Category Archives: Book Reviews

Miriam’s Book Review of “Open a New Door” by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades

The Author’s Words

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporate and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style,haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colorful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:
What drives me to write?
To share my innermost thoughts
The answer is clear
It’s my personal attempt
To make some sense of this world.


Inspiration blossoms
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose

My Recommendation

Open a New Door by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades is a poetry collection with themes on the nature and life in Africa, the poets’ families and friends,their personal lives and the cooperate world. In each theme, the poets explored the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of each poem, a short narrative gave the background or situation under which the poems were written. The poems are modern, free verse with rhymes and no rhymes. Each poem is easy to read in the length or one or two pages.

In the theme of life in Africa, Robbie Cheadle showed her compassion toward the poverty of African people young and old whose bread of the day depended on the begging, and their hope of life seemed to fade. Kim Blades described her mother raised her in a rural mountain village and learned to appreciate the nature,and concluded that the Love of Nature leads to the Love of Man. Among the cat family, I like Cheetah the best, I could visualize in Kim’s poems reflecting on the Cheetah’s running. The honey-badger, like most of the animals, protected the meal reminded of many nature documentary videos I’ve watched.

In the theme of the poets’ families, Robbie shared her joy of having a son with an amazing mind and her worry about another son’s physical disease; whereas Kim depicted her delightful interaction with her son. As a parent, I could relate the joyous and anxious emotions. 

In the theme of personal life, I appreciated Kim’s honesty expressing her emotion about her husband leaving her and her loneliness. Robbie’s poem “My Mind’s Eye” beautifully depicted the way she saw her life from childhood to adulthood and her acceptance of what life has brought her.

This poetry collection covers a wide range of personal experiences, observation and emotions. Many people could relate to them.

My Goodreads Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars



About the Author

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”. 

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specializes in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg.Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.

Contact Robbie Cheadle at:

Website: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robbie.cheadle.7

Miriam’s Book Review – “Fairies, Myths and Magic” by Colleen Chesebro

Fairies, Myths and Magic” by Colleen Chesebro

The Author’s Words

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future. 

My Recommendation

Colleen Chesebro in her book Fairies,Myths and Magic begins each section by an introduction. In the Fairies section,she describes the origins, the forms, and appearance of fairies. In the Myths section, she explained that myth is the oldest oral or written storytelling method to explain the strange natural or supernatural phenomena. In the Magic section, she points out that magic is defined as the supernatural power over the natural force and magic happens to us every day.

The short stories and poetry seamlessly weave into a pleasant dream that one wishes to stay in. The story of “Just What the Doctor Ordered” grabbed my attention because I have tinnitus. Roger’s tinnitus was cured after the fairs’ visit while he slipped into a dream over the Mojitos. I love “The Pond” A Haibun/Tanka Poem with the line “As I gaze into the pond, I see the reflection of the woman I’ve become. Past and future meld as one.”

The short story “The Leaving” was engaging from the first line to the end. It’s eerie but not too scary.

I love poetry so it’s enjoyable to read Colleen Chesebro’s many poems forms.

There are so many intriguing short stories and poems that one must read them to experience the delight of the book.Highly recommended to read for pleasure.

My Goodreads rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 


About the author

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction,poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. 

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.

Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

Contact ColleenChesebro at:

Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Colleen-M.Chesebro/e/B01N9MV2RX?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/colleen-m-chesebro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColleenChesebro

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMChesebro/?tn-str=k*F