Coral has always wanted to go to Hawaii, ever since her parents died there when she was only a kid. A recurring dream has visited her every night since—she rides a dolphin to an underwater cave. Only there will she find the answers she seeks about her parents’ death. But she always wakes up before she discovers what really happened.
Shortly before her sixteenth birthday, she’s thrilled to learn her aunt and some friends are taking her to Hawaii for Christmas. Coral loves the ocean, and she doesn’t get to see it very often, living as she does in a desert near Reno, Nevada.
But once they arrive in Hawaii, disquieting events steal some of her joy. Her aunt has met a new guy—nothing wrong with that—but this one seems to be nothing but a weasel. When Coral’s aunt nearly gets run over in the street, he merely stands there and watches. And everywhere they go, people seem to be taking their picture. Not just catching them in group photos, but specifically shooting photos of them, as if they were celebrities or something.
But then matters turn dangerous. Her aunt is hospitalized, the result of a near-fatal car crash. Coral can’t afford to ignore all the strange things going on anymore, or some of them may never make it home…
Dolphin’s Cave is a YA coming-of-age story that should appeal to fans of teen adventures, especially ones who love dolphins.
Fifteen-year-old Coral is a typical teenager except she’d lost her parents at the age of eight and lives with an aunt. Oh, and she has this recurring dream every night where she rides on a dolphin’s back to another world that can only be accessed from deep within the ocean. Try as she may, she can never reach the end of the dream and enter the golden city. Then a trip to Hawaii with her aunt and family friends changes everything. Coral is convinced that going to the place where her parents’ plane went down will bring her answers. And it does, but not what she is expecting. This YA has a bit of everything from spies and murder to magic, and budding young love. This author did a fantastic job of world-building. Once Coral enters the Golden City, or Mearth, the descriptive writing put me inside the book with the characters and I ooohed and ahhed over the amazing architecture, dragons, strange food, and shape-shifting animals. This story will spark the imagination of any reader. It is a well-written fantasy with a touch of realism.
Fifteen-year-old Coral Dover has had the same dream every night for the eight years since her parents disappeared in a plane crash off the Hawaiian coast, and each dream is interrupted before she sees the end she hopes to see. When her guardian, her aunt, takes her to Hawaii on a working vacation with a co-worker and his family, Coral is determined to visit the place where her parents’ plane went down. She needs closure.
What she finds is adventure, intrigue, and magic. Unlikely friendships, a budding romance, betrayal, and secrets that put everyone she cares about in danger, all blend into a story I couldn’t put down.
D.L. Finn’s Teen/YA fantasy is beautifully written, with well-rounded characters, great dialogue, beautiful scenes, dolphins, turtles, magic, and plenty of twists, clues, and drama to keep the interest of anyone from young teens to mature adults. I loved it, gave it five stars, and highly recommend it.
Thank you to all the reviewers who took the time to share their thoughts. You are much appreciated. xo
Although not intended for adults, I like to think our inner child might enjoy the story.
poetic qualities however manifested: the poetry of simple acts and things.
poetic spirit or feeling: The pianist played the prelude with poetry.
something suggestive of or likened to poetry: the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.”
Poetry’s origin isn’t clear. It’s believed to have been around for thousands of years in different forms. Over time it has grown and changed. Now, there are over 50 types of poetry, including Haikus, Lyrical, Dramatic, Cinquains, Epic/Ballads, Sonnets, Couplet, Narrative, Limerick, and Free Verse. For most of these, there’s structure, and rules including lines, stanza, metering (measuring), and rhyming (patterns).
I found my love of poetry when I enrolled in a poetry class in college. I tackled metering, rhyming, played with syllable emphasis, presentation, sound, images, and many other elements of poetry. Free verse became my favorite to work with. It gave me room to express myself fully. I didn’t have to worry about the rules that went along with more traditional poetry.
I still use some of the basic parts of poetry in my free verse. One of my favorites is alliteration or same first letter. Images can be brought forth through similes or metaphors. Sometimes rhyming takes over giving the poem flow, like a gentle creek. This type of writing has a strange side effect on me, though. For the rest of the day, I find myself rhyming everything. This also happens when I read Dr. Seuss books, but it doesn’t stop me from reading or writing it.
“Just Her Poetry” is the product of the last two years of my life, with the addition of fan favorites from “No Fairy Tale.” I love expressing this “Word Art-Form” through nature as in the first half of the book. Certain emotions needed to be expressed differently, which is why there is a second half. Many venting poems didn’t make the cut, but I did feel better after writing them.
In sharing my first poetry book, I hope you will take a moment to join me on the back of a Harley, the beach, the forest…or at my desk wondering about life.
Note: The photo of the ocean was my first choice to be the book cover. No matter what we did with the title, it didn’t look right. So, we tried other pictures and the forest won. I still love the picture of the ocean, but I’m very happy with this cover.
Watch for a special edition blog this week!
Sorry I haven’t been around on social media. I’m recovering from a nasty virus. I’m getting there but have to pace myself.
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D.L. Finn
For March, I’ll be focusing on poetry to celebrate the release of “Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul.” This will include a blog tour with some amazing hosts. Although, there will still be my Book Reviews, along with any special edition posts.
This week I’m interviewing Nature, who’s had a huge influence on my poetry and writing. She’s been particularly busy, so I feel lucky she was able to drop by for a quick visit.
D.L.’s interview with Nature.
DL: I’m happy to be here with you today Nature.
N: Well, I’m happy to be here, but then I’m always here. You are usually inside your house.
DL: Yes, that’s where I live, but I love being outside with you.
N: You do look happier once you are with me.
DL: I am. Thank you. I love to write poetry under your grand trees or by the ocean.
N: I’ve observed that. You sit by yourself with that blue notepad. Sometimes your family is down the beach, or your wonderful kitties are by your side when you are home. I did have to wonder when I saw you on the back of the motorcycle, writing. I thought perhaps you weren’t well or needed help.
DL: I didn’t think you noticed, but yes, I try to write in as many places as I can, including on the Harley with my husband. His back comes in handy as a table.
N: I see everything and wish more people would notice me. They would be so much healthier and peaceful.
DL: They would, I agree. Your four seasons are amazing, Nature. Do you have a favorite?
N: They are all wonderful in their own way, although some places don’t have all four of my seasons. If I had to choose…well, I won’t. It would be like picking a favorite child. Do you have a favorite child?
DL: No, I love them all equally and get why you won’t pick a season. Each one has their gift.
N: Exactly. You seem to enjoy all of my seasons. I’ve watched you snowshoe through the icy drifts in the winter, lay on your deck at night stargazing in the summer, hike through the fall colors and work in your garden or sit by the river in the spring. I’m glad you’ve included all the seasons in your current poetry book.
DL: It’s because you’ve inspired me no matter what season it is.
N: Thank you. I’m honored to be such a substantial part of your writing. I appreciate your pictures of me, too. I think you’ve captured the forest on this cover. The sun peeking through was a nice touch. I’m hoping that more people will think about me as they read your words. Then, they might start taking care of what I have to offer. In these modern times, they seem to prefer staring at their cell phones.
DL: I’m glad you like the cover. It’s my favorite one to date, but all I did was take the picture, you provided the rest. I’m with you; I hope people will put their phones down, venture outside and enjoy what you have to offer and take care of it, too. You help us connect to our souls.
N: Well your souls are what communicate to me. I’ve learned a lot from those interactions. Mostly all good.
DL: Some of it isn’t good?
N: No. Better not to talk about that while we are promoting your new poetry book. There are a few that…well…never mind.
DL: Understood. I’m thankful you were able to make time to visit with us today, Nature. I know I’ll be seeing you soon.
N: Anytime and yes, I will see you in a couple of hours when you walk the dogs. That always amuses me how you say you are walking them when they are dragging you.
DL: I can’t argue that.
N: No you can’t. I’d better get back to work. Bye.
I have a favor to ask! My youngest daughter, Danielle who has been on my blog before, wrote a book and “Mom” has beta read it. I think this requires another set of eyes or two. So if anyone has “extra” time and could help with a read, I’d be forever grateful. Email me at email@example.com if you can help out. I know how busy everyone, too. I will be helping her publish hopefully this summer. Right now we are “discussing” the benefits of editing and joining clubs…
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D.L. Finn
I wrote a Christmas short based on a character from “The Button”. It’s now available for pre-order with the release date of 11-7.
All alone on Christmas Eve, Kenzie was feeling the betrayal of her recent break-up. While the sky was heavy with the dark clouds of an impending storm, she walked home from work to clear her head. Lost in her memories, Kenzie was completely unaware she was being followed by a man with green-eyes. Was this not-so-human being the good or evil that lurked around her? On the most magical night of the year, will Kenzie be able to save herself from that evil or will she need some divine inspiration? The outcome will depend on whether she can find the strength to forgive as the storm not only rages outside, but deep within her soul.
My research is usually limited for fiction, especially when I create my own villain. The Button had some necessary fact-checking being set in 1983. Although, I lived through this time period I can’t remember a timeline of when things came out or happened. So, luckily the internet helped me out.
First thing I checked was the music. I wanted to make sure that songs I talked about was timely and had been released by September of 83—even earlier if club bands were playing the music.
Fashion was another area I dove into. Stacy wanted to make a fashion statement by imitating Madonna. Was the timing right for that? I found Madonna’s popularity started that year, so I limited her influence to lace gloves.
In 1983 I didn’t use a cell phone to contact someone, instead there was the public pay phone. What I couldn’t remember was did it still cost a dime to make a call–it did. Was 9-1-1 around? Yes. TV’s were different and much heavier than they are now, but you could connect it to a format that was making its way into households: a VHS player. Watch a movie any time you wanted or record a show to watch later? Amazing in 83. There were no satellite radio options in a car so you didn’t have to listen to all the commercials, but there were cassette players (or as in my case) an 8-track player where you could control that and what you listened to.
Yes, there were some obvious differences thirty-five years ago in: music, fashion and technology, but why 1983? Although it was the year I got married, I had planned on using 1981. But, I wanted to use the quote, “Can I see your papers please” from a Clint Eastwood movie; so I pushed the story-line up to 1983 to accommodate that. This particular quote was something my husband used to say quite often so you can understand why I wanted to use it. He is almost as big of fan of quoting movies as Kent is in “The Button”.
The opening bar scene was based off a few of my youthful observations at a trendy dance club, a biker bar, a rocker bar, and a bar that did showcase male strippers. These were the places that would take my “fake” ID before I was “of age” to drink. I clumped them all together into this fictional bar.
Fact checking was also different in the 80s. If we were sitting around and wondered about something, we’d have to look it up in an encyclopedia. There was a hotline, I remember, that offered information– or Ask your librarian. It came in handy when we played some of our board games or had a person who insisted they were right.
There was no research when it came to things that happened to me. The eight-hour coma was real and came from my memories, but then it was twisted into the story. I didn’t have a conversation with angels like Lynn did. I did grow up in an alcoholic house where there were parenting issues and a blended family. Yet, Lynn Hill’s family bears no resemblance to my real family, including the step brother Warren. I added a couple of things scattered throughout the book a person or two will recognize. That was for the love and friendships that endured over the years.
So, know I always try to get my facts straight now and in the past.
I want to thank Eden Baylee for sharing her blog with me today. Please check out today’s “The Button” post over on Eden’s blog. You will find a different “Random Finn Facts” in each post. Before you go, take a quick peek at Eden’s “Author Bio” and “Amazon Link” below. Eden is not only a prolific author, but supportive of other authors, too. Please, let’s be supportive of her books.
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.
She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.
In 2014, she launched the first novel of her STRANGER TRILOGY with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called “Stranger at Sunset.” In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created the LAINEY LEE SERIES about a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.
An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!
Connect to her via her website at edenbaylee.com. She loves talking to readers!
I have to thank Mae Clair for generously sharing her blog with me today. Check out today’s “The Button” post over on Mae Clair’s blog. Before you go, take a peek Mae’s “Author Bio” and “Amazon Link” below. Mae is not only an amazing author, but she’s supportive of other authors, too. I hope you got to see her amazing new book cover for her up coming release “End of Days”. Please take a moment to support Mae.
I wrote my first childish “masterpiece” at six and was immediately bitten by the writing bug. Since then, I’ve been composing nonstop, and have dabbled in multiple genres over the years, writing everything from fantasy, westerns, and horror to inspirational fiction, romance, and sci-fi. It took me a while to find my niche, but I’ve settled comfortably into the mystery/suspense genre.
Several of my earlier works have strong romantic themes, but all are infused with threads of mystery. I have a passion for folklore, myth, and urban legends and that attraction usually factors into my writing. You’ll find threads of archaic tales and mysterious places woven throughout many of my novels.
I am a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Writer’s Organization. If I’m not camped out at my keyboard or have my nose buried in a book, I’m likely looking up blurry images of cryptids on Google, sorting through vintage photographs, or imagining life as a cat.
It’s finally here! Here are two excerpts, the blurb, and new “Random Finn Facts”.
Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.
PROLOGUE (part one)
Castro Valley, California, 1976
Lynn was suddenly aware of her surroundings. It was tranquil floating above her still body next to angels. She felt indifferent at seeing her pale form hooked up to wires and IVs, although the beeping machines indicated that her body was still alive.
“You have to go back—you have more to do,” the female angel informed her.
Lynn met the angel’s steady gaze. While she was in awe of her beauty, it was the angel’s silver dress that drew her attention. It reminded her of how the water in her grandmother’s pool had wrapped her in serenity when she sat at the bottom. She’d loved doing that for as long as she could hold her breath. It was one of the few times she felt safe, cocooned in water where no one could hurt her. That dress, flowing like water around the angel, affected Lynn in the same way as the pool did—it made her feel safe. The angel pushed her hair back, causing it to cascade over her peacock-green wings.
Lynn turned her attention to the male angel. His smile was mesmerizing—like a lava lamp, hot and fluid. What a babe! With his long brown hair, strong chiseled features, and green eyes she could get lost in, she felt she could totally spend eternity with him. He smiled broadly at her, but the smile quickly disappeared when the female angel scowled at him. Wait a minute—do they know what I’m thinking? Not cool! Lynn felt her face redden.
The embarrassment was quickly erased as both angels smiled at her again. Lynn wished they’d say more, but she wanted to continue to hang out with them. She was feeling a peace she’d never felt before.
She started to express her desire to stay. “I don’t—” was all she got out before images of an older version of herself filled her mind all at once. Then she was thrust back—into her life and that pallid body hooked up to the beeping machines…
Castro Valley, California, 1983
…In high school Lynn Hill had a black button with white writing that said “F*** Off and Die.” It was pinned to her worn, flower-embroidered denim purse. Lynn relocated her button to the inside of her purse when she graduated, so only she could see it. It wasn’t that Lynn had suddenly changed her attitude upon accepting her diploma with 451 other people representing the first class of the new decade, either. As far as she could tell, 1980 was no different than 1979. What prompted the removal of her audacious public expression was the acquisition of a job and an apartment, or basically becoming a responsible adult. Lynn was mindful that appearing to be an upstanding citizen was necessary, an opinion confirmed by her old history teacher.
“Young women who are successful do not have swear words pinned to the outside of their purse,” the teacher, who reminded Lynn of a shriveled apple doll, had informed her while handing back her essay in the final month of high school.
Lynn was fully aware that the teacher didn’t like her, but she didn’t care. Most teachers didn’t like her, but she always got A’s and didn’t cause problems, so they usually left her alone. No one had ever tried to take the button away, but Lynn did get some looks, which she shrugged off.
She was convinced that more than one teacher had the same sentiment, but they had to pretend to be responsible adults, like she was doing now. Lynn only hid the button from her parents, who would have shown their displeasure in ways both physically and emotionally painful. She escaped that house the day she turned eighteen, moving into an apartment with her best friend, Stacy.
Lynn’s fingers brushed across that button on the inside of her purse as she searched for her strawberry lip gloss. It wasn’t that she hated everyone and wanted them to die, as her button stated; she simply didn’t trust most people. Why should she? They only managed to disappoint or hurt her, but she wished for their absence, not their actual demise. Although there were a few people she felt the world would be better off without. They seemed to have no reason to exist other than to cause others pain.
Lynn applied her lip gloss, slipped it back into her purse, and pasted on a fake smile. It was her final touch before entering the rundown bar with Stacy. A blonde and a brunette together got the attention of guys at the bars, Stacy insisted. Lynn didn’t bother pointing out that it was Stacy’s large bust and fashion-model looks that got all that interest. She knew Stacy was aware of her effect on the opposite sex.
The young women flashed their fake IDs to the guy at the door. It was obvious that the old biker didn’t care about the age of the females who entered the bar as long as they were somewhat pretty, boosted alcohol sales, and had a card, legal or not, that showed they were old enough. Lynn was immediately greeted by loud music, a local band whose name she had already forgotten. They were playing a current hit from the radio. No big deal, just some wannabes, Lynn thought. There wasn’t even a cover to see them. How good could they be?
Stacy and Lynn squeezed between the red vinyl barstools to order their drinks. “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream…” Why was the song from Sleeping Beauty in her head? She hadn’t thought of it in years. It had been one of her favorite songs when she was a young girl. She used to listen to the record while following along in the book. She would sing the song loudly if no one was around and pretend she was dancing with her prince through the forest.
In those days she believed she would find her prince someday. Did she still believe in love and happily ever after? Not really. She sighed right as the bartender caught her glance. He had wavy brown hair and the most beautiful brown eyes she’d ever seen. She gulped and started to sweat. She needed a drink, and fortunately, Stacy was already ordering them.
Random Finn Facts:
I believe in the unseen.
I used to play the piano when I was young. I’m attempting to relearn it–if my fingers will cooperate!
I love to take pictures of nature…and my family, too:)
I’m very grateful to Jan Sikes and John W. Howell for sharing their blogs today. Thank you! Before heading over to the blogs, please check out their amazing “Author Bio” and “Amazon Link” below. Both authors are extremely talented. John’s an expert at thrillers, while Jan has gifted us with her extraordinary love story! They’re phenomenally supportive to other indie authors, so let’s give some of that back to them.
Don’t forget “Random Finn Facts” are different in each post.
Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.
When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.
Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.
She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.
Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.
She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.
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 adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets
I’m thankful to fellow Rave Reviews Book Club member Wendy Scott for sharing her blog with me today. Please head to today’s “The Button” post over on Wendy’s blog. But, before you go please check out Wendy’s amazing “Author Bio” and “Amazon Link” to her award winning multi-genre book catalog. Let’s thank Wendy for being ultra-supportive to other author’s by supporting her!
Wendy Scott has a New Zealand Certificate in Science (Chemistry), which allows her to dabble with fuming potions and strange substances, satisfying her inner witch.
Wendy writes fantasy, children’s and romance novels.
One of the creeds she lives by is to always – Live a life less ordinary!
Gold Medal Winner The Wishing Shelf Book Awards UK 2015.
Silver Medal Winner Readers’ Favorite Book Awards 2016.
Blue Treat Award Rave Reviews Book Club 2017.
Gold Quality Marks BooksGoSocial 2017.