five to come out to see where the story takes the reader next. All four Fauna Park Tales sit in my grandchildren’s bookcase and are highly recommended.


The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales 

by Maretha Botha

This is the third book in the Fauna Park Tales and I enjoyed it as much as the first two. It’s still being told through Hope the owl, there’s the charming illustrations, and animals with their humans. I loved the setting and learning new information about the animals that lived there. The story-line showed how dangerous life can be in Molodi Valley, including theft and kidnapping. This was a one night read, that gave good examples of bravery and family. I’ll be reading the next book in the series to see how it all works out. Although this is a great story for middle grade readers, adults can enjoy it, too. I recommend this series but start it from the beginning, so you don’t miss out on anything.


Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings (Author Tools Book 1) 

by Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a book for authors who are looking for new ways to say the same old thing. I know I can get stuck on a word or phrase and this gives many samples to wake up my creative side. I’ll have “Emotional Beats” by me when I edit my next book. This will not only help me freshen up my dialog, but there are many examples throughout the book, that include body parts and emotions, that show instead of tell. I recommend this handy writing tool.


Mistletoe Inn 

by Jacquie Biggar

I’m a big fan of Hallmark Holiday movies and “Mistletoe Inn” is the same type of feel-good story that I enjoy. Molly finds a new job after a divorce and heads with her son Leo to help run Mistletoe Inn. The mother and son find themselves in a blizzard–and crash. They’re rescued by her partner Noah. There’s an immediate attraction between them, but a lot of baggage they are both carrying, too. I love the relationship between Molly and Noah, and the gentleness Noah shows her son, Leo. It’s easy to imagine the beautiful scenery through descriptions and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the guests and residents in Christmas. This is a sweet tale about second chances during the holiday season. If you’re a fan of charming holiday romances, this is a short-story you’ll want to read.


Shadow and Friends Spend Christmas in New York (Shadow Series Book 5)

by A. Raymond, S. Jackson

This is part of a series for children 4-11 about a squirrel named Stubby. He travels to New York to see his twin, Shorty, for Christmas who lives in Central Park. I loved the setting in New York during the holidays. The pictures were small on my Kindle, but charming. I think this would be a great book to add to my paperback collection for my grand-kids. That way I can read it to them, or maybe they can read it to me, and fully enjoy the artwork. I smiled seeing the squirrel at the top of the Empire State Building waving in his guests like King Kong. I liked that they shopped, skated, and went to Church. Then the group gathers for the special day after their Santa paid a visit. A cute story to read to the kids during the Holiday Season. I’ll be reading this to my grand-kids this year.


Embrace your inner child with a good book! Happy 2019! D.L. Finn

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Books That Changed Me: Winter Edition @startrailsIV @BeemWeeks @MaeClair1 @W_Angels_Wings

deck night snow

Winter has officially arrived here in Nevada City, CA bringing with it the shortest day of the year. I’m one of those crazy people who love the cold weather and snow. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Bay Area and only saw it snow properly in Lake Tahoe for the first time as a teen. I was fascinated trying to watch each beautiful snowflake make its way to the frozen ground. I quickly learned if I tried to do that, I’d get motion sickness. So, I enjoyed the entire show without singling out just a part of the beauty. Now I get to see it snow every season. Some years more than others, but it’s always a welcome moment when the rain changes over to snow. Sitting 1000 feet above town we are more likely to see snow at our house, but it is a spectacular sight after the little mining town of Nevada City is draped in snow. When the whiteness does take over our landscape you might find me out building a snow-person, snowshoeing or attempting to cross country ski. Later around the crackling fire it’s nice to cuddle up and read a book with a cup of hot tea or cocoa !

Here is my winter selection for “Books That Changed Me” that would be perfect reading during those cold winter nights–or days.


The humor, story line, the intricate details, aliens, robots, area 51 and a plant blended together into this incredible story. Thyron the plant became a favorite of mine in the story and beyond the story he’s one of my favorite all-time characters. This was not only fun, but made me wonder more about what really goes on underground in Area 51. Science fiction hasn’t been what I’d pick to read first in the past, but this book changed my mind about the genre.

area 51 pic

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

By Marcha A Fox

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


I have always enjoyed historical fiction, blending two things I love: history and storytelling into one book. “Jazz Baby” really took me to roaring twenties in Mississippi down to the dialog.  The descriptions were so beautifully written the book would be worth reading for that alone, but the story…wow. If I could have reached into the pages of this book and intervened on Baby’s behalf, I would have. That is how engaging (and stressful for the mom-me) this story is.

jazz baby pic

Jazz Baby

By Beem Weeks

I get excited when I come across a novel that completely draws me in.  Mr. Weeks, wrote one of these books. It’s a historical fiction set in the roaring twenties in Mississippi and New Orleans. It is told from young teenager Emily Ann’s perspective. Born into a poor family, Emily Ann (or Baby as she was called) had a dream of becoming a jazz singer. She would do anything to achieve this and unfortunately, others preyed on her stubborn- innocence. It was painful to read what she endured, while her lack of emotion seemed to be what got her through it. Many times, I found my motherly side thinking, no please don’t do that, but this character was determined to do things her way. The story, through beautifully written words, shows the reader the darker side of prohibition, poverty, and poor parenting. I highly recommend this book.​


I went back and forth between this book and “Cusp Of The Night”. I love them both for different reasons, but ended up choosing this because it was the first book of Mae Clair’s that I read. I find this book to be not only entertaining but carefully researched on not only the paranormal, but the town’s history. To include a murder, mystery and romance had me hooked for the entire series. The town felt real and the monster, both human and otherwise, even more real. This blend of mystery/paranormal with romance thrown in is a favorite genre of mine to read so when I find a new author that has all of this– I’m very happy.

mae clair pic

A Thousand Yesteryears (Point Pleasant)

by Mae Clair

“A Thousand Yesteryears (Point Pleasant)” is an amazingly well-written paranormal thriller. After Eva Parrish leaves her hometown with her family, (after a tragic incident) she returns after her aunt dies. She finds herself not only dealing with the estate, but with someone who doesn’t want her there. The past still haunts Eva, and the rest of the town. Eva is thrust into a mystery that spans over two decades. She is helped by an unlikely friend, and a family from her childhood. Ms. Clair not only focuses the story on the Mothman legend of Point Pleasant, but give her readers, a mystery, romance, murder, and redemption.  I loved, not only the characters, but the depth, and surprise that went along with the main story. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, and have preordered the third book. It only took one book to become a fan of this author. I highly recommend this book–if you love mystery with a paranormal twist.​


Bonus read:

I can’t say enough about how impressed and inspired I am about this new writer. Her story is amazing and creative. It will be sitting under the Christmas tree for my grand kids. After we read it together I can’t wait to share with them that she is around their age. But age and awards aside, it’s a great book to share with your kids and grand kids. I also read the next book in the series and posted the review in last week’s blog. Another hit.

daisy pic

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful 

by Ellie Collins

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


I hope you enjoyed my four seasons of “Books That Changed Me”. These are all books that evoked deep emotions from me while reading. They gave me hope, made me wonder, had me on the edge of my seat, or took me to new amazing places and worlds. I always walked away from these books, just a little different for having read them. I have to send out my thanks to all the authors who provided this for me–and their readers. Know, I wasn’t able to list all the books that delivered that “change” for me. I hope to do something similar next year so I can thank them, too!

If you missed any editions of “Books That Changed Me” I have them all listed on my website under: Indie Books Read. These books that changed me are ones I’d proudly give as a gift any time of the year! Happy first day of winter!

Embrace your inner child with a good book this winter! Happy holidays and New Year to you and yours! Sending you all lots of warm holiday hugsD.L. Finn, the Trailblazer & Cats: Thunder, Rupert, Chester, Coco, Alice & Dogs: Sara & Hermie!

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Final Book Reviews for 2018! @W_Angels_Wings @woodheat @stacitroilo @Sandra_Cox @Lizzie_Chantree @MarciaMeara

 

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody Kindle Edition

by Marcia Meara

This is the second novella in the series with the Emissaries, Jake and Dodger, working for Archangel Azrael. There’s the same depth and humor in this heartfelt tale that I enjoyed in “The Emissary”. I loved the developing relationship between Jake and Dodger as they work to save people from themselves. Dodger’s regret adds a new layer to this story. I can’t wait to see how that works out…and how Azrael plays into that. This is a perfect Christmas read, but would be great any time of the year. There was an amazing ending and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. If you haven’t read the first novella–you should–then you can fully enjoy this highly recommended sequel!


Mylee in the Mirror (Greek Mythology Fantasy Series Book 2) Kindle Edition

by Ellie Collins

This is another great book in the Greek Mythology Fantasy Series. While the first book dealt with sixth grader D.J., Persephone and a move including a new school, “Mylee in the Mirror” takes on high school, Aphrodite, dating, change and expectations. The opening of the book drew me right in with a surprise and I was hooked. Mylee is moving her beloved grandmother into assisted living; her parents are fighting, and the most popular guy in school asks her out–making life confusing for her. But even with all that was going on at least Mylee had her best friends and trampoline and tumbling. The characters are well-written and the relationships realistic. Mylee’s home life felt genuine, and the connection between her and her grammy was sweet. I loved the life lessons about being true to yourself, that applied to the adults in the story, too. Adding in the magic of a Greek Goddess and her interactions with Mylee made this story a lot of fun and exciting to read. I’m looking forward to the next book and highly recommend this imaginative book and amazing young author.


Merry Ex-mas

by Michael Lynes

This is a short science fiction tale of a group of humans traveling to a new planet. Holly’s the only one awake on her shift when an object is spotted coming directly at them. It’s been nine long years of traveling and what happens next brought a smile to my face. I loved the blend of sci-fi and the fantasy of Christmas into one magical story. If you like holiday-themed stories I highly recommend this to you!


When We Finally Kiss Goodnight

by Staci Troilo

“When We Finally Kiss Goodnight” is a steamy romance with an interesting story line that kept me turning the pages. Chloe hoped to leave her life behind with a new job interview in Pittsburgh. What she didn’t count on is running into her college crush who broke her heart, Britt. My favorite part was the tension between Britt and Chloe with their unsaid assumptions and how that played out in conversations. The things being left unsaid with the obvious attraction between them and the potential for growth was intriguing. I especially liked the trip they took to Gettysburg and the legend Chloe ran into along the way. This is a satisfying feel-good holiday short story that I recommend if you are a fan of passionate romance.


Moon Watchers (Hunters Book 2)

by  Sandra Cox

“Moon Watchers” is the second in the Hunters series. The story veers from hunting “vamps” with Zoe on Vampire Island to “weres” with Zoe’s cousin, Jolene, in the snowy forest of Minnesota. It starts with an immediate encounter with both werewolves–and Braden who just shows up to help out. This sweet and exciting YA book has a couple of twists along the way. I love Jolene’s no-nonsense, fearless personality and how it interacts with the mysterious handsome Braden who seems to be hiding a secret. I could easily picture myself in the cabin she’d just inherited. I adored the quaint town she ventured into to get her cup of coffee and supplies. I found this an enjoyable adventure that kept me reading late into the night like the first book did. If you’re a fan of vampires, werewolves and their hunters, along with a sweet romance, I recommend this series for both adults and younger readers.


If You Love Me, I’m Yours

by Lizzie Chantree

This was a fun and lighthearted story about a girl named Maud stuck in a sensible life. She’s a teacher who loves to paint. Only her best friend Daisy backs her talent, not her sensible parents. This leads Maud to an art gallery opening after Daisy submits her painting. The night changes her life and leads her to a new friendship with Dot and a new love interest. I love the relationship she develops with Dot. It is changing as they both change within it. She also finds herself with two love interests and a few surprises along the way. The book’s title is how Maud expresses her talent by leaving gifts of her work for others to enjoy, which made me smile. It was fun being immersed into the world of art. I recommend this story especially if you like a good love story with friendship and self-growth mixed in–I know I enjoyed it.


UPDATES:

Watch for an early edition of the monthly newsletter, Monday 12-17-18.

I will have “Books That Changed Me–Winter Edition”  as my last post of the year on December 21st. I’ll be back on 1-6-19.

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book in 2019! D.L. Finn

 

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A Magical Trail

Years ago, we did some limited logging on our property. In the after-math we cleared a trail behind our house. Back when I was able to run I jogged along this trail while my son napped.  I would pick up the debris and stack it neatly along the sides, planning to go back and clean it up. Fast forward a couple of decades later this trail had overgrown, and the piles lay buried underneath it.

Recently we had to clear around our house to be certified for wildfires for our home insurance. It was a job too big for us so we hired someone to do the clearing. The end-result was the required cleared area, but there was also a huge pile of branches, small trees, and bushes blocking what used to be the entrance to this trail. We were certified but left with a mess on the rim of the cleared area. I mentioned to my husband in passing this is where we used to walk. That’s all it took.

My husband declared he would bring back our trail. It would be a peaceful walk, no dogs off their leash coming at our leashed dogs or dodging cars on the street. I said that’s too much work, but he didn’t listen.

So, he headed outside with his saw, clippers, rake, and chainsaw. He spent his weekends clearing. I would come out at times and do some minor trimming behind him to help–or until my arms said no more. He finally cleared the original path and we took our first official walk. I was happy, but my husband wasn’t satisfied.

He went off in another direction. He found an area we’ve never explored. A spot I declared would be the perfect campsite or a place to sit and relax. So, as he kept extending the trail, I drug my small white table and chairs that had been sitting unused on my back deck to this spot. They found their perfect home there. Right next to the table was an old tree that had been cut down, but on the sides of it were burn marks. Lightening, I wondered? That’s when I decided this was not only a pretty spot, but a magical one. Here a tree had gotten struck by lightning and there had been no fire. That was magical in my mind, especially since, at that point, we were in high fire danger. This was a protected place where bad didn’t happen I concluded.

Then, I went back to clipping limbs. In one spot I found a tree I didn’t recognize. So, I took a picture and sent it to my son who is majoring in Biology. I thought it might be an offspring of a Redwood tree we’d planted years ago, but it turned out to be a Pacific Yew. I’d never heard of that, but was glad it was growing on our trail, along with the Pine, Douglas-fir, Oak, Pacific Madrone, California Dogwood, Big-leaf Maple and the most prolific tree of all the Cedar.

My husband continued cutting and digging through blackberry brush and a part he called the jungle. Finally, he came out near the beginning after I guided him in the right direction with my voice. Yes, it was that overgrown. As he emerged from the perfect walking path he still wasn’t done. He started decorating it with wind chimes, a bench, and garden statues, while I added some outdoor Christmas ornaments.

So, now I take the dogs on an afternoon walk on our trail. We tread in a place where only the bears, deer and raccoons had roamed. Our black cat Coco likes to follow us, while pretending he isn’t.

This trail is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received–created by the best person I’ve ever known. A place of peace and magic. It’s nothing you could ever buy in a store and it lasts forever. Someday it just might show up in a story. Now my hope is that everyone gets a magical trail in their lives in one form or another.

 


Happy Birthday to the trail maker!


Have you checked out: RRBC “BOOKS & BUDZ” HOLIDAY POP-UP BOOK SHOP?

Don’t miss the Reading Room where the author’s read their work. It’s so amazing to hear the words being read by the writer. You’ll find me among them reading the beginning of “The Button”. It’s something I’ve wanted to do but have always been nervous to do so.  Getting past “thinking” about it and “doing” it, is just one of the things Rave Reviews Book Club has done for me.

So, that was my favorite part of the Pop-Up Book Shop–besides shopping. I have a lot of new indie books to put under my tree this year.

Embrace your inner child with life’s magic. D.L. Finn

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Recent Books Read!

Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series Book 2)

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

“Son of the Serpent” continues the Fantasy Angels Series with the son of Satan and Lilith, Dracul. I loved the first book and wasn’t disappointed in this story, in fact I think I enjoyed it even more. Familiar biblical people and events were interwoven into the story line perfectly. It’s told through two points of view: Dracul and Lilith.  I sympathized with Dracul and his quest to be good and helpful, while coming from evil. Self-centered Lilith relished being cruel and malicious, while originating from good. It was a good balance of both sides. Familiar characters from the first book made appearances which I appreciated. The descriptions were vivid and well-written adding to the reality of Dracul’s journey. I highly recommend this book. Although you could read this as a stand-alone, I wouldn’t. Go back and enjoy this dark tale from the beginning.


Atonement, Tennessee

by Teagan Geneivene

Ralda Lawton decides to start a new life. She places a low bid on a house that comes with its own cemetery and wins. She relocates into the small town and immediately meets her neighbors. The relationship she develops with her new friends, Lacy, Racine and Bethany remind me of some of my own friends. Then there is the two good-looking mysterious men she runs into Gwydion and Cael. Both hold her interest, curiosity and trigger her inner warning. My favorite character is Lilith her calico cat. I enjoy her POV throughout the story and insights into the humans and the non-humans. I love the magic, mystery, relationships, paranormal, a hint of romance and karma in this uniquely well-written story. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series and see what happens next in Atonement.


The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

by Marcia Meara

This paranormal novella has an angel and a new being an emissary, or Jake. With the world so over-populated Jake was recruited after his death to come back down to earth and help. I have not read “Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2”, but it didn’t matter because I was quickly pulled in and understood the situation. I loved the tension between Jake and Azrael at first, and then the humor.  Jake is still very human with his reactions, while having some extra gifts. I felt an array of emotions as I read and was invested in all the characters and relationships. I’ll be reading the next installment of “The Emissary” and the “Riverbend” series, too. This is a well-written story that I highly recommend, especially if you are a fan of angels like I am.


Second Chances

by Aaron D. Brinker

“Second Chance” is a story of anger, an accident, and the outcome of that. Guilt and having to go on is Chaun’s life now after a car accident but, strange things begin to happen around him. While his family deliberated on this strange situation, I found myself rooting for a good outcome to the circumstances that would have had me running for the hills. This book offers a new chance at life, along with the paranormal that is determined to ruin that. There is also relationships, family and forgiveness. The story had a very journal-like feel to it and I was surprised how long the family took to get to that aha-moment, but it was a unique tale with a refreshing result I didn’t see coming. As a bonus there was a hockey game included and I’m a big fan. This story is a reminder to “think before you speak” because in life you never know how fast things can change.


Embrace your inner child in a good book over the holidays! D.L. Finn

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Thanksgiving Memories

Although I have many wonderful Thanksgiving memories over the years, I have one that stands out.

It was a sunny day in the mountains. We made the decision to stay home-alone for Thanksgiving for the first time since our move to the mountains. Usually, our holiday had consisted of a three-hour drive to the Bay Area and the three-hour trek back on the same day. Sometimes, we went to a relative’s house, other times we’d end up in a restaurant with family. There was always traffic increasing our traveling time or when we’d run into the dreaded fog. But, we felt it was worth it to spend time with loved ones. Then, there’d be occasions when people would come to our house, too. We’d spend our time entertaining and visiting them, then I’d collapse on the couch at the end of the day in exhaustion. This year, for many different reasons, we stayed home and had no guests. It was a first for our family of five.

I arose that beautiful November morning and got the 20-pound turkey in the oven. I turned on the Macy’s Day Parade and drank a cup of tea, while the rest of the family woke up. Then we ate a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, bacon, eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice and cheered-on our favorite floats and balloons. We fantasized how it would be to have a hotel room along the parade-route watching this in person and to see New York during the Christmas season. Then came the excitement of Santa Clause’s appearance, signaling the end of the parade.

While our stuffed turkey continued to cook, it was time to get dressed. My family was done way before me. So, my husband took the kids outside to ride their bikes. My two pre-teen girls were on their mountain bikes, while my pre-school son was on his Big-Wheel. I slipped into my dress that would match my daughters and applied my make-up. Searching through my drawer I found the one pair of nylons that wasn’t snagged. Wearing my best jewelry and my slippers I was ready.  I stepped out of the kitchen, filled with the smell of turkey, into a beautiful fall day. I was greeted by my children all lined up behind my husband, who was in his white dress shirt, black slacks and suspenders. They went by oldest to youngest, with my son at the end wearing his favorite train conductor hat riding through the forest.

I quickly grabbed my camera and recorded this pure moment. Smiles lit everyone’s face, including mine, while laughter was layered into the air. All was right in our world. I grabbed my bike and joined the fun.

It was a day when there were no schedules to honor, no traveling, or guests to entertain–it was just us enjoying us. That day still brings me joy many years later. I don’t remember if the turkey was moist or the pies were perfectly seasoned with a tender crust. What I do remember is we ate together and then played a family favorite “The Disneyland Game”. Who won? Didn’t matter then nor now. It was a time of innocence and love. A time of laughter and joy that is etched forever in my mind as the perfect Thanksgiving Day that still exists in that magical place where memories dwell.

This year we are spending Thanksgiving with our oldest grand kids, and son who is making the trek from college. Our Thanksgiving tree is up, so whoever enters our house can write something they are grateful for on the “tree leaves”.  Later, we’ll be visited by one of my daughters and her husband who’ll be eating their second meal. The rest of the family has their own places to be, but they will be in our hearts forever and in our memories. My hope for the day is, that maybe, just maybe, we can create some more magic to remember in the years to come, that will compare to that day in the sun so many holidays ago.


*I could only find one picture from that happy day. It is of my husband riding his bike, but the kids weren’t in the picture. The other picture is our current Thanksgiving tree. The leaves underneath are from years past.

The monthly newsletter goes out tomorrow.

I won’t have a post on 25th because of the holiday, but will be back on the 2nd.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating it! Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Fall Colors and a Book Review

 

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

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

 


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

By Michael Lynes

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


 

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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New Christmas Short!

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

final cover for A Long Walk Home A Christmas Novelette eBook

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

Get your copy here:

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble


Embrace your inner child!  D.L. Finn

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Halloween Book Reviews

Pandora Reborn

By John Coon

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


Hounded

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

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


by Harmony Kent

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


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

Amazon 


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

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The Missing “The Button” Reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


NOTES:

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

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

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

Newsletter is out! Check your emails if subscribed.

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

 

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Fall Poem

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

THE OCTOBER SUN

The October sun bleeds through the trees

Clotting up before it reaches me.

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

And it’s the end of a day…

On a ride through the tall pines and cedars.

It’s the end of the weekend…

As we race the impeding darkness home.

Ending in a grateful moment…

Existing in the changing blood-tinted landscape,

Dripping its beauty upon my eyes in memories.

I am at peace with myself and the changes.

In a time when my body and nature

Surges through each other, flowing and ebbing.

Feeling the grip of fall in my bones

I welcome it all as we pass a house…

Decorated for the coming holiday

In spiders, tombs, pumpkins, and ghosts.

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


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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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October Book Reviews

Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

by Karen Ingalls

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


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

By Ronald Yates

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


Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories

By Beem Weeks

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


Kentucky Kernels: Book of Short Stories & Poetry 

by B. R. Chitwood

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


Here are the winners for The Button Giveaway:

The Fire HD Tablet: Dianna H.

$25 Gift Card: Ashleigh S.

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


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

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The Button’s first reviews

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

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


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


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“The Button” Research


pay phone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get your copy here: Amazon


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

The Button Giveaway Link

 

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


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

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Books That Changed Me: Fall Edition

fal walk 2017

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

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


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

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Hexborn (The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1)

by A.M. Manay

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


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

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LOVE The Beat Goes On 

by Lynda Filler

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


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

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

by Larry Landgraf

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

Halloween bonus read:

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

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I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

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


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

The Button Giveaway Link


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

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“The Button” Blog Tour Link for 9-17

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

LINK TO TODAY’S BLOG

Mae Clair:

They say everyone has a story to tell.

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

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

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

MAE CLAIR’S AMAZON PAGE

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

 

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Newly Released: The Button!

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

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Blurb:

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

Excerpt one:

PROLOGUE (part one)

Castro Valley, California, 1976 

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

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

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

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

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

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


Excerpt two:

CHAPTER 1

Castro Valley, California, 1983

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Random Finn Facts:

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

Get your copy here:

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

D.L. FINN BANNER WITH WORDS


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

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

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

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

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The Button Blog Tour Link for 9-10

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

TODAY’S BLOG LINK

Sandra Cox:

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

AMAZON LINK

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

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“The Button” Characters

sunset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The battle begins…will Lynn survive it?


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


Pre-order The Button here: Amazon


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

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


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


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Featured

“The Button” Idea…

button collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pre-order it here: Amazon


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

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

Featured

August Book Reviews

Hexborn (The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1)

by A.M. Manay

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


Vanished

By Mark Bierman

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


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


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

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

                                                                                       Barnes & Noble Link

                                                                                        Smashwords Link


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

Featured

Trying new things

HaiKu Moonlight D.L. Finn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff pic smaller for gish

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

Here is the the poem I wrote during this event.

MIND

Since the beginning of humankind

We have pushed forward with our mind

With the useful first stone wheel

To the current luxurious automobile

From revolutions that tore down a wall

To gruesome wars that produced bombs to fall

This mind has been used for bad: including pure greed

Or for generosity, charity, altruism and to lead

Now in this time in history humankind has a choice

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

We can stand by our fellow human being

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


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

Featured

Favorite Books

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

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

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


FAVORITE BOOK SURVEY

Favorite Kid Books

More than one vote (series included): 

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

Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault (3)

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

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene (3)

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

Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope (2)

Children’s Bible (2)

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

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

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright (2)

Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (2)

Single votes (series included):

A Ghost in the Attic by Suzan Reid

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Alice’s Adventure Under Ground by Lewis Carroll

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

BFG by Roald Dahle

Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen and Mark Buehner

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Boxcar children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Choose your Own Adventure by R.A. Montgomery

Cinderella by Jane Werner

Dick and Jane Series by Penguin Young Readers

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahle

Gilbert and the lost Tooth by Diane deGroat

Tanglewood Tales: Greek Mythology for Kids by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Little house on the Prairie books by Laura Engle Wilder

Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Love you forever by Robert M. Munsch and Shelia McGraw

Loudmouse by Richard Wilber

Magic Tree by Mary Pope Osborne

Nothing Fair in the 5th grade! By Barthe DeClements

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Polar Express by Chris Van Allburg

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

Sounder by William H. Armstrong

The Best Little Monkeys in the World by Natalie Standiford

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahle

The Strawberry Roan by Darragh Metzger

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak

Favorite Adult Books

More than one vote (series included):

The Bible (6)

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (3)

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

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

Single votes (series included):

A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan

Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman

Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

By the Light of Day by Dean Koontz

Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Foxfire Light by Janet Daily

Hot White Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout

Interview with a Vampire by Ann Rice

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Message from Nam by Danielle Steel

Old man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Men of the Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels

The Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

The Dark Half by Stephen King

The Girl with a Snake Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Last Ride by Nicolas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Prophet  by Kahlil Gibran

The Sphere by Michael Crichton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Voice of the Eagle by Linda Lay Shuler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

You Can’t Win by Jack Black

Favorite all-time Book Character/Person:

More than one vote:

Jesus from The Bible (2)

Single votes:

Amelia from Amelia Bedelia Series

Baloo from Jungle Book

Bilbo from The Hobbit

David from The Bible

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

Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice

Ender from Enders Game

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

Harry from Harry Potter Series

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

Hester from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Jack from Jack Reacher Series by Dan Ames

Jason from Jason Bourne Series by Eric Van Lustbader

Jessie from Boxcar Children

Jo from Little Woman

Katniss from Hunger Games

Lestat from Interview with a Vampire

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

Moses from The Bible

Mouse from Loud Mouse

Nancy from Nancy Drew series 

Noah from The Bible

Odd from Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz

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

Sherlock from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sodapop from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Stephanie from Stephanie Plum Series

Stuart from The Stand

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

Extra–just the author:

Debbie Macomber

Dick Francis

Lynn Harris

Patricia Cornwell

Stephen King

Terry McMillan


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

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


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


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

 

 

 

Featured

Part 2 of Summer Short Stories Reviews!

Lost and Found: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

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


Hexed: A Purr-fect Catastrophe

by Wendy Jayne

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


Zombie Dawn

by Rhani D’Chae

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


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

By Shirley Harris-Slaughter

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


Feeders: Madeson Reid, PI: Paranormal Short Story.

By Wendy Jayne

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


Lost Time: Family Ties

by Maretha Botha

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


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

Thanks!


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

Featured

Summer Short Story Reviews

 

OPEN, SHUT: A Short Story

By Nonnie Jules

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


 

I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

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


 

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

By Patricia A. Guthrie

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


Two Shorts and a Snort

By Jan Sikes

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


Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story

by Wendy Jayne

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


 Saving The Evergreens: Garden Secrets 

by Maretha Botha

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


 

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

Featured

Noises in the Dark…

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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35 years later…roadtrip

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

long long trailer....

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

fireworks pic

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

thunder mountain

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

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

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

beach trip

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

map

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

me and tiger

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

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

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

on boat

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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July poetry and book reviews

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

TRAPPED 

I feel her trapped in me…

That scared little girl from so long ago.

I’ve tried to reassure her…

To embrace her…

To comfort her…

Yet, she still hides…

While trying to protect me…

In scared and illogical ways that don’t.

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

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

That it is safe…we are safe.

I keep trying to reach her.

With the hope that someday

She will feel protected

And not try to hold me back…

In her attempt to keep us safe.

That together we can move forward…

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


 

cusp of night pic

Cusp of Night (A Hode’s Hill Novel)

by Mae Clair

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


lodestone pic

Lodestone: (Witch-Hunt) 

by Wendy Scott

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


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

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“The Button” Cover Reveal and a Poem

Here is the cover for The Button:

Ebook Copy of Button

Ta-da!

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

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


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

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

UNWELCOME PROTECTOR 

I feel it when I’m uncomfortable.

It is always there hiding…waiting.

That shallow breath…

That tight grip…that feeling.

 

It draws my attention

Back to where it came from.

A time…

A time when I wasn’t so strong.

 

I was helpless,

I was young,

I’m none of those things now…

Yet, it stays.

 

It’s an unwanted guest

That lurks in my body

That has over-stayed…

Its welcome.

 

It seems unaware

That it isn’t wanted anymore

So, I carefully guide it to the door…

Fumbling with the lock.

 

It clings to the doorway

Hanging on to my past

Smiling, I gently push it out…

We are both free as I release it.


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

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

 

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Books That Changed Me–Summer Edition

for blog summer edition pic

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

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

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


Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir 

by Karen Ingalls

outshine pic

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


Tails (Silver Wishes Book 1)

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

tails pic

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


Circumstances of Childhood

by John W. Howell

circumstances pic

 

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


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

Summer Bonus Pick:

The Alternative 

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

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

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

Here’s my 5-star review:

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


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

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

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June Book Reviews

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful 

by Ellie Collins

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


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

by Bette A. Stevens

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


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

by Bette Stevens

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


If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love 

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

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


…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED: A Short Story

by Nonnie Jules

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


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

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

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

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Awe–a poem

tulips and mountains

AWE

I’m above the tall lily stalks

With the delicate orange tubes-

That were bursting with nectar,

Reaching hungerly for the sun.

 

A heavy cement turtle guards them,

As a mother reads to a child…

In plastic perfection,

While a rock rabbit is heavy, yet alert.

 

White roses fill the empty space

Spilling their fragrance carelessly.

A lone bee, that is far from ordinary

Is nestled in this scene.

 

I pause to take it all in…

Expecting the gentle hum of the bee

But, instead I am greeted in song…

Carried by a beautiful feminine voice.

 

“Laaaaaaaa…”

It’s like nothing I’ve heard before.

Puzzled, I look for the source and find it–

Not a radio or TV– but a simple bee.

 

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

Had the song always been there I pondered–

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

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


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


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


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


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

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A Mom’s Poems

single lulip

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

LEAVE

It hurts less each time you leave.

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

I think of you in your youth

A sparkle in your eyes…

A joy in your laughter…

Holding you in my arms…

It all stays with me.

You grew and became.

I was amazed…

I was confounded.

At times you brought me:

Both joy and pain.

I always knew you’d leave,

There was never any doubt.

I felt a bit of pride and sadness,

When you walked to your car.

You’re doing what you’re supposed to…

And so am I.

You’ll always be in my heart,

In my mind…

In my prayers…

Each day.

So, leave as you must,

And become what you are.

Distance doesn’t mean a thing to me

No, not with you.

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

Because you’ll always be my child–

And I your mother.

I know the world deserves you,

And you deserve the world.

I’ll go back now into my own world…

And I’ll wait for that text:

I made it home safely.

Because mothers never stop worrying…

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


SHOW ME

You showed me where you spent your days.

Each hall had a different story.

In-between I asked questions, making you uncomfortable.

But, know it is more than that.

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

The pace quickened…

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

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

You grinned…

Maybe you heard me, maybe you didn’t.

We continued the tour, but the time had passed.

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

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

Someday you will seek out this happiness I spoke of,

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


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

 

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April Book Reviews Bring May…

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

By Rhani D’Chae

 

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


Thread and Other Stories

by Eric Halpenny 

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


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

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The Journey–A Poem

the little bird

THE JOURNEY

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

The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.

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

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

It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.

Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell

The bird carefully passed that point without stopping

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

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

It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.

Tucked underneath the little bird had found limited shelter

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

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

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

 

Gone from my sight, I contemplated this journey.

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

It passed the point where it had been impeded.

There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.

Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.

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

Instead, it kept climbing until it reached its goal…

Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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Books Read and REVIEWED!

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

 

Ninja School Mum 

by Lizzie Chantree

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


The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

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


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

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April Book Reviews!

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

Here are some books I’ve been reading:

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

By Marcha A Fox

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


Circumstances of Childhood

by John W. Howell

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

 

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

 

 

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A Spring Poem

 

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GONE

Gone are the days when I lay on the couch

By the crackling wood stove

Huddled under a blanket with five cats…

Sleeping on, or near me.

 

Gone are the cabin fevered stares

Of those cats who don’t understand

When I tell them it’s too cold outside…

It’s snowing.

 

Gone are the silent crisp nights

When I have to convince

Our two dogs they need to go outside…

They can’t hold it all night

 

Gone are the mornings

When I leave early to remove the built-up snow

From my car’s windshield…

And drive more carefully on the ice.

 

Gone are the times

When I sit in wonder.

Watching the landscape turn white…

In a beautiful dance of the snowflakes.

 

Gone is the silence of snow

And the soothing patter of rain

Or the roar of the wind…

Pounding its fury against the house.

 

Gone are those candle lit nights

When the outside rages on

Gone are the coats, boots, hats and mittens…

All tucked away until next season.

 

These things are gone

But, they are coming back

Until then I sit outside…

Surrounded by life.

 

The birds are singing,

And the crows screeching

As I catch the sweet scent of the flowers…

A small fluffy cloud floats by.

 

The cats sit by me, again

Basking in the sun, along with my dogs

This will be gone soon, too…

When the leaves start to fall.

 

Each season is unique

In what they have to offer

Now, I’m blessed in a spring moment…

In its blissful brilliance before–it’s gone.

 

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

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Final winter book reviews!

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

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

by Ronald E. Yates

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


The Hat

By C.S. Boyack

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


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

by Gracie Bradford

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


 

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

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A Stormy Poem and Book Review!

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


 

IMMERSE

I immerse myself into the storm.

Its power engulfs me,

As it cleans my soul

With a brush of existence.

Ruling firmly without warning,

It is a delicate balance between

What it can give–

And what it can take away.

I connect to this authority

As its wind, rain and snow…

Rule the landscape.

It is the same inside me

With my hidden emotions–

I’m immersed in the rage of the storm.

I wait for the calm,

Safe where I am now.

Soon the sun will shine

My soul will be whole again.

But until then—I welcome…

This healing immersion into the storm.


 

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

Retaking Pervaiske (The Army of Orphans #2

by F.B. Veneziano

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


 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Review of Books!

 

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

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


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

by Ronald Yates

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


The Army of Orphans: The Beginning 

by F.B. Veneziano

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


 

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

LINK FOR GUEST BLOG


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

LINK FOR SMASHWORDS 

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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Poetry and reviews

 

 


My latest book reviews:

The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series)

By Vashti Quiroz Vega

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


Stranger Abduction 

by Billy Chitwood

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


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

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Anniversary and reviews

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

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


LOVE The Beat Goes On 

by Lynda Filler

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


Mind-Shaft: Paranormal Anthology

by S. Burke

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


 

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

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Reviews and a poem

 

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

by Larry Landgraf

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


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

by Larry Landgraf

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


Mystic Tea 

by Rea Nolan Martin

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


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

IMG_2626

WATCHING

I’m unsure what to feel.

I watch the banter

Flow back and forth

Like the waves on

The ocean’s shore.

When I’ve tried to jump in

The water was cold

And the waves–

Almost knocked me down.

The birds were gone,

The sand littered with dead fish,

Everything departed or dying.

The oily water covered the hidden riptide.

It wasn’t safe, so I perched…

On a hill high above.

The place I used to love.

It’s lonely, but it’s protected

From the pandemonium below.

The struggle spills out,

Almost reaching me…

But for now, I’m safe–watching.


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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Book Reviews

 

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz #4)

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


 

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz #5)

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


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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

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Book Reviews and Name Reveal!

Here are my first YA reviews of the year:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 1) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

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


The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 3) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

 

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


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

Acts of Betrayal. (Unintended Consequences Book 2.) 

By S. Burke

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


 

Our Justice

By John W. Howell

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


 

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

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


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

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


Next week I will be sharing some poetry and thoughts.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

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First Book Reviews of 2018

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

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

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


 

Amazing Matilda: The Tale of A Monarch Butterfly 

by Bette A. Stevens

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


 

Wish Fish 1: Discovering the Secret

ByLynn Miclea

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


 

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

by WJ Scott

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


 

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

by Maretha Botha

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


 

The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! 

by Bette A. Stevens

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


 

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

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

 

 

 

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Furry Family

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

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


 

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


 

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


 

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


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


 

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

Embrace your magical inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

 

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Catching Rabbits

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

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

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

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


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

BOOK TRAILER BLOCK PARTY


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

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

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

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

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

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A love story

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

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

A chill ran through me as I listened.

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

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

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

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


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Some more books read!

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

A Desolate Hour

By Mae Clair

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

His Revenge

by John W. Howell

 

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

 


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

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Fall books read

 

‘Til Death Do Us Part

By Jan Sikes

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


A Cold Tomorrow (Point Pleasant #2)

by Mae Clair

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


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

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

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The Road Now Taken

 

aurora road

Discovery Trail, Nevada City CA

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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