Category Archives: Book Reviews

WELCOME TO THE #RRBC 2019 OCTOBER-WEEN BLOCK PARTY Winners

 

Hello and Welcome to the #RRBC 2019 October-ween Block Party. At each stop on the tour, there will be Daily Giveaway Prizes. At the end of the entire tour, there will be Grand Prize Winners!

Here are the prizes at this stop:

1) A $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of my eBook Songs of Heartstrings

Winner: Beem Week  https://beemweeks.wordpress.com

2) A $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of my eBook Songs of Heartstrings

Winner: James J. Cudney IV https://thisismytruthnow.com

3) A $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of my eBook Songs of Heartstrings

Winner: John W. Howell https://johnwhowell.com

There are 3 gifts for 3 Winners!

All you have to do to enter is leaving a comment below.

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Here is the topic of the post today

Why do people write poetry?

The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung, used as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy, and law. Aristotle’s Poetics identified three major genres:

1) The epic poetry is the oldest poetry which is a lengthy narrative poem involving a time beyond living memory of the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women. It described their dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces and gave shape to the moral universe for their descendants.

2) Lyric poetry is a formal poetry which expresses personal emotions or feelings, typically spoken in the first person. The term derives from Ancient Greek literature; the lyric was a musical accompaniment, usually on a stringed instrument known as a lyre.

3) Dramatic poetry or Verse drama is any drama written as verse to be spoken; another possible general term is the poetic drama. For a very long period, the verse drama was the dominant form of drama in Europe. Greek tragedy and Racine’s plays are written in verse, as is almost all of Shakespeare’s drama.

During the 20th-century and 21st-century there are disputes among the traditional forms and structures for poetry and the distinction between poetry and prose. The elements of traditional poetry include prosody, rhythm, meter, metrical patterns and rhyme. The forms of poetry comprise lines, patterns and rhyme. Prose is a natural flow of speech. However, as T. S. Eliot noted, whereas “the distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure.” Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent patterns, rhyme, or any musical pattern. It follows the rhythm of natural speech. Most free verse maintains the poetic convention of the poetic lines. T. S. Eliot wrote, “No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.”

My favorite lyrics are from hymns and songs. This is one of the songs with the lyrics based on Psalm 8.

 

 

Most of the poems in my poetry collection are in free verse. I also write in various poem forms. Here are some examples of poem forms included in the book.

 

Light and Dark

 

The end of the tunnel was in sight

Travel on a long journey found not in vain

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

The road taken was not one I had chosen

Unexpected trails and body half frozen

The end of the tunnel was in sight

 

Trotting in darkness with heavy feet

Hope, my only strength to pick up the beat

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

Long hall of darkness with pain in veins

Comforting in the heart stopped me from fainting

The end of the tunnel was in sight

 

Throbbing pain head to toes subsided

Medication and nutrition worked two-sided

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

Six months of cancer treatment had completed

Only follow-up appointments needed repetition

The end of the tunnel was in sight

Energizing my weary body moved toward the light

 

The highly structured Villanelle is a 19-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines.  

 

WONDER

 

Whispering into my ear

Of passionate words to hear

Needing me in your life

Day after day, night after night

Embracing me against your chest

Reassuring me for worst or best

 

An acrostic poem is a type of poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a word or phrase. The most common and simple form of an acrostic poem is where the first letters of each line spell out the word or phrase.

 

I appreciate your visit and comment!

 

 

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – Miriam Hurdle, Jessica Norrie, Cynthia Reyes and Gwendolyn Plano

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The first book today to receive a recent review is Miriam Hurdle for her collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and BeatitudeAbout  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Sep 14, 2019James rated it it was amazing · review…

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Book Review: Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle

It’s delighted to see the marvelous review of my poetry book from James J Cudney IV. He walked along side with me to recount my journey experience, my reflection on what it meant to endure and trust the process.
Please head over to his blog to read his review and over 900 of his book reviews. You’ll also find out more of his mystery books.

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

This Is My Truth Now

Before I get into my review of the book, Songs of Heartstrings, I’d like to share some information about the author, Miriam Hurdle. Authors, whether writers or poets, often pull from experience, i.e. the old adage: write what you know. In this case, there is clear evidence of the pain this poet went through in the past. Between losing loved ones, dealing with the end of a relationship, and cancer, Miriam Hurdle has gone to battle quite often and conquered many major obstacles in life. It is because of these experiences that we see and feel such beauty in her poems.

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

She is passionate about poetry and her favorite poets are Robert…

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My Book Review of Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwen Plano #RWISA #RRBC

My Book Review of Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwen Plano #RWISA #RRBC

Gwen Plano Letting go

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Blurb:

Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgivable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.  Continue reading……

 

My Review

In her book Letting Go, Gwen Plano recounted her two abusive marriages in honesty and courage. She married the first husband after he had a mental breakdown. The psychiatrist gave her hope that Bruce could recover. She married him intending to help him and saved him from being admitted. She couldn’t handle his outrage and filed a divorce. She married Ron six months after they met. There were signs of Ron’s disturbed behavior, but Gwen stated that she was in a fantasy world of young love. In the years to come, Ron uprooted the family on minutes of notice and moved across the country and even to Japan. After they came back to the US, he was getting more violent, demeaning and controlling.  He physically abused their young son when the baby was seven months old. When the daughter was sexually abused at age five by clergies and complained about that years later, Ron didn’t want to deal with it and wanted to move on.

During the twenty-five years of abuse, Gwen studied and taught. The workplace was her escape. The busyness kept them going for twenty-five years. At one point, she realized Ron made her feel “small.” In an abusive relationship, women kept the abuse in secret, fear the reporting results in more abuse. These women may fear of not being able to stand on their own feet.

The beginning of her book, Gwen conveyed her Catholic upbringing which demanded her obedience to the church rules and prevented her from divorce. Her family background formed her endurance of hardship without complaint. It was after her seeking spiritual advice and assurance to rid her fear that she filed for a divorce and was set free.

 

My Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

 

 

About the Author

Gwendolyn M. Plano, aka Gwen M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir. In Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse, Gwen bravely recounts a violent marriage and the faith that opened her heart to hope, to trust, and to awe. Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a powerful story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s inspiring account of learning how to forgive the unforgivable, recover her sense of self, open her heart, and honor the journey home.

Gwen’s second book, The Contract between Heaven and Earth, is the first of her thriller series and is co-authored by John W. Howell, published in June 2018. Author Jan Sikes wrote that “The Contract is the perfect blending between the physical and unseen world with unbreakable bonds between human and spirit.”

The Choice: unexpected heroes, the second in her thriller series, was published in June 2019 and continues the story.

 

Other books by Gwen Plano

The Contract: between heaven and earth     The Choice: the unexpected heroes

 

Contact Gwen Plano

Website: http://gwenmplano.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-M.-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GwendolynMPlano

 

 

Streets Ahead Book Promotion – Miriam Hurdle

Stevie Turner promoted my book on her wonderful blog. She offers Drop and Run on Fridays when you leave a link of your post on her blog. Bloggers share and visit each other. Please head over to visit her blog and her books.

 

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by [Hurdle, Miriam]

Stevie Turner

This week on Streets Ahead we’re promoting Miriam Hurdle’s collection of poetry ‘Songs of Heartstrings’:

Songs of Heartstrings depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache circumstances and an unpredictable cancer. It also celebrates true love and fulfilling relationships.

Miriam Hurdle in her poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience. Many poems are illustrated with her photos and watercolor paintings.

The poems in this collection are inspiring to the mind, heart and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences.

Review:

“A good poetry book that fans of the genre will surely appreciate.” – Readers’ Favorite

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by Miriam Hurdle is a…

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Book Review – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes #RRBC

Book Review – Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes #RRBC

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Flowers And Stone by [Sikes, Jan]

 

Blurb

The epic love story begins here!
A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.
1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

 

My Recommendation

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read.  This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My Amazon and Goodreads Ratings 5.0 of 5 Stars

 

Jan Sikes

 

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

 

Contact the Author

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Website: http://www.jansikes.com

Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

 

 

 

Book Review – Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh

Book Review – Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh

 

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Sublime Shadows Of Life by [SINGH, BALROOP]

 

Blurb

Sublime Shadows of Life is a comment on life, its turbulent curves and relationships. It envisions people through the prism of poetry. I, you, he, we and they are universal symbols which highlight the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

 

My Recommendation

Sublime Shadows of Life is a beautiful poetry collection. Balroop Singh reflected on the painful and distressful past shadows found in unfulfilling desires, disappointment, confusion, discrimination, rejection, grieving, lost passion and loneliness. The poems voice the longing for education, justice, friendship, love and happiness yet life was caged in with clipped wings. The hope and attachment brought anguish and painful fall to cause withdrawal and detachment. The poet resolved that happiness is to smile at the shadows, find positive strength from within, pick up the threads of life, and move on to the success of future.

The poet skillfully depicts her personal and observed experiences which bear universal applications. Readers will enjoy the rich poems with deep emotions.

 

My Amazon and Goodreads Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars

 

Balroop Singh

 

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, an educationalist, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in San Ramon California.

 

Contact the Author:

Website: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balroop.singh1

 

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