Posted in Cover Reveal, Poetry

Cover Reveal I Can See The Lights Russ Litten @RussLitten @Wildpressed #CoverReveal @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #ProsePoetry #Urban #Emotion

The prose poems in I Can See The Lights are earthy and raw, but also incredibly sensitive. It’s pretty much guaranteed that more than one of them will bring you to tears. Characters are vividly brought to life, and stark but warm environments evoked in a down to earth, yet almost painterly manner by Russ Litten’s uncompromising voice.

Tales of home, of un-belonging, of strife at sea – of a northern city’s beating heart. Told in a mesmeric, stripped-down tone, this collection is a work of genius.

#RussLitten

Russ Litten is the author of the novels Scream If You Want To Go FasterSwear DownKingdom and the short story collection We Know What We Are.

As one half of the electronic storytelling duo Cobby and Litten, he has released three spoken word/electronica albums My People Come From The SeaBoothferry and Pound Shop Communism.

He has written for TV, radio and film and has worked as a writer in residence at various prisons and youth offender units. I Can See The Lights is his first poetry collection.

#ICanSeeLights
Posted in Book Review, Memoir, Poetry

Moments Daphne Denley 5* #Review @CrumpsBarn @DaphneDenley #Authobiography #Verse #memoir #poetry #Debut #PublicationDay #LifeJourney

Moments – Daphne Denley
Back Cover Blurb

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Crumps Barn Studio in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This book of verse is in part, autobiographical, and the emotion shines through in every poem. There is a preface to this book of verse, sharing the personal inspiration behind ‘Moments’. Read this first. It gives important insight into the author’s motivations and helps you to understand the book’s ethos.

I am no expert on poetry schematics, but I do enjoy reading it, so the thoughts I share are my emotional responses to the verse.

The first poem ‘Sweet Dreams’, about a mother watching her sleeping child, is charming and will resonate with every parent.

‘Precious Time’, is poignant and thought-provoking. When something bad happens, or you realise how many years have passed, it makes you think, and want to make the most of now, and what is yet to come.

Many of the poems explore contemporary issues, such as bullying and why people bully, emotional abuse, stress, addiction, facing life-changing news. There are elements in the verse that I can relate to, and it’s this personal connection that makes them relevant, something to look back on.

The poems about the inevitability of death, and facing the illness of a loved one, are beautifully written, honest, raw, simple, they leave their mark. The poems about friendship are heartwarming and relatable, as are the verses about self-awareness, learning to love who you are, and letting that person see the sunlight.

There is something for everyone in this book, it’s a realistic observation of life as a woman, mother, wife, and of those around us, some we know, some we only know by sight. Poetry like this can be read many times, and that’s what I shall do with this.

Daphne Denley – Moments
Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction

The Other Half of Augusta Hope – Joanna Glen 4* #Review @HarperFiction @BoroughPress @JoannaGlenBooks #LiteraryFiction #PublicationDay

You’re not lost. You’re just looking. #AugustaHope

Augusta Hope has never felt like she fits in. And she’s right – she doesn’t. At six, she’s memorising the dictionary. At seven, she’s correcting her teachers. At eight, she spins the globe and picks her favourite country on the sound of its name: Burundi.

And now that she’s an adult, Augusta has no interest in the goings-on of the small town where she lives with her parents and her beloved twin sister, Julia.

When an unspeakable tragedy upends everything in Augusta’s life, she’s propelled headfirst into the unknown. She’s determined to find where she belongs – but what if her true home, and heart, are half a world away? 

Amazon UK

Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Perhaps, it is a societal backlash that novels’ featuring, main characters who aren’t accepted because they don’t conform to society’s unwritten expectations, despite their obvious intelligence, and generosity of spirit, are so popular now.

Augusta Hope, a twin born in August, is a cuckoo in the nest, she and her twin appear opposite in every trait. Augusta is a caring, clever, curious child, devoted to her sister, but it seems, a mystery to her almost stereotypical middle class, conformist parents. This leads to some humorous incidents during her childhood. Overall her memories of childhood are poignant. Even at a young age, she realises she isn’t like her sister and will never secure the parental love she needs.

Parfait is the eldest of a loving family, but living in war-torn Burundi, means that his happiness is transient. His journey to happiness is pathed with tragedy.

The two points of view tell their respective stories in tandem, but with little obvious connection, until serendipity gradually draws them into each others’orbit.

The writing style is part of the charm of this story, and one l enjoy. Words are important and used well here, regardless of whether they are strictly necessary, or fashionable. On a literary level, this is lovely. The plot tells an epic story, which some may not connect to. The characters are well created, believable, and you want them to find each other, and somewhere they can be themselves and flourish.

Parts of this story are difficult to read, but they are all necessary to the telling.

Something for everyone who enjoys an emotional story with vivid imagery and a hopeful outcome.

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Poetry

The Cotswold Calendar – Tony Stowell – Illustrator – Lorna Gray – Spotlight and 4* #Review #WeekendRead #SaturdayThoughts #SaturdayMotivation #SaturdayMorning @MsLornaGray @CrumpsBarn

The seasons roll across the ancient landscape of the Cotswolds, running from Broadway to Bath, Tetbury to Cirencester and many places between.

Beautiful, characterful and often witty, the patterns of the passing months and local traditions are captured here in a joyful celebration in verse of this truly unforgettable region of England.

With photographs, watercolour sketches and maps of each location, join Gloucestershire poet Tony Stowell on his deeply personal tour of the Cotswolds.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the Illustrator in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A lovely medley of poetry, hand-drawn maps, illustrations and photographs make ‘The Cotswold Calendar’ something to treasure. Whether you live in the area, are planning to visit, or like me, appreciate beautiful things, there is something for you here.

The poet’s impressions of each month in The Cotswolds, form a chapter in the book, accompanied by places of note, also described in verse. At the beginning of the book the author describes the verse form, and its technicalities, so even a layperson like me, can understand how the verse is structured and its intended impact.

Extract from ‘The Cotswold Calendar’ – Tony Stowell

The poetry is full of imagery that brings to mind the spotlight month. Similarly, notable calendar events are described in verse for many iconic Cotswold villages and towns. Accompanied by monochrome photo images and illustrations, which enhance the verse and reinforce the poetic images, it makes a wonderful guide book to the area.

Easy to read, for lovers of verse, it is also a wonderful reference work for The Cotswold tourist, to ensure you don’t miss, the beauty and community of this English treasure.

Posted in Blogging Community

What is your favourite line of poetry about a hamster? Writers Q and A Tag

It’s ages since I’ve done a writers Q& A tag and I loved doing this one from my lovely friend Shehanne Moore and the hamstah dudes. I hope my answers meet their exacting literary standards. 🙂

Shehanne’s blog and website is a delight you can visit by clicking on the images below

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What is your favourite line of poetry about a hamster? Oh okay, we mean a small furry creature, or animal

I don’t remember a poem about hamsters but I do like this poem by an Unknown Author about-‘A Dog’s Soul’. The line that encapsulates a dog completely is this one:

Altho’ his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!

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.What was your favourite children’s book if it was not Mrs Tiggywinkle?

I loved horses as a child and read so many books about them, but the one that sticks in my mind is ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell. The chapter about ‘Ginger’ the abused carriage horse still makes me so sad.

You’re in the forest, it’s dark, it’s cold, it’s mysterious, suddenly the bushes part and there snarling before your is  a savage, giant hamster. What happens next?

I reach in to my pocket and pull out a… Peanut in its shell guaranteed to calm down even the most ferocious and hungry hamster. Maybe I would need more than one for a giant hamster?

Is there any place in the world you would like to set a book or poem and why?

I always feel inspired to write in English country or coastal settings. Northumberland and the Lake District where I set  The Dragon Legacy’ are particular favourites.

 

You can have dinner with your favourite book hamster, character. Who is it and what will the first course be? Recipes are welcome. Of course if you can’t find a hamster, just choose another animal.

 I would love to have dinner with T.S Elliot’s Cats, such an interesting group of individuals. Naturally  they would like cream and I love strawberries so the first course would be shortbread biscuits with extra thick double cream and fresh strawberries. mm delicious. 

Tell us a bit about what you are working on now.What was the last book you read?

I have recently finished ‘Past Shadows’, ‘a historical mystery romance with a paranormal twist’. The story is set in Regency Derbyshire.  I am currently working on a  romantic mystery thriller, after the surprising success of The Dangerous Gift. More about this next week on my blog.

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How much of you is in your characters or your poetry?

 Probably more  than there should be. However the elements of me  are not necessarily me now, but me  when I was younger.

Forget all this hero stuff. You’re being cast as the villain and it’s your choice who you pick so long as they are from a book.

I do love villains. I must admit I loved Xavier, my villain in The Dragon Legacy who was definitely not what he seemed…

Who or what inspires your writing?

Places inspire me first. When I visit a beautiful place or an unusual historical house, it always inspires me to write a story about it. For example when I visited Hardwick Hall a couple of years ago. I was struck by the coldness of some rooms and how ill they made me feel. I’ve stored these feelings away  for use in a future story. 

 

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review : Hiraeth Phoenix – Hiraeth

25155889Blurb - FlowerHow often do things end in life and you wish for just one more conversation, one chance to say what you needed to say, ask what has been burning in your heart, and hear the other side of what it was really like, who you really were? Poetry, prose and essays take you through the journey of Hiraeth and Phoenix. They choose to give each other the gift of the other side of the story and what follows is a dialogue that cuts to the core of the reality they created and called their own.

Flowers - Buy Links Amazon UK

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Flowers - My Review

Hiraeth PhoenixWhen a marriage ends, it stirs up a multitude of emotions, not only in the couple but also their families and friends. ‘Hiraeth Phoenix’, explores these emotions from Phoenix’s and Hiraeth’s perspective. Written in poetry and prose, this is a poignant, yet easy to read story. It is like reading diary; the observations and emotions are honest and intimate.

Packed with emotion, this short read is hard to put down, it draws you in and lets you relive Hiraeth’s and Phoenix’s love story, through their eyes.
Accusations, complacency and desperation give way to acceptance, forgiveness and hope. The author cleverly uses poetry to reinforce the messages implicit in the previous chapters of prose.

This story is original and realistic and worth reading.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Hiraeth Phoenix by Hiraeth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Hiraeth Phoenix by Hiraeth

Hiraeth

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Posted in Book Review, New Books, Poetry

4 * Review: Journey to Peace – Jennifer Stevenson

Journey_to_Peace_Cover_for_Kindle

Buy  Links 3

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review

 ‘Journey to Peace’ is a very personal voyage of self discovery. Its honesty and simplicity makes pleasurable reading. There are poems about self, family, the struggle for equality and the meaning of life. They ebb and flow as the author strives for inner peace.

The poems are understandable, yet full of poignant, vivid imagery. Most readers will relate to the themes and enjoy this poet’s unique perspective of them as I did.
I am an infrequent poetry reader and would never profess to be an expert on the subject but I enjoyed experiencing this poetic journey and I would recommend you take it too.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.