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New Release! The Edge of Too Late by @JanSikes3 Harbor Pointe Series Book 5 #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread

Yay! Tomorrow is the release day for the fifth book of the Harbor Pointe Series. If you haven’t picked up your copy there is still time. I am sharing the blurb and my review here today.

Blurb

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

What’s the point of having it all when you have no one to share it with?

Brandon Miller has his dream job, financial security, and he’s madly in love. Only one thing is missing—a commitment.

Angela Cooper’s ex-husband left her with deep scars, souring her on the concept of marriage. She’s not interested in a do-over. Not with Brandon or anyone. Her heart is locked securely away behind a thick wall.

With a ring in his pocket and hope in his heart, Brandon arranges a romantic getaway to the historic Harbor Pointe Inn, where he plans to pop the question.

Before they reach the inn, Angela’s got her camera in hand and ghosts on her mind. But they arrive to find a much more tangible horror.

Accident or foul play?

Someone is up to no good, and Angela is the next target. When suspects can be worldly or otherworldly, danger and secrets lurk everywhere.

Poised at the perilous edge of too late, Angela and Brandon face the fight of their lives.

My Review

Brandon has it all: money, success, and a girlfriend he loves. He takes her on a romantic getaway, hoping to get engaged. The only problem is after Angela’s disastrous first marriage, she doesn’t want to do that again. Their weekend is set at a quaint inn by the ocean. A place where Angela wants to ghost hunt and Brandon wants his happily ever after. But something at the inn is a threat to Angela and this sweet romantic weekend switches to survival. Brandon and Angela are characters you can’t help but root for and love. Both are good-hearted but with different ideas of what their relationship should be or shouldn’t be. Although Angela needed to open her heart, there were distractions like creepy men and ghosts. I loved the setting in the late 80s and all the little details that drew me into the story. This paranormal-romantic thriller was a page-turner that I finished in one sitting. I couldn’t wait to see how it all worked out and I can easily recommend it.

UNIVERSAL AMAZON LINK

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story.

Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment. In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done.

Wrong!

The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain.

I love all things metaphysical and often include those aspects in my stories.

I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Story Empire, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com

Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3

Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

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

 

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New Release! The Seas of Time by @Dwallacepeach Harbor Pointe Series Book 4 #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread

Yay! Tomorrow is the release day for the fourth book of the Harbor Pointe Series. If you haven’t picked up your copy there is still time. I am sharing the blurb and my review here today.

Blurb

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

In 1858, a ship carrying ice from Alaska wrecked off the coast of California, and little does Taliah Keldan realize how that tragedy will impact her life in 1972.

When Tali decides to quit college and become a civil rights activist, her disappointed parents encourage her to think it over. What better spot for contemplation than at her aunt and uncle’s Harbor Pointe Inn, a charming seaside getaway with its own lighthouse? The place is under renovation and empty of guests. All she’ll have to deal with is the construction crew.

But the inn is far from peaceful.

Tali discovers an old Bible hidden in the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Strange prayers angle down the margins, all but one ruined by the sea. When she deciphers the crude writing, a dark portal gapes open to a pre-civil war night when an escaped slave in a foundering ship prayed to his voodoo God. A winged creature emerges from the watery void, and her stay transforms into a nightmare.

With the aid of the construction foreman, Tali is determined to send the beast back through time, a choice that will risk their lives, test her convictions, and change her future.

My Review

Taliah is very aware of how the shade of her skin affects how she is treated in 1972. She drops out of college so she can join the protests and try to change the world. Her parents, though, ask her to think about it and she ends up caretaking for her uncle and aunt’s inn in a small coastal town for a month. In the old lighthouse keeper’s house where she’s staying, a bible is found. After reading some words aloud, she ends up with an unexpected guest, or hungry gargoyle named Zam. Tali is a strong character with a burning sense of justice in a world where it is limited. I love the relationship she develops with Zam and her determination to send him back. Zam, though, is my favorite. His scary appearance had nothing to do with his gentle personality. When he wasn’t focused on filling his stomach, he was trying to communicate his needs to Tali. With the unpleasant contractor Greg, Tali’s thrust into a world of voodoo, time travel, and slavery. This well-written story had a little of everything that blended perfectly together. An exciting, yet thought-provoking story I can highly recommend.

UNIVERSAL AMAZON LINK

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

 

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

The Sorcerer’s Garden

Sunwielder

The Bone Wall

The Melding of Aeris

Unraveling the Veil Series:

Liars and Thieves

Allies and Spies

Lords of Chaos

The Shattered Sea Duology:

Soul Swallowers, Book I

Legacy of Souls, Book II

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:

Catling’s Bane, Book I

Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II

Farlanders’ Law, Book III

Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:

Myths of the Mirror, Book I

Eye of Fire, Book II

Eye of Blind, Book III

Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

NOTE: There will be no post next week as I will be taking it off to get ready for Thanksgiving. There will be an early Monthly Newsletter at the end of this week. Watch your email for it if subcribed.

For those who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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24 Seasons #Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge, No. 7 #poetrycommunity #tanka #nature

Before the rain arrived, I took a walk downtown. Now the colors are visiting our house too.

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge #7. I used In the Sky words from the season list for my tanka poem 5/7/5/7/7:  autumn wind and ice or icy.

Beautiful fall colors in our town 🙂 Nevada City, CA

icy autumn wind
ahead of winter’s visit
stripes the tree’s glow
carelessly tosses those leaves
where gleeful children frolic

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November Book Reviews! @supermegawoman @bakeandwrite @stacitroilo @teagangeneviene @SueColetta1 @Virgilante @LBroday #writingcommunity #whattoread #bookreviews #mustreads

The BEK Curse

By Jonathan Pongratz

Richard and Maria have bought the home of their dreams, where they can farm to supplement their retirement. They are a loving couple, and life seems good for them until there is a persistent knock at the door. Unfortunately, they answer and find two black-eyed children who make a strange request. Although I was rooting for this couple, I had a feeling things would not be the same for them after this visit. It is a quick read that will make you rethink opening your front door to strangers, even young ones. I can easily recommend this short horror story.

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind Amanda Travels #6

By Darlene Foster

I am working my way through the Amanda Series, having already read and enjoyed her excursions to France and Malta. When I heard this book might have some ghosts, it seemed the perfect read, right before Halloween. Amanda is traveling with a group to New Mexico, a place I want to explore. During the trip, Amanda is to work on her writing while others take photos or illustrate their experiences. Her new travel companion, Cleo, believes in ghosts while Amanda doesn’t. Amanda’s beliefs are challenged as she tries to figure out what is going on with Cleo and other unexplainable events. Ms. Foster has done her research, and the history the group explores is rich in detail. I was so intrigued with the setting that I was ready to book my next vacation there, even if there might be ghosts. A wonderful story for not only middle-grade readers but also those who are young at heart and want to do some exploring in New Mexico. I can easily recommend “Amanda in New Mexico.”

Dark Butterflies: Poetry and short stories of mental health

By Jude Kirya Itakali

“Dark Butterflies,” explores not only mental health but the depth of human experience through poetry and short stories. These poems and stories not only moved me with their honesty but left a lasting impression. The illustrations added a beautiful layer to the pain and hope. Here are some lines from a few of the amazing poetry and stories: “Neither grudge nor ambition/Only a blurring face,/Of someone I used to love….”—THE MAROONED, “I gaze upon this island once so beautiful every heart leapt at its sight. Until it bore an injustice so deep its waters remain stained to this very day, salted with tears of bereavement…”—AKAMPENE TANKA PROSE, “In my boudoir the walls are painted black/to blind me from the shadows as they wake/Of futures so bleak and a past without luck/I pray, I confess, for my soul’s dear sake…”—FIGHTING MY DEMONS SONNET, “Rose in a dandelion field/Stain upon yellow/Plucked…”—OUTCAST, and “My refuge looms upon a wuthering cliff/Pale-white with dark soulless windows/The raging sea below…”—WARMTH IN THE HIDDEN. A deep collection that left me contemplating life. I can easily recommend this to poetry lovers.

Sir Chocolate and the Chinese Candy Dragon

By Robbie CheadleMichael Cheadle

“Sir Chocolate and the Chinese Candy Dragon” is a charming addition to the children’s Sir Chocolate Series. Chinese Candy Dragon takes all the Halloween candy. How will that impact Halloween and what does the Chinese Candy Dragon learn? The story is told in limericks and rhyming prose. Skillful fondant art characters add color and beauty and are sure to hold any beginning reader’s attention. It’s also a great Halloween read for a parent and a young child to enjoy together. After the story, there are a few recipes included that would make a fun-filled family experience. I can highly recommend this for preschool or beginning readers—and those young at heart.

Love Set in Stone

By Staci Troilo

Rina and Gretchen are good friends who leave work together late at night. They tell the bouncer who walks them out to their cars to go home to his family. Gretchen had forgotten something back inside, but they insisted they’d be fine. He reluctantly leaves and Rina ends up being brutally attacked by a cruel man. In steps Damien to her much-needed rescue. When the police arrive, Damien disappears, much to Rina’s confusion. While the police question Rina and Gretchen’s motives, the attacker makes it seem like he is their victim, but Rina is very much in danger. Damien feels a pull to Rina and wants to protect her but is afraid of her finding out the truth. He is a gargoyle during the day and a human who protects at night or used to. He died a warrior in the 1200s and was given a second chance with a few catches. I loved Damien’s unique and appealing character, along with his interaction with the angel, Anael. Rina was a strong female who went to school during the day and worked hard at night. She was barely scraping by, and I couldn’t help but root for her. Although they were from different times, the chemistry was undeniable. There were some surprising twists and corruption to clear up along the way. I couldn’t have guessed how this story could resolve, which I appreciate. A well-written and sometimes steamy romance that captured me and didn’t let go until the end. I would love to see more from these characters, including some of the minor ones, and can easily recommend “Love Set in Stone.”

A Peril in the Bayou

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I read and loved Peril in Ectoplasm and was excited to see a new story. It was nice to see familiar faces from before, but it’s unnecessary to have read the first book first. Clover is the assistant to the famous psychic medium, Daphne. They travel with two friends to meet with a New Orleans Spiritualist, Mother Leafy. Upon arrival, they find out they need to take a tour of the Bayou before she will see them. Clover’s and Daphne’s relationship deepens in this story as they traverse the swamp and its mystical qualities. The two men that accompany them are so different but very loyal to Daphne. The group is unaware of the evil intentions of Mother Leafy’s rival and that makes for some exciting twists. Lush 1920 settings drew me deeper into their journey. An exciting paranormal adventure I can easily recommend.

Merciless Mayhem 

by Sue Coletta

Merciless Mayhem is the eighth book in the Mayhem Series. I have read the first and sixth books and could jump right into this story with no confusion or issues. There are enough references to understand what is going on. Shawnee and Mayhem are fighting a powerful company named Killzme, which is involved in illegal animal trafficking. This corporation has set its sights on capturing Shawnee, which leads to an explosive opening to the story. Not only are their lives at stake, but the animals captured are also at risk of survival. What I love about these stories is that justice is fought for innocent ones or animals, along with Native American culture and relationships between the warriors and families. Shawnee’s dedication to learning and working with Mayhem to become a stronger warrior is fascinating. But it’s her love for her grandfather that really touches the heart. The ravens are a favorite character of mine, and the bad feelings between Shawnee and Poe add to the entertainment. Going undercover and Shawnee walking in heels was a lot of fun, but saving the orcas and dolphins tugged at my heart. There was an in-depth explanation of what capturing these intelligent creatures does to them. There are some brutal and descriptive battles that aren’t for the faint of heart, but I couldn’t help rooting for the justice behind it. Another great addition to the Mayhem Series and I will continue reading them to catch up and look forward to more stories to come.

Goodbye Old Paint (The Hat Book 7) 

by C. S. Boyack

Lizzie and the Hat are back and trying to recover after disastrous flooding. Her car is barely functional, and funds are very limited as she waits for her disaster aid to come. It’s even been hard to book the band to play out. That’s when a government agency shows up needing her unusual skills to help with a gremlin infestation. They make an offer to excuse student loans. This takes Lizzie down a fun path that brings back some familiar characters from past books. I am a fan of The Hat Series and love Mr. Boyack’s humor. This book took that humor up a notch. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, but I won’t go into detail and spoil them. I enjoyed an upgrade Lizzie received and I always appreciate the Hat’s snarky comments and how he helps. Another great Hat Book I can easily recommend.

Courting Miss Emma

By Linda Broday

“Courting Miss Emma” continues the story of the Taggart sisters. Being the daughters of the hangman, they were forced out of town after their house was burned down. They took with them the town’s orphans and found solace in an abandoned mission, along with three nuns. The first of the series focused on the older sister, Maura, and now it’s Emma’s story. Emma’s life revolves around the children, and she’s made peace with being alone—and not being lucky like Maura. However, a good-looking new neighbor, Stone, moves in. Emma and Stone immediately clash over the kids wandering onto his property to see the camels. There is little time to decide what they think of each other when riders come in and tell them their land is no longer theirs. They are expected to leave. No matter what is or isn’t between Emma and Stone, they must join to fight off attackers who will do whatever it takes to claim what isn’t theirs. I love Emma’s character; she is very strong and loving toward the ones she loves even after how she and her sister have been unfairly treated. Stone is an ex-soldier who carries a heavy past with him and a determination not to marry or have kids. It was wonderful to see all the familiar characters from the first book, especially the children, and to meet the new ones introduced. The plot was layered with not only romance and the threat of losing their home but plenty of heart-racing action and unexpected twists. Mixed in is some fun humor, including Emma imagining what her tombstone would say in different situations. The setting was rich and detailed, so I could easily imagine being in Texas in the late 1800s. A fantastic follow-up to the first book and I can’t wait for the story to continue. Although it’s unnecessary to read the first book because there was enough information added to understand the story, I’m glad I read “Maura” first. I can highly recommend this.

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! Click on a book title and add to your reading list 🙂 D. L. Finn

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New Release! The Destination Harbor Pointe Series Book 3 @dlfinnauthor #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread #halloween #halloweenpics

Hooray! Tomorrow is the release day for The Destination. I am also sharing some fun pictures since tomorrow is Halloween.

Since I don’t have a review for myself I’ll pick the first one posted on Goodreads.

Blurb

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

It’s 1967, and best friends Lacey and Sandy are enjoying a beach vacation, completely unaware of the danger that is lying in wait outside their door. Their room is quaint, with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and an old lighthouse, but a killer is stalking their next victim. Powerless, Annie the ghost watches, knowing there’s nothing she can do to help—not even her parents, the innkeepers. Who will survive their stay at the Harbor Pointe Inn, where the edge of evil lurks within the shadows?

Review by Staci Troilo

First, Oscar and Felix. Then, Thelma and Louise. Now, Lacey and Sandy.

Lacey and Sandy are the best of friends, closer than sisters. But they couldn’t be more different. Lacey is a free spirit, adventurous, always chasing fabulous experiences. Sandy is a people-pleaser. She does what’s expected of her because she loves the calm… even if that means sacrificing her happiness to maintain it. Many of us have probably been a Lacey or a Sandy in a friendship. I know I have been. (And no, I won’t share which one.) It’s because these two diametrically opposed personalities are so familiar that these characters are so relatable. Opposites attract, right? These two have a soul-deep bond, and it leaps off the page.

I absolutely love this friendship, and it carries the story to new heights, but it’s not the only thing that caught my attention. Danger lurks. Residents of Harbor Pointe may have a guardian angel, but the two friends are slightly out of her purview. She does what she can to help, but I held my breath until I saw if it was enough. And I promise, the evil is unparalleled. There’s a real-world reference to someone so malevolent, readers can’t help but fear the worst for the characters.

Whether you believe in guardian angels or not, I invite you to imagine having one. One who’s invested, involved, and goes above and beyond to intervene for your safety. That’s the premise in The Destination, and it will have you thinking “what if…” the whole way through. What if Annie doesn’t see the source of the danger? What if Annie doesn’t keep her parents at the inn? What if Annie isn’t powerful enough to save the visiting friends?

I won’t answer those questions. But I challenge readers not to race to the end to find the answers. Paranormal fans won’t want to miss this one. Highly recommended.

Thank you, Staci!
Now on to Halloween. Here are some fun pictures from past and present.
And this year:
Embrace your inner child. Happy Halloween 🙂 D. L. Finn

 

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24 Seasons #Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge No. 5. #poetrycommunity #poem #haiku #micropoetry #blackcats

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge No. 5. This is what I’m using from the list, “Black Cats as Symbols of Good Luck,” since I have two beautiful black cats, Coco and Luna. I used the haiku format or micro poetry of 5/7/5.
Black Cat in space and new moon
sweet purring black cat
furry muse rests on my lap
warms my chilled old bones
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New Release! The Gift by @gmplano Harbor Pointe Series Book 2 #harborpointeseries #writingcommunity #whattoread

Yay! Tomorrow is the release day for the second book of the Harbor Pointe Series. If you haven’t picked up your copy there is still time. I am sharing the blurb and my review here today.


The Gift: Harbor Pointe Series Book 2
By Gwen M. Plano

BLURB

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.
In an innocent 1958 American suburb, Shelly doesn’t know the power of a kiss. Or how it will change her entire life.
At sixteen years old, she falls in love with a young man. One night—just one night—they go too far. Months later, pregnant and shamed, Shelly’s parents banish her.
Alone and heavily pregnant, circumstances force Shelly to cross the country in an old pickup.
A mistaken turn leaves her lost in a forest amidst a severe snow storm and in labor.
In the dark of night. Shelly must get help for her new-born baby before they both perish. A light in the distance gives her the slimmest glimmer of hope.
After Shelly wraps the infant in her father’s old jacket, she trudges through the snow to a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Snow half buries the squat stone building.
Will Shelly find shelter, or is it the beginning of the end?

MY REVIEW
“The Gift” is set in 1958 when the one mistake of a sixteen-year-old girl makes her family not only turn their back on her but send her away. Shelly is very pregnant and scared to drive alone across the United States to stay with a relative until she has the baby. Almost at her destination, she runs out of gas in a snowstorm. She goes into labor and is forced to deliver her baby. If they stay in the old truck, they will perish, so she bundles up the baby and tries to find help. She sees a light that she hopes means help and heads towards it. I was ashamed of Shelly’s parents for sending her off like they did with an old unreliable vehicle and limited funds. Shelly was strong, though, when she needed to be. And the father who was away at college with no idea of her condition came back home and began his search for her. It’s a beautifully told drama full of guilt, loss, regret—and love. I was completely invested in Shelly, the baby, and their survival. A cruel set of events for a teen also offered hope, which made this an inspirational read that I can highly recommend!

Amazon US Amazon UK


AUTHOR BIO

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the high desert of Arizona, where she writes, gardens, and travels with her husband.
Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.
When Gwen is not writing, she’s often in the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona, where she finds inspiration.

Note:
If you are subcribed to my newsletter it will go out the end of this week.

Next week is Finn’s Forest #7.

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

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Halloween Creativity #Challenge @teagangeneviene #writingcommunity #halloween #writingchallenge

Hi,

I decided to do a second challenge today. This is Teagan R. Geneviene’s Halloween Creativity Challenge. We were asked to write a story, poem, advertisement, song, or whatever we liked.  There was a chart and we were to go by the letter of our first name and get: a Halloween thing, a hero, and a costume. Mine for D were: Horror Movies, Postman, and Ninja. Although, I never mentioned horror movies, but I felt it read like one. I started out as a short haibun but it grew. Here is my story that ends with micro poetry or a really long haibun 🙂

A Halloween Walk Through the Woods

The wind’s chill cut through my ninja costume. My black boots clicked against the icy cement path that took me through the dark forest. The only light came from my cell phone flashlight. Why did I think taking a shortcut from my house to my neighbor’s Halloween party was a good idea? A loud crack came from behind me, and my heart took off like my heavy feet wanted to do. It sounded like something large had stepped on a tree branch. A bear or… No, that’s a question I shouldn’t ask.

My step quickened, and I wished I had the actual weapons of a ninja. A laugh vibrated through the trees. Unless someone dressed as the wicked witch was behind me and was perfecting their cackle, I was in trouble. At least I had on all black. I shut the flashlight off and made a run for it as fast as my old heart would allow. The laughter crept closer, and I veered off the exposed path into the thick trees.

Then I hid behind the biggest cedar, or maybe it was a pine. I didn’t care. I took a deep breath and slowed down my haggard breathing. My eyes adjusted to the darkness as the laughter and a dark figure were right where I had just been.

A baritone voice called out, “Are we playing hide and go seek tiny ninja? What a fun game you’ve given me on Hallowed Eve. It will make your blood taste all the better, little human.”

I remained silent. It was my only chance. Right then, the heavy cloud cover parted. Moonlight hit the thing directly as its laughter grew louder, echoing off my soul. His pale skin was jagged, like an alligator. Nothing is that tall, nothing human, that is. That was no costume. I had to close my eyes, or what I was seeing would drive me mad.

The next part is unbelievable, but it happened. A woman wearing a light button-up shirt and black pants carrying the same bag as our mailman with a pulsing blue wand marched right up to the monster.

“I surrender.” The thing fell to its knees and held up his arms.

Four letters on the bag glowed in yellow that brightly lit the scene: USPS. The woman with dark curly hair nodded and opened her bag. The creature dissipated into spinning green sparkles that flowed into the bag’s mouth.

“You are safe now,” she said and waved in my direction. “Time to make a delivery.”

Before I could decide how to respond, the evil and the woman were gone.

mail carrier hero

possessed a magical bag

saved me in the woods

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24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge, No. 3 #TankaTuesday #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poems #tanka #fall

Hi! Here is Colleen Chesebro’s 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, No. 3.

These are the season kigo words I chose for this week: pumpkin & cold dew. I did a tanka 5/7/5/7/7.

world record pumpkin
nestled in dawn’s salty cold dew
massive orange squash
awaits her adoring fans
harvest festival begins

NOTE:

The next From Finn’s Forest talks about special pumpkins 🙂

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From Finn’s Forest #6 #writingcommunity #author #readers


Hi!
Today I’m talking about some fun forest facts and then sharing a forest poem from my latest poetry book.

Did you know that forests cover almost a third of our landmass or 31%? I didn’t.
There are three types of forests: tropical, temperate, and boreal. How are these different?

Tropical forests stay at a comfortable temperature, usually between 66-88 degrees F. They skip winter but still enjoy the rain and dry seasons. The Amazon rainforest is a good example and the largest, but if I venture into a tropical forest, it’s usually in Hawaii. They contain fifty percent of all the world’s plants and animals and their soil is acidic, but that doesn’t stop all the growth. The growing season is year-round.

Temperate forests experience all four seasons. Winters can last up to six months and some animals will hibernate, like the bears, or migrate to survive. Alaska’s Tongrass forest spans 16.7 million acres, making it the largest of this type. They include deciduous trees that change colors and lose their leaves every year, along with the evergreens and other tree types. They are also known for having rich soil. The growing season is between 140 to 200 days a year.

Borel forests are the coldest of the forests. They can dip to -65 F in the winter. They are in the United States of America in the state of Alaska, Russia, and Canada. Only the most hardy of trees survive in these conditions like firs, pines, and spruce. Like those in the Temperate forests, the animals will either hibernate or migrate. The growing season for this type is 130 days at the most.

These forests have subcategories that differ in temperature, animals, plants, trees, and moisture. I won’t go into those today.

The Magic Trail and my home are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains at an elevation of 3800. Up to 5000 feet are considered foothills. There are many times in the winter when I forget that fact and feel like I’m in the mountains. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is called a temperate coniferous (fire, pines, juniper…) forest. This type of forest, including the animals and weather, finds their way into my stories. The redwood forest is also temperate coniferous that has also made appearances in my settings.
Forests are considered the lungs of the earth, but they also provide fresh water, food, timber, and many other resources.

The tallest tree in the world is a sequoia named Hyperion at 380 feet in the coastal California redwood forest. Its location is kept secret for its safety.

The oldest tree in the world is Methuselah. This tree is believed to be 4,855 years old and also lives in California in the Inyo National Forest White Mountains.

How do you know the age of a tree? You count its rings.
Approximately 25% of all our modern medicine comes from plants in the forests.

Rainforests receive between 79 and 394 inches of rain each year.

To honor forests, I’m sharing a forest poem from my book Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms.

MY TRAIL

The trail weaves through pines and oaks,
Winding around logs of past lives.
It takes me past a mysterious pit,
While brushing the edge of wilderness.
I meander slowly on the red dirt,
Like a river trickles on a warm summer day.
Each step brings me closer to my spirit,
As perfection of spring sprinkles the trail.
Awakening the beauty of renewal,
It rises from its quiet hibernation.
With a long stretch, spring’s days open,
Embracing me in a cyclic cuddle
That flows through me in awareness,
Each tree becomes a welcomed friend.
The birds are now my exclusive guides,
While the insects teach me about life.
Eternal nexus tethers me to the moment,
Grateful, my meditative walk continues.
Gifted, with the forest’s peace,
Guided, only by the trail’s magic.

Embrace your inner child by visiting a forest or reading about one in a book! D. L. Finn

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24 Seasons #Syllabic #Poetry #Challenge, No. 2 #TankaTuesday. #tanka #nature #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poems

I chose from the list of words provided this week and went with apple bee. After some research, I found it was a wasp. It is like our very active ground wasps that have earned the name meat bee here. They enjoy apples but also any meat. They make eating outside impossible and football BBQs a challenge. I have talked about them before in a previous post.

They are at the doors. The moment I step outside, they are already bumping against me in a warning I take seriously. This has been the worst year I can remember. Their attacks usually increase this time of year before their ground hives die down, leaving a queen and some workers for next spring. Many people I’ve talked to have been stung, that includes me. It isn’t just one sting, but several at once. Not sure what made it such a terrible year for them, but it sure is.

I keep my eye on the outdoor temperature, so far we’ve gotten down to 39 degrees at night, but not the 32 degrees that will solve this problem. Until then I wait.
This is a tanka poem 5/7/5/7/7.
aggressive meat bees
waiting for me at the door
safe inside I hide
until falls first welcomed chill
clears the air of painful stings
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October Book Reviews! @TWDittmer @SueColetta1 @ninsthewriter @Dwallacepeach @SarahBrentyn @alliepottswrite #writingcommunity #bookreviews #whatyoushouldbereading

The Valley Walker

By T.W. Dittmer

Teri Altro who is a part of a government drug enforcement team, is almost gunned down at a store. A mysterious man steps in, saves her, and then disappears. This man turns out to be John Walker Micheals, who is an ex-Vietnam vet. John also has close ties to the Hmong community who call him the Valley Walker. He is wanted by the government for desertion, but Teri is protective of the man who not only saved her life, but she shot. The settings and descriptions of the Vietnam War and the Hmong culture were very detailed and added a depth that made this story hard to put down. The flowing time and locations in the book include mysticism, politics, and powerful drug traffickers. Teri worked hard but forgot about her heart. John’s character is unpredictable until the end. I loved how this complex tale unfolded so skillfully on many levels. It is a story I can easily recommend.

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series #1)

By Sue Coletta

 

I started this series with book six, “Restless Mayhew” and was immediately drawn into the story. After that, I wanted to know what happened before, so I started with book one and found the beginning equally compelling. Shawnee is a cat burglar who steals from criminals to give back to their victims—she also works for the police department. When she was a cat burglar, she discovered the identity of a serial killer. Unfortunately, he found out that she had broken into his house and taken his prized possession, along with some cash and gems. Although the killer is known right away, the book is still a page-turner, and I couldn’t wait to find out how she survived. At first, I wanted her to turn the killer in to save his victims from his creative yet inhuman and painful deaths. Shawnee was in a dangerous position and not only had to save herself but those she loved. Plus, she dates a detective who can easily throw her in jail if he finds out too much about her. Shawnee is not only a flawed individual but a determined one who had me on her side. A well-written thriller that kept me up late into the night, wanting to know what was going to happen next. I can’t wait to read the next in the series and can easily recommend this to those who love fast-paced mysteries with graphic details of being a victim and a survivor.

 

Dark Eyes

By Nina Romano

“Dark Eyes” is set in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Anya is a young, unwed mother who struggles to provide food for her daughter after escaping an abusive relationship. After her daughter’s grandmother is brutally murdered, Anya wants to find the killer. This pulls her into a corrupt criminal world that ventures into the police department and includes dolls, diamonds, and drugs. Andrei is a police photographer trying to get hired onto the force. They meet during the investigation and seem drawn to each other. I didn’t like Andrei at first because of his initial interactions with Anya. Later, as I got to know Andrei and Anya better, I became invested in these characters and rooted for their survival. Ms. Romano paints a vivid picture of how it would have been to be living in those times in the Soviet Union, especially as a woman. In the Soviet Union, shortages of food, heat, and jobs made life difficult. It was also risky to disagree with the KGB or be Jewish. A couple of scenes with Anya were graphic and brutal but showed her strength and determination to survive for her mentally challenged daughter and to find the truth. This story draws you into a world we are lucky we don’t live in and offers hope amongst cruelty. A historical fiction love story I can easily recommend.

The Shadows We Breathe (Volume 3)

By Sarah Brentyn and various authors

This is the first anthology I’ve read of “The Shadows We Breathe (Volume 3)” and really enjoyed it. I recognized a couple of the authors but was also introduced to new ones. The book is put together with first flash fiction and then micro-fiction with the theme of power. I loved all the different perspectives that were taken in the stories. Some touched on some very dark subjects, but all were well told. I enjoyed them all so I don’t have a favorite story, but the micro-fiction was compelling in what could be told in fewer words. Although a fast read, it wasn’t light on entertainment or depth. I can easily recommend this collection to those who want to explore the shadowy side of life.

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

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24 Seasons Syllabic #Poetry Challenge, No. 1 #TankaTuesday #tanka #poetrycommunity

Here is the very first of Colleen Chesebro’s 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, No. 1 Tanka Tuesday.

We are to write poetry using the current season words. A list was provided.  I decided to use “harvest moon,” and this is a tanka 5/7/5/7/7.

moon and clouds over forest

parched forest’s rapture
beneath autumn’s harvest moon
nimbus clouds emerge
sparkling stars disappear
Mother Nature’s magic trick

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

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New Release! “The Price of Atonement” by Mae Clair @MaeClair1 #HarborPointeSeries #newrelease #writingcommunity #historicalfiction #whattoread

Hooray! The Harbor Pointe Series kicks off tomorrow with The Price of Atonement by Mae Clair!

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, there’s still time to get it before it releases. You aren’t going to want to miss this story. My review follows the blurb.

BLURB

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

Some hauntings come from within.

Leviticus Sinclair has been a broken man since the murders of his wife and brother. Burdened by personal failures the night they were killed, he occupies himself by crossing the country, searching out departed spirits unwilling to move from this world to the next. His dead brother’s Bible and a pocket watch—forever frozen at the precise moment of his wife’s death—serve as grim reminders of a past he cannot exorcise.

Accompanied by Wyatt Resnick, a paid employee who fills the role of researcher and hired muscle, Leviticus arrives at the Harbor Pointe Inn amid rumors of a vengeful ghost. A phantom who may be the single spirit he has long sought, one capable of freeing him from his torment.

Set in the remote Pacific Northwest of 1887, The Price of Atonement is a story of jealousy, guilt, and one man’s relentless quest for absolution.

REVIEW

The Price of Atonement: Harbor Pointe Series #1

By Mae Clair

“The Price of Atonement” kicks off the Harbor Pointe Series in the late 1800s. Leviticus has been traveling, seeking ghosts who won’t cross over since his wife and brother were killed. Wyatt accompanies him as his assistant and caretaker. They end up at the Harbor Inn. Here, the Hawthorne family has some secrets, including an angry ghost, and a terrified young mother. With Wyatt’s help, Leviticus tries to resolve their ghost issues while having to deal with his past. The setting was so beautifully described that it felt like I was another guest at the inn watching this unfold. The character’s depth, guilt, and human flaws had me rooting for a successful outcome for everyone. Although the story is a novelette, it is fast-paced and rich with historical details, making it impossible to put this well-written story down. I would love to see more stories with Leviticus and Wyatt on their ghost adventures. I can highly recommend this story.

Amazon US Amazon UK

AUTHOR BIO

A member of the International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.com

In mere three week’s Gwen Plano’s The Gift will follow. I will be posting my review. My story, The Destination, follows on Halloween with five more amazing stories to still enjoy. I will keep you posted.

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

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Stop by and say hi! “Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms” @Sandra_Cox #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #poetrycollection

Hi!

Today the celebration continues over on Sandra Cox’s amazing blog! We’d love for you to stop by and say hello.

POST LINK

Sandra, who also writes as S. Cox, is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and several cats in sunny North Carolina.

An award-winning author, her stories consist of all things Western and more.

Foodie Facts:

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

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

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

SANDRA COX AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Books That Changed Me—2023 Fall Edition @Sandra_Cox @HowellWave @Virgilante #writingcommunity #whattoread

Welcome to autumn—or almost. I’m posting this a day early since it falls on a Saturday. This is a favorite time for me. The landscape is changing into a rosy glowing sunset. Animals are making final preparations for the coming cold weather and I’m enjoying it all, including the cooler weather. It does make for cozy reading.

Although you’ve seen these books reviewed here, I felt they were worthy of another look—or some of my top reads. Here are the books and their blurbs for fantastic fall reading.

Once Upon a Time in the Swamp

By C.S. Boyack

BLURB

Mari and her husband opted for a simple life as farmers. It’s been decades since the world tore itself apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against each other. They were happy in this re-emerging world, until disaster struck.

Mari sets out on a solo quest to avenge the deaths of her family and loss of everything she holds dear. She’s ill equipped for the task, but seems to have time on her hands. Time alone in the wilderness to deal with her personal demons along the way.

She is helped by a few sympathetic elders and a couple of animal companions with lessons Mari can use if she pays attention. Can Mari find justice for her family?

Set in a post apocalyptic, Gulf Coast world, this is a story for fans of the old Spaghetti Westerns.

 

Return to Silverhills

By Sandra Cox

BLURB

A Western with strong romantic elements:
The Wades’ saga continues as Alex and Brandon return to Silverhills, bringing Alex’s friend Lisa with them.
They arrive home just as Jeff Wade, Brandon’s younger brother, is about to head a trail drive across the Chisholm Trail. But there’s a problem, the cattle drive cook has a broken arm.
A week later, Lisa sets out on the drive as the camp cook along with the Silverhills’ cowpunchers and a thousand head of longhorn. Trail drives are always dangerous, but this one has more than its share of perils. Snowstorms, flashfloods, hot lead and rustlers are just a few of the dangers they encounter.
And if that’s not enough for the trail boss to be dealing with, he can’t ignore the white-hot attraction he feels for the petite, lovely blonde who drives the chuckwagon like a seasoned camp cook. Jeff is very much afraid that falling in love could prove more fatal than the bullets flying along the Chisholm Trail.

 

The Last Drive

By John W. Howell

BLURB

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.
The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

 

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

 

 

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From Finn’s Forest #5 #writingcommunity #author #readers


Hi
Fall will be arriving this week! This is one of my favorite times of the year. When the temperatures cool, and nights are crisp. The leaves change to yellow and red bringing the landscape to life like spring does with flowers. Everything is pumpkin flavored and my Halloween decorations are already up. Like I said I’m ready.
The bears are also getting ready for winter. They manage to get into our garbage even when they are tightly clasped shut. We figure it’s better than them breaking into the garage if we store it there.
Then there are the remaining meat bees that are in attack mode, at least with me. They are also known as ground yellowjackets but they are wasps. I got attacked a couple of weeks ago—again. This time I was only moving some birdseed that had fallen to the ground. My mistake. I got stung several times on my chest and a couple on my back. It was itchy and painful at first but no infection like my husband got a few years ago. They eat rotten meat and when they sting, they bite to hold on so they can get a couple of extra stings in. Luckily they died down every year, leaving behind eggs for the coming spring. I know they have a job to do, I just wish it didn’t involve me. I haven’t been able to go outside with them hunting me down.
All a part of living in the forest.
So there’s been no walks on the Magic Trail lately. My outside inspiration is limited to star gazing. Although there is one tree we can’t sit by to enjoy the night sky. A light colored owl swoops low over us heading to the big cedar tree next to the house. After the third time, we realized it wasn’t an accident. There had to be a nest in that cedar. Hopefully, soon this night bird’s babies will fly off and we can go back to our usual spot.
Although we bought the land in the forest, we share it with many creatures. Some of these residents are not as pleasant as others.
My experiences living in the forest have made it in many of my stories. I can use it as a setting to create a mood or even danger. What if your character was allergic, like my mother, to a bee sting? That would create an added layer to a story. Or perhaps a bear enters the house through a kitchen screen like one did recently up the street. Their dog chased it back outside but not before it got into the flour and was having a snack. That would not only be scary but what if the bear didn’t leave the house like this one did?
How about you? Have any pesky critters that find their way into your stories?
Updates:
Watch for my newsletter on 9-20 in your email if subcribed, and my Books That Changed Me—Fall Edition post on 10-22.
Next week The Harbor Pointe Inn Series will release book one and I will have a post about it here. Can’t wait 🙂
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn

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Stop by and say hi! “Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms” @HowellWave #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poetry

Hi!

Today I’m visiting with John Howell on his always entertaining blog. We’d love for you to stop by and say hello!

LINK

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. John’s latest book is titled Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existance. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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

JOHN W. HOWELL AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Stop by and say hi! “Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms!” @gmplano #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #newrelease #poetrycollection

Hi,
Today I’m over celebrating release day with Gwen Plano on her beautiful blog! We’d love for you to stop by and say hello.

LINK


Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the high desert of Arizona, where she writes, gardens, and travels with her husband.
Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.
When Gwen is not writing, she’s often in the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona, where she finds inspiration.

GWEN PLANO AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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New Release! “Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms!” #writingcommunity #newrelease #whattoread #poetry #poetrycommunity

Yay! It’s almost here—RELEASE DAY! Tonight “Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms” will make its way into your Kindle if you preordered or be available for those who have Kindle umlimited. Plus, the print copy is ready to go. I am planning on adding a hardback soon. The new video is at the end of this post and some information about winning a gift card.

Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms is poetry that spans over a few years after my other book Just Her Poetry was published in 2019. This current collection encompasses many different types of poetry which I put into seasons, magic, paradise, my emotions, and the back of the Harley. Plus, there’s poetry stories told through haibun style. I have become fond of telling stories in limited words like In the Tree’s Shadows. I continued those shorter stories in this book, but with a poetic twist.

Putting this poetry collection together was overwhelming at first with three hundred pages of poetry to pour through. What to use and how to arrange it was a struggle until I made it more like the first book. After making some deep cuts, I enlisted Colleen Chesebro from Unicorn Cat Publishing to edit. I knew she’d be honest, and she was. She nudged me out of auto-pilot to fly with my words again. That was all I needed to make the cuts and changes. I know I’ve said this before, but never pass by the editing stage, even with poetry.

There are still two hundred pages of poetry that didn’t fit this book but may show up later in other projects.

Next, I worked on the cover. There were several at first, but his one captured my heart. Then came the video which is below. That all went smoothly.

Formatting was the last step. Having never done formatting on a poetry book before, it took some learning. Eventually, I figured it all out. It was one of those hard learning curves that my stubborn side insisted on conquering.

I wanted to get Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms out before the Harbor Pointe Inn Series released, so that added to my final push.

This poetry represents my current journey, but I left many of those COVID-19 year references. I’d rather focus on nature, magic, healing  and exploring stories. Some of these poems were used in different challenges, including Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday or the missed Suzanne Burke’s ‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ so you may recongnize them.

I was going to share my favorite poem, but in the end, I couldn’t choose. Instead, here’s the video.

AMAZON UNIVERSAL ORDER LINK

I didn’t do a formal blog tour this time around. But there will be a couple posts out there to watch for! I will keep you posted.

In celebration of my latest release, two $5 Amazon gift cards will be randomly given to two people who leave a comment here today.

Next week will be a Finn’s Forest Post.

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September Book Reviews! @BalroopShado @Virgilante @GodsAngel1 #bookreviews #whattoread #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter

Ever So Gently

By Lauren Scott

“Ever So Gently” is a beautiful collection of free verse and symbolic poetry. It is broken into three sections that cover nature, life’s moments, and some author insights. I love nature and I’m drawn to vivid images, but the emotions and insights explored in our shared experiences were equally intriguing. There was a peace within these pages that allowed me to drift off into a poetic slumber when I was done reading. Although I enjoyed the entire collection, here are a few lines that captured my heart. “Fresh raindrops/gently landed/on their wilted spirit/as I witnessed them lifting…”—Wilted Spirits, “You stowed dreams in the clouds,/imaginings rose higher than the heavens…”—First Breath, “Their presence graced my universe beautifully like an endless ceiling of bright blue sky. Then they were gone.”—Friendships Gone, and “Its glow will grow ever so gently/into a bright beacon of hope/rising with the golden sun/bringing clarity to our vision.”—Ever So Gently. A collection that I will be enjoying again and can highly recommend.

Tales from the Riverside

By Larry Landgraf

“Tales from the Riverside” is a collection of true-life stories that span several decades of Mr. Landgraf’s life. It is an entertaining account of life in the swamp and educational. I live in the forest, so I know little about swamps besides alligators living there. It is so much more than alligators as we are taken on fishing trips to catch, a favorite of mine, catfish, gardening, relationships, equipment, and survival. It is told through humor, but there are some very scary life-threatening parts. I stayed up late reading about hurricanes, snakes, and equipment problems, and enjoyed the author’s recipes and daily life stories. Although I will stick to living in the forest, I could appreciate the peace and independence found in the swamp. A short story memoir of living in Riverside are tales I can easily recommend!

Fusion: Poems of Life

By Balroop Singh

“Fusion: Poems of Life” takes the reader on a vivid journey through nature and life’s emotional aspects. I enjoyed the entire collection, but the nature-based poems really captivated me because I am so comfortable there. It was very hard to pick from the beautiful imagery, but here are a few of the many I highlighted. “The dream of my life was/To fly with the clouds/Drape their colors,/Adapt their shapes…”—Dreams, “Snow clad mountaintops/Kiss capricious clouds./Emerald lake watches,/As rosy hues of dawn smile…”—Ambrosial Love, “Stormy sea swallow/Stories of eons/Some shores speak…”—Changes, “Hold the first rays of sun/Softly in your hands or/Soak them gently in your eyes…”—Magic Moments, “The shimmer of violets allures me/A flower fairy sits smiling/Sprinkling her magic dust…”—Flower Fairy, and “The moment she wears her scarlet gown/She gets a call to cast her spell/Edgy enchantress grabs her crystal…”—The Scarlet Gown. A collection I read in one sitting, but one I will also revisit. I can highly recommend this to all poetry lovers.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

By C.S. Boyack

“The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack” is a unique collection of short stories and had been sitting on my reading list for way too long. I’m so glad I finally picked it up. It was a fast read that was completely entertaining, down to the intermission. The book begins with “Jack O’ Lantern” which had a twist that made me grin. It was fun to see some favorite characters Lisa the Robot, along with Jason Fogg, and learn a bit more about their backstories. All the stories were full of imagination, with Mr. Boyack’s humor weaved into many of them. “50 Galloon Drum,” and “Soup Ladle of Destiny” are stories I won’t soon forget, but all the tales were great in their way. An excellent grouping of creative stories that I can highly recommend.

Delilah

By Kaye Lynne Booth

“Delilah” is set in the 1880s and follows a young woman who was just released from prison for defending herself and her family. She sets out to return to the family ranch with a young girl, Sarah when they are attacked. Delilah was beaten, raped, and almost lost her life when they tried to hang her. Instead of giving up, even with all the bad that’s happened to her, Delilah’s strength keeps her going. She’s determined to locate the men who attacked her and find Sarah, who was kidnapped. Luck brings her to a family who helps, but cruel fate intervenes and she’s on her own again. Her journey leads her to a thriving mining town and a job. When she isn’t protecting herself from criminals, there are grizzlies and other wild animals to deal with too. Delilah is a character I couldn’t help but root for. She’s not afraid of hard work or to stand up to injustice. I love some relationships she develops, including a potential love interest. My favorite though is the bond with a local Ute boy. The well-written settings and descriptions brought me deeper into Delilah’s world. This is a gritty, fast-paced Western with a strong female character that I can easily recommend. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Next week I will be debuting Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms new video—and celebrating release day!

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

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“The Destination” Harbor Pointe Series Book 3 #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #readersoffacebook #harborpointeseries

Hi!

After this post, I will be focused on my upcoming poetry book release. Instead of a big blog tour like for In the Tree’s Shadow I will be doing posts here. But before I get started, I wanted to share an excerpt from my novelette in the Harbor Pointe Series.

I will be talking about this series more, as the release dates get closer! Can’t wait 🙂

Blurb

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

It’s 1967, and best friends Lacey and Sandy are enjoying a beach vacation, completely unaware of the danger that is lying in wait outside their door. Their room is quaint, with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and an old lighthouse, but a killer is stalking their next victim. Powerless, Annie the ghost watches, knowing there’s nothing she can do to help—not even her parents, the innkeepers. Who will survive their stay at the Harbor Pointe Inn, where the edge of evil lurks within the shadows?


Excerpt

Chapter One

1967, Northern California

Annie watched helplessly as evil exited the beautiful redwood forest in predator mode. It prowled over to the precipice by the old lighthouse. Her deepest desire was to protect her parents. She had stayed by their side since dying in the wooden cradle her father had made, patiently waiting until they could hold her again. They deserved a happy life until then, but now a cruel person with an empty heart was near them, threatening them. Yet what could she do, a spirit?

The only time she’d been able to assist the living was nine years ago when that poor girl Shelly had been lost and out of gas and given birth alone to sweet little Luke. Annie had guided Shelly through a snowstorm to her own parents, but she couldn’t lead this evil away from them. And what about the others at the inn—who would be the prey?

She sighed and wiped away a tear, knowing the killer would never feel this sorrow. What good was it for her to know things and not be able to do anything about them? It was a hard choice to stay and wait. The worst part was that her sweet mother had booked a reservation yesterday. More guests were coming to Harbor Pointe Inn, and there was no way to stop them. No way at all. Someone was going to die unless the evil was defeated. Since no one knew it was there, how would that happen? Saddened, Annie glided back to the inn to be by her parents.

Chapter Two

 

The solemn middle-aged man topped off the gas in Lacey’s new red ’67 Ford Mustang convertible. Fluid and tires were checked as Sandy handed Lacey her requested coffee and donuts.

“Where you young ladies headed?”

“North. Up the coast.” Lacey placed the coffee in the small box she used to hold her coffee and change and revved the car with her usual gusto.

The man wiped his hands on an old greasy rag and frowned. “Pretty drive, but a dangerous road. Take those corners easy.”

Lacey winked at him and tore out of the gas station faster than she should have. Sandy clicked her seat belt snugly across her lap as the coffee sloshed through the top of the paper cups and drained into Lacey’s box, soaking the tossed coins. Sandy dabbed the spill with a napkin she found in the glove box. A mess never bothered Lacey, so Sandy didn’t bother to comment. They were like sisters but could never be roommates.

Lacey tapped her pink manicured fingernail against Sandy’s arm. “This is going to be the best. Don’t you go falling asleep again and miss this view.”

Sandy held back a sigh and blew on the hot coffee. “I hardly slept last night, worrying if I’d forgotten something. I needed a little nap. Besides, there hasn’t been anything I haven’t seen before since we left Sacramento.”

“Yeah, but you don’t want to miss the redwoods and the coast. Grams took me to this inn when I was little. You will love the ocean view—there’s a genuine working lighthouse. Maybe you’ll spot a whale to study.” Lacey grinned.

“I’d love to see a whale breach or even a pod of dolphins. Maybe I could get a picture.” Sandy’s stomach fluttered like a kaleidoscope of monarch butterflies in flight as Lacey passed a car. The feeling was a combination of the thought of seeing whales and Lacey’s adventurous driving.

Lacey slowed after passing and rolled her shoulders. “You aren’t an accountant and dutiful housewife. You are a marine biologist.”

Sandy looked down and tugged off her white boots. “My family needs me to work for them. It’s been planned and—”

Lacey cut off Sandy’s weak protest, holding up a hand that should have been on the wheel. “Your family will survive without you. Pay attention to all this beauty—we’ll be there in about two hours.”

The coffee kept her awake as they sped through the turns the man had warned about. Sandy’s stockinged foot pumped an imaginary brake as her friend deftly navigated the winding road. Lacey was right about the view. It was incredible—dark blue waves crashing against a jagged rock shoreline. There was nothing but road, ocean, redwoods, and open land for the next two hours. But no whales.

Lacey broke the admiring silence. “My cousin used to have a house in Crescent City. He lost it because of his gambling, you know.” She stuffed a donut in her mouth and shrugged. “Grams always said it was lucky he never married. He moved to Reno and lived in some nice lady’s extra room until he died. So sad to waste living in such a beautiful spot because he threw his money away on gambling.”

Sandy kept her eyes pinned on the ocean over the curvy highway. “I’ve heard it’s an illness.”

“One they sure don’t have a cure for. I think it’s more like a compulsion, like killing. Although they may not kill anyone, they sure kill their lives.” Lacey shook her head and then pointed. “Look, on those rocks! They remind me of dogs!”

Sandy laughed. “Probably Steller sea lions. They can get up to 2,500 pounds and would be hard to walk.”

“Only you would know that fact.”

“Seals are fascinating. I’d love to live here and hang out with them.”

Lacey pursed her freshly lipsticked pink lips and rolled her eyes. “You should.”

Sandy’s throat tightened as she pushed down the hidden simmering rebellion with the cold coffee. “I have my family and my boyfriend.”

Lacey sighed dramatically. “Your boring boyfriend. Greg’s not your soul mate, and you know it.”

Sandy ignored Lacey’s truth bull’s-eye and tried to remove the barbed arrow that dug deeper into her obligation-filled reality. “I’ve known Greg since kindergarten. We get along, our families are friends, and we would have the same values for raising kids. It makes sense that I marry Greg.” She focused all her attention on the expansive Pacific Ocean while stuffing the last powdered donut in her mouth.

Lacey flung her auburn hair over her shoulder and added a head shake. “That would make sense if you were hiring an employee, but you aren’t. This concerns your heart, not job qualifications, duties, and balance sheets. I’ve known you for as long as you’ve known Greg. You don’t have to marry me because we’ve known each other a long time, do you?”

Sandy grinned but didn’t respond. Lacey was right. These very thoughts had crossed her mind more than once or twice. However, she never dared to say them out loud. It would make it all too real. Sandy had told Greg she’d consider his marriage proposal while she was away. The families were probably already planning an engagement party for them.

“Not gonna answer that? Well, what about you having to lie to your parents and Greg about where we’re going?”

Sandy looked away. “They would worry too much.”

“Worry? They would have stopped you!”

“Well, they care about me.”

Lacey threw both hands up before gripping the red steering wheel again. “They smother you! I’m pretty sure they don’t know the real you like I do. Good thing they didn’t know you had some money stashed away, or they would have put it to work for you and not let you use it.”

Sandy shrugged. Her friend spoke the uncomfortable truth. In comparison, Sandy had woven a fictional story about visiting Redding to clean up Lacey’s grandmother’s house to sell—a house that was already sold. The only thing that wasn’t a lie was that they were headed north, but she honestly didn’t believe there was another choice. At twenty-one years old, she’d always done the right thing, like earning her associate’s degree in accounting from the local junior college several months ahead of schedule. She needed to taste freedom, even if this was her last and only shot at it before she committed to Greg.

Lacey skillfully changed the subject. “I already paid for the room. So you got some money to do some more traveling.”

“What? No, we agreed to split the room and gas.”

“We’ll talk about it later, Sandy. Let’s have some fun, okay?”

“Sure, later,” Sandy mumbled, knowing she had already lost the battle. She’d find another way to pay her friend back.

Lacey slowed down for a hairpin turn. A thick fog bank was creeping in from the sea.

“Is that it?” Sandy pointed to a lighthouse blinking in the distance.

“It sure is. Although we got a room with a view, I wish it had been on the third floor, like when I went with Grams. Plumbing issues. What can you do?” Lacey patted Sandy’s hand as they pulled onto a road with several potholes, probably from recent storms. They forced her speed to a crawl to avoid bottoming out. “I wish you’d reconsider coming to Europe with me. There’s a whole big world out there. You can pay me back if you have to. Grams left me well taken care of, and she loved you like you were part of the family.”

Sandy took a deep breath and let it out quietly. Lacey’s offer tempted her. It really did. “I appreciate your wanting to take me along, and you’re right—I’d insist on paying my way. But you know I can’t leave my family. They depend on me. You can do it for both of us.”

Lacey groaned and added a tongue click. “I’m going to change your mind. You are going to be the marine biologist you’ve always wanted to be. There’s a program at Humboldt State College.”

Sandy crossed her arms as they drove past the lighthouse. She wanted to be out there on the ocean exploring. Maybe on her honeymoon, if there was one. “Like I can afford that degree.”

“I’d offer to pay for it, but I know you would refuse. You could work your way through. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. My great-grandparents used to live there, and you’d be fine. Maybe you’d find your real Prince Charming.”

Sandy shook her head, slipped the white boots back on, and responded with more regret than she should have felt. “I already have a life planned.”

“Not the right one. I’m going to do what I want, and so are you. The end.”

Sandy studied the scenery and ignored Lacey. Her friend wasn’t going to win over her family. Or was she? Sandy felt a weight lift off her momentarily, but it came crashing back. They depended on her.

They pulled into a quaint, circular cobblestone driveway in front of a weathered inn. Off to the side was a redwood forest to explore, but the lighthouse caught her attention. She hoped they let the public inside. Next to it was a charming stone cottage. She could imagine living in that little house and working in the lighthouse. However, those days were gone—lighthouses were automated now. Lacey was right about her life, but was she brave enough to change her course? Did family responsibility mean more than what she wanted? Maybe she had some important reflecting to do.

Universal Amazon Purchase Link for The Destination  


AMAZON LINK FOR THE HARBOR POINTE SERIES


Next week is book reviews and on to new release posts. No new Finn’s Forest until after.

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

Featured

#PreOrder “Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms!” #poetry #nature #fairies #harley #forest #magic #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poems

Hi!

I’m excited to announce my poetry book Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms: Just Her Poetry Book Two is available for pre-order!

Blurb

Embark on a captivating journey with D. L. Finn as she guides you through the intricate landscapes of free verse and symbolic poetry. Hike with her through the magical forest, feel the wind on your face riding on the back of a Harley, or bask on the warm Hawaiian shores. Her search for life’s magic invites the reader to traverse through the four seasons in part one. Emotions, observations, and stories weave through part two’s texture. Whether the words explore a sunset, healing, or magic, each poem flows through moments where poetry blooms.

Excerpts

From Forest Magic/Fairies

FAIRY
Shimmering forest fairy
Silhouetted by dawn’s blush
Agility accentuates rainbow wings.
She darts to an ancient pillar.
Owls, rabbits, deer, and foxes gather
To witness her royal coronation.
Ancient pines and Douglas firs stand tall,
Like protective parents hovering over their baby.
This little fairy born with tree wisdom,
Is evidence magic still exists.


From Flowing From the Heart

BEYOND
Swirls within a pearl,
Etched into a pattern.
Trees careful locations…
Rocks knowing expressions…
Petals velvet jewels.
Alternating slants and shades,
Within our ordinary moments.
A smile appears in orange lichen…
A mountain appears to be a sleeping woman…
A craggy cliffs appears to be watching.
Nature’s mysterious images, a reminder
To look beyond dull expectations,
Where seeds of imagination and truth grow.


From Poetry Stories and Some Truth: Told through haibuns

Magic Pages

The magical gift sits next to my bed. Dressed in black leather, it holds
the ideas of generations. I gently open the promise of endless entertainment in the two hundred and thirty pages. I can barely contain
my joy with so many words that offer knowledge, insight, thrills,
adventure, heartbreak, or laughter. It may take more than one lifetime
to explore. Yet, it’s never full and always welcomes new editions onto
its electronic shelves—even the bad ones. It is my paradise.

add to my Kindle
with the best of intentions…
to read every word

AMAZON UNIVERSAL PREORDER LINK

 

NOTE: I just enjoyed a weekend of camping, or my verison of it in a trailer, at our local lake. I will only be around for two days this week, before getting back to some time off.  The monthly newsletter will be out! If you are subcribed check your email. I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Next week I’ll share an excerpt for my other upcoming release 🙂

Featured

New Release! “Fusion: Poems of Life” by @BalroopShado #poetry #poems #nature #life #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #newrelease

Welcome! I’m so happy to welcome Balroop Singh here today to share her latest poetry collection: Fusion: Poems of Life!” I included my review 🙂

Blurb

Fusion is the elixir of life. We seek it in every aspect of the cosmos. The magic of fusion manifests itself in the colors of dawn and dusk, in the melodies of nature, in the singing of birds, in the miniscule moments of joy, inspiring us to live in harmony with each other despite the edges that threaten to swallow us.

The poems in this collection are an amalgamation of harmonies and edges that bind us firmly. We have to wade into murky waters to measure the depth. We have to risk the heights to know our worth. Slippery snow makes us learn how to create footholds. Some songs of life dilute in the hourglass of time to erase the shadows – dark or light, all the colors play an equal role to create a fusion.

Excerpt

This poem “talks about the journey of life in metaphors.”

Colors of Life…

They’re blue and lilac
With cuddles and caresses
Rocking like our cradle
Life sounds sublime initially.

Yellow and green mingle
To greet the first steps
Butterflies look charming,
Fairies step in to offer magic.

Pink and red flutter our hearts
Passion reigns supreme
Adventure holds our dreams,
Love gets a new connotation.

Darker shades set in
Black and gray dominate
Shadows hover to scare,
Ego refuses to bend.

Ashen and gray may jolt us
But life keeps its smile
If we let the clouds pass
And revel in starry delight.
© Balroop Singh

UNIVERSAL AMAZON LINK

My Review

“Fusion: Poems of Life” takes the reader on a vivid journey through nature and life’s emotional aspects. I enjoyed the entire collection, but the nature-based poems really captivated me because I am so comfortable there. It was very hard to pick from the beautiful imagery, but here are a few of the many I highlighted. “The dream of my life was/To fly with the clouds/Drape their colors,/Adapt their shapes…”—Dreams, “Snow clad mountaintops/Kiss capricious clouds./Emerald lake watches,/As rosy hues of dawn smile…”—Ambrosial Love, “Stormy sea swallow/Stories of eons/Some shores speak…”—Changes, “Hold the first rays of sun/Softly in your hands or/Soak them gently in your eyes…”—Magic Moments, “The shimmer of violets allures me/A flower fairy sits smiling/Sprinkling her magic dust…”—Flower Fairy, and “The moment she wears her scarlet gown/She gets a call to cast her spell/Edgy enchantress grabs her crystal…”—The Scarlet Gown. A collection I read in one sitting, but one I will also revisit. I can highly recommend this to all poetry lovers.

Author Bio

Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in California. You can visit her blog at http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Embrace your inner child by reading some beautiful poetry! D. L. Finn

Featured

“The Harbor Pointe Series!” #Preorder #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #readersoffacebook #mystery #horror #drama

Hi!

I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of The Habor Pointe Series! It’s a collaboration of eight authors from the Story Empire team. It all starts with “The Price of Atonement” that releases on September 26, 2023, and ends with “Room at the End” on January 9, 2024.

The stories are set in a fictional Northern California town. They begin when the inn was new in the late 1800s and flow through the decades into the future. Each one has the author’s unique flair, which makes this series so very compelling. I focused on the late 1960s and had fun with that era.

Curious? Check out this video:

 

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

The Price of Atonement by Mae Clair

9-26-23

Amazon US Amazon UK


The Gift by Gwen M. Plano

10-17-23

Amazon US Amazon UK


The Destination by D. L. Finn

10-31-23

Amazon US Amazon UK


The Seas of Time by D. Wallace Peach

11-14-23

Amazon US Amazon UK


The Edge of Too Late by Jan Sikes

11-28-23

Amazon US Amazon UK


A Fathomless Affair by Staci Troilo

12-5-23

Amazon US Amazon UK


A Death at the Inn by Joan Hall

1-2-24

Amazon US Amazon UK


The Room at the End by Harmony Kent

1-9-24

Universal Link

Amazon US Amazon UK

I was honored to work with such amazing talent. I hope you will check out every one of these amazing stories. Embrace your inner child by reading a fantastic story! D. L Finn

Featured

August Book Reviews! @supermegawoman @FizaPathan @teagangeneviene @SelmaWrites #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #bookreviews

You Can Take The Girl From The Prairie: Stories about growing up on the Canadian prairies

By Darlene Foster

“You Can Take The Girl From The Prairie” is a heartwarming collection that glimpses into the author’s life of what it was like growing up in Southern Alberta in the 1950s and 60s. I have always had a curiosity about Alberta since my grandmother was born there in the 1920s. The heartwarming stories had me either laughing or shedding a few tears, and immediately drew me in. Ms. Foster’s family didn’t have all the extras that others had, but she was blessed with a beautiful childhood full of love. I loved the relationship between not only her and her grandmother, but her father, too. It wasn’t always an easy life and there was heartbreak along with the celebrations, but this was a family that was always there for each other. I read this in one sitting and can only hope there are more stories to come. I can highly recommend these stories.

In The Shadow of Rainbows

By Selma Martin

“In The Shadow of Rainbows,” is Ms. Martin’s debut poetry book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There is a nice blend of nature with the emotional side of poems. The words flowed through the pages with vivid images and insights. I enjoyed them all but here are a few lines and poems that caught my eye: “nurtured under the illimitable/distant sun, fulfilling stories/among the starlight…”—Give Back, “Light illuminates/all who wander/in darkness and delusion…”—Let Go. “When death comes/I want to be led into eternity/curious, full of joy…”—When Death Comes, “The green outside is winking at me/it arose merely moments ago,/like a well-rested child rising from sleep,…”—Nature’s Tender Doings, and  “I almost died of exuberance/snorkeling around the unspoiled/coral reef/ when, in the dull hum of silence…”—I Almost Died. A wonderful collection to savor more than once that I can easily recommend for poetry lovers.

Murder at the Bijou: Three Ingredients I

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Ms. Geneviene wrote “Murder at the Bijou” as a part of her weekly blog serial story. This is one I missed, so I was eager to read it. Readers contributed three words each week or chapter. At the end of some chapters, or installments, a list of ingredients that made me hungry was included. Pip is sent to live with her grandma to learn how to cook, but she ends up dealing with a murder mystery and criminals. I love it was set in the twenties and Pip considers herself a flapper or a modern woman. A quick read that includes gangsters and a budding love story that took a sharp turn. Besides Pip, Granny, a parrot, and a rabbit were also my favorites. This unique cozy mystery is great to snuggle up with in any season.

Nirmala: The Mud Blossom

By Fiza Pathan

“Nirmala” is a painful and sometimes inspiring read that was hard to put down. Nirmala was born to a family that didn’t want a female child, so they threw her away. She was found, though, and returned to her family. Growing up she suffered through not only staggering poverty but beatings and abuse which are graphicly described. She could go to school only to teach her younger brothers and advance them. In school, she was shunned because of her lack of hygiene, but she also was a top student. Her dream was to be a doctor. I couldn’t help but root for a girl in a society that wasn’t welcoming. She had a deep strength that shined through, even in the darkest of situations until the very end. Although she didn’t get to pursue her dream, a marriage was arranged, and it seemed to be a place of peace for her—until it wasn’t. The heart-wrenching part was this is the stark reality for some women in Mumbai. A beautiful young girl who was gifted with intelligence being constantly told she was trash. There is no happy ending, but it fits her situation. A well-written story I can easily recommend that shines a light on how unfairly some women are still treated in our world.

More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose

By Lauren Scott

“More than Coffee” is a thought-provoking collection of Ms. Scott’s memories mixed with beautiful poetry. Her stories tell of past events, such as how her parents met and her own beginning with her husband. I could easily relate to spiders always finding her. The poetry in between the prose added extra insight and layers to this great read. I read it in one sitting, but it would be good to savor each part with a cup of coffee or, in my case, tea. I enjoyed all the stories and the positive spin they had, no matter where the emotions went. There were glimpses into relationships between people, ventures into nature, and childhood. I can’t pick a favorite narrative, but I can share some of the many poems that caught my eye. “With childlike fascination,/I leaned against the door frame/watching her apply a little/powder to her nose, a touch of red to her lip./No more, no less…”—Red Lipstick, “Gazing high beyond their treetops/Where birds build family dwellings,/Dreams begin to bloom, worries lessen…”—Forever Steady, “Harmony lives in each flow of a breeze/In each gentle embrace of evergreens/The clear blue is our enchanting shield…”—Her Offerings, and “It’s freedom, fun, and magical/as tires hum on the road/A wave of a hand/befits the two-wheel code…”—Riding with the Wind. This is an inspiring collection I can easily recommend!

Watch for an exciting announcement from Story Empire this week and a special post from me on Wednesday!

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

Featured

New Release! “In the Shadow of Rainbows” by Selma Martin @SelmaWrites #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #poetry #poetrycommunity #debut

I’m pleased to welcome a fellow poet, Selma Martin, here today to share her beautiful debut collection with us. I’ve included my review.

The cover photograph is by a dear friend, https://kathrynleroy.com/

Here’s Selma’s insight into one of her poems:
In writing, I attempt to add value to the finished work that comes straight from the place from where poems arise. Most come when I sit alone with my thoughts; I prefer quiet, like the kind one finds out in nature. Others come after reading something that lingers or makes me give a double take. In the case of this poem, it came about after reading a lovely book titled The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The book is set in Germany and is based on the time of that terrible war.
The Heil to her Pa expression is supposed to mark that awful time in history for the reader—that is all. In this poem, I hoped to showcase this young ‘adopted’ girl’s exuberance for learning to read and reaching the end of her very first book.
Her Pa had everything to do with her first win! In Zusak’s novel, the girl’s adopted Ma had a penchant for using mean and dirty words and called her husband pigheaded. But the girl knew better. Her Pa was nothing of the sort.
I’m so happy this poem came about, and now I have one poem of my own that reminds me of the novel. If you ever get a chance, please read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I was swooned by it. xoxo
Page 82 —In The Shadow of Rainbows
Hopeful one morn
would bring them much closer
She, barely eight
and he forty-three
Dawn after dawn
they braved nightly slumber
Tasting ‘n writing,
chewing words, hungry.
The dim of the lamp
paled with new morning light
Sent them upstairs
to bowls of warm porridge
Then holding hands
to streets wet with sunlight
She to midge class went,
he to seek courage.
Until one dawn
at the turn of the lights
They reached the end
—one book defeated!
She grinned ear to ear,
and soared like a kite
Heil to her Pa,
who Ma called pigheaded.

Blurb:

In this dazzling debut poetry collection of over 60 carefully selected poems, author Selma Martin points the way to the beauty in the everyday, the shadow of the rainbow, and the silver lining at the edge of every cloud.

Favouring lyrical forms, and revelling in rhymes and musical language, the individual poems in this collection harmonise together in symphonic splendour to form an enlightening and delightful whole.


My Review

“In The Shadow of Rainbows,” is Ms. Martin’s debut poetry book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There is a nice blend of nature with the emotional side of poems. The words flowed through the pages with vivid images and insights. I enjoyed them all but here are a few lines and poems that
caught my eye: “nurtured under the illimitable/distant sun, fulfilling stories/among the starlight…”—Give Back, “Light illuminates/all who wander/in darkness and delusion…”—Let Go. “When death comes/I want to be led into eternity/curious, full of joy…”—When Death Comes, “The green outside is winking at me/it arose merely moments ago,/like a well-rested
child rising from sleep,…”—Nature’s Tender Doings, and  “I almost died of
exuberance/snorkeling around the unspoiled/coral reef/ when, in the dull hum of silence…”—I Almost Died. A wonderful collection to savor more than once that I can easily recommend for poetry lovers.


What others are saying: 

“Be ready for Selma’s poetry to play with your thoughts, and to discover your heart hiding in the shadows!” — Lynn Wielenga, madhatterpoetry.com

“In The Shadow of Rainbows is a delightful and profoundly thoughtful collection of poems. Selma Martin’s inner light radiates from every sparkling page.” — Cheryl Batavia, Author, Life in Inspiring Places

“Beautiful, simply beautiful.”DAP @ My2ndHeartBeat

Selma Martin’s debut poetry collection transmutes misery into mesmerizing beauty. Not only is each poem masterful in form, it is lined with spiritual truth much like a golden-lined cloud shimmering in the brilliance of a rainbow after a storm.”— Barbara Harris Leonhard, editor, MasticadoresUSA

“I encourage you to enjoy In the Shadow of Rainbows as it weaves its lyrical prose and skillful imagery and invites you to search for your one poem within its pages time and time again.”— Layla Todd, Nin Chronicles

“A wonderful debut collection of Soul-felt poetry.”— Harmony Kent, Goodreads

“If you enjoy surrounding yourself with powerful imagery, glimpses of life and nature, and slices of everyday life, then do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this collection of poetry. It’s wonderful!” — Yvette M Calleiro


UNIVERSAL AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Selma Martin is a retired English teacher with 20 years of teaching children ESL. She believes in people’s goodness and in finding balance in simple living. She lives in Japan with her husband. In 2017, after retiring from her ESL position, Selma enrolled in her first short story writing competition with The Write Practice (TWP), an welcoming online community of writers. She practiced earnestly there and had the honor of mingling with seasoned Writers and newcomers like herself.

In 2018, Selma participated in a TWP networking course whose final lesson was to publish a story on Amazon. After many failed attempts, she completed the course and self-published her short story, “Wanted: Husband/Handyman,” in 2019.
Later, collaborating with peers from that course, she published “Wanted:
Husband/Handyman”
 in Once Upon A Story: A Short Fiction Anthology.
Selma has published articles and poems on Medium since 2017; she has the story from that first competition published in Short Fiction Break, 2017, and poetry in  The Poetorium At Starlight, 2022, MasticadoresUSA, and Spillwords. After her first NaPoWriMo 2021, Selma writes poetry on her website, selmamartin.com, and struggled with her introversion to garner the courage to publish this—her first collection of poems.

Connect with Selma:
Featured

From Finn’s Forest 4! #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #poetry

Hi!

I had an enjoyable week off and stayed close to home. My husband took an eight-hour trip on the Harley to get in some quality father-and-son time. There is no way I could sit for that long in the heat he drove through. So, while he was watching our son’s band play and exploring Oregon, I did some home projects I wanted to do. I painted my third room this summer or the living room. We had already tackled the main bathroom and a spare bedroom.

The living had a sponged wall of green and light green, one dark green and one light green. It sounded good in my mind, but not so much in the final product. So finally got the room all one color. It is what I call the forest room, so it’s a nice forest green. Next on my to-do list is the kitchen, then I’ll head outside to touch up that paint. Seems to be my summer of painting, which is fine, I’m a fan of a colorful environment.

After my husband returned, we did some final touchups on the room and I managed to take a few books off my shelf to find a new home. My birthday was very nice, we went to the movies and enjoyed a delicious BBQ. Celebrated with family a couple days later 🙂

When not taking vacation breaks, I’ve been working hard on editing my upcoming poetry collection “Deep in the Forest Where the Poetry Blooms.” Since it’s summer I’ll share one of the summer poems from the book.

NATURE’S CANVAS

My peaceful moment on a hot summer afternoon

Shared only with the bees and a single black-headed bird.

No kids asking questions…

No adults wondering what’s the next event…

No chores fill my hands and head.

I sit on the lounge surrounded by my imagination,

A blank canvas waiting to be painted with nature’s brush stroke.

By the pines and cedars who splatter their green upon me…

By the yellow sun splashing onto the greens…

By the red strawberries bursting sweetness into this mix…

While the blue sky offers a base,

To the pink, purple, and orange flowers,

Who grace our world with their beauty.

My panorama is quickly filling.

As the browns and greys,

Add the final dimensions and shadows.

In this blissful moment,

My soul’s painting has been covered completely,

By nature’s healing paintbrush.

NOTE: Watch for a special edition blog tomorrow. If you are subcribed to my newsletter check your email. I know the newsletter is late but I decided to wait until after vacation.

Embrace your inner child under the summer sun. D. L. Finn

 

 

 

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July Book Reviews! @TonyaWrites @judypost @VeraDayAuthor @LBroday @sgc58 #writtingcommunity #readersoftwitter

Flights of Fancy

By Sally Cronin

“Flights of Fancy” is a wonderful collection of short stories and a novella. Each tale was heartfelt and layered in settings that drew me into the stories. There was romance, paranormal, revenge, and justice in this mix. I loved all the well-written stories for different reasons, but a few stood out to me. “The Other Side of Heaven,” and “Curtains” were beautifully told tales that included a glimpse into the afterlife and a few well-shed tears on my part. I adored ”Henry’s Story” which was told through a cat’s eyes, but I think my favorite was the novella, “Sewing Circle.” When an older woman is murdered, her close-knit group of senior friends does not allow themselves to play the victim role. I loved their strength and determination to right the wrongs in their unique way. This is a fantastic group of stories that I can easily recommend!

One Shot at Love Pink Pistol Sisterhood #7

By Linda Broday

“One Shot at Love” is the seventh book in the series, but I had no problem jumping into this without reading the past stories. Mariah is a nineteen-year-old girl who has become the head of her household after losing both parents in the early 1900s. She is responsible for her siblings, works at the local general store, and carries a shotgun because of the absence of law in their small town and a family of criminals out of control. When Dax, the cowboy, arrives in town to search for his sister who was abducted, he and Mariah feel an immediate attraction. However, Mariah has no trust in men. Someone finds a box containing a pink pistol and gives it to Mariah along with an interesting legend. This makes her begin to question who and what to trust. I love not only the attraction between Mariah and Dax but the friendship and kindness that also develop. Mariah is a strong character and willing to sacrifice for her siblings. I couldn’t help but root for her happiness and safety. The setting and era were so richly described that I was drawn even deeper into the story. A quick but satisfying read that I can easily recommend.

Happiness Is A Warm Cat

By Emily Gmitter

“Happiness Is A Warm Cat” is a fun collection that bounces between Zoe, the cat’s point of view, and Emily, the author. Zoe provides a cat’s-eye view of the world. Zoe’s caretaker, Ms. Gmitter, provides short stories, poetry, and interactions with Kris Kristofferson. There is a little something for everyone, especially cat lovers and fans of romance, but many other subjects drew me in. Because it was unique, it is hard to narrow down my favorites. I enjoyed Zoe’s perspective throughout the collection and the short stories and poetry, all for different reasons. There was also Ms. Gmitter’s artwork added to the mix, which captivated me. Although Zoe is the star of this book, it is a fun collection for not only animal lovers but those who enjoy a nice variety.

The Rat In The Python: Book 1 The Home

By Alex Craigie

“The Rat in the Python” is a fun look into the past or the 50s and 60s in the UK. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Craigie’s fictional books and wasn’t disappointed in her dive into nonfiction. It is still well written with a touch of humor weaved into it. “Book 1 The Home” takes us back to times before not only cell phones and computers but a lot of the modern house conveniences we are used to. People in the UK were still recovering from WWll and if they wanted a meal, the women cooked it with what was available. There were no microwaves, freezers full of food, or delivery takeout to depend on. I was born during this time and remember some of it, like the rolling pictures on the small black and white televisions. This issue could usually be resolved by adjusting a knob or moving the rabbit ears, but if none of that worked, there was always the sharp pound on the side of the TV. There was a magazine article that made me cringe. It had a housewife’s itinerary that was not only a twelve-hour day, but every minute filled with cleaning, cooking, laundry, ironing, food prep, child and husband care, and all the other things expected from a 50s woman. I believe I would have been a terrible 50s housewife. This is a fascinating peek into our past that shows not only how times have changed, but how we have changed. I enjoyed this, and look forward to reading more in this series.

Venetian Rhapsody

By Tonya Penrose

Sofia has spent the last year in Venice to finish her education before going back to Boston and the job of her dreams. At the very end of her time in Italy, she comically meets Eduardo and they both end up in the mud. Although she immediately finds him attractive, Sophia is also very put out about their encounter. Later that evening, they find themselves at the same dinner party, and, even with her hesitation, a friendship blooms. I love the banter between Eduardo and Sophia and all the “help” that attempts to bring these two together. The Venice setting was so lush and detailed that it brought me back to when I visited several years ago. Plus, the food and people Ms. Penrose so eloquently describes were just as inviting and tasty as I remember for the characters too. The couple who lives outside of Venice hear the word fate a lot, but one of them always sidetracks that. The infusion of magic through meetings and later plants captured something way beyond just two people meeting. “Venetian Rhapsody” is not only a beautiful love story, but it has a soundtrack that I want to listen to after reading about Sophie and Eduardo. This is a romantic tale I can highly recommend!

When Did We Lose Sylvia?

By Vera Day

“When Did We Lose Sylvia” is a fun debut by Ms. Day. Betty is a middle-aged poet who volunteers to teach a summer class at the local high school. As she maneuvers teaching the class and gaining the upper hand, she notices a talented young goth girl, Sylvia. When Betty and her best friend, Flora, drop by Sylvia’s house, they find more than they expected. Now they have a dead body and missing people. Betty, who doesn’t drive, is determined to find out what happened. Betty’s relationships were enjoyable, especially with her husband and Flora, her comical chauffeur. A lot of humor is sprinkled into this whodunit with a couple of twists that kept me engaged. The infusion of poetry into the story was one of my favorite parts. If you enjoy small-town Christian cozy mysteries, you won’t want to miss this one.

Muddy River Mystery One (Raven and Hester Mysteries #1)

By Judi Lynn

Hester lives in a hidden supernatural community with her coven of witches. She is a long-lived and powerful witch, who lives alone with her familiar. When a coven of young witches dies suddenly, the town enforcer, a demon named Raven, investigates their deaths. Raven pulls Hester into the probe to help him because it involves magic. They are interesting characters that seem to be drawn to each other even though they are so different. Besides magic and mystery, these two characters focus on the simple things in life, like cooking a meal together. I really liked the ocelot familiar who was always there for Hester. I developed an empathy for whoever the killer ended up being. This is a clean, romantic paranormal mystery that was an enjoyable read.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

NOTE: There will be no post next week. I will be off celebrating my birthday. Be back July 24th!

Embrace that inner child this summer by reading a good book by the lake, pool, or under the stars. D. L. Finn

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From Finn’s Forest #3 #writingcommunity #authorblog #readersoftwitter #settings #mushrooms #forest

Hi 🙂 Welcome to the third From Finn’s Forest.

Settings are important to a story and poetry. For me, I use my forest a lot for the backdrop.  My curiosity takes me to many different places where it can focus on the forest seasons, fauna, or flora.  After an over-abundant year of rain and snow this year, we have had a huge crop of mushrooms. They don’t last very long because something eats them immediately. Unless the fairies are dining on all of them, I decided it was time to do a bit of research.

After some mushroom investigation, I believe we have a couple of large patches of death cap mushrooms. I didn’t do a suggested test of putting the mushroom gill down on black paper to see what color their spores were to confirm this, but they certainly fit the description, especially their gills, and stock. Nor have I gotten close enough to see if they have a slight ammonia smell either.  There is another deadly mushroom very common in California the destroying angel. I don’t remember seeing those, but maybe I missed them.

Chanterelle

Besides the two poisonous varieties, there are many types of edible California mushrooms that might be growing in our forest that include: porcini, candy caps (seen a few of these), chanterelles (they are here), morels (we have an abundance of these) chicken of the woods, coral, truffles (I want to find these!), turkey tails (yes, have them), apricot belly,  and boletes.

Turkey tail mushroom

In taking my daily walks on the Magical trail, I’ve noticed that mushrooms don’t stay around long. If what I believe truly are death cap mushrooms, then what can eat the poisonous mushroom we can’t? One answer is squirrels. We have an abundance of gray and Douglas squirrels who are very well-fed. Rabbits can eat them, while humans will feel this mushroom’s ill effects that can easily lead to death.

Although the forest gives us beauty and even food we can eat, some things can kill us too. I don’t like to eat mushrooms so there will never be an issue of me getting a bad mushroom. But, what if a character desires to use a death cap to deal with another character in a story? Or someone in your story wanted to use medicinal properties from a mushroom? Lost in a forest and running out of things to eat? Knowledge could keep your characters alive—or not.

There are so many possibilities around us. If only we head outside and wonder about things around us—down to the tiniest of weeds coming up through the sidewalk crack. I will keep exploring all those possibilities here in Finn’s Forest and my stories.

There will be no post next week due to the holiday. Happy Fourth of July for those in the USA.

Embrace that inner child by honoring your curiosity! D. L. Finn

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Books That Changed Me: 2023 Summer Edition! @SueColetta1 @Ivyloganauthor @JacqBiggar @bakeandwrite #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #summerreadinglist

Welcome to the 2023 Summer Edition of  Books That Changed Me. Summer is a time for backyard BBQs, swimming, vacations, ice cream, and reading. Today I’m sharing four of my top reads that would be excellent for summer reading by the pool, lake, or cozy by the nice air conditioning or fan in my case. You’ve already seen my reviews for these books, so here’s their blurb with a link if you want to add a good read to your summer reading list.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Restless Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 6) 

By Sue Coletta

Amidst a rising tide of poachers, three unlikely eco-warriors take a stand to save endangered Eastern Gray Wolves—even if it means the slow slaughter of their captors.

Deep in the woods of Jackson, New Hampshire, an ancient evil lurks. Armed poachers patrol a secret enclosure, holding captive a pack of majestic Eastern Gray Wolves. But three unlikely eco-warriors are determined to free the wolves, embarking on a dangerous mission to end their torture. With courage and conviction, Shawnee, Mayhem, and Jacy Lee march onward, even if it means risking their own lives to take down the poachers and restore freedom to the wolves. It’s a battle between justice and injustice, and the eco-warriors are determined to win—no matter the cost.

But what if something even more evil lurks in those woods? What if Shawnee’s not ready to answer the cry for help?

Metamorphosis The Breach Chronicles #2

By Ivy Logan

“When you loved someone more than anything in the world, you showed them who you were, even knowing there was a possibility they would hate you for it, even if it broke your heart. But you did it anyway because you loved them and the need to save them was greater than your need for self-preservation.”

Amidst the luminescence and incandescent beauty of the rare pink diamonds of Peradora, South America, lives Amelia, a teen oblivious to her supernatural bloodline. It would appear that she has the perfect life.

Until it turns out, her entire life is a lie
Forced to confront secrets from her past

Amelia has to distinguish between the truth and lies in her brutal fight against the Peradorian dictator, her own uncle.

Her metamorphosis becomes the clarion call of a revolution
Matters of the heart complicate her life further

Will she ever get over her first love Adrian whose adventurous spirit made her feel alive? Is Noah, the handsome bodyguard she just can’t seem to ignore, a foe, a friend or much more than that?

Both Noah and Adrian are hiding secrets of their own
Will their secrets destroy Amelia?

As she takes on the fight of her life, Amelia will soon learn that some secrets are best buried in the past, and some truths can set you free.

And in the end
She is the girl with no face
Will she find herself again?

Metamorphosis is a dark and fractured fairy tale and fantasy about a love story born from the roots of hate.Based on the theme of star-crossed lovers, it alludes to Rapunzel, Snow White and Beauty and The Beast, combining flavors of all these timeless fairy tale classics and setting them against the harsh reality of real life – blood diamonds and rebellion. Add to the mix a heroine inspired by Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott and you have a young girl, pretty much a prisoner in a golden cage, but determined to find herself- save herself and others.
So, why is she referred to as …
‘The Girl With No Face?’

Letting Go- The Defiant Sisters Book 1

By Jacquie Biggar

A coming-of-age novel about the pain of misconceptions and learning from them.

When life gives you lemons…

Izzy

Mom is barely in the grave and the prodigal child is here to pick the bones clean.

I don’t want her here. My sister’s defection is a wound that won’t heal, and her return simply rubs at the scabs covering my heart.

I’ve managed just fine without her. She can go back to her fancy college and forget about us- that’s what she does best anyway.

If only I didn’t need her help. Or miss her so much.

Renee

The day my dad committed suicide I ran. I’ve been running ever since.

Going home is supposed to be the answer. Instead, it makes me question every thoughtless decision I’ve made.

My sister hates me. My little brother barely knows me. And Simon… is engaged.

None of it matters- or so I tell myself. I’m here to make amends and face a past haunted by regret.

As long as I can convince myself to stay.

Letting Go is a new adult romance dealing with tragedy, restitution, and love in all its aspects. The story relates to sensitive topics that may be triggering for some readers.

Lion Scream: Syllabic Poetry About Southern African Wildlife

By Robbie Cheadle

Do you rely on Earth for your survival?

Lion Scream is a graphic collection of poetry and prose. The book portrays the author’s experiences with South African wildlife and the growing impact of the Sixth Mass Extinction and Climate Change on the natural environment.

Lion Scream
There is no jungle
Only acres of smooth stumps
There is no jungle
No habitat, no food source
Hopeless lion screams tonight

“In this reflective collection of syllabic poetry, poet Roberta Cheadle weaves words, emotions, and images as she recounts her soul-stirring journey around South Africa in 2022. She highlights the plight of the animals in the face of the Sixth Mass Extinction, during a visit to Ukutula Lodge & Game Reserve. Lion Roar is a poetic and photographic roadmap to the heart & soul of South Africa with highlights about the increasing impact of global warming on humanity and the greater planet. A must read!”
Colleen M. Chesebro, Author of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry

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Finn’s Forest #2! #poetry #photos #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #nature #forest #ocean

 

Hi

Welcome to the second Finn’s Forest. This week I’m sharing some photos of the places I’ve recently visited, and a poem written underwater.

Here is how I wrote poetry underwater. I couldn’t go into my poetry zone, but still I found a bit of inspiration. It is a three-page notebook that I was able to write three haikus. I used a pencil that was attached and it worked! I had to be careful though not to smear it. I carefully set it by our stuff right after.

Here is one of the sea turtles we ran into snorkling 🙂

Right next to my seat on the boat 🙂 Seemed fitting. We did get to see Bottlenosed dolphins along the way, but the Spinner dolphins hid from us.

A friendly feral that a lady who had worked with a local agency in the past was trying to find this sweetie a home. We weren’t the only ones feeding this ferals 🙂

I got a picture of one of the parrots that come in every night and sleep in the palm trees. Although they are cute this one looked like he might have ulterior motives with those eyes… lol

Cocoa fruit

Explored the Kauai north coast with son 🙂

Visited Virginia City, NV. Haven’t been there in years 🙂

First Harley ride of the year. Hubby’s shoulder finally healed up enough 🙂 Took a ride by the river and wrote some poetry along the way.

Beautiful day on Lake Tahoe. Loved the boat ride to Emerald Bay. Enjoyed a distant lightning storm on the way back. Great anniversary.


UNDERWATER HAIKU

swaying expanse

vibrant fish abound

paradise


Embrace your inner child! D. L. Finn

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June Book Reviews and a wedding picture! @TonyaWrites @sgc58 @WordDreams @SueColetta1 @teagangeneviene @DAntion @AnnalisaCrawf #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter

A Secret Gift

By Tonya Penrose

Halley, who is a successful businesswoman, receives an anonymous offer to live her dream in a town she fell in love with. The only catch is she must find love within the year, a part-time job, and write a book. With her book started, and a job obtained, she finds two interesting men who might be a love interest, one more than the other according to her test, but not necessarily her heart. This is a pleasant seaside town where everyone is nice—with an exception or two. I could easily imagine myself living in this location and would love to get an offer like Halley received. The town is welcoming, and Halley is offered a dwelling to live in while the cottage was being finished that she bought through her mysterious benefactor. Along the way, she learns about herself and what is important to her. There is humor and growth along this journey for Halley. I love the relationships she develops, especially with Mick, the sea captain, Libby who offers good advice, Ginger, her new best friend and boss, and especially Sally and her daughter Tulip. But it’s the one with Ben that adds a special layer to this sweet story and offers a real chance to Halley to find love if they can get past themselves. An excellent clean, romantic read that I thoroughly enjoyed and can recommend.

Tales From The Garden 

By Sally Cronin

“Tales From The Garden” is a whimsical collection of stories that dives into the magical world just outside our window. Each tale captivated me, especially when the fairies were involved. I particularly loved when the pregnant deer found this garden, as well as a young boy who was protecting a goose. The collection ends with a beautiful tribute to the 94-year-old mother or Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman. I always knew those statues outside in the garden held a little magic and these charming stories captured that beautifully. A quick but very satisfying read for adults of any age who want to remember that spark we carried inside as children. It would be a splendid set of stories for children to share with their adults too. I can easily recommend these tales.

 Twenty-Four Days Rowe-Delamagente #2

By J. Murray

I read and loved “To Hunt a Sub” and have been eager to read this second installment in the Rowe-Delamagente Series. I not only enjoyed “Twenty-Four Days” but thought the story was even more exciting, which I didn’t think was possible. The same characters that I rooted for, and against, returned. Otto the AI’s growth, and new body, made him my favorite character, and it was nerve-racking seeing Sean trying to do the right thing. It was up to Kali, Zeke, and Otto to save the world from war. Like the first book, the attention to detail drew me deep into the story. The reader is taken into a submarine and onto the open sea on a Navy ship with cruel terrorists lurking. North Korea and the hijacking extreme terrorists seem determined to start a conflict, but Kali and Zeke need to find out who is running things. A well-written, action-packed story that was hard to put down. I can easily recommend “Twenty-Four Days” but suggest you start with the first story, so you don’t miss anything!

Cat and The Dreamer

By Annalisa Crawford

Julia survived a suicide pact she’d made with her only friend and the new kid in school, Rachel. Fifteen years later, she is still trying to survive. Julia lives with her parents and has a job but again no friends. She meets a kind young man, Adam, who changes all of that. Her life changes slowly in a more positive direction, but her inner world is just under the surface. At first, I found the story hard to wrap my mind around. Although I understood the dream world parts, it was her alternative that took me a minute to realize what was going on. Julia combined all the people who bullied her. I quickly settled into the story and her realities. Then I found it hard to put down, especially when she flashed back to her suicide attempt and how she met Rachel. “Cat and The Dreamer” deals with some powerful issues, that include suicide, bullying, and mental health. Everything comes together by the end, and I came up with a theory of what really happened, but I won’t share that here. A very unusual and powerful heart-wrenching read where I just couldn’t help but root for Julia. I can easily recommend this novella.

The Inyan Beacon 

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Dan Antion

“The Inyan Beacon” is a quick read that not only easily blends two authors but two genres, sci-fi, and westerns. Tank and his synth, Compass are passing through a small western town in the future. Tank is determined to get into a tower and feels he can undo some of the harm from the past. My favorite character quickly became Compass. Who wouldn’t want beautiful blue skin? There was a fun twist waiting for them, which I enjoyed. A short and satisfying read, and a world I’d like to explore more.

Restless Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 6) 

By Sue Coletta

I have the rest of The Mayhem Series on my Kindle and have been eager to block out some time to read it. Usually, I’ll go back and start a series from the first book, but “Restless Mayhem” tugged at me. So, I jumped right in and found that I could easily figure out what was going on as I learned who everyone was. I loved Shawnee and her relationship with her grandfather and now mentor, Mr. Mayhem, but my favorite characters were the crows, especially Poe. Shawnee, her grandfather, and Mr. Mayhem are eco-warriors who want to save gray wolves from horrible conditions while Shawnee embarks on a spiritual journey. The details and information created a world that I was swept into. There is a pull between handling situations more spiritually than physically. Plus, something evil has awakened that they have to contend with during their sometimes-bloody missions. I will definitely go back to learn more about these characters’ journeys. I can highly recommend this story to those who love animals, Native American spirituality, action, and justice at all costs.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

NOTE:

Wedding, 1983

Honeymoon, 1983

  • There will be no post next week as I will be celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary. We plan to go to South Lake Tahoe and enjoy a boat ride and stay at a local hotel 🙂 Maybe later in the week we’ll venture to a hot springs too.
  • I will be back June 19th with another From Finn’s Forest.

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

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#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 322, Spirit Animal Poetry #tanka #owls #poems

Here is Colleen Chesbro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #322. This week we took a quiz to find our spirit animal and then write a poem about it. Mine was the owl: Link 

Take the challenge here to find out what spirit animal you are: Link

effortless soaring

above the silent forest

almost touching stars

guided by instinct and sounds

the owl hunts in the darkness

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From… Finn’s Forest #1! #poetry #photos #writingcommunity #nature #forest #readersoftwitter #authorblog

Hi!

Today is my first From Finn’s Forest where I’ll be sharing my love of animals, nature, and a bit of magic I find in this forest or even the ocean as I explore the world around me. The posts will vary between poetry, photos, stories, updates, or some interesting facts. This will come on weeks when there isn’t any book reviews. I’m limiting book review posts by putting more into one post.

I have shared that my husband created a trail for me to walk on that we call the Magical Trail. This last winter it took a hard hit with all the unusual storms. So, I thought that would be a good place to start. We are already heavy into clean up, have fixed the part of the front deck that collapsed, and are focusing on clearing around the house first.

Here are some photos from the storms and when I was first able to get back on the trail. After the pictures is a poem from my upcoming book.

sun and snow on front deck
This is a shot from the front door and the part of the deck that had no problem with all that snow.

bird in snow
Some visiting birds that I offered food.

bears in snow
A mama and baby bear got up early from their winter nap. They not only got into our garbage but cleaned up the bird food.

feather by snow
I saw this at the beginning of the Magical Trail one day. The white feathers reminded me of angel wings.

fallen cedar
This cedar came down right in the middle of the trail. It is scheduled to be cleaned up soon.

tree top down
I watched when the top of a cedar snapped off during a storm. It is laying on a couple of other trees. It reminded me of Dominos when it happened. Not sure how we are going to clean up this mess.

burn pile
We spent a day burning the branches and debris from the tree that fell in the driveway and the large oak branches that broke near the house. I ended up with a burn that looked like a human bite. Didn’t hurt much though but strange looking.

spring arrived. dogwood and bleeding heart flowers.
Spring finally arrived in May. Here are some dogwood blooms, and bleeding hearts, along with the lilac that I got last year for Mother’s Day.

red flower
This camellia bloomed late this year, in May, but very glad to see it!

river rocks
Here is the latest batch from the rock tumbler. We picked these up at the Yuba River. There is mostly quartz, lava, jasper, and, granite, and epidote. Another batch of river rocks is tumbling right now. I use a rock app on my phone to identify them.

I will be sharing photos as we get everything all cleaned up! Here is a poem that is a reminder that magic is never too far away no matter what life or nature throws at us.

BY THE RIVER

The raging river

Releases in a final thrust

Over the jagged cliff

Into the peaceful pool

Where its journey begins.

In the silent reflection…

On a warm winter morning…

Over the river’s roar…

I heard the fairy’s sweet song

That awakened my magic.

 

Note:

  • I had a fabulous time on my vacation. It was busier than normal, but fun packed. Under the warm tropical waters, I was able to write three haikus on an underwater tablet while snorkling. I also went to a coffee plantation, beautiful gardens, explored caves, saw wild bottle nosed dolphins, sea turtles, and flocks of parrots. There are some pictures on Facebook and Instagram from the trip. My writing reset button was pushed 🙂
  • Next week is June’s Book reviews.

Embrace your inner child. D. L. Finn

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May Book Reviews, updates, and blog tour winners! @Virgilante Sandra_Cox @Dwallacepeach @CherylOreglia @bakeandwrite @GodsAngel1 @SmithaVishwana4 @JMastrangeloArt @YvetteMCalleiro @Dwallacepeach @bubbalee04

I know this is a day late but I decided to wait until the blog tour was over. Thank you too all the hosts who kindly opened up their blogs and made this such a big success. Huge hugs to all!

Blog Tour winners follow the reviews.

Now on to the reviews:

Once Upon a Time in the Swamp

By C.S. Boyack

“Once Upon a Time in the Swamp” starts with a peaceful moment as Mari is hunting for a meal for her family. What she comes home to is heartbreaking and a loss so bad that her life is never the same. At first, it seems the story is being told in the past, but as details are added, it becomes clear that something has happened—a civil war that ended modern society. When Mari attempts to get help from local authorities, she is brushed aside. So, she sets out to hunt down the men who did this to her family. Some of my favorite characters were the ox, Dirt and the puppy, Worthless, and Mari’s interactions with them. Although set in the grim aftermath of a war, there were people still willing to help her. These were the places I hoped she’d find some peace and give up her vengeance. But Mari’s strength and determination became inspiring when she refused to give up on getting her family some justice. The settings were highly detailed, down to making soap and learning to shoot and fight, which immersed me in this world and made me wonder if I could do what she was doing. This was a hard story to put down, and I honestly wasn’t sure how this would all turn out, but I was happy with the conclusion. A well-written post-apocalyptic world that gives us a glimpse of what could be if we stay on our current path. Despite that, there is some hope weaved into it as there’s still good left too. I can easily recommend this story.

Love, Lattes and Angel  (Mutants #3)

By Sandra Cox

“Love, Lattes and Angel” continues where the second book left off. Piper is with her grandfather, boyfriend, Tyler, Amy, Joel, and Angel—who is Piper and Joel’s biological daughter. The group believes they are safe but soon finds out they have been located again by a man who is determined to recapture the product of his lab experiment, Angel. She is a dolphin hybrid like Piper and Joel and is prized. The group splits up to escape, and Piper, Joel, and Angel take a strange trip through the Bermuda Triangle. They end up on an island where the religion of Vodou is practiced. I enjoyed the love triangle between Piper, Tyler, and Joel, and I’m glad this story clarifies who ends up with whom. I envy them as they swim so carefree in the ocean, especially Angel. My favorite part is the pet Angel ends up with, and the island they have found refuge on. An excellent conclusion to the Mutant Series that kept me up late toward the end as I wanted to see how it all played out. I can easily recommend it to YA readers and those who are young at heart.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions

By Kaye Lynne BoothRobbie Cheadle, Patty Fletcher, D. Wallace Peach, Yvette Prior, Penny Wilson, Colleen M. Chesebro, Abbie Taylor, Yvette Calliero, Smitha Vishwanath, Chris Hall, Willow Willers, and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

“Poetry Treasures 3: Passions” is a beautiful collection of poetry and poets. I started highlighting my favorites to include here but decided against it. Each poet brought their flavor to this poetry mixture, and they were all good in different ways. I was familiar with about half of the authors and was happily introduced to the others. The poets were given their own month, except December, and a brief history of their works. There were two guest poets included at the end. I liked how they all interpreted passion in expected and unusual ways. An excellent opportunity to enjoy good poetry penned by authors I already enjoy, plus find new ones to follow. This is a collection to be read more than once and one I can easily recommend.

Grow Damn It!: The Feeding and Nurturing of Life

By Cheryl Lynn Oreglia

“Grow Damn It!” is an insightful and often humorous collection of essays that blend into an amazing memoir. It was like I was sitting with an old friend having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and Ms. Oreglia was sharing life stories with some lessons weaved into them. Subjects varied, some light and some not, like the drive to the hospital after her son was in a car accident. There was an adventure on a tandem bike, which intrigued me as I have always wanted to try it. I laughed at the silly comment they got over and over when they rode. Clear Lake, where they bought a second home, was beautifully captured. I spent a lot of time there as a child, and the essays made me re-live my memories. I appreciated the love of family plus an enduring marriage. The raw honesty was welcomed because things aren’t perfect all the time, but love is always there. We all need to learn life lessons and live life to the fullest. This book captures living and reminds us that each day is a gift to enjoy and, on those certain days… survive. A book I felt on many levels. I highly recommend this collection. I know I will read it again and add it to my bookshelf.

Sunwielder

By D. Wallace Peach

“Sunwielder” is a fantasy that not only offers a second chance but twenty-seven of them. Gryff is a farmer who loves his family. Everything changes for Gryff when his farm is attacked, and he loses his family and is dying. Here he is offered a medallion to change his path. This part of the story reminds me of “Groundhog Day,” where Gryff relives certain moments trying to get it right. Although he gets his family back, his life goes in a direction he couldn’t have foreseen. Because of a lord’s unreasonable hatred, Gryff gets pulled into a war. I love this part of the book where Gryff grows and learns as his path shifts and changes. His loyalty to those he loves as he tries to correct wrongs had me rooting for him to find happiness. The details weaved into the story brought Gryff’s world to life, whether on the farm or battlefield. It is a wonderful fantasy that not only explores new possibilities when things are bleak but friendship, family, and love—a fantasy I can easily recommend.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

UPDATES:

  • Huge congrats to the Blog Tour Winners! I threw all the hosts name in a hat and picked three. From there I had my daughter, Danielle, pick a number from the amount of people who commented on that post. That’s how the winners were chosen 🙂
  • D. Wallace Peach won the $20 Amazon Gift Card on Craig’s post! Valerie Jael won the $10 Amazon Gift Card on Sandra’s post, and Vera Day won on Beem’s post. Thank you for all the support and comments, it was a lot of fun.
  • Newsletter went out today! If you are subscribed check your email 🙂
  • I will be gone next week on vacation. Book reviews will be back on June 5th and Finn’s Forest will debut June 19th.

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

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “Man on the Pier” @BalroopShado #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Balroop Singh for the final tour stop to talk about the short story “Man on a Pier” here.

Below includes my review of Balroop’s latest book, “Hues of Hope,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! Winner will be announced tomorrow in the book review post.

Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in California. You can visit her blog at http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th“Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

 

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow Blog Tour- That Last Ride of the Night. #writingcommunity #bookrelease #readersoftwitter #shortstory

Hi,

I wanted to let you know that it was decided not to have a blog post today due to unforeseen circumstances. The final stop is on Monday, and then I’ll announce the three Blog Tour Winners on Tuesday.

I thought you might be curious as to what was in the post. Here’s the background information, excerpt, Fun Finn Facts, and I’ve also included my host book review and tour schedule:

“Last Ride of the Night” was written for the much missed and loved Susanne Burke’s ‘Fiction in a Flash Challenge.’

The image was of a Ferris wheel. I love going to our local county fair every year if I can. I enjoy the exhibits, food, and a few rides. The Ferris wheel is not one of the rides I like since the height and constant stops terrify me.

But it got me thinking, what if being way up at the top became a good thing? If it was the safest place to be. Pete and Lacey find themselves in that situation, stopped at the top, unable to believe what they see.

EXCERPT:

The monsters remained in the shadows, waiting. My husband and I sat at the top of the Ferris wheel. I would have enjoyed the view any other time, but not with death lurking below us. Pete wrapped his arm protectively around my shoulders as the last hopeless scream faded away. It was the older man who operated the ride, the same man who had winked at us and said we had the wheel all to ourselves because it was almost closing time. We didn’t even know the name of the hero who had stopped the ride right before—

No, I couldn’t think about that.

I tried to dial 9-1-1, but there was no signal. I couldn’t text or email. There was no way to communicate or get information.

“We’re safe up here, Lacy.”

“What if they climb up?”

“These creatures can barely walk. They’re like zombies.”

I nodded, watching the monsters approach a building where a family had taken shelter. I’d seen that beautiful family in line when we got our favorite chocolate swirl ice cream in a cup. The two young boys had been so excited about their first monster truck show. I hoped the actual monsters didn’t find them now.

FUN FINN FACTS:

  1. I have three kids, two girls, and one boy.
  2. My husband and I flew on a water plane over the Alaskan Fjords. I was thrilled when we landed in the water and could stand outside the plane. I have secretly always wanted to be a bush pilot.

Angie and Mandy are ordinary teenagers until a horrible tragedy tears their lives apart. It’s heartbreaking, and I wondered if the family would survive what’s happened. They don’t. Mandy takes the blame and is sent to live with her aunt and uncle. Here she becomes Lisa and finds some understanding. Angie, who doesn’t step up and do the right thing, can’t live with her guilt. She runs away, only to find life hard and survival harder. It’s at a funeral that the two girls meet again as adults. This is when pain and anger collide with a touch of love and forgiveness. Right or wrong, each character deals with the pain and loss in their own way. The past was gone and mishandled, but these broken people had the present moment. That’s when hope came into the story and brought back something that seemed impossible. I was taken on a journey through all my emotions. “Sisters” was a hard story to put down, and I highly recommend it.

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.”

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.”

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.”

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.”

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.”

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th“Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “Deadline” @YouAreTheExpert #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Annette Rochelle Aben to talk about the short story “Deadline” here.

Below includes my review of Annette’s latest book, “Tell Me a Story,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

Words are like threads that when woven together with passion and purpose can create a tapestry in which you long to wander. That passion was ignited in me when I was a small child and continues to burn bright even today. I was encouraged by educators who challenged me to try and by career paths that demanded I become a proficient wordsmith. I would like to think I have done them proud. Over the years, I have won awards, been nominated for an EMMY for television writing, and penned a #1 Best Selling book of poetry. My collection of books available here on Amazon include self-help, inspirational, and of course poetry. I have been invited to participate in anthologies and collections, several of which are here as well. Welcome to my world of words. Should you find something in which to lose yourself, I shall raise my glass in a toast to your happiness. Thank you for your kind attention.

“Tell me a Story” is an impressive collection of stories that vary from light-hearted to serious subjects. I am always amazed when so much can be packed into 99 words, and Ms. Aben did it well. Each story held my interest, but here are a few that captured my heart: Bedfellow, Daybreak, Eloise, I Wish I May, Knowledge is Power, and Promises Kept. Like the poetry I enjoy from this author, this can be read more than once. A well-written group of tales that has something for everyone that I can easily recommend.

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

 

 

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “Alone” @MarciaMeara #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Marcia Meara to talk about the short story “Alone” here.

Below includes my review of Marcia’s book, “A Boy Named Rabbit,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

 

CONTACT MARCIA HERE:

The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/

Twitter: @marciameara

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MARCIA’S BOOKS:

Wake-Robin Ridge

A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

The Emissary Trilogy: A Riverbend Spinoff Collection

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

I read the first Wake-Robin Ridge book and had been looking forward to continuing with the series. It was good to see Mac and Sarah back, but the new character, Rabbit, stole my heart. I fell in love with his innocence and wisdom. If I could have reached into the book and hugged him, I would have. The world, through his eyes, is a place I want to live. He was raised away from the world, in the woods, by his grandparents. He believed people were evil, but on his grandmother’s deathbed, she let him know there are good people too. She sent him on a quest to find one of those good people. His growth inspired me as much as it inspired those he encountered. There were some heart-wrenching parts along with some endearing ones, and I deeply felt each one. I highly recommend this book and look forward to continuing the journey with Rabbit.

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

Continue reading “In the Tree’s Shadow – “Alone” @MarciaMeara #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease”

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “Playdate” @mhurdle112 #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease


Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Miriam Hurdle to talk about the short story “Playdate” here.

Below includes my review of Miriam’s latest book, “The Winding Road,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Learn more about Miriam at:

https://theshowersofblessings.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/edit/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

“The Winding Road” is a heartfelt memoir that takes the reader through a cancer diagnosis to the outcome. I felt like I was experiencing this journey with Ms. Hurdle, as she not only talks about how she is feeling, but how she had to deal with insurance, appointments, and the physical toll of the treatments. Once Ms. Hurdle learned how rare and deadly the cancer was, a decision was made to try experimental treatments for six months. I’m not sure I could have handled what she endured. Being so ill during the treatments with no guarantees would be hard, but a strong will to live shined through and balanced that out. This was a painful insight into the reality of cancer, mixed with her belief that life is precious, that left me inspired and full of hope. A read that not only shows us the darker side of life when illness strikes, but how the love and support of family and friends can help carry some of that heavy burden. A highly recommended story that can inspire anyone going through not only illness but other challenges.

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, “The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

 

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “The Bike” @YvetteMCalleiro #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #newrelease #paranormal #shortstories

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Yvette M. Calleiro to discuss the short story “The Bike” here.

Below includes my review of Yvette’s latest book, “HYPE,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

Yvette M. Calleiro is the author of the Chronicles of the Diasodz fantasy series, HYPE, and two short stories. As a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels, she spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends).

When she’s living among real people, she is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

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

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, “The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “Faith” @AskATechTeacher #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Jacqui Murray to talk about the short story “Faith” here.

Below includes my review of Jacqui’s latest book, “Natural Selection,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, and a contributor to NEA Today. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days here on Amazon Kindle. Also, read her new series, Man vs. Nature, starting with Born in a Treacherous Time–also on Kindle.

I have read and loved the first two books in the Dawn of Humanity Series and have been looking forward to this final story. I wasn’t disappointed. Lucy sets out to rescue her tribe mates after they were captured. I have grown very fond of many of these characters and was rooting for them. The detail of their daily life brought me into a life I otherwise couldn’t imagine. Eating raw meat or insects while trying to survive in harsh conditions was just a way of life for our prehistoric ancestors. The amount of research into this story and series was impressive and made Lucy’s quest more real. I loved the animals that joined this tribe, including the Canis and Homotherium kit. Although I was sad to see this end, I enjoyed the journey into the past. A book and series I can highly recommend!

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, “The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

 

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “When the Lights Go Out” @MaeClair1#writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Mae Clair to talk about the short story “When the Lights Go Out” here.

Below includes my review of Mae’s book, “Things Old and Forgotten,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.com

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

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28th Sandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2nd D. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, “The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

 

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “Effervescent Potion” @Dwallacepeach #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #newrelease #paranormal #shortstories

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with D. Wallace Peach to discuss the short story “Effervescent Potion here.

Below includes my review of Diana’s latest book, “The Neocramancer’s Daughter,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

 

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

The Sorcerer’s Garden

Sunwielder

The Bone Wall

The Melding of Aeris

Unraveling the Veil Series:

Liars and Thieves

Allies and Spies

Lords of Chaos

The Shattered Sea Duology:

Soul Swallowers, Book I

Legacy of Souls, Book II

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:

Catling’s Bane, Book I

Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II

Farlanders’ Law, Book III

Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:

Myths of the Mirror, Book I

Eye of Fire, Book II

Eye of Blind, Book III

Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

5.0 out of 5 stars I love Aster’s journey!

Aster is the necromancer’s daughter. She and her queen-mother die when Aster is born. The healer, Barus, sees the baby and steals her away to bring her back to life. The king stays in the background but watches as the healer raises this girl as his own because he knows no one would accept a child brought back to life. When the King finally approaches Aster, his only heir, he triggers his enemies to act, who upends her peaceful life as a healer. Determined to set things right and help Barus, Aster sets off to find help. I love the people she meets along her journey, especially when she crosses the mountain. The son of her enemy is a very complex character. Although he helps her more than once, his upbringing and devotion to the Blessed One aren’t too far behind and weigh him down. Aster shows what genuine goodness is over those who use it to seek power. Even if Aster’s actions aren’t popular, her innocence and ability to do the right thing guide her through some dark times. This is a fantasy filled with magic, danger, love, loyalty, fantastic imagery, and dragons that I can highly recommend.

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28thSandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2ndD. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette Calleiro, “The Bike”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

Featured

In the Tree’s Shadow – “The Bench” @JacqBiggar #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #newrelease #paranormal #shortstories

Hi,

Today I’m visiting with Jacquie Biggar to about the short story “The Bench” here.

Below includes my review of Jacquie’s latest book, “Letting Go,” and the tour schedule. There is a chance to win an Amazon gift card too! I will add stops as they become available.

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

In her own words:

“My name is Jacquie Biggar. When I’m not acting like a total klutz, I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a butler to my calico cat.

My guilty pleasure are reality tv shows like Amazing Race and The Voice. I can be found every Monday night in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake’s shenanigans.

I love to hang at the beach with DH (darling hubby) taking pictures or reading romance novels (what else?).

I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession, enjoy gardening, everything pink and talking to my friends.”

http://jacqbiggar.com

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar

https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/…

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84…

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacquie-…

https://www.audible.com/author/Jacquie-B…

http://instagram.com/jacqbiggar

Newsletter-

http://www.subscribepage.com/jacqbiggar

Renee left home after her father committed suicide, leaving her boyfriend, mother, sister, and brother behind. She returns after her mother dies, knowing her sister, Izzie, would be angry and that her brother was not a little boy anymore. Renee immediately runs into her ex-boyfriend, Simon, who is engaged to be married. She considers leaving again more than once. The story unfolds in first person through three points of view: Izzie, Renee, and Simon. I rooted for each of them to find peace and happiness. The family dynamics made this a hard story to stop reading, along with finding out what made Renee leave after her dad passed. Each person has their grief to deal with, and I kept hoping Renee and Izzie would reconcile, at least for the younger brother who needed a guardian. I loved Simon’s grandma, who is not only tough but direct with both Simon and Renee. This story tugged on my heartstrings as there were no bad people, only people in bad situations. I can’t wait for the second book to come out so I can see what happens next. I can highly recommend “Letting Go.”

Here is the tour schedule.

A link will be added to the list as each stop becomes available. There will be a post with the link and author information included here for each stop.

Three winners will be randomly picked from the tour comments for a $20, $10, or $5 Amazon Gift Card on May 16th!

Since it’s a short story collection, each stop will be different.

In the Tree’s Shadow Pre-order Tour:

Tuesday, April 4thRobbie Cheadle “Book Video.”

Wednesday, April 12th Sally Cronin “Pre-order Book Promotion.” 

In the Tree’s Shadow Release Tour:

Monday, April 17thGwen Plano, “Stranded.” 

Tuesday, April 18th Joan Hall, “The Dolphin.”

Wednesday, April 19thJohn Howell, “Lyrical Dragon.” 

Thursday, April 20th Staci Troilo, “It’s Only a Dream.”

Friday, April 21stCraig Boyack, “In the Shadows.”

Monday, April 24thHarmony Kent, “The Boy.” 

Tuesday, April 25th Jan Sikes, “End of the Road.” 

Wednesday, April 26thStephen Geez, “The Day the Ground Moved.”

Thursday, April 27thBeem Weeks, “A Day at the Lake.”

Friday, April 28thSandra Cox, “In That Moment.” 

Monday, May 1st Jacquie Biggar, “The Bench.”

Tuesday, May 2ndD. Wallace Peach, “Effervescent Potion.”

Wednesday, May 3rdMae Clair, “When the Lights go Out.”

Thursday, May 4th Jacqui Murray, “Faith.”

Friday, May 5th Yvette M. Calleiro, “The Bike.”

Monday, May 8th Miriam Hurdle, “Playdate.”

Tuesday, May 9th Marcia Meara, “Alone.”

Wednesday, May 10th Annette Rochelle Aben, “Deadline.”

Thursday, May 11thKaren Ingalls, “The Bonsai.”

Friday, May 12th Judith Barrow, “Last Ride of the Night.”

Monday, May 15thBalroop Singh, “Man on the Pier.”

 

Featured

Pre-Order: “Broken Ties” by Jude Itakali @JItakali #writingcommunity #preorder #readersoftwitter #whattoread

I want to welcome Jude Itakali here today to celebrate his upcoming release, “BROKEN TIES: Book 2 Realms of the Mist.” It is available for pre-order, and my review is below.

BLURB

Kamau, Ninuwe and Kena, are bound by the trials of their recent past, and forced onto a dark and magical quest through the Gifted realms of Africa. They must assemble the God-killer, an ancient weapon that can destroy the Evil One. The problem is; the Evil One has irreversibly merged with Kamau’s once closest and only friend, Irina.

War is brewing. Monsters are slipping into the greater human world. Gods are toying with them. The mission demands sacrifices that seem too costly to pay, and yet they must also navigate a desperate love triangle and the personal ambitions of young adults.
With allies who blur into enemies
Will Kamau and his friends find the strength to sacrifice anything,
And do whatever it takes,

Can they give up all that they hold dear, to save people they barely know?

 

FUN FACT

The term Luzan is one I derived from the Zulu and the San of Southern Africa. The Luzan share strong characteristics with both tribes.

Anubis and Anput are the ancient Egyptian gods of death. In some myths, they were one, in others they were siblings, lovers… and others. I used them as the past forms of my goddesses of death, the Blessed Sisters, who are twins and oddly in the form of little girls.

I did create a number of my own myths and legends and history. Look out for their cameos.

SPECIAL EXCERPT

“Okay, listen closely,” her voice was serious now. “You know about Gifted magic and touch. The gods intended it that way, so you would always be close to the earth and nature. In many ways, it is you who bind them to this world, or else they would have no sense of identity.”

UNIVERSAL AMAZON PRE-ORDER LINK

 


I wanted to talk a little about magic here on Denise’s stop of the tour, but the excerpt above pretty much sums up what actually makes the Gifted, gifted. I had an array of what kind of magic system to use as there are countless myths and lore from African traditions. However, I wanted to use a worldly system that you can find anywhere; touch.
While the events in this book take place on the African continent, there are mentions of a Gifted world that exists all over the world. That’s probably why I wrote this in the contemporary modern day, because it is meant to be for a global audience, just set in Africa.

MY REVIEW
I read and enjoyed “Realms of the Mist” and was eager to read “Broken Ties.” The story opens with a couple watching a mountain that’s activity foreshadows what is coming. This scene pulled me back into the exquisitely described world Mr. Itakali created. Ninuew, Kamau, and Kena have joined forces to fight the Evil One in the Gifted Realms. Unfortunately, the Evil One has taken over the body of Kamau’s best friend, Irina. The group has to assemble a weapon that will take out their enemy while dealing with their issues. There is growth in these characters from the last book, especially Kamau. I feel for the choices he has to make. Some surprising twists made me unable to put the book down. Reading the books in order would be better with such a beautifully crafted realm and story. The end offered some answers but also set up the story for book three, which I enthusiastically await to see what happens next. You will enjoy this story if you love fantasy, mythology, and moving descriptions!
BLOG TOUR PERKS
Pdf/epub copies of Broken Ties to three of the most regular participants in the blog tour comments section, as well as a copy of CROSSROADS for each.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jude Itakali is a poet, writer, and fiction author from the suburbs of Kampala, Uganda.

His latest novel, “Broken Ties” is the second in his debut fantasy trilogy, Realms of the Mist, with the third book in production.

Jude’s poetry has been featured in No.1 bestselling anthologies like Hidden in Childhood and Poetry Treasures, as well as his first poetry collection; “Crossroads (Winds of love)”.

When not crunching numbers into a computer, or pursuing infrequent exercise routines, you can find Itakali writing fiction in a small cubicle, or under a tree writing poetry and short stories for his website Tales told different.

You can get Jude’s tour schedule by visiting his blog: