#BookReviews: Prose & Poetry

This week I would like to share three different genres – a historical laced with paranormal, a prehistoric fiction and poetry about love. Each book enchanted me with its style and characterization.

A Ghost and His Gold: My Review

A Ghost and His Gold is loaded with historical details of the second Boer War in South Africa and I must confess I had no knowledge about this war. This book lays bare the atrocities and the brutalities that are considered to be a part of such conflicts; it also chronicles the long-term effects that they cause on human psyche. It is the powerful presence of the supernatural that keeps you captivated despite the heavy details of the war.

 Cheadle has meticulously put together the poignant plight of the families of the soldiers who dared to defy the British and fight for their rights. It is interesting to note that both perspectives of the war are represented through Pieter and Robert. The story jumps from one time-line to another various times and is told through several POV’s; also switches tenses whenever convenient – it hampers the spontaneous flow of the book. I like the footnotes that clarify local words and expressions.

What impressed me most is how well the emotions have been handled and how adroitly the characters have been developed that they sound realistic, trapped in the circumstances beyond their control. I hate Marta and my heart goes out to Estelle, I didn’t like Tom right from the beginning and developed a soft corner for Pieter – such connections can only be felt with powerful characters.

There are certain absurd expectations: like Michelle asking Estelle “you need to promise me that you’ll not harm him regardless of whether you can forgive him or not.” Who could trust a ghost? However, this is not just a simple ghost story, it highlights serious themes connected with antagonism, avarice, insensitivity and humanity. Well-done!

Laws of Nature: My Review

Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2) continues the story of Lucy and it is better to read ‘Born in a Treacherous Time’ to understand the challenges in the journey of primeval humans. Most of their time was spent in finding food and safety from other tribes and animals. Prehistoric fiction is intriguing and in the hands of Jacqui, it becomes convincing as well as enlightening. Her meticulous search shines through all her books. She shows the life of people of those times through fictional characters who handled all their problems with immense hope.

 Lucy’s mission is the search for a home base. She has to deal with predators; earth changes, freezing temperatures, harsh weather and difficult terrain. Her tribe has been decimated and she could sense that she is being followed but her determination is admirable. Xhosa from the ‘Crossroads Trilogy’ makes an appearance in her dreams to guide and boost her confidence. She promises change would come soon and makes Lucy promise she wouldn’t quit. Packed with action and a new challenge at each step, this book is uniquely different from usual thrillers.

Crossroads: My Review

Crossroads (Winds of Love) takes you through various corridors, which you may have visited yet missed the intense moments of exhilaration; it explores many more aspects of love, compels you to ponder and cultivate resilience. A resilient love is open to maturity but also vulnerable. 

Written in a simple and straightforward style, Jude’s poetry is seeped in ecstasy of sensual love as well as yearning to find love’s freedom; loneliness and wisdom are the rewards – paradoxical? But that is love!

“Loneliness has wrapped me in its embrace, A broken heart has tamed me with wisdom.” How true!

“Once a joy, now an ache” – that is the price of love!

This may be Jude’s debut book but his poetry is so powerful that it draws on your emotions, stirring bittersweet memories and awakens you to “love’s deceptive light.” If you like free verse and want to understand love, this is a perfect book for you.

Thank you. Happy reading!

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

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

#NewRelease: Slivers: Chiseled #Poetry

on the wings of words
glistening with halcyon hope
my new book is here!

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them. This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

I would like to express my gratitude to Colleen M Chesebro for reading an ARC and extending her invaluable guidance about these forms of poetry.

Purchase link


US
UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Paperback link

Promotional price for one week: $ 0.99

Excerpts:

sun spreads divine gold
creates fusion of colors
illumines life

~

serrated peaks kiss
a demure dawn is smiling
scattering some cheer

~

dusk trots complacently
knocks supremacy of the sun
smiles of stars follow

~

full moon still lingers
trees delight in divine light
blissful spectacle

© Balroop Singh

I am extremely thankful to all my author buddies and blogger friends who always spread a word about new releases. Please feel free to re-blog this post and share at your favorite networks. I look forward to your support.

Balroop Singh.

#Bookreviews #Prose & #Poetry

Last month I’ve read and reviewed eight books but these two stood out due to their unique format and style. So I must share them with you.

Word Craft: Prose & Poetry by Colleen M. Chesbro is an excellent reference book for budding poets who want to learn the art of writing syllabic poetry. From finding poetic inspiration to exploring ideas, discerning your sixth sense and discovering your interests, this book is a perfect guide to writing haiku, tanka, haibun, renga, cinquain shardoma, nonet and many more. Along with the definition and details of each form, there are tips about how to write various forms of poetry. Some brilliant examples add more charm to this book.

Reading this book has been an enlightening experience for me as, I had no idea about how a gogyohka or an etheree is written and that a senryu focuses on the awkward moments of life and does not deal with sentimentality. Chesbro’s pithy style is noteworthy and the clarity of her thoughts could hone the writing skills of even a beginner. Syllabic poetry and its discipline have always scared me but this book infuses a new confidence. All poetry lovers must keep this book on their desk. Highly recommended.

5 stars!

Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon is a perfect blend of fantasy and realism, poetry and prose that holds magical qualities. Short and sweet, the story of Harold and William highlights attachment to beauties of nature and loved ones. Annette’s presence holds the key to emotions that link us to each other. Mallon’s style of connecting human relationships with willow tree, dragonflies and flowers shines through out the book.

‘The Old Man of Snow and the Snow Snake’ may appear to be a fabulous fantasy but is a magnificent comment on the avarice of man, eager to plunder nature. ‘Bubble Monster’ is a delightful tale of talking bubbles, with a child-like charm but conveys a serious message – “atmosphere is everything.”

‘My Heart is a Cave’ is beautiful and poignant; as it brings out the loneliness of a sibling who is yearning to be reunited with her loved ones. Attachments cling to us. Mr. Sagittarius could forget the names of his lovers but remembered his orchid, his Ruth and his ballerina – all natural beauties! Just within an hour, this book would fill your heart with warmth that would linger around you for a long time.

5 stars!

Thank you.

Balroop Singh.

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

You can click here for more poetry.

#BookReviews #poetry

This week I have some wonderful poetry books for you. They are quick reads, each one may take just an hour but the thoughts and emotions of these awesome poets would touch your heart.

Minus One by Elizabeth Merry

Minus One by Elizabeth Merry is a collection of short poems and haiku that could be read in less than an hour, each poem has a new theme though all are related to life. Some are vague and you have to figure out your own interpretation. Some lovely memories have been recorded in these poems besides the loss and the pain.

‘Seascapes’ transport you to the beach in a joyous mood, ‘Landscapes’ remind you of suffocations and ‘My Girl’ would fill your heart with aching delight. Read them slowly to discern the real meaning of haiku, as some of them whisper emotions through them. My favorite poems are ‘My Girl’ and ‘Yellow Dress.’

Shadows by Anita Dawes

‘Shadows’ by Anita Dawes reflects on the shadows of life, some of which stay behind us while others inspire to drive away sadness and despair. The themes are universal and symbolize love, darkness, light, time, goodness and dreams. Most of the poems are short and focused. I like the clarity of style and thoughts.

‘Color me Red’ brilliantly describes the moods and yearnings of the poet; ‘Broken’ touches upon those moments of disillusionment and desperation when we need an affectionate touch to reassure ourselves and ‘Nine Gates’ is a little ambiguous but I guess the gates refer to our journey of life, with a message of caution at each step.

Wrong Mouse would make you smile. This collection is a nice assortment of challenges that life throws at us and how we handle them. 

Poetry For you, Truths For Me by Tara Aryan

‘Poetry For You, Truths For Me’ by Tara Aryan is profoundly poignant poetry that rides on the waves of raw emotions, revealing how painful adolescent love becomes if the young heart breaks for whatever reasons. Each poem oozes with emotions that would tug at your heart, pull you into the abyss of her agony, make you a part of her “dark, stormy skies.” Her distress reaches its crescendo with ‘In This Cage’ and ‘Let It Rain,’ as the imagery is devastating in those two poems: “chains cling tightly, frozen, welded into my toughened skin.” I wonder how could love cage you, “anxiety siege you,” a “cloak of claustrophobia wrap around” you yet her words seem so plausible!

Most of the poems have been written in blank verse but there is a rhythmic touch in many, a yearning to move on yet the feeling that there could be no happiness, no life without her lost love. Tara’s style is realistic and could be related to any kind of hurt that is unbearable. Despite the lump in my throat, I could feel the wow factor in her style of expression, so pure, so honest and candid. A big hug for the poet for keeping her head high at the brink of drowning in deep seas of sorrow and pouring the grief into poetry. Bravo!

Poems in this collection mature as the poet enters the realms of understanding and learns to handle life. Wisdom dawns, rage steps in, Tara’s tone changes and a ray of hope shimmers in the later poems. ‘Liar, Liar’ is powerful in this context and lays bare some more truths. Some of the poems would haunt you, touch you deeply and you might need a face tissue while reading. I consider myself emotionally resilient but I had to put my kindle down to balance my emotions.

This one gets 5 shimmering stars.

Thank you.

Balroop Singh.

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

You can click here for more poetry.

Moods Of Nature #Haiku

Glimpses from My Patio:

Yellow joy lures
The song of spring is chiming
New dreams awaken.
~

This hill regales my muse every single day, each waking moment. It is visible from my living room and the moment it changes its mood, I rush out to capture it.

All these pictures have been taken from my patio. Sometimes I go downstairs to capture a closer look, to smile with Mother Nature and celebrate her moods.

The book in my dream pipe right now is a collection of micro-poetry: Haiku, Tanka and acrostic poems.

A beautiful glow
Permeates through bare branches
Glorious dawn delight!
~

Hope sleeps on clouds
Drifts with their rolling rings
Conjuring its own path
~

Misty morning carries
Messages of new mysteries
Unmapped paths beckon
~

Celestial art charms
When clouds drape colors
Joyful moments tarry
~

© Balroop Singh

Thank you! You can click here for more poetry.

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