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Robbie’s Inspiration: Book Tour – Sorrowful Soul by Harmony Kent and a review #Poetry #bookreview #Poetrycommunity

Today, I am delighted to welcome poet and writer, Harmony Kent, to Robbie’s Inspiration with her latest book, Sorrowful Soul: Book 3 in the Soul Poetry Series.

Welcome Harmony

Hi, Robbie.

Thanks so much for hosting me today.

It’s always wonderful to visit with you.

Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry, Sorrowful Soul.  Full of freestyle poems, which provide company and compassion through the devastating journey of grief and loss and onward, this heartfelt collection shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone.

Since Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s excellent book on the stages of grief, we now have an established set of seven stages to the grieving process. Although these stages are non-linear and can be revisited at any time, it’s helpful to have a rough idea of what we might expect during this difficult period of transition. The seventh stage is commonly known as Acceptance.

Here’s an extract from the opening lines to a poem about acceptance …

From Part 7: Acceptance

(Extract From Weathering the Storm)

Never tie boats together

Not in a raging storm

They have to remain free

To rock n roll as they will

Too much restraint

Will sink them as surely

As a hole in the hull

Not all vessels

Sail the same seas

Acceptance can be difficult to reach, and we often find ourselves flung out of that state quite abruptly. Have you had experience of this boomerang-like journey? Chat with me in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this poetic excerpt and would love to know what you think. Thanks for reading 😊

BUY NOW: https://mybook.to/SorrowfulSoul

About Sorrowful Soul

If we’re lucky, we meet twilight at the front door and old age creeps in on the night breeze.

Even if we make it to our twilight years, the more we age, the more loss we must endure as part of the cycle of life. Many of these poems lament death, but they also relate to broken relationships, severed friendships, and the loss of youth. This book of grief poetry is as much about saying goodbye and working through loss as it is about death and love split asunder.

This heartfelt collection provides company and compassion through the devastating journey of loss and shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone. Within these pages we share shock, numbness and denial, catapult into anger, bargaining, depression, loneliness, and guilt, and—eventually—make the seismic shift into testing the possibility of a new normal and finding acceptance.

Universal Sales Link:

https://mybook.to/SorrowfulSoul

My review

Sorrowful Soul is an insightful collection of poems relating to loss through death or another means, such as loss of youth or loss of health. As we walk our life paths, none of us will arrive at our own final destinations without being touched by loss of some sort from the deaths of loved ones to the loss of first loves and even empty nest syndrome when our children grow up and leave home. All of these situations results in feelings of loss and uncertainty about our own way forward with life.

The poet has divided this volume into the specific emotions each of us traverses following a significant loss. These are: Shock & Disbelief, Denial, Guilt, Anger & Bargaining, Depression, Loneliness, & Reflection, Working Through, and Acceptance.

The poems are vivid and pull you right into the emotional experience of the writer. If you have experienced loss, they will resonate with you, and even if you haven’t, you will be able to relate to the expression of feeling described in each poem.

A few of my favourite stanzas from three selected poems in this book are as follows:

From Done
“On the counter
The morning sun
Glints on red-stained
Steel carving knife
The calm is over
Now comes the storm
And the leaves fall
As crimson as blood”

From The Waiting Place
“I don’t know where else to wait
So hard to think straight
I’ll not make it through the night
Walk with me into morning light
Hold my empty hand”

From Misstep
“As long as I go on I’m salting the wound
My heart and soul irrevocably marooned
Is there a way out of dishonour’s abyss?
The reaper embraces with his fetid kiss
In this, my darkest hour, I need a friend
A kind soul with a hand to lend”

A beautiful book that will be enjoyed by all lovers of poetry.

About Harmony Kent

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Sorrowful Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 3)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Harmony’s Website

twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

BookBub: Harmony Kent

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

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Robbie’s Inspiration – WordCrafter Book Tour: Resurrection Mixtape by Jeff Bowles

Today, I am delighted to welcome Jeff Bowles to Robbie’s Inspiration for Day 2 of his WordCrafter Press Book Blog Tour.

Giveaway

For this tour we’re giving away 3 signed print copies of Resurrection mixtape and a $25 Amazon gift card. To enter, just tell 

us the top three songs on your mixtape in the comments. Come on now. We really want to know.

Winners will be chosen in a random drawing.

Experimentation and Killer Tunes: Writing Resurrection Mixtape

Resurrection Mixtape represents nothing more or less than a personal dare. Every author has their own special way of producing books. Sometimes it varies from project to project, but more or less, we all have our preferred methods.

But I was interested in breaking my own personal mold. For years, I’ve been writing short stories without an outline. I wondered if I could do the same with a novel, which until that point I hadn’t. I was a traditional pen-and-ink, notecard system, outline guy. Especially when I crafted the thesis novel for my MFA. That process had been rigid as rigid could be, and for the most part, I liked the results.

Yet I was always haunted by something Stephen King asserted in his autobiography/magnum opus writing manual, On Writing. King has always maintained, and many notable authors would agree, that the best way to tell any kind of gripping, surprising, seat-of-your-pants story is to formulate an interesting scenario, a jumping-off point, a what-if, and then to begin work without any sense of where you’re going or how you’ll get there.

Like this, King tells us, we could theoretically drive from New York to Los Angeles with nothing but our headlights. Who needs a map? We’ve got too much ground to cover to even consider using a map.

The what-if scenario in Resurrection Mixtape came from my wife, as many of “my” best story ideas have. She has a knack for killer concepts, and when I ask if I can use one, she always jokes, ”Yes, but I get all the credit.”

So here I am, giving her all the credit. Resurrection Mixtape would not exist without of her. The original seed was this: what if the songs of a mixtape could bring someone back to life, bit by bit, track by track? Moreover, what if the deceased person in question somehow made that tape, or had it made for them, with the understanding that it could also resurrect a long-dead love that never quite made the right connection.

Now to be fair, my wife and I hammered this concept into place together. We always do. We work excellently together and always have. What happened after our jumping off point was anyone’s guess. I couldn’t have known, for instance, about the existence of a dark conglomeration of spirits interested in earthly domination. I also couldn’t have known the book would turn into such a twisted love story, all structured around the mutual appreciation for a large selection of pop songs shared by our two main protagonists, Jason Halifax and Emily Greer.

It’s Emily who arrives unexpectedly at Jason’s doorstep, having died in a house fire a full year before, looking pristine, naked as the day she was born (because really, if you’re coming screaming back into the world molecule for molecule, who’s got time for clothes?).

And yes, it’s the music that gives the story life. From The Beatles to The Weeknd, Billy Joel to The Temptations, Taylor Swift, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, I didn’t discriminate based on era, popularity, or even the relative cultural coolness factor of any given selection. Most writers who create worlds in which music factors heavily are very interested in picking tunes that are cool. Not me. First I wanted to include stuff I like for one reason or another, and my range of music appreciation is pretty broad, and then secondly, I needed songs that fit the scenes.

It could be argued (in fact, it’s argued all the time) that it’s a bad idea to write a book about music at all, because most of your audience won’t have heard every last song. Balderdash. There are ways of describing music that make its intentions and vibes clear and experiential. And you never know, maybe putting a few unknown gems in a piece of fiction will engender the need for readers to explore some pretty awesome tunes. That’s one of my high hopes for the release of Resurrection Mixtape, music appreciation for whomever comes across it.

This experiment of a book resulted in one bloated manuscript that needed to be paired down by half. That’s what I discovered about the process. That because I didn’t use an outline, it was easier to begin but harder to finish. That process alone took the bulk of the project timeline. It was arduous and slow, but sure enough, once the dead weight had been carved away, I arrived at something very much like a quality piece of fiction. I hope you enjoy Resurrection Mixtape for what it is, a humble and bored writer’s attempt at stretching his wings. And my wife hopes you like it to. After all, she gets all the credit. Every last ounce of it. It’s all in the music, man. Press play at your own risk.

Blurb

Emily has been dead a year, but that doesn’t stop her from crashing in on her former best friend’s life in a whirlwind of mayhem, dark magic, and music. She’s been resurrected by a supernatural mixtape full of excellent but probably evil pop tunes. Amazing powers of transformation flow through her, piece-by-piece endowing her with abilities beyond anyone’s understanding. Within and without, a dark presence dwells, ready to express itself in all sorts of colorful and destructive ways. It’s all in the music, man. Press “PLAY” at your own risk.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Mixtape-Jeff-Bowles-ebook/dp/B0BKYG2JJQ/

About Jeff Bowles

Jeff Bowles is a science fiction and horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. The best of his outrageous and imaginative work can be found in God’s Body: Book One – The FallLove/Madness/DemonGodling and Other Paint StoriesFear and Loathing in Las Cruces, and Brave New Multiverse. He has published work in magazines and anthologies like PodCastle, Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, the Threepenny Review, and Dark Moon Digest. Jeff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Western State Colorado University. He currently lives in the high-altitude Pikes Peak region, where he dreams strange dreams and spends far too much time under the stars.

Follow the tour here:

Resurrection Mixtape – December 5 – 9

Monday – December 5 – Interview – Writing to be Read

Tuesday – December 6 – Guest Post – Robbie’s Inspiration

Wednesday – December 7 – Review – Writing to be Read

Thursday – December 8 – Guest Post – Roberta Writes

Friday – December 9 – Guest Post & Review – Carla Loves to Read

Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from around the world: Braised chicken in white wine

I prefer the skin on chicken pieces in casseroles to be crispy which is why I like this dish.

Ingredients

2 peppers ( I used 1 yellow and 1 red) reseeded and chopped

16 pieces of chicken with skin

2 medium onions peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

100 grams black olives de-pipped and halved

250 ml white wine

400 ml chicken stock

Olive oils for cooking

Method

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Salt and pepper the chicken pieces to taste. In a pot on the stove, heat the oil and braise the chicken, 8 pieces at a time. Remove the chicken from the pot and fry the onions and the peppers for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and sauté for another few minutes. Spoon the onion mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish and layer the chicken on top, skin up. Add the olives and pour over the wine and then the chicken stock. The top of the chicken pieces should be above the liquid. Cook with the lid on for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Serve with rice.

We had a huge storm today. I do love rain but not necessarily the entire seasons on the same day.

This is my last recipe for this year. Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – New Books on the Shelves – #Childrens – The Christmas Bird and Sir Chocolate and the Missing Christmas Harp by Robbie Cheadle

Thank you to Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord blog for this beautiful post about Michael and my two new books, The Christmas Bird and Sir Chocolate and the Missing Christmas Harp. Smorgasbord is a beautiful magazine-styled blog with lots of interesting articles about books, health, music and many other exciting topics.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair with a selection of books from personally recommended authors on my bookshelf I believe will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and for you.

First a lovely Christmas story for children from Robbie Cheadle, the perfect gift for 8-12 year olds who love to read. The Christmas Bird… available on Kindle Unlimited but also for sale.

About the story.

The Deanne family is having a difficult time financially. Mr. Deanne’s business has failed and there is no money for Christmas presents and other luxuries. The family’s undernourished dogs discover a bird’s nest on Christmas Day and attack and kill the chicks. All except one tiny ball of fluff with luminous bright eyes like drops of oil. The baby bird is in shock, but the four Deanne girls try to save it. Will the Christmas Bird survive?

One of the early reviews…

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Robbie’s Inspiration: Book reviews – Elizabeth’s War by D.L. Finn and A Wonder of Words by Leon Stevens

Elizabeth’s War – Children’s fiction

What Amazon says

It’s April of 1917, and World War I has reached Elizabeth’s family on their wheat farm in North Dakota. Although the battles are being fought overseas, the war has affected her in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Elizabeth is thrust into a new role after her brother and father leave the farm to do their part in the war. And she’s only eleven years old!
Having almost died as a toddler, Elizabeth has been babied most of her life. Now she must learn to help out around the farm; cooking, cleaning, and tending to the garden and livestock. No longer can she run from her responsibilities, as she did when her horse Rosie was giving birth. There were complications during the delivery, and Elizabeth panicked and froze. The foal didn’t make it.
Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet as a huge Christmas Eve snowstorm rages outside, cutting her family off from any help; and her mother is about to have a baby! Her brother and sister are laid up with chicken pox. Does Elizabeth face her fears or run from them? Can she help her family, who need her more now than ever? Or will she retreat like she did when Rosie needed her?

My review

This book, aimed at children and young teens, is the perfect tool for gently instructing youngsters about the horror of war in a relatable way.

Elizabeth and her family live on a farm on the outskirts of a small town in North Dakota. Although the war in Europe has been going on for over three years, it has not touch Elizabeth’s life. That changes when President Wilson’s administration declares war on Germany and brings the USA into the war. Elizabeth’s father, older brother, Douglas, and her sister’s boyfriend cum fiancé, Simon, all volunteer to fight. Douglas and Simon are both sent to France to fight and Elizabeth’s father is sent to a camp in the USA to help train the soldiers.

Elizabeth, who has been spoiled by her family, and especially her older sister, Pearl, suddenly finds herself in a whole new world where she needs to step up and start making a bigger contribution to the welfare of her family. Elizabeth learns to cook and do more chores around the farm as well as be a stalwart supporter of her best friend, Sarah, and Sarah’s grandfather, and her own family, when tragedy strikes.

In addition to all the change due to the advent of war, Elizabeth must also try to appreciate and understand Pearl’s support of the suffragette movement and nurse various family members through illnesses and other health issues.

This is a delightful story of a young girl’s transition from girlhood to young adulthood and her maturity as an individual, friend and family member.

Purchase Elizabeth’s War

Amazon US

D.L. Finn’s Amazon Author page

A Wonder of Words by Leon Stevens

What Amazon says

Remember when you first learned that a grouping of owls was a parliament?

In his second poetry collection, Leon Stevens explores familiar themes such as human nature, the environment, and personal observations, many with a touch of humor. Also included are the poems from the 30 Poems in 30 Days Challenge and a short story inspired by one of them.

My review

I have read Leon Stevens previous collection of poetry and enjoyed his humorous take on life and everyday irritations very much. When I saw he’d published a new collection, it was an obvious buy for me.

A Wonder of Words is divided into different grouping of poems about specific events, circumstances, or emotional states of the poet and the topics vary from Poems with Humour, to Creations from Quarantine, to The Environment. The last section of the book is devoted to thirty poems in thirty days for the National Poetry Month Challenge which the poet participated in. The challenge requires poets to write to a specified daily prompt and the author rose admirably to the task with a collection of entertaining and varied poems.

I enjoyed all the poems in the collection, but the four poems under Creations from Quarantine section resonated with me especially strongly. Perhaps because the lockdowns and pandemic period impacted all of us equally throughout the world and we all had similar anxieties, fluctuations of worry and aggravation, and a sense of the orderliness of life breaking down.

This poem, Silver Linings, puts a positive spin on lockdown life:
“Through disaster she stops her pining
There may just be a silver lining
Her lifeblood no longer quickly drains
From her old and deep and weary veins
No longer does it hurt to breathe
No smoggy air to make her wheeze
Regaining sight and through the tears
She hadn’t seen the stars for years
Skin once wrinkled begins to heal
And younger she begins to feel
For a while, she thinks, it will be easier
As Mother Nature sits and takes a breather.

This is a collection all lovers of poetry are sure to enjoy.

Purchase A Wonder of Words by Leon Stevens

Amazon US

Leon Stevens’ Amazon Author Page