Today, I have a special guest for you. Denise is a wonderful author and a great person to get to know. She’s also one of my partners over at Story Empire. She has a new book to tell us about, and I’m exited to see the wildlife photos. I have these same birds in my back yard, but don’t have access to redwoods. Make her feel welcome, and don’t forget to use those sharing buttons to help her spread the word. Take it away:
Thank you, Craig, for having me here today to share my latest children’s release, “Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories.”
In Tree Fairies, several birds make an appearance, including red-tailed hawks and horned owls. So I thought I’d share some interesting facts about them. The red-tailed hawk weighs between 2-4 pounds, with the females being the bigger bird. They can have a 56-inch wingspan and “kite” or hover in the air over their prey, which is usually rodents.
The great horned owl’s weight falls somewhere between 2 and 5.5 pounds. They will eat anything that moves but can’t digest all they eat. These birds leave behind pellets, which are their undigested food. Their huge eyes, which enable them to see in the dark, don’t move. This is why they swivel their heads to look around.
Where I live, red-tailed hawks have feasted on our chickens. Once a hawk flew at a window where our cat was enjoying the sun. Her only protection from the hawk was a window screen and our barking dog. I’ve never seen an owl, but I do hear them. They are known to hunt small cats, but luckily that’s never happened to us.
Both birds are a nuisance to the tree fairies and will be zapped with magic to remind them that fairies aren’t on their menu.
Fun Finn Facts
1. We have two ravens who share our land.
2. We planted a Giant Sequoia in our front yard thirty years ago.
When reality and magic meet in the forest
It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.
Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.
1969, somewhere in a redwood forest
The sun was setting behind the mammoth trees as we returned to our secluded campsite. My mom rushed into the tent to add inspirational words to the book she was writing. They had come to her on our hike among the redwoods. Dad and my nine-year-old sister, Colette—who weren’t as moved—collected wood for our campfire. They insisted it was a three-person job.
They walked ahead of me, Dad engaged in another batch of endless questions from Colette. I wanted to be listening to the brand-new portable radio I’d gotten for my twelfth birthday, but there were no radio stations to pull in—not even AM. I wouldn’t mind hearing the always-playing “I Heard It through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, but my new favorite song was “Get Back” by the Beatles. Music filled my unsure spaces. Today, surrounded by trees that had lived more than one hundred lifetimes in contrast to mere humans, I needed some soothing tunes. I felt like I was a tiny grape in the vastness of a vineyard.
Picking up a branch here and there, I followed my dad and Colette. Two fluffy-tailed western gray squirrels were chasing each other across the same massive tree my family had attempted to join hands around earlier. I stopped and added two more branches to my load. A hand suddenly waved in front of my face. Dad. I held back my sigh when I saw his frown.
“Daniel Burns. Would you please join us on this hike?”
I kicked a small, gray pebble off the trail. It rolled under a fern before I met Dad’s firm stare. “I am with you.”
Dad folded his arms and raised an eyebrow. “Your body is here, but your mind isn’t, Danny. Like I just said, we’re headed to camp now because we have enough wood. Then we will all get the fire going and cook dinner.” He turned his attention to Colette with a wink. “After that, we can roast marshmallows and tell stories. Maybe Mom will have a new story to share tonight.”
Colette returned the wink. “Can we make s’mores?”
Her big blue eyes were enormous with excitement. Strawberry-blond pigtails bounced up and down in constant motion, and her smile’s brightness matched her loud orange-and-pink-striped shirt. The combination of my sister’s movement and colors made me dizzy. She would be a perfect cartoon character, like a colorful Tweety Bird in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.
“I packed the chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers myself.” Dad grinned. “Let’s go.”
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 adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.
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