Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore updates with new releases and reviews for authors on the shelves.
The first author today is Balroop Singh with a new release. A poetry collection – Magical Whispers
About the collection
I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.
‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.
In this book, my poems focus on the whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.
Each day reminds us
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whispers life into us.
One of the early reviews for the collection
I’ve read a few of Singh’s poetry collections, and this one is my favorite. Each poem is a gem, and though this isn’t a long book, it’s worth taking a few leisurely days or weeks to savor.
The 73 poems are divided into two sections: Magical Whispers and Whispers of Life. The poems in Magical Whispers have a strong focus on Nature—the mysteries, solace, and magical connections the author has to Mother Earth. A few of my favorite poems are Dawn Whispers, Magic of Senses, and A Moon Fairy.
Whispers of Life is broader in scope, touching on love, growth, longing, memories, and other facets of human life. Though personal to the author, the poems are relatable and insightful. My favorites in this section are My Words, Only Memories are Mine, and Muted by Time. Highly recommended.
Also by Balroop Singh
The next book today is If You Love Me I’m Yours by award winning inventor and author Lizzie Chantree.
About the book
‘If you love me, I’m yours…’
Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.
Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.
Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.
Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?
One of the recent reviews for the book
I stepped outside my normal genre comfort zone of crime thrillers to read this book; it had been recommended to me and I had my eyes and heart opened. I laughed, I cried and had a precious insight into the life of people who on the surface appear, okay.
This is a story of repressed feelings. Yes, it is a love story and on so many fronts, but first and foremost it is about the delicacy of self-esteem. It is real. It is about dreams and nightmares.
The characters are ‘real’; Maud, her artistic flare crushed by domineering parents. Dot, a wonderfully crazy lady, dressing eccentrically because she comes from a famous artistic family – it is what she feels expected to do as she is continually informed she has no talent. Nate, Dot’s brother, a famous artist and reputed rake and, a whole host of players who play parts that appear to be at best benign, supportive, but come with an underlying desire to address their own ego.
I cannot reveal the plot because it is life and you need to live it in this book – I did, and finished feeling both wrung out and wretched and yet, elated, at the same time – I didn’t want it to end.
This is not a roller coaster ride so much as a ghost train of soul searching and I defy anyone not to feel a part of it, the central characters, to recognise something of themselves – I did, and, love it and it is you.
I have bought another book from this author and started reading it immediately – such exceptional writing. I do not hesitate to recommend this book. Love it, and it’s yours – 5 stars.
Also by Lizzie Chantree
The final author today is Claire Fullerton with a review for her novel Little Tea, which I can also highly recommend
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.
A recent review for the book on Goodreads
A tale that encompasses several topics of life – family, friendship, racism, mental health, and tragedy. Southern fiction at its best. We’re introduced to the triangular friendship between Celia, Renny and Ava, friends from childhood, in a reunion visit up to Renny’s lakehouse where the girls recant stories, memories, and unresolved issues from their pasts, introducing the many characters who played parts in their lives.
Celia managed to leave the deep south and is happily married now living in California, but the girlfriend reunion brings up some painful memories that Celia Wakefield finds herself now having to put closure on, including her ex-fiance Tate whose deep south family wasn’t too accepting of Celia’s close friendship with ‘black people’, – mainly her oldest best friend Little Tea and her family. And once tragedy struck within the plantation, a silent slithering away of Tate occurred.
The story goes back and forth through time – current day at Renny’s lake house in Arkansas where the reunion takes place and back in the 1980s when they were younger girls where we’re taken into Celia’s younger life with her family living in Mississippi on their cotton plantation and the black hired help living on that land in a cottage, becoming closer than most with their white bosses in the still divided south. Thelonius and Elvita and their daughter Little Tea who becomes Celia’s best friend, and ultimately, the love interest of Celia’s brother Hayward – still in a dangerous time for mixed races to show themselves publicly, but accepted within the family – except for Celia’s eldest brother John who comes off racist.
In this story, the past comes back to haunt as it does in real life. Celia must find closure, Ava must choose her happiness between two men, and Renny is the host where everyone meets up at her place to mull over their pasts and solidfy their futures. Renny is the group organizer. And nobody knows the deep dark secrets better than the three girls.
Some wonderful prose to quote from this book. Here are just two:
Little Tea and Celia discussing Tea’s plans after graduating high school: “I know times have changed for people of color, but there’s a residue that’ll stick around forever.”
Celia talking to her brother Hayward about their grandmother’s racism, trying to figure why as someone who came from poverty and now riches, why she didn’t have compassion: “People attack what they fear.” “People always have to have something to look down on.”
Also by Claire Fullerton
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have found some books to take away with you.. thanks Sally