My Little Vacation from Life

So, over the last couple weeks I more-less disappeared because I was burnt out. I was burnt out from life all together and my nerve pain decided to sky rocket which tears my all body up from the inside out. So has I laid around binge watching the Sons of Anarchy I started to rethink and study myself and how I have been taking care of my writing, promoting and sales. I did a complete revaluation on every aspect and came to realize that I was giving out more than I was receiving. I was neglecting ME. I had forgotten to take care of me, my books, my blog, my promos, and myself as a mother and poet. I was spending the majority of my time retweeting and sharing other writers work than my own. I gave high recommendations on books, and only the true supporters and real friends turned around and gave back to me. They know who they are!! Thank you all for being there!

My concluding thoughts on my little vacation is, thank you to the ones that reached out and was concerned over me and my writing or the ones that took the time to listen when I reached out for support. No names will be listed here. You showed me love, tenderness and kindness during a very difficult time of need. I just want to say that I have your back always and if any of you ever need someone to talk to or help with a project…. I am here.

 

Last words: Friendship, Networking & Support are not one way streets, we all have to show our understanding, caring and support to every writer we choose to, and not for what we can get out of it but what we can give to them.

Reminder: Support a Indie Author or Poet today by showing them some love and writing a review or recommending their book/books to friends & family. And if a fellow writer reaches out and reviews your book, please be sure to ask how you can repay them. 

 

 

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Top 10 in Fiction, Nonfiction & Literature Reads (January – August 2017)

10. Down City by Leah Carrol

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Blurb:

Like James Ellroy’s, My Dark Places, DOWN CITY is a gripping narrative built of memory and reportage, and Leah Carroll’s portrait of Rhode Island is sure to take a place next Mary Karr’s portrayal of her childhood in East Texas and David Simon’s gritty Baltimore.

Leah Carroll’s mother, a gifted amateur photographer, was murdered by two drug dealers with Mafia connections when Leah was four years old. Her father, a charming alcoholic who hurtled between depression and mania, was dead by the time she was eighteen. Why did her mother have to die? Why did the man who killed her receive such a light sentence? What darkness did Leah inherit from her parents? Leah was left to put together her own future and, now in her memoir, she explores the mystery of her parents’ lives, through interviews, photos, and police records. DOWN CITY is a raw, wrenching memoir of a broken family and an indelible portrait of Rhode Island- a tiny state where the ghosts of mafia kingpins live alongside the feisty, stubborn people working hard just to get by. Heartbreaking, and mesmerizing, it’s the story of a resilient young woman’s determination to discover the truth about a mother she never knew and the deeply troubled father who raised her-a man who was, Leah writes, “both my greatest champion and biggest obstacle.”

JAnn’s Review:

I was heartbroken has I read this memoir! Leah’s life was a life full of tragedy and full of heartache. Reading her story through the pictures, interviews and police records was like living her life with her. I hope this memoir will help other survivors of this accounts overcome their past and look at Leah as an inspiration to us all.

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9. That Which Does Not Destroy Me by Daria J Wagoner

 

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Blurb:

A story of survival against all odds. Growing up unwanted with a bisexual, drug and alcohol abusing Orthodox priest as a father Daria left home at age 12 years-old to survive on the streets of Ft Lauderdale. Daria would survive years of physical and psychological abuse, rape, abduction, prostitution and would narrowly escape involvement in murder.

JAnn’s Review

This memoir was a true heartbreaking story about abuse a young girl faced while growing up. While I read Daria’s words I could not but hold my breath from crying Daria is a true survivor plus more. Her story, I hope will help other survivors find their way and their own forgiveness.

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8.  Mending the Shattered Mirror by Analie Shepherd

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Blurb:

A hauntingly beautiful memoir! A shocking true account of horrific abuse within therapy! Although these two statements don’t seem congruent, this book, although telling a tragic story, does so in a poetic, life-affirming way.
Analie Shepherd, the author, found herself in need of the support of a therapist after a tragedy in her life. Within the confines of this relationship, Analie suffered extreme abuse: verbal, physical and emotional. As Ananlie says of herself during the abuse, “I had no voice and no reality.”
Finally able to leave the abusive therapist, Analie reached out to TELL, an online support group, whose goal is to help victims in the struggle to regain their lives after abuse by a health care practitioner.
Through TELL, Analie connected with responder Laurie, a retired Psychiatrist who was herself sexually abused in therapy for ten years. Contained within the book, is a four-year email exchange between Analie and Laurie, in which both of their stories are told–the tragedy and the triumph. Laurie, wise and compassionate, speaks truth to Analie and stands by her side on her journey to reclaim her heart, her reality and her voice. The relationship between the two women is a beautiful picture of growing friendship, and the story of this relationship is a lovely part of the book.
Analie’s story is complicated by the fact that she is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personalities. Much of the abuse within her therapy, was perpetrated on her eight alter personalities, and their voices and stories are included in the book, as well as some of their original artwork and poetry. Analie presents the existence and reality of The Others in a gentle, innocent way which helps the reader understand her experience of living an internally split life. Analie also includes narratives of her early life, to give context and understanding of what caused her to be vulnerable to the abuse she suffered in therapy.
From the very first page, this story will enthrall you … the conclusion of the book is amazingly beautiful and deeply satisfying

JAnn’s Review

I was reluctant to start reading this book, it sat beside my bed for a long time. But I am glad I finally took the time to read this story about the journey through therapeutic abuse. When we think of trusting someone, like a counselor, with our upmost private thoughts and demons, we expect them to be there to help us through and see us achieve. However, this journey was nothing like this until she received the help and guidance through email then a friendship of trust was created. This story will rip your heart out and mend it all back together before you even finish the story. Kudos to Analie for sharing her amazing journey. I just hope this story will bring hope to others.

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7. Toxic Desires by Ellie Douglas

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Blurb:

Imagine waking up from a blackout, your memory betraying you as to where you have been or what you have done. This is what happens to beautiful and sexy, 24 year old, Annabelle Worthington.

Growing up, Annabelle’s life was anything but normal. Living with loveless parents, she was subjected to unimaginable abuse and torture at the hands of those who should have protected her. Her saving grace was her relationship with Ivy and Eva.

As an adult, she met Brett Campbell and finally her world became filled with the happiness, stability and love that she had never known. Then something unthinkable happens that destroys her idyllic life and fills her with rage. Annabelle’s blackouts increase and memories of her abusive childhood threatens to imprison her.

When Ivy and Eva comes back into her life, Annabelle elicits their help to rid the world of all cheating bastards.

Is there anything that can stop them before they wreak havoc on California? Which of them really poses the most danger to those who least expect it?

How many lives will be lost because of sexual desires and memories from the past?

JAnn’s Review

This book was packed full of excitement and steamy scenes and murderous plots. Throughout the story is every type of chaotic events a reader would want, The pace of the story is in full force. Ellie’s writing is so engrossed with talent on creating each chapter of charters that just continued to build till the end. Ellie’s imagination had to be captured onto paper for all of us to enjoy her characters of Toxic Desire, the overall feeling of the book is a turbulent ride of flashbacks with the urge to get even.
The cover of Ellie’s book is what drew me to choose this book to read. Her color scheme was eye catching and the image of the city with a lurking view of a girl intrigued my thoughts of wanting to read her book. The title definitely fits the book with toxic desire of wanting to get even and rage of hate.
I give big kudos to Ellie for her writing is so easily paced and so chair griping. I would highly recommend anyone who is looking for a hot steamy murderous read to grab her book and enjoy over a weekend read!

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6. Love, Lies and HeartBreak by Blaque Diamond
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Blurb:

First, comes love, then lies, and then heartbreak. Well, at least that’s the case with the couples in these captivating short-stories in this collection of love gone wrong. It seems like some people say, “I love you” and don’t mean it and loyalty to their partner isn’t their strongest character trait. How would you feel if you were Davon and you found out a child you have raised for the last ten years wasn’t yours? How about if you were in Regina’s shoes, dealing with a husband who thinks you’re his personal punching bag? Lisa isn’t being satisfied at home the way she thinks she deserves, so she seeks pleasure elsewhere, and guess who it is. Tamika thinks she has the perfect man, but she’s wrong when his other woman shows up to get what she believes is rightly hers. When you’re scorned, sometimes it causes you to do things you wouldn’t normally do, such as in Kimberley’s case, but you can snap when you’ve been pushed too far. Come along for the journey through the relationships of these five couples as they deal with love, lies, and heartbreak. Love isn’t perfect, and these couples prove just how imperfect love can truly be.

JAnn’s Review:

Blaque’s writing was so natural and easy to enjoy. Each short story captured my attention and held it there until the end. My favorite story about Regina & Calvin. It clicked close to situations a lot of women find themselves in and her character building was tremendous and done just at the right moment throughout the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a piece of good literature.

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5. Christmas Past An Angel’s Story by Ron Shaw

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Blurb:

Travel back to 1958 with an angel on a mission to a CHRISTMAS PAST, as we’re shown a heart-rending story of a destitute family who happiness and Christmas had all but passed over.
Do the impoverished deserve kindness, generosity, or love?
Striving to survive life’s frigid and bitter winds, a jilted mother and her four, young children will be tested like never before.
Despite the crushing odds, will one boy’s prayers be answered?
Only time and AN ANGEL’S STORY will tell.

JAnn’s Review

This was such a sad story based on true events with a happy ending. I give kudos to Ron for writing this book with such a force where one can feel as if they were there at Christmas in 1958. His words bring hope back into Christmas and what it really means. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a warm-hearten story to read. A great piece of literature.

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4.  Eye of the Storm: The Silent Grief of Miscarriage by Rachel McGrath

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Blurb:

“There is no heartbeat . . . ” Those four words will stay with me forever.

Sadly about thirty percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and many of those women who have suffered this loss often grieve in silence.

This short novella details the experience of one woman’s loss during the early stages of a pregnancy. McGrath tells her story with full transparency, sharing all of her raw emotions and baring her soul through an incredibly difficult time.

This short account provides a heartfelt perspective on a subject that is sometimes still considered taboo.

JAnn’s Review

came across Rachel’s book one night on Twitter and I just had to read it. Eye of the Storm is Rachel’s story about her loss of her unborn child. It meant something very deeply to me and moved my soul to read her words, for I too have suffered the loss of a child. Unlike her I got to spend a few months with my daughter. My heart broke with each page I turned, but at the same time it gave me peace hearing about someone else’s loss. Her words made me feel as if I wasn’t so alone and that I had a connection with her. Even though it’s been 23 years since my daughter’s passing, it never gets any easier. I give Rachel great kudos for sharing her story and I pray that others will find her story to be a blessing, just like her unborn child was.

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3.  Archipelago: A Problem by G H Neale

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Blurb

ARCHIPELAGO, a literary fiction of four characters’ discrete lives one random day in one random town.

The reader is chaperoned through the animated reality of this town. A town which “not in all historie, any memorable thing concerning it” occurred and, through performances of the characters, is invited to consider his own communal actions.

The novel commences with inquisitive poet Philomena Isabela Cordova passing her second novel to newly found friend Parveen Pattni, a young Hindu lesbian and burgeoning fine artist. Parveen begins to read Philomena’s book at the same time as Stephen Rei, disillusioned and hedonistic literary agent of some fifty years, is reading another one of Philomena’s “scribblings”. Philomena is lustily pursued by her step-sister’s husband and, as per the classical myth, Stephen and Parveen read of her assault, her retribution and more.

For ARCHIPELAGO is a very queer affair, unbearably queer perhaps

JAnn’s Review

This book reveals the minds of some of what life is like for the deepest & greatest thinkers. It depicts a novel where one may scratch their head and wonder or one may find themselves agreeing what is written on the fine pages of this book.

Archipelago tells a rather interesting story about several characters, one being a shy but geeky poet. As you read about her travels and life in a small England village the reader becomes captivated by how G H creates so many characters and their lives all in one day of life in this village. Simply put, the complexity of this story is that it covers so many lives in such a short about time

G H’s words play out in many different elements of literacy and prose that entice and keeps the reader wanting to flip the page and read more. He pushes every boundary just likes the greats of Yeats, Elliot, & Joyce. This is a must read for anyone who seeks to find a great work of literacy.

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2. Everything Happens For A Reason by Tina-Marie Miller

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Blurb:

Shaken from the sudden death of her mother, Poppy Jackson’s only light amidst all the darkness is the prospect of embarking on an exciting new career with major investment stockbrokers Hawkins, Munroe and Sable, working as PA to the amiable Greg Sable.

The company’s Annual Conference is a big deal in the stock broking world and though keen to impress, Poppy’s focus wavers at the appearance of the cheeky Oliver Sullivan. After a rocky start, an unexpected romance begins to bloom. Can their love overcome their conflicting backgrounds? And how will Poppy cope when tragedy strikes a second time?

Meanwhile, having made the shocking discovery of his real birth father’s identity, Richard Jones decides to earn the right to take control of the family business and not just because he’d inherited it. His mother, however, is growing increasingly frustrated at his refusal to step up. Itching to put her own plans into progress she increases the pressure, completely oblivious to the consequences.

Curl up and relax with this tale of love, loss and everything in between, and watch as the worlds of Poppy and Richard are drawn together in a twist of fate, proving that everything really does happen for a reason…

JAnn’s Review

I truly enjoyed Poppy’s story! Poppy’s adventure through was will written and not your usual chick lit that is staged. I found it to be a light read with unexpected twists and challenges in Poppy’s life. Being career driven but also seeking and wanting the love found in a marriage and family Poppy faces many ups and downs but always comes out strong. Between Poppy’s memories of her mom and past and looking towards the future, this story was one many of us face daily.

Tina-Marie did an excellent job in creating her characters and plot planning was incredible by showing us two sides of life, one in the city and one in the country which kept things rolling smoothly throughout the book. She wrote this has if it was everyday life for many of us to relate too.

The cover is what actually caught my eye on Twitter. The bright colors and illustration gave me the feeling of a warm, clean read and that is exactly what I received. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an adventurous story about life, love, and everything else.

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1.Dead Man’s Prayer by Jackie Baldwin

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Blurb: 

Former RC priest, DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood fifteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inextricably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when twin boys go missing. One twin is recovered in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

 

JAnn’s  Review:

Jackie’s words had my attention within the first page of her book. This was an chair gripping excitable read! The characters were will created with a tendency to be the kind that stays with the reader long after finishing the book. Jackie’s plot is so thrilling with the twists and turns brought into the plot at the right moment when it is least expected and keeps the reader wanting more.

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Top 10 Poetry Reads

10. Impressions in the Sand by Edward York

Amazon

Blurb:

 Impressions In The Sand is a collection of Poems I have written over a span of time.
 They are about life, love and even some humor. Some were strongly felt inspirations and others were whimsical.
 

JAnn’s Rating:

Edward’s poetry is so surreal and heart-touching, his poems reflect life in so many different rays of light. Some bright and happy where you find yourself smiling and then some are so surreal that it takes your breath away, leaving you gasping for air. His words are light like feathers that fall gently on the screen with very little effort in imagery.
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9. On The Edge by Haley Timmons

Today the
Angels Descended

Mommy can you hear me?

What did I do so wrong?

Can you see the blood I bleed?

Or How I’m not that strong?

Does my voice sound distant?

Did you forget just where you are?

Mama I know I’m not an infant

But I still love you with all my heart

The bruises are starting to blacken

And the teachers are asking me why

I lied about how it happened

Said I was tripped up by some guy

But mama I don’t want to lie

Why do you hurt me so?

Why is it that you’re always high?

I just wish that I could know

Mama I think you’re killing me

There’s blood now on your hands

It’s getting really hard to breath

Was this your final plan?

Mama I am scared please stop

I swear that I’ll be good

I won’t cry not one teardrop

If you just treat me like you should

Everything’s quiet and I can’t see

Mama what have you done?

Why is it that you hated me?

When I was your only son

Mama my wings are so pearly white

And my body and soul has been mended

And I will be sleeping with God tonight

For today the angel’s descended

 Blurb:

On The Edge: Poetry By A Mentally Ill Poet is a book about the struggle of battling a mental illness. The book is sectioned into three parts. Mental Illness, Loss and World News.

The Last Breath

Your voice to me is Deafening
Your state of mind unsettling
although your smile is welcoming
your hands they are still trembling
Battle wounds stitched with glue
Body twisted, corkscrew loose
Ink filled lungs, black tattoo
Nothing that time can undo
Clean white sheets,sterile air
oxygen mask and missing hair
Hands are lifted, unspoken prayer
Flat line, An empty chair
Clocks stopped, time of death
chest rises, One final breath

 
JAnn’s Review:
My heart ached and tears brimmed my eyes on several of Hayley’s poems while I read this book. Hayley has such a descriptive rhyming voice when she writes, where you can actually here the cries of help throughout the pages. I am so thrilled and happy to have connected with Hayley on Twitter and helped her publish this book, especially since it was her first book and I
helped her achieve her dream. I will definitely be a fan of her poetry for a long time, just because she writes from the heart with such ease but at the same time, you can feel her pain greatly that she feels with each objective she writes. Her rhyme scheme is something I wish I could learn for she has that talent will mastered.

Echoic Magazine March Issue

 

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8. Starlight by Mr. Glenn

 

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A Silhouette Remains

The flash bulb pops
and the light is thrown,
covering the distance of air,
bending past the molecules
that are suspended in time
as the light bleeds through them,
reaching to wrap around you
while the shutter begins its slide
and scrapes across the opening of the lens
and for the slights fraction of a second it seems
that it will reach you first
and capture you for its own,
but my heart is already there
and in a blur
the world you knew before
is already something new
because I love you
and all that is left for the camera to own
is the silhouette of love
that has already grown.

Blurb:

Starlight is the newest book of poems by Mr. Glenn.

Every night I step outside just as the moon begins to shine and wait patiently to see where the scatter of her children will fall across the sky. I wait patiently for you, the first star of the night. Some nights you appear dancing with the moon, some nights you hang all alone above the darkened silhouette of the mountains, but always you are covered in my thoughts and your sweet light always finds its way to me. You are my perfect starlight.

JAnn’s Review:
I was honored to read Mr. Glenn’s work. I found his work to be one that I will become a fan of for years to come. His smooth, romantic writing voice was a true pleasure to read. I really enjoyed his free verse with a slant rhyme with very visual effects to his poems. This book will be one that
I will definitely take the time to read over again and again. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a sexy romantic poetry book to read.
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7. Echoes of Moonlight by Kimberly DuBoise

Quietly Watching
With eyes that see to the heart,
with a gaze that leads to understanding,
you look upon us in love.
You tenderly minister to our soul’s
Indefinable longing-
you rest your wings upon our sighs!
Before first light, when the warm rays of dawn
shine over me, you stir the thoughts of love
that beat within my heart.
and I know it is you
calling me awake,
calling me to love.
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Blurb:

This is a collection of poetry that deeply considers the connection we have to nature, the essence of love, the closeness of divinity.

JAnn’s Review:

Kimberly’s talent is sweet and so real. I have become a huge fan of her work since meeting
her. In fact I read this book twice since she gave it to me. I adore her wordplay and how free the words fall. Her rhyme scheme and rhythm bounces around which makes her poems flow with ease and fun to read. I highly recommend this book to any poetry lover who wants a smooth pace poetry book to read over the weekend. 

Echoic Magazine March Issue

 

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6. My Myths by Kelle Grace Gaddis

 
 

 

The Shelves
Harry refused to listen.
Eventually, he had his ears removed.
He hung shelves where his ears used to be.
His wife wanted to put curios from Hawaii on the shelves,
a hula girl, a ukulele boy.
But, Harry never heard her request.
He placed a saltshaker on one side of his head and a peppermill on the
other.
By nightfall Harry had forgotten the shelves.
At dinner he demanded seasoning for his meat.
His wife pointed to the shelves.
Not understanding her gesture, he pounded the table with his fists,
until the salt crashed to the floor.
Harry grabbed his wife in a fury and shouted,
“Now look what you’ve done!”

 

JAnn’s Review:
Kelle’s written voice falls across the pages of her book, My Myths, with such ease and elegance. Her poetic tone brings to focus just how silly, straight heart a poet can be. She writes one poem with such elegant words of description then you turn the page and will soon encounter her ease and wittiness of character and imagery. I found myself gasping for air and reaching for the arm of my chair at moments when I thought my world would spin out of control with such beauty described on the page then I would find myself laughing and taking the book to my kids to read a poem. Kelle’s work was an amazing read and a book I will forever treasure.

 

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5. Poems by Timothious Smith

When thou Touch I

 

I stood back and looked at what I had done.

I had felt this way before.

In the near past I had lunged.

Opening a closed heart door.

The feelings I felt then

Loomed in my head once more.

I looked at the person I had been

And those feelings I had in store.

I thank you for awakening them in me

Those feelings I had ignored.

Those things I wanted to forget to see

Those streaming emotions I dared not ford.

I breath deep those feelings.

And wish that I could share them with you.

But they’re of heart dealings

And love come true.

They’re of magic and mystery’

Motion and joy.

They’re of future and history

And chaos destroy.

If I had felt them only a little while before.

I would have lived life better

and have not locked this door.

Thus being more a go getter.

I’ve written of heroes

I wished I could be

But all I really want

Is you with me.

If I never see you again

And the love my heart drips dry.

I will remember what has always been.

When thou touch I.

Blurb:

This is a few poems that I wrote in between 1989 and 1995 for women that I fell head over heels in love with. Hope that you enjoy them.

JAnn’s Review:
I have absolutely have become a fan of Timothious’ writing. His talent exceeded my expectations and my love for  poetry all together. His love poems were magnificent and enjoyable. It was my first book of modern poetry that I actually took my time in reading it and
thinking about each word, stanza and the entirety of the poem before flipping the page. His rhyme schemes and rhythm flowed as gently as a steady stream without any flaw. I was so impressed by his work and highly recommend anyone to read this book by Timothious.

 Echoic Magazine March Issue

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4. Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Blurb:
Structured like an old-school mix-tape, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately is Alicia Cook’s lyric
message to anyone who has dealt with addiction. “Side A” touches on all aspects of the human condition: life, death, love, trauma, and growth. “Side B” contains haunting black-out remixes of those poems.
JAnn’s Review:
Alicia’s poetry is sweet, sad and touching. It’s like riding a roller coaster! I absolutely fell in love with her style of writing. Her taste of words, the rhyme and rhythm, the flow is such an ease to the heart. I could really connect with her pain as she wrote these poems, in which that is what poetry should be all about. The connection between poet and reader.
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3. Sunset by Paul Anthony

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Tango Five Seven

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A siren screaming and a blue light flashing,

Through the ‘Lakes’ a motor bike dashing.

A gear, a lean and a handful of throttle,

Carving through traffic with skill and bottle.

A radio blaring in a wintry windy ear,

Telling what was waiting, knowing what to fear.

And there was the smash! Straight through the wall!

And Tango Five Seven had answered the call.

Broken bodies, broken limbs.

Unconscious twinkling, brain that dims.

Battered, bruised, bewildered man,

Searching for survivors, the river ran.

Wading in the water deep,

Holding close, her warmth to keep.

Bleeding blood, deep red upon me.

The Lord’s call proving way beyond me.

A kiss of life,

For someone’s wife.

Respiration…. Deep frustration.

And so to hold her as she slipped away,

That angel face, with eyes so grey.

And silky soft, her hair reclining,

But I could not stop her soul declining.

I pumped the heart, as you would friend.

Yet my hands were naught, she would not mend.

‘Come in Tango Five Seven!’

I heard, I sighed, I cried….I replied.

‘Tango Five Seven,

Angel in heaven!’

 
Book Blurb:

Sunset is a collection of poetry tracing the life of a relaxed carefree teenager in the Sixties to a man at the dawn of the Twenty First Century. The journey captures an age of experiences; peaceful and pleasant, violent and murderous. The voyage from one century to another smoothly results in a unique portrayal of the era in which we live.

From love and romance, war and peace, sorrow and surrender, to private fears and unknown tears, the Cumbrian policeman,detective, and novelist, Paul Anthony delivers a roller-coaster of poetic

The Cumberland News: From boy to man in seventy seven poems…
JAnn’s Review:

WOW!! Is all I can say! The heart-touching poems in this book depicts so much of the poet’s life as a police officer. Some of the poems brought tears to my eyes and some brought smiles, but it’s the emotion Paul has for poetry that really shows through his work. His talent overcomes most contemporary poets I read today! I give him great credit and kudos for sharing his story between the lines of each poem, where all good and bad things lie in life and poetry. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, just grab a good cup of coffee and enjoy!

Echoic Magazine March Issue

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2. More Than Simple Words: Reality vs. Love by Derrick A. Marrow

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Blurb:

Poetry that deals with the reality of everyday life. The struggle of life. True love and true hurt and true loss and true happiness. The reality of the outcasts and incasts and how we all go through things.

JAnn’s Review:

I had a deep interest in wanting to read Derrick’s poetry and I am really happy to have done so. His poetry provides a provoking look into reality vs. love. Sometimes we have a tendency to mix the two up and it either drives us insane or it breaks our hearts and that is exactly how Derrick’s poetry portrays. His imagery is so vivid that as the reader one can honestly feel every emotion. His rhyme and rhythm play an important role in how each poem is completed and script into stone as if they were to be carved into the soul of the reader. Derrick’s poetry book is one that I would recommend anyone to read and study the way he twists and turns his words.

 

Goodreads

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1.Drinking from the Sane Water by Vincent G. Topp

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Blurb:

Drinking From The Sane Water is the first collection of poems from the poet Vincent Topp.All moods are accounted for, the hidden and the obvious.

JAnn’s Review

Vincent’s poetry is the type of poetry that will harness the soul and grip the heart and make you want to question everything in life. His emotions are strong throughout the book and the imagery he paints is one that flashes before your eyes. I truly enjoyed this book of poems! I would recommend to anyone who is a lover of words, life and enjoys exceptional talent of penning the poems.

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5 Topics I Like to Write Poetry About

  1. Love – I really enjoy writing about love. Love poetry comes easy to me. However, most of my poetry is about the dark side of love and from that I write to inspire and let others know that love is only what we see, feel and believe in our hearts. With my love poetry I try to build a relationship with my readers in hopes that the words I write are the words they can’t say.
  2. Nature – I enjoy writing about nature and the spiritual side of it. I feel close to nature and her spirits when I write and dig deep within to find that sacred spot between Mother Nature & I. I find nature to be easy to write about because I have spent the majority of my life out among nature and the gifts of our planet. I can look at a flower and see more than just a flower, I may see a symbol to something that is lingering deep within me.
  3. Life experiences – I write a lot about my life experiences in hopes to give others a good look at life. Life can either be a one way street or a freeway. I prefer the freeway because of the lessons and chances there is. To me if life was just a one way street, just think how boring & ugly life would be. At least with life being a freeway when it gets to crazy or chaotic you can take an exit and escape from it every once in a while. Life is just one huge adventure. The adventures all have to happen depending on our attitude.
  4. Looking at the world through a child eye – I used to write a lot of childlike poems when my kids were younger. I still do, but just not as much as I liked to. I would love to write more poetry on how my youngest son sees life. He is autistic, so his inner thoughts and feelings are quite different from mine.
  5. On writing poetry or about writers – This is something I just started a few months ago and one that I find myself referring to the most when I write. I love writing about my passion of poetry. I enjoy twisting verses together about the writing experience.

 

 

5 Tips for a Meditating Monday

Melt away stress …. Before it happens!

  1. Learn the benefits of meditating – do you research. The benefits of meditation could go on forever but here is a few things I have learned and gained from. Meditating morning and night helps reduce stress by a large margin. It helps curve the overthinking process that our minds have a tendency to do. Meditating helps relax the nervous system and reduces anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
  2. Start Small – For beginners, start small 3 – 5 minutes couple times a day when feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
  3. Meditate Your Way – most think that there is a rigid way to get the most out of meditating, a big false. You can choose to either sit Buddha Style (Lotus), lie down on either on a couch, bed, floor or yoga mat, or get comfy in the recliner. The choices are endless. The main goal is to feel comfortable and at ease. As for me, my three favorite spots to meditate is my yoga mat, my recliner when I am meditating to release chronic pain, and outside among nature for a closer spiritual atmosphere. I also prefer big headphones to wear to block out any surrounding noise, this helps me concentrate on my breathing and focus to open up my imagination, inspiration and intuition channels.
  4. Try Walking Meditation – put some low background music on go for a walk around your neighborhood, out among nature or in a city park and meditate by concentrate on your breathing and seeing with your eyes. This will open your eyes to the aesthetic values and the value of beauty among us.
  5. Ultimate Goal – The ultimate goal of meditating is for you to ease your mind from daily stress. Try massaging your temples, jaw line and the back of your neck. Once you have been meditating the more control you will have over your thoughts and the overthinking mind. But remember to just relax your mind, body and soul!

5We are having a baby girl!

5 Tips to a Better You

walking-meditation

 

Practicing Awareness, Meditation & Mindfulness

Before I even start my day or end my day, I do a quick run through of my own thoughts, ideas & behaviors and ask myself what I could change or have done different about my day. I always open my day with a prayer and a round of meditation and end my day in a silent meditation. Here is an app/website I highly recommend for beginners in meditation, awareness and mindfulness. It can be download on Android or Apple.

Insight Timer

  1. Start each day by writing down your thoughts, ideas, behavior, attitude and relationships. Take the time while you eat a healthy breakfast, jot down what your mood is, what is stressing you such as that deadline you have this week, what triggers your behaviors and attitude throughout the day. But also don’t forget to write about the good stuff too. Such has your gratefulness towards your partner or child, maybe write a short thank you to the stranger that opened a door for you.
  2. Mark up a self-assessment – Take note on how your actions might be affecting others around you. Ask yourself, have you been honest to everyone but most of all what about your honesty to yourself. How about your usage of words at work, around the dinner table or on the internet?
  3. Put your ideas into action – Don’t be afraid to speak up at the next conference or office meeting. Your idea may be exactly what your boss is looking for. Speak up wherever you can, this opens your mind, your creativity and doors to a bright future.
  4. Re-read or analyze your progresses & failures…. Progress is great but its the failures that help us grow and achieve our goals and dreams
  5. Set new goals each week – pick a weekend to set new goals and evaluate your past week and take not of what you can change for the better.

 

P.S. Don’t forget to choose your Daily Mantra too!

 

 

 

Top 5 Tips for Writing Poetry

  1. Warm up- write for 15 minutes – just write and don’t stop to think about what your writing. Don’t even think about a topic, just … start writing.
  2. Journal – write in a journal everyday … better yet create your own journal! Decorate a notebook up to your liking so you will want to write daily.
  3. Connect with your environment- I connect by meditating before I start, I know that is not for everyone so try to go for a walk, or sit outside in silence or take a hot bath… just remember to relax before you start.
  4. Consider a taboo topic – most poets stir away from topics that may bring debate. Challenge yourself to write one a day. This helps open you mind and creativity
  5. Study – Read – Learn – Study from your favorite poets, Read new poetry daily and learn new techniques and themes.

Typewriter with Poetry buttons, vintage

Photo by Molly Fisk (Google Image)