In The Tree’s Shadow – Deadline

I am honored to welcome celebrated author D.L. Finn to my blog today. Please make her welcome as we learn more about her collection of short stories: In The Tree’s Shadow.

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

“Deadline” was a short story that almost didn’t make it into the collection. I struggled with a direction and ending until one night, and I woke up with an idea. It all came together.

It has a Halloween feel with a haunted house and dreams. Sadie and her husband bought the place they had always wanted, and she quit her job to write full-time. Everything was perfect until the nightmares started. Sadie was compelled to find the house she saw in her sleep. She may have located it, but it was more than expected.

The truth needs to be exposed. Can she find out what that is?


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 night’s hand slowly gripped the forest. The house was unnervingly quiet after the winds stopped roaring through the trees. I sat at the computer, willing my fingers to fill a blank screen with clever words. A deadline loomed, but my cat, Max, demanded my attention, his claws firmly kneading my blanket-covered lap. I stroked his silky black fur as I ran through each idea and quickly rejected it.

My self-help blog had gone viral, and I needed a post for tomorrow. Although the blog helped me quit my banking job of twenty years and focus on writing and remodeling our newly purchased old farmhouse, it also provided a good deal of stress. Developing fresh and exciting material took a lot of work. With little time left over, I slowly increased the word count of my first romance novel. Being able to make a living by writing was a dream come true, but tonight I was in no mood to offer advice or even attempt to work on a love story—all because of a recurring dream. At first, the dream was tame and flowed into my writing. It inspired my historical fiction romance until it took a dark turn.

“It’s a nightmare now, Max.” The cat closed his eyes and settled into slumber.





  1. We used to have chickens and a good supply of eggs. But the forest had other ideas. A bear tore off the door to the coup; raccoons found a way to reach through the chicken wire, and foxes dug under the building and through the wire. If we let them out during the day, the hawks would think it was dinner time. Everything likes chicken, apparently.
  2. When house shopping, I pay attention to what I feel. I will not live in a house that feels wrong like our first one did.


  1. 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


58 responses to “In The Tree’s Shadow – Deadline

  1. D.L. Finn, Author

    I appreciate you opening your blog to me, Annette, and the wonderful introduction 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think I can wait any longer. I am going to leapfrog In the Trees Shadow to the top of my reading list!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Pingback: In the Tree’s Shadow – “Deadline” @YouAreTheExpert #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #paranormal #shortstories #newrelease – Author D.L. Finn

  4. Annette, you’re going to love this collection! I’ve read it and really enjoyed it. Thanks for hosting Denise.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Another intriguing excerpt!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a nice surprise. I recently started reading this book, but I can add my recommendation – I am enjoying it very much.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I like the sound of this anthology. The excerpt is certainly intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m glad you included that story in the book, Denise! It came out really good. I finished reading the whole book and will write my review soon. I loved it! Thanks for hosting today, Annette!

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank goodness for those middle-of-the-night revelations, huh? Great work, Denise. Best wishes.

    Thanks for hosting, Annette.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Nice to see such a masterful collection of stories getting the attention they deserve. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Annette, it’s a delight to see you and Denise together. Wishing both of you continued success. Hugs all around.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Both, this sounds like a horror story, right up my street. Everything does like chickens. I remember learning that a bear will eat a pig when I read Little House on the Prairie.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great excerpt. Congratulations, Denise and thanks, Annette.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Excellent excerpt, Denise!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. D.L. Finn, Author

    Thank you, Liz 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is another story I couldn’t let go of. Maybe because she was a writer, but it was so much more. Great excerpt to share. I agree with you, Denise, about not living in a house that doesn’t ‘feel’ right. I’m the same way about buying a car. I just know when it’s right. Congratulations on this fabulous new release, and thank you, Annette, for hosting today!

    Liked by 2 people

    • D.L. Finn, Author

      Thank you, Jan 🙂 I like hearing that and glad it finally came together. I trust those feelings now and wished I had listened when we bought the place. I heard a negative voice snd message and ignored it. I now realize it meant my grandma was going to die soon who was sitting next to me, but too unnerving to be around. It seemed angry. Cars too they have to feel right, I agree.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Denise, Those first two sentences in your excerpt are grabbers.
    Some folks won’t buy houses if they have the wrong numbers in the address. Glad you are no longer in your first house. I didn’t realize you had chickens at one time. They are popular with the wildlife for sure.
    Annette, Thanks so much for hosting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • D.L. Finn, Author

      Thsnk you, Sandra! I like hearing that. I am very glad we aren’t there too. I didn’t even want the furniture from the room where the music box would play on its own. Yes, we had chickens for a couple of years. Loved the eggs and got attached to them, and the chicks but we couldn’t secure them enough to keep them safe. Thought about putting the coop in the backyard but without dogs I don’t think a fence would matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Congratulations to Denise on another great book! It will be also on the top of my list. Thanks for sharing the information, Annette! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Thanks for sharing Denise’s awesome book Annette. and Congratulations! Love how it came together an looks like a great TBR book for me.. I’m nearing the finish line to dig in!
    I won’t quit my day job yet however.. lol 😅

    Liked by 2 people

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