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.
“Redemption” is a fast-paced thriller that hooked me from the first page. Lisa came home to visit her parents. She had a bad feeling when the doorbell rang, but she couldn’t stop what happened next. With her father dead, her mother fighting for her life, and her brother, Trace, in another country, she struggles to figure out what happened. Lisa quickly realizes she needs to be careful whom she trusts because her world is turned upside down as the truth slowly unravels. Luckily, her brother and his friend, Ryan, come to her aid. I love how they are there for each other, while Lisa’s strength, love of family, and intelligence are inspiring. She bravely stands by her mother while trying to understand her father. I found this book hard to put down with all the twists weaved into a family’s story. The research put into this mystery made it even more chilling because of the possibility that it could happen. The themes of redemption and forgiveness tugged at my heart, and I highly recommend this suspenseful family drama.
“The Celtic Deception” is a fun YA read that blends history and fantasy. I haven’t read the first book, but I found this story easy to follow. Seventeen-year-old time jumper, Dan, comes home to an unwelcomed visitor who was responsible for his father being in a coma. I was immediately drawn into the story. Although the visitor had taken something that seemed so important, Dan was carefully trained by his father and was prepared for that. Soon, Dan and his jumping partner, Samantha, need to make a jump to fix history. I loved the time they went into 60 CE when Romans dominated, and Celts were on the run or fighting back. The relationships they developed in the Celt tribe had me rooting for them, even against all odds and history. A read meant for teens, but adults can appreciate it too. I thoroughly enjoyed this mix of the reality of a historical moment and time-traveling teens trying to survive while not changing the past that would affect the future.
“Bright Lights and Candle Glow” is a beautiful holiday collection of eight short stories. The tales transport the reader into many places, including the Civil War or a ranch in Montana. Each story was a satisfying read for the holidays or any time of the year, and I won’t be picking any favorites. There were not only some fantastic twists I didn’t expect but vivid settings that pulled me right in. I can easily recommend this group of well-told holiday stories for Christmas and Yule reading.
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!
I will be quiet on social media and blog visits this week. I’m going to take a bit of me-time before I get busy with my upcoming release and blog tour. Have a great week xo
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn
Welcome spring! I am ready to enjoy the return of the birds, flowers, and the landscape bursting with life. It’s my favorite time of year, along with fall. We had quite a winter here. Some epic and sometimes overwhelming storms finally ended our three-year drought—at least in our area.
Time to enjoy nice spring hikes along the river, take Harley rides, and read some great books! Stories and poetry can touch us in many different ways and change us. You have already seen these books reviewed here on my blog. Since I have read some fantastic books lately, more of those will be making their way here in other seasons. Today these are the book revisiting with their blurbs as some of my top reads.
Family secrets can be deadly. When Lisa visits her parents one fateful Saturday morning, she hugs her father and takes her suitcase to her childhood bedroom. The doorbell rings, and one minute later her father lies dead on the floor—three bullets to the chest. The death of Eric Holmes sends shockwaves throughout the quiet neighborhood. But for the Holmes family, it is devastating.
In this fast-paced psychological thriller, Lisa and her brother embark on a quest to solve the mystery of their father’s murder. The journey takes them into a secret world where nothing is as it seems. Once the puzzle pieces begin to coalesce, they realize that their father had multiple lives. As the facts unravel, the siblings discover the true meaning of Redemption.
Life can change in an instant, but that’s not always a bad thing.
A hotel explodes leaving staff and guests in peril; a woman retrieves an old clock from the attic with disturbing consequences; one man leaves heart break behind him, and another arrives to bring adventure.
In this haunting collection, Annalisa Crawford creates characters who will charm, captivate, and intrigue you.
Annalisa’s stories have featured in Fairlight Shorts, Fictive Dream, and Reflex Fiction; and have been short- and longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Bath Short Story Award, Globe Soup, and more.
Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.
Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.
Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?
Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.
Embrace your inner child by reading a great book—D. L. Finn
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.
Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?
As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.
End of Day can be read as a stand alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.
End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.
Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:
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:
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 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…
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