In the Tree’s Shadow: A collection of stories that exist in your dreams… and nightmares by D.L. Finn #newrelease #paranormal #urbanfantasy

It’s new release time, gang!

Today, I’ve got Story Empire colleague, D.L. Finn on my blog with her latest collection of short stories. No matter what Denise writes—novel-length fiction, short stories, poetry, or tales for children—she keeps her readers enthralled. In the Tree’s Shadow is no exception (see my review at the end of this post). In the meantime… are you ready for goose bumps?

Take it away, Denise!

Banner ad for book In the Tree's Shadow

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

“When the Lights Go Out” is a story I started writing while sitting on the deck during one of our power shutdowns for fire protection. Those shutdowns have slowed down, and the fires weren’t as bad last year, but each year provides its own challenge.

During one of these outages, with only the rumble of generators, my mind wanders. Like Bea in the story, I don’t like the dark. There is always a night light to counter the darkness and the perceived evil within it. Not wanting to waste batteries or leave candles unattended with curious cats around, it is completely dark in the house during these times.

As Bea discovers, when her generator doesn’t work, things that live in these shadows have an agenda. But as I have learned, where there is evil, good is somewhere nearby.

Knowing evil lurks, Bea has some choices to make to survive.


Book cover for In the Tree's Shadow shows path through dark woods

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.


People will tell you that fiction is only make-believe. Don’t let them fool you. Some of it is real. But maybe if you knew the truth, you’d never sleep again. Right now, I’m resting but hooked on monitors and medication, with a different perspective on life.

Sleep has been hard for a long time because fantasy has become a reality for me. Oddly, they have always been okay with me discussing them as fiction. I would have gone crazy if I hadn’t written it down. They were so confident that no one would believe me. I think it amused them that my stories talked about the cliché things that go bump in the night.

What I’m about to tell you is not a fictional story. Whether or not you believe me, I can do nothing about it. I hope that those who have seen what I have will be comforted by my words.

Some of our darkest nightmares and things we imagine in the shadows are real. This knowledge prevented me from leaving my home at night. I stayed safely inside my brightly lit house. Could they get in? Of course, but it was the best I could do. Luckily, they preferred the darkness. I knew I was being watched whenever I fell asleep, even with all the lights on. Illumination only encouraged them to keep their distance. Still, I never understood what they were waiting for until that night. Before that moment, I figured they enjoyed the hunt or just liked observing.



  1. Two black cats, Luna and Coco, and two tiger-striped, Zuzu and Chester, share our house.
  2. I saw spin dolphins jumping around our boat in Hawaii. Amazing.

Photo of author D. L. Finn in a wooded setting


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:

Twitter | Bookbub | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | D.L. Finn blog | Amazon Page

Now that you’ve enjoyed this wonderful GOOSE BUMP ALERT, I hope you’ll take a moment to drop Denise a comment below and join in her release celebration. Please use the sharing buttons to help spread the word about In the Tree’s Shadow, then don’t forget to grab your own copy from AMAZON.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories that run the gamut from mild horror, slice-of-life, and sci-fi, to fantasy and paranormal. Creatures, angels, and animals populate the pages along with protagonists and villains. There is darkness, but also whimsy and plenty of hope. With a variety of micro-fics, shorts, and one novella-length work, the mixture will keep you flipping pages.

My favorite stories included Old Gray Cat, In That Moment, Effervescent Potion, Bonsai, and most especially, The Bike. In many places, I had to pause to savor the author’s deft turn of phrase. These are but a few that stood out for me:

“The other man, dressed all in black that matched his mesmerizing night eyes, had a voice like a bass guitar.”

“The dragon’s red eyes softly glowed like an autumn-toned sunset.”

“Tears mixed with her blood in a tie-dye swirl of insanity.”

If you enjoy speculative fiction that straddles lines of peril and hope, shadows and light, this is a collection that checks all the boxes.

83 thoughts on “In the Tree’s Shadow: A collection of stories that exist in your dreams… and nightmares by D.L. Finn #newrelease #paranormal #urbanfantasy

  1. I kind of suspected that “When the Lights Go Out” was based on Denise’s real experiences with power outages. And a wonderful review, Mae, highlighting some awesome stories. “The Bike” was one of my favorites too. Congrats to Denise on another fun tour stop and a great read. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Diana 🙂 You were so right to guess that the outages inspired this story. That’s one thing I love about short stories, you can dive into into those type of moments, kind of like poetry. I was thrilled with Mae’s, and your, reviews! The Bike has a special place in my heart. Xo

      Liked by 2 people

    • I suspected the same thing about When the Lights Go Out, Diana, and had goose bumps just thinking about it. I think The Bike was my favorite of all the tales in this great collection. So glad you dropped by to cheer on Denise and add your recommendation for In the Tree’s Shadow!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mae’s and your review still have me smiling, Joan 🙂 Yes, it was beyond cool to see those dolphins and feel their joy as they played around the boat. A bit of that made it into The Dolphin story. Thank you! Xo

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for adding your recommendation for Denise’s fabulous collection, Joan. And I think it would be wonderful to see dolphins flitting around a boat. I’ve seen them many times from shore, but not that close up. Amazing!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. From the reviews and excerpts, it sounds as if each story has a strong emotional impact. I’m going to buy the book and give them a try. I love short stories with a punch. The mix of stories reminds me of one of my favorite collections–E PLURIBUS UNICORN by Theodore Sturgeon. The first story–The Silken-Swift–is so beautiful, it took my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a particularly chilling story in Denise’s collection. It made me want to sleep with the light on. 🙂 Thank you, Mae, for hosting today and for sharing your fabulous review! Congratulations to Denise!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed the review and the stories as well, Balroop. Denise told tales to inspire goose bumps, but nothing horrific. I thoroughly enjoyed the collection. Thanks so much for visiting and adding your recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Being a townie, pitch black freaks me out, too. We rented a beautiful two-story farmhouse on the edge of a lake about twenty miles from our hometown when my daughter was a baby. We only lasted six months, though the location was amazing. I couldn’t handle the solitude and weird noises in the night, lol.
    Great excerpt, Denise. Congrats on the awesome review from Mae!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The night noises are interesting in the quiet places when one has a very active imagination… lol. My grandparents had a house by a lake and it was so quiet at night that it kept me up when I was a little girl.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The dark can get very freaky, Jacquie. I’m okay if I don’t think about it (and if I’m not alone, LOL). I’ve been in a few locations that were completely isolated, including one with no phone or internet, but I was only there for a few nights at each location.

      So glad you dropped by to cheer on Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

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