#Bookreview #Poetryreadatho: Short & not always Sweet by Dorinda Duclos

Poetry readathon

Meet Dorinda Duclos

Dorinda is a poetess, one who thrives in the darkness, and seeks out the shadows in the light. She writes, because it is her escape from reality, a chance to release the passion she holds in her being.

Dorinda is a member of the Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets. She was also involved in “Poets for Peace”, a collaboration of poems from poets around the world. This collaboration is now archived in the ‘Stanford University Archive’ of the ‘100,000 Poets for Change’ collection!

A wife and mother of two, Dorinda makes her home in northern New Jersey, surrounded by wildlife, and nature’s beauty, all inspiration for her poetry.

You can find some of Dorinda’s lovely poetry here: https://dorindaduclos.com/

What Amazon says

Imagine yourself being lost in a faraway land, or sailing on a pirate ship. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in a predicament, or a romantic rendezvous. From passages to longer, more detailed stories, these are writings that are sure to capture your imagination and evoke emotions, from sadness, to madness, to happiness and beyond.

My review

Short & Not Always Sweet is an unexpected treat of a book which is a bit liking dipping into a box of delicious chocolates. It comprises of a variety of stories, some a couple of hundred words and others a couple of pages, all of which are different and interesting.

The author touches on numerous different aspects of life and human experience and delves deeply into emotions and feelings which she expresses in words that stay with you and make you think. A few examples of these descriptions are as follows;
“I remembered your eyes, those deep, brooding greys, the ones that sparkled, even though no light touches them.” from Those Eyes.

Some of the stories cut deeply into the worst of human nature:
“When the red roses arrived at her desk on Valentine’s Day, she purposely pricked her finger, watching the blood ooze. She licked the red liquid, savoring the flavor.” from Desperate Obligations.
“How hideous, she thought, that they should bring a child to my death. Here she was, about to meet her demise, in a way not even suited for a pig.”

There are others that describe the best that nature has to offer us:
“She awakens me with the soft colours of the dawn. Pastel shades that paint the skies, then fade away, giving life to a more vibrant palette.” from The Cry of the Mourning Dove.

Others illustrate the best of human nature:
”Thank you for showing such compassion. We dropped our young one into the water when we saw you in the field. We have heard so much negativity, we wanted to test it for ourselves.”

This is a lovely book for people looking for quick and entertaining short stories and pieces of flash fiction.

Purchase Short & not always Sweet: Short Stories, Passages & Poetic Prose

#PoetryReadathon – Meet poet and blogger Walt Page

Poetry readathon

The Tennessee Poet 2 (1)

Today, I am welcoming poet and blogger, Walt Page, to Robbie’s Inspiration with a wonderful poem entitled The Magnitude of Poetry.

The Magnitude Of Poetry

Poetry is dead”

So some writers say

But listen closely please

To what I’m about to say

Poetry is ever written, everlasting

It will be around long after the doubters

Poetry is the view from the highest mountain

That makes us dizzy from the height

It’s the beating of our hearts

And the tapping of our feet

While we read the rhythm of the words

It’s the way it makes us feel

When it takes us to a grave

The taste in our mouths

When it describes a kiss

The smell of a wood stove

That heats a mountain cabin

And the warmth it makes us feel

It’s that childlike memory

Of your favorite nursery rhyme

And the dreams we had of Santa Claus

When it was nearing Christmas time

It’s the smile on our faces

When we find a perfect rhyme

A glimpse of Heaven as we read

About Saint Peter’s gate

It’s the lyrics in a song

That we never can forget

Music in the words

That puts a song in our hearts

It’s a painting in our minds

That we see because of words

The magnitude of poetry

Is deep within our hearts

Even deeper in our souls

It makes us laugh

Makes us cry

Makes us smile

If only for awhile

And so I say to you

Poetry is dead?”

Not as long as I can read

Nor as long as I can write

As long as there is ink in my pen

And blood flows through my veins

My poetry will never die

Even after I am gone

My poetry lives on

And that

Is the magnitude of poetry

~The Tennessee Poet~

About this poem by Walt Page

“When I wrote The Magnitude of Poetry, my inter was to express my feelings about the importance of poetry and what it means to me. I’ve long had the feeling that Poets are not thought of as Writers or Authors and that there are many that consider Poetry a dying art. As Poets, we create feelings in readers in just a few lines. Our poems tell stories, express feelings, create images with words and invoke so many different interpretations and feelings in our readers. We are Artists, Poets, Writers and Authors. Words are our paintbrush.

 Poetry is not dying. There is a need for Poetry just as there is a need for novels and other writings. Poetry is alive and well and will be around long after any of us. Our words and our poetry live forever. I hope my poem conveys these feelings.”

I thought this was beautifully put and I loved Walt’s comparison of words to a paintbrush.

About Walt Page

I have been called The Tennessee Poet, and I guess you would say a romantic old rock drummer, musician, US Air Force veteran and an open heart surgery survivor. I have been published on Vita Brevis, Visual Verse and Slasher Monster Magazine. I live on the Cumberland Plateau in the Tennessee with my wife Susan, 2 horses and 10 rescue dogs. I started Walt’s Writings On Life in April, 2017. I had gone through several months of recovery and cardiac rehab after my open heart surgery. I was limited in what the doctors would let me do so I started writing again. I had always been writing and had written poetry for an earlier website of mine. I have lived a long life with many experiences and lessons to share. I have always enjoyed writing and creating websites with words, photos and music that fit a particular thought or theme. I am also a
husband, a father, a grandfather, a brother, a brother-in-law, an uncle and a cousin and
a preacher’s kid.

Find Walt Page

Facebook Page is:  https://www.facebook.com/thetennesseepoet/

Instagram Page is  https://www.instagram.com/the_tennessee_poet/

Twitter is: @waltpage  – https://twitter.com/WaltPage

You can find more of Walt’s beautiful poetry on his blog here: https://waltswritingsonlife.wordpress.com/about/

You can find out what Walt’s favourite poem is and more about his ideas on poetry here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/poetryreadathon-meet-poetry-blogger-walt-page/

#Blogtour – Knowing your profiteroles by Jim Webster

Jim Webster is visiting Robbies Inspiration today with another inspired story. He is also promoting three lovely new books.

3) Knowing your profiteroles (1)
The events I shall now relate happened a few years after Illus Wheelburn made his escape from Prae Ducis, his fare funded by his production of maps of a distinctly spurious nature. People have commented, with surprise, that he produced maps of Port Naain, and they ask why? In simple terms, because  everybody knows that treasure is only found in distant foreign parts, there is no point in creating treasure maps of Partann to sell to the Partannese. After all, they know Partann. It is familiar to them.

The field you mark with a cross, they know as the field that Old Brieni runs his few cows on and has done so for fifty years. Whilst Old Brieni might not be the most intelligent of men, he’d damned soon notice a bunch of pirates burying something in his pasture, and he’d have had the loot out, valued and reinvested before they’d even returned to the sea.

Illus reasoned, entirely reasonably, that in Port Naain, the inhabitants craved maps hinting at treasure, set in exotic locations. Thus they bought maps of Partann. So there is every reason to assume that those dwelling in Partann also craved novelty. Consequently he produced for them two maps hinting at treasures hidden in Port Naain. The maps were sold. Illus sailed north, and never gave them any more thought.

But what about the maps and their purchasers? One purchaser was Bocckan Grudge. Bocckan was a pastry chef. Let us be honest here, he made good pastry, but it was not exceptional pastry. But when it came to choux pastry,  nobody in Prae Ducis could match him. Indeed it was said that on the days when he prepared profiteroles, gourmets stood in line waiting for the restaurant to open. But what glory is there in making the best profiteroles in Prae Ducis? Or even the best in Partann? To be the best you have to be the best in Port Naain. So he and his wife, Bessa, would move to Port Naain.

Now on the wall of their small parlour, (Bocckan was an employee and as part of his honorarium he had two rooms above the kitchen to live in) they had one of the maps Illus had drawn. Bessa had seen it, liked it, and greatly daring, she had purchased it. Now nothing might have come of this wild gesture on her part. They could have lived happily in Prae Ducis, never venturing beyond the town walls. They might indeed have led lives of unalloyed respectability. But Bocckan, driven to be the best, would move to Port Naain. Bessa, one eye on the map, had agreed more enthusiastically than her husband had expected.

They arrived in Port Naain and found temporary lodgings at the Clothiers’ Guild Benevolent Society hostel. Then, before Bocckan even started to look for work, Bessa convinced him to look for the treasure marked on their map.

Now to be fair, if one were to pick a pair of desperadoes to go treasure hunting, Bocckan and Bessa wouldn’t be one’s first choice. Perhaps because of his trade as a pastry cook, both Bocckan and Bessa carried more weight than they probably should. They were both quite short, and distinctly tubby.

As tributes to the quality of the pastry Bocckan produced, they were admirable. As housebreakers and treasure hunters, they lacked the essential glamour. Still they set about methodically following their map, and discovered that the alleged site of the treasure was in the courtyard of a large house set in extensive grounds. Indeed having surveyed the premises from the courtyard gate, Bessa as absolutely confident that the treasure was hidden in a well. They decided to arrive early next morning before people stirred. Then they could examine the well.

Just to put you, good reader, in the picture, the well itself was in the grounds of the rambling house owned by Lord Cartin. Whilst it was called ‘the well,’ to be honest it was more a reservoir kept full by rainwater from the roof. Yes there was a natural spring which fed it, but this had never proved reliable enough to cope with the demands of the household. So the well was largely used for bathing, and for watering horses from. So long as the bathing was done without soap the horses seemed happy.

Now into our picture steps Mistress Parlone. She is the niece of one Lord Cartin and cousin of another. Mistress Parlone had pursued a number of careers simultaneously. She assists in the management of the family’s extensive estates. She also assists in the overseeing of the family’s extensive force of men-at-arms. Now Lord Cartin had one unbreakable rule. Nobody could give orders to his men-at-arms who had not served as a man-at-arms. Given that Mistress Parlone was telling his lances what to do, she too had to serve. To be honest it was no hardship. She rode well, was well built, and had spent more time in harness than had her brother. She served in Partann in two campaigns and was generally held to have acquitted herself most credibly.

Now one thing that must be remembered, after two seasons in the field under war conditions, there is no longer time for false modesty. When given a chance to wash, everybody just stripped and washed. So now, back in Port Naain, she was still in the habit of bathing in the well first thing every morning. She would leave her clothes by the well and after drying herself she would dress and go to breakfast. Thus when Bocckan and Bessa crept into the courtyard, they couldn’t see Mistress Parlone, but her clothes were stacked tidily near the fountain.

Personally I don’t think either of our two heroes were really cut out for a career in crime. Bessa saw the clothes, fell in love with the long nightgown in green silk, snatched it up and started scurrying back to the gate. Bocckan never noticed her leave until she was half way across the courtyard and in his surprise, he asked her what she was thinking of. I suspect his voice woke Mistress Parlone out of her reverie and she sat up. Bocckan saw her, turned and fled.

Mistress Parlone saw him, and the painter has caught her expression of surprise, just before she shouted, “Guards, stop them.”

Bocckan and Bessa found themselves surrounded by a ring of guards with drawn swords. Mistress Parlone walked casually through the house to her room, dressed, and returned to investigate the matter further. The guard captain informed her that so far, with very little prompting, the guilty parties had confessed to thirty-seven offences, including the theft of a silver cruet set which had gone missing in her late grandfather’s day. She took over the questioning personally at that point and soon ascertained that she was in the presence of the maker of the finest profiteroles north, south or east of the Paraeba River!

Pondering the story she had been told, she felt that the profiterole claim was at least one she could check. She felt that if that claim was true, there was a fair chance that the rest of the story could be believed. So the two prisoners were escorted to the kitchen and there they were set to making choux pastry.

It has to be admitted that it cannot have been easy. Lord Cartin’s cook at the time, a thin and somewhat cynical woman, insisted that Bocckan remained standing on the tiled part of the floor, so if he was executed out of hand the blood would be easily mopped up. On the other hand, once in a kitchen, Bocckan’s confidence returned. A men-at-arms who tried to pinch some of the cream was struck sharply across the back of the hand with the flat of a large spatula.

Finally the profiteroles were ready. The men-at-arms tried them, reasoning that as their duties involved facing death, sword in hand, surely it was only fair that they occasionally got to face it profiterole in hand. Mistress Parlone tried one. Even Lord Cartin’s cook tried one. She clutched Bocckan to her bosom swearing that she loved him like the brother she had never had. The assorted soldiery agreed that they were profiteroles nonpareil.

Mistress Parlone sent the rest of the tray to her father for his opinion. Half an hour later, a rather bemused Bocckan was discussing property rents and starting capital with Dobson, Lord Cartin’s factotum. Within the week he was running his tea rooms from a rather nice property for which he paid what he was assured was an entirely reasonable rent. Given that the business flourished, it seems he had been informed correctly.

As for Bessa, she told Mistress Parlone the full tale of how she came to purchase the map and the hidden treasure. Mistress Parlone, fearing that if the map remained in circulation, her chance of having a quiet morning bath would disappear entirely, purchased it from Bessa, giving her in exchange a roll of the same green silk that went into the nightgown. Now Bessa wears a dress made of this material as she manages the tea room. It must be admitted that whilst she may not have the natural advantages of Mistress Parlone, the dress still suits her remarkably well.


And now we’d better hear from Jim Webster.

So here I am again with another blog tour. Not one book but three. The first is another of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection. These stories are a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories. You can read them in any order.

On the Mud. The Port Naain Intelligencer

Amazon UK

When mages and their suppliers fall out, people tend to die. This becomes a problem when somebody dies before they manage to pass on the important artefact they had stolen. Now a lot of dangerous, violent or merely amoral people are searching, and Benor has got caught up in it all. There are times when you discover that being forced to rely upon a poet for back-up isn’t as reassuring as you might hope.

Then we have a Tallis Steelyard novella.

Tallis Steelyard and the Rustic Idyll

Tallis Steelyard and the Rustic Idyll by [Webster, Jim]

Amazon UK
When he is asked to oversee the performance of the celebrated ‘Ten Speeches’, Tallis Steelyard realises that his unique gifts as a poet have finally been recognised. He may now truly call himself the leading poet of his generation.
Then the past comes back to haunt him, and his immediate future involves too much time in the saddle, being asked to die in a blue silk dress, blackmail and the abuse of unregulated intoxicants. All this is set in delightful countryside as he is asked to be poet in residence at a lichen festival.

And finally, for the first time in print we proudly present

Maljie, the episodic memoirs of a lady.

Maljie, the episodic memoirs of a lady. by [Webster, Jim ]

Amazon UK

In his own well chosen words, Tallis Steelyard reveals to us the life of Maljie, a lady of his acquaintance. In no particular order we hear about her bathing with clog dancers, her time as a usurer, pirate, and the difficulties encountered when one tries to sell on a kidnapped orchestra. We enter a world of fish, pet pigs, steam launches, theological disputation, and the use of water under pressure to dispose of foul smelling birds. Oh yes, and we learn how the donkey ended up on the roof.

All a mere 99p each

#PoetryReadathon – Meet poet and blogger

Poetry readathon

Today I am introducing you to poet, author and blogger, Ritu Bhathal. Ritu has selected a lovely poem from her book Poetic RITUals to share here today.

From Twinkle to Reality

Let me take you down that road,

Much-travelled through eternity

The journey to become a mum,

From twinkle to reality.

The plans you make at a young age,

Full of gurgles and laughter,

The horror as you realise,

What really does come after!

The fun of trying,

The monthly wait.

The disappointment,

That feeling, you hate…

The years of trying,

Full of hospitals and checks,

The medication taking you over,

You feel like total wrecks…

Then finally, the day comes

That positive is clear

The goal that you were aiming for,

Has suddenly come near.

The months of fascination,

Your changing body grows

The feeling of satisfaction

That only you can know

Those pain-filled days or hours

To reach the prize you sought

The feeling of satisfaction

That this little bundle brought.

I gaze at you in wonder

Are you really here?

I’m overwhelmed with happiness

And a tiny bit of fear.

Will I be able to give to you

All you want and need?

As you look at me, wide eyed

Snuggled close while you feed.

Little blessing, sent from God

My heart is filled with joy

I will do all I can for you,

My darling baby boy.

And so the cycle continues

The waits and checks again

We’re gifted with a gorgeous girl

After a little more pain.

My life is here with me right now

Some twinkles from my eyes.

But I’ll never forget those twinkles

That now, do grace the skies…

I chose this poem to share as there are many women out there who struggle to have a family, as many as there are women who appear to fall pregnant at the drop of a hat. I experienced this as I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovaries and had my own struggles to overcome before I was able to finally hold my own two bundles of joy.

Thank you, Ritu, for sharing this lovely poem and its meaning here today.

Ritu is in the process of finalising her first novel, Marriage: Unarranged. I have read a few short extracts from this book and it sounds very interesting.

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing! Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.

Having published an anthology of poetry, Poetic RITUals, she is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

Find Ritu Bhathal

Social Media Profiles Blog Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com

Author Website: http://www.ritubhathal.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RituBhathal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritubhathalwrites/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RituBhathal/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/bhathalpadhaal/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56854412-ritu-bhathal

Mix: https://mix.com/butismileanyway

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ritu-bhathal-48941648/

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@ritubhathalpadhaal

My review of Poetic RITUals

This is a delightful book of poetry with a lot of variety in the tone and content of the poems. They are all written from a very human perspective and cover the day-to-day life of a Mother of two, wife and employee with a lovely twist of humour. As all of these things myself, I found the verses to be very relatable. The book is divided into four sections which each deal with different aspects of life, namely, Family RITUals, Life rituals, Rituals of the heart and Rituals to make you smile.

Who could not enjoy such words as the following:

“Snuggled close while you feed.

Little blessing, sent from God

My heart is filled with joy”

This took me right back to those first days as a Mother and the closeness of cuddling your new-born and breastfeeding.

“A cough or sniffle, fever, rash

You wish you could

make them well

but other than love, and Calpol

It’s a parent’s

Form of Hell”

As a Mother of a child with a chronic illness, this verse had me nodding my head in agreement and feeling Ritu’s anguish.

I would recommend this book which is a keeper. A book to delve into for a smile when life gets heavy going.

Purchase Poetic RITUals

#Bookreview – Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper

Book reviews

thumbnail_Rosies Book Review team 1

What Amazon says

It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.

Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire of Callie’s Cakes, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna baked.

My review

I reviewed this book in my capacity as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you would like your book reviewed, you can contact Rosie Amber here: http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.

Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper is a short murder mystery starring three friends Anna, Callie and Kristie who discover a dead body on the doorstep of the bakery Callie and Anna co-own one evening in the run-up to Christmas. The ladies call the police and all three of the ladies boyfriends, two of whom are involved in law enforcement and one of whom is a firefighter, arrive on the scene to assist their girlfriends in dealing with the situation.

Callie, a lecturer at the local university, as well as being a co-owner of the bakery, knows the victim, Donald Griffin, who was a student there. Kristie, who is involved at the local youth centre which is frequented by troubled teens, quickly discovers that Donald was not popular with her protegees. Anna, the baker of the cupcakes sold at the bakery, is the only one of the three who doesn’t know him other than as a customer of the bakery. The three women become drawn into the murder investigation as a few odd occurrences and co-incidences come to their attention in relation to the young man’s death and relationships with his fellow students.

This story is short and light, with a simple, straight forward plot, a bit of fun romance and lots of conversation and comments about delicious cupcakes of all kinds. The recipes for these lovely sounding cupcakes appear at the end of the book.

Purchase Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper