Muted by the Tiny

Sunset is no longer beautiful
As it reminds me of flames
That wolfed many humans.

The smoke of cremations
Changed its radiance
Even hues of the sky seem muted.

Sunset seems that robber
Who colluded with a tiny virus
To deprive many of their basic right.

Souls soar to meet the unknown
While we look teary-eyed
As each home is in mourning. 

Soot sits on the trees
Lending darkness to the sun
Its glory snatched by the pyres.

The mighty and the powerful
Look helplessly
No defeat was ever so enormous!
© Balroop Singh, May, 2021.

This poem tries to express the emotions of Pandemic affected people of India, clawed by Covid – 19.

For poetry lovers:

My latest book: Magical Whispers

Thank you.

Snow White: Another Perspective

Snow White has been an adorable character for children since time immemorial and who can forget the dwarfs? Have you ever thought that this timeless tale could be retold with a new flavor? Cathleen has done it brilliantly and that too in two volumes. Here are my reviews of both the books, which should be read in continuation to enjoy the story that goes much far to mingle with the historical facts of the civil war.

My Reviews:

Snow White and the Civil War #1 by Cathleen Townsend may remind us of the fairy tale of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ but this story moves beyond the jealousy and cruelty of a stepmother. It focuses on the development of Gwen, how she learns to survive and excels in various skills that make her a darling of her new friends.

It is Janet’s kindness, her eagerness to learn and her perseverance that makes her an endearing character, well versed with the wisdom that she picks up slowly from her devoted friends cum uncles. Gentle love gestures of Jack and Charlie add a romantic touch to the tale. The role of dwarves has been drawn with bold strokes, which raise this simple story to epic proportions. I really enjoyed reading this book. 

5 STARS.

***

 

Plot of Gold continues the story of Snow White and book -1 has to be read to understand why Jack is looking for Gwendolyn Hilton and why does he owe money to his father. New characters are introduced to give another dimension to the story. Would Jack succeed in his mission? Would he ever meet Janet? The doubts persist as he plans to marry Eliza. Major part of the story dwells on the Civil War, the role of military intelligence and how Jack proves himself worthy of the work assigned to him by Colonel Evans.

Cathleen’s characters contribute significantly to the story; their depth and dimensions are noteworthy and their development is impressive. Though the plot focuses on Jack but all the characters grow, change and emerge out of their conflicts except the wicked stepmother of Gwen. Even Eliza and Mrs. Hammond make their presence felt. I like how poetry, music and dance form an essential part of their lives. This is a fine combination of fairy tale and historical fiction. 5 STARS.
– Balroop Singh 

Meet the author:

“I always wanted to write fiction,” says Cathleen, “even as a child, but for many years I never had anything I thought was good enough to share. My favorite book is The Lord of the Rings, and that’s an intimidating standard.

I finally began by writing biographies of my family members, mostly those from the Greatest Generation, as a family history project. After that, the whole process seemed a lot more possible, as if something inside me had clicked into place. So, then I finally sat down and started writing novels, and it was like they exploded out of me.

I also enjoy writing short stories. Some I submit to online mags and publishers, but others go straight to my blog. I write mostly fantasy, but ghost stories, historicals, and even the odd contemporary tickles my fancy at times.”

Cathleen Townsend trained as a social scientist, and at various times has been a teacher, a waitress, a donut baker, and a construction worker. She’s survived parenting, scuba-diving with a Mako shark, and a plane crash.

Her stories, both whimsical and serious, are drawn from the rich sources of folklore and history to inspire the belief that a single person can make a difference in the world, even if that world contains a dragon or two.

Cathleen lives in California’s beautiful gold country, and in her mind, dwarves and pixies also lurk in the oak- and pine-covered hills. She enjoys chatting with readers on her blog at cathleentownsend.com.

Clouds #NaPoWriMo

Clouds calmly combine
To celebrate love for my poetry
Echoes resound

***

Hope sleeps on clouds
Drifts with their rolling rings
Conjuring its own path

***

Light shines through clouds
Inspires us to trust new horizons
Cynicism recedes

***

We fly on the waves of whim
When our dreams get wings
Clouds crumble to comply

***

© Balroop Singh

Those are some excerpts from my upcoming book. Thank you.

You can click here for more poetry.

Check my latest book: Magical Whispers

#Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 222

Image by mollyroselee from Pixabay

Each sunrise speaks softly
Clouds seem to promise respite
Yet they perish thirsty
Sans water, sans loving friends
Haunted by the cleft curse queen.
© Balroop Singh

Inspired by the image for the Tanka Tuesday Photo Challenge by Colleen M. Chesebro. Thank you.

Tina Lost in a Crowd #NewRelease by Miriam Hurdle

Please welcome my blogger friend Miriam who has released a new book for children. Over to you Miriam.

Hi Balroop, I’m thankful for your generosity to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.

The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 3

The Ideas and Messages of the Story

Did you like Aesop’s Fables? I did when I was a child. When I read them to my students, they would shout with me at the end of the fable “the moral of the lesson is…”

Other than Aesop’s Fable, most of the children’s book don’t spell out the lessons. In fact, even when the story has a message for children, it doesn’t need to make it loud and clear. The children are reading the story to have fun.

There are ideas and messages in Tina Lost in a Crowd: Tina took part in decision making for the summer activities such as swimming and a sleepover. She asked permission to invite her friend to go to the concert. She made a right decision when she and Erica got lost in a crowd which was a safety issue.

Children are smart, they read for fun, and they learn the messages on their own term. It would be interesting to have a discussion with the children after they read a book.

Book Blurb:

Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do? 

This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091M586M7

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162309741

Here is My Review:

‘Tina Lost in a Crowd’ by Miriam Hurdle is a cute little, heart-warming story of two girls who get lost while they are following their dad. Two friends Tina and Erica are excited when they get an opportunity to go to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. During intermission, they get up to go to the restroom and can’t find Mr. Tyler, Tina’s dad. Do they get scared? How do they handle the situation? 

Well-illustrated and written in a simple style, the story conveys some subtle messages to children as well as parents. Mrs. Tyler is a loving mom and plans a number of activities for the summer, she agrees to invite Erica and understands her daughter so well. Tina is a calm and confident girl and could inspire many. She knows what to do when lost. I could connect with her, as I too got lost in a similar situation but wasn’t as wise as Tina!

I would recommend this book to all the parents of young children who wish to raise responsible children.

— Balroop Singh

Meet the Author:

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Links:

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