#BookReviews: #Mystery #TimeTravel #Memoir

Taking a break from syllabic poetry, I want to share the reviews of some fabulous books I’ve read this month. All four are my favorite authors (The Haunting… has been written by two perceptive stalwarts.) I have read one more brilliantly written book by our wordsmith – Diana. I would share it in my next post this week.

The Haunting of Chatham Hollow gives you a few hiccups in the beginning, oscillating between two timelines and many characters but soon picks up a steady pace and keeps you invested in the mystery as well as seances. A complex plot, ensconcing many stories, it is a combination of supernatural fantasy and cozy horror. 

The style of two authors mingles in a brilliant manner! Who seeks the hidden treasure of Ward Chatham and why? Would Chatham’s ghost reveal the secret? What is the significance of the curse? Many such questions keep gnawing at your heart till the end.

The strength of this book lies in the seances, each one more vivid, more captivating than the other, giving you the feeling of a real scene of a movie. Spiritualists and skeptics provide a balanced view but Ward Chatham adds a weird aura to the story.

Benedict is hardly a competitor for Victor, probably due to his nefarious designs and that is why the latter emerges to be my favorite character. All the characters have been crafted with equal astuteness and the most stunning one is the grandmother of Aiden. 

It is marvelous how all the links are woven together in the end. However, some of the details are superfluous; they hamper the pace of the book and eliminating them could have made it more thrilling. Highly recommended for all kinds of readers. 5 stars reading. 

Geller’s Find by Sandra Cox is an intriguing tale, a combination of western and time travel, with a cozy romance thrown in. True to her style, Cox dives into the story headlong, and keeps a brisk pace, never letting you waver an eyelid. While hiking through the majestic Great Basin, Luke’s love for artifacts leads him into the past, as he hurtles down into a deep hole, “whirling into a tube of rock”and reaches in the year 1882 where he meets Lily, a rancher. The vivid description of his journey, as if he were in an elevator is most captivating. Many questions would crop up in your mind – How would he get back? Will he stay and never go back? How would he find his bag that gets lost? Where would he stay? Can he adjust to the unfamiliar surroundings?

Cox’s characters are most realistic and the way they welcome Luke into their lives is heart-warming. Strong yet tender at heart, Saffron likes Luke but he keeps his distance, as he knows he doesn’t belong to their world. Stryker remains an enigma till the end though Luke is smart enough to see through his sinister plans. There is enough action to keep you enthralled. The book converts into a page-turner toward the end and much is left to the imagination of the reader. Pick up this book, you won’t be disappointed. 5 stars! 

The Winding Road is a poignant memoir of Miriam who was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in one of her organs at the time of her hysterectomy. It was considered to be incurable. She was told that the survival rate was six to twelve months among the patients over the past twenty years. An experimental treatment was recommended and Miriam decided to go ahead with it. Her candid account of the treatment and suffering is extremely heart-rending.  My heart goes out to her, as she had the grit and the determination to walk through the unknown road, never losing sight of her destination. The positivity that kept her going despite the long waits, failing health and side effects of the chemo, is noteworthy. It was the most difficult path, with excruciating pains that she had to bear throughout the treatment, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Her persistence paid off; the blessings and prayers of her friends and family plucked her from the jaws of life-threatening cancer and she could fulfill her wishes of playing with her grandchildren. It requires great resilience to relive those moments while telling the story but Miriam chose to share it and I admire her fortitude. She has also shared some beautiful pictures of her family that reinforces how valuable this life is with our near and dear ones. 5 stars!

Happy reading! Thank you.

– Balroop Singh.

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

Double #Etheree #Poetry Challenge

A Treehouse

A
green girl, 
bubbling with
adolescent 
quest for green mountains
and brooks that enticed her, 
walked away to explore 
forests of pines and deodars
and Mother Nature’s blessings awaited
in the form of a translucent treehouse.

… 

A dream come true, a loving reminder 
that Mother Nature gives and nurtures
one more blessing? an explorer? 
would she find her true soulmate –
a lover of pine trees! 
two parakeets sat 
at their window
to regale
them with
songs.

© Balroop Singh, 2022

Thanks to Colleen’s weekly TankaTuesday challenge, which has inspired me to create a syllabic poem based on color. I chose green, a symbol of balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s also the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. My focus was: “think about the different ways you can use color in a poem.” 

I chose 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.

Image from: Unsplash

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

 

#ThemePrompt – Crown #Cinquain

Lessons from Nature

first rays
percolate down
to enlighten the soul
celestial light inspires to live
with hope

learn hope 
from wind that chimes 
to add her melodies 
to aspirations that dither
sometimes

Willows
absorb the grief
bend but refuse to break
resilience is a virtue –  
mute hint!

buds smile,
exhort us to
enjoy joyous moments
that are missed in the race of life –
savor!

be calm
emerald lake –
sea of serenity
an assurance of tranquil thoughts
reflect!
© Balroop Singh, 2022

The theme of the week is: Lessons from Nature (selected by Sarah.) Thanks to Colleen for the inspiration to craft syllabic poetry. I’ve written a Crown cinquain, a sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem. This poem has five stanzas, each with syllable count of 2/4/6/8/2.

Thank you.

#Ekphrastic #Poetry Challenge

Today’s challenge explores Ekphrastic poetry,  inspired by visual art or photographs. Reena provided a piece of her artwork for this month’s challenge. Thanks to Colleen for the inspiration to write syllabic poetry.

I chose a new form: Octelle and have tried to write two poems. It was challenging as I had to keep in mind the rhyming scheme, while writing a syllabic form.

The Octelle is a poem consisting of eight lines, using personification and symbolism in a telling manner. The syllable count structure for this verse is 8/8/7/7/7/7/8/8, and the rhyme scheme is aa/bb/cc/aa.) The first two lines and the last two lines are identical (refrain).

Aesthetic Coup

echoes of green, crimson and blue
pull me into aesthetic coup
of colors that define life
vague reflections croon with fife
yearn for elusive tunes
trapped in the maze of half moons
echoes of green, crimson and blue
pull me into aesthetic coup

***

Invisible

aching desires rest in designs
every single moment she whines
clipped wings are invisible
dried blood is divisible
you put it in cubbyholes
to sell the sagacious souls
aching desires rest in designs
every single moment she whines

© Balroop Singh

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

Specific Form #Poetry Challenge: Lanturne

I have never heard of this form yet I’ve tried to follow the guidelines to create a lanturne.
The challenge has been given by Colleen (Word Craft Poetry #TankaTuesday) This week, we have to write a lanturne poem or a series of lanturne poems. (A series gets you extra credit, by the way).

The lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one. (1, 2, 3, 4, 1).
I have tried to write a series of lanturne poems. 

If
You yearn
for moments
If they call you,
wait!

**

dig
deeper.
memories
coruscate to
cheer

**

some
love to
embrace us
others look grim
drab

**

all
attach
some essence 
to stream of life 
song

**

sing
with poise
To handle
turbulent life
lull
© Balroop Singh

**

Thank you for the inspiration to learn new forms, Colleen.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope