More 5 #Star #BookReviews @EverDreamer7321 @teagangeneviene

Today I have mystery and fantasy books, which I would like to share with you.

My Review: The Windwilder Haunting by Sandra Kopp

‘The Windwilder Haunting’ by Sandra Kopp is a riveting saga of three generations, action packed with deceit, lies and mysterious happenings. Kopp builds up mystery around the mansion slowly, with amazing details of the Windwilder mansion and her exquisite language adds an aesthetic touch to this book. The prologue is enigmatic, as it grips you with poetic language on the one hand but proceeds with a lightning speed to reveal that the mansion is being set on fire! Then the story flows at an amazing pace, without a dull moment. It is much more than just a ghost story; it is the superb style, the narrator’s love for nature and an eye for detail that elevates this book above an ordinary period story.

 I like how Bella, with her inconspicuous presence, holds the plot and keeps you invested till the end. Lillian is another strange character, who doesn’t seem to like anybody but her contribution to the story is astounding. Madelyn’s connect with nature and her passion to know more makes her a likable protagonist. Though drawn by the mysteries of the mansion, she refuses to be manipulated by John and has a mind of her own. She is intuitive enough to understand where the secrets lie and follows her own path in discovering them. However, all hell breaks loose, as somebody is unhappy with her visits to the mansion.

I like how Sandra keeps a control over the horror element and doesn’t let it slip into gruesome details. I admire how she switches gears to the descriptions of nature to lighten the mood: “The sun touched down, and a final scattering of brilliant light ignited the wispy clouds into flaming orange plumes that blazed for just moments before turning red and then purple as they drifted north.” I would recommend this book to all book lovers.

My Review: Dead of Winter – Journey 1 by Teagan Riordain

A riveting story, Dead Of Winter: Journey 1 would transport you to a world of fantasy yet Teagan’s characters seem absolutely real, as they are haunted by fears of religious fanatics who try to stamp out knowledge, brethren of Un’Naf have made oppressive rules for women and there is a fear of banishment for Emyln who is a gifted girl.

Osabide, an elderly widow has been banished from her village just because she is a healer and a person of great knowledge. She warns Emyln to keep silent about her ability to see and hear ghosts. The story is told from Emyln’s point of view; she knows she is not loved by anyone in her family, even her sister taunts her and she can’t share her thoughts with her. The refrain “winter is coming” dominates this novella and adds a touch of mystery to it. I can’t wait to read the next journey!

My Review: Dead of Winter – Journey 2

Journey 2, Penllyn takes the story of Emyln forward; new characters are introduced and the shocking intentions of Emyln’s father are revealed. Deae Matres, a group of women brings in some hope but Teagan doesn’t divulge much about these mysterious women. Zasha, Osabide’s niece, is the member of this organization. I like the way the story is developing and Emyln is growing stronger with each experience. The style of writing is intriguing, the mood mysterious and the language is beautiful. 

You would keep wondering why Emyln’s father who never takes her anywhere is taking her to Penllyn. She could sense that he is sad and angry but dare not ask a question. It was such a relief that Afon couldn’t succeed in his mission. I am loving these journeys.

Please click on the links to view the book descriptions.

Thank you. Happy reading!
Balroop Singh.

Here is my latest release: Hues Of Hope 

#BookReviews #Poetry @sgc58 #Shortstories @MaeClair1

My Review of Poetry: Life is like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony

‘Life is like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony’ is an eloquent collection of syllabic poetry, most of which has been inspired from images. It brilliantly captures the meaning of life, how isolation could teach us to “live and love,” how the colors of a garden inspire us to respect the gifts of Mother Nature, and what the cooing of doves reminds us of. Such is the spectrum of Sally’s themes!

Written in a succinct yet meaningful manner, each poem is insightful and thought provoking. Some of them transport you to a “fairy kingdom,” while some hold subtle messages like “true friends hold tight the shared secrets… not to be used for gain.” Sarcasm drips from ‘Is it Time,’ ‘Scepticism’ is an amusing comment on the way the thoughts of people are influenced and ‘Hope’ holds the “poet’s promise to change your future.” Then there is a special section called ‘Slices of Life’ that is the most delightful conclusion to this treasure house of experiences.

If you love syllabic poetry, if you are looking for some relaxation mingled with prudence, this book is for you. 5 stars!

My Review of Short Stories: Things Old and Forgotten

In ‘Things Old and Forgotten,Mae transports you to a distinctive land, sometimes magical and bizarre yet interesting, at other times scary and sinister. This collection of short stories is an amazing mixture of fantasy and paranormal, much beyond the limits of imagination. Each story has a different theme, each one more enthralling than the other.

Clair’s rich style of writing immediately pulls you in as, she builds an aura with words like “beach yawned wide,” “jagged fingers of stone,” “an odd sense of familiarity knifed through him,” “needles of moonlight splayed across the floor.” There are many more such expressions that exhibit her mastery over the language.

She incorporates just the right emotions, sometimes standing on the side, letting the characters narrate their story. Micah stood out for me when he tried to tell how his hair turned from “ink-black to “spectral white.” (Desert White – one of my favorites) Brilliantly written, I admire the way an oft-used theme is handled in a unique manner in this story.

Mae’s characters leave a mark on your psyche; Mrs. Conway’s resilience is heart wrenching, she pours her emotions into her painting, Beth’s silent screams gave me goosebumps, Kellan’s mysterious love stunned me though some questions remain unanswered, Angie’s and Claudie’s connection transcends beyond earthly experiences. ‘Guardian’ left me spellbound, wondering whether it is Dayr’s lust for love and life or is it his fears that took Jared into dreams. It is a marvel that these characters stayed with me to visit me in my dreams! Such is the power of Claire’s characterization. This book is engrossing and thought-provoking if you read it slowly. Highly recommended. 5 stars!

– Balroop Singh

Thank you.

#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.

Happy Holidays

A cerulean fairy is beckoning me
Near the waterfall,
Beyond the snowy peaks,
Above the silvery clouds
I am entranced by her fragrance.

She is taking me to an idyllic land
Where smiles are not hidden
Behind the masks.
A land luminous with buoyancy,
Nothing less than Elysium. 

She illuminates my conviction
Her light calms all worries,
Picks all the splinters
Invisible hope shimmers around her
With unwrap-able gifts.

I’ll be back with that hope.
Leaving behind the monsters of 2020
I am flying with the holiday fairy
If you want to join us
Just look at the horizon and smile.
©Balroop Singh, 2020

Wishing you a warm and safe holiday season. Happy reading!

If you like poetry, Check my latest book: Magical Whispers

Pick up your copy at Amazon. 

#BookReview: Lords of Chaos

Never have I read any fantasy series faster than D. Wallace Peach’s ‘Unraveling the Veil’ trilogy. Too much fantasy doesn’t humor a realist like me, who likes to blend both but subtle realism in these three books amazed me. Lords of Chaos is the third book in the series. I’ve enjoyed all three.

Lords of Chaos, as the name suggests, acquaints us with “the First of Chaos,” who unleashes unspeakable devastation and despair in the fantasy world created by D. Wallace Peach. The story unravels deeper deceptions, as nobody could figure out who had robbed whom of his body and who was a changeling. Even so-called leaders couldn’t be trusted. Elves, changelings and goblins – all have to pay a heavy price as their world falls apart. Jungles are burnt, chaos rampage through their lands and innocent people drown in floods. Truth, compassion and kindness are thrown to the winds.

This book is a subtle comment on the world of today, hinting at the cunningness and selfishness of the people who hold authority. It seems to suggest that those who ignore their blessings, those who conspire against their own people and don’t respect each other are bound to face dire consequences.

The highlight of this book is the exquisite description of war scenes, so rare in modern literature. I marvel at the poetic prose, in the midst of war:
“Colossal chunks of sculpted stone, the elegant art of master manipulators, smashed against the sheer walls and plunged into the silver river far below.”
“Braced within the trees, she screamed and shifted. The air rippled with heat. Leaf litter withered. Twigs smoldered and erupted into flames.”

This book remains unpredictable till the last page but the trilogy must be read in order, if you want to understand the values embedded within it. Highly recommended.

– Balroop Singh