book reviews

Stories from Denise Finn–Wait’ll you Read them!

I’m excited to host good efriend, D.L. Finn, blogger and author of gripping sometimes romantic fiction like A Voice in the Silence (click for my review). We’re here today to celebrate her latest publication, In the Tree’s Shadow, 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.


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

“Faith” is a part of my personal short story challenge. I asked for a word from a family member. Then I took that word, went to Canva, and used it to search for an image. The image from that inspired this story. My oldest daughter, Desiree, chose the word faith. The freedom I felt from the image of a girl on the mountaintop took a dark twist.

The beautiful spot on the mountain has always been Nessie’s favorite place, but something horrible happened there. With a bit of help from the beyond, she survives this moment and finds her own way to move forward.


Two Finn Facts

To kick off her new book, Denise has two fun facts about herself. One of these I knew, one surprised me!

  1. I believe animals bring us messages if we pay attention.
  2. I’ve lost track of how often I’ve been to Disneyland.

My Review

I’ve read many of D.L. Finn’s books and In the Tree’s Shadow: A Collection of Stories That Exist in Your Dreams…and nightmares (2023) stands out. It is an eclectic assortment of micro-fiction, short stories, some longer, that will often leave you shivering, wanting more, and always satisfied that reading them was time well spent. A few favorites: “The Old Gray Cat”–‘delicately sniffs the air, searching for his youth’. Another: “The Playdate”–about the human who doesn’t know she’s an alien. And every story with a dog in it.
If you’re looking for stories short enough to be read in a sitting and long enough to be completely engaging, you’ve found it in this collection. Highly recommended to those who love unusual plots and clever characters.


Nessie stood on the mountaintop, her arms extended in gratitude toward where she believed heaven existed. Only her faith had brought her to this moment. If she hadn’t felt the possibility of survival, she would still be tied up in that dark, musty room at the mercy of a madman. She shuddered thinking of those dire moments.

“I’m free!” she shouted. She twirled around, offering her thankfulness.

Her voice echoed through the rocky canyons. There would be no response to her glee—this was a journey she’d made alone. It was her time to shine and celebrate her strength. She settled down and meditated on the beauty. She bowed her head in thanks when she was done. Opening her backpack, she removed a turkey-and-avocado sandwich.

“Thanks, Mom. This is the best sandwich yet!” She smacked her lips.

Soon her meal was concluded, and the pack became a back rest to watch the sun push the day away with its brilliant purple, pink, and red finale.

“Goodnight, sun. Tomorrow you will rise again, as I did.” Nessie shook her head and jumped up. “Everyone thought I was crazy to come up here alone, where it all happened. They don’t understand. I promised I would experience the sunrise over this mountain if I survived. I prayed on that, and here I am honoring those words.”

Enticed? You can purchase it here:



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 blog

Amazon Page

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Endangered Species, Winter 2024


96 thoughts on “Stories from Denise Finn–Wait’ll you Read them!

  1. Pingback: In the Tree’s Shadow – “The Bike” @YvetteMCalleiro #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #newrelease #paranormal #shortstories – Author D.L. Finn

  2. Another fantastic review for this equally fantastic book! I love the stories you chose to highlight, Jacqui. It’s hard to pick a favorite. Thank you for hosting Denise and a huge congratulations to Denise!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Faith was one of my favorites. I love that you wrote stories based on words from loved ones and pictures that came up in your search of those terms. Best wishes with your latest, Denise.

    Thanks for hosting, Jacqui.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for opening up your amazing blog and the great introduction, Jacqui 🙂 much appreciated! Still smiling from your review too. Xo

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Pingback: In the Tree’s Shadow – “Faith” @AskATechTeacher #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease – Author D.L. Finn

  6. Pingback: Stories from Denise Finn–Wait’ll you Read them! — – uwerolandgross

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