A collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on Writing to be Read in 2020. Open the book and discover the poetry treasures of Sue Vincent, Geoff Le Pard, Frank Prem, Victoria (Tori) Zigler, Colleen M. Chesebro, K. Morris, Annette Rochelle Aben, Jude Kitya Itakali, and Roberta Eaton Cheadle.
I was thrilled to receive an ARC copy of Poetry Treasures in give my opinion freely and without bias.
There is an introduction by Kaye Lynn Booth (Word Crafter Press,) followed by Sue Vincent’s beautiful contributions which are even more meaningful and poignant given that this lovely author, blogger, talented soul, dear friend and loved one has since passed and is dearly missed. I particularly love all Sue’s poetry in this collection. My favourites: Snow Drops, and Aflame.
This collection is a wonderful introduction to the poetic talents of many wonderful authors many of whose work I have read before with great enjoyment. I include them here with my favourite poem in brackets, Colleen Chesebro, ( The Weather Witch,) Robbie Cheadle, (How I See, ) Frank Prem, (Joe – Pretty Words,) Geoff Le Pard (The Coffee Machine, )and Annette Rochelle Aben (Yes – a tanka).
It was also a great way to discover more about Kevin, (Lonely Train, ) Tori (A Grain of Sand) and Jude (Darkness and Light) whose books I have not read before.
The poetry within shows versatility, a sense of the supportive community and the many differing styles of the poets.
Well done to all the contributors, a lovely collection and one I can highly recommend. It is one to read more than once!
I received an ARC and give my opinion freely and without bias.
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.
Someone has discovered a cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Unfortunately, it has already changed hands and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim, and it appears he might be next on the avenger’s list.
Can Kellan protect the talisman’s true heir and prevent the killer’s nefarious plan? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery – via legal means or blind luck.
I received an ARC as part of the blog tour and I am voluntarily leaving a review
This is part of James Cudney’s Braxton mystery series which are set on a campus. This is a prolific no. 7. I’ve read the first book in the series, Academic Curveball and must confess I haven’t caught up with all the others. That’s no reflection on James Cudney, (his writing is ace – that’s just because of my busy life.) I’ve also had the pleasure of reading all the books in his Perception of Glass series which I thoroughly enjoyed too.
James Cudney has a talent for writing family/murder mysteries, with wonderfully engaging dialogue, great characters, (my favourite is Nana D!) Nana D reminds me of my mother-in-law, a gutsy, energetic lady, who I remember still standing up swinging with gusto on the swings in her seventies. My mother-in-law has slowed down a bit now that she is in her nineties! Elderly folk are so interesting, they have so much back story, they make awesome characters and James Cudney captures that so well.
This is a little different from the first mystery I read as Kellan is sleuthing in the midst of a curse, (oh how I love a curse, ) which brings death in its wake. There’s the loss of Kellan’s uncle who has died in mysterious circumstances. Fortunately Kellen has help from Sheriff April (their relationship has become a romantic one,) to try to solve this case.
There is a lot going on in this book, a fair amount of detail about the curse and the talisman, new characters, so it’s one to keep focused on. This is fine to read as a standalone, but it is recommended to read the whole series to get a deeper insight and connection to all the characters. I enjoyed the dashes of humour and pacing which keep this tale fresh and engaging. It is choc full of well written dialogue and there is great conclusion at the end!
My recommendation: highly recommended for mystery fans. My rating: 4.5 stars
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Hi Marje, it’s great to be here on your lovely blog Thank you so much for your generosity to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.
It’s my pleasure Miriam. <3
The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 6
Formatting a Picture Book
There are boxes of children’s books in the storage from my teaching days. I picked about ten books to study how they positioned the images and text. Some have bleed (the images flow over to the margin) and some without bleed. Some pages have text without images, and some have text layered over the images. My conclusion was to have the book fully illustrated with bleed, and have the text inserted over the images.
Formatting a picture book with bleed is a different story than without bleed. So, I hired a designer to do the job. He could insert the text for me, but I had a preference of the appearance.
After I received the pages of illustration from Victoria, I inserted one layer of white rectangular shape with round corner, then inserted another layer of text over the shape.
When I finished inserting the text, I created a file with the pages in a correct sequence for the designer to use as a reference. Then I sent this reference file and all the pages of the illustration to him to format for eBook and print book according to the requirements of Amazon and Barns & Nobel.
Note: I skipped many technical details. I can answer your questions if you’re interested.
Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do?
This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.
A lovely picture book with beautifully colourful but simple illustrations from Victoria Skakandi (Illustrator) It’s a straight forward story which tells the tale of a young girl Tina who has just finished 3rd Grade, (about 8 – 9 years old,) and is about to go on summer school holidays. Tina and her friend Erica chat about the coming changes in the new school year. When she gets home she plans a list with her mum of what to do over the summer . No. 2 on the list is to hear the music from Swan Lake, followed by Sleeping Beauty and fireworks at the Superbowl!
Tina and her friend Erika gets lost…
Note: The story is based on a real life event in the author’s life and is dedicated to Miriam Hurdle’s daughter.
This brought back a similar memory in my life. My husband and I were frantic after my daughter Natasha disappeared during a wedding event. She turned up safe and well. Thank heavens. Every parents nightmare! Tasha was always going missing, she was quite the adventurer and still is!
Tina Lost in a Crowd delivers such a clear, important message to youngsters who may for whatever reason get parted from their parents/carers. So, I reckon it would be an excellent read for schools – educating pupils about a simple method to keep safe.
Thank you to the author for an ARC. I happily review and give my unbiased opinion.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!
Lockdown Innit Poems About Absurdity is now available in paperback via Amazon.
Reader4life 5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic pieces of pandemic history Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 March 2021 Lockdown innit is a wonderful collection of predominantly free verse poetry on all kinds of themes experienced during the author’s third lockdown. I am sure many of the pieces will resonate with readers who have also experienced humanities frustrating behaviours during this pandemic. The discarded masks rolling down the roads and the impact of this on wildlife in the future when landfills are filled, and oceans invariably get full of them is certainly something that has crossed my mind. (Simply cutting off the side strings from the masks before throwing disposable ones away could make a big difference so they don’t get tangled on wildlife!) I’ve also had my fair share of dealing with drivers filled with road rage, presumably from the stress! The varied mood and tone of the pieces is equally matched with the lovely presentation and wonderful splashes of humour. Emotive and descriptive language is employed to engage our senses and of course my favourite piece is probably ‘This Face.’ Making this a highly enjoyable collection and one I have no doubt in recommending! Author Sarah Northwood
DGKaye 5.0 out of 5 stars Life and Observations Through Covid Lockdown Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 March 2021 This is Mallon’s second book where she shares her views, observations and incidents she’s endured dealing with the Covid lockdown. Mallon shares her thoughts and worries and experiences through poetic prose, and free verse writing in this book, documenting a range of emotions from fear to humor.
The author gives us a glimpse of her views from taking in the mundane and everyday happenings in life, to a few scares of her own, expressed from her point of experience. She shares stories about her daughters and elaborates on some of the ideas they had to stay entertained, to an ode to her mum and the silly shenanigans that go on in supermarkets – “Shopping Bozos”, demonstrating some of the inconsiderate behaviors of some people during a pandemic.
This an entertaining documented journey through the author’s eyes of circumstances and life during the Covid lockdowns. Memorabilia for the future – lest we forget.
Disclaimer: I was gifted with an ARC by the author
Feb 26, 2021 Didi Oviattrated it it was amazing I devoured this quick book of poetry in one sitting. It took me less than an hour and I enjoyed every page. Mallon has a way of capturing your attention, and every poem is relatable. It’s smooth easy reading offers a mix of thoughts, events, and a variety of happenings some of which are silly and some are a lot more edgy and serious. I’ll quickly highlight a couple of my favorites: Road Rage is a poem about an outing that has Mallon on edge. I really enjoyed this one because I get massive road rage myself, so it gave me a little perspective on own outrage! Breast Lump really hit home as cancer runs in my family. I was on edge during the entire poem wondering what was going to happen. My heart really went out to the people in the waiting room, and it was a big reminder for me personally to stay humble, positive and to keep on top of checkups. Bucket list was also a favorite for me. Its simple and adorable and I could relate to every line. All in all I really enjoyed every single poem. Kudos M.J. on another winning release!
“Lockdown Innit – Poems About Absurdity” is a collection of poetry about the third wave of lockdowns in the U.K. because of the Corona Virus pandemic. Seen through the eyes of poet and author M. J. Mallon, not everything is as it seems, and we should take nothing for granted.
The Coronavirus has brought much of the U.K. and Europe to their knees, while here in the U. S. they’ve taken a more lackadaisical approach to the pandemic. Mallon shares the trials and tribulations of her life in lockdown through her poetry.
Her poem, “The Face Mask Rolls” left me with the haunting image of a discarded mask rolling down the road, clearly, a metaphor for the despair this virus has wracked upon humanity.
This is a short, poignant collection that will forever remind us of a time when no one had control over their lives. A must-read!
Many thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book.
Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars A release from Lockdown fever Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 April 2021 Verified Purchase My review for M J Mallon’s Lockdown Innit. I always enjoy Marjorie Mallon’s poetry and stories and this was no exception. The poems were topical and contained excerpts which we all can relate to. Living under the strain of lockdown we all need a release and reading these poems made me smile, nod my head in agreement or shed a tear. A funny but poignant look at life under lockdown. One of my favourites was Lockdown Breeze what a great piece to open with. 5 stars and a book I will go back to again and again.
Mar 05, 2021 Lizzie Chantreerated it was amazing. Interesting and thought provoking. A short book and quick read. The content is about the author’s thoughts on lockdown and how it affected her and others around her. Well written poetry and a book I’d recommend to others.
R J DOCKETT5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 February 2021I loved the poems, they captured the spirit of the times, the vagaries of human behaviour, the poignant signs of a society in change. There are some beautiful observations of what has become the new normal.
Mallon’s subjects range from silly to sad. It covers the everyday (like hanging clothes on a line) to sweet love to people getting stressed out.
My favorite poem is Horses Like Statues which is a butterfly cinquain. I like the imagery, and I think it’s cool how the poem looks like a butterfly on the page.
I picked up this book through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. Glad I gave it a read!
D.L. Finn 4.0 out of 5 stars A unique perspective in strange times.Reviewed in the United States on April 8, 2021. “Lockdown Innit” is a glimpse into the pandemic through poetry. There were various subjects and types of poetry, including going to the supermarket, driving, cancer, and books. I laughed when reading “SuperMarket Bozos,” it reminded me of my feisty grandmother. “ROAD RAGE DURING COVID-19” is an all too often occurrence, even during the last year. While “Little Library” offered a picture of something one could do during the stay-at-home orders, read. The collection ended with “THIS author longs for Pets,” and I admit jumping into a cat’s dream might be that perfect escape from the heaviness of the epidemic. This is a book I’d like to go back and read ten years from now as a reminder of this time in history because it gives a unique perspective into strange times.
SVG 4.0 out of 5 stars Truthful collection of poems Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021Author Marjorie Mallon’s keen sense of observation came to play in the way the poems were penned. Different emotions like fear, anger, longing, desire, humor were evoked while reading them.
The words also showed how people behaved during these tough times. It is the truth that some have still not learned after losing so many lives across the world. Many in the book were hard-hitting, some were humorous, and the best ones were, where the spoke of her love for her daughters through her words. Hope sailed through in them.
Then the author sneaked in a wispy one longing to be like the cat, dreaming peacefully of normal times. A perfect way to end the book.
Felicia Denise 4.0 out of 5 stars Living in the Time of Covid-19 Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021 Frustration, trepidation, fear, confusion, ennui, and boredom. Marjorie Mallon has taken the emotions so many of us experienced at life’s ironies and absurdities during coronavirus lockdowns and penned them in musings with her short prose and poetry.
From anger at the unmasked and the privileged to the trials of working from home and a health scare to a bin-guarding swan, memories of 2020 are crystal clear.
This short collection isn’t just a memoir and observations, but also a tribute to the spring the whole world changed.
Sheila 4.0 out of 5 stars Discerning and quirky poetic observation of life in lockdown Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2021. In this collection of poems, MJ Mallon has given us a wry series of vignettes of our society during a very strange year in history; it reminded me in part of theatre of the absurd, and she carries it out with an admirable lightness of touch. She conveys the folly, the irritability, the absurdity of people’s behaviour, along with a feeling of being lost and adrift.
The reader has a sense of having opened various windows, to see how other people have coped with lockdown. We find honest observation of life: people doing foolish things in supermarkets; quirky observations of nature that may well have gone unnoticed in other, busier times; or which may not have been there for us to see, but for the fact that wild animals too have felt the strangeness, and strayed into the urban environment. Examples given are the appearance of a swan by a dustbin.
We also find gems of delight in all this: the author’s observation of the horses like statues, and the violin player on a tightrope; and I loved the poem about the local village community library. We have a pop-up lending library at the bottom of our road. It demonstrates how human beings can react so differently to crises, and while some withdraw into themselves, doing things that seem selfish or stupid to others, we also find those who come up with inspirational ideas to make life better for those around them.
The poem about breast cancer explores the subject beautifully, showing the author’s relief set against her poignant awareness of others who are not so lucky. Through the entire volume, there floats a sensation of oddness, simply noted and preserved in a poem.
I feel these poems are written by someone who sees life at an angle, shifted one degree by the quiet act of observation.
S. G. Cronin 4.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on a year of lockdown with a touch of humourReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 March 2021This is a collection of poems that most of us can relate to. In the year since the first lockdown, families have been brought together in the confines of a home with limited opportunity to go further than a walk in the park. Normal activities suddenly become more valued and minds become creative in finding new ways to stay engaged and sane.
The author also takes a look at society and how some are happy to be selfish in the face of a national and global pandemic, with disregard for their own safety and others around them.. and a road rage bully is not about to change his spots.
There is humour in the verses and poignant reminders of the worry of being too far away from loved ones to support them.. I had some favourites and The Little Library is one which was a tribute to the comfort of books and Bucket List with inventive ideas to brighten the long lockdown days and weeks.
A lovely collection with verses to cheer and others to remind us to be safe..
I’m thrilled to announce the paperback of my poetry collection Lockdown Innit Poems About Absurdity has released and is available to buy on Amazon. I’ve been a bit slow of the mark in notifying my blog viewers about this as I’ve been busy editing my second YA Fantasy novel: The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer.
More about that soon!
I’m particularly thrilled about the paperback release as I created the cover myself. The back cover also features ‘my face with pink hair,” designed by the multi-talented Sarah Northwood. I loved her image so much that I wrote a poem about it.
Here’s an excerpt of the poem from the book which gives you an idea of the quirky nature of the poems within…
Also, the reviews have been coming in! The latest which I’ve shared below is from author D.L. Finn, many thanks for the kind review. <3
Reviews mean so much!
“Lockdown Innit” is a glimpse into the pandemic through poetry. There were various subjects and types of poetry, including going to the supermarket, driving, cancer, and books. I laughed when reading “SuperMarket Bozos,” it reminded me of my feisty grandmother. “ROAD RAGE DURING COVID-19” is an all too often occurrence, even during the last year. While “Little Library” offered a picture of something one could do during the stay-at-home orders, read. The collection ended with “THIS author longs for Pets,” and I admit jumping into a cat’s dream might be that perfect escape from the heaviness of the epidemic. This is a book I’d like to go back and read ten years from now as a reminder of this time in history because it gives a unique perspective into strange times.
This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.
It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’
This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day.
Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful.
It is an anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, poetry and flash fiction set during extraordinary times. This Is Lockdown is written from many perspectives, including a writer’s perspective highlighting the day-to-day life and struggles experienced during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse into the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I discuss the handling of the pandemic and my opinion about what might happen next. In the final part of the book I share my latest short story: a YA romance set post lockdown along with poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.
For the first time in over a century, Clyde will know what it means to feel powerless and weak.
Headless bodies appearing across Windemere is only the beginning as Clyde faces the terrifying vampire hunter, Alastyre. Able to match the Dawn Fang leader in power and ferocity, this new menace shows no signs of weakness or mercy. With both friends and enemies getting dragged into the battle, Clyde will have to find a way to become stronger. For that, he will have to accept an ancient challenge and pray that those he cares about and trusts can hold Alastyre at bay.
Which monster of Windemere will claim the top of the food chain?
Want to hear more? Enjoy this Teaser!
Alastyre disappears for a moment before reappearing in front of Clyde and grinning at how the Dawn Fang does not react. “I have waited many years for this day. You probably don’t remember me since it has been so long. The temptation to tell Mab the truth when she was my captive was so strong that I knew I needed more time to mature. I should only feel happy and excited when we are about to clash. By the way, your enemies put up an entertaining fight. It lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but I enjoyed it. My hope is that your reputation is true and I will get to use my full power for once. The thought of ripping your head off and adding it to my collection is one of the few dreams that gives my life meaning. Is this where we’re going to fight? I see that there is a lot of sand and giant boulders scattered about. Do you use this courtyard as a large rock garden in order to relax? You are a more amusing monster than I expected.”
“I don’t like you,” Mab growls before she is grabbed by the face.
“A drug-addicted worm should watch-”
“Put . . . my . . . partner . . . down,” Clyde growls from behind the hunter. The illusionary vampire fades away as the real one materializes, his gauntlet sword already pressed against the man’s meaty neck. “You say we’ve met before and you’ve been training to fight me. Looks more like you’ve altered yourself to become a freak. The smell of your blood reeks of corruptive magic and demon influence. There’s a hint of Dawn Fang and dragon in there too. You’re nothing more than a glorified golem. Bunch of parts and auras cobbled together to turn a weak mortal into a monster. I’m not impressed, Alan Stryker. Still trying to strike fear into the rotting hearts of my kind? At least your name isn’t as stupid as it was before.”
“Wait, do you mean that guy who attacked you outside of Lord Shallis’s castle?” Titus asks with a chuckle. He grunts when his sister is thrown into him, the force sending the siblings crashing against the patio’s railing. “I told you that keeping him alive was a mistake, but I didn’t think it would turn into this. You must be angry that nobody believed your story about vampires that are immune to the sun. Is that what this is about?”
With a casual flick of his finger, Alastyre sends Clyde’s sword and arm flying across the courtyard. “No because it was another hunter who survived and told that tale. Your leader was so distracted with Mab biting him that he failed to notice a second mortal that he failed to kill. I focused on recovery and getting stronger because I refused to follow such a ridiculous plan. The fewer people who knew about the Dawn Fangs, the better my chances were at being the one to succeed. Please know that I only want to destroy your leadership. Originally, I wished to wipe all of you out of existence, but that could prove to be impossible. You monsters are more talented at hiding than anything else I have hunted, so I could never be sure of your extinction. The next best thing is to take over Nyetfall and use it as a jail for your kind. All Dawn Fangs will be contained on this island once they no longer have their precious rulers. Don’t you agree that this is much better than extermination, Clyde?”
“I have no opinion because it’s never going to happen.”
“Do you accept my challenge?”
“You never officially made one.”
“I demand that you fight me to the death.”
“Thank you for being straightforward and not making me hunt you down.”
“We fight in an hour then.”
“Why not now?”
Alastyre points while mentioning, “You are still missing an arm. I want to face you at full strength.”
“Don’t say I didn’t give you a chance,” the Dawn Fang says as he continues healing the injury.
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.