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Poetry Friday ~ Poet’s Choice

9 Jul

Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to your day!

Poet’s Choice! It’s the first of the month and that means we choose our own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to us!

If you’d like to participate check out Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge here.

Even the lone writer who has wandered this far into summer with her books, notepads, laptop case knocking her knees—even she wishes to enjoy the warmth of the sun caress her skin, feel the fresh seasonal showers wash away concerns, hear the songs in the breeze on sultry summer evenings.

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.”
—Sylvia Plath

Thank you for stopping by!

Poetry Friday ~ BOOK REVIEWS

30 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. I appreciate your visit.

Stephen King (Horror, Dark Fantasy author)

Why do you write horror, dark fantasy, and thriller? 

I’ve been asked this question many times. Since I was a child I’ve always loved dark, suspenseful, and spine-chilling tales. Scary stories taught me that it was okay to be afraid, and that I could use my brain to solve problems, even when frightened or use my natural survival instincts to safely escape from dangerous situations. They also taught me about courage, loyalty, hope, and facing my fears.

Reading these stories gave me a bit of a thrill, an adrenaline rush from being scared, and in some ways, it was fun to read about things that frightened me. We all experience a rush of adrenaline and a release of endorphins and dopamine when scared. The biochemical rush can result in a pleasure-filled, opioid-like sense of euphoria. In the end, there is a catharsis to it. There’s darkness and light in all of us, and as I write my complex, dark tales I purge the gloom and feel sunnier having done so. 

Horror and dark fantasy are extremely popular genres. I believe it’s because these genres revolve around our emotions. These stories evoke in people – emotions that aren’t just abject terror. Many fans of horror, dark fantasy, and thriller are actually seeking “controlled” fear and suspense, knowing we are safe.

“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.” ~Stephen King

Today I’d like to share some of the books I’ve read recently and my reviews of them.

SITUATION Z by A.M. Semple

BLURB:

The heat is the least of their worries when the dead begin taking over Phoenix. Out of the ashes of destruction rises Wilson. He begins gathering survivors, helping them escape the city and the dead. Along the way, the challenges multiply and Wilson’s behavior becomes questionable. Is he trustworthy or will they all end up being someone’s next meal?

BOOK REVIEW:

Situation Z is a fascinating story about a zombie apocalypse. This was a fun and thrilling read that kept me turning the pages long into the night.

The protagonist, Wilson, was one of the most intriguing characters I’ve read in a long time. While all the characters were fascinating, some were endearing, and others were annoying and fun to hate.

One thing that did bother me about the story was how overprotective the men seem to be over the women. They were always trying to shield them from what was happening around them. It’s a zombie apocalypse! If the women did not develop a thick skin, they were not going to survive. I did enjoy seeing the emotional growth in the women in the end.

Author A.M. Semple did an amazing job building this horrific world, and I also enjoyed the development of all the characters. Her description of the victims’ turning was done so well. The imagery in this book is fantastic.

If you enjoy a well written zombie story that focuses on the characters and keeps you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end, this book is for you.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

LEECH by Ellie Douglas

BLURB:

Captain John Lancaster’s ship is critically damaged in an asteroid storm, leaving John and his crew stranded. Drifting off course. 

He was returning to earth with supplies and samples from planet Sol. When he and his team discover they are not alone on the ship. 

Something is hiding onboard and is taking the crew members out, one by one.  

Will John make it home to see his wife and child? Can he save his remaining crew? 

BOOK REVIEW:

Leech is a short and enjoyable horror sci-fi. Author Ellie Douglas’s imaginative and descriptive writing style is gripping and easy to follow.

Captain John Lancaster and his crew were on a mission to study and collect samples on an Earth-like planet called Sol. The year was 3010, and mankind traveled through space at warp speed, so they went back and forth, to and from, Earth in only a few days, and the captain had been on many missions to Sol. On one of Captain John’s missions, a meteor crashed on Sol. John picked up a smooth, black stone from the crash site and decided to take it back to Earth with him to gift it to his young daughter as a souvenir.

On the voyage back to Earth the rock fell to the floor and broke in half. John’s friend, Nico, picked up the stone and black goo that was stored inside it got all over his fingers and then was quickly absorbed into his skin. After this incident, all hell breaks loose.

Nico became infected with a parasite that ate him from the inside out, multiplied, and then left his body in search of other hosts. With each host, the parasites grew larger until they would no longer need a host. One by one, the crew became infected until it seemed no one would survive. 

I enjoyed this fascinating short story. The characters were lifelike and the dialogue believable. Lovers of horror and sci-fi would enjoy this book.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

THE BONE WALL by D. Wallace Peach

BLURB:

Blue light ripples and crackles as the shield walls fracture. The remnants of a doomed civilization stand vigil outside, intent on plunder and slaves, desirous of untainted blood to strengthen their broken lives. With the poisons, came deformities and powers, enhanced senses and the ability to manipulate waves of energy—lightbenders and fire-wielders.

For those who thrived for generations within the walls, the broken world looms, strange and deadly, slowly dying. While the righteous pray for salvation, Rimma prepares for battle, fueled by rage and blinded by vengeance. Her twin, Angel, bound to her by unbreakable magic, seeks light in the darkness, hope in the future, and love in a broken world. 

D. Wallace Peach’s fourth novel combines elements of fantasy and science-fiction into a character-driven adventure. The Bone Wall foretells of a dystopian world where a poisoned planet no longer sustains its inhabitants. Who survives when there isn’t enough for all? Who decides? 

The Bone Wall begins three hundred years in a post-apocalyptic future. Precisely controlled communities with forgotten histories thrive beneath protective energy fields…until those fields begin to fail. What happens when the facades crumble and the past’s dark truth is unearthed?

Twins Rimma and Angel share this first person tale of a life unraveling and mending. Both are strong female protagonists who chose opposing paths when thrust in the broken and perilous world. The simplistic lines dividing good and evil blur, and beg the question: Can one survive without the other? What is the secret of their lives that even they can’t comprehend?

If grimdark tales of spiraling destruction and redemption crowd your bookshelf, this fantasy adventure desires a place among them. 

The Bone Wall contains scenes which some readers might find triggering. 

BOOK REVIEW:

The Bone Wall is a post-apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi. I was hooked from the beginning because this story was so unique and creative. I also enjoyed the author’s writing style.  

It’s the future, and mankind has survived a worldwide catastrophe. Rimma and Angel were 16-year-old twins who lived in an environmentally controlled paradise within a dome protected by a mighty force field. Their home was called Heaven, and this domed city shielded them from the broken world. Other domes existed housing similar civilizations. However, there were people living in the harsh conditions of the wrecked outside world. They were called biters and among them were the touched many of which had extraordinary powers, including the ability to create fire or bend light. Time and again, biters attacked and tried to breach the dome. Many would leap into the force field only to be disintegrated into bones that accumulated at the base of the dome, creating a bone wall. 

The twins were taught that they, along with their community, were chosen by God to survive and thrive. They were not allowed contact with the outside world. Rimma questioned the laws of Heaven while Angel was innocent and naïve, accepting the teachings of the elders

One day Rimma noticed that the shield protecting the dome was operating abnormally. It would turn off in certain areas and sparks would fly. She was shocked to find out that the elders knew that there were issues with the force field. She was told to have faith—that the shield would hold. Sometime later, the weakened shield fades. The biters seized the moment, invading Heaven, attacking and killing many, and taking others as slaves. The twins were suddenly thrown into a world of horror, cruelty, and bloodshed. They became molded by the broken world and their experiences within it.

The story is told in first-person point of view from the perspective of the twins. Rimma, the angry one bent on revenge for the lies she was told growing up and for the death of her father, and Angel the eternal optimist who hopes for peace, love, and harmony.

This is an intriguing and complex story. The writing is beautiful and vibrant, but at times, it was a bit flowery, and the story dragged a bit in the middle. I also had questions. What destroyed the world? I assumed it was a nuclear holocaust. Who built the dome? How was it powered? Why did it fail? There was no explanation given for any of this. Also, only one of the twins was visible at a time to most people, which was both creative and bizarre. However, these things did not deter me from enjoying this well written story with its unique world and compelling characters. I highly recommend this book to fans of post-apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy.

Click on any of the books’ image or title to purchase on Amazon.

To Live in the Zombie Apocalypse

Burlee Vang 

The moon will shine for God
knows how long.
As if it still matters. As if someone

is trying to recall a dream.
Believe the brain is a cage of light
& rage. When it shuts off,

something else switches on.
There’s no better reason than now
to lock the doors, the windows.

Turn off the sprinklers
& porch light. Save the books
for fire. In darkness,

we learn to read
what moves along the horizon,
across the periphery of a gun scope—

the flicker of shadows,
the rustling of trash in the body
of cities long emptied.

Not a soul lives
in this house &
this house & this

house. Go on, stiffen
the heart, quicken
the blood. To live

in a world of flesh
& teeth, you must
learn to kill

what you love,
& love what can die.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your day!

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 ~ 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 ~ Trees

31 Jul
Photo by Faye Cornish

Hi, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

It’s the fourth week of July! Are you ready for a theme prompt? Sue Vincent selected the theme this week with a quote prompt:

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.” Herman Hesse

Methuselah – The oldest tree in the world

What a beautiful quote chosen by Sue Vincent to challenge us this week. I love nature and that of course, includes trees. Methuselah is one of the world’s oldest living organism. This tree has been alive for approx. 4,789 years and still counting! Consider all the changes the world has gone through in that amount of time and yet, this tree is still standing. Methuselah lives on a isolated mountain top in California (USA). I’d love to be in her presence someday.

METHUSELAH

On a desolate mountain top you breathe

Teaching us lessons of survival

Gnarled and twisted you stand your ground

The Earth’s oldest living thing

For four millennia

You’ve observed the world

Your endurance

Your spirit

Inspires

Awe

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

I hope everyone enjoyed the post. Have a lovely Friday and weekend! ❤

Poetry Friday ~ The Merchant of Venice

29 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the fourth week of the month, which means, we get a Theme Prompt! Merril D. Smith, the winner from last month’s challenge selected a quote from Shakespeare’s A Merchant of Venice as this month’s theme. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

This week’s theme is:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

After each good deed

no parade or accolades

Take a step higher

on heaven’s ladder until

you have reached St. Peter’s gate

I read The Merchant of Venice in high school, and I remember having mixed feelings about it. The Jewish loan shark (okay, moneylender) Shylock horrifed me with his request for a pound of flesh as payment for a loan.

Here’s a rough and short summary of the story: A man named Antonio owned a fleet of merchant ships. One day, a gold-digging friend of his, Bassanio asked him for a loan so that he could pursue a rich woman named Portia. But Antonio’s ships had not come in with his merchandise yet, so he had no money to lend him. Instead, Antonio tells his friend to ask Shylock for the loan promising that he’d pay it back once his ships return. When Bassanio asked Shylock for the loan, instead of charging extremely high rates of interest, as he usually did, the moneylender asked that a pound of Antonio’s flesh be the payment if the loan was not paid within three months.

Three months went by, and Antonio’s ships had not returned. He was told that they were lost at sea. It was time to repay the loan, but Antonio was broke. Shylock had him arrested and demanded his pound of flesh. Bassanio, now married to the heiress Portia, offered her money to pay the loan. However, Shylock held a grudge against Antonio because he considered him competition in the loan business and an anti-Semite (which he was). Shylock insisted he must be allowed to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio as per their contract.

Long story short (too late), Portia, (Bassanio’s rich wife) dressed as a lawyer (?) managed to safe Antonio’s life. She won the case against Shylock by stating that there was no mention of blood in the contract. Therefore, if he could extract a pound of flesh from Antonio without spilling any of his blood he could go ahead and do so, but if he spilled one drop of his blood he would go to jail. Of course, Shylock knew it would be impossible to cut out a pound of flesh from a man without an enormous amount of blood shed.

In the end, Shylock lost his daughter and part of his wealth to another of Antonio’s friends, and was forced to become a Christian (antisemitism). Antonio’s ships came in afterall, and he and his friends lived happily ever after with their spouses. At times, I viewed Shylock as a villain and other times as a victim. Nevertheless, The Merchant of Venice is a story worth reading.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a fabulous day!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

22 May
Photograph by Balaji Malliswamy

Hi, everyone!

Every 3rd week of the month it’s Photo Prompt time at Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. I won the last photo prompt challenge so I had the privilege of choosing this week’s photo. I chose this intriguing and somewhat scary nature photo by Balaji Malliswamy.

Colleen’s words:

Remember, a photo can be a metaphor for your poetry. Think about the mood, the theme, and the color. Think outside of the box. We know there’s a crocodile, but what else is going on here? What do you smell? What do you hear? There’s more here than meets your eye. Surprise me!

There are many movies and books that depict crocodiles as monsters, but they’re simply animals trying to survive in the wild. Here are a few fun crocodile facts:

  • Crocodiles are reptiles.
  • The physical characteristics of crocodiles make them good predators.
  • Crocodiles are fast over short distances.
  • Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal in the world.
  • The muscles that open crocodiles jaws however are not so powerful, reasonably strong people could hold a crocodiles jaw closed with their bare hands.
  • Like other reptiles, crocodiles are cold-blooded.
  • Crocodiles can survive for a long time without food.
  • Most crocodiles live in fresh water rivers and lakes but some live in salt water.
  • Crocodiles eat a variety of fish, birds and other animals.
  • Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.
  • The saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile.
  • Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg (2600 lb).

My poem today is about the most dangerous predator on the planet, man.

“I am an evil man. I do not love anyone. I wish harm to everyone and good to myself. I am an egoist. I am not God. I am a beast, a predator.”  

From The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

*

The Stalker

The silent stalker

camps outside your home and waits

Followed you all day

He claims to add balance to

your soul ’cause he’s seen your horns

Photo by Viktor Mogilat

I hope you liked the post! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy the rest of the day!

Poetry Friday ~ Gratitude

8 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the first of the month, and that means poets choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

The year 2020 has seen its share of major historic events and bizarre incidents in just a little over five months–– including the acquittal of President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial, the bushfires in Australia, the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and the entire world grinding to a halt as businesses shut down and people are quarantined.

As I ponder on these events and others like the death of (a legend) Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union, the Dow plunging 2,997 points due to coronavirus fears, the 2020 Summer Olympics postponed, and the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their duties as senior royals in Buckingham Palace, I want to pinch myself to be sure I’m not in some dark and eerie nightmare. Despite the peculiar times we’re living in, I’m sure everyone can find at least one thing to be thankful for, right?

I’m thankful that my family and I are doing well, and that we have plenty to eat and drink, and our toilet paper inventory is full. I’m grateful that this nightmare has not prevented me from doing a lot of reading and writing. My cooking and baking skills have gotten better. Despite the fact that I miss my family I have enjoyed our zoom get togethers. I’m also grateful to be in such great company during isolation – there are no better quarantine buddies than my husband JC and Pomeranian Scribbles. I have a roof over my head and a great view of a golf course. How could I not feel gratitude in my heart.

Although there are a plethora of strange happenings there are also appreciable moments. To be honest, there have been times when I’ve been down, fearful, anxious – none of us has ever lived through times like these. It’s easy to feel vulnerable and like you have no control over the outcome of your life. But when have we ever had total control over the outcome of our lives? We can’t focus only on the negative – it won’t solve a thing. Let’s think about all we should be grateful for.

“The most powerful weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. Train your mind to see the good in this day.”

Gratitude should be

as natural as breathing

Inhale and Exhale

Photo by Candice Picard @candice_picard

Stay healthy, helpful, and calm, my friends!

Poetry Friday ~ The Day After

1 May

Hi, everyone! Happy 1st Day of May!

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 175, Theme Prompt. This month’s theme is: “The Day After” chosen by Elizabeth from Tea & Paper (Blog)

Photograph by Jr Korpa

The Day After

As we hike through the wounded city

We search for something live and bright

Any remnant that we once

existed in the flesh

my ghost finds nothing

except the clear

evidence

that we’re

gone.

Photgraph by Clement Falize

Brilliant scientists

experiment in lab coats

doomed us all to hell

“This is the way the world ends,

not with a bang, but a gasp.”

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but for a while now I’ve been reading about how scientists are working with microorganisms to engineer them to perform certain tasks. There’s good that could come from this, for instance, if a bacteria was to be engineered to locate and kill only cancer cells in a person’s body, leaving the healthy cells alone. If this works, other microorganisms could be used in the same way to rid the body of many diseases. Things can go horribly wrong, though. So many discoveries and inventions were made for the good of the people only to end up in the wrong hands and used for atrocities –– just ask Einstein. I know this all reads like the premise to a Sci-fi novel, but once scientists discovered how to read and map a strand of DNA they’ve been busy experimenting with things we can’t even imagine. Who knows what they’re cooking up in those labs? Like maybe a solution to the overpopulation problem no one wants to talk about. Like maybe engineer a virus that can target the old and diseased, and kill them by the thousands? That can certainly solve the overpopulation problem in the world while maintaining the young and strong safe. After all, they are the future.

New Book Reviews: The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro, Journey to the Rainbow’s End by Forrest Stepnowski, and The Ex Chronicles by Maura Beth Brennan

30 Mar

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all safe and healthy.

“There is no place like home.”

~L. Frank Baum

The best thing we could do right now to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to stay home. Of course, that’s not possible for everyone, but if you can work from home you should. Self isolation has worked well for other countries and in past pandemics. Practice social distancing even if you’re young and healthy because although your chances of dying from COVID– 19 is low you could still spread the disease to people that are vulnerable and could die from it.

I’d like to thank all the people in the medical field, including my brother Ralph, who’s at the front lines every day, and my cousins Lissette, Ray, Miguel, Leo, and Sonya. You’re putting yourselves at risk on a daily basis to help those in need. Thank you.

Changing the subject, I’ve been doing a lot of reading since I sent my manuscript to my editor. Today, I’d like to share three of the books I’ve read so far and my reviews. I posted the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and although they are already showing on Goodreads, Amazon has yet to make all three reviews available.

Book Reviews:

Click on image to purchase on Amazon

The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro

I don’t read a lot of young-adult fantasy novels, but this one came highly recommended, and the book cover enticed me. This is the first book in the Chronicles Of The Diasodz series.

Sofia is a seventeen-year-old girl in her last year of high school. Up until this point, she’s lived an ordinary life as the daughter of Liana, a single mom and girlfriend to lifelong friend Rafe. One night, she has an extraordinary dream in which she meets a handsome boy named Ar’ch. Her life takes a bizarre turn when she goes to work and comes across Ar’ch in real life.

Sofia learns that she is far more than she ever thought she could be, and that an entire world’s existence depends on her. She has a decision to make, but how can she leave her home and everyone she loves behind?

How does a teenage girl choose between her boyfriend, who’s been her best friend since childhood, and a handsome boy who makes her feel things she’s never felt before?

The story was slow-paced at first, but soon picked up. Overall, it had a good flow and kept me engaged. The characters were well developed and relatable, especially Sofia, Angel, and Rafe. The final chapters are captivating and full of action until the end.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a young-adult fantasy with a love triangle, excellent characters, world building, action, and drama. I look forward to reading the second book in the series, The One Enlightened. 

***

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.

The Ex Chronicles by Maura Beth Brennan

“The Ex Chronicles” is a humorous short story about a couple named Angie and Bryce.

When Angie met Bryce, she thought she had found Mr. Right. She fell madly in love with him, only to find out he was cheating on her.

Believing their relationship was worth fighting for, Angie designs a plan to confront her boyfriend and the other woman. All the while, old black-and-white movies played in her head, and she imagined herself as one of the heroines starring in the movies, so she figured everything would turn out as she planned.

Unfortunately, things did not play out as Angie had hoped, and her antics will have you rolling with laughter.

I enjoyed author Maura Beth Brennan’s sense of humor and writing style. I recommend this quick and fun read to anyone who’s been in a bad relationship and only has a moment to spare.

***

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.

Journey to the Rainbow’s End by Forrest Stepnowski

Journey to the Rainbow’s End begins with a varied collection of freestyle poems, which are both beautiful and heartfelt. About halfway through the book, author Forrest Stepnowski gives us a short, insightful account (fictionalized memoir) of his journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance.

Robert grew up in a religious home where being gay was not an option. He was taught that homosexuality was a sin and punishable by God. From an early age, he struggled with whom he was and hungered for love, acceptance, and compassion—mostly from himself.

In his early teens, Robert felt an attraction to other boys, but he was conflicted and confused due to his homophobic religious teachings. He suffered many terrible experiences in his developmental years, including a suicide attempt and the death of a close friend.

Robert experienced sex, and like a bird released from its cage, he began a reckless way of life with multiple lovers. When he learned that a good friend was diagnosed with AIDS and committed suicide, Robert was forced to change his ways. 

I enjoyed how the author combined his poetry with the narrating of his story because it gave me a better perspective. In the end, despite the difficulties endured by Robert, he managed to find his way to self-acceptance. 

Overall, this book is about learning to accept who you are and adds another dimension to the LGBT story, which is a human story. I was touched by this book because the author bravely bared his soul to inspire others who may be walking the same path.

The story and poems were fabulous, but there were a few poems that stood out for me and moved me in some way.

“I Am Not The One” – I loved this line: “I am worth more than my weight in diamonds and gold.”

“Freeze” – I got goose bumps reading this one, and I loved the ending.

“That’s Gay” – Powerful and relatable, even to straight people.

“The Touch of Your Skin” – HOT

“The Song of Ever Changing Fairytales” – Who wouldn’t relate?

If you enjoy beautiful poetry from the heart and riveting short stories, this book is for you.

reading, book reviews, Vashti Quiroz Vega, Vashti Q, author, books, stay at home, read more

“The ultimate luxury is being able to relax and enjoy your home.”

~Jeff Lincoln

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the visit, and feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.