#BookReviews: 5 #Stars for each one!

Some books inspire me to write a review midway and I usually makes notes on my Kindle, more so if the characters are endearing. There are others, which elicit no response from me even after I’ve finished it. The books I share today are the ones that belong to the first category – I made so many notes that the reviews were almost ready by the time I finished reading them.

Weathering Old Souls – My Review:

Weathering Old Souls is an excellent collaboration, in which two styles of James and Didi blend in a perfect manner. I have read many stories about reincarnation but this one has a unique angle with more than one soul speaking through Abigail, who slowly learns to set aside her fears and resolves to find the answers. Deeply embedded in a shroud of mystery, all the stories of the past have been woven in a brilliant manner, as nothing seems out of place. 

A powerful beginning sets the tone and ignites your curiosity about ‘Fashionista,’ whose identity is revealed just at the right time. Then the death of Abigail’s mother adds another dimension to her story, which unfolds slowly, with so many connections! It left me spellbound; it demands your attention at each step, as it doesn’t give you a moment to flutter your eye-lids!

James is a master-crafter of building relationships and his skill shines in this book too. Margaret grows up to be the angel sister of Abigail, supports her at each step and their love for each other is exemplary. Elizabeth and Bradford understand her better than her biological father and their relationship with Abigail is heart-warming. Each character displays a distinct characteristic and makes a significant contribution to taking the story forward. Even secondary characters have been crafted with incredible insight.

I marvel at the joint venture of two writers who have produced this coruscating work in a cohesive expression. I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommended!

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley – My Review:

‘The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley’ by Nina Romano is an enlightening historical western, with an intense romance of two lovers, separated by choices and circumstances. The story allures you right in the beginning with gripping details of escape through a tunnel, and a chilling description of a ten-year old boy standing tall in the face of threat from Apache Indian. Native American culture comes alive on the pages of this book, as the plot revolves around Connor Bradley who had lost his identity the day he was abducted by Mbai. Torn between his white heritage and connection with Jicarilla tribe, Cayo learns to be physically strong but becomes an emotional wreck who could never forgive himself; his past clings to him, “riding like wings on the back of his guilt and self-hatred.”

Romano gets into the mind of Cayo to wrench out the emotions that rip him apart each time he thinks of his love, each time he thinks of his sisters and the man he grew up to be against his wishes. His guilt, his yearning for Darby and his struggle to reveal his true self to the girl he loves makes you ponder over the unknown shackles that bind us despite our efforts to break free.

Written in an exquisite style, poetic at places, this is a character driven story and therefore each character has been crafted with élan. If Darby endears herself with her simplicity, sincerity, dedication and independent decisions, Hanna is the one you would loathe. If Aunt Bea sounds cold, Aunt Mary is just the opposite. It is the plausibility of characters that makes this book truly remarkable. Highly recommended.

– Balroop Singh

Thank you.

The #TBR Pile #Writing Challenge

Pixaby image

She grabs each book with panache
But lets it languish in some corner
Promises would be kept, she knows
When’d that day dawn, she doesn’t decipher.

Decorated with turmeric
Scented by cinnamon
Smeared with her favorite sauce
Some sit at her kitchen ledge, waiting to be read.

They enhance the ambiance of her home
Books are her first love
A unique drape that keeps her 
Cloaked in her treasured trove.

Butterflies of her basement,
They charm, but
Keep her away from real beauties
That Mother Nature offers.

Her new beloved ‘Kindle’ is bursting
But the masked beauties
Know their boundaries
No eyes follow and no fingers beckon! 
© Balroop Singh

Inspired from Diana’s Writing Challenge, click to join the fun. Thank you.

If you like poetry, click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

#BookReviews

Winter days may be shorter but they prove to be a blessing when your Kindle is loaded with all genres of books. Each year, December happens to be at the top when I look at the books I’d read in a month. I have many reviews to share this month. Though I never set a “reading goal” but the books I could read last year exceeded my expectations.

Word Weaving #1 is a unique combination of talent; it would inspire many more poets to explore all forms of poetry – haiku, tanka, haibun, etheree, shardoma and many more! Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige encourage you to play with words to create meaningful syllabic poetry by introducing each form in the beginning of a section.

The beauty of verses by various poets shimmers like moonlight in this anthology of themed poetry. “Moon” – the favorite figure of magnificence for many poets, the haunting symbol of love is the focus of poetry in this book. “Harvest Moon” has been interpreted from fascinating perspectives – for Finn, it emits “celestial beams” reflected in the eyes of her pet while for Peach it “stitches lace” and makes “frosty hems on scarlet leaves.” There are many such images to enthrall your senses in this collection.

A must read for poetry lovers, this book is an excellent creative guide for beginners. Kudos to the editors for taking the initiative of introducing so many amazing poets in one book. I loved it.

‘Perfectly Imperfect’ is a delightful story of a young couple that would win your heart despite their rocky romance. Rhys meets Georgina in connection with her tottering business but likes her even before he could tell her his intentions of selling her company, which has been merged with CLO due to financial troubles.

Jacquie’s brilliant character oriented plot keeps you spell-bound till Rhys works out a solution. This is a light-hearted reading but gives a deep insight into relationships that form the basis of Biggar’s stories. There is a clear indication that Rhys and Georgina are made for each other! I love the way they meet, even their misunderstandings could regale. Well-written novella.

‘Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance’ is a lovely collection of personal pictures and tanka poems, which record the poet’s memories. Each poem complements the picture that precedes it and reminds us how loving relationships keep us connected despite the years that flee by.

Gauffreau takes you down the emotional lane, shares her personal experiences that anybody could relate to, as grief is not individualistic, it touches us in one form or another. A quick read but would really make you reflect on how each moment of life is precious. A beautiful tribute to her family!

The Kindle edition of this book is not compatible with Kindle or cloud reader but I could read it on my IPad.

Thank you.

If you like poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

#BookReviews 5 #stars for each one

Some books inspire me to write a review midway and I usually makes notes on my Kindle, more so if it is poetry. There are others, which elicit no response from me even after I’ve finished it. I’ve been thinking what could be the reason for lack of inspiration – monotonous characters or jaded story line?

The books I share today are the ones that belong to the first category – I made so many notes that the reviews were almost ready by the time I finished reading them.

Keeper Tyree by S. Cox – My Review:

If you’ve read and enjoyed ‘Gwen Slade,’ ‘Keeper Tyree’ is even better and steamier than that, with some delightful characters thrown in to keep the interest alive. In her captivating style, S. Cox grips you right in the beginning and moves at a breathtaking speed. When Cathleen O’ Donnell hires Keeper to take revenge from the killer of her son, he appears to be a detached, hardened killer but the way his character evolves with the story, is incredible! The power of a strong, obdurate woman floors him and he has to remind himself that he is just with her for business. He knows his soul is blackened yet he yearns for the tender touch of a woman.

I have read many books of Cox and each one is extremely readable, with strong women characters who define their goals out of free will and refuse to be influenced by circumstances. This one mentions women as “wondrous creatures” and Cathleen as well as Maybell shine through out the story. A page-turner, without a dull moment, replete with continuous action, this book is one of her best. Highly recommended.

Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle – My Review:

Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle is an assortment of various styles – haiku, tanka, haibun and free style of poetry that is realistic; it touches upon various facets of life and captures many emotions in a subtle manner. Having read her ‘Open a New Door,’ I am quite familiar with Robbie’s poetry but some of the poems in this collection left me spellbound! 

Inspiring you to rise from “hot ashes” to face new challenges, develop a new perspective and “break your shackles” to reach the improbable, there are many poems dripping with such positivity. ‘Stars in Her Eyes’ brilliantly reveals her “glittering world” when she soars on the “gossamer wings, empowered by the hope to gather the “fairy dust.” Beautiful imagery! The metaphorical poems ‘Contrasting Colors’ and ‘A Fairy-tale Come True’ are superbly written.

‘He Walks Away’ took my heart away, as a mother’s pride and pain has been captured so well in this poem. I could relate to Robbie’s words:

“Her kiss is no longer wanted as he seeks the lips of the other. It’s heart-wrenching to let go…”

‘Can you see the Butterflies’ is another masterpiece, rich with imagery, impelling you to rush outside to watch the wonders of nature. Read this collection and find answers in “sweet dreams.” Such is the magic of poetry!

Secrets, Lies & Alibis by Jacquie Biggar – My Review:

Secrets, Lies & Alibis, written in the signature style of Jacquie, is a short, fast-paced read that leaves you craving for more. I was rooting for Amanda all the time, waiting for the right moment to dawn for the estranged couple. While Amanda is planning to go ahead with her baby all alone, Adam wants to come back to her. It gets exciting with each page, as quick action is thrown in which brings back old unresolved challenges. Some secrets need to be shared!

Relationships and respect remain significant in this book too. Though this is book 8 of the series and I haven’t read all of them but each time I read one, I get inspired to read more.

Thank you. Happy reading

If you like poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

#BookReviews 5 #stars for each one!

Writing a review for a good book is like calling a friend and telling her that she is the best. Books are truly magical if they are as terrific as the ones I have for you today. Their magic is immersive and dazzling. If the sea witch is bizarre and scary, the cute fairies of Finn diffuse that feeling but the characters of Jill are adorable. A perfect balance! 

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D. Wallace Peach – My Review:

The sea witch wants royal blood and the ferryman’s sacrifices seem endless. ‘The Ferryman and the Sea Witch’ takes you to the fathomless deeps to resolve the catastrophe created by one order of king Thayne’s officers. The consequences of one careless act fall into the lap of Callum, who had to carry the curse on his shoulders. It is difficult to satisfy the hungry witch, who sank every vessel unless her demands are met. She rules the storms, could alter the currents and her bargains are mind-boggling.

A gripping beginning, the fury of the sea witch, the description of shipwreck and the kind heart of Callum pulled me in immediately. In her signature style, Peach creates a world beyond the realistic boundaries and weaves a wonderful tale that would haunt you days after you’ve finished this book. It is the lie of Callum that stunned me no less than the betrayal of Caspia. My sympathies rest with the ferryman, as I wait to see if he would ever be able to walk free.

This book gets murkier as it proceeds with a lot of action. The charms of Naris and Dana keeps it lighter. I admire D. Wallace’s style of unraveling the secrets one after the other, without any unnecessary drama. This is an entirely different kind of fantasy that acquaints us with many aspects of the sea and ships. I must say that I liked the ending despite all the shocking developments. Highly recommended for all kinds of readers.

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories by D.L. Finn – My Review: 

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories by D.L. Finn transports you to the land of fantasy, where Danny and Colette meet fairies and discover the realities connected with them. Finn’s description of fairies is so mesmerizing that you wish to visit their world and see them talking to the Redwoods.

Fairies have always allured me but these tree fairies hold a special charm because they have names, could make fire and know why humans lost their ability to talk to giant redwoods.  The way they converse about the environment and make Danny feel special immediately makes you concentrate on their stories. I am sure children would be able to connect with Sequiella.

Finn’s style and tone is amiable, her language is simple and she starts the story quickly to hold the attention of children. The book is written in first person to lend reality to the problem that the fairies want to convey. You don’t even know when fantasy merges into realities of the day. It is a delightful way to acquaint children with the need to save our forests. Highly recommended.

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt – My Review:

A Mother for His Twins by Jill Weatherholt is a heart-warming story of two lovers who were separated by circumstances; their love for each other never waned while Nick moved on with his life but Joy got deeply embedded in time. It is interesting to see how destiny puts them back on the track to fight their personal demons and set their guilt aside to embrace life.

This book has some subtle suggestions that need to be absorbed; new avenues need to be respected, little joys of life should be gathered, as life is too beautiful to let it pass by. Jill’s characters are realistic and lovable, they know their flaws and are ready to make amends. What makes Nick admirable is his positive attitude; he wants to learn from his experiences and move ahead. Joy’s yearning to be a part of family is palpable and tugs at the strings of your heart.

A light-hearted story of nurturing love and relationships, this book has been written with immense tenderness to touch every heart. Awkward situations are diffused by twins who add delightful moments to make your heart ache for the love of children. Such books leave their sweet taste behind to savor it long after you’ve finished it.

Thank you. Happy reading!

Balroop Singh.