Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton, #CrimeThriller Joan Hall

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.

Colleen Chesbro is responsible for creating many budding poets who have discovered the challenge and the joy of syllabic poetry. I loved this guide and can highly recommend

About the book

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

One of the  reviews for the guide and poetry collection

I have Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge “Tanka Tuesday” to thank for inspiring me to try writing syllabic poetry for the first time. That initial inspiration resulted in a tanka, which was followed by another, then another, finally becoming my first poetry collection.

Chesebro’s poetry craft book works in a similar fashion. Word Craft first acknowledges and encourages the creative potential in each of us, which I would consider the book’s main premise. We all have the inspiration for poetry inside us; we just need to help that inspiration find its most appropriate form of expression.

Given this premise, it makes sense to begin with syllabic poetry–and so be able to choose a structured form well-suited to what we want to express. For example, have we been struck by the way the winter sky looks when a cold front is approaching? Haiku can capture and hold this observation. Are we bemused by a particular human foible? This observation would be better suited to senryu. And so on, through a wide range of nonrhyming syllabic forms.

The book is well-structured and organized. Each section defines a form of Japanese syllabic poetry and its American counterpart(s), including a brief history of how they evolved. (Credible sources have been consulted and cited for this information.) Next is an explanation of how to write the form, including general subject matter, syllable count, and number of lines. Finally, there are numerous examples of each form written by a range of poets, including Chesebro.

What I most appreciated about Word Craft is that it shines light on syllabic poetry from a number of different angles–any one of which could serve as the reader’s inspiration for a new poem! 

Head over to buy the guide: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Head over to discover more about Colleen Chesebro and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro – LinkedIn: Colleen M. Chesebro

The next author who is another of my personal recommendations is Claire Fullerton and her family saga and novel of friendship, Little Tea.

About the book.

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

One of the reviews for the book

Claire Fullerton’s lyrical writing always pulls me into one of her books, and her themes keep me there. Her latest novel Little Tea is about home, friendship, and family ties…how they define us, and how we carry them in our hearts always. It’s also a book about how we deal with tragedy and grief gradually, how the more we open up to our feelings, the more we heal. And opening up to them means exploring our shadow side. This story of the South, both old and new, which juxtaposes the 1980s with present day, asks the reader to ask and answer her own poignant questions about healing and bridging the racial divide.

The author doesn’t flinch from the hard truth of racism in the South and tells the story with a truth that packs an emotional punch so strong it’s physical. The character development and pacing are also spot on. Sense of place, manner, and conversation are told with the authenticity of a writer telling a story of “what they know.”

Yet in the end, it’s the friendships that will stay with you, leave you thinking, wondering: What became of these fast friends after they left their reunion at a lake house full of memories? Having lost my own two best friends to death, I found the ending especially poignant and real.

Can we change our friends? Can we change our world? Or can we only change ourselves as our friends witness and support our transformation? 

Read the some of the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Also by Claire Fullerton

Discover more about Claire Fullerton and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton – Blog: Claire Fullerton WordPress – Twitter: @Cfullerton3

The next author whose books I can recommend is Joan Hall who writes excellent atmospheric mysteries infused with the paranormal. Today I am featuring her crime thriller
Unknown Reasons (Driscoll Lake book two)

About the book

If you can’t stand the heat…

Rachel Jackson hails from one of Driscoll Lake’s wealthiest families. Like her father, she became a doctor and is now a respected physician. But despite her successful career, Rachel feels something is missing from her life—until she crosses paths with Brian Nichols.

The son of a hard-working mother and alcoholic father, Brian acted out when he was young, earning a reputation as a troublemaker. As an adult, he’s worked hard to clean up his act and now owns a burgeoning construction company.

Rachel and Brian form an unlikely friendship which begins to blossom into something more. But a series of structure fires—determined to be arson—puts Brian in the hot seat. The properties are all associated with his work, making him the prime suspect. Toss in his juvenile history, and he finds himself the focus of a tenacious investigator. Even Rachel starts to have doubts.

Brian struggles to save his relationship, his company, and his reputation. But unless the real arsonist is caught before striking again, everything Brian holds dear may go up in smoke.

One of the reviews for the book

Joan Hall has another winner on her hands with the second book of her Driscoll Lake series. Mystery and romance combine in a story that has an arsonist on the loose in the small town. Characters from the first book make appearances, but this is Brian and Rachel’s story. Hailing from highly different backgrounds—Rachel is a respected physician and Brian is a reformed bad boy, now a hard-working business owner—these two combat their feelings for each other while being caught dead center in the firebug’s sites.

There are ups and downs in the romance and twists and turns in the mystery, with several surprises looped together at the end. Well-written and plotted, with plenty of intrigue, this book will appeal to fans of both mysteries and romances. The small town setting is superb and the characters are engaging. I’m already looking forward to book 3 in the series! 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Other books by Joan Hall

Discover more about Joan Hall and  buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read other reviews and follow Joan: Goodreads – Website: Joan Hall – Blog: Joan HallBookBub: Joan Hall – Facebook: Joan Hall Writes – Twitter: @JoanHallWrites


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally


63 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair 2022 – #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton, #CrimeThriller Joan Hall

  1. I don’t write much poetry ( my poems usually end up as a story ) but when we have had poetry workshops or our writers’ group tutor has coerced us into writing verse I love having a structure to work to. Isn’t it strange how different times and countries throw up their own structures which budding writers or students are expected to follow. I would enjoy both those novels. I love the idea of the innocent character falsely accused, which can bring the awful realisation to parents or lovers that even if they did not voice their thoughts, perhaps for one moment they doubted the innocence of the loved one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for featuring three awesome authors, Sally. I’ve read Colleen’s amazing book but haven’t cracked Claire’s book or Joan’s series yet, something I need to do. Congrats to all three talented authors on the wonderful reviews.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you so much Sally, for featuring Word Craft: Prose & Poetry. I just finished reading Little Tea, and Clair’s Mourning Dove. I’ll have reviews up soon. I have one of Joan’s books to read too! I’m in such wonderful authorly company. 💜

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Fabulous trio of writers today Sal. I loved both Colleen and Claire’s books. I have a few of Joan’s and I’ve already pushed on up the list from the rabbit hole in my Kindle. Congrats to all three talented writers. ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve enjoyed books by all three of these authors and have more from them on my Kindle. I’m spending my time at the moment simply reading for pleasure and there’s so much pleasure to be had! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another great trio being featured in your series, Sally! Thanks so much for bringing Colleen, Claire, and Harmony to everyone’s attention with these wonderful selections. Congratulations to all three of you lovely ladies! Super post! 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up November 21st – 27th 2022 – Author Interviews, Reviews, Chart Hits 1950s, Culinary A-Z, Tony Bennett, Podcast, Christmas Book Fair, Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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