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.


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.


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.


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.

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


From Finn’s Forest #7 #writingcommunity #author #readers #fall #poetry #pumpkins

Today we are taking a trip back to 1997 and then enjoying a fall poem. The late 90s was a time when I was sending my work out to publishers in the mail, including Elizabeth’s War. This included children’s magazine articles. I received rejections, including one from Highlights, who kindly suggested that I focus on one area and submit more pictures. Did I get that is what they wanted me to do? No, I didn’t. I missed an opportunity there.

But, an article called “Mega Veggies” did score a yes and my first payment for writing. In May 1997, my article was in Nature Friend Children’s magazine under my real name. They are still going today and it might be time for me to resume some of that article writing I used to do.

Not only did I talk about how to grow your own veggies but the extra mile farmers went to increase product size. Here’s the quiz from my 1997 article and the sizes of veggies way back when. Which belongs to which? Answers below.

1. cabbage a. 37 lbs. 5 oz.
2. carrot b. 124 lbs.
3. tomato c. 1006 lbs.
4. pumpkin d. 7 lbs. 2 oz.
5. radish e. 15 lbs. 7 oz.
6. zucchini f 7 lbs. 13 oz.
7. potato g. 64 lbs. 8 oz.
8. cucumber h. 20 lbs. 1 oz.

What made me think about this article from twenty-six years ago? I saw a news story about the current size of the world’s biggest pumpkin. Since I wrote my article, it has more than doubled to 2749 pounds from a mere 1006 pounds years ago.

Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota world record pumpkin, was weighed on 10-09-23  in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Answers to quiz: 1b, 2e, 3d, 4c, 5a, 6g, 7f, and 8h.

Here is a fall poem from Deep in the Forest Where Poetry Blooms


full moon

autumn’s delight

a fairy celebration

under the bright harvest glow


all the woodland creatures join

pirouetting under the stars

before first snow



Next week is the release of The Destination. Be sure to stop by and celebrate with me, along with enjoying the Halloween day. I’m dressing up as the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz for my daughter’s costume party this coming weekend and my husband is going to be wolfman. I’ll share pictures then. It’s a come as a classic villian theme. I went back and forth between the Wicked Witch and Annie Wilkes from Misery. Anyone else dressing up?

Embrace your inner child. Take a fall (or spring) walk and enjoy nature! Then sit down on a bench and read a book or write a poem. D. l. Finn

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


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

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


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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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.


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


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

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

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


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


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.


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

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?
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