“The Button” Cover Reveal and a Poem

Here is the cover for The Button:

Ebook Copy of Button

Ta-da!

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

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


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

moon in the sky pic for blog

 

UNWELCOME PROTECTOR 

I feel it when I’m uncomfortable.

It is always there hiding…waiting.

That shallow breath…

That tight grip…that feeling.

 

It draws my attention

Back to where it came from.

A time…

A time when I wasn’t so strong.

 

I was helpless,

I was young,

I’m none of those things now…

Yet, it stays.

 

It’s an unwanted guest

That lurks in my body

That has over-stayed…

Its welcome.

 

It seems unaware

That it isn’t wanted anymore

So, I carefully guide it to the door…

Fumbling with the lock.

 

It clings to the doorway

Hanging on to my past

Smiling, I gently push it out…

We are both free as I release it.


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

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

 

April Book Reviews Bring May…

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

By Rhani D’Chae

 

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


Thread and Other Stories

by Eric Halpenny 

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


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

Books Read and REVIEWED!

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

 

Ninja School Mum 

by Lizzie Chantree

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


The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

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


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

Special guest: Danielle from TraitWare!

disneyworld

Please welcome today’s guest my youngest daughter, Danielle from TraitWare. The picture above is from a trip we took to Walt Disney World–and after a good soaking!

Danielle has an offer, a couple of cute cat pictures, and a giveaway of a $20 Amazon gift car. (Winner of gift card is Billy Ray Chitwood–Congrats!)


My name is Danielle, and my main paying job is the Technical Product Manager for a start-up security company called TraitWare. In my free time, or lack thereof, I dance for a couple of choreographers at CSUS, travel to different places to teach dance classes, and I am also attempting to write a book (all, of course, while making sure my husband knows that I still actually do exist). I have also spent my fair share of hours reading and editing for my mother and have gained some skills for me to offer my services of beta reading in exchange for any willing takers to test and provide feedback for a product my company just released.

The product is actually a WordPress plugin to replace usernames and passwords with the ability to scan a QR code using a smartphone or tablet. This plugin focuses on the admin dashboard login (sites using wordpress.org or the premium of wordpress.com). We all have to remember way too many complex passwords. The simple “password123” just doesn’t cut it anymore. So, with this app, we are allowing users to use their phone with their fingerprint, or a collection of preselected pictures to sign in, rather than a bunch of letters and numbers that we have to type out.

The idea behind this trade of services is to get feedback from real users, as well as possibly gaining some paying customers. Now, currently, our product offers a 14-day trial. As I know how the lives of an artist can be, I would like to offer an extension to this. So, if you so choose to be a part of the future (*wink wink*), I will extend the trial to 30 days. In order for me to do this, I will need each of you to email me at support@traitware.com after you setup the plugin. This is also the email which will be used for feedback, questions, concerns, etc during the 30 day trial period (and even beyond if you choose to stick with it). Also, be aware that there is a live marketplace where actual reviews for users of the plugin can leave their 2 cents. However! If you hate it, I’d prefer you tell me why first, so we can work to improve it and turn that 1 into a 5.

If you’re still sticking with me and want to know more… GREAT! I will tell you more. If you’re over this and just want it to end… here’s a picture of 2 of my cats. They’re 11 today!

Thanks for moving past these adorable cats so that we could discuss some business. So, a few requirements will need to be met in order for you to actually become a beta tester.

  1. You need to have a WordPress site which has the ability to add plugins
  2. You need to have a smartphone that is one of these:
    1. Android smartphone or tablet with an operating system of 6.0 or higher (Marshmallow)
    2. iPhone 5S or newer
    3. A newer iPad
  3. Space on your phone to install the TraitWare app from the app store
  4. Access to be able to add a plugin to your “yoursite.com/login” dashboard
  5. The ability to follow directions The patience to follow through with the complete setup (I promise it only takes a few minutes)

If you have all of those, welcome to your beta testing instructions!

  1. Sign in to your wordpress admin dashboard by going to yoursite.com/login
  2. Select “Plugins” on the left hand side
  3. At the top, select “Add New”
  4. Search “traitware”
  5. Select “Install” and then “Activate”
  6. At the top of the page, select the link “Set up your account today!”
  7. Make sure the email in the box on the left is one you have access to and select the button to send yourself an activation email. *if it is not, please create a new user with an email that you do have access to. The user role needs to be set to admin. Log out of your current account, and log back in as the new user
  8. Download the TraitWare app to your mobile device, check your email, and open the TraitWare app to scan the QR in the email you just received
  9. Complete the app registration and return to your WordPress site
  10. Scan the QR on the right of the WordPress page with your shiney, new TraitWare app
  11. VOILA!

There are more detailed instructions here. And if you’re really diggin’ this and want to know more about who we are, check out our developer specific blog here!


Thanks for dropping by! Just leave a comment and you are entered to win the Amazon gift card. Thanks, Danielle!

Please note that the strikeout was intentional and my daughter’s sense of humor…it runs in the family.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Review of Books!

 

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

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


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

by Ronald Yates

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


The Army of Orphans: The Beginning 

by F.B. Veneziano

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


 

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

LINK FOR GUEST BLOG


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

LINK FOR SMASHWORDS 

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

Poetry and reviews

 

Every once in a while when I take the dogs outside late at night…

DARKNESS

The air is thick as you breathe it in

It fills your lungs with its silence

It unnerves you when you are alone

Because in the darkness there are shadows.

They are filled with the unknown

It’s quiet is lurking with danger

Unseen and watching your heart races

Skin covered in sweat you scan the darkness

You see nothing and hear nothing.

Yet, you know it’s there.

You hurry back into the light where it is safe

And you shut the door and lock it…

With a sigh of relief–

You quickly forget the darkness.

But, what you don’t know is–

It hasn’t forgotten you.


My latest book reviews:

The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series)

By Vashti Quiroz Vega

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


Stranger Abduction 

by Billy Chitwood

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


Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

Anniversary and reviews

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

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


LOVE The Beat Goes On 

by Lynda Filler

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


Mind-Shaft: Paranormal Anthology

by S. Burke

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


 

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

Reviews and a poem

 

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

by Larry Landgraf

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


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

by Larry Landgraf

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


Mystic Tea 

by Rea Nolan Martin

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


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

IMG_2626

WATCHING

I’m unsure what to feel.

I watch the banter

Flow back and forth

Like the waves on

The ocean’s shore.

When I’ve tried to jump in

The water was cold

And the waves–

Almost knocked me down.

The birds were gone,

The sand littered with dead fish,

Everything departed or dying.

The oily water covered the hidden riptide.

It wasn’t safe, so I perched…

On a hill high above.

The place I used to love.

It’s lonely, but it’s protected

From the pandemonium below.

The struggle spills out,

Almost reaching me…

But for now, I’m safe–watching.


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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Book Reviews

 

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz #4)

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


 

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz #5)

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


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

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

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

 

 

 

Book Reviews and Name Reveal!

Here are my first YA reviews of the year:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 1) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

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


The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 3) 

by Yvette M Calleiro

 

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


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

Acts of Betrayal. (Unintended Consequences Book 2.) 

By S. Burke

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


 

Our Justice

By John W. Howell

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


 

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

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


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

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


Next week I will be sharing some poetry and thoughts.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn