Colleen’s Book Reviews

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’m still playing catch-up with book reviews. These are a few of the books I’ve been reading the last couple of months. I’m sure you will find something that will catch your fancy!

“Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries,” by Sally Cronin

Short story and poetry anthologies are all the rage now, and Sally Cronin’s “Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” does not disappoint. This eclectic mix takes the reader through a gambit of feelings that revolve around the themes of love, loss, humor, revenge, and life’s second chances.

A few of these tales brought tears to my eyes, such as “Long Lost Love,” which tells the story of Tom and Elaine, a pregnancy, and a visit from beyond the grave. However, the poetry is as exceptional as the short stories. The butterfly cinquain, “Ritual of Mehndi,” shares a glimpse into the traditional wedding custom of painting symbols in henna on the bride’s hands.

This author is known for an empathetic approach to her writing. She writes what she senses, sharing the ups and downs of her characters with love and compassion. A true storyteller, Sally Cronin’s stories will leave you wanting more feel-good moments.

Amazon Author Page

“Voices (in the Trash),” by Frank Prem

Amazon.com

Frank Prem lends his photographic talent to this picture poetry book by featuring photographs from the trash and treasure markets from around Australia. The author asks us, “What if these items could talk?”

What follows is a unique poetic perspective as he listens to the plaintive voices in the trash. He pens his poetry accordingly. All objects are worthy of a voice, in his eyes.

This was a lovely and creative endeavor. If you’re looking for something different to read and inspire, this is the book for you.

Amazon Author Page

“Endangered Spells,” Book 5 of 7, Witches Academy, by S. R. Mallery

“Endangered Spells,” leads the reader into a world of contemporary witchcraft with an unexpected link back in history to the Salem Witch Trials. Gillian is a young witch who denies her powers because of something that happened in her past.

When her best friend, Rebecca suddenly disappears, Gillian knows something terrible has occurred. The police aren’t working fast enough, and Gillian realizes that she may well have to use witchcraft to solve this heinous crime.

The mystery spirals out of control when two more of Gillian’s journalist friends are murdered. The young witch takes matters into her own hands and uncovers some deep secrets related to her past.

Meanwhile, one of the detectives on the case realizes that he is in love with Gillian. Witches and humans don’t usually mix, but nothing is as it seems in this fast-paced mystery.

This was a fun read. Gillian’s family pet, a cockatoo, steals the show! There’s something here for everyone: love, romance, humor, and murder. The perfect combination for a cozy mystery!

Amazon Author Page

“Delilah Astral Investigator Infinity Series: Episode 2, The Boy Who Would Be King,” by Deborah A. Bowman

Delilah Sanchez, her amazing cat, Mollie, and the 1774 American Colonial Lord Bartholomew Darnesworth Wharton, III, (Bartie) are back for another time travel adventure. This time, the threesome travel back to the year, 1502, the day before Prince Arthur Tudor’s death.

No one understands how or why they were chosen to intervene in the events unfolding before them. All they know is that this one change can ripple through time changing the present. After a series of Astral projections, Bartie and Delilah fear that the war they are witnessing would evolve into World War III in their reality. They believe they are the guardians, entrusted with saving their world. How do you save the past and the future at the same time?

Bartie is forced to make some hard choices. But now, he carries the guilt from those decisions. He’s fallen hard for Delilah. How does he tell her the truth of what really happened?

The author combines YA fantasy, history, and a bit of romance to create an exciting time travel novel. This is the second book in the series, and to maintain the character background I would start with the first novel, “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series.”

This fast-paced adventure will keep you up long into the night!

Amazon Author Page

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “rescue and redemption: Poetry inspired by the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 3),” BY AUTHOR, Frank Prem, @frank_prem

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky 
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, 
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels 
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells . . .

from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Drawing on the phrasing of T.S. Eliot’s amazing early 20th century poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of companionable and introspective love poetry written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary exploration of themes of love in poetry, and utilise Eliot’s original phrases to inspire a contemplation of the self in the context of landscape and the wider world:

I am seeking you
within the hubbub
and the burly

trying to gauge
location
by the strength
and timbre
of your voice

rising
and falling
even as you rise
and fall

from rescue and redemption

rescue and redemption is the third of the three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The first collection, walk away silver heart, draws on Amy Lowell’s deeply personal Madonna of the Evening Flowers, while the second, a kiss for the worthy, derives from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

HERE is my review for book one, “Walk Away Silver Heart, Poetry 
Inspired
 by
 the 
Amy Lowell 
poem ‘Madonna
 of 
the 
Evening 
Flowers.'” HERE is my review for the second book, “a kiss for the worthy: Poetry inspired by the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass.'”

Australian Poet, Frank Prem, has created his third collection in the Love Poetry Trilogy, called “Rescue & Redemption: Poetry inspired by the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.'” Prem believes that “Eliot’s Prufrock is a journey in search of love, perhaps with a companion, or for a companion.”

Using the found poetry technique, Prem creates a poem from each line of the epigraph, which he says serves as a Requiem. There are close to fifty poems in this book.

Throughout, the principal character sometimes seems feminine, then again switches to a more masculine tone; all the while sharing personal thoughts, as if whoever is sharing these revelations is revealing deep secrets. The prose sings to its own rhythm. Prem’s writing has embraced the brevity of words but found great depth in meaning.

Some of the poems that spoke to me were the flickering (stilled), (perhaps) what my belief, and my favorite: score (for an evening) which is filled with ample sensory details to make you feel as if you’re eavesdropping on an intimate scene.

This is a wonderful series and would make a thoughtful gift for the poetry lover in your family. These poems go well with chocolate and hot tea! I enjoyed every bite word!

Many thanks to the author for the advanced reader’s copy.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.

He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word. 

He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia. 

Amazon Author Page U.S.

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: frankprem.com

TWITTER: @frank_prem

FACEBOOK: Frank Prem

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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “a kiss for the worthy: Poetry inspired by the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 2),” BY AUTHOR, Frank Prem @frank_prem

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, 
the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, 
but I shall not let it.. . .

from Leaves of Grass

Drawing on the phrasing of Walt Whitman’s great late 19th century poem Leaves of Grass (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of expansive and outward looking love poetry written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary exploration of themes of love in poetry, and utilise Whitman’s original phrases to inspire a contemplation of the self in the context of landscape and the wider world:

and as they open
I realise
they are filled
with sweet perfumes

golden glory

wafted aroma

from a house filled (with the sensual)

a kiss for the worthy is the second of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The first collection, walk away silver heart, draws on Amy Lowell’s deeply personal Madonna of the Evening Flowers, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

HERE is my review for book one, “Walk Away Silver Heart, Poetry 
Inspired
 by
 the 
Amy
 Lowell 
poem ‘Madonna
 of 
the 
Evening 
Flowers.'”

American poet, Walt Whitman, and his collection, “Leaves of Grass,” provided the poetic inspiration for Frank Prem’s second book in the Love Poetry Trilogy series, called “A Kiss for the Worthy.”

This author, much like Whitman, celebrates his philosophy of life and humanity written in thoughtful bursts of poetic expression. Prem describes his process of creating found poetry, wherein he chooses a phrase from the body of “Song of Myself – Leaves of Grass” as his inspiration for creating a new poem of his own making.

What follows is a deeply introspective look at love and life from the author’s perspective. I loved his poem, “espresso (no and no)” where he describes his love hate relationship with the beverage in such great detail that I swear I could smell the heady aroma of the brew.

My favorite poem was “not much left (of me).” Powerful and moving, this poem strips away all the subterfuge, revealing the naked truth behind the author’s psyche. He shares portions and pieces—traces of his soul revealing that he is simply in the end, all he can be.

As a lover of all forms of poetry, I found this collection deeply satisfying to read. I savored several bits of prose, weighing the words on my tongue, repeating them out loud. Prem augments his own rhythm creating a nice flow. Nothing is overstated or flowery. Instead, the meaning is obtained from the brevity of his word choices. My kind of poetry!

I enjoyed this collection. Many thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy. I look forward to the additional books in this trilogy.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.

He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word. 

He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia. 

Amazon Author Page U.S.

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: frankprem.com

TWITTER: @frank_prem

FACEBOOK: Frank Prem

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Walk Away Silver Heart, Poetry 
Inspired
by
 the 
Amy
 Lowell 
poem ‘Madonna
 of 
the 
Evening 
Flowers,’ BY AUTHOR, Frank Prem, @frank_prem

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

“Walk Away Silver Heart,” is the first book in a poetry collection called A Love Poetry Trilogy, by Frank Prem. Using the Found Poetry form, the author chose a phrase from the body of a distinguished poem written long ago. Each line of the original poem inspired a piece of new poetry.

This book is motivated by the poem, “Madonna of the Evening Flowers (1919), written by Amy Lowell. The original poem, including links to Amy Lowell’s background, are provided at the beginning of the book.

What follows is a delightful collection of love poetry that unfolds like a bouquet, each poetic flower as lovely as the next blossom. Each piece is thoughtfully constructed to draw the reader into a private world of the author’s own making. The initial poems read like poetic observations where the poet shares his deep longing for a certain love.

As I progressed through each line of the Amy Lowell poem, I related to the poet’s experiences as he wove his thoughts into a new poem often inspired by the prosaic world around us. Some of these poems felt intimate, like a shared-look between lovers, while other chronicled the feeling of lost love. Many of these poems touched me deeply. I awakened to a new appreciation for the little things my husband does that mean so much to me.

I enjoyed this collection. Many thanks to Frank Prem for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy. I look forward to the additional books in this trilogy.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet for forty years. When not writing or reading his poetry to an audience, he fills his time by working as a psychiatric nurse. 

He has been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as ‘spoken word’. Frank has released two collections of free verse poetry: Small Town Kid (Dec 2018)and Devil In The Wind (May 2019).

He and his wife live in the beautiful township of Beechworth in northeast Victoria (Australia). 

Frank’s YOuTube CHannel is located here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvfW2WowqY1euO-Cj76LDK

Radio interview with Frank Prem 11/01/2019: https://frankprem.com/frank-prem-radio-interview-with-matt-dowling-on-abc-radio-11-01-2019/

Radio Interview podcast with Frank Prem (may require a login to be created): https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/indigofmradio/episodes/2019-01-04T18_47_23-08_00

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: frankprem.com

TWITTER: @frank_prem

FACEBOOK: Frank Prem

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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