From Despair to Hope and Healing is a poetry book by Barbara K. Mezera. When reading this book of poetry, you can see that it follows through the various stages of the author’s life. The book is conveniently set up through different sections, with an explanation for each section beforehand. The poems are deeply personal, giving details of life and their emotions. This deeply personal collection can resonate with anyone who has dealt with dark feelings and had inner battles of a profound and personal nature.
I was not prepared with how raw, real, and deep the poems got. Even though this is a book of poetry, it tells a story in a way. It is an incredible personal journey that tells the story similar to a novel. This book is not just a book of poetry, but an autobiography of sorts, where the author’s feelings and thoughts jump off the page at you. These poems resonated within me in so many. I think that anyone who has struggled or had mental health issues can relate to it.
One of my favorite lines from the book is “gaining six inches only to slide back four.” It is such a universal feeling. When you have fought to get so far and then something happens where you are going back and have to fight to get back to where you were. You know poetry is good when the underlying meaning and message can be grasped by anyone and the emotions are felt universally.
One of the poems talks about being grateful. Mezera writes about the many different things that can cause heartbreak or even depression, but to be grateful for them. I think this is one of the more thought-provoking poems of the bunch. This poem really got me thinking about how everything, no matter what I have been through has made me the person I am today. In a way, I am thankful for those things. But then there are the truly horrific aspects of life that I do not think people can say they are thankful for. It had me thinking about it for quite a bit, which is something I enjoyed.
I would say this is a splendid collection of poems. Not only does it have what someone would want in a poetry book, but it also tells a story in a unique way. I have never read a book that could tell me about a person’s life in such an intimate way that reveals the author. I absolutely love that it was a personal autobiography in a way.
Pages: 186 | ASIN: B07921S57Q
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One Love is an emotional novel that explores the different lives of people struggling with their own challenges in life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
This is the book I identify with most of all the books I have written. It is a book that enables me to share my life experiences with others and, hopefully, shows people the pain and passion in life as well as the complexity of love and human desire. I needed to tell this story for my own personal reasons as well. I believe the family element of the story is also very strong and easy to relate to.
I enjoyed the truth behind many of your characters and how I could relate to them. Is there anything you took from your own life and put into this story?
Yes. The book is semi-autobiographical. There are real people behind all the central characters. I, of course, am Timothy. I met someone many years back, almost 20 years ago, who I fell instantly in love with. All the prior people I had met just didn’t matter after I met this girl. She’s called Melody in the book. I imagined the consequences of meeting her later in life and starting anew despite the fact that we’ve both moved on. Of course, I moved on not by choice but because of rejection. All the main characters in the book have identical counterparts in real life.
This book is filled with a cast of interesting characters. If Hollywood came knocking, who would you cast as the leads in the movie?
Good question. I was thinking Oscar Isaac and Reese Witherspoon initially. Reese Witherspoon, definitely. She has the charm and charisma that Melody would need to have as an on-screen character. Maybe Giovanni Ribisi instead of Oscar Isaac, though, because Reese and Giovanni are closer in age. For Cindy, Carey Mulligan for sure. Cindy is the love of Timothy’s life and Mulligan would capture the essence of Cindy to a tee. I would want Vince Vaughn to play Louie if possible.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I put my sci-fi series, “The Separation” books on hold temporarily to work on a new book for my Truly Moving Book series which “One Love” is a part of. The new book is going to be my best yet! It’s due later this year.
One Love begins as a young man named Timothy meets a girl named Melody. She seems to be the girl of his dreams but when things don’t go as planned, he moves forward and settles down with another girl named Cindy. As years pass, Timothy reconnects with Melody who is now married with children. He begins an affair with her that will change both of their lives and force him to evaluate the decisions he has made in his life. One Love is a story of family, romance and heartbreak. It will make you search your soul to discover what the right thing is for the characters to believe in.
Posted in Interviews
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I believe that most people’s goal in life, certainly my goal, is to live the happiest life possible. This may seem far-fetched in today’s world, but 8 Ways to Happiness is an amazing guide that will help you achieve that dream. In 8 Ways to Happiness, author Dr. Marissa Pei delivers quality advice that does not come off as brash or assertive. What I liked most about this book was that I could tell that she cared. She wants me to be happy and I respect her approach to attaining happiness. We are all deserving of happier living even if the rest of the world is miserable. Dr. Pei encourages us to embrace how we feel and aim to guard our happiness.
Within the first couple of pages we’re given a quote by Albert Einstein, “Is this a Friendly Universe?” I think the biggest statement in this quote is the question mark at the end. This demonstrates that our outlook defines our way of life and if you feel that it’s not friendly then your life will respond accordingly. Which also goes to say, and Dr. Pei is a master at elaborating on this point, that the mind is a powerful thing. Dr. Pei shares some scenarios that can leave you distraught, suffering from depression, or even worse. Although these instances are sensitive topics, she discusses ways to change your thinking for the better, including awareness of your Sad, Critical, and Brat voices within you. If I change the way I’m thinking, embrace more positivity and do better for myself, would that make life easier to maneuver? The greatest feeling is knowing that she understands what many of us are going through and does all she can to reassure us that this isn’t all that our lives can be. When she discusses death and missing those we’ve lost, it really resonated with me since I have lost a loved one. I’m told to embrace my sadness and to have faith. She gives very practical and down to earth advice, such as seek group emotional support and 12 step programs for those battling an unhealthy habit because they’re spiritually based. I’ve come to notice that we are all spiritual beings and should practice tapping into our connection with our creator, or higher power. The world would be a wonderful place if everyone faced their demons and handled them in a healthy way.
I’ve learned so much from reading this book and look forward to applying some of the exercises in my daily life. My goal is to become an even happier version of myself each and every day because life is short and should be celebrated every waking moment. This book encourages us to accept what we cannot change, and instead change our way of thinking. I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeks to live a better life.
Pages: 204 | ASIN: B07DKV7K9W
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Jolie Dubriel’s Red and Blue is a fascinating, re-imagined tale that combines both classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes with many twists and turns. Dubriel takes old favorite characters and story lines you knew, loved, and memorized during your childhood story times and weaves them together as one beautiful story of secrecy, heartbreak, and the power of love. Obstacles and setbacks are sprinkled in along the way on the journey from once upon a time to happily ever after. Nostalgic characters Little Red Riding Hood and Little Boy Blue are now grown-up characters who play the lead parts. Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, and other classic figures also pepper this amazingly creative compilation.
Like any classic fairy tale, this book is not without tragedy. As is par for the course, there are separations of young children from parents and premature deaths of parental figures. There are hearts broken and healed. Red and Blue are coming of age characters who are growing up, discovering who they are, who they want to be, and who they begin to have feelings for. Stories from the past surface that throw wrenches in plans and change life trajectories. The story is full of conflicts and characters trying to solve them. The dynamic as old as time, good vs. evil, is also prevalent in parts of the story.
I love a good anthropomorphic animal or inanimate object, and those characters seen in the Kingdom of Rhyme do not disappoint in this area. Animals and objects are personified throughout the story. Fish, salamanders, cats, and dogs walk around in suits as servants and guards in King Cole’s castle. A dish runs and talks with a spoon through the forest. A cow jumps over the moon. These are the kinds of things that a nostalgic childhood reader will love. The half human/half animal or object cast of characters are reminiscent of those kinds of splits found in The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, The Sword in the Stone, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
I like the twist that Red’s story takes regarding her relationship with wolves. Red and her grandmother have their classic encounter with the Big Bad Wolf, and miraculously survive. Later, her loving stepfather gifts her with a little wolf pup that grows to be her best friend and companion. It’s refreshing to see the girl have the upper hand over a wolf in one of these tales.
What classic tale would be complete without magic? The ultimate symbol of magic in this story is Little Boy Blue’s golden horn. He is unaware of its power, but has been cautioned to keep it with him always. Blue has grown up with the horn strapped to his back while working on a farm. It is only later that Blue will discover his true identity and the power that the horn truly holds.
I really enjoyed how Dubriel took so many classic and loved stories and characters and wove them together into one cohesive story. It is truly a feel-good kind of read. It is a love story that keeps its innocence. There is some tragedy and conflict, but I think it’s appropriate for pretty much anyone. Middle schoolers through adults will enjoy this book. Jolie Dubriel may have written a “new classic” with this book.
Pages: 192 | ASIN: B079WCF5ZF
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Fire in the Heart follows lovely Rianna as her life changes for the worse when she marries Lord Rowan McClaron. What was your inspiration for the setup to this novel?
I have always loved the old tales of Ireland and Scotland, the history of smuggling and hated the cruel mastery of the males as was shown then. So I wrote this one with a young woman who in time stood up to the treatment, even using a whip on him. I cannot stand woman being treated that way, and it is even worse these days. It’s a shame that whips are not available for their defense now.
Rianna struggles with many difficult decisions in this book. What were some obstacles you felt were important to her characters development?
As the only daughter who was clever and helped her father, she rebelled against the accepted discipline of that period. She wanted to and often did stand up for herself, but sometimes had no choice where parents and a suitable marriage were concerned.
You were able to paint a vivid picture of a battered woman and a controlling husband. What were some sources of inspiration for you when creating their relationship?
Again how true love can be found and survive. Though Rianna still loved Rowan her husband and he really loved her and her nature, but his hidden mental illness caused him to treat her so badly; her love survived his cruelty and attempts to suppress her spirit throughout their marriage,until reaching a breaking point.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
That they enjoy this old style love story and be thankful that attitudes have changed. I would be pleased if they realize that woman today can and do have better marriages, though violence still exists and some woman who love can be fragile or easily broken. I have noted that men these days might be more willing to consider and adapt to their wives ideas, though still needing to appear as the head of their family. Woman are not as suppressed, and can have their own identity and even be leaders in the community.
Loving another man, the feisty young Rianna becomes an unwilling bride to the possessive yet compelling Lord Rowan McClaron.
After travelling to his ancestral home on the storm battered cliffs of the east coast of Scotland, Rowan’s passion becomes overwhelming, but a wedge is driven between him and his young bride when Rianna initially fails to produce the expected heir.
A ghostly vision on the staircase, an attempted assault by a visiting relative, a ruthless encounter on the moors and Rowan’s jealous and violent testing of her love bring Rianna to a fearful decision, one which involves another Scotsman, but leaves death and heartbreak in its wake.
Posted in Interviews
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