#BookReviews #Poetry & #Fiction

Life and Soul: Book 2 is divided into six parts, each one delving deeper into the journey of a soul. Harmony’s poetry would acquaint you with your own soul and would gently guide you toward the eternal light that “always surrounds us.” Her succinct style of writing and rich imagery is the hallmark of this collection. She doesn’t let the darker themes dominate her thoughts, she tries to move on and takes delight in the positivity of life’s lessons.

‘Lonely Soul’ pines for a companion but keeps the pain within and smiles through the words, which would pierce your heart.
‘Seeking Soul’ highlights what is not love, how toxic relationships bruise, stifle and slay your confidence. Feel the power of these words from – Still Laundry To Get Done:
“Vocal chords cut, severed
Silenced with words, curt look
No fists necessary…”
And these words hit me like a dagger: Licking honey off the edge of the razor blade.”
‘Loving Soul’ is drenched in passionate love with unique descriptions of falling in love. Love poems in this section are captivating, with brilliant imagery and elation that flows in rivulets of ecstasy. This is my favorite section.

The essence of her life with all the pungent and sweet delights gleams through the last section – ‘The Life of a Soul.’ Though the poems in this book are personal, they would touch your heart, as the themes are universal. You don’t have to be a poetry lover to enjoy these poems. Highly recommended. 

A Voice in the Silence is much more than a cosy murder mystery, it draws you in with its unique characters – Charlie, Jane and Ben and lets you soar with Finn’s imagination. There is not a dull moment as the tension builds up, with Drea’s stalker getting closer despite all the security measures taken by her family friend and cop – Adam. The story moves at an amazing pace, compelling you to guess who the serial killer could be! Would Drea survive the vicious attack? Would her animal friends be safe? If that is not enough, Will Ralph comes in with his irrational demands and threatens to kill.

Drea is an admirable character, crafted with panache, as she rises to the occasion, can’t be intimidated and knows how to react in a catastrophic situation. Her love for furry friends exudes inspiration and her kindness is exemplary. She has been grieving due to the loss of her husband but she puts it aside to face the challenging situations. Love and life sound more important to her than grief and loneliness and she chooses love – a subtle message that life is far more precious than our losses. 

It is remarkable how Finn has woven an interesting book around various themes of love, loneliness, grief, empathy and callousness with a positive outlook. I enjoyed it.

I was allured to Bella, as the suspense about her character and her physical absence in Sandra Kopp’s earlier book left many unanswered questions about her personality. This book focuses on Bella Jacquelina Gaviano, the most beautiful daughter of Carlo Gaviano and his French wife Marie. The turbulent journey of Bella’s life captivates you despite all the horrific incidents that fail to cripple her free and malicious spirit. An impetuous, self-centered, spiteful and arrogant brat, she grows up with the illusion that she has descended from royalty and deserves the privileges of the elite. She wants the best of everything; she knows the ways to accomplish what she wants and figures out how to remove her stumbling blocks. From a seamstress to a coveted beloved, her life is full of bewildering occurrences. 

Kopp’s style of writing, her love for nature and her exquisite language add a literary touch to this book too. A character-driven story, it moves at a steady pace, never slacking, constantly adding new developments in Bella’s life. On the one hand, she nurtures her intense desire for Joseph whom she could entice with her exotic accent, spoken in a throaty whisper, and her dark brown eyes but she also had high expectations from her marriage to Jean-Pierre, in case Joseph becomes aloof and indifferent. The development of Bella’s character is stunning, as it gets darker and murkier as the book proceeds. You would surely say – OMG! 

It is surprising that she never introspects, doesn’t feel any remorse, never is haunted by her deeds, and is perfect in her pretense. The ending of the book deviates from its focus and introduces some new characters. I don’t think they were needed and the story of Bella could be concluded without those superfluous chapters. There is also some repetition and too many details, which could be edited to enhance its value. If you like dark fiction, you would surely enjoy this book.

Thank you.

– Balroop Singh

For poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge

People Pleasers

Bosses exult at their loyalty and sincerity. Friends mock their “loving nature.” Siblings bully them into believing that they are loved. Spouses manipulate them to get things done. The acquiescence and complacence of people pleasers baffles me. Some live in the make-believe world of self-admiration, thinking they are exceptional human beings, born to be altruistic. Others have some goals in mind, which they want to accomplish at all costs.

noble intentions
boomerang any moment
capsizes their boat
robs their identity off
tossed away by tide of life

Thanks to Colleen’s weekly TankaTuesday challenge, ( specific form) which has inspired me to create a tanka prose. Tanka is typically written in the 5-7-5-7-7: a five-line syllabic structure. Tanka prose always contains a title. One basic requirement: one paragraph, and one tanka.

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

  

#Golden #Tastetherainbow – Color #Poetry: Double #Etheree

My backyard

Pine 
needles
pierce deeper, 
as they reach out 
to gather the glow 
of glorious summer
once again opening my
youthful eye, yearning to touch the 
golden era that whizzed by unseen
while my face was buried deep in the books.

Same place, evening shot

I am told twilight is more beautiful
golden glow is as fresh as ever
just the connotation changes
books are our precious friends now
the silence of thoughts thaw
as  pine melodies
mingle in their
sagacious,
unseen
love.
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Colleen’s weekly TankaTuesday challenge, which has inspired me to create a syllabic poem based on color. I chose golden, a symbol of grandeur, positivity, success, cheerfulness and bliss.

I chose to write Etheree, which consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

#BookReviews 5 #Stars for each one

You would be amazed at the variety of the books that I am sharing with you today. If the young adult adventurous story made me feel as young as Lily and Christy, Mateo’s blood brother kept me at the edge of my chair and A Long Walk Home reassured me that Angels of hope are always around us. I have read three more books but would like to share only those that earned 5 star reviews from me.

The Bloody Shoe Affair by Joy York is a brilliant YA adventurous story of two teenagers who dare to venture into dangerous avenues of investigating a double murder, as Lily believes an innocent man has been imprisoned. A first person account, with exciting details and teen talk; teen tone never wanes throughout the book, and that adds an extra charm to the carefully crafted dialogues, interspersed with a dash of humor despite a serious theme. Lily’s crazy idea of stuffing marshmallows in Christy’s bra and Troy asking if any of them were wearing perfume that smells like marshmallows cracked me up! 

Joy’s characters are crafted with immense dexterity. It is the inquisitive nature of Lily that draws her reticent cousin, Christy into her daredevil plans of sneaking into the basement to locate the old jail cell and talk to the potential murderer. She believes in taking risks, possesses an amazing skill of cooking up stories at the spur of the moment, and has an incredible convincing power to impress people. An incorrigible liar, intrepid and obdurate, Lily exudes enviable confidence, which inspires Christy who nurses doubts at each step and is scared that if they are caught, she might have to spend the rest of her summer in reform school.

The strength of this book is connected with its characters. You would love them despite their irrational feats of lying and spying. It captures the true behavior of youngsters. An enjoyable read!

Mateo’s Blood Brother: Sequel to Mateo’s Law is a dark tale of revenge, action-packed with fierce attacks by Delilah, who returns in this book with a vengeance. Undeterred by the responses of the Chief of Police, Jesse and Sheriff Mateo, the wicked shape shifter is too smart for the brothers. The chase keeps you guessing till the last page, concluding in an incredible manner. The budding romance of Mateo and Blair has matured in this book and there are some steamy love scenes in the middle of busy hours of the chase. 

Cox’s crisp style adds to the pace of the story, which moves forward quickly, the investigations sound genuine and the friendships amazing. All the characters have an unbelievable strength and refuse to give up despite serious injuries. She puts just the right emotion into the relationship of Mateo and Blair. A thread of suspense hangs till the end, with the appearance of another brown wolf. I like how Sandra lightens the sordid situations with a dash of humor. This is a well-written book, just like her western romances. Though a sequel, it can stand alone. Highly recommended.

A Long Walk Home symbolizes trudging through your failures and frustrations into maturity, a lovely message of thinking about your own self and finding happiness despite all the negativity that tries to blind us. Written in an eloquent style that never falters, Finn takes you through the lives of two friends and delivers a profound message: “there is magic all year round but I am glad they take some time to think about it once a year.”

Kenzie’s pain would reach your heart; the season of joy and celebrations seems meaningless to her, as her emotions spiral out of control. The setting is perfect for the mood of the story. However, our Angels of hope are always around us to protect us before we plunge deeper into the dumps. This sweet story would win your heart. I finished it within an hour. 

Thank you. Happy reading!
Balroop Singh.

If you like poetry, here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

#Useful #Poetry Challenge Crown #Cinquain

Image from Pixaby

A brat
bought me with love
wore me with ample pride
I protected his tender feet
from thorns.

our fond 
friendship grew fast
each journey was lovely
together we traversed those miles
of thrill.

now I
sit alone here 
he has at least ten pairs
colorful and brighter than me – 
new charms. 

my plight:
dumped in the yard
glum, I stare at the stars
and presume my uselessness
adrift.

till this – 
urchin picks up
takes me to his abode,
gives a perfect shine and wears me
with joy. 
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Colleen for a weekly TankaTuesday challenge, which asks for any syllabic form based on the theme prompt. This week’s theme is “Useful.”
This poem is a Crown Cinquain, five stanzas, each with syllable count of 2/4/6/8/2.
Thanks for the inspiration Colleen.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope