When poetry is written well, the reader is left feeling emotions so profoundly that words are often not enough to express the joy, love, sorrow, and pain that stays after turning the page. When moving through the poems in (the) Elegy, readers are taken on a journey into the author’s snapshot of life, one of darkness, despair, and brutal honesty. Each section in this collection has a unique feel, yet they flow together to tell a complete story. The themes of loss, suffering, and pain are felt from start to finish in this collection and will leave readers raw as they absorb the words that Derek King has given them.
Some of the poems focus on physical death, others on the emotional decline, and some on mental illness as the mind slowly dies, and the world watches from afar. Some of the hardest-hitting poems are the ones on the death of society and how as humans, we have let the modern and commercial world strip us piece by piece of the things that gave us life, and we welcome this self-destruction, not realizing that we are harming ourselves. For example, the poem ‘Dark Day In Glasgow’ shares a scene where people are frantically shopping and spending money on the holiday season, but a crime is committed, a nativity is vandalized, and baby Jesus has been replaced by a rolled-up bill of money. What a potent reminder of how humanity has lost the meaning of Christmas and the holiday season. This is only one example of the many situations that King gives his readers to remind them of how far humanity has drifted from actually being humane.
Each section of this collection starts with a haunting black-and-white image and foreshadows the sentiments about to be churned up through King’s words. I say churned because the poems move in a way that can and will cause the reader some discomfort. The honesty and directness, even in allegory, will leave readers contemplating the world around them and how they perceive it.
(the) Elegy is a gripping anthology of poetry that will take readers through war, depression, death, and self-realization. This is not a collection of love poetry or happy thoughts. Instead, it is primal and ruthless in its depiction of humanity and the direction we are headed. This is an eye-opening collection of poems that will give readers a pause and make them consider what they value in life and in themselves.
Pages: 146 | ASIN : B0B8WLNB8T
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Violet by Sabrina Simon is a collection of emotionally riveting poems about love, especially unrequited love and the relationships that come after that pain. This thought-provoking collection contains poems from throughout Simon’s life, starting from the time she was 14 to the present. It follows the great loves of her life and explores the experiences of young love, unrequited love, and healing love.
Although the book itself is not divided into sections, a breakdown of the time periods in which the poems were written is given, along with a preface outlining Ms. Simon’s inspiration and frame of mind during the different periods. This allows readers to be taken on an engaging journey both through Ms. Simon’s growth as a writer and through the trials and rewards of love and relationships.
Author Simon gifts the reader with really powerful pieces, and the author has such a connective style of describing her experiences that I was completely mesmerized by her words. The author is very direct about her feelings, her struggles, and the journey she has been on, making these poems relatable to the reader.
I found myself getting lost in her poetry as she vividly described her experiences and emotions. I was emotionally invested and connected to each poem, and I was disappointed when it ended. Simon’s poems will connect with many readers who understand the thought of loving someone and dreaming about a life with them that you won’t get to have and the impact that has on future relationships. This doesn’t just negatively affect us, but there is also the beauty in looking forward to future relationships and when you finally feel the love you have is returned.
I highly recommend this collection of poems for its sheer relatability, honesty, and raw emotions that the author brings to us. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Pages: 66 | ASIN : B0B6D95JZK
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Tales from Another Dimension is a collection of short stories centered around classic science fiction themes. What was the inspiration for this collection of short stories?
I am constantly inspired to write. But some of the biggest influences are, Asimov, Heinlein, HG Wells, Robert Silverberg, and Dan Brown. I am also a huge fan of The Twilight Zone, X-Files, Spielberg, and Doctor Who.
What were some of your inspirations as a writer?
One of the major themes throughout these 10 stories, is that of prejudice and misconceptions of people, or things that are different than ourselves. I wanted to explore prejudice and other qualities that are not attractive.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
In the case of sci-fi, we are always quick to judge aliens, robots, and other beings, yet we don’t look at ourselves.
Each story in this book explores this from different angles, and hopefully makes us re-evaluate how we look at the world.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
“With the help of an ancient alien relic, a band of heros will save the universe from the tyrannical Galactic Realm.”
The Orb is due out early next year. It will be a novella/novel, and will be part of a trilogy. It is a space opera full of fun characters, twists and space science.
Posted in Interviews
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Giant Banana Over Texas by Mark Nutter is a collection of short stories that will make you stop in your track and reread it. With straightforward and short stories, the author has tried to capture the absurdity of human life in weird circumstances. All these instances that are mentioned in the book are plausible situations. They have the full potential to be true, but this is something that is generally not heard of. It might sound confusing, but this is exactly what the stories are: confusing and chaotic.
The author’s writing style is the common thread that binds these 31 stories together in this book. All of them are weirdly thought-provoking and will leave you with a deep sense of discomfort. Of course, I knew that stories are simply stories, but there is something in those stories that make them very near to reality despite being in the vein of impossibility.
The stories have sensible beginnings, a possible flow of action, but an unsettling end. These endings are connected to the problems at the beginning. The weird endings suddenly turn the flow of the stories and take them away from the realistic relatability that we feel with the stories. It is weird, but curiosity makes it interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed being stumped by this Giant Banana over Texas.
The author uses absurdity to bring out the problems of the contemporary world. Even though the endings are not what lies in the wake of realistic action, it brings out discomfort in the readers. The readers feel relatable yet away from the characters. The discomfort of the stories seeps within the reader’s conscience and itches at the mind.
Giant Banana Over Texas is a collection of short dark-humor stories. The language used is very easy to read and understand. Anyone will enjoy the Absurd twists and turns that the stories take while the characters are left hanging on the edge of uncertainty.
Pages: 237 | ASIN : B09S6T5FM4
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Sacred Promise is written with the sole purpose of inspiring women to “reclaim their voices” and enrich their lives with purpose. Dr. Trent’s book shares a series of stories discussing challenging situations women face. The book tackles difficult topics, including how women don’t feel good enough, women supporting other women, motherhood, pursuing dreams, and handling traumatic situations such as abuse, mental health, addiction, and more.
Dr. Tererai Trent has compiled compelling stories of women from many backgrounds and circumstances. Each story is captivating and encouraging to read, and it shows how women can face a variety of challenges and obstacles on their path toward success, whether small or large. This book is the embodiment of the whirlwind of emotions you feel when you conquer your fears. The stories explore how we can sometimes feel powerless in life, it shows how we can conquer our fears, and that if we do we can turn our life into a beautiful journey that instills confidence and power. While these stories speak specifically to the difficulties many women of various backgrounds and circumstances face, it is an excellent read for anyone that is interested in this subject as there is a powerful sense of humanity that is eloquently woven throughout the book.
I found these stories to be uplifting and illuminating, as each tale addresses common fears that many women face, with real-life scenarios and personal triumphs. As a woman, I found the book encouraging as I was able to relate to each woman in my own way. I highly recommend Sacred Promise to anyone that is searching for purpose and inspiration, whether you’re looking to continue on your current path in life, or take a different one. It is a wonderful book that gives the reader a real sense of hope while celebrating what it means to be a woman. This collection will help readers understand the critical role that women play in society, not only in the past or present, but in the future.
Pages: 362 | ASIN: 0645514004
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Life Between Moments is a collection of short stories that turns the lives of everyday people into a compelling drama through the use of sharp writing. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this book?
I wanted to write a collection of different stories that, when read all together, conveyed a sense of the dynamic, tragic and beautiful city. But the book is extremely focused on individual characters, because great cities I find are driven by everyday people trying to get by. In my view, the most interesting stories are usually those that happen in snapshots of everyday life. Those are the most relatable.
My favorite story from this collection is ‘To End a Tragedy’. Do you have a story from this book that stands out to you?
“To End a Tragedy” is my favorite, because I feel like the two main characters resonate with my own life. The challenge of finding happiness and meaning in work, the discovery of enjoyment in day to day, and the realization that there’s no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing a path in life.
The story “Society Debut” also stands out to me because I do think it is unique because it’s written in second-person. I aimed to really put the reader in the story as the main character, to immerse them in a role within the story.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I do my best to use my fiction to explore how ordinary people can find happiness in their lives and meaning in work. Those are two of the biggest challenges we all face, and I see these stories as an attempt to pin down those themes, based on how the characters navigate the same obstacles you and I and everyone face.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Not sure yet on this one! It will be a novel, but at least a couple years away.
Posted in Interviews
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Casualties & Survivors takes this stance: life cannot be seen as black and white, as every situation always has gray areas. One could argue that there will always be casualties and survivors, whether the loss of a friendship or an opportunity. However, there are times when people die, leaving behind the survivors, who must endure the loss.
In a series of short stories, Len Joy takes the reader on a journey of lost love, opportunities, and coping with the void of someone no longer around. While there is a backdrop of tragedy and melancholy to each tale, each story presents new opportunities for the survivors, though not always in the way they expect. You’ll encounter tales of an artist coping with the loss of his lifelong love, only to experience another side of this journey with a surprising twist. Another tale follows how a couple develops a relationship over a simple object, a trash can.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and each story’s unique plot and character dilemmas. While some of the stories were shorter than others, I mainly found them more gut-punching and vivid, as they quickly built momentum and anticipation of what was to come. Other stories were a bit longer, which allowed for more character and setting descriptions, leaving a strong visual impression of well-crafted scenes, such as a Christmas tree lot, the naked winter yoga, and an artist’s sparsely furnished apartment. Len Joy creates lasting moments that stay behind with the reader for a fantastic reading experience.
Len Joy’s writing style is clear and concise, which makes for easy, enjoyable reading. The recurring message in Joy’s stories is gut-wrenching, realistic, reassuring, and comforting. The author leaves the reader curious about each character’s future and what’s in store for them. While, at times, the author uses explicit language in some scenes, fans of short stories will enjoy the loosely threaded stories and how they interact with each other throughout the book.
Pages: 178 | ASIN: B0B92QYYYV
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Local Lives in a Global Pandemic is a thought-provoking compilation of stories conveying the real-life experiences of the residents of North Central Florida. Readers get an honest look at what different residents of Florida experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The book includes interviews from an array of people, from a local inmate, to medical personnel, a retired resident and many more. Readers also see how these resident dealt with the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19, showing just how different our experiences were during the peak of the pandemic.
This illuminating memoir is a powerful read that took me on an emotional rollercoaster since we are all still recuperating from the pandemic. During the lockdown many of us felt alone, but reading this book showed me that we were all going through the isolation together. I enjoyed reading about the medical personnel and their thoughts and experiences since they were at the front line witnessing the affects of COVID-19 and putting their lives at risk. While some people finally found the time to take a break and reconnect with themselves, others were unfortunately separated from their friends and families and some even lost the lives of their loved ones. The constant state of isolation and agony was mutual and this book has preserved that struggle not only for the victims and survivors to read, but for future generations as well.
This is an evocative and relevant collection of true stories that will help readers work through the grief brought on by COVID-19 and sympathize with other individuals who suffered in different ways. Eloquent, emotional and elevating this is a collection of stories that must be told, should be heard, and opens your eyes to the kaleidoscope of pain that the pandemic brought to our lives. While this can be deeply emotional the stories also let us know that we are not alone, even when it feels like it.
Pages: 247 | ASIN: B09JYP7GWZ
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