Book Review: Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle

Synopsis:

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships. The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

My review:

What a lovely collection of poetry, photography and paintings. I really enjoyed this poetry collection. Songs of Heartstrings tells the story of the author’s life and the many difficulties she has overcome. It is heartfelt and personal. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry touches upon human frailties: struggling through cancer, learning to love again, rejoicing in the gifts of parenthood, music, exalting in the joy of nature, friendship and the sadness that returns with loss.

There is much that I related to, especially the poems of nature and the sea. Both of which mean a lot to me. It’s clear that Miriam Hurdle takes a great deal of comfort from religion and she shares her faith in her poetry.

The reader is enriched from reading Songs of Heartstrings with a sense of shared reminiscences and a deeper connection. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry is simply that, truthful, personal and real.

My recommendation: Highly recommended. 4.5 stars.

Author Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com/

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#Book Review Mystical Circles by S.C. Skillman

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Goodreads Synopsis

“Hi, you in crowded stressed old London from me in the peaceful perfect Cotswolds. Massive change of plan. I’m in love. Craig’s gorgeous, sexy, intelligent. Paradise here. Staying forever.”

Juliet, concerned that her younger sister has fallen for the charismatic Craig, leader of the Wheel of Love, sets off for the Cotswolds to investigate the mystery.

She arrives at Craig’s community hoping to rescue Zoe. But romance, mystery & suspense await her as intrigues, liaisons & relationships flare, flourish or fizzle out quickly in this close circle of men & women; & despite her reservations Juliet is drawn into the Wheel of Love – with completely unforeseen consequences.

My review

Mystical Circles by S.C. Skillman is a mystical novel which explores relationships between men and women in an unusual cult community.

Its strength lies in the depiction of a whole host of characters who are all strange to a degree. I particularly enjoyed Craig the charismatic leader but was quite perplexed by the author’s lack of investment in the character of Zoe who Juliet, (her sister and the main protagonist,) is supposedly intent on saving from the clutches of  cult leader, Craig.

There is very little interaction between the two sisters. Instead the world building and characterisation centres upon the odd quirks and habits of the rest of the characters. Perhaps this is an intentional decision on the part of the author. I tend to think that maybe it is. If you read Mystical Circles you’ll realise that  Juliet’s initial ‘real’ reasons (both personal – her sister and professional – her work as a journalist,) become less urgent than her need to perhaps understand herself and her own motivations and desires.

It is a difficult book to review without including massive spoilers so I will say just this, the revelations at the end of the book took me by surprise and also seemed quite forced. But, having thought about it deeply I realise that the author was most probably illustrating that life can be confusing and changeable and partnerships are driven by more than passion. With two choices do we decide to take the safe, or the more dangerous path? Or, is the decision taken away from us?

Either way the ending was indeed strange but overall  I enjoyed Mystical Circles for these reasons:

I am questioning my own spiritual life at the moment and books that make me reflect upon life stay in my memory long after I’ve finished reading them.

I believe there is a sequel – A Passionate Spirit and more to come from S.C. Skillman.

My recommendation:  If mysticism, the meaning of life and philosophical questions appeal then dive in but if you prefer a fast-paced narrative this might not be for you. This is a slow, thoughtful read with much to recommend it.

Rating: 4 stars.

Authors website: https://scskillman.com/

Have you read Mystical Circles? Do comment below I’d love to hear your opinion.

 

Bye for now, happy reading and hope you find a moment to chill!

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

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

 

 

 

 

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