Category Archives: Memoir

Book Reviews – Just Her Poetry by D.L. Finn and While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle

My two book reviews – “Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul” by D.L. Finn and “While the Bombs Fell” by Robbie Cheadle

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While the Bombs Fell x

Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul by D.L. Finn

Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul by D.L. Finn is a collection of poetic paintings of nature through the seasons. The vivid imagery creates a virtual reality for the readers to share the author’s experience. Sitting on her deck bathed in the warm sun, surrounded by sky-reaching cedar, redwood, and Douglas fir trees, Finn observed the colorful flowers, bees, birds, and quietly watched the animals while accompanied by her pets. As a nature lover, it’s a privilege to be in the company with the author to appreciate the beauty of nature. This poetry is also an honest outpour of the author’s deep emotions through her states and stages of life. It reflects the anguish, pain, fear, anger, dilemma, love, acceptance, strength and hope. Poetry lovers will enjoy the refreshing songs of nature and the heart.

My favorite lines from Spring and Summer:

The gentle breeze…
Blows away the remnants of winter.
The blue skies showcase the beauty…
In an abstract painting of an untamed scene.

My favorite lines from Fall and Winter:

My soul sways like the trees,
Both rooted firmly in the ground.
Water pours out of the sky.
The winds pound furiously.
Trees bending, but not breaking.
They ride the storm out.
Then, in the silence, the snow.
A temporary frozen situation.
That soon disappears back into fall.

My favorite poem from Emotions

PIECES
You are always safe here I try to reassure.
Your eyes flicker with hope for a brief moment,
But suspicion quickly replaces that hope
I know your trust is hard to come by.
Yours has been shattered into many pieces.
I cannot find all those pieces—yet.
I won’t give up though until I return them to you.
I’ll find a way to relight the hope in your youthful eyes.
Bit by bit I will search with as much help as I can find.
It’s not going to be easy, but that doesn’t stop me.
Others may give up—I won’t.
Because I know once you are safe and loved
Some day…some day…the light will shine again.
All your pieces will be put back together.
And all of you can be whole once again.

Amazon and Goodread Rating

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About the Author

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

Contact the Author

Website

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Goodreads

 

While the Bombs Fell by [Cheadle, Robbie, Eaton, Elsie Hancy]

My Review

“While the Bombs Fell” by Bobbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton is a story based on Eaton’s true experience. While it is not a history book of WWII, it contains many details of the hardships, rations, and simple joy of the family lived through the unpredictable bombing.

Elsie recounted her wartime memories as a four-year-old girl living in the town Bungay, East Anglia, England in 1942. Germany bombed England, and the air raid sirens were part of her “normal” life. When sirens came on, the family rushed to the bomb shelter.

The family lived on the farm with cows and vegetables to help to supplement their rations. Items such as bananas, oranges, and lemons were unknown fruits to Elsie. Families those days kept the books of coupons used to purchase rationed items such as clothing and meat. Despite the freezing cold, Elsie’s family only had enough energy to light the fire in the living room. At nightfall, all the rooms were dark except the living room. The young children took baths, but the adults and older children used the bowl in the scullery to wash themselves. They used the same bowl to mix batters and dough and wash the dishes.

Regardless of the bombing, children continued to attend school. Elsie started school in 1942 and enjoyed simple learning and fun, such as playing with modeling clay and singing.

Elsie remembered going to the movie and saw Back from the Front. She got some wool and knitting needles for her birthday present. Her first knitting had many holes from skipped stitches. Elsie kept it as a memento.

Robbie Cheadle is known for her children’s books and recipes. In this book, she included two recipes during WWII, the Lord Woolton Pie, and the Potato Pastry.

The book is a well-told story. It reminds me of my parents’ experience during WWII. They retreated from the city to live in a village where they had a farm to grow pigs, chicken, and vegetables. My older sister’s job was to feed a 500-pound pig. The farm sustained them until the war was over.

Amazon and Goodreads Rating

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2a.Robbie

About the Author

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalized biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website   

Blog

Amazon

Goodreads    

Twitter

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors – Lucy V. Hay, Miriam Hurdle, Phil Houston

Sally Cronin shared three of the nineteen contributing authors of this anthology. Take a peek at these authors’ life experiences.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Over the last two weeks I have been featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

Compiled by author Stevie Turner – the proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first posts in the series:Contributors Part Three

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

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Miriam’s Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Miriam’s Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Memoir of a Mad Woman by [Quiroz-Vega, Vashti]

What Amazon Says

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

My Recommendation

In Memoir of a Mad Woman, Vashti Quiroz-Vega writes about the horrible experiences Emma went through. After her father left and mother was burned to death, she was placed in an orphanage. There was a time when Emma had a crush on a male teacher, had a girlfriend and even wanted to plan a birthday party for a female teacher. Her mental stage didn’t indulge her good feeling for too long before the cruelty of an institution inflicted upon her. The physical, emotional and sexual abuse ripped her apart and her only friend betrayed her. She was the loneliest soul in the orphanage while the director, male nurse and other adult ignored each other’s crime done to her. To a fifteen years old poor girl with no friends and no adult guidance, the bursting impulse pushed her to the edge of vengeance.

Vega in this short story exposes the dark side of reality which doesn’t come to surface easily. It’s an engaging quick read provoking emotion. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys dark and horror stories.

My Amazon and Goodreads Rating:

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Vashti Quiroz-Vega

About the Author

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Contact the Author at:

Website: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vashti-Q-Author-Page-396515670465852/

 

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The Biggest Change: Times Past

Irene Waters hosts a monthly memoir post – Time Past. The theme for this month is The Biggest Change.

My mom is the Silent Generation and I am the Baby Boomer.

I have many stories to tell about the biggest change in my mom’s life as well as in my life. For this post, I write about the biggest change in my life within a few months in 1977. The changes in culture, environment, language, and ways of life happened to me all at once.

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I worked several years after graduated from college. I took the Double-Decker bus to work. It went from Kowloon to the underwater Crossed Harbour tunnel, then to  Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. At that time, there were no cell phones, I did my reading on the bus.

Being busy was an understatement. I worked forty hours a week in my paying job plus twenty hours a week volunteering at a church. I did most of the mental planning on the bus. It was an advantage to take public transportation. On some of the weeknights, I went window shopping to take my mind off the working mode. I did a thirty-minute walk from Pioneer Centre Shopping Arcade to Kowloon Central Post Office on Nathan Road, then took a bus home.

It was eleven thirty o’clock at night when I went to bed. The more I tried to relax the more anxious I got in my head. Getting six hours of sleep was fortunate before I shook my head to wake up the next morning.

On March 21, 1977, I arrived in Portland, Oregon to attend school for my graduate studies. The campus was surrounded by pine trees reaching into the sky. The school owned some housings and rented them to students. Many of the nearby residents rented out their homes to the students also. I shared a cottage with two female students. It was common that the basement and the attic were living areas if they met the legal requirement.  I lived in the attic, my housemates lived downstairs. I didn’t mind living in the attic because I was shy to carry on a conversation with my British English. My housemates were very friendly. We ate dinner together three times a week and took turns to do the cooking. Cooking was not something I did often in Hong Kong, so I tried to remember what my mom had done and did accordingly.

 “I’m living in a forest,” I told my family in a letter.

I had never experienced such quietness. It was so quiet that I started noticing the intermittent tinnitus in my left ear. This was an extremely different environment to the one I just left two days ago. My life was from running sixty miles an hour to almost a complete stop. In one minute, I was hustling and bustling to catch the bus; in another minute, I had nothing to do except going to classes and doing term papers.

Doing a typewritten paper was a challenge to me. I did all my writing in handwriting previously. When working on the first assignment, I learned to type with a manual typewriter and typed my paper at the same time. I didn’t want to type with two index fingers. How could I learn to type by doing that? By using ten fingers to type, it was inevitable to have many typos. There was no correction tape built into the typewriter, I used correction fluid. Experience taught me to apply a thin layer on the paper, not only for it to try faster, but avoid having a white hump on the paper.  Even when I typed after the fluid was dry, the dent would look like sticking the candles on the icing of a cake. It took me almost an hour to type my first page.

(Excerpt from my memoir in progress)

By the way, my first typewriter was orange. It looked almost the same as this image I found on Google search.

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Irene WatersThe biggest change: Times Past