In The Tree’s Shadow: Book Tour with D. L. Finn

I’m delighted to share a new book by my Story Empire colleague Denise Finn. She lives in the magical forests of Northern California among the bears and coyotes, and she writes in a wide range of genres from middle-grade fantasy to horror, from speculative short stories to poetry. I hope you enjoy this introduction to her latest release. Take it away, Denise.


Thank you for having me here today, Diana, to discuss my short story collection, In the Tree’s Shadow.

“Effervescent Potion” was part of my personal short story challenge. I’d request a word from a family member and then use it to find an image to work from. I asked my son, Jeffry, the youngest of the children, for a word. Our biology graduate from Oregon came up with effervescent.

Bubbling pictures popped up, and from there, I went to a potion in a lab. What if it wasn’t a routine experiment?

Poor Arnold is forced to work in a lab for a cruel man he is forced to call Sir Charles. Although he and many others are prisoners, Arnold may have a surprise for Sir Charles.


A collection of short stories where dreams and nightmares coexist.

Nestled inside these pages, you’ll meet a couple in their golden years who take a trip with an unexpected detour, a boy desperate to give his brother the Christmas gift he asked for, a girl with a small glass dragon who is at the mercy of her cruel uncles, and a young mother who has a recurring dream about murder. You’ll be introduced to worlds where people get second chances and monsters might be allowed their desires, while angels and dragons try to help. Happy endings occur, but perspective can blur the line between good and evil in these twenty-seven tales. Since the stories vary between 99 and 12,000 words, whether you have only five minutes or an entire evening to settle into reading, there is something that will suit your time and taste.


The round man in the white lab coat dropped a blue pill into a glass beaker. It immediately burst into a rush of bubbles racing to the top of the water. The man dabbed the sweat off his forehead and offered a tentative smile. “It works as soon as it hits the liquid, sir.”

A deep scowl crossed the taller man’s thin face. “I can see that, Arnold, and I prefer Sir Charles. Will it do what I want it to?”

Arnold gulped loudly as the water turned a bloody red and boiled with no heat source. Its froth spilled over the beaker like a volcano exploding. “Yes, Sir Charles. The test is going exactly as planned. We will test it in its chocolate form tomorrow. Its reaction will happen in the mouth and stomach, but we are confident it will succeed.”

Sir Charles’s thick black eyebrows hovered over the bloodshot eyes that defined his madness. “Good, good. I need it to be perfect for Halloween. You understand?”

“Of course, Sir Charles. We will test it tomorrow.”

“On the rats, I assume?” His black-clothed body sank into the shadows, but the clinical lighting from the high ceiling shone directly on his displeased face.

Arnold tugged at his itchy white collar. “Yes, it’s wise to try it on the animal subjects first because—”

Sir Charles slammed his fist on the white Formica counter. The beaker containing the roaring concoction tipped precariously but stayed upright and held its precious elixir. “This potion is meant for humans, not rats. I can’t believe I have to think of everything. I will bring some healthy young specimens from the holding area.”


Readers who enjoy speculative fiction and short stories will find a lot to like in this book. The tagline refers to dreams and nightmares, and I found plenty of both in the read – well, maybe more nightmares and monsters than angels, but they’re both here within this eclectic and generous collection of 27 stories.

The stories cover a wide variety of speculative fiction subgenres, including horror, sci-fi, paranormal fiction, and fantasy. In the darker tales, readers will find Bigfoot, ghosts, demons, and human villains. Some of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories were my favorites, including “In That Moment” and “The Last Ride of the Night.”

But the collection isn’t all doom and gloom by any means. There are plenty of stories about animals and angels and the renewal found in nature.  Some of my favorites were “End of the Road” about a woman’s recovery from abuse, “The Bench” about the way animals come into our lives, and “The Bike” a tale about kindness. Many of the stories offer original twists on old spec fiction tropes, and the final story, a sci-fi novelette titled “Stranded,” is no exception. I’m happy to recommend this read to fans of speculative fiction short stories who enjoy a wide variety of tales.



  1. The astronauts walked on the moon for my seventh birthday. I believed it was a gift to me.
  2. I love being a part of the underwater world. It is so peaceful and beautiful.

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 children’s books, adult fiction, a unique autobiography, and poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:






D.L. Finn blog

Amazon Page

170 thoughts on “In The Tree’s Shadow: Book Tour with D. L. Finn

  1. Resa says:

    Congratulations to D.L. Finn!
    Your book sounds fascinating.
    Fab book tour stop Diana.
    You always hold my interest with your reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for a lovely tour post, you two. Congrats, Denise! Hugs all around.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great review Diana and I love that there are short stories that you can pick up and read at any time. It’s lovely she got words from her family to create from as well!
    Love she has such ability to play in so many arenas!
    Best of luck with the book Denise!!💕

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a great review, Diana, and Denise’s book sounds like it has stories for all to enjoy. It definitely sounds intriguing. It’s good to hear that they’re not all doom and gloom. 🙂 Congrats to Denise on her new collection, and it’s fun to learn she’s from the bay area too. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Layla Todd says:

    Loved this sneak peek at In The Tree’s Shadow and a chance to read an excerpt! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. dgkaye says:

    Nice to see Denise here with her beautiful book and another excerpt. I look forward to getting to this book in the bottomless pit of my BFK, lol. Hugs to both xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great highlights of Denise and her newest short story collection. Sooooo speculatively fun. Some creepy, some not so much, but all quite imaginative. I love how children think – wonderful that Denise thought the moonwalk was just for her on her birthday. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, isn’t that cute about the moonwalk? So sweet. And I’m glad the stories appealed to you, Pam. There’s a wonderful variety in here. Hope you’re well, my friend. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    • D.L. Finn, Author says:

      Thank you, Pam 🙂 I did have fun writing all of these stories! Yes, it is wonderful how a child thinks, and a great present to a seven year old.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. markbierman says:

    TBR for sure! I love Denise’s creativity and vivid imagination. This was a wonderful review. Thanks for sharing, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sounds like a lot of fun, D, although I was sorry to see that Bigfoot may have gone over to the Dark Side. He/she/they and kids are always good guys in my imagination. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • D.L. Finn, Author says:

      Thanks, Curt. I’m always rooting for Bigfoot too. This one may have a bit of a twist 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hard to resist a lead like that, D. 🙂 When I lived in Oregon in the Upper Applegate Valley, the world’s only Bigfoot trap was about four miles from where I lived. It was a relic of the 70s but the forest service kept it on its location above Applegate Lake.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wow. I didn’t know that. I’ll have to make a detour the next time I head in that direction. 🙂


          • Drive up to Applegate Lake, past the first campground and you will see a picture of a large foot on a sign. The trail starts there. Follow the trail up the creek until you come to a clear hiking trail up the mountain ( a mile or so). At the turn off, the ruins of an old cabin is on the right. May take a couple of minutes searching. The radio station in Eugene that arranged for the trap, hired an old miner to live in the cabin. A rope led up to the trap and was connected to the bait. When Bigfoot grabbed the meat, it would ring a bell in the miners cabin and drop the large metal gate on the trap. They gave the miner a tranquilizer gun and a large pad of handcuffs to capture Bigfoot. They actually did manage to catch a couple of bears. 🙂 The impetus for the whole project was that a farmer in the valley of what is now Applegate Lake had found huge Bigfoot-like tracks across his garden each placed about 6 feet apart. It’s funny to think that the ever so elusive Bigfoot would be dumb enough to fall for the trap. And who knows, maybe he didn’t want a side of beef. Maybe he was a vegetarian. Grin.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I won’t give that one away, Curt. Like I said, Denise twists thing up a bit. She has a great imagination. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and checking out the review!


  10. Wonderful review, Diana. Congrats to Denise! Her forest home sounds rather magical- I’m jealous, lol

    Liked by 2 people

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    Denise lives relatively close to our neck of the woods. Northern California has its fair share of magical spots.

    I went through my Kindle last night and saw I have In the Tree’s Shadow waiting for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mae Clair says:

    A fantastic post and review highlighting Denise’s fantastic book! A great tour stop!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Diana, another wonderful high-lighting post. In awe of where you get the time. You do every author here proud. Sounds a great sollection.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. V.M.Sang says:

    What an amazing sounding book.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Teri Polen says:

    Now I have all kinds of questions about this potion. Congrats to Denise on another rave review!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. From the demonstation of the potion, I’d expect it to do horrible things to one’s insides!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Beem Weeks says:

    These excerpts have really been a great lure for those of us who enjoy short stories. I shall move this book up on my TBR list. Thanks for hosting today, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sandra Cox says:

    Loved today’s Finn Facts and of course the excerpt;)
    ‘Lo, Diana. Thanks for hosting our speculative fiction author and friend;)

    Liked by 2 people

  19. kimwrtr says:

    Reblogged this on Kim's Musings.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Excellent review, Diana. These stories are intriguing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jan Sikes says:

    Thank you for hosting Denise today, Diana, and for sharing your review of this wonderful book! This was another story I enjoyed, along with the others. A big congratulations to you, Denise!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Denise, this sounds like a great collection featuring much imagination and variety within. Wish you great success with it. Diana, thanks for highlighting and reviewing Denise’s work here.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Tessa Pulyer says:

    I’m not sure about the horror elements but otherwise this sounds like something I would definitely enjoy. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. noelleg44 says:

    Congratulations, Denise. I will not tell you how old I was when those guys walked on the moon! 😉 And another NC writer! What is it about this state? Best of luck for lots of sales – you need to so some readings in our independent book stores!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A super review, Diana. The excerpt was excellent. Best wishes, Denise.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I’ve just read this book and really enjoyed it. The scary stories were excellent! Bravo to Denise and for your lovely support, Diana. 🫶🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  27. balroop2013 says:

    Such a heartwarming introduction! Love your support Diana. 🤗🥰 Congratulations Denise for such a successful tour!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Toni Pike says:

    So great to see Denise here, Diana – what a fantastic excerpt and review x

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Reblogged this on Writing Through the Soul and commented:
    Reading Through the Soul

    You have to check these books about!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Thank you, Diana, for the amazing hospitality and opening your blog to me today 🙂 Your review still has me smiling! Huge hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

  31. This has been a great tour for Denise. I’ve really enjoyed the ‘Finn Facts’.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. I can’t wait for Sir Charles to get his comeuppance. Great characters, Denise! Thanks for hosting today, Diana!

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Staci Troilo says:

    Diana, thanks for hosting. I love your review and echo every sentiment.

    Denise, as always, wishing you much success. I love hearing what inspired these stories, and I really enjoyed reading each one.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Great review, Diana. Congratulations to Denise!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Denise’s book sounds like a potent mix of genres and elements!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Joan Hall says:

    I enjoyed this collection. Wishing Denise all the best. Thank you for hosting, Diana. Fab review!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Love the excerpt. Sounds like a bit of mad science.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Grant at Tame Your Book! says:

    Congratulations, Denise! Interesting collection and the excerpt entices me to learn more.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Sounds like an amazing read.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. I enjoy Finn’s work, and this collection sounds great fun.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are warmly welcomed. Don't be shy .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s