Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October Book Review #bookreview #books #readingcommunity #shortstory #horses #rodeos #family #love #romance @KarensStories @joygerken @maurabeth2014 @YvetteMCalleiro #RRBC

Hello, beautiful readers! October has felt like the longest month ever! 😂 How I managed to read one book and two short stories is beyond me, but I did! Enjoy my reviews!

by Karen Black

Genre: Romance

Pages: 279


Personalities clash and relationships explode when Maggie is forced to choose between the man she’d hoped to marry and her dream of a career as a thoroughbred jockey. She learns the truth can be brutal, as she discovers that some horsemen will do anything in pursuit of success, including using her as the means to an end. Still, there are others who want nothing but her affection. Once again, Maggie must decide.

My Review:

I don't normally read cowboy books, but I do enjoy stories by this author, so I figured I'd take a chance. Maggie Austin is a female jockey who upends her life to travel to California and race thoroughbreds. She breaks up with a man who treats her like his property and moves closer to a childhood friend who has always been in love with her. While both men vie for her heart, she is focused on creating a place for herself as a jockey.

This is a sweet story with great characters. The author does a wonderful job of creating unique characters who are full of personality. Her descriptions at the stables and during the races were spectacular, and I felt that I was there watching the race. And I loved how Maggie found her happiness.

There was a bit of head hopping. I believe the author was going for third-person omniscient. I think I've gotten used to clean separations of POVs, so it threw me off a bit. And there were a few small errors but nothing that pulled me out of the story. If you enjoy cowboy(girl) stories and romance, I think you'll enjoy this story.

by Maura Beth Brennan

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 24


Fiona had everything ready—directions to her former lover's house, a letter to her adult son explaining everything, a gun in her purse. She'd find him, Kevin, the man whose rejection still haunted her even after years of marriage to another man, and then she'd do what she'd been fantasizing about for months. What did she have to live for anyway? Her husband was dead, her son barely spoke to her. She'd go out with flair, give Kevin a memory he'd never forget. But then she reached Kevin's house and knocked on the door. Kevin didn't answer the door. But the person who did changed everything.

My Review:

I love everything this author writes, so I immediately picked up this story. The story follows Fiona, a woman whose husband passed away and whose son is estranged. She yearns for a man who left her when she was younger. The author takes us on a journey through the trials and tribulations of Fiona's life and the emotional and mental torment she put upon herself for past decisions.

Fiona has reached the end of her rope and had created a plan to end things once and for all, but an unexpected person opened a door, giving her an opportunity to see life in a whole new light. Through this journey, Fiona evaluates past decisions and finds a way to come to terms with the life she's lived.

I was completely loving this story until the last words. Lol! The author grabs you from the beginning and makes you feel the struggle Fiona is going through in such a gripping way. And then, she just seems to stop. I'm sure she was going for the cliff hanger, and it definitely is one, which I'd be okay with if there was an announcement of a larger novel or novella coming, but I didn't see any such notification. Still, it is a great read (as long as you can accept the unknown ending). 

by Joy M Lilley

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 27


This story written by the protagonists niece is an insight to a lady with little education or hope of achievements and success in her life. However she bucked the trend and achieved much in life. Her family loved her dearly and cared about her right up to the last. She achieved more in becoming a constant winner of bowls tournaments a game she dearly loved. She also won the hearts and minds of many celebrities in the forties, when she worked at the famous Pinewood film studios in Britain. Many gave her their signed black and white photographs. Auntie Peggy was an engaging character to most and an adversary to a few. As you turn the pages you will be laughing and crying at some events of this intrepid lady’s life.

My Reviews:

This story shares the author's wonderful memories of her dear aunt Peggy. She also includes pictures of her aunt throughout the years. Her aunt lived an interesting life meeting famous actors. She had an incredible personality that attracted people to her. Unfortunately, she became an alcoholic, which affected her health and lifestyle. Until her dying day, the author spent time with her aunt and loved her unconditionally.

This was an endearing insight into the relationship that the author had with her aunt. She shared beautiful pictures and a few great memories. I would have loved for her to share more of her memories and more details of those moments. This reads more like non-fiction than a short story, but it was enjoyable. 

Have you read any great books lately? I'd love to hear from you. :-)

Friday, October 13, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #tanka #colddew #shubun @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! For this week's 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro brings us a new season, Shubun, or Cold Dew in the northern hemisphere. This season runs from October 8th through October 22nd. 

The seasonal, or kigo, words focus on Fall images. Here in South Florida, we don't really experience much of that, so I chose to use pumpkin spice as my kigo word since our radio hosts won't shut up about it. 😂 Personally, I'm not a pumpkin spice kind of girl, but I know several people who crave it when this season comes around. 

I chose to write another tanka poem. I enjoy writing this form, especially because the pivot line allows for two different images or thoughts. Tanka poems have five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. 

(courtesy of @TheoCrazzolara on Pixabay)

Halloween décor
pumpkin spice is all the rage
Fall season is here
my neighborhood just pretends
no changing leaves this far south

Are you a fan of pumpkin spice? If so, what's your favorite drink? I'd love to hear from you.

Would you like to join us in writing seasonal poetry? Click here.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

September Book Review #bookreview #books #readingcommunity #shortstory #Disneyland #childhooddream #family #teacups @WandaFischer @YvetteMCalleiro #RRBC

Hello, beautiful readers! September was not cooperative with me in the reading department, but I did manage to read a wonderful short story by a great author, Wanda Adams Fischer.


by Wanda Adams Fischer

Genre: Short Story

Pages: 16 pages


Many years ago, young Mary Ann became enchanted with the teacup ride at Disneyland in California, thanks to a classmate who showed her photos of the ride. She'd always wanted to swirl and twirl in one of those gaily-decorated cups, but, alas, never had the chance. Take a journey with her in this short story as she remembers that magical obsession from many years ago and attempts to bring her elderly self into the three-dimensional world that had only been a square Kodak photo.

My Review: 

This was such a sweet story. Mary Ann shared with us her obsession with the teacup ride at Disneyland. As a child, a new kid in class showed her a picture of the ride, and she never stopped dreaming about them. When she grew up, she had an opportunity to ride them but let it slip away because she wasn't assertive enough. When the opportunity came again, she knew she needed to make it happen.

This story is beautifully told. I was easily able to connect with Mary Ann's struggles and her determination to make her childhood dream come true. All the characters were realistic and interacted with one another in the way you would expect for that time period. And the ending was so warm-hearted! I would definitely recommend this short story. :-)

Have you read any great books lately? I'd love to hear from you. :-)

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #tanka @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! It's been a while since I posted. I've missed my online community, so I'm happy to rejoin for a bit with this week's poetry challenge. This year, Colleen Chesebro is leading us on a journey to explore kigo words, so the poetry challenge is now called the 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge and is housed on a beautiful new site, #TankaTuesday.

Last Tuesday, Colleen shared that we are currently in the Autumn Equinox (September 22 - October 7). So, the challenge was to use kigo (seasonal) words that represent the time of year where I live. Well, living in South Florida doesn't really bring much change for the Autumn season. Summer continues along with occasional rainstorms. So, I decided to use a phrase from the generic kigo list for this season since it fit my circumstances at the moment.

My kigo phrase is darkening days because the days tend to lose light earlier, though that is not why I chose that phrase. On September 13th, my son suffered from a concussion while playing football. We aren't sure exactly when it occurred, but he left the game after being tackled and having someone fall directly on his head. They were playing on turf, which made the impact even worse. He left the game nauseous and dizzy and became sensitive to light and sound before the game had ended. The athletic trainer diagnosed him with a concussion that night, and we have been on a rough journey since then.

It's been almost three weeks, and there has been some improvement. He has good days and bad days. He still has a headache every day, but it comes and goes. He is still sensitive to light and sound, but he says it's gotten better. The hardest part is that he's having difficulty with his short term memory. Sometimes, he doesn't remember what he ate the night before; other times, he can't remember what he learned a few hours earlier. 

As a mom, I'm struggling with watching my child, my heart and soul, struggle. The doctors assure me that the symptoms will subside. They just can't tell me how long they will last. My son is a scholar athlete in his senior year and is taking eight college level classes with straight As, so I'm now in the process of getting him accommodations to provide him extra time and help with notes when he can't concentrate so his grades don't suffer. Luckily, he is at a school where the teachers are completely supportive, and I'm so grateful for them.

To be clear, I know the dangers of sport. My son has been playing sports since he was three years old. He played baseball, soccer, flag football, and tackle football, and has run track as well. Some years, he was playing multiple sports at the same time. And never in all those years has he ever had a serious injury, for which I am grateful. It saddens me that this has happened at all but especially in his senior year. And now, all I want is for him to be whole again.

So, my poem is more about my circumstance than the season, but I'm still using the kigo. I chose to write a tanka poem, which consists of five lines with a syllabic pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. The third line is the pivot line, and the meaning should apply to the first two lines as well as the last two lines. 

(courtesy of @Skitterphoto on Pixabay)

rough, darkening days
threaten to steal all my joy
hope and gratitude
strengthen my inner resolve
eager for sunrise again

I'm hoping to be around more often, but I can't make any promises right now. I continue to support my fellow authors and poets by sharing their blogs, though I don't have much time to interact. Please visit those authors/poets because they are incredible writers and amazing human beings.

If you pray, please pray for my son's healing. If you believe in the energies of the world, please send healing energy to my son. Keep his well-being in your positive thoughts, please. I truly believe he is on the road to recovery because I see more of his personality coming back. I'm just hoping the journey quickens so I have my son whole again.

Today is the last day of this poetry challenge, but if you have been inspired and want to write a poem, please click here. Thank you for visiting and reading my long post. :-)