Friday, February 17, 2017

Muddy River Poetry Review

~ Thankful to have three poems, Bleeding Hearts, House of Dust, and The Entomologist and Butterfly Specialist (a found poem) accepted by Muddy River Poetry Review for their upcoming Spring 2017 Issue. Thanks to editor Zvi A. Sesling for the acceptance. Can't wait to read this issue!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Handful of Haiku

~ Thought I'd share some haiku that I've posted on my Twitter feed:

Golden sky yawns
Egrets scamper across leaves
Life in a silk fan 

Copper rain drips dreams
Sipping from a bowl of sky
not a drop wasted 

Red poppies appear
dot snowy fields of decay
Melting Winter's ire

Monday, February 6, 2017

Goodbye Richard Schnap

I wanted to share some sad news I received this morning about fellow poet Richard Schnap. He was one of my favorites and I published several of his poems at my various journals over the years. He also became a good friend to me. His partner, Alice, emailed me this morning and told me that Richard passed away on Christmas Day. I had no idea and I'm still shocked and completely saddened by this news. I just can't believe it.

I published a chapbook for him last year, under Flutter Press, titled A Wind from Nowhere. He was so excited about finally putting together a collection of poems. If you're interested in purchasing a copy, it is available at this link: I'd like to make it available until the end of the month because I know so many of you enjoyed his poems as much as I did. After the end of February, I'm going to retire his book as I don't feel it's right to continue selling it when he's no longer here. All royalties will be sent to his partner.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Petal Storm Poetry Chapbook

I've re-published one of my poetry chapbooks, Petal Storm, at Petal Storm is a collection of 29 fantasy poems, some of which are darker than others, that encompass the delicate yet thorny world of women in all their grace, beauty, pain, and sorrow. A place where women may bloom or wilt in the garden of life.

Find Petal Storm Here

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go.

As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear too.
Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion. 

Life seems idyllic, and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival each year, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet, the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.

Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

REVIEW:  I loved this book! The story is a wonderful combination of fantasy, fairy tale (think Hansel & Gretel and also Little Red Riding Hood), mystery, and horror. All of the elements that I really enjoy reading in a novel. I've never read anything by Jackson Pearce before but after reading this book, I may venture into other works of hers. Great writing style, never boring, and the characters were interesting. I just loved the imagery of a chocolate shop in the woods, the dark forest, the scent of vanilla everywhere, girls in red dresses attending an annual festival, etc. And of course the mystery of 18-year-old girls in town who have vanished for years in a row, immediately after the festival.

I would highly recommend this book to readers of fantasy, fairy tale, mystery, and horror.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee

Merciful Truth and her brother, Gospel, have just pulled their dead mother into the kitchen and stowed her under the table. It was a long illness, and they wanted to bury her—they did—but it's far too cold outside, and they know they won't be able to dig into the frozen ground. The Minister who lives with them, who preaches through his animal form, doesn't make them feel any better about what they've done. Merciful calms her guilty feelings but only until, from the other room, she hears a voice she thought she'd never hear again. It's her mother's voice, and it's singing a lullaby. . . .
Engines of the Broken World is a chilling young adult novel from Jason Vanhee.

REVIEW:  The title alone makes you want to open this book and read it. I'm not sure how to even describe the book; it was a combination of strange, post-apocalyptic, and creepy at the same time. From the very first chapter, the reader is held in suspense with the intriguing dialogue, backdrop, and character names. I kept wondering what was going on and as the story unfolds, you find out but not until you're near the end of the book. The main character is a young girl, Merciful Truth, who went by Mercy and a strange creature/machine known as The Minister who can transform its appearance into anything from a squirrel to a cat or a dog. 

I like the imagery used here, the small cabin with its simple necessities and the never ending Winter and frigid temps that prevailed. I think the author did an amazing job of adding that tension and suspense that keeps the reader going. A very unique story that will engage many readers who enjoy suspense, horror, and post-apocalyptic books.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

From the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There, a new novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past

Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death—the only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.

REVIEW:  I won this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program; this is a proof copy and not the final, edited book. I was drawn to Long Black Veil after reading the synopsis. Who doesn't love a good mystery and one that initially begins in an old, abandoned prison.

Throughout the read, I felt that the story moved along at a slow pace. There were many characters to keep track of and sometimes I found it hard to recall which character was who. Each character also had his or her own backstory, you felt emotion for some while disliking others. There are several themes going on in this book such as regret and envy, but the main character, Judith, and her troubled past stood out the most prominent for me. I won't divulge anymore than that. Otherwise, this story had lots of twists and unexpected turn of events that will keep the reader going until the last chapter.