#BookReviews – Five #Stars for each one

It’s been a while since I shared the reviews of the books I’ve read. Here are some of my favorites, each one got glittering five stars from me.

Redemption: A fabulous blend of mystery, suspense and emotions

Redemption is an action-packed story of a family that falls apart due to the secret activities of Eric who is murdered in his own home. His wife ends up in a hospital and their daughter Lisa, along with her brother Trace, tries to figure out the maze, which entangles them with each effort, as they try to solve the mystery of their father’s murder. In this fast-paced story, suspense plays a significant role, as it is difficult to decide who is trustworthy.

There is a divine touch that unfolds through the intuitive ability of Lisa. Plano has created a wonderful trio – Lisa, Trace and his friend Ryan. Together, they traverse the dangerous lanes of investigation and keep you at the edge of your chair. Many secrets tumble out of the closet that are shocking for Trace. The growth of characters is noteworthy. A fabulous blend of mystery, suspense and emotions, the way emotional upheavals are thrown in to give a realistic view of life in the midst of crisis, is remarkable.  If you like thrillers with a warm touch, you would like this book.

Return to Silverhills: Packed with action and adventure

Return to Silverhills by Sandra Cox captures your heart the moment it starts and holds it till the last page. A fast-paced story of Lisa, a withdrawn girl who had suffered at the hands of Comancheros, is told with vivacity. She was rescued by Brandon and is wary of men but when she gets an opportunity to do her share, she offers to accompany Brandon’s brother Jeff to help the cook on a cattle drive.  

Challenges await in the form of blizzards, quicksand, gunshots, and many more adventures. Despite continuous action and perils lurking at each step, this is a heartwarming story of care, concern and love. The grandfatherly concern of Cookie for the group, the passion that goes into taking care of Lisa and the names like Arabella, Honey, Hope, Lucky give a sensitive touch to the narrative.  

Cox’s incisive style of writing, without any superfluous details or distractions makes her books so likable and this one is no exception. The way she handles Jeff’s feelings for Lisa is remarkable. If you like a western story with a touch of tenderness, you will love this book.

Lion Scream: A visual and poetic delight

Lion Scream is a visual and poetic delight but more than that it holds a wealth of information about amazing creatures of southern Africa in a succinct manner. Cheadle shares her incredible personal experiences with the wild animals and her video footage links add another dimension to this book. Her love for wild life shines through her poems, most of which are written in the form of ‘Double Ennead.’ I appreciate her sensitive approach toward the fauna.

As the title of the book symbolizes –  human beings need to hear the scream because the impact of poaching, killing and encroaching upon the natural habitat of wild animals has produced disastrous consequences. The first poem ‘Lion Scream’ sums up the plight of wildlife – “there is no jungle, only acres of smooth stumps…”

‘Rhino Dilemma’ clearly demonstrates the savagery and greed of man.

The book has very aptly been dedicated to “everyone who relies on Earth for survival.” It concludes with an insightful short story ‘Nutcracker,’ emphasizing the effect of man’s apathetic attitude toward his environment.

Grow Damn it!: A perfect blend of emotions and humor

 ‘Grow Damn it!’ is a brilliant potion, in which Oreglia blends snippets of her life – moments of joy and despondency, in equal measure. When she expresses emotions, she takes you into the depths of an ocean where breathing becomes an excruciating effort but when she talks about the lighter moments of life, she takes you beyond the clouds and you merge into their folds with perfect harmony, as if you were a part of the story being told. Such is the magic of her style of writing – informal yet effective. Warmth percolates from her words that reaches your heart effortlessly. Her bonding with the Magnolia tree, her relationship with her mother, sister and grandchildren speaks volumes about her magnanimous heart.  Her reflections exude wisdom and wit. I could relate to many of her experiences.

I thought ‘True Grit’ is my favorite chapter but then I read ‘Midlife, Nettles’ and found it hilarious. No! I told myself – ‘Middle-Aged Penance’ is better but wait, read ‘Can I Tell You…’ and then decide! Some of her expressions are classic! Just consider this one:

“The ants are staying for dinner. Buy some bait.” (You have to read this book to know the “ants.”)

“The wines are breathing much better than I am.”

“My gratitude bubbles over as if my soul were a flute of fine champagne.”

“There are things death cannot touch.” – how profound!

Oreglia also shares some beautiful pictures of her family.

I have not read a more meaningful memoir that could speak to me on an emotional level. Never have I been so drawn by a book! It beckoned me even when I was watching my favorite show. Highly recommended.

Thank you.

Balroop Singh.

If you like poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Or hang out with  Hues Of Hope 

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Blissful #Love Double #Etheree

Image by photographer, Terri Webster Schrandt,

Blissful Love

When
roses
coruscate,
the passion of
petals emit a
resplendent spark that shows
how ecstatic are whispers
of green love that blooms unawares,
a fairy tale that sounds authentic,
a journey to luminous lands of choice.

The fragrance fleets just like the petals drop
but austere love embraces each moment
it glistens and thrives in the hearts
complemented by new dreams
percolates into souls
just like vintage wine
swirls on our tongue
a sublime
touch of
bliss.
© Balroop Singh, 2023

This week’s challenge is photo prompt. Thanks to Colleen for the inspiration to write some syllabic poetry. 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.

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Or hang out with  Hues Of Hope 

#Ekphrastic #Poetry Challenge – Crown #Cinquain

I am back after a long, fun-filled vacation, emotional reunions with friends and family after a gap of three years. Though jet-lagged, I am getting inspired by this beautiful challenge. Thanks to David for choosing a thought-provoking image for Ekphrastic poetry challenge this month.

“Ukrainian Figurines” by Kirill Shevchenko (Groder) Image by Кирилл Шевченко from Pixabay

Together?

The day
we all gathered
harmony of colors
depicted the dreams that connect us
with love

that day
we were summoned
by our mentor to show 
the luster of togetherness,
a glow

a show
of diligence,
of emotions that bind. 
our hair color could never change 
the goals

he said:
let’s meditate!
Donna stood tall, erect
Bob stood on his toes to show he’s 
alert 

just few
paid attention
to the artist’s vision
curious Cane watched from the edge
judging!

© Balroop Singh

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.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

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 

 

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge

People Pleasers

Bosses exult at their loyalty and sincerity. Friends mock their “loving nature.” Siblings bully them into believing that they are loved. Spouses manipulate them to get things done. The acquiescence and complacence of people pleasers baffles me. Some live in the make-believe world of self-admiration, thinking they are exceptional human beings, born to be altruistic. Others have some goals in mind, which they want to accomplish at all costs.

noble intentions
boomerang any moment
capsizes their boat
robs their identity off
tossed away by tide of life
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Colleen’s weekly TankaTuesday challenge, ( specific form) which has inspired me to create a tanka prose. Tanka is typically written in the 5-7-5-7-7: a five-line syllabic structure. Tanka prose always contains a title. One basic requirement: one paragraph, and one tanka.

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope