June #BookReviews Part 1 @dlfinnauthor @kim_redford @LizCroweAuthor @lcarrollbradd @dalia_dupris

Welcome to some of my June reading thoughts!

It was such a pleasure to read the newest release from D.L. Finn!

It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy. Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from this author and this book is no exception. The author has a unique talent for making you stop and think, “What if?” In this book about the tree fairies and the ancient Redwood trees, we find an ordinary family with an extraordinary connection to nature on a camping trip. What happens to the children first, then to the adults is both heartwarming and magical. The family is given a mission to save the beautiful Redwood forest from destruction. Then the author takes us years ahead and we find the two children, Daniel and Colette grown, married, and with children of their own. The tree fairies visit again and the connection is forged between the human and fairy families, and the Wise Trees who speak to the fairies. The two following short stories, are in two different fairies’ POV and are delightful as well. This book is classified as a Middle School level, but at almost seventy, I thoroughly enjoyed it, so it is a wonderful read for all ages! If you love magic, nature, and fantasy all combined into a lovely heartwarming story, you will love this book! I highly recommend it.

Violet Ashwood arrives in Wildcat Bluff County with one agenda: convince the hunky Mr. July from the Wildcat Bluff Fire Rescue’s annual benefit calendar to be the face–and body–of her new lonely hearts online dating service. She didn’t count on his firm refusal, nor did she count on seeing him again. Until she discovers he’s her new landlord.

Kemp Lander, aka Mr. July, wants nothing to do with Violet’s schemes to make him a model for her Cowboy Chat Corral, particularly once he finds out she fudged the truth on her rental contract by claiming she was a cowgirl. He’s got enough problems trying to keep trespassers off his ranch and doesn’t need the distraction of his sexy renter.

All Violet and Kemp want is to save their livelihoods and have their lifelong dreams realized. But it’ll take joining forces and discovering they’re better together to finally meet their goals.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own thoughts. What’s not to love? A rugged handsome cowboy who is also a firefighter sets the tone for this smoking sexy read. When Violet Ashford comes across a calendar from Wildcat Bluff County, Texas that features its volunteer firefighters, she is enthralled with Mr. July. He would make the perfect face for the new online dating site she is developing. But she has to meet him. She puts her life in San Antonio on hold and responds to an ad to work as a cowgirl in Wildcat Bluff County. This is the perfect opportunity to meet Mr. July and approach him about being her model for the site. What a surprise when she finds it is Mr. July (Kemp Lander) himself who has hired her to work on his ranch. Violet knows nothing about being a cowgirl, but she’s a fast learner and determined. The sparks fly between Violet and Kemp but with trespassers digging holes all over Hallelujah Ranch looking for hidden bootlegger gold, and Violet learning how to be a cowgirl, there is no time to explore the sparks. One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the tertiary characters. Bertha, who runs a gourmet chocolate shop, Cousin Lester, The Buick Brigade, Sydney Steele, the other firefighters, the radio DJ and many more helped add layers and dimensions to this story. So, it’s not just a romance. It’s much deeper. Add Fernando the wonder bull and his love, Daisy Mae, and you’ve got all the makings of a busy and engaging read. Also, the added layer of the history of the Hallelujah Ranch and the hidden speakeasy along with the mystery of Lady Mauve was fun. So, anyone who is looking for a hot sexy romance with lots of layers will enjoy this story as much as I did!

When Emerson Tyler’s unrequited high school crush crashed into her first group meeting of the DSN’s social media department, it was strange, to say the least. When she learned that her crush wasn’t as “unrequited” as she’d always believed, things got even stranger. On the day Bryce Nordlinger had crushed her teenaged heart—not to mention ruined her reputation in order to save his lady-killer status—she’d sworn that she’d never trust him or any man ever again. And she had no intention of breaking that oath, no matter how much more tempting he’d become as a grown-up NHL star.
Bryce had always wanted Em to be more than the smart, snarky high school girl who helped him with his terrible English essays. But he’d been busy burnishing his rep as future jock stud, and when his fellow hockey bros caught him skating with her alone in a deserted rink, he’d chosen the easiest path—one that left her hurt in a way he never thought he’d be able to heal. His complete shock at seeing her all grown up and more beautiful than ever in the meeting room at DSN morphed into a steel-plated resolve. He would win her back and make up for the mess he’d made of her high school senior year while dragging the once-proud Detroit hockey program out of the dumpster fire and back to prominence at the same time. 

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I received a PDF in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
A second chance love story. National Hockey League star, Bryce, returns to his hometown when he’s traded in the league. A chance encounter with an old high school flame sets this story in motion. But it takes more than one encounter to repair the damage Bryce inflicted on Emerson’s heart. He has to work hard to earn his way in, to her forgiveness and to her love. I received this book as a gift and although it was a bit confusing at times, by the end, it worked itself out. The author did a good job of combining sports and romance. This book is Steamy and the language is foul. I do not find either of those offensive but some readers might. I enjoyed tagging along with Bryce and Emerson for the ride!

 

A visit to the coastal Oregon town where her brother is a lighthouse keeper opens Gala Pedersdotter to the wider world. So much so that she dreads returning to the family dairy farm in the eastern part of the state. She’d rather while away the summer on friendly outings in the company of two attentive loggers, Hal and Bork. Her secret wish is that roguish Hal will ask to court her.
Instead, she’s surprised by Bork’s fervent request to act as his pretend fiancée during his parents’ upcoming week-long visit. Of course, she agrees to help out this quiet man with his dilemma. When her decision threatens the balance among the friends, Gala is torn between Hal, who has suddenly shown interest and fulfilling her promise to Bork.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I received this novella as part of a contest entry. I struggled with the first part of the book. The author did a lot of “telling” in narrative form. There was no action and little dialogue. But as Gala’s friendship with Hal and Bork developed and her attraction to Hal grew, the dynamics of the story picked up. A pretend engagement for the sake of Bork’s parents who were coming for a visit seemed simple enough. But nothing is ever as simple as it appears. I won’t leave a spoiler for the story but by mid-story, my attention was captured and I had to see what Gala would choose. The story has a satisfactory conclusion.

 

Rebecca Layton returns to her beachside hometown of Sunnyville, California, determined to explore the possibility of rekindling her past relationship with the love of her life, Raymond Colton. She’s devastated to discover that he has moved on and is now engaged.
Raymond Colton harbors resentment towards Rebecca for abandoning him to pursue her dreams of life in the big city. Now she’s back and more beautiful than ever. But Raymond’s heart has been broken more than once and risking more heartache with Rebecca isn’t a gamble he’s willing to take.
When Rebecca agrees to use her marketing expertise to help Raymond’s father salvage his failing family business–Colton’s Ice Creamery–she and Raymond are thrown together, and old flames are ignited. Can they heal the wounds from their past and embrace the possibility of a brighter tomorrow?

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This is a novella I received in exchange for a fair and honest review. It was a quick, entertaining read. It is a romance set in a small town with unrequited love between two adults that began as teenagers. But there are lots of obstacles in the way that prevent them from finding the courage to revisit the flame that sparked so many years ago. There’s a lot of water under the bridge. I loved the plot. I loved the characters and this novella has a satisfying ending.

#NewRelease – Tree Fairies And Their Short Stories @dlfinnauthor

It is with great pleasure that I host a fellow Story Empire author today on my blog with her newest book release! D.L. Finn is not only a talented writer but an inspired one. I’ll let her tell you about her newest creation!

Thank you, Jan, for having me here today to share my final children’s release, “Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories.”

I’ve lived in the forest for thirty-one years. A couple of years ago, I had an experience that I shared through my poetry.

It was a beautiful mountain morning, and I was enjoying the warm sun while standing on our deck. I took that moment to appreciate my surroundings when I heard a sound. My first thought was it was a radio or someone singing. Puzzled, I looked around to see where this was coming from.

I quickly established it wasn’t the usual music my husband played in our garage, and it wasn’t from the other homes nestled in the woods. The hum was coming from below where I was standing. My attention was drawn toward a patch of orange flowers where the perfectly pitched “La-la-la” floated to me. Then, a bee flew away, and the song stopped.

In that moment I was positive a bee had just sung to me, and then later I wondered if an angel had been present. I never knew what I had experienced that day, other than something special had just happened.

When I started working on Tree Fairies, a knowing flowed through me. It hadn’t been a bee or an angel like I first thought singing—it was a fairy! The fairies wanted their tale told, and magic visited that day to remind my inner child of that.

Fun Finn Facts

1. I believe magic and miracles exist. They communicate with our souls.

2. I’ve selected the path to happiness instead of collecting “things.”

                                                                  Blurb

When reality and magic meet in the forest

It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.

Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.

Excerpt

Roselle

2004

Roselle stopped midair to admire the pink, orange, yellow, purple, and red that filtered through the redwood forest as the sunset. She carefully scanned the area to make sure no one was watching, and then, with a huge grin, she dove into a double roll.

“Woo-hoo!”

Her twirling skidded to a halt when an older fairy from the school office flew directly under her. Her always-braided gray hair had yellow flowers woven in like she was meeting someone special. The fairy made a sharp turn and shot out of sight without acknowledging Roselle’s childish frolicking.

Roselle couldn’t hold back a smile. It was hard to contain her exuberance because the forest was the best place to live. Everything about the redwood trees was amazing. They made tannin, a natural insect repellent that gave them that wonderful red tone and protected them from fires.

The only downside to a smaller number of insects was fewer birds, which she loved the most. The bright yellow Wilson’s warbler was her favorite. They added so much color to the deep green forest, and the male had a little black cap that she found endearing. Right now, her warblers and many others were on their way south as fall left summer behind, which also meant they would have winter bird visitors soon.

She found the year-round birds, the great horned owl and red-tailed hawk, beautiful but annoying. Those birds could ruin a peaceful moment like this. Both seemed to forget fairies weren’t their meals. Roselle reminded them with a powerful jolt that felt like a mini lightning strike. It didn’t hurt them, but they didn’t like it, either.

Her carefree moment quickly passed when she flew by her school. She sighed deeply and headed for the forest floor. “Darn paper’s due tomorrow. Why did I wait to write it?”

The paper stood between her and the upcoming fall break. It was normally a time when she could roam the forest uninterrupted and take in the deciduous trees as they burst into red, orange, and yellow. However, this break wouldn’t be the same without her human friends, Wren and Sierra. Roselle missed their company and all their silly jokes, including the ones about her putting off getting things done.

Sierra would say, “If they had an award for procrastination, you’d win first place.”

Wren would add, “But you’d be late and miss the ceremony.”

Okay, maybe she did put things off until the last moment and might be late for school now and then, but at least, at some point, it all got done. When Wren and Sierra left for college two months ago, it was like she lost a part of herself.

Purchase Links:

Amazon

SMASHWORDS

Author, D.L. Finn

Author Bio

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

JAN’S 2020 TOP TEN LIST

Every year, I face the difficult task of choosing only ten books from the many I’ve read to go on this list. I think this year was the hardest so far, as I read so many great books. But, here we go. I’ve included purchase links in case one grabs your attention.

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In Search of McDoogal

Stardust

Perfectly Imperfect

Unwelcomed

No Pedigree

Treacherous Love

“This Last Chance” – New Release from D.L. Finn -@dlfinnauthor!

I am super excited to tell you about a brand new book from D.L. Finn! I had the pleasure of being a beta-reader for this book and folks, you are in for a treat! This is a really good story! I’ll let D.L. tell you more about it!

Thank you for having me here today, Jan, and sharing my new release of This Last Chance😊

Behind This Last Chance

This Last Chance is about an evildwel, Nester, and human, Amber, looking for answers.

Yet, there’s a theme that is found not only in This Last Chance, but This Second Chance, and The Button. Alcoholism has played a role in the lives of the main characters. This addiction is very personal, and I quickly learned, growing up, that alcoholism can be an evil presence in my life and others. The ones who quit drinking in my family have survived, including me.

Amber’s mother is an alcoholic and has never been there for her. Although Amber doesn’t have a drinking problem, it’s taken a toll on her trust and willingness to enter relationships. Nester doesn’t drink but feeds on the outcome of what alcoholism does. 

This is a part of my experience woven into stories. Like my characters, I’ve had to make choices between what I consider good and evil. I like to believe, like the angels, that good always wins over evil.

Blurb:

Six months after Amber’s sister is brutally murdered, she’s still looking for answers, and now someone is stalking her and no one believes her. Home alone with a powerful snowstorm approaching, Amber is determined to take control of the investigation by hiring a private detective, but her plans are disrupted when she finds herself snowed in with people she may not be able to trust. Meanwhile, Nester the evildwel, whose entire existence has been feeding on fear and pain, is seeking help from the angel who’s protecting Amber. Nester and Amber need answers. Can Amber figure out what’s going on with some subtle help from an angel? Will Nester find what he needs from his enemies? The worlds of good and evil clash, and the outcome will determine not only Amber’s and Nester’s fate but life as they know it.

Excerpt from This Last Chance.

Chapter 2

The gloomy gray afternoon was framed in the small office window like a dismal black and white photograph. Amber’s world reflected this monochromatic existence as her fingers furiously tapped away on the keyboard. Even the rare shimmer of a positive political piece couldn’t instill illumination into the murkiness labeled as grief. But how could she feel otherwise after what had happened? The fulfillment her job used to offer wasn’t important in her new reality, including this piece about the new presidential candidate, Myles Stroud. The man her sister, Iris, used to work for… before.

Amber choked back the sadness that still threatened to consume her whenever she thought about her twin sister. If she let those tears escape the heavy barrier she’d built up over the last six months, she knew her coworkers would be at her side. They cared, and she couldn’t fault them for trying, but their advice was meant for someone who had closure.

“You need to move on, Amber.”

That line had assaulted her ears like an eager beginner’s drum solo. She was surprised that her eardrums hadn’t burst with good intentions. Amber shook her head and stretched out her legs and arms in her small white cubicle. Heavily buttered popcorn whiffed its way out of the lunchroom, but it didn’t trigger hunger; instead, it promoted an uneasy queasiness. Amber slowly sipped water from her crystal-infused water bottle, forcing the kaleidoscope of emotions back down into that familiar numbness. Finally, working robot Amber took charge and was able to focus on double-checking facts and punctuation. Her reputation rested on truth. No slanting a story for either side, even for this candidate. Independent Senator Stroud made her job easier, though.

“I think he’s the one who will finally fix things,” Iris had declared brightly over breakfast one morning. Amber had believed her then, but now?

AMAZON ORDER LINK

Author Bio:

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

FUN FINN FACTS:

  1. Yes, I do believe we get messages from angels.
  2. The bear on This Last Chance’s cover was in my garage. I took the picture.
  3. My favorite children’s books were A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR DAY 2, D.L. Finn @dlfinnauthor #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISARISEUP

Welcome to our 2nd RWISA “RISE-UP” BLOG TOUR!

It is my pleasure today to share my blog space with an author who always goes above and beyond to support others, D.L. Finn.

D. L. Finn’s Poetry

MISTY MOUNTAIN MOMENT

It flows quietly on a breeze

Covering the landscape in its presence.

The world simplifies at that moment

While the mountain mist intensifies.

Its threatening chill keeps us indoors

Watching…

Waiting…

Worrying…

How long will it eliminate color from our world?

Yet, we’re securely tucked away inside.

We have a full stomach.

A place to sleep… others don’t.

Some live outside in this mountain mist

Trying to survive.

We offer what we can… from a safe distance.

As we head back to our protected lives

Suddenly, we get a glimpse past the monochrome.

Then we remember that a dreary gray mountain moment

Does not subdue the light that shines within all of us.

GONE

Gone is my freedom as I shelter at home.

Gone is abundant supplies; I must get in line to shop.

Gone are family gatherings, events, and appointments.

Gone is the income from those deemed non-essential.

Gone is the guarantee they will be helped.

This is all replaced by a new world.

Where procuring toilet paper is a reason to celebrate.

Where putting my wants over someone’s safety is a priority.

Where people risk their lives to save others.

Where people do without, perhaps for the first time.

Where learning how to make what used to be available.

Yes, so much has changed and is gone—for now.

My hope is this new insight and caring…

Stays long after everything that is gone, returns

And things go back to a new compassionate normal.

STORM

A storm tore through our world unseen

But we felt its presence as hospitals filled.

We tried to wash it off and hide from it

Yet, it kept coming.

Finally, we headed into the storm shelter

Only venturing out for food…

Unless we were needed to fight this storm.

So many heroes raced into the chaos

Sadly, some did not make it back home.

While the rest of us waited in our safety

Grateful for what we had

Worried for what we did not.

Here we wait for that sunny day

When the storm fades away,

And we return to normal again

Armed with a new understanding…

Of how fragile our existence is.

Something the wise won’t ever forget.

For more about this RWISA author, visit her Author Page here: https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meetthe-authors/author-d-l-finn/

Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA“RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA“RISE-UP”Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!  

JONAH is on Tour! @4willspublishing #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

I am thrilled to share all of the blog sites where Jonah has visited this week! With only two more days to go on the blog tour, I hope you’ll take a look at each blog post and leave comments. If you do, your name will go into a drawing to receive an Amazon Gift Card!

DAY ONE:

Wendy Scott hosted. Here is the link: http://www.wendyjscott.com/my-blog/welcome-to-day-1-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa

DAY TWO:

D.L. Finn hosted. Here is the link: https://dlfinnauthor.com/2020/04/06/welcome-to-day-2-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY THREE:

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko hosted. Here is the link: https://jinlobify.com/welcome-to-day-3-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY FOUR:

Jade at the Blog Tour Maven site hosted. Here is the link: https://blogtourmaven.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/welcome-to-day-4-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-nonniejules-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY FIVE:

Nonnie Jules hosted. Here’s the Link: https://nonniewrites.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/welcome-to-day-5-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-w-author-jan-sikes-rijanjks-rrbc-rwisa-rrbc_community-4willspub/

DAY SIX:

Rox Burkey will be hosting. Here is the link to her site: https://roxburkey.com/welcome-to-day-6-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY SEVEN:

Robert Fear will host. Here is the link to his blog site: https://www.fd81.net/2020-guest-blogs/welcome-to-the-final-day-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa

I do hope you’ll take a minute to look at each of the blog posts. They are all different and all directly related to JONAH!

Comments are closed here. Leave a comment on one of the hosted blogs to be entered for a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

Thank you!

Welcome to Day 8 of the #RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! #RRBC @DLFinnAuthor#RWISARevolutionTour

Welcome to Day 8 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, D.L. Finn!

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What D.L. Finn has to say about RWISA…

D.L. Finn has a book she’d like to introduce you to!

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

And if you’re looking for a great book to read, D.L. Finn has a couple of recommendations!

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD!

I am beyond honored to receive several nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award!!

Thank you, D.L. Finn, Sally Cronin, Ron Yates and Gwen Plano for the nominations!

That gives me 44 questions to answer and I’m not going to attempt to do that, so I am going to answer three questions from each blogger, focusing on the ones that are most relevant.

Gwen Plano asks:

  1. What motivates you to write? Honestly, the biggest motivation for me to write is a new inspiration for a story. If I am in the middle of one story and get a big idea for another, it takes all my patience to simply jot a few notes and keep going with what I am working on. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush I get when a new story idea arrives!
  2. Do you eavesdrop on your characters, or craft them to fit the story? This question has more than one answer. When I was writing my first four books, true stories, the characters were already created. My job was just to relate the story. But, having written several stories since then, that are pure fiction, I have to say that I definitely eavesdrop on them. In fact, I have conversations with them and have interviewed some to get answers to situations. One that comes to mind was for a book that I have written and have waiting in the wings. I couldn’t decide on my main character’s name, so I interviewed his mother (of course all of this took place in my head.) But, the result was the character’s name, Jag, and the story about why she gave him the name. She loved Mick Jagger. 🙂
  3. How do you structure your time to make room for writing? I chose this question to answer because it is such a huge ongoing issue for me. Besides still working outside the home part-time, I also write for a music magazine that involves interviewing artists as well as reviewing new music. I try to give as much time as I can every day to supporting the wonderful authors at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RWISA. I have five grandchildren and make a strong effort to attend their events and spend time with them often. I also love to read and do so almost daily. I blog regularly and support other bloggers. I try to visit my various social media platforms daily. So, you can see I have a full schedule. I haven’t yet figured out how to juggle it all so that there is time for writing. Often, it gets shoved to the back burner, but I’m constantly working on improving my time management. I’m open to any and all suggestions!

Sally Cronin asks:

4. What is the most daring thing you have done? For those who have read “The Convict and the Rose,” you probably know the answer to this question. Back in the seventies, I went to Dallas with a guy who rode a Harley and was trying to get into The Banditos motorcycle club. While we were at the Dallas house, another motorcycle club threatened a war and I was put at a window with a loaded gun and told to shoot anyone that came into view. There is no way in hell I could have ever pulled that trigger. In fact, I’d never even held a gun before and I was scared out of my wits. Thankfully, it all ended without incident and the party continued. When I look back on it, there is absolutely NO doubt that I had a guardian Angel!

5. Name one item that is still on your bucket list. I have such a strong desire to visit Ireland and Scotland. It is the land of my ancestors and I am drawn there by a strong connection. When I watched Outlander, the desire grew even stronger. Someday before I leave this life, I will make that journey and I can’t wait!

Isle of Skye – Scotland

6. What is your favorite movie of all time? While I’m not a big movie buff, I do enjoy a good show that moves me in some way. I have to say “A Star Is Born” is that for me. I have seen both the one from the seventies with Kristofferson and Streisand and the newest with Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper multiple times and will watch them again and again!

D.L. Finn Asks:

7. How long have you been blogging? I created my blog site in May 2014. However, until the last three years, it was hit and miss blogging. I got serious about it and have now made 671 posts and my following has slowly built. I believe the keys to a successful blog are consistency and content.

8. Do Blogs encourage you to purchase books? Oh yes! Most definitely! I love reading others’ reviews and that influences my decision to purchase.

9. What do you write about in your blogs and why? The answer to that question is as varied as my blogs. 🙂 I love supporting other authors and Indie music artists. So, you will find anything that relates to words in any form on my blog. In the past, I’ve posted story series on my blog. I’ve posted CD reviews on my blog as well as book reviews. Most recently, I had the inspiration to create a #TarotTuesday on my blog. The idea was taken from Taco Tuesdays where across the nation you can find Tacos for 99 cents on Tuesdays. I draw a Tarot card and tell its meaning every Tuesday. I have really enjoyed this. Not only is it a great way to learn more about Tarot, but to offer uplifting and encouraging messages.

Ron Yates Asks:

10. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer or blogger? I’ve written all my life, but I never imagined myself as an author. That was my sister’s dream, not mine. My dreams always went in the direction of music. But, after my husband passed away I felt a huge nudge to get our story told. However, it took a while before the realization hit me that I would have to tell it. I seriously thought someone else would. So, when reality set in, there was nothing for me to do but educate myself on the craft of storytelling and get to work. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

11. What do you think makes a good story? A good story must be well-written, as error-free as possible and have compelling characters that drive the plot. I read all genres and the same holds true for all. I love unforgettable characters. And while I may eventually forget some part of the plot, I never forget a character that comes alive and takes me along on the journey.

12. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? I realize my answer to this question is going to sound a bit strange, but it is sincere. The one person I would want to have dinner with is my deceased husband. I have so much to tell him and show him. He has grandchildren he never got to meet and I would enjoy showing him pictures. I’d love to hand him a copy of the books I wrote about us, along with the poetry and art book that was his. And I would ask him a million questions about the afterlife! Then, I would write one helluva blog to tell you all about it!

Rick and Jan Sikes

That’s it. I thank each one who nominated me for this beautiful award! I apologize for not answering all the questions, but I am huge advocate for short easy-to-read blogs.

Please take the time to visit the four bloggers who nominated me at their sites and follow them, if you don’t already!

D.L. Finn

Sally Cronin

Gwen Plano

Ron Yates

I know that here is where I am supposed to post the rules and nominate 11 more bloggers, but quite honestly, I think all the bloggers who follow my blog have been nominated already. So, I will leave it at that. Thanks so much for taking time to read my Q&A!

Jan Sikes Top-Ten Book List for 2019

AND THE WINNER IS!! I am ashamed to say that I almost forgot to draw a winner for this blog post, BUT, I saved myself at the last minute. 🙂 The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift card is Stephanie Ortiz Jenkins!! Stephanie watch your inbox! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is always a challenge to pick just ten books from the many books I read each year. Because it was so difficult this year, I have listed a Bonus book and also some fabulous short stories. I hope you enjoy my Top Ten, and if you see a book that catches your interest, click on the purchase link and add it to your TBR list!

PURCHASE LINK: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING

PURCHASE LINK: THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO

PURCHASE LINK: WHATEVER IT TAKES

PURCHASE LINK: THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE

PURCHASE LINK: VOYAGE OF THE LANTERNFISH

PURCHASE LINK: END OF DAY

PURCHASE LINK: VANISHED

PURCHASE LINK: MEMOIR OF A MAD WOMAN

PURCHASE LINK: THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

PURCHASE LINK: WHEN CAN I STOP RUNNING?

PURCHASE L INK: REFLECTIONS

PURCHASE LINKS: RAVE WRITER’S INT’S SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA) ANTHOLOGY VOL I

CASTE METAL

VISITORS: A SHORT STORY MYSTERY

RED EYES IN THE DARKNESS – A SHORT STORY

MEGAMAX

SLIMMER

And, last but not least, I will be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card to some lucky person! Just leave a comment and share this post to be entered! MERRY CHRISTMAS!! HO! HO! HO!

#RRBC Spotlight Author Blog Tour – D.L. Finn

It is such an honor to host this amazing lady on my blog site today! And congratulations to D.L. Finn for sitting in the RRBC Spotlight Author seat for November!

I have read this beautiful book of poetry, and I can tell you first-hand, it is a true work of art! I highly recommend it. Okay, D.L., I’ll turn it over to you!

Thank you, Jan, for having me on your blog for day two of the “Just Her Poetry” Spotlight Tour!

Finn Facts:

  1. I broke my foot on Friday the 13th, tripping over our black cat.
  2. I dislike mushrooms.

Blurb:

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

Excerpt from Just Her Poetry: NATURE Fall and Winter

RED

Outside my kitchen window,

The dogwood trees light up the forest.

In their golden-pink and red splendor,

It is startling against the deep green.

Just like the bloom of a flower,

It is a temporary but satisfying pleasure.

Soon, the leaves will scatter on the land,

And the trees will stand brown and bare.

The chill of the impeding winter,

And their hibernation is coming.

But for now they give us,

The beauty of a red fall.

Where magic abounds…

And memories happen…

Where each walk is special…

And every glance rewarded…

When the nights are cooler…

And the days are growing shorter…

This is the gift of fall.

Not only a time to harvest our crops,

But harvest our perceptions.

This will carry us over until spring,

When the landscape bursts into life again.

But for now we enjoy the encore of beauty,

In the stunning red hue that flows from fall.

Amazon Purchase Link

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

I do hope you’ll join us at each stop along D.L. Finn’s Spotlight Tour! For a complete list of blogs, visit #RRBC November Spotlight Author page!