Welcome to the 2023 series of meet the authors. This series offers me the opportunity to not just share my personal recommendation for the author, but to also check for new books I might have missed, changes to biographies and profile photos and check links.
I also I hope will introduce you to previously unknown authors to you and their books. As the curator of a towering TBR like most of you, I hope it will also encourage you to move books waiting in line up the queue.
The first author today is D.L Finn who writes poetry and stories that are heartwarming and have elements that surprise and delight.
Meet D.L. Finn
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.
A selection of books by D.L. Finn
My review for A Voice in the Darkness
This is a brilliantly crafted mystery thriller with intriguing paranormal and other unworldly elements that will delight and keep you on the edge of your seat.
It was great to be introduced to more mature lead actors in this fast paced story as Drea comes to terms with her loss and struggles with the detachment from both family and old friends. Isolated and unsure of the future she welcomes three stray animals in from the cold. Their origins are cloaked in mystery, and as she discovers more about their previous lives, she becomes emotionally and physically drawn into their battle for survival.
The author has created wonderful characters, both human and otherwise, as well as chilling and atmospheric scenes, as the drama plays out in the snow covered landscape. There is danger as a serial killer targets women in the area and other unseen forces seek to harm her fur family. There are heart-stopping moments as the threats move ever closer despite the best efforts of an old and trusted friend of the family and a ghostly presence who brings chilling warnings.
I really admired Brea for her determination not to buckle under the threat and to make a stand against those who wish her and those she loves harm. It was also wonderful to share in her growing and intriguing relationship with the dog, cat and rat who have sought sanctuary with her, and how even when it seems all love is lost, a romantic spark brings hope for the future.
The story races towards a live or die climax as all the elements from this world and beyond come together in the battle for survival.
Emotionally engaging and exciting this was a wonderful cross genre read that I can highly recommend.
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Finn: Goodreads – Connect to D.L. Finn – Website: D.L. Finn Author – Facebook: D.L. Finn Author – Twitter: @dlfinnauthor
The next author today is Apple Gidley whose novel Have you Eaten Rice Today? took my breath away.
Meet Apple Gidley
Apple Gidley, an Anglo-Australian author, whose life has been spent absorbing countries and cultures, considers herself a global nomad. When not on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, she can be found in Houston, Texas.
She has moved 27 times, and has called twelve countries home (Nigeria, England, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Scotland, USA, Equatorial Guinea), and her experiences are described in her first book, Expat Life Slice by Slice (Summertime 2012).
Her roles have been varied – from magazine editor to intercultural trainer to Her Britannic Majesty’s Honorary Consul. Now writing full time, Apple evocatively portrays peoples and places with empathy and humour, whether writing essays, short stories or full-length fiction.
She shares her writing space with Bonnie, a stray cat who spreads across her keyboard, and Stan, a stray dog who keeps her feet warm in the tropics!
Fireburn (OC Publishing 2017), historical fiction set in the Danish West Indies of the 1870s (now the US Virgin Islands) was followed by the sequel Transfer (OC Publishing 2019). Crucian Fusion, a book of fact and fiction about St Croix in the USVI was published in the Fall, 2021. Apple’s latest novel, released by Vine Leaves Press (Sept 2022), is a dual-time story set in Malaya of the 1950s and modern day Malaysia, England and Australia.
Her WIP is a contemporary novel set in Venice, and she is researching her next historical fiction to be based WWII Papua New Guinea.
Books by Apple Gidley
My review Have you Eaten Rice Today?
This is a book I found difficult to put down. Excellently written with memorable characters faced with the dangers of guerrilla warfare, interlaced with a once in a lifetime romance.
There are many books and films written about World War Two, but few about the conflict in Malaya from the late forties and throughout the fifties. A time of a rejection of colonial administration in India echoed around the British outposts, and before the advent of worldwide broadcasting and the Internet, the public was dependent on newspaper articles based on official statements that were veiled in secrecy.
The author lived in Malaya as a child, and clearly absorbed both culture and language which provided an authentic and fascinating background to the story. Well researched, the activities of the Ferret Force and the local Malay and Chinese who supported them, offered heart stopping action as they moved through dense jungle, battling the natural elements and diseases, as well as the communist activists hiding in its depths. Without modern communications and only carrying the barest of supplies, young men and women put their lives on the line, often for just scraps of vital information.
Those civilians living on plantations, or working within the interim government preparing for independence were also in great danger of reprisals. This included Dee Cunningham in her role as a Red Cross nurse, moving along the rivers to bring aid to villagers along the edge of the jungle. Her upbringing in the outback of Australia definitely gave her remarkable resilience even under extreme pressure and danger. Simon and his unwillingness to settle back into the life on a farm in Dorset, and determination to work towards bringing peace to the region even at the risk to his own life, is the perfect match for her spirited personality.
The romance was beautifully choreographed and written against the backdrop, of not just the jungle and its dangers, but the stunning scenery along the coast and in the mountains.
Just when you begin to wonder where this story will lead we are time shifted 60 years to 2010.
There is now a younger generation eager to find their place in the world and part of that journey will involve their discovery of the past and revelations that will change their lives forever. We return to Malaya to bring all the threads together in a wonderful climax to the story in the hands of a master storyteller. There were times when I was reminded of the writing of Pearl S. Buck and Nevil Shute, two of my favourite authors.
I can highly recommend this book to everyone who loves well written modern history novels and heart-warming love stories.
Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Apple: Goodreads – Blog:Apple Gidley WordPress – Twitter: @ExpatApple
And the final author today is John W. Howell and I have read all his books and thoroughly enjoyed them all, including his latest The Last Drive.
Meet John Howell.
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.
His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.
The fifth book is a collaboration with the award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre.
John’s followed this with Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existance. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. His most recent book The Last Drive continues their adventure. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
Books by John Howell
My review for The Last Drive
Having read Eternal Road I was eagerly anticipating the sequel The Last Drive and loved it.
You do need to buckle up for this road trip, not just of a lifetime, but several lifetimes, as Sam and James reunite for a mission to save the missing soul of military pilot Ryan, lost in time, along with his idol flying legend Eddie Rickenbacker. Time is of the essence, as the malicious involvement of the devil is believed to be behind their status, and that can never be a good thing.
The characters of Sam and James were well established in the first book and it was easy to pick up their close relationship. The author does a great job in bringing the two missing souls and the evil, crude and manipulative devil together, for an adventure that spans hundreds of years from Ancient Rome to present day.
The places and times where they find themselves, were not known for peace and harmony, and often portrayed mankind at its worst, but also in some cases at their best. They are times in history that most of us are familiar with, but we are taken backstage to the events, to focus on the people involved, often as they too, like the heroes, face their final journey.
The theme of good versus evil runs through the story with imagined intereactions between those fighting on either side. The reader is invited in to spectate, and also consider, how closely these two divisions are aligned, and are often present together during the most pivotal moments in our history. It makes for fascinating reading.
It is a fast faced thriller with excellent characters, including the Prince of Darkness, who is dispicable as he should be. There are some scenes where you might be tempted to look away from, as they underline the evil men do, however the author handles these situations very well. Also his wry humour threads its way through the story, lifting the darker side of the narrative and adding a wonderful element to the reading enjoyment.
I can recommend this book to fans of John W. Howell. and those who enjoy an excellent thriller with compelling characters.
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads – Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter – @HowellWave
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally.