Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations Rewind – The Sixth Day of Christmas with guests William Price King, Annette Rochelle Aben, Jan Sikes, #Food Carol Taylor, Ricotta, Blackberry and Walnut Toasts and Cranberry Cocktail


Welcome to the rewind of the series from 2018 which features not only the food and traditions of Christmas but also some special guests who it would be lovely to share Christmas dinner with in person. In the series my guests shared their best Christmas gift ever…and there will be food including from our resident foodie Carol Taylor, my favourite drinks for the holidays, and of course music to get you into the spirit of the season..

Welcome to the sixth party in this series and today my guests are the amazing William Price King, American Jazz singer, crooner and composer who has been providing the music content for Smorgasbord for over seven years. Joining him today is friend but also a wonderful contributor to the blog, Annette Rochelle Aben who wrote a fascinating Numerology column throughout 2019. Also with a wonderful career in both publishing and the music industry, is my third guest, author Jan Sikes.

All will be sharing their most cherished Christmas memories throughout today’s post.

My Christmas memories…

In early 1965 a film was released in the UK that was to be a turning point for me and the start of a lifelong crush on the lead actor. Christopher Plummer was 36 at the time that The Sound of Music became available to the general public and not just musical theatre goers. I was just twelve but I saw myself as Maria from that moment on. I saw that film three times in the next 18 months and I could rattle all the songs off at a drop of hat including The Lonely Goatherd with requisite yodelling.

My ardour did not diminish, and when we returned to Portsmouth in 1967, I managed to coerce a school friend into forming a double act. At age 14 we were encouraged to reach out to the community at Christmas, and undaunted by the prospect of performing publicly, my friend and I dressed ourselves in replicas of the film costumes. Actually my mother was missing a pair of old curtains, so we did not stray too far from the script…and we offered our services to three old people’s homes in the local area.

We would turn up after school in the weeks before Christmas and join the residents for a cup of tea and a piece of cake before performing our repertoire of songs from The Sound of Music. I must admit that a couple of songs in and there was a fair bit of nodding off…not to be outdone I would burst into The Lonely Goatherd and it served to enliven the audience who would look around bemusedly at the sound of a strangled cat in between the verses.

I did however have a ‘moment’ in my early 40’s. We were on holiday in the French Alps one summer and had hiked up one of the surrounding mountains. We reached a plateau that was dotted with alpine flowers and after we had consumed our packed lunch and with no one else in sight, I took my chance. I stood in the middle of the meadow and gave the title song as loud a rendition as I possibly could. I threw my arms wide as I finished and turned in a slow circle to receive the applause of my husband, only to find that a large group of Japanese tourists had just reached the edge of the plateau and were snapping photographs and clapping madly…I think they thought that it was especially laid on for their lunchtime entertainment. A quick descent was called for in the opposite direction.

As my first guest is William Price King it seems more than appropriate to get the party started with one of his own performances.

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

William shares his most treasured Christmas memory...

It was Christmas Eve. Before starting the day I called our youngest daughter who lives in Germany to wish her good luck for her performance as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” that evening and to get confirmation that she and her boyfriend were still planning to celebrate Christmas at his parents’ home in Düsseldorf. She answered affirmatively and said that they were looking forward to it as they had done in the previous years. We spoke for a moment and then I wished her a good show and said we would call them on Christmas.

I finished decorating the tree and put the presents in place. Wakanda, our cat, took quick possession of her Christmas box and happily installed herself under the tree. In the meanwhile my wife and I continued preparing for the big day and began making the final touches, reminiscing over the good old days when we had the entire family at home for Christmas. Those days were gone.

Around midnight we went to bed happy that everything was ready for our Christmas celebration in anticipation of seeing the grand kids frantically open their gifts. Around 6 a.m. my wife woke me up and said that she heard someone walking in the house. I told her it must have been a dream, as we live alone. Plus, why would Santa be walking around in our house at 6 a.m. on Christmas day, right? My wife insisted it wasn’t a dream. She really was frightened and believed that someone had broken into the house. A bit annoyed I lurched downstairs, opened the living room door and there stood our opera singer with her boyfriend. “Merry Christmas!” they shouted gleefully. My mouth dropped in disbelief. I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t I who was dreaming this time around. I knew that life could yield unexpected surprises but this one beat them all. It was the first time that she had come home for Christmas in 10 years, a gift from the stars, and the best Christmas gift I ever had.

Definitely a wonderful Christmas memory and I can imagine that the celebrations were fantastic.

I spent some time wondering what William might enjoy for his Christmas gift… and I hope that he will enjoy something from his home town. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with O Come O Come Emmanuel. Courtesy of Thomas Trimborn

My thanks again to Why Christmas for their detailed information on the traditions around the world. The Falkland Islands are in the South Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles from the east coast at the bottom of South America. They are a British Overseas Territory even though they’re about 8,000 miles away from the rest of the UK. There are only around 3,000 residents of the Islands with most living in the capital Stanley, and considering the land mass occupies around 4,700 square miles, it is hardly over populated.. But there 150,000 sheep.

It is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and being British the Islanders share many of the traditions with the UK. It is very windy which means few trees, but artificial ones are on display. As you might guess roast lamb is the most likely Christmas dinner and it is very expensive to fly turkeys in from South America.

As at home, pantomime is very popular and children on the more remote parts of the islands get their presents flown in from the capital. Carol singing takes place under a ‘Whale Bone Arch’ constructed from the jaw bones of two blue whales… and on Boxing Day the horse races attract punters and spectators from all over The Falklands.

The Sixth day (30th December) is dedicated to St Egwin of Worcester. Egwin was of noble if not royal blood and was born in the late 600’s and became a monk. Because of his lineage the royal court and hierarchy in the church pushed for his elevation to Bishop in in 693. He had strict moral code and was a benefactor for the poor and orphans. He was also very strict with worshippers and clergy alike and became increasingly unpopular when he began insisting that marriage vows should be taken seriously and that the clergy should be celibate… In the end tired of the resistance to his firm stance on these issues he took himself off to Rome to get the blessing of the Pope.

A number of ‘miracles’ occurred on the route and having received vindication from the Holy Father he returned to Evesham. He lived until between 917 and 920 bringing about many changes including founding Evesham Abbey which was one of the most important Benedictine Monasteries of medieval times. He died and was buried there but all was destroyed in the purges in the 16th century.

Six geese a laying – some say this symbolises the six days of creation but most assume it was a continuation in the bird theme from the Four Colley Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree….

.

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!

These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses.

Annette shares her most treasured Christmas Gift

Seventeen years ago, at our Christmas gift exchange, I opened the lovingly wrapped package from my nephew Danny, to find a statue of a black cherub sitting on a cloud. I choked back tears because I knew he originally planned to give it to my mother, but she rejected the gift because Angels couldn’t possibly be anything other than white you know.

As I drove home, I hit an ice storm and what would have taken me 45 minutes, took me over 5 hours. The whole way, that Angel sat on my dashboard. I made it home safely.

Very difficult after that very special memory to find a gift that compares for Annette, but knowing her love of angels and music.. I hope that she enjoys one of my favourite tracks In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan

A selection of books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

Carol Taylor has created a wonderful Vegetarian Christmas Menu and I am sharing just one of the delicious elements there to day.. If you head over to her blog you can find a great deal more options to share over Christmas Cheese and Chard Pie with preserved lemons

Today one of my favourites from Carol’s menu….Ricotta, Blackberry and Walnut Toasts.

Ingredients

• 2 tbsp of maple syrup
• 150 gm blackberries
• 4 slices of your favorite bread I used sourdough
• 100 gm soft ricotta
• 1 tbsp toasted walnuts
• A few mint leaves

To Prepare

  1. Warm the maple syrup in a small pan and add the blackberries cook for 3-4 mins gently squashing a few blackberries with the back of your wooden spoon.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. To serve spread some ricotta over the toast then spoon over the warm syrup and fruit, top with your toasted walnuts and a few mint leaves.

You can find some great recipes for Christmas starters, mains and desserts with vegetarian options over at Carol’s Blog: Carol Cooks 2

And now my final guest today who also has a wonderful life of music and love. Jan Sikes is an Award Winning Author, screenwriter and songwriter.

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. Jan is a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

And here is Jan’s most favourite Christmas gift of all time

The best Christmas I can remember is 2003. Rick was just finishing the recording of his new music CD and he had a jacket monogrammed for me with the album cover on the back and my name in the front. I couldn’t have been more surprised or proud! That year all of our children, my mom and aunt came to our house for the celebration. There was an abundance of food, laughs and love. It is a sweet memory.

Another tough challenge to find a gift for Jan following that heartfelt memory… but I hope that this will make her smile and remind her of the first song that she wrote for her uncle. A wonderful Gospel Christmas.

Featuring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra again with The Pointer Sisters and Adam L. McKnight..- Amen courtesy of Adam L. McKnight

A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

Now time for something to drink…..Whilst it is customary to see cranberries in a sauce on the Christmas Dinner Table, you can also enjoy in a cocktail during the holiday period. Cranberries have a great many health benefits…. which might be slightly diluted when adding alcohol.. but here is a video that will give you a recipe to try.

Thank you for dropping in today and tomorrow my guests are Jessica Norrie and Marjorie Mallon… I hope you will join us.. thanks Sally

If you would like to share your best Christmas present ever.. then please share in the comments..

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Poetry – Colleen M. Chesebro, Annette Rochelle Aben, Balroop Singh, Elizabeth Gauffreau and Robbie Cheadle.


Welcome to the first of the Christams Book Fairs and today poetry collections that I have also read and can recommend which would make the perfect gift.

The first collection is by Colleen M. Chesebro –  Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

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!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Nov 02, 2021 Harmony Kent rated it five Stars

This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn how to write syllabic poetry such as Haiku, Senryu, Etheree, and many more. Section one covers Japanese syllabic poetry, and section two shows us American forms.

The author includes photos in the book to illustrate sources of inspiration for some of the poetry examples. In the paperback version, these pictures are black and white, but Ms Cheeseboro also lists aspects of the images, which mention the colours that were prominent in the original.

Each chapter introduces the reader to a certain poetic form and gives us the history as well as essential points to remember and excellent examples. The tone throughout is encouraging and easy to understand.

Along with this guide, aspiring poets will benefit from Colleen Cheeseboro’s weekly poetry challenges, which you will find on her blog (https://wordcraftpoetry.com/).

This is a reference I shall return to again and again, and it gets a solid five stars from me. 

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

Now Halloween poetry collection by Annette Rochelle Aben – Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku

About the collection

The stage is set and the actors are fully rehearsed and prepared to have the night of their lives. Of course, it IS only ONE NIGHT but that night is Halloween. Come, and eavesdrop on the cast of fright night in the bright light of day as they speak in “haikulike verse”. While most subjects say cheese when facing a camera, these rascals say, BOO! BOOKU that is!

One of the recent reviews for the collection.

JanS 5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Halloween Accompaniment! Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021

I love that this little book of Haiku is based on this author’s family and love for all things Halloween! The photos are outstanding. The extent this family goes to with decorations is over the top! But add the brilliant Haiku with the photos and you have an excellent spooky book to share and celebrate at Halloween! I highly recommend this very quick read. It will get you in the trick-or-treating spirit immediately!

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

The next collection is by Balroop Singh… …Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

About the collection

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them.This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Sep 10, 2021 Trish Butler rated it five stars

My favourite Balroop Singh collection so far!

I’ve read and enjoyed several of Singh’s volumes, but this one is my favourite. She has taken on the discipline of haiku and tanka and excelled.

Grouping these short poems into subjects was a great inspiration too and I particularly loved the images with some of them as I am a very visual person.

Singh’s poetry is calming and beautiful and this book is no exception. Take your time and experience the calm her words can have over you.

I’d love to hear them read aloud.

Other books by Balroop Singh

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop : Goodreads – blog:Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter: @BalroopShado

The next collection is by Elizabeth Gauffreau and I am sharing my recent review Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance

About the collection

“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.” ~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

My review for the collection 13th November 2021.

As we get older we lose more of those we love, and grief is one of the hardest of life’s experiences to comes to term with. Brief eulogies that express love and respect for a person are often more meaningful than longer testaments to their life.

This is the case in Elizabeth Gauffreau’s collection of syllabic poetry. Brief glimpses into the lives of her parents as they met and married, followed by early childhood memories and the teen years.

The wonderful early family images set the scene and the words bring them to life. They are emotionally engaging and evoke the reader’s own memories and also regrets for lost opportunities to share more moments with those no longer with us. For example:

27 Edgewood Road

clearing out the house
entering forbidden rooms
hidden photographs
baby picture never seen
her pride in me now showing.

Also by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Liz Gauffreau – Twitter: @LGauffreau

The final poetry collection today is Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle.

About the collection

What goes on behind closed doors: in the boardroom, after death, in the home, during lockdown, and in nature? This collection of poems, ranging from rhyming verse to twisted nursery rhymes, captures the emotions and thoughts people hide behind the masks they present to the world.

What thoughts are hidden
Behind her immobile face
Quite expressionless
Eyes cold and indifferent
Scrutinising me – hawk like

This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.

A recent review for the collection

Perspectivepower, Annette Rochelle Aben 5.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to Knock  Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2021

While Robbie Cheadle has written many other books in several genres, this book is an invitation to knock on the doors to her intense thoughts and feelings. Robbie takes this opportunity to share her views, hopes, and dreams with words that run the gamut from entertaining to profound. As Robbie lays bare her own soul, it’s as though she challenges you to look into your own. Because she is a woman who cares as much for the world of her family as she does for the world at large. you come away from this book knowing you’d be welcome to knock on her doors anytime.  

A selection of books for adults and children by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some poetry collections to gift family and friends. More poetry later in the Christmas Book Fair.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – #Profiles – Bloggers – Motivators and Inspirers – The Story Reading Ape, Annette Rochelle Aben


Today two more long term supporters of the blog who I believe deserve a special mention. The Story Reading Ape, Chris Graham shares the posts of many of us each week as well as featuring guest writers, post links to all aspects of writing and of course his infamous Monday Funnies that usually star members of his own extended family including Maxine and Aunty Acid…not to be confused with Mary Poppins!!

My literature Hero is Terry Pratchett who, in one of his Science of Discworld books, postulated that Homo Sapiens Sapiens survived all the pitfalls that made other Homo Sapiens species become extinct, by being story telling apes.

If this is the case, then in order to be effective, for every story telling ape there had to be a story listening ape.

I am descended from them, except I read stories instead of listening to them; and author’s are the tellers of the stories I read.

I don’t so much read books as devour them, (sometimes re-devouring them several times), so I’ve set myself a long term task, to list all the books I’ve ever read on Goodreads – trouble is I’ve got the memory of a sieve and I must have read thousands of them!

After years of lugging books around with me when I travelled (pre-internet), or order them to be delivered to wherever I was (post internet), I got an eReader, which enables me to support my local library, as well as giving me access to practically every Kindle, EPUB & PDF format book ever published, via the internet.

Now all I have to do is spend the next several lifetimes reading them (I hope re-incarnation is true, although not having memories from previous lives might be a snag)

What is the purpose of my blog?

1. To introduce YOU to new (to me) authors I’ve come across in my wanderings through books and the cyberforest.

2. To provide a platform (battered old homemade soapbox) for authors to introduce themselves to you. (See my Contact Me Section for Guest Author article Guidelines)

3. As an informal information service to authors, poets, or anyone else who is thinking of becoming a published person of that ilk.

4. To promote FUN and an OASIS OF CALM and Font of useful Knowledge andTips for Indies (please do NOT feed my naughty chimps or they may follow you home) from the woes and stresses of the real world.

The Story Reading Ape buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog: The Story Reading Ape Twitter: @StoryReadingApe

Here is this week’s Monday Funnies for you to enjoy and I do hope you will head over if you are not familiar with Chris and his blog and discover more: 24th May Monday Funnnies with The Story Reading Ape

The next person who I would like to place the spotlight on is Annette Rochelle Aben who has been a motivator and supporter to many of us. Her mindful and inspiring daily messages have brightened many a day. You will see evidence of her wide ranging support if you are on twitter @YouAreTheExpert

About Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!

These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses.

A selection of  books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that if you are not already following these amazing people you will head over to meet them in person. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – Annette Rochelle Aben, Barbara Silkstone, Walter Rhein


Welcome to the second of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is Annette Rochelle Aben with an early review for her recently released collection of poetry – Think Tanka.

About Think Tanka

Throughout time, the poet has used words to convey feelings, share ideas and unite the reader with their vision. Think Tanka uses the traditional structure of Japanese lyric poetry to unite the reader to the vision of the poet. if you can “see” what she is trying to “say” in every grouping of 31 syllables, then she has done her job. Think Tanka is a book for those who appreciate poetry, those who enjoy short reads, people who like to smile and those who know what it is like to be lost in a world of imagination. Whether you are buying this book for yourself or someone else, you’ll want to make sure you get an extra copy so you’ll have one on hand to share.

One of the early reviews for the collection

I first became aware of Ms. Aben through her blog. On a daily basis she posts inspirational messages in the form of short poems. I have to admit, I have come to look forward to them. Then when I saw she had a new volume of her Tanka poems up on Amazon, I sprung for an eBook. But I should have bought the paperback. And I probably will. I want to keep it next to my bed and read one or two of her poems every night.

I think if Robert Frost (“The woods are lovely, dark and deep …”) wrote Tanka it would read just like Ms. Aben. Or vice versa. However, Frost might not have used great phrases like: “The ghost of pizza past” or “ooey, gooey.”

Ms. Aben has a wonderful sense for titling her poems. And it is evident with titles like “Rag Mamma Rag” and “Divinity Incarnate.”

All in all, I give this volume five stars because I believe it’s the art of Tanka brought to its fullest.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1794608923

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1794608923

Other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

Find more reviews and follow Annette at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8262554.Annette_Rochelle_Aben

Connect to Annette via her blog:  https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Next a recent review for Barbara Silkstone for Soap on a Rope – Cold Cream Murders – Book 3.

About Soap on a Rope

When Nelson Dingler is found dangling from a chandelier—feet-side up—Grams Dingler determines to find her son’s killer. Can Olive help her best friend save her feisty grandmother from suffering the same fate? And can the Cold Cream Shop survive while Olive psyches out the killer?

Contains a recipe for heavenly lavender lemon honey soap.

COLD CREAM MURDERS – series

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

May 18, 2019 Monica rated it it was amazing

Another fun adventure with Olive and Lizzy along with Lizzy’s sister Pam and their Grams as they look into the death and life of Lizzy’s dad. Lots of action also with the growing cold cream shop. New customers, new supporters, new troubles. So many fun characters that you can’t help laughing out loud. A definite page turner. So many twists that I didn’t guess the ending. Love this series. Can’t wait to see what’s next for these ladies.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RGK6BL3

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/SOAP-ROPE-COLD-CREAM-MURDERS-ebook/dp/B07RGK6BL3

Glossy Lips – Smokey Eyes Book 1 2

A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W

Read more reviews and follow Barbara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/576735.Barbara_Silkstone

Connect to Barbara via her website: https://secondactcafe.com/

The final author today is Walter Rhein with his recent release which was co-written by Dan Woll Paperclip – A masked cold war conspiracy unleashed at rural America.

About Paperclip

What if your whole life was an experiment?

Prior to meeting Carlie, Mickey’s biggest problem consisted of escaping the wrath of the ruler-wielding nuns of St. Asors. But when Carlie moved to town, Mickey found that the young girl’s proximity began to enhance a dormant ability to catch fleeting glimpses of the future. Confused by the stirrings of young love, Mickey began to sense the presence of a shadowy villain, driven by hatred, on a relentless pursuit that would not end until both Mickey and Carlie were dead.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Joe Bonadonna5.0 out of 5 starsThis is based on a true story June 3, 2019

Walter Rhein (author of The Reader of Acheron and The Literate Thief) two great dystopian novels in their own right, now provides Paperclip, co-authored with Don Woll. This, too, is a disturbing look at a dystopian future world. Two children, Carlie and Mickey, realize that they are not like other kids. No, they seem to be well aware of things, of events . . . things that no child — maybe no adult — should ever be aware of. It’s a nicely constructed story that hooked me right from the start. It’s a real political thriller, with elements of the paranormal and psychological mixed in to heighten the tension. This novel involves Nazis, and conspiracies at all levels of government, straight up the ladder to the highest levels of government power, and it’s quite chilling in the world Rhein and Woll have created. From what I understand, this novel is based on some real, horrific experiments conducted at one time in the name of medicine, science and insight into human nature and the human mind.

The government is controlled by a “shadow government” that turned its back on other atrocities in its pursuit to build a new weapon of unbelievable power. It’s based on something called Operation Paperclip, which took place prior to World War I, in which certain scientists were also subjecting test “victims” — human guinea pigs — to doses of LSD. This is a scary, thoughtful, and well-paced novel with engaging characters whom we root for, and others who we’d like to see subjected to their own experiments. It’s a different sort of political and psychological thriller, and if you like a good dystopian novel, something original and unique from so many others, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and give it a read. It will shock and disturb you, and perhaps leave you awake at night, thinking of the terrible consequences that could result from some such covert operations, and secret experiments that would make Doctors Frankenstein, Jekyll, Moreau, and the real-life Mengele cringe in horror.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L39G1YQ/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paperclip-Dan-Woll-ebook/dp/B07L39G1YQ

A selection of other books by Walter Rhein

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Walter-Rhein/e/B008Z6RIOC

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walter-Rhein/e/B008Z6RIOC

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4221284.Walter_Rhein

Connect to Walter via his website: http://streetsoflima.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a few books under your arm…Sally