#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 

#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

Poet’s Choice #Shadorma

nimbus beams
and confers with Zeus
calls Nephele
Hyades meet
to provide relief from drought
we revel in rain

***

shrieking wind
continuous rain
vying all night 
To outshine
silvery sky watches calmly
clouds mingle with poise 

© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Colleen Chesebro for Weekly Poetry Challenge. This week’s double Shadorma is inspired from windy rain.

If you like poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

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

Welcome my guest Lauren Scott #NewRelease

I am pleased to welcome Lauren Scott, (my author buddy) with her new release: ‘More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose.’ I’ve already read this delightful book and enjoyed it. There is something for everybody in the moments that have been shared in this book.

Book Blurb:

From the early woes of childhood and teen years, this collection of stories and poems paints a picture of young dreams and fears. But as adulthood sets in, these dreams and fears change. More than Coffee touches on love and loss, nature and endurance, marriage and parenting. In these memories, humor diffuses fear and taking risks proves to be a powerful method in boosting self-confidence. Through it all, whether in the wilderness near a sparkling lake or in the comfort of home, there’s nothing like a good cup of coffee. A poignant and reflective collection of verse and prose that is best enjoyed sipping your favorite coffee roast.

Excerpt:

Red Lipstick

With childlike fascination,
I leaned against the door frame
watching her apply a little
powder to her nose,
a touch of red to her lips.
No more, no less. She was flawless.
Then our eyes locked –
an unspoken connection.
Questions never-ending,
I gently tucked her wisdom
in a safe space where I could
draw from it easily.
I’d love to share tales
of life she’s missing.
Perhaps, again someday.
© Lauren Scott

My Review:

More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose by Lauren Scott is a heart-warming memoir that captures lovely moments of childhood, of parents’ love, of attachments, of campfires and hiking with the love of her life. The blissful moments come alive as Scott revels in the good times, letting nostalgia transport her into a time machine, to watch the reel unfold like “pictures on a camera roll.” She talks about the value of some priceless gifts that are handed down from one generation to another; she takes pride in the stories that such “gems” tell to evoke fond memories of parents. Only the happy times have been shared in this book.

Written in a simple and straight-forward style, Lauren’s poetry is realistic. ‘To My Babies’ tugged at my heart and I am sure all mothers can relate to this charming poem. Fragrant memories of “Earthquake Cake” made me smile. ‘Simple Existence’ is thought-provoking and made me pause to comprehend the depth of words that dance across “desert dunes and boundless oceans.” ‘Forever Steady’ too gives you a reflective message to take a breather, look at the magical wilderness of nature and see how “delightfully birds sing and trees welcome our company.”

I loved this book and finished it within an hour. If you value relationships and family bonding, this book is for you. I gave it five shimmering stars.

Meet the Author/Poet:

Lauren has authored two collections of poetry: New Day, New Dreams(2013) and Finding a Balance (2015). In the last couple of years, she began exploring memories from her past, penning them into short memoirs. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Matthew, and their lovable canine, Copper; they have two adult children. Family has been an aspect of life she has always held dear. From her experiences over three decades: raising a family, grieving through loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and the many backpacking and camping adventures, her writing takes a magical path of its own. 

The marvelous wild world that surrounds her: the smell of the woods, the sound of a babbling brook, and the chorus of birds never disappoint in providing inspiration. Recent backpacking trips with Matthew along the California coast and Sierra Nevada have stirred up thoughts to write about love, lost friendship, family, and the possibility that anything can happen. Hikes along the Paper Mill Creek remind her that life is fragile. From trout hatchlings to swallowtail butterflies, Lauren is marveled at how the world is interconnected and that every living thing matters. She is a poet, short memoir writer, and nature lover who hopes her readers will find a little nugget of delight, comfort, or understanding in her poetry and stories – some detail that resonates with them beyond her words. 

Purchasing Links:

US: Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/22a75vhj

UK: Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/xat7wru

BLOG: https://baydreamerwrites.com/

 Thank you for your lovely support. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

#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