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Poetry Friday ~ Gratitude

22 Jan

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

As some of you may know, I recently published the third and final book of my Fantasy Angels Series. This has been a very busy week as my book, The Rise of Gadreel has been making its rounds throughout the blogmosphere. I am beyond grateful to the kind, generous, and supportive authors who featured my new release on their awesome blogs. If you haven’t visited any of the stops on my book tour please consider doing so. Thank you for your support.

Book Tour: The Rise of Gadreel

D.G. Kaye, Writer – Sunday Book Review

Welcome To Harmony Kent Online

Fiction and life . . . from the desk of Gwen M. Plano

Writing and Music – Jan Sikes

Author D.L. Finn

D.G. Kaye, Writer – Q & A with D.G. Kaye

MARK BIERMAN | Blog

The above blogs are all wonderfully entertaining, please take the time to check them out.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Thank you

my lovely friends

I’ll prove myself worthy

of all the things you’ve done for me

Grateful

My heart is conscious of my treasures.

Colleen Chesebro Poetry Chanllenge – Poet’s Choice

Thanks for stopping by!

Poetry Friday ~ Image Prompt

18 Dec

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all safe and healthy.

It’s the third week of the month! Time for an Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt. Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge chose the beautiful watercolor art piece below.

Artwork by Barbara A. Lane (Pixabay)

When I saw this watercolor I immediately thought about dreams. You know, I thought by now someone would have invented a device that could record our dreams. Many of my short stories were inspired by my many bizarre dreams, so it would be a handy tool for me. I hope you enjoy my Etheree.

What are dreams if not our wishes and fears
sheer colors slowly spreading on the
canvas of our dormant minds
forming watercolor shapes
delightful and fearsome
sometimes inspiring
us to jump out
of   bed  and
write, write
write  

Thank you for stopping by. I always appreciate your visits and comments. Also, remember you can pre-order The Rise of Gadreel for only 0.99¢!

I wish everyone a merry Christmas Eve and Christmas! Don’t forget to look to the sky on 12/21/20 to see the Christmas Star! The best time to see it is about an hour after your local sunset time. I hope it’s a clear night for all of us.

Poetry Friday ~ Christmas in Florida

4 Dec
Photo by Lynda Hinton (@lyndaann1975 – Unsplash)

Hello, everyone! Happy Holidays and a warm welcome to my blog!

I live in south Florida and Christmas traditions are a little different down here. We don’t have snow, so we can’t build a snowman, but we can build one made of sand. There’s no sledding or skiing, but we do have surfing Santas and boats decked out in Christmas lights and decorations. We also have Winterfest, a town named Christmas, Disney World and much more. I found this poem about Christmas in Florida and thought I should share it. I hope you enjoy it.

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
No noses were frozen, nor snow on the ground.

No children in flannels were tucked into bed,
They all wore their shorty pajamas instead.

To find wreaths of holly was not very hard,
For holly trees sprouted in every backyard.

In front of the houses were daddies and moms,
Decorating hibiscus and coconut palms.

The slumbering kiddies were dreaming with glee,
Hoping to find surf boards under the tree.

They all knew that Santa was well on his way,
In a fiberglass boat instead of a sleigh.

He whizzed up the rivers, zoomed up the canals,
Delivering toys to good boys and gals.

The tropical moon gave the cities a glow,
And lit the way for Santa below.

Quite soon he arrived and started to work,
He hadn’t a second to linger or shirk.

He jumped from his boat and gave a wee chuckle,
He was dressed in deck pants, with an ivy league buckle.

There weren’t any chimneys, but that caused no gloom,
For Santa came in through the Florida room.

He stopped at each house but stayed only a minute,
As he emptied his sack of the toys that were in it.

Before he departed he had a long drink,
From the glass of fresh orange juice left by the sink.

He turned with a jerk and jumped into his boat,
Knowing that he still had more toys to tote.

He put it in gear and he opened the gas,
Then up the Peace River he went like a flash!

And I heard him exclaim as he went on his way:
“Merry Christmas, Punta Gorda, I wish I could stay ….

Photo by Lynda Hinton

Take care and stay safe and healthy!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

20 Nov

It’s the third week of the month! Time for Colleen’s Poetry Challenge‘s Ekphrastic Photo Prompt!

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Diana Peach from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

The Saddest Leave The Least Of Clues

Depression sneaks up when least expected

What you once had seems far above you

as you spiral into darkness

sapping your life of meaning

but you smile all the time

though you’re rarely fine

You leave no clues

Depression

is like

cancer

“Real depression is when you stop loving the things you love.”

Atticus

When I saw the image chosen by Author, D. Wallace Peach it reminded me of a beautiful soul who couldn’t see her ethereal beauty in the water because she was shrouded by the darkness of depression. I have several loved ones who suffer from depression. This poem is dedicated to them and to anyone else who is struggling with this disease. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are two types of depression. Feeling extremely sad when you lose a loved one, a pet, or when you lose your job or go through a divorce is perfectly normal. People expect you to suffer some level of depression when you experience something terrible. Being diagnosed with clinical depression is an entirely different thing. This is an illness that stems from there being a chemical imbalance in your brain. When depression hits it does so without warning, and it comes with muscle aches, loss of focus and concentration, insomnia, overeating or loss of appetite, headaches, digestive problems, anxiety . . . . It is a disease like diabetes, lupus, COPD, Alzheimer’s or cancer. Whenever I get a chance, I try to create awareness because there’s a stigma attached to this disease and there shouldn’t be.

Click on image to read an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Rise of Gadreel.

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

23 Oct
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hello, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

I’m participating in Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge. Today’s photo prompt was provided by Trent McDonald. I’m sharing a Haiku and Tanka.

Swans glide together

as lake mirrors the trees

a serene portrait

Photo by Belinda Fewings (@bel2000a)

Mysterious swans

enduring all the seasons

dressed in white feathers

Together for a lifetime

A beautiful, loving pair

I hope you enjoyed the poems. Thanks for stopping by!

Poetry Friday ~ Poet’s Choice

9 Oct
Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Welcome, everyone! This week is ‘Poet’s Choice’ on Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. Poets can choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. I’ve chosen to share a witchy Etheree poem and a couple of quotes today.

“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times? As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower, both strange and familiar.”

Resurrection

She had a mother that didn’t love her

that lied to her about her true worth

that singe her eyebrows with her sneers

taught her nothing of true love

so she dreamt of evil

writing purged the gloom

books gave her joy

nature taught

her to

love

“Do not let anyone tell you the next few months won’t be crazy. We have two full moons in October. An Eclipse in November. An Eclipse in December, and we close the year with a full moon December 29, 2020. This is wild card energy.”

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you liked the post. Enjoy the rest of the day!

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony

6 Oct

Hi, everyone! Today’s guest is no stranger to this blog. I’ve featured C. S. Boyack and his work several times. Craig is a prolific speculative fiction author, and I enjoy his writing style and quirky characters. I’ve read his book ‘The Hat’ and enjoyed it very much. You can read my review here. His personal assistant, robot girl and spokes model, Lisa will introduce us to his latest work. Without further ado here’s Lisa Burton.

Gosh, thanks, for the invitation Vashti. It’s been so hard getting out with all the troubles going on lately. I’m here to promote Craig’s new book, The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third one in The Hat series, but don’t let that scare you off. He worked pretty hard so readers wouldn’t absolutely have to read them in order. People can start right here and have a good time.

You asked for something about Craig’s characters, and I could tell you all kinds of stories. He has a definite style. He likes to use more stoic main characters, then add color with his supporting characters. The Hat Series is a little different, because it’s a buddy series. There’s still a bit of that framework.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a struggling twenty-something working multiple jobs to keep the wolf away. She’s the more stoic one in these adventures.

The hat is a being from another dimension. He was brought here years ago by witchcraft. He’s magically bound to Lizzie’s bloodline and must always take the form of a hat. The form varies, but there are limitations. He has a few magical skills, but no form he can use to accomplish anything. He’s a little more colorful than Lizzie is, to say the least.

Together, they team up to improve their lot in life, but also to fight against monsters.

Character is a big part of these stories. Because there is a huge generation gap, and maybe some differing values, they’re at each others’ throats all the time. Craig plays this for comedy, because that’s a big part of this series. Imagine a social justice warrior trying to deal with her own grandfather and you get the idea. This geezer doesn’t really understand cell phones, the Internet or anything very high tech. It’s enough to drive a robot girl crazy, so I kind of side with Lizzie.

Craig adds some colorful characters everywhere else, too. In this book you’ll meet Kevin, who’s probably the worst vampire of all time. Can you imagine a vampire with gnarly teeth and a speech impediment? Not quite the romantic image Dracula left us with.

Craig’s known for some pretty outlandish characters. Present company excluded. This series has some of the craziest ones he’s ever come up with. That’s saying something if you consider he came up with a talking yak and the root monsters in other tales. I hope your fans will give it a chance.

Oh, I’m also supposed to tell you they’re designed to be short reads. They come in at about half the length of a novel. Makes them easy to read on a Saturday afternoon.

Now let’s get to the fun part. Part of my job is to pose for promotional posters, and I have one for you and your fans. Remember, this series is supposed to be kind of corny, so the scene I’m representing has a little humorous nod to the Spaghetti Westerns of years gone by. It occurs toward the end of the book.

It was so nice visiting with you. Now I want to check out your area. Maybe get my nails touched up. Robot girls don’t actually breathe, but I have a cute mask with bunnies on it to make others feel comfortable. Do you think one of the salons might be open?

There are plenty of beauty salons around here, Lisa, but I haven’t been to one since the pandemic began. I have no idea if they’re open. Maybe we can do each other’s nails? When you wear your mask you’re giving others a good example. Thanks!

Blurb:

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

Purchase your copy hereThe Ballad of Mrs. Molony

Other stories in the series:

THE HAT

VIRAL BLUES

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy Novels|  TwitterGoodreads |FacebookPinterestBookBub

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave Lisa some love in the comment section below. Even robot girls need love. 😉

Poetry Friday ~ Whatever It Takes

18 Sep

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

Today I am featuring the book Whatever It Takes by S. Burke. Suzanne Burke is a talented author of fascinating and thrilling books with a dark edge. I’m a big fan. Visit her awesome blog, Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke. Check out all her books here.

Blurb:

James Kincaid had it all.
He’d made it to the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized winners above all else. Three golden statuettes currently graced the mantle of his Los Angeles mansion. Next year’s Oscars held the sweet promise of more.
Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly. 
He couldn’t move on with his life or the dream without knowing why.
Andi O’Connor is the woman he’d hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.
Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of one besotted human’s insanity?
From Hollywood to New York, the body count continues to rise. Time is not on their side.

Click image to purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Whatever It Takes by S. Burke is an intricate, gripping, and entertaining crime thriller. It’s a smart and thoughtful page-turner that checks off all the boxes for me.

James Kincaid is a Hollywood A-list actor. His wife, Nicole’s sudden death left him unsettled with a plethora of unanswered questions.

He hires ex-NYPD cop Andi O’Connor to look into his wife’s death in order to get the answers he seeks. Soon afterward, a remarkable young actor playing the lead in James’ movie, “No Letters From Home” is found dead. Now he wants Andi to investigate whether the death of his wife is connected to the deaths of two others who died during the filming of this movie.

Andi begins to dig into what should be a routine case but finds far more than she had anticipated. As the horrifying truths uncoil, dark secrets are revealed, a string of murders are uncovered, and all the dots connected to a sadistic serial killer on the loose.

Whatever It Takes (Shadorma poem)

When you love

your love is so wrong

Possessive

Obsessive

You avoid reality

until it’s too late

“Be careful who you trust. Salt and sugar look the same.”

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the visit!

Poetry Friday ~ Book Reviews

11 Sep

Hi, everyone!

I love to read. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy fiction most of all, especially the fantasy genre. There’s enough reality around me (24/7), sometimes it’s marvelous to take a breakation from real life and escape to another country, world, dimension. . . . Some people think that a person can’t learn anything from reading fiction but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been reading since I was a small child, and I’ve learned so much from fictional stories about life, love, friendship, duty, different cultures, animals, science, politics, religions, human nature. . . . I could go on and on. There’s a lot of truth in fiction.

I’d like to share a few of my most recent reads with you. Chronicles of the Diasodz is a young adult fantasy series by author, Yvette M. Calleiro. I’ve read the first three books and I look forward to reading the last two books in the series soon.

I wrote a poem (Nonet) for the first book in the series, The One Discovered. I had already posted a review for this book which you can read here.

Between the covers of my new book

a fearless girl takes a journey

what awaits she has no clue

leaving loved ones behind

to become who she

was born to be

the savior

of her

kind

You can read my review for The One Discovered here.

Blurb:

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

My Review:

The One Enlightened is the second book in the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It picks up where book one left off as Sofia, Ar’ch, and Angel leave Rafe behind to travel via a portal to the world of the Diasodz.

Sofia had a hard time getting over the tragedy of losing a loved one as they escaped into the portal. She also misses her mom, and a few quarrels kept her and Ar’ch apart. However, she and her newly found brother, Angel, created a bond.

She trained with her brother as a Diasodz, and they learned about the history of her people with Nolan who had taken on the role of her father.

Sofia and Ar’ch cleared up their misunderstandings, and a secret romance progressed. Sofia embraced her new life, and she slowly accepted her role as savior of the Diasodz. She grew more confident and stronger both physically and mentally every day. As her relationship with Ar’ch became impassioned, and she rejoiced in their love for one another, an unexpected twist threatened to tear them apart forever.

I liked observing Sofia’s transformation from an innocent teen to a strong, confident young woman. I also enjoyed learning about the culture, faith, and history of the Diasodz. The vivid descriptions and beautiful world building were delightful. The characters continued to grow and develop, which was a lot of fun to witness.

I will be reading the third installment of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series, The One Betrayed. I recommend this series to readers who enjoy young adult fantasy sprinkled with romance and the supernatural.

Blurb:

When Sofia chose to leave Rafe to live with Ar’ch in another world, Rafe’s system shut down and sent him to an early death. But Rafe didn’t die, at least not permanently. Rafe is a Diasodz, and his death simply freed him from his human shell so that he could become the powerful Diasodz that he was meant to be.

He awakened to a completely new reality, a reality in which he was the prince to a kingdom of powerful beings. His parents, Drake and Damiana, were the rulers of the Raizyns, a group of Diasodz who were determined to take their rightful place in the world. And Rafe would be the savior who would lead them on their quest.

Rafe wanted to please his father, especially since he had just met him. To do that, he needed to learn how to fight like a Raizyn and how to master his newfound skill. He needed to become stronger, faster, and more powerful. Rafe needed to become the savior they all expected him to be. That was what was required of him.

But there was one thing that was more important than everything else. One person. Sofia. Rafe was going to find a way to get her back, even if it cost him his life. Again.

My Review:

The One Betrayed is the third installment of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It does not pick up where the last one left off, like the previous one. Instead, this book takes us back to the ending of book one and revisits the events of the first two books as told by the enemy, the Raizyns. At first, this was a little jarring because I was so involved in Sofia’s story in books one and two. It didn’t take long for me to get into this story, though. I was excited to see how the events unfolded from the point of view of the “other side.”

The author introduced new characters and gave us more insight into the older ones. I enjoyed the in-depth look into the “enemy” and their world. Rafe, Drake, and Mel were my favorites, but all the characters were well developed, interesting, and relatable in some way.

The world building was impeccable, and I enjoyed escaping into this realm. I also enjoyed the sci-fi elements the author sprinkled throughout the story with teleportation, force fields, hologram technology. . . .

The pacing was a bit slow at times but not enough to take away my enjoyment. Although I missed reading about Sofia, it was fun reading the other side’s point of view and getting to know these characters better. And as each book sets up the next one, I look forward to reading book four.

This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry (syllables only) Challenge. This week’s words are: HINT & BOLD. I used the synonyms Clue and Fearless in my Nonet.

I hope you liked today’s post. Enjoy the rest of your day! Happy reading!

Poetry Friday ~ Fantasy Angels Series

4 Sep

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous start to the weekend.

“It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets get to choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc.” ~ Colleen Chesebro

The 3rd and final book in my Fantasy Angels Series, The Rise of Gadreel will be released in a couple of months. So today I’d like to talk a little about the first two books in the series and what they’re about.

The Fall of Lilith, the first book in the series is an origins story. The origin of the angels, of the revolution in heaven, of other supernatural beings that came into existance when fallen angels evolved upon landing in different areas of a primitive planet, the origin of Earth, of mankind and sin.

“I really enjoyed this book. I love when stories put a spin on biblical/historical stories, and this one definitely kept me entertained. Lilith is a deceptive little thing, and I loved reading about her journey, though I will admit that Gadreel held most of my affection throughout the book (which would probably really anger Lilith…lol!).”–Amazon Review

BLURB:

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels. 

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

“[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

Spark of perfection

snuffed by ashes of desire

deep in the horrors

of ambition and envy

you evolved into evil

Son of the Serpent, the 2nd book in the series describes the life of Dracúl, the son of Lilith and Satan. He was abandoned in a forest as a small child. Despite being the son of demons he rejected evil. Tired of feeling lonely and insignificant he leaves the forest where he grew up alone. As a young man he meets Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve, and his adventure through time begins. After the shock of discovering who his parents were and the fact that his mother tried to kill him, leaving him for dead in a forest he began a quest to find her, to learn why. Despite many trials he refused to be like his parents and continued his efforts to be good. While on his journey to find his mother he witnessed many historical events like: the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, the building of the Tower of Babel, and the flood among others.

“It is rare in my experience to enjoy book two of a series even more than book one. And given that book one earned five stars from me, the fact that this book exceeds even that is a testament to the skill and clear love of this genre that permeates the work of author Vashti Quiroz-Vega.” –Amazon Review

BLURB:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

The son of demons, and the last hope for the world.

A glance at the past

spark a pain my heart can’t share

an eye for an eye

revenge I planned from afar

but love & woe have worked their will

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about my Fantasy Angels Series. I want to thank everyone who has purchased, read and reviewed the first two books in the series. I sincerely appreciate it. ❤